Category: music Page 2 of 3

for #musicMonday: Nikka Costa’s Everybody Got Their Something (2001). standouts: So Have I For You; Like A Feather

#musicMonday Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977). standouts: God Save the Queen, Sub-Mission

#musicMonday brand new from Waxahatchee: Out in the Storm standout tracks: Silver, Brass Beam

#musicMonday A Tribe Called Quest’s We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service (2016) standout track: Melatonin

some attempts at a clever/punny headline are cringeworthy, but sometimes they are perfection + 1:

#musicMonday Bleached’s Welcome the Worms (2016) stream @ standout: Keep on Keepin’ On

#musicMonday Goldfrapp’s 2008 album Seventh Tree standout track: A&E

(…just the first 13 tracks there make up the original album. listen to those & skip the bonus tracks. play WWNBL again instead, louder)

#musicMonday rec: The Waterboys’ Fisherman’s Blues (1988) standout track: We Will Not Be Lovers

downtempo #musicMonday: Juana Molina’s brand new Halo. stream free at or Spotify. standout track: Estalacticas

I don’t wind up listening to the grunge in my library all that often, & Superunknown is a little uneven imho, but it has some great songs

#musicMonday after Chris Cornell’s death, Soundgarden’s 1994 breakthrough Superunknown standout track: Superunknown

heavy #musicMonday: Wolf’s Law, by The Joy Formidable. stream: or Spotify. standout track: Forest Serenade

#musicMonday: “Guppy”, the 2017 debut album by Charly Bliss. free stream: or on Spotify. standout track: Glitter

#musicMonday Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique (1989) standout track: High Plains Drifter

some punk rock for #musicMonday – The Soviettes’ LP III (2005). free stream at standout track: Multiply and Divide

for #musicMonday, a classic from The Cure: The Head on the Door (1985) standout track: The Baby Screams

#musicMonday rec: Diet Cig’s brand new Swear I’m Good At This (stream @ or Spotify) standout track: Blob Zombie

a great voice in this #musicMonday rec: Lucy Dacus’ No Burden (2016) standout track: Troublemaker Doppelgänger

for #musicMonday: the soundtrack to the classic 1991 film The Commitments standout track: Take Me to the River

for #musicMonday: Metric’s Synthetica (2012) standout track: Youth Without Youth

for #musicMonday: Run the Jewels 3, by Run the Jewels (2016) standout track: Call Ticketron

Let us put men & women together
See which 1 is smarter
Some say men, I say no
Women run the men like a puppet show

…the video for that song was the 2nd ever played on MTV, 8/1/81 it was all downhill from there for that channel

#musicMonday pick: Pat Benatar’s Crimes of Passion (1980) standout track: You Better Run

for #musicMonday – Janelle Monáe’s The Electric Lady (2013): standout track: Q.U.E.E.N. “the booty don’t lie”

#musicMonday recommendation: Painted Shut by Hop Along (2015) standout track: The Knock

#musicMonday pick: Combat Rock, by The Clash (1982) standout track: Rock the Casbah

I got some Sharon Jones, some Los Campesinos, & some Hop Along, myself (ok, last time I’ll share this. probably.)

Bandcamp + ACLU = rockin’

I happened to tweet (err, microblog!) about Bandcamp just the other night. Thanks to their giving ~80-85% of the revenue to their artists, Bandcamp is the only digital music store that I feel as good about patronizing as I do about buying a band’s CD at their show.

And this Friday (Feb. 3), it gets even better: they’re donating 100% of their share of your purchase to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in opposition to last week’s Executive Order barring immigrants and refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States:

Contrary to the assertions of the current administration, the order will not make us safer (an opinion shared by the State Department and many members of Congress including prominent Republicans). Christian religious leaders have denounced both the ban, as well as the exception prioritizing Christian immigrants, as inhumane. It is an unequivocal moral wrong, a cynical attempt to sow division among the American people, and is in direct opposition to the principles of a country where the tenet of religious freedom is written directly into the Constitution. This is not who we are, and it is not what we believe in. We at Bandcamp oppose the ban wholeheartedly, and extend our support to those whose lives have been upended.

So that’s great: digital music sales and they support the ACLU for a day. But: what to buy?! I love both of these ideas so much, I’ve taken a few minutes to compile a list of some suggestions to show the breadth of the Bandcamp catalog. All of these have either been #musicMonday recommendations in the past year, or were on my Best of 2016 lists (or both). Bandcamp has also had a whole bunch of artists and labels add some or all of their cut from Friday’s sales to the donation; some of these are from that list. In no particular order:

As you can see, there’s a lot of good stuff there. Check it out, treat yourself and put a little $$ in to #resist at the same time. Win-win, rock on.

this week for #musicMonday: Middle Cyclone by Neko Case standout track: This Tornado Loves You

Best of My 2016 Music

Time again for my annual best-of music review! Each year, I pick my ten favorite “new” albums of the year, where “new” means new to me, but not necessarily released in 2016. Any albums I bought in the calendar year are eligible for the list, regardless of when they were released.

Here are my 2016 selections, in alphabetical order by artist (I pick the top 10, but I don’t order them further than that). A playlist of all these albums (minus Beyoncé) is on Spotify.

