WMSE Picks of 2014

POSTED:: December 23, 2014

FILED UNDER:: Top Airplay

pickinMaybe there are too many best-of lists by years’ end, but it must be said, that as far as Milwaukee music aficionados go, no group of people knows music, front-to-back, across all genres, than the DJs of WMSE. You see it on our weekly top airplay charts and hear it for yourself on your radios and through your headphones and computer speakers. WMSE DJs are volunteers because they love music, and it shows: each program is designed, per DJ, to introduce the listener to both old favorites and newly-becoming classics.

Already got a favorite WMSE DJ? Take a peek at what they liked this past year, then check out the rest. You might find your own tastes aligning with DJs whose shows you might not be familiar with. Here’s the best of the best from us, to you. Thanks for another great year of Frontier Radio.


Tom Crawford, WMSE Station Manager
Mondays 3pm – 6pm / The Rock Ride + Thursdays 6pm -9pm / Radio Drill Time

Whips, Turn It On
Call Me Lightning, Human Hell
Sugar Stems, Only Come Out at Night
Death Blues, Ensemble
Angles 9, Injuries

Best Reissues:
Ama-Dots, Ama-Dots
Captain Beefheart, Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 to 1972
Craig Leon, Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music, Vol. 1: Nommos/Visiting
Jack Ruby, Hit and Run
Mike Bloomfield, Between the Hard Place & the Ground
Unwound, No Energy

Jay Burseth, WMSE Development Director

Whips, Turn It On
Call Me Lightning, Human Hell
Bliss & Alice, Poetry Volume One: The Sh*t Talker Tape
Cavewives, Be the Dog
Heidi Spencer and the Rare Birds, Things I Remember Golden
Old Earth, A Wake In the Wells

Matt Schoeffler, WMSE Underwriting Director
3rd Wednesday of the month 6pm – 9pm

Braid, No Coast
The Jazz June, After the Earthquake
Lotus Ash, The Word of God
White Reaper, White Reaper
The Menzingers, Rented World

Erin Wolf, WMSE Music Director
Tuesdays 12pm – 3pm + 6pm – 7pm / The Rockeleidoscope Show + Local/Live

Wye Oak, Shriek, Merge
Angel Olsen, Burn Your Fire For No Witness, Jagjaguwar
Sylvan Esso, Sylvan Esso, Partisan
Timber Timbre, Hot Dreams, Arts & Crafts
Klaus Johann Grobe, Im Sinne der Zeit, Trouble In Mind

Steve Gunn, “Wildwood”
Wye Oak, “Glory”
Death Blues, “Consonance”
Melody’s Echo Chamber, “Shirim”
Luluc, “Tangled Heart”

Chris Demay, WMSE Volunteer Coordinator

1. Space Raft, s/t
2. Calliope, ORBIS
3. Whips, Turn It On
4. Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Devil’s Work (acoustic)
5. Habibi, s/t

Sid McCain, WMSE Promotions Director
Wednesdays 12:30pm – 3pm / Squid Inc

The New Pornographers, Brill Bruisers
Wampire, Wizard Staff
King Tuff, Black Moon Spell
Death From Above 1979, Physical World
Greatest Lakes, Greatest Lakes

Paul Host
alternating Saturdays 3pm – 6pm / Milwaukee Rock Posters

Top Five Songs:
Volunteer, “Nein”
Vic Pitts & the Cheaters, “Down By the River”
No/No, “Hardcore”
Calliope, “Casino”
Cousins, “Drone”

Mondays 6pm – 9 pm / Buzz’s Garage

Sonny Vincent & Spite, Spiteful, Ultramafic
The Blind Shake, Breakfast of Failures, Goner
Devo, Live at Max’s Kansas City: 11/15/77, Jackpot
OFF!, Wasted Years, Vice
The Shivvers, s/t, Sing Sing

Paul Cebar
alternating Saturdays, 9am – 12pm / Way Back Home

Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound, Fine Rude Thing
(Though I cannot – and in fairness, do not want to – play my own music on the air, I put one vote in here for all of the hard work and excitement of this year’s episode of my life’s work.)

