There are two very important things that the New Year’s Eve brings – an excuse to wear sequins and the time to get excited about all the new music that is going to come out next year. But before that happens, we must say thanks for all the good music from this past year. Some of my personal favorite musical moments from this year came from local bands. It may be a small city, but the bands of Boston never fail to turn out lots of weird, wonky, and wonderful music. They may not fit into conventional categories, but here is some Boston music, music videos, and moments that I loved this year.
Favorite Songs Actually About Boston
FREE PIZZA’s Boston, MA gave everyone in Boston some jangly theme songs this year. If someone were to ask what Boston bands are like, this might be the best place to start. They are their own special brand of posi punk but their songs are straightforward and easy to relate to. “Net Babes” lets you rock out to love in the modern age, while “Ducks” is a song for people who like ducks to just chill out to. Even though they have departed, they left Boston with a quintessential Boston-y Boston album. As a side note, they are also one of my favorites because whenever they are on a show flyer, someone unfamiliar with Boston music is bound to get confused as to why there is going to be free food at a show.
Favorite Side Project
Speaking of Free Pizza, this mini solo album that pizza frontman JESUS VIO put out is also top notch. Work n’ Roll is definitely near the top of my top individual songs for the year, an upbeat but nonetheless ~deep~ look at the need to rock.
Favorite Use of Windows Screen Saver as Band Aesthetic
DYLAN EWEN boldly goes where thousands of 1994 Dell monitors have gone before in his video “FKUU”. Superimposed over the familiar Windows screensaver are Lana Del Rays, a rogue saxophone player, and proof that aliens are real. The song is off Giving Up, which is just one of multiple cool BUFU Records releases from Dylan Ewen. It was a big year for Dylan Ewen and power pop back-up the Sulk Scouts. They are also super fun to see live with their shout-y, noisy pop.
Favorite Sad Girl Songs
Nobody mixes sad and synths like locals Jillian Medford of IAN and Virginia De Las Pozas of COUPLES COUNSELING. Using their synthesizer magic and enormous voices, these songs make you want to be sad just so you can listen. These two tapes can be put on repeat for weeks, like swirling synth dreams. Their music is hazy and whirly, but also strong and and captivating, and next year even more people are bound to be hypnotized by their music.
Favorite Breakout Album
SPEEDY ORTIZ were everywhere this year, and people everywhere were talking about them. That means everyone from your Boston friends to major music blogs. With their latest EP Real Hair they found a way to jump back and forth between the MA scene they call their own and the big wide world of success. It was fun to see them (or at least try to see, short people concert problems, womp) properly release the EP in the first and then basically the last show to ever hit a Tasty Burger.
Favorite “Sounds Like A Basement”
Some Allston bands have true commitment to their basements, and NICE GUYS and MIAMI DORITOS are two of those bands. Their split tape Spliffft is an assault on all things that are not musty and gritty, It also has some of my favorite album art from the year, an image of angered burger eating that brags about chart topping hits. The great thing about these two bands is that in any given month you can probably catch them at a show in their natural habitat – a basement.
Favorite Artistic Use of Poo
In the first months of this year there was an EP from KRILL that had plenty of existential pondering, but perhaps got most philosophical with a poop metaphor. Also they get extra points for the fond memory of the release show, which ended with standing knee deep in a slushy puddle outside the Great Scott with some friends while it poured freezing icy rain. It was stormy and so unavoidably cold it was actually kind of funny. It was a long trek home, but I can now say that I am willing to literally weather the storm for Krill. It is enough to get excited for a distant fist to unclench, i.e. for their new full-length album to come out, in February next year.
Favorite Twitter Presence
ACLU Benefit’s twitter is an entity of its own.
Sometimes funny, sometimes philosophical, and usually on point, the twitter of ACLU BENEFIT (aka Noah Britton) is a way to get a dose of the perfectly odd between song dialogue that an ACLU Benefit show contains.
Aaaand that’s it, even though this is just a small collection of faves picked from the massive sea of good music and strange moments that came out of this year.