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MadCity Music’s 2014 Staff Picks

DAVE ZERO – Vinyl Baron

Real Estate – “Atlas” – Galaxie 500 meets The Feelies and it’s wonderful.

Bob Mould – “Beauty & Ruin” – Age means nothing, still a lot of rock to Du!

The Roots – “And Then You Shoot Your Cousin…” – A surprisingly, dark, dense and weird album from a band that refuses to take it easy.

Reigning Sound – “Shattered” – Always soulful kings of garage get mod, a little mellow, and add strings

Death – “III” – A charming collection of demos & outtakes that shows what this band could have been

J Mascis – “Tied To A Star” – As stunning quiet as he is loud

King Tuff – “Black Moon Spell” – Marc Bolan is smiling up on his cloud because of this album

Brimstone Howl – “Magic Hour” – Tom Verlaine/Television inspired, reverb soaked garage stompers

Ex Hex – “Rips” – All lady band that delivers a great blast of cool, 70s inspired glam
rock & power pop

Honorable Mentions:
Ian McLagan – “United States”
Paul Collins – “Feel The Noise”
Black Keys – “Turn Blue”
Drive-By Truckers – “English Oceans”

Favorite Reissues:
The Shivvers – “S/T” – Lost female fronted power pop gem from Milwaukee, could have given
Blondie a run for their money

Wreckless Eric – “Donovan of Trash” – A sloppy moment of greatness from an always under appreciated songwriter

Ernie Graham – “S/T” – The “Blood On The Tracks” of the UK pub rock scene, for fans of Bill
Fay, The Band and Wilco

VINCENT PRESLEY – Resident Man in Black

1. Those Poor Bastards – “Vicious Losers” – After weirding out some of the fans with his books and Behold The Abyss album, Wyatt strips this one down to more simple, sing along songs about drugs, loneliness, and death. Super catchy from start to finish and on constant repeat in my car and at home.

2. Skull Defekts – “Dances In Dreams Of The Known Unknown” – A Swedish weirdo group playing some kind of industrial, experimental, rock music. PLUS, throw Daniel Higgs from Lungfish in there and you have a really unique treat. Have not stopped listening to it since it came out in April.

3. Chrome – “Feel It Like A Scientist” – Yesssss! Chrome started in the mid 70’s and this album is easily as good as any of those early classics. Crazy noisy early punk/experimental oddballs still doing it right.

4. Oozing Wound – “Earth Suck” – Finally some heavy music that isn’t super boring and/or generic. I have no idea what they are saying and I don’t care. Great gnarly scream and loads of energy.

5. Child Bite – “Strange Waste” – Weirdo heavy band from the Detroit area that has been releasing stuff for 7 years but is really doing their best stuff right now. Just picked up by Phil Anselmo’s label because they are more interesting than anything else going on. This should really have been a 45 RPM 12″ but they released it as a double 7″ to mess with me.

6. Call Me Lightning – “Human Hell” – Milwaukee’s CML release their 4th and possibly last album. This one has the band moving away from the epic stadium rock hits of their 2010 album and goes with a pop, almost happy, sound. Normally that would make me barf but CML do it right and Nathan’s gloomy lyrics make sure that annoying happy feeling is not going to last. Oh, they sound like The Who! That’s what everyone has said for the last ten years so I thought I better add that.

7. Pere Ubu – “Carnival Of Souls” – Another band that started in the mid 70’s and is responsible for influencing some of the best modern bands around. The last few albums by these guys are as good, if not better, than their first couple classics. Some of the best weirdo art punk originals.

8. Swans – “To Be Kind” – I skip sides 3 and 4 and make this an excellent double LP. It sounds like Swans. Dark and intense. I just don’t have time for three LPs.

9. Scott Walker + Sunn O))) – “Soused” – First of all it’s pronounced “Sun” NOT “Sun Oh”. Your welcome. The first track was not what I was hoping for but then I flipped the record. That awesome, classic Sun sound that is basically dark drone music played through giant, doom metal amps, topped with 60’s pop sensation gone weirdo recluse avant garde crooner, Scott Walker. Definitely only for a very niche market that I happen to belong to.

10. Thurston Moore – “The Best Day” – Similar to Murray Street era Sonic Youth. A little on the soft side but more rockin than his Demolished Thoughts solo album from a couple years ago. Good stuff.

