Kimya Dawson

Thunder Thighs
(Great Crap Factory)

It doesn't get much buy-local-er than Kimya Dawson: She lives in Olympia, puts out her own albums, drives her own tour van, and puts her whole self into everything she does. Her new album, Thunder Thighs, continues in the same lo-fi, oversharing, hippietastic, totally genius vein you've come to love, with lyrics like "I feel like I'm unloading when I'm loading up the car/I feel like I'm exploding when I'm holding my guitar." Some tracks are a bit crowded and a little too lo-fi, but as she sang in "My Rollercoaster": "My mom would say, 'I hope someday/You get paid for being Kimya Dawson'/And now I do and it's not much/But it's enough." So help her keep going. ANNA MINARD


No Home

ggnzla (always lowercase, pronounced "gorgonzola") claims to be a label made of "strange pop music for delinquents who like drug soda, tapes, karaoke, vinyl, and low-budge videos. 'Done it ourself.'" If you're looking for killer original local music, produced in highly collectible small quantities—that have been carefully numbered and hand screen-printed in some dude's basement—then a ggnzla record or cassette is the perfect gift. Label head TV Coahran picks only the A+ best local indie punk acts from around our fair city. You could probably buy anything from the small ggnzla catalog and make someone real happy. I personally recommend the new Lindseys album, No Home. It's one of the more raw and punk-rocky releases, with sure-to-be-classic-someday songs like "Wasted," "Psycho," and "Fone Seks." KELLY O

Shabazz Palaces

Black Up
(Sub Pop)

Sub Pop signing Shabazz Palaces represents the ultimate symbol of Seattle music-biz health. By doing this, the venerable indie label shows it possesses the ample funds and keen aesthetics to take a risk on the most advanced local underground hiphop project ever. Both parties win, as do lovers of next-level rap.

Black Up abounds in obliquely luminous lyrics ("Clear some space out so we can space out") and equilibrium-sabotaging productions, with Shabazz members Palaceer Lazaro and Tendai Maraire, and studio wizard Erik Blood, seeding new strains of funk and psychedelia. Black Up is an Afro-eccentric manifesto that ought to be taught in schools. DAVE SEGAL

Hypatia Lake


With Ouroboros, Hypatia Lake fulfill the promise their previous three albums hinted at. The retina-dazzling cover featuring a naked goddess emitting some sort of energy beams from her hands recalls those of British space-rock innovators Hawkwind, and the music roars and soars in the vein of that group, too. Like Hawkwind, Hypatia Lake turn repetition into a virtue, building mantric excitement through brawny layers of distorted guitar and bass riffage whose cumulative power transports your mind to a better place... where nude deities shoot beneficent substances from their mitts. Ouroboros' 180-gram orange-swirl vinyl further enhances Hypatia Lake's psychedelic listening experience. DAVE SEGAL

Various Artists

Portable Shrines: Magic Sound Theatre Vol. 1
(Translinguistic Other)

The Portable Shrines collective has done more than anyone in Seattle to foster a thriving scene for psychedelic music and visuals. This double LP—artfully decorated gatefold sleeve, for maximum impact—contains many of the Northwest's highest achievements in sonic transcendence. Issued by Emily Pothast's Translinguistic Other label, Magic Sound Theatre Vol. 1 offers exclusive cuts by Kinski, AFCGT, Master Musicians of Bukkake, Diminished Men, Midday Veil, This Blinding Light, Night Beats, A Story of Rats, and others. The comp captures the psych/drone/mutant-world-music diaspora in its multifarious configurations, injecting a surplus of audio/visual beauty into your brain. DAVE SEGAL

Midday Veil

Eyes All Around
(Translinguistic Other)

There are good musical reasons to dig Eyes All Around. There are good art reasons, too: The CD case is original art by singer Emily Pothast and local artist Shaun Kardinal, pretty eyes and eyes and eyes of it, fanned out peacockishly beneath a blazing implied light source (divinity itself, no doubt). But the deepest, darkest reason to take in Eyes is that it springs from a unified theory about existence that encompasses history and politics and love/peace/joy and sex and humor and spreads right into your cells and emanates back out again when you hear it, like something that's just true. JEN GRAVES

Silver Jackson

It's Glimmering Now
(Home Skillet Records)

Sitka, Alaska, a town just south of Juneau, is the home of the indie label Home Skillet Records. And Home Skillet Records recently released a gem by Silver Jackson (the artist/singer/musician Nicholas Galanin). A mix of eerie blues, twisted folk, and experimental hiphop, Glimmering includes production from two bright stars in Seattle's hiphop galaxy, P Smoov (Fresh Espresso, Mad Rad) and OC Notes (Metal Chocolates), and vocal contributions from Reva DeVito (you can also find her on Dark Time Sunshine's Vessel, a record you should also buy during this spending season). A bonus: Glimmering does tap into a stream of Native American spirituality. CHARLES MUDEDE

Strong Killings

Strong Killings
(Don’t Stop Believin’)

Well, it took them fucking long enough, but with their self-titled debut, Strong Killings have created a product well worth the wait. Classics like "Annals of Animals," "Licked, Kicked," and "Tigerstyle" have been around the punk rock block once or twice, but they're still as amusing and energetic as the first time you heard them. Take note of the newer ones, too, like "Minimum Wage," in which frontman Nate Mooter sings repeatedly, "Yeah we're doing it our own way/For the love not the money/Shit yeah we didn't get paid/So if anyone has anything to say/Tell them that we did it on minimum wage." Now if that's not an anthem for 99 percenters, I don't know what is. Pro tip: Go for the vinyl version, which sports some rad art and cartoons by local artists; it's black-and-white marble, and you get a poster of some more of that groovy art, and of course a download code. GRANT BRISSEY


New Low

I usually clean my room before I review a record, just to clear my mind, but to review Consignment's New Low, I left the place its usual fucking disaster. Does any of this matter to you? Probably not, but it seemed appropriate while listening to and writing about this hazy, ramshackle guitar-pop gem. Consignment call to mind a more depressed Pavement or Silver Jews, and when frontguy Matt Nyce wails lines like "Every day/I'm tired/I want to get a job/But I can't get out of bed/I got stuff to do/But I can't use my head," it's sure to resonate with anyone who's ever been there. This record is the perfect gift for your depressed friend this holiday, because Consignment know how you feel, and it's always nice to have a companion. GRANT BRISSEY

The Pica Beats

Better in Color

The first album by the Pica Beats—local makers of gloomy, tuneful, vivid pop—had so much sitar on it that it seemed beamed in from the East. Their second album, Better in Color, self-released this year, has less sitar and more synth, giving the whole thing a distinctly winter vibe. Plus, there's just a lot of chilly imagery. The lyrics were clearly written by an overeducated person who thinks about dying too much—be still my beating heart—but Ryan Barrett, who wrote them, insists they're not about anything specific, with the exception of the song "Rialto," which he says is inspired by Cormac McCarthy's The Road. "I have an idea for a sort of postapocalyptic video I want to do this winter if I can scratch some funds together," he says. Good god, let's help him get there. This album and the first one are available at Everyday Music or Sonic Boom or CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE