TRMW Archives

* FYI, this stuff is old. The current TRMW is here.

January 21, 2007

Best of 2006 / Dykeritz’ Crystal Visions


We’re halfway through January now, so yeah, I suppose now’s a good time to go ahead and post my year-end list on the ol’ blog. I don’t have anything as fancy as last year’s list for you guys, but I do have one really awesome last-minute addition to share. That would be DykeritzSnowing Windy Peaches, which was handed to be many moons ago by Lucky Madison founder and all-around good guy Ryan Feigh, only to be rediscovered in a recent purge session, and finally, finally listened to. I’ve been into these guys ever since Ryan started feeding me demos of some of the songs that ended up on their last disc, Purple Switzerland. (Which I still don’t own, which is just dumb.) Those tracks bore evidence of a distinctly off-kilter and totally charming musical approach, which was further underscored by the grafitti I remember seeing around Portland at the time: “Dykeritz ate pizza with your mom,” etc. This kind of prankterism (I recall one show featuring a dancer with a giant blue ball on his head – I heartily endorse these acts BTW) would make it easy to see Dykeritz’ music as some kind of extended inside joke, but the albums tell a different story. Truth is, these guys have melodic chops aplenty and a highly-developed, uniquely skewed aesthetic. This came out on Purple Switzerland, an album of warm and breezy folk songs that saw deservedly high praise within the local music scene. But what really gets me about these guys is their use of synths and electronics, and these elements are in full force on Peaches. Here, Dykeritz fuse catchy melodic riffs to squiggled out electronica and drifting ambient/collage soundscapes. What it reminds me of more than anything else is old μ-Ziq, particularly the period around the release of In Pine Effect, when the music retained it’s lo-fi metalic chunkiness and the melodies started getting all sparkly and noodly. Here’s an example:

μ-Ziq - Phiesope

I’ve loved that music (also Plaid, Aphex Twin, both of whom I also hear in Dykeritz’ playful/bent euphoria) since I was in high school, back when electronic music the only thing I cared about. (Anything heavy on guitar was dismissed as “retro” and “not forward thinking”; ahhh, youthful absolutism.) Since then, I’ve re-embraced pop/indie/rock music as a necesary and timeless and wonderful thing, but with Peaches I can have it both ways. It’s shiny, futuristic music, but it’s also perfectly pop. In that sense, it reminds me of someone like Ariel Pink: radio-ready melodies filtered through spaced-out, semi-alienated lense(s), resulting in a kind of technicolor dream-pop that’s totally catchy and totally weird. Basically these guys are hitting all my pleasure centers at once, reflecting those old lush electronic sounds through music I’ve gotten into more recently (tropicalia, folk, see below). I could go on (and on), but let’s just cut to some favorites:

Dykeritz - 11 in the PM
Dykeritz - M
Dykeritz - Pink Grapefruit (Peach Fuzz)

>> buy Snowing Windy Peaches here <<

So there you have it, a late entry in my favorite’s of ’06 list. Huzzah! And now… (drumroll)… here’s the rest of it:


V/A – Tropicalia (Soul Jazz)
Hot Chip – The Warning (Astralwerks / DFA)
Brightblack Morning Light – Brightblack Morning Light (Matador)
Dykeritz – Snowing Windy Peaches (Lucky Madison)
Vetiver – To Find Me Gone (DiCristina)
V/A – Love is Love (Mississippi Records) *** Amazing African rarities comp released via Portland, OR record store cum label
Para One – Epiphanie (Institubes)
Juana Molina – Son (Domino)
M. Ward – Post War (Merge)
Booka Shade – Movements (Get Physical)

not sure where this belongs but:
Yeti Magazine

also liked:
Zombie Nation – Black Toys
DAT Politics – Wow Twist
The Blow – Paper Television (K)
Yo La Tengo – …Ass (Matador)
Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury (Re-Up)
Cat Power – The Greatest (Matador)

just getting around to now and liking:
Califone – Roots & Crowns (Thrill Jockey)
Ghostface – Fishscale (Def Jam)
Dykeritz (see above)

stuff i worked/put out that would be in here if i hadn’t worked it:
Alela Diane – The Pirate’s Gospel (Holocene Music)
Horse Feathers – Words Are Dead (Lucky Madison)
Cex – Actual Fucking (Automation)
Copy – Mobius Beard (Audio Dregs)
Ethan Rose – Ceiling Songs (Locust)


*** French techno guys were KILLING it this year! Especially the Institubes label crew. Some interesting genre-screwed / bastard pop movements going on in dance music in general this year. When Timbaland sounds like techno and techno sounds like Timbaland… that’s pretty awesome.

