Kelly Hogan Owns Year-End “Best Ofs”

At year's end, Hogan's "Pain" tops (album artwork by Kelly Hogan, photo by Neko Case)

At year’s end, Hogan’s “Pain” tops (album artwork by Kelly Hogan, photo by Neko Case)

It’s been a banner year for Kelly Hogan. After the June release of her latest full-length, I Like To Keep Myself In Pain (Anti), Hogan toured supporting the likes of Andrew Bird, Neko Case, Mavis Staples, and Magnetic Fields and did duty on a slew of headlining performances, too. NOW!!!!!… she’s gracing a bazillion year-end “Best of” lists, and naturally, we’re thrilled. We know the praise is well-deserved.

The Los Angeles Times ranked Pain an impressive #2 on their year-end list, and celebrated her talent commenting that “the star is always Hogan’s voice, a casual, inviting instrument.” Paste Magazine christened Hogan a “musical omnivore” and slotted her at #49 of their 50 best. And Hogan’s adopted hometown of Chicago brought Top 10 love for Pain with accolades from Sound Opinions’ Jim DeRogatis (#2) and Greg Kot (also of the Chicago Tribune, #5), RedEye (#6), and the Chicago Sun-Times (#9).

Tribute continued for Hogan’s country soul album with a no. 8/10 in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a no. 2/10 on the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, a no. 10/10 on The Midnight Wire, a no. 20/25 in Slant Magazine, a no. 25/25 on Pop Underground, and a no. 40/50 on AllMusic’s year-end list. WOWIE!

Hogan recorded I Like To Keep Myself In Pain at the famed East/West Studio in Los Angeles, where Frank Sinatra, among many others, laid beauty down. With a band of huge talent including R&B legends Booker T Jones, James Gadson (Bill Withers, Beck), Gabriel Roth (Dap-Kings), and Scott Ligon (of the newly resurrected NRBQ), she made her own versions of songs written specifically for her by musical luminaries including Vic Chesnutt, The Magnetic Fields, The Mekons’ Jon Langford, The Handsome Family, Freakwater’s Catherine Irwin, John Wesley Harding, Robbie Fulks, Gabriel Roth, Robyn Hitchcock, M. Ward and the aforementioned Andrew Bird.

As expected, Hogan’s gonna kick 2013 in the guts with more performances – in and around her new-ish homestead in Wisconsin, including two performances in one evening at the historic Green Mill (in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood) on February 1. First set starts at 9pm. Don’t be silly.