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.
In this month’s episode of the BDWPS Podcast, we take a look at some of my favorite albums of the year so far, including Alex G, Juana Molina, Aimee Mann, