#GuelphMusicClub: Best of 2015

itsbeenawhile

Hey all.

Hope everyone is having a nice start to the new year and was able to enjoy their holidays. Speaking of the holidays, it was something of a surprise to see the revival of the #GuelphMusicClub at the end of last year. The decision to resurrect THE CLUB was made in order to discuss our respective favourites of 2015 and I really enjoyed reading through all of the entries. Times passes so quickly nowadays that I had nearly forgotten how eclectic and varied the tastes of the group actually are.

I also appreciate its return because it gives me the opportunity to resurrect this dead ol’ thing and CHAT SHIT (GET BANGED?) about my favourite musical items from 2015. Given that we’re getting towards the end of January now, I’ve already slacked so hard that I’m just going to dive right into it.

Bear with me as I indulge myself..

FYI: Everything “ranked” alphabetically

TOP ALBUMS OF 2015

Drake – If You’re Reading this it’s too Late

drakeIYRTITL

I can’t lie – I listened to the shit out of this. Also, I realize that it’s not technically an album but the line between album and mixtape has become so blurred that I’m not sure the distinction even matters anymore. No real radio singles on this one – just a lot of great beats from a primarily hometown / in-house cast, including Noah “40” Shebib (@OVO40), Boi-1da (@Boi1da), and PARTYNEXTDOOR (@PARTYOMO) – 19-year-old Mississauga native WondaGurl (@WondaGurlBeats) even grabs a few production credits. 🇨🇦 🍁

It was an eventful year for Drake (@Drake) considering his beef with Meek Mill (@MeekMill), the Quentin Miller (@Quentin__Millerghostwriting accusations, and his surprise collaboration tape with Future (@1future), but beyond it all, I won’t deny it – I dug this tape big time and have no shame about openly being a fan of da 6 God.

 

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Failure – the Heart is a Monster

failureTHIAM

Given that Failure (@Failure) had, in hindsight, become critical and indie darlings since disbanding in ’97, it was a bit of a shock to see the Heart is a Monster absent from so many year-end lists. Having been name-checked by everyone from A Perfect Circle (@aperfectcircle) to Paramore (@paramore) over the years, their space-rock influence has since been felt throughout a variety of genres.

Post-Failure, each member went on to partake in a multitude of projects: Ken Andrews (@andrewsken) became a sought-after producer and pursued a solo career while also playing in the likes of ON, Year of the Rabbit, and Digital Noise Academy; Greg Edwards primarily became known for his work in Autolux (@autolux) but was also involved in the short-lived supergroup, LuskKellii Scott (@kelliiscott) played with Blinker the Star and Veruca Salt (@verucasalt), among others; and, of course, Troy van Leeuwen (@troyvanleeuwen) is well-known for his involvement with Queens of the Stone Age (@qotsa) and the aforementioned A Perfect Circle.

Most reunions are shit and almost all reunion albums are even worse but this one turned out to be a wonderful exception to the rule. Nearly 20 years after the fact, it picks up right where Fantastic Planet left off and that point is only reinforced by an intro track entitled, “Segue 4” (Fantastic Planet had three “Segue” tracks of its own).

I was weary of this one due to how beloved FP is but it easily became one of my favourite and most listened-to albums of 2015.

 

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Ghost – Meliora

ghostMELIORA

This album really blew my away because I have been talking copious amounts of shit about Ghost (@thebandGHOST) for quite some time now. I felt their music was so over-the-top in its cheesiness and their costume gimmick made them look like some lame Slipknot (@slipknot) for grown-ups type thing…but this latest album is pretty undeniable.

I’ve seen a number of publications denoting “Cirice” as one of the songs of the year but the one that really changed my opinion on them was “He Is“. I see now that while the band are certainly cheesy, they are self-aware in doing so and happen to write songs with incredible pop sensibilities. It’s especially impressive seeing as they are, at their core, a metal band.

I still have yet to go back and revisit their previous two records. I’m curious to see if my negative opinions of Opus Eponymous and Infestissumam (which I particularly loathed), will have changed since falling so hard for Meliora…but I’m not ready to return and investigate just yet. Until I am prepared to do so, I’ll continue to enjoy the melodic sermons of Papa Emeritus III.

 

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Seinabo Sey – Pretend

seinaboPRETEND

I became familiar with Seinabo Sey (@SeinaboSey) through the FIFA 16 soundtrack. For those who don’t know, the FIFA series (@EASPORTSFIFA) compiles incredible soundtracks for their games year after year.

The album’s title track, “Pretend“, is featured in the game and it quickly grabbed me with its poppy, electro-soul grooves. I spun it enough that her then-upcoming debut album would become one of my most anticipated. This track also inspired me to look into some of her previously released singles such as “Poetic“, “Hard Time“, and “Younger” – all of which were eventually included on Pretend.

Seinabo Sey, a native Swede 🇸🇪  of part-Gambian 🇬🇲  descent, incorporates a wide array of influences and has an absolutely outstanding voice! She’s one of my favourite new artists and I feel she’s one to keep an eye on going forward.

