Phil Yates Best of 2022

Every year we ask some of our music friends to share some of their thoughts on some of the albums/singles that were released in the past year.

Our pal, Phil Yates of Phil Yates & The Affiliates released a terrific record, A Thin Thread, on July 15th of this year, and much to our joy, he agreed to share his thoughts.

Do you ever tire of hearing people say that there is no good new music nowadays? The music released in 2022 should silence those fools, but you and I know nothing will silence people who think that way. My wallet wishes that I was one of those fools who did not care about new (and old) music this year. Other than what is in the top spot, the rest of my top ten albums of 2022 is in no order.

Wet Leg – Wet Leg. No new release in recent memory has given me as much joy as Wet Leg’s debut record. My actual age is quickly approaching my spiritual age, meaning that I am probably more prone to embracing my inner curmudgeon these days. When a band has so much buzz behind them, my instant reaction is to dismiss them. I am glad I did not do that with Wet Leg.

The record is so much more than the singles released in 2021, “Chaise Longue” and “Wet Dream”. The rest of the record is full of hooks. It feels like the best music from the ’90s but is not a retro record. One of my highlights of the year was seeing them in March at Chicago’s Thalia Hall. It was absolutely thrilling to see a band clearly in its ascendancy yet still figuring things out. I cannot wait to see what Wet Leg does for an encore!

Cate Le Bon – Pompeii. This record contains probably my favorite song of the year, “Remembering Me”. The video to it is incredible. Cate is one of those musicians that I will follow any weird or challenging path she happens to forge.

Elvis Costello & The Imposters – The Boy Named If. I had to check the calendar again. This album came out in January 2022. I am a huge Costello nerd. Huge! This record made me so happy. It is his best since 2004’s The Delivery Man. It is closest to Brutal Youth with respect to the sound of the record. If that does nothing for you, we probably cannot be friends.

The Beths – Expert in a Dying Field. Have The Beths made a bad record yet? Do they even know how to make a bad record? I embrace our new Kiwi rock overlords.

Young Guv GUV III & GUV IV. I’m cheating by combining both Young Guv records as one record. It is full of jangly goodness. These songs sound even more rocking live. One of the highlights of going to England this summer for me was catching Young Guv in Bristol. Great show!

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Endless Rooms. This Australian band constantly hits my sweet spot.

BOAT – No Plans to Stick the Landing. I’ve been a fan of this Seattle band for a long time since probably 2009’s Setting the Paces. I get the feeling they have the same influences as I do: Guided By Voices, Elliott Smith, Teenage Fanclub, and Pavement.

Spiritualized – Everything Was Beautiful. This is a mild upset. When asked to do lists in the past, Spiritualized normally takes the top spot if they released a record in that year. That to me is weird because I never think to name them as one of my favorite bands. I should rectify that and start name-checking them every chance I get.

Angel Olsen – Big Time. Angel Olsen sounds like a country-leaning Roy Orbison on this record. It is “big” and well worth your “time”. Angel Olsen is another artist I will follow on whatever creative path she takes.

Sloan – Steady. Has Sloan made a bad record yet? Do they even know how to make a bad record? Long live Canada’s answer to The Beatles!

I should have an addendum to the list. I also put out a record with my band, Phil Yates & The Affiliates, called A Thin Thread on Futureman Records. If I was feeling particularly cocky, I would have put it in the Top Ten of 2022. For now, let’s leave it as a nice little footnote for this year.

The year 2022 was great for music books, too. I need to get my hands on Bob Dylan’s latest book. Christmas is coming, so family members reading this, consider that a hint. My favorite book from a musician was Jarvis Cocker’s Good Pop, Bad Pop. It is a great reflection on the memorabilia we collect and what makes some of it keepable and other portions of it more disposable. I could hear Jarvis’ voice whilst reading it.

For those of you wanting to give yourself a bit of a challenge, PJ Harvey’s Orlam should be on your reading list. It is a novel-length poem written in the old Dorset dialect. Don’t worry. There is a glossary of terms at the back of the book.

Thanks for reading! May all of you have a wonderful, music-filled 2023!

YTAA Recommends: Nicholas Johnson – Back Upstate

Ever hear a record that you did not know anything about and were completely surprised, enamored and then drawn into a new musical world? Well, that has happened to us here at YTAA.

