underground since'89

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tobi vail P.O. Box 2572 Olympia, WA 98507 USA

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

best of 2013 by tobi vail

the jigsaw underground

band of the year - STILLSUIT

record of the year - Body/Head - Coming Apart

best feminist pop album - Ruby Pins-Ruby Pins

best punk record - Stillsuit-Stillsuit

favorite video by an underground artist: Freakapuss-'New 21st Century Dimension

best counter-hegemonic punk group - death drive

favorite band that didn't release a record: comet gain

favorite record to dance to: bleached - ride your heart LP

tape of the year - La Luz -Damp Face EP

favorite touring band I saw live: dead river

favorite pop song of the year - Janelle Monae - Q.U.E.E.N.(why isn't this #1?!?!)

best live band: VEXX (like Viva Knievel meets FANG at Tomata du Plenty's grave!!)

fav record I checked out from the public library: the who, live at hull (2012)

band to watch in 2014: gSp

best show at the Capitol Theater - The Julie Ruin, Survival Knife, Hott Fruit

best show put on by the Olympia All Ages Project at Northern - Priests

local band that broke up(or moved away or went on hiatus or whatever) that I wish was still playing all the time: sonskull tied with weird tv

best post-colonial pop album addressing neoliberal realities: MIA Matangi

best mainstream pop record: beyoncé-beyoncé

best "last show ever" - western hymn at the palace flophouse

best live original score to a film: Госкино to Eisenstein's October: ten days that shook the world

favorite feminist punk singer/performance artist: mary jane dunphe

fav nw garage pop: Morgan & the Organ Donors w/ Olivia on bass guitar & vocals

killer pop album made by a singer/songwriter - The Blow - The Blow

best music for the morning commute: daft punk - random access memories tied with wire pink flag (1977)

best avant rock-n-roll album Magik Markers - Surrender to the Fantasy

best local rockers to see live: "nu" nudity line up w/ stephie & rachel raging on 2nd guitar/keyboards

favorite hardcore band to see live: hysterics

best record I received as a gift: good throb 7" (released in 2012)

fav reissues/new release by an older group: tronics lps on m'lady's

favorite flexi: Gag (Perennial)

biggest hyped band I liked the least: savages

most played songs: unreleased tracks by bikini kill, spider & the webs shhh

favorite feminist noir fiction: Sara Gran's Claire Dewitt detective series

favorite young adult novel: Eleanor & Park

best work of fiction written by a punk rock goddess: The Vicious Red Relic Love A Fabulist Memoir by Ana Joy Springer (actually came out in 2011?)

favorite graphic novel about working in a library: bookhunter by jason shiga (2007)

favorite classic American novel: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952)

favorite novel published in 2013 that's not a mystery: the woman upstairs by claire messud

favorite author from a long time ago I only discovered in 2013: Dorothy Baker (Cassandra at the Wedding WTF, like Carson McCullers meets Jane Bowles!)

best book from 2012 read in 2013: Sara Schulman - Gentrification of the Mind

favorite movie: spring breakers

personal best: being published by the Feminist Press(Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer & The Riot Grrl Collection)

best of 2013 by brett & fiona of m'lady's records

1. Stewart Lee, and everything that Stewart Lee has written or performed publicly. (tie) Bridget Christie and everything that Bridget Christie has written or performed publicly.

2. Urupukapuka Island, Bay Of Islands, New Zealand

3. Hysterics & Vexx live in Olympia and in Portland and on record

4. Fred & Toody live and "unplugged" (though fully electric) at Doug Fir in Portland

5. Cate Le Bon "Mug Museum" LP and live, especially the single "Are You With Me Now?"

6. Neo Boys "Sooner Or Later" 2xLP reissue (K/Mississippi)

7. Ohana Sushi train, Portland, Ore.

8. Tig Notaro "Stool Movement" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo1oyoRGkCg)

9. Vaux's Swifts roosting in the chimney of Chapman Elementary, Portland, Ore.

10. Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds, and Blue Basin, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

11. Going to Los Angeles for a week in winter [just a week, mind...]

12. Portland Museum of Modern Art, in the basement of the Mississippi Records building, especially the Mr. Otis show, Portland, Ore.

