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MadCity’s Staff Choices For Best Of 2013


Sweet Talk – “Pickup Lines”
Dual guitar, garage power pop from TX.

Endless Boogie – “Long Island”
Cosmic Psychos + Canned Heat + Neu!

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – “Mind Control”
Psychedelic-Sabbath w/ Robin Zander sound a-like on vocals.

David Bowie – “The Next Day”
Almost every song sounds like a single.

Human Eye – “4: Into The Unknown”
Mudhoney on really good acid.

Oblivians  – “Desperation”
When else has a band retunited to make their best album?

The Thermals – “Desperate Ground”
Still throwing a power pop punch in heart after 10 years.

Brittany Howard/Ruby Amanfu – “I Wonder” 7″
In a perfect world this would have been the biggest hit of the year.

John Paul Keith – “Memphis Circa 3 AM”
Bar room/honky tonk version of Marshal Crenshaw.

Elvis Costello & The Roots – “Wise Up Ghost”
Not sure why, but it works.

The Dirtbombs – “Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-Blooey!”
Detroit garage kings go bubblegum.

The Hussy – “Pagan Hiss”
Local duo’s strongest release yet.

Devo – “Hardcore Vol. 1 & 2”
King Tuff – “Was Dead”

Mavis Staples – “One True Vine”
Zola Jesus – “Versions”
Volcano Choir – “Repave”
The Julie Ruin  – “Run Fast”
The National – “Trouble Will Find Me”



Vincent’s Unlucky Top 13 of 2013

1. Lonesome Wyatt And The Holy Spooks – “Ghost Ballads”
An entire album of ghost stories that range from the very nice, pretty, Everly Brothers style “Dream Of You”, to the rickety, sea sick “Terror On The Ghost Ship”. An overall nicer sound than Wyatt’s Those Poor Bastards albums but still dark and mysterious. Quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite albums.

2. Savages – “Silence Yourself”
Everyone compares this to Siouxsie And The Banshees and that is sort of correct. They’re English girls that are a little angry but this is in no way another throwback / rip off album. Savages are dark rock and punk and this debut album is pretty close to perfect. Very refreshing.

3. David Lynch – “The Big Dream”
If you do not know who David Lynch is I have no idea how to explain this. For those that are familiar with his films you can imagine being at The Roadhouse in Twin Peaks with David sitting across the table, telling you about his girl troubles. It’s got that smooth nightmare sound you have heard in his movies but with the added bonus of vocal tracks by the weirdo himself.

4. True Widow – “Circumambulation”
Very mellow and gloomy. I thought their last two albums were just boring but this one is excellent from start to finish. It reminds me of early 4ad bands in the hey day of gloomy goth rock. Male and female vocals with really nice, simple music that might make you lie down for awhile. There’s nothing wrong with lying around listening to records. I love it.

5. Melvins – “Live At Third Man”
Super heavy riffs the way you want them and the way Melvins always give them. I’m not really into live albums but this sounds great and Jack White is now responsible for the most affordable Melvins vinyl I have ever heard of.

6. The Knife – “Shaking The Habitual”
Really weird stuff. Strange drum machine beats, electronics, and great female vocals that only work when English is your second language. I have no idea what I would call this music. Really cool experimental from poppy to noise and ambient.

7. Melt Banana – “Fetch”
I have only owned a couple MB records and although I thought they were cool I never felt like I needed to keep them. Their newest one keeps the insanity while making the songs more catchy. Lots of weird electronics on this one with the typical MB crazy guitar and staccato vocals. It’s easily the best record I have heard by them. Mathy Japanese punk with electronics. Rad.

8. TV Ghost – “Disconnect”
An Indiana band of younger handsome kids that seem very hip with the garage rock and psych scenes but there is something darker and almost goth about them. I don’t get the impression that they are trying to throw goth into the mix. I think it is just turning out that way and I like that. It sounds natural and it sounds good.

9. Uncle Acid – “Mind Control”
Stoner riffs and slightly psychedelic. For people that like early Black Sabbath but also like the new “psychedelic” sound.

10. Windhand – “Soma”
Basically a band that has based everything they do on the song Black Sabbath from the debut album by Black Sabbath. Seriously. Take an incredibly slow and doomy riff with a female Ozzy singing and let it ride for eight minutes or so. Repeat. Done.

11. Pissed Jeans – “Honeys”
Another excellent rock n roll album. Somehow, some tracks remind me of Black Flag but I’m not sure why. Be prepared to play it loud and punch the roof of your car.

12. Blind Shake – “Key To A False Door”
Excellent Minneapolis rock n roll that I guess could be called psych garage or something. They have been doing it longer then other bands like this and it shows. They are the masters of the two chord riff. So catchy.

13. Chelsea Light Moving – S/T
Thurston Moore ditching his recent Neil Young style solo albums for his gritty noise rock. Very reminiscent of Psychic Hearts and that’s a good thing.


1. Residents – “Santa Dog” 2×7″
One of the most important records ever made in the world of weirdo experimental music. In 1972 the four guys that would become The Residents made this record as a X-mas card to send out to their friends. Finally after 40+ years it is available to the fans and it won’t cost us thousands of dollars. Due out Dec 2013 for the album’s “40th anniversary” even though it’s really the 41st anniversary. I’m not going to judge their experimental math.

2. The Birthday Party – “Mutiny! / The Bad Seed”
Two great EPs from 1983. Long out of print and some of Nick Cave’s best work.

3. Devo – Hardcore Devo Vol. 1
4-track recordings from 1974-1977. Excellent twisted experimental rock, pop, punk, and new wave. First time on vinyl.

4. Devo – Hardcore Devo Vol. 2
More 4-track recordings from 1974-1977. This one has some bonus tracks from the original CD version of the early 90’s. First time on vinyl.

5. Public Image Ltd – S/T
Classic punk debut that was never released on vinyl in the USA.

6. The Glove – “Blue Sunshine”
Cool forgotten about side project from 1982 with members of The Cure and Siouxsie.

7. Martin Rev – S/T
1980 solo album by half of the crazy NY synth duo, Suicide.

8. Thomas Dinger – “Fur Mich”
1982 solo album from one half of krautrock legends, Neu!

9. Dust – “Hard Attack / Dust”
Excellent gatefold with the only two albums these 70’s hard rockers ever made.

10. MX-80 Sound – “Hard Attack”
Classic weirdo art rock from 1977.

11. Butthole Surfers – Touch And Go Reissues
Four classic albums from 1984-1988. Long out of print and finally reissued. Essential Surfers material.



1. Thee Oh Sees – “Floating Coffin”
The last seven years have seen the San Francisco psych pop band morph from extremely modest roots to a hugely influential touring machine. And their intense output only gets stronger and stronger. To me it doesn’t get better than “Help” from 2009, but “Floating Coffin” comes awfully close!

2. TV Ghost – “Disconnect”
The most consistent and impressive TV Ghost record to date. A double LP with focus. Definitely worth snagging.

3. Fuzz – S/T
The debut LP from Ty Segall’s newest project. Sabbath riffs with reverbed out vocals and gnarly guitar solos. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

4. Deerhunter – “Monomania”
Concise and precise indie garage rock. This band never disappoints.

5. Destruction Unit – “Deep Trip”
Deep Trip is definitely a deep deep trip. Heavy, psychotic and droning. This is a bulging and intense record hidden under layers of fuzz and noise. It almost treads on hardcore territory at times. Live the band is the most brutal 15 minutes you will ever witness. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

6. Butthole Surfers Reissues
We can group em all together. Really psyched to see these repressed!

7. Ex-Cult – S/T
Post-punk with a splash of American hardcore. But this isn’t your dad’s hardcore record, it only takes a few hints and cues from the hardcore bands of the 80’s…then they turn it on its head and smashes it with a garage rock sloppiness that’s really endearing.

8. Ty Segall – “Sleeper”
An acoustic record from garage wunderkind Ty Segall, whodathunk? A less fleshed-out “Piper At The Gates Of Dawn” with some sunny California melodies popped in for good measure.

9. Running – “Vaguely Ethnic”
Wild reverbed out psych punk stomp from Chicago! Released via John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees’ record label, Castle Face Records.

10. Blind Shake – “Key To A False Door”
One of the most synced up live band the Midwest has to offer. The band is most known for their incredibly tight dual singing over plodding rhythms.



2013 Was A Great Year For Music But Scott Mostly Likes The Nerdy Depressing Stuff

Barn Owl – “V”
Dark instrumentals that retain a lot of melodic power even as they unfold into long-form drones.

Ken Camden – “Space Mirror”
On his second solo album, Ken Camden of Chicago band Implodes continues to make the electric guitar sound beautifully unrecognizable.

Dosh – “Milk Money”
Multi-instrumentalist Dosh’s sound is big, warm, and impossible to mistake for anyone else. The first side shows off his tightly constructed, rhythm-happy instrumentals, while the second, a single track called “Legos,” tries out looser, more moody territory.

Locrian – “Return To Annihilation”
Experimental metal in malignant hi-fi.

Maxmillion Dunbar – “House Of Woo”
Andrew Field-Pickering jams an intimidatingly deep grasp of electronic music into this album, yet makes it fun, exuberant, and approachable throughout.

Queens Of The Stone Age – “…Like Clockwork”
There’s little here that will surprise those used to QOTSA’s dour, plodding, catchy style, except that these songs make Josh Homme sound hungry and focused again.

Run The Jewels – S/T
Not the best thing that Killer Mike and El-P have ever done, but definitely the most fun thing either has ever done.

Skeletonwitch – “Serpents Unleashed”
Skeletonwitch have long played a solid balance of different metal genres into their tightly written songs, and now there’s finally an album that really lets their sound breathe.

Survival – S/T
The trio plays tense, ritualistically repetitive post-rock, reaching for high drama and staying grounded in churning rhythms.

Windhand – “Soma”
Invigorating doom metal that sounds like falling chunks of dusty rubble.



1. Nikki Sudden – “The Truth Doesn’t Matter”
Sudden’s last album before his untimely death is a strange mixture of Glam, New Wave and his own off-kilter punk poetry which precipitously hangs together on the edge of falling apart. Nikki who?

2. David Bowie – “The Next Day”
Bowies highly anticipated, many layered collection of exquisitely crafted songs packs a powerful punch and proves the old duffers still got it. Best bits? All of it.

3. The Fall – “Re-mit”
Speaking of old duffers – Smith strips it all down but doesn’t hold back on his pith and venom. This version of the band have survived for quite a while and sound as edgy and fierce as they did on Reformation back in 2007. Your mad Grandad’s Rockabilly punk band.

4. The Dead C – “Armed Courage”
Music from the underworld, well, New Zealand. The Dunedin trios latest album is a powerful soundscape of feedback drones and howling that makes them sound like an alien invasion landing on your neighbours house. So nothing new there. The truth is if you like what they do you’ll probably like this.

5. Group Doueh – “Zayna Jumma”
After several four-track sounding albums we finally get to hear this guitar-led group from Daklah in the western sahara the way they should be, full of strange time signatures, pounding bass and intricate guitar playing of leader Doueh. The kind of thing you’ve come to expect from Sublime Frequencies, but very well recorded.

6. Edward Artemyev – “Solaris Original Soundtrack”
First proper issue of the soundtrack to the cult Russian science fiction epic. Gloriously packaged in a handmade, limited edition sleeve with picture book and fine pressing of the music created on Artemyevs Photoelectron Synthesizer.

7. Carcass – “Surgical Steel”
Melodic Gore metal from one time kings of grindcore sludge. A powerful series of blunt traumas to the skull, but rather you were struck with a medical dictionary instead of a club. So you learn something.

8. Kadavar – “Abra Kadavar”
Picking up where their first album left off, Kadavar increase the tempo and build on the riffs. Somewhere between the doom of early Black Sabbath and the viking invasions of Orgasmatron-era Motorhead.

9. Robert Wyatt – “’68”
Archive release of formative fumblings from Soft Machine tub thumper recorded in the U.S. during a tour hiatus as the supported the Jimi
Hendrix Experience. Hendrix actually turns up on one of the shorter tracks playing some sloppy bass but its the first versions of what were to become Soft Machine classics that are of real interest here.

10. Motorhead – “Aftershock”
Motorhead really have hit some kind of peak with this album and it’s their best since 2004’s Inferno. Motorhead have, in the past, put out albums one could consider shoddy or incomplete, so it’s nice to have something that can stand it’s ground and put up a bit of a fight.

Posted in Awesome MadCity Stuff, MadCity Favorites