Monday, August 8, 2016

Romantica - Shadowland

Very enjoyable album. Sounds like Ryan Adams mixed with Jayhawks country twinge with Glen Phillips like lyrics. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Getaway

To quote Godfather, "everytime I'm out...they pull me back in."

That's me and the Chili Peppers. Ever since One Hot Minute, every album has been a comeback album for them. They've revitalized their career as many times as TobyMac has changed musical directions. 

Yet here I am enjoying the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album. Is it the bass rifts of Flea?  The breezy funk style?  Or mega-producer Danger Mouse?  The album album works. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Chris Staples - Answers / Questions

tear it apart, tear it apart 
try and put it back together 
today turns to tomorrow 
tomorrow to forever 

the words that we are speaking 
are just adding to the noise 
till the day it all goes silent 
til the day it all goes black 

i don't have an easy answer 
i don't even know the question anymore 

waiting for the bus 
just to watch the people pass 
mothers with their strollers 
students late for class 
somewhere, somewhere 
there is always somewhere you gotta be 
if i could just be patient the whole world 
would come to me 

don't have an easy answer 
don't even know the question anymore 

i took off my clothes 
i climbed into a tree 
with his one good eye 
the moon looked down at me 
am i dreaming? 
why should i really care 
i woke up in the morning 
leaves tangled in my hair

Download the song for free from the EP Faces

Friday, March 11, 2016

Jesu / Sun Kil Moon

If the new Damien Jurado album is too psychedelic for you and you're thinking "is there any good indie rock that has droning thick guitar songs with breaks of acoustic fingering picking and electric loops overlaid songs with slightly poetic stream of conscience lyrics to it?"

Yes there is. 

If 75 minutes is too much to dive into, start here. 


Stream New Damien Jurado - Visions Of Us On Land

I have the album pre-ordered. I recommend the 33 track deluxe version. 

Before the 18th release date, you can stream the 17 track masterpiece now.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Top Ten Albums of 2015 - Joshua

Here are my favorite albums of reverse order for added suspense...

10. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

It's really a way better album than this number 10 positioning would indicate.  But, there's something about its dreamy, sad atmosphere that was a little too dreamy and sad for my liking this year.  It's not you, it's me, Sufjan.

9. Rhett Miller - The Traveler
As you will see as the list progresses, I'm a sucker for anything with a little country flair to it.  This time around Rhett Miller is the traveler (as opposed to the instigator, believer, or the interpreter).  He's nott really stretching any Rhett Miller boundaries of sound, but I'm not positive you need to stretch anything to have a good album.  "Most in the Summertime" is probably my favorite song on the album, in case you were curious.

8. James Bay - Chaos and the Calm
So....this is the one that doesn't quite fit in.  I'm usually not a sucker for anything this pop-y, this pretty, clean...this "oh, she ever going to go out with me?".  But, I listened to this album a ton this year.  If my list honestly/accurately represented the number of listens, there is a chance this album moves up in the rankings.  The song I would argue the most for its merits is "Hold Back the River"....other than that, I would say it was a weird thing this year, I can't explain it.

7. Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
It took me a few listens to appreciate this one because I love the first album so much.  But, at the end of the day, after repeated listens, after my personal tribe has spoken...I think it's a great number two album.  Following up "Boys & Girls" and all the hype from the album is not an easy thing to do.  At least, with the limited number of albums I've released, I imagine it's not.

6. Leon Bridges - Coming Home
If Leon Bridges would have released a album full of Sesame Street covers sung in a Grover voice but still had the song "Coming Home" on it, I'm pretty sure his album would have still made my list.  Luckily, the whole album is good, and transports me to a time I never lived in but made some of the best music ever.

5. The Delta Routine - You and Your Lion
The Delta Routine is from Milwaukee, which has not influenced me.  Overdoing the I'm-a-sucker-for theme, if you throw some rootsy rock-and-roll into the country-influenced category, mixed with some bar-band...sign me up.  That's The Delta Routine.  If you haven't given The Delta Routine a listen, give Spotify a double-click and make it happen.

4. Heartless Bastards - Restless Ones
The Heartless Bastards are turning into one of my favorite bands, in my mind, there's not a skip-worthy song on any of their last three albums.  Restless Ones continues their streak of awesome country music that been torn up a few times through a blender of distorted guitars and messed up hearts.

3. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free
Jason Isbell is currently on fire.  It was hard to imagine him making a better album than Southeastern, but I think he has, or at least it's a tie.  I'm really not sure anyone is making better music than Jason Isbell right now.