 

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Tuxedo – Tuxedo

tuxedo

Man, I fucking loved this album.

I have never been a big fan of Mayer Hawthorne‘s (@MayerHawthorne) solo output but I have always loved Jake One‘s (@JakeUno) beats and this collaboration between the two just does it for me.

Tuxedo (@Tuxedo) tastefully blend the perfect combination of disco and funk with a sprinkling of 80s sensibility. These guys have produced an album of unbelievably catchy, feel-good, danceable tunes. They had been teasing the project as far back as 2013 and the full length turned out better than could have been expected. A purely addictive record.

Top 3 songs (in alphabetical order):

  1. Do It
  2. the Right Time
  3. Roll Along

P.S. “Do It” was one of the songs – and videos – of 2015.

 

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TOP EPs OF 2015

Big Grams – Big Grams

biggrams

Phantogram (@Phantogram) and Big Boi (@BigBoi) had already displayed their chemistry on the latter’s most recent solo album, 2012’s Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors, and after also having connected on a personal level, decided to team up for a collaborative self-titled EP.

A tight and concise listen that wraps in less than 30 minutes, Big Grams (@BigGrams) are clearly having fun crossing over into each other’s worlds. The EP includes a couple of great features from Run the Jewels (@runjewels) and 9th Wonder (@9thwonder) and one not-so-great pairing with Skrillex (@Skrillex) to close the record out.

Aside from the underwhelming outro, every other track on here hits and the overall replay value remains high.

 

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Kaleida – Think

kaleidaTHINK

John Wick is a silly movie starring Keanu Reeves as a guy who gets revenge on some bad dudes for killing his dog or some shit. However, the portion of the flick that really stood out for me was the violent club shootout scene juxtaposed against Kaleida‘s (@KALEIDAMUSIK) calm and serene “Think“.

After re-watching the scene about four or five more times, I immediately began to look into the band, of whom there was very little information available online at the time. Shortly thereafter, it would be announced that Lex Records (@LexRecords) – who I’ve been a big supporter of throughout the years – had signed Kaleida to a deal. The female duo play a very minimalistic style of synthpop that incorporates a uniquely haunting vocal style. They have dropped a couple of other fantastic songs prior to and since the release of the Think EP (“Picture You“, “Detune“).

Definitely one of my “ones to watch” for 2016.

 

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RATKING – 700-FILL

ratking700FILL

Quietly impressing with their 2014 debut, So it Goes, RATKING (@RatKing) are turning heads on the NY underground, having already attracted some impressive co-signs – just ask their engineer, Jay Z affiliate, Young Guru (@Young_Guru). They have a somewhat jarring, off-kilter style, incorporating a punk aesthetic that has much in common with alternative hip-hop acts like Dälek (@daleknwk), for example.

Saying that, Wiki (@wikset) is flat-out one of the more interesting MCs to pop up in the last few years and plays well off of Hak‘s monotone, sing-songy style, and SPORTINGLIFE‘s experimental beats.

So it Goes is a bit more streamlined than its predecessor and I imagine that makes it a little easier for the first-time listener to digest. They won’t connect with everyone but I consider them to be one of the most refreshing rap groups currently on the come-up.

 

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Will Haven – Open the Mind to Discomfort

willhavenOTMTD

Lots of nostalgia involved with this pick. As great as this EP is, a big part of the reason why I included it is because it inspired me to go back and revisit Will Haven‘s (@willhavenband) amazing back catalogue. This is the kind of ‘metal’ band I like – simple, droney, doomy, and heavy. I think one of the reasons I became so disinterested in metal in general was because it started reverting back to an overemphasis on speed and technicality – the hallmarks of the cheesy 80s. WHVN are still doing the one-note riffing with odd time signatures, and to me, it sounds as good as ever.

I won’t say that Will Haven were ever known for their superior production values but the recording quality of Open the Mind to Discomfort does leave something to be desired. That is a very minor complaint, however – the EP should be a visceral experience and the raw production certainly helps to emphasize this. A nice surprise from a record I really had no actual expectations of.

 

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Your Old Droog – the Nicest

YODnicest

Even though it’s been a while since I’ve written a new entry, I’ve spent a lot of time discussing Your Old Droog (@YourOldDroog) in the past here so I’ll keep it brief. This EP demonstrates how much Droog is beginning to come into his own. A punchline master with an obvious love for 90s hip-hop, his wordplay is improving and shares much more in common with Big L than the likes of a Big Sean (@BigSean).

Droog dropped another EP in the first half of 2015 by the name of Kinison, which was also great, but wasn’t quite as sharp as the Nicest, in my opinion. For those of you with a love for the golden age who are still sleeping on this dude, 🔴 STOP ALREADY 🔴!

 

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TOP SONGS OF 2015

the Chemical Brothers – “Go” (feat. Q-Tip)
from the album, BORN IN THE ECHOES 

I’ve never considered myself to be a massive fan of the Chemical Brothers (@ChemBros) but this collab with Q-Tip (@QtipTheAbstract) was hard to ignore. It isn’t the first time these two have worked together but it is certainly the best time! Great song and video.

