28 songs for my 28 years on earth

I turned 28 today [January 3, 2017]. That means I have lived 10,220 days, 336 months, and have completed 28 rotations around the sun. Twenty-eight isn’t a significant birthday at all, but I wanted to start collecting a playlist of songs to represent each year of my life. It was hard to do because I only wanted an artist represented once. So this isn’t a “best of” or anything like that. Just a playlist… a playlist that will probably shift throughout time. Continue reading “28 songs for my 28 years on earth”

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“Grit and Glitter” playlist

The name doesn’t really make sense. I was going to put really gritty songs and some synthy pop on a playlist and sorta changed a lot of the songs eventually. The flow isn’t perfect, but there are some good up beat songs as well as some slower, melodic ones. I made a Spotify playlist, so you can listen to that here.

gritandglitter

  1. “Future People” – Alabama Shakes
  2. “She’s Not Me” – Jenny Lewis
  3. “Video Girl” – FKA twigs
  4. “Sober” – Childish Gambino
  5. “Colony (Sombear Reach 4 Remix)” – Now, Now
  6. “I Was a Fool” – Tegan and Sara
  7. “Bright” Echosmith
  8. “Crystals” – Of Monsters and Men
  9. “Master Pretender” – First Aid Kit
  10. “Call Your Girlfriend (Robyn cover)” – Allison Weiss
  11. “I Love You, Honeybear” – Father John Misty
  12. “Flying Saucer Blues” – Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s
  13. “Who is You Lover?” – yellowbirddd
  14. “Allston” – Tancred
  15. “Digital Witness” – St. Vincent

Of Monsters and Men release new single, announce album details

Beneath the Skin

Of Monsters and Men is perhaps one of the most energetic and enigmatic bands on the scene right now. Their debut release, My Head is an Animal, was one of my favorite releases in 2011 and is still in constant rotation. Songs like “King and Lionheart,” “Dirty Paws,” and their break out hit “Little Talks” had a punch to them that so many folk-pop bands lacked.  Continue reading “Of Monsters and Men release new single, announce album details”

Favorites of 2012: live bands

Over the course of December, I’ll present a series of my own end of 2012 lists. Unlike many, I won’t give you a best of list because that’s no fun. Instead I’ll give you lists of my favorite things from 2012. Because let’s face it: the best stuff isn’t always what you love the most.

My favorite live bands of 2012:
(Note: I’ve only included bands I’ve seen live this year.) Continue reading “Favorites of 2012: live bands”

My 10 favorite albums of the year (so far)

My dear Paste issued their “Best Albums of 2012 (So Far)” and I love a lot of the albums the editors wrote about. But, since I have a peculiar sense of music perhaps, I have decided to grace you with 10 albums I love and can’t quite get enough of.

[Spotify play list here]


10. Random releases – Childish Gambino
: So Donald Glover hasn’t released any album just yet, but he’s released quite a few tracks that may or may not show up on his soon to be released mixtape (that may or may not come out on Independence Day). His new releases have been met with his biggest criticism yet, which resulted in him using a lot of tweets to respond to the media. There’s a reoccurring joke in the offices about my undying love for Donald, so it should come as no surprise that I would bend the rules to include him in my list. Suggested track: “Eat Your Vegetables”

9. Up & Away – Kid Ink: I’ve only heard the album a few times since it was released earlier in June, but it reminds me of mixtape era Drake.  That being said I have to say it’s the vibe the album gives me and it wasn’t the lyrics that grabbed me. It was the mixture of traditional hip-hop and R&B with a dash of modern flavor that made me throw this on here. It’s not usually what I go for in an album, but it’s more of a guilty pleasure. Who says average lyrics don’t cut it when the flow and overall attitude makes it work? Suggested track: “Time of Your Life”

8. Stars and Satellites – Trampled by Turtles: While this may be a heavily stringed bluegrass album, I never thought of it that way. It’s everything I look for in an album: melodic, intricate and soothing. These boys might be from Minnesota, but I was damned to find out that they weren’t back country of the south where all there is to do is drink and learn to diddle some impressive strings. It’s not an album that I’d throw on at a party, but it’s most certainly one I’d want to listen to as I criss-cross the country in my sedan. Suggested track: “Alone”

7. Breakfast – Chiddy Bang: Knowing how to have fun is what makes a lot of hip-hop work for me. Chiddy Bang is a duo that has infectious rhymes over poppy, indie electronica. I was really grooving on “Handclaps and Guitars” for a bit, but now realize that the song is really just a piece to the puzzle. It’s filled with a lot of clever wordplay that keeps surprising me with each listen. Still, it really is the beats that makes this album. Suggested track: “Mind Your Manners”

6. Rot Gut, Domestic – Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s: So, one of my favorite bands only hit number six on my list. It’s not because I don’t love how much darker Richard Edwards made this album. From the first chord throughout the journey of self-loathing and recovery I still find myself rearranging my list of all time favorite Margot tracks, with a lot of these near the top. I feel like I spent a lot of time with Edwards through interviews, but more so through his lyrics and this bad boy is no different than any other album he has crafted. While there are still fans bitching and moaning over how “old-Margot” is better, this second album from the heavier sounding band goes to show Edwards and crew aren’t messing around. Suggested track: “Books About Trains”

