Swade's Top 10 of 1998:

  1. Electric Frankenstein with Rik L Rik - Fractured
  2. CDEP Pissing Razors - Pissing Razors [ the hellacopters - payin' the dues ]
  3. Hellacopters - Paying the Dues
  4. Face Down - The Twisted Rule The Wicked
  5. Electric Frankenstein/The Hookers split
  6. Fear Factory - Obsolete
  7. Mono Men - Have A Nice Day Motherfucker
  8. Anti-Nowhere League - Scum
  9. Wern't - Wreckin' Temples
  10. Nihil - Drowned

As for the worst of 1998: whatever's on the Billboard Top Ten will do nicely.

Ten reasons why Mark is musically schizophrenic:

  1. Spyra - Sferics (FAX, Germany)
  2. DJ Krush/Toshinori Kondo - Ki-Oku (R & S Records, Belgium)
  3. Tori Amos - From the Choirgirl Hotel (Atlantic, USA) [ andrea parker - kiss my arp ]
  4. Burhan Ocal & Peter Namlook - Sultan-Osman (FAX, Germany)
  5. Miles Davis (remixed by Bill Laswell) - Panthalassa (Sony, USA)
  6. Mick Harris & Eraldo Bernocchi - Total Station (Sub Rosa, Belgium)
  7. Rob Zombie - Hellbilly Deluxe (Geffen, USA)
  8. Portishead - NYC Live (Go! Records, USA)
  9. Ivoux - Frozen (Cop International, USA)
  10. Cardigans - Gran Turismo (Mercury, USA)
  11. Ulf Soderberg - Tidvatten (self released, Sweden)
  12. Eleni Karaindrou - Ulysses' Gaze soundtrack (ECM, Germany)
  13. Curve - Come Clean (Universal, USA)
  14. M'lumbo - The Book of Night Burning in a Garden of Ice (Korn Plastics, Austria)

He doesn't count well either. Probably attributable to the trouble of picking just ten from the releases of 1998. That and wanting to include Nils Petter Molvaer's Khmer album (ECM, Germany) at the top of this year's list even though it came out last year.

Honorable Mentions: Mocean Worker Home Movies From The Brainforest (Conscience Records, USA). A fantastic drum 'n' bass inspired cinematic soundtrack. Andrea Parker's Kiss My ARP (Toy's Factory, Japan). Should be out on Mo Wax, but isn't. Should be in everyone's player, but isn't. Getting it from Japan three days before Christmas barely makes the cut, but it is stunning enough that it should.

Top reasons why Craig spent most of '98 hungover and happy:

  1. Pitchshifter. The album, www.pitchshifter.com - infectious snotty breakneck breakbeat digital punk; the show at the RKCNDY - after almost flying to San Francisco two years ago for a show that would never happen, this more than made up for it; and the interview - the chance to sit down and talk with JS Clayden, and time spent chilling with the rest of Pitchshifter over beers and good food on a sunny Sunday summer afternoon, was a dream come true. [ pitchshifter @ the rkcndy - seattle ]

  2. The End. Being asked by DJ Bill Reid, "You don't like us very much, do you?"

  3. Mike Watt at The Crocodile - 12 Nov. One of Watt's last shows in support of Contemplating The Engine Room. The band was afire. While Watt wrestled and worked out the demons on his boom stick, guitarist Nels Cline was a man possessed. His guitar pyrotechnics distorted, burned, and melted away any sense of reality - I didn't know you could do those things with kids' toys! There should be warning labels…

  4. Mark Lanegan at The Showbox - 19 Nov. Surrounding himself with a superb backing band that included Mike Johnson, Mark Olsen, and Ben Shepherd - Lanegan's quiet and brooding solo work filled the ballroom of the Showbox with color and presence; something neither Mike Johnson nor Pete Krebs was able to do with their earlier acoustic sets. Mesmerizing and captivating - for being sold out, it was one of the most intimate shows I'd been to in a long time.

  5. Bob Mould at The Showbox - 16 Oct. His last full electric outing. The band was tight, the mix was a little muddy, and the album he was supporting left something to be desired. But being able to hear cuts off his previous self-titled release (which he hadn't toured behind), and just the warm, glowing nostalgia of seeing him throw out wave after wave of distortion and feedback one last time, made it all worthwhile. The beauty and dynamics of "Anymore Time Between" live is something I'll not soon forget.

  6. Fugazi - End Hits (Dischord Records)

  7. Love and Rockets - Lift (Red Ant Records)

  8. Bauhaus at the Paramount - 14 Aug. Another nostalgia trip. I was worried I'd just be padding their retirement accounts. I was wrong. The show, coupled with fine new releases by both Murphy and Love and Rockets, disproved that immediately. It wasn't music - it was theater.

