POSTED:: December 23, 2019

FILED UNDER:: Top Airplay

Maybe 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 car 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 and the favorite of the favorites, from us, to you. Thanks for another great year of Frontier Radio!

Mondays 6pm – 9pm / Buzz’s Garage

Amyl and the Sniffers – Self titled
Gino & The Goons – Do The Get Around and Off The Rails (two albums)
Subhumans – Crisis Point
The Control Freaks – She’s The Bomb
The Haskels – Self titled

Buzz’s Bonus Taters:
Guitar Wolf – Love & Jett
Boris The Sprinkler – Vespa To Venus
Various Artists – Something Weird Spook Show Spectacular A-Go-Go
The Wolfmanhattan Project – Blue Gene Stew

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

My top Five for 2019 in no particular order:
John Coltrane – Blue World
James Carter Organ Trio – Live From Newport Jazz
Dave Liebman – On the Corner Live!
Damon Lock’s Black Monument Ensemble – Where Future Unfolds
Steve Lehman Trio – The People I Love

Mary Bartlein
Saturdays 6pm – 9pm / Instrumental Saturdays

Instrumental Saturdays favorite 2019 releases in order of release date:

Ralph Zurmühle – As Time Passes (2019) on ralphzurmuhle  January 1, 2019.
Beautiful, thoughtful, well produced solo piano by this Swiss artist.  I really like his work, his compositions are very contemplative but not overly so.  There is space to breath here and bonus: this CD also has a lovely 16-minute closing track!

Jeff Johnson & Phil Keaggy – Cappadocia (2019) on Ark  February 4, 2019. 
The third collaboration between these two artists who are outstanding in their own right. Keyboardist Jeff Johnson and master guitarist Phil Keaggy create a lush percussive world of music. Listening to this CD makes you feels like you have just been on the most amazing journey.  This is a journey you can take over and over again.

Gunnar Spardel – Simplicity in a Complex World on Terminal 4 Records March 4, 2019. 
What can I say, I love Gunnar’s music!  I first discovered him as the Electronic artist Tigerforest and knew right away he was the real deal. He shows a softer side on this CD with plenty of piano and cello leading the way through his gorgeous synth beds.  He expertly mixes the two worlds here and the results is a lovely collection of songs that kind of give you a hug.

Michelle Qureshi & Songs of Eden – Three Windows on Music as Metaphor March 8, 2019. 
A really super beautiful collaboration between the overly accomplished multi-instrumentalist, master guitarist Michelle Qureshi and the Swedish composer, pianist Mans Ek also known as Songs of Eden.  There is true musical magic here and I really hope they can collaborate again in the future.  This beautiful little EP is just tease that I think flew under the radar.  You should check this out and then be like me…patiently waiting for more from this duo.  I am a really big fan of Michelle’s music, she has so much vision and is so accomplished it makes my head hurt.  The work here is so complimentary between these two, it makes them both shine bright.

Tom Eaton – How It Happened on Spotted Peccary Music April 19, 2019. 
OK, Tom Eaton…really!  Is the nothing you can’t do?  Tom is by far the most well rounded human being on the planet.  He is humble to a fault and exquisitely talented on every front of the music world.  He composes, creates, produces and masters music like no one else.  He has spent years in the recording studio helping other artists to sound their very best and sharing his musicianship on their songs long before he ever got around to putting his own wonderful music into the world.  There are many facets to Tom’s music, this is just the latest in a series of CDs that Tom has created and it happens to be on my favorite label, Spotted Peccary Music.  What more could you ask for?  How about another one Tom!

George Winston – Restless Wind – Dancing Cat/RCA Records May 3, 2019. 
Most people know George Winston as the father of “New Age” piano music, and rightly so.  He has created the most iconic piano albums that artist in this genre will alway be compared to.  But George is much more then that, he is an accomplished guitarist, an aficionado and archiver of Slack Key Guitar, Stride Piano and Harmonica.  This album reflects Georges passion for some of the greats that came before him and his interpretation of their work.  It also closely follows what you might expect to hear at a George Winston concert.  

Twilight Archive – Drift Factor – EP July,15 2019. 
I’m a big fan of the dark trippy sonically charged music that is Twilight Archive.  Their music is really fun to listen to, rich with so many layers and great instrumentation.  They have a way with creating jazzy futuristic dystopian music that no one else does. They do it so well!

