Frankie B is a total hassle… He does Campfire Island (this website). You can find out more about this nerd in the “About The Show” part of Campfire Island.
… I would just like to say how super appreciative I am of everyone giving me “Top 5” lists this year! Here’s mine …
I believe there is SO MUCH good music happening right now. I’m super stoked to be a part, in any tiny way, of the national underground of punk, hardcore and whatnot. There are many awesome musicians that are not going to be on these lists, but that deserve support, admiration, a couch to sleep on, and you buying their record. No joke.
I have two lists here: Top Live and Top Albums which look nationally at what’s going on. Then I have a list that is Bands you should know from Olympia, which I intentionally didn’t list in the first two. Didn’t want to give away my hometown bias. Clear boundaries, folks – that’s what we all need.
Top 5 bands delivering LIVE AWESOMENESS in 2011:
1. NO STATIK
Hands down, this is the best live band to see right now. They deliver – what else needs to be said? Super nice, hardworking, and talented – they’re the totally awesome. Funny, I like listening to pop punk at home, but hardcore shows are my favorite stuff to go see. Lucky for you, they get out of Oakland, CA a lot – but it’s great that they’re a part of all the energy going on in that city right now.
2. ALGERNON CADWALLADER
These Philly fellas are also touring a bunch. I was lucky enough to catch them on both sides of the U.S. this year. Algernon shows are FUN. Yes, I’ll shout it again… FUN. I like a show where everybody is moving. I did mention the awesome spectacle of NO STATIK, but at an Algernon show, everybody and their best friend is bouncing along singing along.
3. UNIVERSAL ORDER OF ARMAGEDDON
Caught them at CHAOS IN TEJAS this year. They were even better than I’d hoped. If you’re not familiar with this 90’s band, it’s time to dig out their stuff on KILL ROCK STARS. Their music is super tight, powerful and suspenseful. They’re so good… I swear it’s humbling… I’m a humbled man…
… right here I’d like to give a nod to SLEEPYTIME TRIO, another 90’s band who did have a really great set at FEST 10 …
4. THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD TO CANDYLAND
I don’t know what happened to this band. They lost some members, but somehow they got bigger. They’re like the E-street band of punk rock. Of course, you should always go see Todd Congelliere whenever he comes to your town, but you need to see URTC as their full band. It’s so great. Defintely rare to see people having so much fun when they’re playing music, it’s like BOMB THE MUSIC INDUSTRY! without the sarcasm.
5. DES ARK
Aimee with a full band is as much spirituality as anyone needs. That fact that she was touring with PYGMY LUSH was an added bonus. Super talented. DES ARK has no fear of being quiet, or loud, or taking a show any place they want it to go.
Top 5 albums I heard in 2011:
1. FUCKED UP – David Comes to Life (Matador)
Really. It’s good. They’re highly talented and able to write their own ticket. Be happy for it. Keep them in the scene. They’re legit.
2. PYGMY LUSH – Old Friends (Lovitt)
I swear, this album is so good, I haven’t even worked my way through the whole thing yet. You will dig it. It’s like rich food. There are so many layers of flavor you’ve got to eat slowly. I’ve been lucky enough to see them live in Olympia and Gainesville this year, too.
3. SHORES – To Volstead (No Idea)
This album revives some deeper sounds of punk music that I honestly feared lost. Drawing influence from bands like Seam, and other… uh… slow stuff – they’re onto something all their own. Dig in. Give this, and their other split I haven’t heard yet, a listen or three. Really grows all over you. I like it.
4. PINE HILL HAINTS – Welcome to the Midnight Opry (K records)
The HAINTS have a polished talent from their many years of playing and making music. Is it punk? post-punk like Chuck Ragan? Don’t be stupid. Just go listen to this. Better yet, listen to this and then see them live! Then go listen to their 2010 release Those Who Wander. They’re so talented and unique.
5. All those records with music by KATIE CRUTCHFIELD
As far as I can tell, P.S. ELIOT released Sadie (Salinas) this year; BAD BANANA put out the Cry About It 7″ (Puzzle Pieces) and Ms. Crutchfield put out American Weekend (Don Giovanni) as her solo project: WAXAHATCHEE. Technically, American Weekend is a 2012 release, but the prerelease to radio (like me) was sent out in 2011. The point being that Katie is writing a bunch of great music! She’s on tour for the first few months of 2012. You should go see the show. Katie knows how to handle a crowd.
5 bands you need to know about that are from Olympia right now:
1. BROKEN WATER
Their Perennial Star album really blew me away. The song “Heartstrings” is so solid. You can get their vinyl from Perennial Records or their CDs from Radio is Down. They did a national tour this year.
2. GUN OUTFIT
In my head at least, Gun Outfit has been one of the longest standing, most inspirational and solid anchors of the new energy in Olympia music. In any case, they deserve a lot of admiration for putting out great music and being core artists in this town. Their song “Feeling Good” is rolling, glorious sound. They have two albums out on Post Present Medium – Possession Sound (2010) and Dim Light (2009).
3. MILK MUSIC
People got really excited over their first album, Beyond Living. It’s been repressed by Perennial if you are ready to check it out. I dig Milk Music, too. Real psychedelic rock, but it’s got enough velocity to keep you enthralled.
4. WESTERN HYMN
Craig, Kris and Sarah are so rockin’… it’s super slick. You should check out their ghost rock. Their self-released LP was great. Since then, they’ve recorded an EP for K records. Since Craig also has a new thing.. CRAIG EXTINE and EXILES which is about to play their first show.
Damn. They just keep getting better and better. You know Matt was in LATTERMAN and SHOREBIRDS, right? It’s always great to see him playing music. But watching… or I guess I mean listening… to Erica’s development as a songwriter is what’s really been really interesting about this band. Wow. She’s writing some amazing songs lately. Have you heard “Paper Thin” on the new 7″ Belebend (Yo Yo)? Their self-titled full-length is great, too. You can check it out at the Rumbletowne website.
but there’s also: SHARKPACT, THE MAXINES, KOZO, MUTOID MEN, HYSTERICS, THE HIVE DWELLERS, BLUES DRUID, WHITE WARDS, KENDL WINTER, BONE SICKNESS, THE RESIDENT KINGS, HPP, ANGELO SPENCER, WEIRD TV, HAPPY NOOSE, SON SKULL, TENDER FOREVER, DOGJAW, OUTLOOK, VRADIAZEI, MARGY PEPPER, ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO and so many others… it’s totally crazy how many bands are here right now. So awesome.
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