  9. Massive Attack - Mezzanine (Virgin Records)

  10. Therapy? - Semi-Detached (A&M Records). C'mon boys - it's tight punchy punk, not bright catchy pop! [ les thugs - nineteen something ]

  11. Les Thugs - Nineteen Something (Sub Pop). Not as politically fiery as As Happy As, still a good listen none-the-less.

  12. "Street Scene" San Diego. Hanging with my brother; drinking copious amounts of margaritas and martinis; watching Exene bop around the stage during X's set looking like a goth Raggedy Ann doll; the automatic pizza machine and the wacked vendor whose routine was straight from the Price Is Right; flashing devil signs and holding our drinks high while having our picture taken by and with every San Diego cop we stumbled across. I'm sure I lost a few years off my life somewhere along the way that night.

Wishlist for '99:

  1. Pitchshifter, Therapy?, and Les Thugs all to tour the States.
  2. New albums by Godflesh and Killing Joke.
  3. The new Ministry (Dark Side of the Spoon) not to sound like a cookie-cutter of Psalm 69 and A Mind… (as word has it it does).
  4. Bill Reid asking me again, "You still don't like us very much, do you?"
  5. Swing to implode in a flash of fire and brimstone.
  6. Not waking up with dwarves pounding away at my head with their terribly big hammers after spending yet another New Year's Eve in the fine company of Stevie Ramone and Jenn.
  7. Twelve wonderful, action-packed issues of Earpollution (shameless self-promo).

Steve's Top 10 of the '90s:

    [ killing joke ]
  1. Godflesh
  2. Pitch Shifter
  3. Skrew
  4. Gluecifer
  5. Turbo Negro
  6. Dead World
  7. Roskilde Festival (Denmark)
  8. Mountain Biking, Pizza
  9. Seeing live: Killing Joke, Bauhaus, Black Sabbath, Godflesh, PSI and many others
  10. Trading Music, Japanese Imports (looking for traders), 3" cd's and many new and old friends the world over.

Top Ten of 97/98:

  1. Pitch Shifter - www.pitchshifter.com (Geffen) [ fueled - in the house of the enemy ]
  2. Backyard Babies - Total 13 (MVG Records)
  3. Black Sabbath - Reunion (Epic)
  4. Gluecifer - Ridin' the Tiger (White Jazz)
  5. November 17 - Trust No One (Slipdisc)
  6. Oomph! - Unrein (Virgin)
  7. Unit:187 - Loaded (21st Circuity Records)
  8. Fueled - In the House of the Enemy (Energy Records)
  9. Sacrilege(UK) - Within the Prophecy/Behind the Realms of Madness(reissue)(Powerage)
  10. Joy Division - Heart and Soul (London Records)

Albums of 1998 that helped Hope get through the year without falling prey to the wiles of Puff Daddy…

The Year of Male Singer/Songwriter:

  1. Jeff Buckley - Sketches For My Sweetheart the Drunk (Sony)
  2. Elliot Smith - XOXO (Dream Works)
  3. Rufus Wainwright - Rufus Wainwright (Dream Works)

The Beats: [ massive attack - mezzanine ]

  1. Massive Attack - Mezzanine (Capitol)
  2. Tricky - Angels With Dirty Faces (Island/Polygram)
  3. DJ Spooky - Riddim Warfare (Outkast)
  4. Unkle - Psyence Fiction (Mo Wax/London)
  5. 4hero - Two Pages (Mercury)

Girl Power:

  1. PJ Harvey - Is This Desire? (Island/Polygram)
  2. Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Sony)

Rockin' In The Free World:

  1. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Acme (Matador)
  2. Snow Pony - The Slow-Motion World of Snow Pony (Radioactive)
  3. Billy Bragg & Wilco - Mermaid Avenue (Elektra/WEA)

Variety Is The Spice of Life (Compilations, other categories):

  1. Pink Martini - Sypathique (Heinz Records)
  2. Various Artists- Velvet Goldmine soundtrack (London)
  3. Various Artists - Rare on Air, Volume 4 (Mammoth Records)
[ john coltrane - a love supreme ]

The things that always help me get my groove back:

  1. John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (Impulse/MCA)
  2. Jeff Buckley's Grace (Sony 1994)
  3. Funkadelic's Maggot Brain (Westbound 1971)

Yes, we can gripe forever about Seattle being the God-forsaken place that it may seem but there are few things that I love about Seattle:

  1. KCMU FM/90.3- the real alternative music station here in Seattle. Morning DJ John is a plus.
  2. Caramel Machiatto w/soy milk - okay, so it's from the evil Starbucks; so the fuck what?! It's tasty.
  3. The Rain - it washes away the filth…call me Ms. Travis Bickle.
  4. Breakfast at the Crocodile
  5. VAIN in Belltown - great staff, will do anything you want to your hair. Artemis rules.
  6. People who should have made The Rocket List of Influential People or at least should have acquired the title of the hardest working folks in the community (wink, wink, you know who you are).
  7. Grassroots efforts from the non-scenesters who are trying to make our music community stronger.
  8. Earpollution (do brownie points get me anywhere?) - We rule!
  9. Pagliacci's Pesto Primo pizza
  10. Proximity to Vancouver, B.C.

