2019 WTJU Rock Top Tens!

Sharon Von Etten

Amyl and the Sniffers

Well! The end of the year finds the WTJU Rock DJs in a reflective mood – peruse their top tens – albums, singles, and concerts are all represented – and find your kindred spirits/arch nemeses!

Rick Clark, “Radio Wowsville”:

Remind Me Tomorrow Sharon Van Etten (Jagjaguwar)
Triumph, getting older, revelations and evolution.  SVE is officially a rock star
Human Question The Yawpers (Bloodshot)
Expanding on and rounding out their sound. Soulful, cacophonous, crunchy bluesy American rock and goddamn roll
An Obelisk Titus Andronicus (Merge)
Less ambitious than The Monitor or A Productive Cough, this is a sonic power punch to your soul. Political, barreling punk rock.
People in the Sky The Schizophonics (Pig Baby)
Coolest album of the year. Sock. It. To. Me.
WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? Billie Eilish (Interscope)
Melts in your ears. The youth aren’t all terrible.
Jinx Crumb (Crumb)
Ethereal champs of 2019
Two Hands Big Thief (4AD)
Hits all the feels. Songs feel urgent and propulsive.
Problems Vivian Girls (Polyvinyl)
Girls rock. Vivian Girls rock harder.
And Now For The Whatchamacallit Psychedelic Porn Crumpets (What Reality?)
Terrible band name, awesome psych rock.
Dogrel Fontaines D.C. (Partisan)
It might be too real for ya. Post-Punk heaven.


DJ Al, ex-“Witches Brew” and current sub:

Infest The Rats Nest AND Fishing For Fishies King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Flightless
These humans (?) wrote fishing for fishies for ME and infest the rats nest for everybody else
Amyl and the Sniffers Amyl and the Sniffers Flightless
amazing in concert, gucci model, prospective body double
Payador Tim Hill Tiki Rocket
harmonica-wielding honest singer-songwriter, good boy
Useless Coordinates Drahla Captured Tracks
art rock, sometimes kitschy, always dark but never dreary
SASAMI SASAMI Domino
thank u for telling the truth <3
PUNK CHAI Sony Japan
wildly feminine!!
BENT Stonefield Flightless
Disagree with the vocals, but like…it’s a Whole Thing…and they were cool when we talked
Shift POW! Castle Face
easy favorite album of the year, smart and stings
Various Artists MOGADISCO: Dancing Somalia Analog Africa
يلاااااااااااا مقديشو!!!!!!!!!!!
100 Gecs 1000 Gecs Dog Show
MY BOY”S GOT HIS OWN RINGTONE IT”S THE ONLY ONE I KNOW IT”S THE ONLY ONE I KNOW

 

Ciclamino, “The Mixtape”:

Dogrel Fontaines D.C. (Partisan Records)
Trash Medium Ladygod (Bossy Lil Thing)
It’s Real Ex Hex (Merge Records)
Patience Mannequin Pussy (Epitaph)
Anthropocosmic Nest The Messthetics (Dischord Records)
Amyl and the Sniffers Amyl and the Sniffers (Flightless)
Trash On!!! – A Tribute To P. Trash Records Various (FDH Records)
What Would the Odd Do? Guerilla Toss (NNA Tapes)
“Ever Fallen In Love?” Le Butcherettes

 

Don Harrison/A. Larry Bethesda, “Radio Wowsville”:

Quiet Signs Jessica Pratt Mexican Summer
Favorite of 2019 by a long shot. The kind of stillness that the world needs right now.
Dogrel Fontaines D.C. Partisan
Don’t wait up. I’ll be at the pub with the boys in the better land.
With Psychic Powers Small Feet Barsuk
A quiet grower, filled with melodic gems and witty asides.
Night of the Worm Moon Shana Cleveland Hardly Art
Ghostly odes to the L.A. desert
Space Funk: Afro Futurist Electro Funk in Space 1976-1984 Various Soul Jazz
Christmas gift from Outer Space
Remind Me Tomorrow Sharon Van Eitten Jagjaguwar
I ain’t sharin’ Sharon. She’s mine.
Kiwanuka Michael Kiwanuka Polydor
Epic, exploratory, invigorating.
IGOR Tyler the Creator Columbia
Breaking up is hard to do.
The Unseen in Between Steve Gunn Matador
When I need to brood.
And Now For The Whatchamacallit Psychedelic Porn Crumpets Marathon Artists
What’s in a name?

