It’s that happy time of year again when I look back over the previous 12 months of music related ephemera and award my favourite things with the accolade everyone secretly desires, the Kickers of 2016.


you know you want one

Favourite song

You can hear me and Kicker Jr chewing the fat over my 23 favourite songs of the year right here, but there is clearly only one possible winner of the Kicker Song of 2016, the remarkably kind and hugely talented The Thyme Machine (with a video from Kicker Jr):

Favourite album

In order, these are my top 25 albums of 2016, all of which you need.

1. Tremolo Ghosts – Supercomputer Designs Seashells


2. ESP Ohio – Starting Point Of The Royal Cyclopean


3. Lambchop – FLOTUS


4. Eureka California – Versus


5. Guided By Voices – Please Be Honest


6. Babybird – People Do Stupid Things


7. Pulco – Farmyard & Library


8. The Moles – Tonight’s Music


9. Yak – Alas Starvation


10. Graham Repulski – Re-Arranged At Hotel Strange/Contaminated Man/Boy Lung


11. The Julie Ruin – Hit Reset


12. Drive-By Truckers – American Band


13. The Wave Pictures – Bamboo Diner In The Rain


14. The Nosuns – Pawrawbaw


15. Honey Radar – Blank Cartoon


16. Joseph Airport – Is Reeling ‘Round The Punch Bowl


17. Christian Fitness – This Taco Is Not Correct


18. Connections – Midnight Run


19. Badgertrap – Man Shed Head Crisis


20. Datblygu – Porwr Trallod


21. David Bowie – Blackstar


22. Motorama – Dialogues


23. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service


24. Martha – Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart


25. Shirley Collins – Lodestar


And here, making up my top 50 albums for 2016, in alphabetical order, are 25 more albums I have really enjoyed and also highly recommend:

Bad Luck Jonathan – Bad Luck Jonathan, Bill Baird – Summer Is Gone, Baltic Fleet – The Dear One, The Bordellos – How To Lose Friends And Influence No-One, The Burning Hell – Public Library, Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial, Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker, The Frightnrs – Nothing More To Say, Darren Hayman – Thankful Villages Vol. 1 , The Humdrum Express – The Day My Career Died, Kristin Hersh – Wyatt At The Coyote Palace, Jon Langford’s Men Of Gwent – The Legend Of LL, Lightning In A Twilight Hour ‎– And All The Ships At Sea, Parquet Courts – Human Performance, Robert Pollard – Of Course You Are, Jeff Rosenstock – Worry., Fatima Al Qadiri – Brute, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Mid Thirties Single Scene, Elza Soares – A Mulher Do Fim Do Mundo, Soda Eaves – Murray, Darling , Soft Hearted Scientists – Golden Omens, The Still – The Still, Sweet Benfica – Dip My Hands Into The Sun, The Wedding Present – Going, Going…, Working For A Nuclear Free City – What Do People Do All Day?


Best Compilation

Adventures in Home Taping Volume 3 & 4 (Post/Pop Records) – for the second year running!!


Top EP:


  1. Barlow – Every Time I Saw Him
  2. Dog Paper Submarine – Trouble On Earth
  3. Graham Repulski – High On Mt. Misery
  4. Lou Barlow – Apocalypse Fetish
  5. Tremolo Ghosts – Is Drunk On The Stairs
  6. Jason Henn – The Parachute Candidate
  7. Joseph Airport – 8-Mile Blowout At Hot Wheel City
  8. Manray – Feelin’ Alright
  9. Billordo – Punk De Fogon
  10. Shit Present – Misery + Disaster

Top Download Only:


  1. The Astounds The Astounds
  2. The Electric Pencils The Electric Pencils
  3. Nixon Calvin
  4. Mike Downey TapeAll Times Gem
  5. This HeelThis Heel III

