Top Fifteen Songs of 2015

2015 is over and gave us a great musical year. Lots of new bands and songwriters provided something exciting and fresh every few months. Old artists came up with surprising twists and delivered the goods. Compiling my 15 Best of 2015 took some time, but here you go:

15 – Lenny Kravitz – The Chamber – Lenny’s comeback got some ink because his pants split in an unfortunate place in 2015, but his single surprised me with it’s mature groove. Lenny’s grown up.

14 – Kaleo – All The Pretty Girls – mmmm Icelandic falsetto. Very pretty song that stayed in my heads for weeks.

13 – Modest Mouse – Lampshades on Fire – Issac Brock is back at his hooky best. Modest Mouse does indie rock right: Dance music for aging hipsters.

12 – Houndmouth – Sedona – Just yes. Nicely crafted song and harmonies. Looking forward to more from Matt Myers and co.

11 – My Morning Jacket – Compound Fracture – Jim James’ voice is smoother than Froyo. The bridge in this song makes me smile. Dunno why.

10 – Best Coast – Feeling OK – Bethany Cosentino’s lyrics rarely are deep and meaningful. Mostly love and loss, but man, the grunge poppyness guitars keep me listening.

9 – Saint Motel – My Type – Remember this song? You danced to it, didn’t you? Love comes wearing disguises.

8 – EL VY – Return to the Moon – Matt Berninger’s side project displaying the playful synth side of his unique baritone. And a helluva cool bass riff.

7 – Broncho – NC-17 – I refuse to capitalize BRONCHO. But I loved this song. Stayed with me quite a while. If you’re unfamiliar, check out Broncho.

6 – Good Old War – Tell Me What You Want From Me – Philly band writes sing-along song of the year. Hey!

5 – Father John Misty – True Affection – J. Tillman wants to talk. With the face. Put down your phone, please.

4 – SOAK – Sea Creatures – Wish I was this talented when I was 18. Great stuff, Bridie. Keep it up, kiddo.

3 – Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best – Aussie’s Ms. Barnett won over everyone in 2015 with her smash Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit LP. Including me. Keep making Origami.

2 – Fly Golden Eagle – Tangible Intangible – This song surprised me with it’s staying power. Lush, dreamy, melodic. I couldn’t hear it enough in the sweaty summer nights of 2015. The video is fucking amazing.

1 – Beck – Dreams – No more sad Beck? Mr. Hansen shucks his acoustic blues for some good ol’ Odelay style dance rock. Hooks? Yup. Samples? uh-huh. Fuzzy Guitar Riffs? You got it. A Big Beat earwig that typified the Summer of ’15. It was everywhere, because it was awesome.

 

Honorable Mentions (Songs that have been constant on my iPhone this year)

Josh Rouse – You Walked Through the Door

Alvvays – Archie, Marry Me

Boy & Bear – Walk The Wire

Beach House – Sparks

BORNS – Electric Love

Death Cab For Cutie – Black Sun

Laura Marling – False Hope

Marian Hill – One Time

Foals – Mountain At My Gates

Of Monsters And Men – Crystals

Lord Huron – The World Ender

The Arcs – Outta My Mind

St. Germain – Sittin’ Here

Courtney Barnett – Dead Fox

Wilco – Random Name Generator

X Ambassadors – Renegades

Wolf Alice – Bros

Beirut – No No No

Elle King – Ex’s & Oh’s

St. Vincent – Bad Believer

Strand of Oaks- Shut In

The New Pornographers – Backstairs

The Wind and The Wave – It’s A Longer Road To California

The Lone Bellow – Take My Love

Tired Pony – All Things All At Once

Whitehorse – Downtown

Alabama Shakes – Don’t Wanna Fight

Good bye

We said goodbye in 2015 to:  Lesley Gore, Percy Sledge, Jack Ely, Ben E. King, B.B. King, Ornette Coleman, Chris Squire, Allen Toussaint, Scott Weiland, Natalie Cole, Kim Fowley, Steve Strange, Nick Marsh, Lemmy.

 

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The Party

partyWhen I was younger, my parents invited me to a party. I showed up and started checking out the scene. I was a little shy at first, because I didn’t know anybody, so I hung out with my parents a bit.  Then I started meeting and talking to a few people my own age. I made some friends. We drank a few beers, had a few laughs. I wandered around the party a bit, opening doors and peering in rooms. I went to the back yard and played a few of the games they had set up. It was fun. While wandering, I caught the eye of this girl and we started talking. We had a lot in common so we started walking around the party together, meeting new people, making new friends. She was pretty cool. Since we were having such a good time, We decided to call up some friends and invite them over to the party. They showed up, but since they were a little younger than us, they stayed with us a while talking and discussing life. Pretty deep stuff. Eventually, they saw some people their own age and started talking to them, and making new friends. That was cool. My parents came over and said they were tired, and were heading home. We hugged and then they took off. Dad never did like driving at night. I wasn’t tired though, and kept on partying.  Some of the friends I made earlier left, and it looked as if the party was winding down a bit. The younger people we invited were having fun playing the games in the back yard and making new friends. It was a pretty wild party. A couple fights broke out. People were making out in hidden corners. The cops came, but pretty much just told us to keep it down a bit. After the sun went down, a few of us went swimming in our underwear. I was getting tired so i sat on the couch and chilled a bit. I may have taken a quick nap. When I got up, I splashed some water on my face, looked around, and watched the festivities for a few moments.  It was getting late, so I said my goodbyes to everyone and left. I could hear the younger friends laughing and enjoying the party as I walked out.
I had a good time.

