2014: An Odd Year in Review

We had a couple of friends send us lists of albums and films they really liked this year, so we wanted to share them with you. Thanks to Rusty, John, Michael, and Josh for contributing and just being good people. The last few months have been really fun, and we’re excited for 2015. Thanks for caring!

RUSTY COLTON (@ciglrd)

So yeah as of Dec 28th, my end of the year list has changed entirely. I have no clue how it happened, but I just missed all the good fucking music until like just now. Anywho, these were my favorite records:

1. Have a Nice Life – The Unnatural World
Holy cow man, I’ve been waiting for this record for five years and it did not disappoint. If you’re not familiar, make yourself because it’s some of the most perfectly layered post-punk/kinda industrial/weird shit ever.

2. Damien Rice – My Favourite Faded Fantasy
Just a beautiful and heartbreaking record. I totally forgot this came out till like three days ago and I can’t stay away from it. Less folksy than previous efforts and the textures here are incredible. If you here the title track and don’t die some get out of my face.

3. Swans – To Be Kind
Best Swans record since before the turn of the century and maybe period. Terrifying and anxiety inducing, this record made me uncomfortable in the best way possible. It’s pretty exhausting, clocking just over two hours, but shit if it isn’t worth it to listen cover to cover. Also, though they’re pretty secondary, this is pretty easily Michael Gira’s best lyrical performance to me.

4. D’Angelo and the Vanguard – Black Messiah
A lot of comeback stories on my list, and this is definitely the most highly anticipated. 14 years and several pounds later, D’Angelo finally followed up ‘Voodoo’, a fucking landmark R&B tour de force, with Black Messiah. And goodness gracious if it isn’t easily the best produced record on this list and might be the best just objectively. Another record well worth the wait. It doesn’t get better in the genre. Long love D’Angelo.

5: Sun Kil Moon – Benji
Mark Kozelek’s hyper-autobiographical songwriting is at it’s peak here. Eccentric but still warm and inviting, it’s earnestness makes it incredibly endearing. The music is colorful and the lyrics are blunt and almost hard-to-hear honest, but all of this melts into the beautiful, idyllic charm of this record. Kozelek is kind of a dick but shit y’all, this record rules.

LP1 – FKA twigs
Xerxes – Collision Blonde
Iceage – Plowing Into the Fields of Love
clipping. – CLPPNG

JOHN BUCHTA (@dadlrd)

1.Taylor Swift – 1989

This album rocks! All hail Taylor Swift. I have listened to this album non-stop since it came out. Taylor Swift does generic pop very well.

2. Prawn – Kingfisher
Prawn are some of my favorite dudes ever. They perfectly combine post rock with twinkly emo. Every sonic element of this record is on point. Plus Ryan McKenna is one of the most handsome man on the planet.
Stand out tracks: Scud Running, Glass, Irony, Runner’s Body

3. The Menzingers – Rented World
I have been a fan of the menzingers since some of their earliest material. I have watched this band evolved from the Scranton punks to the Epitaph powerhouse. This record does not disappoint.
Stand out tracks: I Don’t Wanna be an Asshole Anymore, Rodent, In Remission

4. Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence
Lana Del Rey has the voice of an angel. Her dreamy pop music is everything I’ve ever wanted.
Stand out tracks: West Coast, Old Money

5. Gates – Bloom & Breathe
Another great band New Jersey band. FFO Moving Mountains. Lush Guitar tones. Lots of reverb.
Stand out tracks: Bloom, Nothing You’ll Miss, Born Dead

6. You Blew It! – Keep Doing What You’re Doing
I don’t have much to say about this Florida band besides that they rock and wrote a great album.
Stand out tracks: Award of the Year Award, Gray Matter, Better to Best

7. Antarctigo Vespucci – Soulmate Stuff
Power duo, and punk celebrities Chris Farren(Fake Problems) and Jeff Rosenstock nail it in this EP. This power pop ep is one that you shouldn’t sleep on.
Stand out tracks: Bang, Don’t Die in Your Hometown

8. Museum Mouth – Alex I Am Nothing
Concept album about being in love with someone you can’t have. Karl Keuhn, the world’s biggest 311 fan, captures the heartache, pain, and eventual acceptance of an impossible relationship.
Stand out tracks: Drool, Nickles and Dimes, Crocodile

9. The Hoteleir – Home, Like Noplace Is There
Massachusetts band that is near and dear to my heart. If you haven’t seen or listened to this band then you’re fucking up.
Stand out tracks: An Introduction to the Album, Your Deep Rest, Housebroken

10. The Gaslight Anthem – Get Hurt
I will always love the Gaslight Anthem, and will always stand behind them even if they write an album that moms in flip flops would love. Props to Brian Fallon for finally getting use “the Great Depression” in a song. This band made it on my list only because I am obligated to like them.
Stand out tracks: Get Hurt, Rollin’ and Tumblin’, Dark Places

MICHAEL KUHN (@michaelkuhn_)

In no particular order…

1. Swans – To Be Kind
2. Young and in the Way – When Life Comes to Death
3. Xerxes – Collision Blonde
4. Alvvays – S/T
5. Mac Demarco – Salad Days
6. True Love – New Young Gods
7. Whirr – Sway
8. Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness
9. Aviator – Head in the Clouds, Hands in the Dirt
10. The Gaslight Anthem – Get Hurt

Splits and EPs
1. Torn – S/T
2. Whirr/Nothing Split
3. Foreign Tongues – Sweet Sympathy Leaving Me
4. Majid Jordan – A Place Like This
5. You Blew It! – You Blue It
6. Wunderbeast – Peau d’Ane (Single)

JOSH ROBBINS’ (@jrobbins85) TOP 5 FILMS OF 2014

At the time of writing this, I have not seen Birdman or Interstellar, two films that might have made this list if I had taken the time to really care. I’m way more excited about Birdman, to be honest and not some dumb sci-fi film that is faux deep a la Christopher Nolan movies. 2014 was my year of not watching “good” movies and simply focusing on movies that were fun.

1. Edge of Tomorrow – Based on a Japanese graphic novel “All You Need is Kill” but all you really need to know is you are watching a sci-fi “Groundhog Day” with aliens and Tom Cruise. Done exceptionally well and I’m always surprised about how much I like Tom Cruise in movies.

2. Neighbors – I used to hate Zac Efron, but this movie really changed that for me. Pretty simple premise: Fraternity moves in next to a family. Pretty simple and hugely hilarious, no pretense.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy – This movie was huge and everyone loved it because it was awesome. You could be a devil’s advocate and hate it because it is popular, but that won’t change how much you were bullied in middle school. Embrace it.

4. 22 Jump Street – Was this movie necessary? No, it really wasn’t. Was it still funny? Yes, it was. Maybe not as funny as the first one, since it recycled a lot of jokes. It was pretty witty how they handled the idea of a sequel and how dumb they can be. Overall, not as funny, but still witty.

5. X-Men: Days of Future Past – I only put this as number 5 because I didn’t want to give the spot to Godzilla. I wish this movie focused less on the older mutants and more on the younger mutants. Or like make it a 3 hour long movie and give enough time for both future and past storylines. The next movie is supposed to focus more on the younger mutants and X Men: First Class was awesome, so on that token I am putting this as number 5.

Go watch something fun, turn off your brain

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