As you probably know, it’s year-end list season and here’s New Pornographers frontman AC Newman‘s Top 10 of 2023 via Merge Records’ blog. His list includes music (CIVIC, Geese, Haley Heynderickx, more) but also movies, books, poetry, TV series, and a love of “all things Godzilla.” Check out his list and commentary below.
New Pornographers released their ninth studio album, Continue as a Guest, back in March, and if you haven’t checked that out yet, listen below.
AC Newman (New Pornographers) – Top 10 of 2023
Geese – 3D Country
This is what I love about rock and roll music. They have it. Weird, exciting, pretty, noisy, soulful.
In an age of brilliant TV, this stuck out. The writing, performances, swinging between cringe comedy, family drama, action thriller and horror, almost a love story.
All their records. Melbourne band that feels like a throwback, in the best way, to the Aussie garage punk that I’ve always loved (Eastern Dark, New Christs, Lime Spiders et al) and also a cousin to bands like Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Rob Younger and Mikey Young worked on this, so you know that they know it. Just sounds Australian.
Just saw her live again. Her album’s from 2018 but I think it’s slow momentum is finally turning into a moment. There were young teens at her show. When that starts happening you are onto something. “The Bug Collector” is currently on repeat in my car. She played it with a capo on the 5th fret but what was the tuning? Makes it look effortless.
Macie and Sima should be huge. They toured with us this year and it was inspiring. Spencer Tweedy holding it down on drums. The love of music and performance, they ooze that vibe. You know them, they used to be Ohmme. Their next record is already on my best of 2024 list.
Mariana Enriquez – Our Share Of Night
An epic work of horror that also works as a story of life during the Dirty War in Argentina. When it gets into the lives of its characters, it’s not that far removed from Roberto Bolano, but then something uniquely horrific happens.
Kelly Link – White Cat, Black Dog
One of the best short story writers we have alive on this planet right now.
I read her first book ‘Bestiary’ and the writing floored me. The poetry of the prose, written by a woman in her early 20s, is off the charts. I think she released 2 more books this year. She will probably have a Pulitzer Prize by the time she’s 30.
‘Through The Flash’ by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
My favorite story from his 1st short story collection Friday Black and can’t wait to read Chain Gang All Stars. Ari Aster needs to make this one into a film.
All things Godzilla
My son is suddenly obsessed with all the history and lore, and that means I suddenly know the names of even the most obscure monsters, and the names of at least five companies that make the toys. Big thank you to Bandai Namco for releasing that new wave of figures that are not $80-$120 each. It kind of saved Christmas.