Kiam Best of 2014

Posted on 12/31/2014

Jon Langmead – Choo Choo la Rouge, Jennifer O’Connor, Tim Foljahn, Amy Bezunartea (is there anything on this label Jon doesn’t play drums on?)

5 Things from 2014 I Enjoyed

The Essential Ellen Willis: The thing I bought this year that I'm most excited about having as part of my life for the next 50 years.


"Jodorowsky's Dune" and "Take Shelter": 20 year old me hates that I see so few movies nowadays,but these were two I managed to see that were the most fun and creepy and totally engaging.

Drumchannel.com: Don Lombardi has built a pretty great online destination for drummers, with a big focus on the science of drumming. If you have hours to burn, check out the crazy in-depth interview with Freddy Gruber and the roundtable with Jim Keltner, Neal Peart, and Doane Perry. 

Non-WWE-produced wrestling stuff: It may be nostalgia, but it's great to have so many pro wrestlers who survived the 70s, 80s, and 90s writing books and talking on podcasts. They're old at this point, but Brian Harrison's amazing "Heroes of World Class" and Harley Race's "King of the Ring" are the best I've found. There's a lot out there if you dig for a few minutes. Keep 'em coming boys!

Kiam Jams: I feel super, super lucky to have gotten to work on four records that are coming out on Kiam, all of which are amazing and all of which were made by musicians who care deeply about music and about bringing out the best in people around them.  It's going to be a very fun 2015.


Clint Asay – Clint Michigan

Favorite tracks of 2014!

1. Sun Kil Moon "Carissa"

2. Perfume Genius "Fool"

3. Spoon "They Want My Soul"

4. Kendrick Lamar "i"

5. Beyonce "Partition"

6.. Azealia Banks "Ice Princess"

7. Lykke Li "No Rest for the Wicked"

8. Mykki Blanco "Moshin in the Front"

8. Sia “Elastic Heart”

9. Sharon Van Etten "I Love You but I'm Lost"

10. Amen Dunes "I Know Myself"

Most emotionally helpful book read this year but not from this year.  "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield

Favorite New Record Shop:  KIAM RECORDSHOP!


James McNew - Dump

Favorite records not from 2014 in 2014

Pharoah Sanders, Thembi (Impulse)

The Residents, "My Window" (Ralph)

Matmos, The Civil War (Matador)

Drexciya, Neptune's Lair (Tresor)

Refrigerator, How You Continue Dreaming (Shrimper)

Euros Childs, Cheer Gone (Domino)

Lambchop, Mr. M (Merge)

Prince Paul, A Prince Among Thieves (Tommy Boy)

Eleventh Dream Day, Zeros and Ones (Thrill Jockey)

Resident Alien, It Takes A Nation of Suckas to Let Us In (Dewdooman)


Kendall Meade – Mascott

KJM's Best of 2014

This year, I traveled to California a lot. I worked in NYC a lot. Here's a list of places and things that made me happy on both coasts & in between. 

1. The Kiam Records Shop in NYACK. A ray of musical sunshine in the historic river town.  

2. San Francisco. Amy Bez turned me on to Tales of the City, and I like to pretend I'm Laura Linney when I'm walking through the Haight. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R9CbBUoViY

3. The Lake Shrine in LA. A meditation garden that's free to the city. So beautiful and peaceful.

4. Carmel-By-The-Sea. So charming, it's nuts. Take the scenic route via 17-mile drive to get there.

5. Mascott babies: Three beautiful babies were born into the Mascott family this year. Juniper Lord, Cecilia Keith and Theo Seely.  

6. The Detroit Institute of Arts. You may have read a lot about my hometown museum this year. It's truly a special place and worth a visit. [http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/08/arts/design/grand-bargain-saves-the-detroit-institute-of-arts.html?_r=0]

7. Ojai, Ca. A magical, musical enclave. Stay at the Ojai Rancho Inn, they've got free bikes you can take for a spin. Drive them to Bart's Books.

8. Ladies' Night: A Holiday Hootenanny. I put together a night of music that featured my favorite lady musicians. Good vibes all around.

