First up, a mushy emotional reflection on the last twelve months:
2017 has been a momentous year for the site. First and foremost, Bad Copy officially came kicking and screaming into existence on April 13th. We’ve had a great first year – sponsoring La Escalera Fest, Fest, Black Christmas, attending those and along with Beer Can’d Fest, Punk Rock Pig Roast, Fed Up Fest, Riot Fest, Pouzza Fest, and even covering a Michelle Branch show. The support that we’ve gotten so far has been astounding.
I want to deeply thank every person who submitted news, reached out about having their band covered, all the contributors who have covered shows and reviewed albums, the labels and PR people who made that coverage possible, and everyone who has read anything and everything that we have posted over the last nine months. We started a site with basic music coverage but desired to delve into more creative endeavors. Then came columns like Scene Around, Gloom Tunes, The New Adventures of The Offspring, the return Flavor of the Weak, and there’s so much more to come. This year, I was lucky enough to watch my friends succeed in music and in their professional lives, and sometimes that very special part where the two overlap.
Starting a site hasn’t been a cake walk. So I’d be amiss to not speak to and thank those that got me through the stress and panic. Tito’s Handmade Vodka – I’d be lost without you. You’ve been in my life for awhile now and people seem to be coming around to your greatness, like a band that I’ve been obsessed with for years who finally comes into the mainstream. Tortilla chips – there are weeks where you are literally my only source of sustenance. I love you. My mom – from late night phone calls to long venting conversations, she’s always there to listen, advise, offer assistance, and be more patient than any person ever. My mom rules! Last but not least, the man who literally made the site possible, my uber genius and super hilarious (unless it’s a joke about me) boyfriend, David. There’d be no Bad Copy without you. And before there was Bad Copy, there were the months where you schemed and built Bad Copy while I executed my best attempt at patience (Editor’s Note: little to none is still an attempt). Thank you for talking me off all the ledges and reminding me that I could do it each and every time that I thought that I couldn’t. *Morrissey hand*
Alright, enough of this sap crap. Onto the music!
10.) Turnspit – Desire Paths – Dodgeball Records
No, this album isn’t out yet and it won’t be released until early next year. That’s why it’s at #10. Otherwise, it would be much higher on the list. Just you wait! You’ll see!
9.) City Mouse – Get Right – It’s Alive Records
I, like all City Mouse fans, have been waiting seemingly forever for Miski and her crew to release a full length LP and they did not disappoint. City Mouse is, and always has been, one of the best and hardest working bands in the punk scene.
8.) Four Lights/Squarecrow – Okay Friends – Bomb Pop Records
This split is like the music gods said, “Yo, let’s take two songs from some dapper dudes from Seattle and two from some rad dudes from San Diego, mix it together, and top it off with art from SoCal’s (and now Chicago’s) sassiest cartoonist, Kevin Rettie. It’s good. It’s damn good. I wanna whip it, whip it good.
7.) Dollar Signs – Life is Ruff – Possum Heart Records
They call themselves “Student Loan Core.” They’re the most social socially awkward band I know. This release – and all before it – has lyrics that put words to all the injustices and social commentary that you’ve been too drunk or exhausted from your job to properly explain. The music is wild and fun. Luke Gunn lives in North Carolina again. All is right with the world and with this EP.
6.) Freya Wilcox & the Howl – Tooth & Nail – Self-Released
Since Freya came onto my radar in early 2016, I already wanted more. Vocally, Freya is the baddest bitch that we’ve got and she’s backed by CJ who slays the drums and Craig who miraculously and magically plays bass in between jumping, leaping, dancing, and all out thrashing around onstage. They’re one of the strongest underground three pieces I’ve seen in a long time and they’re kind humans to boot. What more could I ask for? Oh, I know. A fidget spinner or three.
5.) The Eradicator – Eradicator – Stonewalled
I thought I hated gimmick bands. But as it turns out, I merely hate gimmick bands that suck. The Eradicator, in fact, does not suck. Loud, aggressive, self-involved, and hilarious, The Eradicator takes the stage to shout about how tennis blows as he makes his way up the D-Squash Ladder. The full-length album is somehow able to do what most cannot, fully grasp and emulate the stage entity of The Eradicator. In a fated twist, this album has quickly become a staple on my workout playlist.
4.) Sincere Engineer – Rhombithian – Red Scare Industries
Remember when I mentioned somewhere up there that I got to see my friends succeed this year? Deanna has been all around Chicago busting her ass long before I personally knew her. She is humble, hilarious, truthfully blunt, and all of this comes out in her music. With a live backing band consisting of the guys from Dog & Wolf, her sound has become full and complete and unstoppable.
3.) Problem Daughter – Fits of Disorganized Boredom – La Escalera Records
I know, I know. The album itself came out in 2016 and this was merely a vinyl re-release. Who cares? This album and these guys are so amazing that they solidified themselves in the Top 3 despite all that. I listened to Fits of… so many times this year that my boyfriend actually begged me to turn it off once while we were in the car since I just kept letting it play over and over and over. The dueling vocals are spot on. The literary references tickle all my fancies. I cannot wait to listen to everything and anything this band releases next.
2.) Bad Cop / Bad Cop – Warriors – Fat Wreck Chords
I said my piece plus a whole bunch more about this album when I reviewed it earlier in the year. Bad Cop has long been a favorite of mine and Warriors simply blows 2015’s Not Sorry (which is also great) out of the water. This album has everything from feminist quips to lamentations of those passed to a demand for humanistic non-gendered equality. Plus it’s flawlessly mixed and mastered. I don’t think there was a week that went by in 2017 where I did not listen to this album at least once. And I assume the same will be said for 2018 and 2019 until whenever they release a new album.
1.) Kesha – Rainbow – Kemosabe, RCA
First thing’s first. She dropped the $ back in 2014 so don’t start that shit with me, internet. “Ehhh, I thought this was a punk website. I thought you liked good music,” you say. I hear you and you’re wrong if you think that Rainbow is just another glitter pop-fueled album. This album is chock-full of vastly important and impressive messages that any female, nay, any person should absorb. Through her writing, Kesha deals with coming back into her own after her terrible epic battle with Dr. Luke and his sexual assault.
At first, I thought that the strong kinship I feel to these songs stems from the fact that Kesha and I are the same age and seem to be on similar trajectories in life (she wrote the words to “Tik Tok” while I was living them). But, after going to see her three times this year, I heard fans of all ages talking about what songs like “Let ‘Em Talk,” “Spaceship,” and “Godzilla” mean to them.
What makes a good album is its timelessness. Lyrics that you understand at 21 are the same lyrics you relate to – albeit differently and possibly more maturely – at 31. But you love them all the same. That is why Rainbow is an amazing album. Well, that and the fact that I have taken a moment out of every day to have a solo dance party/singalong to “Woman” since the single was released on July 13th.
Happy 2018, ya’ll. I can’t wait to show you what we have in store!
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