FMD: Best of 2015

Oh yeah, I was supposed to put up a "Best of 2015" post. I forgot.

Appropriately, though, that pretty much sums up my new-in-2015 listening experiences. I just never quite got around to listening to lots of new stuff I intended to, and... that's about it.

I do love me some Nathaniel Rateliff though.

How about you all tell us your bests of, and maybe I can get caught up someday, AMR's rambling comment about how getting caught up isn't possible notwithstanding.

81 thoughts on “FMD: Best of 2015”

    “It’s no longer official”
    Rather than write paragraphs, I’ll just put down my notes without decent transitions between them.
    Artist of the Year: Grimes
    She put samples of birds in the background of some of her songs. (“SCREAM” and “Easily” have Black-capped Chickadees. “Easily” and “California” have other birds I haven’t ID’d. Are there more? Did she do this on old albums? Why didn’t Tranquility Bass do this?) Creates a sense of place and identity to the songs and lets me see the hippie from Canada that sailed her homemade houseboat down the River and past my house in 2009, before having it impounded for tying it to a Mpls Parks tree.
    So many hippie-types (Perry Farrell), you see them and you imagine them struggling to pull themselves together. Grimes maintains that wide-eyed hippieness while executing these songs and semi-fame so deftly. [I’ve got my ideas muddled here: live with it.]
    I think she wrote the first-ever “Woe is Me I’m Famous” song that I’ve ever liked. Maybe it’s that we’re in a different age of communication where anyone can trip into their fifteen minutes, but with a long tail.
    Great Pop songs that push out the limits of what exactly pop could sound like.
    Lyrical snippets I’m fond of:
    “I don’t see the light I saw in you before.”
    “You had every chance to destroy everything you know… If you don’t need me just let me go.” (In the song that could have been the song of the summer!)
    “Everybody dies, we cut out their eyes, and we dance like angels do.”
    “You gave up being good and you declared a state of war.”
    “Dirt in your fingernails, blood on your knees: but did it ever make you happy?”
    I don’t know if I could tell you any lyrics from Visions that weren’t song titles.
    The only band for whom I unconditionally accept its capitalization conceit.
    Does for Techno-rock what House of Balloons did for R&B.
    It’s a great listen front-to-end and makes you want to start all over. Great sequencing: the opening song is both a song and an intro, it and two instrumentals have no denouement but lead immediately into their next song. On shuffle with other music, it’s fun to hear these intro songs build into something completely different.

    2. Jan St. Werner Miscontinuum Album
    Weird long ambient-ish pieces from half of Mouse on Mars, more in the vein of Aphex Twin’s SAWII than anything else Richard James has done.
    Contains five spoken interludes (“Intro”, “Outro”, and “Scenes 1-3”, each 1-3 minuted) from Dylan Carlson of the metal-ish band Earth that are way more listenable than anything similar I’ve ever heard. Do you know the spoken thingy at the end of the Tool album Undertow? Like that but more and with randomish ambient sounds to ramp up the dreaminess. I also think the album works better because of them breaking up the long instrumentals (with screaming and moaning). Like flipping the vinyl, or changing the reels on a film.
    There are bonus tracks on the vinyl version. I thought the bonus tracks were on the CD. I need these bonus tracks.

    3. Colleen Green I Want to Grow Up
    Effectively simple at times. The struggles of maturity.

    4. Grimes Art Angels
    I’m conflicted on this. See all the good things above, but somehow the album feels lesser than the sum of its parts. I get tired of it listening to it end-to-end. The song with Janelle Monae in particular seems to break the vibe. I also maintain my complaint that I needed these songs a season earlier so I could summer to them. I do like the album a lot more than Visions, which felt like three singles plus filler to me.

    5. Courtney Barnett Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Think
    This has been well-discussed.

    6. Bad Bad Hats Psychic Reader
    I had feared that the two EPs they released might have been the extent of the music in them, but here they’ve doubled their output with no drop in quality (even if there’s a drop in kazoos).
    Songs (not found on top albums)
    1. Girl Talk “Why They Hide They Bodies Under My Garage?”

    2. Colleen Green “Deeper Than Love”
    I know, it is on a top album. But it stands atop and apart from it. Such a good song. “I'm shitty and I'm lame and I'm dumb and I'm a bore and once you get to know me you won't love me anymore.”

