Dave’s Favorite Music of 2015

Ten Favorite Records:

  1. Glen Hansard — Didn’t He Ramble
    Still not quite the raucous record I want him to make, but my tops of the year, nonetheless. Lonely Deserter was my favorite song of the year by far. It’s my favorite video, too, and not just because Irish kids are praying to a David Bowie altar.
  2. Sleater-Kinney — No Cities To Love
    I don’t think there’s a rock band on the planet that is hitting on all cylinders like S-K are right now.
    Favorite song: Surface Envy
  3. Courtney Barnett — Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
    Smart lyrics, ferocious guitar playing.
    Favorite song: Elevator Operator
  4. You Am I — Porridge & Hotsauce
    Their first new record in five years, a welcome return.
    Favorite song: Good Advices
  5. Beach Slang — The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us
    Earnest, heart-on-its-sleeve rock song by a guy who thinks records like this can save your life. Because they can.
    Favorite song: Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas
  6. Los Lobos — Gates Of Gold
    Not one of their best, but still better than almost anything anyone else is capable of.
    Favorite song: When We Were Free
  7. EL VY — Return To The Moon
    Off-kilter, skeletal, moody, a good alternate showcase for Matt’s voice.
    Favorite song: Paul Is Alive (and not just because it namedrops The Jockey Club)
  8. The Chills — Silver Bullets
    If you were busy chasing the next brand new thing, you missed the best indie pop record of the year, made by a band that’s been around since 1980.
    Favorite song: Silver Bullets
  9. Royal Headache — High
    The third Aussie record on the list, a ragged garage-soul gem sung by a guy with a gift of a voice.
    Favorite song: Caroline
  10. Guy Garvey — Courting The Squall
    A bold record by Elbow’s leader that doesn’t sound like anything else this year. Thanks to Karen Whyte for the heads up.
    Favorite song: Belly of the Whale

Honorable mention:

  • Against Me! — 23 Live Sex Acts
  • Line & Circle — Split Figure
  • Tim Rogers & The Bamboos — The Rules Of Attraction
  • Joe Jackson — Fast Forward
  • Wilco — Star Wars
  • The Night Divided — Disruptor
  • Salad Boys — Metalmania
  • You Am I — Live Electrified
  • New Sincerity Works — Nowadays
  • Waxahatchee — Ivy Tripp
  • Calexico — Edge of the Sun
  • Richard Thompson — Still
  • Viet Cong — Viet Cong
  • The Frames — Longitude (a compilation, but worth it for the new song, None But I, and the new versions of Fitzcarraldo and Revelate)
  • Ryley Walker — Primrose Green (but geez, was he terrible and a dick at Midpoint)

Disappointing:

  • The Waterboys — Modern Blues
  • Paul Weller — Saturns Pattern
  • Eleventh Dream Day — Works For Tomorrow
  • Keith Richards — Crosseyed Heart

A great year of shows:

  • Against Me, Mercury Ballroom (Louisville) – 02.10
  • Glen Hansard, Buskirk-Chumley Theatre (Bloomington, IN) – 02.13
  • The Church, Woodward Theater – 03.08
  • MusicNow with The National, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and guests, Music Hall – 03.13
  • Matthew Ryan, Southgate House Revival (I opened) – 05.23
  • The Rolling Stones, Ohio Stadium (Columbus) – 05.30
  • U2, United Center (Chicago) – 06.25
  • Against Me, Bogart’s – 06.27
  • The Ophelias (an all-teen-girl band), Northside July 4th Parade – 07.04
  • Cracker, Southgate House Revival – 07.29
  • Psychedelic Furs + The Church, Mercury Ballroom (Louisville) – 08.23
  • Los Lobos, Taft Theater – 09.23
  • Robyn Hitchcock, Southgate House Revival – 09.23
  • Alejandro Escovedo + The Sensitive Boys, Singletary Arts Center (Lexington) – 10.24
  • Glen Hansard, Taft Theater – 11.24
  • Sleater-Kinney, Bogart’s – 12.06
  • Steve Schmidt’s Christmas Extravaganza, The Comet – 12.23

Favorite gig

Pike 27’s EP release show at The Drinkery with New Sincerity Works

Most plays, according to Last.FM:

  1. U2
  2. R.E.M.
  3. Against Me!
  4. You Am I
  5. Los Lobos
  6. Chris Whitley
  7. Van Morrison
  8. Elvis Costello
  9. Miles Davis
  10. The Church
  11. The National
  12. John Coltrane
  13. Wilco
  14. Alejandro Escovedo
  15. The Waterboys
  16. Glen Hansard
  17. Robyn Hitchcock
  18. The Frames
  19. Paul Weller
  20. The Chieftains
  21. Sleater-Kinney
  22. Matthew Ryan
  23. Latin Playboys
  24. Richard Thompson
  25. Psychedelic Furs