Pylon, Boris, Prix, Sunny Day Real Estate, Egyptian Lover: Collections, reissues and rarities released in 2016

Pylon

The anniversary re-release of some album is becoming a bloated category but many reissues are well deserved or essentially necessary.

We’ll do a full review of reissues and collections at the end of the year but here’s a sampling of interesting archival releases through the first eight months of 2016.

Hands down, the unearthed live performance of Pylon is the best blast from the past I’ve heard. Athens, Georgia produced some extraordinary bands in the late ’70s and early ’80s, B-52s and R.E.M. among the most famous. The arty and fascinating Pylon was (somewhere) voted most likely to succeed. That didn’t happen, but do yourself a favor and check out Pylon Live.

Another great discovery this year: The Prix Historix released on Chicago’s mighty Hozac Records. Prix featured members of the last incarnation of power pop legends Big Star. Alex Chilton and Chris Bell contributed to this Prix release, which was recorded in the same Memphis studio, Ardent, as Big Star. The album was originally released in Japan in the mid-70s.

The Japanese metal band Boris wasn’t on everyone’s radar in 2005 and 2006 but its album, Pink, was pretty great. Boris’ album is released for a 10th anniversary special.

Likewise, Sunny Day Real Estate, a band tagged “emo” after their early ’90s debut, reissued How It Feels To Be Something On. I’ve always hated that term and felt it grouped decent bands (like Jawbreaker and Sunny Day Real Estate) with absolute shit acts. This third album by Sunny Day Real Estate, however, is well worth a listen.

Egyptian Lover’s 1983-1988 has to be one of the most fun discoveries I’ve made this year (in terms of archival recordings). Greg Broussard was an L.A. DJ in the early ’80s who recorded singles as Egyptian Lover.

Some bands and record companies celebrate 10-year anniversaries. Heartworn Highways is a 40-year-old documentary that explores the rootsy, outlaw country music trend. The reissued soundtrack features a lot of great folks, including Townes Van Zandt, Rodney Crowell, Guy Clark, Steve Earle and more.

The Best Albums of 2016

Bleached

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s well past midyear when most of these lists appear, but it’s also still too early for the fall releases. So here’s the definitive list of the best albums of the year (so far).

And this is the best list you’re going to see. Dig into each one of these albums. You will be rewarded.

The picks are listed alphabetically by band.

Big Thief – Masterpiece

Bleached – Welcome the Worms

GØGGS- Self titled

Omni – Deluxe

Parquet Courts – Human Performance

Psychic Heat – Sunshower

Savages – Adore Life

Ty Segall – Emotional Mugger

Whitney – Light Upon the Lake

Woods – Sun City Eater in the River of Light