Fester’s Lucky 13: 2015 Year-End Summary

Fast 'n' Bulbous Best of 2015

Top 100 Albums of 2015 |  Spotify Mix | 2015 Breakdown: Genre Lists | Shows, Videos | Movies, Television, Books & Comics

In years past, I often got outraged about albums that got critical conensus while other great ones were ignored. I’m passionate about the music I love and try to spread the word on, and can get a bit worked up. I’m feeling a bit more accepting this holiday season. While the diversity of what I cover has diminished somewhat in recent years, it’s also harder to piss me off about the stuff I care about getting ignored for Sufjan Stevens, Kendrick Lamar, Courtney Barnett and Father John Misty. Continue reading

Fester’s Lucky 13: Post-Punk

As I finalize my year-end summary, here’s a teaser for one of my favorite genres. The recent trend of metal musicians getting involved in post-punk projects is a promising sign that the genre is done with suffering the indignities of going in and out of fashion. It simply is. While there were energetic supporters of all their albums, I was not taken with this year’s offerings from the older legends – Public Image Ltd., The Pop Group, The Monochrome Set, Wire, The Fall and The Names. And while Killing Joke’s latest got plenty of acclaim, I felt that many (42, in fact) younger bands made better albums this year. While nothing got the critical acclaim the way Savages did two years ago, it was a great year for post-punk.

01. Algiers – Algiers (Matador)

Algiers - Algiers (Matador, 2015)While Algiers have post-punk elements like early Bad Seeds, they also dip into 70s psychedelic soul of The Temptations, The Isley Brothers, and further back into gospel, but laced with electronic drums that reference both 80s electro and 90s industrial. While early TV On The Radio took a somewhat similar approach with doo-wop and Massive Attack with dub and soul, Algiers sound completely original. On top of that, they have smart, confrontational, political lyrics and seem like a real passionate powerhouse live band, lately augmented by Bloc Party’s drummer, Matt Tong. The songwriting could be developed more, but their potential is massive. Part of the issue might be the fact that the band developed their music remotely online with singer Franklin James Fisher, originally from Atlanta, now located in New York and guitarist Lee Tesche and bassist Ryan Mahan living in London. The best songs are clustered in the middle, including the savage “Blood,” accented with gutteral grunts and rattling chains. “Old Girl” is like stumbling upon a gospel revival, only to find dancing demons within the church. “Irony.Utility.Pretext,” augmented by a situationist style video, full of New Order beats, Art Of Noise effects, and Miami Vice era production, while still somehow sounding new. “Games” is a more restrained hymnal, and extremely effective. With a tour or two under their belts, I’d love to hear what they come up with next. I predict righteous greatness. Continue reading

Fester’s Lucky 13: 2013 Year-End Summary

Fast 'n' Bulbous Best of 2013 (Derek Riggs)

Top 100 Albums of 2013 | 2013 Breakdown: Genre Lists | Shows, Videos | Movies, Television, Books, Comics, Beer

Fester’s Favorite Things

Aged bourbon on rocks and blood thickened warm Glog
Oysters on crackers and cheese stinking of bog
Spine crushing Black Sludge and green alien beings
These are a few of my favorite things

Iggy’s leather skin and Norse men’s silky hair
Ozzy’s blackened soul and Doom filled with despair
Barrel aged stouts and the devil’s black wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Lemmy’s hairy warts and trolls under mountains
Toxic Yeti farts and porter filled fountains
Headhunting Savages with feasts fit for kings
These are a few of my favorite things

When the Gods smite
When Kanye sings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

2013 has been disorientating. I spent much of my time enjoying my favorite genres of heavy stoner/doom/psych rock and metal and post-punk, and going to rock and metal shows in small clubs. So far so good. I was also inundated with tabloidesque music news via websites, blogs, magazines, social media and FUSE News about the latest attention-getting antics of Miley, Kanye, Gaga, Kanye, Ferreira, Kanye, etc. It’s entertaining, but also a sign that the corporate media/PR machines are better than ever at focusing attention on a small handful of artist brands at the expense of more varied, in depth coverage. It’s cynical and not a little soulless, but it enables the majors to keep making money. It’s better than the decade-plus of whining they’ve subjected us to about how they can no longer afford ridiculous expense accounts. In the meantime, we can choose not to be spoonfed our culture like babies and make our own choices. The world is our oyster, and nearly every note ever recorded is practically at our fingertips.

Continue reading

Fester’s Lucky 13: 2012 Year-End Summary

Fast 'n' Bulbous: Best of 2012

Top 100 Albums of 2012 | 2012 Breakdown: Genre Lists | Shows, Videos | Movies, Television, Books, Comics, Beer & Bourbon

Every year is similar in that I get excited when the first year-end lists start coming out the week of Thanksgiving. But by mid-December, I’m a burnt-out husk after relentlessly stuffing a couple hundred last-minute albums into my brain to try to process before I finalize my own lists. Given that my lists are simply just another list by one person with particular (if not peculiar) tastes, I don’t even know how many people actually pay attention to them. There may have been a time when my extensive lists were fairly unique and useful, back during the first years of my site from 1995. But now we’re suffocating under the weight of thousands of lists from magazines and bloggers, and no one gives a shit anymore. It wouldn’t be worth the effort if it weren’t for the fact that I do this mostly for myself, to sort out what I enjoy the most, and remind myself of albums I might have forgotten about. Continue reading