My Favorite Albums of 2016



My fellow earbudders,

Well. Another year of music has come and gone, which means, another list of favorites to publish for you to read, consume, and just maybe decide what to put on your own end of the year playlist for gist and shiggles. These 40 albums were my favorites. I try not to say the “best “ones because I know that for every album that is on the list, I probably missed my fair share of musical goodies but these are the ones that got numerous plays on my ipod. This year revealed reunions, long awaited returns, artistic passion, departed souls, and your run of the mill pop fluff – of which there was a little too much of I admit. I was bored by many of the pop songs I heard on the radio – same beats, same squeaky voiced people singing the same things over and over again. You could take the head off one singer, replace it with another and you wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference. But the true artists – the ones that display quality over quality, fought their way through the cracks of pop goo. So for that I’m grateful for this year of music and helping me get out of darkness. For now anyway.. Enjoy the list. And Happy New Year.

1. Anderson Paak – Malibu
2. Solange Knowles – A Seat at the Table
3. Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
4. S U R V I V E – RR7349
5. The Weeknd – Starboy
6. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
7. Beyonce – Lemonade
8. Brookzill! – Throwback to the Future
9. Tegan and Sara – Love You to Death
10. The Kills – Fire and Ice
11. JoJo – Mad Love
12. Emeli Sande – Long Live the Angels
13. J. Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only
14. Robbie Williams – Heavy Entertainment Show
15. Kane Brown – Kane Brown
16. Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression
17. Childish Gambino – Awaken! My Love!
18. Raleigh Ritchie – You’re a Man Now Boy
19. David Bowie – Blackstar
20. Elizabeth Cook – Exodus of Venus
21. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
22. Teenage Fanclub – Here
23. Santigold – 99 Cents
24. Jack Garratt – Phase
25. Africaine 808 – Basar
26. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – A Man Alive
27. Hamilton Soundtrack
28. Shura – Nothing’s Real
29. Margaret Glaspy – Emotions and Math
30. Michael Kiwanuka – Love and Hate
31. Leagues – Alone Again
32. Roosevelt – Roosevelt
33. Rocky – Soft Machines
34. Deftones – Gore
35. Hidden Figures – The Soundtrack
36. Lazarus (Original Cast Recording)
37. Ria Mae – Ria Mae
38. Jamila Woods – HEAVN
39. Skye and Ross – Skye and Ross
40. Ghost Beach – Blonde

Honorable Mentions:
LP – Death Valley EP
Big Gigantic – Brighter Future
Justice – Women
Dawn Richard – Redemption

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New Stuff: “Brookzill”

Dearest earbudders, while we wait for Digable Planets to get on the good foot and make a comeback, member Ladybug Mecca has preoccupied herself with DJ/Producer king Prince Paul, collaborating in a group called Brookzill (“Brooklyn and Brazil”). Combining Afro-Brazilian rhythms, hip hop, jazz, and all around good stuffs, this is a band I am seriously looking forward to listening to when their album drops October 7th. While we wait for this already predicted musical masterpiece, check out their first single, “Saudade Songbook” with Count Bass D. My ears are excited.


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New Year, New Music… 3 Months Late.

Happy new year folks.

Sorry I’m very late with this. Still battling the demons. And losing more than winning. But I give to you another show full of new music. So I hope you listen with open ears and an open heart. From rock to dance, there’s something for everyone. And that’s the great thing about music. Sit back, open a few beers, or whatever floats your battleship, and have fun.

