All posts by Adrian Spinelli

Music. Food. Sports. Chill.

The Top 60 Albums of 2019

Ranking the best albums of the year shouldn’t have to be about consensus. Heck, I’ve been making this yearly list for over 12 years and while I’ve sometimes fallen victim to the pitfalls of slotting and naming certain albums on the list because of the prevailing critical belief about their greatness, that approach is now effectively out the window.

What you’ll find in Everything Ecstatic’s Top 60 Albums of 2019 list, is a direct reflection of the best music I listened to and enjoyed the most this year; whether it’s by a mainstream artist, or someone you may have never heard of before. The latter, is what I think has made EE’s Albums list great for so long. ‘Cause at the end of the day, this site is about discovery and enthusiasm for said discoveries (of course). Stylistically, it’s always gonna be all over the map, from jazz to hip-hop to indie, electronic and beyond…from all over the globe.

Lastly, I’ll say this: I’m glad that I waited until 12/23 to release these picks, because the more days we have to listen to the insane amount of tunes that are getting released throughout the year, then the less likely it is to miss something you absolutely needed in your life (Jamila Woods’ incredible Legacy! Legacy! for example, would not have made its way onto the list, let alone into the Top 10 if this list was finalized in early December. )

So with that, here’s Everything Ecstatic’s Top 60 Albums of the Year, along with a Spotify playlist of them all at the bottom of the post. Follow @EcstaticBlog us on Twitter and like the EE Facebook page to get music shouts on the regular and to stay up on the EE live events series.

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Click the Albums of the Year tab at the top of the web page to re-visit more than a decade of EE year-end lists.

Stellar Spins (60-51)

60. Arthur Russell – Iowa Dream

59. Kedr Livanskiy – Your Need

58. Rosie Tucker – Never Not Never Not Never Not

57. Hand Habits – placeholder

56. Hot Chip – A Bathful of Ecstasy

55. Skepta – Ignorance Is Bliss

54. San Fermin – The Cormorant 1

53. Bedouine – Bird Songs of a Killjoy

52. Nate Mercereau – Joy Techniques

51. Jordan Rakei – Origin

The Top 50

50. Black Belt Eagle Scout – At The Party With My Brown Friends

49. Mndsgn – Snaxx

48. Billie Eilish – WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?

47. Kindness – Something Like A War

46. Salami Rose Joe Louis – Zdenka 2080


Continue reading The Top 60 Albums of 2019

ZOLA Album Release Show at Cafe Du Nord

Hyped to announce the first Everything Ecstatic Presents show of 2020! We’re partnering up with the good peeps at Noise Pop for ZOLA’s album release party at Cafe Du Nord on Thursday, January 23rd.

ZOLA is the musical project of SF native Zola Johnson (not to be confused with Zola Jesus.) She has an elegant and powerful voice that guides her gorgeous indie R&B/pop songwriting in both English and French. Her debut LP, Don’t Eat, is out Friday, January 24th on KIDinaKORNER Records.

Joining the bill are fierce Bay Area stalwart rocker Emily Afton and SanduNdu, the solo project of EE faves Bells Atlas.

Get to know ZOLA on my Noise Pop Podcast Sound of the Bay LIVE episode and peep her gorgeous Twin Peaks Session atop the San Francisco fog bank below.

Tickets for the show are available here. Holler!

Top photo by Rianna Garrido

VISION: Meernaa + Brijean + Waterstrider at Amnesia (Photos)

On Thursday, December 5th, we hosted three of our favorite Bay Area indie bands in an intimate evening at Amnesia. Better yet, it was a phone-free affair courtesy of our friends at Yondr and everyone felt well…present.

The music was beautiful and our pal Ginger Fierstein was there with her Holga camera to capture some of the show and crowd. I’ve always loved Ginger’s photography because she uniquely captures the magic of a moment. Peep the photos below, some words from Ginger and follow Everything Ecstatic on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on what’s next!

