WTJU Rock Top 10s for 2015
Artist, Album or “Song” (label)
Baconfat (“Hot and Cold Skulls,” Friday 2-4pm):
The Royal Jesters, “What Love Has Joined Together” (Numero Group)
Jessica Pratt, On Your Own Love Again (Drag City)
Yo La Tengo, Stuff Like That There (Matador)
Jim O’ Rourke, Simple Songs (Drag City)
White Eyes, White Eyes (Numero Group)
Soldiers Of Fortune, Early Risers (Mexican Summer)
Wilco, Star Wars (dBpm)
Sleater-Kinney, No Cities To Love (Sub Pop)
Beach House, Depression Cherry (Sub Pop)
Positive No, Glossa (Little Black Cloud/Negative Fun)
Wicked Sharkie (“Witches Brew,” Wednesdays 2-4pm):
Wicked Sharkie’s TOP ELEVEN, cos why not go ONE LOUDER?
Australia dominates the best of 2015 scene!
Horisont, Odyssey (Rise Above Records) SWE
Graveyard, Innocence and Decadence (Nuclear Blast) SWE
Kadavar, Berlin! (Nuclear Blast) GER
Valkyrie, Shadows (Relapse) USA
Mondo Drag, Mondo Drag (Kozmik Artifactz and RidingEasy Records) USA
Fuzz, Fuzz II (In the Red) USA
Jacco Gardner, Hypnophobia (Polyvinyl) NLD
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Quarters! (Flightless) AUS
Tame Impala, Currents (Interscope) AUS
Pond, Man It Feels Like Space Again (EMI) AUS
The Babe Rainbow,The Babe Rainbow EP (Flightless) AUS
Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit (Marathon Artists)
Diane Coffee, Everybody’s A Good Dog (Western Vinyl)
Avers, Empty Light (Self released)
Best Coast, California Nights (Harvest Records)
Dungen, Allas Sak (Mexican Summer)
Eternal Summers, Gold and Stone (Kanine Records)
Ezra Furman, Perpetual Motion People (Bella Union)
Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear (Sub Pop)
FFS, FFS (Domino)
Sleaford Mods, Key Markets (Harbinger Sound)
DJ Walt (“Just Take This With You,” Mondays 11pm-1am):
1. Officer Jenny, “Father Doted Over Me” (Officer Jenny)
trigger warning: child abuse
2. Joanna Newsom, “Anecdotes” (Drag City)
3. Radiohead, “Spectre” (Radiohead)
4. VAR, “Á Kaf” (VAR)
5. VAR, “Varmá” (VAR)
6. Myrra Rós, “Brother” (Beste! Unterhaltung)
7. Cymbals Eat Guitars, “Aerobed” (Bad Timing)
8. Post Sixty Five, “Beginners” (Post Sixty Five)
9. Bat Manors, “Cabin 4” (Bleed 101)
10. Árstíðir, “Moonlight” (Beste! Unterhaltung)
honorable mention: Erykah Badu ft. Andre 3000, “Hello” (Erykah Badu)
1. Myrra Rós, One Amongst Others (Beste! Unterhaltung)
2. mewithoutYou, Pale Horses (Run For Cover)
3. The Hill In Mind, Thimble Needle Thread (The Hill In Mind)
4. Bat Manors, Literally Weird (Bleed 101)
5. Officer Jenny, Queen of Cups (Officer Jenny)
6. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie and Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty)
7. Post Sixty Five, i think we’ll be okay (Post Sixty Five)
8. Sun Kil Moon, Universal Themes (Caldo Verde)
9. Árstíðir, Hvel (Beste! Unterhaltung)
10. Manatree, Manatree (Egg Hunt)
honorable mention: Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm, Loon (Erased Tapes)
B-Side (“Garage Sale,” Saturdays 2-4pm):
kendrick lamar – to pimp a butterfly (top dawg)
royal headache – high (what’s your rupture?)
