It’s that time of year again – Binge-eating, over-spending, egg-nogging and Pure Pop Year-ender-ing! The form is open and we want to hear from all of you on what you loved this year – Music is the main focus, but if you’re more concerned about books, movies or celebrity crushes, we’ll (begrudgingly) accept alternative lists too (as long as Baby Goose is on your list).
Lists will be accepted and displayed from now till the the New Year and one lucky submitter will win a 20$ Gift Certificate to Pure Pop! All lists must contain 5 entries, including all fields filled out to be published and/or gift certificated. (If you can’t find a youtube video, post some funniest home videos or rick roll us or something) Lets the lists begin!
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Nanda Collection The most unapologetically processed and catchy thing I've ever heard and I love it. I actually think that there is some substance here. The music is essentially just pure fun through and through with no frills, but the production (courtesy of Yasutaka Nakata of Capsule, who also wrote the whole album) is actually remarkably well done. The palette of sounds on this record ranges from late-'90s era video game sounds to wobble bass to strangely out-of-tune horns. I won't argue that Nanda is some kind of innovative masterpiece, but after hours of listening to this shit and bobbing my head like a 14-year-old Japanese schoolgirl, I just had to put it on here.
Blood Ceremony - The Eldritch Dark The best possible thing that could possibly be produced by a band basing their sound and look on '70s rock. Not much else to say about this one.
Deafheaven - Sunbather Y'all should've caught on to blackgaze long ago. I guess all it took was a bunch of short-haired guys who shop at Urban Outfitters and have a pink album cover to make it happen. Thank god they make kick ass music so that I don't have to put on my metal elitist cap.
Nails - Abandon All Life I honestly think this is the angriest album ever recorded. I know a lot of people might refute me on that, but the combination of chunky guitars, blistering blast beats, and ball-crushing riffs on this record makes it something to admire. Other bands have used similar formulas, but Nails do it in a more effective and succinct way than anyone has before.
Gorguts - Colored Sands In a year full of mediocre comeback albums, I didn't expect a whole lot from Gorguts' return. After 12 years out of the game and massive lineup overhauls, it's easy to lower your expectations. But Colored Sands is hands down the best metal album put out this decade. Where other bands returning from extended hiatuses try to capture some spark that has long since faded, Gorguts 3.0 draw influence from contemporary bands – many of whom were influenced themselves by Gorguts – and craft an intricately finessed yet utterly uncompromising masterpiece of an album. Best of all, the action here is often broken up by brief clean or otherwise quiet segments/interludes. The result is a long album that holds up for its entire duration despite the viciousness of the music, something that is hard to say for what most people consider the Gorguts magnum opus, Obscura. Also, the lyrics are totally rad.
It’s list season! The best time of the year as far as I’m concerned. That actually might be because I get to stuff my face with delicious food and spend time with family, but whatever.
I usually agree fairly well with the critical consensus and year-end lists that come out, but I have to say that this year I think there’s been a lot of shit tossed around (no offense to everyone else posting lists here…). Almost all of the major releases that came out in 2013 were horrendous or at the very least forgettable. There were a few good ones in there – I must say that I do like the new Sigur Ros and Daft Punk albums – but even those didn’t have the staying power through the end of the year. There was a ton of good metal that came out this year but I feel like the rest of the music world was a bit of a desert. Oh well. Here are my honorable mentions anyway:
Fire! Orchestra – Exit!
Gris – À l’âme enflammée, l’äme constellée…
Wardruna – Runaljod: Yggdrasil
Eluvium – Nightmare Ending
Kayo Dot – Hubardo
Lycus – Tempest
Laura Marling – Once I Was an Eagle
Progenie Terrestre Pura – UMA
King Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds / Haunted Head I'm still upset that my new boss introduced me to this terrible garage-fuzz band (featuring King Congo Powers of The Gun Club, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and The Cramps) while I was trying to get work done one day. I dislike them so much that I certainly didn't check out their live show when they played down the road from my abode here in Somerville, Mass last month. They put on a pretty lame live show-- not that I'd know. Avoid at all costs if you're into scuzzy garage-punk like Mark Sultan or Shannon and the Clams.
