We Kill the Flame: My Favorite Music of 2016

A hell of a lot of great music this year. A true masterpiece from Nick Cave. An indispensable album from Leonard Cohen—amazing that this last is one of his absolute best. Bowie went out with an incredible record too. Lots of my others favorites came through in big ways: Koz probably pissed a lot of people off with his journal-like ramblings on the Jesu/SKM LP, but that album hit me hard from the get-go and I’ve listened to it pretty non-stop (I don’t even skip the parts where he reads fan letters); Tyler Keith, JPKS, and Angel Olsen put out records I’ll never stop spinning (damn excited that I got to write the liner notes for the Tyler Keith LP); Richmond Fontaine’s last ever is also one of their greatest; the new Bon Iver was pretty divisive, I think, but I loved it; Margo Price is my favorite new artist of the year, and I keep finding new things to love about her and her debut; Drive-By Truckers made a really fucking important record, one that needed to be made, and it’s brilliant; A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul both made terrific records, making me feel like it’s the ‘90s again in the best way possible. I could keep going. The top records I’ve listed here are the ones I’ve returned to the most, the ones I’ll keep returning to. A really horrible year too. So many heroes gone. Bowie, Prince, Merle Haggard, Guy Clark, Phife Dawg, Leon Russell, Lemmy, Sharon Jones, Mose Allison. The loss of Leonard Cohen hit hardest for me. I heard “Everybody Knows” at twelve-years-old, and it changed my life. On top of that, we have this other Darkness-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named currently burying us. Scares the hell out of me. Feels good to be able to get lost in music, to sense in music a cure.

My Favorite Records of 2016:
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, SKELETON TREE
Leonard Cohen, YOU WANT IT DARKER
Richmond Fontaine, YOU CAN’T GO BACK IF THERE’S NOTHING TO GO BACK  TO
Tyler Keith and the Apostles, DO IT FOR JOHNNY
Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster, CONSTANT STRANGER
Jesu/Sun Kil Moon, S/T
David Bowie, BLACKSTAR
Angel Olsen, MY WOMAN
Margo Price, MIDWEST FARMER’S DAUGHTER
Bon Iver, 22, A MILLION
A Tribe Called Quest, WE GOT IT FROM HERE… THANK YOU 4 YOUR SERVICE
Drive-By Truckers, AMERICAN BAND
Hiss Golden Messenger, HEART LIKE A LEVEE
Beach Slang, A LOUD BASH OF TEENAGE FEELINGS
William Tyler, MODERN COUNTRY
Charles Bradley, CHANGES
De La Soul, (AND THE ANONYMOUS NOBODY)
Okkervil River, AWAY
Lambchop, FLOTUS
Adam Torres, PEARLS TO SWINE
The Gunshy, PORTERHOUSE
Robbie Fulks, UPLAND STORIES
John Doe, THE WESTERNER
Lucinda Williams, THE GHOSTS OF HIGHWAY 20
David Bazan, BLANCO
Sturgill Simpson, A SAILOR’S GUIDE TO EARTH
Tindersticks, THE WAITING ROOM
Eric Bachmann, S/T
The Handsome Family, UNSEEN
Freakwater, SCHEHERAZADE
Lydia Loveless, REAL

My Favorite Reissues of 2016:
Washington Phillips, WASHINGTON PHILLIPS AND HIS MANZARENE DREAMS
Jessie Mae Hemphill, S/T
Gillian Welch, BOOTS NO. 1: THE OFFICIAL REVIVAL BOOTLEG
Terry Allen, JUAREZ and LUBBOCK (ON EVERYTHING)
Stevie Nicks, BELLA DONNA and THE WILD HEART
Lift to Experience, THE TEXAS-JERUSALEM CROSSROADS
Marah, ANGELS OF DESTRUCTION
Jim Dickinson, DIXIE FRIED
Lee Moses, TIME AND PLACE
MUSIC OF MOROCCO, RECORDED BY PAUL BOWLES, 1959
Big Star, COMPLETE THIRD
Bob Dylan, THE 1966 LIVE RECORDINGS
Various Artists, THIS IS FAME 1964-1968
Angelo Badalamenti, TWIN PEAKS SOUNDTRACK
The White Stripes, PEEL SESSIONS
Crooked Fingers, BRING ON THE SNAKES and S/T
The Replacements, THE SIRE YEARS
Hayden, EVERYTHING I LONG FOR
Ryan Adams HEARTBREAKER
Tori Amos, BOYS FOR PELE
My Morning Jacket, IT STILL MOVES
Little Wings, LIGHT GREEN LEAVES
Grifters, CRAPPIN’ YOU NEGATIVE
Jay Reatard, BLOOD VISIONS