9. Carbone's restaurant, NYC. Because rigatoni in spicy vodka sauce. [http://carbonenewyork.com/]

10. Santa Cruz. I liked the epic cliffs and the '70s hippie vibe.


 Elisha Wiesner - The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries

I let Ida make the list for me. Here are her top 11 things from 2014.  -E

mk         j nhjm   m






=-      9-------





****Elisha also sent me this really nice note about the record store we just opened and I’m including that too with his permission.  It kind of perfectly encapsulates the way I think record shops are important – have been to me anyway – and clearly to Elisha as well.  Pretty sure we’re not alone from the way the store is going so far.  So here you go:

Hey J,

I've been meaning to write back to you about this and am now just going to ramble for a while. Words can't really describe how happy I am that you opened a record store! We literally don't have one on the island anymore and it's terrible. I have nowhere to browse through used the used bins or new release aisle. Nowhere to discover something I hadn't heard of and nowhere to trade in a stack of LP's That I no longer want and walk away with a couple new records!  Growing up there were two shitty record stores here, both attached to video rental places. I loved looking through the rows of tapes and LP's. When I was about 12-13 I discovered a college radio station and my musical world opened up and neither of the stores had much I wanted anymore and really couldn't be bothered to order it for me. I remember the bummer of going through those same tape racks looking for anything that I wanted. One of those places closed and we got a dedicated record store with a real music lover owner. The store was ok and he was great and went out of business in a year. When I was 13 I moved in with my grandparents in Watertown Ma. for the fall/winter. Watertown is next to Cambridge and I would take the bus into Harvard square probably 3 days a week after school and just rifle through all the record stores. I started picking up that I could buy stuff in certain stores and sell it for a profit down the street and I would do this for hours, just so at the end of the afternoon, I would have money to buy some new music to listen to when I got home. When I moved back home to MV, I would often take the boat/buss up to Boston on a Saturday and spend the entire day hitting record stores in Cambridge and Boston, making the last bus/boat home to the island. When Michael opened Aboveground Records, it was small and it wasn't quite my thing but as it grew, I spent more and more time there and came to think of it as almost a second home. I worked there part time on and off for years. Mostly pricing the used vinyl and filling in when a real employee couldn't make it. I also just spent a ton of time there. Mike and I were roomates for years and I have literally hundreds if not thousands of hours of great memories in there and my life would be completely different if it had never existed. It was truly a life changer for me. Record stores in general were. It seemed like as a somewhat lonely, music obsessed kid, they were this weird, awesome safe haven where I could relate and where I was constantly learning things, even if only by reading the sleeves of old LP's. 

Anyhow, Long boring story over. If I were a better writer it might be more interesting but I just wanted to convey how much record stores have meant to me and how thrilled I am that you have one. I'll be out there as soon as I can to check it out. 


Tom Beaujour - Adopted Highways, Nuthouse Recording

Favorite grooming discovery: Benadryl gel is the best aftershave in the world.

Favorite consumerism discovery: In Vans and Nikes, I take an 11. In Red Wings, I take a 10.5

Favorite Movie: Calvary This is actually in my top 10 of all time now. Brutally funny.

Favorite New Condenser Microphone: Peluso P67. So good on acoustic and electric guitars.

Favorite New Dynamic Microphone: Telefunken M82. Best kick drum mic ever?

Favorite lunch: The sushi from the guy at the Shoprite in Hoboken. Ask Amy Bezunartea or Tim Foljahn. The dude has skills!

Favorite book: Brown Dog by Jim Harrison

Favorite “fuck the music business” moment: When I had to pay a lawyer $100 to collect $400 from a band’s globetrotting manager.

Favorite day: When my puggle Elvis finished his 20th and final radiation treatment and was given the all clear.

Favorite X-Mas Card: The one from Cheap Trick

Favorite thing a famous actress said to me: “You remind me of Joe Strummer”

Favorite album by a friend: Doug Gillard Parade On

Other favorite album by friends: Overlake Sighs

Favorite album by non-friend: Weezer Everything Will be Alright in the End

Favorite thing I learned:  Actually just today at a museum… that the ancient Mayans would often shoot hallucinogens that were too difficult to digest via oral consumption up their butts. Take that, Stevie Nicks!


Sara Brownell – Kiam Art Director

2014 Shenanigans by Sarracuda

Best meal: Desnuda in the East Village - amazing cerviche!  It never stopped.

New cookbook obsession: My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz


Epic binge: Spent 35+ hours on Mad Men (I was so late to that party)

Best used record purchase: Joe Walsh / So What!

