Ear Candy -- We've got a year's worth of great music piled up on our desks, towering over our heads and oozing out of our ears. And, like clockwork, we'll reveal our favorites of 2004 in next week's annual Top Ten issue (along with books, flicks and more). But by this point, you loyal readers out there might be able to guess what some of our picks will be -- or perhaps not. Either way, we'd like to get a few more ears in on this one, and hear what your top album of the year is. We'll print as many as we can next week. E-mail your picks to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, Dec. 27, and be sure to include your name, where you live and "2004 Rocked!" in the subject line. Now get on it!
Home-Brewed Rock -- Local musician, band-starter and now music archivist Jon Swanstrom (Seawolf, the Flies, TFL etc.) has been busy of late carefully compiling recordings made by local rock bands over the last two decades into a new CD called 20 Years of Rock 'n' Roll, Spokane Style -- Volume 1. The album covers 1983-2003, an era that saw Spokane's live music scene explode with crafty original music made by scores of dedicated young bands on a collision course with destiny -- and more often than not, oblivion. But just because most of these bands either burned out or faded away doesn't mean they didn't leave us with an exciting legacy of songs recorded -- as indicated in the liner notes -- using everything from "four-track tape machines surrounded by piles of cat crap" to "fancy-ass local studios."
The 29 tracks in Volume 1 contain a representative sample from Motherload, the Fumes, Bellywipe, Big Feeling, Clabberhag, TFL, Buttermilk Five, Social Bondage and others. It's a nostalgia trip for old schoolers and a fun rock history lesson for anyone who still thinks the local punk rock scene started at Club Sole. Available at 4,000 Holes, Unified Groove Merchants and Hastings. Watch for more volumes to come.