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Top Fourteen Songs of 2014

After skipping blogging all of 2014, and totally not sharing my “Best of 2013” list last year, I felt a little empty. I was trying out WordPress and thought I had figured out the basics enough, so I gave it a rest. Nobody really noticed, except one friend that would occasionally ask if I was going to post anything again. My usual answer was I dunno, maybe. I mean, keeping a blog is a difficult task sometimes. You need to come up with content and I just wasn’t feeling inspired. Besides, if you want to peer into my thoughts (I surmised), just read my Twitter Feed, which is a lot easier to fill with content than a weekly blog. Top Songs of the Year lists, however, are not really conducive to a twitter post. Way more than 140 characters required for me to divulge what’s been on my iphone all year. So here it is: My Top 14 Songs of 2014.

Annie Clark’s songs have tended to be in most of my previous Top Songs of the Year lists. I’ve always liked her songwriting and style. Her song Digital Witness is a charming, hooky, funky little number that I have listened to a lot this year. One of those songs that get cranked up when it comes on while driving. It was a tough call picking a number one, because 2014 was a pretty good year for music. Here’s my Top 14:

14 – Beck – Blue Moon – Sad Beck is back.

13 – Tweedy – Low Key – Jeff and son crafting pop songs.

12 – Hozier – Take Me to Church – This song blew up and got a little overplayed for my tastes. Still a good song though.

11 – Ray Lamontagne – Supernova – Ray has one of the most distinctive voices in rock.

10 – Spoon – Do you – If there’s a Spoon album, there’s going to be a Spoon song on my list.

09 – Kongos – Come With Me Now – Crossover hit for Kongos makes a lot of top lists this year.

08 – New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers – A.C. Newman doesn’t disappoint with his 2014 offering.

07 – Vance Joy – Riptide – A 2013 song that reached me in early 2014. Catchy singer-songwriter tune.

06 – Broken Bells –  Holding On for Life – Danger Mouse and James Mercer’s side project sounding Bee-Gee-esque.

05 – Hamilton Leithauser – Alexandra – Former Walkmen frontman goes solo and brings back his distinctive howl. Love it!

04 – Boy & Bear – Southern Sun – Technically 2013’s, but I didn’t discover until January. Beautiful song.

03 – American Authors – Best Day Of My Life – Commercially successful, yes. But I like the sentiment and the melody. Good job, American Authors.

02 – Fitz & The Tantrums – The Walker – Catchiest whistled hook of the year. Fitz & Co. may have been #1, except TBS co-opted this song for the baseball playoffs and wore it out.

01 – St. Vincent – Digital Witness – Annie Clark shows why smart, hooky pop songs are awesome.

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Honorable Mentions (Songs that have been constant on my iPhone this year)

Alt-J – Left Hand Free

Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know

Bastille – Pompeii

Black Keys – Fever

Coldplay – Magic

Counting Crows – Scarecrow

Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener

Flaming Lips – Think Like A Machine, Not A Boy

Foo Fighters – Something From Nothing

Frazey Ford – September Fields

Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting On You)

Imagine Dragons – On Top Of The World

Jack White – Lazaretto

Keane – Russian Farmer’s Song

Lorde – Yellow Flicker Beat

Lykke Li – No Rest For The Wicked

Milky Chance – Stolen Dance

The Neighbourhood – Afraid

Paolo Nutini – Let Me Down Easy

Pixies – Magdalena

Shakey Graves – Dearly Departed

Sylvan Esso – Coffee

Teddy – Jacob’s Armour

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Simple And Sure

TV On The Radio – Happy Idiot

War On Drugs – Red Eyes

Wye Oak – Logic Of Color

 

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David Bowie – The Next Day

 

Bowie’s new video for “The Next Day” featuring Gary Oldman as Judas/Satan, Marion Cottilard as whore/magdalene and a wickedly Christlike Ziggy. Best viddie I’ve seen in a while.

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I knew it. Wait….nope.

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Posted in Humor, Meaning of Life, Pop Culture

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Posted in Pop Culture

Top Twelve Songs of 2012

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2012 wasn’t a great year in music for me. I don’t know why, but I found myself listening more to older tracks and classics than new stuff (which is unusual for me). Some of the bigger “pop” songs of the year make my list, but maybe that’s because they were pretty good tunes that got deserved recognition. Or maybe it’s because I wasn’t able to be exposed to a lot of cool, indie rock as I had in the past and only migrated to the newer popular songs. Having teenagers in the house who listen to top 40 pop doesn’t help. Anyway, I was able to cull my yearly list to twelve, and here they are:

12 – The Lumineers – Ho Hey

11 – Lana Del Ray – Video Games

10 – The Shins – Simple Song

09 – The Black Keys – Gold On the Ceiling

08 – Grouplove – Tongue Tied

07 – Garbage – Blood For Poppies

06 – David Byrne & St. Vincent – Who

05 – Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks

04 – fun. – We Are Young

03 – Gotye w/ Kimbra – Somebody That I used To Know

02 – Delta Spirit – California

01 – Nada Surf – Waiting For Something

Honorable Mentions (Songs that have been constant on my ipod this year)

Alabama Shakes – Hold On

Andrew Bird – Eyeoneye

Band of Skulls – Sweet Sour

Bat For Lashes – Laura

Beach House – Myth

Ben Folds Five – Do It Anyway

Bonnie Raitt – Right Down the Line

Civil Twilight – Fire Escape

Django Django – Default

Dr. Dog – Control Yourself

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Man on Fire

Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings

First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar

Foster The People – Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)

fun. – Some Nights

Jack White – Love Interuption

Miike Snow – Padding Out

Neon Trees – Everybody Talks

Of Montreal – Dour Percentage

Robert Francis – Heroin Lovers

Sleigh Bells – Born To Lose

Superchunk – This Summer

The Drums – Money

The Kills – Blue Moon

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Immigrant Song w/ Karen O

Twin Sister – Bad Street

Two Door Cinema Club – Sleep Alone

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