Ep 151: "Hits of the Bay 2020 pt 2"

Fantasy Spiders, whose song "Show Me Lovin'" can be found in this special year in review episode.

Part 2 of HITS OF THE BAY 2020-- two episodes with 40 of my favorite songs of this year, see below for comments on each song. Part 1 is here.

Also I'm raising $100 for BFF.fm this episode, please hit that button in the top left corner to support local art and media!

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Playlist

  1. Psychic War by Inverts on Invisible Wounds (self released) Info

    Local This song captures a current strain of consciousness in a voice that could shatter a brick building.

  2. Prism by Cold Beat on Mother (DFA) Info

    Local A water drip gives way to a vast landscape of synth vamp and doppler shift, with lyrics describing the behavior of prisms, and as it builds in the final fifth I’m tearing up as I type that it’s important to maintain a vision of a good future.

  3. Wrench in the Cog by Gorgeous Dykes on Gorgeous!! (self released) Info

    Local Debut EP "Gorgeous!!" combines the material, the radical, the punk and the glamorous in au courant fashion, and “Wrench in the Cog” includes one of the lyrics of the year: “No.”

  4. 3 by Heno. & ASTU on SHEEESH (self released) Info

    Local This year provided unceasing evidence that as institutions fails us, solidarity is ultimately the people’s institution, our rock. This spontaneous collaboration, released Juneteenth of this year, is a profound expression of that solidarity, for people to feel safe as themselves, and safe in communities that will act to protect them.

  5. Pink Trip by Moon on Phases (self released) Info

    Local One of my favorite things in the world is a deliriously long melody with words I don’t understand, matched here by drums and guitar having fun at every turn. What the fuck is this song, I listened to it a hundred times this year.

  6. Spring into Summer Seas by The Happy Toads on We Are... the Happy Toads (self released) Info

    Local There was more great pop this year than could fit on this list, but this one hit like an ocean wave and really captured a season. The chorus “put your flipper in mine” is so real and vital.

  7. Show Me Lovin' by Fantasy Spiders on Fantasy Spiders (self released) Info

    Local This band demolishes pretensions with rock n roll first principles layered in thick organ and charging tempo, felling all cynicism with the truth: “what do you say to the one you love/ I love you-uu-uu”

  8. Triste Canción by Deseos Primitivos on Deseos Primitivos (self released) Info

    Local Propulsive drumming, headlong guitars, and fierce vocals offer the story of a neighborhood that may also be the story of yours: “Pudo haber sido el/ pudo haber sido tu/ pudo ser tu triste canción.”

  9. Disappears by Kokomo Hum on single (self released) Info

    Local In 2018 I wrote “Kokomo Hum put out two songs that are impossibly catchy, then I saw them at the Hemlock and the other three songs they played were also really good.” I’m sure this was one of them! Seemingly effortless sophistication, no pretension.

  10. Happy Birthday by Stress Dreams on Maggie (self released) Info

    Local Kiana’s lyrics hit so hard for largely avoiding poetry, an ideal authorial voice imo, funny and brutally honest, while the music reminds me of seeing L7 at Lollapalooza ‘94, hallelujah.

  11. Lydia by Galore on Galore (Rocks In Your Head) Info

    Local The band has hooks galore but the pieces form at odd angles and everything feels irreverently off, one of the great phases of artists is the becoming, and this debut album is one that turned out so, so well.

  12. All I Need by Quinn Deveaux on Book of Soul (self released) Info

    Local Beyond the galvanizing opening lyric, this lockstep handclap jam slaps while Deveaux pushes his voice to ecstatic heights, returning us to our wits, giving us the courage to say the damn thing.

  13. Symbolism of the Barn by Tony Jay on A Wave in the Dark (Paisley Shirt) Info

    Local Jay’s is a comforting voice of sincerity, and over a shambollically driving beat a tale is told of getting out of town, going somewhere beautiful only to come back fallen in love, and as the thumb hovers over various send buttons, the line “am I too relatable to relate” is so relatable.

  14. Open Wide by Sour Widows on Sour Widows (Big Girls Bedroom) Info

    Local Between Topographies and Harvey Forgets and this, it was a big year for big ballads, and Sour Widows, masters of slow-burn life revelation in matters of self and love, here craft an epic six minutes from opening line “my body wants to be soft” to stunning climax with “my body wants to let every fucking word fly.”

  15. In Your Hands by Topographies on Not My Loneliness, But Ours (self released) Info

    Local Their three releases this year found Topographies honing a spacious yet precise sound, and here the icy beat captures the size of the heart at its largest, the lyrics offer an unerring pledge, and we are left defenseless, to swoon.

  16. CPR by Harvey Forgets on Sounds from Inside Vol. 1 (Shut-In Records) Info

    Local Imagine someday being able to return to karaoke with your friends and one of them puts on U2 “With or Without You” but instead of the words on the screen they instead sing a new, equally massive love song. What a world. From the excellent Shut-In Records comp Sounds from Inside Vol. 1, debut EP Softies Only offers more of a tremendous voice.

  17. Dustin's Rain Tape by Healing Potpourri on Blanket of Calm (Run for Cover) Info

    Local From Blanket of Calm, a loose but decorously crafted concept album about feeling good, “Dustin’s Rain Tape” points to the precious things, in each of our pasts, that teach us what feeling ok is, embedded in the sound of rain, on a cassette, in a memory.

  18. Future Dreams by Silent Era on Rotate the Mirror (Nervous Intent) Info

    In writing these little blurbs I’ve found myself touching on the future a lot, it feels inspiring that Silent Era dares to dream and to rock so hard in pursuit of them.