Lollapalooza 2017 Wish List

Headliners

Guns n’ Roses
Lorde
The XX
Green Day
Childish Gambino
Kendrick Lamar
Twenty One Pilots
Pearl Jam

Sub Headliners

Primus (or Claypool Lennon Delerium)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Sia
St Vincent
Panic! At The Disco
GroupLove
Broken Social Scene
Crystal Castles

Non Headliners

Guano Apes
Joywave
Metric
Thee Oh Sees
The Kills
Warpaint
The Sounds
The Ting Tings
JEFF The Brotherhood
Meg Myers
Feist
Cat Power
Goldfrapp
Margo Price
Deap Vally
Carseat Headrest
K. Flay
Tacocat
Band Of Skulls
Charli XCX
Courtney Barnett
Japandroids
Dirty Ghosts
Shiny Toy Guns
Sky Ferreria
OK Go
DAWN
Genevieve
Betty Who
Hippo Campus
Diarrhea Planet

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2016 Top Live Shows

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2016 Favorite Performances Patti Smith This was a show I had anticipated for the past couple of years as Patti Smith has been touring, performing her Horses album in its entirety to celebrate its 40 year release. I bought these … Continue reading

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2016 Lollapalooza Wishlist

Headliners

  1. Fleetwood Mac
  2. Lady Gaga
  3. Red Hot Chili Peppers
  4. Muse
  5. Iron Maiden
  6. Primus
  7. Kendrick Lamar
  8. Missy Elliot

 

Sub-Headliners

  1. Patti Smith
  2. St Vincent
  3. The Kills
  4. Bat For Lashes
  5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  6. Sia
  7. Robyn
  8. Metric
  9. Courtney Barnett
  10. Against Me!
  11. Die Antwoord
  12. Grace Potter
  13. Cat Power
  14. Joy Formidable
  15. Meg Myers
  16. Wolf Alice

Undercard

  • The Ting Tings
  • Blood Red Shoes
  • Sweethead
  • Savages
  • Dead Sara
  • Genevieve
  • Band Of Skulls
  • Ex Hex
  • Grimes
  • Daughter
  • Sky Ferreria
  • Holychild
  • Stars
  • Ida Maria
  • Louise Distras
  • Speedy Ortiz
  • Guano Apes
  • Jane’s Addiction

 

 

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2015 Top Live Band Performances

2015 Top Ranked Live Shows

  1. Paul McCartney – I finally got to see Paul McCartney live this year at Lollapalooza.  I really didn’t think that I would ever see him live, so when the Headliners were announced, I was really excited.  I had camped out earlier when I caught Alabama Shakes on the same stage.  I had a pretty decent location but had to make a water run and lost a little when I came back.  This show was everything I hoped it would be and Paul’s wit and charm and engaging the audience is something I’ll never forget.  Highlights for me were his acoustic performance of Here Today and Hey Jude.  The whole crowd was singing along.
  2. Florence + The Machine – Sunday evening at Lollapalooza was shaken up a little by the shortened sets due to storms.  Florence was a bundle of energy, rebelling and defiant to the impending storm dancing beyond the night skyline.  Florence plead with the crowd with passion in all of her songs and gave me goosebumps all throughout.  She had somewhat of a wardrobe malfunction as she was running through the field with the crowd on either side of her, running in her barefeet and bra.  Her band was totally amazing and had a wonderful backing vocals group.
  3. Metallica – Finally a band that went beyond the curfew at Lollapalooza!  This was my first time seeing Metallica and I was totally blown away!  They played music from their entire career and had a group of devoted fans on stage with them behind the band.  There were a lot of die hard Metallica fans at this show.  There was this continuous driving of high energy.
  4. We Are Hex – I wrote up this band last year as well for top performances.  They are a local band out of Indianapolis.  I just feel totally blown away every time I see them perform and just can’t comprehend how they can provoke that reaction out of me (and the crowd) at every show.  It never gets old.  They also do a good job of changing up the setlist from show to show.  I saw them live 8 times this year!  Looking forward to seeing them live again in 2016.
  5. Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes – I stumbled across these guys at the Punkfest at The 5th Quarter Lounge in Indianapolis.  I was amused at their attire and shag-carpet amps and nicely decorated drum kit.  Davey was dressed in a onesie pajama set!  In between every song, which they seem to never have a defined setlist, Davy kept addressing someone in the crowd who was close to the band (Dusty, perhaps) and mentioning snippets of sports trivia.  It was quite amusing, but this is only part.  They are highly energetic and it’s like riding a minecart in Donkey Kong Country.  Abby marches around in circles on stage all-the-while glaring at Davey as if daring him to take her on, with Ayesha behind the drums pounding the shit out of them and observing this cartoonish Stevie/Lindsay duel.  They are a really fun band to watch.  Musically, they’re an art-punk band and will definitely leave you with that “HS!” feeling.
  6. Against Me – I finally got to see Against Me! at Riotfest Chicago this past September.  I really loved their latest album and hadn’t even heard of them until then.  Their performance was the best sounding, most energetic (aside from Anthrax) and most wild.  The crowd totally pushed everyone around as a single unit.  I had been quite close to the front, but couldn’t quite keep my footing, so I kinda let myself get squeezed back a little.  Laura Jane Grace sounded amazing and charged and was wearing a “Gender Is Over” jersey.  The entire crowd sang along with every song throughout their 45 minute set.
  7. Moseley – I first caught these ladies at the Record Store Day After Show at the Heavy Anchor in St Louis.  They played a short, dramatic set.  I had shown up for Bruiser Queen and We Are Hex’s RSD performance at Vintage Vinyl, but was very glad to discover Moseley.  This is the best way to find and discover new bands, go to shows!  I also went to Nashville and Bowling Green, KY to catch them as they had totally blown me away.  They have this quite unique sound with Suzy’s non-chalaunt craftiness of guitar work and hypnotic vocals, adorned with a gown of her self-professed “metal mop”, and just as you’re being sucked in, Abby and Christy change things up, and you wonder, “what are they DOING over there” and totally yank you in another direction.  They are a rock band, but I wonder if they aren’t influenced by ’80s Heavy Metal.  They have a full-length debut album due out in 2016 that at the moment is my most highly anticipated release of 2016.
  8. War On Women – As I mentioned in my 2015 Top Ten Albums List, I discovered this amazing guitar assault of a band this year.  I could NOT wait to see them perform live.  I got my first chance on Anti-Flag’s show in St Louis and again when I was in the Baltimore area for work in September.  Their show at FUBAR was an amazing performance, although I think the sound guy screwed ’em a little as they were the first set.  It was even better seeing them perform live in their hometown at Ottobar in Baltimore.  Hang on tight when you see this band as they are non-stop from the time they start to the last note.
  9. Thelma and The Sleaze – This is the second year in a row this band out of Nashville made my top list with Lauren G on guitar, Chase on Drums and GiGi now on bass full-time.  These ladies toured the country, have recorded their next album and even had the chance to perform and record with Brittany Howard among others this year.  This band has really grown and gotten tremendously better and tighter as attributed to their near non-stop touring and have an improved overall sound from the first time I saw these ladies nearly two years ago now.  These ladies mean business when they take the stage and are quite the act.  With their ’70s sounding songs, you’d think they grew up in the ’70s.  I was fortunate that they made their way through Indiana for a few dates this year and look forward to seeing them again in 2016.
  10. Pop Up Safety Baby – This band local to the Terre Haute continues to amaze me every time they take the stage.  They have continued to blaze sets with their tight arrangements and musicianship.  They have added a few new songs to the set and have recorded a handful of songs for an upcoming release.
  11. Screaming Females – I became a great fan of Screaming Females during the latter part of 2014 and had been watching live performances online and was really amazed by the great guitar work and tightness of the band.  Their new album Rose Mountain came out in March and I was fortunate to catch them live in Bloomington late March.  It was my most anticipated show to date.  They played a great 12 song set and I was wanting more.
  12. Bruiser Queen – This great band out of St Louis continues to amaze me.  They put on an incredible show every time they take the stage.  They have built quite a following and have played nearly 80 dates in the past year, as evidenced by their on-stage chemistry.  This ’60s sounding duo creates exciting, jamming tunes that are especially great in a live setting.  They have become quite the force to reckon with in the St Louis area.  Morgan really demonstrated her vocal talents this year with their cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” and by her acapella performance of Silent Night to open up their 12 Bassists of Christmas show which featured local St Louis talent on bass, keyboards and guitar in each of their songs.
  13. Gang Of Four – I had gone to the Ottobar in Baltimore this September to see War On Women.  These guys were the main act.  I was totally blown away by their sound and stage presence.  I truly believe that if it weren’t for Duran Duran, these guys would have been much bigger in the early ’80s.  I hadn’t really even heard of this band prior to this year.  The fans in the audience were clearly die hards who have been following them for quite a while.  They played a fun-filled 75 minute set.
  14. Barb Wire Dolls –  Got to see these guys for the first time in over two years since they returned to the U.S.   I  saw them perform at Riot Fest in Chicago, and then in Dayton just a few weeks later.  This band still has amazingly inspired live performances.  They have added quite a lot of new material this latest tour and had also brought a touring bass player this go around.  They’re off to Europe for 2016 and may not be back to the U.S. until 2017.  This punk rock band from Greece continues to be a voice for the injustices facing their country and others who appear to be facing the same fate, including the U.S.
  15. The Gills – I just so happened to catch this band in Nashville as part of the Moseley/Fauna Halo card.  I had not heard anything about this band, and was actually sitting in the table section when they came on.  I was immediately impressed, especially by the drum and bass work, I had to go out on the floor to get a close look.  Hoping this band tours the Midwest some time soon as I’d like to see them again.
  16. SIMO – This was the first show of 2015 for me.  I had seen this band the previous Fall at The Verve in Terre Haute, so when I found out they would be back I was ecstatic.  This southern rock style band with Allman Brothers influence will really capture you.  JD Simo is one of the best guitarists I’ve ever seen perform, and has a huge energetic stage presence.
  17. The Panics – This veteran punk rock group was part of the Mutant Fest that I had gone to in Bloomington this past Spring.  These guys know how to put on a show!  This was one of the major highlights for me for a day that included 12+ bands.
  18. Shelby County Sinners – These guys from Indiana play a flavor of Americana that is pretty much their own.  The storytelling vocals of Shelby are among the strongest I’ve seen.  The percussive type bass playing by Mo is another thing that is unique for this band that has no drummer.  Eric Grimmet on guitar presents very polished, at times bluesy work that fits in really well.  Upon first glance, Eric looks like Dave Murray from Iron Maiden!
  19. Mugen Hoso – I finally got to see this amazing Punk Duo from Japan after a two year wait.  They had previously performed dates with Barb Wire Dolls and Evil Beaver and really wanted to see them, so when they came back to the U.S., I made sure to catch them.  I wasn’t able to make their Indianapolis show, so I had to catch them in Dayton a few days later.  These guys are a bundle of energy that feeds and thrives off of the crowd.  The crowd was bringing these guys shots after every song!  Mugen is like a Japanese Energizer Bunny version of Angus Young and bounces all over the stage.
  20. Genevieve – I accidentally discovered Genevieve on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts.  I had not made the connection that she had been part of Company Of Thieves until I looked her up.  Upon researching, I discovered that she would be playing in Indianapolis in just two days.  I was already heading to a show later that evening, but she was scheduled to perform outdoors, outside the National Center at Indianapolis’ First Friday, so I headed out early.  I was totally amazed at her performance.  It was so scorchingly hot out that day, but she and her band made it through the whole set.  Good thing I was wearing sunglasses, because her performance of The Enemy nearly brought me to tears.  I was fortunate to meet her at her merch table and briefly talk.  Looking forward to seeing her perform live again; she is probably the best singer I’ve ever witnessed perform.

