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donwayneleach

2014 Music (Half Way Point)

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im more excited about the new kendrick than anything in years. the song he did for flylo's album was great. the live version of "i" on SNL and the untitled song on Colbert were both incredible. the feature list for the album is nuts (thundercat, bilal, anna wise, terrace martin, george clinton, ron isley, sza) 

 

I didn't like the untitled song he did on Colbert...but the SNL live version of 'i' was something that was just so damn instantly good/fun.

and yeah, nobody knows anybody that's on the feature list of that album besides George Clinton. I'm so damn out of the loop with hip-hop that basically Kendrick is one of a couple I might still listen to.

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thundercat is a bassist on flying lotus' label.

 

sza is the new girl on tde

 

terrace martin is a multi-instrumentalist/producer whose worked with kendrick before

 

anna wise sings in sonnymoon

 

bilal is the shit

 

ron isley is ron mothafuckin isley (kill yourself for disrespecting the legend)

 

then there's the possibility of Robert Glasper being in the mix

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGeZLNSi41E

 

also Q-Tip and Pete Rock production. just....wow.

 

I like Big KRIT and J. Cole's new albums a lot but their insistence on producing everything themselves feels like it gets in the way of them progressing very much. for two guys that are so obviously influenced by kanye, it's weird to me that they haven't taken cues from him and collaborated with more musicians while kendrick, who isn't a producer, has basically put together the entire New Orleans Jazz Fest lineup on his next album.

 

---

 

while I'm speaking hip-hop, my top rap records this year (in no order):

 

Run The Jewels 2

PRhyme

2014 Forest Hills Drive

Cadillactica

Cilvia Demo

Vibes

Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2

Oxymoron

1200 B.C.

Broke With Expensive Taste

 

as for non hip-hop,

Teyana Taylor - VII

Sylvan Esso - S/T

Caribou - Our Love

 

admittedly, i have a long list of about 30 or so albums i intended to listen to and havent, but this was a pretty weak year for rock music as far as my sensibilities go. hope 2015 is a bounce back year.

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hahahaha I was like WTF when Cassidy said no one knows anyone on the list but George Clinton - I mean, even if you didn't know Thundercat/Bilal/etc I was still thinking "ok, but the Isley bros..." lol. I like your follow up though, so you're excused in my book.

 

Also, whats this shit about us meeting in Temecula? That type of shit will make me not want to meet each other.

 

Also, I hated Suck it and See immediately and nothing changed - Humbug and the newest were produced by my boy Josh Homme and Suck it and See wasn't cause Josh was busy.

 

Also, I am immensely stoked for the new Kendrick, everything Shane said.

 

Also, fuck the Jets.

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2014 didn't blow me away, but had a few incredible hits:

 

JOY - under the spell of joy

ONCE & FUTURE BAND - brain EP

TANGERINE DREAM - grand theft auto 5 score (game came out in 2013, but the records were just released earlier this month.  best thing they've done in 20+ years)

Edited by mychael

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Don't know what to say about this year. I've listened to most of the albums on every year-end list I've read, but I was underwhelmed.

 

The new Death Grips, which was the album I was looking forward to more than anything else, was a letdown. (They're still my band of the decade so far. Exmilitary, The Money Store, and No Love Deep Web are all great albums, and the latter two are classics.)

 

Random notes:

 

Run the Jewels 2 was good and deserved to get some love, but it doesn't say much for the year when it's a year-end list-topper (there are some lofty, revolutionary-minded things said about this album, which spends more time talking about dicks than anything).

 

FKA twigs' is the only artist I've ever listened to that actually reaches my lizard fuck brain—most music that aims to be lusty winds up being just embarrassing.

 

Benji is excellent and blew me away and I will never listen to it again because it's actually too haunting and emotionally devastating.

 

Maybe I'm still acquiring a taste for booth music, but the albums from Arca and Flying Lotus didn't sound quite finished to me.

 

The Vince Staples EP is unlistenable after five listens.

 

It makes me very happy that the new one from Swans reached 37 on the Billboard 200; rather than going on to say "but The Seer is clearly better," I'll just say that The Seer should have been rated higher in 2012.

 

Got bored of The War on Drugs after ten minutes of them trying to prettify Dylan.

Edited by chase

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Don't know what to say about this year. I've listened to most of the albums on every year-end list I've read, but I was underwhelmed.