Jesse Winchester A Reasonable Amount of Trouble
NRBQ, Brass Tacks
Rusty Belle, Common Courtesy
Peter Mulvey, Silver Ladder

And a close assortment of alternates:
Leonard Cohen, Popular Problems
Marti Jones, You’re Not the Bossa Me
LC Cooke, The Complete SAR Records Recordings
Malombo Jazz Men, Spirit of Malomobo

Erik Void
Tuesdays 3am – 6am / Everything That Rises Must Converge

Medicine, Home Everywhere
Be Forest, Earthbeat
Bracken, Exist,Resist
Gold-Bears, Dalliance
Ringo Deathstarr, God’s Dream
Strata Florida, Made of Stars
A Sunny Day in Glasgow, Sea When Absent

Dead Leaf Echo, True.Deep.Sleeper
Static Daydream, The Only One

John Michaels
WMSE production staff

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Give the People What They Want
Lee Fields & the Expressions, Emma Jean
Dr. John, Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch
Sam Llanas, The Whole Night Through
Twin Brother, Swallow the Anchor

Fridays 3pm – 6pm / The Blues Drive

Bob Dylan and The Band, The Basement Tapes Raw (The Bootleg Series, Volume 11
The Levon Helm Band, The Midnight Ramble Sessions Vol. 3
Jim Liban and the Joel Paterson Trio, I Say What I Mean
Dave Ray, Legacy (3-CD box set)
Various Artists, Take Me to the River: Music From the Motion Picture

Hal Rammel
Sundays 6pm – 9pm / Alternating Currents

Tyshawn Sorey, Alloy, Pi Recordings
Steve Lehman Octet, Mise en Albine, Pi Recordings
Russ Johnson Quintet, Still Out to Lunch, Enja
Jason Roebke Octet, High Red Center, Delmark
Marc Ribot/Henry Grimes/Chad Taylor Trio, Live at the Village Vanguard, Pi Recordings

Scott Lucey
Wednesdays 6am – 9am / Digital Dumplings in Analog Gravy

Zammuto, Anchor
Flying Lotus, You’re Dead!
Les Sins, Michael
Eno-Hyde, High Life + Someday World
Caribou, Our Love

Tom Barham
WMSE Music Department volunteer

Nikki Lane, All Or Nothing 

When I was in Nashville at a bar, I asked the bartender who were some up and coming artists. He told me Nikki Lane. Lo and behold, a few weeks later, there she was at the Cactus Club. Great show!

Dave and Phil Alvin, Common Ground

A bluesy, rockabilly tinged thing. Love Dave Alvin’s voice!

Clothesline Revival, Greatest Show On Mars

A quirky little slice of Americana. Some will like it, some will not.

Robert Plant, Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar

Bob Plant’s trip to Nashville was good for his soul and creative juices. This disc will test the sonic capabilities of your soundsystem!

Eric Clapton and Friends, The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale 

Another tribute album of an artist I’ve always liked. EC has brought along Mark Knopfler John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty and Don White to sing and play, Derek Trucks, Albert Lee and David Lindley to play guitar. Who knows where Clapton would have ended up without JJ Cale’s songs. I met JJ many, many years ago at the Stone Toad playing before a small crowd. So small that the band drank at the bar between sets.

