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Top Albums of 2019

Alright. It’s been a while, I admit. Life continues gets in my way. Constantly. And frankly it sucks. But I thought I would give you all a list of my top 50 albums of 2019. I like everyone else in the country depend on lists to get through life. So I thought I’d go ahead and show you mine, so to speak. I know some of these selections are nothing new if anyone knows me. And there were some surprises I must say. Music in 2019 was stellar for the DIYs, the left of center folks, and alternative music, and most IMPORTANTLY, WOMEN. Yup, women ruled this year in music. We were everywhere. And some of us finally got the LONG overdue recognition that was well deserved. Pop music – eh. Not so much to me. So. Without further ado, here are my favorites…in really NO particular order – OTHER than the top 10:

50. While We Wait – Kehlani

49. Slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain

48. Guache – A People’s History of Guache

47. Fitz and the Tantrums – All The Feels

46. Logic – Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

45. Galcher Lustwerk – Information

44. Wale’ – Wow… That’s Crazy

43. Mark Ronson – Late Night Feelings

42. The National – I Am Easy to Find

41. Sudan Archives – Athena

40. Emily King – Scenery

39. The Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger

38. IDER – Emotional Education

37. The Coathangers – The Devil You Know

36. Young M.A. – Herstory in the Making

35. Escort – City Life

34. Tank and the Bangas – Green Balloon

33. Girlpool – What Chaos is Imaginary

32. Charly Bliss – Young Enough

31. Harry Styles – Fine Line

30. Chance the Rapper – The Big Day

29. Fever 333 – Strength in Numbe333rs

28. Emeli Sande – Real Life

27. Karen O & Danger Mouse – Lux Prima

26. Jamilia Woods – Legacy

25. Black Pumas – Black Pumas

24. Beyonce’ – Homecoming: The Live Concert

23. Empath – Active Listening

22. Gallant – Sweet Insomnia

21. Backstreet Boys – DNA

20. Broods – Don’t Feed the Pop Monsters

19. GoldLink – Diaspora

18. Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka

17. The Highwomen – The Highwomen

16. Bat for Lashes – Lost Girls

15. Tyler, The Creator – IGOR

14. Jenny Lewis – On the Line

13. Chaka Khan – Hello Happiness

12. Sturgill Simpson – Sound and Fury

11. Wallows – Nothing Happens

And the TOP 10:

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10. Anderson .Paak – Ventura

9. Tegan and Sara – Hey I’m Just Like You

8. Ari Lennox – Shea Butter Baby

7. Megan Thee Stallion – Fever

6. Dave – Psychodrama

5. Ex Hex – I’m Real

4. Ariana Grande – thank you next

3. Sleater-Kinney – The Center Won’t Hold

2. Brittany Howard – Jaime

…and NUMBER 1:

1. Lizzo – Cuz I Love You – There is no way you could escape the badass force that is Lizzo this year. 2019 was HER year. From the club to the radio to commercials, Lizzo was pretty much in every year, on every playlist, or playing in every car. She’s a beacon of light in a world that was filled and is STILL filled with hate and evil. Her views on body positivity and self worth is something all of us of every size need to hear and live by on a daily basis. She’s all about love y’all. And she’s not going anywhere, and for that, she made 2019 great for music.

That’s it for now. Have a wonderful new year everyone and fingers crossed 2020 is a stellar year for music.

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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

podcast2.18#2

 

 

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 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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Song of the Day: Blood Orange’s “Augustine”

 

For two reasons: I love the drum track behind it, and the carefree dancing. I also will throw in a special honorary mention of seeing Julian Casablancas from The Strokes eating in a diner. I had to do a double take.

Enjoy Earbudders.

 

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Song of the Day: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings’ “Midnight Rider”

I’ve always said that real soul music – the kind that makes you feel alive deep down in your boots – seems to be missing in today’s realm of music. There just doesn’t seem to be anything out there with a lot of groove and harmony that can make you stand up and take notice for the most part. I say the most part, because then there Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. They’ve been around forever and a day. And soul music has been their number one force to garner attention. When it doubt, there will always be Sharon Jones. She’s a true vocalist who leaves her blood, sweat, tears, and life on the stage and on the record for you to swallow up and enjoy. Songs about love, death, fear, hardships, and the like that make soul music incomparable – that’s what Sharon displays. Yes it sounds retro in comparison to today’s pop music. Real live instrumentation from The Dap Kings – horns, live drums, harmonies – you just don’t find that around anymore on your local iheart radio station. If you haven’t heard of this wonderful band, please look them up. They are well worth the time and energy. And until you can catch them live, give this cover of Midnight Rider a listen. It’s a keeper. Just like Sharon.

PS – Yes, this is the version heard in a Lincoln car ad. But come on, it’s still worth a listen. Soul sister Number One indeed.

 

 

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Lianne La Havas’ Reign – 9:30 Club, Washington, DC 9.23.15

I’ve said there seems to be a lack of true r&b and soul music in this day and age. But there is one artist that disputes my theory – Lianne La Havas. I had the pleasure of seeing her live at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. She’s a London born talent, with more talent in her little finger than many of the pop stars who call themselves singers today. She put on a perfectly smooth show, making quick and easy transitions from song to song. She’s on tour to promote her new album, “Blood.” She performed songs from that album, as well as her debut album, “Is Your Love Big Enough?” She’s a guitarist, an arranger, a songwriter, and quite the vocalist. She combines soul and a little bit of folk and thew in a LOT of her heart to make for a beautiful show hour plus show. Here is a clip of one of my favorite songs, Au Cinema. I suggest you listen to her two albums, and catch her while you can. You won’t be disappointed. Standouts include, “Unstoppable,” “Au Cinema,” “IYLBE,” “Forget,” and “What You Don’t Do.” Her voice is heaven. Her presence is commanding. It was a beautiful night, full of beautiful music.

 

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Bea Miller: No Apology Necessary

Just wanted to tip my fellow earbudders on a young singer named Bea Miller. Every few years, there is a female singer that strikes the heart of young folks and older folks like myself. Bea Miller is that singer at the present moment. With her heartfelt lyrics about fitting in, standing up for yourself, growing up, and taking life as it comes, her album, “Not an Apology” is just that – not an apology for who she is. In a time where females are expected to be perfect with no flaws, Miller takes her flaws and wears them like a badge of honor. She is open about her fears, her loves and securities. It takes guts to put feelings into a song for those to accept or reject. But she is a delight in taking that risk. She calls people out for how she was treated (Paper Doll), dares people to change (I Dare You), and just plain rocks out with no regrets (title track), and takes charge of her actions (We’re Taking Over). I think it’s pretty much pop gold for the summer. If you have never heard of her, I suggest you go and listen to her. You won’t be disappointed.

As pop gooeyness as this album is, “Young Blood,” the opening track, is my particular favorite. “But in dark times when we close our eyes, it’s a nightmare, it’s a nightmare. When the sun don’t shine we lose our minds but I swear we can get there.” That’s my favorite verse. I believe, and I could be wrong, that she’s trying to convey the idea of doing things for ourselves despite the trials. We can run away from our troubles, but we eventually have to go against them head on and we WILL overcome them all because we’re young and strong. We can’t be destroyed. Wear the strength well and use it to your advantage. Nothing is perfect, but we can try and trying to overcome is betting than nothing. Don’t give up, and don’t back down. It’s a great song and a great attitude to have.

So cheers to Bea Miller for helping people get through life, and helping us realize we’re not alone. There are many of us, of various ages, trying to make it through life one day at a time. And no we’re not apologizing for it.

She’s so young, but with an old soul. And that, my fellow earbudders, is my review of the moment.

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