 

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the Game – “100” (feat. Drake)
from the album, THE DOCUMENTARY 2 

Cold beat + hot flows from the Game (@thegame) and Drake = addictive track. Really not much more to say about this one. Lyrics are a little funny but it’s not really about that here. Get into it.

 

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Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
from the album, TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY 

I know Kendrick Lamar‘s (@kendricklamar) new album was somewhat polarizing, despite its near-record number of Grammy nominations. The only reason I chose not to include To Pimp a Butterfly on my best-of list of albums is because I find it’s not an album you just throw on at any given time; in my opinion, it’s more of a record that you have to be in a particular mood for in order to sit down and absorb it.

You could make the case that “Alright” isn’t even the best song on the album and I may even be inclined to agree with you. However, I feel it’s the only track that stands on its own outside of the context of the rest of the record – it works as a single. And I believe that’s a big part of the reason why many were disappointed by the album. That is, it didn’t have those big radio singles on it the way good kid, m.A.A.d. city did.

Overall, I do feel To Pimp a Butterfly was (by far) one of the year’s best albums and I wore this track out in a big way.

 

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Raury – “Mama”
from the album, ALL WE NEED 

Just an incredibly sweet song. I really feel this is up there with the all-time “mom” tribute songs out there. Raury (@Raury) is an interesting cat and weaves in and out of several genres with the greatest of ease. I didn’t really buy into the hype after he dropped Indigo Child last year but I have gotten fully on board with All We Need.

He still has some rough edges that need to be smoothed out but this kid looks poised for big things in the future. By far, one of my favourite songs of the year.

 

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Tennis – “Mean Streets”
from the album, RITUAL IN REPEAT

Tennis (@TennisMusic), the husband-and-wife duo from Colorado, released their most recent full-length album, Ritual in Repeat, back in 2014. However, it was re-released as a deluxe version in 2015 and “Mean Streets” was included as one of the bonus tracks.

I’m not sure how you’d classify this group – they’re sort of like the modern incarnation of a surf band. This particular song is fun and catchy as hell with the video being just as awesome. Great album in its entirety, too!

 

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BEST NON-2015 STUFF OF 2015

** I wanted to add one last section to this blog entry – the best stuff I listened to in 2015 that wasn’t released in 2015! **

COCTEAU TWINS

Discovering Cocteau Twins in 2015 has been life-changing. As far as I’m concerned, they’re right up there with all the greatest shoegaze acts. I listened to these guys like crazy and have fallen in love with every entry into their discography. My only regret is having not discovered them sooner. In particular, Heaven or Las Vegas is a masterpiece. Highly recommended for those who aren’t already aware.

 

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CODE ORANGE

Similar to what I’ve already stated in regards to why I enjoy groups like Will Haven, Code Orange (@codeorangekids) just know how to keep things simple. Heavy, straightforward metal/hardcore doubling as a nod to what was going on during the 90s and early 2000s can be a lot of fun. Which isn’t to say they sound outdated! These guys are all in the early 20s and I guess I get an unusually big kick out of the fact that they wear Nine Inch Nails (@nineinchnails) and Fear Factory (@FearFactory) shirts.

The thing that really got me into this band was through watching their live videos on YouTube – pretty insane stuff! I still haven’t investigated their albums outside of I Am King (aside from what has been featured in their live performances) but I plan to get onto that soon.

Sidenote: these guys are produced by Kurt Ballou of Converge (@Convergecult).

 

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the DOPPELGANGAZ

Despite the fact that I was into each of the Dopp Gang‘s (@TheDoppelgangaz) 2015 releases – Rhyme Over Beats, Parts Unknown, and Beats for Brothers, Vol. 3 – I found myself mostly revisiting their older output, particularly the Lone Sharks project.

These guys have got to be one of the most underrated groups in rap and have also managed to remain as one of the most consistent. GANGAZ!

 

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iamamiwhoami

iamamiwhoami‘s (@_iamamiwhoami_) 2014 audiovisual project, Blue, spent a ton of time in my rotation last year. It doubles as a great watch on YouTube as well with every song being accompanied by a music video. Water is heavily incorporated into the theme which makes for a very soothing and ethereal listen/view.

I can’t say enough about this album and it turned me into a major fan of this excellent singer/producer duo.

 

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JEMINI the GIFTED ONE

I’m not sure what it was that brought Jemini back into my rotation but I found myself listening to a lot of his shit again for whatever reason. His collab with Danger Mouse (@dangermouseHQ) was dope – 2003’s Ghetto Pop Life (oh look, there’s Lex Records popping up again!) – but it’s the Scars & Pain EP from 1995 that I’ve been giving the most burn to.

What ever happened to this guy⁉

 

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Thanks to all who managed to get all the way through this entry. I may have been overcompensating due to the year+ of inactivity on this blog. White Catholic guilt, etc.