13. Multnomah County Health Services

14. Edna Vasquez performing at the Lents International Farmers Market, Portland, Ore.

15. The women of the current cast of Saturday Night Live

16. Legalization of marijuana in Washington state

17. The Russian women's sychronized swimming performing to the theme from "Suspiria" (see no. 16)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUFJ2cGZtQk

18. Helsing Junction CSA / Shaksan strawberries / 3 day punk festival

19. Bowpicker Fish & Chips, Astoria, Ore.

20. Sou'wester Lodge's artist-in-residency program, Seaview, Wash.

21. Golden Teacher "Bells From the Deep End" 12" EP (Optimo Records, UK)

best of 2013 by chris sutton

When I was thinking about my best ofs I started to realize that 2013 must have been the year of the music documentary. In fact, the last couple of years have produced so many amazing films attempting to shed a little light on artists or movements that would have otherwise disappeared into the ether of memory.  I feel lucky (or perhaps apprehensive) living in a time where technology can recreate these moments in history. Here are my top 10 favorite music documentaries that I saw last year (they may have come out before but I saw them this year).

1)Kill All Redneck Pricks-A lovingly made tribute to the mysterious Olympia band KARP. The live footage is unbeatable!!

2)Searching For Sugar Man -A movie documenting the rediscovery of underground folk hero Rodriguez and his subsequent rise to belated fame.

3)A Band Called Death- The amazing tale of obscure all-black proto punk band Death. 

4)20 Feet From Stardom-The background singers are sometimes more important than the pretty face in front.  These are some of those stories. This might be my favorite.

5)It Came From Detroit-This somewhat gossip-y movie attempts to document the  Detroit rock music scene during the height of The White Stripes fame, while tying in it's rich history and then subsequent hangover after public interest waned.

6)Nothing Can Hurt Me-A film about the mythical and influential band Big Star. Stunning music.

7)The Source Family-Advertised as a movie about the music of the Ya Ho Wa hippie cult from Los Angeles. Instead they focus more on the leaders polygamist relationships and volatile behavior.  The small info they offer on the musicians and records is interesting though.

8)Muscle Shoals-Probably the best made documentary on this list, incorporating dramatics and factual information seamlessly into great cinema. You see the music move and literally hear the vibrations of the swamp influence some of the most amazing soul music ever created.

9)The Punk Singer-Essentially a tribute to the art of Kathleen Hannah, but the importance of the Punk and Riot Grrrl communities that fuel her music almost take center stage and remain in discussion throughout the film.

10)Beware Of Mr. Baker-A film about the life of wildman and Cream drummer Ginger Baker and focusing mainly on said wildmans relationship with Africa, Fela Kuti, and his libertine lifestyle.

More documentaries in 2014!!! Happy Holidays!!

best of 2013 by stephie c










9. GAG



1. PUSHA T - My Name Is My Name

2. GUN OUTFIT - Hard Coming Down

3. VEXX - s/t

4. CAIRO PYTHIAN - Unity Mitford

5. HOODED HAGS - Mental Revenge CS

6. YOKO ONO AND PLASTIC ONO BAND - Take Me to the Land of Hell

7. HORNET LEG - Wrecking Ball

8. NEKO CASE - Worse Things Get

9. MOON - s/t CS



The People's House (Olympia)

The "Beyond Inversion" comp (DC)

POC Zine Project

Rock Camps for Girls/Queer Rock Camp (NW and worldwide!)

This Is Not a Step fest (Bay Area)

Nuts! Fanzine (NYC)


1. The Human Expression - Love at a Psychedelic Velocity

2. Anonymous - Inside the Shadow

3. V/A - I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age in America 1950-1990

4. Urinals - Negative Capability...Check it Out!

5. Gene Clark - Here Tonight: The White Light Demos

6. Digable Planets - Blowout Comb

7. Big Star - Nothing Can Hurt Me OST

8. Unwound - Kid is Gone

9. Townes Van Zandt - Late Great/High, Low and In Between

10. Patrick Cowley - School Daze


1. Gene Clark - No Other

2. Royal Trux - Cats and Dogs

3. Big Star - Radio City

4. Cock Sparrer - Shock Troops

5. The Velvet Underground - third album

6. The Byrds - Notorious Byrd Brothers

7. Scott Walker - Scott 4

8. Dead Meadow - Feathers

9. The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street

10. The Scruffs - Wanna' Meet the Scruffs


The Mona Reels

Flesh World

In School

Spider and the Webs

Dirty Joe and the Brick Walls


best of 2013 by zarjaz

Lauren Laurano by Spider & The Webs.

This track stood out as soon as I heard it.  It is some of the best music ever.  It is a masterpiece. The style and playing ability just goes to a mix that exudes greatness. Listening to it and I find myself burning incense and praying to my effigies asking WHY?  WHY?  WHY?  Why can’t I be like this? Why can’t I make this sound?  You do that too right?  Seek Lauren Laurano out and consume.

Tell Me Where It Is You Go by GURR.

