WTJU Rock 2017 Top Tens

Here are the long-awaited top 10s (whether albums, singles, or shows) of 2017 from WTJU’s rock DJs! Numbers-wise, Kendrick Lamar’s masterpiece DAMN. appears most often in these top 10s, but Juana Molina’s Halo and Slowdive’s Slowdive were also favorites. Check them out:

Nick Rubin/Poubelle (“Radio Freedonia,” Saturdays 2-4pm)
MAVIS STAPLES If All I Was Was Black (Anti-)
ADAM OSTRAR Brawls in the Briar (Super Secret)
JACK COOPER  Sandgrown (Trouble in Mind)
OPEN MIKE EAGLE Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (Mello)
JACKIE SHANE Any Other Way (Numero)
VARIOUS Even a Tree Can Shed Tears (Light in the Attic)
VARIOUS Space, Energy & Light: Experimental Electronic and Acoustic Soundscapes 1961-88 (Soul Jazz)

David Moltz (substitute)
HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER Hallelujah Anyhow (Merge)
Reverb-drenched, soulful vocals float above laid-back, country-tinged arrangements on the ninth studio album from this North Carolina troubadour.
JUANA MOLINA Halo (Crammed Discs)
Experimental synth- and guitar-driven music from this Argentine chanteuse with a growing cult following.
KENDRICK LAMAR DAMN. (Interscope / Top Dawg Entertainment)
The leading voice in hip-hop today returns with an album whose sparse, iconic packing reflects its seamless production and thematic weight.
KING KRULE  The OOZ (True Panther / XL)
A collage of an album from this twenty-three-year-old English singer/producer/songwriter that is at once forward-looking hip-hop, old school R&B, and bedroom-recorded indie rock.
LUKA PRODUCTIONS Fasokan (Sahel Sounds)
Self-described “new age music from West Africa” that combines the essence of synth-based dream pop and atmospheric field recordings with native instruments like the kora and balafon.
THE MAGNETIC FIELDS  50 Song Memoir (Nonesuch)
Another herculean songwriting and genre-hopping effort from the same musical mind behind ’69 Love Songs’ nearly two decades ago; Stephin Merritt is in a class all his own.
THE NATIONAL Sleep Well Beast (4AD)
The dramatic, literary, and larger-than-life-sounding seventh album from a band that isn’t going into middle age quietly.
AWA POULO Poulo Warali (Awesome Tapes from Africa)
The first internationally distributed release from this Malian folk-pop singer contains infectious rhythms punctuated by cyclical flute, lute, and guitar.
SAMPHA Process (Young Turks)
A fragile debut album from this English neo soul singer, full of heartbreaking ballads and experimental R&B excursions.
SLOWDIVE Slowdive (Dead Oceans)
The first album in 22 years from these shoegazer pioneers sounds just as gorgeous and challenging as their seminal works.

Jack Patton-Smith (“Sounds of Noise,” Saturdays 1-3am)
ARCA Arca (XL)
DANNY L HARLE “Me4U” (feat. Morrie) (PC Music)
MOUNT EERIE A Crow Looked At Me (P. W. Eleverum & Sun)
MARK KOZELEK & SEAN YEATON Yellow Kitchen (Caldo Verde)
SUFJAN STEVENS Carrie & Lowell Live (Asthmatic Kitty)
FRIED EGG Back and Forth (Beach Impediment)
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM “call the police / american dream” (DFA)
FLEET FOXES Crack-Up (Nonesuch)
PHOEBE BRIDGERS Strangers in the Alps (Dead Oceans)

