Tacocat: First, Last, and Favorite

First, Last, and Favorite is our column where we get to learn a little more about the artists we love via the music they love. We’re thrilled this edition to feature Tacocat!

Tacocat hardly needs an introduction around these parts; they are one of the finest bands we’ve got here in Seattle, one that has transcended their influences to become an influence. They have a new record, This Mess is a Place, out this week! In celebration we’ll be hosting an in-store performance this Thursday. We’re excited. What we’ve heard so far is great:

All four of the Tacocats (bassist Bree McKenna, vocalist Emily Nokes, drummer Lelah Maupin, and guitarist Eric Randall) got in on this one. Below they clue us in on their personal evolutions as listeners, from those first CDs and tapes back in the 90s on through their latest obsessions. Here are their picks in their own words:


Bree No Doubt Tragic Kingdom

This is probably a lot of people’s first records since it is all killer hits and has basically been on the radio nonstop since it came out. I got it from a sale bin at Barnes & Noble #punk 

Emily Ace of Base The Sign

What an album! Yow! The pure pop jolt was everything I wanted at the time—the emotional-yet-icy harmonies, the relentlessly catchy melodies—but there was also something kind of “adult” or mysterious about them. I would study their photos on the CD cover (the women on the front, the dudes on the back), and wonder if I would ever hang out with such cool, serious looking people when I was older. 

Lelah Alanis Morisette Jagged Little Pill

i received this album with two others: tlc crazy sexy cool and cheryl crow tuesday night music club. they were a part of my first cd collection which began in 1995 and was likely gifts for my birthday the summer going into middle school. all of my cd's were my prized possessions (honorable mention for this spot is weird al - bad hair day). jagged little pill however really spoke to me. you could scream along and pretend to know all of the adult things being referenced in "you oughta know" or experiment with your developing existential crisis mode while listening to "ironic" hits aside, i absolutely adored every single track on this album and would spend hours with my face buried in the cd booklet trying to piece together an image of the outside world. i think having alanis' perception was really good for me.

Eric Poison Look What The Cat Dragged In

This is the first album I can remember buying on my own with my own money. It was the early 90s and the cassette tape was about half the price of the cd, so i went that route. My step brother made fun of me relentlessly for the rest of the day because poison had definitely fallen from grace by this time (1994) but I stand by Poison to this day. Poison > Motley Crüe by a mile. 


Bree Flying Fish Cove At Moonset

This is one of my favorite new local bands and this entire record shreds. It has sweet jangly harmonies and ultra catchy bass lines that make me feel super fuzzy and happy. It sounds like 2019 version of that 90s band Heavenly except even better—it probably will restart an entire twee music revival.  

Emily Cate Le Bon Crab Day / Reward

I’m in the middle of a pretty intense Cate Le Bon tear right now. What an absolute treasure. I’ve always been a fan, but hadn’t really thought about her music much recently until I heard an advance of her upcoming album, Reward, that’s out at the end of May. It’s so good I had to go back through her whole discography, which has been really fun to show friends who haven’t heard her before. Crab Day is the current fave, along with the new one, but really all her albums and projects (like Drinks) are so strange and wonderful. 

Lelah Cardi B Invasion Of Privacy 

i chose this because i do believe it is truly the last album i spent a lot of time with cover to cover. i had a first favorite song on the album and then it changed (get up 10 to thru yr phone). and then i had a song i got sick of and then came back to, like you do when you listen to one album a lot. the first song on this album is "get up 10" which i immediately resonated with as a person who grew up with a relentless mountain of bullshit to overcome. so yes, knock me down nine times but I get up ten. thank you cardi! i also just love the shit out of her, she's refreshingly honest and real and so funny. and so is her music. god bless cardi b. she is an inspiration to me (and like millions but whatevs).

Eric Deadbeat Beat When I Talk To You

DBB is my current favorite band and has been since the first time I heard this record. It’s been out for a while, but I believe has only recently been issued on Vinyl. Every song rules. Please find and listen to it now and thank me later. 


Bree Os Mutantes Os Mutantes

It’s so hard to pick! But what always pops up as my very favorite is the self-titled Os Mutantes. It is start to finish a perfect pop record that I have never gotten sick of. I discovered it after I first heard "A Minha Menina" when I was like 19 and I have so many fond memories that I had with it through the years. Also it was my entrance into Tropicalia, which is so amazing to me because it can seem like such light-hearted and fun-sounding pop sound, but their music was actually starting a lot of shit politically.

Runners up: The Shaggs - Philosophy of the World and ESG - Come Away With ESG


Oh dang. This is such a difficult question! I can’t even imagine organizing a rating system where there would be just one winner at the top! I will say that some album’s that never fail me include: Paul and Linda McCartney - Ram, The Breeders - Last Splash, Buffalo Springfield - Buffalo Springfield Again, M.I.A. - Matangi, Lauren Hill - The Miseducation of Lauren Hill, Micachu and the Shapes - Jewellery, Fleetwood Mac - Tusk, and Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food

Lelah Magnetic Field 69 Love Songs

my all time favorite album is 69 love songs by the magnetic fields. there are a few reasons for this but the main reason is because its 69 god damn songs. choosing an all time favorite album for a person who is very passionate about music is kind of impossible so this one wins by way of sheer size. but also each of the 69 songs mean a lot to me. i feel like ive been on a journey with each one of them. it took me about a year to become familiar with this entire album and of course, it was was a very heartbroken year. this album was there for me every step of the way. it'll always hold a special place in my heart. top 3 jams: absolutely cuckoo, the book of love and queen of the savages 

Eric Hüsker Dü New Day Rising

I did not like this album the first time I heard it in my late teens. I don’t even remember when it clicked for me, but it’s been my favorite album for a long time. It’s the perfect blend of bizarre production/aggression/pop for my ears. I’ve never understood how anyone could prefer Zen Arcade to this masterpiece.