Ken Elkinson – Chilltopia on August Son Productions July 29, 2019. 
There isn’t an theme or a genre Ken doesn’t like and he is beyond prolific.  I appreciate his work and work ethic. This is just what you think it is, a well done nod to Chill.  Thanks Ken!

Fiona Joy Hawkins & Rebecca Daniel – The Lightness of Dark on Little Hartley Music August 2, 2019. 
This is another collaborative album, they were big this year! Fiona Joy Hawkins is a very expressive pianist as is Rebecca Daniel on violin.  The two compliment and lift each others compositions to the fullest.  I love this CD, it is well crafted and so heartachingly beautiful.  I can’t say it any better then the liner notes, so I had to lift them:

“We all experience loss at some time in our lives, loss of health, friendship, a pet, lost youth or the loss of a loved one. When real life becomes art, experiences can be shared, learned from and resonate with others in similar situations. This album invites the listener to find the beauty in the sadness and move forward in a positive way.”

Sangeeta Kaur – Compassion on Sangeeta Kaur Music LLC  August 2, 2019. 
I first heard Sangeeta Kaur perform live about three years ago and was completely blown away by her crystalline voice.  We recently did an interview on Instrumental Saturdays featuring this album and it was great fun taking this CD apart in detail.  Sangeeta and her longtime collaborator/Music Director/composer extraordinaire  Nicholas Neidhardt have created her best work so far.  Her already gorgeous voice is complimented here by the Budapest Studio Choir & Sterling Ensemble in addition to her friend and fellow soprano Hila Plitmann.  The songs are mantras meant to be uplifting and prayerful.  This CD is all that and more.

David Helpling – Rune – Spotted Peccary Music – November 22, 2019. 
It is no secret that I also adore the music of David Helpling.  I have been a fan of his distinct guitar stylings for a very long time.  Whether it’s his solo work or his collaborations with Jon Jenkins, David’s music goes straight to my soul.  He has worked very hard to create his rich signature sound and he is really at his best on this CD, it sparkles and dances.  This CD amazingly has no synthesizers on it.  It is entirely David’s guitar work and production.  You have to hear it!  And you will be able to hear it in it’s entirety on Saturday January 11, 2020!  David is coming to the WMSE studio to do a live interview.  Please tune in to hear why I like this CD so much.

I have to include these three CDs because I got a lot of mileage out of them in 2019:

Paul K – The Fermi Paradox on BasilicaMusic  November 9, 2018. 
I love this CD!  It hit the mark on every level, Synth music against traditional instruments, found sounds, space and spoken word.  My only complaint is, as usual, the tracks are way too short!  The are so good but so short!

Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society – Wow and Flutter  October 26, 2018. 
This CD is the work of two veteran Electronic Music artists: Garry Hughes, the founder of Bombay Dub Orchestra (of which I adore) and Harvey Jones. I really enjoyed programming every track on this CD.  Long live Analog!

Stefan Schultz – The Sound of Syndae (2018) on Syndae  September 8, 2018. 
This is a fabulous Electronic Music compilation CD which found its way onto many of my playlists this year.  It was a gift sent to me by one of the artists that appears on the cd – Jim Ottaway.  He is in great company on this CD and I think I actually programmed every track on this CD throughout the year.  Thanks Jim!

Eric Von Munz
Thursdays 12:30pm – 3pm / The Von Munz Vinyl Variety Show

Here’s my Milwaukee Top Five (ish) for 2019:

The Haskels S/T (Splunge)
Boris The Sprinkler Vespa To Venus (Beer City)
Platinum Boys Raw Romance (Dusty Medical)
Indonesian Junk Spiderbites (Rumbar)
Dirty Dancing That For This (GLOSS)
Mini Meltdowns 7” (Good Land)
The Grovelers Cream City Nights

Dr. Fell + DJ Ascot
Fridays, 6am – 9am / Jing Jong Triple Play

Dr. Fell
Froth – Duress
Shlohmo – The End
Nov3l – Novel
Avey Tare – Cows on Hourglass Pond
Bells Atlas – The Mystic

DJ Ascot
Faye Webster – Atlanta Millionaire’s Club
Warmduscher – Whale City
Y La Bamba – Mujeres
Vanishing Twin – Age of Immunology
Ziminino – Ziminino