 

Trey P, “Bamboo on the Moon”:

Historia Natural Los Piranas (Glitterbeat)
When I Get Home Solange (Columbia)
I Luma A. Billi Free & Tensei (Tokyo Dawn)
Country Squire Tyler Childers (Hickman Holler)
Ahomale Combo Chimbita (Anti)
Bandana Freddie Gibbs & Madlib (Keep Cool)
The Oracle Angel Bat Dawid (International Anthem)
Mirrorland Earthgang (Dreamville)
WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? Billie Eilish (Interscope)
Zdenka 2080 Salami Rose Joe Louis (Brainfeeder)
“I Owe You Nothin” Emily Nenni (Emily Nenni)
“Run Wild” Twain & The Deslondes (Mashed Potato)
“Black Helicopter” Ben Jarrell (Country Roots)
“Running” Helado Negro (RVNG)
“Misbehavin’ (1989)” Aimee-Leigh & Baby Billy (Waxwork)
“BOP” DaBaby (Interscope)
“Matthew” Tyler Childers (Hickman Holler)
“NCAA” 2 Chainz (Gamebread)
“Beer Never Broke My Heart” Luke Combs (River House Artists)
“Dead of Night” Orville Peck (Sub Pop)

 

Brett, “Carry the Zero”:

“Free of the Feeling” Jesca Hoop (Memphis Industries)
What I imagine a witch’s birthday party sounds like
Keepsake Hatchie (Double Double Whammy)
Sugary and dreamy and Cocteau~y
Fishing for Fishies King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard (Flightless)
See Matthew Simon for comment
Ladytron Ladytron (!K7)
I love it when a band puts out their sixth album and just make it self titled because it’s so damn good
A Beautiful Thing: Idles Live at le Bataclan IDLES (Partisan)
Makes me really hate myself for missing them when they came to Richmond this year (with Fontaine’s DC no less)
The Albemarle Sound The Ladybug Transistor (Cara)
Vinyl reissue of a beautiful perfect pop album on its 20th birthday
Pretty Groovy Faux Ferocious (Burger)
Heavy grooves and I love the production! Such a clean sound.
Remind Me Tomorrow Sharon Van Etten (Jagjaguwar)
One of those albums that I’m scared to listen to alone for fear of going down an emotional wormhole.
Belle & Sebastian w/ Ex Hex Sprint Pavillion, Charlottesville
Such a good time. Thanks again Stevik!
Nightmare Forever Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Band (Castle Face)
Over the top psych/prog nostalgia, now with added flute. No way I wasn’t going to love this.

 

Matthew, “Carry the Zero”:

Fishing for Fishes King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard (Flightless)
What in the WORLD is this record? YESSSSS! Infest the Rats Nest a VERY close second place
MIss Universe Nilüfer Yanya (ATO)
Silky
Visitor! Michelle Blades (Midnight Special)
Some Rock and Roll for you kids out there!
Pretty Groovy Faux Ferocious (Burger)
These guys turned it UP this time around. Hows about a show in VA boys?
Stars Are The Light Moon Duo (Sacred Bones)
No surprise ftom me here but they went spiritual disco for me. Thank you.
Claude Fontaine Claude Fontaine (Innovative Leisure)
Half Reggae, half Bossa Nova. All love and goodness.
Room 41 Paul Cauthen (Lightning Rod)
This guy. What a great got damned band! “It’s a quarter to 4, do we have any more….”
The Unseen In Between Steve Gunn (Matador)
Solid work as per the usual Mr. Gunn. Acoustic album with the same tunes for the more chill if one needs it.
Let It Wander Circles Around The Sun (Rhino)
Yeah yeah; it came out in 2018 but i didn’t dig on it until this year. RIP Neal Casal
“A Dream Of Home” Tyler Ramsey (FanTasy)
I can’t explain how much i love this tune. The lyrics aren’t even very good but I am absolutely hooked to every atom of this song

 

Stevik, “Carry the Zero”:

Triage Methyl Ethel (4AD)
from Perth, Australia, they put out some awesome and innovative pop tunes
Someone, Anyone? Shantih Shantih (Wild Honey)
fun debut from an Atlanta all-female garage band
“Free of the Feeling” Jesca Hoop (Memphis Industries)
a hauntingly beautiful song
“Half Silences” Loma (Sub Pop)
fine single from an upcoming album
Stars Are the Light Moon Duo (Sacred Bones)
San Francisco psych rock at its finest
Pony Orville Peck (Sub Pop)
this masked gay Canadian cowboy has an incredible voice
Supertoys Eli Raybon (Eli Raybon)
fun science fiction synth pop the out of Waynesboro, VA
Reward Cate Le Bon (Kemado)
her latest album–I love anything Cate puts out
Reader As Detective Generationals Polyvinyl
artsy pop songs from two guys in New Orleans
Arthur King Presents Bill Baird: Owl Bill Baird Dangerbird
very cool electronic Krautrock
Belle & Sebastian w/ Ex Hex Charlottesville Pavillion
their first show in Charlottesville did not disappoint!

