As is becoming tradition, let’s start with my favourite SONG OF THE YEAR (a full run down of all my favourite songs can be heard on one of our end of the year podcasts – the Kicker one). There perhaps isn’t a more suitable song for these uncertain times nor one quite as timely in quoting the late Bob Crow: “”Spit on your own and you can’t do anything, but if we all spit together we can drown the bastards.”

Thank you for still being here, Comet Gain.


Top 30 Albums

1    Guided By Voices – Sweating The Plague


2    Comet Gain – Fireraisers, Forever!


3    Richard Dawson – 2020


4    Kneeling In Piss – Tour De Force


5    Guided By Voices – Zeppelin Over China


6    Lankum – The Livelong Day


7    Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel


8    Von Hayes – Moderate Rock


9    Honey Radar – Ruby Puff Of Dust


10  David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights – Bobbie’s A Girl


11  Babybird – Photosynthesis


12  Guided By Voices – Warp And Woof


13  Tropical Fuck Storm – Braindrops


14  The Gotobeds – Debt Begins At 30


15  Robert Forster – Inferno


16  Bill Callahan – Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest


17  Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains


18  Aldous Harding – Designer


19  Lewsberg – Lewsberg


20  Smug Brothers – Attic Harvest


21  Craven Faults – Springhead Works / Nunroyd Works


22  Unhappy Fly – Unhappy Fly


23  Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage – Bad Wiring


24  Mekons – Deserted


25  The Delines – The Imperial


26  Alice Hubble – Polarlichter


27  Negativland – True False


28  The World Of Dust – Samsarax


29  75 Dollar Bill – I Was Real


30  Kitchen Cynics – Things We Pretend To Do


… and making up a top 50 albums, all of which you should own, are, in alphabetical order, 20 more:


Bitw – Bitw; Christian Fitness – You Are The Ambulance; Clinic – Wheeltappers And Shunters; Edwyn Collins – Badbea; Doubting Thomas Cruise Control – Incredible Mileage; Dust From 1000 Yrs – Born To Itch; Liam Hayes – Mirage Garage; Darren Hayman – 12 Astronauts; Steve Ignorant’s Slice Of Life – Don’t Turn Away; Joseph Airport – Diorama Pt. 2; Simon Joyner – Pocket Moon; Leafcutter John – Yes! Come Parade With Us; Mark Mulcahy – The Gus; Neutrals – Kebab Disco; Petersburg – Show; Possible Humans – Everybody Split; Smug Brothers – All Blur And Spark; Western Edges – Prowess; Faye Webster – Atlanta Millionaires Club; James Yorkston – The Route To The Harmonium


Top 10 Compilations

1    Lodger Doll Three – A Tribute To Guided By Voices and Bee Thousand (Almost Halloween Time Records)


2    Electrical Language – Independent British Synth Pop 78 -84 (Cherry Red)

3    Popcorn Lung: A Polytechnic Youth Collection

4    iNDEX06 (DiN)

5    The Moon And Back – One Small Step For Global Pop (WIAIWYA)

6    Outro Tempo II: Electronic and Contemporary Music From Brazil, 1984-1996 (Music From Memory)

7    The Watchers (A Year In The Country)

8    Positive Times Infinity: An Emotional Response Compilation

9    Electronic Sound Bulletin F

10  WitchMix (Burning Witches)


Top 10 EPs

1   Robyn Hitchcock / Andy Partridge – Planet England


2    Guided By Voices – Umlaut Over The Özone

3    Guided By Voices – 1901 Acid Rock

4    Lou Barlow – Over You

5    Fontaines D.C – Darklands Versions

6    Craven Faults – Lowfold Reworks

7    The Ocean Party – Nothing Grows

8    The Declining Winter – Return To Branch

9    Mzylkypop – Mzylkypop Presents Xzyles

10   Billordo – Yo Nunca Me Rendi


Top 10 Reissues / Re-pressings / Remixes / Not Strictly Speaking New Stuff

1    The Go-Betweens –  G Stands For Go-Betweens: Anthology – Volume 2


2    Peter Jefferies – Last Ticket Home

3    Babybird – Happy Stupid Nothing

4    The Replacements – Dead Man’s Pop

5    Benjamin Shaw – Exciting Opportunities: A Collection of Singles and Sadness

6    The Springfields – Singles 1986 – 1991

7    Jim Shepard – Heavy Action

8    Jim Sullivan – If The Evening Were Dawn

9    The The – See Without Being Seen

10  The Delines – Scenic Sessions


Top 6 Live Albums

1    The Go-Betweens – Fountains Of Youth


2    Babybird – Live In Sheffield

3    Benjamin Shaw – Live At Donaufestival

4    The Necks – Live In Berlin

5    Neil Young & Stray Gators – Tuscaloosa

6    Hood – Live – 23 Avril 1995, Paris


Top 6 Gigs

1    Guided By Voices – Village Underground, London, 6 June

My favourite song by my favourite band. You can see what it means to me at 1’48”. Filmed by Nige Nudds.

