Doesn’t English (#022) – Honda SS

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When it comes to motorcycles, the Honda SS was maybe about as basic as it gets and this band is basically kicking your ass. You know as far as opening lines go that is basically the best I can do, and honestly, as bad as it was, it still sounds a little too professional for me. Anyway, whatever man. This album slaps the ham for real. Melodic streetcore right outa the flaky spanakopita lined gutters of Greece. I wasn’t able to find out which city or town exactly but then again my research is also flaky. That’s a weird word eh, flaky? Da hell is that? Look, here’s what you do. Cuddle up on the couch with a bowl and tzatziki and put on track 3, Ζήτω Η Ελλάς (Long Live Greece). It might be a sarcastic “long live Greece” though, so don’t go playing it for your Greek friends thinking it’s all national pride and what have you. That might be a mistake, depending on who these friends are. Where did you meet them anyway? Can I be friends with them too? And by friends I mean a one-sided arrangement where they make food for me, I eat said food, and they get nothing in return.

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [FEBRUARY 2019]

baby katie scrapsBaby Katie – Scraps
Welp, I’ve got my first favourite song of 2019. I’m telling you, track two is the first (and best) of many strokes of genius on this album. It’s the perfect sad love song, and you know what I always say: If you’re going to write a love song, better make it sad. I hate to draw comparisons here, but I’m gonna go ahead and say someone named Daniel comes to mind, as well as someone named Simon, and I’m not talking about Simon Daniels. Yo! I just googled “Simon Daniels”, because I’m actually not even aware of anyone by that name, and THIS is what I found lol, Damn Daniels! Anyway if you’re done having your mind blown by that, we can get back to Baby Katie. Some people were just born to write songs ya know. It sounds effortless. This isn’t even an official album. It’s just scraps. Scraps! I was talking about Daniel Johnston and Simon Joyner by the way.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

cheap horse delusions never dieCheap Horse – Delusions Never Die
Hey, not everyone can afford an expensive horse right? So what do you do? You either get a cheap horse or you get a burro, and if you wanna be a major player in the cowboy scene you can’t roll up on a burro. You just can’t. Can you? Maybe you can. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have the straight goods when it comes to fuzzed up indie punk out of Santa Cruz. This band for example, that coincidentally is called Cheap Horse. Wow that really ties in well with what I was saying before. Sometimes these things just write themselves.   Listen on Bandcamp

the plastic beach promThe Plastic Beach – Prom [Buy it on Amazon!]
Ever been to a plastic beach? It’s fucking disgusting you guys. Clean up the goddamn oceans. On a completely unrelated note, here is a band out of Detroit that’s gonna take you to the sock hop and then punch you in the gut. I’m not saying they are a violent band, I’m just saying they probably have switchblades. This feels like a 90’s throwback band, and there’s nothing wrong with that (obviously), but there’s something fresh going on here too. It’s like a 90’s Lookout!parfait with some fresh blueberries on top. This is all making perfect sense in my mind. Except for the word parfait. That word doesn’t make any fecking sense. You know that movie Empire Records? Yeah, if there’s ever a remake I know who should be all over that soundtrack. In conclusion: clean up the oceans, seriously.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

a vida toda Um Quase epA Vida Toda Um Quase – Self Titled EP
I translated some of these lyrics into english and I found the line “rebuilding the mosaic of life with shards”.. I mean damn. Isn’t that what we’re all trying to do? Some of us moreso than others evidently. This feels like protest music with actual urgency. Let’s face it, first-world punk rarely has that edge. I mean it was cute when the Dead Kennedy’s talked about genocide in Cambodia, but I would much rather hear music from pissed off kids IN Cambodia than some chump in San Francisco, you know what I’m sayin’? and after hearing the 10,000th American band highlight injustice around the world from the comfort of their 5 star squat, you really start craving some angst from the source. That’s why it’s so exciting to find bands like this. Especially when it’s fast and energetic melodic hardcore. What more could you ask for? How ‘bout a sick name like A Vida Toda Um Quase (The Whole Life Almost)? That’s how you name a freakin’ band son! PLEASE do not sleep on non-english music.   Listen on Bandcamp

dr terror house of hitsDr. Terror – House Of Hits
We don’t judge bands by their names on this blog (that’s what my twitter account is for) so believe it or not, Dr. Terror’s House Of Hits is not an album of spooky sound effects (like a door creaking and a witch cackling) to play on a boom box by your front step on Halloween. No seriously, it’s not. I know I know, but it’s not. Get this.. It’s actually perfectly grungy shoegaze with screechy scratchies and lyrics that aren’t about monsters and goblins. Correction: there is actually one song about monsters. Ok, on second thought, this is a Halloween album. Definitely file this under Halloween Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

ENDNOTES: I know this is late again. I’m still typing with one hand. I’ve been off work for a month now with this broken wrist and I gotta say, I’m starting to go a bit crazy. I know what you’re thinking: This guy seems perfectly sane to me, but I’m telling you, I’m losing marbles over here. Oh well, at least I’ve got extra time to search for new music. I listened to a lot this month. Be sure to check out the SCRAP HEAP to see all the other weird and wonderful music I dug up, follow me on twitter for even more, and please tell all your friends this is your favourite new music resource. Even if it’s not, just lie to them. Come on.

COMPOST (#018) – Two Piece Fest

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No offense to all the one-man bands out there but everyone knows you need at least two people to officially qualify as a band. Here is a compilation to celebrate all of those bands that have the absolute minimum number of members. I’m talking about duos, 2-piece bands, twosomes.. Every band on this album is Simon and Garfunkeling the shit out of their respective genre, and there are a wide range of genres happening here let me tell you. All coming together this weekend (Feb 23rd) for the 12th annual Two Piece Fest. Yes, that’s right, this has been happening for 12 years. Who knew!? Wouldn’t it be hilarious if exactly two people showed up to this thing? Hahahahahaha oh my god. Seriously though, if you happen to live in Philly, and you’ve got nothing better to do, you should check this thing out. Large groups are not encouraged but will probably be allowed entry. Best to split up into pairs just in case. Also, if you’re going to wear a bathing suit, make sure it’s a bikini.

Doesn’t English (#021) – La Nelson Olveira

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Straight outta Sauce (not to be confused with salsa) it’s La Nelson Olveira, which (if you’ll allow me to translate for you) is Spanish for The Nelson Olveira. That’s a Uruguayan soccer player and he’s not very well-liked I guess? Anyway, the important thing is, these guys are from a town called Sauce (just outside Montivideo) and I love sauce. Condiments in general are an obsession of mine. Some would say I have a condiment problem. Hot sauce is my sauce of choice but I’ll take anything I can get. In my opinion, a meal is not fully prepared until you dump something out of a bottle on to it. By the way this is a great little EP of punky tonk rock ’n’ roll with cool vocals. It’s catchy as all hell, and it’s for a good cause, or so they claim. Something about this being a fundraiser to get their friend out of New Zealand jail for killing a Koala. I don’t know if that’s meant to be taken seriously but who cares? There’s a Spanish cover of “Creep” on here with a lead in of someone takin’ a wazz. Pretty damn cool if you ask me.

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [JANUARY 2019]

dad thighs karate kids splitKarate Kids/Dad Thighs – Split
I was thinking to myself a few weeks ago “I don’t collect enough useless things”, and so I decided to start a small cassette collection. I mean, I guess I’m re-starting the collection because in the early 90’s I had a pretty decent accumulation of Toad The Wet Sprocket and Smashing Pumpkins tapes. I definitely had some Rod Stewart in there too, and heaps of mixtapes I copied from my sister (who always had better taste in music). Sadly, the whereabouts of those tapes is currently filed under “lost forever”, hence my re-starting the collection. The first tape I’m adding to it is this nifty little split right here. Holy ass this thing lifts! Partly French, partly English, entirely radical, and again, not to boast, but they’re from where I’m from. That’s exciting because, let’s be honest, Vancouver is rapidly gentrifying itself into one big yoga/wine/coffee/kayaking studio and it makes me sick! *spits* Creative minds still thrive though, and here’s the evidence.   Listen on Bandcamp

