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March 2018: The Return of the Beatcast

Welp. I’m back again. Here’s a new podcast for a new year. A mix of old, new, odd, and wonderful. It’s my favorite cosmic slop. No coffee necessary. Just hit play. So here I am sharing with you. I’m trying to get into the groove again, so it’s going to take some time. But these songs help me get through the day. I hope they do the same for you.

Enjoy.

Click here for listen/download —->  First of 2018

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Intro song: A Living Human Girl – The Regrettes

Sympin’ (Remix) – Boyz II Men

The Joke – Brandi Carlile

Glass House – Screaming Females

Brand New – Craig David

Right Now – Dream Wife

Perm – Bruno Mars

Black Sheep – Milck

Slither – Velvet Revolver

Real Friends – Camila Cabello

Rollin’ With Kid N’ Play – Kid N’ Play

Would? – Alice in Chains

Give Me a Reason – Ibibio Sound Machine

Violet Moon – Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

Killer – Seal and Pete Tong

Get Away – Kehlani

Do What You Gotta Do – Nina Simone

Nobody Can Save Me – Linkin Park

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My Favorite 50 of 2018

The only thing I can depend on is music. Good or bad, it’s there for me. Either to make me smile or to make me cringe, music is never boring. This year brought quite the feast to intake. Some comebacks. Some missteps. Some head scratchers. Some twerkworthy.
And then came the women.
This year was filled with women singers and songwriters making names for themselves. Vets and newbees… There wasn’t one time on the radio this year I didn’t hear a woman’s voice belting her heart out or showing a melodic side to make you dance. I am proud of all of them. They didn’t disappoint and we are all better for it. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to a variety of ladies singing like their lives depended on it. And really, they kinda were. Women staked claim on everything, and left everything they had on the stage. I can only imagine what 2019 has in store for my ears. Once again, I am giving you a list of what I found to be worthy for a second or tenth spin on my iPod or my car. They are in no particular order, except for the top 10. They, my friends, are the most worthy.
50. Lauren Daigle – Look Up Child
49. Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears
48. boygenius – boygenius
47. John Coltrane – Both Directions At Once
46. Angelique Kidjo – Remain in Light
45. Marian Hill – Unusual
44. Chvrches – Love is Dead
43. Hinds – I Don’t Run
42. Superorganism – Superorganism
41. The War and Treaty – The Healing Tide
40. Nothing – Dance on the Blacktop
39. Tash Sultana – Flow State
38. IDLES – Joy as an Act of Resistance
37. Bishop Briggs – Church of Scars
36. Cardi B. – Invasion of Privacy
35. Air Waves – Warrior
34. Pale Waves – My Mind Makes Noises
33. My Brightest Diamond – A Million and One
32. Drake – Scorpion
31. Grapetooth – Grapetooth
30. Georgi Kay – Where I Go to Disappear
29. Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending
28. Amy Shark – Love Monster
27. Amos Lee – My New Moon
26. Amen Dunes – Freedom
25. (Tie) Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel/The Glands – Double Coda
24. The Weekend – Dear, Melancholy
23. H.E.R. – I Used to Know Her: Part 2 and the Prelude
22. The Aces – When My Heart Felt Volcanic
21. Blood Orange – Negro Swan
20. Peabo Bryson – Stand for Love
19. Brandi Carlile – By the Way, I Forgive You
18. Screaming Females – All At Once
17. Mariah Carey – Caution
16. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
15. Kane Brown – Experiment
14. A.A.L (Against All Logic) – 2012-2017
13. Panic! At The Disco – Pray for the Wicked
12. Anderson .Paak – Oxnard
11. Twenty One Pilots – Trench
The Final TEN:
10. Tori Kelly – Hiding Place
9. Christina Aguilera – Liberation
8. Snow Patrol – Wildness
7. Fantastic Negrito – Please Don’t Be Dead
6. Mike Shinoda – Post Traumatic
5. Hayley Kiyoko – Expectations
4. Jorja Smith – Lost & Found
3. Kelly Clarkson – Meaning of Life
2. Ella Mai – Ella Mai
top4 collage
1. Janelle Monae’ – Dirty Computer
It would be hard to say you’re a music fan and NOT have heard of Janelle Monae’ at all. It’s not everyday you see a queer Black woman at the forefront of the music industry and she had everyone right where she wanted them. Representing female empowerment, self love, self respect, high self esteem, and fighting for equality all across the board from the boardroom to the bedroom, Janelle hit everyone with a tremendous amount of fierceness. And we were definitely accepting. If you haven’t heard Dirty Computer, then by all means, give her your full attention.
I must give an Honorable Mention to Mabel and her mixtape, “Ivy to Roses.” She’s a rising star in the r&b world in the UK and I’m really hoping she makes a dent into the US. She’s got the singing chops and enough dance melody to hold onto my attention.
Happy New Year!!

