Hello, remember me? Oh.

Still, once upon a time I used to be a regular part of a podcast on these very pages, but I have, for the last few months, been keeping my cantankerous misery mostly to myself. However, now the time is right for me once again to stick my frowny bearded face above the parapet in order to announce the winners of the Kickers of 2017. Hurrah!!


who wouldn’t want one of these little beauties?

Favourite song

There may well be a future podcast of me forcing Kicker Jr once again to pretend to like, and be interested in, a CD’s worth (24 songs) of my favourite tracks of the year, and if you were lucky enough to receive a  hard copy, you’ll know what’s in store for the poor lad. But, if I had to pick just one of those songs to be my top song of 2017, it’d have to be Circus Devils – Do The Nixon, so clap your hands twice, cross the road and listen to this…

Favourite album

In order, these are my top 25 albums of 2017. They are all indispensable. One of them is seemingly no longer available.*

  1. Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me

20171220_1231082. Spare Snare – Unicorn


3. Richard Dawson – Peasant


4. LowMagic – Keys To The Stranger’s Head Pt. 1


5. Babybird – King Of Nothing


6. Guided By Voices – How Do You Spell Heaven


7. Flotation Toy Warning – The Machine That Made Us


8. Jeremy Tuplin – I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut


9. The Bats – The Deep Set


10. Smug Brothers – Disco Maroon


11. Guided By Voices – August By Cake


12. R. Ring – Ignite The Rest


13. Circus Devils – Laughs Last


14. Tremolo Ghosts – Same Place The Fly Got Smashed


15. Hulaboy / Safe Distance – Split LP


16. Graham Repulski – I’m Even Younger Now


17. Simon Joyner – Step Into The Earthquake

18. Telepathic – Self-Checkout


19. Rick Rude – Make Mine Tuesday


20. Odd Nosdam – LIF


21. Meursault – I Will Kill Again


22. JD Meatyard – Collectivise


23. The World Of Dust – Golden Moon


24. The Blue Aeroplanes – Welcome, Stranger!


25. Diagnos – Diagnos


And here, making up my top 50 albums for 2017, this time in alphabetical order, are 25 more albums I have really enjoyed and also highly recommend:

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Bill Baird – Baby Blue Abyss/Easy Machines, Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice, The Bordellos – Life, Love & Billy Fury, Euros Childs – House Arrest, Cigarettes After Sex – Cigarettes After Sex, Deathcount In Silicon Valley – Hex Void, Dog Paper Submarine – Posthuman Melodies, Faerground Accidents – Co-Morbid, Girl One And The Grease Guns – Night Of The Living Electrical Appliances, Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers, Nathan Hall & The Sinister Locals – Effigies, H. Hawkline – I Romanticize, Idles – Brutalism, Invaderband – Invaderband, The Just Joans – You Might Be Smiling Now…, Little Whirls – Rearrange The Comfort Zones, Mwstard! – Cloc, Nervous Twitch – I Won’t Hide, ONSIND – We Wilt, We Bloom, Chuck Prophet – Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins, Rectangle Creep – Is Taking Drugs, Nadine Shah – Holiday Destination, Washer – All Aboard, Jim White – Waffles, Triangles & Jesus, Wire – Silver/Lead

*After I downloaded the LowMagic album, I contacted the twitter account linked to the page to say how much I loved the album, and then it, and the bandcamp page, disappeared. If you know anything about this artist, please do get in touch!

UPDATE: The fella behind that fantastic Low Magic album, Ian Cauldwell has been in touch and explained that the tracks will now be appearing as a series of EPs in 2018. He can be followed on Twitter at @thelowmagic

Best Compilations

  1. Aquabear Legion Vol. 6 (Aquabear Legion)

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2.  From The Furthest Signals (A Year In The Country)

3. Orange Daydream: A Tribute To Orange Cake Mix (Why The Tapes Play)

4. Witches’ Halloween Brew (Burning Witches Records)

5. The End Of The Day (Radio Cineola)


Top EPs:

  1. Craven Faults – Netherfields Works

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2. Friends Of Cesar Romero – I + IV + V