2015 Shows Overall List by Date

  1. 1/16 SIMO (The Verve)
  2. 1/17 The Nerve, Bear Foote Jackson, Pop Up Safety Baby (Ripley’s)
  3. 1/29 The Ragbirds (The Verve)
  4. 2/6 Papa J. Otis (Pizza Place)
  5. 2/7 Matchsellers, Moonshine Junction (The Verve)
  6. 2/27 Kelly Pardekooper, Buffalo Wabs, Stackhouse, We Are Hex, DMA (PRN)
  7. 3/6 Butcher’s Holler, Papa J. Otis (ISU Bookstore)
  8. 3/7 Nick Gibbs, Brandon Atwell, Moonshine Junction, Toe Knee Tea, The Madpole Cats, Matthew Mule McKinley, Owen Mays and The Last Calls, Lou Shields, S.S. Web, Matt Olson, Dime Novel Devils, Pop Up Safety Baby (Midwest Hillbilly Hardcore’s 7th Annual St Judes Benefiet @ The Verve)
  9. 3/8 Pegasissy, Marine Corpse, Thelma And The Sleaze (The Back Door)
  10. 3/26 Screaming Females, Shellshag, Cowboys (The Bishop)
  11. 3/27 Raymond Lee, Moonshine Junction, Bro Ken (The Verve)
  12. 3/28 Good Guy Bad Guy, Giraffes Eating Lions, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, The Ramettes, Dead On TV, The Lickers, Insubordination, Drunken Therapy, Stealing Volume, Black Cat Rebellion, Tiger Sex (Punkfest 2015 5th Quarter)
  13. 4/14 Sam Barbee, Papa J. Otis, Rosedale (Terradise)
  14. 4/18 Bella & Lilly, Bruiser Queen, We Are Hex, Turntable Orchestra (Record Store Day at Vintage Vinyl STL)
  15. 4/18 Matt Harnish’s Pink Guitar, Brother Lee & The Leather Jackals, Moseley, We Are Hex, Bruiser Queen (RSD After Show at Heavy Anchor, STL)Wh
  16. 4/25 Sideline Radio, Rader, Gardens, Sleep On It, Mariahill (Terradise)
  17. 4/30 Papa J. Otis (ISU Bookstore)
  18. 5/1 Brainchild, Papa J Otis, When All Kept Echoing, Better Off Blind, Dalton Edington, Wesley J. Russell & Dave Reneigh, Moonshine Junction, Jack Shannon, Vancouver Ballet, Timmy Wells (TH First Friday at Tater Joe’s)
  19. 5/2 We Are Hex, Obnox, The Timmys (Melody Inn PRN)
  20. 5/4 Sam Barbee, People Of Interest, Dope Sweater, Riot Shield, Some Kind Of Nightmare (Cruft House)
  21. 5/15 Anti-Flag, The Homeless Gospel Choir, War On Women (FUBAR St Louis)
  22. 5/18 Begging Victoria, Raymond Lee, Grandiose, Riot Shield, Pop Up Safety Baby, People Of Interest, New Wave (Cruft House)
  23. 5/22 Pop Up Safety Baby (The Verve)
  24. 5/23 Gooch Palms, Death Valley Girls, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Chives (Punk Rock Night at Melody Inn)
  25. 6/5 Genevieve (Old National Centre)
  26. 6/5 We Are Hex, The Hussy, Digital Leather (White Rabbit Cabaret)
  27. 6/9 Anthony Cottom, Straya, Falling, Ashland, Thieves, Riot Shield (Terradise White House)
  28. 6/13 The Bakers, Mariahill, Subject To Change, Population Control, People Of Interest, Better Off Blind (The Meeting Grounds)
  29. 6/13 The Beautiful Display, Whosah, Mariahill, Riot Shield (The Verve)
  30. 6/19 We Are Hex, Goldmines, The Hyper Tensions (State Street Pub)
  31. 6/26 Commonweather, The Hanis Project, Mariahill, Riot Shield, Real Talk, Sleep On It (Terradise White House)
  32. 7/3 Father Mountain, Mayweather, The Red Streak, The Beautiful Display, Riot Shield, WAKE (Terradise)
  33. 7/3 David Goodier, Maggie Cocco Band, Brandon Sciotto, Moonshine Junction (The Verve)
  34. 7/11 Tycoons Of Teen, Laffing Gas, Wet Heave, Thee Open Sex, The Girls!, The Panics, Chives, Timmy’s Organism, Cancuners, Cold Star, Sick Velvet, Cowboys, KP and Me, The Hemingers, The Brothers Gross, The Gizmos (Mutant Fest II at The Back Door & Blockhouse Bloomington)
  35. 7/17 Scot Sax & Suzie Brown, The Gills, Moseley, Tetherball, Earl Burrows, Fauna Halo (The Basement East)
  36. 7/19 It’s a Secret, Regular Oatmeal, Pop Up Safety Baby, Population Control, Subject To Change (Terradise White House)
  37. 7/24 Aiming For Average, WAKE
  38. 7/25 Betsy Franck, Hannah Aldridge (The Verve)
  39. 7/31-8/2 Mighty Oaks, Coasts, Black Pistol Fire, BadBadNotGood, Broods, Alabama Shakes, Paul McCartney, Janelle Kroll, Hippo Campus, COIN, Sturgill Simpson, Wet, Death From Above 1979, Elle King, Metallica, The Wombats, Black Tiger Sex machine, DMA’s, Strand Of Oaks, Skylar Spence, Bully, TV On The Radio, Florence + The Machine (Lollapalooza Chicago)
  40. 8/7 Population Control, Better Off Blind, Bomb Cats, People Of Interest, Ashland, Grandiose (TH First Friday)
  41. 8/7 The Flying Jacksons (The Verve)
  42. 8/8 David Goodier, Tracksuit Lyfestile, MariaHill, The HANIS Project (The Verve)
  43. 8/13 Mariahill, The Linden Project (Hoosier Dome)
  44. 8/13 Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes, Pravada, Ampersand Blues Band (State Street Pub)
  45. 8/15 Subject To Change, Pop Up Safety Baby, Population Control, Dope Sweater, People of Interest, Better Off Blind, Riot Shield, Alena Coast, Mariahill, New Wave (Terradise Oy Vey Bakery)
  46. 8/16 Shad Vanatti, Alena Coast, MariaHill, Riot Shield (The Verve)
  47. 8/18 Marissa Sendejas, Chatterbox & The Latter Day Satanists, JC & The Pennies, Ray Lee (Tater Joe’s)
  48. 8/22 Bruiser Queen (Mike N Mollys)
  49. 8/27 Thelma And The Sleaze, We Are Hex, Ray Creature (The Back Door Bloomington)
  50. 9/4 Subject To Change, Better Off Blind, Ashland, Daniel Sadcliff, Rest Assured, Riot Shield, Mayweather, WAKE, Brave Souls, Sirens, From Cities Above, Pop Up Safety Baby, Moonshine Junction, Cody Almond, Gardens, Edington, Hugh Lee, Plans, Dope Sweater, For Our Lifetime, Mariahill, People Of Interest, The Beautiful Display, Whale Bones, Kerchief, Scooter, The HANIS Project, Grandiose (Terrapalooza)
  51. 9/4 We Are Hex, Ritual Howls, Tyler Damon (White Rabbit Cabaret)
  52. 9/5 Moseley, Plastic Friends, The Donut Heist (Tidballs Bowling Green)
  53. 9/9 The Coathangers, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes (Radio Radio Indianapolis)
  54. 9/11 No Doubt, The Coathangers, Dirty Fences, Chef’special, Speedy Ortiz, Motorhead, Anthrax, Barb Wire Dolls, White Mystery, Against Me! (Riot Fest Chicago)
  55. 9/12 Moonshine Junction, Hannah Aldridge (Blues At The Crossroads Fest)
  56. 9/19 db Cooper (4th Quarter Bar)
  57. 9/20 Skurt, Tigersex, Mugen Hoso (Blind Bob’s Dayton)
  58. 9/25 Barb Wire Dolls, Red Hot Rebellion, Two Punch Gun, A Shade of Red (Rockstar Pro Arena Dayton)
  59. 9/30 War On Women, The New Regime, Gang Of Four (Ottobar Baltimore)
  60. 10/8 The Holy Sheets, Louie Louie, Gooch Palms, Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes (State Street Pub)
  61. 10/9 Dirty Ghosts, Spray Paint, Strange Wilds (The Empty Bottle Chicago)
  62. 10/17 Torres, Garbage (The Riviera Chicago)
  63. 10/31 Moonshine Junction, Shelby County Sinners, The Nerve (The Verve)
  64. 11/3 Beach Slang, Lithuania, Worriers, Humanoids (Firebird St Louis)
  65. 11/8 Benny Sanders, Thelma and The Sleaze (State Street Pub)
  66. 11/13 Riot Shield, Mariahill, Crunkasaurus Rex, Plans, Juice, Vancouver Ballet (The Cruft House)
  67. 11/14 The HANIS Project, David Goodier, Mariahill (The Verve)
  68. 11/25 Moonshine Junction, Shelby County Sinners, Pop Up Safety Baby (The Verve)
  69. 12/5 12 Bassists of Christmas w/ Bruiser Queen, The Vigilettes, Mike and Jenny of Tortuga, Soddy Daisy (The Pageant St Louis)
  70. 12/26 Sam Arnold, Aiming For Average (Uprising Terre Haute)