“I try to anticipate feeling and emotional moments when I’m shooting. I only have 12 shots on a roll, so I have to be careful not to waste them. The goal is to make each frame a worthwhile memory for whoever’s in the frame. I think I do a lot of double exposures to extend the life of the roll, but to also try and capture something a little less literal than a straight photograph could.” — (All photos by Ginger Fierstein)

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Analog Time Machine: Die Hard at the Roxie Theater

We’re presenting the second “Cult Classic Party” in the Analog Time Machine series with the best Christmas film of them all: Die Hard! Our first ATM party was back in May for the 40th Anniversary of the Warriors and now, we’re super hyped to present THE cult classic holiday movie!

Thursday, December 12th at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco, it’ll be a Die Hard screening + themed beers from Local Brewing Co (Yippie-Ki-Yay IPA and Hans Gruber Lager!) and a pre-show DJ set called “Elevator Music” by Chad Salty!

Tickets can be purchased here and the music gets started at 8:30, with the film at 9:15. Welcome to the party pals!

Made it to the bottom of the post? Lucky you! Now enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to Die Hard + a limited edition print + a hat from Local Brewing!

A Digital Detox w/ Salami Rose Joe Louis, Foxtails Brigade & MPHD

On Thursday, August 1st, Everything Ecstatic is putting on another show and this time, we’ve teamed up with Yondr to make it phone free! That’s right folks…dude who puts his phone up the second the music starts and records the whole first song? Gone. Homegirl who scrolls through Instagram instead of watching the bands. See ya!

If you’ve gone to a Dave Chappelle or Jack White show recently, you’ve probs seen what Yondr does. They make these little sleeves to pop your phone into at a show so you can’t pull it out ’til it’s over. I know, I know…this is what it’s come to, to ween us away from our phones at live events, but damnit if we don’t need it sometimes. They’re also based out of the Mission and I’m stoked to collab with them on this show…And what I love about booking this showcase, is that it illustrates how it’s not just major acts that benefit from a phone-free experience, it’s local and emerging artists as well (and it’s also just $5 at the door at Amnesia on Valencia St; full details at this link)

With that, here’s a bit about the all-Bay Area lineup!

Salami Rose Joe Louis

Recently signed to Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder records, Salami Rose Joe Louis is the project of producer/multi-instrumentalist Lindsay Olsen. Her music is a trip into outer space for people who are standing on their own two feet. Dig it.

Foxtails Brigade

A total fucking staple in the Bay Area scene, Foxtails Brigade are a baroque-pop group helmed by singer Laura Weinbach. Collectively, they’ve been putting down one of the strongest live performances in the Bay for a minute.

MPHD

A tech-house producer at his core, MPHD is a shape-shifting DJ who’s a staple in SF. We premiered his Repetition EP last year and it’s a short, but steady slap.

Montréal’s Impeccable Street Art

I took a walking tour on the morning of my first full day in Montréal this summer and the guide, Anne-Marie, clearly had a thing for street art. When I realized she was wearing a T-shirt from an art gallery she took us too, it all made sense why admiring murals and graffiti art in Le Plateau Mont-Royal was just as much a part of our tour as walking inside of Old Town’s Notre-Dame Basilica or navigating through Montréal’s underground walkway network.

With that, here’s a spread of some of the stand-out works that can be seen branching out and around from Saint-Laurent Blvd in the Plateau (with artist IG’s linked in the caption so you can go down your own street art rabbit holes.) Also, it should be noted that many of these went up as part of the yearly Montréal Mural Festival.

And shout out Spade & Palacio for a refreshing look at the city. Peace.

@pichiavo – Spain
@roneglishart – US
@dface_official – UK
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Hiero After Dark: Images & Words From The Best Hip Hop Party of the Year

All photos by Ché Holts.

This was a long time coming. Sure, the Hiero Day festival graces Oakland every Labor Day weekend, but Saturday night’s Hiero After Dark party at The Midway in SF represented a far more ambitious event for the Hieroglyphics crew. It was so crucial for the culture and nothing short of a triumph.