 

The new Death Grips, which was the album I was looking forward to more than anything else, was a letdown. (They're still my band of the decade so far. Exmilitary, The Money Store, and No Love Deep Web are all great albums, and the latter two are classics.)

 

Random notes:

 

Run the Jewels 2 was good and deserved to get some love, but it doesn't say much for the year when it's a year-end list-topper (there are some lofty, revolutionary-minded things said about this album, which spends more time talking about dicks than anything).

 

FKA twigs' is the only artist I've ever listened to that actually reaches my lizard fuck brain—most music that aims to be lusty winds up being just embarrassing.

 

Benji is excellent and blew me away and I will never listen to it again because it's actually too haunting and emotionally devastating.

 

Maybe I'm still acquiring a taste for booth music, but the albums from Arca and Flying Lotus didn't sound quite finished to me.

 

The Vince Staples EP is unlistenable after five listens.

 

It makes me very happy that the new one from Swans reached 37 on the Billboard 200; rather than going on to say "but The Seer is clearly better," I'll just say that The Seer should have been rated higher in 2012.

 

Got bored of The War on Drugs after ten minutes of them trying to prettify Dylan.

 

 

^ This x1000000. I honestly think Run The Jewels 2 has won be default too. Its great from top to bottom, makes all pop rap look like shit, and I can listen to it over and over again, but it is kinda straightforward, and I think people are reading too much into it because of Killer Mike's reputation and advocacy.

 

I also think Rock-- as we once knew it-- is dead. Where the hell are my singalong anthems, and epic build ups, and layers, and technical guitar playing/drumming, and speed? Basically non-existent this year. I've checked out stuff from a bunch of these Best Of albums, and I don't get that from The War on Drugs or Sun Kil Moon or Spoon or any of the lady artists I already mentioned earlier. All "good" metal these days is Black or Doom metal, and that ish gets monotonous now. Maybe I'm the one who sucks for being so particular, but I think I have a point. Especially when I read article after article stating rock was dead after Coachella this year, where everyone turned out for EDM acts (which I often enjoy and can be entertaining, but is usually devoid of substance), while the crowds were sparse for rock.

 

This is a pretty big bummer, especially since I look back to 2004 and think about how many awesome albums came out that year:

 

Metal -

Converge - You Fail Me

Isis - Panopticon

Mastodon - Leviathan

Killswitch Engage - The End of Heartache

Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine

Lamb of God - Ashes of the Wake

Pig Destroyer - Terrifyer

Behemoth - Demigod

Misery Signals - Of Malice and Magnum Hearth

 

Screamo - 

 

Underoath - They're Only Chasing Safety

Taking Back Sunday - Where You Want To Be

Alexisonfire - Watch Out!

Straylight Run - Straylight Run

Planes Mistaken for Stars - Up In Them Guts

 

Punk - 

 

Strung Out - Exile in Oblivion

Rise Against - Siren Song of the Counterculture

A Wilhelm Scream - Mute Print

 

Anthemic Indie - 

 

Arcade Fire - Funeral

Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Like Bad News

Muse - Absolution

Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans

Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak

Minus the Bear - They Make Beer Commercials Like This

The Killers - Hot Fuss

 

(You all could probably list some more, that's just off a cursory glance off my best of 2004 playlists)

 

So WTF, I need more bands with energy, balls AND substance dammit. Japandroids, where the hell is your new album? How bout you, Brand New? I can't just keep praying Kings of Leon continues being the only good true rock band, when their singer is gonna end up in rehab again any day now. Otherwise I'm just gonna keep getting my uptempo stuff from electronic pop bands, like Chvrches and Passion Pit, and that's not the same :/

Edited by Mixhail

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^I just want to say: GASLIGHT FUCKING ANTHEM!...but that's beating a dead horse.

 

But yeah, I do look at what I'm buying, buying less of, or what I feel like I'm missing...and also what I feel like isn't getting enough credit too.

 

Loved Nick Hornby's write-up/intro for 'Handwritten' in 2012 and it's pretty accurate for the state of rock'n'roll, people wanting original rock music, or people to re-invent the wheel:

 

​Nick Hornby: It would be stupid to try and tell you that the music you’re listening to is like nothing you’ve ever heard before. The songs on the Gaslight Anthem’s latest album are three or four minutes long, most of them, and they’re played on loud electric guitars, and there are drums, and to be honest, if you haven’t heard anything like this before, then you’re probably listening to the wrong band anyway. What’s great about the Gaslight Anthem is that there’s an assumption you’ll have heard something like this before - on the first Clash album, or on Born to Run, or the first Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers album, or maybe on a Little Richard record. That’s what hooked me in. I’ve been listening to rock n’ roll for forty years, and so maybe I’m too old to be writing this stuff, but on the other hand, maybe I know what I’m talking about, too: believe me, I know a lot of stuff sounds tired and derivative, and makes you feel as though rock music is exhausted. It’s hard to find new ways to tell stories and write songs; even clothes made out of meat won’t do you much good if your music is 1980’s dance-pop.

