Alicia Vanden Heuvel (Speakeasy Studios, The Aislers Set, Poundsign, Brigid Dawson and the Mothers Network):
My “2023 Top Ten Songs that Ripped by Heart Out”:
“Love is Overrated” by Lightheaded
“This Job Is Killing Me” by the Telephone Numbers
“For Today” by The Lost Days
“Shadow” by Ryan Wong
“Perfect Worlds” by Tony Jay
“Cheap Motel” by Michael James Tapscott
“Holdin’ On” by Anna Hillburg
“Cross Bay” by Meg Baird
“Here We Go Again” by Tony Molina
“Smudge Was A Fly” by Seablite
Kendall Jane Meade’s Best IRL Music Experiences of 2023
Experienced the Joan Baez documentary I Am A Noise two nights in a row because she was in attendance at a Q&A after each screening. On the first night, Lana Del Rey led the Q&A and it was so great to see that Lana is a huge fan of Joan’s. She seemed to hold all of the same folk nerd facts about Joan that are also stored in my brain. Just to be in Joan’s presence was spiritual for me, and you could tell Lana felt the same way.
Saw Bonny Doon play at Golddiggers in LA. I have a lot of love for this Detroit-based band, and I loved hearing live versions of songs off of their new album Let There Be Music. Katie Crutchfield from Waxahatchee was also in the audience, and she joined them on a few tunes.
Went with my big sister Merritt to see Willie Nelson’s 90th Birthday concert at the Hollywood Bowl. It was so heartwarming to see so many people pay tribute to Willie including Beck and Keith Richards. My favorite performer of the night was Willie’s youngest son, who performs under the moniker Particle Kid.
Saw my dear old friends Mary Timony and Joan Wasser play in a backyard in Pasadena. So many friends I hadn’t seen in a while were in attendance, and it felt like no time had passed between us. Mary sounded transcendent and was joined by a quartet for a song, and Joan was so moving and entertaining—two ladies I love at the top of their game.
I did a two-week tour of the UK and Scotland, tagging along with songwriter Kris Gruen to promote our single “Heaven on a Car Ride.” We opened for Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express and completely fell in love with that band. Chuck is such a unique songwriter and the whole band are incredible performers, including Stephanie Finch who needs to be on the cover of Chickfactor as she is an incredible pop singer and songwriter in her own right.
Top devastating comment by rock critic: the one that compared my work to a viral video of baby ducks.
Top Sound: Bill Callahan going “plink” on a guitar string to bring to life the “wink” done by a character in a new song of his.
Top Coconut Mirror whisperer: Dawn Sutter Madell
Top Walk: From the White House to Georgetown with Ravi.
Top Heartbreak: Saying goodbye to St. Marks apartment.
Top Meal: A chickpea and rice soup my daughter and I love to make and eat when sick or blue.
Top Song: Mom singing anything to me over FaceTime. But she does too many country tunes. Needs to branch out.
Top Joe: Joe Wohlmuth
Top Honey: Avocado Honey. This year and every year.
Top Disgust: Canned Sardines.
Top Pain in the Ass: The leak in roof that could never get fully fixed no matter what anyone did. Have high hopes for a solve in 2024.
Top Image: Our dog in his winter puffy coat. He gets compliments from strangers. It’s that good a fit.
Top Gluten Free Sourdough: Knead Love Bakery.
Top Salad: arugula and sauerkraut. No one believes me.
Don Letts on BBC 6 on Saturday. It was a bit mellower when it was on Sunday, but he still hauls out 70s pop hits that “caught my imagination when I was a youth”. Contemporary dub and Stealers Wheel? Get in!
Night Tracks on BBC 3. Host Hannah Peel has a very quiet voice and faultless taste in off-piste music. Where else would I have found JJJJJerome and an ice orchestra?
And then there’s always good ol’ Gideon Coe when he flies solo on Thursdays on BBC6. Just great tunes and no fuss.