Jeff's Top 10 of 1998:

  1. Sex
  2. Skinny Puppy
  3. Mountain Biking
  4. Ween
  5. Grizzly Bears
  6. Curry[ black sabbath - reunion ]
  7. Apple Computers
  8. Graphic Design
  9. Garlic
  10. Tofu
  11. Avocado

Band Top 10:

  1. Skinny Puppy
  2. Black Sabbath (Ozzy only)
  3. My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult
  4. Ice Cube
  5. Ween
  6. Rx
  7. Gridlock
  8. Frontline Assembly
  9. Haujobb
  10. Beastie Boys

Paul's Best of '98

Bah humbug. Top 10 lists unfairly leave out numbers 11 through 14, or pad the last two positions with entries that don't match up to the first eight. I'm not going to bother making it a nice round number of entries, and I don't want the numerical order here to imply any kind of ranking. What follows is just a listing of memorable concerts, artists, albums and whatnot that hop to mind.

  1. Boiled in Lead - Alloy and Alloy2. The 15-year retrospective of my favorite folk-world-mutation rockers. Not just a "greatest hits" repackage, only six of the nineteen tracks were lifted straight from previous albums. The rest are alternate mixes, live performances, previously unreleased tracks, and the compact disc debut of "Fück the Circus"--a twistedly entertaining b-side which may lead you to question Josef Kessler's mental stability. If you can afford it, drop the additional coin for Alloy2, a limited edition 2cd set of even more rarified archival and live performance madness.

  2. They Might Be Giants - A rocked-up version of "Why Does the Sun Shine?", a blazing glockenspiel solo, a seriously big-assed stick thumped on the stage, "Battle for the Planet of the Apes," and the biggest bunny hop line I've ever seen helped make this the most entertaining show I've ever seen at Bumbershoot. [ pitchshifter - www.pitchshifter.com ]

  3. Pitchshifter - www.pitchshifter.com. Pointed, angry sarcasm. Dense music focused to feel like a knife's edge rather than a sledgehammer. This became the album for me to play loud on those occasions when I wanted to convert free-floating anxieties to focused energy. And the opportunity to see them explode live, even though it was a short set opening for a mediocre headliner, was definitely happy aggression.

  4. King Crimson - ProjeKcts Live (ProjeKct Four) and on album (ProjeKct Two), the fractal pieces of "the Greater Crim" provide the opportunity to experience the products of some great musicians without having to wait for the proper alignment of the heavens which allows all six current members to get together. These guys improvise better than most people compose.

  5. Ani DiFranco - In an age when nobody seems to care that a mega-hit pop song's definition of "ironic" is flat out wrong, I had come to expect wordplay and phrase turning to be relegated to catch phrases and slogans. Then I was introduced to Ani's music. Enlisting her enriched word power in the service of good, not evil, she blends cynicism and poignancy with catchy song structures. Some long-time fans may not like her increasing visibility and popularity, but the world really could stand greater exposure to songwriting like this.

  6. The Arrogant Worms - Just three screwball Canadians singing and playing a guitar and occasional bass, making fun of hunters, Americans, insurance salesmen, vegetarians, chihuahuas and much more. It's difficult to find comedic songs which don't lose their appeal after three listens, but the Worms' well-crafted tunes actually grow better the more you listen. This is the year my appreciation of the Worms blossomed from a dubbed selection of tunes to purchasing all their albums and sneaking across the border to catch a too-rare live performance. If you can laugh at yourself as well as others, start with "Live Bait" and you just might get hooked, too.

  7. Local clubs - If I'd known there'd be a year-end quiz, I would have taken better notes. Instead, I went to many mid-week shows, paid my $5-10, and left much later with only an ink-stamped wrist, smoky clothes, tired feet... and sometimes even a smile. Unfortunately, the smoke seems to be the only souvenir which lingers. I promise to take better notes this coming year.

Cecil's best of '98

Top Ten Hip Hop Albums

  1. Rakim - The 18th Letter [ rakim - the 18th letter ]
  2. The Notorious B.I.G. - Life After Death
  3. 2Pac - R U Still Down [Remember Me]
  4. Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
  5. Gang Starr - Moment of Truth
  6. DMX - It's Dark and Hell is Hot
  7. Will Smith - Big Willie Style
  8. DJ Skribble - Traffics Jams
  9. LL Cool J - Phenomenon
  10. Puff Daddy & The Family - No Way Out

    [ed. note - we think (hope) cecil is joking about puff daddy, but we're not quite sure.]

