The Year in Bitch - 2015 - Articles - Soundblab

The Year in Bitch - 2015

by paul_guyet Rating: Release Date:

A note: 2015 was completely owned by They Might Be Giants. Go forth knowing this.
There was other stuff though.

Biggest Surprises

Oh Christ it's in my HEEEAAAD!
Meghan Trainor. Meghan goddamn Trainor. Yes, I know it's poppy, sickly sweet, bubble-gum-in-your-hair drivel, but, guys... it's catchy, and I enjoyed it. Granted, I listened to the album, Title, about a dozen times over the course of a week or so and then kind of forgot it existed, but that was a damn fun week. 

Aphex Twin's Musical Bukakke
Biggest surprise of the year was Richard D James, after recently returning to the world with Syro back in 2014, dropping over a hundred unreleased Aphex Twin tracks (over eight fucking hours of never before heard music), onto the internet for free. You know what's weird? Even after this ejaculation of new Aphex, I'm a bit surprised there wasn't more. Because I'm a greedy whorehole of consumerism.

The new Blur and how much I enjoyed it when compared to all other Blur albums
Usually, when Damon Albarn releases a Blur album or some side-project that isn't Gorillaz, I check it out and then take whichever tracks I feel could encompass a Gorillaz album and then add them to a playlist called This Could Be a Gorillaz Album. I don't hate Blur or any of Albarn's side-projects (his solo debut was one of my favorite records of 2014), but I like Gorillaz more.

I've read that it kind of pisses off Albarn that this thing that started out as a joke ended up being the thing that everyone in the fucking world latched onto, but, hey, he's getting to do whatever he wants, creatively, with whomever he wants to do it, so he can't be that mad. But, I dug a lot of Magic Whip. Not as much as I dug Plastic Beach or Demon Days, but, whatever. I was surprised by how much I liked it and that's why it's here, Dad. 

David Bowie releases the best song he's done in 20 years


Not since Outside had I been more excited for a new Bowie album. The promise held within that one, epic title track... The possibilities were limitless...

Telepathe defies the music industry by releasing their new album
After chewing their way through miles of record label bullshit over a period of years, they finally release Destroyer, and it's as dark and smoky and sweaty and throbbing as a club in the 90s.

Marilyn Manson emerges, slightly, from up his own ass
Saying Manson's The Pale Emperor is "his best album in years" is a deceptive little compliment. Another way to phrase that could be, "The Pale Emperor is his first album in years that wasn't hot, wet garbage."

Manson's The Pale Emperor is his first album in years that is not hot, wet garbage. Let's see if Mr Warner can keep inching his way out of his own asshole. We're rooting for you, you pasty monarch, you!

Prince releases his 38th and 39th studio albums and they're both really solid
You'd think this purple sparkplug would have run out of ideas by now. Nope. That second one, HitNRun Phase Two, is a rock solid 70s funk gem.

Seriously, you've never heard anything like her. 

Biggest Disappointments

Beck releases a really excellent new song... with no plans to release the album from which that song was taken
Questionable grammar aside, this was bittersweet. 'Dreams' was a perfect summer song and introduced a shift from the reflective, golden syrup of Morning Phase to something a bit more active. I was stoked, until the weeks turned into months and he kept schtum about any new album plans.

At one point, on his official site, he posted a picture of a mixing board with the caption "Back to work". He might as well have posted a picture of a sack of potatoes with the same caption. Beck, you know I dig your stylo, but stop fucking with me, it's bumming me out. 

Not even a wet fart from Trent Reznor
See above. Although, I should know by now that he's big on the 'calm before the storm' approach to creation. There was not a goddamn thing until the last few weeks of the year, at which point Reznor finally announced Cargo in the Blood, and that there will be "new NIN music in 2016. And other stuff."

Recent photographic evidence has shown him messing about with a Folktek Euphonos Field. Toss that fact in with his previous implementation of their Luminist Garden on the Gone Girl score and I'm ready to go ahead and declare that the new Nine Inch Nails album is going to be good. Quote me, bitches.

