Alright Monkey fans, I know what you have been saying “SeaDick, where’s the rest of your Best Albums of 2016? For fuck’s sake, it can’t consist of just four albums and it’s almost 2017!” Mea culpa. No excuses, just an apology and the rest of the list. [Sidenote: I am sure all the smart readers out there have noticed that these posts have been styled as a “Best of” and not a “Top XX.” So Mr. “Premiere Blogger,” you are just going to have to try to figure out the difference. Only a moran, would insist on ranking everything. It doesn’t always have to be a zero sum game you guys. That’s why we have all those meaningless college bowl games. One last digression as well, Pipes keeps describing himself as a “premier” blogger. I’m going to let my man Inigo Montoya speak out on that:
Alright enough of the digressions. Without any further ado, here are the rest of my best albums of 2016 in alphabetical order (because if you aren’t ranking them, they should be alphabetical so that people don’t think they are out of alphabetical order for a reason. This is known);
The 1975 — I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
While in a slightly different context, IJ would say these guys are ha, ha, hawt. Another of your UK bands, these guys range from pop, to rock, to ballads. Great freaking lyrics and like true rockstars they are collecting the smokes.
Arkells — Study Music (Songs from High Noon)
So as you know, I (and others on the String) are huge Lollapalooza fans and one of the best things about Lolla are the after shows. Last year we decided to see the Struts at this little venue in the Fulton Market area, The Bottom Lounge. The Struts were great, but the Arkells opened for them and you know what? They were better. Out of Canada they can bring it. This album is an acoustic version of some of their songs from the album High Noon. 11:11 is a great song, no matter how you play it.
Bon Iver — 22, A Million
Catfish and the Bottlemen — The Ride
You know what they say about sophomore slumps? Not with these guys. More straight up rock and roll from across the pond. Crank “Soundcheck” to start yourself off.
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors — Live at the Ryman
I don’t know why Drew Holcomb doesn’t get more publicity. Maybe because they don’t really fit into a musical genre. Sorta country, sorta pop, sorta rock. All I know is that they are damn good. As expected, this is a live album from a recent performance in Nashville. I’d suggest a place to start, but the whole album is great. There’s even a Springsteen cover hidden in there Pipes. Go find it.
Fidlar — Too
A favorite of my boy IJ, these guys are insane and I mean that in only the best way. So-cal skate punk with a knack for the lyrics. Who doesn’t like songs about drinking cheap beer?
David Nail — Fighter
Another guy who should be getting a lot more notoriety. Country at it’s finest. Musically and lyrically complex. My only gripe is this guy is from St. Louis and, therefore, a Cardinals fan. We can’t be perfect I guess and, then again, who’re the reigning World Series Champs? The motherfucking Cubs, that’s who bitches! Check out “Home” and see if you don’t listen to the whole thing.
Glen Phillips — Swallowed By the New
If you know me, you know in the 90’s I was a Toad the Wet Sprocket fanboy. I’m secure enough to admit it. While I certainly appreciate Randy, Todd and Dean’s musicianship and collaboration as part of TTWS, Glen Phillips is and was the heart and soul of the band. When the band went on hiatus in the early aughts, Glen embarked on a solo career and never lost a step. This is his latest and it has been on heavy rotation in my musical life this fall. The first song, Go, is fooking great and sets the table for a great album.
Ike Reilly – Born On Fire
So apparently, Angry knows the drummer in this band or some shit. It doesn’t really matter though as Ike and his band are a great midwestern rock and roll band. Check out this album and, more importantly, go see Ike live. He plays in the greater Chicago area all the time.
Todd Snider — Eastside Bulldog
Americana, before Americana was cool. Todd Snider has been around a long time, but is just as relevant as ever with a knack for writing songs that are catchy, often funny and point out the absurdity of a current social or political issue. Hey Pretty Boy does a good job of hitting all those points.
Tedeschi Trucks Band — Let Me Get By
Previously highlighted on the Blog as one of my Songs of the Day, TTB has one of the best guitarists, one of the best vocalists and one of the best backing bands on the planet. Infused with soul, gospel and blues, it all adds up to damn good music.
Pipes, if you made it this far before your ADHD kicked in, I will be giving you a quiz to make sure you listened to at least one track on each of these.