2015 Top Singers

Genevieve Schatz (Genevieve)

Aubri Honest (Fauna Halo)

Betsy Franck

Marissa Sendejas

Sara Smith (The Vigilettes)

2015 Top Drummers

Adam Abrashoff (SIMO)

Seth Maschari (Captain Ivory)

Charlie Benante (Anthrax)

Abby Hairston (Moseley)

Roseanna Safos (Goldmines, Obnox)

Michael Coffey (Pop Up Safety Baby)

Evan Tanner (War On Women)

Lars Ulrich (Metallica)

2015 Top Bass Players

Justin Locke (The Gills)

Christy Callaway (Moseley)

Matt Hullet (Pop Up Safety Baby)

2015 Top Guitar Players

Marissa Potner (Screaming Females)

JD Simo (SIMO)

2015 Best Band Vocals

Vigilettes

Buffalo Wabs and The Price Hill Hustle

Moonshine Junction

Chatterbox and The Latter Day Satanists

2015 Favorite Front-Persons

Daniel Evans (Dead On TV)

Kelly Tigersex Vegas (TigerSex)

Jilly Weiss (We Are Hex)

Jesse Kaftanski (Madpole Cats)

2015 Best Costumes or Stage Setup

Gooch Palms

Bruiser Queen

Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes

2015 Group with the best Hair!

a Shade Of red

Moseley

Stackhouse

2015 Bands with Most Engaged or Loyal Audience

The Homeless Gospell Choir

Shellshag

Beach Slang

Against Me!

2015 Top Venues

White Rabbit Cabaret Indianapolis

Heavy Anchor St Louis

Radio Radio Indianapolis

State Street Pub Indianapolis

Verve Terre Haute

2015 Worst Venue

FUBAR St Louis – I only put this because the sound guy had the bands entirely too loud.  I go to a LOT of shows, and this guy set up levels from the back “with” ear plugs already in.  It was entirely too loud, and backing up toward the back did not sound good at all.  The bathrooms are also setup such that the line bumps right into the Merch area, where people walk to get to the bar area, a complete log jam.

Farthest Show From Home

War On Women, Gang Of Four @ Ottobar, Baltimore Maryland

Longest Drive

Moseley, The Gills, Fauna Halo @The Basement East, Nashville Tennessee

Select Pictures

Morgan of Bruiser Queen

Morgan of Bruiser Queen

Bruiser Queen's 12 Bassists of Christmas

Bruiser Queen’s 12 Bassists of Christmas

Shelby County Sinners at The Verve Terre Haute

Shelby County Sinners at The Verve Terre Haute

Moonshine Junction at The Verve Terre Haute

Moonshine Junction at The Verve Terre Haute

Garbage

Garbage

Garbage at Riviera Theater Chicago

Garbage at Riviera Theater Chicago

Gang Of Four at Ottobar

Gang Of Four at Ottobar

Gang Of Four at Ottobar

Gang Of Four at Ottobar

a Shade of Red

a Shade of Red

Mugen Hoso

Mugen Hoso

Kelly of TigerSex

Kelly of TigerSex

Isis Queen of Barb Wire Dolls

Isis Queen of Barb Wire Dolls

Isis Queen of Barb Wire Dolls

Isis Queen of Barb Wire Dolls

Jilly of We Are Hex at White Rabbit Cabaret

Jilly of We Are Hex at White Rabbit Cabaret

Anthony of Dope Sweater

Anthony of Dope Sweater

"GG" of Thelma and The Sleaze

“GG” of Thelma and The Sleaze

Matt from We Are Hex

Matt from We Are Hex

Marissa Nendejas

Marissa Nendejas

Ashland

Ashland

Lollapalooza 2015

Lollapalooza 2015

Timmy's Organism

Timmy’s Organism

Tycoons Of Teen

Tycoons Of Teen

Mutant Fest II Poster

Mutant Fest II Poster

Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes

Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes

Gooch Palms

Gooch Palms

Death Valley Girls

Death Valley Girls

War On Women

War On Women

We Are Hex

We Are Hex

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2015 Top Albums

OK, for an album to be in my top ten, it must be an album that I listened to over and over again start-to-finish.  So these are the albums that I really got into this year.