We can’t deny the influence that Hiero has on Bay Area hip hop culture. Their legacy is timeless. But building on that legacy by propping up other artists in the Bay and mainstream nightlife culture, is what Hiero After Dark did best. The Midway was an apt massive space for the 2,000+ goers and felt like a hip hop funhouse.

“Tonight was about connecting the new era…” Hieroglyphics’ Pep Love told us. “…connecting the artists with the new wave doing business: venues, promoters, people who curate events… Community and culture is what packs the house and that’s what Hiero does best.”

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Planet Dust: A 90’s Electronic Dance Party In SF!

Everything Ecstatic is crazy excited to partner with Subsonic and Popscene on a new 90’s electronic dance party coming to Amnesia on Saturday, June 8th!

DJ’s Aaron Axelsen (Subsonic) and Spinelli (Everything Ecstatic) will be dropping classic 90’s electronic bombs from acts like Björk, The Chemical Brothers, Air, Roni Size, Everything But The Girl and more!

You can snag pre-sale tickets for $8 and RSVP on Facebook here. One lucky pre-sale ticket purchase will win a very special CD (remember those?) Come party with us. Holler!

5 Days In Seattle In 5 Songs

I took a jaunt up to Washington for the first time in damn near a decade last week. And despite multiple trips to Seattle in the past, I’d never seen a proper concert in the city before. This is no longer the case, and a couple of these five tracks that marked my trip related back to those live music experiences. Here they are, along with two new discoveries and one absolute classic that tell the story of a memorable trip to the PNW.

Nicola Cruz – “Criançada” (feat. Castello Branco)

We arrived on a Wednesday and made our way that evening to the tightly-packed yet still comfortable Nectar Lounge in Seattle’s Fremont District. Nicola is one of the few producers I’ll make a point to not miss when he comes through for a DJ set and I was happy to make up for the SF set I’d be missing with this Seattle tour stop. “Criançada,” with it’s Brazilian rhythms and vocals by Castello Branco, is a total standout on the incredible cultural journey that is Siku. Nobody infuses indigenous South American music into electronic production quite like the French/Ecuadorian Cruz and more than anything, this is type of music I want to have playing at a club when I’m catching up with friends, drinking and dancing the night away.

Continue reading 5 Days In Seattle In 5 Songs

Analog Time Machine: The Warriors (40th Anniversary) at The Roxie

Well this is exciting… Everything Ecstatic is presenting a movie at the Mission District’s iconic Roxie Theater! And not just a plain old movie, but a full-blown “cult classic party” celebrating the 40th Anniversary of The Warriors, with an immersive evening of film, music and beer. We like to call this little endeavor, Analog Time Machine. 

Here’s the gist: Analog Time Machine is a film, a DJ set to start the evening featuring music from and inspired by the film and themed beers from our friends at Local Brewing Co.

The Show: Thursday, May 23rd at the Roxie Theater on 16th St & Valencia. Music at 845, film at 930. Sharp. Tickets are $15 here.

The Film: Walter Hill’s 1979 cult classic, The Warriors tracks a New York subway gang on a mythic 30-mile journey from the north end of the Bronx to their home turf in Coney Island. Their only obstacle is every street gang in all the five boroughs.

The Music: A 45-minute DJ set by our boy DJ Nutzeffekt, with music from and inspired by the film. Think Joe Walsh’s iconic “In The City” and old school soul-sample-addled Wu-Tang cuts.

The Beer: SOMA’s Local Brewing Company will have fresh cans of their Chasing Haze IPA (a double hazy IPA loaded with Citra hops and a touch of Mosaic and Hollertau Blanc hops too) and Honey Punches of Oats Pale Ale (A Spring seasonal pale made with honey from the beehives on the Fairmont Hotel’s rooftop hives…seriously)

RSVP to the event on Facebook, scoop your tickets and see y’all in the Mission on May 23rd! Caaaaan yoouuuu diiigg ittt!!!!!