Eulogy for the Sideman

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In the past couple weeks we’ve seen the passing of three unheralded sidemen: Walter Becker of Steely Dan, Holger Czukay of Can, and Grant Hart of Hüsker Dü. These three stalwarts played integral parts in the success of their influential bands yet were often underappreciated for their contributions. I’ve felt more and more disappointed by the coverage of each legend’s passing, feeling like they aren’t getting their due simply because they opted to remain in the shadows rather than bask in the spotlight. At the very least, I’d like to take a moment and pay my respects to three silent assassins whose impact can still be heard in music today.

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BDWPS Podcast: Episode #62

In this month’s episode we check out new music from Thunder Dreamer, This is the Kit, Rozwell Kids, Sleaford Mods, MIKE, Afghan Whigs, Avey Tare, and Nine Inch Nails. We also continue our track by track look back at Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are a-Changin’.

Check it out HERE, or better yet, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or GooglePlay (search: BDWPS).

Tracklist:

Thunder Dreamer “You Knew Me”

This is the Kit “Hotter Colder”

Rozwell Kids “Wendy’s Trash Can”

Seaford Mods “Just Like We Do”

MIKE “Victory Lab”

Afghan Whigs “Demon in Profile”

Avey Tare “Season High”

Nine Inch Nails “Less Than”

Bob Dylan “Restless Farewell”

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King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard “Murder of the Universe”

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

Murder of the Universe

[ATO; 2017]

Rating: 8.7

All signs would suggest that Murder of the Universe, the 11th release from Australian psych outfit King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, should be a disappointment. It’s 21 tracks long. It’s a concept album centered around the creation of outlandish altered beasts. And it’s the second release in a year where the band has promised to release five albums, resulting in possible oversaturation and carelessness (update: they released their third album of the year today). Yet somehow, all of these negative precursors somehow propel this album to new heights, making for one wild listen.

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Year of the Neil: Episode #5

In this month’s episode of “Year of the Neil”, Young’s tumultuous relationship with CSN continues. We also take a look at his mainstream success on “Harvest” and begin seeing the impact drugs would have on Neil and the people around him.
Listen HERE, or better yet, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, and GooglePlay (search: Year of the Neil).

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Kevin Morby “City Music”

Kevin Morby

City Music

[Dead Oceans; 2017]

Rating: 9

For over a decade, journalists have been writing think-pieces on the death of rock and roll, but not until the past couple years have their omens seemed possible. Two weeks ago Nielsen announced that for the first time in the rating system’s existence, rock music was not the most popular genre in their mid-year report. There’s no need for concern (yet). Rock music is closely trailing R&B/hip hop overall and in the category of albums, rock reigns supreme making up 40% of sales. Regardless, it does seem like rock and roll is on the down swing in popularity. For those in need of comfort during rock’s decline, Kevin Morby’s City Music plays as a perfect album of appreciation and reflection on the genre’s adventurous past.

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BDWPS Podcast: Episode #61 (Class Reunion Edition)

In the latest episode of the BDWPS podcast, we revisit some of my favorite songs from 20 years ago (my senior year in high school). It’s an episode filled with memories and some great music from the past, including tracks from Fugazi, Archers of Loaf, Semisonic, Sunny Day Real Estate, Shudder To Think, The Descendents, Satchel, and Blur.

Check it out HERE, or better yet, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or GooglePlay (search: BDWPS).

Tracklist:

Fugazi “Target”

Archers of Loaf “Underachievers (Fight Song)”

Semisonic “Down in Flames”

Sunny Day Real Estate “8”

Shudder to Think “Resident Wine”

The Descendents “When I Get Old”

Satchel “For So Long”

Blur “M.O.R.”

Bob Dylan “Another Pawn in Their Game”

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Top 20 Albums of 2017 (so far)

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In the past, I’ve posted this mid-year list at the beginning of June, but I decided that to truly be a mid-year list, I needed to post it in July. This is list is comprised of some of my favorite albums released between January 1st and June 15th (there is a two week window in June because I didn’t want to put anything on the list that didn’t have time to marinate). 2017 started slowly in terms of great releases, but the past three months have been chock full of great work by both up-and-coming artists and veterans who have returned with outstanding offerings.

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