 

Sam, “Black Circle Revolution”:

All In Good Time Eddy Current Supression Ring (Castle Face)
Surprise reunion album from these Australian modern punk legends. angular punk pop driven by tight, funky krautrock grooves. All hits.
Time on Earth Slender (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Bizarre and whimsical art punk from nyc. Found object percussion, out of tune acoustic guitar, slide whistle etc.
Too Cement Shoes (Feel It)
Party rock for the impending apocalypse with gruff hardcore vocals. Equal parts dumbed down, violent punk and  riffy boogie rock.
Another Whiff The Whiffs (Dig!)
The perfect modern addition to the long standing Midwestern garage power pop tradition
3rd Alles Gut ISS (Sorry State)
Sample driven electro-punk songs from chopped up old punk classics and deep obscurities. Surprisingly fresh, creative, and catchy for the third album of what is ostensibly a one note gimmick.
The Bottom of  a Rotten Flower Cowboys (Feel It)
Bloomington/Chicago garage punk/power pop rockers really take it to the next level and become absolute top tier underground rocknroll songwriters.
The Implied Sunrise Good Dog Nigel (Infinite Repeats)
Freshest and most exciting new indie rock band in VA in several years. Their live show, and this 12” EP, hint at a seemingly unlimited potential.
Some Beautiful Species Left Exek (SDZ Records)
Dense, experimental post-punk recording project from Australia
World Eater Fetish (Blackhouse)
Portland Oregon punk super group (members of Wipers, golden era Poison Idea) with mixed and sometimes cheesy results, but ultimately a top shelf album in terms of punk musicianship
Made in China UV Race (AARGHT Records)
More weird diy pop from this Australian freak collective

 

Poubelle, “Radio Freedonia”:

Old New Tomeka Reid Quartet (Cuneiform)
Lots of good experimental/avant-jazz in 2019, but this one stood out.
Jinx Crumb (Crumb)
Weird dream cool dream
The Loop Shafiq Husayn (Nature Sounds)
Party vibe LA hip hop/soul with mad guests
Quiet Signs Jessica Pratt (Mexican Summer)
More transmissions from deepest Pratt Woods, entrancing and addictive as ever.
If U Want It Park Hye Jin (clipp.art)
Psychedelic Korean house w/rad incantations. 난 나를 믿어 .
Dusty Homeboy Sandman (Mello)
Slept on Sandman until now; this was on repeat all fall
No Other Gene Clark (4AD)
Deluxe reissue of mindblowing 1974 country-rock flop
Almost On Time: 1968-1970 Kinloch Nelson (Tompkins Square)
Nothing fancy, just friendly recordings by graceful acoustic picker.
Sad About the Times various artists (Anthology)
Seventies country-psychedelic-rock compilation shows there are still bountiful crates to dig.
Originals and 1999 Prince (Warner Brothers)
Holy shit; this Prince vault thing is really happening…

 

DJ Malcolm A, “80808”:

You’re The Man Marvin Gaye (UMC/Island)
Cancelled 1972 album intended to follow up ‘What’s Going On’
Originals and 1999 Prince (Warner Brothers)
Essential
Sinner Moodymann (KDJ)
Great mini album from KDJ. ‘Got me coming back rite now’ & ‘Sinnerman’ are my fave cuts with an honorable mention to ‘Downtown’
“What You Gonna Ask For” Theo Parrish et. al (Sound Signature)
Soulful extended Theo/Dego mixes with musicians from Haitus Kaiyote
FTC01 Kyle Hall (Forget The Clock)
Best from KH since 2015, ‘Pieces To Share’
Tala Jay Daniel (Watusi High)
Deep, percussive electronic beat album
Flamagra Flying Lotus (Warp)
Varied and diverse album from FlyLo
Bubba Kaytranada (RCA)
Great follow-up to 99.9% with great features by Kali Uchis, Pharrell, Teedra Moses…
Honeymoon Emmavie (Fresh Selects)
Sounds like 90s rnb
Little Ghost Moonchild (eOne)
Smooth

 

cream soda, “Bamboo On the Moon”:

East of the Ryan Ben LaMar Gay (International Anthem)
GREY Area Little Simz (AGE 101)
Lifetime Klein (Ijn)
FLY or DIE II: bird dogs of paradise Jaimie Branch (International Anthem)
Delusions KOOL A.D. (DUM SHINY)
Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery The Comet Is Coming (Impulse!)
HOCHONO HOUSE Haruomi Hosono (Speedstar)
For You and I Loraine James (Hyperdub)
Arthropods 33EMYBW (SVBKVLT)
From Untruth Elder Ones (Northern Spy)

 

