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The Best of 2017

People like lists. People on the internet really love lists. There are whole websites of lists, YouTube channels announcing the TOP 10 SEGA GENESIS HIDDEN GEMS, and various other clicky clacky places to drench yr mind in a weird sticky substance.

Here are my favorite music releases of the year:


Climax Landers - Climax Landers
Climax Landers made such a fun album with springy rhythms and candy apple guitars. It's a pop carousel at the little playground down the street, the one that warbles a bit when it swings around.


Radon Chong - I Keep On Talking to You
Radon Chong finally released an album, and it was amazing. The songs are out-there, complex, and brilliant. It's not hard to get into either, with some surprising pop numbers.


Aunt Dracula - Freaker
Aunt Dracula's Freaker sounds like what I dream about and my thoughts on hypoglycemia. It's something that I would make myself. Journeying through these dark crystal spheres is a journey every sonic voyager should undertake.


The Chinchees - The Chinchees
The Chinchees self-titled album is full of sweet pop-punk (the good kind). It's a really fun album with a classic sound that still does something new.


NONZOO - WAZOO
Wazoo is a dark masterpiece forged of insectile sounds from another world. It's creepy and crawly, all jumpy and weird. I haven't heard too many other things like it.


the Miami Dolphins - Water Your Waiting For
Water Your Waiting is a strange concept album about government lies and taking actions against that but not going in over yr head in those deep waters of danger that often lead to isles of paranoia. It's got more bouncy vocals and weird rhythms.


Sweet Baby Jesus - Lyres of Ur
Lyres of Ur is a real rock 'n' roll album. This is the year 2017. It works.


Neuringer / Dulberger / Masri - Dromedaries
A deep free-jazz dream of a desert shore. It's quite hypnotic.


The Jesus and Mary Chain - Damage and Joy
The Jesus and Mary Chain made a great album after a desert of nineteen years. The clean production, fuzzy guitars, and callbacks to 60s rock and roll combined with the honest lyrics make this a future classic. Most importantly, it helped me feel positive, despite the oft darkness of the band.


BBGuns - Dreamcast and Willow singles
These two singles haven't been reviewed on Skull Valley yet, but they showcase BBGuns alt-rap sound with great flowing flow and rockish rhythms. We'll catch the full album in 2018.



My favorite show this year was seeing the reunited Carsickness downtown at Space Gallery. I never thought I would get to see that band, and it was really cool to see them amidst all of the pfotographs and posters from the past. They were all really nice guys too!

Here are my other favorite shows of the year:

Patti Smith @ Carnegie Music Hall (3/13/17)
It was amazing to see Patti Smith. This was before I had started writing the blog again, so there is no account of it on here. She was very cool and brave.

The Damned, Bleached, Sweepyheads @ House of Blues, Cleveland (4/28/17)
This was another amazing big show that was more than expected. Again it was before the blog really came back. It was fun traveling with Dan and Racheal to Cleveland. I don't know why there was so much McDonald's food.


Climax Landers, Sweet Baby Jesus, Blød Maud, In Arthur's Court @ Roboto (5/21/17)
Climax Landers made me feel confident in musick again. I felt so weird and fucked up after my time working at Roboto, going to school, and working full-time. This was a breath of fresh air. I will never forget it.


This was my first time listening to Nick Cave solo, and it left a lasting impression. Everyone standing on the stage at the end under those green lights was magical.


I felt really out of place here at the beginning, but everyone was really nice. There was no mic stand, so we had to use a vacuum. I saw a real goat. What a strange day!


Ladyfest @ Cattivo (6/24/17)
All of the bands were amazing, especially Blakk Rapp Madusa and Iris Creamer. I got to see my friends The Lopez and Swampwalk too! I am glad that I finally went this year and conquered my anxiety.


I saw a clown and a weird TV sales pitch and a sludgey band. It was the last Station P show. Sneff was so cool, and it was fun to just hang out. I will miss Station P.


2017 had a lot of bucket list shows for me. I don't have a bucket list, but it's the same idea. I don't even like the term. Lydia was cool, and I had never seen Empty Beings before. All the bands did a great job!


I enjoyed playing this last minute show. It was my first show in over a year. I always enjoy Thief in Your Head for doing something very different, something that is familiar and alien at the same time.


Everything went wrong in all the right ways. Sometimes that's the best.


I couldn't believe the energy of NONZOO! The singer was so amazing and cool! Radon Chong and Night Vapor also gave it their all. It was almost a reunion of various people from the Doo Wop Mansion, Romeo Street, and the like.


I enjoyed the camaraderie felt during this show between the other two bands and mine. It had a rough start with delays and some wild loading scenario, but it worked in the end.


This show had an amazing ambiance to it that I've never seen before - a spooky faerie twilight world sprung from nowhere. Two of the sets took place in a seemingly abandoned building. It was also really fun to play in a chaotic and barely constructed group with a variety of artists.


Miami Dolphins blew me away with their sardonic post-punk. I had no expectations going in. I always like seeing Aloe. I also really enjoyed my own set; it is one of my favorites I've done.


This was just really fun. It was cool to see all the covers and costumes. Seeing Weird Paul in a backup role and Mae just get up and play with the Ween cover band with no practice or preparation with that band. Dumplings and friends as The Damned was as good as the real thing!


Arto Linday, Beauty Pill @ The Andy Warhol Museum (10/18/17)
Another big show for this year and another one where I didn't exactly know what I was getting in to. Beauty Pill was awesome and Arto Lindsay's solo stuff was awesome. I have the setlist, and I got to thank the artist in person for his influence on me.


I just had fun at this show dressing up in my weird 


I got to see Steve play with a plant and a guy in a robot suit rock out to sci-fi rhythms about being a machine man. I didn't expect it to be so cool.


A final big show for the year that really, really delivered. My trip to New York was strange and full of wonder, and this was maybe the highlight. I didn't think the Jesus and Mary Chain would really deliver, but they really, really did. I love the new songs and the new album; seeing it all live sealed the deal!

Thanks for reading! I'll be back in 2018 with more reviews and some new features! I'll see you in a bit. Happy New Year!

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