Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Best of 2019 Lists from Friends of Twist & Shout! (Round 5)

Bevin Luna

My obsession with music only grows as the years pass.  Keep it up everyone, there's some killer music being released and I'm so humbled to be present on this earth at this time and place.  I'm releasing a playlist with tracks from all of my "best of" lists through my Instagram account @bevinlunamusic so please give my profile a follow and check it out!  Also, my website is - HAPPY 2020!! I can't wait to hear how music morphs, changes, and paints our backdrop over this next decade!  Thanks to all of the musicians out there for sharing their gifts with the world.  Love you, Bevin

Top 10 Albums 2019
10) iLe - Almadura  
9) Black Belt Eagle Scout - At the Party With My Brown Friends 
8) Thelma & The Sleaze - Fuck, Marry, Kill
7) Helado Negro - This Is How You Smile
6) (Sandy) Alex G - House of Sugar 
5) Charley Crockett - The Valley 
4) Burna Boy - African Giant
3) King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Infest The Rats' Nest
2) NLE Choppa - Cottonwood
1) Jamila Woods - LEGACY! LEGACY! 

Top 10 Albums/EPs 2019 Colorado Music
10) TIE - Bellhoss - Geraniums / Wolf Van Elfmand - Music for Minors (3 to 300)
9) The Sickly Hecks - Go To Heck
8) Yasi - Unavailable
7) Dressy Bessy - Faster Faster Disaster
6) The Beeves - Adam & Beeve
5) Cheap Perfume - Burn it Down 
4) Whippoorwill - The Nature of Storms
3) Serpentfoot - Swaying Spine
2) The Reminders - Unstoppable
1) Kiltro - Creatures of Habit

Top 20 Albums of the Decade 2010-2019
20) Beyonce - Lemonade (2016)
19) Bonobo - Black Sands (2010) 
18) Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy (2018)
17) Kamasi Washington - The Epic (2015)
16) Broncho - Just Enough Hip to Be Woman (2014)
15) Tinariwen - Elwan (2017)
14) Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit (2015)
13) Sturgill Simpson - Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (2014) 
12) Kendrick Lamar - DAMN. (2017)
11) Big Thief - Masterpiece (2016)
10) Wye Oak - Civilian (2011)
9) Pelican - Arktika (2014) 
8) Mensch - Mensch (2012)
7) Y La Bamba - Ojos Del Sol (2016)
6) Bass Drum of Death - Bass Drum of Death (2013) 
5) Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color (2015)
4) Sylvan Esso - Sylvan Esso (2014) 
3) Anderson Paak - Oxnard (2017)
2) Lizzo - Cuz I Love You (2019)   
1) IDLES - Joy As An Act Of Resistance (2018)


Edward Hill (our zine designer!)

Black Cilice - Transfixion Of Spirits
Danny Brown - uknowhatimsayin?
Byyrth - Cold Autumn Shadows
Cavalier - Lemonade REDUX
Cerebral Rot - Odious Descent Into Decay
Chromatics - Closer to Grey
Darkthrone - Old Star
DIIV - Deceiver
Ifernach - Skin Stone Blood Bone
Imperial Cult - Spasm of Light
Lampir - Demo III
Lamp of Murmuur - Melancholy Howls In Ceremonial Penitence
Leviathan - Verräter (Re-Issue)
Lizzo - Cuz I Love You
Mizmor - Cairn
Mortiferum - Disgorged From Psychotic Depths
Mylingar - Döda Själar
Pa Vesh En - Pyrefication
Sanguine Relic - The Essence of Eternity's Despair (2018 but LP dropped 2019)
Sleater-Kinney - The Center Won’t Hold
Sulphuric Night - Forever Cursed
Sunn O))) - Life Metal
Suspiral - Chasm
Tamaryn - Dreaming The Dark
Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