Stream and download here —> Podcast #44



podcast 44.2016.march.collagerowof5withpics


Break Into Your Heart – Iggy Pop

Sound And Vision – David Bowie

The Outlaw Josey Wales – Zella Day

City Lights – Wolfmother

A Womans Wisdom – Wild Nothing

Lead Me to the Water – Shake Shake Go

Ch-Ching – Chairlift

Green With Envy – Sea Pinks

Eat The Rich – Motörhead

What Happened To Us? – Hoobastank

Dancing On Glass – St. Lucia

Forgiveness – Editors

Make Me A Believer (feat. Mac Powell) – Andy Mineo

Best in Me – Chris Trapper

Love Type Thing – Tegan And Sara

Walk With The Noise – IAMX

The Switch – DMA’s

Take My Heart – La Sera

I’ve Got Love On My Mind – Natalie Cole


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The Best So Far in 2014 …

Well fellow earbuds, we’ve reached the halfway mark of the year. It’s been a great year for music so far in my opinion. There has been plenty of music released that can fit any mood imaginable. It’s a bit overwhelming at times. As I listen to new selections, I start to listen to the construction of a song, not just the lyrics. Not that I don’t love lyrics because I do. But there are some artists out there that can create true music and melodies that stand out from the lyrics. It’s kind of like watching a heavily computer generated movie. It’s the special effects that get you not so much the acting. For me, the music behind the song is just as important as the lyrics. They go hand in hand like a doughnut and coffee are to most of us in the morning. So I thought I’d put together a list of albums I have thoroughly enjoyed so far this year. This is definitely going to make my end of the year list quite a challenge because there is SO much good stuff out there. And I don’t mean the pop stufffluff you hear on the radio. Trust me when I say these albums made the cut. And there is truly something for everyone here. If not, then … you must be an alien.



1. Young the Giant – Mind over Matter



2. GusGus – Mexico




3. Bright Light, Bright Light – Life is Easy




4. Pennywise – Yesterdays




5. Sleeper Agent – About Last Night



6. We are the In Crowd – Weird Kids



7. Ed Sheeran – X



8. Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour



9. DJ Q-Bert – GalaXXXian



10. Horse Meat Disco – Horse Meat Disco Vol. 4



11. Tove Lo – Truth Serum EP



12. Shindoe – Illogical Directions



13. Vacationer – Relief



14. Kongos – Lunatic

These are just a few of my favorite things. Check them out when you can.


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Last Podcast of 2013: Best of the Best



Fellow Earbuds!

This is my last show for the year. Just in time because the year is coming to an end very very soon. This year had a ton of good stuff, indie, pop, rap, and whatever else floats your battleship. This show is kind of long, split into two sections – one of pop stuff that just wouldn’t go away, and the other half are songs that most of you never heard of – different than my previous “songs you might have missed” blog. I hope you all enjoyed the past shows and I shall return next year with new rambles and new songs. I know you can’t wait for it, but unfortunately, you will have to 🙂 So for now, sit back, go relax and enjoy. Thanks for listening.

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Electric Lady (feat. Solange) – Janelle Monáe

Pompeii – Bastille

TKO – Justin Timberlake

Miss Jackson (Feat. Lolo) – Panic! at the Disco

Goodbye, Goodbye – Tegan and Sara

Elevate – St. Lucia

Neon Lights – Demi Lovato

Hold On, We’re Going Home – Drake

The Way (Feat. Mac Miller) – Ariana Grande

Safe And Sound – Capital Cities

Sweater Weather – The Neighbourhood

My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up) – Fall Out Boy

Latch (feat. Sam Smith) – Disclosure

Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Come & Get It – Selena Gomez

The Mother We Share – CHVRCHES

Need Your Love – Trixie Whitley

Bank Head (Extended) – Kelela

Ha Ha Ha – The Julie Ruin

You and Me – Luscious Jackson

Moving Pictures – The Stepkids

Antenna – Bonobo

Let Me Love You (feat. Kelly Rowland) – Pusha T

More Than Anything (feat. Emeli Sandi) – Rudimental

Defend Yr Self – Sebadoh

The Wrong Direction – Passenger

Leave Me In The Dark – Walking Papers

Say Yes To Me – Surfer Blood

Jack – Breach -Annie Mac Presents 2013

Part Of Me Still Wants You – Silver Swans

Requiem – Frankie Rose

Your Head and Your Heart – The Saint Johns

See you next year!!



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The Comeback of 2013: Luscious Jackson


I remember the first time I heard of Luscious Jackson. It was in the 90s of course, because as we all know, the 90s ruled music wise (don’t deny it.). I was watching MTV, back when they used to spotlight new bands during their MTV News segments. And I thought, “that’s the weirdest name for a band – Luscious Jackson” but I was completely fascinated by them. An all female band out of NY, that was a mix of r&b, hip-hop, a little bit of rock, and dance was kind of foreign back then. I had heard of Sleater Kinney, another female band, and of course Hole, among other female bands, but not one of them sounded remotely like LJ. This was also around the time I was listening to an array of music, not just hip hop and r&b anymore. I decided to check them out further and seek out their music, which unfortunately, wasn’t to be found anywhere in my area of Maryland. You must remember, this was way before itunes and napster-dom. I never forgot the name though, and stored them back in my head for future music store visits.