So you have two choices. The first is this: you do something nobody’s ever done before. You play the nose-flute underwater, put it through a computer backwards, and get a Japanese guy to rap over the top. Or you write a novel using only consonants. Or you make a movie which nobody can see. And that’s all cool, but nobody will want to read you second novel written using only consonants, so then you’ll have to write one using only vowels. And the second is this: you think, write, play and sing as though you have a right to stand at the head of a long line of cool people - you recognize that the Clash and Little Richard got here first, but they’re not around any more, so you’re going to carry on the tradition, and you’re going to do it in your own voice, and with as much conviction and authenticity and truth as you can muster. And if you can pull that off, you’ll be amazed at how fresh you can sound.

And the Gaslight Anthem sound fresh. Anyone who has ever been frustrated by anything - a girl, a boy, a job, a self (especially that) - can listen to this music and feel understood and energized. (And if I feel energized, Lord knows what they’re going to do to you.) And I’m beginning to suspect that they, like, read books, too. “Great Expectations” - now there’s a great title for a song. And here, “Howl” - there’s another one. Rocker’s who read. Songwriters who are not scared to go head-to-head with everyone else in rock’s great tradition. The Gaslight Anthem are my kind of people.

 

 

Like I said, hip-hop has kind of replaced rock as the new 'rock'n'roll'...it just isn't mainstream (when it is, it's Foo Fighters who peaked 20 years ago)

 

-Kings of Leon=most pure 'rock' band

-Queens of the Stone Age

-Thrice=coming back

-Brand New=plays select shows; I was STUNNED seeing how packed Brand New was opening up for Modes Mouse at Boston Calling at fucking night to see Brand New play a really unaccessible set and how enthused people were about it. Like I keep saying: Thrice could play festivals like this and slay. They are a better and more accessible band...somehow it works for Jesse & Brand New.

-Tegan & Sara=it took them going 'dance pop' to get noticed, but fuck it. It took Kings of Leon 'Sex on Fire' to get big in the States when they should have been HUGE long before

-Wonder Years=pop-punk (made best pop punk record I've ever heard in 2013...when I thought I had long checked out on pop-punk in 2005ish...unlike Kenny, wherever the fuck that dude is)

-Black Keys=probably overkill since they've been releasing an album a year basically.

-Arctic Monkeys=got the biggest most recently for emulating the Black Keys a bit

-Manchester Orchestra

-the Lawrence Arms

-the Menzingers

-Against Me!

-No Trigger

-Deftones=they still bring it record-to-record shockingly.

-the Hold Steady =writers in their late 30s + praise this as the best rock band out there...but I don't think people younger than that like them much, even if they do dig them. I haven't got into a record they've done in awhile.

-Jake Bugg

-Ryan Adams

-the National

-Jack White =kind of appeal to people in their late 30s+...not so much to me. Or really that I've seen on this board either.

-Cold War Kids

 

I'm really reaching and just naming acts that play guitars with some...but most of these because they aren't big, doing anything much, release records seldomly, or peaked. Rock bands just aren't 'tracking' or going far these days. That doesn't mean I want them selling out arenas, but still. When I get asked, 'what's a great rock act?' I struggle to name an ACTIVE handful.

 

Obviously Gaslight is my favorite...but they didn't 'knock it out of the park' or did anything big with their record.

Kings of Leon REALLY wanted to be huge/went for it...and you knew when they came out with 'Sex on Fire' and 'Use Somebody' they were going to...and they have dialed it back since. There was ALWAYS problems with that band (drugs/alcohol; stories of infighting; and WANTING to be a rock band with the lifestyle that ensues)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gKWVyhPZYs

^I dig this song from a band I don't care for...and it's playing on NFL commercials and shit

It REALLY goes for it in a big way in the chorus....the boner killer is the rich white people at the award show....but this is NOT rock music or a band that gets me up. 

 

There are great rock acts out there and will continue to be.