    3-4. Natalie Prass “Why Don’t You Believe in Me” and “My Baby Don't Understand Me” (tie)
    Are these even different songs? Make it a nine-minute two-parter “Why Don't You Believe in or Understand Me, My Baby? (Parts 1 and 2)”. That would be cool. They’re awesome songs on their own, even if I do get them confused.

    5. Hello Saferide “The Monkeys”
    Oh, how she says “Barcelona”. I’m not much for political-ish songs like this, but somehow Annika Norlin pulls it off for me, maybe it’s because her delivery makes her sound less convinced than someone writing a song like this (or last year’s “I Was Jesus” or “Crawler”) should be. Maybe it’s a Swedish thing. “We must be the best species, cause we can build weapons and obsess over things. And the internet.” (B-side to “Dad Told Me”.)
    Bonus Notes: Songs of “Attack on Titan”, “Fullmetal Alchemist”, and “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”
    I heard these all for the first time in 2015, and I listened to them often. The four songs used as openings and closings for AoT are all fantastic: the openers (both by Linked Horizon) were written for the series and the combination of choirs singing German choruses with Wagnerian overtones and the Cinematic metal just really sells the mood of the shows. Those for both FMA series are more a mixed bag. My highlights are “Again” by Yui, “Golden Time Lover” by Sukima Switch, and “Melissa” by Porno Graffitti. At the other end of the spectrum, there are two closers from the first FMA, “I Will” by Solewu, and “Motherland” by Crystal Kay, that I do not I imagine I’ll continue to listen to.

    1. I've been prepping that all week in little snips at work. I didn't re-read it so if something trails off or stops mid

    2. Agreed on "Flesh Without Blood", definitely the best pop song of 2015, the part where everything fades into the background for the second hook is just killer.

      1. I'm really also quite fond of "Pin". I don't recall seeing it highlighted in any of the reviews I've read.

        I just re-read the news articles about her River adventures. Google "Claire Boucher Minneapolis Houseboat." There are some dead links from P4k so look for original news stories. I've created my own mythology of the woman in my head just from snippets. Hoping she keeps her head on straight and doesn't get lost in fame or something like that.
        I don't follow her on Twitter or anything like that because I don't want to know the real outside of the art.

        Did I mention that the owner of the Breckenridge Cannabis Club (from the TV series "High Profits") reminded me a lot of her? Or maybe just substituted for her in my brain.

    3. I finally found the three vinyl-only bonus tracks for album #2. Good, but not essential. Short bits (relative to the music on the album, where three of the six pieces are 12 minutes long or more.)
      I haven't listened to the album with them in vs with them out to know how it changes the flow.

  2. 20. Susanne Sundfør – Ten Love Songs
    19. Bring Me the Horizon – That’s the Spirit
    18. Toundra – IV

    Toundra is here, instead of Godspeed, because I never really found a way to approach Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress. IV, meanwhile, was both approachable and deep, and ended up soundtracking many a cloudy evening or rainy drive home.

    17. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit

    It was a good year for Courtney Barnett. She had a huge song in “Pedestrian at Best” (which would been top 5 on the songs list, had the list been made in June), and even ended up scoring a Grammy nomination. A couple of listens to this album shows that all the attention was well warranted.

    16. Swervedriver – I Wasn’t Born to Lose You
    15. Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love
    14. The Weeknd – The Beauty and the Madness
    13. Doomtree – All Hands
    12. Grimes – Art Angels

    I'm guessing that if I were to make this same list this next June, this one would be 7th or so.

    11. Falling Up - Falling Up


    10. Purity Ring – another eternity

    9. Jamie xx – In Colour
    8. The Go! Team – The Scene Between

    The knock on these guys anymore seems to be that they didn’t break up after their first album. That’s nonsense. They’re on a four album winning streak now.

    7. Beach House – Depression Cherry

    6. Carpenter Brut – III EP
    I could listen to “Turbo Killer” on repeat all day (and Linds probably thinks I do just that), but the rest of this EP kicked a lot of ass, too. Fake 80’s neon synth vomit nostalgia is pretty much the worst thing ever, except when Carpenter Brut is concerned. Carpenter Brut gets a lifetime pass.