Justin Timberlake “My Love”
Surkin “Ghetto Obsession 2006″ (Institubes 12″)
Rick Ross “Hustlin’”
The Thermals “A Pillar of Salt” (Sub Pop) + the video!
Nadiya “Tous Ces Mots (sebastiAn Remix)”
T.I. “What You Know”
Mary J. Blige “Be Without You (A. Brucker & Sinden Remix)”
Junior Boys “In The Morning” (Domino)
Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland “Promiscuous Girl”
Peter Bjorn & John “Amsterdam” (Wichita/V2)
Simian Mobile Disco “I Bealive” (Kitsune)
Jesse Rose “A-Sided” (Front Room 12″)
Etienne De Crecy “Fuck”


Deerhoof @ Halleluwah, Disjecta, Portland
Hot Chip @ Doug Fir, Portland
Alela Diane @ many places throughout the year
M. Ward @ Holocene, Portland
Vetiver @ Disjecta, Portland
*** this spot is for all the ones I forgot ***

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January 21, 2006

Best of 2005

So I’ve got some other things I wanna post but first I feel obligated to somehow attempt to wrap up my year in music. Last year I went with a kind-of freeform approach. I did that because I couldn’t remember what the hell I listened to and I didn’t feel like my listening habits, what impacted me, etc really fit into the stock format. This year I feel even more scattered, but what the hell. 2005 in general saw lots of cool things happening, old genre-barriers falling down, interesting new hybrid musics coming out, and some very awesome albums and songs and live shows. Let’s break it down…



Ethan Rose Ceiling Songs (Locust Music)

This record is so amazing. I’m friends with Ethan, so it took me a while to get past the “Oh, I’m probably totally biased in thinking this amazing” to get to “Holy shit, my friend made my favorite record of the year.” But shit, this thing is amazing, beautiful, transcendent. More adjectives here.

Jamie Lidell Multiply (Warp)

Classic soul run through the post-electronic filter in the most tasteful, song-focussed way possible. I was pretty much sold on this guy after hearing the album, and the live show show reduced me to slobbering fanboy status. The record is amazing, but Jamie Lidell Live is basically everything I want music to be in 2006: looking forward and back, high and low tech, virtuosic and stupid.

Sleater-Kinney The Woods (Sub Pop)

Brent says this album “draws a pretty convincing line between Wire and Led Zeppelin,” which is about as good a description of this amazing music I’ve heard. Double props for making something that begins to express just how fucked up the USA was in 2005.

Deerhoof The Runners Four (Kill Rock Stars)

This album is too long, but the highlights blew my face off. The part at the end of “Running Thoughts” where the roof comes off and Deerhoof becomes Can and Boards of Canada and jams into the OM. The guitar solo at the end of “Wrong Time Capsule” that sounds like Brian Eno playing a dail-up modem. The building synth at the beginning of “O’Malley, Former Underdog” that is the happiest piece of music ever recorded.

Nice Nice Yesss EP (Audraglint)

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it now: Nice Nice is the best band on the planet. Here they ditch the no-wave fusion jams of their last album and head straight into M.I.A. style tribal electro (sans, uh, M.I.A.). What? YESSS!

Broadcast Tender Buttons (Warp)

Dryer and fuzzier than I expect this band to be. My favorite thing they’ve done.

AFX Hangable Auto Bulb (Warp)

How can I not put this on here? This shit is my punk rock. Just… really really great.

Amadou & Mariam Dimanche a Bamako (Nonesuch)

I actually just got this and it’s totally knocking me out. Wonderfully imaginative music from a blind Malian couple as assisted by Manu Chao. Sweet, sweet melodies, high production values, trancey guitars, siren synths, and bongos. Way good.

Stephen Malkmus Face the Truth (Matador)

Malkmus gets domestic, and so do I.

Clor Clor (Regal)

Electro-indie stuff, really solid. Mostly on here for “Outlines” which is a perfect song. RIYL Cut Copy, Indie Rock.

V/A Bro Zone (States Rights Records)

Playful indietronic party jams. Tropical music for Portland summers. This makes me feel good about where the Northwest is headed musically. I wrote a review of it here that says these same things in more words.

A-Frames Black Forest (Sub Pop)


Animal Collective Feels (Fat Cat)

I like “Sung Tongs” better, but this is still great. 2005 was the year I realized the hype was for a reason. This band is amazing. See “Purple Bottle” below.


Caribou The Milk of Human Kindness (Domino)

Super Furry Animals Love Kraft (XL Recordings)

Menomena Under an Hour (Film Guerrero)


Animal Collective “Purple Bottle” off Feels (Fat Cat)

I know this person that I love so much it feels like the cosmos falling into place. I’m not sure what the words to this song are but I think it’s about the beginning of that feeling, of being taken over by this giant ball of positive, life-changing energy. This song speaks to that part of me that is in love and makes me want to cry big purple tears of joy. BIG FEELINGS PEOPLE!