But I'd just like to see more.

I don't feel like an old man though when saying, "IT WAS BETTER IN _________!" because I don't feel that way at all. The music is still great....and there's REALLY great heavy/metal records being made every year, but I was never as into that genre much (Riley of Thrice has endless recommendations that he's dishing left and right...I'm just missing a bit of the pure/accessible 'rock' that I like mixed within)

 

Plus, a lot of the above bands petered out...

-Muse: peaked with 'Absolution' were shit afterwards

-Sufjan Stevens: stopped the 50 states project...hasn't done shit since

-Underoath: they always sucked. Fuck you. I hate that band.

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Did Vince Staples' Stolen Youth get a lot of love last year? Because that album is perfect. I thought it came out this year and wondered why people kept talking about the EP instead.

No idea. I plan on checking it out based on how good his raps are on the EP. The guy needs to learn how to write a hook and stop repeating himself though.

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I have an irrational hatred for Imagine Dragons and that new song is fucking terrible.

 

oh, trust me...I hate that band too and wanted to cunt punt them for their band name (so did the Walking the Room podcast haha. The 'Radioactive' song is pretty awful. I do hear they're solid live even to those who aren't into them.

But when the song played on commercials, I can GET why people like that song, it went for it, sounds like something almost out of Africa or some shit...I was at work last night though and it got stuck in my head and I wanted it out.

 

My point is: it's VERY hard for rock acts to get credit on a mainstream level. 

They're basically ALL considered 'indie' acts or marginalized/pigeonholed as JUST as metal act (Mastodon)...pop-punk (Wonder Years)....or emo (Thrice)

But it can't all be Maroon fucking 5...or that band who talked about American Apparel or whatever in a song.

And I dig some of the arena rock acts and you need that shit.

 

and even if hip-hop is the new 'rock', I still think it peaked at some point in the 90s as the golden age.

 

and to Mixhail, when you are under my roof, don't you ever say 'rock'n'roll'

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I guess Every Time I Die did have the best "rock" album this year, but that might be more because it sounds kinda like Converge since they recorded with Kurt Ballou this time. It really is the best album they've done since Hot Damn though:

 

I knew you'd Gaslight Anthem my point to death Marty, but yeah they're one of the few rock bands I like to follow these days. Just sucks when they keep releasing so many inconsistent albums. (please don't follow this up with another 1000 word reply as to why each album since The 59 Sound hasn't been inconsistent, just accept it). And when I saw em live at Coachella they just played all their slow stuff ugh. And finally, poor "Howl" has been ruined by being in a Nissan holiday commercial all winter :/

 

As for other bands, the best rock songs I heard this year were from The Griswolds and Bombay Bicycle Club, but their albums were so inconsistent that I can't really include them on a top 10 list.

 

 

 

Oh and I was wondering what the fuck happened to The Royal Concept, but apparently they released their debut album only in Sweden and I never heard about it.

 

 

 

So yeah, my intention with my post last night wasn't to do an old man rant about music being better 10 years ago (when everything was super awesome since i was graduating High School and starting College), but more of a question about why critics and festival promoters keep pigeonholing all the good "rock" as soft, slow indie stuff or super dark Black metal, while ignoring other uptempo rock bands. I think that's a legitimate question. I know screamo, emo, metalcore, and skate punk are all basically dead. I'm just trying to find replacements. And its not gonna be Cloud Nothings or Future Islands because their singers suck and their music isn't really technical at all.

 

 

I really hope 2005 brings back a rock renaissance. Like I said, i hope there's a new Japandroids album. I don't know what i expect from Brand New. I'm glad Thrice will be back, but i doubt they write an album. Deafheaven is the best new metal band I've heard in years, and I'm sure their next album will be just as awesome (they basically are metal for older people who don't want to be miserable all the time or constrained by certain metal genres),  and I saw em twice this year and they were the best band i saw live this year, but they aren't up everyone's alley.

 

Oh and please don't talk about the fucking Black Keys. I hate them. They release a new album every year because the Blues are simple as fuck.

 

 

P.S. On a slightly related note, does anyone know of any great Post-Rock albums this year? I can't keep listening to the same perfect Caspian album from 2013 over and over again. 

Edited by Mixhail

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K Thank you Marty for talking about The Wonder Years. Jesus they are good. I suck so hard for not finding out about em sooner. They aren't exactly a subtle band (but what punk band is), but this is some good shit that hits hard.

