Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Top 20 Albums of 2019

The last year of the decade saw some amazing and diverse music. As I was compiling this list, I was pointedly struck by how many genres were represented. Pop, soul, hard rock, techno, club, classic rock, hip hop, and, of course, Brit rock. A perfect mix of the spectrum.

Without further adieu, here are my picks for the best records of 2019.

20. Lahs by Allah-Las

Los Angeles is still a great place for psychedelic garage bands. The Allah-La's are one such band. Who wants to have a house party and hire them to play?

19. The Balance by Catfish and The Bottlemen

With this release, last Spring, Van and the lads became the Band of the Decade.Another corker from start to finish just like their previous two releases.

18. Cry by Cigarettes After Sex

Texas does everything big and this band is fucking large at being awesome. Their music makes me feel soft and I need a lot more of that in my life.

17. Why Me? Why Not. by Liam Gallagher

The kid from Manchester continues to show us that he is truly an artist capable of doing his own thing. The tracks on this record shine and sparkle from start to finish.

16. Kiwanuka by Michael Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka makes cinematic soul music that makes me feel like I'm in the 1960s. Yet it's 2019. He is absolutely the heir to Marvin Gaye. So, so good...

15. Blue-Eyed Soul by Simply Red

Simply Red has gone from strength to strength for the better part of three decades. Their latest effort is exactly the title, Blue-Eyed Soul. A true gem from these Mancunians.

14. Kind by Stereophonics

The band that keeps me going every single fucking day adds another stellar entry into their discography. The lads from Cwmaman, Wales have returned to sounds and a style heard on their very first record. Kelly's perfect rock and roll whiskey and cigarettes voice is way out front on this one and it's mega.

13. This Is Not A Safe Place by Ride

Ride went away for a little while but now they are back in full force with albums and EP's coming at a very steady clip. This latest effort is very diverse in terms of style. They have their usual dream pop/psychedelic stuff but, as you can hear from the track below, 80's synth-pop is also on the docket.

12. The Soft Calvary by The Soft Calvary

Rachel Goswell's project with husband Steve Clarke is a perfect confection for lovers everywhere. Of all the records on my list this year, this one is the best to shag to. Taste those kisses!

11. Para Mi by Cuco

I feel like large portions of this record could be the soundtrack to a dramatic comedy that was on television in the 1970s. It pleases me greatly that young dudes like Cuco are really plugged into Gen X nostalgia.

10. Feral Roots by Rival Sons

Hard rock is back! Thank God!! I wish I had hair so I could shake it all around to this record. My hope is that between Rival Sons and Greta Van Fleet, we see a continued resurgence of hard rock.

9. Outer Piece by Toro Y Moi

Somewhere between hipster DJ and stoner buddy in the basement that worships Jimi Hendrix lies Toro Y Moi. His live act, which I caught this year at First Avenue in the Main Room was extraordinary. This record was a beautiful kiss...

8. Look Alive by Guster

Back in 2009, my friend Julia introduced me to Guster and I have been thankful ever since. Their release this year is nine tracks of dragon level stellar. It's one of those records that takes you on a magical journey from start to finish.

7. Who by The Who

My first reaction to hearing the new album by The Who was...holy crap. Pete and Roger just made yet another classic record that goes right along with all their other amazing albums. Let this be a lesson for bands who can't seem to capture their original glory. You can do it!

Note: I'm going to have a full review of this album up soon as it came out just a few weeks ago

6. Inflorescent by Friendly Fires

Waiting for a new Friendly Fires album is an exercise in patience. Extreme patience. But their third full length, released this year, was well worth the wait. I'm back to wanting to spend every night dancing at 2am at some cool club and wondering if love will find me...

5. Renegade by Dylan LeBlanc

Dylan LeBlanc is an American treasure. His songs reek of star-spangled manifest destiny. His latest effort was written for every lonely person at every bar in America who has ever slowly brought a bottle of beer up to their mouths for a contemplative and sad pull. And yet somehow it's also for all happy lovers too.

4. Fool by Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson has been a hero of mine for five decades. From the moment I first heard, "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" on my crappy, old AM radio to Fool, the album he released last January. His music always hits me so personally with each new release instantly becoming a soundtrack for that time period in my life. I think it's the stories that he tells in his songs...so poignant and heartfelt...

3. American Love Call by Durand Jones and the Indications

Classic soul music is alive and well thanks to Durand Jones and the Indications. Their sophomore effort completely blew me away in terms of its pitch-perfect capture of 70's era soul music. They sound vintage but are completely original and recorded in 2019. 12 tracks of sheer beauty!

2. Orion by X Ambassadors

This New York outfit launched itself into the stratosphere with this record. The lyrics are urban poetry at its finest. The recording is flawless. The pop hooks on this album are guaranteed to snare even the most tone-deaf. It's simply impossible to get sick of this record. I've played it so many times that I lost count.

1. Cuz I Love You by Lizzo

My hometown girl has the honor this year's album of the year. Lizzo took 2019 by storm with Cuz I Love You. Showcasing just about every musical style known to people, this record is a tour de force of titania. Every single track is bril. The world is a much better place with Lizzo in it.

A truly great group of artists. Please support them by seeing them on tour and buying their music!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Best Track of 2019: Confidence by X Ambassadors

Ithaca, New York's X Ambassadors have the honor of our Track of the Year for 2019.

"Confidence" is a shovel to the head stunner of a track with all essential elements of a perfect pop song. Catchy hooks, a perfect blend of male and female vocals, danceable beat, a tough message on love and relationships, and thoughtful lyrics all mix together in the most wonderful of ways.

I have played this track over and over again, liking it more each time I play it and never feeling any sort of wear. It's taken root deep in my heart and soul. I wish the same for every new listener.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Track #2 of 2019: Tempo by Lizzo

My hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota has produced a veritable pantheon of great music over the decades and now Lizzo can take her place among them. Cuz I Love You is an astounding achievement and "Tempo" is truly the standout track.

Track #3 of 2019: Renegade by Dylan LeBlanc

The great state of Louisiana should be very proud of yet another amazing contribution to the world, Dylan LeBlanc. The title track off his latest effort, Renegade, is pure Americana laced with gold. Every late-night lover drive is encapsulated in this track and yet is it really about romance?