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Last Podcast of the Year! Come and Get It…

Not going to lie to you. 2018 sucked.

It was a horrible year for many, and that includes music. But through all the suckiness, there were gems. Gems that get you through all the grief, the struggle, the sadness, and the ridiculous. I have returned to play a few standouts that I aaaaaaa-dorrred this year. So sit back, relax, enjoy. And I will see you next year…hopefully, with new music. Meanwhile I will once again be cleaning out my ipod to make room for new tunes. Oy.

And keep an eye for my list of my favorite albums of 2018.

Listen here —->  Last Poddy of 2018

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Best of 2018

Chlorine – Twenty One Pilots

Cheap Shot – Ella Mai

Drown – Polyphia

Feelings – Hayley Kiyoko

Trouble – Grapetooth

1999 – Charli XCX

Like I Do – Christina Aguilera

Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock – Art Brut

Dogpile – Swearin’

A No No – Mariah Carey

The Way I am – Charlie Puth

The Friendship Song – Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Moths

Honey – Robyn

Tints – Anderson .Paak

Lover Chanting – Little Dragon

Too Little Too Late – JoJo

My My My! – Troye Sivan

I Like That – Janelle Monae

(Fuck a) Silver Lining – Panic! At the Disco

Happy New Year Fanatics!

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My Favorite Albums of 2017.

It’s that time of year again. Seems like yesterday 2017 began and now it’s over. So that means I’m going to share my favorite 30 albums of the year. I’m not going to call them the “best” but these 30 albums were on rotation for a period of time this year on my ipod. I enjoyed them all. They helped me stay sane, awake, and got me through the day when I felt like the world was just setting up shop on my shoulders, never to leave. There was a lot of fluff this year though. I will not share that with you. Some music left me scratching my head and thinking, “Really? People LIKE this?” But that’s for another discussion. If you follow me on twitter, you might have seen random one liner tweets about bands or singers that caught my ear and held onto my attention. If you haven’t listened to anyone on this list, and you want to broaden your mind, check them out. Don’t close off your mind to new music. There are plenty of diamonds in the rough. I would also be remised if I didn’t give a huge shout out to all the ladies who made some great music this year. I truly got a kick out of going back and seeing how many albums on my hard drive and ipod I had that were made by ladies, young and old. To quote Annie Lennox, “Sisters are doing it for themselves.” Whether the songs were about love, or injustice, or family issues, the voices of women made a huge impact this year. And I hope for years to come. So, here is the list. Happy New Year One and All..

30. Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile –Lotta Sea Lice
29. Jamey Jasta – The Lost Chapters
28. Alex Lahey – I Love You Like a Brother
27. Annie Mac – Annie Mac Presents 2017
26. Blush – Blush
27. Beware of Darkness – Are You Real?
26. Gorillaz – Humanz
25. Tove Lo – Blue Lips
24. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
23. Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears – Backlash
22. Pete Tong & The Heritage Orchestra – Ibiza Classics
21. David Banner – The God Box
20. Whitehorse – Panther in the Dollhouse
19. Daddy Issues – Deep Dream
18. Curtis Harding – Face Your Fear
17. Larkin Poe – Preach
16. St. Vincent – Masseduction
15. Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and James McAlister – Planetarium
14. Demi Lovato – Tell Me You Love Me
13. Grace and Rachel – Gracie and Rachel
14. The National – Sleep Well Beast
13. Syd – Fin
12. Jay Z – 4:44
11. Frankie Rose – Cage Tropical

And the final ten….

10. Talib Kweli – Radio Silence

 

9. Miguel – War and Leisure

 

8. Fergie – Double Dutchess

 

7. Jlin – Black Origami

 

6. Partner – In Search of Lost and Time

 

5. Kelly Clarkson – Meaning of Life

 

4. Alvvays – Antisocialites

 

3. Beck – Colors

 

2. SZA – CTRL

 

1. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN

 

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Thank you, Chester.

