Todd’s Favorites of 2019

2019 was another great year for music, below are my top ten favorite albums 2019:

  1. Business of Dreams – Ripe For Anarchy [Slumberland]
  2. Select Level – S/T [Wax Thématique]
  3. Pinch Points – Moving Parts [Roolette/Six Tonnes De Chair]
  4. Oh Sees – Face Stabber [Castle Face]
  5. Modern Nature – How To Live [Bella Union]
  6. Cherry Glazerr – Stuffed & Ready [Secretly Canadian]
  7. Trampoline Team – S/T [Hozac]
  8. Cold Showers – Motionless [Dais]
  9. Czarface – The Odd Czar Against Us! [Silver Age]
  10. Altin Gün – Gece [ATO]

Also for your aural pleasure (and my own), I have attached a handy-dandy playlist of some my favorite songs from 2019…

Rezin Tooth

Rezin Tooth | Rezin Tooth | 3hive.com
Rezin Tooth | Rezin Tooth | 3hive.com

Rezin Tooth is the secret dub project of Seattle’s Nathan Spicer along with most of his fellow bandmates from Polyrhythmics. Their self-titled debut is the “never meant to be released” album that somehow Wax Thématique is magically releasing at the beginning of 2020.

We are honored to premiere their debut single “Dub Crater” (below). It’s a laid-back, dub-filled jam flavored with hints of the funk and groove goodness Polyrhythmics are known for.

Rezin Tooth lands on January 10 and is one hell of a way to kick off the new decade. Enjoy.

Select Level

Select Level | Select level | 3hive.com
Select Level | Select level | 3hive.com

Seattle multi-instrumentalist Andy Sells has been doing his thing for quite some time, (all in bands that I need to/ will be checking out) including playing bass for Nosretep, drums for Afrocop and being part of the electronic outfit FCS North.

Sells’ new project (with Joel Cuplin, Noel Brass Jr. and Jason Powell rounding out the band) is Select Level. Their upcoming self-titled album is a funktastic, 8 song romp of post-punk meets disco-groove goodness – seriously, these guys aren’t messing around, this is a solid contender for album of the year.

Give album opener “The Race” a spin (below), it’s just a small sampling of the groove packed into this album.

Select Level drops on June 21 and is available for preorder now from Wax Thématique, you should preorder this. We will also have some copies at the 3hive Record Lounge as well. You don’t want to miss this one.

Sam’s Faves of 2018

It’s time for my annual blog post…

Without further ado, my favorite albums of 2018:

Khruangbin Con Todo El Mundo (Dead Oceans)
Durand Jones & the Indications self-titled (Dead Oceans)
Bodega Endless Scroll (What’s Your Rupture?)
Jean Grae & Quelle Chris Everything’s Fine (Mello Music Group)
Janelle Monae Dirty Computer (Bad Boy)
Altin Gun On (Bongo Joe)
Smokescreens Used to Yesterday (Slumberland)
Idles Joy As an Act of Resistance (Partisan)
Low Double Negative (Sub Pop)
Cut Chemist Die Cut (A Stable Sound)

I encourage you to enjoy these on vinyl (link will go here as soon as I get off my butt and update the online store).

And because 2018 offered so much more music than can fit neatly in a Top 10 list, here are my 23 favorite songs of the past year…

Durand Jones & The Indications

Durand Jones & The Indications | 3hive.com

Durand Jones & The Indications | 3hive.com

Shout out to Sam for getting the debut Durand Jones & The Indications’ record up on our Co-op Shop. Sam’s on point description: “Pure, timeless soul — rugged and raw enough to help ease the pain of losing Charles Bradley last year.” was all it took to get me to check this out.

Durand Jones & The Indications is an outstanding soul record that’s 100% percent worth your time. Although it’s only 8 tracks deep, the amount of groove packed into this bad boy is huge. Give “Groovy Babe” and “Tuck ‘N’ Roll” a spin (below) to see for yourself.

Khruangbin

Khruangbin | Con Todo El Mundo | 3hive.com

Khruangbin | Con Todo El Mundo | 3hive.com

Houston, Texas trio Khruangbin (for the phonetically challenged like me, it’s pronounced KRUNG-BIN) came together from a common love of ’60s, ’70s and ’80s Thai funk and soul music (you can listen to their “Essential Thai Funk Mixtape” here). Their new album Con Todo El Mundo is a smoking hot, groove-filled slab of funk, psych and soul. Give “Maria También” a spin below for a sample – you will not be sorry. Con Todo El Mundo is out now via Dead Oceans and I can not recommend it enough. Enjoy.

Favorite Releases of 2017 (Sam’s List)

Better late than never – my auditory loves of 2017, in rough order…

Thundercat Drunk (Brainfeeder)
Intoxicating, weird, vulnerable, and soooooo damn funky. My Album of the Year if I had to pick one.

Slowdive Slowdive (Dead Oceans)
The comeback album of our collective dreams.

Trementina 810 (Burger)
If this hadn’t been The Year of Slowdive’s Triumphant Return, I’d like to think this gorgeous offering of dreamy shoegaze from Chile’s Trementina would’ve been the talk of the town.

The xx I See You (Young Turks)
Now that producer Jamie Smith, aka Jamie xx, is getting his due as the driving force behind The xx juggernaut, I might be able to stop raving about him. But why stop now?

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings Soul of a Woman (Daptone)
What a force. What a voice. What a loss.

Big Thief Capacity (Saddle Creek)
This album has quietly slipped on to a bunch of Best of 2017 lists because it is just that: a quiet album of incredible strength.

