If you’re feeling good about your RPM Streak, there are two fabulous artists in town who will always have unbreakable records, if they keep at it: AM/FM Dreams and Patrick Canning (aka Sad Tax; SuperGod) haven’t missed a year since 2008 (Canning produced a record in 2008).
Their RPM records are always among the year’s best releases period, and they don’t play live, so, their yearly RPMs are basically all we get from them.
AM/FM Dreams write a striking variety of songs that appeal to anyone nostalgic for the mish mash of music that came out of the 90’s (everything from Beck to Riot Grrl stuff), because they take a lot of those sounds and situate them in modern music. And that’s a killer recipe for music.
Notably, their albums run the full gamut of tempo, genre, and experimentation. For example, last’s year’s fabulous AM/FM Dreams album had some roaring rock songs, embraced bluegrass, flirted with calypso’s swagger, borrowed pop hooks, bursted wide open with creativity on “Boomtown,” and closed with a quiet uke ballad for the aging musician. All in all, the band puts their versatile, unique spin on so many genres you can’t not like them.
Patrick Canning is RPM-famous, or Bandcamp-legendary. At patrickcanning.bandcamp.com you’ll find a whopping 16 albums, under various monikers, that sound like nothing you’ve heard a hundred times already.
Sad Tax albums stand out for their outright originality, for their impressive diversity from track to track, and for their strikingly mad brilliance. How he conceives, channels, and executes these sounds and songs is extremely impressive and marks him as one of St. John’s top 3 original songwriters. He’s also one of the city’s best illustrators, and no stranger to cover art for his and other bands in town.