As a decade's-worth of dust settles upon 2020, it's time to look back at the music last year of the 'teens, and what made a particular impact on some of CFCR's Hosts! Have a peek below and maybe you'll discover something new!
**Warning: Some of the content below may be offensive to some folks, so reader discretion is advised.
Host of The Owls Are Not What They Seem (Tuesdays, 11pm-12am)
Peter's Top 10 for 2019, in no particular order:
Yves Jarvis: The Same but by Different Means (Flemish Eye)
SOUL MUSIC. Songs so short you nearly miss them. Listen again and again.
Sandro Perri: Soft Landing (Constellation)
Easy. Breezy. Beautiful. Guitars are still nice.
Jessica Pratt: Quiet Signs (Mexican Summer)
What if the the ghosts at the overlook hotel were friendly and that was just some red wine spilling out the elevator?
Sunn O))): Life Metal (Southern Lord)
This is the sound of the sun.
Various: Kankyō Ongaku, “Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990” (Light in the Attic)
Wonderful collection of ignorable yet interesting music from Japan. My most listened to thing this year!
Bill Callahan: Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest (Drag City).
Bill's a dad now and is happy. :)
Homeshake: Helium (Sinderlyn)
An orange balloon in a grey sky.
Visible Cloaks, Yoshio Ojima & Satsuki Shibano: Serenitatem (RVNG Intl.)
Don Slepian: New Dawn (Morning Trip)
This kind of music has the best use of synthesizers. I've never been more relaxed.
Weyes Blood: Titanic Rising (Sub Pop)
Existential planet-folk for folks in a planetary existential crisis.
Purple Mountains: Purple Mountains (Drag City)
Haven't had the chance to give this a good listen yet but I know I'll love it when I do. R.I.P. David Berman
Host of FMeral (Saturdays, 8:30-10pm)
E-Saggila: My World My Way (Northern Electronics)
One of the most fearless and absolutely thrilling releases of 2019. Toronto-based Rita Mikhael has an incredible range to her music, which blurs all the lines between the sounds harsh noise, techno, gabber, power violence and breakcore.
Pelada: Movimiento Para Cambio (PAN)
The full-length debut of Montreal based duo Pelada urgently explores politics and identity while mixing breakbeats, rave synths, dembow rhythms and squealing 303 basslines. It’s passionate, it’s important and it makes you want nothing more than to dance.
Kali Malone: The Sacrificial Code (Ideal Recordings)
Following up on her incredible Cast of Mind LP from 2018, Kali delivers us an immaculate and intimate double album of incredibly minimal and concentrated organ drones. The harmonies and the concise composition resonated with me emotionally in a way that very few other recordings did in 2019.
33EMYBW: Arthropods (SVBKVLT)
Hiro Kone: A Fossil Begins to Bray (Dais Records)
Glenn Branca: The Third Acension (Systems Neutralizers)
Holly Herndon: PROTO (4AD)
Host of Fake Headlines (Wednesdays, 7:30-9pm)
1. Hater: Siesta (Fire)
3. DIIV: Deceiver (Captured Tracks)
4. Charlie XCX: Charli (Asylum)
5. SOAK: Grim Town (Rough Trade)
6. Orville Peck: Pony (Sub Pop)
7. Jenny Hval: The Practice of Love (Sacred Bones)
8. Cherry Glazer: Stuffed & Ready (Secretly Canadian)
9. Walrus: Cool to Who (Outside Music)
10. Ex Hex: It’s Real (Merge)
CFCR Production Manager & former Host of Prairie To Pine
Kaley’s Top 6 (In no particular order):
Modern Nature: How To Live (Bella Union)
Bill Callahan: Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest (Drag City)
Cate Le Bon: Reward (Mexican Summer)
Jake Xerxes Fussell: Out of Sight (Paradise of Bachelors)
Jessica Pratt: Quiet Signs (Mexican Summer)
Kacy & Clayton: Carrying On (New West)
PAT "RAT STEVENS" KINDRAT
Host of Green Eggs & Ham (Mondays, 6-8am)
Rat Stevens' Top 10 of 2019:
1. Richard Duguay: Bad Juju (Self-Released)
Think wildly inventive concept albums are a thing of the past? Think again! Winnipeg's Richard Duguay, of legendary Punkers Personality Crisis picks up where the early 70's Alice Cooper Band left off creating an explosive musical experience through the highs, lows, death, destruction, and ultimate resurrection of his alter ego, Dr. Silver. Killer!