5. The Lumineers – The Lumineers: Wholesome love ballads and one of the catchiest tracks (“Ho Hey”) in recent memory. That’s what this adorable trio from Denver laid out in what I strongly feel is this year’s The Head and the Heart. Passionate acoustic guitar and raspy vocals lead the way over foot stomping drums and a classic cello weaving through song after song. It’s one of those albums that I have to tell people,”You know that famous song? Well, the deep cuts are better. By leaps and bounds.” Yes, that is a sentence taken verbatim. I feel that once you listen to this self titled debut you’ll understand the magic behind the quirky and wholesome nature put behind each lyric and melody. Suggested track: “Stubborn Love”

4. Boys & Girls – Alabama Shakes: This is one of those albums that when you listen to the vocals you can’t help but make the “stank face.” What Brittany Howard is able to accomplish feels so dirty. And so good. She’s a modern day Janis Joplin, but packs a punch. You listen to the band and you can’t help but want to get down. It’s grimy. It’s soulful. It’s what music needed and it’s something you should most certainly pick up if you haven’t. Not only will pretentious 18-year-olds tell their friends that they’ve heard of these guys since before this album dropped, but middle-aged folk who know nothing about music will understand the wonders that unfold on this debut. Suggest track: “I Ain’t the Same”

3. The Lion’s Roar – First Aid Kit: First of all I’m tired of hearing these sisters’ music described as “Swedish Americana.” I know I’m guilty of it because it’s so simple to refer to the Swedish duo’s genre as Americana, but it’s really just Swedicana…if that even is such a thing. Everything is perfect on this album. The instrumentation, the lyrics and, above all else, the vocal harmonies. It starts off with two smash singles (“The Lion’s Roar” and “Emmylou”) so you’d expect the rest of the album to pale in comparison. You’d just have to, right? Wrong. Just listen to it all and fall in love. Suggested track: “Blue”

2. My Head is an Animal – Of Monsters and Men: This is probably my most listened to album on the list. I technically have the European version, but even with the switched tracks and rearranged order, this break out debut is a stand out. It blends everything I could ever want. Female vocals paired with a male. Offbeat instruments like an accordion. Cinematic build. An explosion in my brain. I pick a new favorite song every time I listen to it because the album is just. That. Good. And while all of these performers are amazing live (I haven’t seen Kid Ink, Trampled by Turtles, Chiddy Bang and First Aid Kit) this Icelandic band takes the cake…right behind Mr. Glover. but that’s comparing apples and oranges. Suggested track: “From Finner”

1. Threads – Now, Now: This is different for me. Now, Now’s music isn’t what I’d normally call my preferred genre. I feel a really strong connection with the album. The notion of searching for a common thread in life is something that I have been seeking for myself. If music were books, this might fall under the “Young Adult” section. That’s not to take away from the gravity of the album. In fact, the emotional topics are expressed vibrantly in a dreary manner. The misty exploration will have a lot of listeners going, “Yup. Know that feeling.” It’s the album that I put on for people to see how compatible we are. I know a lot of people will overlook this one, but if you don’t appreciate it at all then…you’re done, son. Suggested track: “School Friends”

‘Oh, the Places I’ll Go’

Time for another themed playlist. This time around it’s all about songs that have places in the title. It starts off pretty pop-rocky, goes through a folksy-Americana period and ends with a synthy-electro phase before ending with a rap song by Childish Gambino. Of course. I’ve included links to a Spotify playlist and a Rdio one as well. Enjoy, y’all.

  1. “Tallulah” – Company of Thieves
  2. “Country Lane” – Telekinesis
  3. “Greeley Estates” – Gospel Claws
  4. “From Finner” – Of Monsters and Men
  5. “Couer d’Alene” – The Head and the Heart
  6. “Portland” – Middle Brother
  7. “Dead Sea” – The Lumineers
  8. “Massachusetts” – Ra Ra Riot
  9. “Santa Fe” – Beirut
  10. “Desert Plane” – Tapes ‘n Tapes
  11. “Colony” – Now, Now
  12. “Perth” – Bon Iver
  13. “I Follow Rivers” Lykke Li
  14. “We Almost Lost Detroit” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
  15. “LES” – Childish Gambino

*Note: Gospel Claws is not on Rdio…so go to Spotify for the complete playlist.

‘Crackpot Mind’

Made another playlist. This one really didn’t have much thought to it and I’m not sure about the flow yet. There’s a lot of slower jams (what else is new?) and some artists I’ve never included in a 15 song set. I’m also too lazy to link all of the bands, so you’ll have to Google them yourself.

The title of it comes from one of the first lines from the first song. Enjoy.

  1. “Lunatic, Lunatic, Lunatic” – Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s
  2. “second wind” – yellowbirddd
  3. “Dane to Another Tune” – First Aid Kit
  4. “Yellow Brick Road” – Angus & Julia Stone
  5. “Missing Things” – JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound
  6. “That’s My Baby” – Sleeper Agent
  7. “Dead Sea” – The Lumineers
  8. “Sloom” – Of Monsters and Men
  9.  “Cheerleader” – St. Vincent
  10. “Hold You Down” – Childish Gambino
  11. “I Know Places” – Lykke Li
  12. “Prehistoric” – Now, Now
  13. “Gold Mountain” – Slow Club
  14. “Won’t Back Down” (acoustic Tom Petty cover) – Company of Thieves
  15. “Down in The Valley” – The Head and the Heart