Musical Highlights of 2016

Below is my annual recollection of some music highlights of the year, for the good guys and gals at [sic] Magazine who introduce me to so much of it.

Although the twelve months of 2016 are likely to be remembered as much for who left us, as for what was left for us, (not to mention leave-ing) there were as always some great records, including Savages, Kiran Leonard, Ed Harcourt and Radiohead. Bowie‘s Blackstar – with the mystique surrounding the timing of its release – was a great record to start a year, and set the tone for tragedy-turn-triumph; the late Viola Beach were immortalised at Glastonbury, and also by achieving a number one album of their own (crucially, not a cash-in job), and there were countless events such as the ‘Glabstonbury’ all-day event I attended, which saw a host of bands and musicians generously coming together for a worthy cause. Here follow my ten highlights of the year. Continue reading

Interview – Austin Brown, Parquet Courts – UWS 261

Interviewing Austin Brown, guitarist and singer of the band Parquet Courts (who made my number 1 album of 2013), and Man United fan, for United We Stand, we had a good chat about becoming a fan, supporting United whilst on the road in the States, and the emergence of New York City in the MLS. The interview was printed in issue 261 of UWS. You can order print or digital issues here.

As well as talking about football, Brown also talked me through the new Parquet Courts record, Human Performance, the themes behind the songs, use of the mellotron instrument, and how they capture that Parquet Courts sound. The full interview is available on the (sic) Magazine website.

“There was this crossroads we came to where we wanted to spend more time making the record because we wanted to evolve our sound, and we wanted to take some time to get some perspective on our sound. Some perspective on our lives, and what’s going on, and ‘Who are we? What kind of music do we make? And what’s the next step for us?’”

Click here for the full interview.

Parquet Courts website

Parquet Courts performs at the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on Saturday October 5, 2013.  JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Parquet Courts performs at the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on Saturday October 5, 2013. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

My Top 10 Albums of 2013 – No. 1

My top 10 Albums of 2013:

I was asked by (sic) Magazine to compile my favourite ten records released this year. 2013 saw some surprise comebacks (David BowieThe Strokes), a Psych revival (Hookworms, The Lucid Dream, The Dead Meadow) and the rise of female-fronted rock (Savages, HAIM, Pins), and picking highlights is extremely difficult. Nevertheless, here are the ten albums which stick out for me at this moment in time, for an array of different reasons, but with the one common factor being that I think they are all great records.

Light Up Gold.jpg1. Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold

After initially restricting their releases to limited pressings, the first full album of the Brooklyn-based garage-punk band was released this year. With shades of The Strokes, The Fall, The Libertines and even a hint of At The Drive-In, and containing pop gems like ‘Borrowed Time’ and ‘Careers In Combat’ from start to finish, we can all be thankful this album was finally made available to a wider, grateful audience, which will doubtless now swell in 2014 and beyond.

You can read other (sic) Magazine contributors’ Albums of 2013 here.