unknown river driver remainsUnknown River Driver – Remains [Buy it on Amazon!]
First of all, dope album art. I’m a sucker for eerie old photographs. I couldn’t figure out why it seemed so familiar to me, and then I realized, ah yes, that is a portrait of my very soul. This is also available as a sick looking split with Rations Noise courtesy of our friends at 86’d Records, but I like this better as a stand alone EP. That’s how I’m ranking it anyway, but you should definitely buy the split on vinyl or cassette if you’re in the market for that kind of thing. What’s that? You don’t own a tape deck or a record player? What are you, from the feckin’ future or something? Just stream it then spaceperson.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

oort patrol humonsOort Patrol – Humons
I googled “oort” and all I can find is something about a space-cloud. I don’t know if this band is intentionally named after a space-cloud or not. I would assume so, based on the apparent infatuation with aliens and UFO’s. That’s a part of their own personal struggle though. It’s none of my business, and quite frankly, I don’t want it to be my business. This way now! To the album review! Follow me! It’s right over here! Through this hollow log! Hey, umm do you guys think I’m ok? Ok cool. Yay we’re here! This is a teeny little EP of sorts, but it packs a punch. If my math is correct it clocks in at exactly 531 seconds in the overall. That’s about nine minutes of shittily recorded emotive pop punk that makes you want to cry-dance the night away. Man this thing just has that sound. You can’t fake this stuff. If you have 531 seconds to spare right now, I’ll give you one guess how you should spend it.. Wait, what are you doing with that lotion? Oh! I should go.   Listen on Bandcamp

please believe in potentialPlease Believe – …In Potential
Hey look at that: The name of the band and the album title fit together to form a sentence. I love it when that happens. It’s a pretty reasonable request too, isn’t it? Just believe in potential. Gosh, it’s not that hard. They said please! The whole concept is so hopeful ya know? I should warn you though, the optimism ends there. Once you get past the album title you immediately start running into song titles like “Dead Arms Dangling At The Wheel” lol oofz! No, actually when you get into these songs it starts to feel uplifting again, in a nuclear revolution summer kind of way. Or maybe it’s a revolution winter in this case. To answer your question, no, I don’t have any idea what I’m talking about.   Listen on Bandcamp

allauAllau – Self Titled
From what I gather this is some kind of side-project that didn’t pan out. Shame because this thing rips. It’s all in Spanish but they’ve been thoughtful enough to include English translations for every song in the lyrics tabs. That’s the first time I’ve seen anyone do that on bandcamp. If you’re trying to learn Spanish, like I am, it’s great to be able to read the English while you’re listening. It’s kind of like punk rock Duolingo. Scratch that. It is EXACTLY like punk rock Duolingo in every way imaginable. I just had a great idea for an app guys, but it doesn’t have anything to do with this post. Umm, just forget everything you read here ok. The album is spikey and spazzy and guaranteed to not solve any of your problems, unless your problem happens to be that your neighbors don’t hate you enough. If that’s the case, this can help.   Listen on Bandcamp ((correction: I just found out these lyrics are in Catalan not Spanish))

ENDNOTES: Well, I did it ya’ll, broke me fecking wrist I did. I was atop a rolling staircase that tipped over, my life flashed before my eyes (which was very depressing by the way), and I used my hand to break my fall. My dominant hand that is, which is why it took me 400 years to type this fecking thing. Please take pity on me and tell all your friends this is the best resource for new music in cyberspace. The best place to find new bands. I thank you kindly. Please bare with me and my gibbled arm. Don’t forget to check the Scrap Heap for tons more weird albums that came out this month by weird bands. Gonna go take a shower with a bag over my arm now. Bye.

