As some of you may know, in 1897 my great great great aunt Godzislawa, thrice removed, started the Srokasonic Awards as an excuse to go on a three and a half day bender and angrily rant about the invention of the Telharmonium. So in that spirit, I welcome you to the 117th annual Srokasonic Awards (or Sroky’s)!
The Sroky for best drum solo of 2013 goes to Gerald Cleaver, for “Cracking Hearts” on Craig Taborn trio – Chants. I don’t even know what that is, I think I heard some dried leaves crackling, some demolition happening in the next apartment, possibly somebody doing a slappy on a curb down the street, but all at once and coming from different directions. Damn. Listening to these guys play together is like trying to spy on a triple headed hydra through a prism.
The Sroky award for baby making music from outer space goes to James Blake – Overgrown. Stark, strange, sexy, a lot of soulful humming, I feel weird saying that. Really far out production, I keep coming back to this record, wondering how it’s even possible.
The Sroky for achievements in filial inspiration goes to Molly Drake. Wow.
The Sroky for music I’m most embarrassed to have enjoyed goes to Vampire Weekend. It’s just embarrassing to like a band with such a stupid name.
The Sroky for diaphenous, blissful melancholy goes to this Skuli Sverisson & Oscar Gudjonsson for The Box Tree.
The 2013 Sroky for lifetime achievement goes to the Flaming Lips. Had they tried to continue recreating their biggest hit (which was “She Don’t Use Jelly” from ’93 and was performed live at The Peach Pit on Beverly Hills 90210) they never would have lasted 25 years. Their 13th record, The Terror, is a disorienting and aggressive trip. I’ve been a fan for like ten years and I’m not even sure how I feel about it, but I’m glad they’re still out there, keeping it weird for the rest of us.
Very honorable unmentionable in this category go to Sigur Ros, who are still kicking after almost 20 years with Kveikur, and the Necks, who have been mining the same territory for almost 25 years with their latest, Open, and somehow it’s still startlingly original. These guys have The Shining, go figure.
The Sroky for totally unbiased admiration of friends go to Andrew Mckenna Lee and his project The Knells, Kaoru Watanabe’s beautiful album, Convergence, of traditional and modern Japanese music with Kenny Endo, and Toby Driver’s 7th Kayo Dot record, Hubardo . The reason I live in a shit hole like New York is because I get to be surrounded with artists of this caliber, and even be friends with them. I feel like I know them better for having this magic jangle my earbones. I can only imagine what a complex, interior journey it was to have brought these to fruition and I’m grateful.
The Sroky for being down to make music at any time or place go to Yuko Pepe and Shawn Baltazor. Big respect and inspiration, glad to know you both. I loved making this music with Yuko, and not to worry Ergo has something coming too.
…and of course the 2013 Sroky for best song in a skate video goes to Bob Seeger – Night Moves, for Cory kennedy’s part in Pretty Sweet (at 0:11:47). Plus, front half-cab to front feeble down a nine stair handrail… come on.