PSF's 2017 Writers' Poll
Our favorite things
Alien Knife Fight, Antibalas, Sparks, Invenciones, Flamin' Groovies
Don't tell our 15 writers that the album is dead. Even in the digital age, these lil' collections of songs still manage to thrive, thanks to music nuts like these ones. To help prove it, rather than the usual 10 top cut-off, we let our scribes unload up to 20 favorites of the year. Also, unlike other polls, we don't tally up 'winners'- instead, we'd like you to peruse our findings and see if you agree, disagree or find something new you wanna explore. Enjoy.
- Dana Jessen Carve
- Seth Woods Parker asinglewordisnotenough
- Yoko Miura & Gianni Mimmo Departure
- Jim Denley Cut Air
- Marco Colonna, Adriano Orrù & Silvia Corda Istinti Ragionati
- Mariel Roberts Cartography
- Mikel Kuehn Object/Shadow
- Joshua Rubin There Never Is No Light
- Szilárd Mezei & Nicola Guazzaloca Lucca and Bologna Concerts
- Irene Kepl SololoS
- Clinamen Trio Décliné
- VA Invenciones: La otra vanguardia musical en Latinoamérica 1976-1988
- Transient Canvas Sift
- Kyle Motl Trio w/ Kjell Nordeson & Tobin Chodos Panjandrums
- Longleash Passages
- Scott Wollschleger Soft Aberration
- The Kills Desperado
Riahnna song disabused of all autotune and pop synth to bring out a reckless blues-roots reflection we’ve all had stare back at us from the mirror.
- Algiers Walk Like a Panther
Taking to task the establishment and all the yokels who sit sated and fat in their hallways, "Walk Like a Panther" creates a wall of industrial soul hinged around a sample of Fred Hampton’s still echoing declaration of revolution.
- Alien Knife Fight Some Girls
Catchy, bass-driven sarcasm that doesn’t let it’s snark undermine some excellent musicianship, production, and songwriting.
- Pack A.D. Dollhouse
This garage duo show up a bit more slick than usual, but "Dollhouse" is a fine mix of fuzzy distortion and ethereal vocals that makes for a great don’t-give-a-fuck read on our world of pink iron cages.
- Monolord Dear Lucifer
Mariana Trench-heavy, Monolord serves up an extended blood sacrifice of thrum and grind befitting our 21st Century Schizoid universe.
- Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats Crystal Spiders
The high whine and fuzz combine into a perfect heavy psych dystopian soundscape that kind of makes you want to dance, albeit in in a black-lit underground warehouse.
- Here Lies Man Animal Noises
Creepy samples knitted to distorted guitars and echoy vocals, "Animal Noises" gets in your head and ricochets around like an afrobeat-psych superball.
- Radio Moscow Driftin'
The RM trio has been putting out power psych for decades and this, a single from their latest album, does not disappoint.
- Michelle Gurevich Russian Ballerina
Gurevich is a master at packing weird and complicated narratives into the confines of a pop song. "Russian Ballerina" is on that same mission, rife with minor keys and gypsy guitar strumming that support her sexy, droll contralto.
TOP 10 ALBUMS
- Soundgarden Ultramega OK [Reissue]
- Cindy Wilson Change
- Hellmouth Oblivion
- The Bob's Burgers Music Album
- Dream Syndicate How Did I Find Myself Here?
- Foo Fighters Concrete and Gold
- Stone Temple Pilots’25th anniversary deluxe edition of Core
- Toadies The Lower Side of Uptown
- Ride Weather Diaries
- Singles [Deluxe Version]
TOP 10 SONGS [No Particular Order]
- Hellmouth "Dead in the Dirt"
- Foo Fighters "Run"
- Beck "Fix Me"
- Toadies "Human Cannonball"
- Gruntruck "Bar Fly"
- Jack Johnson "My Mind is For Sale"
- Mike Patton & Alain Johnannes "How Sad, How Lovely"
- Quicksand "Illuminant"
- TSOL"I Wanted To See You"
- Stone Sour "Song #3"
Worst Records of the Year: Kid Rock Sweet Southern Sugar, Weezer Pacific Daydream, LinkinPark One More Light, Filthy Friends Invitation, Dreamcar, Queens of the Stone Age Villains
Brazil Top 6 2017
- Linn da Quebrada Pajubá: a truly innovative take on Queer modernist Baile funk with a filthy mouth.