War On Women – War On Women

When you hear certain hard rock albums for the first time, like Alice In Chains’ “Dirt”, or Guns ‘N’ Roses’ “Appetite For Destruction”, Korn’s debut album, Nirvana’s “Nevermind” or even AC/DC’s “Back In Black” album, Def Leppard’s “Pyromania”, they yank you out of your seat, and you listen to them over and over again, thinking how can this album rock so hard?  I felt the same way when I accidentally stumbled across the band “War On Women” this past Spring.  I had been watching music videos on YouTube, when I came across this Propaghandi documentary type video, and thought they were pretty cool.  I got distracted, left the room for a while doing something else, when I heard this other band rocking, but there were no vocals.  It was a “related” video of the band War On Women playing at The FEST 2013.  There was this awesome guitar work, but the vocals were completely drowned out.  I looked them up and bought their newly released self-titled album and was completely blown away.  This album has very aggressive in your face guitar work with hypnotic, delicate, yet authoritative vocals and is pedal to the medal from start to finish.  The songs sequence and transitions are as if you’re watching a live show. Nearly all of their songs are themed about women’s issues and injustices in the face of our political climate and culture here in the U.S.

Dirty Ghosts – Let It Pretend

Dirty Ghosts are a band I discovered circa 2011 from the Last Gang Records Label as I listen to a lot of bands from them (Metric, Crystal Castles, Death From Above 1979).  They are fronted by Allyson Baker and Erin McDermott hailing from San Francisco.  This latest album from them was highly anticipated for me as it had been several years since their debut.  This album is quite different than their first one.  The new album has a very early ’80s techno sound and feel to it and reminds me a lot of The Cars mixed in with Devo, Nena and The Police.  The songs on the album have cleverly crafted placement of instruments, nice structure, as if they were influenced by Rush.  The entire album is a blast to listen to.

Screaming Females – Rose Mountain

I got into this band, led by phenomenal guitarist Marissa Potner toward the end of 2014.  I watched a lot of their online live performances and was really looking forward to their February release, Rose Mountain.  The first thing you notice listening to this band is the guitar work and vocals from Marissa (kinda like the first time I heard Geddy Lee singing on Rush’s Caress Of Steel album), but there is no denying the amazing guitar work.  While this whole album jams, there are moments that are more mellow-progressive.  In particular songs Wishing Well with beautiful imagery in the lyrics, Rose Mountain that heavily builds before casually settling in, and Hopeless,  which really is a departure for Marissa’s vocal style and is probably the most emotional song I’ve heard her perform.  She is also an incredible artist and has published some of her artwork.

Worriers – Imaginary Life

I actually discovered this amazing band through Screaming Female’s record label Don Giovanni Records.  I was immediately drawn by Lauren Denitzio’s vocals and Audrey Zee Whiteside’s awesome sounding bass.  The album starts out with a melodic reminiscence in Jinx and transitions into what more seems like the first track on the album, Plans.  The songs on this album are sung from the heart and deal with a variety of issues, insecurities, personal challenges, emotions and all.

Violent Mae – Kid

This is the second album from Violent Mae who hails from Connecticut.  This album offers more amazing guitar work from Becky Kessler and incredible arrangements by drummer and unconventional percussionist Floyd.  This album continues to validate incredible craftiness from well-polished guitar work from Becky, along with soulful and sultry vocals that suck you right in.  This is another start-to-finish album from this amazing group.

Genevieve – EP

I bought Genevieve’s EP at her show in Indianapolis.  This is a great debut from the former Company Of Thieves artist.  This album is a very upbeat and positive pop album with inspiring vocals.

Dekades – Dekades EP

I’ve been a fan of Dekades, out of L.A. for a few years now, and it’s been a few years since their 1.1 EP so I was super excited when they released their new self-titled EP.  This album is a much more raw album than the previous one.  The EP has a haunting and urgent tone to it.  Looking forward to hearing more from this great band in 2016.

Elle King – Love Stuff

I discovered Elle King when Lollapalooza announced their 2015 Lineup.  Checked out some of her work and really loved her full-length debut.  This young lady has a great band and a lot of charm and drive and vocally kinda reminds me of John Fogerty.  This album could pass as a country album and I really don’t listen to country music.

Rush – R40

Rush’s latest live release to mark their 40th Anniversary as recording artists.  Their R40 tour in 2015 reviewed their entire career starting from latest to earliest.  There are a couple of songs on here they hadn’t previously released live.

Barb Wire Dolls – Live In Berlin

Barb Wire Dolls released their Berlin performance on their BandCamp web page.  This concert consists of all of their material from their upcoming album to be released in 2016, and also includes Barb Wire Dolls staple songs from their first album that have remained a part of their live act.

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2014 Top Bands Live Performances

2014 was even a more busy year than 2013. Once again, I went to several live shows, primarily low-key, small-venue shows.  I really do prefer the smaller venue shows as they’re much more fun.  Lollapalooza was the only big-scale show I went to.