Other Notable Releases:
Off – “Wasted Years”
Tuxedomoon – “Pink Narcissus”
David Lynch – “The Air Is On Fire”
Mirel Wagner – “When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day”
The Dead Milkmen – “Pretty Music For Pretty Special People”
Fire Retarded – “Scroggz Manor”
Child Bite w/ Phil Anselmo – “Morbid Hits”
Menace Ruine – “Venus Armata”
Dezurik Sisters – “Yodel & Sing Their Greatest Hits”
Neil Young – “A Letter Home” (NOT “Storytone”!!)

2014 Reissue Bonanza!
Death – “Leprosy” and “Spiritual Healing”
Deicide – “Legion”
Joy Division – “An Ideal For Living”
King Diamond – First 5 albums
Iron Maiden – First 7 albums
Can – First 4 albums
Rats – “Intermittent Signals” and “S/T”
Syd Barrett – “Opel”, “Madcap Laughs”, “S/T”
Om – “Pilgrimage”
Depeche Mode – “Violator” and “Playing The Angel”
July – “S/T”
True Widow – “S/T”
Those Poor Bastards – “Hellfire Hymns” (First time on vinyl)
Lonesome Wyatt & The Holyspooks – “Halloween Is Here”

BOBBY HUSSY – #2 Long Hair

Damaged Bug – “Hubba Bubba” – John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees brings us completely demented analogue synth pop. A must hear for any weirdo synth fan.

Ausmuteants – “Order Of Operation” – Not quite as strong as the band’s last release “Amusements” but these Australian punks still know how to have a good time! One of Australias brightest and most promising young bands!

Nots – “We Are Nots” – Nots are Memphis’ hottest new band. Four females bringing you semi-sloppy garage rock with a synth twist. Their debut LP is a sharp and biting reminder of why Memphis is a hotbed of rock n roll.

Reigning Sound – “Shattered” – A band that only gets better with age. The title has to be a reference to Jay Reatard (His label was called Shattered Records), so what’s not to love?

The Clean – “Anthology” Box Set – What’s not to love? A box set of everything you’d need that’s essential listening for any Kiwi loving indie pop fan!

Devo – “Live @ Max’s Kansas City” – A RSD 2014 exclusive, but one of the best releases this year by far. The band is captured at their weirdest and punkest in the Fall of 1977!

Obnox – “Louder Space” – Weirdo hip hop influenced garage punk from ex Bassholes member Bim Thomas. Live the band excels as one of the best two pieces to date.

Trin Tran – “Far Reaches” EP – Madison based one man synth vet has reinvented himself with a full live band this year and things got a whole lot bigger and fuller.

Coachwhips – “Get Your Body Next To Mine” – Reissue – John Dwyer has finally reissued the classic Coachwhips records for your enjoyment. Original released in the non vinyl friendly climate of 2002 this is your chance to easily pick up this garage punk masterpiece.

Golden Pelicans – “S/T” – This is TOTAL PUNK released on a label called TOTAL PUNK. Features the classic “Pissing In A Puddle Of Puke” (We’ve all been there before…right?) I think you get the idea.


MR. RICH SKEAT – The British One

The Dead C – “The Twelfth Spectacle” – Four LP set on Grapefruit Records. Ten years of live performances from New Zealand’s greatest group ever.

Triptykon – “Melana Chasmata” – Thrash inspired doom arising from the ashes of Celtic Frost. They just keep getting better.

Edward Artemiev – “The Mirror / Stalker” – Original soundtrack recordings from two of Andre Tarkovsky’s most mysterious films. Handmade product from San Francisco’s Superior Viaduct.

Eccentronic Research Council – “Magpie Billy & the Egg That Yolked (A Study of the Northern Ape in Love)” – A tale of tat, enduring love, record collections and giant birds. As told by Maxine Peake.

Half Man Half Biscuit – “Urge For Offal” – The Birkenhead Sound of Crossley & Blackwell. Their 13th album is by far the best since “Achtung Bono”…whenever that was. Why does the winner of Mr Universe always come from Earth?

Vic Godard & Subway Sect – “1979 Now!” – Punk era legend returns with an album of Northern Soul influenced songs shelved since the end of the 70s.

Behemoth – “The Satanist” – Black death metal from Poland. Atmosphericus, Doomicus, Metallicus. If only there were horror movies this spooky.

James Williamson & Carolyn Wonderland – “Open up and Bleed / Gimme Some Skin” 7″ – Record store day release. Williamson re-works two of the greatest Stooges songs with the soulful voice of Ms. Wonderland to give them a real wallop.

Nikki Sudden – “Waiting On Egypt” – First vinyl reissue of Sudden’s post-Swell Maps debut on Numero Group’s Numero Junior label. Still clanking and tongue in cheek punk rattling, but perhaps with a little more focus on the song writing. If that was possible.

