Monday, December 10, 2018

44. Now, Now

44. Now, Now - Saved

Now, Now is a band formed in Minnesota and based in Minneapolis. The band is composed of two high school marching band friends, Cacie Dalager and
Bradley Hale. After almost splitting up, they have radically changed their sound from brooding guitar ballads to jangly pop. Talent is talent and Cacie's vocal abilities and their combined musical prowess make this a must listen.



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Sunday, December 9, 2018

45. Kurt Vile

45. Kurt Vile - Bottle It In

I mean, really, how could Kurt Vile's new badass album not make it into the Top 50. If you were lucky, you got to see him on tour this last week right here in OKC. You may remember his last album hitting the Top 50 back in 2015 in roughly the same place here. Not to sleight him, his music is definitely his own and this album remained on repeat more often than not. In particular, you will find two roughly 10 minute songs that make this album with 'Bassackwards' and the title track.



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46. Eddie Berman

46. Eddie Berman - Surrounded By The Sound: Ten Covers By Eddie Berman

Eddie Berman is a brilliant guitar and piano player from South Los Angeles. I discovered him as a result of him and Laura Marling working together. This particular album sees him covering the likes of Radiohead, Paul Simon, Kurt Vile, Manu Chao, The Kinks and more. Normally I wouldn't include a covers record in this particular lineup, but his versions of these songs is so perfectly done, that you simply must listen. If you haven't listened to Eddie Berman before now, check out the album he came out with last year, Before The Bridge.



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Friday, December 7, 2018

47. Snail Mail

47. Snail Mail - Lush

Lindsey Gordon literally just graduated high school in Baltimore earlier this year. She is the singer/songwriter/creator of Snail Mail. Her debut album got picked up by Matador and her introspective pop leaves you wondering how someone so young can have such depth and insight into the human condition. Look for big things in the future from this girl.



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Thursday, December 6, 2018

48. Cat Power

48. Cat Power - Wanderer

Wanderer is Chan Marshall's tenth album and her first one in six years. If you will recall, her previous album, Sun, garnered her a #6 spot in 2012, here. (Wow, I've been doing this awhile). This probably would've got a higher ranking, but it came out in October and I haven't got to spend as much time with it. However, what I have heard is her usual melancholy, yet powerful girl and a guitar sound that sends you right to your core.



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49. Fantastic Negrito

49. Fantastic Negrito - Please Don't Be Dead

Fantastic Negrito aka Xavier Dphrepaulezz, if you remember, won NPR's Tiny Desk Contest in 2015. He had played in various bands he led throughout the years, but also spent a large portion of his life as a club owner, gun runner, coke dealer and petty thief. A car accident left him badly mangled and he had given up music forever, until his son was born. He submitted his contest video at the behest of friends, tapping into a core Blues tradition from his youth.



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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

50. Sure Sure

50. Sure Sure - Sure Sure

We kick this cavalcade of music off with Los Angeles based band, Sure Sure. They are singer Chris Beachy, guitarist and singer Charlie Glick, drummer and percussionist Kevin Farzad, and producer and bassist Michael Coleman. Apparently, they have acquired much of their recent fame to the internet, which is fantastic for our current music climate. This band is all sunshiny, pop-driven beats being produced from their home turned studio.





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Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Top 50 of 2018

It's that time of year again. Time to drop the Top 50 Albums of 2018. My music listening habits have definitely changed, as well as the way that I find new music. I think there was a lot of music dropped this year and bands that normally hit the Top 50 were left behind by a lot of the new things I found along the way. Hope you enjoy and here's to another year of killer tunes.

Monday, January 8, 2018

2017 Top 50 Recap

Here's the linkable list in case you missed any w/ a playlist for your perusal at the end. Follow the playlist over at Spotify. Follow the blog. Hope you enjoyed, glad to be back. Leave me a message in the comments and let me know your favorites of the year. More to follow.