Erin O’Hare (“Just Take This With You,” Mondays 11pm-1am)
 Laila’s Wisdom (Def Jam)
All of Rapsody’s words are better than mine, so I’m not even gonna try.
MOSES SUMNEY Aromanticism (Jagjaguwar)
Stunning neo-soul debut about lonliness that’s good aural company whether you’re lonely or not.
FEIST Pleasure (Interscope)
Feist makes a 90-degree turn with every album she releases; here’s another.
Anything Karen O touches turns to gold, and the vibe of this album is just so damn cool.
CATE LE BON Rock Pool (EP) (Drag City)
Another stellar release from the queen of quirk-pop guitar.
KENDRICK LAMAR DAMN. (Interscope / Top Dawg Entertainment)
NOGA EREZ Off the Radar (City Slang)
An album full of bold, delicious bangers from a young Israeli producer and electronic musician. I hear she improvises most of her lyrics after every other part of the song has been built.
DEVON SPROULE The Gold String (Tin Angel Records)
A tender album full of Sproule’s undying musical and lyrical creativity, it’s a must-listen in times of constant despair.
Harrisonburg-based alt.-rock-art-folk duo that puts on the best live show I’ve ever seen. The EP can’t possibly capture the live energy, but these are gorgeous songs that capture the scary and beautiful shit that comes with growing up.
BJORK Utopia (One Little Indian)
Bjork gets personal in what sounds like a space-age botanical garden.

Sean McGoey (“Straight from the Crate,” Thursdays 1-3am)
KENDRICK LAMAR DAMN. (Interscope / Top Dawg Entertainment)
There’s hardly anything to even be said about this album. It’s phenomenal. Highlights: Just go listen to the whole album, ya dummy. Then listen to it backward.
LORDE Melodrama (Republic)
An album whose hit single (“Green Light”) might also be the least impressive song on the record. Highlights: “The Louvre,” “Liability”
GANG OF YOUTHS “The Heart Is a Muscle” (Mosy)
A huge sweeping anthem similar to The War on Drugs, but crossed with the energy of punk bands like The Gaslight Anthem. My single favorite song of the year.
CHARLY BLISS Guppy (Barsuk)
A delightful collection of poppy punk songs delivered via Eva Hendricks’s wonderfully snotty voice. Highlights: “Percolator,” “Glitter.”
CHRIS STAPLETON “Broken Halos” (Mercury Nashville)
Stapleton and Jason Isbell spent the year fighting for the best-songwriter-in-the-game title. “Broken Halos” was a perfect canvas for his smooth, yet powerful, voice.
MOUNT EERIE “Real Death” (P.W. Elverum & Sun)
A song whose devastating power comes directly from its simplicity. His knees fail, his brain fails, words fail. It wrecks you from the inside out.
PHOEBE BRIDGERS “Motion Sickness” (Dead Oceans)
Internal conflict and turmoil for days. Bouncy drums and laid-back guitar lines are the backdrop for the story of leaving a relationship feeling used and sorry and numb all at the same time.
KESHA Woman (Kemosabe)
Triumphant return. Kesha dropped the $ from her name and produced an album that is joyful, defiant, and proud. Highlights: “Woman,” “Praying”
WHITE REAPER “Judy French” (Polyvinyl)
The feeling of being young and passing notes in class to a girl you love (reflected in the music video) distilled into song form, set over crunchy-yet-shimmering guitar.
THE DISTRICTS “If Before I Wake” (Fat Possum)
When the guitars hit (you’ll know it), the track launches into the stratosphere. My favorite song of the year until I heard Gang of Youths.

Marie Landragin/Wicked Sharkie (“Witches Brew,” Wednesdays 2-4pm)
KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD Sketches of Brunswick East (Flightless)
KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD Polygondwanaland (Flightless)
KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD Murder of the Universe (Flightless)
KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD Flying Microtonal Banana (Flightless)
ORB Naturality (Flightless)
HORISONT About Time (Century Media)
WILD ROSE Demo (Wild Rose)
NEW BOSS Third Sister (WarHen)
OH SEES Orc (Castle Face)
ALICE Meatbodies (In the Red)

Maggie McCoy (“Screwed,” Tuesdays 1-3am)
YOUNG THUG Beautiful Thugger Girls (300 Entertainment / Atlantic)
KELELA Take Me Apart (Warp Records Limited)
SAMPHA Process (Young Turks)
MIGOS Culture (Quality Control / 300 Entertainment)
KENDRICK LAMAR DAMN. (Interscope / Top Dawg Entertainment)
YOUNGBOY NEVER BROKE AGAIN Al Youngboy (Never Broke Again)
03 GREEDO First Night Out (Golden Grenade Empire / Drummer Gang)
OMB PEEZY Humble Beginnings (Sick Wid It Records / 300 Entertainment)
G PERICO All Blue (So Way Out)
JLIN Black Origami (Planet Mu)

