Best of 2016

Alright, so I was a little lax, this being the first year that I decided to do the ubiquitous year-end list for the blog. However, I did go through the effort of tracking down some of our favorite melomaniacs & getting their take on who’s who and what’s what of the last year. Much of this won’t be our normal fuzzy music, but exceptions have been made.

Seth Bogart (Solo, Hunx and His Punx, HUNX)
Mr. Bogart is one of those consummate artists who just can’t make a wrong move. We here at Pop Occulture have been fans of his for years. If you haven’t checked him out, go buy everything. Seriously.
1. Geneva Jacuzzi – Technophelia
2. Geneva Jacuzzi – Technophelia
3. Geneva Jacuzzi – Technophelia
4. Geneva Jacuzzi – Technophelia
5. Geneva Jacuzzi – Technophelia
(Editors Note: That wasn’t a typo, so go check it out!)

Lisa Burner (Odd Pets)
Odd Pets might just be the best band in the Des Moines area right now. I can’t say enough good things about them. If you haven’t checked out their debut EP, you’re totally missing out.
1. MY WOMAN – Angel Olsen
This album, every song, has been my anthem of 2016. Angel makes me feel so nostalgic with her Orbison melodies and resonating lyrics, she did it right. LOVE!
2. The Life Of Pablo – Kanye West
Kanye may be pure insanity but that makes this album that much better! Many 2K16 nights turning up to Yeezy with my crew.
3. Blackstar – David Bowie
I don’t even need to explain myself here. You already know.
4. Moon Shaped Pool – Radiohead
I think this album is a solid comeback for Radiohead.
5. Coloring Book- Chance The Rapper
This album is chill. This album is fun. This album is too good.

Sean Bohrman (Burger Records)
If you aren’t aware of Burger Records, honestly what are you doing on this page?
1. EXOTIC ADRIAN STREET & THE PILE DRIVERS – SHAKE, WRESTLE N ROLL
2. DISTRACTOR – DEVOTION
3. THE SMOKING TREES – THE ARCHER & THE BULL
4. UNKLE FUNKLE – SUPERNATURAL
5. GAP DREAM – THIS IS GAP DREAM

Patrick Tape-Fleming (Gloom Balloon, the Poison Control Center)
Patrick isn’t one of the best performers to ever come from Iowa, he’s also possibly the generous. (and most through as you’re about to see)

Oh man this was definitely the craziest year of my life as I had a son Nilsson Apollo Tape Fleming born January 15th, 2016.. It was weird because we had the name Nilsson picked out months in advance and he just happened to be born on the anniversary of Harry Nilsson’s death.. Crazy stuff.

1. Minorcan – Dead Man
Ryan Anderson has been my favorite songwriter in the world since he sent me a cd in the early 2000’s to put out on Bi-Fi Records. I was lucky enough to befriend him. So I have gotten to see his progression as a songwriter. He’s was the ultimate acoustic singer songwriter in my book. But this year he picked up an electric guitar, turned up the volume and has made a garage rock masterpiece. Brilliant lyrics, REM-esque backing vocals, and just enough distortion on everything to make you turn into a kid again and stand in front of a mirror with a plastic baseball bat acting like you are playing guitar in the band.

2. Devin Frank – The Vanishing Blues
Such a rad sounding record. It’s loose enough to sound like Syd Barrett, it’s smart enough to be lyrically surprising like a Magnetic Fields or Pavement record, and it’s just weird enough to take you on a little psych pop trip that is desperately missing in modern music. Now I have known Devin since he was a baby faced 16 year old kid. Coolest thing about this record is how romantic some of the tunes are. I have never head him go that route and it really fits him nicely! It makes me want to make movies and use tunes in the soundtrack, that means its good. I love this record so much!

3. Pink Floyd – Early Years 1967-1972 Cre/ation
I didn’t have the cash to buy the 27 disc box set that this two disk collection comes from. But Holy Shit, so many unearth gems here! If you have only ever heard the Wall or even Dark Side you need to look into these years of Pink Floyd.. It’s the band trying to figure out what they are, and willing to try everything along the way. And the listener benefits, they take the chances most bands are afraid too, oh yeah and they are really good!

4. Lemon Twigs – Do Hollywood
Easily the funnest rock band I have seen in a long time live. The 2 brothers are crazy, and crazy talented. The keyboard dude look stoned out of his mind, and smiley and the bass player was so boring and stoic with no personality and it made everyone else look so much more exciting! They were perfect. Their record is fantastic too. Some of it sounds like great Of Montreal, some sounds like the Kinks. It’s all really interesting and well written pop music. It made me wanna do leg kicks and play guitar! That’s a good sign!

5. Wilco – Schmilco
I have always preferred my Wilco chill, and this is the perfect record for that! They have always been one of my favorite bands, cause they make music for any age to love. If I heard this as a 15 year old I would dig it just as much as I do as a 36 year old. It’s really lovely and the production is wonderful. Really not made for laptop listening, this is a gem in headphones, for it’s beauty, lots of little melodies going on, that are pretty naked on the laptop. Really pretty stuff.

Pete “Stickerguy” Menchetti (Slovenly Recordings)
Slovenly has to be one of the best labels to have ever been. Every release is as solid as the last!
1. The Cowboys – S/T (Lumpy Records)
2. Musk – Musk 2: The Second Skumming (12XU)
3. Chill – Take It From The Blind Side (Rhinestone Records)
4. Sleeping Beauties – S/T (In The Red)
5. The Sueves – Change Your Life (HoZac)

Ricky Soltero (Electric Healing Sound)
Singer/guitarist for one of my favorite bands. You got to check ’em out.
Toy – Clear Shot
My friend and current EHS drummer Julio Pillado (who fronts Tijuana indie pop heroes Shantelle) posted the single “I’m Still Believing” on FB and I was hooked. The rest of the record doesn’t disappoint. I still can’t decide if I like this or their debut best but this is easily my favorite record of 2016.

The Lulls – Island of Daughters
Caught their song “Bruise” late one night on a local radio show hosted by Tim Pyles. Went home and looked them up right away. Pretty sure I played their song non-stop for about a week or two. The whole record is full of hooks, one of the best San Diego releases in quite some time.

Crocodiles – Dreamless
You could call the Crocs local too, I guess. For a while they have hinted a breaking through with their own sound. They have finally achieved a sound of their own after a handful of records that were heavily influenced by their record collections. “Dreamless” delivers song after song of fuzzy angst. Love them then and love them now.

Brittany Phillips – Luck or Magic
Was lucky enough to catch the Luna reunion which included the lovely Britta Phillips. Always hope to hear and solo record from her and when it finally dropped, it was everything I ever imagined it would be. Gorgeous collection of songs.

Jesus and Mary Chain- Amputation (song)
I was taken a back when I first heard the song. Didn’t know what I expected and I didn’t know what I was listening too. Repeated listens finally uncovered this mighty fine gem that makes me excited for their new record.

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