1. Alex Cameron, Jumping the Shark — Easily the best album of 2014. Alex is part of a new wave of incredible artists coming out of Sydney, Australia. These songs have burrowed deep into my soul. They’re catchy, sardonic and loaded with peculiar metaphor. A lot of people say they hear flashes of The Boss in Alex, but I’m not too familiar with Springsteen. Like his cohort Kirin J. Callinan, he’s created his own world that’s wonderful and weird to explore with him. Speaking of Kirin, I hear he’s working on a new album with Mark Ronson. Sorry to digress. Jumping the Shark should be on everyone’s mini-disc player. You can download it for free at http://alexcamerononline.net.au/Music.html He’s also a brilliant web designer and writer.
2. Ariel Pink, Pom Pom — Ariel is by far my favorite misogynist working in music today. I decided to buy Pom Pom after I randomly saw him skulking across a crosswalk on Sunset Blvd. He looked like a transexual Nick Stahl. Since then, this album’s taken years off the life of my car’s disc player. “Put Your Number in My Phone” is more infectious than Ebola and “Four Shadows” is perfect for driving through your neighborhood with your lights off at night. Here’s the video for PYNMP. They shot it at the Eagle Rock Mall down the street from my house.
3. Braid, No Coast — I’m so glad these guys are back. They’ve evolved and matured, but they’re still 100% Braid. They do not coast on their laurels.
4. Trans Am, Volume X — I’ll never get over Trans Am. This album is romantic, funky and hardcore as fuck.
5. Speak, Pedals — Speak one of the best bands to come out of Austin in years. The songwriting is richer than Rick Perry. I love the way the drums sound on this record. Check them out at Free Week if you’re in Austin in Jan.
I also liked Hang and It’s Alive by Lagwagon and La Luz, respectively.