Adam J’s Best of 2019 (So Far): Second Quarter Results – Honorable Mentions
They can’t all be Best, so in the spirit of fairness here are a few more really (really) good 2019 musical releases that garner an Honorable Mention!
IDLES – “Mercedes Marxist”, Partisan Records
MC Chris – #mcchrisisgoodmusic, mc chris LLC
The internet’s favorite nerdcore artist brings a solid collection of songs with humor and politics (yes, politics) that deserve attention and (again, yes) respect.
Charly Bliss – Young Enough, Barsuk Records
Guided By Voices – Warp and Woof, Guided By Voice, Inc.
God bless Guided By Voices.
Stray Cats – 40, Surf Dog, Inc.
Fujiya & Miyagi – Flashback, SR
I like this waaay better than the new RAMMSTEIN. Not that these two are entirely comparable, but when it comes to a return to form from a European club act, this album is arresting and appropriate. Talkin’ bout Brexit and xenophobia and shit. FLASHBACK!
Hash Redactor – Drecksound, Goner Records
Yeasayer – Erotic Reruns, SR
Guitar Wolf – LOVE&JET, Third Man Records, LLC
While most take to the race to gain their stride, Japan’s Guitar Wolf have not, and likely never will, get past the blast of the starter pistol. GO!
Brandt Brauer Frick – Echo, Because Music
Holly Herndon – PROTO, 4AD
SACRED PAWS – Run Around the Sun, Merge Records
The Budos Band – V, Daptone Records
Continuing their exploratory work throughout the misty mores of metal tropes, V proves to be another collection of suave and rockin’ cinematic funk from the best rockin’ cinematic funksters in the game. It’ll be a sad day when these cats hang up their tea shades.
Titus Andronicus – An Obelisk, Merge Records
Pure Bathing Culture – Night Pass, Infinite Companion
I can’t quite explain my love affair with synth-driven music lately, but if folks keep putting out stuff like this I just might have to make this thing official. Synth-pop and I might even get a small place together, but it will have to take care of its own health insurance.
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Fishing For Fishies, ATO Records, LLC
The Mattson 2 – Paradise, Company Records
I really enjoyed their releases from last year, and this ain’t bad, either. If this is the kind of reputation they’re giving themselves they’re braver than I, because this spanks like a Mother Superior. Oof.
Josh Ritter – Fever Breaks, Pytheas Recordings
Nicole Yun – Paper Suit, Kanine Records
Pelican – Nighttime Stories, Southern Lord Recordings
Yes, that Pelican; I was surprised, too. Trading polyrhythms and compression for solid riffs full of emotion and tone, Pelican jump head first into the 2019 Aussie battle royale swinging.
Mannequin Pussy – Patience, Epitaph
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – And Now for the Whatchamacallit, Marathon Records
Names aren’t everything, but this shoe fits spectacularly. While it’s obvious which wells these Australian crazies draw from (Black Sabbath, Jane’s Addiction, T. Rex), their output is still refreshing.
Tacocat- This Mess Is A Place, Sub-Pop
Mavis Staples – We Get By, Anti-
Sunn O))) – Aurora, Southern Lord Recordings
Aurora finds the drone lords accessible as they ever have been (or could ever strive to be). Greg Anderson and company put a pinky toe into pastels, allowing light to color their pallet of black-hole level darkness just enough to fool a new listener or two into the void.
Adam Johnson lives in Minneapolis with his wife, cats, and guitars.