My pick for #3 this year.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Track #4 of 2019: Black Star Dancing by Noel Gallagher

Noel Gallagher has been churning out a new EP every couple of months and they have all been amazing. “Black Star Dancing” was a particular favorite of mine this year and it’s my pick for number four. It was also my song of the summer. What a groove!!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Track #5 of 2019: Silhouettes by Friendly Fires

St. Albans, Hertfordshire should be proud of their sons, Friendly Fires. They've been putting out fantastic music for more than a decade. Their catchy, pop dance club numbers are truly extraordinary. This year saw the release of their third full length record called Inflorescent. Here is the top track.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Track #6 of 2019: Body Chemistry by The Drums

The Drums returned this year with their fifth full length called Brutalism. This NYC outfit continues to spin fun pop songs about love, loss and heartache. "Body Chemistry" was the standout track for me. No doubt all of us need "some good luck, a good fuck" and a "nice glass of wine."


Monday, December 23, 2019

Track #7 of 2019: Morning in America by Durand Jones and the Indications

The last decade will be remembered as the one where soul music experienced a renaissance. Curtis Harding, Michael Kiwanuka, and the late Sharon Jones have paved the way for a return to that music that gives all of us life blood to get through the days and nights.

Durand Jones and the Indications have planted themselves firmly in this pantheon. Their second album, American Love Call, was released at the beginning of the year and it is truly a fantastic piece of work. The track "Morning in America" sums up our country perfectly right now.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Track #8 of 2019: Longshot by Catfish and the Bottlemen

Catfish and the Bottlemen cemented their status as Band of the Decade with the release this year of their third full length entitled The Balance. One of the top tracks from the record comes in at #8 for me and brings back fond memories of the summer of 2019.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Track #9 of 2019: Strange Land by Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson stormed back at the very beginning of 2019 with a true return to form. Fool is an extraordinary record that will be in my top albums of this year. A stand out track for me is my ninth best of the year. "Strange Land" reminds me of all the reasons why I heart Joe Jackson and have for nearly four decades. It also creates some new reasons to love him.

Feeling nostalgia for something new...

Track #10 of 2019: I Think Of Home by Snow Patrol

The latest track from Dundee, Ireland's own Snow Patrol is absolutely perfect for the holidays. Millions of people from around the world will be travelling home for the holidays and feeling waves of nostalgia. Gary may be singing about Ireland but it could be any place that anyone calls home.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Track #11 of 2019: Hello Mister Sun by Guster

Holy crap did Guster make a great record this year. Look Alive is completely mega from start to finish. The stand out track for me was this trip down psychedelic memory lane.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Track #12 of 2019: Chula by Simply Red

Simply Red returned this year with a corker of a record called Blue Eyed Soul and that's exactly what it was. All of the tracks were great but the standout was really "Chula" with its slinky grooviness.

I recommend playing this record back to back with their first release, Picture Book, from 1985. Great music from bookend to bookend!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Track #13 of 2019: Future Love by Ride

Turkey Day 2019 is in the books but I'm still thankful that Oxford's Ride is still making music. This band has been around for three decades and shows zero sign of letting up. This Is Not A Safe Place is their third release in an as many years and showcases their dream pop and shimmer magic.

"Future Love" is my thirteenth best track of 2019.

The Albums That Defined This Decade

Looking back on the years 2010-2019, it's honestly a struggle to find a clear and defining musical style. We all look at the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's as having very specific characteristics that are universally accepted. So what have the teens, 21st century been all about? There was also a similar struggle with the years 2001-2009 although I think that decade was the "dudes with guitars" decade.

Perhaps it's time to stop trying to define decades and just enjoy the myriad of music that is out there. With so many bands putting out songs and albums, diversity seems to be the order of the day. So, with that in mind, here are some selections from the last decade that I feel are essentials to any music collection and honestly capture this moment in time, musically speaking. Let's go year by year.


Paul Weller-Wake Up The Nation
Tom Petty-Mojo
Stone Temple Pilots-Stone Temple Pilots
Tired Pony-The Places We Ran From


Friendly Fires-Pala
The Kooks-Junk of the Heart
Miles Kane-The Colour of the Trap
The Original 7ven-Condensate

Donald Fagan-Sunken Condos
Paul Weller-Sonik Kicks
San Cisco-San Cisco

David Bowie-The Next Day
Peace-In Love

Catfish and the Bottlemen-The Balcony
Ryan Adams-Ryan Adams
Temples-Sun Structures

Twenty One Pilots-Blurryface

Bruno Mars-24K Magic
DMA's-Hill's End
Frank Ocean-Blonde
Run The Jewels-Run The Jewels 3
Viola Beach-Viola Beach

Childhood-Universal High

The Interrupters-Fight The Good Fight
The Vryll Society-Course Of The Satellite

2019 (a sneak peek at my top choices of this year)
Duran Jones and the Indications-American Love Call
Joe Jackson-Fool
Lizzo-Cuz I Love You
X Ambassadors-Orion

I thought about writing a little something after each one but I would rather have the experience be a new one for each listener. And straight up lists are always a good time.

Go buy these records!!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Track #14 of 2019: I Got You by The O'Jays

The O'Jays may have peaced out for good with their final release this year (appropriately titled The Last Word) but the memories of this amazing soul band will live on forever. The track, "I Got You," stands up right next to all the rest of their fantastic songs in their musical pantheon.


Saturday, December 14, 2019

Track #15 of 2019: Shockwave by Liam Gallagher

The kid from Manchester has turned out another great record with this track kicking it all off. The future is bright indeed for Liam Gallagher and the post-Oasis days. He doesn't need a fucking band. Just himself, his parker and his swagger...

The menace!

Track #16 of 2019: Do Your Worst by Rival Sons

It's nice to see old school rock and roll come back with the likes of Rival Sons. Feral Roots was one of my top spins of 2019 and here is one of the best tracks.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Track #17 of 2019: Dive by The Soft Calvary

I heart Rachel Goswell! This was pretty much a major theme for me this year. I've always loved Slow Dive but The Soft Cavalry really hits me in the right spot. Perhaps it's because it's a labor of love with husband Steve Clarke.

I'm remembering those hot summer days and cool summer nights just a few short months ago...

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Track #18 of 2019: Feelings by Cuco

The lounge-y, chill out stylings of Hawthorne, California's Cuco were a great way to end the summer this year. His debut, Para Mi, is in contention for Album of the Year. "Feelings" is a great example of the wonder of this record.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Track #19 of 2019: Fly Like An Eagle by Stereophonics

The Welsh institution and musical juggernaut known as Stereoponics released a wonderful new track this year called "Fly Like An Eagle." Made for the downtrodden everywhere, this tune is guaranteed to lift you up and make you believe that you can achieve anything!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Track #20 of 2019: Fox on the Rooftop by Steve Mason

Hey, we are in the top 20 and Steve Mason is the perfect artist to ring that shit in!! The former Beta Band front man released a gem of a record this year (About The Light) with this magnificent track.

I still wish I was hanging out with those Edinburgh ladies on the cover...

