There’s just time before the wizards launch into 2015 with full gusto and a new podcast for me to look back over the previous 12 months of music related ephemera and to award my favourite things with the accolade everyone is after, the Kickers of 2014.
You can hear a rundown of my 20 favourite songs of the year right here, but if I had to choose just one song [and you do TTW Ed] as being worthy of the Kicker Song of 2014, it would be Stanley Brinks & The Wave Pictures – Orange Juice, which I successfully hid from the other wizards for most the year. The radio sucks balls.
In alphabetic order, these are the 25 albums I have listened to most this year and I would recommend you listen to them all. Now.
Amen Dunes – Love
Andrew Jackson Jihad – Christmas Island
Astralasia – Wind On Water
Stanley Brinks & The Wave Pictures – Gin
Circus Devils – Escape
The Everlasting Yeah – Anima Rising
Eyeless In Gaza – Mania Sour
Goat – Commune
Guided By Voices – Cool Planet
Guided By Voices – Motivational Jumpsuit
Half Man Half Biscuit – Urge For Offal
Joseph Airport – Stronger And Better
Kosmischer Läufer – The Secret Cosmic Music Of The East German Olympic Program 1972-83: Volume Two
Les Big Byrd – They Worshipped Cats
Morrissey – World Peace Is None Of Your Business
Papernut Cambridge – There’s No Underground
Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal
Chuck Prophet – Night Surfer
Shellsuit – Wednesday Morning, Bootle Strand
Sleaford Mods – Divide And Exit
Soft Hearted Scientists – The Slow Cyclone
Something Anorak – Tiny Island
Sun Kil Moon – Benji
Swans – To Be Kind
James Yorkston – The Cellardyke Recording And Wassailing Society
But, the one that has been on my turntable the longest and therefore the winner of the Kicker Album of 2014 is… [do we really need an overlong dramatic pause? Surely,if the reader is interested he/she will have already found out by now. The answer is in bold, ffs. – TTW Ed]… Morrissey. And I know he’ll be only too happy to pick up his award in person. (Photos to follow).
Stop the press! (Or possibly just alert them!)
True gent that he is, Morrissey has sent us this touching acceptance video.
Here are a few of the other albums I have really enjoyed this year:
Hookworms – Hum, Mirel Wagner – When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day, Blank Realm – Grassed Inn, The See See – Once, Forever & Again, Kitten Pyramid – Uh-Oh!, We Stood Like Kings – Berlin 1927, Luke Haines – New York In The 70s, SonSon – A Shine Below The Mound, Temples – Sun Structures, East Brunswick All Girls Choir – Seven Drummers, The Baseball Project – 3rd, David Woodcock – David Woodcock, Malayeen – Malayeen, Sork – Horseflies Flies, The Nightingales – For Fuck’s Sake, James – La Petite Mort, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Wig Out At Jagbags, Johnny Foreigner – You Can Do Better, Scott Walker & Sunn O))) – Soused, Ming City Rockers – Ming City Rockers.
The Moles – Flashbacks And Dream Sequences
Benjamin Shaw – Goodbye, Cagoule World just edging out Radstewart – Wiccans & Beatlemancers
Best Live Albums
Sendelica – Live At Crabstock just edging out Dexys – Nowhere Is Home: Live At The Duke Of York’s Theatre
Neil Young – Storytone
The Robert Pollard Annual Output Roundup
A relatively quiet year on the Bobby Pop front with just the 9 singles and 2 LPs from Guided By Voices (they did officially break up again, of course) and an album from both Circus Devils and Teenage Guitar. In the broader GBV related world, we also had a great album from Doug Gillard (Parade On) and a re-recording of classic tracks by Ohio legends Death Of Samantha (If Memory Serves Us Well).
From these, the winner of the Kicker GbV Release of 2014 is Motivational Jumpsuit.
Top 10 Gigs
- Goat / Les Big Byrd / The Lucid Dream – Camp & Furnace, Liverpool, 25-26/9/14
- Throwing Muses / Tanya Donnelly – Picturedrome, Holmfirth, 20/9/14 – review
- Johnny Foreigner / Radstewart – Shipping Forecast, Liverpool, 4/4/14 – review
- Sendelica / Earthling Society – Crabstock, Cardigan, 26/4/14 – review
- Sleaford Mods / Evil Blizzard / The Ceramic Hobs – Academy Club, Manchester, 19/9/14 – review
- Soft Hearted Scientists – The Lantern Theatre, Sheffield, 8/11/14 – review
- Barrence Whitfield & The Savages – East Village Arts Club, Liverpool, 19/11/14 – review
- The Lucid Dream / The Wild Eyes – The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool, 28/2/14 – review
- Chuck Prophet – The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 11/10/14 – review
- The Human League – Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, 30/11/14 – review
So congratulations to Goat on winning the Kicker Gig of 2014 award. This despite it being the only gig not reviewed on these pages. I guess we were otherwise engaged. Anyway, here are some photos we did mange to take:
Best Music Book
Simply Thrilled: The Preposterous Story of Postcard Records – Simon Goddard
Best Music Film
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me
Wizards’ Band of the Year