The Agit Reader

Best of the Year

Staff Picks of 2015: Josie Rubio

January 13th, 2016  |  by  |  published in Best of the Year | Leave A Comment »

Staff Picks of 2015: Josie Rubio

Top 10 Albums

10. Bristol, Bristol (Kwaidan Records)
While the rampant ’90s musical nostalgia this year has mostly been grunge- and indie-focused, Marc Collin turned to trip-hop. Collin—the man behind Nouvelle Vague, which gave us brilliant French-accented bossanova covers of new wave, punk, and post-punk classics by Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, Buzzcocks, and Blondie, among others—now has created Bristol to give the ’60s …

Staff Picks of 2015: Nate Knaebel

January 11th, 2016  |  by  |  published in Best of the Year | Leave A Comment »

Staff Picks of 2015: Nate Knaebel

Agit Reader head honcho Stephen Slaybaugh recently asked me if I heard anything in 2015 that really moved me, and my response was, “No, not really.” Yet here I am, able to name 30 different full-length new releases and reissues that genuinely did stir me this year. I suppose I answered hastily. I truly believe there’s always great stuff out there if you want it. …

Staff Picks of 2015: Kevin J. Elliott

January 8th, 2016  |  by  |  published in Best of the Year | Leave A Comment »

Staff Picks of 2015: Kevin J. Elliott

Top 10 Albums

10. Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Style (Matador Records)
Given the dearth of rock records on this year’s list, it’s easy to assume we need more guys like 22 year-old Will Toledo in our lives. Teens of Style is a spark of an album, like Is This It?, On the Mouth, or Slanted and Enchanted. It has an immediacy …

Staff Picks of 2015: Matthew Lovett

January 6th, 2016  |  by  |  published in Best of the Year | Leave A Comment »

Staff Picks of 2015: Matthew Lovett

Top 10 Guitar Rock Songs: 2015 Edition

Guitar rock in 2015 solidified two already growing trends: one, female and trans voices fronting more bands, bringing with them a fresh perspective rock really needed; and two, vibe over energy. The best rock this year moved from just being gnarly sounding to making you feel gnarly feelings.

So yes, there were significantly less anthemic tunes this year …

Staff Picks of 2015: Dorian S. Ham

January 5th, 2016  |  by  |  published in Best of the Year | Leave A Comment »

Staff Picks of 2015: Dorian S. Ham

Top 10 Albums

10. Dr. Dre, Compton: A Soundtrack By Dr. Dre (Aftermath/Interscope Records)
After 11 years, Dr. Dre threw in the towel on the mythical Detox record. Instead, he broke his hiatus with this relative quickie album inspired by his involvement with the Straight Outta Compton movie. It raises the question: If he could just bang this record out, why in the world did …

Staff Picks of 2015: Richard Sanford

January 4th, 2016  |  by  |  published in Best of the Year | 9 Comments »

Staff Picks of 2015: Richard Sanford

Top 10 Albums

10. Algiers, Algiers (Matador Records)
This Atlanta band starts with the dark gospel heart that’s always been the engine powering rock & roll and adds noisy, choked guitar and keys over layers and layers of raw percussion. The sparseness of these arrangements makes the intensity of the songs almost unbearable, but intoxicating at the same time. Algiers is a magical record with …

Staff Picks of 2015: Matt Slaybaugh

December 31st, 2015  |  by  |  published in Best of the Year | Leave A Comment »

Staff Picks of 2015: Matt Slaybaugh

Here are the highlights from my year in music, in vaguely chronological order.

Sleater-Kinney
My whole year revolved around Sleater-Kinney’s words and guitars. It started in late 2014, as their joyously designed vinyl boxset, Start Together, waited on the porch for me to return from vacation. That box contained a lot of surprises, none more exciting than the unlabeled 7-inch which turned out to …

Top 10 Reissues

December 30th, 2015  |  by  |  published in Best of the Year | 1 Comment »

Top 10 Reissues

Pere Ubu, Elitism for the People#10
Pere Ubu
Elitism for the People 1975–1978
Fire Records

Pere Ubu frontman David Thomas once told me, “I am pretentious and I revel in my pretensions, but I don’t like elitism, particularly.” The title of this boxset of Ubu’s earliest work flies in the face of that assertion and is no doubt more than a little tongue-in-cheek. But whatever you make of the …

The Agit Reader Top 10 of 2015

December 29th, 2015  |  by  |  published in Best of the Year | Leave A Comment »

The Agit Reader Top 10 of 2015

New Order, Music Complete#10
New Order
Music Complete
Mute Records

Music Complete marks the departure of Peter Hook, the founding member responsible for the signature basslines that helped define the sound of New Order (and, before that, Joy Division). But even without Hooky’s bass, the new record is undeniably New Order, from the soaring synths to the often dark lyrics that belie the danceable music. With Bernard Sumner’s …

Staff Picks of 2014: Stephen Slaybaugh

January 9th, 2015  |  by  |  published in Best of the Year | 1 Comment »

Staff Picks of 2014: Stephen Slaybaugh

Glancing over the list of things that highlighted my 2014, one might think that I finally suffered the midlife crisis due for one whose formative years were in the ’80s. But as we are living in an era when everything that was once old is new again, I’d like to think that this is just reflective of the cream rising to the top as it …