Category: Best of the Year

Episode 92 – Top 21 Albums of 2016

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Episode 92 - Top 21 Albums of 2016

Above is a collage of all 21 albums artwork. (Artwork – D.Hixon)

2016 was a weird, surreal, and at times beautiful year. It side swiped us with the loss of Demigods who couldn’t escape Death’s undefeated grip. Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen – they’ll never share the same air as you again – and that’s a damn shame.

And now, history will remember 2016 for the the election – whose aftershocks have me cow eyed and slow to speak in the weeks since that fateful Tuesday. I’m scared, sad, and sullen with what it means – but 2016 was more than one day in November, and the music that was released leading up to the results hinted at where we are now. Good art is often ahead of the curve.

Politics and uncertain fate aside – below are my 21 favorite albums of 2016. Aside from the opening sequence, the entire set was done  live in the Mojo – and per every mix I put out – I hope you discover something new you love.

As for 2017….the weird and surreal will morph into something different, and the music will as well, and that I can’t wait for. Keep your head up Unexcused Brethren – Visions pertain to the future, and our actions today must make that bright despite the dark in our current eyes.

Per always, thank you for the support – Peace & Love. ~Mint Pillow

Samiyam – Animals Have Feelings
“paddle boat”
Stones Throw Records


Terry Malts – Lost At The Party
“When The Nighttime Comes”
Slumberland Records


Whitney – Light Upon The Lake
“No Woman”
Secretly Canadian


Tony Molina – Confront The Truth
“See Me Fall”
Slumberland Records


Woods – City Sun Eater In The River Of Light
“Sun City Creeps”
Woodsist Records


White Night – Weird Night
“Dr. Bellows”
Burger Records


Wilco – Schmilco
“Normal American Kids”
Wilco.net


The Avalanches – Wildflower
“If I Was A Folkstar”
XL Recordings


Aphex Twin – Cheetah EP
“2X202-ST5”
Warp Records


A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
“Melatonin”
okayplayer.


Angel Olsen – My Woman
“Shut Up Kiss Me”
Secretly Canadian


Oh Boland – Spilt Milk
“Doctoring”
Volar Records


Real Numbers – Wordless Wonder
“This Happy Sadness”
Slumberland Records


Nice As Fuck – Nice As Fuck
“Door”
JennyLewis.com


Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
“Decks Dark”
amoonshapedpool.com


Mozes And The Firstborn – Great Pile Of Nothing
“Till The Feeling’s Gone”
Burger Records


Cool Ghouls – Animal Races
“Time Capsule”
Empty Cellar Records


Morgan Delt – Phase Zero
“I Don’t Wanna See What’s Happening Outside”
Sub-Pop Records


Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial
“(Joe Gets Kicked Out of School for Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn’t a Problem)”
Matador Records


Gap Dream – This Is Gap Dream
“Modern Rhythms”
Burger Records


Mndsgn – Body Wash
“Cosmic Perspective”
Stones Throw Records

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Episode 85 – Top 22 Albums of 2015

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Episode 85 – Top 21 Albums of 2015 (Artwork - D.Hixon)

My top 22 Album’s of 2015 Album Art mixed as one. (Artwork – D.Hixon)

2015 will go down as the most challenging & rewarding year of my life. Intense is the adjective I’d use to describe a year in which*almost* too much happened. It started with the birth of my Son Dylan – the best thing that’ll ever happen to me. Becoming a Parent is easy, becoming one worth his salt takes some earnest work & humbles you at every early turn.

I lent my Vision Vibes to some great people at WEMF Radio – a perfectly eclectic Family, shout out to Nash, Crespo, Ryan SpaldingFar From Normal, and Andrew Lowery. I also navigated the waters of changing a long time job and career while buying my first Home. It felt like a lot.

All said, future eyes will gleam on 2015 with a favored smile – I’m a lucky man, and through it all, I had some killer music to push me over both the highs & lows. These 22 albums are what stood most out to me in this intensely fantastic year of 2015. Huzzah.