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

Nightwish,  Decades: Live in Buenos Aires
The Dark Element (featuring Anette Olzon and Jani Liimatainen), Songs the Night Sings
Black Keys, “Let’s Rock”
Gov’t Mule, Bring On The Music – Live at The Capitol Theatre
Mary Lane, Travelin’ Woman
Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers, No Good Deed 

Local CDs
Rocket Cat, Little Lights
Joseph Huber,  Moondog
Testa Rosa, VI

Saturdays 3am – 6am / Brew City Brutality

A Novelist, Folie
Hath, Of Rot and Ruin
Vitriol, To Bathe From the Throat of Cowardice
Noctambulist, Atmospheres of Desolation
Humanity’s Last Breath, Abyssal

Rick Israel
alternating Wednesdays 9am – 12pm / Urban Fantasy

Jazzmeia Horn  – Love and Liberation –  Concord
Karl Berger / Jason Kao Hwang – Conjurer –  Flying Panda
Bill Cole’s Untempered Ensemble  – Music For Yoruba Proverbs – billcole
George Coleman – The Quartet – Smoke Sessions
Jeremy Pelt – Jeremy Pelt The Artist – High Note

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

The Haskels – s/t
Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations  –  VISITATIONS IV
Klassik – QUIET.
Abby Jeanne – Music Box Dancer
Telethon – Hard Pop
Rose Of The West – s/t
Ifihadahifi – We’re Never Going Home

Moor Mother – Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes
Kate Tempest – The Book of Traps And Lessons
75 Dollar Bill – I Was Real
Kim Gordon – No Home Record
Meemo Comma – sleepmoss
Damon Locks & The Black Monument Ensemble – Where The Future Unfolds

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

Arctic Sleep Kindred Spirits Self Released
Marielle Allschwang & the Visitations Visitations IV + Precession of a Day: The World of Mary Nohl Self Released
Nicholas Elert Speculative Fiction Triple Eye Industries
The Hussy Looming Dirtnap Records
Twin Brother A.I. Self Released
Magnetic Minds Recompose Self Released

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

New releases from 2019:
Aldous Harding – Designer
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Ghosteen
Jaimie Branch – FLY or DIE II : bird dogs of paradise
Shida Shahabi – Shifts
The Nat Birchall Quartet – Storyteller: A Musical Tribute To Yusef Lateef

Reissues put out in 2019:
V/A – Congo Revolution : Revolutionary and Evolutionary Sounds From the Two Congos, 1955-1962 (Soul Jazz Records)
Salum Abdallah and Cuban Marimba Band – Ngoma Tanzania 1961-1965 (Domino Sound)
Mal Waldron Trio – Free At Last (ECM, extended reissue of the first ECM release!)
Daniel Schmidt and the Berkeley Gamelan – Abies Firma (Recital)
Andrew Hill – Black Fire (Blue Note Records, Tone Poet series)

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

Down to the River – The Allman Betts Band
Keeping the flame of southern rock alive with their long-awaited debut, the sons of Gregg, Dicky and Barry along with three other talented side men have created some fine original tunes – leaning a bit to the country side of southern rock. Recorded at the legendary Muscle Shoals studios, this band proves it has the chops to carry on and expand on the tradition of the ABB sound.

No Other – Gene Clark
Originally released in 1974, this overlooked gem from Byrds founding member Gene Clark has been re-issued and re-mastered by the 4AD label.   Although it was critically-acclaimed and expensive to make at the time, it went nowhere on the charts.  Coming on the heels of the short-lived “Byrds Reunion” in the early 70s, this mix of psychedelic folk, country and soul, should have fared better, especially when you have the likes of Jesse Ed Davis, Jerry McGee, Danny Kortchmar, Lee Sklar, Chris Hillman and Ben Keith helping out.

Three Chords and the Truth – Van Morrison
His sixth album in four years finds Van in fine form as he delivers a number of stand-out tracks in this generous helping of new, original material. Included here is a varied mix of mid-tempo arrangements of blues, Celtic soul and rock & roll (on one track at least).  Guitarist Jay Berliner, from the Astral Weeks days provides some very tasty playing, giving this work a distinctive guitar / organ / piano driven sound. Not to quibble but aside from two sax solos by Van, there are no horns on this release.  Oh, well, there’s always next time – which should be in about six months from now. 