- Tantão e os Fita Espectro: noisy chaotic loops with legendary Black Future founder
- Blue Beast Devil May care: smoky industrial jazz and blues in this collaboration of two post punk and improv veterans.
- Rakta Oculto pelos Seres (EP): dark, noisy, pounding and short.
- Jocy de Oliveira Estórias Para Voz, Instrumentos Acústicos e Eletrônicos: Reissue and reappraisal of this stunning album built on drones, pulses, and other instrumental and non-instrumental sounds.
- MCs Zaak & Jerry Bumbum Granadaz" (single): technically last year, but it's been everywhere this year, and asks the question how minimal can you go? Not much more than this barely there rimshot and bassline megahit.
- Noveller A Pink Sun Set For No One
- Mount Eerie A Crow Looked At Me
- Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra Where the Gods Are in Peace
- Godspeed You! Black Emperor Luciferian Towers
- William Basinski A Shadow in Time
- Marion Through The Veil A Building Falls
- Husker Du Savage Young Du
- Neil Young Hitchhiker
- Beach House B-Sides And RaritiesSingles:
Black Baron - "Seek Your Pleasure"
- Jack DeJohnette/Larry Grenadier/John Medeski/John Scofield Hudson
- Daevid Allen Bananamoon Obscura 2: Brainville Live in the UK (Reissue)
- Jeffery Taylor/John Seman/Mark Ostrowski Hound Dog Taylor's Hand
- Krankshaft III Mysteries
- Paradise 9 20th Anniversary Live
- Magic Bus Phillip the Egg
- Nik Turner Life In Space
- Goodness Goodness (Vinyl reissue)
- Roscoe Mitchell Bells for the South Side
- Albert Ayler New York Eye and Ear Control (LP reissue)
- Diminished Men Vision In Crime
- Pikacyu*Makoto Galaxilympics
- Terry Brooks and Strange Treasures and Gems from the Treasure Chest, Volume 1
- Soundgarden Ultramega OK (Extended remix/remaster)
- Julia Dream The World of Anxiety
- Red Elektra '69 Space Age Sounds from the Omega Quadrant
- Beyond Captain Orca! 2017/09/14 Ash Ra Orca
- Al Di Meola Morocco Fantasia
- Radio Moscow New Beginnings
- Dubbal Kozfest 2016
- Run the Jewels Run the Jewels 3
- Sleater-Kinney Live in Paris
- Miguel War and Leisure
- Migos Culture
- Cleric Resurrection
- The Courtneys II
- Timid Boy This is Hardgroove
- The Regrettes Feel Your Feelings Fool!
- Patrick Gallois Cimarosa: Overtures, Vol. 5
- Rhomb Global Patterns Part Two
- Koreatown Oddity Finna Be Past Tense
- The Bats The Deep Set
- Maciej Obara Quartet Unloved
- Omar Souleyman To Syria, With Love
- Roy Woods Say Less
Great year for singles and ambient music (Lordy, we needed to chill) but lots repeated formula for albums, even the good ones. All the rest of my 2017 faves (including books, movies, videos) are here on my blog.
