The Reader asked musicians and music-industry locals to name their favorite hometown CD releases of the year. Here’s what they had to say.
Diana Death (musician/Rock ’n’ Roll Preservation Society DJ): The New Kinetics, In Stereo. “I’m stoked they put out their second album on vinyl, and the last track on side one, ‘Reverie,’ is a haunting doo-wop number you just gotta hear.”
Michael Kinsman (San Diego Blues Festival): Red Lotus Revue, Fourteen Stories. “This languid blues album comes from another place and time. It’s as if the hippest musicians in town have cozied into their clubhouse and simply let the music flow for their benefit and no one else’s.”
Larry Dent (percussionist): Styletones, The Styletones. “Jake Najor is one of my favorite drummers who, like his brother Zak, is pushing the funk envelope into 2013 in a new and youthful way.”
Liz Abbott (troubadour): Mike Keneally, Wing Beat Fantastic. “It’s moody, quirky, dreamy, melodious, surprising, engaging, and it has me absolutely riveted.”
Catfish Comstock (Dive Bomber): Sunny Rude, Rudimentary. “Like Zakk Wylde says, you can’t be pissed off all the time, and this CD will put you in a chill frame of mind.”
Ron Bocian (Red Fox Tails, Euphoria Brass Band): Mattson 2, Feeling Hands. “These guys glide from burning high-minded riffs from heaven to very primary, if confidently awkward Casio-inspired peckings. More importantly, they are really nice guys.”
Nena Anderson (singer/songwriter): Golden Beaches, Golden Beaches. “This record sounds like summer in Southern California. Its lo-fi garage sound is the perfect beach-barbecue soundtrack. The catchy songs make me want to sing along while I shimmy in a bikini Beach Blanket Bingo–style.”
Clay Hackett (Suicide Chords): The Palace Ballroom, This is the Plan. “They have a rock sound that borders on eclectic, as they use unconventional instrumentation. I love the catchy hooks and easy digestion of the music.”
More 2012 notables from Dave Good:
The Burning of Rome, With Us: crafty death-pop from an O.B. band that is slowly drifting to Los Angeles. This is the same music that was played day after day into a vat of beer during the brewing process. Am told the brew was memorable. Never got any.
Josh Damigo, Hope: Who is this guy, and what exactly is his gig? Country? Rock? Roots? I dunno, but every song on this disc is a keeper.
Pierce the Veil, Collide with the Sky: San Diego’s Mexi-core rockers. Their best and most adventurous collection yet. Oddly snubbed by SDMA in favor of other locals that likewise went national, but unlike Pierce the Veil, long ago ditched San Diego.
Skid Roper, Rock and Roll Part 3: I don’t know if I got this record in 2012, or if it was released in 2012, or both. But Skid, well, Skid just gets better and better at doing the eclectic-with-a-groove-and-bump thing.
Picus Maximus, Lullabies for the Cursed: this may be as close to a Montezuma’s Revenge reunion as you’re gonna get... Jim Soldi and Rick Sparhawk team up on this brilliant parody of B-monster movie tuneage.
Ian Tordella, Tragic Comedy: this collection of jazz sax material from a hometown young lion spends much time in my car stereo CD player.
Big Bad Buffalo, Big Bad Buffalo: Jordan Krimston is still in high school, and he’s already making music this good. You know who gave me a copy? Mike Benge, teacher of band class at Jordan’s school and ’bone player in the B-Side Players. He’s a fan.
Taryn Donath, Gardenia: a seasoned and engaging performer, Donath has laid out the songs on this disc in the manner that it should be done. She builds moments that result in pure listening entertainment. Taryn Donath is school for other musicians.