Grasscutter Andy
alternating Thursdays 9am – 12pm / The Five & Dime Show

John Coltrane, Offering: Live at Temple University, Impulse
Scott Walker & Sun O))), Soused, 4AD
Charlie Haden & Jim Hall, s/t, Impulse
Bruce Langhorne, The Hired Hand OST, Scissortail
Marc Ribot Trio, Live at the Village Vanguard, Pi Recordings

alternating Sundays 10:30pm – 12am / Female Focus

St. Vincent, St. Vincent
Dum Dum Girls, Too True
Jack White, Lazaretto
Melissa Etheridge, This is M.E.
Against Me, Trangender Dysphoria Blues

Rich Mars
first three Wednesdays of each month, 6pm – 9pm / The City Rock Showgram

Twin Peaks, Wild Onion
Ty Segall, Manipulator
Pontiak, Innocence
The Pack A.D., Do Not Engage
Angel Olsen, Burn Your Fire For No Witness

Andy Turner
Fridays 12pm – 3pm / Zero Hour

1. Reigning Sound, Shattered, Merge
2. Miriam, Nobody’s Baby, Norton
3. Ramma Lamma, Ice Cream, Certified PR
4. The Electric Mess, House On Fire, Soundflat
5. The Singles, Look How Fast a Heart Can Break, Sound Artifacts

Mary Bartlein
Saturdays 6pm – 9pm / Instrumental Saturdays

Sherry Finzer, Sanctuary III: Beyond the Dream, Heart Dance Records (2014)

This is the latest in the Sanctuary series of CD’s by flutist Sherry Finzer (Sanctuary, Sanctuary II: Earth).  All three CD’s are exceptional  and rather unassuming, not at all what I had expected I was going to hear from a flute-based album.  I think these cd’s could best be described as ambient world music, but not your typical ambient.  These are really full deep pieces of music with some wonderful twists that I will let you the listener discover.  Sherry Finzer has easily moved up the ranks to be one of my favorite instrumental artists.

Carl Weingarten, Life Under Stars, Multiphase Records (2014)

This is Carl’s latest ensemble work following the solo Panomorphia CD. I love Carl’s guitar playing and his compositions. His music is very visual in that each song easily evokes a story. Carl’s other passion in life is photography and I believe it is Carl’s keen eye that also influences his music or maybe it’s the other way around. Anyway, Carl is joined on this CD y the powerhouse musicians: Michael Manring (bass) Jeff Oster (flugelhorn/trumpet), and Celso Alberti (drums) just to name a few. It’s a lovely CD. I interviewed Carl about this CD on June 14, 2014.

Paul Spaeth, Redemption, self-released (2014)

This CD was originally released in 2012 but was reworked slightly and re-released. Paul is a truly-gifted pianist and composer, who hails originally from West Bend, Wisconsin.  Paul is currently doing a lot of commercial soundtrack work and this CD was in the running to be nominated for a 2014 Grammy.  It’s a CD that is worthy of much more then a Grammy and I have no doubt that Paul will follow this one up with another amazing effort.  I think we will be hearing a lot from Paul in the future.

Tom Eaton, Songs For Mary, independent, unreleased (2013)

This is a well-worn CD on my show. I have gotten more miles out of this unreleased CD than I have gotten out of some of my other favorite released CDs. It works well with every other artist I play on my show. It is sort of Tangerine-Dream-records-a-CD-for-Spotted-Peccary-Records. There was an awesome record label a while back, called Private Music and this would have been an ideal record for that company. Alas, Tom is mostly known for his work as chief engineer and co-producer at Imaginary RoadStudio which is owned by Will Ackerman. He has an amazing musical and production background and has been so busy with everyone else’s music that he never released this CD. I asked him if he could throw together a CD for me and this is what I got and that is also why it is called Songs For Mary. I hoep he gets crackin’ and puts this out for everyone.

Azam Ali and Loga R. Torkian, Lamentations of Swans – a Journey Towards Silence Terrestrial Lane Productions (2013)

Although this CD was released in 2013, I did not get my hands on it till 2014. This husband and wife duo has been working together for quite some time, mostly as the trio with Carmen Rizzo as the band Niyaz. This is a beautiful, ethereal world music album that delivers on every level. Azam Ali has one of the worlds’ most beautiful voices and Loga is a superb multi-instrumentalist. I love this CD and can’t wait for the next collaboration.