 

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Thanks for posting Luna, Mixhail. That's not only my favorite song of the year it's a contender for my favorite song this decade. Came upon it on KCRW in February and it's been on heavy rotation all year. I could write an essay on the feels that song gives me.

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Every Time I Die

love them...but what they put out does NOT excite me because I know exactly what I'm getting with their records, you know?

Wonder Years

I figured you already knew about them...lot of people on here had them as favorites of 2013.

Riley of Thrice pimped that record; that was one of the few that REALLY clicked.

Japandroids

I gave them a few spins...but did NOT get into them the way others did.

Future Islands

yeah, those bands weren't slated high.

I think Boston Calling had them playing at, like, 3 PM with 5-6 bands ahead of them on a 3-day weekend.

 

I enjoyed the video of "Seasons (Waiting on You)" on Letterman...but they definitely didn't become a band that I was going to go out of my way to listen to.

Gaslight Anthem

"Howl" was my favorite song of 2012...that Nissan commercial didn't ruin shit; I doubt most people can tell it's them since it's just the chorus of "HEY": it's not like having Pomplamoose in a car commercial haha.

Black Keys

They're good, deal with it. Definitely overkill because I wasn't into the idea of a new Black Keys record this year. I always heard they sucked live.

Cloudkicker

that's a good 'post rock' band or whatever even if it's just 1 dude...I don't listen to that type of stuff enough.

Riley's year-end lists are HEAVY on those type of bands.

http://hermitology.com/post/105842809608/my-14-favorite-records-of-2014

Thrice

can't imagine why they wouldn't release a new album/EP. They had the 'farewell' tour and they don't seem like the type of band that would reunite just to play old shit, you know? There would be some type of purpose to back that.

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P.S. On a slightly related note, does anyone know of any great Post-Rock albums this year? I can't keep listening to the same perfect Caspian album from 2013 over and over again. 

 

Check out 'Atomos' by A Winged Victory for the Sullen. Think you might dig it. It's super mellow and kind of reminds me of a film score. But it's awesome for rainy days.

 

Edited by aspirations27

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So I kinda talked crap about The War on Drugs on the last page for being another slow indie band, but I finally gave the whole album a chance and I like it alot. Marty I think you would like it alot because it sounds like if Dylan, Springsteen and Petty all banged and somehow birthed this. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpH-HwtPD-I

 

I will definitely watch em at Coachella. Probably need to smoke a doobie or two to really dig it.

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yeah, I keep on seeing the War on Drugs mentioned EVERY year basically for best album (and his other band or former bandmate too, forget their name)

and what i have previewed I kind of digged...just missed seeing them at Boston Calling.

I previewed parts of the song you linked to because it was like they were trying to appeal to me with the classic 'I'm on Fire' or 'Dancing in the Dark'-esque Bruce Springsteen mixed with Dylan/Petty.

I did hear an 'Ocean Between Waves' being the shit and previewed that a bit via Paul Shirley, I think.

They're a band I always come near to buying their records but just never do.

Edited by Cassidy

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No love for Spoon's new album? It is very good top to bottom... as is any record Spoon puts out, really.

 

"It takes a lot to know a man" by Damien Rice is a great track from his album, although that record as a whole hasn't been getting as much play from me as I expected.

 

Rx Bandits album is pretty damn good, I absolutely love how they sound with proper production, I wish Mandala was recorded this way - wow.

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So I'm checking out a bunch of stuff from people playing Coachella this year and I have a few questions:

 

1) Is the new Cirva Survive album any good? How about the one from 2012? I only just now realized they released two albums since Blue Sky Noise haha.

 

2) Does Hozier have any good songs besides "Take Me To Church" or is he gonna be a one hit wonder?

 

3) Who the hell is Marina and the Diamonds and why are they billed so high?

 

4) Does Flying Lotus have more songs like "Never Catch Me"? This dude's music has always been too freaky for me, but I saw/listened to this and loved it.

 

5) Why did the A.V. Club say Angel Olsen had the album of the year? Who is she and will i actually like any of her ish (mind you I don't like Sharon Von Etten or St. Vincent)

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There are a couple good tracks on the Hozier album, one of the early tracks on the album gets some play on NPR.

 

Flying Lotus newest album is probably his most accessible, he's solid live, but if you don't like his general style, he may not be worth watching for you. I enjoy him live, though. When I'm on a good one, that is.

 

Don't know the answers to any of your other questions, was wondering the same thing about the Marina person as well.

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