Thursday, December 29, 2022

Steve McLean’s favourite music of 2022

I continued to seek out and discover a lot of new recorded music this year and, while I don’t think it will ever excite me the way it did when I was younger and more things seemed fresh, I’m happy to do it. Hopefully I’ll continue to feel that way and previously unfamiliar music will still be able to give me an occasional thrill.

Below you’ll see my favourite 22 albums (from the hundreds I listened to) in order. I’ve also included: my favourite EPs; and my favourite compilations, live albums and reissues.

Live music by and large returned to normal after two years of COVID-19-related shutdowns and restrictions but, whether it was just me or the acts that came through Toronto, I didn’t return to my pre-pandemic level of concert attendance and many of the shows I did go to were by local artists and musician friends. We’ll see if that changes in 2023, but I’m hopeful that the last two shows I attend this year (Jon Langford and Sally Timms opening for The Sadies for two nights) will give me a boost and that momentum will carry on through the new year.

Thanks to everyone who continues to make music or is involved with bringing it to people either in recorded or live formats. Your efforts are much appreciated.

With that, here are the recordings and performances that did the most for me in 2022.

My favourite 10 albums

1. Televisionaries - Mad About You
2. Dropkick Murphys - This Machine Still Kills Fascists
3. The Len Price 3 - Ip Dip Do
4. Shanda & The Howlers - It Ain’t Easy
5. The Interrupters - In The Wild
6. Robert Gordon with Chris Spedding - Hellafied
7. The Roughhousers - Princess Mike
8. The Rumjacks - Brass For Gold
9. Swami John Reis - Ride the Wild Night
10. The Step Daughters - The Right Sound

The next 12 albums

11. Frank Turner - FTHC
12. Pkew Pkew Pkew - Open Bar
13. Headstones - Flight Risk
14. Seatbelt - Gasoline & Tacos
15. No Monster Club - Deadbeat Effervescent
16. The Weber Brothers - The Water Street Trilogy Pt. 1: Wild As The Wild Dogs
17. Young Guv - GUV III
18. Kyp Harness - Poverty Line
19. The Surfrajettes - Roller Rink
20. Night Shop - Forever Night
21. Sports Team - Gulp!
22. The Hoodoo Tones - Three Steps to Evil

My favourite EPs

1. Mean Jeans - Hits from the Bog (Unreleased Tracks)
2. JD McPherson - The Warm Covers EP, Vol. 2
3. The Rumjacks and Flatfoot 56 - Split EP
4. The Ergs! - Time and the Season
5. Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son - We Go On

My favourite compilations, live albums and reissues

1. Danny Laj and The Looks - Retro Spectacle
2. Various artists - Mark Malibu presents Surfin’ Kitty X-mas 3
3. Demolition 23 - Demolition 23
4. Franz Ferdinand - Hits To The Head
5. The Dollyrots - Down The Rabbit Hole
6. Kid Congo & the Near Death Experience - Live in St. Kilda
7. John Borra - John Borra
8. NRBQ - The Tour and Other Things: 2022 Tour Sampler

My favourite concerts (chronological order)

John Borra - Feb. 20, The Communist’s Daughter, Toronto
The Real McKenzies, Wine Lips - March 24, Lee’s Palace, Toronto
The Cactus Blossoms - March 25, Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto
The ARC Sound - March 26, The Artful Dodger, Toronto
Ron Hawkins and the Do Good Assassins, Jr. Gone Wild - April 14, The Dakota Tavern, Toronto
Belitsky, Dean and Robertson, Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans - April 15, Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto
The ARC Sound - April 23, The Artful Dodger, Toronto
The Mooks, Ichi-Bons, The Surfrajettes - April 28, Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto
Generator Party - April 28, Cameron House, Toronto
Frankie Foo and the YoYo Smugglers - April 29, Grossmans Tavern, Toronto
Dehd - May 28, Lee’s Palace, Toronto
Mark Malibu & The Wasagas, UIC - June 3, Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto
John Borra Band - June 4, Cameron House, Toronto
Superchunk - June 8, The Axis Club, Toronto
The Forgotten Rebels - June 18, Lee’s Palace, Toronto
Ferraro - June 19, Cameron House, Toronto
John Borra - July 23, Sauce, Toronto
The ARC Sound - July 23, The Dakota Tavern, Toronto
The ARC Sound, The Northern Pikes - Aug. 20, Lee’s Palace, Toronto
The Shook Boys, Televisionaries - Oct. 15, The Dakota Tavern, Toronto
Screamagers, Night Chill, Mark Malibu & The Wasagas - Oct. 27, Hard Luck Bar, Toronto
The Enchanters - Oct. 28, Handlebar, Toronto
Frankie Foo and the YoYo Smugglers - Oct. 28, Grossmans Tavern, Toronto
Teenage Head and guests - Nov. 5, FirstOntario Concert Hall, Hamilton
Danger!! Death Ray, The Blue Demons, Luau Or Die - Nov. 10, See-Scape, Toronto
Big D and The Kids Table, Mustard Plug, The Planet Smashers - Nov. 11, Lee’s Palace, Toronto
Bad Fortunes, Rover Boys Trio - Nov. 12, The Dakota Tavern, Toronto
The Fills - Nov. 27, Sauce, Toronto
Jon Langford and Sally Timms, The Sadies - Dec. 30, Horseshoe Tavern (anticipated)
Jon Langford and Sally Timms, The Sadies - Dec. 31, Horseshoe Tavern (anticipated)