The Migs / Whatever Forever Psh, who even listens to local, unsigned musicians anymore? This lousy self-released record is from Dover, NH's own post-punk losers, The Migs. Even though "Whatever Forever" was technically released in December '12, I'm including it on this list because I just got wind of it this summer...and hoo, is it stinky! "He Ain't So Great" is a particularly stale track that I listen to very infrequently since it is boring, slow, and sad. Anyhow, do you like old school Strokes-type stuff? 'Cause if you do, you'll hate this record.
Franz Ferdinand / Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action Those of you who know me know that I've hated Scottish art-rockers Franz Ferdinand since high school. They are, in fact, my least favorite band. And they're up to their usual antics on this album-- these songs are neither cerebral nor musically innovative and interesting. And they're not sexy. At all.
Deerhunter / Monomania I think we can all agree-- Bradford Cox just sucks. Amirite? No persona as a live performer, pretty much no personality whatsoever-- I just wish he were more...mysterious! Anyhow, like the rest of Deerhunter's catalog, Monomania is just terrible. Loads of very long, drawn out, dull songs with lyrics that could just put me to sleep! Oh, and I don't want to hear your squeaky guitar drone-y things, Mr. Cox and Mr. Pundt. I need some easier listening. Can somebody just put some Michael Buble on or SOMETHING?
Vampire Weekend / Modern Vampires of the City Ugh. I thought I was done with this band after A-Punk, but they're still around, eh? SOMEHOW I came to possess the white vinyl version of this album right when it came out-- don't ask me how, since I hate this band--and, like, I just wish someone would take it off my hands. What is it with the songs named after women on this album? "Diane Young" is catastrophically lethargic, while "Hannah Hunt" feels uninspired and meaningless. Up your game, guys. These are two of the worst tunes in VW's already revolting repertoire. And, like, why do I even need Vampire Weekend when I can just listen to "Graceland" over and over until my ears bleed? You can call me Al. And not that it matters, but let's face it: the band members of VW are dreadfully unattractive and tweet highly uninspired non-sequiturs far too often.
If you encountered a blue-eyed Lady Pure Popper behind the counter before, say, late May of this year– well, it sure as hell wasn’t me.
The above five albums are my five absolute least favorite from this year, but I also found Arcade Fire’s “Reflekor”, Ryan Power’s “Identity Picks”, Fuzz’s self-titled debut, and King Tuff’s “Was Dead” reissue to be particularly despicable. Among many others. Boy, 2013–what a crappy year for music.
About me? Well, I truly despise Ty Segall, college radio, eating hummus, drinking Darjeeling, sleeping in, and traversing by bicycle around my new digs (just outside Boston, Mass).
Oh, and I’m never sarcastic.
Billy Bragg - Tooth & Nail I guess once Billy Bragg hit his 50's, it would be too much to expect the one-man punk assault from his earliest albums. However, I like mellow Billy, too. Highlights are the politically charged "No Ones Know Nothing Anymore" and "There Will Be A Reckoning", the latter appearing in a slightly different version from his Fight Songs album from 2011.
Elvis Costello & The Roots - Wise Up Ghost OK. Elvis Costello can record an album of the sound of him eating saltines and it would probably end up in my top 5 of any given year. That said, this album is pretty fantastic! For Costello-philes, there are four songs that are reworkings of very deep cuts from his vast catalog of songs. At first I was put off about that, but now I have finally come to accept and love those "new" tunes! The first single and opening track on the album, "Walk Us Downtown", is outstanding!
Neko Case - The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You Neko Case can sing the phone book and it would be mesmerizing, but I also happen to think that she is a badass songwriter. If "Nearly Midnight, Honolulu" doesn't give you shivers, then you have no soul. "Night Still Comes" would be on my short list for song of the year. If you splurged on the deluxe version, you even get Neko covering the Robin Hitchcock song "Madonna of the Wasps"!
Quasi - Mole City Yes, yes, yes! Twenty-four brand new Quasi tunes?!? Sam and Janet did it again! I dare you to listen to "Bedbug Town" or "You Can Stay But You Gotta Go" and not have them stuck in your head for the rest of the week, month, or year. Underneath all of the fuzziness and scuzziness, the tracks on Mole City are truly pop gems.
