Friday 31 December 2021

The Weakerthans

The Weakerthans were a four-piece punk/indie band from Winnipeg, Manitoba that began in 1997 and went on a Fugazi-style hiatus in 2014. The band was formed by singer/guitarist John K. Samson, who had previously been the bassist in legendary Canadian punk band Propaghandi. Joined by bassist John Sutton and drummer Jason Tait, they released their debut album Fallow in 1997. Following its release, Stephan Carroll was added as a second guitarist, and this line-up stayed throughout their two classic releases, Left and Leaving and Reconstruction Site. Greg Smith took over on bass duties prior to their last album, the also-incredible Reunion Tour.

The Weakerthans crafted a unique sound, where John K. Samson's sung-spoken vocal delivery and poetic yet personable lyrical storytelling really took the forefront. Backing them was a blend of punk, indie rock, and folk influence, with energetic and honest deliveries. They released four virtually perfect albums, all more than worth your time to check out, and have been a big influence on tons of artists, including Frank Turner and Modern Baseball. On a side note, "One Great City!" soundtracked one of the most personal moments in my life, which I won't get into, but it came to me at the exact perfect time, and for that alone I owe this band everything. Additionally, the Virtute the Cat saga is one of the most emotionally affecting things I've ever heard, with the two tracks from The Weakerthans that touch upon this being two of their best, but also the follow-up conclusion explored on two tracks from John K. Sampson's 2016 solo record Winter Wheat, which did also feature production and collaborations from other Weakerthans members (namely Greg Smith and Jason Tait). You can find the whole thing on YouTube here. Happy New Year, and enjoy!

1. Illustrated Bible Stories For Children
2. Diagnosis
3. Confessions Of A Futon-Revolutionist
4. None Of The Above
5. Letter Of Resignation
6. Leash
7. Wellington's Wednesdays
8. The Last Last One
9. Greatest Hits Collection
10. Sounds Familiar
11. Anchorless
12. Fallow

1. Everything Must Go!
2. Aside
3. Watermark
4. Pamphleteer
5. This Is A Fire Door Never Leave Open
6. Without Mythologies
7. Left And Leaving
8. Elegy For Elsabet
9. History To The Defeated
10. Exiles Among You
11. My Favourite Chords
12. Slips And Tangles

1. (Manifest)
2. The Reasons
3. Reconstruction Site
4. Psalm From The Elk's Lodge Last Call
5. Plea From A Cat Named Virtute
6. Our Retired Explorer (Dines With Michael Foucault In Paris, 1961)
7. Time's Arrow
8. (Hospital Vespers)
9. Uncorrected Proofs
10. A New Name For Everything
11. One Great City!
12. Benediction
13. The Prescience Of Dawn
14. (Past-Due)

1. Civil Twilight
2. Hymn of the Medical Oddity
3. Relative Surplus Value
4. Tournament Of Hearts
5. Virtute The Cat Explains Her Departure
6. Elegy For Gump Worsley
7. Sun In An Empty Room
8. Night Windows
9. Bigfoot!
10. Reunion Tour
11. Utilities

1. Night Window (Live)
2. Anchorless (Live)
3. Civil Twilight (Live)
4. Fallow (Live)
5. Reunion Tour (Live)

1. Everything Must Go
2. Tournament Of Hearts
3. Our Retired Explorer (Dines With Michael Foucault In Paris In 1969)
4. Night Windows
5. Reconstruction Site
6. Aside
7. Civil Twilight
8. Bigfoot
9. Plea From A Cat Named Virtute
10. The Reasons
11. Sun In An Empty Room
12. Left and Leaving
13. Wellington's Wednesdays
14. Benediction
15. Manifest
16. One Great City!
17. This Is A Fire Door Never Leave Open
18. Virtute The Cat Explains Her Departure