Shopkeeper Ken
Thursdays, 9am – 12pm / The Five & Dime Show

1. Myriam Gendron, Not So Deep As a Well, Feeding Tube Records
2. Steve Gunn, Way Out Weather, Paradise of Bachelors
3. Various Artists, Folk Music of the Sahel Vol. 1: Niger, Sublime Frequencies
4. Morgan Delt, s/t, Trouble In Mind
5. Black Angels, Clear Lake Forest, Blue Horizon

1. Various Artists, Anthology of American Folk Music (as compiled by Harry Smith), Mississippi Records
2. Bob Dylan & the Band, Basement Tapes Raw, Columbia
3. Francis Bebey, Psychedelic Sanza: 1982 – 1984, Born Bad Records
4. Ngozi Family, Day of Thunder, Now Again
5. Del Shannon, The Further Adventures of Charles Westover, Trouble In Mind

Sundays 12am – 3am / Alternative Bliss

1. Thee Oh Sees, Drop
2. The Black Angels, Clear Lake Forest
3. Liars, Mess
4. Guided By Voices, Motivational Jumpsuit
5. Toy, Join the Dots
6. The Pixies, Indie Cindy
7. Temples, Sun Structures
8. Gary Numan, Splinter
(Released in 2013, but it was new to me this year! The Turner Hall show was kickass!)
9. Damaged Bug, Hubba Bubba
10. Total Control, Typical System

Timmy Jam
alternating Mondays 12am -3am / Timmy Jam’s Theory of A Funk Opera

1. Prince, Art Official Age
2. D’Angelo and the Vanguard, Black Messiah
3. 3rdEyeGirl, PlectrumElectrum 
4. The Foreign Exchange, FE: The Reworks
5. Ghostface Killah, 36 Seasons

Jonny Z
Fridays 9am – 12pm / The Chicken Shack

Jerry Lee Lewis, Rock and Roll Time, Vanguard
Sturgill Simpson, Metamodern Sounds In Country, Thirty Tigers
Jim Lauderdale, I’m a Song, Sky Crunch
J.P. Harris and the Tough Choices, Home Is Where the Hurt Is, Cown Island
Nikki Lane, All Or Nothin’, New West

Justin Bittenbender
WMSE Music Department volunteer

Swans, To Be Kind
Peaking Lights, Cosmic Logic
(Dance for those that can’t dance.)
Iceage, Plowing Into the Field of Love
Grouper, Ruin
Job For a Cowboy, Sun Eater
(Deathcore drivel, turned prog intelligibility.)

Honorable Mentions:
Ben Frost, AURORA
YOB, Clearing the Path to Ascend
Lee Fields & the Expressions, Emma Jean
Angel Olsen, Burn Your Fire For No Witness
Nick Waterhouse, Holly

Dr. Sushi
Tuesdays 9am – 12pm / Dr. Sushi’s Free Jazz BBQ

Russ Johnson, Meeting Point
Rob Mazurek and the Black Cube SP, Return to the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost
Chicago Underground Duo, Locus
Paul Giallorenzo’s GitGo, Force Majeure
Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, Live Snakes

Mondays, 3am – 6am / The Wax Addicts

1. Klaus Joann Grobe, Im Sinne Der Zeit
2. Damaged Bug, Hubba Bubba
3. Jonwayne, Cassette On Vinyl
4. Sylvan Esso, Sylvan Esso
5. Flying Lotus, You’re Dead!

