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Well, welcome back to the Sundust Lounge in Vegas folks for the second annual 1537, umm, annual awards.  As you take your seats in the auditorium, sorry fellow bloggers no trainers, or loungewear allowed, you’ll notice what a star-studded gathering this really is.  Yup, sadly Billy Crystal couldn’t quite make it to present the awards again but we have got at least one ex member of Bang Tango, her out of All About Eve and someone who used to work in a record shop in Seattle.   I appreciate that a lot of you have flown down especially to be here tonight from Melbourne, Glasgow, Indiana, Colorado, London, Canadaville and Stroud, so without more we’ll go straight on with the awards after Hanson and Enuff Z’Nuff duet together on Sepultura’s  ‘Biotech is Godzilla’.

Well, ladies and gentlemen wasn’t that, umm, special.

The first award for ‘LP bought solely for gratuitous chewing-gum-on-boob cover’ goes to:

Scorpions – Love Drive

Yup those crazy guys managed to retain their award from last year, which makes the Scorpions the first double 1537 award winners in history.  Remember if they win it three times they get to retain the hollow statuette which has been hand-crafted with traditional Welsh implements and manufactured from only the finest extruded die-cast polycarbonates available today.

The second award is the Lou Reed memorial award for ‘Most titties on a LP cover bought this year’ (opens envelope),  this year’s award goes to

Phosphorescent – Muchacho

Yup, 4 titties won the prize this year for Matthew Houck, I’m scoring the front cover as two boobs even though they’re a bit out of focus.  But will this be enough to put Phosphorescent in line for the Best of 2013 award?  We’ll find out after our next entertainment as Deicide and Eminem team up on a cover of ‘Wind Beneath my Wings’.

Boobs, Phosphorescent, Evidence
Boobs, Phosphorescent, Evidence

Well ladies and gentlemen, who was expecting that? a full-frontal same-sex kiss between Glen Benton and Mr Eminem – we’ll be making all the papers tomorrow!  Anyway on with the awards!

The Ray Manzarek memorial award for ‘the best-looking and put-together LP bought this year’, goes to

Pacific 231 – Micromega

A great, atmospheric ambient LP in its’ own right, the wonderfully well-cut USB pouch, credit card style USB device, spattered vinyl and sumptuous cover ensured that Pacific 231 and their record company Silent Media romped away with this award* against some stiff opposition this year.  My photos don’t really do it justice.

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Pacific 231

But now for the big one, the 1537 Top 567 8 Best LPs of 2013.  As always this was a hard one to call, but here we go:

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1.  Endless Boogie – Long Island

A worthy winner, helped perhaps by the fact it was released in February, so I’ve listened to it shitloads this year.  Wonderful spacious jams that never lose sight of the power of a good tune, or the importance of trolls in contemporary music.

2.  Clutch – Earth Rocker

Simple: great tunes, brilliantly played, with cool Native-American Space Egyptian dudes on the cover.  Backed up by a fabulous live show too.  I’d not heard a note 12 months ago and now I’m a huge fan.

3.  Greg Haines – Where We Were

Listened to this so much this year, it’s a wonderful Anglo-German ambient dub LP which uses the empty spaces in the music faultlessly to evoke a nocturnal car ride through a city.

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4.  Atoms For Peace – Amok

Great, inventive and downright groovy LP, all topped-off with Thom Yorke’s divine falsetto.  I’ve spent chunks of this year living in this album.  Absolutely brilliantly presented too.  I also found some nice stamps.

5.  Public Service Broadcasting – Inform, Educate, Entertain

The quintessence of Englishness, a sampledelic rendering of our island’s back pages courtesy of old BFI footage being teamed with some crackingly inventive playing by messers Willgoose and Wigglesworth.  I found this to be an LP with real lasting power.

6.  Bombino – Nomad

Quite simply the best quitar-slinging I’ve heard all year, courtesy of Omara “Bombino” Moctar, some gritty blistering Malian guitar magic produced by Dan Auerbach.  I can’t keep my air guitar sheathed during this one.

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7.  Phosphorescent – Muchacho

Not just titties! One of the best sets of songs I came across this year.  Ranging from the slinky sexed-up ‘Ride on/Right on’, to the darkly brooding ‘The Quotidian Beasts’; echoes of Young, Springsteen and even Patti Smith abound but not to the extent of drowning out Houck’s own voice.

8.  Vista Chino – Peace

Stoner rock in excelsis from Kyuss veterans including the man I worship unreservedly, Brant Bjork.  Old tricks re-worked into new grooves until they squeak with the tightness and rightness of it all.

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So there you have it, nauseatingly self-indulgent I know, but hey welcome to my world.  To be entirely honest you could shuffle those LPs and deal them out in almost any order, they’re the new ones I’ve spent my time with this year.  There are a lot of other good ones, from bands I like a lot, but these are the ones that have really stuck.