Hope everyone enjoyed the read! Any thoughts? Share your best-of 2015 in the comments – I’d love to hear them! And don’t forget to check out all of the other great #GuelphMusicClub year-end lists!

kittywave

Bye for now!

#GuelphMusicClub: Top 5 Songs of 2014, Pt. IV

Happy 2015!

I don’t know about the rest of you but my holidays were jam-packed.

Got nowhere near seeing every person I had hoped to…

things there's never any time for: hair washing, studying, getting into Stanford, etc.

Things there’s never any time for: hair washing, studying, getting into Stanford, etc.

Nevertheless, here we are entering the new year and I have yet to wrap up my latest installement for the #GuelphMusicClub.

So, let’s get on with it then!

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kimbra

How many of you are familiar with New Zealand’s, Kimbra (@kimbramusic)?

Those of you who are were most likely introduced to her as the featured artist on Gotye‘s (@gotye) Record of the Year (2013), “Somebody that I Used to Know“, otherwise known as one of the most irritating songs of all time.

But don’t expect more of the same when it comes to her own material.

The Kiwi has shown a knack for the experimental since the beginnings of her career, pumping out genre-bending compositions that make her a tough artist to pigeonhole.

Dipping her feet into everything from jazz to indie-rock to disco and just about everything in between, her chameleon-like abilities tend to result in projects that avoid establishing any one particular “comfort zone”.

And yet, when it comes to her latest record, the Golden Echo, what else can you refer to it as except for a fucking fantastic pop record?

Kimbra - the Golden Echo (2014)

Kimbrathe Golden Echo (2014)

When you take a look at its all-star cast of songwriting / feature collaborators, Kimbra‘s eclecticism becomes immediately clear and apparent.

The likes of Daniel Johns of Silverchair (@Silverchair) fame, Matt Bellamy of Muse (@muse), Mark Foster of Foster the People (@fosterthepeople), Thundercat (@Thundercat), Bilal (@Bilal), and John Legend (@johnlegend) all receive credit for their contributions.

If you get into the deluxe version, the diversity expands even more so with Jonas Bjerre (@jonas_bjerre) (!) of Mew (@mew), Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (@ORLProductions) of the Mars Volta (@themarsvolta), and Ben Weinman (@dillingerescpln) of the Dillinger Escape Plan all showing up by name in the liner notes.

And though they were left off of the album, she even collabed with Flying Lotus (@flyinglotus) and Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors (@DirtyProjectors) during the creation process.

Not to be overlooked, the production quality on this project is bar none.

Overseen by the famed Rich Costey (@RichCostey), the album also contains the fingerprints of top names such as Fraser T Smith (@FraserTSmith), Dave Tozer (@DaveTozer), Matt Morris (@MattMorris), John Hill, and Keefus Ciancia.

She displays an ear-to-the-ground credibility by enlisting Mystery Skulls (@MysterySkulls) as well as (in my opinion) one of the most overlooked producers in rap, M-Phazes (@Mphazes), to handle a portion of the board work.

In spite of the impressive roster, it is Kimbra and her boundless vocal range that shines and subsequently dominates your attention here.

Whether she’s being fun and upbeat or soft and sultry, the huge and often dreamy melodies captivate while you travel through her tumultuous pop journey.

It should also be noted that she herself is credited as a co-writer and co-producer on every track which is doubly impressive considering she is rubbing elbows with a who’s-who of the industry.

A truly unique talent, Kimbra turned me into a big fan of hers in 2014 and I can’t wait to she where will be going next.

My no. 2 song of 2014 is “Miracle“.

Awesome video, too.

Kimbra – “Miracle”
from the album, THE GOLDEN ECHO  (2014)

I’m rising up. Sometimes, I want to get away. And from the moment I met you, I’m ready to fade. I ran into a brighter day.
– Kimbra, “Miracle”

#GuelphMusicClub: Top 5 Songs of 2014, Pts. II & III

Back again with a double edition in order to catch up to the rest of the #GuelphMusicClub.

Please click the hashtag above to see all of the entries to date.

It feels like there are more participants this time around since the previous iteration of THE CLUB and that is so great to see.

Selections have been quite diverse thus far and I’ve already been exposed to a number of great tracks that I wasn’t previously familiar with.

If you happen to be a fan of THE CLUB and would like to contribute, write a post, get a Twitter account, and tweet it out using the #GuelphMusicClub hashtag and you’re all set!

Even if you don’t have a blog of your own, one of us will gladly host your content.

For example, @soundinmymemory (soundinmymemory.com) has been very gracious in that respect.

So get on it!

All of us are hoping to see a lot of fresh faces (usernames?) in the near future!

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YODnasWere you up on the Your Old Droog (@YourOldDroog) conspiracy over the summer?

It was quite a fun ride while it lasted.

For the uninitiated: back in June, an unknown Droog dropped a free EP out of nowhere that sent the internet into a frenzy.

Upon first listen, it immediately becomes apparent why – the dude sounds a helluva lot like Nas (@Nas).

Due to his lack of visual presence, the hype culminated in a fever pitch where people were convinced it actually was Nas rapping under a pseudonym.

