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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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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.

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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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Oh My How Brandon’s Flowers Have Bloomed.

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I’m always wary when a lead singer of a band releases solo music. Chances are, it’s a cosmic slop of tunes that didn’t make previous albums with the band, mixed with potential radio songs. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Brandon Flowers’ second solo release (yes, he did release a first one a few years back – Flamingo – you should check it out) works.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed my fellow earbudders, the onslaught in the past year or so of an 80s sound revival that has returned to the music scene. As someone who was around this sound the first time, my ears are relieved. Flowers’ music clearly shows he was influenced by it as well. This album sounds like a throwback of Howard Jones, Culture Club, mixed in with interesting storytelling that rivals something from the vault of Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics. Flowers was always a good storyteller in his music. He makes you think, he makes you dream, and he makes you realize – no matter what – life goes on whether or not your life turned out the way you wanted it to. Combine his lyrics with a synthesizer, big band extravaganza, and you’ve got a winner of an album. The sound of keyboards with strong background female singers, and an excellent horn section should not be overlooked as well. There are a few songs that sound like outtakes from The Killers, but overall, it is worth the investment in time to listen. It’s got something for everyone. Here are a few of my favorites.

Dreams Come True – Great opener; A very positive ditty about a collection of outsiders who want something better in life other than coming home, working, going to sleep, punch the clock – wash rinse, repeat.. I’m sure we all feel the same way.

Can’t Deny My Love – First standout. The first in a series of 80s throwback songs. This really sounds like a departure from what we’re used to hearing from him when with The Killers. Has a Carribean Queen sound with a repeated but quick guitar riff.

I Can Change – Strong harmonies on this one. Another dance tune that could’ve easily been released in the 80s. Simply put, he’s willing to change for the object of his affection and he’s fine with it.

Still Want You – The chorus sounds like it could be a member of chant city. Loud chants, Kinda corny sounding, but it works. Only thing missing? A tambourine.

Between Me and You – I call this Bruce Springsteen light with Peter Gabriel thrown in for effect. It’s pretty, it’s poetic, it’s sappy, romantic, and I’m sure it will get a singalong from the audience when performed live.

Untangled Love – If you loved The Cure, you’ll love this one.

Desired Effect – The title track is another track that sounds like it could’ve been on a The Killers album. Funny enough, this is the title track. “Are you taking the time to listen, is it doing you any good? Are you looking to change the world? Have you already changed your mind?” Questions like this continue on throughout the song. He’s questioning the lives people lead, and the effect that their lives have on them. Is it what they wanted? Or is it something completely different? And if it’s not what they wanted, what are they going to do about it? it’s kind of a head-shrinky song. It definitely left me with wondering what good am I on this earth? And is the life I chose worth it after all? Where was this song when I was in college?

Overall, it’s a solid album. check it out if you want, or not. It’s up to you.

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Podcast #41… Better Late than Never

Hello fellow earbudders,

I know, it’s long overdue. But here is the latest installment of my podcast. The last few months have been hard on me and I haven’t had a chance really to devote time to create a proper podcast – until now. But I haven’t abandoned my fellow music fanatics. So here is a mix of good things. Your ears will thank you for listening, as do I. As usual, you can click on the picture for a larger version. And here’s the setlist. Enjoy, share, and y’all come back now y’hear? I’ll be back next month with a new show.

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Intro Song: (Feel Like) I Know Nothin’  – Antigone Rising
Big Dater – Big Data
Bitter – Atmosphere
Centuries – Fall Out Boy
Without You (feat. Room8) – Electric Youth
Wicked Campaign – Modest Mouse
No Apologies (feat. Jussie Smollett, Yazz) – Empire Cast
Screaming At A Wall – Minor Threat
Pale Shelter (Feat. Tegan and Sara) – Matthew Dear
Stirred Up – Matt and Kim
Invincible – Kelly Clarkson
How You Got That Girl – Ex Hex
Darker Than Blood (Feat. Linkin Park) – Steve Aoki
Lifted Up (1985) – Passion Pit
Blame (feat. John Newman) – Calvin Harris
Good Help (Is So Hard to Find) – Death Cab For Cutie
Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes
This Ain’t Me – Augustines
Rooftops – Sick Of Sarah
Raging Squall – Brown Bird
Shattered Winds – The Budos Band

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Podcast #38. The No-Namer. I just Want You to Listen.

Hey, kids, rock n’ roll…

Here’s another show for you. New stuff, not so new, but probably new to you. I hope it sounds as good to you as it did to me as I made it. Enjoy.

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Double click for a bigger pic.

 

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Lessons – SOHN
Earth Is Speeding -The Vaselines
SH09 Is Back – Lamb
Simple As This – Jake Bugg
Can’t Take It Back – Lissie
Honey – Royal Teeth
Bad Blood – Taylor Swift
My Blue Supreme – Interpol
Fuck Em Only We Know – Banks
Don’t Wake Me – Robots Don’t Sleep
Girls – Santigold
Talking – September Girls
Lucky G1rl – Shaka Ponk
Hurts Like Heaven – Shearwater
Something’s Missing – Sheppard
Amour t’es lá? – Snarky Puppy (with Magda Giannikou)
Wicked Waters – Benjamin Booker
Everything Turns to Grey – Agent Orange
Minnie The Moocher -Robbie Williams

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Antigone Rising’s Whiskey, and Yeah, It Was..

Every now and then you get to listen to a band that’s worth it. A band who gives their blood, sweat, and tears to their passion and love of music. In today’s sad excuse of music – the auto tuning, the pitch perfect, the pro tools tweaking, the artificial beats – I could go on, but it’s not about me – it’s nice to come across a band that has grit and substance, and will leave you wanting more. Antigone Rising is one of those bands. I wouldn’t steer you wrong. They debuted their new music video, “That Was the Whiskey,” about a night in the life of a woman who kind of… becomes a different person than she usually is with the help of a shot of whiskey. Or two. Or three. You get the gist. Gist is a funny word to say isn’t it? Say it with me. “Gist.” Anyhooters, add in a stellar drum beat (real drums I might add), a little twang, another killer riff by Cathy Henderson on lead guitar, and great harmonies, you’re in for a kick stomping, rip-roaring good time. Line dance optional, but line dance preferred 🙂

And you don’t even need any alcohol 😉

Ladies and gents, Antigone Rising’s “That Was the Whiskey.”

Thank me later.

 

 

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Podcast #24 And the Beat Goes On

Another podcast. Enjoy.

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Here’s the rundown…

 

Have fun. Or ignore. It’s fine.

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Au Cinéma – Lianne La Havas

Absences – Miyazaki

She Wil – Savages

The Little Things – Matthew Ryan

Oblique City – Phoenix

Over the Love of You – Florence and the Machine

Top Rated – Icona Pop

Now I’m All Messed Up – Tegan and Sara

Numb (Feat. Eminem) – Rihanna

We Want Your Soul (Thomas Gold Remix) – Moguai

Lighting Bolt – Jake Bugg

Banging the Drum – Scream

Jane Doe – Alicia Keys

The Cartoonist – Wax Idols

Nothing Matters – Tricky

Powerless (feat. Becky Hill) – Rudimental

For Anyone – Beady Eye

Alright – Kris Kross

 

 

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