David Bowie releases the best song he's done in 20 years... and the album it's on doesn't live up to my own, personal standards
★ is a good album, but it didn't expand upon the world created in 'Blackstar'. And nothing can be more disappointing than David Bowie releasing an album that doesn't live up to my own, personal standards, right?*

That goddamn awful Bond theme
The theme to a James Bond film is one of its most important elements. To me, more important than the car or gadgets. And, look, I get that Sam Smith has no testicles, that's fine, I was born with only three molars, but you don't invite a man with only three molars to compete in a Who Has the Most Molars? contest and you don't invite a man with no testicles to sing a Bond theme. Then again, if I had judged Spectre by its theme, maybe I would have known from first listen that the film was not only going to suck, but that it would also ruin my faith in the Bond franchise.

Cake's continued yet somehow self-important silence
Does continuing to do nothing count as a disappointment? I mean, if they had said, "Hey, new, triple album coming in 2015" and nothing happened, that would definitely count as a disappointment, but they continue to do nothing. I mean, can one really be disappointed when a near dead, shit-smelling dog keeps lying around and smelling like shit?

2015 LIVE
So much fucking They Might Be Giants... Thirteen shows in one year... I'm not saying I never want to see TMBG live again, but I could take, say, a year or so off from seeing TMBG live again.

Saw John Grant for the first time, and, while it was a great show, it felt a little flat. The album was so multifaceted, I can't imagine recreating the sound with only a handful of players... and he didn't.

Garbage's 20 Years Queer tour was palpable nostalgia. Shirley Manson is still a fire goddess.

The Bests! Yeah, The Bests!
John Grant's new one, Grey Tickles, Black Pressure, was pretty fantastic. It made me reaccept Amanda Palmer as a person, although after a solid month or so of listening to it, I found I needed a break. It was making me a touch bloodthirsty.

But... it's They Might Be Giants. Hands down. I cannot even begin to sum up how tremendous this year was for They Might Be Giants and for fans of They Might Be Giants.

After 34 years as a band, one could expect standards to be lowered, for the band to, perhaps, phone stuff in occasionally, but, in the face of these expectations, they, instead, released three albums worth of original material in one year, ranging from just plain good to truly excellent.
And, then there were the 13 (more or less) unique shows at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on the last Sunday of each month.

Fans were treated to performances of their first four albums in their entirety (more or less) as well as 2008's The Elsea live showcase of their 17th studio albumGlean, two mind-blowing horn spectacularsa set of adorable and jittery kids' shows, and even a duo set, the first of its kind in 25 years. Call me spoiled, call me lucky, I'm going to stick with blessed.

And, other than that, nothing else noteworthy happen this year in music.

BITCHWISHLIST 2016 AKA The Future Sucks

For Prince to continue releasing HitNRun albums. Now that Bowie's gone, Beck and Prince have got a lot of work ahead of them...

To get that new Beck album before June? Yes? Gelfling? Friend?

I could deal with some new How to destroy angels. I still consider Welcome oblivion to be one of Reznor's more interesting sonic forays. Oh, and that reissue of... what's it called... The Fragile? Yeah, I could handle that too.

For They Might Be Giants to take the rest of the year off after their UK and US tours and the release of Phone Power. These guys have earned as much R&R as they want.

It's it about time St Vincent and David Byrne teamed up for a sequel to Love This Giant?


For the debut LP from Mother Feather to, literally, destroy the world.

* As Bowie didn't pass away until 2016, I don't feel right including that here, but you'd better fucking believe that that's the first item on my goddamn 2016 Year in Bitch.

Comments (3)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Glad you mentioned John Grant. He's superb. Very amusing as always Paul, but I just don't get how you loved the track Blackstar so much and not the rest of ....

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

....the album. For me there's a natural thread in the sound and textures, and the mood. All grief aside, the rest of the album measured brilliantly against BS

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I didn't hate Blackstar, I really do like it, but it just didn't have the depth and breadth of the world of Outside. I'm a sucker for a good concept album.

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