Top Rated Bands Performances

  1. Grouplove: This was my most anticipated performance once the 2014 Lollapalooza lineup was officially announced.  It was everything I had hoped it would be.  They played nearly everything from their latest album Spreading Rumours and of course, new classics Colours and Tongue Tied.  In addition to their songs, they played an amazing cover of Beastie Boys’ Sabotage and Beyonce’s Drunk In Love.  This was the most active crowd the entire weekend as well.  I was fortunate to meet-and-greet the band afterward and get autographs.  The only thing that was disappointing was that they only got to play 60 minutes, but that’s to be expected as a sub-headliner at a festival.
  2. Meg Myers: I’ve been listening to Meg Myers for nearly three years, and watching her fan base grow as she played more and more shows across the country, so I was super excited for her to be part of Lollapalooza this year.  She played a highly intense 45 minute set where she was everywhere from Alanis Morrisette angry to Pink ballad delicate.  The whole crowd sang along with the opening lines of her first song, “I should pray for Adelaide” and was totally engulfed the rest of the way.  She didn’t say a whole lot between songs, but her songs did the speaking for her.  Her band sounded absolutely amazing and tight, especially on guitar and cello.  I had the chance to also meet her afterward.
  3. Eminem: Mariah and I had missed Eminem the last time he had played Lollapalooza, so I managed to catch the first song from Lorde’s set (which she REALLY is pretty amazing to all the doubters) on the other side of the park before high-tailing it to the south side to meet up with Mariah and the kids for Eminem’s show.  This was an amazing 90+ minute set that spanned his entire career and even featured an appearance by Rhiana for three songs.  The background graphics were really amazing.
  4. We Are Hex:  I saw this band twice this year, at the same venue, The White Rabbit Cabaret Club.  I was totally blown away by this electro-gothic sounding band that really reminded me of some of the L.A. sounding bands Dekades, Battle Tapes and Omniflux.  The singer Jilian has amazing power and dramatic vocals and a huge stage presence.  The thundering drums and primus-like guitar work makes for some dark sounding vibes. The second time I saw them was for their Bleach Brigades album release show.
  5. Pop Up Safety Baby: Speaking of Primus, this two piece band of bass and drum puts on a mind blowing performance with a drummer who reminds me a lot of Brian “Brain” Mantini from Primus’ lineup of a few years past.  Matt Hulett and Mike Coffey create this amazing sound of distorted bass and excellent percussion and drumming.  Each song they perform will take you on a roller coaster ride of technical excellence, all the while creating funky and otherwise tight and changing rhythms.  This is definitely a band whose performance leaves you with that “holy shit” feeling after witnessing.  I’ve seen them five times over the course of the past year, and can’t wait to see them again.
  6. Thelma and The Sleaze:  I’ve seen this band three times this year, and I’d have to say that along with Whiskey Dick, they’re the hardest working, most-touring band I saw this year.  This sexy trio of Lauren, Chase and “Baby” (and for most of the USA tour, GiGi on bass), put on an amazing show and their consistent touring proves their complete stage chemistry.  Sporting her “Fancy” guitar, Lauren has the passion, high energy, power, and yet the tenderness of Janis Joplin with the unforgiving pedal-to-the-metal energy of Angus Young.  Chase and Emily (Baby) make an excellent rhythm section and never miss a beat and definitely sport the rock star image and presence on stage.  This bluesy, ZZ Top/Thin Lizzy/Molly Hatchet/Foghat-sounding band will impress you, with each song preceded by hilarious adventure tales from the road makes this a really fun performance to watch.  I got to see the last date of their 6 month tour where they treated the audience to a nice 70 minute set.  The loyal fan base is evident of their heavy touring.
  7. Bruiser Queen: Saw these guys twice this year.  The first time, they were opening for We Are Hex and Thelma And The Sleaze.  I was really amazed by the energy and seemingly ’60s psychedelic sound of their performance for a two piece of just guitar and drums.  The drummer is a well-seasoned musician and Morgan on guitar and lead vocals is not one to be messed with.  She shreds her guitar and vocally hits the notes that Karen O can’t.  This high energy punk rock band is aggressively active, touring the immediate midwest area playing several dates.
  8. Violent Mae: I had caught the two members of this fine band playing in Philadelphia in 2013 for You Scream I Scream.  Rebecca and Floyd are a guitar and drum duo.  I was overly excited to learn that they’d be playing a midwest date on two days’ notice. Floyd’s creative drumming and percussion works well with Rebecca’s smooth and polished guitar playing.  Vocally, Rebecca offers a sultry and Natalie Merchant-like subtleness to her enunciation.
  9. SIMO:  JD Simo and his band are an amazingly energetic band that takes you on a lightning fast Allman Brothers influenced sound.  This band had every element of all hard southern rock that I ever remember listening to growing up.  Hang on tight and try to keep up with this amazing band.  They ultimately ended the show with the Joe Cocker version cover of “With A Little Help From My Friends”.
  10. The Company Stores:  This incredibly diverse and talented band from West Virginia puts on an amazing show, with everything ranging from beat boxing, hip-hop to r&b to classic rock and even Patsy Cline/Alison Mosshart sounding vocals by Casey.  I saw this band at The Verve, a band consisting of guitar, trumpet, electric violin, bass and tympani.  They remind me of a mix of Delta Rae meets The Manhattan Transfer.  They played primarily original material, but also played their own versions of covers, including Billie Jean and even a jamming medley of Whole Lotta Love/Great Gig In The Sky/A Change Is Gonna Come/Ball Of Confusion/Whole Lotta Love.  They played an amazing set, had a short intermission, and followed it with a nice acoustic set.  Jacob on bass has a very energetic and funk style to his bass playing.
  11. S.S. Web: I was initially introduced to this band by one of the local scene music guys, Andy.  I listened to their debut album and was immediately impressed with the booming and solid vocals of Henry.  This psychobilly style band has an amazing live sound and incredible self-made percussion.
  12. Whiskey Dick:  This band is a yee-haw, heavy metal acoustic experience.  Fritz has amazing vocals, telling times of ass-kicking and hell-raising tales.  Blistering acoustic guitar really reminds me of America and The Moody Blues intro to Question.  They play a southern rocking sound, and riddled with occasional electric pieces by Reverend Johnson.
  13. Betty Who: This really fun ’80s pop sounding band from Australia played at the somewhat crappy sounding BMI stage at Lollapalooza in a steady downpour, but they filled the place, either from curiosity, or people seeking shelter from the rain.  Either way, the show was alive and electric.  The first thing you notice is how tall Jessica is compared to her bass player.  Jessica has an amazing effect on people and presents a feel-good performance for all.
  14. Captain Blood:  Saw this band a couple of times live in Indianapolis.  The second time I saw them was a great 90 minute set.  This guitar-driven four-piece band really gives you a Rolling Stones/Velvet Revolver package of guitar riffs all with a solid rhythm section.  Really impressive is the distinct vocal styles of both Ronnie and Bill.
  15. Evil Beaver:  I had the chance to catch this impressive bass/drum duo twice this year, once on Halloween and the other on New Year’s Eve.  This high energy band puts on a blistering set that dares you to try to keep up.  Evie and Slammin’ Sammy work well together keeping it tight and moving all over the place.
  16. The Muffs: I had previously heard of this band, but never really listened to them before now.  They were the main act on the New Year’s Eve show I went to, so checked ’em out in the weeks leading up.  This is a punk band from the early ’90s
  17. Warpaint: I really came to like this band with their new album release, but was skeptical about seeing them live as I thought they’d be too mellow for my “live” taste, but I am glad I caught them at Lollapalooza.  They are a really fun band to watch and put on a great show.
  18. Moonshine Junction: Once again, caught this band live several times this year.  This bluegrass, club country band always puts on an amazing show.  The most energetic show was probably their appearance at The Blues At The Crossroads show.  They’ve really changed things up a bit this year with the addition of a few new players and new songs in the set.  Another highlight for me was watching them perform AM Radio with the author of the song actually in the audience.  Another highlight this year was a couple of cameo appearances at some of the all-ages shows by Matt Dickerson’s (fiddle & vocals) 11 year old daughter to sing chorus on Wagon Wheel.
  19. Chromeo: Saw this disco duo at Lollapalooza.  These guys remind me a lot of Kool and The Gang sound from the ’70s/early ’80s.  A soul/disco jamming afternoon of their favorites and several off of their new album.
  20. Trombone Shorty: This was a first for me, a brass-hamming band.  Trombone Shorty has an amazing drummer, plays amazing horns and has an amazing saxaphone player to go  along.  He really engages the crowd and this was really quite a treat at Lollapalooza.

