Being that our label is owned by fans of punk rock and the bands we work with are all lifers like ourselves, we thought we would do our own top 10 albums of 2015 culled from our growing roster of artists.
Next up we asked Aaron Jones our resident solo artist, formerly of Dive Bar Junkies, Bargain Music & Sour Mash.
1.Ryan Adams – 1989 (Pax-Am)
I don’t know much about Taylor Swifts’ “1989” but I can tell you Ryan Adams made me love it! And his interpretation is beautiful. Adams was right when he said “The record is its own alternate universe. There is just a joy to 1989. I think she said it as well: she was in a joyful place making that record. Even if there are elements that describe these situations that describe interactions and the world of romance and the confusion of being alive and knowing how you fit in all that stuff is there. It’s what we write about” when asked why he decided to cover Taylor Swift’s 1989. Favorite tracks are “Bad Blood” “Out of Style” “Out of The Woods” and “Clean”
2. The Devil Makes Three – “I’m A Stranger Here” LP
I love everything this band does and lead singer/songwriter Pete Bernhard is high in my top 5 greatest living songwriters so it was a no brainer to snag their latest LP. WOW different! Electric, more refined…..Favorite Tracks – “Spinning Like A Top”, “Forty Days”, “Hallelu”
3. Wilco – Star Wars
What can I say a total sandbag – a surprise of an album and Wilco never disappoints but don’t expect a “Whole Love” 2 if you know Wilco they never make the same album twice. This album is fun, spontaneous, and full of trippy guitar effects and psychedelic improvisation. If Wilco went Sonic Youth-ish this would be that album.
4. Sic Waiting – Derailer LP (Felony Records)
Holy smokes batman now I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain but this album is like a
tsunami of catchy hooks – sick guitar leads – epic drumming – and phenomenal bass
pounding!!!!! Plus they are a dashing and dapper group of gents. Perma-Repeat! Best punk album of 2015 for sure!
5. Charlie Parr “Stunt Jumper” LP (Red House Records)
“Stunt Jumper” is simply an honest and authentic attempt at Americana, folk and delta blues. Always a good time with some corn liquor, rye whiskey, your favorite corncob pipe – get ya dog – bump this loud and sit on the porch kinda record.
6. William Fitzsimmons – “Pittsburgh”
Beautiful, dark, somber, well crafted lyrics – maybe his finest album to date.
7. Yotam – “California Sounds” (Hardline)
Beautiful album very heart felt acoustic jams – favorite tracks are ” Where is the
Time”, “California Sounds” and “Tony Sly” – this album is on perma-repeat.
8. Made In Heights – “Without My Enemy What Would I Do” LP
Ok I usually do not mess with electronica type music. This group is a 2 piece including the infamous Blue Scholar’s DJ Sabzi and apparently he doesn’t just make hip hop beats.
9. Simon Joyner – “Grass, Branch & Bone” (Woodist)
If your a fan of the lyricism of Conor Oberst and songwriter from the likes of legends like Leonard Cohen then you need Simon Joyner in your life. This is probably his most accessible and polished release to date and as always the guy can craft amazing songs that will uproot your conventional ideology of what a song should be. Amazing album – buy his whole catalog.
10. D.B. Rouse “Learn from our Mistakes”
Love this record from it’s title track “Learn From Our Mistakes” to “Best Self” we seem to get a more serious side of our favorite hobo. All in all this is by far D.B.’s most serious topical release to date – LOVE IT! Great songs great life lessons!
1.Robert Johnson/Steve Earle “Terraplane Blues” split 10″ RSD 2015 (New West)
Hands down one of the coolest releases of 2015 – anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge fan of Robert Johnson and Delta Blues but I also love great singer songwriters such as the epically brilliant Steve Earle who also has dabbled in punk in the past doing an album with the almighty Super Suckers. What ya get on this 10″ is the man Robert Johnson himself playing his original Terraplane Blues and the b-side we have Steve Earle doing a gritty, country rebel sort of version previously unreleased till now.
2.Shakey Graves – “Nobody’s Fool” E.P. Self Released Limited
Another limited edition Shakey Graves Day only e.p.! This one is full of demo’s, rare
live cuts and superb those Shakey Graves harmonies we all love.
3.Jeff Buckley/Sly and The Family Stone – Everyday People split 7″ Black Fri RSD 2015
I was ecstatic to grab this one since it’s limited and it contains an unreleased Buckley version of Sly and The Family Stones “Everyday People” and whatís even better is that there is a new Jeff Buckley coming out in 2016! That’s right 18 years after his tragic passing a new unreleased collection will be released under the album title ” You and I” March 2016! If you have never heard Jeff Buckley sing before go get “Grace” right now!!!!
4. Passafire – Interval E.P. (Easy Star Records)
This is not your average monotonous reggae band, this is a musicians’ band. Passafire consistently pushes the boundaries of reggae, dub, and rock with tinges of punk and metal
5. Ryan Adams – Come Pick Me Up (alt version)/When the Rope Gets Tight (Pax-Am) RSD 2015
Comedy alternative take of “Come Pick Me Up” which starts pretty normal then at the ending goes all out punk rock in the end (Awesome!). The B-Side is pure gold and one of my favorite Ryan Adams sings written to date wow lyrics remind me of an Iron Maiden song but the melody is so soft, dark and beautiful!
6. The Devil Makes Three – “Dragging Chains/This Life” 7inch
Two outtakes from the new album “I Am a Stranger Here” a no brainer really everything this amazing band does is always top notch. Lead singer/ songwriter Pete Berhard writes a song like no other and once your a fan thats it no turning back – go get this now! “Dragging Chains” is probably the closest you’ll get to a full band version of the Devil Makes Three and is a wonderfully written country ballad produced by the amazing Buddy Miller. “This Life” is an older TDMT classic reworked for this 7inch.
7.Jeff Beck “Love Is Blue” RSD 2015
“Love Is Blue” an amazing instrumental – perfect backdrop for Quentin Tarantino flick “Drinking Again” WOW hear a very young Rod Stewart singing about booze and heart ache while a young Jeff Beck rips a guitar solo that will make you cry.
8. Eken Is Dead “Full Disclosure” 3 Song E.P. Felony Records
Felony veteran drummer Simon Johnsons’ (Western Waste/False Alliance/Only Human) official Eken Is Deads’ debut. Brutal! each release by these guys gets better and better canít wait to see what they will do with a full 12 song release next year.
9.Blu “The Return/Thriller”
Blu and Bombay put out one of the grittiest hip hop album of 2015 or the last 10years for that matter. This single features one track the album and one unreleased B-Saide featuring Sene, Definite, and CO$$ – this single and the album are true West Coast Masterpieces. ‘The Return (Han Soloz Remix)” is worth the price of admission alone.
10. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five / Stiff Litte Fingers “The Message”
First off on this epic Record Store Day release we get Grandmaster doing their classic joint “The Messageî”a real treat to own on green marbled vinyl. The B-Side is the Stiff Little Fingers punk rock version of ìThe Messageî almost butt-rockish at times a fun release.
Watch tomorrow on our Bandcamp as we will dropping a free live split featuring Aaron Jones, D.B. Rouse & WE ALL SHIT.