Amerie “1 Thing” off 1 Thing (Sony BMG)

I totally missed this song when it came out, but sought it out after seeing it at the top of everyone everywhere’s best singles of ’05 list. And HOLY SHIT!, it so deserves to be right where it is, at #1. Like The Meters vs. early Neptunes w/ Beyonce on top (maybe). Everything about this song is perfect.

Spankrock “Put that Pussy on Me (Diplo Tonite Remix)” 12″ (Money Studies)

Big props to Diplo for sampling one of my favorite garage rock tracks ever, The Seeds “I Can’t Seem to Make You Mine.” I got into that song not too long before this one came out, and pretty much shit myself on first listen. Booty bass electro beats + spooky 60s guitar riffs = totally rad. Bonus points to Diplo for those excellent Gwen Stefani and Ray Charles / Kanye remixes.

The MFA “The Difference It Makes” 12″ (Kompakt)

I heard this at the Superpitcher show in Seattle, didn’t know what it was and subsequently forgot it. Thanks to the tinyluckygenius for pointing me back on track. This song is so euphoric it almost reminds me of the cheesey progressive trance tapes I used to rock in high school, but somehow it stays earthbound enough to feel genuinely deep, instead of OTT x-static and saccharine. It’s also got the octave basslines and cosmic sweep that trance has, things I didn’t realized I missed so much. Just beautiful, cosmic dance music.

Klatta “My My” 12″ (Playhouse)

Props to e*rock for keeping the shelves at Ozone stocked with with the best electronic music in the world. I found this flipping through the bins one day, and it’s awesome. Stuttering, really funky beats with blurping synths and sick sick sick baseline. Weird, amorphous techno funk of the highest order.

Hot Chip “Over and Over” 12″ (Astralwerks / DFA)

I really didn’t like Coming on Strong at all, and had pretty much dismissed this band as hype bullshit. But, jesus, this song SLAYS. Tribal percussion, synth arpegios, fucked guitar solos, crazy catchy choruses… how can this be so awesome? It’s the lead single off their new album, so I’ll definitely be checking that out.

Nice Nice vs. Strategy “onneon rmx” off Planet of the Fight Club (Tigerbeat6)

Two rights make a rad!

Blood on the Wall “Stoner Jam” off Awesomer (Social Registry)

AWESOME STONER JAM! I bought this *today* and it is so freaking good!


PDX Pop Now @ Loveland

Kiki & Herb @ Wonder Ballroom

Mikaela’s Fiend @ Someone’s Basement

Jamie Lidell @ Doug Fir

Deerhoof @ Berbati’s

Crackerbash @ Crystal Ballroom

Copy + DJ Brian Foote + DJ BJ @ Crush

Superpitcher / Ada / Metope @ Chop Suey

Tussle + Out Hud @ Holocene 2 Year Anniversary

DJ Beyonda @ Everywhere


CEX Actual Fucking (Automation) (full disclosure: I’m working press on this. AND I AM REALLY REALLY PSYCHED ABOUT IT.)

new Nice Nice album

new Hot Chip album that has that awesome song “Over and Over” on it

new Blitzen Trapper album, plus UK release of Field Rexx

debut Panther full-length

new Flaming Lips album (the one song I heard was pretty awesome)

About Bongo (Cock Rock Disco)

And of course all the other stuff I forgot.

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January 29, 2005

Best of 2004

Wherein I finally post something resembling my favorite records of 2004. I have a reputation for showing up ten minutes late for everything, so I suppose it only makes sense that I should be about a month late to the end of the year. But fuck it. As a music obsessive, I feel compelled to compile these annual best-of lists, even if I do feel a little conflicted about the whole thing, for many of these reasons. I’ve been waffling on whether or not to do it this year, but, after reading and enjoying other people’s lists (click click click click click click click + magazines + emails), it only seems right that I should “give back”, or something.

That decided, I started my list, and quickly found myself in the odd position of having only three two solid favorites for 2004. Which seems really weird to me. I heard shitloads of music last year; how can it be that so little of it left any real impression on me? I’m thinking maybe it has something do with listening to too much music (by the time I finally get around to downloading/buying that album I needed to hear there’s five more in the queue, repeat), and something to do with spending a lot of time searching out old records. So what then, a top 2? Seems kind of anticlimactic.

Also, I have a hard time assigning rankings to music I like, and I’m lazy, and I like to avoid things I have a hard time with.

All of this leads to the semi-compartmentalized, not-really- hierarchical un-list you see below. I feel this format allows me to more accurately reflect the stuff I heard and how I felt about it, and prevents me from tossing in a bunch of stuff I wish I heard and half-like into something like the traditional 10.