I remember the first time I heard Linkin Park. I was still living at home, watching MTV – back then they did something unheard of now – AIR MUSIC VIDEOS. And I heard this song, this really loud, loud, song. I looked up at the screen and I saw this intense looking young man, with bleach blonde spikes (it was the early 00s..a lot of dudes did that to their hair), brown eyes but with this stare and intensity that has yet been unmatched to me with any other singer. He lip synced, “Everything you say to me takes me one step closer to the edge and I’m about to break.” And from that moment on, I was hooked. He sang everything I was feeling. I was a broke graphic designer, who no one would listen to despite having an education. I was frustrated, angry, disappointed, and done with the world. Truth be told, that’s not too far from how I’m feeling now but that is beside the point. He was angry. I was angry. He was frustrated. I was frustrated. I watched this very very weird conceptual video and waited to see who the band was.

Linkin Park.

My first thought was that they were from DC, because there is a Lincoln Park here, and they just changed the spelling to be cool. But there is pretty much a Lincoln Park everywhere in the US. My bad. I kept watching MTV that night because I KNEW at some point, they’d show the video again (remember, this is when MTV knew that the M stood for “music” in their name). And rest assured, they did air the video again and I watched it. I was fascinated with the visual imagery, and the lyrics spoke to every young person who was just fed up with life, and what little it had to offer. “One Step Closer” was the name of the song. I learned all the words and sang along every time I saw the video. I just couldn’t get over how melodic the song was yet so dark, so heavy. Everything made sense lyrically. And there was no turning back for me. I later did a search for the band, and found the band names online.

Chester Bennington.

He was my everything. His voice was so strong, so hard, and passionate. You could hear the pain in his voice, the anguish, yet sound so gentle at times. I honestly hadn’t heard of any voice like that since Chris Cornell (and yes, I see how creepy this comparison would become). The name of their album was Hybrid Theory. Songs like “Crawling,” “In the End,” “Runaway,” spoke to many people my age – pain, isolation, frustration, and not knowing if there was going to be a light at the end of a very dark – for many extremely dark – tunnel. Listening to Chester’s voice was comforting, even when he was screaming his heart out. The fans got it. They got the lyrics. They got his personality. And so did I. Chester was such a commanding presence on stage. And he got our attention. Each and every time. His music was a way of battling and overcoming his previous demons in life. I had no idea Chester was molested as a kid, and it explained so much behind his actions from that point on (drugs, alcohol, etc). But from where fans were standing, he seemed to have his act together. And the music seemingly proved it. Seemingly, being the main word.

From Hybrid to Meteora, A Thousand Suns, and so on, Chester gave us his all. Some songs were not pretty, and they weren’t supposed to be. They were a way of cleaning out a toxic system that had a negative effect on his life. And fans were along for the ride. For those coping with similar demons, or other demons, Linkin Park and Chester were are saviors. No one else understood, but LP got it. Even though their musical style changed dramatically with this recent album, “One More Light,” the lyrics remained true – fight, battle, tooth and nail if you have to – to overcome things keeping you down. I can respect that, even if the music behind the lyrics sounded like the everyday dance pop you hear on the radio (a bone of contention from old school LP fans like myself). We still loved LP though, no matter what.

Finding out on July 20th, 2017, that Chester Bennington took his own life left me and millions of fans heartbroken, confused, hurt, and pissed. We don’t understand why someone with so much promise and still had a LOT to offer to the music world, took his life. I believe the demons that he fought for SO long, took over and the pain was just much too great to bear. I understand. I’m dealing with quite a few myself. I understand the route to take to end it. But he was so loved, by his wife and family, and the band, and friends, and fans… it’s just hard in that regard to wrap my brain around it. I guess I never really will. Nor will the rest of fans.

So. I hope Chester found peace. I hope he knows he was loved by so so many people. I hope he will watch over not just LP members and his family, but fans too. Because we love him. Always will. He helped us. I just wish we could’ve helped him in return.

RIP Chester. You will always be in our hearts. Your star will most definitely shine bright everywhere.

chester

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Throwback Thursday Album (a few days late): Sheryl Crow’s “Sheryl Crow”

SHERYL CROW LP 1996

 

I haven’t always been a fan of Sheryl Crow.

I’m going to date myself here but when Tuesday Night Music Club dropped, I wasn’t particularly fond of “Leaving Las Vegas.” It was slow sounding, and back then I was still a rap and hip hop head listening to WuTang Clan, Biggie, with the few rock bands that snuck into my tape (yes I was around for tapes) collection – Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M, The Black Crowes, etc. These were all artists that kept me awake, alert, and entertained. And I wasn’t thrilled with Sheryl’s voice overall. The, like most teens my age, “All I Wanna Do” dropped, and I instantly changed my tune towards her. It was fast, funny, and had a great melody. Pretty much pop rock gold, which turned into platinum for her. Followed by “Can’t Cry Anymore” and I was pretty much hooked.