Mike Barton/DJ Dikembe (“Bangers & Mash,” Fridays 1-3am)
THE WAR ON DRUGS A Deeper Understanding (Atlantic)
JASON ISBELL & THE 400 The Nashville Sound (Unit Southeastern)
FLEET FOXES Crack-Up (Nonesuch)
ZOLA JESUS Okovi (Sacred Bones)
MARGO PRICE All American Made (Third Man)
SUSANNE SUNDFØR  Music for People in Trouble (Bella Union)
HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER Hallelujah Anyhow (Merge)
LORDE Melodrama (Republic)
KENDRICK LAMAR DAMN. (Interscope / Top Dawg Entertainment)
TYLER CHILDERS Purgatory (Hickman Holler)

Jimmy Bullis/DJ Walt (“Just Take This With You,” Mondays 11pm-1am)
OFFICER JENNY God of Death (Self-Released)
VAR Veitur (Self-Released)
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE Hug Of Thunder (Arts & Crafts)
EMPEROR X Oversleepers International (Tiny Engines)
FLOTATION TOY WARNING The Machine That Made Us (Tailtres)

Steven Kretzmann / Stevik (“Merging With the Night,” Wenesdays 11pm-1am)
THIS IS THE KIT Moonshine Freeze (Rough Trade)
This great album from a British folk-rock project headed by Kate Stables features rootsy arrangements of banjo, horns and various percussion. Stables’ vocals are eerily similar to Sandy Denny.
JUANA MOLINA Halo (Domino)
This immensely creative Argentinian musician weaves together erratic beats, electronics, guitar loops and treated Spanish vocals. There’s not a mediocre track on the entire album.
AUSTRA Future Politics (Domino)
The 3rd album from this Canadian band is a high quality synth-pop recording with great female viocals throughout.
GRACIE AND RACHEL Grace and Rachel (Gracie and Rachel)
This duo’s debut album features hauntingly beautiful vocals, piano and violin showcasing their classical training mixed with pop hooks.
OVERCOATS Young (Art & Crafts)
Shifting from folk to pop to electronic, the debut album of this NYC-based female duo features gorgeous harmonizing vocals.
THE MAGNETIC FIELDS 50 Song Memoir (Nonesuch)
Lead singer Stephin Merritt wrote a song for each of his fifty years, resulting in a clever autobiographical album in the musical tradition of their previous recordings, featuring Merritt’s bass vocals
SPARKS Hippopotamus (BMG)
Brothers Ron & Russell Mael, with their 26th studio album, continue stretching the boundaries of rock. A marvelous collection of brilliantly-sung tongue-in-cheek lyrics with infectious melodies.
WES SWING And the Heart (Wes Swing)
Cville-based singer-songwriter and cellist’s 2nd album is a blend of Swing’s literary songwriting with production and analog electronics by Paul Curreri and backing vocals by Devon Sproule.
MR. ELEVATOR & THE BRAIN HOTEL When the Morning Greets You (Rad Cat)
A far-out and fun psychedelic pop album from this LA band with a great name.
SNEAKS It’s a Myth (Merge)
A stripped-down indie rock/hip hop hybrid album from DC’s Eva Moolchan. Its ten tracks total under 18 minutes, featuring catchy sing-song spoken words.
PAUL CURRERI & DEVON SPROULE Train Outside the House”  (self-released on www.patreon.com)
Cville’s producer (Paul) and singer-songwiters have been releasing a few singles each month on patreon.com. This fun, catchy, electronic song is my favorite single release of the year.

Brett (“Merging With the Night,” Wednesdays 11pm-1am)
THIS IS THE KIT Moonshine Freeze (Rough Trade)
THE CLIENTELE Music for the Age of Miracles (Merge)
MGMT “Little Dark Age” (Columbia)
DELIA DERBYSHIRE APPRECIATION SOCIETY Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society (Six Degrees Records)
SLOWDIVE Slowdive (Dead Oceans)
MEKLIT When the People Move, the Music Moves Too (Six Degrees Records)
MOON DUO Occult Architecture Vol. 2 (Sacred Bones)
JUANA MOLINA Halo (Domino)
JAPANESE BREAKFAST Soft Sounds From Another Planet (Dead Oceans)