In the end, the point of all this is really just to turn you the reader on to some good music I think deserves attention. This is what many of the lists I’ve read these past couple weeks have done for me; I hope this one does the same for you.

The Big Two:
Brooks Red Tape (Soundslike)
The Ponys Laced With Romance (In The Red)

Wish I’d listened to More:
Joanna Newsom The Milk-Eyed Mender (Drag City)
Kanye West College Dropout (Roc-a-Fela)
Animal Collective Sung Tongs (Paw Tracks)
Green Day American Idiot (Reprise)
Youssou N’Dour Egypt (Nonesuch)
Viva Voce The Heat Can Melt Your Brain (Minty Fresh)

Honorable Mention:
Cut/Copy Life Like Neon (Modular People)
Juicy Panic Otarie (InPolySons) Rum Loving Bass Pirate
Soundhog As Heard on Radio Soundhog Volumes 4 & 5
boom selection
20 Jazz Funk Greats

Portland, Oregon (recorded, albums):
Strategy Drumsolo’s Delight (Kranky)
Blitzen Trapper Field Rexx (Self Released)
Viva Voce The Heat Can Melt Your Brain (Minty Fresh)
Adelaide Adelaide EP (Self Released)

Portland, Oregon (recorded, songs):
YACHT “I Love a Computer”
Blitzen Trapper “Pink Padded Slippers”
Dykeritz “The Fountain of Youth vs. Everlasting Life in Heaven”
Alan Singley “Seem To Have Forgotten” (anyone know the real name of this song?)

Portland, Oregon (live):
Nice Nice Alarmist CD Release Party (The Fritz)
The Snuggle Ups PORCH P*L*U*R 2004 (The Orange Room
Wet Confetti PDX POP NOW! (The Meow Meow [R.I.P.])
Portland General Electro KPSU Fundraiser (Some Dude’s House)
Menomena, The Joggers, talkdemonic (Lola’s Room)
Mirah PDX POP NOW! (The Meow Meow)
The Hunches The Triggers’ Second-to-Last Show(Jasmine Tree)
The Triggers, Electric Eye The Triggers’ Last Show (Berbati’s)
Clorox Girls Easter BBQ Party (PRA House)
Easter Beer Hunt (Laurelhurst Park)
Wet Confetti, Knock It Closer, CUM LAZER Big-Ass Halloween Party (Katie’s House)

Seattle, Washington (live):
The Girls Secret Bumbershoot Show (The Funhouse)

Killer Singles:
M.I.A. “Galang” (XL)
Air “Run” (Astralwerks)
The Thermals “How We Know” (Sub Pop)
Junior Boys “Belona” (KIN)
CASH “My My My” (BlackGround / Universal)
Mario “Let Me Love You” (3rd Street/J
Snoop Dogg “Drop It Like It’s Hot” (StarTrax)

Killer Single + Best Video Ever:
Ludacris “Get Back” (Def Jam South)

Old Stuff I Found and Loved in 2004:
Swell Maps A Trip to Marineville (Secretly Canadian)
Swell Maps Jane in Occupied Europe (Secretly Canadian)
Caetano Veloso Caetano Veloso [1968] (Philips)
King Sunny Ade Juju Music (Mango)
Au Pairs Playing With a Different Sex (RPM)
Alice Coltrane Huntington Ashram Monastery (Impulse!)
Brian Eno Discreet Music (Editions EG)
The Monks Black Monk Time (Repertoire)
Plaid Booc EP (Warp)
The Seeds “I Can’t Seem to Make You Mine”
13th Floor Elevators “You’re Gonna Miss Me”

CUM LAZER’s Fave Mid-to-Early Nineties Party Classix:
Skee-Lo “I Wish”
Montell Jordan “This Is How We Do It”
Freak Nasty “Da Dip”
Tag Team “Woomp! There It Is”
Salt n Pepa “Push It” (ok, late 80s)
Naughty By Nature “Hip Hop Hooray” / “OPP”

Steve Winwood Song That Nobody Realizes Is As Funky As It Is:
Steve Winwood “Higher Love”

NO, really. At the tail end of 2004 I performed kareoke to this song, as it is one of the few songs I know all the words too. My mom had a tape of it growing up, and I distinctly remember being left in the car, playing this song on repeat, memorizing the words, and singing my pre-adolescent heart out to it over and over again. I hadn’t heard it for quite a while, but when the backing music came up it all came rushing back. And I remembered: this song has the wickedest pseudo-Afro synthetic percussion / fake-ass orchestral synth combo going on, like, ever! People don’t realize this. I told my girlfriend as much, and now the phrase “nobody realizes how funky that song is” will live on forever as the supreme indicator of my complete and total music geekiness.

Here’s to a geeky 2005!

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Blast from the present!