Perfect Sound Forever

PSF's 2016 Writers' Poll
Our favorite things

Blood Orange, Deviant Amps, Jan Kus Quartet, Big Thief, Childish Gambino

Merry 2017... so it's time to look back at 2016 and remember what we liked and listened to. 15 of our writers who turned in articles last year came up with a list of up to 20 records they loved from '16. Maybe you listened to some of our staff favorites too but maybe not. See if any of your faves match here or if you might find out about something new that you didn't even know existed. Maybe we even had some right answers here, who knows...?

Peter Crigler


TOP 10 SONGS [No Particular Order]

Daniel Barbiero

Ben Dyment

Michael Freerix

I finally got a reissue of ‚The North Star Grassman and the Ravens’ by Sandy Denny and listened a lot to it, since she is one of my farourite singers, this spring. And this summer was kind of a Syd Barrett-summer for me, because i listened to all of his recordings for weeks, and never got tired of it. It is music, that even get’s better with age, for me.

I bought the early recordings, ‚The Columbia Years’, by Betty Davis, whom i am a big fan of, but found them really uninteresting and disappointing. I am glad she did not stay with Columbia Records and went her own way.

Jack Gold-Molina

Jason Gross

See my full list at Ye Wei blog and dig the aural madness on my Spotify playlist for 2016 albums

Edd Hurt

Terry Manning manned the controls for guitarist Gimmer Nicholson's 1969 Ardent Studios sessions, and had Nicholson not nixed the results, the record would've been the first on Memphis' Ardent label. Sid Selvidge's Peabody label issued the LP Christopher Idylls in 1981, and Manning released a CD version on his Lucky Seven label in 1994. Light in the Attic's new vinyl release of Nicholson's record provides a Southern missing link. Besides recording for Ardent, Nicholson contributed acoustic guitar to Alabama guitarist and psych-Christian soul-rocker Marlin Greene on Greene's 1972 "Tiptoe Past the Dragon," and he adds a touch of Chris Bell and Big Star to Greene's Los Angeles-Tuscumbia musical synthesis. Nicholson seems to have influenced Bell: You can draw a line from Marlin Greene's obscure Elektra LP to Big Star's "#1 Record" and beyond. to the modern appreciation for Nicholson's deracinated meditations.

Young Thug, Colin Stetson, Big Star, Mahogany, Johnny Moped

Benjamin Malkin

Nathan Osborne

Top Five Groups that need to reform in 2017:
Sonic Youth (that anti-fascist sound)
Minutemen (ditto but less artsy-farsty)
Miles Davis Quintet (JAZZZZ)
Eric Dolphy (see above^)
Leonard Cohen (R.I.P.)

ED NOTE: for the last two, we're working on resurrections

Robert Pally

Marc Phillips

Bart Plantenga

Mike Pursley

Derek Pyle

Mark S. Tucker

For the last decade or so, I’ve reviewed a minimum of 200 CDs & DVDs a year, often more (the previous two decades saw less activity while under idiot magazine publishers and editors), so I'm continuing a unique slant: my Year’s Best list is pulled only from the discs I've critiqued. With all the killer soundz sent my way, I don’t need to buy a damn thing any more…so I don’t, unless I trip up to Amoeba Records (Hollywood) or Record Surplus (West L.A.), and then it’s bar the door, Katie! I’m a music hound. That said, this year, Luis Mojica takes top honors while Peter Saltzman and Andrew & Polly tie for second place. I usually only award 2 top slots per year, but all 3 are here for VERY different traits except one: non-pareil excellence and uniqueness. In essence, the other two are on par with Mojica, but I was so knocked out by Wholesome that I’m keeping with enumerations this year; that may change in 2017. I’m also repeating my criminal wont, breaking the PSF rules and citing not 5, not 10, not 20, but 30 choices. There has never been more music, nor has quality ever been so overwhelmingly excellent across the boards, in human history, and I could easily have cited 50. After the top 3, the remainder are listed alphabetically, not by ranking order. Also please note that, since going completely freelance, I’ve been avalanched with submissions from around the world and maintain a constant backlog of 30 discs. This last batch will be impossible to get to until after the new year, so I’m probably cheating a few worthies of honors due them, alas! Nathless, here’s this year’s crème de la creme:

Morton Subotnick, Tancred, Viola Beach. Maren Morris, The Street Poets

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