2    Guided By Voices – Village Underground, London, 5 June

3    Robert Forster – Band On The Wall, Manchester, 16 May

4    Spare Snare – 81 Renshaw, Liverpool, 11 January

5    Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – The Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool, 9 July

6    The Delines/Those Pretty Wrongs – St Philip’s, Salford, 7 November


The Robert Pollard Annual Output Roundup


Not the most prolific year in Uncle Bob’s recording life, but, my god, the quality was high. Three stellar Guided By Voices albums (one a double) – all of which made my top 12 albums of the year. We also had 2 EPs – the tracks from which would later appear on Warp & Woof, and a third Cash Rivers & The Sinners album: Loose Shoes – this one supposedly a bootleg. There was also a Robert Pollard EP release: (Dislodge) The Immortal Orangemen, which accompanied the latest volume of Pollard art work in Eat 15, and a 7″ single of Heavy Like The World, which featured a non-LP B-side. In the wider GbVworld, we had a single from Eyelids: It’s About To Go Down featuring Chris Slusarenko, with the promise of a new album to come in 2020. Todd Tobias released his second album with Pat Moonchy called Atmosfere and had a book released detailing his involvement in Circus Devils. Doug Gillard also somehow found time to play on the debut album from Nicole Yun, the lead singer from Eternal Summers: Paper Suits, and a cover of Paul McCartney’s Backwards Traveller put out on Neil Hamburger‘s Still Dwelling album. He probably did loads of other stuff too, but as with much to do with GbV, it’s almost impossible to keep the fuck up.


Top 6 Music Related Books (Read This Year)

1    The Greatest Living Englishman – Martin Newell


2    A Fabulous Creation: How The LP Saved Our Lives – David Hepworth

3    Art Sex Music – Cosey Fanni Tutti

4    Have A Bleedin Guess – Paul Hanley

5    Circus Devils: See You Inside – Todd Tobias

6    Sleevenotes – David Gedge


Top 5 Music Films Seen (But Not Necessarily Released) This Year

1    Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story


2    Marianne And Leonard – Words Of Love (Leonard Cohen)

3    The Wedding Present – Something Left Behind

4    Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story

5    The Curse Of The Chills


The Stephen Jones One Man Domination Of Record Shelf Space Award


Babybird – Photosynthesis / Dead / Not Pop / Black Ghost/Union Jack Ghost / Cigarette Candle / I Was Born Again / Toothpaste For The Soul / Jesus Loves You – The Christmas Album

Babybird – Happy Stupid Nothing / The B-Sides / Babybird 95-19 / The Self-Destructive Pleasures Of An Ex-Maniac / King Of Nothing: Extras / Live In Sheffield / Deranged Visual Delight

Arthritis Kid – I Am Not A Monster

Apple Android – Apple Android 2


Musical Discovery Of The Year

Alex Mussawir: Kneeling In Piss and his previous band, Future Nuns

Thanks to the legendary Bela Koe-Krompecher for the initial recommendation.



New Musical Source Of The Year

Home Assembly Music

Last year, I only owned one CD on this label, the Official World Cup Theme 2010 by The Declining Winter. This year, I have added:

Northener – I Am On Your Side, Yuri Lugovsky – S/T, Insecto – Post Edit De Un Cromosoma, Peptalk – Islet, A New Line (Related) – Our Lady Of Perpetual Fucking Succour, The Big Eyes Family Players – Oh!, Bracken – High Passes, Mahatma X – A Mobtown Suite Vol. 1, Fieldhead – We’ve All Been Swimming, Malk – Death From A Love, The Declining Winter – Belmont Slope, Northener – End Of The Holiday


And I still haven’t yet managed to catch up with the 2019 releases.


Favourite Music Related Moment (Outside of Everything Above)

On the record buying front, 2 of the albums pictured above – both the Kitchen Cynics and Joseph Airport – came with unique covers, both of which I love. I also now own my first 8” record – again thanks to Alan Cynic.


I was really exited to meet Jody Stephens this year and he is, as everyone who has met him knows, a wonderfully humble and generous human being.


But, in 2019, not only did I get to see Guided By Voices again, twice, I finally managed to meet Robert Pollard. In a record shop. In a fucking record shop. Robert Pollard. I can die happy now, which might just be as well as the end of the world feels very nigh indeed.


Please help support all the wonderful musicians mentioned in the lists above by searching out their records, CDs, tapes and downloads and BUYING THEM!!!

About kickerofelves1

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

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