Sunday, January 15, 2017

The 7s, part 1: C87

As we are waiting to see what 2017 has in store for us, we are going to take a small trip down memory lane and listen again to some excellent music from past years ending in 7.

At first I thought of starting this time trip in the punk rock heaven of 1977 and working my way up to 2007, but since I just got in my hands the outstanding triple CD compilation C87,  released last year by Cherry Red Records to celebrate the 30th anniversary of C86, we'll start from 1987 instead.

The concept behind this compilation was to imagine what would have been the result if NME had decided to reconvene a year on from their original C86 cassette for a follow up. The resulting 70-plus tracks compilation, curated by one of the original C86 compilers, Neil Taylor, offers a 4-hour panorama of the new UK indie pop and rock scene of '87, featuring bands ranging from the well-known to obscurities making their debut on CD. 

All tracks come from the period just after C86, i.e. summer 1986 to the end of 1987, and features first recordings by names that later found chart success and became familiar to indie fans the world over, like indie legends The Wedding Present, The House Of Love or The Inspiral Carpets, and others who at best enjoyed cult status (for example The Boy Hairdressers, who evolved into Teenage Fanclub or The Vaselines who found fame after they were covered by Nirvana) or disappeared after a handful of excellent but hard to find singles. It's truly mind-blowing that all this was happening in the short period between 1986 and 1987 and no wonder it is still offering inspiration to new bands opting to create guitar music in the 21st century.

Here are just a few examples of the fine indie rocking happening in the UK of 1987, that you will find in the C87 compilation:

The Wedding Present - My Favourite Dress (the band's 5th overall single and first from their 1987 classic debut LP "George Best")

Talulah Gosh - Talulah Gosh (the 4th single by the cult band that later evolved into Heavenly)

The Flatmates - I Could Be In Heaven (their debut single - the above video was recorded live at The Tropic Club, Bristol, 31st August 1986)

The Sea Urchins - Pristine Christine (first ever single on Sarah Records)

I, Ludicrous - My Baby's Got Jet Lag (from their debut album "It's Like Everything Else")

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Top 50 Albums of 2016

Hello to 2017, let's hope it's going to be much better than 2016 in every aspect!

As far as music is concerned, last year we lost too many great artists, while our beloved rock music, the reason for the existence of this blog, seemed to go out of fashion if we believe the various year-end lists of the established media organizations, where R'n'B, Rap and Dance music dominated.
However, we believe all is not lost for guitar music. Although I cannot say that we came across new groundbreaking rock music last year, there were plenty of worthwhile efforts and several excellent albums showing remarkable development for relatively new artists and bands like Car Seat Headrest, Angel Olsen, Savages, Diiv or Parquet Courts who are establishing themselves among this decade's important music makers.

Next to the great contributions from new(ish) artists, which also included albums by Warpaint, Goat, Factory Floor, Daughter and Quilt to name a few more, we also enjoyed the return of some familiar names from the past who added new and important chapters to their amazing history. Both Swans and PJ Harvey gave us amazing albums which could easily claim the top spot of our list, if it wasn't for our decision to dedicate the Top 5 to the work of up-and-coming artists that we feel they are the new blood of rock music of the '10s, while Black Mountain, Dinosaur Jr., The Julie Ruin, Woods, Kristin Hersh, Radiohead and, of course, David Bowie's last music statement, were also among the reasons that the heart of rock music was still beating strong in 2016 despite everything. Let's hope for more great music from all genres in 2017 because something tells me we are going to need it bad!

So, here are the 50 albums we enjoyed the most in the past 12 months, chosen of course among the new releases that we were able to listened to and buy in physical format. As always, the ranking of the list was valid as of the last day of the year, but it is not written in stone and can easily change as we are still looking to discover more great music released in 2016 that may have escaped our attention so far. A more thorough list will be published in Cool Music Database as soon as we feel that the search is over.

To 50 Albums of 2016

1. Teens of denial - CAR SEAT HEADREST

2. My woman - ANGEL OLSEN

3. Adore life - SAVAGES

4. Is the is are - DIIV

5. Human performance - PARQUET COURTS

6. The glowing man - SWANS

7. The hope six demolition project - PJ HARVEY

8. Heads up - WARPAINT

9. Requiem - GOAT


11. Give a glimpse of what yer not - DINOSAUR JR.
12. Hit reset - THE JULIE RUIN
13. Blackstar - DAVID BOWIE
14. A moon shaped pool - RADIOHEAD
15. 25 25 - FACTORY FLOOR
16. We got it from here... Thank you 4 your service - A TRIBE CALLED QUEST
17. Not to disappear - DAUGHTER
18. Plaza - QUILT
19. City sun eater in the river of light - WOODS
20. Wyatt at the Coyote Palace - KRISTIN HERSH
21. Next thing - FRANKIE COSMOS
22. A man alive - THAO & THE GET DOWN STAY
23. Distance inbetween - THE CORAL
24. A weird exits - THEE OH SEES
25. Emotional mugger - TY SEGALL
26. Paradise - WHITE LUNG
27. Patch the sky - BOB MOULD
28. Skeleton tree - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
29. The waiting room - TINDERSTICKS
30. Heart like a levee - HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER
31. Jet plane and oxbow - SHEARWATER
32. United crushers - POLIÇA
33. Pussy's dead - AUTOLUX
34. Ash & ice - THE KILLS
36. Strangers - MARISSA NADLER
37. Case/Lang/Veirs - CASE/LANG/VEIRS
38. Funs cool - THE PRETTIOTS
39. Human ceremony - SUNFLOWER BEAN
40. Inner journey out - PSYCHIC ILLS
43. Chaosmosis - PRIMAL SCREAM
44. Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future - UNDERWORLD
45. Painting with - ANIMAL COLLECTIVE
46. Everything you've come to expect - THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS
47. Eyes on the lines - STEVE GUNN
48. Mass Gothic - MASS GOTHIC
49. Sun Kil Moon / Jesu - SUN KIL MOON / JESU
50. Slugger - SAD13

Click here for our Top 50 Tracks of 2016 and enjoy below a playlist with some of the highlights from our 2016 Albums of the Year:

The Top of our 2016 CD pile