Best Albums (in order):
Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts – Manhattan
The Lower East Side’s last great hope, at the top of his game.
Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think and Sometimes I Just Sit
Aussie lass writes a smarter, catchier, and more enjoyable album than any of the boys this years.
Roadside Graves – Acne/Ears
Jersey road warriors return on top-flight label for more of their invigorating and introspective Northeast Americana.
The Front Bottoms – Back On Top
Local boys make good, sign to major label, don’t suck.
Night Birds – Mutiny At Muscle Beach
The best HC album of the year, bar none. Tuneful, fast, angry, powerful.
Yo La Tengo – Stuff Like That There
These sexagenarians don’t show any sign of slowing down or losing their edge on this delightful album of covers and reinterpretations.
Beach Slang – The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us
Jimmy from Weston gets a second life on one of the best punk albums of the 00’s.
Various Artists – Have Moicy! 2: The Hoodoo Bash*
The original Have Moicy! was just the best folk album of the rock era (according to Robert Christgau) and invented freak-folk and anti-folk. The followup features a mostly new cast of characters (except for the ageless Peter Stampfel) and captures a bit of the same magic.
*I didnt hear Have Moicy 2 until a few days ago and usually I don’t list records that I haven’t lived with for a while, but this is so good – and long-awaited – that I had to include it.
Screaming Females – Rose Mountain
After years of producing themselves live in the studio, the New Brunswick trio gets a producer and adds a bit of production value. And you know what? It sounds great.
PWR BTTM – Ugly Cherries
Gay duo from Brooklyn who bring Pansy Division into the 00’s with a much needed dose of queerpunk irreverence and attitude.
Worriers – Imaginary Life
While women have come to dominate pop and R&B, they’re not doing so bad in the basement scene either, as this sassy, intelligent, rockin’ album proves.
Best Shows (alphabetical)
Better Call Saul