Tag Archives: Bryan Small

ON 12/12/12 HERE IS MY TOP 12 OF 2012

digging-through-vinyl-records-lp

This is the first time I’m publishing a top list of my favorite albums of the year and I’m pretty stoked. Even though I’m passionate for music, for many years I adopted a vey comfy position in which there was someone doing the hard work of pre-listening and filtering new stuff on my behalf, thus only what  he enjoyed reached me. Yeah, I became lazy and detached from current musical updates at that time.

But here I am, posting my top 12 of this weird year, which has been excellent in terms of music, and disastrous in general. I must admit I’m proud for behaving as the good girl I really am, doing my musical homework and paying attention to new album releases.

Of course it’s impossible to cover all of them, especially when I take my time in analyzing the albums, going on them with the intensity required. And it’s a classic that, right after choosing my favorite albums, I discover a new one that blows my mind, but cannot be added to the list. Guess this is the greatness of music, you can enjoy it any time, no matter how much late you are. it will always be there.

Let’s get started, otherwise it will be the 13th and this top 12 won’t make sense anymore.

Most of the albums have been the album of the week at some point this year, or due to the expectations I had, commented as soon as they were available, as an exceptional event, and theres’s one in particular which had to be mentioned apart, because it doesn’t fit into what I usually consume.

I’m very pleased with the variety of styles and sounds in the list, once again confirming it doesn’t matter I’m growing old and relaxing, I can enjoy metal sounds same as folkie one, and I find that quite enriching for both mind, soul and ears.

BestRecords2012

Thus in no particular order I will refer to my top 12 of 2012. There we go!

ABANDON JALOPY – DEATH & JOY

What can I say at this point I haven’t told already? On week 12 I was telling you about my crush on Brad Smith’s project, and one month ago I was telling you my experience enjoying their half acoustic show, and how adorable Blind Melon’s bass player was.

I foresaw this album was being here, because not many albums make my heart pound in such way as Death & Joy does.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/03/27/album-of-week-12-death-joy/

CANCER BATS – DEAD SET ON LIVING

One of the greatest surprise of the year which started when I was assigned the review of this album. On a random Sunday afternoon, in hangover conditions, I receive a wake of punches right in my face in the shape of songs performed by this band. Raw, powerful and overwhelming.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/04/27/albums-of-week-16-1965-dead-set-on-living/

 

LUCERO – WOMEN & WORK

Several friends are devoted fans of this unknown band here in Spain, and I had been told about the charisma of the leader of the band, Ben Nichols. Songs about work, women, broken hearts and booze, and a catchy opening song, On My Way Downtown, which makes you feel the urge of having a beer at a bar.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/03/21/album-of-week-11-women-work/

MARK LANEGAN – BLUES FUNERAL

blues funeral billboard

 Wow! I ADORE this album. Straight to the top 5. Lanegan has gone beyond himself with this album.  I got obsessed about this album for 2 weeks or more, and I still listen to it compulsively. One of these albums that the more you listen the more you love them and discover tiny new elements with each listening. So fuckin’ great!

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/02/13/album-of-weeks-5-6-blues-funeral/

JACK WHITE – BLUNDERBUSS

Finally the genius went solo, after delivering outstanding stuff with his different projects, and released this magnificent album I’ve been enjoying so much. It was the final proof to show the world he’s far from the hype and possesses a great deal of talent. Perfection would be mentioned here if the show he offered with the female band would have been more passionate rather than so “cool” looking.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/05/31/album-of-week-21-blunderbuss/

ORANGE GOBLIN – A EULOGY FOR THE DAMNED

Allow me not to extend much in explanations and check my previous post. Solid, powerful, rockin’, this is the exact dose of music you need for headbanging to the max. Very glad this album has been praised by both critics and people, and proud my “guys” have reached so far. BRAVO

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/12/12/album-of-week-48-a-eulogy-for-the-damned/

THE HANGMEN – EAST OF WESTERN

EAST OF WESTERN

This is one of the exceptions as it hasn’t been included YET in the albums of the week. One of the reasons is because I was encouraged to listen to this album after purchasing Loteria on the record store day and recovering Metallic I.O.U. The truth is that the most New Yorker band in L.A, real street bad asses led by Bryan Small, have again delivered an intense album full of booze, drugs, filth and broken hearts, and Homesick Blues is damn awesome.

