Bill’s Favorite Albums of 2015

When you dream up the perfect boss, what are some of their qualities? Good leadership skills, even better at communication, top-notch experience, and if you’re really lucky, someone you’d like to have a beer with, right? Well here at SideOneDummy, we’re seriously stoked because we have not just one boss with all of these traits and more but TWO! At the risk of sounding totally biased, our co-owners, Bill Armstrong and Joe Sib, are seriously some of the best leaders in the world and their music taste is no different.

Check out Bill’s favorite albums of 2015 below:

Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit
Dwight Yokum – Second Hand Heart
Dr Dre – Compton
Alabama Shakes – Sound And Color
Bob Dylan – Shadows In The Night
Willy & Merle – Django and Jimmy
Luke Bryan – Kill The Lights 

Dummy Days Of December: TIMESHARES

Day four of the Dummy Days Of December. From now until we close shop on the 18th, we’ll be highlighting a different 2015 release each day. We’ve got exclusive contests, sales, stories, photos and more lined up for the next two weeks. We kicked it all off Monday with Jeff Rosenstock’s We Cool?, danced around to Allison Weiss’ New Love on Tuesday, raved over Safe To Say’s Hiding Games yesterday and today we’re focusing on Timeshares Already Dead.

When a friend recommends a new band or music for you to check out, you might check it out. Most of the time, you file it away in your memory bank and maybe check the band out eventually. Now imagine if, like, four of your friends recommended a band for you to check out. You’d probably pay attention, right? Well that’s exactly what happened with Timeshares. Last fall, we heard from multiple people that we should be listening to this band, and that they had a new record completely recorded and ready to release. Everyone said it was great. Everyone hyped it up. We liked Bearable, and decided to check them out at Fest and give this new album a whirl.

Well… you know how this story ends. We fell totally in love with Already Dead, and even more so with the guys themselves. Their wildly energetic and rowdy set at Fest that year just sealed the deal. We put our hearts into spreading the word about Already Dead earlier this year, and it paid off. The band received love and praise from some pretty reputable places like Vice, Stereogum, SPIN, and more. Comparisons to The Replacements, Hot Water Music, and Lucero started popping up all over the place. Guess you could say those trusted friends who recommended we put the record out were right!

The dudes spend most of the year on the road, busting their asses booking their own tours and ripping the gigs every night. They did a full US run with Signals Midwest, nearly died in a mudslide, and played Fest again just one year after we all first met. It all points way to what we know will be a busy and incredibly successful 2016 for Mike, Jon, Eric and Jay.

Today only, pick up a digital download of Already Dead on our Bandcamp for only $5:

And don’t forget to enter our Facebook contest for a chance to win every LP we released in 2015!

George’s Favorite Albums of 2015

If you’ve walked into your favorite local record store over the last year and seen one of our releases front and center, you have our dude George Slater to thank. He oversees all of our retail sales and marketing, and is also quite the surfer! George has been a major part of revamping our website (along with our superhero web designer Brad), making sure you guys have access to all the super rad records we put out and outstanding blog posts like this one. He’s the newest member of our team, having started here just about one year ago now, and he’s consistently impressing us with his initiative and work ethic. Sometimes this dude actually sleeps here. Not even kidding!

George has his own unique taste in music. A favorite pastime of his involves driving us around in his car air drumming with Parkway Drive on full blast. Anyway, here are his picks for favorite albums released in 2015:

CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye 
Parkway Drive – IRE
H20 – Use Your Voice
The Story So Far – The Story So Far

Dummy Days Of December: SAFE TO SAY

This whole week has been about celebrating the records we were lucky enough to work on in 2015. We started with Jeff Rosenstock’s We Cool? on Monday, gushed over Allison Weiss’ New Love on Tuesday, and today we’re talking about Safe To Say’s outstanding EP Hiding Games.

Like most of the new bands we discover, we heard about Safe To Say through a friend. Their recommendation was glowing, but the EP is what really sold us all. We listened to these six songs over and over for at least a week straight, contemplating what to do. They were already in plans to release the EP in Canada so we either jumped on board for the US or let the opportunity pass us by. Well, have you heard these songs?! We had to make a move! Bands this young and talented don’t come around that often. We knew that if this EP proved anything, the next LP Safe To Say release would be a beast and we just had to have our logo on the back of it.

Since then, turning people onto Safe To Say has been a favorite hobby of ours. Spotify ate the band up, putting their gnarly track “Bracelets” on a handful of post-hardcore playlists, and friends at places like, Exclaim!, and The Punk Site shared their rave reviews of the EP, comparing the band to freaking At The Drive-In.

But that’s not all the band has to offer. Last week they released an alternate version of their song “Zoey” on their Tumblr. It’s a stripped-down, ballad version of the song that features vocalist Brad Garcia and a piano. That’s it. You gotta hear it:

At the risk of making the most obviously terrible joke we could possibly make, if Hiding Games is any indication, it’s safe to say these guys will have quite a busy 2016! With a new record on the horizon and plenty of touring now that they finally have their US visas, Safe To Say is a name you’re bound to here more of next year.