2. Chip & Tony Kinman: Sounds Like Music (Omnivore Recordings)
This album's unexpected release this year after Tony Kinman's untimely passing in 2018 was embraced by Chip & Tony's loyal fan base! Unreleased tracks by their bands, The Dils, Rank and File, Blackbird and Cowboy Nation showcase the musical diversity and exceptional songwriting that these brothers have shown us since 1977.
3. The Walker Roaders: The Walker Roaders (Ginger Man/Beverly Martel Label)
If you are a fan of great Celtic music you need this album in your collection! Ex Pogues, Dropkick Murphys, and Flogging Molly members form together to come up with a debut record that recalls the spirit, energy and songwriting originality of the early Pogues.
4. The Northern Pikes: Forest Of Love (Music Vaultz)
These Saskatoon based legends really delivered the goods on their first album in 13 years and first with Grapes of Wrath's Kevin Kane! Great harmonies, superb playing and a much harder edge than you'd expect from a band who has been a staple of Canadian music since 1984. Welcome back Pikes!
5. Pat Todd & The Rank Outsiders: The Past Came Callin' (Hound Gawd Records)
If you're lookin' for a band to get your party cookin' look no further. This high energy performance by Lazy Cowgirl's legendary Pat Todd and his Rank Outsiders is contagious and each song on this record flows into the next with a passion and exuberance that embodies the spirit of Rock n' Roll!
6. The Dave Rave Group: Valentino's Pirates (Hanky Panky Records)
My fave re-release of 2019! Originally came out in 1990 as the first North American Rock album released in post Soviet State. Hamilton's Dave Rave and band demonstrate pure pop perfection throughout this record. If you love Power Pop like The Plimsouls, Big Star, Beatles, etc you'll love this album!
7. Illy & The Spells: Mistreated (Self-Released)
This Los Angeles based band's debut album combines singer Illy's deep sultry vocals with totally cool Jazz tinged New Wave styled anthems played with deadly accuracy by The Spells! If this band had been around in the 80's they would have given Blondie a run for their money.
8. The Whiskey Jerks: Baba Was a Bootlegger (Self-Released)
The second full length album by this eclectic Saskatoon band was just released on CD in late Dec 2019 after being available as a download only. There's no one else quite like this group with totally original songs, superb playing and vocals and a killer Live show! Check 'em out!
9. The Horse's Mouth: Horsin' Around (Self-Released)
This Humboldt Celtic band are back with their long awaited second release produced by Saskatoon's Randy Woods! Great originals by band songwriters Andy McAnally and Bob Henderson and well chosen covers show off the band's musical diversity mixing heartfelt thought provoking songs with fun toe-tapping tunes!
10. Double E and Bad Business: Don't Let It Go Down Bad/You Played With My Heart (Rankoutsider Records)
Voted L.A.'s best new Country Rock band this debut single sounds kinda like Merle Haggard, John Fogerty, Hank Williams and Keith Richards formed a band and would not seem out of place on Exile on Main Street! A terrific first single and I can't wait to hear more from these boys!
JANET "MISTRESS MILITIA" KORPAN
Host of Industrial Militia (Saturdays, 12-2am (Sunday AM))
1. Moris Blak: The Irregularity of Being (Negative Gain Productions)
2. SARIN: Moral Cleansing (Bite Records)
3. Agent Side Grinder: A/X (Metropolis Records)
4. Chrome Corpse: Anything That Moves (Area Z)
5. Voster: VSTR (Self-Released)
6. Randolph & Mortimer: Manifesto for a Modern World (Self-Released)
7. Nostromo: Extreme Manifestations (aufnahme + wiedergabe)
8. Rhys Fulber and Blush Response: Corruption of Form (Sonic Grove)
9. Front Line Assembly: Wake Up the Coma (Metropolis Records)
10. Cyanotic: The Trigger Effect (Glitch Mode Recordings)
ALSO, several Canadian artists putting out independent album releases that I quite enjoyed and deserve honourable mention:
ARNOLD "AVL" "YOU'RE JUST ABOUT DONE, BUD" VAN LAMBALGEN
CFCR Music Director & Host of the RCMP (Fridays, 4-5pm)
Ian Blurton: Signals Through The Flames (Pajama Party)
This album made me cognizant of the amount of people who have come and gone in my life. And most important - who is left standing after the dust has cleared.