    5. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

    4. Lupe Fiasco – Tetsuo & Youth

    I don’t think there’s a person alive that would say that this is better than To Pimp a Butterfly, but for me, this album was simply a joy to listen to. The Lupe Fiasco that I knew and loved is back, and honestly? He’s better than ever.

    3. mewithoutYou – Pale Horses

    2. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell
    This is, at times, a very uncomfortable record to listen to. It’s a wrenching album for nearly its entire duration. Still, Sufjan’s talent for arrangement and ear for melody shines through all of it and imbues what could be a dour, bitter affair with a life that I’m not convinced anyone else could have given it.

    1. Tame Impala – Currents
    I really liked Lonerism (once I heard it, that is – it took me a while), so when I heard “Cause I’m a Man” for the first time, I was disappointed. The cheesy faux-funk that I was hearing was nothing like the direction I’d hoped they’d go in. Luckily, “Cause I’m a Man” is the second worst song on the album (and a really bad choice for a single), and not really representative of the album as a whole. Sure, the album skews a bit cheesy, but unlike in that song, it feels earned most everywhere else. The bass feels vibrant throughout, and with one unfortunate exception (really though, what in the hell is up with putting the worst and weirdest song of the year immediately after the best song of the year??), the pacing is perfect. Upon my second listen through the album, sitting on my deck, drinking a gin and tonic watching the hummingbirds buzz around the honeysuckle, I felt sure that nothing else was going to touch this album.

    Nothing else did.

    1. I'm not sure I get all the Jamie xx love. It's not my normal cup of tea, but I've gone through it a few times. Decent, but I'm not seeing how it was on so many lists this year.

      1. A few super high points with lots of quality breathing room in between. "Gosh" was one of my favorite songs of the year (and bar none my favorite song to "sing" to the kid - Saying "Oh my gosh!" has become pretty ubiquitous in our house). It was one of the albums I ended up putting on when I would listen to stuff on my headphones late, late at night.

    2. I loved Food & Liquor and F&L II, but LAZERS was such a disappointment I got away from Lupe. Maybe I should check out this latest offering.

  3. I'll just drop a few albums in here that I've found I listened to a lot.

    Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase. If you ever liked Pink Floyd or old Genesis. Prog rock. You should probably try this. Since I just recently discovered this album I've only listened a few times, but I'm hooked.

    Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass. When I typed that, I started humming one of the songs. Works for me!

    Mark Knopfler - Tracker. Another I've only listened to a few times since it's not on all streaming services. Should buy it.

    D'Angelo and the Vanguard - Black Messiah. Always loved D'Angelo.

    Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear. I'm not sure if I should put this up here or not. I haven't listened to it a lot, but it pleases me that I found it. The record was on sale, I gave it a quick skim on a streaming service, bought it, and it turned out to be pretty good. A find (for me)!

    I think I like:

    - Tame Impala - Currents. Not 100% convinced yet.
    - Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell. Haven't been in the emotional place to really give it my attention.
    - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. It's fun.
    - The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise. I listened a few times and I think I might like these weirdos.
    - Björk - Vulnicura. OK, I only listened to this once. But I'll probably listen again. 🙂
    - That Jamie XX thing I listened to once might be worth another shot.

    1. During my non-random listening, I'm kind of alternating between Carrie & Lowell and Psychic Reader (see AMR's list above). The two albums counterbalance each other nicely.

    2. Steven Wilson -- now you're talking my language! I love Porcupine Tree, and to a lesser degree No Man and Blackfield; Wilson's music tends towards introspective and moody, but he writes some nice stuff and is a great vocalist. Try Blackfield's "Hello" or "Where is My Love?", or Porcupine Tree's "Heart Attack in a Layby" or "Lazarus" as well.

        1. "neo-prog" btw. Some early Porcupine Tree (Moonloop, The Sky Moves Sideways) are very Floyd-esque, but they're more mainstream (verging on prog metal) in later CDs. Riverside is another group of similar style.

          1. From my music-listening days, I second this. I owned almost all of Porcupine Tree's discography as of about eight years ago.

