Power, Bremerton Zoo [hardcore, Twelve Gauge]
Another record Perry always played in the room and in the car when we went to get groceries and such. We saw them play with Sabertooth Zombie and Verse in Pawtucket. The toilets at the venue were gross. There was a van outside that sold grilled cheese. I'm still sorta mad that I only had like ten bucks and they made me choose between buying merch and buying a grilled cheese (I chose grilled cheese) (but also I stole a sticker). There were a bunch of high school dicks in the pit throwing punches, which is why I ate my grilled cheese alone in the corner.
William Tyler, Impossible Truth [ambient/guitar, Merge]
Another contender for favorite album of 2013. Tyler is from Nashville but this album reminds me of the desert. But a pretty desert that doesn't totally suck to walk through. Parts of Nevada or Arizona maybe. A good ole American desert. It makes me nostalgic for the western-style ranch childhood I never had. “The Geography of Nowhere” is not only a good song but also a good book I bought because I thought the song was good.
Tim Hecker, Virgins [ambient/electronic, Kranky]
“Virgin” is one of the best insults to throw out when you are pretending to be a big stupid bro. I call all my friends at college “virgins” or sometimes “virgin perverts” when we are pretending to be big stupid bros. Bros are so anthropologically fascinating. This album aurally explores the concept of virginity. Innocence coupled with inevitable corruption. Bell-like keyboards and harps combine in harmony with harsh noise. One and the same. Tim Hecker sounds like a real fucking virgin pervert.
Bill Callahan, Dream River [indie/folk, Drag City]
Over the last year and a half Bill Callahan (aka Smog) has slowly become one of my favorite songwriters. I dozed off to him once in a Jersey shore beach house with Gingy, Ingrid, Hannah and Hannah's friend Molly, but that was a different album. This album is more of the same, in the best way possible. Simple chord progressions, dispassionate baritone, dark irony, etc. I read an interview with Callahan where he talked about having insomnia and wandering his hometown streets at like 4am. I do that sometimes, but not in NH because there are bears.
Forest Swords, Engravings [ambient/experimental, Tri Angle]
One time the night before my Sociology final I had insomnia and decided to wander campus for an hour or two while listening to this album on repeat on my iPod. I ended up in GHH and played Nintendo 3DS for an hour and watched the sunrise. Then I ate breakfast (s/o to waffles) and took a nap until my final. My professor was reading Morrissey's autobiography during our exam. I aced it.
Hoax, Hoax [hardcore, self-released]
If someone asked me what the punkest thing I listened to was, I'd probably say Hoax. Jesse Sanes hates himself for having the audacity to exist. He regularly makes a point of bleeding from his head during live shows. Google dat shit. Nihilistic brutality is directed at himself as much as it is directed at modern society (or whatever). A high point in Mass hardcore, though the band will probs break up next year. “Drive” has a ridiculous breakdown.
KEN Mode, Entrench [hardcore/metal, Season of Mist]
KEN Mode is one of those bands that combine heavy riffs, hardcore attitude and the right amount of melody in just the right way to make me want to punch and kick stuff and not feel wicked lame about it. “Your Heartwarming Story Makes Me Sick” is a good song but the name is bad and dumb.
Mammoth Grinder, Underworlds [metal, 20 Buck Spin]
This band sounds like they should be named Mammoth Grinder. Listen to them and see that I am right. The name reminds me of a giant Neolithic sausage machine, but not in a funny way. I remember I listened to this album on Youtube after my Macbook shat itself and I had to live in the library. I came back to the apartment and Perry was playing it in his room. “Oh shit, dude”s were exchanged. Then Tom also was really into that album that same day.
Windhand, Soma [metal/stoner metal, Relapse]
This is Windhand's first full release. I discovered them after they did a hella good split with Cough. I listened to a lot of stoner/sludge/doom metal this year, but I think this was the only album that was actually from 2013. I still need to get stoned and listen to this tho.
Kanye West, Yeezus [hip hop/god, Def Jam]
My first experience with Yeezus was when I was incredibly stoned at a lake house Lydia was getting paid to sit. We were watching SNL when Kanye performed “Black Skinhead”. I was legitimately mesmerized. I spent the entire song glued to the television set (figuratively). There was also a wicked creepy dog that totally wanted Andrew's dick. Also a hot tub. Anyway, aside from maybe 808s and Heartbreak, I always find Kanye albums uneven. I adored most of Dark Fantasy, but I loathed “Runaway” and “Blame Game”. I can't really say that was the case with Yeezus cause I only really listened to it through like twice. Don't really have any thoughts on it. Some tracks I loved but never really made a point of listening to on a regular basis. But I feel like if I don't include Yeezus on my year-end list Kanye will somehow send me a passive-aggressive email. And I don't want that (or do I??).