Let’s Rock – The Black Keys
After a five year wait, Dan Auerbach and Pat Carney give us some back to basics grooves with this fine little R&R album packed with crunchy riffs, big beats and enjoyable, catchy tunes. Sure, some may consider this to be a bit more mainstream than their earlier works but God bless them for giving us what we need right now.   

Help Us Stranger – The Raconteurs
The third release by this Jack White side project strikes a nice balance of well-crafted acoustic and “in your face” electric sounds. Jack White’s solo work does not do much for me but when he teams up with Brandon Benson and the rest of the Raconteurs in a band setting – I pay more attention.  Recorded on vintage tube and analog equipment, these songs jump out at you with natural sounding sonics – especially on the vinyl format.  A surprising cover of Donovan’s “Hey, Gyp” is a treat.

Maggie Iken
alternating Thursdays, 6am – 9am / Poundcake Punk

Kate Tempest, The Book of Traps and Lessons
Negativland, True False
Otoboke Beaver, Itekoma Hits
Mean Jeans, Gigantic Sike
Knocked Loose, A Different Shade of Blue

DJ Zorro
alternating Sundays 6pm – 9pm / Alternating Currents

Jaimie Branch – Fly Or Die II: Bird Dogs Of Paradise
Anthony Braxton – Taylor Ho Bynum, Nels Cline, Greg Saunier ‎– Quartet (New Haven)
Angel Bat Dawid ‎– The Oracle
MoE & Mette Rasmussen ‎– Tolerancia Picante
Moor Mother ‎– Analog Fluids Of Sonic Black Holes

Paul Host
alternating Saturdays 3pm – 6pm / Milwaukee Rock Posters & Why My Head Hurts

Aluminum Knot Eye – Neutered And Declawed 7””
The Haskels – s/t LP
Howie Epstein – The Music of Howie Epstein Vol. 2: The Sun Set on Lake Drive but the Music Never Slept
The Slurs – Shatter Sessions
Indonesian Junk – Spiderbites

Jeff Redmon, WMSE Underwriting Director

LCD Soundsystem – Electric Lady Sessions
Gary Clark Jr. – This Land
Solange – When I Get Home
Marvin Gaye – You’re the Man
Mdou Moctar – Ilana (The Creator)
Logic – Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Interpol – Fine Mess
Wu Tang Clan – Of Mics and Men
Tom Yorke – Anima
Missy Elliot – Iconology
Ghostface Killah – Ghostface Killahs 

DJ Loop
Tuesdays 9pm – 12am / Fresh & Direct Radio

My top 5 for Fresh & Direct, in no particular order:
Under the Sun – Dreamville ft. J.Cole, Lute, DaBaby
Everyday – Dave East
Family & Loyalty – Gang Starr
On God – Kanye West
Ricky – Denzel Curry

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

Our Native Daughters – Songs of Our Native Daughters
Rami & The Reliables – Instant Classic
Mavis Staples – We Get By
Geraint Watkins – Rush Of Blood
Joel Paterson – Let It Be Guitar

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

Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations – Visitations IV
Abby Jeanne – Music Box Dancer
Rose Of The West – s/t
No/No – Diagnostic
Dramatic Lovers – You Talk Loud
Long overdue honorable mention:  The Haskels – s/t

The Good John
alternating Fridays 9am – 12pm / The Chicken Shack

Here are my picks in no particular order:
Tyler Childers – Country Squire
Neal Francis – Changes
North Mississippi Allstars – Up and Rolling
Jason James – Seems Like Tears Ago
Chris Knight – Almost Daylight
GA-20 – Lonely Soul

Also, there are a couple of compilations:
The Bakersfield Sound: Country Music Capital Of The West (1940-1974)
Cadillac Baby’s Bea & Baby Records

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

My top 6 albums of 2019 are as follows (in no particular order):
Bon Iver – i, i
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Ghosteen
Girl Band – The Talkies
Billie Eilish – When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride
Brittany Howard – Jaime

Wednesdays, 9pm – 12am / Into Battle!!

For the record, I spent most of the year listening to Killing Joke. But when not doing that, here are the new things I really liked.

Atlantean Kodex – The Course of Empire

This record is incredible. It’s probably the most dignified metal release I have heard since Operation:Mindcrime. It has a lot of pomp to it, but it’s so classy sounding. Metal rules a bunch but it often doesn’t sound dignified, if that makes sense. Doesn’t mean it’s not good, cuz it’s really great, but much of it doesn’t seem proper to have on with yer Gram in the car or whatnot. This isn’t like that. It’s that level. 