Fast forward a few years later. I was in college and my very first night I was in the dorm, I made friends with two buddies who, to my surprise, not only had heard of Luscious but had their EP, In Search of Manny. I must admit, I was still a cassette junkie then. So I asked to borrow their EP and made a copy of it on cassette. I was instantly hooked. Their style of music was danceable, melodic, and still had an r&b and hip hop sound that really to this day, I haven’t heard anyone try to master. I became an instant fan, purchasing (yes, back when people BOUGHT albums) Fever In, Fever Out, Natural Ingredients, and Electric Honey over the next few years. They never strayed far from the formula – it worked and I was amongst the cult following. Songs like Naked Eye, Why Do I Lie? City Song, Ladyfingers, etc, filled up my mix cds, and cassettes. It was nice to come back from a bad day of classes and have them to look forward to listening to chill out, or to bob the head – either way, they did the trick. Then before I knew it, they were gone. They went their separate ways doing various projects, and I thought there was no chance of their ever being heard from again. The record industry was beginning to suffer due to illegal downloading, labels were folding – including LJ’s, bands were being let go, and my favorite funk band was not meant to escape from such effects. I guess they decided to call it quits before it got worse. I thought, “welp, that’s it from them.”

Fast forward to 2013.

A trio now, Luscious Jackson returned with Magic Hour, to the sounds of rejoice from the inner 90s teens buried in adults like myself. This album almost picks up where the other albums left off – dance, hip hop beats, light and airy vocals. I couldn’t have asked for a better album. I have to say this is truly one of the best highlights of 2013 to me. The only thing I disliked was there were only 10 songs. Funded by Pledge Music campaign fans, this was a return to form. There is not one bad song on this album. At all. Not one. All of them are fantastic. My ears are always delighted when my ipod plays one of these songs. I don’t know why LJ came back, but as a 90s kid that didn’t have a ton of female bands to look up to, I truly thank Kate, Jill, and Gabby for their return. You all have been sorely missed. My favorite songs: So Rock On, Aaw, Turn it Up, #1 Bum, Love is Alive. But really the whole freaking album is fantastic. And it will definitely to turn up in my top albums list of 2013 which I’m still working on at the present. But until that blog appears, go listen to Luscious Jackson. Their past stuff is just as good. You won’t be disappointed.

Classic Luscious Jackson:

From Magic Hour:



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90s Soundtracks Everyone Should Know and Enjoy.

I grew up as a 90s kid. It’s the one decade I remember from beginning to end. Part of the 80s was fuzzy for me. But the 90s.. I remember. Like it was yesterday. In the 90s there was something for everybody. There were even a variety of flavors to enjoy in one hit wonders. It wasn’t just one particular style like there is now. There was however a particular sound of the 90s. It did exist.. crunchy guitars, self deprecating lyrics, and let’s not forget the heavy use of sampling. These features were also recognizable in soundtracks. In movies, the soundtrack tells a story and in the 90s this was no different. Sometimes, the soundtracks were much better than the ACTUAL movie. Back then, I was obsessed with soundtracks. I wish movie studios and record labels would put money and thought into soundtracks now as much as they did in the 90s. Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order. They’re just ones I really loved.

pumpupthevolume1. Pump Up the Volume – I admit I was obsessed with Christian Slater and his Jack Nicholson voice. And his incredibly arched eyebrows. In this movie, he was a shy teenager who became popular as an anonymous underground pirate radio DJ named Hard Harry. Oh the feels I had for Hard Harry. But that’s for another blog. The soundtrack was a culmination of alternative, rap, and pop songs. From Cowboy Junkies, Above the Law, Leonard Cohen, Henry Rollins, and many others, each song spoke to the average teenager who were filled with angst, loneliness, frustration, and lust. Still a go to favorite on my pod.



