Jeremy Porter grew up in the arctic air of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where he was a member of one of the UP’s first punk bands, The Regulars. After moving downstate and stints with SlugBug, The OffRamps and Fidrych, he formed The Tucos in 2009 and has been touring the U.S. and Canada and releasing records with them ever since. They just released their third album, Don’t Worry, It’s Not Contagious, on GTG Records a couple weeks ago, and it’s available everywhere.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Porter, who gave us his thoughts on his favorite records of the year
1)Micah Schnabel, Your New Norman Rockwell
This record is a work of art on every level. It’s depressing, sad, hopeless and self-defacing, but there are also moments of humor and pure joy, and an undeniable optimism and hope that comes out of knowing we’re not alone in our struggle to understand and be understood.
2) Lillie Mae, Forever and Then Some
The best purely Americana record I’ve heard in a long time. Jack’s production takes a back seat to her voice and her songs. It’s a beautiful record unlike any other I listened to on 2017.
3) Cheap Trick, We’re All Alright
The best album they’ve released in 20 years. It’s got all the hooks and the under-appreciated dark side, and loud guitars that invoke their live show. But their ace-in-the-hole is still the voice of Robin Zander who somehow is still finding ways to use that amazing voice in a fresh, new way.
4) Steve Earle, So You Wanna Be an Outlaw
A fantastic rock and roll record that has more energy behind it than his last several. Steve kinda does his thing, and it’s always of a consistent quality, but every four records or so he just knocks me out.
5) Bash And Pop, Anything Could Happen
Tommy Stinson’s post-Replacements band, but in name only, with all new members. Most of it is excellent. Some of it is even better. “Breathing Room” is one of my favorite songs of the year.
6) Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Youth Detention
I didn’t know what to make of this record at first, but something told me not to give up. After the third listen I started to get it, and after a couple more, I decided that it’s a masterpiece. Those are the ones that have real staying power. The production is the best they’ve ever had, and no one has a better punk rock perspective on the struggles of being a progressive human in Alabama than LB3. He’s an incredibly under-rated singer, with a voice that has more Southern soul than he’s given credit for.
7) (tie) The Plurals, Swish!
Lansing, Michigan, punk trio of three-singers release their strongest collection to-date with catchy Hüskerish songs and the stellar production that the music deserves.
7) (tie) Dany Laj & The Looks, Alive & Kicking
Montreal power-pop band with great songs about living in Quebec, watching the Habs, wearing tuques, and hanging out on Rue. St. Laurent. The production is beautiful and the snare hits just in front of the beat, knocking those killer melodies around in your head for days after.
8) The Sadies, Northern Passages
More Canadians! I’ve never latched onto a Sadies record like this one before. It sounds sorta like The Monkees at times, bits of Simon and Garfunkel at others, and hints of REM, Let’s Active, and many others as well. I listened to this record every day on the way to the recording studio last winter for inspiration.
9) The Fags, I’m With Her
Detroit power pop 10 year comeback record of old, unused stuff and a few cool covers. Worth it for their take on Iron Maiden’s “Powerslave” alone. John Speck is the best rock singer and songwriter in this city and anything he does is gold.
10) Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Nashville Sound
Way too far down the list for a record this good, but we’ve become a little complacent, just knowing that Jason Isbell is going to be amazing. He deserves every piece of praise, every award, every sold-out show at the Ryman. He is the best.
The Replacements, For Sale
Amazing live set from 1986. One of the greatest American bands ever in their absolute prime. The mix is fantastic.
I loved the records by Tyler Childers, John Moreland, Japandroids, Craig Finn, and Juliana Hatfield. Every year is a great year for music.
(Visit Jeremy Porter And The Tucos at www.thetucos.com.)