Happy New Year! Before we get all jazzed about the great music and tours of 2015. We take a moment to look back at 2014. Here is a run down of my favorite albums from the past year.
5 Johnny Marr- Playland
Johnny Marr is such an influential guitarist. His work with The Smiths is untouchable. I love when Johnny was asked about his feelings when Morrissey would sometimes write “silly” lyrics over his gorgeous music, he took the high road an explained that is was part of being in a band. Who wouldn’t want to be in a band with someone like that?
Johnny went on to be in some other bands that I don’t personally think were using him to his full potential. He finally came to this understanding and took the plunge into singing his own songs. With every new release he becomes more comfortable fronting his own band and being a lead singer as well as lead guitarist.
If pop music had any credibility then “Easy Money” would have been a chart topper – Spool Going Round
4 The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger- Midnight Sun
The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger or GOASTT is mainly Sean Lennon but also much needed muse Charlotte Kemp Muhl. Their love for each other shows in the music. Psychedelic music will always have an appeal with me. Sean had trouble finding his feet in other projects that were mostly goofy, he has now found his birth home. He has become more comfortable with being the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. With age he has grown into his natural skin and it is a beautiful coat. Watching this album unfold with its tour which invited Bob Weir on stage in San Francisco, and with the fun long form videos has been a true joy.
3 Robert Plant- lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar
I have to admit that I was one of those music listeners that hated Led Zeppelin just because most of the world loved them, or at least heard them multiple times daily on Classic Rock radio. What I have come to enjoy in recent years is how much great music is on those albums that I had not heard. I started enjoying a lot of these deep cuts. Then when Robert Plant announced a date at Chicago’s Taste of Chicago, I thought why not try Robert Plant live with a large Turkey leg.
With all the talk of a Led Zeppelin reunion talk, and if that ever did happen, I am sure the tickets would be $700 each. Here was a chance to see Robert for $25 in Chicago’s living room surrounded by good food. I clicked PURCHASE. On that beautiful day in July, Mr. Plant came out to the sounds of “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You,” I was converted. That voice was so great to hear live and in new context with The Sensational Shape Shifters. It is these Space Shifters that make the album a joy to listen to as well. Parts Delta Blues, Chicago Blues, South African Mojo, Celtic, and Massive Attack, all join together to make a wonderful musical travelogue.
2 Interpol -El Pintor
Seeing Interpol live has been a highlight for me over the past few years. They really are great. Sure they hit the sweet spot in your brain where Joy Division lives. That is the brilliance of it though. The built their music on the familiar foundation but by doing that and creating something refreshingly modern they are brilliant. Joy Division never made that US tour and they never will. But Interpol have several great albums for you to listen to and they tour a lot.
I read a recent interview with The Cult and they said they were asked whether they wanted to be an “art band” or a “rock band.” They were then forced to make that decision and led to a lot of record sales. I am glad that no one has forced Interpol to make that decision because they ride that fine line in the best way.
1 First Aid Kit- Stay Gold
I know I am just as surprised as you. “I’m tired of looking for answers
Take me some place where there’s music and there’s laughter.” First Aid Kit sing on the best single of the year “My Silver Lining.” It was a joy to listen to this album all the way through many times this year. I look forward to seeing where their career goes from here. Congratulations to First Aid Kit for their 2014 release and Spool Going Round’s favorite.
See what Spool Going Round had for 10-6 this year