I first started writing for Ninebullets during 2011 and it has been one of the greatest joys of my past 5 years. That year, I remember being thrilled that the Suburban Home website linked to my reviews of Josh Small and Lizzie Huffman records. Thank you as always to AIV for bringing me on and RSV for keeping the site going. Thank you to the departed Charles Hale and Michelle Hanks for your amazing work. Have you seen what they’re doing post-Ninebullets? Don’t miss out! Of course, thank you all kindly for reading.
It was a long, great year! I got married and a good job! Besides that, here’s all the stuff that I liked! All links should lead to easy listening. Let me know if you like any of it!
Albums: Best of the Best
- Laura Stevenson’s Cocksure is undoubtably my favorite record of the year. It made me realize she’s probably been the best songwriter in my life for the past 10 years. When it came out, Glossary’s Long Live All of Us made me have the same realization about Joey Kneiser. Stevenson was also my favorite show of the year–she’s a great live band leader.
The rest of the albums are in no particular order. In bold are the ones I think the fabled “quintessential Ninebullets fan” would definitely dig instantly.
- State Champion Fantasy Error
- Sleater-Kinney No Cities to Love
- Pile You’re Better Than This
- Jeff Rosenstock We Cool?
- Hop Along Paint it Shut
- Gun Outfit Dream All Over
- Animal City Bump Head Go Home
- Worriers Imaginary Life
- Speedy Ortiz Foil Deer (Speedy Ortiz also gets love for testing out an assault assistance hotline during their live shows–a number audience members could text if they were having to field unnecessary bullshit from other audience members, which was forwarded directly to the band onstage who could stop the bullshit. Great idea and they said they had great results.)
- Grimes Art Angels
- All Dogs Kicking Every Day
- Franz Nicolay To Us, The Beautiful
- Lady Lamb After
- Personal Best Arnos Vale
- Shinobu 10 Thermidor
Albums: Rest of the Best
- Scarface Deeply Rooted
- Broken Water Wrought (they just broke up, fuck)
- The Honeycutters Me Oh My
- Flesh World Wild Animals in My Life
- Carly Rae Jepsen Emotion
- Lilly Hiatt Royal Blue
- Three Man Cannon Will I Know You Then?
- Waxahatchee Ivy Tripp
- Two White Cranes Radisson Blue
- Screaming Females Rose Mountain
- And the Kids Turn to Each Other
- Bully Feels Like
- Chris Weisman The Holy Life That’s Coming
- Protomartyr The Agent Intellect
- Darkbuster No Revolution – Lenny Lashley’s old band returns for a lean, intent album of Boston wharf-rock
- The Mynabirds Lovers Know
- Royal Headache High
- Your Heart Breaks America
- Ulises Hadjis Pavimento
- The Mountain Goats Beat the Champ
- High Dive New Teeth
- Dilly Dally Sore
- Carb on Carb S/T
- Antarctigo Vespucci Leavin’ La Vida Loca
- Courtney Barnett Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
- Great Neck Esoterexorcism
- Joey Kneiser The Wildness (duh)
- Aye Nako The Blackest Eye
- See-Through Girls The Last Show – the final show from this amazing Philly band
EPs/Singles: Best of the Best
- Sheer Mag II
- Dyke Drama Tender Resignation
- Natalie Prass Side By Side (Live at Spacebomb)
- the entire discography of short-lived-but-incendiary Greensboro NC pop-punk band Daddy Issues:
EPs/Singles: Rest of the Best
- Martha / Radiator Hospital Split
- GLOSS DEMO (Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit! Yes!)
- Flamingo Shadow Vibe Control (Madeline Adams’ Pylon/B-52’s-indebted tropical punk band)
- Radon / Worthwhile Way Split
- Diet Cig Over Easy
- Mothers It Hurts Until it Doesn’t
- Jabber Well…Just Jabber – catchiest shit for regulation hotties
- Mount Moriah Calvander
- Doe Avalanche/Basement (this single was released on a previously untapped medium–the beermat)
- Chris Bachelder’s novel The Throwback Special has been serialized in the past 3 issues of the Paris Review, with the 4th and final installment coming in the Spring. It’s about a group of men who get together every year to reenact the play where Lawrence Taylor breaks Joe Theisman. It’s hilariously, poignantly detailed, and takes a beautiful look at masculinity.
- Don’t Suck Don’t Die by Kristin Hersh is about Hersh’s relationship with Vic Chesnutt. It reads like a novel; it’s gorgeous. It’s amazing.
- The First Collection of Criticism from a Living Female Rock Critic by Jessica Hopper. Brilliant collection of essays.
- Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein
- Padgett Powell’s Cries for Help, Various. Fiction master Powell in his wheelhouse–short, language-adoring stories.
- Stuff that didn’t come out this year, but that I read this year:
- My Dirty Dumb Eyes by Lisa Hanawalt (artist behind Bojack Horseman and podcaster behind the awesome Baby Geniuses podcast)
- Sean Nelson’s (from Harvey Danger) book about Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark from the 33 1/3 series.
- Ellen Willis’ Out of the Vinyl Deep. A collection of rock writing from the legend.
- Amped: Notes from a Go-Nowhere Punk Band by Jon Resh. Resh details the adventures of his amazing 90’s Gainesville band Spoke.
Unlike albums, I can hardly remember movies a week after I see them. I know I loved Dope the most, though. Jurassic World was fine except for the torturously long scene where the assistant is torn apart by several different dinosaurs, because, I guess, she was trying to do her full-time job and watch bratty kids. The Gift was really good. Diary of a Teenage Girl was really good.
- Back to the Island – Jeff Rosenstock and Chris Farren (the former of Bomb the Music Industry, the latter of Fake Problems, the duo behind Antarctigo Vespucci) watch out-of-order episodes of Lost and talk to each other, sometimes about the episode. Stay for the best podcast segment theme music on the internet.
- Turned Out a Punk – Damian Abraham from Fucked Up hosts and interviews folks about their punk roots, the local scenes where guests grew up, influential record finds. What emerges is a beautiful, extensive history of underground North American music. Recent guests include Neko Case, Scott Thompson of Kids in the Hall, Joe Casey of Protomartyr, and Brian Venable of Lucero!
What Comes Is Better Than What Came Before: 2016 Expectations
Garret Klahn (of Texas is the Reason) – 1/15; Eleanor Friedberger – 1/22; Ship Thieves (Chris Wollard) – 1/29; Prettiots – 2/5; TEEN – 2/19; Mount Moriah – 2/26; La Sera – 3/4; Thao & Get Down Stay Down – 3/4; Glen Jones – 3/18; Margot Price – 3/25; and stuff from The Wrens, Carolyn Mark…and a bunch more people I can’t remember right now. What are you excited for?