Fans felt they were finally getting the Nas they had been fiending for ever since his classic debut, Illmatic, dropped some 20 years prior.

And at the time, the speculation was not only plausible, but pretty damn convincing.

Except that it wasn’t him.

Confirmation of that fact came with his live performance debut at Webster Hall.

YODwebster

Some were disappointed to learn that Droog is, in fact, a white Russian kid from Brooklyn.

Some went on to call him a biter.

But many of us continued bumping his shit as if the entire side show had never happened.

Although the two MCs are very alike in terms of their cadence, I am not of the opinion that this fact should discredit his work.

Action Bronson (@ActionBronson) faced very similar criticisms early on in his career with the Ghostface (@GhostfaceKillah) comparisons and it did nothing to prevent me from naming Dr. Lecter as my favourite record of 2011 because above all, he made great music.

And look at Bronson now.

The dude is thoroughly and indisputably his own entity as we head into 2015 and arguably one of the most original characters in rap.

So let’s see what Droog can do.

Subsequent to releasing the EP, he went on to drop a handful of spare tracks, including collaborations with the likes of Prodigy (@PRODIGYMOBBDEEP), Mac Miller (@MacMiller), Marco Polo (@marcopolobeats), and the Alchemist (@Alchemist).

The EP would have a few of these “loosies” tacked onto it, as well as a couple of remixes, and eventually be repackaged as Your Old Droog‘s official debut LP.

Of those loosies, the one that ends up as my no. 4 song of 2014 is entitled, “On the News (Tamron Hall)“, an ode to the NBC News correspondent who is two decades his senior.

Has a bit of a creepy “Every Breath You Take” vibe over one of the smoothest soul samples you’re likely to hear this year.

#4Your Old Droog – “On the News (Tamron Hall)”
from the album, YOUR OLD DROOG LP  (2014)

Four months clean and the urge to stay sober got me goin’ so berzerk.
– Your Old Droog, “On the News (Tamron Hall)”

And remember the aforementioned Webster Hall show?

Yeah, about that..

:-D :-D :-D

Droog recently dropped his first video for “Nutty Bars” which can be seen below.

Your Old Droog – “Nutty Bars”
from the album, YOUR OLD DROOG LP  (2014)

A good guest and an ill host, these other cats milquetoast, fake Steve Wilkos. Shoulda stuck to doing security, your honor. That’s a cush gig like selling medical marijuana.
Your Old Droog, “Nutty Bars”

 

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For my no. 3 song of 2014, I look towards the guys who released my favourite rock album of the year.

Although they had been building a steady buzz, Nothing (@BandofNOTHING) underwent a few lineup changes and seemingly came out of nowhere when they released their full-length debut, Guilty of Everything, in the first quarter.

March 4, 2014

March 4, 2014

It certainly blew its predecessor, Downward Years to Come, out of the water.

Equal parts space rock, shoegaze, and grunge, it also becomes apparent that the members have a background in heavy music, with a pummeling rhythm section that is quite often thunderous in its ferocity.

Although GOE is without a doubt their most complete work to date, I think their best songs may have been written for their recently released split with best buds, Whirr (@WhirrBand).

Whirr guitarist, Nick Bassett, actually joined up to play bass with Nothing early this year and now pulls double duty in both bands.

While both acts are great, Nothing seems to have the greater potential of the two, as they have managed to add a degree of accessibility to a genre like shoegaze, one that is often too noisy and niche for the average music consumer.

Prior to forming the band, leader Dominic Palermo had served two years in prison for aggravated assault and attempted murder.

And you can hear the despair, isolation, and pleas for redemption throughout their catalogue.

It’s apparent that Nothing is a very cathartic project for Palermo and that likely adds another layer of intrigue onto their compositions.

They’re my favourite new band that I’ve come across in a good few years and I hope you dig them too.

My no. 3 song of 2014 is Nothing‘s “Chloroform“.

#3Nothing – “Chloroform”
from the split release, WHIRR/NOTHING  (2014)

Locked in chains under the floor. Cover my lips. Chloroform. Duct taped eyes, fear no more. It’s over now.
Nothing, “Chloroform”

 

As a bonus, I have to add the video for “Bent Nail” off of Guilty of Everything, simply because its one of the best videos I’ve ever seen and it features a shit-hot Kurt Vile (@therealkurtvile) cameo.

Nothing – “Bent Nail”
from the album, GUILTY OF EVERYTHING  (2014)

If you feel like letting go.
Nothing, “Bent Nail”

Obviously, the song just kicks ass as well.
As does all of their shit.

Peep.

#GuelphMusicClub: Top 5 Songs of 2014, Pt. I

WWYD

Oh, hey!

#GuelphMusicClub has a pulse!

It has been a favourite of mine since its creation and I welcome its return.

There appear to be some new names involved since the last go-round and that’s great to see as well!

Click the hashtag above to see the first round of contributions pertaining to our latest topic – the top 5 songs of 2014.

Shout to @MatCalverley for reviving the group.

