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My favorite music of 2015

Sunday, April 17th, 2016


Yeah, I know it’s April. We’re still comfortably in 2016, so a “best of” for last year is still perfectly appropriate and timely in my mind. Here’s my list. Download link at the bottom.

  1. Stoic Resemblance – The Helio Sequence – The Helio Sequence – This band was on my 2008 “best of” and I haven’t really kept up with them, but here’s another song of theirs I dig.
  2. Waitress – Hop Along – Painted Shut – Great vocal, so-so lyrics.
  3. Moony Eyed Walrus – Cayucas – Dancing at the Blue Lagoon – Cayucas also making a return to the “best of” list after their 2013 debut.
  4. Dearly Departed (feat. Esmé Patterson) – Shakey Graves – And the War Came – I think this is the only song I discovered listing to old fashioned (satellite) radio.  It’s kinda poppy, but darn catchy.
  5. Follow the Sun – Xavier Rudd – Spirit Bird – OK, so I have a lot of “return performers” on this list.  Xavier Rudd was on my 2007 “best of.”  This is a simple pretty acoustic song.
  6. Mexico – The Staves – Mexico – Single – Pretty lady voices singing pretty harmonies.
  7. Big Wheel – Saun & Starr – Look Closer – A little Daptone soul to change things up a bit.
  8. Tell It Like It Is – Lindi Ortega – Faded Gloryville – The verse is so good, you don’t mind that the chorus isn’t that original.
  9. South – Hippo Campus – South – EP – I’m a sucker for non-verbal vocals, and this band does good things with them.
  10. Icarus The Staves Mexico – Single – more pretty harmonies
  11. Look Closer (Can’t You See the Signs?) – Saun & Starr – Look Closer – More of the same vibe from these two.
  12. Too Late – Guantanamo Baywatch – Darling… It’s Too Late – If I weren’t so lazy, I’d see if I recognize this vocalist from another band.  Maybe one of the dudes in Middle Brother.  But who has the time for fact checking?
  13. Suicide Saturday – Hippo Campus – Bashful Creatures – EP – Again, it’s the catchy “oh ohs” that make this song for me.
  14. Sharktooth (Bonus Track) – Bully – Alicia Bognanno Feels Like – Very indie, female vocal.  I’m kind of a sucker for that recipe.
  15. Full Circle – Xavier Rudd – Spirit Bird – Buckle up, this song is a long weird journey, but one I kind of like.


DOWNLOAD ZIP of all tracks HERE

My favorite music of 2014

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Best of 2014 Cover Art

I’m now really comfortable with the fact that it takes me until February to finalize my “best of” list for the previous year. I am at peace with the fact that I look at lots of other “best of 2014” compilations and borrow from them heavily. I realize my street cred is negatively impacted by these admissions, and I don’t mind. Here’s last year’s list. Download link at the bottom.

  1. Stronger Than That – Bahamas – Bahamas is Afie – Bahamas is my current favorite. Maybe that says something about my age or testosterone levels, but I just love the vibe of both of these records. Whole album is great, top to bottom. Perfect music for making dinner.
  2. Budapest – George Ezra – Wanted On Voyage – A little bit poppy, and kind of reminiscent of Bhi Bhimian off of my 2012 best of list.
  3. Dark Side of the Moon – Chris Staples – American Soft – Super chill, but I liked it more every time I listened to it.
  4. Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song) – Oscar Isaac & Marcus Mumford – Inside Llewyn Davis (Original Soundtrack Recording) – I do not consider myself a fan of Mumford and Sons. Maybe it’s because I’m not that big of a banjo fan, and I endorse the existence of this pedal. In any case, this song still found its way onto this playlist.
  5. 10,000 Emerald Pools – BØRNS – Candy EP – One of the many tracks I discovered from Paste. A little electronic-leaning for my normal tastes, but it still rocks.  Also, you can bet I copied and pasted this Ø in here.  I’ve got no idea how to type that.
  6. Carry Me Home – Hey Rosetta! – A Cup of Kindness Yet (EP) – Another paste find. Some of my tracks might have bad lyrics. I never really care unless they’re awful.
  7. Brother In the Night – The Weeks – Dear Bo Jackson – Kind of corny lyrics, these guys land somewhere between Kings of Leon (when they were good) and The Hold Steady.
  8. Awake – Tycho – Awake – I’m constantly building a playlist of instrumental music that I listen to while I work. I like the vibe and the mood of this one.
  9. Blank Space – Taylor Swift – 1989 – As much as I want to be a hater, I cannot. This is a pop masterpiece. “Shake it off” didn’t do it for me, but this track does.
  10. The Sticks – The Budos Band – Burnt Offering – At this point in my life, I do not like jam bands. I do not like the lazy over-reliance on that hammond organ tone (which this song starts out with). But I do love horns, and this jam just gets undeniably good pretty quickly.
  11. Call Me – St. Paul & The Broken Bones – Half the City – I saw these guys on David Letterman. The singer is white. Mind blown.
  12. Time Shows Fools – Justin Townes Earle – Single Mothers – I have a feeling if I went back and listened to this guys’ back catalog I would like a whole lot of it.
  13. Waitress Song – First Aid Kit – Stay Gold – I saw these Swedish whipper snappers in 2014. I expected a pleasant, mellow sit-down show. I was wrong – it was a very energetic crowd for a fantastic performance. The whole album is good, and I knew I’d include one of the songs off this album. Somehow I settled on this one.
  14. Language of the Dead – Delta Spirit – Into the Wide – I’ve liked this band for a while and this year’s list was running light on rock. This is a good rock song.
  15. Avant Gardener – Courtney Barnett – (Paste) The Best of 2014 – I found this track on Paste as well, and while I almost always go purchase the tracks that I like, the version available on iTunes isn’t the same (or as good) as this one.
  16. Shut In – Strand of Oaks – HEAL – No commentary, just give it a listen.
  17. Habits – Tove Lo – Queen of the Clouds – I was on the fence about this one. Seems like it might be a bit of an indie “flash in the pan,” but whenever the song starts I want to listen to the whole thing.
  18. Inside Out – Spoon – They Want My Soul – I haven’t even had a chance to listen to this whole Spoon album beginning to end, but this song has a good groove, and Spoon does grooves well.  And if you dig this song, you must check out the Song Exploder podcast episode which tells its story.
  19. Every Time the Sun Comes Up – Sharon Van Etten – Are We There – Relatively sparse backing track, heavy on the bass, lazy female vocal. Works for me almost every time.
  20. All I’ve Ever Known – Bahamas – Bahamas is Afie – The other piece of bread in this Bahamas sandwich, this seemed like a fitting closing track for the list and the year.


DOWNLOAD ZIP of all tracks HERE



Thanks for the enthusiasm

Monday, July 5th, 2010

I hate onions too, and I’m glad to see you take the subject seriously.  (click for full-sized picture)