Grandaddy Last Place (30th Century Records)
“Even still the rockers are…”

Mountain Goats Goths (Merge)
A wonderfully engaging concept/tribute album – whether you are, were, or have ever loved a goth.

Boris Dear (Sargent House)
Rumored to be a farewell letter to their fans, it’s a welcome return to the nuanced take on sludge/drone/doom metal that first lured me in almost 20 years ago.

Fazerdaze Morningside (Flying Nun)
Nearly perfect bedroom pop.

Moses Sumney Aromanticism (Jagjaguwar)
All the feels.

Molly Burch Please Be Mine (Captured Tracks)
A sparse, timeless album that allows nothing to interfere with the purity of Molly’s hypnotic voice.

Doug Tuttle Peace Potato (Trouble in Mind)
Hypnotic psych pop with enough ragged edges to keep you awake.

Homeboy Sandman Veins (Stones Throw)
Based on record sales in the “>3hive Co-op Shop, not everyone agrees – but I think he’s one of the best, most versatile MCs around.

Waxahatchee Out in the Storm (Merge)
Katie Crutchfield finds her sound and voice amidst the rubble of a failed relationship.

Honorable mentions: Iron & Wine Beast Epic [buy vinyl], Protomartyr Relatives in Descent, LCD Soundsystem american dream [buy vinyl], Destroyer ken [buy vinyl], Open Mike Eagle Brick Body Kids Still Daydream, The Courtneys II [buy vinyl], King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard Murder of the Universe [buy vinyl], Jonwayne Rap Album Two, Priests Nothing Feels Natural, Robyn Hitchcock Robyn Hitchcock [buy vinyl]

Sneaks

Sneaks | It's a Myth | 3hive.com

Sneaks | It's a Myth | 3hive.com
Sneaks is the stage name of Washington, D.C.’s Eva Moolchan. On her latest, It’s a Myth, she sticks with her post-punk recipe of stripped-down jams – comprised of a delicious groove and bizarro Double Dutch rhymes – each with an understated swagger that will leave you craving more.

[Buy It’s a Myth on vinyl in the 3hive Co-op Shop, at a nice “friends of 3hive” price, while supplies last.]

March 17 Mixtape: Groove Holmes

March | Mixtape | 3hive.com


It all started with hearing Thundercat’s ‘Friend Zone’ for the first time. I immediately started thinking about what other songs would go with it in a mix – and it grew from there – 25 tracks of toe tapping groove. Thanks for inspiring this mix, Thundercat!

1. Stevie Wonder – Higher Ground (London, 1974)
2. Thundercat – Friend Zone
3. Al Green – Because
4. Natural Child – Benny’s Here
5. Once And Future Band – Rolando
6. BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah – Ray Gun (feat. DOOM)
7. Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings – Tell Me
8. Carla Thomas – Let Me Be Good To You
9. Lazy Salon – Sea Isle Ice
10. RUMTUM – Lost Ark
11. Gap Dream – Shine Your Light
12. Lazy Knuckles – Polygot
13. Gonjasufi – Ancestors
14. Adrian Younge – La Ballade
15. Blood Orange – Best To You
16. Bad Juju – Up In The Lab
17. Flying Lotus – Zodiac Shit
18. The Meters – You’ve Got To Change (You Got To Reform)
19. Booker T. & The M.G.’s – Chicken Pox
20. The Mar-Keys – Last Night
21. The Courtneys – Mars Attacks (Bobby Draino Remix)
22. Moderat – Reminder
23. Lasso – FkdLtd
24. Madvillain – Heat Niner
25. Dibia$e – Just The Way

Thundercat

Thundercat | Drunk | 3hive.com

Thundercat | Drunk | 3hive.com
Stephen Bruner a/k/a Thundercat is a musical omnivore. In interviews he’ll cite Manhattan Transfer, Mahavishnu Orchestra, John Coltrane, and video game music as influences – all in the same sentence. He’s played with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Suicidal Tendencies. And he’s already appeared on as many albums as he years old (33!). Such a broad palette can be a blessing or a curse. Fortunately, Thundercat has managed to channel his wandering mind and expansive talent into another uniquely cohesive – and funky – package with his latest, Drunk.

Whether the topic matter is mortality, race relations, or how freakin’ cool Tokyo or his pet cat is, Thundercat brings a levity and sincerity to the party that would be hard for most people to balance. If I told you he accomplishes this with a 6-string bass and entrancing falsetto as his primary weapons, it’d be even harder to believe.

Drunk is tight, so tight, almost efficient: 22 joints and not one clocks over 4 minutes long. In contrast to Thundercat’s live shows, where songs gets blown out into transcendent (sometimes frenetic) jam sessions, each studio track packs a concentrated punch. “Bus in the Streets” argues for unplugging from technology over a snappy Steely Dan-esque synth line. “Walk on By” is a yearning R&B burner with Kendrick Lamar guesting with a potent dose of street poetry. “Them Changes” – a bringback from his 2015 EP – showcases the funkiest bassline this side of Larry Graham. Then there’s the two Big Singles: “Show You the Way” featuring Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, with no irony whatsoever, and “Friend Zone” which lit the place up when I saw Thundercat perform it a couple weeks back and has already reserved a spot on most Best of 2017 lists.

Speaking of his live show, it was a melting pot of jazzbos, hip-hop heads, skaters, Pitchfork disciples, and drum circle types – a testament to Thundercat’s broad appeal. You can love him for his virtuosity, his groove, his unabashed nerdiness… or maybe you’ll find some other reason. I’ll leave that to you and Thundercat.