2. Craig Finn - Faith in the Future
Without a doubt, my favorite song of the year is "Maggie I've Been Searching For Our Son".  I have a blog post that's been brewing in my brain about how excellent every verse of the song is...some time in the next 5 years I anticipate getting to it.  However, the whole album is full of what I love about Craig Finn.  He writes about a difficult, dark world, but it doesn't get him least not all the way down...there's still a glimmer of hope, a glimmer of optimism, a glimmer of (wait for it) faith in the future.  And, that mix of faith, hope, and realism makes me happy.  I've gone back and forth about 25 times as to whether this is my favorite album of the year or second favorite.  Only people with music blogs write sentences like that.

1. Blitzen Trapper - All Across This Land
Number one goes to Blitzen Trapper.  I think they put out their best album this year.  It takes all my favorite things about Blitzen Trapper, quirk, southerny-ness, country-ness, smart lyrics, heart, soul, <other cliche words>, and puts them together in a way that takes everything they've done previously and perfects it.  There's something in my brain, in the way that history has wired my musical taste, that makes the Blitzen Trapper sound ignite the right fuses.  They take things seriously, but not too seriously.  As an example, I saw them in concert this year and they did a knock your socks off Townes Van Zant cover and then closed the show with a Thin Lizzy cover.  That type of diversity and influence in their song writing creates a cool brew in all their albums, but especially "All Across This Land".

Unhonorable Mentions
  Mumford & Sons - Wilder Mind

Honorable Mentions
  Rhiannon Giddens - Tomorrow is My Turn
  Glen Hansard - Didn't He Ramble
  Wilco - Star Wars
  Belle & Sebastian - Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance
  The Decemberists - What a Terrible Word, What a Beautiful World
  The Weepies - Sirens 

Best of 2014
Best of 2013
Best of 2012
Best of 2011
Best of 2010
Best of 2009
Best of 2008
Best of 2007
Best of 2006

 Marc's Best of 2015 List

Top Ten Albums of 2015 - Marc

10. Brian McSweeny - Love Me Down

I've been listening to him since 1997 in his various bands and now his first solo release. He brings a super clean pop soul version to the Jeff Buckley sound. 
Just a fun album to listen to. 

9. Wilco - Star Wars

Lots of sonic sounds and use of Nels Cline. Seemed like it was album they wanted to make and weren't worried about its reception.  

8. Raury - All We Need

Sometimes you can judge a book, or in this case album, by its cover. The picture of him engaged me long enough to read the description. Anything that claims folk, rap and world sounds is worth a listen. I was hooked right away. 

7.  Sun Kil Moon - Universal Themes

I just love Mark Kozelek. My wife doesn't. My sons have joined the protest.  However, he remains near to my shoe gazing droning indie heart. 
This album blends Kozelek's streak of spoken word like free speech paired but with Neil Young like post-grunge sounds. 
What's not to like?

6.  Dawes - All Your Favorite Bands

By far their best album. Before I knew Dave Rawlings produced the album, I thought the production made the album something special. 

5.  Jon Foreman - 4 set up EP's going through the 4 phases of the day. 

Most notable of the 6 track EPs is the Dawn EP. All four of the EPs are heavy on somber tones or subject matter. It's essentially a blend of Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys. 

4. Dave Rawlings Machine - Nashville Obsolete

I think I'm just a Dave Rawlings fanboy. 

3.  Waterdeep - Waterdeep

Husband and wife duo, she gets the first disc and he gets the second. 23 tracks combined, it's a musical marathon. I listened heavily to disc two. Emotional songs, serious subject matter. 

2.  Burlap to Cashmere - Freedom Souls

A very talented band and a wonderfully poetic lyricist. Leader singer/songwriter Steven Delopoulos is a muse and influence to my thinking. 

1.  Joe Pug - Windfall

Like the above mentioned Delopoulos  Pug's lyrics are powerful and beautiful. They capture my thoughts and emotions. This album explores Pug's sparse alt-country style, which only highlights his highly poetic lyrics. 

Click below for a song from each album. With the exception of Burlap To Cashmere because it's not on Spotify.  Instead I took two offerings from Waterdeep, a his and hers. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

NPR Top 50 album list of 2015

NPR's All Songs Considered is, in my opinion, an diverse but non-pretentious music show.  It has often expanded the genres I listen to, introduced me to new artists, and made me feel cool for liking and / or being aware of the same artists they choose.