Tom Wanderer
Thursdays 3pm – 6pm / The Tom Wanderer Radio Experience

Habibi, Habibi
The Black Angels, Clear Lake Forest
JWF (Jason Wyatt Frederick), As Is
Bob Dylan and the Band, Bootleg Series Volume 11: The Basement Tapes Raw
Holy Wave, Relax

Kevin Cannon
Saturdays 9am – 12pm / The Blues Jam

Rick Estrin & the Nightcasts, You Asked For It (live)
Elvin Bishop, Can’t Even Do Wrong Right
Various Artists, All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman
Eric Clapton & Guests, The Breeze (An Appreciation of  JJ Cale)
Dave Specter, Message In Blue (with Otis Clay, Brother John Kattke and Bob Corritore)
Jim Liban with the Joel Patterson Trio, I Say What I Mean
Gaetano Letizia & the Underworld Blues Band, Voodoo and Other Blues Lessons
Ray Bonneville Easy Gone
Bob Corritore Taboo
Carmen Grillo, A Different World

Rob Gruen
WMSE Music Department volunteer

The Young Revelators, s/t
The War On Drugs, Lost In the Dream
Space Raft, s/t
Bass Drum of Death, Rip This
Mississippi Sawyer, Me and My Gin

The Good John
WMSE DJ sub / The Chicken Shack + The Rock Ride

1. Sturgill Simpson, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music
2. Doug Seegers, Going Down to the River
3. Zoe Muth, World of Strangers
4. St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Half the City
5. Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning
6. Matt Woods, With Love From Brushy Mountain

Cal Roach
Tuesdays 6pm – 7pm / Local/Live

D’Angelo and the Vanguard, Black Messiah
Death Blues, Ensemble
Flying Lotus, You’re Dead!
Run the Jewels, Run the Jewels 2
The Delphines, Hush

Jon Blick
Thursdays, 12am – 3am / Overnight Sensations

Sugar Stems, Only Come Out at Night
Lydia Loveless, Somewhere Else
The War On Drugs, Lost in the Dream
Ex Hex, Rips
The Midwest Beat, Free of Being

Tim Noble
alternating Saturdays, 3pm – 6pm / Milwaukee Rock Posters + Why My Head Hurts

5. Ama-Dots, Ama-Dots
4. Various Artists, Radio Ready Wisconsin
3. F/i, The Itinerant Lanternist
2. Vic Pitts and the Cheaters, The Lost Tapes
1. The Shivvers, The Shivvers

Jerry Glocka
alternating Fridays, 6pm – 9pm / Jerry’s Attic

1. Lucinda Williams, Where the Spirit Meets the Bone

Intelligent lyrics, intense vocals, swampy guitars. One of her best.

2. Dave & Phil Alvin, Common Ground: The Songs of Big Bill Broonzy

The brothers reunite for a lively take on the blues of Big Bill.

3. New Pornographers, Brill Bruisers

A great batch of catchy, original tunes, well-played and sung.

4.Elvin Bishop, Can’t Do Wrong Right 

Elvin kicks some serious blues with his usual dose of wry humor.

5. Gregg Allman, All My Friends

Fresh interpretations of Allman Bros. classics with lots of help from his friends.

Jason Ellis
Wednesdays, 9pm – 12am / Team Metal

Primordial, Where Greater Men Have Fallen, Metal Blade
Pissgrave, s/t cassette, Graceless Recordings
Diocletian, Gesundrian, Osmose Prod.
Occultation, Silence In the Ancestral House, Profound Lore
Funereal Presence, The Archer Takes Aim, The Ajna Offense
Internal Rot, Mental Hygiene, 625 Thrashcore
Darkest Era, Severance, Cruz Del Sur music
Árstíðir lífsins, Þættir úrsǫgu norðrs, Van Records
Moon, Clavicula Nox, self-released
Protestant, In Thy Name, Halo Of Flies
Bastard Sapling, Instinct Is Forever, Forcefield
Encoffination, III, Hear Me, O’Death [Sing Thou Wretched Choirs], Selfmadegod
Ride For Revenge, Enter the Gauntlet, Bestial Burst
III Omen, Enthroning the Bonds of Abhorrence, Nuclear War Now!
Mourning Dawn, Les Sacrifiés, Total Rust Music
Radiation Vomit [2014 demo], self-released
Haethen, Shaped By Aeolian Winds, self-released

Best Shows I’ve Seen:
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, June 20, 2014
Cloud Rat/Protestant/Cokskar, December 6, 2014
Atrum Inritus-, August 30, 2014
Manilla Road, November 18 2014
Arsonfest 2014
Plack Blague at Milwaukee Noisefest
Radiation Vomit at GYMFDO VIII, September 13, 2014

Otherwise, I listened to a lot of old records this year. There is still a lot to be discovered/rediscovered out there, both new and old. Ear always to the ground, and never give in.