Monday, December 9, 2019

Track #21 of 2019: Sisyphus by Andrew Bird

Images of a spaghetti western abound in this wonderful track from Andrew Bird. I’ve always loved whistling in songs as well.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Track #22 of 2019: Everybody Loves You by Soak

My anthem for the year was this track. It made me feel like walking across a field, all Judd Nelson in Breakfast Club like, with my fist raised in the air. SOAK, or Bridie Monds-Watson, is a true delight and this track is guaranteed to make you feel all triumphant and stuff.

Track #23 of 2019: Ordinary Pleasure by Toro Y Moi

Toro Y Moi is one of a few artists today who truly represents the future of music. Outer Peace came out early in the year and it's been with me hard all twelve months. I caught him live in the Main Room at First Avenue last month and his show is amazing. Check him out if you get a chance!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Track #24 of 2019: Silhouettes by American Football

2019 was a lot better with American Football in it. I was quite pleased to discover this Urbana, Illinois band and their three full-length releases-all titled American Football. "Silhouettes" is my favorite track on the record and, believe it or not, it's one of two songs called "Silhouettes" on my top tracks of 2019!!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Track #25 of 2019: Runnin' by Ohtis

Ohtis is truly an American band and their track, "Runnin," is a perfect illustration of how being an American spans time and many, many landscapes. Go for a drive with a romantic loved one and play this song!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Track #26 of 2019: Diamond Skull by AA Bondy

Birmingham, Alabama's own AA Bondy put out a massively wonderful sociopolitical statement with the track, "Diamond Skull." It's a perfect track for our times and it's my 26th best track of 2019.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Track #27 of 2019: Supernatural Sadness by Lily and Madeline

Lily and Madeline made a fantastic record this year called Canterbury Girls. The stand out track is my pick for #27 of 2019. "Supernatural Sadness" has all the perfect ingredients for a catchy pop tune. And dig that Xylophone!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Track #28 of 2019: Deerhunter: Futurism

It makes me very happy that Atlanta's Deerhunter has been making music that has shaped our new millennium from its nascence. Their latest effort, Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?, was one of the first releases in 2019 and I've enjoyed it all year.

My favorite track is "Futurism," and it's #28 on my list for 2019.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Track #29 of 2019: Holding Pattern by Allah-Las

LA's own Allah-Las released a truly great record this year called Lahs. It made me feel like I wanted them to play psychedelic music in my garage. Then I imagined how amazing the whole party at my house would be. It was a great dream of something that will likely never happen but still, it was fun to think about.

Here's one of the best tracks on the album and it's #29 for me this year.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Track #30 of 2019: Contact by Big Thief

Let the countdown begin! Starting today and going all the way until the end of December, I will highlight my top tracks of 2019.

This year, I have selected only 30 songs to keep it a tad more concise. First up is "Contact" by Big Thief. This Brooklyn quartet has been a staple in my musical diet for most of 2019. They have released two albums this year (U.F.O.F. and Two Hands) which is completely wonderful. This track is from U.F.O.F. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Kele: Let England Burn (Track of the Week)

Since this week is Thanksgiving, I have to say that I am very thankful for Liverpool's own Kele. The front man for Bloc Party has dazzled in his solo career. His latest effort is called 2042 and the track, "Let England Burn" is my pick for this week. It's a slow, slinky perfect for late night club number. Check it out!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Blaenavon: Everything That Makes You Happy (Album of the Week)

The lads from Hampshire are back with their second full length, Everything That Makes You Happy. The future of Brit Rock is in good hands with Blaenavon and their melodic, expansive pop gems. Check it out!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Obsessing Over The Cars

For whatever reason, I've been obsessing over The Cars lately. Their second album, Candy-O, has been in regular rotation on my iPhone and in my car. It's such a great record. From the opening track "Let's Go" all the way through "Dangerous Type," there is honestly not a bad song on the record.

It brings me back to those early days of listening to my crappy, old AM clock radio and WLS out of Chicago. The world of music was opening to me and The Cars were a big part of that.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Turnover: Much After Feeling (Track of the Week)

Virginia Beach, Virginia has cool bands? Yes. Yes, they do. And Turnover is a fine example. Their fourth full length, Alltogether, recently dropped and it's the perfect antidote for stress. Its mellow vibe puts the listener into a decidedly chill place of dreams and memories.

Check out this groovy video...

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Simply Red: Blue Eyed Soul (Album of the Week)

Manchester's own Simply Red are on their fourth decade of making amazing music. I'll never forget coming home from college for the holidays in 1985 to hear my sister and all of her friends playing the crap out of Picture Book. I promptly purchased it at Main Street Records in Racine, Wisconsin and brought it back up to Minneapolis. "Holding Back The Years" quickly became the slow dance staple for every dorm and frat party.

Their latest effort is Blue-Eyed Soul and it's just that. What a stunning effort that soothes the soul part of my soul. Ten tracks of sheer magnificence. Here's one of my favorites...

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Stereophonics: Fly Like An Eagle (Track of the Week)

Cwmaman's own Stereophonics are one of my favorite bands of all time. Easily in the Top Ten. Their latest effort, Kind, is the first installment of their fourth trilogy and their eleventh full length. The second track is my pick for the week and no, it's not a Steve Miller cover. Instead, we have an uplifting, spiritual number that ranks among the lads' finest.

Check it out!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Pete Yorn: Caretakers (Album of the Week)

Pete Yorn has always been kind of a side piece for me. I buy his albums, love them in the moment, but quickly return to my regulars and the never-ending torrent of new artists.

Yet, his latest effort entitled Caretakers is an absolute gem. It's 12 tracks (as all good albums should be) of pure fucking genius. Every single track is brilliant. Yorn digs deep into the exploration of relationship intricacies and turns out utter magnificence.

Go buy this record now!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Peter Broderick: Sickness, Bury (Autumn Music Series)

It's a cold and rainy day in the North Woods and I can't think of a better late autumn track than "Sickness, Bury" by Peter Broderick. The shimmer and the echo-y guitars...wow...

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Triumph: Fight The Good Fight (Throwback Thursday)

Canada has produced many great bands over the decades. Triumph has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Allied Forces was a regular staple of my freshman year in high school. A few of the lads at my school even made a video of the song for communication class. It was an air band classic!

Sure, they sound like Zep but who cares? This song is AWESOME!


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Ringo Starr: Grow Old With Me (Track of the Week)

Liverpool's own Ringo Starr has a new record out and it contains a gem written by none other than his old bandmate, John Lennon. "Grow Old With Me" is honestly a perfect song for Ring as he has always been the one Beatle that can really sing the old fashion songs. Macca produced and played on the track so it's basically a Beatles song.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Cigarettes After Sex: Cry (Album of the Week)

El Paso's own Cigarettes After Sex just released their sophomore effort, Cry, and it may be the most romantic record I've heard in years. Every track makes me want to kiss a woman very deeply, look into her eyes, and tell her that I love her...in Paris in the rain. It also makes me want the autumn season to be year-round with its echo-y guitars and vocals that shoot bleak landscapes into my mind palace.