Erin O., “Ye Olde Tuesday Afternoon Rocke Show”:

The Bottom of  a Rotten Flower The Cowboys (Feel It)
Power poppy rock ‘n’ roll; sixteen of the most clever, hook-laden, lyrically-pleasing tracks of the year.
Music for Donuts 7″ Judy and the Jerks (Thrilling Living)
Tight, lean hardcore that totally rocks and doesn’t take itself too seriously. (They also played my favorite set of the year, at VSC in Richmond.)
Traffic Control Warp (Thrilling Living)
Vibrant, catchy punk that’s sometimes silly (“Cellophane”), sometimes political (“Makeup”), always screamingly delicious.
LP Erik Nervous & The Beta Blockers (self-released)
Devoted to Devo, but hardly a copycat act.
Square One Fried Egg (Feel It)
Pissed off? Bored? Disenchanted with modern American life? Here’s some tight, interesting, off-center hardcore to get you through.
The Gate Pleasure Leftists (Feel It)
Dancy, earnest post-punk outta Cleveland. Hasn’t left my turntable since I put it on there in August.
Pinocchio 7″ Pinocchio (Toxic State)
Glammy baroque punk with some of the same lyrical/musical themes threaded through all eight of the super-short tracks on a freaky ‘lil 7-inch.
Hip Blister Parsnip / The Shifters (Future Folklore)
Six songs, two bands, one 12-inch record, named for a quirky twee punk track from Parsnip (whose When the Tree Bears Fruit record also came out this year).
“Selling, Sucking, Blackmail Bribes” b/w “Velvet Casino” Civic (Anti Fade / Total Punk)
Someone out on the internet called it “gutter rock,” and sure, that works. But ugh, it’s so good. It’s loud and fast, but not typical in the least, and the lyrics are ::chef’s kiss::
3 Nots (Goner)
Three women make a synthy, psychy, post-punky album that’s about losing control…that is, if you ever had control in the first place.

 

Dream Girl, “Psychedelic Therapy”:

Government Official Future (Epic / Freebandz)
Vicious Rap Song. One of the best Future songs out there.
Something for Nothing Otto Knows (Disconap AB / Universal AB)
Uplifting electronic song
Lost Lately (pure alternative version) San Holo (bitbird)
Mixes acoustic guitar and trap- great combination. Beautiful melody.
Limitless Time ILIVEHERE. (ILIVEHERE.)
Ambient track. Gorgeous melody. Really moving.
HIGHEST IN THE ROOM Travis Scott (Epic / Cactus Jack)
Hype trap rap. Another hit from Travis
Better When You’re Gone Brooks, David Guetta, Loote (Atlantic)
Extremely high-energy future house track. Incredible melody in the drop. Big hit.
Count on Me Superheart (Akira)
Smooth, low-key, touching
Somebody Tell Me C.ZERO (Dancers End)
Fun, catchy Nu Disco
Touch Your Body Fort Arkansas (Enormous Tunes)
Hard-hitting deep house
bad idea Ariana Grande (Republic)
Hot pop

 

ANDROID, “Merging With the Night”:

PROTO Holly Herndon 4AD
artificially intelligent “voices” join human choirs
Look Up Sharp Carla dal Forno Kallista
moody and atmospheric
Origin (EP) Kelly Moran Warp Records
experimental bells, piano,…
All Encores Nils Frahm Erased Tapes
talented pianist experiments with electronics
Heliopause Anne Muller Erased Tapes
talented cellist experiments with looping, acoustic effects
re:visions (live) and re:member (choir versions) Olafur Arnalds Mercury KX
versions of songs from his 2018 album
Memory Streams Portico Quartet Gondwana Records
jazz?
It Should Be Us Andy Stott Modern Love
dystopic dub
Cloud Hidden Susumu Yokota Lo Recordings
posthumous release from a master of trippy ambience
Resolve Reimagined Poppy Ackroyd One Little Indian
remixes of a gifted pianist’s songs
Yearning for the Infinite Max Cooper Mesh / Phases
experimental electronic atmospheric ambient…


Paper Planes, “Straight from the Crate” (currently DJ in exile):

The Highwomen The Highwomen (Elektra)
On the Line Jenny Lewis (Warner)
Thrashing Thru the Passion The Hold Steady (Frenchkiss)
The Best of Luck Club Alex Lahey (Dead Oceans)
SOUND & FURY Sturgill Simpson (Elektra)
“Seventeen” Sharon Van Etten (Jagjaguwar)
“Dancing in the Dark” Lucy Dacus (Matador)
“Not” Big Thief (4AD)
Angel Olsen w/Vagabon Lincoln Theater, Washington D.C.
Black Pumas w/Rudy De Anda U Street Music Hall, Washington D.C.

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