Best song on said purchase: County Fair

Great random read pulled from my mother's dusty bookshelf: Galveston by Suzanne Morris

Best concert: ZZ Top with my brother and the party that ensued 

14 additional beer koozies added to my collection

5 visits to the ocean

1 new niece!


Amy Bezunartea

2014 Faves

Hanging out and recording with Tom Beaujour at The Nuthouse.

The beauty of Bridget Everett in Rock Bottom at Joe’s Pub.  And attending it with LIsa    Brayda, Clint Asay and J O’C and running into my old friend Gillian Chadsey there.  Great Night!

Kendrick Lamar, “i”

All you can eat clam cakes and chowder at the Lake Tavern after a last minute backyard  wedding.  

- “All day Mall day” One stop wedding shopping at The Palisades Mall complete with lunch at Chili’s.  

Grandma’s Jeannes funeral in Tucson AZ.  Because she would have loved it and it was great to see so much family.  

The “I LIft NY” Supercrane

Working at The Art Cafe and all the great people I’ve met there.  

“The Leftovers”

Opening a shop!  


Vinnie Scorziello - Choo Choo la Rouge

Here are 5 things that come to mind from 2014.

Eating.  I feel lucky to live in Providence, which has a robust culinary scene, and to be able to get out once in a while to enjoy it.  North, Chez Pascal's Wurst Window, Broadway Bistro, Nick's on Broadway, Kitchen, Faust, Flan, Sun and Moon...so many delicious options!  If you're ever in town, look me up and we'll go out.

Charcuterie.  My bro-in-law gave me the Ruhlman and Polcyn book Charcuterie, and it's fascinating.  I tried the duck breast prosciutto, which was ok, and the bresaola, which was delicious.  Next up, sausage making.  Look out.

Amaro.  I got a little deeper into these Italian digestivos.  Zucca and Cynar, with their balance of syrupy sweetness and bitter finish, and the high pine notes of Braulio are my current favs.

Brownout.  This funky latin horn band covers Sabbath songs.  I just heard about them yesterday, but I think I'll be listening to them a lot over the next few months:


Getting robbed.  Less is more.  That's what I'm telling myself anyway.


Tim Foljahn - Not being morbid but I think the best of the year was surviving it. It was a fucking obstacle course!!!! Hahahahaha!!!!


Chris Brokaw – The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries

Here's what I listened to most in 2014: Kevin Drumm, Jeff Witscher, Vertonen, Spykes, Regression, Noisem, the Rolling Stones, the Velvet Underground, Tuff Scout All Stars, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, Eyehategod, Corrections House, Rivulets, Keith Hudson. I paid a lot of money for this stuff, all in lp, CD, and cs form. Spotify still sucks.

Had amazing duo gigs and recordings with Hidden Tooth, Alexander Hacke, Insect Factory and Geoff Farina.

Great band gigs, from the Masonic Temple in SF with The New Year to a Bohemian cemetery in Chicago with Wrekmeister Harmonies, to the Hong Kong harbor at sunset with the Lemonheads. Amazing travels and great rock action.

And tons of fun and rewarding solo gigs. Thanks to all who booked em and came to em.

New solo double album THE PERISCOPE TWINS January 2015 on 12XU


Tons more craziness in the works. Thanks to the labels and stores like KIAM RECORDS that keep the fires burning. -- xx cb 12/29/14 Seattle WA


Jennifer O’Connor

2014 highlights

Getting Married to Amy Bezunartea.  I didn’t really think I would ever get married and it’s been better than I ever could have expected.

Getting a part-time job at Prohibition River in Nyack and also booking the music there, which led to meeting all sorts of nice people in town.

Licensing a song to Apple for an iPhone ad, which led to having the means to…

Open The Kiam Records Shop


Beginning work on my 6th LP with Tom Beaujour, Jon Langmead, & James McNew at Nuthouse Recording in Hoboken.

Not being seriously injured after hitting a deer on the way home from recording said record. Thank you to Jon for keeping me calm.

Other things that were good or great:

The books of Dr. John Sarno

Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, The More I Love You LP (this record came out last year, but it was my friend this year when I needed it.)


Kendrick Lamar: “i”

Tweedy – “Nobody Dies Anymore”

Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste

Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear

Spoon – They Want My Soul

Yoko Ono & Yo La Tengo at Union Pool

The Replacements at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium

Bridget Everett – Rock Bottom

Dump @ The Kiam Records Shop