obn IIIs – worth a lot of money (12xu)
vince staples – summertime ’06 (def jam)
titus andronicus – the most lamentable tragedy (merge)
courtney barnett – sometimes i sit and think…(mom + pop)
waxahatchee – ivy tripp (merge)
mikal cronin – III (merge)
joan shelley – over and even (no quarter)
dick diver – melbourne, florida (trouble in mind)
Andy (“Virginia Tradition,” Tuesdays 11pm-1am):
(10) Container: LP
(9) Matana Roberts: COIN COIN Chapter Three: River Run Thee
(8) Jefre Cantu-Ledesma: A Year With 13 Moons
(7) Eyeliner: Buy Now
(6) John Wiese: Deviate From Balance
(5) Zs: Xe
(4) Wolf Eyes: I Am A Problem: Mind In Pieces
(3) Oneohtrix Point Never: Garden Of Delete
(2) Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly
(1) Prurient: Frozen Niagara Falls
16) Skipping Girl Vinegar, “West Coast” (Secret Fox)
15) Darlingside, “The Ancestor” (Thirty Tigers)
14) Helio Sequence, “Battlelines” (Sub Pop)
13) Motorama, “Heavy Wave” (self)
12) Green Denim, “Going Up the Country” (self)
11) Best Coast, “Wasted Time” (Harvest)
10) Library Voices, “Sunburnt In LA” (Nevado)
9) Tom Levin, “History, Beliefs & Bearded Men” (Cut the Mustard)
8) Silversun Pickups, “The Wild Kind” (New Machine)
7) Great Depression, “Visiting on Davenports” (Princess)
6) Prinze George, “The Writer” (Sounds Explosive)
5) Sentinel, “Counting Stars” (self)
4) Chemical Brothers, “Wide Open” (Astralwerks)
3) Filligar, “Photos of Madrid” (Decade)
2) Wooden Sky, “Kansas City” (Nevado)
1) Against the Clocks, “Top Floor” (self)
Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) – Stripped down and simply beautiful tribute to his mother and stepfather.
Django Django, Born Under Saturn (Because Music) – Electronic pop with great harmonies.
FFS, FFS (Domino) – Franz Ferdinand & Sparks collaboration that incorporates the best of both bands.
Pops Staples, Don’t Lose This (Anti/Epitaph) – Posthumous album of gospel and R&B tracks exquisitely enhanced by Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy.
Julia Holter, Have You in My Wilderness (Domino) – Dreamy and densely textured melodic pop at its best.
San Cisco, Gracetown (Island City Records) – Catchy youthful Australian indie pop.
Deradoorian, The Expanding Flower Planet (Anticon) – Psychedelic, meditative and hypnotic solo debut album.
Panda Bear, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper (Domino) – Textural, melodic, psychedelic pop music.
Telekinesis, Ad Infinitum (Merge Records) – Melodic and elegant electronic power-pop.
Belle and Sebastian, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance (Matador) – Ninth studio album from this dexterous Scottish indie pop band.
Local Live Concerts
Sufjan Stevens and Moses Sumney at the Altria Theater, Richmond, May 6 th.
Laetitia Sadier and Deradoorian at The Camel, Richmond, September 12th.
Stevie Wonder at John Paul Jones Arena, November 17th.
Devon Sproule and Matt Curreri & the Exfriends at The Southern, November 28th.
Mr. Chilps (“Hot and Cold Skulls, Fridays 2-4pm):
Twerps – Range Anxiety (Merge Records)
This thing came out waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in January but I’m still rockin’ it on the reg and it was nice to hear it get so many spins on WTJU this year. Great band in the tradition of The Feelies/Go-Betweens/Flying Nun, etc.
Tame Impala – Currents (Interscope)
As much as I like this whole album, Disciples is by far my favorite track. A min fifty of pure falsetto driven power pop bliss.
Various Artists – Other Voices 7″ Series (Ghost Box)
My fave UK “hauntology” label started up this 7″ series in 2014 but they released 6 of the 7 thus far in 2015 and they are all great two track slices of electro weirdness. The 7″ from Tim Gane’s (Stereolab) new project Cavern Of Anti Matter is especially choice.
Martin Courtney – Many Moons (Domino)
Just a real chill album by a real chill dude. I’m not even a huge Real Estate fan but this was a great late Fall/early Winter record that is still getting spinned at my house right now.
Jacco Gardner – Hypnophobia (Polyvinyl)
The second release from this Dutch pysch-pop weirdo. I like this one even more than his first record because it leans a little more towards the sinister end of the psych spectrum. Plus the cover designed by my boy Julian House rulez.
