Flat Worms’ Will Ivy discusses his Top 10 things of 2020
L.A. trio Flat Worms released their second full-length, Antarctica, back in April via GOD?/Drag City. They made the album with Steve Albini and, no surprise, it's their toughest, punkest record yet. It was also rather well timed to the start of COVID lockdown. “Isolation is one of the main themes on this record, with the hope that by expressing this feeling of loneliness, we collectively feel less isolated,” said guitarist/vocalist Will Ivy when it was released. “As we all are required to stay in our homes and quarantine all over the world, we hope this record serves as a message of solidarity.” If you haven't checked it out, give it a spin below.
We've been asking artists for their Top 10s of the year and we hit up Will for his. He notes that the mostly show-free pandemic year we've had meant that most of his favorite albums from 2020 were actually from 2019, so he's offered up a pandemic-related "Insane in the Mundane" Top 10 that includes baking, relaxing, tiny horses, the sounds of nature and more. His commentary for each item is pretty great and you can read that below.
Willy Ivy's Insane In The Mundane Top 10 of 2020
Flying in an airplane
I took one flight early this year before the first wave really hit, not knowing it would be the last time for a long time. Before 2020, going to the airport and boarding an airplane was a much more common occurrence. This year it feels like a landmark event. I would even take back LAX traffic if it meant traveling again.
I made naan
There is no shortage of people trying their hand at baking these days. My big achievement was baking my own naan to serve with some homemade dahl. Something about watching dough rise really was a nice relief from all the swirling existential panic. My attempt at banana bread was not as successful.
My wife and I moved out of the city and into a cabin in the Santa Monica mountains this year. During the spring, there was water in the creek nearby and the frogs would all start chirping together at sunset. Best new music!
Tom Delonge/David Bowie/Freddie Mercury cakes on the 2020 season of Great British Baking Show
2020 did not turn out how most of us had expected. For these bakers, these cakes really did not turn out how they expected. The Tom Delonge cake looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger gasping for air at the end of Total Recall. Bowie’s head looked like a melting slug. Freddie looked like the Pringles man. Can’t say I loved the 2020 season overall but this moment was the hardest I have ever laughed at baked goods.
Getting a negative review on Pitchfork
Prior to this year, I had never had any project reviewed by or written about on Pitchfork, and that was fine with me. Maybe they need help finding some better freelancers?
Having a perfect excuse not to buy holiday gifts
Not that I am against celebrating holidays or buying thoughtful gifts for loved ones. Just saying.
Getting a hammock
My therapist told me it might be good to have a nice comforting place where I could swing, so I finally got a hammock after wanting one for years. If you have two trees that are close enough together go get a hammock straight away and thank me later. Being cradled like a baby is an excellent antidote to all the angry people yelling at each other!
I know I am not the only one spending more time outdoors hiking, gardening, and going to the beach this year, but I plan to keep it up. I learned how to chop wood with an axe and build a fire. I tried surfing but dislocated my finger the second time I went out, don’t ask me how. I’m fine now but my short-lived surfing career is already over.
I…may have started doing volunteer work with some mini therapy horses
These dog-sized mini horses go to VA hospitals and trauma centers and even do Zoom calls to make people feel good. I have pitched in to help groom and exercise them. We jump little tiny jumps. I brush their manes and tails. They do tricks like rearing up on demand and even play a keyboard with their snoots for treats. My main buddy is named Willow who is grey with a blonde mane. There are 9 of them. They run in a tiny stampede. They are beyond words so just go look at them on Instagram @minitherapyhorses
Realizing that all my favorite albums of 2020 came out in 2019
Seeing bands live while at home or on tour is my main mode of discovery for new music. With that missing from 2020, it was apparent how important shows are. I am out of the damn loop! One honorable mention goes to P22 for their record Human Snake. The record is great and the lyrics are excellent.