juice2. Juice – Oh yes, one of the many many movies featuring Black teens on the road to ruin because of their situations except for one lone teen who wanted to make something better of their life. Too many movies with this storyline, even today. The term, Juice, refers to having respect in your environment. Although to this day, I hear that word and I want a cup of orange juice. Anyhooters, this starred Tupac Shakur as the antagonist (shocker) trying to lure his friends into a life of crime and Omar Epps (the one good kid) who was an aspiring DJ ready to grow up and leave the bad scene behind. The soundtrack was made up of Aaron Hall, Eric B. & Rakim, E.P.M.D., Cypress Hill, among others. The amount of hip hop talent on this soundtrack was incredible. And Aaron Hall’s “Don’t Be Afraid” is still a freaky jam. It’s a cult favorite movie, and the soundtrack was a great companion.


suburbia3. Suburbia – Oh another movie about teenaged angst and searching for themselves and wondering what life has to offer. They want to break out of their surroundings. Only their way of breaking out is – hanging out by a garbage bin by the neighborhood 7-11.  Frankly this movie sucked poopie chicken. But the soundtrack was very well done, with a collection of contributions by Superchunk, Thursten Moore, U.N.K.L.E., Beck, Butthole Surfers, and a myriad of others.  These artists pretty much nail the frustration of young people and their hopes of NOT ending up like their parents.



trainspotting4. Trainspotting and Trainspotting II – These soundtracks are just perfect. Just. Perfect. The movie? Who cares! The soundtracks have Iggy Pop and Goldie and Heaven 17! How can you go wrong?? The movie is about a set of Brits who are friends and they’re also drug addicts trying to fumble through life. It was the feel good movie back in the day from Danny Boyle. It’s a good movie but the soundtracks which are comprised mostly of dance and electronica artists (before electronica was cool) are the real winners here. Oh the 90s…




boomerang5. Boomerang Soundtrack – This is a perfect example of a soundtrack being better than the movie. Eddie Murphy plays a womanizer, fighting off Eartha Kit, Grace Jones, Tisha Campbell, while falling for his true love played by Halle Berry. The soundtrack was stellar from LaFace Records. It brought us Toni Braxton, an off beat hit from P.M. Dawn (“I’d Die Without You”), and one of the biggest singles in pop history: “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men. It’s a beautifully crafted album from beginning to end and possibly the beginning of the end for good r&B soundtracks.




empire records6. Empire Records – The movie is now a cult favorite. A take off of working at Tower Records, there are a group of misfits, each with their own problems, who are trying to figure out a way to save their store from being taken over by a “Record Town.” In between this caper, there’s a funeral, a has-been in store signing, and an offbeat soundtrack led by the Gin Blossoms’ “Til I Hear it From You.” I know. I know. You’re singing it to yourself right now. So am I.





bodyguard7. The Bodyguard Soundtrack – I think everyone and their mother knows of this bad boy. So I won’t say too much about it. The true beauty of this album wasn’t Whitney’s cover of “I Will Always Love You.” It was “Queen of the Night.” Seriously, listen to that and turn it up LOUD!







xfiles8.  The X-Files Soundtrack. The truth. Is out there.  Foo Fighters, Better than Ezra, X, Ween, Filter, among others. It’s the most alternative dark alternative album I’ve EVER listened to and I loved every minute of it. You might not get the movie, but the music more than makes up for it.







mortalcombat9.The Mortal Kombat Soundtrack. No, this isn’t about video game sound effects. But when I think about industrial electronica and rock music at its finest, this does pop into my head as a good introduction to the genre. And Control by Traci Lords is pretty classic if you ask me. Yes, that Traci Lords. You are correct Alex.






go10. AAAND bringing up the rear.. Go. This soundtrack is a perfect partner for a movie full of debauchery, drugs, raves, and money. All the stories in this movie connect to each other in some way. It’s the last of the decade, coming out in 1999. The movie focuses around a drug deal gone wrong at a rave (because we’ve all experienced that right?). The soundtrack has No Doubt, Fatboy Slim, Len (come on, you love Steal My Sunshine), Eagle Eye Cherry, among others. It’s full of pop, dance, and a little electonica. I love it. It’s fun. A fun soundtrack. Imagine that. A great soundtrack.



There you have it folks. Just a few gems of my favorite soundtracks for my favorite decade. There are a LOT more, but I’m going to keep it down to just ten. Which leaves me to question, “What are your favorite soundtracks from the 90s?” I doubt anyone will reply but I’m just puttin’ it out there.



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