A few weeks too late I know but here are my favourite things of the year 2014 A.D.
You can hear lots of this music on my “Best of 2014” podcast.
The album I’ve enjoyed the most this year is “NVM” by Tacocat. They are 3 girls and 1 bloke from Seattle and the album is jam packed full of fuzzed up guitars and sugar-sweet melodies. Also contains the best ever surf song about menstruation. Period.
24 Runner up favourite albums
Listed in no particular order. The ones in bold are included in the podcast linked above.
- Everything’s a Thread by The John Steel Singers (as heard on podcast 30)
- Underneath The Rainbow by Black Lips
- Urge for Offal by Half Man Half Biscuit (as heard on podcast 29)
- Spent The Afternoon by Full Ugly
- Island Intervals by Death Vessel
- Reachy by Plaid
- A Thousand Half Truths by Making Marks (as heard on podcast 26 and podcast 28 too!)
- Seven Dials by Roddy Frame (as heard on podcast 25)
- Divisionary by Ages and Ages
- Hour of the Dawn by La Sera (on Hardly Art records, same label as Tacocat)
- Divide and Exit by Sleaford Mods
- Intensity Ghost by Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band (as heard on podcast 29)
- My Life as a Beast and Lowly Form by Human Hair
- Heal by Strand of Oaks
- Benthic Lines by Dan Lyth & The Euphrates
- Night Surfer by Chuck Prophet (watch our exclusive interview here)
- The Beautiful Machine by Josh Woodward (as heard on podcast 25)
- You Can Do Better by Johnny Foreigner
- Sleeping Operator by The Barr Brothers
- Ostro by Lay Llamas
- Wig Out At Jagbags by Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
- World Peace Is None of Your Business by Morrissey
- It’s 1983! Grow Up by Fist City
- Natalie Merchant by Natalie Merchant
Favourite “name your price” download album
Between Two Waves from EardrumsPop.com
31 songs from 31 new acts made up of collaborating artists. So many great tracks and it’s a free download right here! Why are you still reading this? Go and download it this instant.
Some other great compilations:
- Indietracks 2014 – festival sampler with 56 tracks for £2
- Italdred – The Beginning – 68 innovative electronic / hip-hop tracks for £1
- Thinking about moving to Hastings – 20 track compilation from Trashmouth Records that will convince you a revolution is coming. As well as the track from David Cronenberg’s Wife which was played on my best of 2014 podcast this also includes the Zsa Zsa Sapien rant we played on podcast 29 and choice tracks from Pit Ponies, Taman Shud and Fat White Family (reviewed here)
The Possibilities are Endless
An inspirational film about Edwyn Collins’ recovery from a stroke supported by his amazing wife Grace Maxwell. Having read Grace’s book “Falling and Laughing”, the film wasn’t the straight documentary re-telling I was expecting. But it was all the better for that. I was lucky enough to see it in Manchester followed by a wonderful Q&A with Edwyn and Grace and a few acoustic numbers from Edwyn and his guitarist James Page. How’s this for a setlist then: The Possibilities Are Endless (a new song), Home Again, Low Expectations, Don’t Shilly Shally.
This video is from the night after I went but still well worth 65 minutes of your time.
As for “proper” films (i.e. made up ones) most of what I’ve seen has been very formulaic and dully predictable. 20 minutes in and you can already see how it’s going to end. Two films I saw that provided something a bit different were Absentia and Locke.
Unknown Pleasures. Peter Hook’s side of the Joy Division story. Equal parts funny, touching and daft.
Top 10 gigs
1. Manic Street Preachers, Holy Bible 20th anniversary, Albert Halls, Manchester [review]
Playing one of my all-time favourite albums in full and sounding like they meant it even more than they did in ’94!
2. Evil Blizzard / Sleaford Mods at Club Academy, Manchester [review]
3. Lumerians / Boogarins at The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool [review]
4. The Cure at Eventim Apollo (that’s the Hammersmith Odeon to you and me) [review]
5. Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Gorilla Manchester [review]
6. Johnny Foreigner / Radstewart, The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool [review]
7. Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, East Village Arts Club, Liverpool [review]
8. John Grant with the London Sinfonietta, Liverpool Philharmonic [review]
9. Fat White Family / The Growlers / The Wytches at The Kazimier, Liverpool [review]
10. Neil Finn at The Lowry, Salford [review]
Haven’t really seen a bad gig all year which means that in 2015 I want to see more gigs!
Long Division festival in Wakefield where I saw 15 bands in 1 day (particular highlights: Islet, The Wedding Present, The Wind-Up Birds, Casual Sex, Versechorusverse, Gruff Rhys). Listen to our comprehensive review here.
This was actually the only festival I went to in 2014 but even so a deserving winner.
Wizards’ Band of the Year