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***December Thirty First Two Thousand and Fifteen***

It's that time of year again...
Top Best Wonderful Records of 2015!!!
If I wrote a shitty review, I linked it in the album name.  I have no idea if anyone reads music reviews anymore...I certainly
don't.  

 
1.   Belle and Sebastian - Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance (Matador)
Their first new record in a few years.  They've still got it.  
Allie
Nobody's Empire



2.   Destroyer - Poison Season (Merge)
Every time Destroyer releases a new record it contains a strong contender for
song of the year.  This year it is "Dream Lover."  
Dream Lover
Times Square

3.   Dick Diver - Melbourne, Florida (Trouble in Mind)
My favorite newcomers of the year, out of Australia.  That country is burning hot
musically these days.  
Percentage Points
Tearing the Posters Down
Waste the Alphabet


4.   Protomartyr - The Agent Intellect (Hardly Art)
They might destroy live even more than they do on record.  
Dope Cloud
The Devil in His Youth


5.   Mac McCaughan - Non-Believers (Merge)
I'm not entirely sure how this is different from a Portastatic record, but it's still
good.  Not as upbeat/aggro as Superchunk, but damn catchy.    
Box Batteries
Your Hologram

 
6.   Low - Ones and Sixes (Sub Pop)
By law anytime Low releases a new reord, it must go on the list.  
No Comprende
What Part of Me


7.   Wilco - Star Wars (dBpm)
And it was with this record that I finally accepted Wilco for who they are now, and
stopped being mad that they are no longer the Jay Bennett-era band I fell in love
with.  It only took me fifteen-ish years.    
Pickled Ginger
Random Name Generator


8.   Yo La Tengo - Stuff Like That There (Matador)
What I said about Low also applies here.  
Deeper Into Movies (remake of track from I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One)
Friday I'm in Love (The Cure cover)


9.   Bandway - Buddies ( The Man Who Drives the Van)
Holy shit Bandway released a new record!!!  It's never really about the recorded
material with them, but rather the rare live shows.  
Sustainable
White Nipples

10. Jeff the Brotherhood - Wasted on the Dream (Infinity Cat)
JtB are way better at being Weezer these days than Weezer have been for nearly
two decades.  
Black Cherry Pie
Prarie Song
Voyage Into Dreams


Honorable Mention!

American Aquarium - Wolves (Self-Released)
Best Coast - California Nights (Harvest / Virgin)
Birds of Avalon - Disappearance (Third Uncle)
Built To Spill - Tethered Moon (Warner Bros)
Mikal Cronin - MCIII (Merge)
Lower Dens - Escape From Evil (Ribbon)
Mandolin Orange - Such Jubilee (Yep Roc)
Spray Paint - Punter on a Barge (Homeless)
Kurt Vile - B'lieve I'm Goin Down... (Matador)
Whatever Brains - Whatever Brains (Sorry State)


Best Singles/EPs!

Flesh Wounds - In the Mouth EP (Snot)
Future Islands - The Chase 7'' (4AD)
Mount Moriah - Calvander 7'' (Merge)
Pampers - Right Tonight 7'' (In the Red)
 - I've seen this one listed as both 2014 and 2015, and since I bought it this year, I'm just going to go with 2015 and not
   wind up down a rabbit hole while researching the release date and probably ending up on the Wiki page for Idi Amin.  
Run the Jewels - Bust No Moves EP (Mass Appeal)


Great records from previous years!
Or rather, last year as is the case this time around.  

Ex Hex - Rips (2014)
 - This actually made my honorable mention list last year, but if I were to re-rank today it would be number two easily.  
   Had it come out this year it would hve probably topped the charts.  
Allo Darlin' - We Come from the Same Place (Slumberland, 2014)
The Lees of Memory - Sisyphus Says (SideOneDummy, 2014)
Outer Spaces - Garbage Beach EP (Salinas, 2014)

...Haven't even started thinking about my favorite shows or movies yet.  In a later post probably.  


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Instagrams:


Rock hound.  Marion, NC.


Grandma's relics.  Marion, NC.  


