Tuesday, December 20, 2011

0 LIST MANIA: Roy Culver (publicist from Infinite Productions)

Top 5 records:

1. Ulcerate "The Destroyers of All"

Between the flood of black metal and fuzz toned sludge records, two genres I rarely have any interest in, there wasn't a lot of metal releases that held my attention this year. Ulcerate's new record was one of the exceptions.

2. The Crucified "Pillars of Humanity" (re-issue)

This album actually came out 20 years ago but it finally got remixed, remastered and released on vinyl for the first time this year. When it was released in 1991 it was one of my favorite records of the year. With maybe the exception of Black Flag, I hadn't heard anyone convey life in the city like vocalist Marc Solomon did on this record. Overlooked by many because of the overt religious appeals the vocalist often turned to in his lyrics (similar to Bad Brains only the punk and hardcore kids didn't know who the hell Jah was and why HR had such a boner for him). Regardless of your thoughts on religion, the talent and ferocity of this record is impossible to deny.

3. The Men "Leave Home"

If bands like DNA, Swans and Suicide were the parents of the entire Amphetamine Reptile catalog, then The Men are their grand children. What I'm trying to say is, if you like a little chaos and danger thrown in with your rock and roll, "Leave Home" might be up your alley.

4. Early Graves "Goner" (re-issue)

Originally released in 2010 on Ironclad Records, a lot of folks (including myself) slept on this record. It wasn't until I saw the band down in Georgetown (a couple days before the band experienced a terrible van accident that would take the life of their vocalist Makh Daniels) that I really dug into this record. It was released on vinyl this year thanks to Southern Lord. Don't sleep on this if crusty, fast paced thrash/punk is your thing. Essential!

5. Owen Heart "Earth Control"

Containing some of the best aspects of some of my favorite heavy genres (thrash, grind, death, crust etc), Owen Hart's "Earth Control" was an early contender for one of my favorite records of the year. It will be interesting to see what the band's future output might sound like since they had to drop the Owen Heart moniker and become Earth Control.

Honorable mention: Wolves in the Throne Room "Celestial Lineage", Defeater "Empty Days and sleepless Nights", Today is the Day "Pain is a Warning", Despise You/Agoraphobic Nosebleed "An On and On...", Maruta "Forward into Regression"

Top 5 shows:

1. Steve Ignorant & Crass present The Last Supper at Neumos 4/26/11

Seeing Steve Ignorant and crew perform nearly 2 hours worth of music from the Crass catalog was an amazing experience this year. The power of a lot of those old songs had always been lacking due to such terrible production on those early records but seeing them in 2011 brought those songs to life in a whole new way.

2. Swans at Neumos 2/26/11

I never had a chance to see Swans back in the day when they were releasing records like "Children of God" but the show at Neumos was proof that the band could still take over a stage and take their audience through some dark spaces. I think the band might have played 6 songs in the hour and a half they were on stage. It took some endurance to experience Swans even all these years later.

3. Wovenhand at The Crocodile 1/21/11

I've seen David Eugene Edwards several times and the January show at the Crocodile was without a doubt one of my favorite times experiencing him. He opened the set with "Heart & Soul" by Joy Division and from then on had us all in his back pocket as he played songs from the band's latest record, "The Threshing Floor", as well as the band's fantastic catalog. Powerful!

4. Ceremony at Fusion Cafe 1/29/11

I've had a chance to see Ceremony a couple times now but seeing them in a certainly oversold room at the YMCA earlier this year was one of my favorite. If you haven't picked up the band's latest record, "Rohnert Park", do it immediately! The band's on Matador Records now so it'll be interesting to see what 2012 brings for these guys. Punk rock might get dangerous again!

5. Doom at Chop Suey 5/29/11

Another band I didn't have a chance to see back in the day but, after witnessing them at Chop Suey this Spring, I can't imagine them being any less powerful now than they were then. I didn't make it to a lot of crust and grind shows this year but I can't imagine any being better than Doom that night!

Honorable mention: Eyehategod at El Corazon 2/5/11, OFF! at Neumos 4/24/11, Pig Destroyer at El Corazon 9/10/11

Other music related honorable mentions this year: Steve Ignorant "The Rest is Propaganda" (autobiography), Bob Mould "See a Little Light" (autobiography), "Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone" (film), "Lemmy" (film), "Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam" (film)


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