Bob's Burgers, Cradle of Filth, Elmo Karjalainen, Radio Moscow
- Low Cut Connie Dirty Pictures Part 1
- Brand New Science Fiction
- Headstones Little Army
- Sheer Mag Need to Feel Your Love
- Protomartyr Relatives in Descent
- Mastodon Emperor of Sand
- The National Sleep Well Beast
- Elbow Little Fictions
- Circle Terminal
- Mogwai Every Country's Sun
- Idles Brutalism
- Primus Desaturating Seven
- Oxbow Thin Black Duke
- Thundercat Drunk
- JD Mcpherson Undivided Heart and Soul
- Iron & Wine Beast Epic
- The Yawpers Boy in a Well
- King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard Polygondwanaland
- Algiers Underside of Power
Honorable mentions include:
The Bronx- V, Bjork- Utopia, Priests- Nothing Feels Natural, Robyn Hitchcock- Robyn Hitchcock, Spoon- Hot Thoughts, Songhoy Blues- Resistance, Morrissey- Low in High School, Metz- Strange Peace, The Bed Wettin' Bad Boys- Rot, Grizzly Bear- Painted Ruins, Wavves- You're Welcome, Pissed Jeans- Why Love Now, Elder- Reflections on a Floating world, Wire- Silver/ Lead, The Clientele- Music for the Age of Miracles, St Vincent- Masseducation, Slowdive- Slowdive, Glassjaw- Material Control, Depeche Mode- Spirit, Real Estate- In Mind, Unsane- Sterilize, Alice Cooper- Paranormal, The Shins- Heartworms, Mountain Goats- Goths, The Strypes- Splitting Image, Brian Jonestown Massacre- Don't get Lost, The Killers- Wonderful Wonderful, Converge- Dusk in Us, Beck- Colors, Chuck Berry- Chuck, The War on Drugs- A Deeper Understanding, Rex Brown- Smoke on This
- DREAMCAR Kill For Candy
What first got my attention about this track was the title, perfectly combining the cute and the terrible in an instance of dark comedy. That the band is basically No Doubt with a different, frankly better, singer as an added bonus to a track that evokes the best of the 80’s from The Cure to Ultravox.
- 2Cellos Game of Thrones
- Arch Enemy The Eagle Flies Alone
- Seether Betray and Degrade
Satirically cheery and angsty in turns, this happy-go-angry tune approaches the Pixies in terms of loud, quiet, loud, dynamics. Some of them even wear Grunge-esque plaid shirts.
- Ye Banished Privateers Annabel
- Cradle of Filth Heartbreak and Séance
After so many years together one might expect there to be some chinks in the proverbial, and literal, armour but even now Cradle of Filth are keeping up he standard without sounding redundant.
- Myrkur Ulvinde
- Evilfeast Second Baptism...Shores in Fire and Ice
Not quite the guttural screaming fest that the band’s name would imply, this is a beautiful and atmospheric if slightly plodding track, clocking in at just over 12 minutes, that stands as a direct challenge to the popular assumptions about Black Metal and further bridges the gap between Metal and Classical.
- Postmodern Jukebox (feat. Puddle’s Pity Party) "All the Small Things"
- Duncan Browne Planet Earth: The Transatlantic / Logo Years 1976-1979 (Reissue)
- The Greek Theatre Broken Circle
- Meal Ticket The Albums (Reissue)
- Sparks Hippopotamus
- The Universe By Ear The Universe By Ear
- Unicorn Too Many Crooks (Reissue)
- Gospelbeach Another Summer Of Love
- Captain Wilberforce Black Sky Thinking
- Danko Jones Wild Cat
- Hammock Mysterium
- Lars Jakob Rudjord Indiepiano
- Thurston Moore Rock and Roll Consciousness
- Tinariwen Elwan
- Sasha Matson Tight Lines
- Robt Sarazin Blake Recitative
- Lyn Stanley The Moonlight Sessions, Vol. 2
- Oscar Feldman Gol
- Stale Kleiborg Mass for the Modern Man
- The Secret Sisters You Don't Own Me Anymore
- LCD Soundsystem American Dream
- Robert Plant Carry Fire
- Lana Del Rey Lust for Life
- Valerie June The Order of Time
- Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings Soul of a Woman
- Japanese Breakfast Soft Sounds from Another Planet
- Kammerkoret Aurum Ur
- Bridge Under Fire Gluttons Before Grace
- Avalanche Lily Dream Horizon
- Billy Jones 3's a Crowd
- Ayron Jones Audio Paint Job
In 2017, Kesha's album Rainbow was awesome. But the world only needs one piece of music. Mozart's "Requiem." REX!
