Saturday, February 1, 2014

Guest Best Of: Starring Shana Falana

Y'all know that my Best Of 2013 is a little ways away (I promise, it'll be earlier than last year's roundup), but to get you in the end of year mood, I thought I'd ask a few musician friends for their picks for the best records of this year. I'm also nosy/curious, and just wanted to see what they'd choose. After all, as I said last year, a person's record selections say a lot about them.

I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Miss Shana Falana in Kingston at the most recent incarnation of the wonderful O+ Festival. Not only is she sweet as can be, she also happens to be a mega-talented lady. If you're not already keeping tabs, make sure you've got your eye on Shana. Read on to see Shana's list of favorites from 2013's crop of records, and make sure to donate to her "Send Shana to Europe" campaign (she's collecting donations through 2/25). 

Dirty Beaches - Drifters/ Love is the Devil (Zoo Music)
Dark, mysterious and groovy….Alex Zhang Hungtai is making some of my most favorite music right now, so reminiscent of Suicide and other synth-pop, industrial dance bands from the 70's/80's. I listen to Dirty Beaches if i want to get moody/sexy. This is a double album, half bluesy-dancey, half ambient-sound scape. Pick YOUR mood!

Crystal Stilts - Nature Noir (Sacred Bones)
Sacred Bones records are putting out some great bands…. They also have Moon Duo, I'm sure you've heard of them by now. Crystal Stilts have been around now for 10 years!!! They are not doing anything 'new' in my book, but they have captured that Doors, Velvet Underground, Joy Division thing pretty well, as much as I respect a band that finds its own take on a genre, I also can't help but love a band that does one of my favorite genres really well!

Thee Oh Sees - Floating Coffin (Castle Face Records)
Okay, speaking of a band finding their own take on a genre, Thee Oh Sees (John Dwyer really) I have utmost respect for! I'm from San Francisco and have known John for years, he kept that town on the map before there was Ty Segall and Sonny and the Sunsets, he had the Coachwhips (which he is re-releasing now) he's forever been releasing always touring, always the life of any party, East coast/West coast, amazing……Thee Oh Sees (now taking a break after 5 years of straight touring) are making some of thee most fun, quirky 'garage rock' of this time, no one sounds like them, their music is heavy with playful guitar parts and the vocals are like a lullaby? Perfect vibe.

Widowspeak - The Swamps (Captured Tracks)
My friends Molly and Robert, they are making some pretty dreamy stuff. Molly's voice sounds just-like Hope Sandovals' (Mazzy Star) the whisper sounds of her voice are all round in her mouth, very cool, Robert is an amazing guitar player, again very dreamy mazzzzy style…..The Swamps was partly recorded in my apartment when Mike and I were on tour last summer, I'm impressed with what they got, it's an EP that is over way too quick, her harmonies are what strikes me on this recording, described as haunting, to me, haunting is still bright.

No Valley - Over Time Scattered (Fat Cat Records)
My friend Wayne Memmer (Neon Gloworms, Vacation) has a new solo project, so twisted and fun. Shoegazey guitars, creepy fucking lyrics, twisted folk, a really catchy surf punk tune, "Charlie Don't Surf," and an epic chimey-psych tune "Digging Up Flowers"…… *tech* the full release will be in 2014, but he has released 3 songs of this album already so I'm including him here for sure, I am busy as hell recording MY next record, but he needs a back up band so I'm making the time to be his drummer, I love this record so much.




[posted 2.1.14]

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