1. Dude York- Sincerely

Posted by KB on 12/31/2017 to Reviews
"Sincerely" is my most listened to album of 2017. They're indie rough but with enough polish to make them accessible to the novice listener. DY pretty much rock out but they do exhibit millennial emotion lyrically. My review in March would be considerably different today (Sincerely review). I liked it then, I love it now. Do an informal search of best ofs and you will see this album scattered in many. Most likely if you have heard this you will be in agreement on some level. If you haven't, please do yourself a favor and give this a go.

2. Kelley Stoltz- Que Aura

Posted by KB on 12/31/2017 to Reviews
Late release to come across my plate and praise be that it did. "Que Aura" is the best 80's release in years. It has the muddy drums, whispered lyrics, synths and echoes with hooks galore. His arrangements are layered but still sparse. Think of an 80's pop or goth act (big or small) and I bet you'll find it somewhere. Stoltz does this without losing his own identity. He's not in a time warp, he takes this retro sound and creates a palette of red and purple lights and his songs build more than those back in day he wades in. Those who grew up in the era will undoubtedly understand what I am saying. Those who didn't will hear something poppy that is fun and just a bit different.

Favorite Songs: Get Over, No Pepper For the Dustman, Walking Against the Greenlight, Empty Kicks

Musical Pot Pourri for 2017

Posted by KB on 12/30/2017 to Reviews
Other 2017 releases worth being noted for certain reasons.

3. Dollyrots- Whiplash Splash

Posted by KB on 12/30/2017 to Reviews

4. Black Angels- Death Song

Posted by KB on 12/29/2017 to Reviews

5. Spoon- Hot Thoughts

Posted by KB on 12/29/2017 to Reviews
Few bands can create consistently interesting albums like Spoon. Their sparse minimalist funk rock grooves at a start stop pace layering rhythms and sounds that almost feel like they're duct taped together (the songs Hot Thoughts as an example). Daniels' vocals interplay with the music as another instrument. "Hot Thoughts" only hiccup is the last jazzy number (Us) that can be easily skipped which helps keep this release feel cohesive and solid. Spoon is on a golden streak that doesn't feel like it will subside soon, unless they opt to go down that jazz path.

Favorite Songs: Hot Thoughts, Do I Have to Talk You Into It, Can I Sit Next to You, Shotgun

6. T.S.O.L.- The Trigger Complex

Posted by KB on 12/28/2017 to Reviews

7. Charly Bliss- Guppy

Posted by KB on 12/28/2017 to Reviews

8. Spiral Stairs- Doris and the Daggers

Posted by KB on 12/27/2017 to Reviews

9. GospelbeacH- Another Summer of Love

Posted by KB on 12/27/2017 to Reviews

10. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever- The French Press

Posted by KB on 12/24/2017 to Reviews
Jangly, wispy guitar pop that grows and builds to a full on guitar attack. Not as in crazy solos but as in multiple guitars inter-playing off each other creating layered textures. RBCF would have fit in just fine in the mid 80's REM period but they don't sound as if they are attempting to do that. They have pulled off two excellent EPs here is hoping for a full on LP release soon.

Favorite Songs: Julie's Place, Sick Bud, Fountain of Good Fortune

11. !!!- Shake the Shudder

Posted by KB on 12/23/2017 to Reviews

12. Ron Gallo- Heavy Meta

Posted by KB on 12/22/2017 to Reviews
Besides having the best song of the year, Young Lady, You're Scaring Me, this quirky, echo chambered guitar flashback is a blast. Heavy Meta review.

13. Low Cut Connie- Dirty Pictures (Part 1)

Posted by KB on 12/21/2017 to Reviews
It's nice to hear a rock band, a real bar room rock band, be piano driven and not sound or feel soft. LCC is the real deal. It's easy to hear that they are probably a fantastic live club band. Their songs sound as if they were written in a beer soaked juke joint and then recorded in one sweaty, smoky take. LCC's has a big sound (think Commitments) and sound as if they should have been in their prime in the mid 70's but in no way are they an old sounding band. Their version of Prince's Controversy proves that they could probably do a whole covers set without sounding like a covers band. Big. Sweaty. Fun. Here's to part 2.

Favorite Songs: Dirty Water, Angela, Death and Construction, Controversy,, Love Life

14. Old 97's- Graveyard Whistling

Posted by KB on 12/21/2017 to Reviews
The 97s follow up their great 2014 release "Most Messed Up" with another raucous, stomping killer. It's an honest FU this-is-who-I/we-are, and thank god it is because when artists/bands embrace that they are no longer svelte youngsters, they tend to put out truer music. An this is as true as it gets. From the first notes of I Don't Wanna Die In This Town you know you are in for a twangy and rollicking good time. It's more punk than most punkers and it's not for snotty nosed fakers who think they know how to rock. So if you think you are not one of the fakers put the volume to 11 and "...line up and knock 'em down".

Favorite Songs: Bad Luck Charm, She Hates Everybody, Drinkin' Song, Turns Out I'm Trouble

15. Matthew Sweet- Tomorrow Forever

Posted by KB on 12/20/2017 to Reviews
So pleasing when a great song pop-rock writer returns to original pop-rock form with a great album. Forever Tomorrow review.

16. Magnetic Fields- 50 Song Memoir

Posted by KB on 12/20/2017 to Reviews

17. Girls Guns & Glory- Love and Protest

Posted by KB on 12/19/2017 to Reviews

18. Cloud Nothings- Life Without Sound

Posted by KB on 12/19/2017 to Reviews
Cloud Nothings have been a band of pure structured noise energy. Once you think they are meandering down the straight noise road they throw in a hook and chorus as a speed bump.With "Life Without Sound" the Ohioans slow it down ever so slightly and bring their vocals to the forefront. This is not a sell out, but instead a maturing of their sound like Sonic Youth's "Goo" or my #19 Wand's "Plum". As a fan you will not be disappointed and if you haven't been one this might just open their door enough to allow you sneak in and enjoy their brilliance.

Favorite Songs: Things Are Right With You, Internal World, Enter Entirely, Sight Unseen

19. Wand- Plum

Posted by KB on 12/18/2017 to Reviews
It's nice when a band evolves but stays true to their roots. Plum review.