Pissgrave – Posthumous Humiliation

This is quite different than the Atlantean Kodex, but no less vital. The only band that I have ever heard who was able to get the spirit and black feelings that Deicide were able to on their first 3 LPs. Plus, the solo that closes out Rusted Winds is brilliant. 

Lingua Ignota – Caligula

Hardly a metal release, but probably the most harrowing record released this year. Kristin Hayter deals with trauma in a way through Lingua Ignota that is both cathartic and unnerving. This has elements of Lynchian style soundtrack and the more dark/less goofy moments of Tori Amos or Nina Hagan. It’s a legit brilliant piece of work if you have any sort of inkling towards dark music. 

Ulcerot – Necuratu demo

Only two track, but it’s incredible death metal punishment from members of Undergang, Pissgrave and Deiquisitor. Gross and incredibly potent. They do in two songs that a lot of bands couldn’t do with their whole careers. 

Werian – Animist EP

I was unfamiliar with this band until this release. They blend the good elements of Mediterranean black/death[Mortuary Drape and Necromantia mostly] and the German Nagelfar into a very potent mix. It didn’t strike me initially, but as the year wore on I went back to this a lot. 

Ossuary – Supreme Degradation

Death metal that doesnt subscribe to the idea that they need to sound throwback or “retro”. Ossuary exist of their own time and their releases, both excellent, will stand the test of any time. Blown out, riffy, hypnotic death metal that doesnt cut any corners. 

I promise from this point on I’m gunna get less wordy with the rest of the descriptions. 

Keres – Ice,Vapor and Crooked Arrows

Slightly weird, Finnish-styled black metal. Not far from bands like Baptism or Satanic Warmaster, but that slight weirdness makes it better in my book. 

Perverted Ceremony/Witchcraft – Nighermancie / Black Candle Invoker

This is here because of the Perverted Ceremony material. Witchcraft from Finland is serviceable but pretty unremarkable. PC on the other hand is Beherit styled black misery executed to perfection. I feel I will like everything they ever do a lot. It’s that sorta quality.

Arch/Matheos – Winter Ethereal 

The two driving forces behind Fates Warning when they ruled making a record that sounds pretty close to Fates Warning when they ruled. John Arch still has the voice, too. 

Pa Vesh En – Pyrefication

Black metal that sounds both tortured and also somehow tough. Probably the best straight black metal album I’ve heard this year. 

Fetid – Steeping Corporeal Mess

Gross sounding death metal in the vein of Rottrevore or demo-era Grave. 

Flamekeeper – We Who Light the Fire EP

Somewhere between classic Manowar and classic Masters Hammer. Sounds like a horrible mashup as I’m writing this, but Flamekeeper makes it work. It’s legit great!

Striborg – An Existential Burden

One of the three full lengths by Striborg this year, this one hit me the most. It’s what you like about Striborg, but more focused feeling. Also you can download the Striborg records off Bandcamp at “name your price”. That should be further incentive to check this out. 

FvneralFvkk – Carnal Confessions

I’m unsure of the reasoning behind this terrible band name, but the material on Carnal Confessions is straight Solitude Aeturnus worship done right. 

Marblebog – Kietlen and Wigrid – Entfremdungsmoment

Honestly, I haven’t spent much time with either of these LPs besides a few listens, but I’m stoked that we have new music from both. 

Cardinals Folly/Lucifers Fall split

Again, the Cardinals Folly side was the only thing that grabbed me. Traditional doom that sounds drunk and kinda morose instead of high and kinda happy to just be high. Booze doom over weed doom any day. 

Live shows this year:

The Body in Baltimore
Ride for Revenge
Any of the times Ive seen Tubal Cain this year.
Killing Joke
The Skull playing Trouble songs

Keep listening to Music

Erik Void
Fridays 12am – 3am / Everything That Rises Must Converge

The Stargazer Lilies, Occabot
Rocketship, Thanks To You
Blankenberge, More
DIIV, Deceiver
Fleeting Joys, Speeding Away to Someday
The Ocean Blue, Kings and Queens / Knaves and Thieves
Medicine, Scarred For Life

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

Flat Teeth – Silent Seconds
Telethon – Hard Pop
Dramatic Lovers – Hard To Hear
No/No – Diagnostic
Trapper Schoepp – Primetime Illusion

