The Turn Me On, Dead Man Best of 2014

It’s that time of year (well, maybe I’m a little behind) to put together a list of the best releases of the year gone by. Great garage/psych releases have continued apace, and plenty of great music was produced in 2014. The first list is full-length releases and the second is EPs & 7″ releases. As digital releases online have now become the norm, bands have experimented more with formats, both in terms of the variable length and the physical media bands choose to use. The cutoff I used for “full-length” release was roughly 20 minutes, which, I admit, is a fairly arbitrary choice. Even so, 2014 was notable for its wealth of short releases. Where my 2013 list had only 10 EPs & 7″ releases, this year I have 25.
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The Best Tracks of 2013

Following up on my previous post where listed the best LPs, EPs & 7″ releases of 2013, here is a Mixcloud compilation of my favorite tracks released in 2013. As I said last year, there is an ever-growing wave of excellent garage and psychedelic releases. I would go so far as to say we are living in a golden age. Bandcamp in particular has made it easy for bands to release their own material in a way that is relatively easy for fans to find. I just hope this run of great material continues. The tracks are roughly in order of preference with the obvious #1 being “Cannonball” by the People’s Temple. Just a great, great track.
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The Turn Me On, Dead Man Best of 2013

The past year was an interesting one for Turn Me On, Dead Man. The most notable events were the release of two Creative Commons compilations: Conspiracy A-Go-Go, a collection of tracks referencing the JFK assassination released as the 50th anniversary of that event was approaching, and Who Break a Butterfly upon a Wheel?: A Tribute to Pussy Riot. I also interviewed several bands, most by email, a few on the phone and in person. I hope to be able to continue along those lines in 2014.

I don’t listen to everything that comes out. When I made my Best of 2012 list last year I missed a couple of great releases–I would have picked Whatever Forever by The Migs as my favorite EP and Private Airplane by Connections would have been near the top of my LPs list. My apologies for missing those and I’ll probably make similar late discoveries in the coming year. Still, I listen to my share, and the Turn Me On, Dead Man Best of 2013 list is what it is: a list of my favorite LPs, EPs & 7″s that were released in 2013.
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The Best Tracks of 2012

As a companion to my previous post listing the best albums and EP/7″ releases that came out in 2012, I have put together a CD-length mix of some of the best tracks released last year. There seems to be an ever growing wave of excellent garage and psychedelic music being released and it was hard to make this collection of tracks come in under the 80-minute mark. Adding to this difficulty was my determination to close out this mix with the insanely great 23-minute track “Living in the Cosmic Nod (Improvisations)” by Earthless, who demonstrate superhuman psychedelic stamina. Other than the Earthless track (which defies ranking) the tracks are arranged roughly in order of preference, and I’d give the nod to Still Caves for “Dutch” as the Turn Me On, Dead Man track of the year.

Half-Remembered Dreams: The Best of 2012 by Dead Man on Mixcloud

1 “Still Caves”
by Dutch
2 “Raise Them Up”
by Brian Wilson Shock Treatment
3 “Mourning Light”
by The Flight Reaction
4 “Okay”
by Mmoss
5 “No Thanks”
by LE Yikes SURF CLUB
6 “(The) Forest Speaks”
by Peoples Temple
7 “Sun”
by The Dalai Lama Rama Fa Fa Fa
8 “Green Balloon”
by White Fence
9 “Moonlight Mile”
by The Babies
10 “The City Sighs”
by Zebra Hunt
11 “Sri Sai Flora”
by The Sufis
12 “Stop What You’re Doin'”
by Seven Long Years
13 “Snow Blind”
by The Technicolor Teeth
14 “Cali in a Cup”
by Woods
15 “Sejchas”
by Sonic Death
16 “Midnight in the Garden of Evil”
by Magic Shoppe
17 “Kids Don’t Live Enough”
by The Modulated Tones
18 “Living in the Cosmic Nod (Improvisations)”
by Earthless

The Turn Me On, Dead Man Best of 2012

It certainly was a good year for music. I guess that’s enough of an overview. Now on with the lists. First, the top 25 albums followed by the top 10 EPs and 7″ releases.

Top 25 Albums
1 Mmoss
Only Children
2 People’s Temple
More for the Masses
3 The Laurels
Plains
4 Brian Wilson Shock Treatment
Operation Sun Probe
5 The Babies
Our House on the Hill
6 Spider Fever
Spider Fever
7 Woods
Bend Beyond
8 The Modulated Tones
Turning On
9 Frozen Teens
Frozen Teens
10 Radar Eyes
Radar Eyes
11 The Cosmic Dead
The Exalted King
12 Ty Segall & White Fence
Hair
13 Audacity
Mellow Cruisers
14 Woollen Kits
Four Girls
15 Cheap Time
Wall Paper Music
16 White Fangs
White Fangs
17 The Future Primitives
This Here’s The Future Primitives
18 Broken Water
Tempest
19 Dead Luke
God Takes LSD
20 Bare Wires
Idle Dreams
21 The Snails
The Snails
22 Allah-Las
Allah-Las
23 Psychic Boots
Rosenwasser
24 Mary’s Kids
Say No!
25 OBN IIIs
OBN IIIs
Top 10 EPs and 7″ Releases
1 Sonic Death
Gothic Session
2 Uranium Comeback
Uranium Comeback
3 Flight Reaction
Mourning Light
4 Magic Shoppe
Triangulum Australe
5 LE Yikes SURF CLUB
LE Yikes SURF CLUB
6 Blooper
Go Away
7 Crystal Swells
HarshSideSludgeFreaks
8 ExPlanets
Debut EP
9 The Janitors
Head Honcho
10 The Shakedown Project
The Shakedown Project