LANA DEL REY – BORN TO DIE

I know, this is close to be a dealbreaker, and coulf be named as the guilty pleasure of the year too. I made public I had surrendered to the hype, and I’m still hooked to Born To Die, something which scares me somehow, because I don’t think what Lana del Rey might offer us, can keep the same level.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/08/30/the-day-i-surrendered-to-the-hype/

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM – HANDWRITTEN

 I wrote about this album when the band, days before the worldwide release, allowed the fans to listen to the album online. I literally devoured it and felt in love right away. The guys from New Brunswick are about to jump into the mainstream thanks to this wonderful album, which shows a noticeable evolution and improvement, and personally speaking, I love they are capable of gathering new and older generations at venues for attending the shows. They bring youth to the adults, and transmit old school values to the youngsters. Their story telling is sublime.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/07/18/i-knew-handwritten-wouldnt-fail-me/

CALEXICO – ALGIERS

Thanks to a friend who invited me to attend the show they offered in Barcelona one month ago I discovered a wonderful band which, wrongly following my name instincts, I had completely ignored. After 30 seconds of the opening song, I knew that, what I was about to discover was different and classy. Amazing album and excellent live performance.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/11/14/album-of-week-43-algiers-calexico-on-stage/

NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE – PSYCHEDELIC PILL

Americana was a bunch of revisited covers after all, it was compulsory uncle Neil and his pals ended jamming eventually, because this is what Psychedelic Pill is about, a reunion of good old friends grabbing their instruments and recovering the spirit of Harvest playing in the barn. Two words must be pronounced which will sum up the concept of the album: RAMADA INN. Greatness!

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/10/17/uncle-neil-and-crazy-horse-are-ready-to-conquer-the-world/

VAN HALEN – A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH

a different kind of truth

You just wouldn’t believe what just happened here. I’ve just changed my last album at the very last minute, finally choosing hard rock over power pop, and leaving Redd Kross out of the list.

This is a surprise, even to me, but this is how I feel at 22:52h. It took me ages to listen to this album, in fact I got it less than a month ago, no matter that many friends insisting I’d love it, I felt lazy thinking it wouldn’t be worth it. The insistence of Felix and my soul bro, together with Xavi aka the deal hunter, made me push the button and start moving my ass right away. If there’s a song which drives me crazy, reminding me of wild 1984, VH personal favorite, no doubt is Bullethead. The return of Van Halen with David Lee Roth is one of the greatest #dealmakers of the decade.

Once this list has been done, I have to mention those albums which are following very close and deserve my love, respect and credit. Here they are:

– Redd Kross – Researching the Sun

– Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Magic Door

– Pulled Apart By Horses – Tough Love

– The Avett Brothers – Carpenter

What a year friends! Rough and harsh in many aspects, thanks to the amazing releases I’ve been gifted with, I’ve managed to approach the end better than expected. At the end of the day, same thought comes to mind, and I sigh in relief glad to be aware that music, not only has saved my life, but also has given me the one I’m currently living, and I feel grateful and merry.

Keep on rockin’ dears!

ALBUMS OF WEEK 18 – METALLIC I.O.U / HEARTS & ARROWS

Let’s keep on talking about the hottest albums I listened to last week. Again, two share my love, quite different from each other, both in style, country or origin and timeline. My mood is awkward and constantly swinging lately. I’ve very cheerful sometimes and other I’m a bit down. Not that I’m bored, by all means, I’m that kind of person with amusing entertainments at hand enough to waste time, but I haven’t assimilated my current status yet and feel  confused and out of place.

Do you believe in coincidences or in written fate? I really don’t know what to think after last events happening lately. Not only the day MCA passed away I had thought of Beastie Boys and their Intergalactic song, but also similar stories, not as sad, have happened.

