THE RECORD EXCHANGE 2023 STAFF PICKS: JOHN O (HE/HIM)

Tis the season for year-end best-of lists, and The Record Exchange is pleased to bring you our 2023 Staff Picks!

Today’s 2023 Top 10 is from John O. Keep scrolling for JO’s words about his list (and some titles that didn’t make it).

SLEAFORD MODS
UK GRIM / MORE UK GRIM
HANNAH JADAGU
Aperture
SOFIA KOURTESIS
Madres
EMILY NENNI
Long Game
CIGARETTE SPEEDWAY
Speed 2
KAREN Y LOS REMEDIOS
Silencio
GEORGIA
Euphoric
YOUTH LAGOON
Heaven is a Junkyard
MARIA RAQUEL
Mucha Mujer
DIRT RUSSELL
Outside Dogs

EXPLAIN YOURSELF!

TOP 10 LISTS: I love them, AND HATE THEM! It’s like a moment frozen in time, and that time was one month ago, an eternity in this business. I completely forgot about the Karol G record that came into my view in October. It’s killer – a quirky guiso of reggaeton, trap and a wide array of other influences. I dig it. There were other Latin releases this year, and I’ve included a couple on the Top 10, and some that I dug that I’m still trying to track down on vinyl. My boys in Bike released an album shortly after I met them at Treefort ’23. What a great band. Hopefully they will get me some to sell. I will not be quiet about it when we do.

But… The Top 10 moment-in-time assertion I made above, yes and no. I did keep notes, and a lot of the stuff from my mid-year list made it onto the November snapshot, and some didn’t. It’s the nature of what we do here. It’s all forward motion – at least it’s how I do it, and always have done it. It’s why I’m in this business, after all. The thirst for expression, and truth. And honesty. Or, at least a good story.

I want to further explore regional Mexican bands, South American bands and music from obscure corners of the world. I love the BBC 6 show Culture Clash Radio with The Rebel Dread, Don Letts. Henry Rollins’ program on KCRW. Gerard Cosloy’s Mixcloud program. Brion’s program Strange Feeling on Radio Boise. Actually, everyone’s program on Radio Boise! What an amazing resource for our community. And the things my younger cohorts on staff clue me to. Essential.

So, here’s to all the conversations we’ve had in the store, across the counter, behind the counter, and out on the floor. My coworkers, our customers, my friends. You’ve all taught me so much. I like that we are all in this together, and ready to listen to what we like, not just what we are forced to listen to. The possibilities are endless, if daunting and diffuse. Open your ears.

My top 10 is about 500 artists long, and there is always room for more. And more. And more.

Enjoy.

John~O~

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