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Now, I think the parameters for the #GuelphMusicClub‘s take on this topic have been expanded to allow for songs that have been personally discovered within the calendar year of 2014.

For myself, though, I felt there were enough AMAZING tracks from this year that choosing five would be a breeze.

Let me tell you, my no. 5 pick is no exception.

Behold…

stitches

DA GAWD STITCHES

Please note that when I say amazing, I am speaking in the broadest sense of the word here.

But make no mistake – the song I have chosen is fucking spectacular.

Bask in the beautiful absurdity that is Stitches (@StitchesTMI)!

#5Stitches – “Brick in Yo Face”
from the mixtape, NO SNITCHING IS MY STATEMENT  (2014)

I got an AK-47 on my face, ho. So you know I don’t shoot no piss toe. – Stitches, “Brick in Yo Face”

A cold ass beat.

Some dude lookin’ like the result of the Joker banging a juggalo.

And the soulless glorification of cocaine.

All the ingredients for a hit viral smash!

This is the definition of your internet-age one-hit-wonder.

Although, to be fair, this song was equally entertaining, if you ask me:

Stitches – “Mail”
from the mixtape, NO SNITCHING IS MY STATEMENT  (2014)

I send it. You receive it. – Stitches, “Mail”

This one shows the more vulnerable side of Stitches.

The introspective drug dealer, if you will.

The one who has your girl on his pole.

Coke rap has been around for a minute but this guy is a straight up cartoon.

I feel like he may even be a pioneer of sorts.

Like, I imagine this corny yt record exec watching “Brick in Yo Face” and thinking about how he needs to repackage it for the streets.

And then coming up with this:

O.T. Genasis – “CoCo”
from the single, CoCo  (2014)

Baking soda! I got baking soda!!O.T. Genasis, “CoCo”

And without this incredibly timeless piece of art from O.T. Genasis (@otgenasis), we never would have been blessed with this unforgettable Busta Rhymes (@BustaRhymes) moment:

BREAK YO NECK!!!

BREAK YO NECK!!!

So thanks for everything, Stitches.

Thanks for being you.

stitchesgold

^^^ LOVES SELLING BLOW

And thanks for being my number five of 2014.

NOW WHATCHA GON DO WIT IT???

14/15 Fantasy Premier League: Week 8 Recap

yahooRIP

I do apologize for the late update.

This past week has been a fantasy hell.

Remember when I mentioned that I hadn’t received my two championship trophies from last year’s Yahoo! Premiership fantasy season?

It appears a representative grew tired of my repeated requests for resolution and decided to lock my 15-year old account.

Why?

I’ve been trying to sort this out since last Friday and the closest I’ve come to an explanation is that my account was locked due to an old inactive Yahoo! chat ID that contained inappropriate language.

Pretty ridiculous as my primary ID is the one I had been using exclusively for the past 10+ years and it was a lame reference to System of a Down (@systemofadown).

LOL.

Anyway, needless to say, I am very upset to have one of my fantasy seasons ending prematurely in a game I have had fun documenting over the past couple of years.

I am still in touch with Yahoo! but the previous representative told me they were unable to locate my league despite giving them the correct league ID# and password.

Holding out hope but my hopes are slim.

Some arbitrary bullshit.

Leaves a bad taste in the mouth when you get burned by a platform you’ve been championing for years.

Regardless, the series will continue with posts pertaining to my official team.

If I manage to get my team back in the Y! game, I will likely resume posting recaps for that format as well, even though my season has been effectively ruined.

But until then, my apologies to those of you who were following along with me.

Not only was it a tough week due to fantasy issues but Arsenal (@Arsenal) put up some forgettable performances.

They scored a last minute equaliser versus Hull (@hullfcofficial) to scrape away with a point and had no business taking the three points from Anderlecht (@rscanderlecht).

It felt as if Alexis Sánchez (@Alexis_Sanchez) won that game for us on his own.

Oh, by the way, 2-3 months is our new holy grail.

As in, that’s how long David Ospina (@D_Ospina1) has been ruled out through injury.

And in case you forgot that water is wet, Abou Diaby (@AbouVDIABY) is hurt again.

Poor fucker.

F.U. Shad Forsythe aka the saboteur.

This was just a brutal week and my feelings are still hurt over the Yahoo! thing so let’s keep it movin’.

*     *     *     *     *

OFFICIAL

1415fplwk8

Overall Points: 435

Global: 127,700 (Last week: 174,448)
Fans of Arsenal: 5,646 (Last week: 6,894)
Canada: 1,226 (Last week: 1,723)

Private League I: 3/9 (48 points out of 1st)
Private League II: 2/13 (7 points out of 1st)
Private League III: 1/3 (86 points clear)

*     *     *     *     *

YAHOO!

y!freedom

Total Points: ???

Global: ???
Fans of Arsenal: ???

Private League I: ???

YAHOO! IS NOT FOR THE PEOPLE.

*     *     *     *     *

Damn, that makes me sad.

Anyway, you can see that I was forced to play my wildcard in the official format as I had 5 inactive players either through injury or suspension.

