Band of the year

It’s been an astonishing 12 months of music, and no doubt you’ve read most of the highlights in the music press, butI found it really hard this year to choose a favorite album of 2014. I suppose the obvious choice is Mark Kozelek. Sun Kil Moon had a wild year, Benji is featured in all the end-of-year round ups (but usually beaten by, err, war on drugs) yet somehow, despite this public affection – at least of the music if not of Kozelek himself – it’s not my favorite. I prefer “Among the Leaves” and “Perils from the sea” both from 2013 which I think are the best things he’s done in years. I saw Kozelek play in Brighton earlier this year and the show was so enchanting it was easily the best concert of the year. But best album? No.

I am giving another kind of award this time. The best band of the year, and it goes to Kathleen Hanna and her band Julie Ruin. If you have not seen the incredible documentary “the punk singer”  (released this year in the UK) you’re missing a rare glimpse in the sheer awesomeness and determination of this American lady. feminism is still all important, but the Julie Ruin now have broadened that to fight for human dignity. She suffers from a major health problem, in fact had to cancel a big tour this year due to it, but her husband looks after and stands by her. She is married to Adam Horovitz and I don’t know, after Thurston Moore turned out to be such a phony, she and Ad-Rock are quite an inspiration for people like me who have been happily married since the early 00’s. 🙂

Here’s “one of my kind” which came out in March. Love songs still matter in 2014.

See you next year.

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Kathleen Hanna for president

I was reading in the Sunday newspaper about Hilary Clinton’s chances of running for US presidency in 2016, and as cool as that sounds, I’m more excited about the new Julie Ruin due out this autumn.

In a world where so many musicians who have interesting lives, inspired people, did crazy things, and just had that effortless cool streak running through them are now pushing 70 it’s good to celebrate the sheer radness of Kathleen Hanna. She of Bikini kill, she of Le tigre, and now Julie Ruin. The punk rock feminist married, yes married because whoever said feminists can’t get married surely deny romance and love, to Mike D of the beastie boys, and she’s still standing up for freedom and women’s rights. Her live shows are always full on fun, and the new album Run Fast will be out 3 September. The video is from the new album, and in my world this, and not daft punk, should be the dancefloor soundtrack of the summer! Oh yes, Kathleen Hanna for president.