Zack Holder
WMSE Music Department volunteer

Against Me, Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Joseph Huber, The Hanging Road
Space Raft, Space Raft
The Sugar Stems, Only Come Out at Night
Sun Kil Moon, Benji

WMSE DJ sub / various shows

Beck, Morning, Phase
Neneh Cherry, Blank Project
Future Islands, Singles
Protomartyr, Under Color of Official Right
Odesza, In Return

alternating Mondays, 6am – 9am / The Happy Monday Show

1. New Pornographers, Brill Bruisers
2. Sylvan Esso, Sylvan Esso
3. Beck, Morning Phase
4. Strand of Oaks, Heal
5. Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound, Fine Rude Thing

Best Single:
Strand of Oaks’ “Goshen ’97” – an ear-worm of a song (in the best possible way) with the great J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. guesting to lend his trademark, anthemic guitar licks.

Best Music Video:
Sylvan Esso’s video for “Dreamy Bruises”, which was shot in the Milwaukee area and features my WMSE “Happy Mondays” show co-host, Pat, and his two adorable young sons.

Best Concerts:
The November 13, 2014 New Pornographers concert at the Pabst was just plain great. The July 6, 2014 Summerfest show by The Weeks, also was good fun.

Best Music-Related Personal Moment:
Getting a picture taken with my two young kids in front of the statue of the late, great Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy just off Grafton Street in Dublin, Ireland, and explaining to them how great his music was/is.

Adam Wroblewski
WMSE DJ sub / various shows

Sylvan Esso, Sylvan Esso
Got a Girl, I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now
Tep No, “Lana del Dre”
Last Lynx, “Curtains”
Psapp, What Makes Us Glow

Mike Engelbart
WMSE Music Department volunteer

1. Dave and Phil Alvin, Common Ground: Dave and Phil Alvin Play the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy
2. Old Crow Medicine Show, Remedy
3. Drive By Truckers, English Oceans
4. Spoon, They Want My Souls
5. Weird Al Yankovic, Mandatory Fun

Pat Buckley
alternating Mondays 6am – 9am / The Happy Monday Show

Todd Terje, It’s Album Time
Death Blues, Ensemble
Sylvan Esso, s/t
Reigning Sounds, Shattered
Space Raft, s/t

This was the best year for Wisco music in recent memory. Rounding out my top ten are all local albums by Greatest Lakes, Field Report, Whips, GGOOLLDD and Canopies. Milwaukee is making mind-blowing music.

Faux Eyes
Mondays 12:30pm – 3pm / Armed Fauxes Radio

Space Raft, Space Raft

Even if these dudes weren’t local and neighborhood pals, this would have been my pick. They channeled 1974 on this record. More hooks than a pirate convention and enough rough edges to still get you in the cool kids club. This deserves a national audience.

Reigning Sound, Shattered

Had a bit of a disagreement with some other MSE deejays on this record. I loved its soul sheen. Sounds like a Stax record to me. Those RS purists wanted more grime a la Time Bomb High School. We respectfully agreed to disagree…but they are wrong. Also, their Cactus Club show was among the best of 2014.

Sharon Van Etten, Are We There

A wistful, funny and sad romp. A mainline to my inner an. She and her band also performed a fantastic free show on a perfect July night in Madison, one of the highlights of the summer.

