Dum Dum Girls, Elf Power, and more
Dum Dum Girls’ Dee Dee
DD’s top ten from 2013—not always their origin, but rather my discovery of and obsession with:
Artist: Jessica Pratt
Her album from last year is my favorite thing; I think she is this otherworldly angel who can do no wrong.
I’ve lived here for over two years but never had the time to really establish my apartment as home. With the forced time off from touring, everything changed. I set up a new life here, managed to collect a handful of new friends, and just generally feel very tapped into what for me is a creative and motivating atmosphere. Too fucking expensive, though, a vampire city.
Cocktail: The “Angry Gallagher” at the Smile in NYC.
My friend Raquel works there and, aside from the great food, the drinks are fantastic. This one is tequila based with a the same sorta kick as getting those Mexican dried watermelon pieces dusted in chili powder.
Record: Dirty Beaches’ double album Drifters/Love Is The Devil
Not even biased cuz my label [Zoo Music] released it, just that astounding.
Camera: Spectra Polaroid
My friend Tamaryn shot me with one for an interview piece and I liked watching the long color development process.
Encounter: Had a drink with Gaspar Noé in St. Marks.
Book: KLF Manual
Cassette Tape: The Smiths’ Strangeways, Here We Come
As recently warped in Crocodiles’ van. It makes you feel like you’re underwater drowning in its perfection.
Film: Beyond the Black Rainbow
For its insane visuals. James Orlando (Bullett Magazine), who shot my cover and press photos, recommended it after that very long photoshoot and I went home, got stoned, and tripped the fuck out.
Dum Dum Girls are planning the release of their third full-length, Too True, on 28 January 2014, via Sub Pop.
Elf Power’s Andrew Rieger
The Breeders / Deerhunter live in Atlanta, GA at Variety Playhouse: Deerhunter’s new lineup and new songs from this year’s excellent Monomania were amazing. Lots of old songs and extended meandering improvisational instrumental sections as well. The Breeders sounded as great as ever as they played their classic album Last Splash in it’s entirety, as well as some songs from Pod and obscure b-sides at the end.
Mountain of Tongues: Musical Dialects of the Caucasus: Haunting and beautiful modern field recordings of folk musicians from Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan released on the Living Music Dupli-Cation label from Albuquerque, NM
Travis Scott, Owl Pharaoh: This guy collaborated with Kanye West on Yeezus and you can see the sonic similarities in a bunch of these tracks…some of the stranger, most interesting arrangements in rap music in recent years.
Leonard Cohen live in Atlanta, GA at Fox Theatre: For a guy in his eighties, Cohen delivered an outstanding and energetic performance and his voice was still in fine form. Great setlist too, encompassing all eras of his career
Bill Callahan live in Athens, GA at 40 Watt Club: Excellent performance as usual. I’ve been seeing him play since the early ‘90s and he just keeps getting better. He played mostly all new material from his latest album Dream River.
Mazzy Star Seasons of Your Day: Their first album in 17 years, and it might just be their best one ever. Beautiful vocals and intricate guitar playing, including one of legendary folk guitarist Bert Jansch’s last recorded performances. Their live performance at Coachella last year was a sublimely lovely experience as well.
Redd Kross live in Atlanta, GA at the EARL: Glam-pop rock masters delivered the goods at this shreddingly brilliant and exuberant live show, where they played classic tunes from their great ‘80s/‘90s albums as well as from last year’s Researching the Blues.
Jandek, Athens Saturday: Live album documenting Jandek’s show in Athens, GA that we put on at the Orange Twin Conservation Community, which consisted of a lengthy, lovely improvisational performance featuring Jandek on keyboards, Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox on guitar, Olivia Tremor Control’s Eric Harris on drums, John Fernandes (also of OTC) on bass clarinet, and cellist Heather McIntosh. This was a truly a magical summer evening as the group performed out in the woods in a natural amphitheatre, accompanied by the locusts and crickets.
Neutral Milk Hotel live: My band Elf Power did our first big tour in 1998 with NMH, so it was very exciting to do it again 15 years later! The 11 shows I saw on this jaunt were just as exciting and enthusiastic as the ones 15 years ago, but this time around the band was less ramshackle, more focused and precise with the arrangements, but still retaining the elements of chaos that made those early shows so memorable.
Viking Moses live at Flicker Theatre: Excellent solo performance combined with a screening of the documentary Werewolves Across America, which documents Viking Moses’ nomadic musical wanderings and adventures over the last several decades.
Kanye West, Yeezus: Really interesting and bizarre arrangements on this record, featuring successful collaborations with Daft Punk, Travis Scott, and Rick Rubin. Fun to dance to also.
Indied mainstays Elf Power released their latest album, Sunlight on the Moon, on Orange Twin in 2013.
The Entrance Band’s Derek James
1. Cass McCombs, Big Wheel and Others
2. My Bloody Valentine, m b v
3. The Cairo Gang, Tiny Rebels
4. Dream Boys, Dream Boys
5. Kurt Vile Wakin on a Pretty Daze
6. Matt Baldwin, Imaginary Psychology
7. Liam Hayes, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan the III soundtrack
8. Bitchin Bajas, Bitchitronics
9. Light Fantastic, Light Fantastic EP
10. Human Expression, Love at a Psychedelic Velocity
The Entrance Band released Face the Music (Beyond Beyond Is Beyond) in November 2013.
1. Good Field, “You Notice”
2. Royal Forest, “Broken Bow”
3. Some Say Leland, “It’s All Right Here”
4. Heartless Bastards, “Winter in the Blood”
5. Laura Veirs, “Sun Song”
6. Lightning Dust, “Fire Me Up”
7. Califone, “Frosted Tips”
Michigan singer-songwriter Dana Falconberry released Leelanau (Antenna Farm) in 2012.
● Cass McCombs, Big Wheel and Others
● Stellar Om Source, Joy One Mile
● Zachary Cale, Blue Rider
● Nick Delffs’ music
● Factory Floor, Factory Floor
NYC experimentalists Forest Fire put out the album Screens (FatCat) in September 2013.
Strictly speaking, these are not all 2013’ers, but they stuck out the most for me this year, in no particular order.
● King Blood, Vengeance, Man
● Steve Gunn, Time Off
● Circuit Des Yeux, Overdue
● Marisa Anderson, Mercury
● Cian Nugent & the Cosmos, Born with the Caul
● Mary Lattimore, The Withdrawing Room
● Spacin’, live at Hopscotch Festival, Raleigh NC (9/6/13)
● Neil Young & Crazy Horse, live at Wells Fargo Center, Philly (12/1/12)
● Horse Lords, live at Ortlieb’s, Philly (10/2/13)
● Bitchin Bajas, live at Little Berlin, Philly (5/12/13)
● Ignatz, Can I Go Home Now?
● Mind Over Mirrors, When the Rest Are Up at Four
Released in 2013, Chris Forsyth’s Solar Motel (Paradise of Bachelors) ranked #6 on PopMatters’ best overlooked albums of the year.
● Yo La Tengo, “Well You Better”
● Kiran Leonard, “Port-Ainé”
● Soap&Skin , “Pray”
● Washed Out, “Great Escape”
● Unknown Mortal Orchestra, “So Good at Being in Trouble”
● Mazzy Star, “In the Kingdom”
● Kurt Vile, “Never Run Away”
● Au Revoir Simone, “Somebody Who”
● John Grant, “GMF”
● Youth Lagoon, “17”
Lyla Foy released the “Easy” 7” single on Sub Pop in November 2013.