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’.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.