Amason – Sky City (Ingrid)
I’m a huge Dungen fan and I pretty much love anything that Gustav Estes does. Still, as much as I like the new Dungen album, this is the Gustav project that did it for me the most this year. Probably the record I listened to the most and played the most on WTJU this year. Great Fleetwood Mac inspired pop by some real tight Swedes!
Alan Jefferson – Galactic Nightmare (Trunk Records)
Under the influence of Jeff Wayne’s prog rock opera of War of the Worlds this guy wrote an original sci-fi concept album, played everything on it himself, self released it and sold it in such magazines as Future Music and CU Amiga. Six years in the making (1979-1985, natch!) the thing is an outsider art masterpiece that has to be heard to be believed. Thank the reissue Gods for Jonny Trunk who dropped the whole shebang on 2 LPs this year!
Naked Gods – Naked Gods (Self Released)
These homies from Boone, N.C. triumphed over much adversity (I mean, two of them got married this year, for crying out loud!) to release a tremendous record that you should all get into your ears as quickly as possible. Good work, buds!
The Go-Betweens – G Stands For Go-Betweens Volume One (Domino)
If this were simply a reissue of the first three Go-Betweens records it would have already been the best reissue of the year but throw in the first five singles collected on one LP plus four CDs of rarities AND three books from Grant McLennan’s personal library and we’re talking reissue of the century! Can’t wait for Volume Two!
Shows At John Paul Jones Arena – I saw a lot of great shows in town this year but the three that will stick with me for life were the three I saw at JPJ: Fleetwood Mac, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Just writing out those names gives me chills. The shows themselves were absolutely exhilarating, tear-inducing and unforgettable! Good work JPJ! Show highlights: Fleetwood Mac playing I Know I’m Not Wrong, Paul McCartney playing Temporary Secretary (!!!!!!!!), Stevie Wonder playing every note that he played. (My other favorite show of the year was The Zombies performing all of Odessey & Oracle in DC with Chris White and Hugh Grundy back on bass and drums where they belong. Another night of tears! So good!)
Erik (“Take This With You,” Mondays 11pm-1am):
Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty)
Deerhunter – Fading Frontier (4AD)
Officer Jenny – Queen of Cups (Officer Jenny)
Jesień – O (Złe Litery)
Joanna Newsom – Divers (Drag City)
Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle (6131)
Vulfpeck – Thrill of the Arts (Vulf)
Ava Luna – Takamatsu Station (Ava Luna)
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly (Top Dawg)
Manatree – Manatree (Egg Hunt)
Jeremy (“Cadmium,” Sundays 1-3am):
Cadmium’s Top 10 metal albums of 2015 in no particular order…
Iron Maiden, The Book Of Souls (Parlophone)
Do I even need to explain why Iron Maiden gets on my list?
Beldam, Beldam (Independent)
A skull crushing debut of Doom from right here in Charlottesville.
Antigama, The Insolent (Selfmadegod Records)
Hailing from Poland, Antigama pushed the boundaries of Grindcore with one of the most creative releases of the year, The Insolent. Playing at what is now The Ante Room, before heading to Maryland Deathfest, they also put on one of the best shows Charlottesville has seen in a long tome
Dispellment, Atone (Independent)
Soon after annihilating Magnolia House in July, Dispellment released debut album in September. If you prefer your black metal to have a more traditional sound then this is the album for you’ve been waiting for. I can’t recommend this album enough, it is that good.
Deafest, Runoff (Independent)
This concept album tells a full story without a single lyric. The three songs on this EP follows water as it flows down mountains, through forests and into the canyons below. Deafest shows once again that Black Metal from The Rocky Mountains has its own unique sound.
Midnight Odyssey, Shards Of Silver Fade (I, Voidhanger Records)
Following up their debut genre defining album Funerals From The Astral Sphere, Midnight Odyssey had a lot to live up to with this release. This album lives up to and surpasses all of my expectations for it.
Vallendusk, Homeward Path (Northern Silence Productions)
Unexpectedly to most people Indonesia has an amazing Black Metal scene. Coming from Jakarta, Vallendusk’s second full length album is the best album shows the best it has to offer.