Doesn’t English (#020) – Bombas De Amor

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If you like The New York Dolls but you’re pissed off that none of their songs are in Spanish, I’ve got good news for you: There is a band in Buenos Aires called Bombas De Amor (Love Bombs) and they’re seriously doing justice to that sweet sweet proto-punk’n’roll sound you’ve been longing for. This is good for the soul, and also promotes hair growth. Where the hair is going to grow is a total crapshoot though. Seriously all of the hair growth happens in and around your crapshoot. It’s worth it still. Hmmm, contemplating whether I should re-write this without the whole crapshoot thing. Nah, I think we’re good. Rock on!

Top 10 Albums/EP’s That DID NOT Suck in 2018

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Another year has come and gone, oh gawd. The earth thawed, I got engaged, the leaves got green, the air got warm, I drove to California, my car broke down, I drove back, my car broke down again, my province burned down, then it cooled off, the leaves turned brown and died and fell to the ground and, along with my spirit, those leaves turned into a dirty brown pulp, it rained, it rained, a new niece was born and it rained. Now it’s all over, and if you’re wondering what I did in between all that, you’re looking at it. I spent probably 4 hours each day listening to new releases. The ones that don’t get a lot of exposure. The ones that get lost in the shit-storm that is new music in 2018. I’m trying guys, I’m trying to find the good stuff. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. There’s A LOT of music to go digging though, but I hope I’ve brought a tiny bit of a spotlight on to these bands because, in my opinion (and hopefully yours too), they deserve some recognition. I wish all of you music nerds luck in finding something you truly treasure in this list. I hope The Doesn’t Suck is becoming a valued resource for new music for you all. Please come back and find more new bands and weird music and senseless ramblings. Good luck in 2019 everybody. May you find all of the unsuckiest albums in the year ahead.

laverne yarrowLaverne – Yarrow [Buy it on Amazon!]
This is my favourite new band from 2018 and yes, they’re from my city, but I assure you this is not a case of blatant localism. Blatant awesomeism is more like it. I should just end this whole thing right there. I honestly don’t think I can top that line. It’s all going to be downhill from here friends. That was my best material. My sincerest apologies to all the other bands on this list. You’re write-ups are going to be, in a word, dismal compared to this one. I really loaded this thing in heavy from the front end. That’s how we roll in the greatest city on earth, bar none. Go Canucks Go!   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

vacant company decolonize epVacant Company – Decolonize EP [Buy it on Amazon!]
It was way back in January when All This Will Be by Closer came out, and I first predicted it would be a good year for hardcore. Since then I’ve been proven right on multiple occasions by multiple killer releases, but none nearly as killer as this. Truth is, it’s not even fair to just slap the hardcore label on this one. These guys are unearthing all kinds of sonic discoveries. They’re like explorers seeking out new civilizations in the Amazon of punk rock. The irony that this album is called Decolonize is not lost on me here. Look, there’s not a lot of room left to establish new styles in music these days. Vacant Company is doing it though, so please take notice.   Listen on Bandcamp

dim it feels like homeDim – It Feels like Home [Buy it on Amazon!]
This came out in July, the same month as Vacant Company’s Decolonize, which is the only reason it wasn’t the best release that month. July was good for new releases. Even the 3rd best album that month just narrowly missed the top 10 this year. Half of North America was choking on wildfire smoke last summer and Dim was just making matters worse. You know, because this EP was straight fire son! You know what, I thought I had run out of good material but here we are. I’ve done it again. Writing like this doesn’t just happen you know. Seriously though, listen to track one without having your ass blown off. Go ahead, see if you can do it.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

balsamic cigarette put a fork in itBalsamic Cigarette – Put A Fork In It [Buy it on Amazon!]
You can put a fork in this as many times as you want, it’s never going to be done for me. You can put a fucking pitch fork in this thing and it’s still gonna slap your ass off. This is the most punk rock thing I’ve heard all year. It’s a snarky, mouthy little shit of a protest record. No other release this year feels as reactionary and oppositional to American bullshit as this does. Like I said, it was a good year for hardcore. Maybe because it was such a shitty year to be a human.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