The Pop Group – “Cabinet of Curiosities” – Unreleased recordings from post-punk enfant terribles. Still sounding like a can of rusty nails being shaken and then hurled onto the dance floor down the youth club on a friday night.


CHRIS LAY – Voted Madison’s #2 Funny Guy by The Isthmus
(Alphabetical by album)

King Tuff – “Black Moon Spell”
The Both – “The Both”
Fucked Up – “Glass Boys”
M. Geddes Gengras – “Ishi”
J. Spaceman & Kid Millions – “Live At Le Poisson Rouge”
Ty Segall – “Manipulator”
Holly Herndon – “Movement”
Caribou – “Our Love”
Duck Sauce – “Quack”
Suicideyear – “Remembrance”
Run The Jewels – “RTJ2”
Bonnie Prince Billy – “Singer’s Grave In A Sea Of Tongues”
Aphex Twin – “Syro”
Chromeo – “White Women”

Craig Leon – “Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1: Nommos / Visiting”
Heitkotter – “Black Orchid”
Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf – “Circa 1990-1993”
Bikini Kill – “The First Two Records”
Songs: Ohia – “Journey On: Collected Singles”


SCOTT GORDON – Tone Madison Founder/Editor
(no particular order)

Thou – “Heathen”
Chris Forsyth And Solar Motel Band – “Intensity Ghost”
Bob Mould – “Beauty And Ruin”
Ty Segall – “Manipulator”
Charlatan – “Local Agent”
Run The Jewels – “RTJ2”
Nots – “We Are Nots”
J-Live – “Around The Sun”
Pyrrhon – “The Mother Of Virtues”
Shellac – “Dude Incredible”


JUSTIN KIBBEL – High Noon Saloon Propagandist

Best Albums of 2014:
Cloud Nothings – “Here and Nowhere Else”
Courtney Barnett – “The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas”
Strand Of Oaks – “Heal”
King Tuff – “Black Moon Spell”
St. Paul & The Broken Bones – “Half The City”
Run The Jewels – “Run The Jewels 2”
Hamilton Leithauser – “Black Hours”
Cymbals Eat Guitars – “LOSE”
Sun Kil Moon – “Benji”
Christopher Gold & The New Old Things – “When The Buzzards Leave The Bones”
Nude Beach – “77”
Future Islands – “Singles”
Sharon Van Etten – “Are We There”
Bahamas – “Bahamas Is Afie”

Best Shows Of 2014:
Murder By Death – Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, CO 1/17/2014
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Milwaukee Theatre – Milwaukee, WI 6/20/2014
The Replacements w/ The Hold Steady – Midway Stadium – St. Paul, MN 9/13/2014
Murder By Death – High Noon Saloon 10th Anniversary – Madison, WI 5/4/2014
Black Lips w/ King Khan & BBQ Show & The Hussy – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI 9/18/2014
The Polyphonic Spree – Turner Hall – Milwaukee, WI 8/17/2014
PHOX – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI 8/7-8/2014
Toadies – Turner Hall – Milwaukee, WI 4/13/2014
Deafheaven – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI – 6/22/2014
Agalloch – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI – 6/19/2014


JULIE FIELDS – Rock Expert

Reigning Sound – “Shattered”
White Fence – “For The Recently Found Innocent”
Richard Thompson – “Acoustic Classics”
Sharon Van Etten – “Are We There”
Leonard Cohen – “Popular Problems”
Allah-Las – “Worship The Sun”
Real Estate – “Atlas”
The Ghost Of A Sabertooth Tiger – “Midnight Sun”
The Afghan Whigs – “Do To The Beast”
Rosanne Cash – “The River & The Thread”
Bob Dylan and The Band – “The Bootleg Series Volume 11- The Basement Tapes Complete” (6 disc version)
Marianne Faithfull – “Give My Love To London”


TED WILSON – Original Wilson Bros., Tuesdays at 8pm 89.9 WORT

Lucinda Williams – “Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone”
David Bazan + Passenger String Quartet – “Volume 1”
Reigning Sound – “Shattered”
Sharon Van Etten – “Are We There”
Beck – “Morning Phase”
The Afghan Whigs – “Do To The Beast”
Rosanne Cash – “The River & The Thread”
Richard Thompson – “Acoustic Classics”
Bonnie Prince Billy – “Singer’s Grave-A Sea Of Tongues”
Mark Kozelek – “Live At Biko”

Posted in Awesome MadCity Stuff, MadCity Favorites