It was the end of the year before our city saw more activity from local music, and that could reasonably explain why my debut local bests list is somewhat short. I’ll refrain from ranking any of these; it’d be too hard to do. Maybe I’ll do that next year. Instead, I present the 2012 Local Bests in Music in alphabetical order. Seek these out and enjoy them!
2012 Local Bests
August Spies – Wooderson - Ah, good ol’ punk is back with a helluva backbeat and a pop sensibility that doesn’t take away from what it is supposed to be: simple, straightforward songs about drinking, more drinking, and being hungover. August Spies scream to you about the good times and what happens afterward. You can almost taste the PBR here!
Ham Bagby & the Siege - Shit’s Crucial is Track 7 - Finally! We have our own version of “Shit’s Crucial” that we can play endlessly instead of just waiting to scream for it at every. Ham. Bagby. show. ever. The beauty of this album is that we get the absolute best of Bagby: flippant, amazing, and hilarious. (See: “Dick When I Drink”). The only complaint that I have about this album is that I wanted it to be longer. Also, I think a studio version of “Shit’s Crucial” would’ve really worked. Get a little of that live “Shit’s Crucial” right here.
Callooh! Callay! - Talk - Granted, this isn’t a list of rankings, but it was, it’d be hard pressed for Talk not to take the top honors. This is a magical album that, if made in New York, Los Angeles, or London, would be hailed as a cohesive trip for any fan of indie rock. It’s too bad that the band has seemed to forgo shows to help promote their latest work. I’m always excited to hear new things from them, and they have certainly been Tuscaloosa’s most matured band. You can get the entire album here.
Electric Moon - Oleander - Electric Moon came on the scene like a whisper, then exploded somewhere toward the end of the year. While their EP Oleander is a little uneven, it is a promising start. They certainly have solid songs, and it’s exciting to have them in Tuscaloosa. After listening to the EP a few times, I’m looking forward to finally seeing them live soon. Get the EP here.
Looksy - Poor Ole Devil - Looksy sort of sneaked in the local scene as well. Consisting of several members of the lost Tuscaloosa band The Classic Flame, Looksy’s notoriety began to really take off after their performance a few weeks ago to a full house with Mouse Teeth and Umami at Green Bar. Sadly, though, Looksy only give us a taste of what they are on their debut EP, Poor Ole Devil. The EP seems as if they are holding something back. The recordings suffice, but only for a bit. Looking forward to more, but in the meantime, it will have to do here.
Mary Tylosaur - Mary Tylosaur – It’s fitting that the list includes Mary Tylosaur, a group of legendary Tuscaloosa performers as noted before in this column. They have seen their personal ups and downs. They are back and here to stay, it seems. The only thing I didn’t like about the debut album for this band is that they resurrected songs from their previous incarnation. I’m really looking forward to an all-new album from Mary Tylosaur, Tuscaloosa’s own weird B-52′s. Listen to the album by buying it here while it’s really cheap.
Mouse Teeth – Angry Eyes EP - As a breath of fresh air, low-fi, garage punk, Mouse Teeth’s recording is exactly what it should be. I get what they’re trying to do. I’ve seen too many bands like this come and go within Tuscaloosa, so hopefully they’ll stick around and develop for everyone in town to listen and to see. I still think that “Valentine’s Day” is a classic Tuscaloosa punk song, though. You can hear it here.
Our regional favorites had a really good showing, too. I highly recommend this year’s releases from Doc Dailey & Magnolia Devil, Lauderdale, Delicate Cutters, Model Citizen, The Pollies, and Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, all of whom had outstanding releases.
Plus, we’ve got a lot of promise ahead with the likes of regional bands as The Bear, Black Willis, and Dead Fingers working on releases.
That’s not to mention our local bands SDX, The Dexateens, Baak Gwai, and American Freshman possibly coming out with albums! 2013 should be great, too!
In the meantime, work on being nicer to one another.