Please get this album and find a loved one...

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Brian Eno: Late October (Autumn Music Series)

As we close out October (really the best month to listen to fall music), I can't think of a better selection than "Late October" by Brian Eno. Taken from the 1984 release The Pearl, a collaboration with Harold Budd, this track feels like the last day of October in every way. The haunting and dark piano...

Monday, October 28, 2019

Psapp: Tourists (Album of the Week)

London's Psapp is known as an electronica band but lately they sure sound awfully indie popish. Their latest effort, Tourists, is an absolute gem with 13 tracks of complete bliss. All of the songs blur together in wonder...

Here is the opening song...

Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Duke Spirit: Wooden Heart (Autumn Music Series)

The Duke Spirit is a very wonderful band from London that has been making amazing dream pop since 2003. The track "Wooden Heart" from their 2008 LP, Neptune, is perfect for a crunch leaf walk on a late Saturday afternoon.



Thursday, October 24, 2019

Rick Springfield: Love Somebody (Throwback Thursday)

Rick Springfield is classic hate turned into love nostalgia for me. I hated him in the 80's, largely because he was overplayed on MTV. Yet, when I hear him now, waves of great memories of being in my father's house in Murphysboro, Illinois and watching WAY too much MTV wash over me.

"Love Somebody" was one such track. What a classic from 1984!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Big Thief: Forgotten Eyes (Track of the Week)

Big Thief has released another album this year and it's just as good as the one that came out last spring. Two Hands is a nice bookend for their 2019 output. Here is the standout track featuring a pleading, loving and sometimes adorably cracking vocal by Adrianne Lenker.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Allah-Las: Lahs (Album of the Week)

The Allah-Las have just released a refreshing and wonderful gift to the world. The Los Angeles four piece's latest effort, Lahs, continues their psychedelic jangle pop journey into music myth making. I wish this band could play in my garage!

Here is the first track...

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Ratt: Round and Round (Throwback Thursday)

Ratt's "Round and Round" was a regular staple of MTV in the early 80's. In fact, they played it so much that I never bought the album. I wasn't really into hair bands but hearing those old classics now makes me wax nostalgic and, invariably, I end up going back and buying the records.

This is such a great rocker...

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Forest Swords: Hjurt (Autumn Music Series)

Normally my music taste includes more vocal oriented stuff than instrumental excursions. Yet Forest Swords (aka Matthew Barnes) bleak soundscapes have sparked a world of imagination in my mind palace. In particular, the track, "Hjurt" from his 2010 EP, Dagger Paths (expanded No Pain in Pop release) really hit my nostalgia zone. It reminds me a great deal of the whole Eno-Lanois "treatments" genre.

Check it out!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Temples: Hot Motion (Track of the Week)

Temples are back with their third full length entitled Hot Motion. This Kettering, Northamptonshire four piece continues to churn out magnificent psychedelic pop that makes me yearn for the year 1966. The title track is my pick for the week.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Moon Duo: Stars Are The Light (Album of the Week)

Prepare your mind palace for the journey of a lifetime as you listen to Moon Duo's amazing new record, Stars Are The Light. This San Francisco psychedelic rock pair has now made seven amazing records and this latest one is an amazing dream.

Here is the opening track....wow!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Kenny Loggins: This Is It (Throwback Thursday)

What is it about songs I hated when I was growing up now being fun to listen to? I hated, I mean fucking hated, Kenny Loggins and all his simplistic hit singlesYet, I heard "This Is It" from 1979's Keep The Fire recently and it sounded really great. All the nostalgia from that time washed over me and far too many memories came back.

I was 12 years old when it come out and I heard it constantly blaring through my shitty, old clock radio that could only tune in WLS out of Chicago. I got so tired of the darn song. But here we are 40 years later and it sounds fresh again. Music is just crazy that way.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Noel Gallagher: This Is The Place (Track of the Week)

The psychedelic love continues to flow from Manchester's own Noel Gallagher. He has been on an EP kick lately and I'm loving every minute of it. His latest offering (and my pick of the week) is the title track.

Groovy, babies!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Liam Gallagher: Why Me? Why Not (Album of the Week)

The kid from Manchester recently released his second solo effort and it's every bit as good as the first. In fact, I find it to be much more confident than his first offering. Why Me? Why Not is a pure confection of Brit pop joy rooted in the usual Beatles and Oasis tropes. There are some surprises, though, in the form of simple, sheer power. The album is eleven earthquake-like tracks of sonic delight.

Here's a taste...

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Lucas Renney: How I Wanted You (Autumn Music Series)

A haunting and echo-y voice combined with a steel pedal guitar is a must for any fall track. Lucas Renney's "How I Wanted You" delivers this confection quite well plus a whole lot more. A perfect track for walking in the autumn moonlight...

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Gary Myrick and the Figures: She Talks In Stereo (Throwback Thursday)

Here's one of my favorite 80's chestnuts from power pop rocker Gary Myrick. Taken from his very first LP called Gary Myrick and the Figures, this track was a staple of our dorm parties at the U of M.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Protomartyr: Pontiac 87

Detroit is normally known for its rich history of soul music yet their indie scene has been blossoming in the last few years and a band leading the charge is Protomartyr. 2015 saw the release of The Agent Intellect and on it was this amazing, autumnal track, "Pontiac 87."

The echo-y guitars...the aural landscape that creates a midwestern landscape in our mind...the ethereal voice...perfect...

Monday, September 30, 2019

Belle and Sebastien: I Know Where The Summer Goes (Track of the Week)

Glasgow's own Belle and Sebastien have offered the perfect farewell kiss to the summer of 2019 with a rerelease of their  track "I Know Where The Summer Goes." Taken from their latest album Days of the Bagnold Summer, a soundtrack to the film of the same name, this song is an aural metaphor for fading sunlight and lost love.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Twin Peaks: Lookout Low (Album of the Week)

Chicago has produced many a great band over the years but there is something truly amazing about Twin Peaks. I'll admit they caught my eye merely because of their name (I am a HUGE fan of the show) back in 2010 when they released their first album. Their music won me over very quickly and their latest release is a five-star stunner.

Tapping into a '70s dripped dream filled with the Allman Brothers and Bob Dylan, Lookout Low is a pure delight of nostalgia. and top-notch musicianship. Here is the opening track...

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Gene Loves Jezebel: Heavenly Body (Autumn Music Series)

It's that time of the year again!! The Autumn Music Series begins again today on the first day of fall. I thought I would kick it off with this early 90's chestnut from London's own Gene Loves Jezebel. I've enjoyed this track, with its echo-y guitars and infinite sonic landscapes, for over 25 years. It's PERFECT for a long road trip to look at the changing leaves!!

As always, if you want the perfect playlist for the fall, click the tag "Autumn Music Series" below to check out all the amazing, autumnal tracks.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Bat For Lashes: Vampires (Track of the Week)

London's own Bat For Lashes (aka Natasha Khan) has a fab new record out called Lost Girls. The track "Vampires" has caught my attention with its echo-y ferociousness and saxophone from the 80's, Miami Vice.

Play it loud, people!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Joyero: Release The Dogs (Album of the Week)

Andy Stark (Wye Oak) has just released his latest project and it's magnificent. Performing under the name Joyero, this Baltimore native's first solo effort, entitled Release the Dogs, is a drone filled pop mess full of sonic love. It's been in constant rotation on my iPhone this week and it should be the same on all of your devices.

Here is a taste of the wonderfulness...

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Rheostatics: Vancouver (Track of the Week)

Ontario, Canada's own Rheostatics are back with their first full length in over 12 years. The opening track from Here Comes The Wolves is simply wonderful and it's my track of the week.

As an aside, it's a good primer for the upcoming Autumn Music Series!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Whitney: Forever Turned Around (Album of the Week)

Chicago's own Whitney has released their second full length and it is quite enjoyable on a number of levels. Max and Julien still have much of that Smith Westerns sound which makes me happy, of course, but they also have a fab 1970's vibe going on with this record that brings me back to my childhood.

Here is the opening track that starts your journey...

Monday, September 2, 2019

Lana Del Rey: Norman Fucking Rockwell (Track of the Week)

I find Lana Del Rey to be fascinating. I'm not the biggest fan of her music but there is something about it that I just can't ignore. Is it the baroque poppiness of it all? Perhaps. It has just enough dream pop in it that I truly do heart her artistry.

Her sixth full length just dropped and I really dig it. Here is the opening song and my choice for track of the week.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Friendly Fires: Inflorescent (Album of the Week)

The lads from St. Albans Hertfordshire, England have finally returned with a full-length album and it's a corker. Inflorescent has eleven tracks that are guaranteed to get your booty moving and possibly even generate a deep desire to turn your living space into a late-night dance club rager. This record is easily in contention for Album of the Year.

Here is my favorite track...


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Ride: UK Artist Spotlight

Oxford's own dream-pop band Ride has been on a magnificent roll in the last couple of years. 2017 saw the release of Weather Diaries, their first LP in over 20 years. Last year we got an EP treat (just like the old days of the British single/EP...sigh...I miss them) called Tomorrow's Shore. And just two weeks ago their six full length dropped.

This Is Not A Safe Place is 12 tracks of shoegaze joy. All of the things I've loved about Ride are present on this album...the shimmery guitars...the expansive soundscapes...pop love...vocals that make you shiver...

Here is a taste...

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Frank Turner Releases His Second Masterpiece (And Gets Me Too'd by Intorlerant Assholes For It)

Most of the time when Frank Turner makes a new record, I'm like "Meh." I get them all, of course, because I have to maintain my Brit street cred but I invariably think they are just alright. The exception, of course, is the 2011 release England Keep My Bones which is a fucking masterpiece.

His latest release is No Man's Land and it's easily as good if not better than Bones. I put in on the other day when I went out for a jog and was completely overwhelmed by it. The music was far more interesting than his last few records. Each song told very haunting and moving stories, the most compelling of which is "Silent Key." I'm not going to spoil what it's about because the listener will get a better experience going in cold. 

When I got done with my run, I went home to check out what NME and other reviewers had said. Lo and behold, I found Will Richards scathing review and sadly shook my head. I honestly had no idea that Turner was trying to lift up unheard female voices with this record although the title should have given me a clue. I just really liked it a lot.

But I guess now I'm not supposed to like it because apparently talented men aren't supposed to make music about heroic women anymore. Turner made the mistake of trying to explain himself which you NEVER EVER do with this very small but very loud faction within the Me Too Movement. They are massively intolerant, almost to the point of totalitarianism, and feed on men trying to be earnest. These intolerants play internet troll games to go for the social media "win," whatever the fuck that is worth. 

I could really care less what a very small percentage of fake woke people think on the interwebs. No Man's Land is Frank Turner's second masterpiece. Go buy it. 

Here is "Silent Key."

Friday, August 23, 2019

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Marika Hackman: I'm Not Where You Are (Track of the Week)

Hampshire's own Marika Hackman has just dropped her third full length album. Any Human Friend has many wonderful tracks but the best, by far, is "I'm Not Where You Are." The chorus hook alone has my head spinning but the guitar solo sends me to another planet! Check it out!!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Kaiser Chiefs: Duck (Album of the Week)

The lads from Leeds are back with their seventh full-length record entitled Duck. This release sees a return to form with all the classic exuberance and bravado that has been typical of the Kaiser Chiefs. All 11 tracks are monstrously awesome. Here is one of my favorites...

Saturday, August 17, 2019

U2: 11 O'Clock Tick Tock and Surrender

Ever wake up in the morning and have a song stuck in your head? Well, I had two old U2 chestnuts rattling around in my noggin this AM and I just had to share them. Both are by Dublin's own U2. The first is the non-album single 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, released just prior to their first album (Boy). I first heard this track when the live record Under A Blood Red Sky Came Out in late 1983. Here is the video of that performance.

The other track bouncing around in my head is from the War album. Surrender is one of my all-time favorite U2 songs. Here is a performance from Germany of that track.

Enjoy my earworms today!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Lloyd Cole: The Over Under (Track of the Week)

Buxton's own Lloyd Cole has charmed the pants off of me for over three decades. My soundtrack to the 1980s saw Rattlesnakes in regular rotation. That album came out my senior year in high school and was a staple of our dances. His latest effort is Guesswork, an eight-track wonder that is guaranteed to please many a fine folk far and wide. Here is the opening track...

Friday, August 2, 2019

Cuco: Para Mi (Album of the Week)

Hawthorne, California's own Cuco has just released a stunning debut of a record. Para Mi simply shimmers summer, lounge, chill out, and Burt Bacharach. Each track paints a mindscape that is external and universal yet still manages to sound private as if we are all in his bedroom with him creating this low fi masterpiece. Or a Holiday Inn lounge in the early 1970's.

Here is a great sample of what you will experience...