The family at Tom's Creek Falls.  Marion, NC.  


Old house.  Whitakers, NC.  


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Links:

Movements No0001  
Cons video featuring Aaron Herrington and Tom Remillard.  They both fuckin' destroy everything.  

AMFD  Brandon Biebel put together a part from all of his web clips from his skatepark - it's better than a lot of people's
street parts.  

This Time  
A feature on Max Schaaf, including a shitload of the most watchable vert skating I've seen in a while.  Max
will always have the best very style of all time, no one else comes close.  

Nike SB Chronicles: Cory Kennedy  Nike released CK1's part, and it's just as enjoyable as expected.  Backside
nose blunt with a fingerflip out!

Two photo journal entries, both band photos because I thought for sure I had posted the older one months ago.  


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Birds of Avalon
with Mac McCaughan
Motorco
12/4/2015

Thanks to ReverbNation throwing their holiday party at Motorco and making it open to the public, I got to see a show
for free that I would have gladly paid real American dollars to witness.  Add to that stuffing my face with Pie Pushers
before the show, and it was a good night.  As a side note, there was a BBQ food truck set up in front of the Pit, a BBQ
restaurant that is right across the street from Motorco.  This both confused and delighted me. 

I've seen Mac McCaughan play four or five times this year, and none of those times was with his main band Super-
chunk.  A few of the occasions were with local punks Flesh Wounds acting as his backing band, but this performance
was just Mac solo, with only his electric guitar to help him out.  The set had selections from every facet of his career -
solo songs, Portastatic songs, and of course Superchunk songs.  He played a number of my favorites including
"Detroit Has a Skyline," "Driveway to Driveway," and "Skip Steps 1 & 3," plus the excellent "Breaking Down" from
Superchunk's latest record that I'm not sure I've ever heard them play live, or at least I can't remember it.  He put on a
great performance, just like he did the other dozens of times I've seen him.  I keep coming back to his performances
for a reason ya know!

It's possible I've seen Birds of Avalon just as many times this year as I've seen Mac.  It's been mentioned before but
the new six-piece/two-drummer version of the band raised them into an entirely new stratosphere of awesomeness,
and that very much continues to be true.  I've given up trying to compare them to anyone in particular, just think heavy
kraut pop with tons of harmonized vocals (with as many as four people singing) and the occasional proggy moment. 
The double drums, often performed in unison, power the whole affair - words can't express how important this addition
has been to the band.  Actually, words probably can express it, I'm just too stupid/lazy to make it happen. 



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Bandway
with Pipe
Cat's Cradle
10/24/2015

It had been a little over four years since I last saw Bandway, at 2011's Hopscotch Music Festival, which was the last
time they performed live as far as I know.  That seems to be pretty much the norm for them, get together every few
years to rock the balls off the select few people with the goddamn good sense to show up.  There were probably a
couple hundred of these smart people on this night, and I recognized a ton of them - I would bet 90% of the crowd was
probably at any Bandway show I attended nearly twenty years ago.  We were all older and some of us fatter, but our
love of a good time has never diminished. 

The big difference between this gig and the couple of others they've played over the last, well, decade, is they actually
recently released a new album, "Buddies," their first since 2002's "Night Rock."  They were playing new songs!  Awe-
some new songs that is, to go along with classics like "King Kong" and "Balls Out" and "Champagne" and all those
other gems that gets the crowd singing along vigorously.  It was, in a word, glorious. 

I think you can sum up the awesomeness that is this band with the following quote from Brooks Carter, frontman of the
gods:
"This song is about love...the purest love of all...the song is called 'White Nipples.'"

Pipe opened the show.  To paraphrase Wooderson from "Dazed and Confused" - "That's what I love about Pipe,
man. I get older, they stay the same band."  They started with "Gutterball," ended with "Ashtray," and there was plenty
of high-quality, high-kick filled punk rock in between.  It's always sort of the same thing with them, but it's a same thing
I'm always happy to see.  Singer Ron Liberti was full of antics as usual, laying down flat on the stage while still singing
at one point.  It was a quality night of rock all around, one that doesn't happen nearly often enough. 






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