  4. 1. “Ghost Parking” T. Griffin Coraline The Sea Won’t Take Long
    2. “Dis-Moi Josephine” Josephine Baker J’ai Deux Amours
    3. “The Bullpen” Dessa A Badly Broken Code
    4. “Fell Asleep on a Train” The Quavers Fell Asleep on a Train
    5. “Tiniest Seed” Angel Olsen Half Way Home
    6. “Novacane” Beck Odelay
    7. “Silver Sings” Caitlin Rose The Stand-In
    8. “Pot Kettle Black” Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
    9. “Three Little Babes” Joanna Newsom The Milk-Eyed Mender
    T. “Joyful Girl” Ani Difranco Dilate

  5. This is always a tough exercise for me because while I get into a lot of new music, it's mainly only new to me. Everything I get tends to be at least 2-3 years old if not much older, so I usually don't have much to offer when it comes to actually new music. Here we go in any case.

    No particular order:

    • Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
    • CHVRCHΞS - Every Open Eye
    • Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color (surprised this wasn't on more lists)
    • Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
    • Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon

    Holds promise (still getting into):

    • Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Surf
    • Lizzo - Big Grrrl Small World
    • Kelela - Hallucinogen
    • Hop Along - Painted Shut
      1. (I really liked their last one when I picked it up a few months back*. Truthfully, I've barely listened to the new one; more putting it up there in appreciation for Get Disowned.)

        * "Everything I get tends to be at least 2-3 years old"

    1. I'm working through Wolf Alice's My Love Is Cool. I really like some of the songs on there, and the rest are good enough to form a nice, high baseline for the album.

      I've never gotten into Chvrches. I don't know why. I much prefer Purity Ring.

      Alabama Shakes was actually #21 on my list. I bought it the day that the young'un was born, so it has a lot of nostalgic value, even if I don't end up coming back to it all that much. The title track is great, though, and I like the different directions they took, rather than a straight rewrite of what was already a good formula.

      1. I like the different directions they took

        Yes, and successfully, I might add. That's why 1) I liked it a lot, and 2) thought it might get more recognition.

        1. That's the one that's been on repeat the last week or two.

          The song that got all the hype was "Bros". I think that song's okay, but it didn't make me run out and buy the album. If I had heard "Moaning Lisa Smile" or "You're a Germ" first, I would've been all over it since August.

  6. As usual, my "Best of" list is nowhere near ready.
    In the meantime, here's my random list:

    1. Where Did Our Love Go? – Soft Cell
    2. Joining The Dots – Arctic Monkeys
    3. Machinehead – Bush
    4. Adaptation – The Weeknd
    5. Thousand Miles – Tove Lo

    6. The Heart Of LIfe – John Mayer
    7. Whole Lotta Love (BBC Live) – Led Zeppelin
    8. Phantom Limb – The Shins
    9. Peace Train – Cat Stevens
    10. Soulshine – The Allman Brothers Band

    B1. Cowgirl In The Sand – Neil Young

  7. My best of this year can be summed up in one band: Highly Suspect. The last half of the year I was consumed with their debut hit "Lydia." I delved into the album and found many more excellent hits, including "Bath Salts" and "Bloodfeather" (their latest single).

    At the beginning of the year, I was very fond of Royal Blood and Foo Fighters. Also enjoyed "Heavy Is The Head" by Zac Brown Band.

    I'm looking at everyone else's picks and realizing that there's a lot of stuff I've never heard of. I may need to expand horizons a bit.

    1. Friends, here (especially year-end lists or when someone calls out a band or song during FMD's), Spotify & Pandora and maybe surprisingly, commercial radio once in a while.

    2. I've been wondering this too. I'm gonna try harder with taking recommendations from this site.

      But I'm wary because of CB... 😉

      I'm checking out the linked Steven Wilson above right now.

    3. I used to be addicted to new music, so lists out there on the web.

      As that subsided, well, I was working with some pretty good cats that had an interest and I'd find things there or from other friends (here), etc. The past few years I've started mostly ignoring even that, but in 2015 I'm back to paying attention to these people around me again.

    4. I listen to several music podcasts - All Songs Considered, Soundopinions, the KEXP ones - and I scan reviews at Pitchfork and a few other places to see if anything I'm unfamiliar with catches my eye/ear. Then I usually throw it up on Pandora to figure out if I want to give it more time.