Top Ten R&B Albums

  1. Janet Jackson - The Velvet Rope
  2. Mary J Blige - Share My World
  3. Maxwell - Embrya
  4. Brian McKnight - Anytime
  5. K-Ci & Jo-Jo - Love Always
  6. Christion - Ghetto Cyrano
  7. Next - Rated Next
  8. Usher - My Way
  9. Montell Jordan - Let's Ride
  10. New Power Generation - New Power Soul

Six reasons to read the Rev. Bruce R. Gordon:

  1. I'm one of the most opinionated motherfuckers you'd ever have the pleasure of agreeing with.

  2. My objectivity is sincere. If you don't believe me, refer to reason number one.

  3. I collect books, viz.: Music scores (from Verdi to Jean-Michel Jarre), British history, dicitionaries, atlases, Billboard list-type books (top 40 hits from '55-'95 or top albums, etc.), odd or weird children's books, French poetry (in French), German prose (in German).

  4. I collect CD's without too much regard to genre.

  5. I listen to music without much regard to genre. My favorite musical genres, though, are: Rock (esp. pre-MTV), Art Rock (esp. '70's British stuff... you know like Yes, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, early Genesis, and that Canadian band, Rush ), Classical (esp. early music, Handel & Bach, as well as Zappa, Ligeti and NanCarrow), Country/Western (except "pop" or "new" versions, closer to traditional), Opera (mostly Italian and French), Storytellin' or hard driven "Wimmin" music (like: [ einsturzende neubauten ] Stevie Nicks, K8 Bush, Cyndi Lauper, Ani diFranco, Yoko Ono, Joni Mitchell, Nico, Joan Armatrading, Toni Childs, Heart, Toyah, Emmilou Harris, Lesley Rankine, Ute Lemper, Elizabeth Fraser, Dolly Parton, Nona Hendryx, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rickie Lee Jones, Catie Curtis, Chaka Khan, Kim Richey, Ms. Etheridge, Grace Jones, Joanie Jett, Lisa Gerard, K.D. Lang, Labelle, Ofra Haza, Chrissie Hynde, Edith Piaf, Sade Adu, Laurie Anderson, Phoebe Snow, Ann Magnuson, Björk, Nina Hagen, Tanya Tucker, "Shinehead" O'Connor, Tasmin Archer, Aretha, Alison Krause, Flora Purim, Tina Weymouth, Annie Lennox, and yes - Madonna. The list goes on and on...), Industrial (esp. Pigface, Einsturzende Neubauten, Noisebox, Front 242, Skinny Puppy and it's present permutations), Bluegrass (esp Jerry Douglas,Tony Furtado, Mark O'Connor and their friends), Harder Rock (esp. King's X, Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, Metallica, et al.), Hillbilly music (esp. Hank Williams, Dwight Yoakum; Ranch Romance), Fusion jazz (esp. early Michal Urbaniak, Urszula Dudziak, early Jan Hammer, George Duke and Billy Cobham, Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine, Return to Forever, Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Clark, John McLaughlin, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Buddy Miles, Gonsalvo Rubalcava, David Sancious, Brand X, Herbie Hancock, Carla Bley, Stomu Yamashta, Anthony Braxton, etc.), the Insane Clown Posse, Real Jazz, as opposed to that lame excuse one hears on the radio that's called 'jazz' these days (remember: Mingus, Dizzy, Bix, the Divine Miss Sarah Vaughn, Dinah, Ella, Bird, Zawinul, Cecil Taylor, Oscar Peterson, Ellington, Art Tatum, Errol Garner, Billy Taylor, Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhart, Cab Calloway, Eartha Kitt, Pearl Bailey, Manhattan Transfer, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Billie, Lena, Joe Pass, et. al?), Solo and not very classifiable artists (such as: Boiled in Lead, Robert Fripp, Garmarna, Airto, They Might Be Giants, Tuck and Patti, Towa Tei, Phil Manzanera and 801, Allan Holdsworth, David Sylvian and Japan, Steve Hackett, Eno, Leo Kottke, Michael Nyman, Ry Cooder, Negativland, California Guitar Trio, the Residents, Tom Waits, Andy Prieboy, Dweezil Zappa, Adrian Belew, Mick Ronson and Ian Hunter, Mickey Hart, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tim Curry, Pop Will Eat Itself, Haruomi Hosono, John Foxx, Peter Hammill, Snakefinger, Bill Laswell, Jonathan Elias, Stump, Stan Ridgeway, Kraftwerk, Bryan Ferry, El Vez, Danny Elfman, the Flying Lizards, and the rest of my cd collection...)

  6. What...? you need more? I did say "six," huh? Howsabout: beacause I'm a musician, as well, - who's been on most sides of the music biz or scene - and have some important observations to relate? Or...look at the monkey, look at the cute little monkey...

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