Come together between Europe and the USA this band is a true rock n roll legend. Beginning and swiftly going from limited playing experience toforming and developing across the Atlantic, uncanny, incredible sound,talents and songs.  Guys, watch out!  GURR are gonna getcha!

Field Elevator by Sapphire Mansions.

How much more does it take for people to see that the mainstream has got nothing, has always followed the underground, the DIY and the unique?  SM are the archetypal example of this and in particular the 12 inch mini album, Over America, that this track is taken from.  Not only is this style and sound unique and clearly coming from the hearts and minds of the players to establish new territory, because they rightly so believe in it, but the recordings are also made by some of New York’s finest, including Jay Hough, now a veteran of punk ass dope shit, along with Serge Pinky on bass, trumpet by Gary Olson and recorded at Brooklyn’s Marlborough Farms studio.

Outside In, Hysterics, M’lady’s Records M’LR 044

WHAT DA FUK!? It’s aces.  Sit tight punkups.  2014 will be spectacularly good for punk rock n roll.

Cayucas by Cayucas.

There are a lot of things I like about this track.  The song is cool, the playing style, but most of all I like the reverb they seem to have adopted as their own unique sound.  The rest of the album fades off with no real exemplary songs but that’s OK, this track is enough for me.

No Place To Go by The Oscillation.

Although a different style, like with Spider & The Webs I’m at my effigies again with this praying to Jupiter and Venus, asking why can’t I do this? No Place To Go is set apart from most musics, again because of greatness and it is also indicative of the rest of The Oscillation’s output.  I just find outstanding the blend of the entire psychedelic 60’s and all we learned from the Pink Fairies, Syd Barrett and Hawkwind and then with all the best of the urban industrial legacies of the 1990’s up to the present and here leading the way, The Oscillation bringing fresh and life giving magic to the parley.  To avoid a serious revolution against the music industry, The Oscillation, with their seriously extraordinary psychedelic light show by Julian Hand, should rightfully be one of the biggest arena playing bands of the near future.

Ever After High Theme Song by Olivia Olsen

Such a great spirit, such a great song, such a great voice.  I love this.

Oz The Great And Powerful, movie

Along with Alice In Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz has always loomed large in my legend.  I don’t know if I’m addicted to it or what.  All I know is I have always been totally taken by it, mesmerized and wanting more.  I have studied the Judy Garland movie incalculable times, can possibly word off the script and I even often listen to a recording of the entire film backing music track with secondary and background dialogues, with the main script dialogue taken out, as Im driving in my car.  I watched with some interest from first hearing of a great Oz production being developed with intrepid horror of what abominations they would trivialize this masterpiece in the name of a new Hollywood production for the latest dim stars and distribution rights.  Some time ago I heard that Arnold Schwarzenegger was to be in it and that Britney Spears was set to be Dorothy.  After the terrible film by Sophia Copola trashing my Majesty Marie Antoinette in one of the worst commercial abominations I have ever come across I feared the worst for the merry old land of Oz.  Not just for the personal feelings I have towards my Majesty and her family but as probably the most momentous period and set of events in our entire history, misrepresented, misinformed, trivialized.  I expected the same for OZ.  After now watching Oz The Great And Powerful, several many times over I am extremely pleased with how it turned out.  The total opposite to the Marie Antoinette disaster movie.  I think a lot of care and respect has been shown to present a land of OZ, pre Dorothy by say 50 years or so and the origins of how the fairground tricker became Oz the great and powerful and setting the stage for Dorothy to come. Totally charming. Totally beautiful SFX and spectacular wicked witches.

World War Z, movie

I’m a total zombie head.  I used to jump at the chance to sit in half empty cinemas watching Zomby Flesh Eaters, Day Of The Dead and many others when they first came out.  Zomby Flesh Eaters was originally an option for the stage backdrop video for the 2012 Freakapuss – Tronics USA shows but I opted for Perversion Story, because Melissa Mell was in it but also Elsa Martinelli, the first actress to appear fully naked in a mainstream film but who was dying at the time, in real life, practically unnoticed by the film world.   Since these great beginnings I think zombie films took a down turn, especially with the British comedic versions that other zombie heads seem to prefer.  Seeing the development of zombies speeding up to a frenzy in Dawn of The Dead was a thrilling development.  Now in World War Z they are totally swarming at a frenzied pace and stunning visual FX. Seeing Brad Pit in it was unusual.  I don’t often go for a lot for films Brad is in, as great as he is, but the moments of action and implied threat were more than making up for it.  Besides World War Z is something I can more than relate to as I continue to assault the world with Freakapuss and other crack pot notions.

best of 2013 by ka na ko

favorite bands I saw live in the underground