    5. I still hit a few websites I used a lot more frequently years ago (brainwashed, pitchfork). Unfortunately, the most useful thing brainwashed does anymore is their year-end readers' poll, which is useless for me in putting together the current-year list.
      I follow artists I like on FB and the tweets, hear what they're listening to, or when they have things they're soon to release.
      I see what people here are recommending.
      I follow a few reviewers that I trusted back in the day (Charles Aaron and Phillip Sherburne) on twitter and read their reviews or other things they mention.
      I follow SPIN magazine on facebook, which is weird because it's not what it was when I was a regular reader, but they preview some things I'm at least interested to hear even if I don't
      Sometimes I hit billboard to see what's charting.
      Random luck on youtube, following rabbit holes.

      I used to follow Daytrotter (streamable downloadable studio concerts) but the signal to noise ratio (likelihood of something to interest my tastes) has fallen drastically over three or four years.
      When Ha Ha Tonka came through town four or more times a year, I frequently also dug the other opening acts on the bill. (But rarely did I get into the headliners the same way.)

      1. Timely example: I learned of Grimes because Plastikman linked to here "Oblivion" video.
        I was immediately hooked. Her presentation of herself had something to do with it, of course. I found the persona she presented as relatable while the music was pretty out there: more like the Field with more punch and pop and some sort of vocals with lyrics "See you on a dark night." I think I dl'd the album after I spent a few days listening just to that video over and over.

        I got into Plastikman back in the 90s because his visual presentation was spot-on. I bought Consumed on a whim (a short positive review plus the black-on-black-on-darkpurple). Not what I expected. At first I dismissed it as "Setting up a 909 and walking to the bathroom" but I kept coming back to it as meditative homework music, and now it's part of my base catalog.

  8. My favorite new music from this year, mostly from Spotify recommendations, All Songs Considered, or here.

    In no particular order

    Courtney Barnett (Sometimes....) - heard about her here first. Can't wait to see her live.

    Sufjan Stevens (Carrie & Lowell) - I was walking the dog on an overcast morning when I listened to the album for the first time. Got something in my eyes. Heartbreaking.

    Jason Isbell (Something More Than Free) - Probably my favorite this year.

    Kendrick Lamar (Butterfly) - Not a genre that is usually in my wheelhouse but listened and really liked it. Love the historical references and am challenged to think about things differently by the lyrics.

    Honorable mention: Wilco (Star Wars) is growing on me, Girlpool (Before The World Was Big) is really different but if I listen too much I get mildly annoyed, Torres (Sprinter), Sleater-Kinney (No Cities) pretty well rocks.

    1. I've gone through Star Wars a few times, and it hasn't clicked yet. I was surprised at how well it's been received as I must be missing something so far.

      1. I tried it too (the price was right) and feel the same way.
        But then that's how I always feel about Wilco.

  9. DK LISTOMANIA 2015!!!

    I got a good, solid 25 again this year. I could've gone farther, but #29 and 30 reaaaally make me laugh and wish I had listened to more albums so I could push them farther down.

    25. Neon Indian - VEGA INTL. Night School
    24. Baroness - Purple
    23. Small Black - Best Blues
    22. Battles - La Di Da Di
    21. Intronaut - The Direction of Last Things
    20. Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy
    19. Jamie xx - In Colour
    18. CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye
    17. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love
    16. Kurt Vile - B'lieve I'm Goin Down...
    15. Lower Dens - Escape from Evil
    14. Deerhunter - Fading Frontier
    13. Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer
    12. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free
    11. Wolf Alice - My Love Is Cool
    10. Beach House - Depression Cherry
    9. Grimes - Art Angels
    Definitely one that snuck up on me this year. I only like about half of Visions, so I was surprised to enjoy this as much as I did.
    8. The Band Formerly Known as Viet Cong - Viet Cong
    There's a ton of "old-school" Wolf Parade sound mashed up with abrasive art-punk stuff all over this.
    7. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
    I think we already hashed this out enough. It's great.
    6. Beach House - Thank Your Lucky Stars
    Yeah, I ended up liking the second, surprise album a little more than the first one.
    5. San Fermin - Jackrabbit
    This band sounds like Dirty Projectors, if instead of built around Dave Longstreth's glitch guitar, the arrangements are built around keys-bass-horns, and instead of Longstreth's warbly midrange vocal, the male voice is more a Berninger-like baritone.
    4. Julia Holter - Have You in My Wilderness
    I feel bad I didn't pay much attention before this year, but there's always one of those on my lists anyway. She's awesome.
    3. EL VY - Return to the Moon
    Two of my favorite indie artists doing something a little different, but not too different, for both of them.
    2. Tame Impala - Currents
    1. Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
    This guy...can be a huge dick, and I can't always tell if he's serious, or not, or both. But I love all the songs here, and nothing pleases me this year front to back like this one does.