Riley from Artsick Favorites:
Tara Clerkin Trio – On The Turning Ground (music)
Anna Hillburg – Tired Girls (music)
Lightheaded – Good Good Great (music)
Mo Dotti – Blurring / Guided Imagery on Vinyl (music)
8th Day by Cindy Deachmann (art book)
Drive Here and Devastate Me by Megan Falley (poetry) (it didn’t come out in 2023, but it is one of my fav books read from this year)
Handsome Podcast with Tig Notaro, Fortune Feimster and Mae Martin
Show I watched: Rap Shit on MAX
Show I went to: All Girl Summer Fun Band, Kids On A Crime Spree and Tony Jay at Bottom Of The Hill
Show I played: Slumberland Records with Tunnel Records show – The Reds, Pinks & Purples, Chime School, Artsick with DJs Poindexter and Jessica B at The 4 Star Theatre in SF
Fav record store: Redwood Records, Santa Cruz
Dawn Sutter Madell’s top 15 live shows I saw in 2023
dry cleaning at pioneer works
john cale at prospect park
calexico at lpr
black duck at union pool
mosswood meltdown-oakland, ca (esg, avengers, bratmobile, le tigre, quintron and ms pussycat, 5,6,7,8s, morgan and the organ donors, etc)
plantasia at greenwood cemetery (alex zhang hungtai, angel bat dawid, laraaji, etc)
hand habits at webster hall
dromedary festival (das damen, antietam, sleepyhead, versus, etc) -catskill, ny
boygenius at msg
arca at armory
soul glo, zulu at monarch
girl ray at sultan room
frankie cosmos at warsaw
panda bear, sonic boom at knockdown center
mekons at good fork pub
Candle Restaurant, NYC
The Reds, Pinks & Purples favorite albums for 2023!
tested on multiple listens…
Vulture Feather – Liminal Fields
Parker Allen – Melon Kolly/Parker’s First Song Diary
Pumice – Phyllis
Wurld Series – The Giant’s Lawn
Ryan Davis – Dancing on the Edge
Cindy – Why Not Now?
Fortunato Durutti Marinetti – 8 Waves in Search of an Ocean
Truth Club – Running from the Chase
Tracy and Kenny from Outer World’s list of ten music-related things that have made us very happy in 2023.
In no particular order.
1) Jane & Serge – A Family Album hardcover book from 2013, long out of print, but discovered in a local bookstore this year. It comes with so many fun bonus items: poster, sticker sheet, booklet, contact sheets, and photo prints.
2) Yogasleep Dohm Classic white noise sound machine to help with tinnitus ringing at bedtime. It is an actual small fan creating the relaxing sound of moving air so there isn’t a digital looping sample that can be troubling for musicians with a keen ear. For touring musicians – it is also relatively portable and helps to drown out snoring members.
3) Yoshitomo Nara Drumming Girl collectible figure #3
4) Apple AirPods
5) The Ekdahl Moisturizer from Knas is a spring reverb unit with exposed strings for manually manipulable sonic noise making
6) The Teenage Engineering K.O. II does it all: sample, sequence, compose, records sounds, loops, includes fun filters + stereo effects, compressor, and is super portable.
7) John Waters X Seth Bogart Pope of Trash socks from the Academy Museum exhibit in Los Angeles.
8) Custom color palette Shure SM58 microphone
9) The Buddha Box 1 2023 edition from FM3 (reissue)
10) BiLLY LiLLY’s Kate and Cindy sensational paintings on wood.
Jeffrey Underhill (right, with pals, HoneyBunch, Velvet Crush, Field Drums):
10 loosely chronological things that made my year.
1. The Island of Hawaii
2. The February 22nd snow storm.*
3. Velvet Crush Teenage Symphonies to God re-issue/Spanish tour
4. Michael Hurley & the Croakers last Friday shows at the Laurelthirst*
5. FieldDrums/Lunch Box/All Girl Summer Fun Band at The 2-Fir*
6. The 48 hour Drag-a-Thon at Darcelle XV*
7. The Family Reunion Festival July 27-29, in Rainier OR.
8. The entire month I turned 60.
9. All of the foods on and just off of 82nd Ave.*
10. Winnie Dean UnderBerg
*in Portland, OR