bucolic old castleBucolic – Old Castle
I’ve been listening to this a lot lately. When this came out I liked it and then I sort of forgot about it. Thank Jeezis I went back and revisited this because it’s quickly become my chill-out album for 2018. This is what I put on after a stressful day of work to tune out all the noise that is life. Nothing calms the nerves quite like fizzy bedroom lo-fi. These songs are a warm bath for people who don’t take baths. Baths are pretty gross if you think about it. I mean what are you doing? You’re sitting there naked in a tub. Grow up.   Listen on Bandcamp

apsurd derealizacijaApsurd – Derealizacija
Hey! Seriously grow up! Get out of the bath! It’s time for more hardcore! Oh man this pounds. I love this so much. I think this is the third time I’ve mentioned this record in the past 3 months. I keep yelling these lyrics out loud at random times throughout my day. What I assume to be the lyrics anyway. I have no idea how to pronounce these words or what they mean. I don’t even know what language this is. Is it Croatian? Is it Bosnian? Is it Serbian? Are those all the same fucking thing? I don’t know! Who cares!? WOOOOOO!!! Actually, I do care. If anyone knows please get in touch with me.   Listen on Bandcamp

human people butterflies drink turtle tearsHuman People – Butterflies Drink Turtle Tears
[Buy it on Amazon!]
You know what? Butterflies do drink turtle tears. That’s some real life nature shit. I looked it up. Pretty sick right? Human people are sick too but don’t let that tarnish your opinion of this band. Is this getting confusing? Look, human people are gross. Non-human people? Also gross. Human People the band? Fabulous! Are we clear now? This album is a crash at the intersection of snotty indie rock and twitchy garage punk. This is one car fire you don’t want to put out. It’s a car fire guys! Gather ’round, warm your hands. Don’t breath it in though.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

the mustard tigers thanks for the toastThe Mustard Tigers – Thanks For The Toast
When I first heard this I loved it but it definitely didn’t strike me as a top-10-of-the-year type album. The more I listen to it though, the more helpless I am against it. It’s just too green, too much of a perfectly captured example of juvenile vitality to be ignored. This band of Wisconsin kids was only together for 2 years or so, and I have a feeling this is every song they ever wrote. Crudely recorded, and brutally performed in the most perfectly-unrefined way. If you were a teenager going to punk shows in the 90’s, this is going to be a glut of nostalgia for you. I know the band is done but I hope these guys cherish this album forever.   Listen on Bandcamp

see more glass tomorrowSee More Glass – Tomorrow
I swear not every album with ‘Seymour Glass’, or some variation of that name in the title gets to be in the top 10. To be fair last year it was an album called Seymour Glass and this year it’s the name of the band. Two very different sounding albums, for what it’s worth. These guys are leaning a little more to the pulsating postiepunkie side of things. Also they’re from Germany and the other band was from the U.S I think. I’m not too sure, the album has since been removed anyway. Technically this is a re-release of an album that came out in 2016, but whatever, I didn’t hear it till this year and chances are you didn’t either. Moving on!   Listen on Bandcamp

new speedway total babeNew Speedway – Total Babe [Buy it on Amazon!]
I think it’s only fair to mention that it was down to this album, and an awesome math album called Rough Edges by Bad Shapes, for the final spot on this list. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I had to go with New Speedway because it’s just faultless shoegaze. This album is big and has big bleary songs and the vocals are hardly above the surface. Perfect! It sounds like the 90’s or the 80’s maybe. Both I guess, but somehow current through and through. The shoegaze revival has been going on for a while now. A lot of bands are doing this genre, and not a lot of them are getting it right. Take notes rookie shoegazers. This is how it’s done.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

ENDNOTES:
Hey, so if you found something you like on this list here’s what you should do:
Support these bands in any way you can, even if that means just telling your friends about them; Share this blog-post on your social media so others can discover these bands for themselves; Check out The Best Songs That Didn’t Suck in 2018 for more killer bands; Dig through the SCRAP HEAP for a mesmerizing amount of high quality releases from the past 2 years; Read this whole fucking blog; Write to me! Tell me stories! Share your opinions! Psychoanalyze me! I’ll post it! doesntsuck604@gmail.com ; Follow me on twitter & or Facebook for regular updates and other weird stuff; Keep fighting the good fight; That is all. See you next year.