Honorable Mention: Kristeen Young, Bear Hands, Brandon Atwell, Dead On TV, White Mystery, Urban Pioneers, Jayke Orvis & The Broken Band, The Lickers, Papa J. Otis.

Overall Shows List

Jan 11 (Archie’s Sports Bar, Terre Haute)

Hangdog Hearts, Nick Gibbs, Moonshine Junction, Crow’s Holler, Brandon Atwell, ToeKnee Tea

Feb 16 (The Verve, Terre Haute)

Jayke Orvis & The Broken Band, Urban Pioneers, Moonshine Junction

March 15 (Twiggy’s, Seelyville)

Stevie Tombstone, Shad Vanatti

March 21 (The Verve)

Papa J. Otis, Flintlock, Butcher’s Holler

March 22 (Ole Simrell’s, Terre Haute)

Shad Vanatti, Nativemind, Pop Up Safety Baby, Crow Cannons

April 23 (Ole Simrell’s)

Shad Vanatti, Black Eyed Vermillion, Whiskey Dick

April 26 (Punk Rock Night @ The Melody Inn, Indianapolis)

Thelma and The Sleaze, Brains & Teeth, Dead On TV, Misunderstood

May 10 (Ole Simrell’s)

Papa J Otis, Bear Foote Jackson

May 15 (The Verve)

Mikey Classic & His Lonesome Spur, ToeKnee Tea, Moonshine Junction

May 30 (The Verve)

S.S. Web, Flintlock, Moonshine Junction, Kelly Frost

June 7 (Punk Rock Night @ The Melody Inn)

The Enders, Urban Loser, The Lickers

June 21 (Birdy’s, Indianapolis)

Captain Blood, Shed, Cockeyed Clyde

July 26 (Ole Simrell’s)

Papa J. Otis, Bear Foote Jackson, Pop Up Safety Baby

July 30 (Ole Simrell’s)

The Rocketz, Straight Shooters, Raymond Lee

August 1-3 (Lollapalooza, Grant Park, Chicago):

Roadkill Ghost Choir, San Fermin, Temples, Lucius, Courtney Barnett, Warpaint, Blood Orange, AFI, Lorde, Eminem, Benjamin Booker, Ratking, Meg Myers, Grouplove, Jenny Lewis, Krewella, Cut/Copy, Bear Hands, Kongos, Bomba Estero, Delta Rae, Trombone Shorty, Chromeo, Betty Who

August 13 (Ole Simrell’s)

Whiskey Dick, Flintlock

August 15 Valley United Music Festival (Ole Simrell’s)

Papa J. Otis, The HANIS Project

August 23 (Ole Simrell’s)

Moonshine Junction

August 27 (White Rabbit Cabaret, Indianapolis)

We Are Hex, Thelma & The Sleaze, Bruiser Queen

August 29 (Ole Simrell’s)

Papa J. Otis, Soleb Theory, Pop Up Safety Baby

September 12 (Blues At The Crossroads Festival @ The Verve)

Moonshine Junction

September 27 (Cisco’s, St. Louis)

Violent Mae

October 4 (The Verve)

Urban Pioneers, SIMO

October 18 (The Verve)

Flintlock, Immigrant Union, The Company Stores

October 21 (Ole Simrell’s)

Billy Cook, Calamity Cubes

October 31 (Phantom Phest Day 2 @ Quencher’s, Chicago)

Evil Beaver, New England Patriots, ONO

November 5 (Melody Inn)

Cost Of Attrition, Direct Divide, Pop Up Safety Baby

November 26 (The Verve)

Moonshine Junction, Pop Up Safety Baby, Tony Zero

November 28 (White Rabbit Cabaret) 

We Are Hex, Magician Johnson, Rev/Rev

December 5 (Tater Joe’s Coffee, Terre Haute)

Kelly Frost, Papa J. Otis

December 5 (The Verve)

Giant Saturday Night

December 18 (5th Quarter, Indianapolis)

Raw McCartney, Sirius Black, Thelma & The Sleaze

December 26 (Tater Joe’s Coffee)

Butcher’s Holler, Moonshine Junction

December 27 (The Demo, St. Louis)

Brother Lee & The Leather Jackals, Kristeen Young, Bruiser Queen

December 31 (Reggie’s Rock Club, Chicago)

The Muffs, Evil Beaver, Meat Wave, White Mystery

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2014 Top Ten Albums

Just like my posting I did last year, the biggest criteria for me, is it has to be an album that I regularly listen to start-to-finish.  I’m an album oriented person.  While I might have a few favorite singles from groups, a single doesn’t make an album.  So, “based upon what I listened to”, here is my Top Ten List of albums actually released in 2014.  One particular thing that stands out is the lack of male vocalists in what I’m listening to right now.  I’m not seeing a whole lot of bands with album releases in 2014 that have any standout male singers.


