KEXP’s listener poll wrapped up yesterday afternoon with a fairly predictable nod to Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs as the best album of the year.
What was much less expected from the list was the solid hometown showing. Three local acts cracked the top twenty, with the Moondoggies’ Tidelands clocking in at number nineteen, the Head and the Heart’s self-titled debut at number sixteen, and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis surprising all by snagging the number five slot with their The Vs. Re-release. Last year’s list only had two locals in the top twenty (Fresh Espresso, Visqueen) and none in the top ten.
Sadly, that seems to be about all the good news there is for Seattle in this year’s cavalcade of year-end album roundups. Pitchfork’s list reads as if the Pacific Northwest had slid into the sea and even Amazon’s list, created right here in Metronaturalville, is absent of any local flavor (last year Amazon’s list at least included Throw Me the Statue’s Creaturesque). Apparently the best thing Seattle did all year in music was scout talent from other cities, evidenced by high and steady marks for Sub Pop’s No Age and Beach House releases.
I’m beginning to feel a little self-conscious. Do we have a list problem here in the City of Music? What’s going on?
Gabriel Mintz Mixes it Up: Apparently, long-haired psychedelic crooner Gabe Mintz just isn’t feeling it. The Seattle musician – who has been receiving a bit of airplay and some impressive opening spots since the release of his debut Volume One – has split from his old rhythm section, featuring Trent Moorman (Head Like a Kite, Mad Rad, Fresh Espresso) and Geoff Stanfield (Sun Kil Moon). In their place, Mintz has called up the talents of cellist Sam Anderson (Hey Marseilles, Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground) and drummer Aaron Benson (Wild Orchid Children). All due respect to Moorman and Stanfield, the new lineup seems more in tune with Mintz’s unique groove. Word is that he and Anderson have already started recording some demos for the next album.
Here is Mintz playing "Western Days" from Volume One, with Moorman and Stanfield, live:
Today's Jam: "Dreaming" by Seapony
@loserboy Favorite new band? The Lighthouse and the Whaler. Beautiful stuff.
@GrandHallway Joel Harmon of GH and Sleepy Eyes of Death is 33 years old today. A great day for music!
@seattlerockguy Currently listening to the unreleased Sandrider record. Neener Neener! // I'll play some on my radio show next Sunday.
I do this every day. If you've got some news for me, you can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me @MarkBaumgarten.