Scoville Units Unite

24 Dec

2020 In Music

Time for the almost annual and almost end of the year look back at music after 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016.

Gigs

So I probably went to some gigs but it was last about 9 months ago and I can’t even remember. Fuck 2020. Fuck our governments at every level. Watching some musicians play in their living room wasn’t the same. I just want to go to a gig. And after a year of music venues being left to die Brexit’s gonna fuck over most bands I would give a shit about seeing from touring. Fuck 2020. Fuck our governments.

Music Shops

Grouchos closed. Fuck 2020. Thankfully the former staff went ahead and opened up a great new shop, Thirteen Records, in the now pedestrianised Union Street.

New Releases

I had the season tickets for Make That a Take and Specialist Subject again, but obviously due to inability for many bands to get into recording studios not as much came out as recent years.

Albums

2Pac ‎– Me Against The World – Finally got his best album on vinyl when the 25th anniversary rolled round.
AJJ ‎– Good Luck Everybody – Good folk punk album, the UK release caused some confusion for their archivist as their promo images didn’t reflect the release.
Alhaji (Chief) Prof. Kollington Ayinla And His Fuji ’78 Organisation ‎– Blessing – really cool afro-funk release. Yet again Soul Jazz with the obscure quality.
The Avalanches ‎– We Will Always Love You – way more laid back than their first album, and didn’t hear any stand out songs like Frontier Psychiatrist etc.
BadBadNotGood & Ghostface Killah ‎– Sour Soul – Repress of hip hop collaboration. Well worth checking out.
Matt Berry ‎– Phantom Birds – Pretty disappointing. I’d heard some music so had high hopes but it’s a bit meh. Can’t see me having the urge to listen again to be honest.
Bob Vylan ‎– We Live Here – Fuck yeah, Bob Vylan was one of the great finds of this year. Cool fusion of hip hop and punk.
Broken Social Scene – Live At Third Man Records – Great live album. I miss seeing them live. They were great live. Being in a room with musicians entertaining you is good. And important. Fuck 2020.
Charmpit ‎– Cause A Stir – The first time I heard anything by this band was the week before this was released as part of a livestreamed houseshow where they performed pop covers with costume changes. Simply amazing.
Cherbourg Harps Assembly ‎– Covered​-​19 (A Benefit Compilation for Willows Animal Sanctuary) – Seas, Starry subset released to make money for an animal sanctuary.
Citizen Bravo, Raymond MacDonald And Friends ‎– Return To Y’Hup The World Of Ivor Cutler – Absolutely massive collection of artists covering some songs by the oft-overlooked Ivor Cutler. Man 2020 started with a bang and was looking great for music.
Deftones ‎– Ohms – Surprisingly good recent album by band I’d skipped the past few of.
Dr Pish ‎– Popular Songs – If nothing else you should listen to Hings Vegans Might Eat. Best reaction I heard was “Is this Limmy having a mental breakdown?”.
The Duke Of Portland ‎– The Duke Of Portland – Pretty cool find of a previously unheard album. Some of the lyrics haven’t aged well but an important release.
Miles Davis ‎– Double Image // Rare Miles From The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions – rarities compilation for RSD by one of the most important jazz musicians.
Erica Freas ‎– Young – wonderful punk album by someone who takes part in the great Flick Through Podcast.
Frightened Rabbit ‎– The Winter Of Mixed Drinks – awesome repress with a live single.
Idlewild ‎– Captain – finally a vinyl release for the bands second best album. Waited a long time and it delivers.
Illuminati Hotties ‎– Free I.H: This Is Not The One You’ve Been Waiting For – pretty great indie release, found them via ppl-plzr.
June Of 44 ‎– Engine Takes To The Water – Another post-rock release for RSD.
June Of 44 ‎– Tropics And Meridians – One of the Record Store Day releases, class math rock.
Kaddish ‎– Two Demos – Kaddish got some physical copies made of their first demos on cassette. They, and everyone else noticed the stupid prices their first two LPs are selling for online too. Kaddish records, ecossemo pension funds.
Kerbdog ‎– Kerbdog – Repressed at last. Hopefully no more 3 figure ebay auctions for the originals now.
Kerbdog ‎– On The Turn – Finally a repress. Yes. 100%. Class, go buy it.
The Kimberly Steaks ‎– Confessions of a Justified Cynic – Weegievilles greatest Kerplunk-era Green Day tribute act.
The Lovely Eggs ‎– I Am Moron – pretty cool garage rock I found out through the Flick Through podcast.
The Menzingers ‎– Chamberlain Waits – a good punk release. On THIS RSD. Etc.
Muncie Girls ‎– B​-​Sides The Point – B-sides by one of SSR’s best bands.
Paper Rifles ‎– Traitor’s Hill – Second album by the band, pretty damn good, and been making some big lists for best albums of the year.
Paper Rifles ‎– Lockdown Covers – Not content dropping a studio album they also released a covers album. The Mel C and Bryan Adams song is a banger (featuring the awesome Beth from Slowlight). The Idlewild one is just perfect.
Pillow Queens ‎– In Waiting – Brilliant Irish band whose State of the State is definitely worth a look too.
Raised Fist ‎– Sound Of The Republic – Weird to spot some Hardcore record as part of Record Store Day. Pretty gid.
Refused ‎– Not Fit For Broadcast (Live At The BBC) – Live set released as part of Record Store Day. I love Refused.
Enrique Rodríguez & The Negra Chiway Band ‎– Fase Liminal – Chilean spiritual jazz. Really really good.
Jeff Rosenstock ‎– No Dream – anti-folk hero back with another banger after 2019s surprise day 1 release.
Scotland in the 80s ‎– The Dreary Heather Club – absolutely class folk album released by a geographically dispersed group of artists.
Gil Scott-Heron, Makaya McCraven ‎– We’re New Again (A Reimagining By Makaya McCraven) – really enjoyable jazz album.
Stöj Snak ‎– Life, Death And Everything In Between – Great follow up to the phenomenal debut album. It’s not as good, but most second albums aren’t.
Stonethrower ‎– Legacies – great ecossemo release with proceeds going to Rad Apples and a racial justice charity.
The Strangers Almanac ‎– Daisies of the Galaxy – Mr E “Mark Everett” Eels gets called out by local artist who clearly got ripped off by him and releases completely original album Mr Eels covered and made huge.
Wrest ‎– Coward Of Us All – great find of new Edinburgh band who are FRabbit-esque.