Albums that piqued my interest but I haven’t spent enough time with:
Aoratos - Gods Without Name, Belle & Sebastian - Days of the Bagnold Summer, Blood Incantation - Hidden History of the Human Race, Blood Orange - Angel’s Pulse, Cloud Rat - Pollinator, Cthonica - Typhomanteia: Sacred Triarchy of Spiritual Putrefaction, Lingua Ignota - Caligula, NIghtf@%ker - S/T, Pharmakon - Devour, Primitive Man/Hell - Split, S.E.K.H. - Acéphale & Arkhé Tenebre, Skáphe + Wormlust - Kosmískur hryllingur, Andy Stott - It Should Be Us


Len Vlahos

Owner of Tattered Cover -

2019, a Year in Records, by Len Vlahos, co-owner of the Tattered Cover Bookstores, and author of young adult novels The Scar Boys, Scar Girl, Life in a Fishbowl, and the forthcoming, Hard Wired. Learn more about Len at, and

Before I was a writer and a bookseller, I was a musician. I wrote my first song on a two-octave Magnus organ when I was six. It was called "Dyn-o-mite," inspired by the TV show Good Times. The fan on the organ was louder than the music produced by pressing any of the keys, which was good, because the song was awful, even for a six year old.

From there I graduated to trumpet in fifth grade, a passion squelched by braces in the following year, and guitar when I turned 13. The moment I first held a guitar, my life changed forever. I spent the next 20 years playing in bands, most notably Woofing Cookies, who had a full-length LP and two 45s. Our brush with greatness came when Peter Buck (of R.E.M.), produced one of those singles, "In the City." It was released on the now defunct garage label, Midnight Records, sometime in the mid-1980s.

There are two points to all of this:

1) I'm clearly a book guy, but music was/is my first love.
2) I'm old.

In fact, I'm at an age where I'm not discovering a ton of new music. So when Natasha at Twist & Shout asked me for my 2019 playlist, I warned her it would be entirely old. For reasons unknown to me, she was okay with that.

It goes without saying that the records on this list not already in my possession, with one exception, were happily purchased from my friends at Twist. With that in mind, and in alphabetical order by album title, here are the records that formed the heart of my personal 2019 soundtrack:

Bookshop Band, Accidents and Pretty Girls -- These former U.K. bookshop employees did a tour of American indie bookstores last winter, and Tattered Cover was one of their stops. We drew a crowd of 100+, including me and my two sons, and WE LOVED IT!. I'm not sure if their music (all inspired by books) is available anywhere other than their website (the aforementioned exception), but it's definitely been a part of the soundtrack of my year. My favorite track, "Shop with Books In" Watch the video, here:

Green Day, American Idiot -- A timeless record that is more relevant now than when it came out. My 9 year old is really getting into music, and Green Day is one of his favorite bands, so I've been rediscovering their whole catalog this year. (Though I'm still bothered that they made American Idiot into a Broadway musical. Oh well.)  My favorite is the title track:

Sheryl Crow, Feels Like Home -- So I love Sheryl Crow. Her voice makes me melt. Maybe that makes me uncool -- maybe this whole ****ing list makes me uncool -- but I don't really care.  I'm also a pretty big fan of classic country. So when Sheryl released a full-on country record, I was in from the word go. I don't think it was ever released as a vinyl, but I wish it had been. I listen to this in the car all the time. Favorite track, "We Ought to be Drinking."

Kate Nash, Girl Talk -- I love everything about this record. It's dark, it's light, it's sensual, it's screechy, and all in just the right amounts. My favorite track is a perfect punk-pop song called "Fri-End?"

Bruce Springsteen, Greetings from Asbury Park -- We hosted Bruce at Tattered Cover a couple of years ago, and I stocked up on his records in advance. In my humble opinion, his first four records are by far his best -- Greetings from Asbury Park; The Wild, the Innocent, and the E-Street Shuffle; Born to Run; Darkness on the Edge of Town. I never went in for Born in the USA (though I saw him on that tour, and wow, just wow) or The River. Those earliest records have the most interesting songwriting and vocals. My favorite track is "Growing Up," and this video, with just Bruce and his guitar from Max's Kansas City in NY, is one of my all-time favorite videos.
Bonus video, we recorded this version of "Growing Up" to get Bruce's publisher to send him to TC on book tour. It worked. Please forgive the audio quality and my inability to sing.

