One of our favorite indie labels, Merge Records, is having a holiday sale now. You get 20% off orders of $50 or more with code MERRYMERGE + there's a chance to win stuff and get free stuff with bigger orders too.

It would be pretty easy to spend $50 on Mountain Goats records alone, 2015's Beat the Champ included (not to mention great 2016 Merge releases by Lambchop, Teenage Fanclub, and Wye Oak along with the first two Magnetic Fields records available on vinyl for the first time).

Meanwhile, we continue to celebrate the end of the year by finding out what some of our favorite artists were listening to in 2016. Frank Turner, who recently covered the Mountain Goats, gave us a list. And Mountain Goat John Darnielle himself is up next with an unsurprisingly diverse list that includes KING and A Tribe Called Quest along with ambient/electronic music and metal bands like Moon Tooth, Mithras, Church of Misery and Defiled (the last 2 both from Japan). He also includes honorable mentions, recommended podcasts and more. Check it out below, and catch John on a tour to promote his latest book in 2017.

JOHN DARNIELLE, THE MOUNTAIN GOATS -- BEST OF 2016

top ten 2016, ranked:
Moon Tooth, Chromaparagon
James Ferraro, Human Story 3
King, We Are King
Defiled, Towards Inevitable Ruin
A Tribe Called Quest, We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service...
Robert Rich, What We Left Behind
Autechre, Elseq
Mithras, On Strange Loops
Robin Trower, Where Are You Going To
Church of Misery, And Then There Were None

bonus five, unranked, any of these could have made the top 10 on a given day:
Chris Forsyth, The Rarity of Experience
Matthewdavid's Mindflight, Trust the Guide and Glide
Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
Ulcerate, Shrines of Paralysis
Cough, Still They Pray

honorable mentions not to be missed:
Skuggja, A Piece for Mind and Mirror
Exmortus, Ride Forth
Cadaveric Fumes, Dimensions Obscure
SVLFVR, Shamanic Lunar Cult

podcasts:
Ultima Thule
Resident Advisor
Sword and Scale
Pseudopod
Welcome to Night Vale

daily listening absolutely as essential as everything on the above list:
LOCAL FUCKING RADIO thank you WXDU WXYC WNCU and WCPE for being there for me every single day

WFMU.org, vital every day of the week, special mention to DJ Micah's Music of Mind Control, the absolute best

Hearts of Space, a electronic & space-music radio show now available streaming (hos.com) & on a subscription model that gives access to decades of archives. I first heard it in the 80s & I'm subscriber: utterly essential, timeless, useful, healing, transporting music, a program richly deserving of support, dude was representing ambient music way before it got any shine from anybody