Made out pretty well considering I missed out on Agüero‘s (@aguerosergiokun) 4-goal performance.

But it was Dusan Tadic and his 1-goal / 3-assist who I was most upset to have lost out on.

It’s a shame that you can only add a maximum of three players from each club but it adds to the strategy.

I felt that Bertrand (@ryanbertrand3) and Forster (@FraserForster) needed to be added to my squad for gameweek 8 and beyond.

And I had no intention of dropping Graziano Pellè (@GPelle19).

Make no mistake, though – Tadic has season keeper potential.

And I fear for the out-of-form Arsenal as they travel to the Stadium of Light.

Last week, Southampton (@SouthamptonFC) polished off Sunderland (@SAFCofficial) with an 8-nil drubbing and the Black Cats are sure to be full of piss and vinegar.

 

How did you make out in Gameweek 8???

14/15 Fantasy Premier League: Week 7 Recap

fifa15endmatch

.. and the Arsenal (@Arsenal) woes continue to pile up.

It is amazing how so much can happen in the span of a week.

First off, the Chelsea (@chelseafc) match.

Yet again, Wenger was unable to get the best of his arch-nemesis, Mourinho.

Chelsea won the match 2-0 and it was a confrontational affair.

The sparks began to fly after this vicious Gary Cahill (@GaryJCahill) tackle on Alexis Sánchez (@Alexis_Sanchez):

Certainly worthy of a sending off but Martin Atkinson didn’t see it that way and only issued a yellow.

This threw Wenger into a rage which led to a scuffle with Mourinho as the former approached the latter’s technical area:

By the end of the match, each manager estimated the other side was lucky not to have finished with eight men.

While it’s true that an overall lack of discipline defined this match, it would have altered the game dramatically had Chelsea gone down to 10 men after only having played about 20 minutes of football by that point.

Nevertheless, it was always going to be a tough fixture and now, unfortunately, it is one that has left Chelsea as the only unbeaten team remaining in the Premier League (@premierleague) this season.

How nice did Cesc Fàbregas (@cesc4official) look on that assist to Diego Costa?

Hindsight is always 20/20 but regardless of depth, passing on an exclusive world-class player transfer for less than £30M is rarely good business.

Looking at his relative ease in re-acclimating to the BPL, there is no question that we should have exercised the buy-back clause.

But it’s an even tougher pill to swallow now that Özil (@MesutOzil1088) is confirmed to be out until 2015 with torn ligaments in his knee.

Blame it on the Touch of Satan?

Blame it on the Touch of Satan?

The most disturbing part of this story is knowing that the injury was only detected due to Özil leaving for international duty.

The German National team doctors discover a severe injury and have to inform the medical staff of the player’s parent club about it?

That is some disgraceful, backwards-ass shit.

But wait, it gets worse!

The French Football Federation has also sent Laurent Koscielny back to Arsenal because he is suffering from acute tendinitis in both achilles tendons.

WTF??? These players were allowed to leave for internationals?

Look, if you want to talk overrated Americans, leave Jozy Atildore (@JozyAltidore) alone.

Let’s talk Shad Forsythe.

BUST.

BUST.

Let’s face it, the injury bug became an epidemic at Arsenal long before Shad‘s arrival but this year is about as bad as it’s ever been.

The training staff and facilities were supposed to be a summer priority and it appears we may actually be working in reverse.

Again, Shad just got here, so by no means am I blaming him for the image below but it truly is something that has to be seen to be believed:

A comprehensive list of Arsenal injuries over the past 10 years or so

A comprehensive list of Arsenal injuries over the past 10 years or so

And if you weren’t having enough fun with that image, why not check out the complete injury list (in text form) dating from August 2002 to present.

Is that unbelievable or what!?

Perhaps, it’s time Arsenal looked into borrowing some steroids from Real Madrid (@realmadrid).

Bale: First Blood

Bale: First Blood

Anyway, as previously mentioned, players have been sent out for national duties which means no Premier League action this weekend.

The timing works as I have some decisions to make regarding my fantasy squads.

Speaking of which..

*     *     *     *     *

OFFICIAL

1415fplwk7

Overall Points: 369

Global: 174,448 (Last week: 147,155)
Fans of Arsenal: 6,894 (Last week: 6,751)
Canada: 1,723 (Last week: 1,422)

Private League I: 3/9 (16 points out of 1st)
Private League II: 4/13 (24 points out of 1st)
Private League III: 1/3 (65 points clear)

*     *     *     *     *

YAHOO!

1415y!plwk7

Total Points: 702

Global: ???
Fans of Arsenal: ???

STILL NO GLOBAL RANK WTF!!!

Private League I: 2 / 6 (5 points out of 1st)

*     *     *     *     *

I had planned to use my wildcard in week 7 of the official game but decided against it when I realized I could swap out the injured Aaron Ramsey (@aaronramsey) for Raheem Sterling (@sterling31) at the same price point.

