Top Tunes ’18: Wes Gilbert

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Wow! 2018 has come and gone, and it’s about time we reflect on our favorite sounds of the past year. Leading up through the end of the year, WOUB Culture will be spotlighting what various music-centric people throughout the region have been enjoying the most for the past 12 months.

Wes Gilbert performing with his band, Smizmar, at the 2018 Nelsonville Music Festival. (WOUB Public Media/Marie Swartz)

Wes Gilbert is a member of Smizmar and The Crooked Spines, as well as a music producer.

These are albums I couldn’t stop listening to in 2018, in no particular order. Not all are from this year, nor should they be.

Masana TemplesKikagaku Moyo

Kikagaku Moyo is a psychedelic band comin’ in hot from the mean* streets of Tokyo. They ebb; they flow; they trance; they goooooood. Masana Temples has been a staple in my listening diet for the past ~3 months, and it’s their most accomplished work to date. I give it 5 Gold Sitars.

*citation needed

Selected works: “Majupose”


Destroyer’s RubiesDestroyer

…12 years later, this album found its way to my aural canals, dislodging earwax along the way to my cochlear nuclei, cerebrum, parietal & temporal lobes. The man behind Destroyer, Dan Bejar, has been heralded as a songwriter’s songwriter^. He writes great songs, that’s all the matters. It matters to me, especially because I couldn’t escape the desire to listen to “Watercolours Into The Ocean” for the 131st time*. I give it five Gleaming Gemstones

^whatever that means
*insider humor

Selected Works: “Watercolours Into the Ocean”


Getz/GilbertoJoao Gilberto & Stan Getz

I’m a Stan for Stan & Joao. The bossa nova, it warms my heart in these cold winter months, and this collaboration between two titans of their respective crafts is extra spicy. I give it five Steaming Bowls of Feijoada.

Selected Works: “O Grande Amor”


Oxnard –  Anderson .Paak

Yo! Get with the program. Anderson .Paak is the antidote. Anderson .Paak is the cure^. Anderson .Paak is eternal. Dr. Dre and Pusha T make appearances, too, so like, yeah, get with the program, old man. I give it five 5X5s from In’n’Out.

^not like THE Cure, you know what I meant.

Selected Works: “Brother’s Keeper”


Happiness HoursThe Sidekicks

The Sidekicks are the best rock band in America. You can quote me on that. The fact that you’re reading this and not listening to Happiness Hours worries me, honestly. Stop what you’re doing and load this album into your subconscious. Sell your earthly possessions. Follow them on the road. Get a Sidekicks throat tat. It’ll all be worth it in the end. Five Strawberry Lemonades.

“If you deny The Sidekicks in front of your friends, I will deny you in front of my father.” – the bible or god or something

Selected Works: “Twin’s Twist”


CamoufleurGastr Del Sol

Do you like Wilco? Do you like Sonic Youth? You like Jim O’Rourke already! Did you know he has a friend named David Grubbs and they used to write transcendent, avant-[blank] songs with one another? Get Learnt. Gastr your Sol. Five Gleaming Suns.

Selected Works: “Blues Subtitled No Sense of Wonder”


The Party – Andy Shauf

Andy Shauf is the real deal Holyfield. The heavyweight champ of the Great White North*. One of the Original Kings of Comedy*. This is a perfect album. I repeat, this is a perfect album. I give it Five Pairs of Snowshoes.

*citation needed

Selected Works: “The Worst In You”


Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret HymnDo Make Say Think

Canada is better than us. Do Make Say Think is better than your band. Any questions?^

^Yes, actually. By what metric are you comparing the relative worth of Canada against the U.S. Seems like a pretty bold claim to make given America’s longstanding place atop the world standings in a number of statistical categories. What say ye to this?*

*I have two rebuttals:  1. & 2.

2. q.v “Selected Works”