3. Cash Rivers – She Laughed I Left

4. Von Hayes – So Many Hearts

5. Honey Radar / Telepathic – Split

6. Rectangle Creep – Agnostic Mantis

7. Material Girls – MG Vs IQ

8. The English Teeth – The English Teeth

9. Billordo – Anti-Folk Troubadour

10. Pulco – Silex


Top Reissues/Not Strictly Speaking New Stuff

  1. Father – Pop Chops


2. Luke Haines – Luke Haines Is Alive And Well And Living In Buenos Aries

3. Black Reindeer – Staggering

4. Circus Devils – Laughs Best

5. Cleaners From Venus – Martin Newell’s Jumble Sale


Top Live Albums

  1. Jim White – Far From Mississippi

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2. The Replacements – For Sale

3. Man… Or Astro-Man? – Live At Third Man Records

4. Flying Saucer Attack – In Search Of Spaces

5. Goat – Fuzzed In Europe


The Robert Pollard Annual Output Roundup

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A year perhaps most notable for the release of Robert Pollard’s 100th album, a double, naturally, Guided By VoicesAugust By Cake. We also had #101 Guided By VoicesHow Do You Spell Heaven, a first-time-on-vinyl release of the Live From Austin, TX album, along with two 7″ singles: Just To Show You and, from the forthcoming album of the same name (and not yet in my possession), Space Gun. There was also the final Circus Devils album Laughs Last and a companion double album ‘best of’ Laughs Best. Tobin Sprout released a download-only cover of  My Back Pages,  a new album: The Universe And Me, and re-pressings of both Carnival Boy and Moonflower Plastic (Welcome To My Wigwam). We also had a new online collection from Todd TobiasTodd’s Remains Volume II. Intriguingly, we also had the Cash RiversShe Laughed I Left EP, which manged to cram 17 songs into 6 minutes. Both Robert Pollard and Doug Gillard featured heavily across the Sweet AppleSing The Night In Sorrow LP, and in the wider GBVworld, Mark Shue‘s new band, Chomper put out a suitably raucous self-titled EP, oh and Chris Slusarenko and John Moen‘s band Eyelids released the really rather great Or album and the (Go On) The First Flight single, but I forgot to put them in the photo. Dammit. It’s not that easy keeping the fuck up, you know.


The Bobby Pop Award For Prolificacy

  1. Ben Spizuco (Naked Ant/Hello Whirled): 215 songs released this year – start with ‘Wreckage’ and you’ll be hooked (for the next 8 hours and 37 minutes).

Hello Whirled

2. Stephen Jones (Babybird/Black Reindeer/Jones): 189 songs

3. Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices/Circus Devils/ Cash Rivers): a paltry 84 songs


Top 5 Music Related Books (Read This Year)

  1. Loudon Wainwright III – Liner Notes

thumbnail (6)2. Martin Newell – This Little Ziggy

3. Tim Burgess – Vinyl Adventures From Istanbul To San Francisco

4. David Cavanagh – Goodnight & Good Riddance

5. Steve Diggle – Harmony In My Head

Top Musical Book (Gazed At This Year)

  1. Robert Pollard 100

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look at it! just look at it!



Top Musical Film


The Sad & Beautiful World Of Sparklehorse


Musical Discovery Of The Year

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Gray Home Music


Label Of The Year

Third Uncle Records

Third Uncle Records


Top 10 Gigs

  1. Spare Snare / Billordo – Conroy’s Basement, Dundee, 5 May

Spare Snare filmed in Glasgow (the day before the Dundee gig):

2. Simon Joyner – Low Four Studio, Manchester, 4 November

3. Skids – The Ritz, Manchester, 2 June

4. Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express – The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 17 February

5. Lucid Dream – The Castle Hotel, Manchester, 26 August

6. The Handsome Family – Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 22 February

7. Tremolo Ghosts – Maguire’s Pizza Bar, Liverpool, 6 May

8. Jim White – The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 21 November

9. The Blue Aeroplanes – O2 Academy, Liverpool, 11 January

10. Luke Haines – Night & Day Café, Manchester, 15 October


Musical Quote Of The Year


Jim White speaking to me about the video excerpt I sent him: “You are obviously a musician.”

About kickerofelves1

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

7 responses »

  1. Daniel Bazan says:

    Most excellent, even if I don’t hope to dig into ALL of your selections. Grand merci, Kicker!

  2. Chorizo Garbanzo says:

    Any chance I could borrow the LW3 book?

  3. rebelrikkit says:

    Any Chance I could borrow the LW3 book after Chorizo?

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