We are currently listening to the new record from Nicholas Johnson and to say that we are impressed is an example of classic understatement! The music he makes sways from sounding like Whiskeytown (‘Come Around’), smooth LA sounds of the ‘70s (‘I’m a Ghost’, Night Ride’) to rocking like a midwestern Lucero (‘Lonely Girl’), the story closes on a bluesy swirl about getting out and embracing experience (‘Nashville’). The record explores a music space that is reminiscent of the past and stands squarely in the present. For us the standout track is the shimmering vulnerability of ‘Sinner’

‘Sinner’ is a powerful, convincing and decisive tune. If you hear that song and do not feel the naked emotion, then you have some work to do. This song captures heartache, emotion and the soul ache that is part of living. In addition, the backing vocals from the always stellar Amber Hargett are just simply perfect and compliment the contemplative delivery of Johnson. Their voices together elevate the song. When Johnson sings: “I’m a sinner, ’cause I hate myself, I’m a sinner because I want to be” — you feel it because the Ryan Adams like patience in Johnson’s delivery makes it matter, you have felt this way too. You may not want to embrace your brokenness but it is there inside us all, just the same.

We would not be doing our job if we did not complement Rich Reuter’s production on this album which allows each song to shine on its own and as part of the collection. Reuter is a musical chameleon on this record playing guitar, bass, lap steel, mandolin, keyboards, drum programming, background vocals and percussion in addition to producing, engineering and mixing the songs. We have no doubt that the gathering of musicians who worked with Johnson on this record including some powerhouse alums of the Dayton Music Scene Khrys Blank, Jenna De Gruy, Amber Hargett, Patrick Himes, Eric Reith, Sara Gomes and Rob Spahr who all share a musical companionship and vision. Johnson not only has ties to the Dayton area but also has interesting stories from being a touring musician in Italy and throughout Europe. Some of those connections are demonstrated through the contributions of Lorenzo Testa on banjo and Lorena Vezzaro on violin.

Johnson draws on his music and storytelling influences while showcasing his unique focus on the textures of each song. While the songs stand on their own, the assembled music together paints a narrative that is relatable and meaningful. This approach should occur far more often than it does in music. And Johnsons voice is perfectly authentic as he sings across forms and styles in this incredibly catchy collection about human foibles and insecurities without sounding downtrodden.

Nicholas Johnson has crafted a fantastic record that has strong Dayton Music Scene connections both behind and in front of the microphone. Our compliments to Ninja Jam Records. Get this record! Get it right away!

V4Velindre: A Collection with Heart and Purpose

Our good friend, journalist, music fan and writer Kevin McGrath has curated an amazing collection of alternative and independent music that includes some of our favorite musicians from his native Wales and beyond. What started as a few tracks continued to develop and grow into a vast mixtape like experience of compelling music that makes for hours of sonic adventures. The project grew to include 50 songs! The word impressive does not do this initiative justice.

This collection is not only an ambitious songscape but it is a project with heart. The proceeds for this initiative is a thoughtful effort to raise funds of the Velindre Cancer Center in Cardiff, Wales where McGrath himself received care for his own challenge with cancer. Money generated from the sale of this ‘Charity Mixtape’ are also being shared with the UK’s National Health Service which has been involved in a heroic struggle with the Covid-19 virus which claimed nearly 900 employees in that fight. In true community spirit, McGrath’s music collection draws attention to bands and musicians that we would all do well to explore in more detail and at the same time raise funds for a cutting edge cancer treatment center.

The music on this compilation includes newly recorded songs as well as music that has been out for a time. There are also some incredible reworkings of past music. When McGrath began contacting musicians for possible inclusion in this effort, he was overwhelmed with positive responses far exceeding his expectations. Community is built through commitment, involvement, attachment and demonstration of shared beliefs and this collection draws upon all of those characteristics of healthy community creation.

The music in this compilation includes several genres that we appreciate here at Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative such as folk/singer songwriter (Jodie Marie), catchy indie (The Grief Brothers, Bandicoot), indie rock (Walter Etc. – one of the few American bands to be included), lo fi (Armstrong), thoughtful melodic pop (Super 8), punk (Turin), surf rock (Eggs on Mars), orchestral pop (the criminally underappreciated Peter Hall) and rock and roll (Burning Furns, oh let’s just be honest and say… far too many artists to mention here).

John Harris, who we all should know called the collection a ‘brilliant, lovingly compiled album that showcases a lot of superb new music from Wales’. Pete Paphides (The Times, Mojo) labelled this musical experience ‘a magnificent anthology’ and The Welsh Music Podcast claimed it as a ‘Who’s who of Welsh Music’. There have been a variety of celebrity endorsements from Billy Bragg, Andrew Collins and Ian Rankin.

More details can be found on McGrath’s excellent blog, RedSoapBox.

Or better yet, purchase a copy of this fantastic collection at the bandcamp page for the project and support this effort.

