Emo/post-hardcore and alt-country veterans Chamberlain celebrated the 25th anniversary of their classic Fate's Got A Driver this year (and gave us a retrospective track-by-track breakdown for the occasion), and now guitarist Adam Rubenstein has made us a list of his favorite music of 2022, including albums and live shows. Read on for his picks, with commentary on each one...

Loney Dear - Atlantis
I’m very late to the Loney Dear party. Admittedly I didn’t know about this incredible Swedish artist, until Peter Gabriel posted something about him last year, comparing him to Brian Wilson. I don’t disagree. His music is equal parts film score and singer-songwriter balladry. I spent much of 2021 largely obsessed with his album A Lantern and a Bell. Although 2022’s Atlantis is a live album of studio performances, it stands on equal footing with his other traditional albums. I’ve never seen Loney Dear live, but one gets a sense of his incredible emotive abilities laid bare on this one.

Daniel Lanois - Player, Piano
I don’t think I’ve ever recorded an album without drawing something from Daniel Lanois for inspiration. This album is a peaceful collection of piano pieces — which is remarkably brave considering guitar and pedal steel seem to be Lanois’ prefered instruments. I find it inspiring that he’s always taking chances, especially with his solo work. And naturally the recordings are just gorgeous, with his pieces floating in a sea of contemplative ambience that only he can accomplish.

Elvis Costello & The Imposters - The Boy Named If (+ @ Pier 17)
Doesn’t break new ground for Elvis, but damn, the band is just ripping like it’s 1977 on this record. Drummer Pete Thomas is ferocious and pushing the tempo at age 68! I also saw the Pier 17 show this Summer (with Nick Lowe opening). I was skeptical if the band could replicate the album’s same energy live and I was proven very wrong. Just floored by the pace of this show, and in particular the new songs. Also an emotional moment seeing Elvis joined by Nick for a couple tunes, including of course the Lowe-penned “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding.”

Jawbox - Residency @ Le Poisson Rouge
My Grippe CD lived in my player throughout the early '90s, as did many things DC. I saw them at the Machine in Louisville, KY in ’93 and was awestruck. J. Robbins' ability to weave melody in and out of these massive dissonant chords was just so unique. And Kim Coletta’s powerful stage presence in a male-dominated punk scene was simply inspiring. All these years later, the early songs sounded even better and somehow more fully realized at the LPR show. I attended the first of these in June — focused on the Dischord years.

Eddie Vedder & The Earthlings / Glen Hansard @ Beacon Theater
This show felt cathartic in a lot of ways. Winter was winding down and it seemed like a post-covid door was slightly beginning to open. Also Eddie’s new songs are fantastic, and the freedom and joy radiating from this true supergroup was palpable. Glen Hansard (who opened, and I’d never seen live) is such a master of the solo performance. He varies his set with these moments of beautiful intimacy, and then at other times offers a raucous punk energy. Eddie and the Earthlings also had such a wonderful balance. The new material sounded vibrant, and for the many die-hards, they served up an eclectic group of covers and Pearl Jam classics (including a seldom heard “Dirty Frank”). Eddie’s ability to both move forward and celebrate the past was inspiring.

Don Bryant @ Hudson River Park
I’ve been working on a documentary project about the original Bar-Kays, and it has taken me down a Memphis rabbit hole of late. Don was a singer and writer for Hi-Records in Memphis, and at 80 years old, he’s one of the last great southern Soul men. His charisma, stage presence, and showman-like banter transported me straight back to the mid '60s — and Don’s voice is in superb shape. Also, big assist to band leader Scott Bomar, Hi-Rhythm keyboardist Archie Turner, and the rest of the great players in The Bo-Keys.

Through The Wire (Peter Gabriel Tribute)
This epic re-imagining of Peter Gabriel’s catalog is the brainchild of my overachieving friend and sometimes collaborator Jeremy Nesse (along with Deane Arnold). The comp features over 140 contributors including current and previous members of Gabriel’s band. So far it’s 7 volumes, all of them great, and there’s more to come next year. I was honored to contribute a version of “Secret World” to volume 3! Check out all of it on Bandcamp.

The Smile - A Light For Attracting Attention
This covid lockdown jam session turned album and international tour is pretty remarkable. Obviously it’s a small ensemble with just Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and Tom Skinner, and the recordings are pretty simple and dry. However, it still manages to sound darn lush on record—to which we probably owe production guru Nigel Godrich most of the credit. Thom is especially in top form and is hauntingly beautiful as ever—as only he can do.

Shiner @ Elsewhere
I admit I missed the boat on Shiner in their late 90s heyday. Chamberlain played a show with singer Allen Epely in Chicago last Fall, and embarrassingly that was my introduction to this awesome band. They’re this great cross-section of artful DC acts (like Shudder To Think) and the grit and noise of Chicago noise bands (like Shellac). Really enjoyed seeing em in Brooklyn. I hadn’t been to a loud, small, packed show in a while, and it re-awakened many of my youthful punk tendencies. It also felt like family with so many familiar faces there. Shiner fellas are all massively skilled, and played with a bombast that made the night truly memorable.

The Widow Cameron - The Widow Cameron
Cameron McGill (his real name) has been a midwestern friend I’ve known for some time, and it’s wonderful to see him back making music. I’m normally a “lyrics-second” guy, but Cameron, also an accomplished poet, makes it impossible not to be drawn in by his vivid lyrical portraits of his life experiences. He’s also a wonderful multi-instrumentalist and singer, and I’ve always been impressed with his ability to leave it all out on the field when he sings…often only armed with a solo guitar or piano. Check out the stripped tune “Control” to get a sense.

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