Singles and 7”s:
Lex Allen – “Let Go”
Abby Jeanne – Get You High 7”
Saebra & Carlyle – “1-2-3-4”
Devils Teeth – Jet Jaguar – Remixes
Live Tetherball Tonight – “Open Mouth Kiss” – 7”

Rob Szocik
alternating Sundays 6pm – 9pm / Alternating Currents

Matana Roberts – COIN COIN Chapter Four: Memphis
Art Ensemble of Chicago – We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
Damon Locks – Black Monument Ensemble – Where the Future Unfolds
MoE / Mette Rasmussen – Tolerancia Picante
Jaimie Branch – Fly or Die II: bird dogs of paradis
Anthony Braxton – New Haven 2014
Moor Mother –  Analog Fluids Of Sonic Black Holes (LP, Album)
Paal Nilssen-Love – New Japanese Noise & New Brazilian Funk

Honorable Mentions:
Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains
Bill Mackay – Fountain Fire

Fav Local:
Xposed 4Heads – Ultra Cloud

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

Nastos, Illegal Spirits
Rakta, Falha Comum
Kim Gordon, No Home Record
Neil Young, Colorado
Cosmonauts, Star 69

Grant S.
WMSE sub / any show

I loved this record as a concept art form with the film available on Netflix. But most of all, I loved the departure from country music styles while keeping the country topics and aesthetic of his other work. The record is unique and interesting. The best part of this record is that it defies all expectations and becomes something entirely different.

The best part of this record is the way it sounds. It’s lush and beautiful, while still being new and inventive. The drums sound like they’re from 1972. The rhythm is jazzy. The vocal lines (and whistling) are elegant. Probably one of Andrew’s finest works. And, to see the whole thing come together live at the Riverside in September was a very special treat. 

King Gizzard is the winner of best show of 2019 for me. The 8.23.19 show at the Riverside was heavy and melodic and extremely fun. The following night’s show at the Aragon in Chicago was one of the sweatiest moments in my life (and I’m sweaty all the time). These records are completely different. They balance each other. They compliment without distracting the listener from either effort. They stand alone. I am pretty sure King Gizzard may be the band of the decade. 

Joe Keery and Co’s first effort is beautifully spacey and yet still retains some of that Post Animal swagger (Flash Mountain, anyone?). It’s a record that hooked me because at first listen, it’s ear candy. Then, you back up and realize that the music is actually complicated and weird. Effortlessly balancing pop with psych.

The fourth Twin Peaks record stands out as maybe the best complete record they’ve issued. I think from start to finish, the record covers great topics and is a departure from the buzzy garage in favor of a more unique take on Chicago rock and roll. The boys grew up. Not really a bad thing, in my opinion. 

Honorable best show list of 2019:
King Gizzard w/ Stonefield and Orb at Riverside and the Aragon 8.23-24.19
Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real at Turner 9.24.19
DJO at Sleeping Village 10.16.19
Trey Anstasio at Riverside 10.18.19
Elton John at Fiserv Forum 10.19.19
Twin Peaks at Riviera Theater 11.29.19
Pert Near Sandstone at Back Room 4.13.19
The Interrupters at Turner 4.2.19
Kikagaku Moyo at Thalia Hall 11.24.19
Whitney at Thalia Hall 12.6.19

alternating Wednesdays 6am – 9am / Wave Tank

Blanck Mass, Animated Violence Mild
Caterina Barbieri, Ecstatic Computation
Xeno & Oaklander, Hypnos
Automelodi, Mirages au futur verre-brisé
Cosey Fanny Tutti, TUTTI

Andy Turner
Fridays 12pm – 3pm / Zero Hour

Zero Hour Top 5:
Gino & The Goons – Off the Rails (Big Neck)
The Toy Trucks – Rockets Bells and Poetry (Black & Wyatt Records)
Pat Todd & The Rankoutsiders– The Past Came Callin’ (Hound Gawd!)
Imperial Wax – Gastwerk Saboteurs (Saustex)
Spoon Dogs – S/T (Pig Baby)

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

The Yawpers – Human Question
Titus Andronicus – An Obelisk
Starcrawler – Devour You
No/No – Diagnostic
Bleached – Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough
Amyl & The Sniffers – s/t
Faye Webster – Atlanta Millionaires Club
Martha – Sight For Sore Eyes
Matthew Davies – Flowers and Ticket Stubs
Caley Conway – Surrounded Middle