For today only, you can download Safe To Say’s Hiding Games EP for FREE on our Bandcamp:

Dummy Days Of December: ALLISON WEISS

It’s day two of the Dummy Days Of December. From now until we close shop on the 18th, we’ll be highlighting a different 2015 release each day. We’ve got exclusive contests, sales, stories, photos and more lined up for the next two weeks. We kicked it all off yesterday with Jeff Rosenstock’s We Cool?, and today we’re focusing on Allison Weiss’ New Love.

NOTE: The following was written by our director of publicity and promotion, Jamie Coletta, and it’s the story of the night she first discovered Allison Weiss.

A few years back, I went to one of my first shows at Chain Reaction.

I had recently moved to Los Angeles from Rhode Island, and some friends of mine were playing Chain one night. Having spent way too many years of my life working with mediocre major label rappers, I was a little out of touch with the opening acts that night. One of them was Allison Weiss.

I came in and out during her set, hanging with friends in the parking lot and chatting it up with complete strangers, as I often do. What I heard from the stage sounded cool but I just wasn’t paying much attention. I stopped to watch and all of a sudden, her entire band left the stage. It was just Allison alone up there with an acoustic guitar.

I forgot what it felt like, to feel so alive.

I stopped dead in my tracks. Her voice was magnetic.

I’m packing my suitcase, and changing my mind.

To say her voice and words were relatable would be an understatement. It’s like she knew exactly how I was feeling having just left my entire family behind in Rhode Island to chase this seemingly impossible dream in Los Angeles.

I forgot what it’s like to look the things you want right between the eyes.
It’s never been so hard to say goodbye.

And just like that, I was 100% forever sold on Allison Weiss.

The moment I saw Allison that night, I knew I wanted to have a hand in sharing her music with the masses, and now I do. That is something I will never take for granted. Earlier this year, Allison released one of my favorite records of 2015 called New Love – if I’ve been doing my job even remotely well, then I’m sure you’ve heard of it. And if not, well… shit! If you like anything along the lines of Robyn, Carly Rae Jepsen, Tegan & Sara, Taylor Swift, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, and more, then you’ll absolutely adore New Love.

Allison recently wrapped up her headlining tour in support of New Love, and played Tampa, FL on November 14. The night prior, hundreds of innocent lives were lost in a tragic attack at a music venue in Paris, France. Like everyone in the music community, I’m sure Allison didn’t feel like performing that night. The events in Paris hit a little too close to home for many of us, instilling a sense of fear somewhere we normally went to have fun, to let loose, a place where we felt safe. But as my friend and writer Jay Cridlin of the Tampa Bay Times, who attended Allison’s show that evening, so perfectly explained: “Pain and fear will always be there. And so will live music. It’s just as wonderful and cathartic an experience today as it was before Paris. It always will be.”

The rest of my SideOneDummy cohorts and I got a chance to experience that same feeling a few weeks ago when Allison closed up the tour with a headlining show at The Echo in Los Angeles. The end of the year weighed heavy on us as we had just spent nearly an entire month going to shows for our bands, from Timeshares first California shows to The Fest to the mania that was having Microwave/Restorations/PUP/Jeff Rosenstock/The Smith Street Band all in town in the same two week period. I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say I was a little burned out on going to shows.

But that night, Allison and her band reminded me what this is all about. She reminded me why I even try. Her performance was absolutely captivating and loaded with optimism. She was just as charming as she was that first night I saw her years ago, except ten times stronger and more confident as a performer. As if I needed yet another reason to believe in Allison Weiss.

Today only, pick up a digital download of New Love on Bandcamp for only $5:

And don’t forget to enter our Facebook contest for a chance to win every LP we released in 2015!

Thomas’ Favorite Albums of 2015

Just because someone doesn’t use social media as often as others does not mean they don’t exist. In fact, the person without a Twitter account may just be running the entire ship, as is the case with our general manager Thomas Dreux. What he lacks in social media accounts, he makes up for through constantly inspiring and leading our team every single day. Thomas is a major part of every single facet of the office. Whether it’s working on international timelines, scouting new bands, making sure we all get ~paid~ on time, making sure the BANDS get ~paid~ on time, and more, Thomas is the glue that keeps us all together and we’re lucky to call him our GM.

We did give him access to our Twitter once on Bastille Day aka the French National Day this past summer for #TommysTwitterTakeover (because he’s from France, you guys). It was epic. 

Thomas has a pretty diverse taste in music, ranging from upbeat pop-punk to spacey hardcore and everything in between. Check out his picks below:

Spraynard – Mable

Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit

Kurt Vile – b’lieve i’m goin down

The Front Bottoms – Back On Top

Metz – II

DMA’s – DMA’s

Royal Headache- High

Turnover – Peripheral Vision

Trevor Hall – Kala

Murder By Death – Big Dark Love

Christina’s Favorite Albums of 2015

You guys know Christina. We talk about her a lot, and that’s because she’s a big part of every physical piece of product that leaves our building, not to mention all those wacky merch items like the Jeff Rosenstock Robenstock, the Andrew Jackson Jihad Snugly, and more. She also powers our digital marketing so thank her if your favorite SideOneDummy releases are your go-to’s on Spotify and Apple Music, too. As you can probably imagine, Christina’s got a killer taste in music. We hear if you say the word “Tim Kasher” to her three times, she turns into a pumpkin or something.