The Dirtbombs - Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-blooey! Mick Collins is a living legend. He was the leader in Blacktop, The Gories, and now for the last 20 years (wait, seriously? 20 years?) The Dirtbombs. What happens when the man who is THE guy in the Detroit garage rock scene decides to make a bubble gum pop record? You get Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-blooey!, an album insanely stupidly hook-filled and catchy. I cannot help it - since I got my hands on this album, I've been listening to it almost daily. From lead track "Sugar on Top" to last track "We Come in the Sunshine" (the latter heavily borrowed from "Good Vibrations"), it's a near-perfect collection of songs...and my favorite album of 2013.
Phil Yates is a local musician who plays in Phil Yates & the Affiliates, a former DJ at WWPV 88.7 FM The Mike, and teaches mathematics at Saint Michael’s College. He is relieved that he didn’t have to count past 5 for this “Best of 2013″ list.
We will be opening on Friday at 10 a.m. People will enter on a first come, first serve basis. As always, we do like to provide everyone in line the opportunity to get their most desired items. We will conduct a wish list drawing similar to what we did on Record Store Day.
If you are in line by 9:30 a.m., you will be able to hand in a wish list of up to 10 items that you would like to purchase. We will randomly draw from the collected wish lists & reserve the top 2 items available from each drawn wish list. These 2 items will be reserved for you behind the counter.
So please remember, first in line means first in the store but doesn’t guarantee that you will get all the items you desire. First in line does mean that you will get first access to items that are not reserved thru the wish list drawing.
Thanks again for your understanding. The wish list drawing went really well on Record Store Day, it allows everyone a chance to get their hands on the items they desire without having to camp out in line for 4 hours.
I know many people are away for the holiday week. If you are unable to make it to the store on Friday, we will start taking requests by phone/email on items beginning at 11 am.
There is a list below that Meg prepared that details all the special releases that Pure Pop has received for Black Friday.
Please note that will be having a sale on all non-Black Friday titles.*
10% vinyl/new cds/dvds/t-shirts/posters
20 % used cds
*does not include already discounted/sale items
Pure Pop is here for you today to address that big elephant in the room.
That’s right, folks, Black Friday is in the all-too-near future. To celebrate, we offer below a list of the better things to think about purchasing.
Joseph Arthur $14.97
Atlas Genius: $16.97
Bad Things: $6.97
Band of Horses: $4.97
Beat Box Book: $59.97
Blackberry Smoke/Lynyrd Skynyrd $5.97
Blind Boys of Alabam/Isbell/JP White $5.97
Brendan Benson $19.97
Blood Ceremony $22.97
Brandi Carlile $7.97
Charles Bradley: $6.47
Billy Bragg & Wilco Mermaid Ave $37.97
Billy Bragg & Wilco Vol 2 $37.97
Billy Bragg & Wilco Vol. 3: $37.97
Nick Cave: $22.97 (LP)/$12.97(CD)
Chris Robinson Band $74.97
Church of Misery $24.97
Civil Wars: $9.97
The Clash-Self-titled: $13.97
The Clash- Combat Rock: $13.97
The Clash-Give ‘Em Enough Rope: $13.97
The Clash-London Calling: $19.97
The Clash-Sadinista: $22.97
Gene Clark: $18.97
Cold War Kids $9.97
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.: $21.97
Miles Davis-Jazz Track: $24.97
Miles Davis- Kind of Blue: $24.97
Miles Davis: Miles + Monk: $24.97
Dawes cd $6.97
Dawes lp $12.97
Lana Del Ray: $21.97
Devin Townsend Project $12.97
The Doors: $24.97
Duran Duran: $16.97
John Denver and His Muppet Friends: $24.97
Bob Dylan: $39.97
Fallout Boy: $14.97
A Tribute to John Fahey: $24.97
Flaming Lips (CD): $9.97
Flaming Lips (LP): $18.97
Ghost BC $22.97
Robert Glasper: $10.97
Grateful Dead: $39.97
Jackie Greene: $12.97
Vince Guaraldi: $8.97
Hardworking Americans: $5.97
Jimi Hendrix: $9.97
Hot Wacks VA: $5.97
Michael Hurley: $19.97