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

Some Rap Songs – Earl Sweatshirt
Sinner – Moodyman
Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains
Bubba – Kaytranada
Outer Peace – Toro Y Moi

Best Video:  “The Barrel” by Aldous Harding
Best EP:  Tampons by Shle Berry

Mondays 3am – 6am / Promethean Sound

It’s not all new music but it’s what has been on repeat for me: 
Idris Muhammad – Turn This Mutha Out
Goth Babe – Smith Rock
Kaytranada – Bubba
Homeshake – Helium
Klaus Johann Grobe – Du bist so symmetrisch

Fridays 3pm – 6pm / The Blues Drive

The BB King Blues Band, The Soul of the King (Ruf)
Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues, Roots and Branches: The Songs of Little Walter (Alligator)
Dave Specter,  Blues From The Inside Out (Delmark)
Earwig Music Company Presents Cadillac Baby’s Bea & Baby Records: The Definitive Collection (4 CD Box Set) (Earwig)

Rich Mars
Wednesdays 6pm – 9pm / City Rock Showgram

Kel Assouf — Black Tenere
Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind — Collectiv
The Dream Syndicate — These Times
The Jackets — Queen of the Pill
Guided By Voices — Zeppelin Over China

Honorable mentions:
Mark Lanegan — Somebody’s Knocking
Starcrawler — Devour You
Sleater-Kinney — The Center Won’t Hold

Erin Wolf, WMSE Music Director
Tuesdays 12:30pm – 3pm + 6pm – 7pm / The Rockleidoscope Show + Local/Live

In no order…

Jonathan Personne, Histoire Naturelle
Aldous Harding, Designer
Fly Pan Am, C’est ça
Tallies, s/t
Helado Negro, This Is How You Smile

WAVY V, “The Fools Have Gone to Bed” – single
Old Earth, Beast of Needs
Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations (both releases from this year)
Klassik, QUIET.
Graham Hunt, Leaving Silver City

Mr. Dr. Dave
alternating Sundays, 6am – 9am / Sunday Morning Jazz

Baritone Madness – Baritone Madnes
John Coltrane – Blue World
Joey DeFrancesco – In the Key of the Universe
Chrissie Hynde with the Valve Bone Woe Ensemble – Valve Bone Woe
Mike Stern & Jeff Lorber Fusion – Eleven

Matt Schoeffler
3rd Wednesday of the month 6pm – 9pm / City Rock Showgram

The Menzingers – Hello Exile
The Appleseed Cast – The Fleeting Light of Impermanence
The Get Up Kids – Problems
American Football – American Football (LP3)
Cave In – Final Transmission

Top 5 Local / Wisconsin Adjacent
Lot Lizards – One.
Math Mountain – Have Fun / Sam
Masked Intruder – III
Dramatic Lovers – You Talk Loud
Our Cadence – Solstice

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

Kendra Amalie, Intuition
Klassik, QUIET.
Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations, Precession Of A Day: The World Of Mary Nohl
Lauryl Sulfate & Her Ladies Of Leisure, Dance Music Saves Lives
Old Earth, Beast Of Needs

Kate Tempest, The Book Of Traps And Lessons
Lingua Ignota, Caligula
Esoteric, A Pyrrhic Existence
Kim Gordon, No Home Record
Robert Glasper, F*** Yo Feelings

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

Toro Y Moi, Outer Peace
Panda Bear, Buoys
Rose Droll, Your Dog
The Mattson 2, Paradise

John Komp
alternating Mondays 12am – 3am / The Truth About De-Evolution

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Ghosteen
Thurston Moore, Spirit Counsel (and what a show at X-Ray Arcade!)
Budos Band, V
Tim Presley’s White Fence, I Have To Feed Larry’s Hawk
Leonard Cohen, Thanks For The Dance

Bob Midnight
Tuesdays 6pm – 9pm / Midnight Radio

Hiss Golden Messenger – Terms Of Surrender
Young Mister – Sudden Swoon
Fastball – The Help Machine
Steve Gunn – The Unseen In Between
Sons of The East – Burn Right Through

POSTED BY:: Erin Wolf

TAGGED::WMSE, WMSE Picks, WMSE Picks of 2019