22Steeper – Glitch Root
“Okay: Dark”
Buy via BandCamp


21CFCF – Radiance & Submission
“Blanketed in Snow a Place Returned”
Buy via Bleep


20Man Called War – Naked Animals
“Cain”
Buy via BandCamp


19Wilco – Star Wars
“Magnetized”
Buy via Kung Fu


18Make Light – Demo
“Rodeo”
Buy via BandCamp


17

Joanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter
“Last Year”
Buy via Slumberland Records


16 Michael O. – Really?
“World Without Meaning”
Buy via Fruits and Flowers


15 Joey Bada$$ – B4.DA.$$
“Save The Children”
Buy via Pro Era


14Toro Y Moi – What For?
“The Flight”
Buy via Carpark


13The Mantles – All Odds End
“Police My Love”
Buy via Slumberland Records


12The Longwalls – Gold Standard
“Home”
Buy via Static Motor Records


11Howlo – Howlo
“Shadowlike”
Buy via City of Quality Records


10

Expert Alterations – Three Signs
“Three Signs”
Buy via BandCamp


9

Muler – Unlikely Soldiers
“Toothache”
Buy via City of Quality Records


8

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
“How Much a Dollar Cost”
Buy via Amazon


7

Mac DeMarco – Another One
“Just To Put Me Down?”
Buy via Captured Tracks


6

Fort Romeau – Insides
“New Wave”
Buy via Ghostly


5

Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
“Crosswords”
Buy via Domino USA


4

Big Nice – EP1
“Ta Dum”
Buy via BandCamp


3

Woolen Men – Temporary Monument
“Temporary Monument”
Buy via BandCamp


2

Kurt Vile – b’lieve i’m goin down…
“Lost My Head There”
Buy via Matador Records


1

Floating Points – Elaeina
“Silhouettes (I,II,III)”
Buy via LukaBop

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Episode 63 – Top 21 Albums of 2014

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Episode 59 – Top 21 Albums of 2013 (Artwork - D.Hixon)

Episode 59 – Top 21 Albums of 2013 (Collage – D.Hixon)

These are my 21 favorite albums of 2014. When I look back on a year that saw me truly start a Family of my own these song’s will echo in the hallways of my memory. Consider it a groovy growth notch written in No. 2 pencil on the back of a progression door. Happy New Year to you and yours – may the music continue to find you.

21Madlib – The Beats (Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton Soundtrack)
“Cue 3 /  Cue 4”
Buy via Stones Throw Records


20The Juan Maclean – In A Dream
“Running Back To You”
Buy via DFA Records


19Tiger High – Inside the Acid Coven
“Mania”
Buy via Volar Records


18The Real Kids – Shake … Outta Control
“Got It Made”
Buy via Ace of Hearts Records


17Cool Ghouls – A Swirling Fire Burning Through The Rye
“What A Dream I Had”
Buy via Empty Cellar Records


16

Mean Creek – Local Losers
“Hangover Mind”
Buy via Old Flame Records


15 Ariel Pink – Pom Pom
“One Summer Night”
Buy via 4AD


14 Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Wig Out at Jagbags
“Lariat”
Buy via Matador Records


13Guided By Voices – Cool Planet
“Bad Love Is Easy To Do”
Buy via Rockathon Records


12Kurt von Stetten – Animals
“Saved, Because Of This Tree”
Buy via Static Motor Recordings


11Flying Lotus – You’re Dead
“Moment of Hesitation”
Buy via Warp Records


10Cookies – Music For Touching
“Music For Touching”
Buy via Bandcamp


9

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata
“Robes (feat. Domo Genesis & Earl Sweatshirt)”
Buy via Stones Throw Records


8

Shintaro Sakamoto – Let’s Dance Raw
“Let’s Dance Raw”
Buy via Other Music Recording Co.


7

Cherry Glazerr – Haxel Princess
“Sweaty Faces”
Buy via Burger Records


6

Mac DeMarco – Salad Days
“Passing Out Pieces”
Buy via Captured Tracks


5

Terror Of The Deep – Death Of The Gideon
“Model Train Village”
Buy via Selection Records


4

Real Estate – Atlas
“How Might I Live”
Buy via Domino USA


3

The Men – Tomorrow’s Hits
“Pearly Gates”
Buy via Sacred Bones Records


2

Mozes And The Firstborn – Mozes And The Firstborn
“Skinny Girl”
Buy via Burger Records


1

Ty Segall – Manipulator
“Mister Main”
Buy via Drag City

 

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Episode 59 – Top 21 Albums of 2013

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Episode 59 - Top 21 Albums of 2013

Episode 59 – Top 21 Albums of 2013

2013’s a strong branch on a stormy day – steadfastly bracing as the howl creates turbulent soundtrack. These 21 albums were my favorite from a year with shifting winds.

