Jeff Breeze is a longtime DJ and host of The Pipeline, a fantastic weekly showcase of new local music, a rarity in this town. Each week without fail, Breeze features a different New England band live in studio. Catch this gem of a show every Tuesday 8-10pm on WMBR 88.1 FM
Some people think that the challenge of doing local radio is finding enough bands to fill the time without slipping in archival Remains or Donna Summer reissues regularly. Truth is with everyone being able to share their music to the world on the internet, there are usually 6 or 7 more things each week that I wanted to play that got lost in the ether; meanwhile we did have time to feature music from 816 bands in 2013. 157 of those artists got heard multiple times, with 55 artists coming to our MIT studios and performing live on the air. Last week we did a Christmas Eve show that was filled with all new, all local holiday music, this Tuesday evening, we’ll recap the year playing some of the best songs from our live sets.
This list is based on actual times heard on the air with biases only coming in to play when folks are tied. Usually it’s just a coin flip, or whatever order Excel decided for me. Bands that played on the show are linked to their live sets from the radio, mostly from this year…
1. Fat/Bad History Month
Best of all is that during the first half of the live solo set that we had, I refer to the band as Sad History Month, which is the title of the Bad History Month record which is the more solo endeavors of Sean of Fat History Month. It’s just one big umbrella really, but these stark and honest explorations are powerful stuff. Must be why we dedicated the most air time this year. LIVE SET
2. The Connection
Portsmouth’s finest repacked old songs and put our tour EPs and a gem of a Christmas song, and somehow found themselves here at the top. They were supposed to play on the show as well, but had some drummer drama and should be around in 2014. Also, my mom’s favorite local band. LIVE SET
3. Bent Shapes
We’ve followed these folks since they were young lions without girlfriends, but this year they got a label on the other side of the country to release their album and all got sick and couldn’t celebrate the release on air as was planned. They did come in a few weeks later, and that just gave us more excuses to keep listening.
4. Happy Jawbone Family Band
Brattleboro’s finest had Mexican Summer release their new album, and then shared a pair of holiday tunes that were Pipeline! exclusives that helped get them up here on this chart. The only band of the lot that hasn’t done a live set on the air at some point in time. We’re working on it, but as a college radio station we do have limited resources to provide incentives to get them to haul down from Vermont.
5. Speedy Ortiz
All the world realized they loved Speedy Ortiz this year, with their album being touted in some interesting places. We knew a long time ago, heck, Sadie used to work at WMBR. LIVE SET
6. The Shones
These kids ditched their Wisconsin homestead and to plant their flag in Boston and see if they could make it here. They’ve made a couple good records already.
7. Mount Peru
A 10″ record and some twisted indie rock seems like a rarity, but this ensemble makes it sound like a lot of fun as they ramble through fun terrain.
I didn’t want to be the one to tell them that horses have hooves, not fingers and hands, but then I listened to the album and realized it probably was conceived by centaurs.
9. The Bynars
When our sound board died on us in the fall, our plans to celebrate their record release were nixed. With a successful pledge drive campaign and some new equipment, we rescheduled and had them play the final live set of the year.
10. Streight Angular
With a river of new releases each week, sometimes the easiest way to get noticed is to keep a steady stream flowing. Instead of limiting the promotional push to an album cycle, these weirdos pumped out a series of singles, including a great holiday number.
Cask Mouse, the Dwells, Dylan Ewen, Ex-Magicians, Field Effect, Florida=Death, Gondoliers, Huge Face, Jackson Emmer, Lo Fine, Magic Man, Metal Feathers, Mr & Mrs Garrett Soucy, Nervous, PottyMouth, the Uranium Daughters, We Avalance, Winter, and Z*L