War on Drugs suck my cock; Mac DeMarco suck my cock; FKA twigs suck my cock; Vancouver drivers suck my cock; new AC/DC suck my cock; avant-“jazz” suck my cock; SBTRKT suck my cock; Aphex Twin suck my cock; Lana Del Rey suck my cock; White Lung suck my cock; Top 10 2014 suck my cock; KanyeJayZBeyoncéKimKardouchian suck my fucking cooooock…
Native North America, Vol. 1
Nothing else on the list comes close to this stunning collection of aboriginal blues, rock, garage, country-rock, garage-country, country-blues, and country-country (plus folk) made in your own back yard while you weren’t looking (or listening, I suppose), by people you usually ignore. A monumental achievement on the part of album producer Kevin Howes, but more importantly on behalf of the artists rediscovered and lovingly honoured here. Thirty-four tracks and not a single stinker in the bunch.
Sun Kil Moon
Back in the olden days, “confessional” singer-songwriters like James Taylor would gently and intimately inform us that they’d “seen” things such as “fire” and even, at other times, “rain” (slow down there, James!). Here in 2014, “confessional” singer-songwriters like Mark Kozelek see death, death, and more death, not to mention a spot of prostate trouble. Benji is weirdly giddy stuff, mind you, in its resigned and nakedly honest embrace of the great human shit-wheel of life and its presumed belief in the benefits of talk therapy.
Divide and Exit
If you haven’t been around for any of the various riots and other violent upheavals currently rocking the U.K., here’s the next-best thing. Two men, one playing a variety of crap instruments, the other lobbing incendiary mindbombs at you with the kind of endlessly inventive and strangely poetic use of profanity that the Brits have been mastering for centuries. Never have the words fuck, tits, cunt, and arsehole been put to such thrilling use, all in the service of reminding us that Great Britain is governed by pedophiles.
Lee Fields & the Expressions
I can’t believe that I chose to see Kraftwerk over Lee Fields this summer, a decision that stings even more when you consider that I didn’t actually make it to the Kraftwerk show, leaving Michael Mann dateless for the night. Which he’s still complaining about, the daft twat.
Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
Quintessential outlaw country plus DMT consciousness? Only an idiot or Richard Dawkins would leave this off their Top 10.
Les Big Byrd
They Worshipped Cats
This year’s best psych-krautrock hybrid was made in Sweden by Swedes, as these things so often are.
Unification: From Channel One to King Tubby’s With Willi Williams & Yabby You
Did I ever tell you about the time I smoked a Camberwell carrot with Willi “Armagideon Man” Williams in a studio in Scarborough, Ontario? Easily the heaviest stone of my life. There was a vintage Elton John pinball machine about 10 feet away, OR WAS THERE?
Vic Godard & Subway Sect
Oh God, I love this record. It’s a piece of shit in a lot of ways; the playing is dodgy, and Godard’s voice is even stranger and warblier than it was when he was being cheated out of his place in punk history back in the ’70s. (Long story; we’ll save it for later.) In any event, Godard went back to a bunch of Northern Soul–inspired numbers he demo’d over 30 years ago, this is the result, and children: please behold a man who knows how to write a killer song or two (or 10).
Beyond the Black Rainbow
This is not some mere exercise in retro-fetishism, as some dummies have suggested. Like the film it was scored for, Beyond the Black Rainbow is actually an attack on nostalgia, existing to remind us that even our bad dreams of the future were pathetically inadequate compared to the demented slaughterhouse we ended up with. Which is nice.
Live at Wembley Arena
There isn’t much you can do as a parent these days as you watch your children being involuntarily inducted into a culture that’s morally and ethically impaired beyond all hope, and that’s why you dance to the Beatles and ABBA in your living room on a Saturday night. Bonus: they could totally pull it off live.