Sufjan Stevens, Illinoise -- Very little of this record stands alone, but taken as a whole, it's a masterpiece. This is what albums should be, a work meant to be experienced in its entirety. I found myself listening to this while writing this past year. Even though I just said few tracks stand out, Jacksonville does.

Noah and the Whale, Last Night on Earth -- I used to travel to the UK once a year for the London Book Fair. While there, I would visit various British record stores and ask for something new and cool that I wouldn't have necessarily found in the US. One of those years, the clerk put records by The Vaccines, Bombay Bicylcle Club, and Noah and the Whale in my hands. It wasn't until this year that I really listened to the last of those, and lo and behold, I loved it. I played it a lot in the car in 2019. Favorite track, "L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.":

Bob Marley, Legend -- Really, nothing needs to be said about this other than how much I love the multi-colored (in the colors of the Jamaican flag) double album vinyl I purchased from Twist. It is an absolutely timeless record that is also a favorite while writing.

Johnny Cash and Friends, Water from the Wells of Home --  While I rarely listen to this record in its entirely, it does have my all time favorite song, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr.'s "That Old Wheel." I couldn't find a video of the song being performed, but there is this recording of Johnny's last live performance. I had tears in my eyes as I watched. This song winds up on many of my playlists, year after year after year, including in 2019.

The Beatles, The White Album -- The Beatles were my first musical love. The White Album is a wildly inconsistent record that has many of the Beatles' best and worst songs, and many of their most interesting tracks as well. This includes two of my all-time favorites: "I'm So Tired," and "Dear Prudence." (Thank you John!). I rediscovered this record this year thanks to the film Yesterday. There is no video of the Beatles performing either song, but this Siouxsie and the Banshees cover of "Dear Prudence" is pretty cool:

Honorable Mention:
In the Valley Below
Jason Isbell


Tommy Robinson

Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains
Helado Negro - This Is How You Smile
King Gizzard and the Lizzard Wizard - Infest The Rats' Nest
Teebs - Anica
Pile - Green and Grey
Deerhunter - Why Hasn't Everything Disappeared
The Oh Sees - Facestabber
Steve Gunn - The Unseen In Between
Ty Segall - First Taste
Madlib and Freddie Gibbs - Bandana
Big Thief - UFOF and Two Hands
Wilco - Ode To Joy
Divino Nino - Foam
Viagra Boys - Street Worms
Crumb - Jinx
Charlie Megira - Tomorrows Gone
Paces Lift and Ben Bounce - Quick Trigger
Alex G - House Of Sugar
Bremmer / McCoy - Utopia
Panda Bear - Buoys
Fontaines DC - Dogrel
The Shivas - Dark Thoughts
Daniel Norgren - Woo Dang
Black Midi - Schlagenheim
AA Bondy - Enderness
Angel Olsen - All Mirrors
Nigeria 70 - No Wahala
DIIV - Deceiver
Slowthai - Nothing Great About Britain
Bill Callahan - Shepard In A Sheepskin Vest


The Marquee Magazine

Top 20 Colorado bands! 

1. AwareNess Sushi Wave
2. calm. Things I learned while dying in Denver
3. Daniel Rodriguez Your Heart The Stars The Milky Way
4. DBUK Songs Nine Through Sixteen
5. Gun Street Ghost Battles
6. Head For The Hills Say Your Mind
7. Heavy Diamond Ring - Heavy Diamond Ring
8. Kissing Party Mom & Dad
9. Kyle Emerson Only Coming Down
10.   Lief Sjostrom impossible parade
11.   Lightning Cult EP2: Ether Waves
12.   Reed Foehl Lucky Enough
13.   Rowboat Birchwood Halls
14.   Rumble Young Man Rumble Transmission
15.   Slow Caves Falling
16.   Sunsquabi Instinct
17.   The Beeves Adam & Beeve
18.   The Drunken Hearts Wheels of the City
19.   The Motet Death or Devotion
20.   The Yawpers Human Question

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