Now THAT was a year of music! 2015 was an overwhelming explosion of great tunes, so much so that I had no idea what was going to be my #1 song of the year coming into the writing of the post (the horse I bet on came in 6th – I genuinely can’t even predict my own thoughts). I’m going to spend as little time as possible in the up-front here because I imagine anyone reading this has already scrolled down to the Spotify playlist below to get started. Continue reading Top 100 Songs of 2015
I don’t remember if it was NBC playing episodes over the summer or some TBS-like station syndicating them, but I distinctly remember Friends reruns being advertised as “if you haven’t seen them, they’re new to you!” way back in the land before DVR. And that’s the approach I have taken to music discovery this year. If I haven’t heard of them before, they’re new to me. So let me introduce to you, my 10 favorite artist discoveries of the year so far. Continue reading Favorite Artist Discoveries of 2015 – Happy Tunesday! Vol. 5 of 52
On a flight down to Austin, Massachusetts, this past Friday, I had the pleasure of having a screen in my face the entire flight, courtesy of JetBlue. Since I’m a degenerate, I had my TV on the whole time, even when I didn’t have my headphones in and it wasn’t a sports show on the screen (a sign of a true loser). At one point I looked up, and somehow I had some classic VH1 station on, showing an 80s music video that I just had to take another look at.
It was a pretty fascinating week in the life of yours truly (it wasn’t), filled with countless women (dudes), extravagant feasts (late night hot dogs), and wild adventure (started watching Bob’s Burgers). And what was the soundtrack to that week?! Who cares? We’re talking about something totally different in this week’s edition of Tunesday – the reprise. Continue reading The Musical Reprise – Happy Tunesday! Vol. 3 of 52
Assuming my body allows me (the road to recovery after a Sunday wedding can be a long one) and the show doesn’t sell out before I hit “publish,” I’ll be dragging what’s left of my body across town to check out Unknown Mortal Orchestra tonight. That probably means little or nothing to you (unless you want to come?), but what’s more interesting is how I came to know the band. It’s a lost art, but one that I assure you stands the test of time.
Alright, so I (not at all recently) came to a couple realizations. First, I completely took my foot off the pedal with writing. Not okay. That’s how my brain keeps progressing, and I’ve been wasting its time on worthless junk like podcasts and exercise. What a waste! My other enlightenment was that my music posts on this site have been by far the least interesting and least engaging for…people (hahaha, I almost said “fans”…almost). Here’s how we’re going to remedy that situation: a weekly music post!
This is the compromise I’m making – I need to write more, and the only way that’s going to start happening again is if I make a false promise to myself that tricks me into writing.
I’m going to write a music post every week for the entire next year.
There, that wasn’t so hard, was it? False promise made! I’m going to force myself to write something – anything– about music every week. We’ll see where that goes, and I’ll try to mix at least one newish track in every week, for those of you who are so freakin’ on top of new music that this would be worthless to you.
For as long as people have asked me what kind of music I listen to (let’s say 6 years) as a conversation starter, I’ve given the same response. “I like to try to find new artists a lot, but I’ll listen to anything…” <3 second pause> “…except country.” And then Sturgill Simpson crashed onto the scene last year and ruined years of work – and apparent lies – by me. Sturgill crosses the border. He’s rough around the edges, he sings about really weird stuff, his lyrics don’t sound like they were written in crayon on a paper towel by a 16-year-old girl (which is my opinion on country lyrics, and you all know it’s accurate). He’s an outlaw. I’m not saying he’s Johnny Cash, but…he’s kinda Johnny Cash? Give him a listen – this was one of my favorite albums last year, which you would know if I actually wrote my Top Ten albums post. Whoops!
You should all know the Alabama Shakes by now. They’re about an inch away from being the biggest band in America, and they’re making the Arcade Fire leap this year from indie sweetheart into annual festival headliner.
When they were last in town touring (for their first album), I sold my tickets (LIKE AN IDIOT), so I’m all kinds of excited to see them come around this fall, even though festivals are typically terrible places to see concerts. I’m not sure what I’m getting to with that, but anyway, the Shakes. Their new album is killer. It’s like they just jumped in a garage and started grooving until they hit their stride, then made all those strides into songs. There isn’t a ton of structure, but the energy doesn’t stop on this album, and it’s an early contender for Album of the Year (if the artist from Track 3 didn’t have something to say about it). Here’s one of many songs from that album that no vocalist on earth could replicate:
I saved the best for last here, which I find to be a great tactic when eating a meal and a terrible tactic for writing blog posts. It would take me at least 45 seconds to switch this into the Track 1 slot at this point though, and I already wrote this weird justification sentence you’re reading right now, so really it’s out of my hands.
Father John Misty is the weirdest dude. But I think he knows he’s the weirdest dude, which actually makes him not the weirdest dude because the weirdest dude would genuinely have no idea he’s the weirdest dude, as self-awareness does not lend itself to the weirdest. But he’s pretty weird. And an absolutely incredible musician. His last album – Fear Fun – was an instant classic for me. It’s something I listen to the whole way through at least every two months, and I don’t see that changing. Except…his new album (from 2015), I Love You, Honeybear, has surpassed the first. I’m not sure what more I can say to compliment the guy – he has two albums since 2012, and they’re probably both in my top 100 albums of all-time (consider I listen to probably 5-10 new albums every week, then that number seems a lot wilder). This isn’t the best song on the album, but I couldn’t pick, and you’re going to listen to it now anyway.
Alright, solid ending! Happy Tunesday, everybody!
Most of the time, when you’re making a fool of yourself on purpose, it’s just to make other people happy. Their happiness brings you happiness. You may be costing yourself immeasurably in the persona you’re left with, but it’s worth it. You made someone’s day better. And that’s the bright side. The dark side is what it does to your mind when you’re not making other people happy. The dark side is where you get lost in your own thoughts. The dark side is depression.
Believe it or not, I have a few friends. I wanted some different perspectives on the Super Bowl, since everyone on the Internet is going to be saying the same stuff. So I tapped into my resources, asked some people to write about one thing each, and we came out with this result. Let the weird begin. Continue reading Super Bowl Sunday: What Could Have Been
If you have read any of my music lists or recommendations over the years, you’ll know that my taste doesn’t exactly align with the general public. So when the Grammys come around every year, it’s only natural that I disagree with their nominations. But it’s not because of the music that I disagree, it’s because the Grammys are a fraud. Continue reading Best New-ish Artist: You’re Awful, Grammys
Who listens to albums any more? It’s a valid question, as full album listens have been on a steady (and sometimes drastic) decline ever since the “skip track” and “shuffle” buttons were introduced to stereos and Walkmen (probably – I have no evidence, but I’m pretty confident about that one). And now that I’ve told you that listening to albums isn’t cool any more, let me recommend some albums for you to listen to!