Best Songs That Didn’t Suck in 2018

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I realized after typing these up that this years top 5 is pretty punk-centric compared to last years, which was a bit more mellow. I promise you however, that if you’re a fan of the blog, there is something in here for you. I’ve decided to include a whole pile of great tunes in addition to the top 5, so give them all a listen. You probably haven’t heard most of these songs. (I mean I hope you haven’t cuz I look way cooler that way). If you like a song, go check out the band responsible for it and show your support. Also!: Make sure you come back for the Top 10 ALBUMS of 2018 in a few days. Follow me on twitter or facebook or subscribe by email to get notified! Links are all over there, in that direction roughly, maybe up a bit —->

Idles – Danny Nedelko [Buy it on Amazon!]
Everyone decides their own song of the year, but for me it needs to be this. An anthem of unity and sameness in the face of partition. I could have said the same thing last year, or the year before, probably any year ever. The fact is, songs like this are always needed. It’s uplifting, it’s energizing, it’s empowering, it’s made of you, it’s made of me. It’s unity and we can dance to it.

Balsamic Cigarette – Country Song [Buy it on Amazon]
The source of inspiration for this one may align with that of Danny Nedelko, but in the spirit of hardcore punk, there is nothing subtle about this, and it is not meant to be uplifting at all. This is the what-we’re-all-thinking-but-not-necessarily-saying song. This is the musical equivalent of a rotten egg being hurled at the trump tower. This is punk rock satire meets dead-pan hardcore. If you’re wondering how that’s even possible, all you have to do is listen.

The Apartment Club – Bad/New
Settling into something a bit more fleshy and fine-spun, this is the bleeding heart of the year. Smooth and emotional with a righteous build up, this is the song you can really get lost in, and excuse me while I throw up because I’m starting to sound like a music journalist.

Briscoe – House Show
If you remember my top 10 albums from last year, you know I was (and for the record, still am) obsessed with this band. At the time I wasn’t sure if their album was from a currently active band, or if it was a relic from the past someone posted on bandcamp. This November I was delightfully surprised to see that they posted a couple new songs. The band still remains a bit of a mystery to me but at least I know they’re making new music, and this song re-enforces my infatuation with them. I can only hope there’s more to come in 2019.

The Apparents – Nothing Is Set In Stone
Alright back to the uplifting stuff. This is just vintage UK punk rock from Scotland. No bells, no whistles, just that classic sound with classic vocals and that classic working soul that can’t be faked. It is often faked though, and that’s why this particular genre is easy to overlook, but there are still guys like this doing it justice. If you work hard for a living without much to show for it, this is your on-your-way-to-work song. Turn it up in your car or in your headphones and gut it out for another day. Life can suck you guys, but don’t forget how lucky we are that it doesn’t suck a whole lot more.

And here are the runners up:

























BACKTALK ~ Letters to the Editor (that’s me I think)

FROM: Marcus in some town North of Austin TX
Hey Steve,

Just came across yr blog and you said to write to you, and I’m guessing you meant specifically me, so here I am. Really dig yr blog – around this time of yr, I’m always digging into everyone else’s “best ___ of the year lists” to see what I missed, and I’ve been digging into bandcamp like never before. There’s so much stuff there, though, that I can’t really deal w/it, so I’m glad I came across yr blog.

I grew up in San Diego and went to a ton of shows as a kid, but after graduating from college, I moved to small town of about 7,000 in Texas, about 100 miles north of Austin. I try to make it out to a show or two a year, but now I have to live my pursuit of music online instead of in person.