I bought Loteria in vinyl, on the Record Store Day. I had barely listened to The Hangmen since my widowerhood. Had a dirty copy of Metallic I.O.U, but I’ve realized I don’t like shitty copies and therefore seldom listen to the few I still own. That day, at Revolver record store, I was more into purchasing some Ryan Adams’ or more folkie style stuff, but in the very last moment I thought of checking the punk rock area. As soon as I had Loteria in my hands, all the doubts were vanished, that album had to be mine.

Easy to imagine what came next, listening to Loteria awoke the need of having Metallic I.O.U, my favorite Hangmen album, and admitting I’m close to be a serious  addict to Amazon, checked out with my copy coming.

Bryan Small started his Hangmen project more that 30 years ago, and despite the efforts and the release of the self-titled debut album with Capitol, The Hangmen’s starting point as we know them nowadays, was with this album, released in 2000 by Acetate Records.

This album is just a pile of pure and straight rock,  with songs portraying the filthiest and most decadent side of LA, telling about drugs, booze, cigarettes and broken hearts, stories coming through  the wretched and hardened voice of Smalls.

The nastiness of Downtown, Bliss, Broke, Down & Stoned, or Russian Roulette, mixed with the evoking and decadent Bent or the closing Blue Light, and the glorious Is That All There Is? Which I find completely influenced by The Rolling Stones, makes you wonder why The Hangmen are such an underground and unknown band. Metallic I.O.U is fresh, timeless and wild, rough as a warm shot of whiskey early in the morning, with certain amount of bitterness constantly present. Just love it!

Ah! Haven’t explained what all the coincidence story was about. Well, as soon as I was in The Hangmen mood, posting several videos and songs on FB, some of their fans reminded me of the upcoming album Eastern of Western, after their last work, In the City, released in 2007.

Just when I was ready to start writing this post, The Hangmen made public their new single and video, Homesick Blues, which sounds like this:

Great expectations of what’s coming next, this new single, damn, kicks ass!

Wish they come back to Barcelona soon, as the last showthey offered at Rocksound  in 2009, with the guest appearance of Sammi Jaffa, was really intense.

Hearts & Arrows is the third album by Danny And the Champions of the World.

It was my friend Kiko who discovered me this band, with the song You don’t Know (My Heart is in the Right Place), I really liked right away.

Few weeks later, tour dates were announced  and sure I was attending the show with my friend Jaume.

One of the things I’m enjoying most of attending performances of bands recommended by friends that I’m not particularly familiarized with their stuff, is that I face them on stage, this is, I don’t do homework at all, don’t need to know about their songs nor discography, don’t care about set lists and lyrics, I’m conscious of my ignorance and I become a blank book, waiting to be fulfilled.

Thus the night of the show, I had listened to this Hearts & Arrows 2-3 times in the previous months, having an idea of this band which reminded me of Bruce Springsteen a lot, and had resemblances to The Gaslight Anthem, a bit of The Replacements, and some of the classic powerpop figures, such as Nick Lowe.

Not only it was shocking to see 6 people on the stage of Rocksound, which is pretty small, but also the sound quality of the band, featuring both acoustic and electric guitars, and keyboards.

Some fans of The Boss were also there, something a bit scary, considering I don’t dig Springsteen that much, but the result was very pleasant, and that turned out to be a very enjoyable show, revisiting most of the tracks of Hearts & Arrows.

I think something we’re not used to is that bands extend songs much on stage, or perhaps we are, when dealing with certain bands after many years you expect them to, as for instance The Black Crowes, but in this case some people got a bit absent during the show. Curiously it wasn’t my case, I was fascinated by all the solos, the jam and everything related, in fact, the most remarkable song that night, and a personal favorite of the album was Colonel and The King. It was beautifully performed, super intense.

In general, this album is one of the uppers, whenever I listen to it I feel fine, tunes such as Heart & Arrow, Soul in the City or Can’t Hold Back, really cheer me up.

To add good vibes, I got the chance to have a very long chat with the leader, Danny Wilson, not the usual one. We talked about tattoos, what is living in London, and how tough is being a musicial there, remembering my London years, life in general. An adorable and interesting guy, definitely worth meeting and getting acquainted with. He made a promise to me and delivered, and we are more or less in touch.

Isn’t it great meeting people thanks to music?