Lemonade, Beyoncé – I’ve never been a big Beyoncé fan (don’t tell The Beygency), but there was so much acclaim for this album that I had to check it out. If nothing else, I wanted to know what a “visual album” was. As you see from its inclusion here, I wasn’t disappointed. The songs are really good, but mainly I’m a sucker for prog-rock type thematic story arc albums, so the powerful hour-long video that ties them together is what really made this for me.

Imani Vol. 1, Blackalicious – Blackalicious is another act that I haven’t listened to much before. I think it was the Fantastic Mr. Fox video for the great song The Blowup that first turned me on to this album, but there aren’t many low points to be found here. Good, driving beats add a welcome dose of hip-hop variation to my library.

Over Easy (plus), Diet Cig – For the second year in a row, an opening band at a Front Bottoms lands on my top ten. These two, the singer/guitar player especially, gave such an amazingly energetic performance that I went to another concert later in the year that they were opening for, just to see them. Their quirky, offbeat lyrics, which remind me of Los Campesinos and the Front Bottoms, are a big part of their appeal. A new album is coming soon, but they only have an EP and a couple of singles out now, so I include all of those here. If you ever have a chance to see Diet Cig live, take it. (concert pic)

If You See Me, Say Yes, Flock of Dimes – this is the solo project of Jenn Wasner, who is half of longtime favorite Wye Oak (tracks from their most recent two albums are on the Best of the Rest mix, below). This is a more electronic sound, which has grown on me. Her lyrics and voice are both among my favorites. (concert pic)

Up.Rooted, Gina Chavez – A popular, local, bilingual (English & Spanish) performer that had somehow escaped my notice until this year, Gina Chavez was one of the few (of the continually diminishing number of) bands I was looking forward to seeing at ACL Fest this year. She gave a great show, accompanied by a big party ensemble that included horns, bongos, keyboards, stringed instruments, you name it.

Ash & Ice, The Kills – This isn’t the best Kills album ever, but it’s a solid addition to their catalog. I finally saw them in a standalone concert in a dark concert hall late at night, where they belong (the previous time I’d seen them was on a very hot, very sunny mid-afternoon ACL Fest stage some years ago; both of them seemed about to melt the whole time). (concert pic)

In Loving Memory of When I Gave a Shit, LOLO – I’ll admit it: I would never have listened to this if I hadn’t noticed the funny and provocative title in Spotify one day. Even then, I didn’t have much hope for it, but I figured, why not? What luck, because even though the music style isn’t what I usually listen to, she has a real ability to turn a clever, evocative phrase in her lyrics, and her smoky voice is fantastic.

Adore Life, Savages – This is the second album by this powerful post-punk revivalist group, and their tour in support of it was my first chance to see them live; both great. They’re as intense as ever, in all the best ways. (concert pic)

Rose Mountain, Screaming Females – I guess this band is an acquired taste – I’d given them a listen once or twice before, but hadn’t gotten into them much until this year. This is their newest, released last year; a track from their previous album, Ugly, is on the Best of the Rest list, below. I didn’t really appreciate what heavy-metal guitar virtuosos they are until I saw their amazing live show. (concert pic)

Full of It, Summer Cannibals – This band debuted on the top ten album list last year with Show Us Your Mind, and their new release holds up every bit as well. (Their debut album is good, too; there’s a track from that in the Best of the Rest, below). They’re not super well-known, if the tiny concert I saw is any indication, and that’s a shame. They play great rock & roll; if you have a chance to see them, do yourself a favor. (concert pic)

That’s it for my ten favorite “new” albums of 2016.

And then there are all the rest of the albums. To complete my annual time capsule, I also make a playlist of favorite single tracks from all of the year’s albums that didn’t make the best-album cut, ordered not alphabetically, but in the best mixtape order I can manage. This “Best of the Rest” is also a playlist on Spotify.

  1. It’s Started – The Joy Formidable, Hitch
  2. Call It Off – Shamir, Ratchet
  3. New Song – Warpaint, Heads Up
  4. Logic of Color – Wye Oak, Shriek
  5. Astronaut – Amanda Palmer, Who Killed Amanda Palmer?
  6. Undertow – Warpaint, The Fool
  7. Dropping Houses – Wussy, Forever Sounds
  8. Long Division – Chumped, Teenage Retirement
  9. Wear Me Out – Summer Cannibals, No Makeup
  10. It All Means Nothing – Screaming Females, Ugly
  11. Trying to Lose Myself Again – Bleached, Welcome the Worms
  12. Crucible – Sleigh Bells, Jessica Rabbit
  13. Welcome to the Renaissance – Michael James Scott & Rotten Ensemble, Something Rotten! Original Cast Recording
  14. Rebirth – Nina Diaz, The Beat Is Dead
  15. My Mama Said It – Anya Marina, Paper Plane
  16. Truth Hits Everybody – The Police, Outlandos d’Amour
  17. Radio of Lips (acoustic) – The Joy Formidable, Sleep Is Day
  18. New Skin – TORRES, Sprinter
  19. I’m So Confused – Goldensuns, Give It Up
  20. Watching the Waiting – Wye Oak, Tween
  21. Supermoon – case/lang/veirs, case/lang/veirs
  22. The Black Death – Rotten Ensemble, Something Rotten! Original Cast Recording

– saw band live this year
– link to concert pic


Past years’ bests: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

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