Kurt Lee Wheeler’s On Our Way

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Kurt Lee Wheeler melds rock and roll, alt-country, Americana and folk into something vibrant and captivating. The lyrics draw a picture of precarious life on the edge through no one’s fault. In the best tradition of storytellers who do not shy away from raw, challenging life experience, Wheeler explores what it means to lose no matter how hard you try. Wheeler comes from Cherokee County, Georgia. The son of a cattleman and homemaker, he is a self-taught guitar player who began experimenting with sound at an early age. Between his chores tending to cattle, playing sports and his school work, Wheeler recorded songs on any tape he could find whether it was reel to reel, cassette or 8-tracks.

‘On Our Way’ is a record of experience and life that explores sonic textures that move across genres. Equally at home with country, alt-country, bluegrass, folk and rock and roll, Wheeler weaves stories in a manner that regardless of your musical taste, you will enjoy that tale. And not to mention his cover of Billy Idol’s ‘Rebel Yell’ is worth the price of admission.

Take a moment and check out Wheeler’s music, social media, videos and more!

Joey Beach’s new song with a purpose

On the Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative program today we are playing a terrific new song ‘Come Outside‘ from the forthcoming ‘Horrible World’ album from Manray’s Joey Beach courtesy of the fine folks at REALLYREAL RECORDINGS. We are excited about new music from Joey but are especially moved that he is taking the opportunity to support the family of Simon Kingston who was taken from us far too early.

Joey is running a preorder on his two-track 7” (‘Come Outside’ and ‘Horrible World’ and all profits are going straight to the Simon Kingston Memorial Fund. So, listen to the program today and get a peek at new music from Joey and consider supporting a most worthy cause!

Dr. J’s Singles Club at Off Shelf

106799389_605906167029120_7523683373463049191_nEvery month Dr. J write a run down of 8 to 10 singles that came out the previous month.

The latest Singles Club column covers some pretty spectacular releases from June! Do yourself a favor and go check it out over at OffShelf.net!

Many thanks to the fine folks over at Off Shelf for giving us the opportunity to share some exciting new music every month! And you can listen to these selections by going to the spotify playlist each month as well. Its truly a win-win!

The Vapors Return After Almost 40 Years of Waiting!

LP-Cover-Large-768x768After a nearly 40 years wait — 39 years to be precise — we have a brand new album from The Vapors. This is not wishful thinking or a joke. The last album from one of the finest new wave groups was 1981’s Magnets. The hook-filled third album was released to the world this past Friday (May 15, 2020)!

And after listening to this record repeatedly, we have to say that it is indeed “12 chunks of pure Vapors goodness” as the band puts it on their website. These songs are catchy, melodic, and driving guitar riffs. The songs feature fresh sounding choruses that remind you of David Bowie while they make you want to sing along. The UK band that we all know from “Turning Japanese” can write some terrific indie pop.

Perhaps no one would have expected this record but following some brief touring a few years ago, the band re-caught the recording bug and put together this excellent collection. Let’s hope it is not another 40 years before the fourth record.

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New Music from Seth Canan

0020050458_100Amazing songwriter and keeper of the rock and roll flame Seth Canan is known for his super catchy music and high energy shows with Seth Canan & The Carriers. He has just made some new music available for us today that we need during these difficult days.
You can buy these records on bandcamp using the name your own price option! A gesture of generosity that speaks to the kind of person that Seth is on and off stage.
All songs written and performed by Seth Canan
Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Seth with Assistant Engineers: Isaac Schaefer Jr. and Zac Pack Mastered by Micah Carli at Popside Recording in Troy, OH.
Cover Art: “Image of the Child” by Sadie Canan Graphic Design by Kena Nowlin
Great new music! Thanks Seth!
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Video of The Day: TINO – You Know

Today’s video is the latest from TINO! You can read our review of the record! TINO also has more for you on his YouTube Channel! Subscribe to his channel for video and information updates! TINO blends wisdom with incredibly high energy rock and rap using a mix of “rhyme schemes and unique flows over music ranging from golden era boom bap to trap mixed with soul samples and electronica.”

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April Singles Column at Off Shelf

cropped-off-shelf-full-logo-PURPLE-WEB-2Dr. J’s side hustle over at the fantastic Off Shelf.net! “In a cluttered world Off Shelf brings you the best in music, gaming, books and comics through our Digital Zine, curated interviews, features, columns, podcasts and Shelf Sessions series.”

Singles-ClubEvery month Off Shelf contributor and Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative host Art Jipson brings you the best singles of the month and puts together a playlist for your enjoyment. Below you’ll find nine highlighted songs that stood above the rest, which is followed by the entire playlist. Please follow our Spotify account so you don’t miss any future playlists!