    1. Battles did a full-album cover of a Doug E. Fresh single??!?!?!??!
      How did I not know about this??!?!?

        1. You're not worthy.

          Actual Spoiler SelectShow
      1. I should clarify: I listened to well over 25 albums last year. But I'm not certain that I reached 25 new (to me) albums.

  10. Here's 11 albums I liked in 2015.

    * Priests - Bodies, Control, Money & Power I was into a punk kind of mood for quite a bit of 2015. This was one that I picked up in January, and I still like it quite a bit. "And Breeding" (played in my Guest DJ week) is my favorite.

    * MewithoutYou - Ten Stories and Pale Horses. I think I listened to "Elephant in the Dock" more than any other song this year ("Daddy! Play the elephant song!") But I still like both of these albums and put them on often.

    * Screaming Females - Live at the Hideout I watched a bunch of their live videos after they were featured by the DJs here, and decided to buy the live album. Love it. I'll be diving further into their stuff once I get through this one.

    * Varg - Ursviken Because there has to be at least one drone/ambient/electronic record. This one seems like it's going to be drone the whole way through, but there are rhythmic tracks as well. An easy one to get lost in and make it all the way through without realizing that time has passed.

    * Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana and Foil Deer I was obsessed with these two albums for quite a while. "Graduates" "Raising the Skate" "Tiger Tank" are all great, but I like a lot of the rest of these albums as well.

    * EULA - Wool Sucking -- This almost my pick for the "Best of 2015" video. I like the noisy take that certainly owes something to Sonic Youth.

    * Courtney Barnett - Sea of Split Peas and Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit -- It's just easy to listen to these albums. When I scroll through my iPod I often land here, because "Yeah, I could listen to that right now."

    * Thee Oh Sees - Mutilator Defeated at Last This was definitely a bubble album for a Best of 2015 list, but sure, why not? I realized that I liked TOS much more than I thought this year, and this album was part of that.

    Two classical pieces that are worth a look

    * John Luther Adams - "The Wind in High Places". Written as an elegy after the death of a close friend, it's wonderfully quiet and naturally influenced (as all of Adams work is).

    * Michael Gordon - "Rewriting Beethoven's 7th Symphony" One of the pieces that got me into Gordon, it was finally recorded and released this year. It uses Gordon's spiraling glissando to deconstruct Beethoven's symphony into something really cool.

    1. I'm pretty sure I noticed every single reference you made to EULA in 2015--and there were a lot of them. Between my obsession with interest in writer Eula Biss and my knitter's habit of perking up at any reference to wool, I couldn't help it. I listened to your EULA summer mix song a few times, but I might just have to investigate them/her/it a bit further.

  11. Afternoon all. First time in a long time, other than a quick congrats here or there.

    I didn't get a chance to listen to much new stuff this past year. Having one kid and trying to be cool is hard, a second makes it impossible. The oldest Calf turns 5 later this month and the baby Bison is already 2!

    I spent 2015 introducing the oldest to music. Keeping thousands of cds and records in the house paid off in a big way as he just started listening to music. From there, he uses my spotify account to find new music on his own and is building his own taste.

    Every Saturday morning we take a trip to a local record shop Record Theatre and he gets up to 10 bucks to spend how he wants on used albums. Bed time stories have been replaced with watching YouTube clips of live performances on my tablet. Xmas was filled with instruments instead of legos. He even has his own "band" Runner Barnett. For his band he gets out markers and paper and makes up albums complete with artwork and track listings.

    It is times like now that being a Dad is super awesome. Even if listening to him play the demo mode of his keyboard while wailing away on a trumpet is painful to the eardrums, for now.

    Instead of listing my favorite albums of 2015 I am going to ask my boy his 10 favorite albums and see what he says. All alulbms are his, commentary mine.