Out of all the old stuff out there that I’ve picked up on this year two really stand out for me, my local space rock favourites, Mugstar – Lime from 2011 and Dennis Wilson – Pacific Ocean Blue from 1977, which is just a complete LP, in a way that very few are.  Both of which have lit up my life at times over the last 12 months.

Shady goings on at the after show party
Shady goings on at the after show party

So there you go folks.  Just time to enjoy our all-star jam through a medley of timeless hits by Firehouse and Winger.  Thank you very much and see you next year at the Tokyo Enormodomo, which I am having constructed especially for the occasion.

310 Down (still).

*purveyors of high-concept immaculately realized media projects, I urge you to check them out online; lead chap Ben Link Collins is a particularly nice, friendly fellow in my experience.

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23 thoughts on “1537 vs. 2013

    1. Don’t worry I broke it to them by ‘phone last night, I wanted them to hear it from me first, before they read about it in Rolling Stone, or the New York Post. It was all very amicable and I think they appreciated my frankness.

      The Endless Boogie one just got listened to more times, I really love their stuff. To be honest all the top three were pretty interchangeable for me.

      I love w, sorry, Ranking!

      1. I really wish you hadn’t told me that. I was too busy trying to keep Kane Roberts from finding you – not sure what your beef with each other is, but I just didn’t want it spilling over into violence at the after show party.

      2. It’s more his beef with me. We used to be besties but I guess he just got fed up being the dweebier, less muscly one and turned on me. It must be hard going to the pub and just feeling invisible to all the hot babes… But if you hang out with me you just have to get used to that.

  1. Great list, and a few I’ve never heard nor heard of. Pacific 231 has me particularly excited. Looking forward to exploring it and it’s cyber punk-ish album sleeve. That splatter vinyl looks amazing.

    The Scorpions had some interesting album covers back in the day, but for my money the shock value winner was Overkill’s ‘F*ck You’ ep with the middle finger blazing. I bought that in the 8th grade at Butterfly Records in Warsaw on cassette. One of the few times I impressed even my big brother with a musical purchase. No titties, just heavy metal angst for the world to see.

    1. Thank you, it’s not as comprehensive as yours but I put some real hours in on the half-time entertainment.

      I’d forgotten all about Overkill – my mate used to have that T-shirt until his uptight mum took exception to it and boil washed it to the point where it wouldn’t have fitted on Thorin Oakenshield. Or maybe she just wasn’t very good at washing.

      Really recommend you check out Pacific 231, have a look at the website at least; Silent Media are a small but really, really cool company. The USB in a cut-out pouch on the front cover … makes me weak at the knees. Really interesting sounds too. Word up!

      1. The t-shirt story…man that’s hillarious. I do remember the shirts. I was proud enough just having a cassette of it. A t-shirt? I’d a been the cock of the walk. Cock of the walk, I say!

        Fortunately I never had that problem with my parents, the whole sheltering thing. I may be going out on a lime here, but I think you grew up the same. Hell, my dad still has my cassette copy of Suicidal Tendencies ‘Feel Like Shit/Deja Vu.

        I’m going to be searching that album out. I bought a copy of The Night Terrors’ ‘Back To Zero’ off of Discogs yesterday. My friend that runs the local record store asked me if I’d ever heard them. I hadn’t so I looked them up on Youtube. I was blown away. If you like John Carpenter music scores, Goblin, and theramins, I suggest you check their Bandcamp page out. Immediately.

      2. Night Terrors? Sounds good, my next purchase is a copy of the Cliff Martinez score for Solaris, I really fancy that on picture disc. Hell, I’d buy George W Bush singing cowboy ballads on picture disc.

      3. “Hell, I’d buy George W Bush singing cowboy ballads on picture disc.”

        No you wouldn’t, would you?

        I love Cliff Martinez. I’ve got his ‘Kafka’ soundtrack on cd somewhere, and his ‘Drive’ soundtrack on double vinyl, courtesy of Mondo. Excellent album.

      4. Hell yeah! His (Bush’s) flamenco and new wave LPs totally blew chunks, but I feel kinda sorry for him.

        If you get a chance look at Invada records, I think they’re owned, or part-owned by Adrian Utley out of Portishead. Do lots of interesting stuff.

      1. Did I ever mention that I used that album cover in a school presentation on Censorship?

        Strangely my teacher didn’t have an issue with it, although she asked me not to use Love At First Sting. I used it anyway. I saw her jaw drop.

        But I think in a weird way, even though it was not my message, she saw me using it against her wishes as PART of my presentation! As a demonstration.

      2. That’s a great tale. My wife once passed off the lyrics to ‘The Trooper’ as her own work in a poetry lesson – gambling on the fact that the nun teaching them wouldn’t be a big maiden fan.

        The smart money’s on 3 in a row for the Scorps in this particular 1537 category.

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