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Viking's Choice: The Year In The Loud And The Weird

Members of Unconscious Collective getting ready for ritualistic jazz-rock battle.
Members of Unconscious Collective getting ready for ritualistic jazz-rock battle.

"I thought I'd kick you in the pants."

And so begins my fairly annual conversation with All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen about the year in metal and what I sometimes call "outer sound," a nebulous grouping of experimental music. You may may have seen — and perhaps been puzzled and/or delighted by — these types of music covered in my Viking's Choice column, and you can see more choice metal picks from 2014 right here.

In 2014, Scott Walker and Sunn O))) teamed up for a sublime record that could neither be called metal or whatever it is that Walker does, a Thai psych band discovered on YouTube made one of the most transcendent records of the year and three dudes in body paint channeled King Crimson by way of Black Flag. Oh, it also happened to be a helluva year for punk, as evidenced in my picks for NPR Music's favorite songs of 2014.

If you want more tips on drone cassettes, solo guitar LPs and rip-roaring metal albums, it's best to follow me on Twitter and Bandcamp or subscribe to my byline.

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