21. Dog Bite – Velvet Changes (Song: Prettiest Pills)
20. Ra-Grim – Alchemy EP (Song: Twilight)
19. Across Tundras – Electric Relics (Song: Seasick Serenade)
18. GRMLN – Empire (Song: Teenage Rhythm)
17. Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap (Song: Acid Rain)
16. Deerhunter – Monomania (Song: Back To The Middle)
15. Quasimoto – Yessir Whatever (Song: Seasons Change)
14. Eat Skull – III (Song: Space Academy)
13. Yo La Tengo – Fade (Song: Paddle Forward)
12. Toro Y Moi – Anything In Return (Song: Say That)
11. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (Song: Giorgio by Moroder)
10. Captain Murphy – Duality (Song: Mighty Morphin Foreskin)
9. Glass Candy – After Dark 2 (Song: Warm In the Winter)
8. Chelsea Moving Light – Chelsea Moving Light (Song: Lip)
7. The Men – New Moon (Song: Electric)
6. The Woolen Men – The Woolen Men (Song: Magic Tricks)
5. Kurt Vile – Wakin On A Pretty Daze (Song Shame Chamber)
4. Psychic Ills – One Track Mind (Song: FBI)
3. Cool Ghouls – Cool Ghouls (Song: Natural Life)
2. The Mantles – Long Enough to Leave (Song: Reason’s Run)
1. Ducktails – The Flower Lane (Song: Letter of Intent)

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Episode 50 – The Best of 2012

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Episode 50 - Best of 2012 (Artwork - D. Hixon)

Episode 50 – Best of 2012 (Artwork – D. Hixon)

The Best Albums

The Best Albums

of 2012

of 2012

Perseverance. Reaching episode #50 means a lot. I rekindled Visions of the Unexcused five years ago as a form of therapy. Repeatedly immersing myself into these podcasts served as a needed distraction. The magic of music has been with me in both high and low times, and my pursuit of new sounds has always been unquenchable. That’s the beauty of being a music freak, there is no finish line, there is no winner. There’s just the music and you.

Episode #50 is a celebration of my favorite albums of 2012. Episode #51 will be a celebration of the first 50 podcasts.

My earnest and sincere thanks for reading and listening. Here’s to 50 more.

#12: Tennis – Young & Old (Song: Origins)
#11: Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits (Song: Would That Not Be Nice)
#10: Jack White – Blunderbuss (Song: Hypocritical Kiss)
#9: Tame Impala – Lonerism (Song: Feel Like We Only Go Backwards)
#8: Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory (Song: Our Plans)
#7: Porcelain Raft – Strange Weekend (Song: Drifting In And Out)
#6: Here We Go Magic – A Different Ship (Song: I Believe In Action)
#5: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Mature Themes (Song: Only In My Dreams)
#4: Fort Romeau – Kingdoms (Song: I Need U)
#3: Clark – Iradelphic (Song – Ghosted)
#2: Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes (Song: Getting There feat. Niki Randa)
#1: Japandroids – Celebration Rock (Song: Continuous Thunder)

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Top 21 Albums of 2011: Episode 42 – Year of Illumination

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Top 21 Albums of 2011: Episode 42 – Year of Illumination

Top 21 Albums of 2011: Episode 42 – Year of Illumination (Artwork – D. Hixon)

21. White Denim – “At the Farm” – D
20. Real Estate – “It’s Real” – Days
19. Porcelain Raft – “Tip of Your Tongue”  – Gone Blind – EP
18. Wise Blood – “Fantasize (Intro)” – These Wings
17. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “No One Is (As I Are Be)” – Mirror Traffic (LA Guns)
16. Neon Indian – “Suns Irrupt” – Era Extraña
15. Caveman – “Old Friend” – CoCo Beware
14. Radiohead – “Morning Mr Magpie” – The King Of Limbs
13. Wilco – “I Might” – The Whole Love
12. Atlas Sound – “Mona Lisa” – Parallax
11. Washed Out – “Echoes” – Within and Without
10. Bibio – “Light Seep” – Mind Bokeh
9. Yuck – “The Wall” – Yuck
8. The Cave Singers – “Falls” – No Witch
7. Beach Fossils – “What a Pleasure” – What a Pleasure – EP
6. Hard Mix – “Memories” – Defaults
5. Cut Copy – “Need You Now” – Zonoscope
4. Toro y Moi – “Good Hold” – Underneath the Pine
3. The War On Drugs – “Best Night” – Slave Ambient
2. WU LYF – “Summas Bliss” – Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
1. Kurt Vile – “Puppet To The Man”  – Smoke Ring For My Halo

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Episode 37 – Top 21 Albums of 2010

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Episode 37 - Top 21 Albums of 2010

Episode 37 – Top 21 Albums of 2010 (Artwork – D. Hixon)

This is always a fun mix to make, and like every year, it’s a difficult one to piece together. After much deliberation, the below 21 albums are what made the cut, and they represent the albums I enjoyed the most in 2010, and from what I’ve seen from other lists thus far, I think this one may have some legs. Regardless, lemme know what I missed, or what you agree with, or what you never heard of until now, and may this serve as a soundtrack to close out your holiday season, as we wish the best for a prosperous 2011. Thanks for listening – Salud.

#21 Pantha du Prince – Black Noise (Song: A Nomads Retreat)
#20 Holy Fuck – Latin (Song: Silva & Grimes)
#19 The Hold Steady – Heaven Is Whenever (Song: The Sweet Part of the City)
#18 The Soft Pack – The Soft Pack (Song: Pull Out)
#17 Sleigh Bells – Treats (Song: Riot Rhythm)
#16 Mystery Roar – Mystery Roar (Song: Mayhem)
#15 Let’s Wrestle – In the Court of the Wrestling Let’s (Song: Diana’s Hair)
#14 Spoon – Transference (Song: Out Go the Lights)
#13 Tame Impala – Innerspeaker (Song: Exception)
#12 The Radio Dept. – Clinging to a Scheme (Song: David)
#11 Phosphorescent – Here’s To Taking It Easy (Song: The Mermaid Parade)
#10 Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts (Song: Franklin)
#9  Surfer Blood – Astrocoast (Song: Floating Vibes)
#8  Woods – At Echo Lake (Song: Deep)
#7  Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo (Song: Five Little Sluts)
#6  Here We Go Magic – Pigeons (Song: Old World United)
#5  Harlem – Hippies (Song: Tila And I)
#4  Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today (Song: Bright Light Blue Skies)
#3  LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening (Song: One Touch)
#2  Kurt Vile – Square Shells EP (Song: Hey, Now I’m Movin’)
#1  Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest (Song: Helicopter)

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Episode 28 – Top 21 Albums of 2009

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Episode 28 - The Top 21 Albums of 2009 (Artwork - D. Hixon)

Episode 28 – The Top 21 Albums of 2009 (Artwork – D. Hixon)

Episode 28 presents us with the third annual Visions of the Unexcused “Best Of the Year” podcast. This podcast has traditionally been the most fun and challenging to make. Fun because it always ends up being one of the longest casts of the year, and challenging because:

A) There seemed to be so many great albums released in 2009
B) When making a “Best Of” mix the songs aren’t necessarily going to make as much sense transition-wise from the DJ standpoint.

These songs are supposed to represent the 21 albums I personally enjoyed the most over the past year. It’s a time capsule for me to look back on years down the road, and I hope it helps you remember some of what this sacred weird year of 2009 had to offer. As always, thanks for listening, and may this New Year be your happiest & healthiest to date.

21. The Doves – Compulsion (Kingdom of Rust – 2009)
20. DOOM – Cellz (Born Like This – 2009)
19. Dinosaur Jr. – Over It (Farm – 2009)
18. Spiral Stairs – Call The Ceasefire (The Real Deal – 2009)
17. The Soft Pack – On My Time (The Muslims – 2009)
16. DangerMouse & Sparklehorse – Pain ft. Iggy Pop (Dark Night of the Soul – 2009)
15. The Felice Brothers – Cooperstown (Yonder Is the Clock – 2009)
14. Y▲CHT – Summer Song (See Mystery Lights – 2009)
13. The Pains of Being Poor at Heart – A Teenager In Love (The Pains of Being Poor at Heart – 2009)
12. Neon Indian – Laughing Gas (Psychic Chasms – 2009)
11. Phoenix – Love Like a Sunset, Pt. I (Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix – 2009)
10. The Horrors – Sea Within A Sea (Primary Colours – 2009)
9. Grizzly Bear – While You Wait For the Others (Veckatimest – 2009)
8. The Flaming Lips – Watching the Planets (Embryonic – 2009)
7. Passion Pit – Moth’s Wings (Manners – 2009)
6. Girls – God Damned (Album – 2009)
5. Here We Go Magic – Fangela (Here We Go Magic – 2009)
4. Animal Collective – Summertime Clothes (Merriweather Post Pavilion – 2009)
3. Wilco – One Wing (Wilco the Album – 2009)
2. Sonic Youth – Leaky Lifeboat – for Gregory Corso (The Eternal – 2009)
1. The xx – Shelter (xx – 2009)

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