1. My Favourite Power Chords
2. Ringing of Revolution [Phil Ochs cover]
3. Bad Time To Be Poor [Rheostatics cover]
4. Past Due [Alternate Version]
5. Confessions Of A Futon-Revolutionist (Country Style)
5. Everything Must Go [Alternate Version]
7. Utilities [Alternate Version]
8. Illustrated Bible Stories For Children [Live on CKUW]
9. The Last Last One [Live on CKUW]
10. Left and Leaving [CBC Version]
11. The Reasons [CBC Version]
12. Psalms For The Elk's Lodge Last Call [CBC Version]
13. One Great City [CBC Version}
14. Reconstruction Site [CBC Version}
15. Utlities [CBC Version]
16. Judge G [Sarah Hammer cover] (Live)
17. Swingin' Party [The Replacements cover] (Live)

Note: All credit for this unoffical compilation goes to Besides Asides

Friday 24 December 2021

Best Of 2021

Another year end, another 50 albums to wrap up the past 12 months. The following are some of the albums that stood out to me most this year. This is not an objective "best of" list, just a few favourites in relative order, nothing to take too seriously. I've included a playlist below of every album listed here, as well as one with a select song from each. The songs chosen are just ones I think are good representations of their respectable albums. There's no links to these for obvious copyright reasons, though some are available on the band's respective posts if you want to check them out.

Please let me know what some of your favourites were from 2021, I'm curious to know what you've been spending the last year with. I say it every year, but thank you for continuing to come over to this blog. It's almost 10 years old, and it's hard to comprehend that there's still any interest in this thing. So thank you again, Merry Christmas, and I've got one more post to go before the years closes. Enjoy.

Honourable Mentions
Spectral Wound - A Diabolical Thirst
I Feel Fine - The Cold In Every Shelter
Scowl - How Flowers Grow
Tenue - Territorios
Billie Eilish - Happier Than Ever

50. Regional Justice Center - Crime And Punishment

49. Full Of Hell - Garden Of Burning Apparitions

48. Thirdface - Do It With A Smile

47. Stars Hollow - I Want To Live My Life

46. Supine - No Altar For The Company Man

45. Deafheaven - Infinite Granite

44. Dean Blunt - Black Magic 2

43. The Antlers - Green To Gold

42. Pupil Slicer - Mirrors

41. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - G_d's Pee AT STATE'S END!

40. For Your Health - In Spite Of

39. Portrayal Of Guilt - Christfucker

38. Portrayal Of Guilt - We Are Always Alone

37. Suffocate For Fuck Sake - Fyra

36. The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die - Illusory Walls

35. Dry Cleaning - New Long Leg

34. Shame - Drunk Tank Pink

33. Big Red Machine - How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last?

32. Foxing - Draw Down The Moon

31. The War On Drugs - I Don't Live Here Anymore

30. Julien Baker - Little Oblivions

29. the Mountain Goats - Dark In Here

28. Converge & Chealsea Wolfe - Bloodmoon: I

27. One Step Closer - This Place You Know

26. Iceage - Seek Shelter

25. Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails Over The Country Club

24. Black Country, New Road - For The First Time

23. Vince Staples - Vince Staples

22. St. Vincent - Daddy's Home

21. Kanye West - Donda

20. Idles - Crawler

19. Tigers Jaw - I Won't Care How You Remember Me

18. The Hold Steady - Open Door Policy

17. Dreamwell - Modern Grotesque

16. Home Is Where - I Became Birds

15. Brockhampton - Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine

14. James Blake - Friends That Break Your Heart

13. Tyler, The Creator - Call Me If You Get Lost

12. Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine - A Beginner's Mind


10. The Dirty Nil - Fuck Art

9. Backxwash - I Lie Here Buried With My Rings And My Dresses

8. Really From - Really From

7. Black Midi - Cavalcade

6. Fiddlehead - Between The Richness

5. Lucy Dacus - Home Video

4. Turnstile - Glow On

3. The Armed - Ultrapop

2. Low - Hey What

1. Porter Robinson - Nurture