Here are Christina’s favorite records of 2015. Tell her what you think on Twitter: @c_johns

Murder by Death – Big Dark Love

Best Coast – California Nights

The Mountain Goats – Beat the Champ

The Good Life – Everybody’s Coming Down

Foxing – Dealer

Laura Stevenson – Cocksure

Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear

Antarctigo Vespucci – Leavin’ La Vida Loca

Pet Symmetry – Pets Hounds

Turnover – Peripheral Vision

Spraynard – Mable

Beirut – No No No

Desaparecidos – Payola

Dummy Days Of December: JEFF ROSENSTOCK

Today marks day one of the Dummy Days Of December. From now until we close shop on the 18th, we’ll be highlighting a different 2015 release each day. We’ve got exclusive contests, sales, stories, photos and more lined up for the next two weeks, and we’re kicking it all off today with the first full-length we released this year– Jeff Rosenstock’s We Cool?.

A lot of people were surprised/impressed when we announced we’d be releasing Jeff’s first solo record since the demise of BTMI. Here’s Jeff Rosenstock – an icon in modern punk culture, the guy who gave his records away for free – signing with a relatively large record label. Bet he’ll be all over that Google dot com now!, countless DIY enthusiasts probably thought.

What most of you don’t know is that we’ve actually known Jeff Rosenstock for quite a while. Christina, our head of production, had been dealing with him for what probably felt like years. He actually did the layout for Andrew Jackson Jihad’s S1D debut, Christmas Island! The two got along swimmingly throughout that process so when the time came for Jeff to release We Cool?, it was their already established working relationship and eventual friendship that sealed the deal. So you all have Christina’s overall pleasantry and down-to-earth personality to thank for the gift that is We Cool?… sorta.

Working with Jeff Rosenstock is wild. He’s just bursting with creativity, so much that it can often be hard to keep up but we’ll be damned if it’s anything but inspiring. Honestly, it feels like working with a modern day Ian Mackaye. A true leader in our community, Jeff stands up for what he believes in but does so in a way that is welcoming and doesn’t seem aggressive or pompous. We could all learn a thing or two from Jeff and his wacky-but-totally-inspiring bandmates John, Kevin, Mike, and whoever else joins them every night.

Up until recently, Jeff and the band were always everyone’s best kept secret. Being into BTMI was like this massive secret club. It wasn’t until the release of We Cool? that we finally got to see the effects of Jeff’s ethos and music on a more widespread level. In typical Rosenstock fashion, we allowed Jeff to release We Cool? for donation through his donation-based record label Quote Unquote Records about ten days prior to its street date. A lot of industry peers turned their noses up at us, and questioned this decision. Providing music and art for free/donation has always been a part of Jeff’s musical career, and we weren’t about to be the big record label machine that stopped that. We wholeheartedly believe that music should be free or easily accessible to all who want to hear it.  We didn’t expect much to happen after letting him put the album up early, so imagine our collective surprise when we got our Soundscan report (the thing that tells you how many records were sold every week) the week following We Cool?’s proper release. Even though hundreds had downloaded the album for free nearly two weeks prior, We Cool? still managed to hit #7 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart, #43 on the Rock chart and #157 on the Top 200. Pretty cool.

To celebrate the release of We Cool?, we put together the All City! All Ages! release show extravaganza. On Sunday March 8, Jeff Rosenstock played five free shows – one in each borough of New York City. We sent Christina out to tag along and help with anything Jeff needed, and together, along with John on bass and Tim on drums, they carpe’d the freakin’ diem. They used public transportation the entire day to ensure that fans could make it to each show on time. They played in record stores, DIY venues, college coffee shops, and more. The entire day was filmed and documented by Sara Crow and the same team that made Never Get Tired: The Bomb The Music Industry! Story. The end result is this fantastic video for one of We Cool?’’s standout moments, “You, In Weird Cities.” Watch it here:

Since the release,  Jeff has done some serious touring, first with Andrew Jackson Jihad, The Smith Street Band and Chumped, then a summer co-headliner with Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room, Pet Symmetry, Spraynard and High Dive, and right freakin’ now with Modern Baseball, PUP, and Tiny Moving Parts. Keep up to date with his current tour dates on his personal music website:

Crazy to think that all of this has happened in less than a year. 2016 holds even more for Jeff, John, Kevin and Mike, and we can’t wait to tell ya all about it.

Today only, pick up a digital download of We Cool? on our Bandcamp for only $5:

Oh, and one more thing. We’re giving away every record we released this year… FOR FREE. Hit the Facebook for more info: