Here's my list! Who cares, right?!?!?!? Ahhhhhh, FUCK IT! I'm going for it anyway!
Before I get into it, let me just say that 2013 was pretty great for TSTAT. Significant events? I DIE SMILING finally stopped living on my hard drive and came into fruition as my first official (and unofficial, unless there's something I don't know about) full-length release! Not only that, but 2 amazing music videos (one by PHIL OSBORNE and the other by DAVID HALL), a couple of spots on some nifty compilations, a guest-spot on the aforementioned MERDARAHTA release and a nice collection of reviews and writeups. The lion's share of the time spent "working" on I DIE SMILING can really be chalked up to waiting very patiently for amazing people to pull out some huge favours for me. These are some (hopefully all, actually) of those people - DAVID HALL, TOPON DAS, ELENA PALANZA, GARY THIBERT, SCOTTY ROONEY, CORY SOURAL, BLAKE JACOBS, and PHIL OSBORNE. Thanks guys! You made my year!
Ok, onto the list. As usual, these are in no order. Except to say that there are quite a few so I'll start with the ones that really, truly blew me away...
1) ALTAR OF PLAGUES - TEETHED GLORY AND INJURY "When I first heard this, I was like 'Oh.....THIS is what TSTAT should sound like! Shit.'"
2) SHAHMAN - SOUNDS THAT LOOK LIKE US "I've gone on about this band at length before and I won't stop now. This album is incredible. It sounds broken and wrong in all the best ways."
3) WINDHAND - SOMA "How did I find out about these guys? An ad in that stupid Facebook sidebar thingy! Who says Big Brother is all bad, huh?"
4) BIIPIIGWAN - SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE; NOTHING FOR ANYONE "Check yourself for bruises after listening because this will seriously pummel the shit out of you."
5) THOSE GULLS - ON OUR OWN/FRIDAY NIGHT/THE OUT (SINGLES) "A fantastic combination of indie rock, emocore and dreampop. 2 vocalists (a guy and a girl), keyboards...it's all there!"
6) CAVE - THREACE "A goddamn wonderful modern take on the psychedelic krautrock of yesteryear."
7) DOMOVOYD - OH, SENSIBILITY "Psychedelic doom from Finland! Isn't that enough to peak your interest? No? Ok, it's also weird as hell. Like, constantly weird."
8) GARBAGEFACE - BARRAGE OF CERTAINTY "Irresistibly catchy noise-rap from the hands and mouth of one seriously intense and funny dude."
9) FUCK THE FACTS - AMER "This band always, always adds new elements with every new release and this one is no exception. Atmospheric grindcore? You betcha!"
Ok, now here's "the rest" bleeeeeeeeeehhhhh...
10) BLOOD CEREMONY - THE ELDRITCH DARK "I laugh everytime I hear the singer/flautist singing along with her own flute playing as she plays the flu....what was I saying?"
11) MY BLOODY VALENTINE - M B V "The long-awaited new release from MY BLOODY VALENTINE sounds like....the older releases by MY BLOODY VALENTINE! I'm cool with that."
12) KEN MODE - ENTRENCH "Another damn fine effort from these Canadian noise-rockers. Extra props for one of my favourite song titles in recent memory: NO; I'M IN CONTROL. Excellent use of the semi-colon, fellas!"
13) KYLESA - ULTRAVIOLET "I'd decided a few of these guys albums ago that they weren't for me. Glad I decided to give em one more go!"
14) PALMS - PALMS "ISIS + DEFTONES = some reeeeal good stuff! (sorry, it's late and I'm already sick of these stupid descriptions)"
15) JESU - EVERYDAY I GET CLOSER TO THE LIGHT FROM WHICH I CAME "I really love this album although it's kind of a bummer that it's nowhere near close to the unassailable perfection of SILVER or the SELF-TITLED. I'm not usually one to complain..."
16) RUSSIAN CIRCLES - MEMORIAL "I've always liked this band but this release in particular is just extra good somehow."
17) MELVINS - TRES CABRONES + EVERYBODY LOVES SAUSAGES "If the MELVINS put out an album (or two), chances are I'm gonna love it. At least, that's been the case so far."
18) DEAFHEAVEN - SUNBATHER "Heavy metal crybabies hate this band cuz nerds with hipster haircuts show up at their shows and freak the fuck out. Like I care about that shit."
19) ENSEMBLE PEARL - ENSEMBLE PEARL "Some real tasty drone/doom care of a supergroup of sorts."