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Soft Cavalry: Dive (Track of the Week from the Album of the Week)

Fareham's own Rachel Goswell is a United Kingdom treasure. She's been making fantastic music since the early '90s with her dream pop, shoegazing outfit Slowdive. Her latest project, The Soft Calvary, is with her husband Steve Clarke. Their self-titled debut is an extraordinary piece of work. It is immediately in contention for album of the year and is the perfect record to enjoy on a hot summer day or a cool summer night (especially with a loved one!)

From the opening track all the way through the eleven other songs, I was transported to a breezy and chill world of mental and emotional watercolors. The best music has always been the kind that sends the mind and heart on a journey. Goswell and Clarke deliver that massively on this record.

Here is the opening track. Dive in with "Dive."

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Saint Etienne: Sumerisle (Summer Playlist Track #4)

It's raining today in the North Woods so I need some summer sunshine in the form of music. London's Saint Etienne has a great summer track off of their 2002 masterpiece, Finisterre. Sit back, listen, and dream of those beautiful rays, babies!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Fruit Bats: Gold Past Life (Album of the Week)

Chicago's own Fruit Bats have been making music for all of the years so far in this new millennium and we should all be very grateful for it. Rooted in old school pop music, core member Eric D. Johnson has continued to turn out spirited and just plain fun albums. Fruit Bats are indeed a midwest treasure that you must discover if you have not done so already.

Their latest is called Gold Past Life. Here is the title track.

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Hives: Good Samaritan (Track of the Week)

The madcap lads from Fagersta, Sweden are back with another great single this year called "Good Samaritan." This comes on the heels of last springs offering, "So Alive." It's great to see them making music again and touring. A full length album is in the works!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Howard Jones: No One Is To Blame

MTV really shaped my teenage years. Every time I hear a track that was in heavy video rotation, my inner nostalgia explodes for those endless hours watching that music channel.

Howard Jones was all over MTV in the 80's. The Southhampton native churned out mighty fine bubblegum pop that stuck with you forever. From 1986, here is one of my faves for Throwback Thursday.

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Style Council: Long Hot Summer (Summer Playlist Track #3)

No summer playlist would be complete without this absolute gem from the summer of 1983 by Paul Weller's second band, The Style Council. Released as part of a four track EP called A Paris, "Long Hot Summer" instantly vaulted to seasonal anthem status. By coincidence the British summer heat wave of 1983, most notably July, turned out to be one of the hottest on record – something that would not have been known at the time the song was written and recorded. Serendipity!

The liner notes declared it would be played "everywhere on portable trannies for those of you who fall in love for the first time and out of love for the last..."


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Lovin' Spoonful: Summer In the City (Summer Playlist Track #2)

Even though it is mildly contrived, The Lovin' Spoonful's "Summer in the City" is essential to any summer playlist. It paints a stark portrait of their hometown of New York City on those scorching summer days.


Monday, July 1, 2019

Hot Chip: A Bath Full of Ecstasy (Album of the Week)

London's own Hot Chip have just released their lucky seventh album and it's a corker! Even though I'm not much of a synthpop guy, I have truly enjoyed this band their beginnings back in the noughties. A Bath Full of Ecstasy sees the band fully realizing their sound and their dream.

Enjoy it with them!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

X Ambassadors: Confidence (Track of the Week)

Ithaca, New York's own X Ambassadors caught my eye recently with this infectious track. It's from their third and latest full length, Orion. I have to admit that it's reached deep into my soul as I have known a person or two that has made me feel this way...:)


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Smooth Soul of Rashaan Patterson (Album of the Week)

Rashaan Patterson is a soul music treasure. His latest release, Heroes and Gods, has become my latest obsession. It's R&B done absolutely right, touching just about every sub genre that falls under that umbrella. I even hear a solid acid jazz thread running through several of the cuts that makes me wax nostalgic for the late 80's/early 90's late night, club scene.

Here's the opening track...

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Band of the Decade: Catfish and The Bottlemen

The first time I heard Catfish and the Bottlemen I loved them immediately. It was the opening track from their first full length, The Balcony (2014). "Homesick" sent me straight away to that magical, Brit-rock place that I go to when I new band from the Holy Land captures my attention. The progression, as it always is, was the same. I found out where they were from (Llandudno, Conwy, Wales), I imagined the first time I would see them live, how the club would smell where I would see them, how the booze would taste that I was drinking, and how the people I was with would enjoy the show with me.

More importantly, Catfish and the Bottlemen, like many Brit Rockers before them, became the underlying soundtrack to my inherent coolness. They were another brick (a BIG brick) in my stellar music taste which drives personality. The foundation of my ego/id/superego is British music in all its historic splendor. It propels me every day to new levels of completely fucking insane exhilaration. It gives me confidence and swagger.

So, as the 11 tracks of that first Catfish record unspooled for my aural delight, I was beyond hooked. I was obsessed! I immediately tracked down their first EP (The Beautiful Decay) and several rare tracks ("Tortuga", "Asa" on the Rango single) so I could have as much as possible. I began to play all of their tunes over and over again with all of their stories becoming part of my story. Every song, as related by frontman Van McCann, seemed to be made for anthemic sing-alongs at a festival show. All of them were about great loves that I've had and never had. "Cocoon" is one of the greatest rock songs of all time. "Rango" gives me the shivers every time I hear it. "26" makes me want to talk to all the girls I was too afraid to talk to when I was a teenager. Here is "Cocoon."

Speaking of teenagers, both my own kids went bananas over the album as well. That says something. A Gen Xer like me digging a band is one thing. We were born to do that. But a Gen Zer? That means the band is mint. The Balcony quickly became my pick for Best Album of 2015.  It has since made my top 101 albums of all time, clocking in at #51.

The live shows have been nothing short of extraordinary. I first caught them on June 9th in 2015 at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis (my hometown). I was struck immediately by their showmanship and, in particular, the ever charismatic Van McCann. The first time you see him sing and play guitar one word comes to mind: superstar. That dude knows how to electrify a crowd. They next played the main room at First Avenue on June 15, 2016. That show was fucking astounding....one of the best I have ever seen there. I caught them again on December 1 later that year at Myth. The latter two times I saw them I brought my wife and teenage kids with me. These were two of the most memorable times we've had as a family. Hearing great music and hanging out with the people I love the most!!

Here is a full show they played that year at T in the Park. It gives you an idea of how awesome they are live.

2016 also saw the release of their second effort, The Ride. Sophomore efforts invariably have songs that, for whatever reason, didn't make it to the first album so it was every bit as amazing as The Balcony. Top tracks are "Twice," "Soundcheck," "Red," and "Oxygen." Here is the video for "Oxygen."

This year the band released their third full-length record entitled The Balance. Here is the opening track from that record.