Matthew (“Carry the Zero,” Thursday 2-4pm)
MOON DUO Occult Architecture Vol. 2 (Sacred Bones)
vol.2 really stepped up the whole Occult series. what a great year for this band
DELICATE STEVE This Is Steve (Anti-)
this is delightful
so many songs this year by these guys and this album completely surprised me. well played Giz
BIG WALNUTS YONDER Big Walnuts Yonder (Sargent House)
Mike Watt (Minutemen, The Stooges), Nels Cline (Wilco, Nels Cline Singers), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos)
THE SHINS Heartworms (Sub Pop)
great comeback album after that last not-so-listened to Port of Morrow (2012)
NOVELLER A Pink Sunset for No One (Fire)
ROD HAMILTON & TIFFANT SEAL Moon Lush (Sounds of the Dawn)
If I owned a spa; this would be the jams you’d hear in the sauna room
PHISH The Bakers Dozen (Madison Square Garden)
i attended 4 of the 13 donut themed shows at a 13 night run in the city this summer. they didn’t repeat one song. Simply amazing.
DAVID AXELROD Transcendental Axelrod: Sources and Samples of David Axelrod (WTJU Rock Marathon)
Good god what an amazing show this was. Several Rock DJs comtributed to one of my favorite WTJU shows of all time. Big ups to Sister Pirate Jenny, StevieV, & BaconFat
SIGRID “Don’t Kill My Vibe”
i easily listened to this song 23904833402895723984572 times this year.

Sister Pirate Jenny || Jordan (“Radio Freedonia,” Saturday 2-4pm)
SNEAKS It’s a Myth (Merge)
infectious bass-driven teenage avatar of ESG, Pylon, and my heart,
HAND HABITS Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void) (Woodsist)
this is the soft shred cream dream – meg duffy actually kills me softly
DERADOORIAN Eternal Reccurrance (Anticon)
best new alice coltrane album
PRINCESS NOKIA 1992 (Deluxe) (Rough Trade)
all the bangers and missing missy e vibes – i just love this album
JUANA MOLINA Halo (Domino)
no one makes me feel like I live in a quantummusic event – time bent around my head
OPEN MIKE EAGLE Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (Mello Music)
wasteland day is our anthem – that garbage 🔥 jam
MIGOS Culture (Quality Control / 300 Entertainment)
most infectious
MOUNT KIMBIE Love What Survives (Warp)
guests offer the best songs but all the best of downtempo and 90s warp ambient is here
SLOWDIVE Slowdive (Dead Ocean)
not 💀 – continue with immaculate consistency
ONCE AND FUTURE BAND Once and Future Band (Castleface)
saw them in Red Woods this summer – face melt!

Dominic / DJ Baconfat (formerly of “Hot & Cold Skulls”)
guest appearance by Todd Barry
with Amy Garapic on vibes; guest appearance by Jon Wurster as Marky Ramone
KAMASI WASHINGTON November 30 (Jefferson Theater)
great performance hampered by mediocre sound
GLENN JONES/CARRY/DAIS QUEUE November 12 (Low Vintage)
*Bill Callahan voice*: America!
*Bill Callahan voice*: America!!
HOUSE AND LAND July 27 (Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar)
wish I had seen their whole set
global warming is real
DJ SHADOW June 30 (Jefferson Theater)
in tune and on time + a stunning visual experience
LAMBCHOP/THE SLOPPY HEADS April 1 (U Street Music Hall)
solid but I miss the big-band ‘chop experience; James McNew on guitar for The Sloppy Heads almost makes up for missing Dump in May
PHILIP GLASS ET AL. February 4 (Modlin Center for the Arts)
solo piano pieces played by Glass and three others; other swell shows I saw: Todd Barry, NRBQ, and Ryley Walker

Don Harrison / Brother Beatdown (“Radio Wowsville”)
OH SEES Orc (Castleface)
THE CLIENTELE Music For the Age of Miracles (Merge)
PLANETARY PEACE Synthesis (Love All Day (Reissue))
SHARON JONES & THE DAP KINGS Soul of a Woman (Daptone)
CHERRY GLAZERR Apocalipstick (Secretly Canadian)
NEIL YOUNG Hitchhiker (Reprise)

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