Then her second album, “Sheryl Crow,” finally arrived. I remember vividly ordering the tape from our campus store (which stopped selling cassettes and instead sold cds for EVERY artist) and once it arrived, I was completely blown away with it. She produced it, which back then and now for that matter – for a woman to produce her own music – pretty much unheard of  unfortunately. While Bill Botrell was behind the debut album production, this one was Sheryl. Plus 1. It was filled with just absolute greatness. I can’t say back in 1996 offhand that every cassette I owned was great from beginning to end, but THIS album my dear friends was. Every song to me, was a potential single, and every song had a message, hiding behind the pop rock and the quirky sound effects. The melodies worked extremely well with her voice and the lyrics were simple yet effective. And let’s face it on a “A Change Would Do You Good,” there were hand claps. I’m a fan of the hand claps. More songs need hand claps. That was a no brainer hit.

“If It Makes You Happy” to this day makes me laugh – not in a mean way, but the chorus kills me. “If It makes you happy, it can’t be that bad. If It makes you happy then why the hell are you so sad?” Why does it kill me? Because this chorus reigns true to life to this day, 21 years later. Things that make people happy should make us happy, not sad. If it makes us sad, then we shouldn’t continue to do things that make us sad. It’s just that simple. Plus 2. I also love the fact that while she sings the chorus, it comes completely across as shouting to me – as if she was trying to drive the idea home. I hear ya Sheryl. I hear ya. Even my mom thought this was a hit and she doesn’t like anyone.

Another favorite of mine, “Sweet Rosalyn,” is about a woman who keeps her head above water, working just enough to get by but she needs something to keep her going, to continue the fight, to keep her moving forward as they say. My favorite line is “Well, maybe we all could use a little grace to know when to run and when to stay in one place.” It’s not a long song lyrically, but it still makes an impact with the instrumentation. Between the slide, the dobro, and twangy guitars, I was pretty much sold on this one. Sheryl throws down on this one y’all. Check out this video of it.

 

 

I will always support Sheryl because I remember her fighting with Walmart in regards to the song, “Love is a Good Thing.” For those who don’t know, there’s a lyric about kids who use guns they purchased at Walmart. At that time, it was very true. And Walmart didn’t take too kindly to her statement (despite the stories hitting the news revealing where the guns came from) and removed her album from the stores. She stood firm though, and she didn’t give in. That to me, was completely awesome. And fierce. You rule Sheryl. She wanted it to be known that we need to do something about gun control. She sings it so nonchalantly but in doing so, made a big statement. Plus 3.

The opener, “Maybe Angels” is the song that kicked off my love for this album…the piano in particular. It just sounds so weird with the guitar riff that it fits. So weird. But it fits. And the subject matter about not being able to feel angels, but they are around. “I swear they’re out there, I swear…” It’s a mid tempo toe tapper (Say that FIVE times fast. I dare you. It’s ok. I’ll wait.” She finds angels to be mysterious, but she knows..she has a feeling…that the unexplained..can only be answered by angels. The rockers who have passed away, they’re coming back too. Ok, Sheryl. I believe you.

I won’t go on and on, but this is truly a great album. From beginning to end, it entertains, and you hear something different with each listen. AND she broke the dreaded second album slump AND the “Best New Artist” curse that hits many after winning a Grammy. Thank you Sheryl for releasing a perfect pop gem. My ears thank you as well.

 

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Last Podcast of the Year, with a Mix to Boot. Bye 2016…

Happy New Year’s Eve my wonderful Earbudders,

As promised I made my last poddy a mix of just some of my favorite songs of the year. Better listen and download before it’s too late. Enjoy and I shall return next year.

Download

Stream

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Intro Music – Praying For Time – George Michael

Starboy (feat. Daft Punk) – The Weeknd

VRY BLK (Feat. NoName) – Jamila Woods

Til The Evening – HONNE

Moving On – Roosevelt

Dollar Days – David Bowie

Alexander Hamilton – Broadway Cast of Hamilton

Dance with Me – LEAGUES

In The Lobby- Iggy Pop 

How To Fly – Skye And Ross

Lost On You – LP

Underwater – Goldroom

Light Up (Yachtclub. Remix) – MUTEMATH

Working Poor – Fantastic Negrito

Raise the Flag – BROOKZILL!

Don’t You Wait – Solange

Breathe Life – Jack Garratt

A-YO – Lady Gaga

Mad Love – JoJo

Lighting Turns Sawdust Gold – Sleigh Bells

Love Is a Soft Machine – Rocky

That Girl – Tegan & Sara

Close Enough – Ghost Beach

Have a safe and happy New Year. Thanks for listening…

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