Pinkish Black: Concept Unification (Relapse Records)
Best experienced walking home at 11:30pm in a haze of heavy Summer heat.
Host of RadioCraze! (Fridays, 7:30-9pm)
1. Purple Mountains: Purple Mountains (Drag City Records)
2. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: Ghosteen (Ghosteen Ltd.)
3. Trampoline: Happy Crimes (DK Records)
4. Rheostatics: Here Come the Wolves (Six Shooter Records)
5. Rick White & Eiyn Sof: the Opening (Blue Fog Recordings)
6. Sharon Van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow (Jagjaguwar)
7. Dylan Leblanc: Renegade (ATO Records LLC)
8. Leif Vollebak: New Ways (Secret City Records)
9. Lightning Dust: Spectre (Western Vinyl)
10. Devon Welsh:True Love (Self-Released)
JAY "THE JAY OF SPADES" ALLEN
CFCR Program Director, and Co-Host of Pirate Radio (Every other Thursday, 7:30-9pm)
A list of my favourites of 2019, in no particular order!
Warish: Warish EP (Riding Easy)
This California grunge-punk-sludge band, fronted by skateboard legend Tony Hawk's kid Riley, released a full-length called Down In Flames later in the year, which was an expansion on the self-titled EP (it inlcudes has all the songs except “Human Being”). I haven’t listened to the full-length enough to include it on my list, but the EP rips!!
Sex Geckos: The Static Tapes (Self-Released)
Live-off-the-floor demo album from Saskatoon (well, technically they're from Martensville) upstarts The Sex Geckos! Chock-full of youthful exuberance!
Snake River: Tread On To The Seaside EP (Self-Released)
Another in a lengthening line of great releases from this Regina band. This EP builds off SR's 2018 release Tread On To The Unknown You, including a mesmerizing version of traditional song "Pretty Saro," which was previously tackled by the likes of Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, and Bob Dylan.
Badge Epoch Ensemble: Badge Epoch Ensemble (Telephone Explosion)
Enigmatic Toronto musician Slim Twig has re-named himself Maximillian Twig Turnbull, and put together a funk/soul/jazz ensemble. Their self-titled debut release follows in the footsteps of Toronto acts like Badbadnotgood, but with a smoother, soulful flavour, aided by a hearty helping of jazz flute.
Mdou Moctar: Illana The Creator (Sahel Sounds)
Recorded in Detroit, this album by Nigerien guitarist Mdou Moctar fuses the traditional north-African rhythms he is know for with a driving psychedelia that'll give your head a bob.
Ghost Woman: Ghost Woman (Monkey Butler)
The soundtrack to a gun fight at dusk in a southern Alberta ghosttown, with a guitar tone that only 70s-era department store instruments can provide.
Ancient Pig: Domesticated Pleasures (Grey Records)
Debut full-length from Saskatoon's purveyors of trash-can rhythms and gutter melodies. Music to bring you back from the abyss, only to let you fall back in at the last second.
Possum: Space Grade Assembly (Garment District Records / Fontana North)
Blending contemporary artists such as King Gizzard, Ty Segall & Thee Oh Sees, but with a spin all their own. Epic jams abound!
Ancient Shapes: A Flower That Wouldn’t Bloom (You’ve Changed)
Clocking in at just over 24-minutes in length, the latest album by Daniel Romano's Ancient Shapes is a comparitive marathon of an album. Trading some of the frenetic energy of past AS releases for the mid-tempo croon that Romano exhibited on solo albums like Mosey & Nerveless, A Flower That Wouldn't Bloom is a well-rounded result that keeps its swagger, while not leaving before the party starts.