20) BOARDS OF CANADA - TOMORROW'S HARVEST "The OTHER band to release an album in 2013 after years of anticipation and speculation (I don't include DAFT PUNK in this and I'll explain why below). I have no idea if it ended up satisfying their fanbase's expectations or not but I sure like it!"
21) JUCIFER - THE RUSSIAN ALBUM "These two are almost always good for a solid release but this one in particular is a serious crusher. All the brutality of THRONED IN BLOOD but with much more depth."
22) YEAR OF NO LIGHT - TOCSIN "Loved these guys for awhile now. They sound like a new band on every release. I'm so down with that."
23) TOY - JOIN THE DOTS "I know absolutely nothing about this band. A quick google could probably change all that."
24) LONGMONT POTION CASTLE - LONGMONT POTION CASTLE 10 "Where humour is concerned, I think one of the hardest things to do is to be funny without being at all vulgar or profane. This guy is the master."
25) MIKE JOURGENSEN - MOODEITY "The very same man responsible for the release discussed directly before this one is also a one-man band of sorts. Thrash-metal Dinosaur Jr. type stuff that old people like myself would go nuts for."
26) UMBERTO - CONFRONTATIONS "Moody, synth-driven, nighttime, electro, 80s-style, space disco....I like describing this album as much as I like listening to it."
27) LIFE COACH - ALPHAWAVES "Yet another modernized take on Krautrock type stuff. Very cool indeed."
28) SKINNY PUPPY - WEAPON "Ever since they got back together, each album has been better than the last and this one keeps the pattern going. Very old school and very awesome."
29) CLOUD RAT - MOKSHA "Stop giving your albums away for free, you lunatics!"
30) MOTHS & LOCUSTS - MISSION COLLAPSE IN THE TWIN SUN MEGAVERSE "Sometimes it's like HAWKWIND and sometimes it's super-mellow post-rock. I love things that are lots of different things."
31) SUB ROSA - MORE CONSTANT THAN GODS "This was a real grower for me but ultimately proved to be a total asskicker. In a much more subtle way than their last album. Basically, it's a little bit boring but that's not always a bad thing."
32) PISSED JEANS - HONEYS "You don't often hear such grinding brutality from pop songs, do you?"
33) KARL BARTOS - OFF THE RECORD "A solo album from a KRAFTWERK dude. That should be enough for you to at least give it a listen."
EVILE - SKULL
PURLING HISS - WATER ON MARS
DARKTHRONE - THE UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE
KANYE WEST - YEEZUS
PORTAL - VEXOVOID
IRON REAGAN - WORSE THAN DEAD
IRON LUNG - WHITE GLOVE TEST
NINE INCH NAILS - HESITATION MARKS
TEETH OF THE SEA - MASTER
M.I.A. - MATANGI
CHVRCHES - THE BONES OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE
ROSE WINDOWS - THE SUN DOGS
STEVE MOORE - POSITRONIC NEURAL PATHWAYS
MELT-BANANA - "FETCH"
GIGANTIC BRAIN - OUR DAM/BRUNETTE (SINGLES)
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE - LIKE CLOCKWORK
ALICE IN CHAINS - THE DEVIL PUT DINOSAURS HERE
YEAH YEAH YEAHS - MOSQUITO
JAY Z - HOLY GRAIL
DAFT PUNK - RANDOM ACCESS MEMORIES
BONUS TOP-TEN MAINSTREAM SINGLES/SONGS I-PLEAD-NOT-GUILTY-TO-PLEASURE LIST
1) BONNIE MCKEE - AMERICAN GIRL
2) USS - THIS IS THE BEST
3) MOTHER MOTHER - LET'S FALL IN LOVE
4) GROUPLOVE - WAYS TO GO
5) PHOENIX - ENTERTAINMENT
6) SERENA RYDER - MARY GO ROUND
7) GASLIGHT ANTHEM - 45
8) DRAKE - STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM
9) AWOL NATION - THISKIDSNOTALRIGHT
10) couldn't come up with a tenth. I really hate that Phoenix band. Every band, even the worst band, is usually good for at least one decent song. I assume when I hear songs like these that there's no point investigating any further into the artist in question's catalogue but I thought maybe THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM album might be worth a try and it's not that there aren't very many good songs on the respective album other than the song 45 but it's more the kind of thing where it's THE ONLY GOOD SONG ON THERE!!! The same actually goes for most of the albums on the worthless pile which is why they ended up there.
Happy New Year.