The lads have once again knocked it out of the park with another eleven tracks of pure fucking genius. After one listen, it was obvious. Catfish and the Bottlemen are the Band of the Decade. They have set the bar for the years 2011 to 2020. No other band comes close. They are yet another gem in the line of UK royalty...The Beatles to David Bowie to Pink Floyd to U2 to Oasis to Stereophonics to the Arctic Monkeys and now to Catfish and The Bottlemen.

Congrats, lads!

Note: Catfish and the Bottlemen are currently touring the United States. Check them out when they come to your town. Here is their full discography

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Song of the Summer of 2019

With the summer now officially underway, it's time to select the song that will define it. Which track is going to be the pulse of the next few weeks as the people in the northern hemisphere while away the day at the beach or sweat out the nights at the club? What is going to be their soundtrack to that late night summer drive in the shadows with a loved one?

It's Noel Gallagher's Black Star Dancing, my track of the week from last week. Make this the center of your summer, folks!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Liam Gallagher: Shockwave (Track of the Week)

Last week it was Noel and this week it's his brother, Liam Gallagher, for my track of the week. I'd be lying if I said I don't miss Oasis. I do every day. For me, they fall right in line behind The Beatles and Paul Weller in terms of British rock royalty. Yet, with both of the brothers Gallagher releasing records (usually during the same year), I get two Oasis albums instead of one. So that's a pretty cool deal.

"Shockwave" is the first new track from Liam's forthcoming second full-length album, Why Me? Why Not (due 20 September). It's a corker! Check it out...

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Dylan LeBlanc: Renegade (Album of the Week)

Recently I discovered Lousiana treasure Dylan LeBlanc and I feel so grateful that I did. His latest release, Renegade, is fucking astounding. All ten tracks are completely wonderful and, if they were women, I'd passionately kiss each and every one. LeBlanc has managed to twist up romantic relationships, love, and Americana so perfectly that this disc is easily in contention for Album of the Year.

Here is the opening track which also happens to be the title track as well...


LeBlanc is also on tour. Check him out when he comes to your town.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

San Cisco: Live at the Cedar Cultural Center

I've enjoyed the Freemantle Australian band, San Cisco, for the better part of a decade. From the first EP (Golden Revolver) to their latest full length (The Water), their brand of indie pop is massively infectious. More importantly, they've shown earnest growth in their career, always exploring new musical horizons.

This was on display last night at the Cedar Cultural Center. Their 70-minute set was truly enjoyable from start to finish. They wound their way through chestnuts from their entire catalog with some amazing new songs sprinkled in the mix.

The stand out of the night was one of these new songs. As he introduced "Skin," lead singer and guitarist Jordi Davieson said they were "scared shitless" to play it. I have no idea why they felt this way because the song was fucking mega and they played it flawlessly. In fact, every song was in top-notch form, the vocals and instruments blending perfectly together and sounding incredibly well mixed.

They have a few more shows to play in North America. Go and see them! You will not be disappointed.

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Zombies: Summertime (Summer Playlist Track #1)

With summer officially in swing, it's time to build that ultimate, summer playlist. Picking the first track is tough but look no further than this song from 1965 performed by The Zombies. This adaptation from the Gershwin musical, Porgy and Bess, is stellar and a perfect way to being your summer soundtrack.


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Todd Rundgren: Real Man (Throwback Thursday)

Todd Rundgren and Utopia brought their "Back to the Bars" tour to the Midnight Special on August 25, 1978. There were many fab guests including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Warren Zeavon, and Exile.

But Todd and the lads stole the show, performing five songs. Here was the first number they did to open the show. 


Monday, June 10, 2019

Noel Gallagher: Black Star Rising (Track of the Week)

Manchester's own Noel Gallagher continues to shovel-to-the-head stun me. His musical growth since the demise of Oasis has been extraordinary. I make no apologies for ranking him right up there with The Beatles and Paul Weller, my top two artists of all time. There is a direct line of evolution and torch carrying that goes from those four lads from Liverpool to Weller to Gallagher.

His latest track is "Black Star Rising," an incredibly wonderful foray into disco/lounge music. And yet it still manages to sound psychedelic!

So fucking mega...that female background singer....mmm...:)

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Joan As Police Woman: Joanthology (Album of the Week)

Joan Wasser is an American treasure. Hailing from Norwalk, Connecticut and performing under the stage name Joan As Policewoman, Wasser has made several great albums of slow and slinky, 70's tinged pop songs. This kind of music just isn't made anymore and it's refreshing to hear an artist channel Carole King and Laura Nyro as well as Wasser does while still being unique to her own vision.

Normally, I wouldn't choose a compilation album as my pick of the week but Joanthology is a great place to start if you are a new fan. It's also a great retrospective if you are an old fan and want to hear her best all on one collection.

Here's a classic Joan track...soft rock bliss...

Friday, June 7, 2019

Last Day of School

As schools close for the summer, I can't think of a more appropriate song...

Monday, June 3, 2019

AA Bondy: Diamond Skull (Track of the Week)

The southern part of the United States is rapidly becoming a hotspot for emerging musical geniuses. One of them is Birmingham, Alabama's own AA Bondy. Enderness is his latest effort and the opening track is a hazy, exploration of the starkest issues we face these days as a nation. What is our identity? Bondy attempts to answer that question with this track...

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Faye Webster: Atlanta Millionaires Club (Album of the Week)

Atlanta's own Faye Webster just made my summer extraordinary with the release of her third full length, Atlanta Millionaires Club. It's a complete folk pop treasure throughout all ten of its tracks. There is plenty on this record for alt country fans as well. No doubt this album will be in heavy rotation as I wander around and enjoy the sunshine.

Here's my favorite track...

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Martha: Heart is Healing (Track of the Week)

Jangly guitar pop has never been better with the band Martha. Hailing from the tiny village of Pity Me in County Durham, England, Martha's third full length, Love Keeps Kicking, is an 11 track romp that is tons o' fun.

Here is the opening track, my pick to get this holiday week jump started right!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Naked Eyes: Promises, Promises (Throwback Thursday)

Bath, England's own Naked Eyes scored big in the 80's with two hits. The first, "Always Something There To Remind Me," was a fun pop song. The second was bloody out of this world amazing and that's my Throwback Thursday selection this week.

"Promises Promises" was from their first full length called Burning Bridges and, oddly, it's the last track on the album. I remember the record coming out on my 16th birthday and this track was an essential part of my soundtrack for that summer. Here is the video which saw heavy rotation on MTV.

Memories of early crushes and hopes of something more....