Various ‎– A Compilation Vol​.​2 – Another venue fundraiser. Fucking 2020. Fuck.
Various ‎– Blue Note Re:imagined 2020 – absolutely brilliant re-interpretation of Blue Note tracks.
Various ‎– Brazil Funk Power – Soul Jazz with a Brazilian Funk collection for RSD.
Stereo Verlag ‎– Die Stereo Hörtest-Edition Vol. IV Visions Of Jazz – really cool jazz compilation which came with a CD and download code, which I hadn’t seen before.
Various ‎– Dune (Original Soundtrack Recording) – RSD release of the Toto-centred classic. Picked up in eager anticipation of the 2020 release of the Dune part 1 film. Fuck 2020.
Various ‎– Furlough Your Dreams – SSR rarities available for 24hours, the cover of which was later released as a shirt.
Various ‎– Hidden Gems – Colin released a whole bunch of massive compilations this year, and I haven’t got them all but this was some great punk stuff.
Various ‎– Hope In The Face Of Fear – quality compilation of black metal artists.
Various ‎– Kaleidoscope (New Spirits Known & Unknown) – Soul Jazz Records history of releases is so good I blind-purchase every jazz release I see from them. Compilation of a bunch of contemporary jazz artists.
Various ‎– Lockdown Unplugged – another compilation for a mental health charity. See the theme this year :(.
Various ‎– Music Venue Trust – fundraiser compilation for venues abandoned for months by the clusterfuck government.

EPs and other stuff

Alldeepends ‎– Hello My Name Is – If you have this you know how amazing it is. If you don’t have this, you are wrong and should rectify it immediately. Short run of the physical release but digital purchases are infinite.
Biffy Clyro ‎– Moderns – Wasn’t please by price but got these covers of Frightened Rabbit on Record Store Day as it was funding for the great Tiny Changes charity.
Cherym ‎– Weird Ones – Cherym are great and I missed not seeing them at BYAF this year :(.
Concept Car ‎– Luxury Interior – Cool electronic EP after some tracks dropped one by one.
Gone Wishing ‎– Hidden Not Hiding – One of the first releases of the year.
Goodbye Blue Monday ‎– Self​-​Indulgent One​-​Take Woefuls – Acoustic versions of some of their great songs.
Lipsick! ‎– Sicksongs – One of the best bands Dundee produced had a bunch of their work put online by a bored member on lockdown.
The Marx ‎– Musk Family Emerald Mine – localish punk outfit with snazzy suits.
Min Diesel ‎– Mints – another hidden gem of the Scottish music scene. Get on it.
Order Of The Wolf ‎– Split With Pessimista – Another split by the great local black metal artist.
Seas, Starry ‎– Larsson Dreams of Germans / Hey Koala – Aberdeens finest with a couple of new tracks.
Spectral Child ‎– Moribund Kingdom – quality dark ambient release.
Spectral Child ‎– Isolationism – second release by them. Check them out.
Toodles & The Hectic Pity ‎– Ghosts, Guilt & Grandparents – pretty cool punk release from SSR.
Tragical History Tour / Order Of The Wolf ‎– To The Chaos – great split with a punk and black metal interpretation of the same track.
Woolen ‎– Wrap Up Warm, It’s Cold Out There – randomly found Fife emo. Fifemo.
Wrest ‎– A World That Has Left You Unspoken – lockdown ep by the Edinburgh based band.
Yndi Halda ‎– Acoustic – acoustic versions of some of the post-rock bands releases.

Music still in the ‘to listen’ pile/Other Music I discovered

My to listen pile is far far too big to even dig into. I finally managed to sort out my digital media library and am slowly working through listening to it. I still have a ridiculous pile of CDs to rip, and a massive pile of records to listen to and file. I also caught up with some of the backlog and listened to a bunch of stuff, but maintaining that list is just ridiculous so can’t be faffed. Near the heat death of the universe when I have listened to all the music I own I’ll do some “best music” type post to document stuff I love. Pinky promise.

Discogs

I submitted a massive amount of digital music to discogs over the year and was in the top 10 for the month for some months. This was a precursor to a project I kicked off but stalled with. It may become public next year but #effort.

Music goals for 2020

Started ripping more of collection as FLAC. Once I get through I will re-rip things I have as MP3. Also need to then sort and try to sell off the stuff I don’t like. That required actually listening to the music I own though…
Still have a massive pile of 12s to get through but the vast majority are sorted and I’ve made some passes through and sold off some stuff I disliked or had duplicates of.
Made some progress in my 7s. The awkwardness of listening to a track and flipping makes it difficult to do when reading a book etc so will probably get nowhere near completed until I’ve sorted through the 12s.

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