Jethro Tull: $24.97
Jack Johnson: $14.97
Ernie Kovacs: $14.97
Lady Gaga: $21.97
Sondre Lerche: $11.97
Life of Agony $27.97
Nick Lowe: $24.97
Dave Matthews Band: $77.97-$89.97
Metallica: $39.97 reg. ($54.97 for 45rpm edition)
Mystical Weapons: $19.97
Harry Nilsson: $24.97
Roy Orbison: $109.97
Van Dyke Parks $9.97
Lullaby Renditions of Pearl Jam: $17.97
Vitamin String Quartet performs Radiohead: $17.97
Red Hot Chili Peppers: $34.97
Rolling Stones: $9.97
A Tribute to Shel Silverstein: $24.97
Silversun Pickups: $12.97
Paul Simon-Self-titled: $24.97
Paul Simon-Still Crazy After All These Years: $24.97
Paul Simon-There Goes Rhymin’ Simon: $24.97
Sly and the Family Stone: $9.97
Stone Temple Pilots: $22.97
Sunn O.: $26.97
Tegan & Sara: $6.97
Ten Big Stiffs: $89.97
Josh Tillman $15.97
Trigger Hippy: $11.97
Truth & Soul Box: $54.97
Uncle Tupelo: $9.97
Upsetters/Lee Scratch Perry: $28.97
Townes Van Zandt: $49.97
Widespread Panic: $74.97
Xiu Xiu: $21.97
Zabriskie Point Soundtrack: $29.97
See? Despite its appropriately ominous name, Black Friday doesn’t have to be so bad!
More information on these titles is available on the record store day site, click here.
Deleted Arrows/The body as a wasteland Deleted Arrows is an instrumental, conceptual rock band out of Providence, RI. Comprised of members of The Cancer Conspiracy, Daughters and Sweetthieves, Deleted Arrows weave complex rhythm with textured soundscape into a flowing composition on their debut "The Body As A Wasteland". I love this record. I am sure they would hat me for saying this, but if you've lived in Burlington for a long time this album is basically a third record from The Cancer Conspiracy. Which is just a gift I thought I'd never receive.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds/Push the Sky Away Nick and The Seeds outdid themselves with this relatively somber release. My wife got me the crazy special edition vinyl release of this album that came with two additional 7" singles, a DVD and a reproduction of Nick's lyric book. We also got to see them in Boston and it was killer.
Queens of the Stone Age/...Like Clockwork Arguably the only mainstream rock band left worth paying attention too. This album didn't live up to it's hype for me, but it grew on me enough to make it's way onto the list. Some excellent rock tunes to be heard for sure.
Chelsea Wolfe/Pain is Beauty Dark, brooding, moody. Her use of more electronics on this record rubbed me the wrong way at first, but i got over it and came to love this album. Got to see her put on an excellent show in Boston a couple months ago with the band responsible for my #1 opening...
True Widow/Circumambulation A stellar second full length from this Texas trio. Slow, dark and loud. They have become my "favorite thing to listen to while....." insert anything.
Hi! I am Justin Gonyea. I teach visual art in the Burlington School District. I am the vocalist/guitarist for Vultures of Cult http://www.vulturesofcult.com. I produce, engineer, mix and master records for bands here in Burlington (Vultures of Cult, Paper Castles, Trapper Keeper, Mass of Tharsis, Cloudeyes, Iron Sword, In Memory of Pluto, Romans, ETC..). I own and operate a small record label with my wife, Audra, called Prolific Summer http://www.prolificsummer.com http://justingonyea.tumblr.com
McCartney - New Diverse, yet still sounds like classic McCartney. "Early Days" is one of his best in years. You can almost hear the "vintage" appeal of Abbey Road coming through the record.
John Fogerty - Wrote a Song for Everyone I am an old school Creedence fan, but have always enjoed Fogerty's solo work. The new stuff, and the duets, on this album really are something special. "Someday Never Comes" with My Morning Jacket was a real standout.
Lorde- Pure Heroine Although she is suffering from massive overplay right now, the girl can write (and sing), and doesn't seem to be interested in making music for anyone but herself or in impressing anyone. That's cool and I hope more young people follow her lead.
Arcade Fire - Reflektor The whole image of Win Butler walking around Haiti, coming up with these sons in his head, is pretty awesome. The fact that this album has as much breadth as it does, and most of it was (allegedly) cut out to make the album shorter, is even more so.
Vampire Weekend- Modern Vampries of the City This may be a conventional pick, but screw it, this album was awesome. Their sound has really matured and sound like they are establishing a new identity for themselves, even when there was never really any need to do so.
I am really glad Vinyl seems to still be going strong, if not gaining strength, in these tough times for the music business. (Maybe the world really does have a way of evening things out?) I enjoy the fact that the new Lo-Fi trend seems here to stay, even if it has to compete for airplay with the Auto-Tuned and digitized sounds that seem to be so prevalent.
letlive. - The Blackest Beautiful If you're looking for a new post-hardcore record for your ears and haven't heard anything from letlive., now's the time to indulge. This record may be the breakout album for the band, that also has one of the craziest live shows and frontman you will ever see.
I the Mighty - Satori This one is probably a relative unknown to most, but these guys have a powerful progressive rock sound influenced by Coheed and Cambria, Circa Survive, and Envy on the Coast. Their honest lyrics and raw sound is one worth giving a listen.
Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt Oh Pearl Jam, I don't know how you do it after 23 years. This is definitely a revitalization if I've ever seen one, and if you've ignored them or never gave them a chance before, there isn't a more accessible record.
Balance and Composure - The Things We Think We're Missing If you enjoy a combination of 90s alt-rock, grunge, and emo, meet your new favorite band. Give yourself sometime alone with this beauty and you'll fall in love.
The Wonder Years - The Greatest Generation Dismiss any negative views you may have toward pop punk and look at this record as a testament from a twenty-something just trying to make sense of the crazy world we find ourselves living in. This is a record for those who love the catchiness of pop punk with the grit of punk rock.
2013 was an amazing year for music, and narrowing down my top 5 of a year that isn’t over yet was a daunting task. I couldn’t recommend these records more, as well as many others, to anyone and everyone. Also definitely check out these records:
Touche Amore – “Is Survived By”
Defeater – “Letters Home”
Have Mercy – “The Earth Pushed Back”
Citizen – “Youth”
Turnover – “Magnolia”
Here’s to another great year of music!
Night Birds- Born To Die In Suburbia (Grave Mistake Records) The Night Birds' second album is just as heavy-hitting as their first. The album opens up with the theme song of "Escape From New York" and going from there doesn't drop off in its energy for a single song. For people who aren't yet acquainted with them, this is a fine album to get started with. If I could explain their sound...it's like 90's garage surf guitar riffs with some hints of Agent Orange, all wrapped up in songs about smog and city dirt. Below is a youtube link to stream the album in full.
Mind Spiders- Inhumanistic (Dirt Nap Records) This is Mind Spiders' third album, but the first one I ever really gave a try. It came out only last month, but I'm putting it up on my list, cause I can't help but feel like it deserves a place. Mark Ryan's music projects are always great, and this is no exception. Mike Throneberry (who was in the Marked Men with Ryan) plays the synth on this album, and I've gotta say, it's not that often that I hear a band that can really pull off incorporating the synth stuff in a way that isn't corny. These guys do it though. Copies of this album are still available through Dirt Nap Records. Get Mike or any one of the fine people at Pure Pop to order you a copy.
Charles Bradley- Victim Of Love (Daptone Records) As I get to my top three picks of the year, it's harder to put into words why I love an album so much. All you need to know about this album is that Charles Bradley is your Grandpa's age and he still swings like James Brown or Bobby Bland in their 20's. This album has that same unstoppable 60's soul revival instrumentation with a powerful rhythm section, horns and all blaring for the most part, but has also got a couple slower acoustic songs, like the title track, "Victim of Love", which are equally great and a welcomed shift in gears from what I'm used to hearing from him. It's pretty hard to top his debut, "No Time For Dreaming", but this album at the very least cuts close. This should be up in the charts for the best soul album of the year 2013.
