Whether you’ve listened all year long or just recently turned on and tuned in to our scrappy lil station, you’ve noticed we’ve been spinning the region’s best and most eclectic mix of music. And now as the year comes to a close, we’re rounding up some of our favorite albums and moments of 2016. Many thanks to all of our DJs and volunteers for making this a banner year for community radio in Asheville. We look forward to many, many more to come! And now… some of our staff selects the releases, shows, songs and more that made the year memorable.
Ryan Skrabalak, Music Department volunteer
maher shalal has baz – hello new york (osr tapes)
frank ocean – blonde (def jam)
bonnie ‘prince billy & bitchin’ bajas – epic jammers and fortunate little ditties (drag city)
anna hogberg attack – anna hogberg attack (omlott)
connie acher – for giving (golden lab)
david bowie – blackstar (iso)
nate wooley – argonautica
solange – a seat at the table
huerco s. – for those of you who have never (and for those have)
radiohead – a moon shaped pool
10. Party Static – The Lazy Diamond
9. The Highway Q.C.s – The Double Crown
8. Angel Olsen – The Grey Eagle
7. Ahleuchatistas – The Mothlight
6. Ron Gallo – The Double Crown
5. L.A. Witch – The Mothlight
4. Nest Egg – The Mothlight
3. Thee Oh Sees – The Grey Eagle
2. Holy Wave – The Lazy Diamond
1. Pere Ubu – The Pilot Light (Knoxville)
1. Bon Iver – 33 "GOD"
2. Kanye West – Ultralight Beam
3. Anderson .Paak – Come Down
4. Radiohead – Burn The Witch
5. Local Natives – Villainy
6. Dirty Projectors – Keep Your Name
7. NxWorries – What More Can I Say
8. Frank Ocean – Nikes
9. Solange – Where Do We Go
10. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – The Bride’s Dad
1. Angel Olsen – My Woman (Jagjaguwar)
2. Kevin Morby – Singing Saw (Dead Oceans)
3. Violet Ultraviolet – Pop City (Section Sign)
4. Cate Le Bon – Crab Day (Drag City)
5. Alex Cameron – Jumping the Shark (Secretly Canadian)
6. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker (Columbia/Sony)
7. The Lemon Twigs – Do Hollywood (4AD)
8. Quilt – Plaza (Mexican Summer)
9. Aldous Harding – Aldous Harding (Flying Nun)
10. V/A – Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music (Numero Group)
7FO – Water Falls Into a Blank (RVNG Intl)
Grumbling Fur – Fur Four (Thrill Jockey)
King Gizzard and the Gizzard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity (ATO)
The Legendary Stardust Cowboy – Launch Pad Favorites (Munster)
Pink Floyd – The Early Years 1965-1972 (Legacy)
Prince Rama – Xtreme Now (Carpark Records)
Plaid – The Digging Remedy (Warp)
Toiret Status – Omaru (Orange Milk)
Tyl sexphonie-Guerssen Despite the silly title. This is a seriously rare weird wild kraut psyche reissue
Jodi Pops De Vanguardia-outsider
1971 reissue Wenger brothers from Paraguey- trashy lofi fun and brilliant
Los Dandys -Lindi Amorcito-Pharaway Sounds-odd release by this long running Mexican group. initially issued in 1985- recalling classic 1950s Cumbria/tropical Fuentes platters- with what sounds like Atari 2600 adding an unexpected whaugh the heck?
Shellshag-Don Giovanni-Starcleaners- why did I get so high- these cats have laid down another great LP this time w some guests adding extra color to the mix
Fly Ashtray- we buy everything you have- Old gold-shimmy disc luminaries are still at it uh almost 30 years on. Perhaps 2017 is their year.
Gauche- cassette-sr- recalling Kleenex w a very unique twist
Lady God coupla 7’s sr- Richmond band. Guy girl vox. Post psych glam punk dripping with the essential.
Vacation-Non Person-Don Giovanni-Walls of feedback can’t disguise the inspired songwriting within
1. Patti Smith covers Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall at the Nobel Prize ceremony, has the courage to start that stanza over again, doesn’t let a single detail pass by half-way, and humbles the goodness gracious out of me with her bold honesty.
2. Angel Olsen’s release of My Woman, her performances at The Mothlight and The Grey Eagle, and opening up for her with The Bassholes this past Spring.
3. Radiohead’s music video for Burn The Witch.
4. Ahleuchatistas blow people’s minds performing at All Go West Fest.
5. Kendrick Lamar’s performance at The Grammy’s, followed by release of untitled unmastered.
6. Black Mountain’s release of IV, and witnessing their performance at The Grey Eagle with my youngest sister.
7. Our road-trip to Big Ears Festival 2016 with Donovan Quixote of AshevilleFM’s By All Means Necessary, especially the sets by Kamasi Washington, Shabazz Palaces, and Marc Ribot, plus the inspirational Q&A with Laurie Anderson.
8. David Bowie release of Blackstar.
9. Digable Planets performance at The Orange Peel.
10. The loss of some of the worlds greatest influences in music, how it made me appreciate the shortness of life, and how it shook up my priorities towards making art & music.
1. 2016 saw the loss of many of music’s top icons such as David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen; but for me the loss of Papa Wemba, Davy Swarbrick, and the great Esma Redzepova had the most impact.
And Some of My Favorite Releases of 2016
2. Pianetta by I Muvrini from Corsica, France (AGFB)
3. Lema Lema–Eva Salina Sings Saban Bajramovic by Eva Salina from the U.S.A (Self-released)
4. Mundo by Mariza from Portugal (Nonesuch)
5. The Traveller by Baaba Maal from Senegal (+180 Records)
6. Né So by Rokia Traore from Mali (Nonesuch)
7. Ravi Shankar in Hollywood 1971 by the late Ravi Shankar (Northern Spy Records)
8. Brexit Blues a compilation of music from World Music Network
9. Rough Guide to Delta Blues also on the World Music Network label
1. Parquet Courts – Human Performance
2. Tennis – Bad Girls
3. Modern Baseball – Everyday
4. Kaleo – No Good
5. Banks & Steelz – Giant
6. The Pixies – Classic Masher
7. Lil Wayne – Off Off Off
8. Hockey Dad – Jump the Gun
9. Dumb Punts – Chiller
10. American Football – My Instincts Are the Enemy
Check in next week for the second installment of AshevilleFM Staff Picks Best of 2016!!