From their list, Andrew Norman: Play, Beauty Bill, and Africa Express caught my ear.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mark Kozelek: Universal Themes & Sings Christmas Carols

Listening to a bunch of Mark Kozelek this thanksgiving and into the Christmas season. 

He speaks my melancholy acoustic language. And he pulls off the stream of conscience thing. Below is his lastest music offering (his latest release is spoken word). 

Right now this is my favorite Christmas album. Mark Kozelek alone on a guitar. Beautiful and soft music that highlights the lyrics. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Free Foo Fighters EP

The future of  Billy Corgin said it would be. This year Wilco's Star Wars and Foo Fighters St. Cecelia are steps in that direction. 

Saint Cecilia - EP by Foo Fighters

Friday, October 2, 2015

New Blitzen Trapper album - All Across This Land

There is a new Blitzen Trapper album out today.  You should listen to it.  I think it is one of their best.

Lonesome Angel is currently my favorite...but, there's alot of good competition. Also, check out Rock and Roll (Was Made for You) and Across the River.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pete Yorn - musicforthemorningafter

Just a quick note to let internet-land know that I recently realized that I had forgotten about Pete Yorn album's musicforthemorningafter.  It is unlikely that there are numbers large enough to account for the amount of times I listened to this album during the early 00s.  I went back and checked it out and Pete Yorn still rocks my socks off.  May your socks also be rocked off via the people who work at Spotify...

Friday, September 11, 2015

Craig Finn - Faith in the Future

Really enjoyed my first couple listens to this album today. 

...and, my first half dozen listens to "Maggie I've Been Searching For Our Son".  ...which has got to be one of the best songs of the my book.

Here's a article to read, if things such as a Craig Finn album is of interest to you:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Born to Run - 40 Years Old

You should listen to this album today.

Released: August 25, 1975.

In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines...

...we're pulling out of here to win.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

New Music Friday - August 7th highlights

I'm still getting used to new music Fridays

Notable releases:

Dr. Dre - Compton : so far I'm not overly impressed. It's no Chronic 2001, but that may be an unfair standard to hold the man to. 

Langhorn Slim and The Law - The Spirit Moves : currently what I'm most impressed with of the four new releases!  Well produced, layered and written. 

Mac Demarco - Another One : if you're new to this artist go check out Salad Days first.  This album isn't as good as I hope. He has a laid back super indie Stephen Malkmus sound going on. 

Tobymac - This Is Not A Test : and this is not a joke. I'm currently mixing a playlist with this new album and the Home soundtrack. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

New Wilco Album - Star Wars

A surprise new album...and IT'S FREE!!!

It's sounds more like a Loose Fur offering (Tweedy, Kotche prog rock side project) but that's not a bad thing!

Download it at Wilco's website or iTunes

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fourth of July & Shooter Jennings

A fairly consistent part of musical calendar works like this. 
  1. Around July 4th I remember "Oh, Shooter Jennings has that 4th of July song that I love".
  2. Around July 4th I play his song "4th of July".  And, play it. And, play it.
  3. Sometime after July 4th realize that I've over-listened to this song.
  4. Then, I forget about it.
  5. Then, sometime around July 4th, I move back to step 1 and the cycle continues.*
Here it is for your listening pleasure:

* "July 4, 2004" by Jason Anderson has a similar story.  Unfortunately, the only released version of the song that really captures its awesomeness is the 6 minute 23 second the "Tonight" album, which you can't stream anywhere that I can find.  You can only buy the album used (I paid a buck a few years ago and bought the MP3 when it was still available).  The only thing that comes close are a variety of really crappy YouTube videos, that work for me personally, because he has a "me and the crowd are one" vibe that I love...but, they aren't for everyone.  I'll link to one of my favorites.  Someday I'll make it to a Jason Anderson concert and will sing along to "Oh, Jason are you still waiting?"...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Waterdeep - 18 Bullet Holes

Found an old live album of theirs from the nineties at Goodwill. It had this gem. I've listened to it multiple times in a row.  I just keep restarting it. 

This is the studio version. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Marc's Soundtrack of Thought

My year has had a soundtrack of thoughts.  Songs bonded to me by lyrics and/or the emotions the music itself conveys.  

New Releases for the week - 6/23/2015

Here are some albums I'll be checking out today...

Coming Home - Leon Bridges 
   - I haven't listened to the whole album yet...but, I"m already sensing that this is going to be one of my favorites of the year. 

Still - Richard Thompson
   - Produced by Jeff Tweedy.

Payola - Desaparecidos
    - Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) is, I'm interested.