Monday, May 20, 2019

Operators: Days (Track of the Week)

Dan Boeckner is a British Columbia treasure. His many different adventures have been a shining light in the music scene for the last two decades. His latest project, Operators, brings us back to those glorious days of 80's synth. Radiant Dawn is the second full length from this groups. Here is the opening track...

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The National: I Am Easy To Find (Album of the Week)

Well, I guess I have to like The National now. Their latest full length is downright amazing. I have to admit that I tried fairly hard to ignore this Cincinnati band. They've always seemed like they are intruding on UK dream pop, shoegaze territory and trying too hard to be all the great bands that I love from the Holy Land. But they've finally done it with I Am Easy To Find. What a stunner!

Here is one of many great tracks from the record.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Free: All Right Now

As the summer approaches, I begin to get a hankering for classic, 1970's rock. The London based quartet, Free, released a song at the very start of that magical decade called "All Right Now." It was a massive foreshadowing of the amazing music that was to come over the next 10 years. Of course, the band's leader, Paul Rodgers, went on to rock icon status with Bad Company and The Firm. But it was the band Free where it all started.

Here is your Throwback Thursday track!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Big Thief: Contact (Track of the Week)

Brooklyn's own Big Thief are a nice breath of fresh air in this spring season. Their third full length, U.F.O.F., just dropped and it's thoroughly wonderful. It's an easy going record and an early contender for regular rotation on summer playlists.

Here's the first track, my pick for track of the week.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Soak: Grim Town (Album of the Week)

Bridie Monds-Watson is a young lass from Derry, Northern Ireland who makes some mighty fine indie folk dream pop music. Her stage name is SOAK and she has just released her second full length called Grim Town. I liken it to an adventure exploring modern relationships and how they work in the 21st century. I hear a lot of Portishead in her music and yet it's still her own, unique voice.

Here's my favorite track...

Monday, May 6, 2019

Fat White Family: Feet (Track of the Week)

South London's Fat White Family are on odd little outfit but I like them quite a bit. Their third full length, Serf's Up, just dropped and it is mighty fine in terms of indie pop bliss. The opening track is my pick for track of the week.


Sunday, May 5, 2019

Lizzo: Cuz I Love You (Album of the Week)

Holy crap is Lizzo out of this world amazing! Her third full length, Cuz I Love You, just dropped and I can't stop playing it. I might be a tad biased being that she is from my hometown of Minneapolis but anyone who is even remotely into rap music will love this record. She completely destroyed Coachella a couple of weeks ago and is well on her way to superstar status.

Here's my favorite track from the record...

Go buy it NOW!!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Call: Walls Came Down (Throwback Thursday)

Last week's throwback put me in an 80's mood so we're going to continue that trend this week. Santa Cruz's own The Call put out some great music in the 80's and their second LP, Modern Romans, had this staple of MTV.


Monday, April 29, 2019

The Drums: Brutalism (Album of the Week and Track of the Week)

I've been a huge fan of NYC's The Drums since they burst on the scene with their magnificent Summertime! EP back in 2009. Fun pop music is always a good salve for what ails the soul. Their fifth full length, Brutalism, dropped this month and it's a corker. In fact, it's so good that I'm declaring this week "The Drums" week with both the album of the week and the track of the week.

Check out "Body Chemistry."

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Kajagoogoo: Too Shy (Throwback Thursday)

When the weather gets warmer, I get into an 80's mood. Not sure why. It just happens.

Perhaps it's all those summers I spend watching MTV all day. Kajagoogoo, a five piece band from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, had a number one single in the summer of 1983 that had been in heavy rotation since its release in January. It was a staple of all of our high school dances.

Enjoy your Throwback Thursday...

Monday, April 22, 2019

Bibio: The Art of Living (Track of the Week)

West Midlands lad Bibio (ne: Stephen James Wilkinson) is quite wonderful in all his electronic folkyness and he has certainly put together quite the catalog in this millennium. His latest effort is called Ribbons and the second cut is the track of the week.

The whole record is pretty darned awesome so pick it up!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Son Volt: Union (Album of the Week)

Jay Ferrar has decided to get extra political on the latest effort from his band, Son Volt, and I heart every single minute of it. This Minneapolis/St Louis band that formed out of Uncle Tupelo in the mid 1990's has been churning out great music for two decades. Ferrar and the lads have the alt country thing down perfectly.

This time around on Union we have the added bonus of political commentary which he gets to immediately on the first track.

Depressing as hell but he's right.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Loverboy: Working For The Weekend

When I was growing up, it was all about the video on MTV. Some bands I loved and some I hated. Loverboy was actually a band I hated back in the 80's because they were overplayed. Yet, now that I am older, I find myself nostalgic for those songs that I heard way too much.

"Working for the Weekend" was one of those songs. It's such a perfect middle class song...back when we actually had a middle class. Pump up this jam as you head into your weekend!


Monday, April 15, 2019

Ohtis: Running (Track of the Week)

Normal, Illinois' own Ohtis are a wonderfully dark and deeply Americana band. The trio formed while they were all still in high school and have just released their first full length record. I used to drive across Illinois from the top to the bottom when my dad lived down in Carbondale and worked at WSIU TV. This music reminds me a lot of those drives.

Here is the best track.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Prince: Sometimes It Snows In April (Throwback Thursday)

April has delivered its usual snowy surprise up here in the north woods so what better song to have for Throwback Thursday? This track has taken on a sadder tone since Prince has passed. A shiver and a sigh...

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Brian Jonestown Massacre: Drained (Track of the Week)

Anton Newcombe is a crazy person and I don't care because his music is magical. It has been for over two decades. Of course, he hails from San Francisco so it makes sense that his energizes my son of a hippie soul. Even though it was made in the 90's, 00's and teens, it still reeks of bong water, incense, and LOVE. And the name...the Brian Jonestown Massacre...wonderful...

His latest effort is a self title nine track chestnut that contains all of the things we expect. The first track is my pick for Track of the Week. Check it out.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

American Football Is Awesome! (Album of the Week)

A month ago I had no idea who American Football was. Now I know they are an awesome band from Urbana, Illinois that made a legendary album in 1999, quit the music scene for seventeen years, and then suddenly decided to make music again. They released a second full length in 2016 and now they are back this year with a stunner of a record called American Football, as all the rest of their albums are called.

Their latest effort is a slinky, dream pop cascade of aural delight. Here is the first track.

The whole album is this fucking mega. Check it out! They are also on tour so try to catch them when they hit your town.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Papooz: You and I (Friday Happy Hour)

Hey, it's Friday! And that means it's almost time for the weekend. What better to ease into a couple of days off with some really good music that's perfect for happy hour. This week it's the dynamic duo from Paris Papooz with an ultra loungey track called, "You and I."

Have a martooney while you listen!