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.

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Music to Coachella, Nochella & Fauxchella to…

While many of you are counting the days to Coachella, we sadly, are not. We were planning on attending, but after hearing Lea Michele was offered $20,000 to attend (in comparison to our meek $10,000 offer from Dairy Queen), we decided to stay home. Though we’re proud to say that official Gongbanter carrier pigeon “Rodney LaPoubelle” will be attending, rocking a new neon GongBanter bro tank.  Anyway, we’d like to offer you a playlist of tracks made up of Coachella must-sees, alternate acts playing the same weekend, and our own dream headliners:

1.  Will you be relaxing in the county pool this weekend like me, splashing away band-aids and tearfully dreaming of the day Mr. Bungle reunites and plays a Coachella set? Or will you be basking in an Indio hotel pool? Either way, ask the lifeguard to throw on Mr. Bungle’s “Backstrokin'” -rye

2.  I don’t care if they don’t have a new album, tour, nor anything new to promote. A 35 year anniversary seems like a good enough reason to add the Human League to the lineup. They’ve yet to play Coachella, and I struggle to understand why. Ponder this to one of their earliest songs that protests silk farming and references Buddhist principles, “Being Boiled” -rye

3.  We know.. it’s not fair that you couldn’t get work off and make Coachella this weekend. But Jail Weddings play the Echoplex in LA this Friday you fool, so stop sulking and go square dance yourself clean. “It’s Not Fair” -rye

4.  But if you do go to Coachella, wake up early, break out of Saturday hangover purgatory and GO SEE LAURA MVULA. Rise and shine to one of my favorites, “Like The Morning Dew.” -rye

5. Dream headliners? The Smiths?…no, when I saw Morrissey there in 2009 he couldn’t finish his set because of all the burning flesh, and that rant was slightly terrifying to hear. David Byrne playing all of William Onyeabor’s songs?…no because that is already HAPPENING, what!? How about we get The Libertines to reunite! Not exactly my number one dream, but I mean, be honest, who isn’t interested in what Pete Doherty is up to these days? Here is a song I really liked in high school, “The Ha Ha Wall.” -caitiebee

6. Can’t make it to the desert? Don’t let drab LA get you down. Head to beautiful Santa Ana to see Hieroglyphics at The Observatory. Del! Here’s a “Classic.” -caitiebee

7. I’m sure the Coachella-goers among us will be exhausted come Sunday, but you know you want to make it back to the field by 3 to see buzzboy Chance the Rapper, “U Got Me Fucked Up” -caitibee

8. Also, did you hear Weekend 1 passes are starting at $3,000 online?? I’ll buy tickets next year to get rid of them at that mark up. Don’t loose all your “Dirty Money” dears! This one is by Antibalas. -caitiebee