St. Vincent Is The Year's Best, Parquet Courts Is Pretty Good and Goodnight Ned Drops a Video.
We're now two days deep into the month of December, and with nearly a month left in 2014, publications the globe over have determined that all of the year's best albums have already been released. According to year-end list aggregator Album of the Year, at least a dozen major national and international publications have published their lists to date.
And, thus far, St. Vincent's self-titled LP has been cleaning up in a big way. To wit: The album landed at No. 1 on NME's list, No. 2 on Paste's list, No. 49 on Stereogum's list and No. 4 on Rolling Stones list — although how much stock you want to put into a list that hails U2's Songs of Innocence as the year's best is up to you. In any case, when the 12 lists are weighted and compiled into one master list, St. Vincent's disc comes in at No. 2 behind The War on Drugs' Lost in the Dream.
None of this surprises us in the least. Back in February, we had some pretty glowing things to say about the album ourselves, including this gem of a prediction: “Our initial reaction says Ms. Clark just might have turned in her most well-rounded effort to date. The early album of the year contender is many things at once; it's gentle yet terrifying, organic but full of electricity, biting yet accessible. And there's a better than zero chance that this is the one that finally makes her a huge star.”
Oh, and speaking of the artist born Annie Clark: She also released a pair of new tunes as part of last week's Black Friday Record Store Day proceedings, both of which were castoffs from the self-titled. Stream them here.
Much like St. Vincent, the Denton ex-pats in Parquet Courts are also doing rather well for themselves as far as early year-end list returns are concerned: The band's Sunbathing Animal LP ranks No. 28 on Rolling Stones' list, No. 35 on NME's and No. 50 on Stereogum's.
Likewise, the Old 97's' Most Messed Up came in at No. 38 on American Songwriter's year-end list. Speaking of that band: Its frontman sat down with Marc Maron for the Thanksgiving edition of his WTF podcast. In typical Maron fashion, he manages to pull out details from Rhett Miller during the hour-long interview that even a lot of the band's diehards aren't aware of — like Rhett and bandmate Murray Hammond's worst fight and a failed suicide attempt in his angsty teen years.
Moving on, a few more locals have gotten into the holiday spirit with some new Christmas-themed releases. First up is Daniel Markham, whose low-key, alt-countrified take on “I'll Be Home For Christmas” will also appear on that Hand Drawn Records' Christmas comp that we mentioned last week. Stream it below.
Physical copies of the comp will be available at Oak Cliff's Spinster Records starting this Thursday, when Hand Drawn Records hosts a release party at the store that'll feature performances from a number of artists that participated in the comp.
Then there's Markham's fellow Denton outfit, Hares on the Mountain, which put its own spin on the holiday song genre with its “Merry Christmas, Asshole,” which you can find below.
And while it's not at all Christmas-y, Goodnight Ned compiled a bunch of footage shot at its Trees-held album release show over the summer, which you can find below. It's worth giving a click, as the clips have been synched with the studio version of the band's newest single “50,000 Years.” Check it out.
Another upcoming release show worth catching is Bosque Brown's December 13 appearance at Fort Worth's Dreamy Life Records. The rare opportunity to see the band play live coincides with the release of its Most Efficient Recordings club EP, which you can get a taste of below.
Meanwhile, earlier today, Hot Coffins released its new I H8 BLACK MAGIC LP, which the band is calling a companion piece to last year's Nightmares (To Feed and Have Own You). Both albums are available via iTunes, Spotify and the like as of today. The band will play a release show for the album this Friday, December 5, at Macaroni Island, along with Danny Diamonds, who, interestingly enough, plays lead guitar throughout the album. Here's some of that one.
Then there's Lou Charle$, who we've been digging quite a bit of late. Last week, the Fort Worth emcee released a single called “Spotlight,” from his upcoming Sink or Swim EP. The song features the ambient production of Ish D — a name that's increasingly been popping up in this column of late, and one that should in no way be confused with Ishi.
And, of the several dozen touring musicians that have written open letters in response to Pomplamoose's attempt at transparency with regards to its recent lack of financial success on the road, ex-Lift to Experience drummer Andy Young's is one of the lone pieces of the conversation that doesn't intend to kick the band's Jack Conte squarely in the nuts. Maybe Conte does deserve some of the backlash, though, as Gawker points out that the whole thing was probably just a marketing gimmick for Conte's startup company anyway. Questionable motives aside, he's managed to spawn an interesting dialogue all the same.
Finally, roving show curator Vice Palace is flipping the script for its so-called “Deathmus” show, which will go down on December 20 at The Union Studios. Rather than booking the bands beforehand, (h/t) they're opening this one up for submissions, and interested parties are advised to reach out via email. Just know they're looking for acts that fit the following description: “Grindcore/Thrash/Doom/Power Violence/Goth/Death Metal/Industrial/And Lovers of All Things Brutal And Macabre.”
Got a tip for White Noise? Email us!