Part 1 of my favorite songs from a great year of Bay music. I'm so grateful for all the music I get to play on I Luv Mondays, including so many not featured on these episodes. Part 2 is next week!
Attention Oaklanders: Applications are now being accepted for the City's 2023 Cultural Funding Program supporting organizational programs and also individual artist projects. Applicants must be Oakland-based and projects must be presented between January 1 and August 31, 2023. More details here.
NOYC by Kids On A Crime Spree on Fall In Love Not In Line (Slumberland)
Local Power pop with power moves but transcending Cheap Trick and Nada Surf and the Who with a courageous, humble heart, ascending to heights.
Living In The City by Now on Saturday's Child (Self-Released)
Local Sometimes a song is a whole way to live, what a thrill.
Sequitur by Vivian Panache on Move Your Body (self released)
Local Sometimes a band makes dancing easy, and going out a story.
Piel de Miel by Bombsnax on WATER FOR THE TOWN v.4 (SMARTBOMB)
Local From SMARTBOMB’s Water for the Town v.4, a deeply immersive declaration of black and indigenous solidarity.
Possessor by Cage World on Printed on the Soul (self released)
Local I listened to this every day for weeks, but really I'm fine.
Let This Thing Die by Smile Too Much on Welcome to Oakland comp (Dandy Boy Records)
Local I may have said this last year but with this band there’s such levitating balance in the vocals drums and guitars, you can really hear each member in the whole.
Heights by Credit Electric on Out of Love in the Face of a Shadow (Royal Oakie)
Local Nearly every month this year a new CE jam came out, then the album pre-sale dropped with this, the ballad of the year, bowling me over. “Reminds me of the time/ You were standing on the roof/ When your feet left to the ground”.
Call by Pleeay on Every Body (self released)
Local Caberet polemic that you can dance prog, hello. The defiant peak of album Every Body.
Dirty Water by Marbled Eye (Hardly Art)
Local Have you ever hummed a guitar riff for like a year?
Dry December by Sara Gallagher & Jacob Aranda on Sara & Jacob (self released)
Long-awaited new recordings from Aranda made all the warmer for the collaboration with Gallagher. This song will get you through the season.
Flat:Still by Softie on Strong Hold (Cherub Dream)
Local The songs on the Strong Hold EP come from a distance, distended ambience extending the attention span, before arriving, close up, as song.
Last of You by Try the Pie on A Widening Burst of Forever (Get Better Records)
Local Massive hooks elevate to soaring catharsis, gets me every single time.
No One Online by Welcome Strawberry on Welcome Strawberry (Cherub Dream)
Local There was some maximalist riffing this year and this was a very fine one.
Oh Sweet Mother by Yea-Ming & the Rumours on So, Bird... (Dandy Boy)
Local Their songs come in such uncanny shapes and stories, swinging while slightly off-kilter, but the more I think about it, the more the word is timeless.
Who's That by Sad Eyed Beatniks on Claudia's Ethereal Weaver (Paisley Shirt)
Local The textured audiocraft of album Claudia’s Ethereal Weaver is a Joseph Cornell box unto itself, but don’t miss the soulful reaches of the voice.
Beyond Me by The Seshen on Single(self released)
Local It was a year of Seshen singles and this was my favorite, from the intro to the big verse to the revelation in the outro.
Hold Them Tight by Judith Horn on Forgotten Summer (self released)
Local I played “Oldmen” all year but then this one got me something fierce, a fine band and one of the bay’s most moving voices.
Peace by Stanley Ipkuss & Jada Imani on Water for the Town v.4 (SMARTBOMB)
Local Two prolific rappers deliver bon mots galore on this SMARTBOMB collaboration.
Buttercream by Flowertown on Half Yesterday (Mt.St.Mtn./Paisley Shirt)
Local I continue to be so inspired by the humble service of these two songwriters– dedicated to the work, never forcing the moment, drawing out the sublime.
Bus Boss by Diesel Dudes on single(self released)
Local At the outset of the Rubber Soul sessions Lennon and McCartney toyed with the idea of doing a comedy album, and songs like “Drive My Car” “Norwegian Wood” appear to have something like punchlines at the end of them. And yet, they wilt in the face of “Bus Boss”: “MY BUS IS ON TIME.”