Anyways, I don’t have a blog to post my favorites of 2018, and most of my Twitter account (@marcusSDTX) is dedicated to baseball and pictures of my kids, so I’ll share my best of list with you (you didn’t tell me *what* to write to you about, so I guess I’ll go w/this).

1. Brian Fallon – Sleepwalkers (I’m a big Gaslight Anthem fan and ’59 Sound is a top 5 all time record for me, so no small wonder I dig this – his was also one of the few shows I made it down to Austin for this yr)
2. Smoking Popes – Into The Agony (I actually bought tix for their show in Austin last month, but got sick and couldn’t make it, huge bummer. This is my fav record of theirs since Destination Failure)
3. Dark Thoughts – At Work (This is a bandcamp find that I’ve been listening to non-stop, which is a bit weird because they’re Ramones worshippers and I’ve never been *that* into that band, even though they’re punk rock legends)
4. Hot Snakes – Jericho Sirens (I’m a fan of all of John Reis’ bands – Rocket From The Crypt, Sultans, The Night Marchers, etc., so no surprise I’m into this as well)
5. The Beths – Future Me Hates Me (Another bandcamp find that has wormed into my ear. My iTunes library is woefully short on female-fronted groups, so I was glad to find this one)
6. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs (I listened to this on a whim while on vacation in San Diego over the summer and bought it from my favorite record shop, and while definitely a beach-y vibe, it’s still good for a listen while driving in Texas in the wintertime)
7. Mean Friends – Secondhand Grenade (this is my friend’s band in San Diego, they’ve played a few shows and put out a few songs and I think I’m still the only “supporter” who shows up on bandcamp)
8. The Hold Steady – The Stove & The Toaster and Esther singles (THS could’ve put eight songs onto an EP or added a few more for an album, but they put out a few singles w/B sides instead. I don’t love all of em, but “The Stove and the Toaster” and “Esther” are really good)
9. Leon Bridges – Beyond (His debut album was in my top 5 of the year a few years ago, but I didn’t get into his latest one that much at all. Still, “Beyond” is a slow jam that I very much dig)
10. Willie Nelson – Vote ‘Em Out (I listened to this song almost every day before the midterms, but unfortunately, my fellow voters didn’t vote the way I was hoping, and I haven’t put it back on since then)

Anyways, I’m looking forward to reading more of your lists and digging into future and past posts. I’ve already really dug that band from Turkey (the country, not the food), and have done a few searches to see if I could find an update on Briscoe from last yrs list.

Keep up the good work, have a great December and a happy new year.

-Marcus

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Heyyo Marcus,

Thanks for writing! You’re letter finds me well, but a bit tired.

I often refer to bandcamp as the trash heap of online music. There’s just so much trash, but if you get a tetanus shot and start digging through it, you’ll probably find something pretty good. That’s what I’m trying to do, and I’m glad you appreciate it. That means a lot to me.

Awesome list! I hope my readers can find some cool stuff in there. It was a great year for the Smoking Popes. Too bad you missed them. I haven’t seen them either, but I did see Hot Snakes at Upstream Fest, back in June. I do admit though (without shame) that I left their set about half way through to get myself a good spot at the JAWBREAKER stage, and I’m sorry-not-sorry to say my favo band of all time kind of out-shined Hot Snakes. Maybe it’s not fair to compare them to the highlight of my life though.

Anyway, thanks again for writing, and may you find all of the raddest releases in 2019!
Keep fighting the good fight,
-SD

From the DOESN’t SERIOUS COMEDY DEPARTMENT – David Ivan Neil

Finally! Finally someone has written two songs with corresponding videos detailing the outcome for The Terminator and one of the guys he shot in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Yes, it’s no longer a mystery, and you need not wonder how the terminator had access to Tinder in 1991, because obviously he was futuristic and shit. A lot of people don’t realize there are Petro-Can’s in California but there are. There’s at least one. It’s proven in the video. Thank you to my countryman David Ivan Neil over at Kingfisher Bluez for bringing this information to the masses. You are a treasury of historical truths and your service is invaluable. Also these songs are captivating.