    10. Rockin the Suburbs/Ben Folds- in case you forgot. Benjoy Folds swears a lot more than you rememeber.

    9. Free the Bees/The Bees - if I have to listen to Chicken Payback one more time.
    8. Meet the Rentals/The Rentals- I love that he likes non weezer weezer more than weezer
    7. Rock and Roll Part III/Ozma- see above
    6. Speakerboxx. Love Below- Outkast -hearing him saying "club mix" after songs cracks me up every time.
    5. Born to Run/ Bruce Springsteen- Night, strangely is his favorite tune
    4. London Calling/The Clash-I'm surprised he didn't say Sandinista
    3. Smiley Smile/Beach Boys- Heroes and Villains is his stuffed animal dogs favorite song.
    2. Now Here is Nowhere/Secret Machines- kid is into heavy stuff for a 4 year old.
    1. Greetings from Asbury Park/Springsteen - Blinded by the Light may be his favorite song. Here is hoping he grows out of that one. Maybe if I play him Manfred Mann it will do it.

    Being a dad is cool, being a dad of a kid whose favorite thing is music is cooler. The only parenting advice I have is to keep tons of music and books in your house for your kids to have easy access to. Sure, they will ruin some of it but the trades offs are worth it.

    Also just in case I don't get to post again this year --- Towns is awesome, Wiggins is getting there, I'm worried Rubio is at his ceiling and Sam Mitchell seems like a great guy but a new coach is very much in order.

    Now if only I can get one of these kids to like hoops or baseball.

    1. "Night" was my favorite song on Born to Run for a time, too. Then again, pretty much every tune on that record has been a favorite at one time or another.

      As for our Wolves...

    2. The Clash? Get him off that soon.
      I believe that the Clash fans I've run into are the most self-important music fans -- fans of anything, really -- that I've ever encountered.
      Imagine the worst traits of Cardinals fans, South Korean Speed Skating fans, and Patriots fans, all rolled into one.
      SSS, YMMV.

            1. Well to be fair, that line was penned by Robert Christgau, the rock critic. Of course any marketing department worth their $300 Beatle boots is going to pick up on that line. I'm not sure there is any evidence the band embraced the slogan.

                1. Ok. Did research myself. Seems like you are correct. Don't know where I came up with that Christgau story. Half naked I guess.

  12. Here are albums that I noticed in 2015.

    Wilco -- Star Wars. Who was it HJ? Made a quip that of course I woyuls like Wilco? So I hate to be predictable but yes, this slum is cool.

    Sleater-Kinney -- No Cities to Live. Rock album of the year.

    Built to Spill -- Untethered Moon. A little disappointed. The fist and Lat song rock. The rest is kinda meh.

    Sonny Knight and the Lakers - Do it Live. Fun album. Check out.

    Titus Andronicus -- The Most Lamentable Tragedy. Kind of a slog but well worth the listen.

    Guided by Voices -- Suitcase 4. 100 songs. 35 of which are great. Not bad for the 4th album of 100 songs of out takes and demos.

  13. Wilco -- Star Wars. Who was it HJ? Made a quip that of course I woyuls like Wilco? So I hate to be predictable but yes, this slum is cool.

    um, i'm not sure how to respond to this. 😉 in any case, i don't think it was me...?

  14. I totally forgot to check if this was up since I didn't work on Friday. Here's a top 25. There's probably 10 things I really wish I'd spent more time with that would change the list, but this is about as close as I can get.

    01. Chastity Belt - Time to Go Home
    02. Julien Baker - Sprained Ankle
    03. Colleen Green - I Want to Grow Up
    04. US Girls - Half Free
    05. Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss
    06. Eskimeaux - OK
    07. Nadia Reid - Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs
    08. Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer
    09. Wimps - Suitcase
    10. Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp
    11. Vince Staples - Summertime '06
    12. Childbirth - Women's Rights
    13. Slutever - Almost Famous
    14. Future - DS2
    16. The Intelligence - Vintage Future
    17. Adult Mom - Momentary Lapse of Happily
    18. Spelljammer - Ancient of Days
    19. Girls Living Outside Society's Shit (G.L.O.S.S.) - Demo
    20. The Icarus Line - All Things Under Heaven
    21. Jeremih - Late Nights The Album
    22. All Dogs - Kicking All the Time
    23. Shana Cleveland & The Sandcastles - Oh Man, Cover the Ground
    24. Rae Sremmurd - Rae Sremmurd
    25. Pile - You're Better Than This

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