1) Sia — 1000 Forms of Fear

Apparently, Sia has been around a few years and has composed several songs for artists.  It wasn’t until I stumbled across her “Chandelier” video on YouTube.  I absolutely fell in love with the video and the choreographic performance.  I ranked this up there with Irene Cara’s “What A Feeling” from the Flashdance movie.  I started listening to more of her new album and loved the whole thing.  She has a unique vocal style, a lot of control, power and tinge of raspiness that reminds me of another singer, Lauren Little from Queen Caveat.

2) Queen Caveat — Manufactured Happiness

Speaking of Lauren Little, Queen Caveat released their followup to their 2012 Slap On The Wrist EP, Manufactured Happiness.  This was a concerted push in effort by the band that really polished their studio sound.  It also showed a little deeper influences in their musical style.  It maintains the energy of their live sound and has carefully crafted and structured arrangements.  “Brave Boy” is an amazing song that is tender and vulnerable tugging your emotions until building up to a goose bump inducing Fleetwood Mac-like dramatic jam by the whole band.  “Breathe” is a very uplifting song that was also released as a beautiful video that highlighted what it’s like to be at a live Queen Caveat show.  Lauren delivers both with authority and concession in this song.  The clean and polished guitar work on this album reminds me a lot of some of The Guess Who, especially the opening of “Spine”.  The EP closes with a never heard before song (by me), “Everyone We Know”, which is a great closer.  This is where Jesse, the drummer, really created a Journey-like complicated arrangement.  This EP also included previously released, and re-worked “Mr. California”.  2015 looks to see the band taking a new direction in their sound, and I’m excited to explore what more this great band has to offer on their next release.

3) Against Me! — Transgender Dysphoria Blues

This was quite a discovery for me this year in this band.  I had never heard of this band before this release.  What a story behind this band and this album.  A borderline punk, emotionally charged sounding album tinged with moments of angst and desperation, but also assertion.

4) Ume — Monuments

Another band I just discovered this year.  A very fast-paced guitar driven album with vocals from Lauren Larson that really reminds me of  Karen O, but with much more powerful vocals, and guitar sound that reminds me of Jimmy Shaw from Metric.  This album has really grown on me as this band also reminds me of Belly from the early ’90s.  Hopefully, they’ll be on the festival circuit this year as they made an appearance at SXSW in 2014.  My favorite track on the album is “Too Big World”, a creepy sounding intro and takes off and has several dramatic moments.  “Chase It Down” also has a great combination of eerie, dark sounding guitars and gentle vocals.

5) Meg Myers — Make A Shadow EP

I discovered Meg Myers nearly 3 years ago through Nico Vega.  I had been looking forward to this release, as it contained songs that had previously only been released as singles in 2013.  The EP opens with “Desire”, which also had a very dramatic and sultry video release that really gets your attention.  As opposed to the blatant, explicit sexuality in a lot of music videos this year, notably, J-Lo, Iggy, Miley and Nikki Minaj, Meg really pulls it off in this video, with the passion of Allanis Morrisette.  Also on this album is the desperation fueled “Heart Heart Head”, which also had a dramatic video in 2013.   The title track starts out with a subtly played guitar, which then erupts into what essentially makes her defining sound.  “The Morning After” shows us that aside from the angry, passionate vocals she clearly shows, she delivers a very tender ballad that acts as a great closer to this EP.

6) AKW — To Be Alive EP

What a gift of an album by this band this year.  I really didn’t think anything would top their 2013 Last Lines release.  This band continues to grow and develop with every release topping the previous.  The opening Little Jay clearly demonstrates a huge overall improvement in their studio sound, not to detract from their previous work, but what a difference.  Sonically reminds me of a combination of The XX, Stars, and the sound that Metric had achieved with their 2012 Synthetica album.  Alex Wisner’s vocals on Little Jay has moments that reminds me of Melanie and the CocoRosie sisters.  “Desperate” really describes the theme I take from this album.  “The Hunt” also really captures the theme of the album, indicative of a wounded heart and damaged goods soul, not worthy or deserving of being loved.  The absolute disappointment and devastation “I’ve lost it again” followed by the slowly upbeat hints of hope gives you an anticipation that all is not really lost.  “Waking Birds” has a really cool poetic feeling to it, taking you on an adventure.

 7) Ida Maria — Accidental Happiness

I discovered Ida Maria purely by chance by the house music I had heard at The Verve in between sets of a show I had gone to.  I immediately wanted to seek out more of her music, as she had this Fiona Apple and Aja Volkman (Nico Vega) sound to her voice.  This album basically implores that you hang on tight for the ride as she takes you all kinds of places with the songs on this EP.  The whole EP rocks, and I’d recommend checking out her other releases as well.

8) Nico Vega — Lead To Light

After a couple of EPs, Nico Vega finally released their long-awaited second full length album in 2014 following their 2009 self-titled debut.  This album contained a lot of material that they had been playing live for a couple of years, so this was highly anticipated.  This album really illustrates the growth this band has seen and is not just the raw, three piece sound of their first album.  Aja’s soulful vocals tell of stories of passion, triumph and life lessons.  They released a beautiful, playful video for “I Believe”.

9) St. Vincent — St. Vincent

I had heard about Annie Clark’s work with David Byrne, but really never checked it out at all, but when her band’s new album was released, I checked it out of curiosity more than anything.  I was instantly impressed with this unconventional sounding album.  Seeing her perform some of these tracks live on TV reminded me of a combo of Devo and Prince.  I listened to this album over and over, probably with “Digital Witness” and “Birth in Reverse” being the highlights.  I would really like to see her at Lollapalooza 2015 if it’s in the cards.

10) Betty Who — Take Me When You Go

This is purely a fun retro-’80s sounding pop album from Betty Who from Australia.  I was glad when this was finally released as I’ve been a fan a little over a year now, and was super excited when they were added to the Lollapalooza lineup.  This is a fun and upbeat album to listen through.  “Runaways” has to be my favorite song on the album.  “Somebody Loves You” really reminds me of something that Whitney Houston would have sung in the late ’80s.

  • Honorable Mention

Pop Up Safety Baby — Livin’ Life With A Smashed Face

Phantogram — Voices

Chromeo — White Women

  • Pleasant Surprises

Courtney Barnett — The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas

Bear Hands — Distraction

Kiven — Kiven

TV On The Radio — Seeds

  • Biggest Disappointment

Karen O — Crush Songs

  • Still Hasn’t Grown On Me

Foo Fighters — Sonic Highways

 

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