What's the word nerds?! I'm hear at home watching Bob's Burgers, ready to share some more end of the year lists with you fine folks!
This time around, we got a list from Joshua Tehee, writer/blogger/columnist for the Fresno Bee and Fresnobeehive.com! He's also active in the local music scene as the singer/front man for the post-proto punk band It'll Grow Back and a founder/organizer of the annual Fresno Urban Sound Experience. You can follow him @Joshuatehee on Twitter and Instagram.
My musical tastes tend toward the local (its a virtue of the job), so with a few exceptions (you can probably spot them) these are bands that are from, or have stopped through Fresno at some point this year.
Indie-rock with electronic and hip-hop overtones. Good-time fun music that is made for dancing. Well, you can dance to it, surely. Or, sing along to "Agora."
Canto Secondo (ClenchedWrench)
Bass legend Mike Watt has a band with Italian musicians Andrea Belfi (drums) and Stefano Pilia (guitar). Their second album is a collection of sonic landscapes, more than songs.
Mariachi El Bronx III (ATO Records)
The third album from the alter ego of Los Angeles hardcore band The Bronx is full of sing-along classics in the vein of The Mavericks, a country-band with heavy Latin roots. Matt Caughthran's vocal melodies are killer.
Transgender Dysphoria Blues (Total Treble/Extra Mile)
I discovered Against Me! this year and fell in love with them mostly on the strength of their live show and the songs on this album, which could be my favorite of the year if you judge by how often it gets played.
Wasted Years (Vice Records)
Most people are all about Joyce Manor as the punk album of the year or whatever. To me, the Los Angeles hardcore super group Off! is as raw-powered, and relevant as any punk band playing.
Wallflower (Fresno, CA)
"Screaming female noise rock" is the description I would use. It probably doesn't do the band justice.
Sparklejet (Fresno, CA)
PhonoVella (Narcissus Records)
This album was technically released last year, but saw a CD release in 2014. Fresno's loudest power trio, quiets down some for this concept record. To put on repeat: "Calderon."
Nate Butler (Fresno, CA)
Nate Butler returned from doing a Swedish reality TV show and went straight to work on this album. The result is a solid collection of layered and complex (and sometimes kinda silly) pop tunes.
BedeDonia (Fresno, CA)
A now-retired project from singer-songwriter Jacque Babb. File under: folk-tinged pop-soul. Or vice-versa. Worth a listen (or two): "Love in the Dark."
Slow Season (Visalia, CA)
Mountains (EasyRider Records)
Slow Season does '70s Zeppelin retro blues and is making noise (sweet, loud, fuzz-laden noise) with this LP, out on Los Angeles' EasyRider Records. The label has an amazing roster of fuzz-rock stoner bands and it's nice to see the south Valley represented.
Fashawn + Alchemist, ft. Evidence
Fresno's homegrown rap hero has released a couple of singles in advance of his Nas-backed full length (out in 2015). "Dreams" is the first single on a soon to be released (as in this week) EP with producer The Alchemist. Love the hook. Love the boy-girl back and forth.
Faith No More's first single in 17 years proves the prog-metal masters still have it. Only Mike Patton could make the word motherfucker sound so hauntingly beautiful.
"I am a hamster"
SBHV Vol. 1
The first single from Vincent D’Onofrio's punk spoken word project may be the my favorite song of the year. Freak out violin noise and D'Onofrio's verbal musing on the inner thoughts of a hamster. Some might find it almost unlistenable. Full album out in 2015.
Thank you Josh for the sweeeeeet list! We'll be back later with more bloggings soon! Thanks for reading!