Tag Archives: Best of

Brittany Spencer – Sober and Skinny

Over the last year, due almost entirely to the podcast Cocaine and Rhinestones, I have found myself revisiting county music.

If you haven't listened, you should. I would start with the  three part series on "Harper Valley PTA" or the episode on the Kershaw Brothers, especially if you love Neil Young (E-6 signal).

I preface with that as a way of saying for the best of 2021 I would have liked to post any number of the songs I discovered from that podcast. Maybe one day I can get a month to share some of these things. Then again I may get booed out by jobu if I try that.

Instead here is something from 2021 that makes me think of the best parts of classic country music with the best parts of today's music. This song is tragic and funny in a way that only country music can be. It feels like John Prine or Bobby Braddock could have written this song and no one would question it

Just great stuff. I hope you enjoyed.

 

 

4 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 10 (4 votes, average: 9.25 out of 10)
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Rare Americans – Knives, Guns & Bed

I struggled a little to figure out what I was listening to that was new last year. But I found and like these guys. This song was on my "liked" Spotify list before I went searching for my "best of," so I'm going with it.

I like this one, too. I think it officially came out in 2020, but some serious 2021 vibing in there.

And Happy Birthday to my little bro!

3 votes, average: 8.33 out of 103 votes, average: 8.33 out of 103 votes, average: 8.33 out of 103 votes, average: 8.33 out of 103 votes, average: 8.33 out of 103 votes, average: 8.33 out of 103 votes, average: 8.33 out of 103 votes, average: 8.33 out of 103 votes, average: 8.33 out of 103 votes, average: 8.33 out of 10 (3 votes, average: 8.33 out of 10)
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Nate Mercereau – Start With You (Duet with the Golden Gate Bridge)

Nate Mercereau has played sessions with Jay-Z, but I think this one-ups his list of famous collaborators.

The sounds Bay Area residents have described as nuisance noise equivalent to sonic torture are produced by the a new set of railing slats installed on the Golden Gate to retrofit it to withstand sustained winds above 70 mph. The sounds struck Mercereau differently, as Nature itself playing “the largest wind instrument in the world.” Adding an interesting natural wrinkle to a musical controversy, the Golden Gate often sounds an A440 (Hz) concert pitch.

Armed with field recorders, Mercereau & a couple friends captured the sounds from the Marin Highlands, which make up the other half of his album Duets | Golden Gate Bridge. The song performed in this video is a track from Mercereau’s other 2021 album, Sundays.

In response to complaints, the Golden Gate Bridge District is developing engineering adjustments to silence the bridge.

2 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10 (2 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10)
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Black Country, New Road – Opus

These seven early-twenty-somethings are part of the same South London scene that produced Black Midi, Squid, and yes, Dry Cleaning. It's virtually impossible to categorize their music, (other than avant-garde), as they mix such disparate elements as post punk, math rock, klezmer and free jazz among their influences. From their 2021 debut album For the First Time. I was gonna play "Black Sunglasses" --the first song of theirs I was introduced to--it's brilliant! Unfortunately, the lyrics to that one are decidedly NSFW. However, if you’re intrigued by “Opus”, you really need to check it out. As one witty You Tube commenter said of "singer"/guitarist Issac Wood, "I like my vocalists to sound like they're standing on a window sill yelling at a police negotiator." Perfect.

3 votes, average: 8.67 out of 103 votes, average: 8.67 out of 103 votes, average: 8.67 out of 103 votes, average: 8.67 out of 103 votes, average: 8.67 out of 103 votes, average: 8.67 out of 103 votes, average: 8.67 out of 103 votes, average: 8.67 out of 103 votes, average: 8.67 out of 103 votes, average: 8.67 out of 10 (3 votes, average: 8.67 out of 10)
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Yuko Uebayashi – Au Delà du Temps

I've started listening to a lot more classical music in the last year*, mainly by streaming MPR's classical station. By luck, I heard this flute piece by Yuko Uebayashi and was thoroughly hooked.

*It's interesting how technology can shape our listening habits. I had been working from home on my personal laptop since the pandemic hit, but the IT department was upgrading laptops, so I finally got one. It's a big improvement for doing work (larger screen, easier access to stuff on the server), but I don't have any sort of music streaming service on it, so my listening habits shifted accordingly.

3 votes, average: 8.00 out of 103 votes, average: 8.00 out of 103 votes, average: 8.00 out of 103 votes, average: 8.00 out of 103 votes, average: 8.00 out of 103 votes, average: 8.00 out of 103 votes, average: 8.00 out of 103 votes, average: 8.00 out of 103 votes, average: 8.00 out of 103 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10 (3 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10)
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Low – Days Like These

The new Low album was absolutely amazing. Quite the headphone album, although some of the (planned) distortion sounds like your headphones/speakers got blown out. It's interesting to think that while Low was playing this song, I was in a taxi on my nighttime trek to Aguas Calientes to see Machu Picchu.

4 votes, average: 8.75 out of 104 votes, average: 8.75 out of 104 votes, average: 8.75 out of 104 votes, average: 8.75 out of 104 votes, average: 8.75 out of 104 votes, average: 8.75 out of 104 votes, average: 8.75 out of 104 votes, average: 8.75 out of 104 votes, average: 8.75 out of 104 votes, average: 8.75 out of 10 (4 votes, average: 8.75 out of 10)
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