However, I feel it will be impossible not to activate it this week: Calum Chambers (@CalumChambers95) is suspended having (already!) picked up his 5th yellow, James Ward-Prowse (@Prowsey16) and Yaya Sanogo (@Yayasanogoal22) are still ruled out through injury, and Dejan Lovren (@DejanLovrenLFC6) is returning from Croatia with a “torn abdominal wall”.

I’m mostly satisfied with my strikers and midfield in the official game but my fullback and keeper situations are getting worrisome.

As far as the Yahoo! game goes, it’s still driving me bonkers that there is no words on the reintroduction of global rankings AND I AM STILL WAITING ON MY TWO CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHIES FROM LAST SEASON.

And for your information, their customer support and engineering team are useless tits.

JUST IN CASE ANY OF YOU BUMS HAPPEN TO READ THIS.

In Yahoo!, I thought I was being clever by moving Thibaut Courtois (@thibautcourtois) to the bench in order to bring in Kasper Schmeichel (@kschmeichel1).

Except that Courtois finished with more fantasy points despite leaving the match after 10 minutes due to a head injury.

Hahha.

At least I reclaimed my 100-point-a-week average.. for now.

How did you make out in Gameweek 7???

14/15 Fantasy Premier League: Week 6 Recap

northlondonderby

Another tumultuous week for the Arsenal (@Arsenal).

The latest installment of the North London derby ended in a 1-1 stalemate.

After a goalless first half, Tottenham (@SpursOfficial) took advantage of some sloppy Arsenal defense to open the scoring about 10 minutes into the second.

Thankfully, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (@Alex_OxChambo) was able to equalize roughly 20 minutes later in order to salvage the point.

Curiously, the Ox started ahead of new signing, Alexis Sánchez (@Alexis_Sanchez).

With Alexis now having not made the starting XI for two consecutive Premier League (@premierleague) starts, word is emerging that he has been dropped by Wenger for disrupting Arsenal’s style.

While I would say it’s true that Alexis likes to hug the ball a bit more than the average Gunner, I’m not sure it’s fair to say he slows down the team as his pace can be electric.

If anything, he seems to have an advanced ability to draw players away from their markers in order to free up the pass.

But I digress.

The Danny Welbeck buy may have allowed Wenger to avoid forcing Alexis to play through the middle but there is no reason to assume that the second-highest player purchase in club history is in danger of becoming the next Podolski (@Podolski10).

The derby also came with a dark side.

Wenger was forced to use two of his three substitutions before the half with both Mikel Arteta (@m8arteta) and Aaron Ramsey (@aaronramsey) leaving through injury.

The manager found the knocks to be curious given that both players were rested during the Capital One Cup (@CapitalOne_Cup).

Remember when Shad Forsythe was supposed to be our signing of the summer?

I know us Gooners are supposed to be familiar with extended layoffs due to injury – even expecting them at times – but this season began with an outright crisis and it hasn’t seemed to let up yet.

The boss did, however, have some positive news for us today in regards to injuries:

I look forward to seeing what Theo Walcott (@theowalcott) can add to the side.

Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) continues to be one of our more exciting young players.

Nevertheless, the focus now becomes Galatasaray (@GalatasaraySK) in tomorrow’s Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) fixture.

We need a top quality display after taking that drubbing from Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) to open up the group stage.

gunner4life

Onto the fantasy we go.

*     *     *     *     *

OFFICIAL

1415fplwk6

Overall Points: 314

Global: 147,155 (Last week: 237,170)
Fans of Arsenal: 6,751 (Last week: 11,725)
Canada: 1,422 (Last week: 2,278)

Private League I: 3/9 (5 points out of 1st)
Private League II: 2/13 (5 points out of 1st)
Private League III: 1/3 (58 points clear)

*     *     *     *     *

YAHOO!

1415y!plwk6

Total Points: 589

Global: ???
Fans of Arsenal: ???

STILL NO GLOBAL RANK WTF!!!

Private League I: 2 / 6 (16 points out of 1st)

*     *     *     *     *

I have to thank Asmir Begovic (@asmir1) and Ryan Shawcross as the Stoke (@stokecity) clean sheet was what helped me to finish with an above-average week in the official game.

With RamseyJames Ward-Prowse (@Prowsey16), and Yaya Sanogo (@Yayasanogoal22) all sidelined for significant periods, I’ll be tempted to use my wildcard prior to gameweek 7.

I was really hoping to hold onto the WC as long as possible this year but sometimes circumstances dictate the situation.

It’s still possible to play a full squad and keep my bench filled with all three injured options but I can’t afford to lose any ground at this early point in the season.

Decisions, decisions.

The Yahoo! game seems to be getting more difficult for me with each week.

The problem being that I have some marquee players being held at some serious cut-rate prices.. so making any significant changes to the squad has turned into a pretty serious quandary.

Now that his place in the XI may be temporarily jeopardized, do I drop Alexis Sánchez despite holding him at less than £5m?

I already know who I’ll be swapping Ramsey out for during his absence so I suppose not all is lost.

How about you? How are your teams looking through the first month and a half?

How did you make out in Gameweek 6???