The Oblivians- Desperation (In The Red Records) The Oblivians have ruled the garage rock scene since coming up in the 90's under Crypt records. Heck, Eric Friedl (A.K.A. Eric Oblivian) founded Goner Records (a label that's gained a lot of hype through supporting bands like King Khan & BBQ and Ty Segall). They've been doing their own separate projects for the most part in the past decade though, not having made an album as the Oblivians since their release with Quintron in '97. Them coming back together for another album has been without a doubt, one of the best things to happen to me this whole year. It's great to know that these guys have still got it. You can tell that they've gotten plenty of new ideas when it comes to their approach to song-writing, over years of all working with a variety of other bands. It's got hints of their other bands the Compulsive Gamblers and Reigning Sound especially. If you don't know of the Oblivians, think Memphis punk, heavily influenced by dirty blues and southern gospel music, and packaged to party to.
The Shirks- The Shirks (Grave Mistake Records) This is the Shirks' first 12'' release. They've been putting stuff out since 2008, so it's about time they put something out that breaks the 4 song threshold. These guys make me the most excited to be living in this era. This release isn't even 15 minutes long, but so what. I'll play it through four times in one sitting some days, which makes it in the end about the same as a full-length release. The songs never get old. Without a doubt, this is the best thing I've heard come out in a very long time. For comparison, think Teengenerate, but American and and so with comprehensible lyrics. Really, forget comparisons though, because they're better than Teengenerate at their peak when they released "Savage". These guys are unprecedented. Best punk to come out of D.C. in far too long. This release is all I need from the year 2013. This link below will have to do, (the only track from this release on YouTube) but look them up through their bandcamp and stream the whole thing. My favorite track is probably "Sex Gear".
Hey this is Rian. If you had enough time to waste clicking on these links and reading my list, and in the end, thought it was worth your time, then cool. I’m glad.
If you liked any of the punk bands, check out the labels I mentioned for other releases.
If you liked the Charles Bradley stuff and want to discover similar soul music, check out Daptone Records and Ubiquity Records and listen to some of the bands they promote.
I promise it’ll be worth your time.
Here are a few releases that came close to my top five:
-Boards Of Canada- Tomorrow’s Harvest
-Big Eyes- Almost Famous
-Give- Singles Going Confetti
Feel free to send hate-mail here: firstname.lastname@example.org (Send pix plz)
Kal Marks - Life Is Murder the story here is that I actually just heard this album for the first time the other day b/c I met some guy named carl outside of a krill show (see next band on list) and I made a joke(?) that his name was like the band kal marks, but with an 'r' and he ended up being that guy from kal marks....awkward, but I ended up loving the album! thanks, coincidence.
Krill - Lucky Leaves another Massachusetts band. sorry Vermont, but my relocation has taken over. hey so krill is something special. I purchased this album on a whim over the summer during a period of time when I had no concept of the value of a dollar and was buying records like hot cakes and without my employee discount, but it was worth it cause it turned out to be an excellent album with a reprise and everything.
Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana here I am being predictable, everyone go ahead and scoff at me. who's surprised that the "malkmus-esque" "80s/90s" "alt-band" made it on my list? shocked. everyone is shocked. anyways, it's a great album to listen to whilst commuting to/from boston, which is what I do now instead of selling you guys music by the bushel. life. 3
Sebadoh - Defend Yourself this album is sooooo miserable and perfect. 14 years later and finally sebadoh comes out with a new full length album. I mean come on I've been waiting since I was 8 years old for a new GD album! Defend Yourself is another record I bought this summer while I was on a little binge and it turned out to be one of the only releases from old-bands-making-new-music that didn't leave me all bent out of shape and p'd off (the d plan ruined me).
Ty Segall - Sleeper I am the opposite of fun. here's what is likely the most predictable pick I could ever make, as you can see I have not changed much since I left Pure Pop some months ago. that aside, ty is a genius and everyone knows it. this album further proves how little he cares about what his fans want or expect him to sound like. he's going to continue to make whatever kind of music he wants whenever he wants, which, as we've observed, happens as often as three or four times a year, and hallelujah for that.
I would like to take this time to note that I would’ve put the special edition 10 year anniversary of Interpol’s Turn On the Bright Lights on this VERY list, but I thought it was a cheap shot so I left out it. I miss my old Pure Poppers and hope everyone is doing well. Hi Mike! Hi Tanner! Miss you all. Spin American Water for me just once, would ya?