Big Freedia, Just Be Free

No other album this year SOUNDED so HUGE. It jumps from the speakers every time you put it on. Unabashedly centered around movin that ass, this record accomplishes that in spades. ANOTHER amazing live show at Turner. Full-on mayhem.

Damaged Bug, Hubba Bubba

Discovered this album late one night on J. D’cell’s MSE show. I actually pulled over and was all like, “What is this????” Turns out, it’s a side project of John Dwyer from Thee Oh-Sees. Got into the studio the following Monday and went straight for the new release racks where I found it. The cover told me all I’d need to know – that this was gonna be great. It’s the view from the doorway into a spaceship’s cockpit. A pot leaf hanging from where the rearview mirror would be and a framed picture of Brian Eno facing the pilot’s seat on the console. Love this to death.

Sundays, 10:30pm – 12am + alternating Mondays, 12am – 3am / Female Focus + Rock & Blues

Sunblind Lion, The Sanatorium, Homegrown Records

Wisconsin progressive rock band formed in 1974; CD contains original and interesting songs, displaying excellent musicianship and creativity

Bernie Marsden, Shine, Provogue

Former Whitesnake member,  Marsden is an accomplished musician and his 19th solo CD has a mixture of hard and soft blues rock with masterful guitar riffs.

Sister Cristina, Sister Cristina, Universal Motown Records Group

Winner of the Italian version of the “The Voice” Sister Cristina (yes a real nun) has a powerful voice. She reworks Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” as a spiritual number and performs Alicia Keyes’ “No One” and Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors”.

Within Temptation, Hydra, Nuclear Blast America

Female-fronted European symphonic rock band; strong vocals and engaging songs featuring guest singers such as Tarja and Howard Jones.

Mary J. Blige, The London Sessions, Capitol

Diverse and mature set of songs; one of Blige’s best albums.

Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin IV (remasters), Atlantic

Remasters of the original groundbreaking 1968 and 1971 albums; deluxe versions each contain a bonus CD of previously unreleased material.

Eric Von Munz
Tuesdays 3am – 6am / The Von Munz Vinyl Variety Show

Whips, Turn It On (LP)

Unpretentious rock and roll!!

Xposed 4Heads, “People Are Stupid” / “Rewind Your Behind” (7″ single)

Pitch-perfect proof that devolution is real and happening!! Infectious keys and witty lyrics grace this excellent release. Definitely dance-party playable

Ramma Lamma, Ice Cream (LP)

Aw man, this record is over far too quickly. A great release from four of Milwaukee’s most talented purveyors of trash rawk. If you like the Ramones, you’ll LOVE this release!

Space Raft, s/t (LP)

This record blew me away and then it stayed glued on my turntable for quite a few days for repeated listening. A sonic web of soaring guitars with just the right amount of keys guarantees that this will be the perfect soundtrack for all of your stellar journeys.

Drugs Dragons II // I II (LP)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If GWAR devoured the Ventures in a slimy NYC alley and then reanimated them all sewn up wrong, you MIGHT get this release. Not a release for the faint of ear/heart/stomach…but wow, these monsters NAIL it.

Craig Mertes
Tuesdays 6am – 9am / The Shape Of Rock

Whips, Turn It On, self-released

Straight-up rock and roll. Easily my favorite record of 2014.

Death Blues, Ensemble, Sige

An amazing album that is difficult to describe other than it is a fantastic listen.

Masked Intruder, M.I., Fat Wreck Chords

Catchy to a fault, these guys create immaculate pop punk complete with vocal harmonies and an a capella track (okay, it includes a shaker, but you get the point).

Enabler, La Fin Absolue Du Monde, Creator-Destructor

These guys are angry. Very, very angry. This is a rager.

Lotus Ash, The Word of God, self-released

Heavy, slow doom that is an amazingly cohesive and well-crafted debut. I can’t wait to hear where these guys are going.

POSTED BY:: Erin Wolf

TAGGED::WMSE, WMSE Picks, WMSE Picks of 2014