My Favorite Tracks of 2016 (A Mix, in no particular order):
“You Want it Darker,” Leonard Cohen
“Hey Lucinda,” Tindersticks
“I Should Have Volunteered,” The Gunshy
“For You Always,” Minor Victories w/ Mark Kozelek
“A Night in the City,” Richmond Fontaine
“Half Broke,” Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster
“Ramon Casiano,” Drive-By Truckers
“Keep It Between the Lines,” Sturgill Simpson
“Okkervil River R.I.P.,” Okkervil River
“Shut Up Kiss Me,” Angel Olsen
“Mercy,” Eric Bachmann
“The End of the Things,” Bob Mould
“Rings of Saturn,” Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
“33 ‘GOD,’” Bon Iver
“QACHINA,” Damien Jurado
“Destroyer,” Kevin Morby
“Future Mixtape for the Art Kids,” Beach Slang
“Trouble with Boys,” David Bazan
“Ultralight Beam,” Kanye West
“Drone Bomb Me,” ANOHNI
“Giving Up Early (On Tomorrow),” The Paranoid Style
“Dorks,” Aesop Rock
“European,” Lydia Loveless
“Whateva Will Be,” A Tribe Called Quest
“Destroyed by Hippie Powers,” Car Seat Headrest
“Juniper Arms,” Adam Torres
“Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out,” Connor Oberst
“Cracked Windshield,” Hiss Golden Messenger
“St. Anne’s Parade,” Shovels & Rope
“Change for the World,” Charles Bradley
“The Gospel,” Alicia Keys
“333,” Against Me!
“Expensive Proposition,” Tim Lee 3
“Number One With a Bullet,” Freakwater
“Lazarus,” David Bowie
“A Song of Shadows,” Jesu/Sun Kil Moon
“Back in My Day,” The Handsome Family
“Where Do You Roam?,” Dex Romweber
“I Need You,” Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
“Needed,” Robbie Fulks
“The Great Pretender,” Sean Rowe
“Since You Put Me Down,” Margo Price
“I Don’t Want to Be Funny Anymore,” Lucy Dacus
“Down I-5,” case/lang/viers
“Opposite House,” Cass McCombs
“NIV,” Lambchop
“We Aren’t the World (Safety Girl),” Wilco
“Sister,” Angel Olsen
“Age Don’t Mean a Thing,” Robert Finley
“Here in After,” De La Soul
“8 (circle),” Bon Iver
“Paraguay,” Iggy Pop
“New York is My Home,” Dion & Paul Simon
“Sunlight,” John Doe
“Kristi Rae,” Austin Lucas w/ Kelly Smith
“The Dirt, the Bells, & I,” Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster
“Let’s Hit One More Place,” Richmond Fontaine

Link to Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/williamboyle4444/playlist/0jTerSRx8KfY4kI4zGmxER

Other records I really liked:
Austin Lucas, BETWEEN THE MOON AND THE MIDWEST; Beyoncé, LEMONADE; Wilco, SCHMILCO; Tim Lee 3, TIN, MAN; Lucy Dacus, NO BURDEN; Velo Sun, HANGS UPON NOTHING (ORIGINAL SCORE); Shovels & Rope, LITTLE SEEDS; Kevin Morby, SINGING SAW; Minor Victories, S/T; Alicia Keys, HERE; case lang veirs, S/T; Bonus, II; Car Seat Headrest, TEENS OF DENIAL; Iggy Pop, POST POP DEPRESSION; Damien Jurado, VISIONS OF US ON THE LAND; Mothers, WHEN YOU WALK A LONG DISTANCE YOU ARE TIRED; Anohni, HOPELESSNESS; Dinosaur Jr., GIVE A GLIMPSE OF WHAT YER NOT; Robert Finley, AGE DON’T MEAN A THING; Sean Rowe, ALL WE CAN DO (EP); Danny Brown, ATROCITY EXHIBITION; Jim James, ETERNALLY EVEN; Wussy, FOREVER SOUNDS; Cass McCombs, MANGY LOVE; Blood Orange, FREETOWN SOUND; Connor Oberst, RUMINATIONS; Solange, A SEAT AT THE TABLE; The Paranoid Style, ROLLING DISCLOSURE; Kanye West, THE LIFE OF PABLO; Nots, COSMETIC; Daniel Lanois, GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE; Steve Gunn, EYES ON THE LINES; Bob Dylan, FALLEN ANGELS; Bob Mould, PATCH THE SKY; Aesop Rock, THE IMPOSSIBLE KID; Tim Hecker, LOVE STREAMS; John Carpenter, LOST THEMES II; M. Ward, MORE RAIN; Daughter, NOT TO DISAPPEAR; I-Don’t-Cares, WILD STAB; Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band, THE RARITY OF EXPERIENCE; Dex Romweber, CARRBORO; Prince, HITNRUN, PHASE ONE; Talbot Adams, COMMUNITY/RECESSION ERA; Tim Heidecker, IN GLENDALE; Mark Kozelek, SINGS FAVORITES; Greater Pyrenees, S/T; William Bell, THIS IS WHERE I LIVE; The Jayhawks, PAGING MR. PROUST; Bonnie Prince Billy & Bitchin’ Bajas, EPIC JAMMERS; Brian Harnetty, RAWHEAD & BLOODYBONES; Hallelujah the Hills, A BAND IS SOMETHING TO FIGURE OUT; Dead Gaze, EASY TRAVELS; Swear Tapes, CHERISH THE CABIN; Against Me!, SHAPE SHIFT WITH ME; Mekons, EXISTENTIALISM; Pixies, HEAD CARRIER; Paul Simon, STRANGER TO STRANGER; David Bazan, DARK SACRED NIGHT; The Rolling Stones, BLUE AND LONESOME; Childish Gambino, “AWAKEN, MY LOVE!”.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s