You guessed it – Gongbanter’s 2014 faves!

I still only half believe it – but 2014 is just about over.

That means it’s the time of year again where we haphazardly judge all of the music that’s been filing our heads for the past 365 days and put our findings in list form.

Here are ours!

caitiebee top picks:

1) Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

I never thought that a punk album would make me cry. But man oh man, this one has made me sob. In case you were living under a rock in 2014 – this album is a BIG deal, and it’s incredible.

2) William Onyeabor – What?

Remixes of a Gongbanter favorite, by some other favorites. Word on the street is he will put out a new album about his new-found savior Jesus, that one will probably make it on the list next year.

3) Homeboy Sandman – Hallways

Most everything this man touches turns to gold. Every song on this album brings something new to the table, maybe because just about each song is produced by someone new – from the likes of Jonwayne and Oh No.

4) Iceage – Plowing Into The Field of Love

Iceage made an album that I could actually maybe show to my parents. It may have pissed of some fans, but it’s a welcomed change for me.

5)  Merchandise – After The End

I hate to repeat myself, but Merchandise made an album I could maybe show my parents, and it’s not a bad thing.

6) Hozier – Hozier

I LOVE THIS MAN AND EVERYTHING HE DOES. He has this talent to make us fall in love with his music, and there is no contest after you’ve seen him live. I’m excited to what more is to come with this shining star.

7) Glass AnimalsZaba or Silk Rhodes – Silk Rhodes

Sorry, I can’t decide which makes me want to dance in my chair more.

8) The Acid – Liminal

This album is beautiful.

9) Gardens & Villa – Dunes

Again another Gongbanter favorite with their second full length album. Word on the street is that they are already cooking some more tunes up in studio.

10) D’Angelo – Black Messiah

This one if for all of the suckers that posted their lists before it came out.

rye top picks:

1) Sharon Von Etten – Are We There

Very emotionally raw and intense album. She let’s it all bleed out on this one.

2) Frankie Cosmos – Zentropy

Another emotionally raw record, but in a different way. Makes the list mostly due to the lyrics “My ass is made of velvet and my hips are made of stone/ And if you really love me you will leave me alone.” Lyrical poetry

3) Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majesty

Power follow-up to the killer “Black Up.” As many have pointed out, the spirit of Sun Ra runs strong throughout, which no one seems to be complaining about.

4) Adult Jazz – Gist Is

In 2014, very few albums managed to challenge and disorient me while staying as insanely hooky as “Gist Is.”

5) William Onyeabor – What?!

Hats off to the folks at Luaka Bop for their persistence in making the initial compilation and remix album happen. I’ve gotten sucked into this hypnotic pop gem an embarrassing amount of times this year.

6) Spoon – They Want My Soul

In a landscape where the concept of the “album” slowly goes the way of the dodo, it’s particularly sweet to hear a crushing record from start to finish.

7) Aesop Waits – Tom Shall Pass

Most mashups these days seem lazy and uninspired, and seem to exist just because they can.  Enter “Tom Shall Pass”, an album that combines the works of Aesop Rock and Tom Waits. They complement each other so well it’s stupid.

8) Various ArtistsThe New Basement Tapes

Love when an idea delivers beyond sounding good on paper. Contemporary artists recording songs inspired by a collection of unearthed lyrics from Bob Dylan. Featuring an all-star team of T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, Dawes and Jim James among others.

9) Hozier – Hozier

Jesus, this man rips. Did anyone actually dislike this album? If so, come at me, I’ll be posting up at the Cowboy Palace Saloon for the holidays.

10) Shintaro Sakamoto – Let’s Dance Raw

I’ll always be a sucker for albums that masterfully juggle genres. In this case, folk, funk, jazz and country elements come together in a record that aims to move and succeeds in a big way.

Music to love to…

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

Whether you are spending your night drinking fancy wine at a fancy restaurant or going to a movie with your parents or on the couch swiping right on Tinder, we’ve got tunes for you.
Turn your love light on!

1. This is not new or original by any means, BUT I DON’T CARE EVERYONE SHOULD LISTEN TO THIS SONG BECAUSE YOU WILL FIND YOUR LAMP! -caitiebee

2. Ugly Needs – Miniature Tigers We all got ’em. But “nothing feels heavy when you’re close to me.” -rye

3. Maybe you are spending the special day focusing on something else you love, a passion, like knitting or beer. Take a moment to reflect on why that hobby is so important, take hints from Adam Ant’s Why Do Girls Love Horses? -caitiebee

4.  Let Valentine’s Day be your New Year’s and become “born again virgins of life” with your partner to The Growlers – Underneath Our Palms -rye

5.  Then clear some space out, so you can space out with Shabazz Palaces – Recollections of the Wraith -rye

6. Sometimes all you can do on February 14th is beg and plead for a lost or fictional love, Plea by Baths commiserates with you. -caitiebee

7.  The Barbaras, who later morphed into the Magic Kids, recorded an early stripped down version of Superball with Jay Reatard that was recently recovered, and released as part of a Barbaras compilation. Don’t let your love bounce away.. The Barbaras – Superball -rye

8. And of course…after the party is the after-party. We know what you do in the wee hours of the night. For this I wanted to post Erotic City by Prince, unfortunately he is quite the vigilante when it comes to intellectual property, so here is my current favorite sexy song, Disclosure’s Latch, the DJ Premiere Remix. -caitiebee