1. Big Thief - Capacity
2. Tennis - Yours Conditionally
3. LCD Soundsystem - american dream
4. Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins
5. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy
6. Feist - Pleasure
7. Grandaddy - Last Place
8. Sylvan Esso - What Now
9. Jay Som - Everybody Works
10. St. Vincent - Masseduction
11. Arcade Fire - Everything Now
12. Yusuf / Cat Stevens - The Laughing Apple
13. Day Wave - The Days We Had
14. Laura Marling - Semper Femina
15. Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds From Another Planet
16. The War On Drugs - A Deeper Understanding
17. Perfume Genius - No Shape
18. The Huntress And Holder Of Hands - Avalon
19. Ryan Adams - Prisoner
20. Future Islands - The Far Field
21. Kevin Morby - City Music
22. Poolside - Heat
23. Methyl Ethel - Everything Is Forgotten
24. Palehound - A Place I'll Always Go
25. Overcoats - YOUNG
26. Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog
27. Elbow - Little Fictions
28. Sampha - Process
29. Girlpool - Powerplant
30. Antibalas - Where The Gods Are In Peace
31. Lo Tom - Lo Tom
32. Fleet Foxes - Crack Up
33. The National - Sleep Well Beast
34. Vagabon - Infinite Worlds
35. Black Lips - Satan's Graffiti or God's Art?
36. Octopus Project - Memory Mirror
37. Thundercat - Drunk
38. Valerie June - The Order of Time
39. The Shins - Heartworms
40. Slowdive - Slowdive
41. Surfer Blood - Snowdonia
42. Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, James McAlister - Planetarium
43. Waxahatchee - Out in the Storm
44. Sheer Mag - Need To Feel Your Love
45. Phoebe Bridgers - Stranger in the Alps
46. Frankie Rose - Cage Tropical
47. Austra - Future Politics
48. Cigarettes After Sex - Cigarettes After Sex
49. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - Soul of a Woman
50. Amber Coffman - City of No Reply

Sunday, January 7, 2018

1. Big Thief

1. Big Thief - Capacity

I've been going to SXSW for a few years now. It has literally changed the way that I listen to music and go to shows. In the process of doing that, I started taking my children, because they have grown to love live music. Right before sending my daughter to college, I took just her this last year and we saw some really great bands, including this one. After moving to college, I saw that they were playing one of the nights in Chicago and got tickets for us. However, because I have seen so many bands, I forgot that we had seen them in Austin and I told her to listen to them so she could see how amazing they were. She quickly corrected her dad by telling him that she had been listening to them non-stop since we saw them in Austin, pinning down the exact place of the show. It was at that point that I knew I was getting old. Big Thief came out with their debut album just a little over a year ago and then quickly produced Capacity this year. It can be so insanely intimate one moment and then go into this an incredible guitar feedback riff or driving bass line. Adrianne Lenker takes words and turns them into a magical waterfall of complexity and suffering. The timing, guitar-work, vocals, all of it are just perfect. Seeing them in Chicago in the round made me love them even more, I don't think I've ever seen a more intimate, raw show.






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2. Tennis

2. Tennis - Yours Conditionally

I grew up listening to the sounds of the '70s. Fleetwood Mac, Heart, The Carpenters, Paul Simon and the like heavily influenced my early music listening. In my 20's, I 'rediscovered' many of these bands, diving in with an almost cultish obsession. It's no wonder that I love the music of Tennis, headed by the duo of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore. They have conceived this album aboard their sailboat, Swift Ranger in the ocean between San Diego and the Sea of Cortez. This album screams of sunshine and lazy, open waters and washes over you with the waves of love and heartache.



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3. LCD Soundsystem

3. LCD Soundsystem - american dream

The next three albums in this lineup all contended for Number One. I listened to each of them an obscene amount. This new album from dance god, James Murphy, after a self-imposed sequester from the music world has been the answer to all those who missed LCD. I think it was just putting the headphones on a long trans-Atlantic flight and listening to the album over and over. There is something cathartic about his music and this album soothes all those wounds from his absence. There is a lot of 80's New Wave vibe to this album and while that may be the case with much of their music, this shrine to David Byrne and David Bowie seems worth noting.



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4. Grizzly Bear

4. Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins

It's been five years since Shields and Ed Droste, Dan Rossen and the boys are back with their fifth album. I have always been enthralled with the unique compositions of Grizzly Bear. The wandering time signatures, the twisting melodies, the dark foreboding all create a musical landscape that pulls me in time and time again. Ed Droste said you had to listen to the album at least five times to get into it and I concur. Dive in and don't look back.

Mourning Sound by Grizzly Bear on VEVO.


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Thursday, January 4, 2018

5. Father John Misty

5. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

Josh Tillman's altar ego, Father John Misty, former drummer of Fleet Foxes, has produced yet another great album. Self-immolating and at the same time barbed towards our current political climate. A diatribe on the human condition and his religious upbringing, Pure Comedy reaches down deep and creates a conversation with Tillman's relationship to all of us. He created a short film to accompany the album below.



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6. Feist

6. Feist - Pleasure

Speaking of returns, it's great to have a new album from this young woman. Six years since Metals, her fifth album finds Feist with a rock and roll sensibility. Guitars ring out and leave behind the quiet, soft Leslie Feist in days past. Starting out with the heaviness of the title track, this album weaves through a much more thought out album with punchy melodics and a much, more raw vocal style. Her Broken Social Scene buds step in on Any Party to help out, of course.



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