Top Reissue/Not Strictly Speaking New Stuff


  1. Spare Snare – Dundee Church For The Deaf
  2. Black Reindeer – The Songs
  3. Urusei Yatsura – You Are My Urusei Yatsura Radio Sessions
  4. Tim Chaplin – Boy To Make Me Worry
  5. Tapes & Tubes – Retroactive
  6. The Microphones – Early Tapes, 1996 – 1998
  7. The Clean – Getaway
  8. Lizardland – The Brotherhood of Lizards
  9. Visitors – Poet’s End
  10. Passenger Peru – Passenger Peru

The Robert Pollard Annual Output Roundup

Another bumper year in GBVworld with ESP Ohio – Starting Point Of The Royal Cyclopean, Robert Pollard – Of Course You Are; Guided By Voices – Please Be Honest; 2 songs with Bun E Carlos (Greetings from Bunezuela);  2 x ESP Ohio singles, and the re-release of Guided By Voices – Under The Bushes Under The Stars (on blue vinyl) and Robert Pollard – Not In My Airforce (now on separate album and EP).

In the wider GBV world, we also had 2 singles from Tobin Sprout; Doug Gillard on the Nada Surf LP (You Know Who You Are); Nate Farley & The Firewatchers split single with Motel Beds; Mitch Mitchell’s Terrifying Experience LP (Mother Angelina) + a demo debuted on a previous podcast; Todd Tobias – Gila Man LP; Jim Greer’s DTCV’s Confusion Moderne.


Here is a playlist of favourite songs taken from the pile above:

N.B. Tobin Sprout – When I Was A boy and DTCV – Le Silence Ne Porte Pas both unavailable on Spotify

The Bobby Pop Award For Prolificacy


Songs released in 2016:

  1. Stephen Jones: 326 tracks (With a final Triple CD released on 28 December, this figure has now been amended. – TTW Accuracy Ed.)
  2. Owen Chambers (Tremolo Ghosts): 62 songs
  3. Robert Pollard: 51 tracks
  4. Graham Repulski: 47 tracks

Worst Records Bought

Mark Kozelek – Sings Favourites. (He really needn’t have bothered.)

Neil Young – Earth. (Songs with the sound of bees over the top, anyone? At least Peace Trail was pretty good.)

Top 6 Music Related Books (Read This Year)


  1. Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
  2. Robert Forster – Grant & I
  3. Bob Mehr – Trouble Boys: The True Story Of The Replacements
  4. Eddie Argos – I Formed A Band
  5. Kristin Hersh – Don’t Suck, Don’t Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt
  6. Andy Partridge – Complicated Game

Best TV

  1. Black Mirror – Series 3 (Netflix)
  2. Happy Valley – Series 2 (BBC1)
  3. Fleabag (BBC3)
  4. Trapped (BBC4)
  5. Narcos (Netflix)
  6. People Just Do Nothing (BBC3)

Worst TV

All BBC political coverage.

Top 12 Gigs


  1. The Thyme Machine – our back garden, Liverpool, 31/5/16 – review
  2. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, 3/6/16 – review
  3. Robert Forster – The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 31/5/16
  4. Spare Snare – Rio Community Centre, Newport-on-Tay, 17/9/16
  5. The Necks – Band On The Wall, Manchester, 8/11/16
  6. Low – Epstein Theatre, Liverpool, 3/8/16
  7. Kristin Hersh – Philharmonic Rooms, Liverpool, 19/11/16
  8. Elvis Depressedly – Aatma, Manchester, 15/6/16
  9. The Wave Pictures – Telfords Warehouse, Chester, 15/11/16
  10. The Burning Hell – The Eagle Inn, Salford, 14/5/16 (and The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool, 3/12/16) – review
  11. Shonen Knife – Arts Club, Liverpool, 4/5/16 – review
  12. The Wedding Present – Lowry Theatre, Salford, 11/9/16 – review

About kickerofelves1

Wizard-in-Chief for Trust The Wizards music podcast and blog. Guided By Voices fanatic.

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