A tradition here to look back and see what stood out musically and in other ways for the last year... WELCOME to the list of KBOO DJs Top Ten picks for 2017
Rolf Semprebon, Host Sound/Unsound Sun Midnight - 3am
Jack Bohl, Host Pastures of Plenty Wed 5:30-7am
1. Offa Rex “The Queen of Hearts” I’m a big fan of 1960s and 70s British folk-rock, and this collaboration between my favorite local band the Decemberists and British folk singer Olivia Chaney captures the spirit of that music with originality and flair.
2. Good Harvest “In a Life and Place Like This” Debut from this Swedish duo features gorgeous harmonies and great songs and arrangements.
3. Tracy Grammer “Low Tide” This highly anticipated recording of mostly original songs was worth the wait.
4. Various Artists “Roll Columbia: Woody Guthrie's 26 Northwest Songs” All of the songs Woody wrote in the Northwest in 1941 performed by top notch Northwest artists.
5. The Wailin’ Jennys “15” The usual exquisite harmonies applied to good choice of material
6. Fine Company “In Fine Company” Great harmonies and fine picking on well chosen original songs and covers.
7. AnnaTivel “Small Believer” Heartfelt songs and great instrumental work.
8. Bela Fleck & Abagail Washburn “Echo in the Valley” More fine songs and picking from this banjo pickin’ couple.
Dan Shramek, Host Cascadia Coffee House Fri 5:30 - 7am
- Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, The Nashville Sound
- Chris Stapleton, From A Room, Volume 1
- Tim O’Brien, Where The River Meets The Road
- Offa Rex, The Queen Of Hearts
- Eilen Jewell, Down Hearted Blues
- Dori Freeman, Letters Never Read
- Rayna Gellert, Workin’s Too Hard
- Colter Wall, Colter Wall
- Rhiannon Giddens, Freedom Highway
- Alison Krauss, Windy City
Cool Man, host of Radio Under the Influence Thursday 3-5:30am
1 Todd Rundgren - (White Knight) This album is full of trump bashing and social critique. It also features collaborations with other rock stars like Trent Reznor and Bettye LaVette, a rarity from Todd Rundgren who is primarily a solo artist.
2 Laraaji - (Bring On The Sun) Laraaji is still putting people in a heavenly state after 40+ years. The track "Change" starts out with a clean vocal and guitar mix and slowly changes into a distorted one.
3 Dr. Amazon - (Whem) The long awaited album from "Portlands weirdest band". Dr. Amazon has been playing for many years but for the first time we get to hear Amazon Bambi sing in her unique punk rock style.
4 Family In Mourning ft. Lydia Lunch - (Eulogy) A beautiful concept album about death from Lydia Lunch, ordained reverend of the Universal Life Church.
5 Destroyed For Comfort (Gender Identity Witch) Sample, sample, then sample some more. Featuring Brutal vocals that sound like they're coming from Lucifer *her self. A well priced album at $6.66.
6 Spirits Burning & Clearlight - (The Roadmap In Your Head) This album is weird, it features experimental jamming and a vocal track from dead musician Daevid Allen.
7 Ri0t_viRus - (Resistance Is Fertile) Politically fueled glitched out punk from the future past that opens with a track that sounds like shortwave radio static, epic!
8 ERO GURO & THE FIRST SEED - (Not Quite Gods) An intense album full of heart attack inducing noisy sampled beats and eerie rhymes.
9 DK Dance - (L'orgue De Barberie) The heaviest of metal fronted by French speaking ladies who are not Barberies.
10 Laser Background - (Dark Nuclear Bogs) Pop electro gold that will leave you happy during the nuclear apocalypse.
Erin Yanke, Host Life During Wartime Wed 10pm - Midnight
Dark/Light – Kill Some Time (Dirtcult)
Portland’s own! Justin and Candy have been in some of this cities best bands, they are this generations Fred and Toody, and this record actually captures their energy and enthusiasm and great song writing. Mary is an incredible drummer, and this is the recording made before Colin joined the band.
Haram - When You Have Won, You Have Lost (La Vida Es Un Mus)
New York based Haram released this great off kilter hardcore album with lyrics sung entirely in Arabic. Says their label “Haram stands out as one of the most culturally relevant, challenging and important bands in America” and they are right!
Lebenden Toten – Mind Parasites (Self Released)
The wait for this record has been so long, and so worth it! Literally the sounds of a mind fighting itself for survival through feedback, screaming, noisy unidentifiable bits, solid rhythm section and children’s audio, it is a triumph!
Lebenden Toten – Static (Iron Lung)
Best band Portland has to offer, this one sided 12” with a gorgeous etching on the B Side was a treat to finally hear! So important, so noisey, so good!
Limp Wrist – Facades (Lengua Armada Discos)
A new record from one of the most important bands of our times. Limp Wrist puts the queer hardcore anthems on Side A, and the queer club dance tracks on Side B, guaranteed to make all their fans streach a bit to keep up. Limp Wrist does not want to be one kind of queer. They demand room to be who they are, and make us all more free in the process. I’m so proud they are in my world, and I’m so stoked on this record.
Macho Boys – Macho Boys (Neck Chop Records)
This is pure hardcore rage, young feminist vocals screaming in your face and probably hoping she’s spitting on you! This is the future! Fast and actually furious, and that is so fun!
Mr. Wrong – Babes in Boyland (Waterwing Records)
Another local band that is pushing boundaries, Mr Wrong kills it with this full length! Lots of piss and vinegar, lots of ranting, lots of musical surprises. Again, a band being true to themselves and daring you to keep up.
Una Bèstia Incontrolable – Metamorfosi (La Vida Es Un Mus)
This is the soundtrack that is not escapist but true full on facing the world as it is, and facing it with the full selves of who we are. There is room for friendship and comradery around the edges of struggle and despair. There is all kinds of life in the darkest of times.
Xylitol - …Is Toxic to Pigs?? (Thrilling Living)
I love the chaos of this record, the politics, and the delivery that captures the intensity that Xylitol brings to their songs and shows.
Dead Moon Night – October 5 (City Hall, Portland OR)
It is not often that you know you’re having one of the top ten best life moments when it happens. My other amazing moments have been noted in retrospect, as I was fully present while they were happening. But Dead Moon Night, playing Dead Moon cover songs under a full moon outside city hall for Fred and Toody, their family and fans and 1100 people was incredible. That Fred Cole died a month later was not something we knew that night, but it was a send off that he loved, and appreciated. It was incredible to be a part of it, and even though its not a record, I DJed enough Fred Cole tributes to make them a strong part of my soundtrack of this year.