Tome Of The Unreplenished, Innerstanding (I, Voidhanger Records)
My appreciation of this album is hard for me to put into words. Listen to it and you’ll understand
Drudkh – A Furrow Cut Short (Season Of Mist)
Because they dont play shows, Drudkh is not as well known as they deserve. When they start blasting through your sound system you know your listening to something special. If you know of Drudkh, this album won’t disappoint. If you don’t, check it out.
Downfall of Nur, Umbras De Barbagia (Avantgarde Music)
Exploring the Nuragic Civilization of Sardinia, this album is laced with Atmospheric and Folk elements. With an average track length of over 12 minutes it may seem a little intimidating sit down and listen to but don’t worry, the music is not tiring and but a grand and epic journey. The payoff is more than worth it.
Ambrotype, The Revelations (Independent)
When I sat down to make this list I had trouble paring it down. Cadmium took a more extreme black and death turn this year so to help cut down the list I cut the music that didnt fit in that sound. This album however is the one I hated myself most for cutting off the list. Not just because Adel, the sole member of Ambrotype, is a friend of the show, going back to his assistance in putting together the Syrian metal special, but because the album is that good. Prog, with elements of Death and Jazz, this album is doesn’t stick to just one style. It is depressing, covering the low points in life, but refuses to be melodramatic angst.
Vic (“The Broadcasting System,” Mondays 2-4pm):
10. I Am Just A Pupil, 12 Hours FULL RELAXATION (1080p)
9. DJ Koze, DJ-Kicks (!K7)
8. DJ Richard, Grind (Dial)
7. Erykah Badu, But You Caint Use My Phone mixtape (Motown/Control Freaq)
6. Matana Roberts, COIN COIN Chapter Three: river run thee (Constellation)
5. ２８１４, 新しい日の誕生 (Dream Catalogue)
4. Various Artists, Pop Ambient 2016 (Kompakt)
3. Purl, Stillpoint (Silent Season)
2. Oneohtrix Point Never, Garden of Delete (Warp)
1. Carly Rae Jepsen, Emotion (Interscope)
Don (“Radio Wowsville,” Sundays 11pm-1am):
10 Things that made me happy in 2015:
1. Fleetwood Mac – Tusk [Expanded Edition] (Warner Brothers)
They never let Lindsey record on his own ever again.
2. Babes -Untitled [Five Tears] (Bursuk)
The Leigh siblings and cousins may not be too serious about this music biz thing, but their pop-tific release had the greatest one-two opening of the year: “I Want Love” and “I’ve Got a Reason to Keep on Living.” And the rest of the mix followed suit.
3. Grand Banks – QB4: 1877-1896 (Oxtail Cassette)
This (inter)stellar instrumental tape from two of the nicest guys in the “biz” not only cleanses your synapses, it heals your cassette deck. Seriously. My boom box was busted, kaput, and yet it plays this beautifully moody powerwash in high fidelity no problem. Thank you Grand Banks!
4. Edge of Daybreak – Eyes of Love (Numero Group)
Not only a great crate-dig, this funk reissue has a fascinating backstory. “Eyes of Love” was recorded inside the Powhatan Correctional Facility in 1979 by a band of inmates armed with cool original material and an appropriately nervous energy. Liner notes of the year.
5. Brian Wilson live at the National, Richmond, 10/22
6. Elvis Costello — Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink (Penguin)
Reading his excellent auto-bio set off a mad flurry of Elvis in my house and in my car and in the shower for a sizable part of the year. Even on the written page, EC is insanely catchy.
7. Father John Misty — I Love You Honeybear (Sub Pop)
I apologize to Dave Moore for the Dan Fogelberg comparison. It was uncalled for.
8. Gloria Ann Taylor – Love is A Hurtin’ Thing (Ubiquity)
This heavy soul sister re-invents psych-funk in 1973, and throws in a classic Dolly Parton cover to boot. Taylor’s bygone work for the Selecter Sound label was a startling revelation.
9. Legends of Old Time Music: 50 Years of County Records (County)
Our buddy Chris King co-produced this monumental 4-disc set of recordings from the County label, highlighting disappearing regional fiddle, banjo and string band sounds from the likes of Joe and Janette Carter, Tommy Jarrell, the Russell Family and more. If you like this, you probably already own this.
10. Love & Mercy (Directed by Bill Polhad)