C. Franklin Sheeler
- XXI Century Blood by The Warning released March 2017. Debut album by three hard rocking sisters from Mexico. Highlights are "Survive" and "Black Holes."
- Jethro Tull: The String Quartets by Ian Anderson and The Carducci String Quartet released March 2017. Reworking of classic Jethro Tull songs by front man, Ian Anderson backed by The Carducci String Quartet. Highlights are "Loco" and "Aquafugue."
- Age of Heroes by Elmo Karjalainen released February 2017. Fourth solo album by the Finnish Guitar Virtuoso. Highlights are "Age of Heroes" and "Three Days of Peace."
- Paranormal by Alice Cooper released July 2017. Alice’s twenty seventh album which includes two tracks by the original Alice Cooper Band.
- Is This the Life We Really Want? By Roger Waters released 2017. The fifth solo album by the ex-Pink Floyd vocalist and basses. Highlights are "Smell the Roses" and "Deja vu"
- Infinite by Deep Purple released April 2017. The twentieth album by Deep Purple. Highlights are "Time for Bedlam" and "From Here to Infinite."
- The Sorrows That Refused to Drown by Jesters of Destiny released April 2017. The rebirth of a 1980s California based Psychedelic Heavy Metal Band.
- Carry Fire by Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters released October 2017. The Rock Demigod’s eleventh solo album and the second album where he is backed by The Sensational Space Shifters. Highlights are "Carry Fire" and "Blue Bird Over the Mountain."
- The End by Black Sabbath released November 2017. Taken from the live final shows of the Legendary Band. They play the classics as well as new material off of the album, 13.
- Big Star Third ( reissue, 2017 ) Rhino Record's lovingly curated reissue of Big Star outlier Third. Big Star in name only, Third is essentially an Alex Chilton solo album . Much like Neil Young's Tonight's The Night, Third is the sound of a nervous breakdown set to music. Brilliant, challenging, terrifying by turns, Third is a dark-night- of-the-soul masterpiece .
- Chris Bell Looking Forward: The Roots of Big Star (reissue 2017) From Omnviore Recordings comes an archaeological excavation of Chris Bell's back catalogue , pre-Big Star. Trading under Icewater and Rock City, Bell, with a little help from friends Andy Hummel and Jody Stephens - as well as a revolving cast of Memphis studio musicians - recorded these seminal tracks which prefigured the glory that was to come when Bell, Hummel and Stephens joined forces with former Box Tops wunderkind Alex Chilton. The rest, of course, is history . For the curious, Looking Forward is an often times fascinating troll through Chris Bell's early, British Invasion - influenced leanings, those first tentative steps in the studio . An artist finding his way, perhaps. Of historical interest to the Big Star completist .
- Flamin' Groovies Fantastic Plastic
Pretenders "Holy Commotion" Blondie "Fun" Morrissey "Jacky's Only Happy When She's Up on The Stage" The Breeders "Wait in The Car"
Fave albums of 2017
- The Analog Girl Golden Sugar Crystals A darkly sweet electronic pop album from Singapore
- Sienna QoS . From Norway -- A stunning work that incorporates world beat and electronica
- Suzi soprano Prividi Grungy punk rock from Slovenia in their native tongue
- Mountain Goats Goths Saw them live with an old friend -- literary alt rock
- Old 97's Graveyard Whistling
- The Brat Straight Outta East L.A. Lots of unreleased treasure here
- Set Blasters Anger Hate Hell Smart punk rock from California's Inland Empire
- Alice Cooper Paranormal
- Elbow Little Fictions Mellow psych rock
- David Bowie No Plan EP
- The Beatles Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Edition remixed by Giles Martin
Fave Singles of 2017
- Gilles Snowcat "Bareta" Belgian mischief maker's Japanese language release
- The Tomicks "Break Up Anthem" Classic rock styled tunes from promising British upstarts
- Kontradikshn "027" Powerful Slovenian Electro rock
- Ska 'n' Bones "Smally Fingers" Playful political ska from So Cal
JD McPherson, Kesha, Koreantown Oddity, Rakta, Sharon Jones
Check out the rest of PERFECT SOUND FOREVER
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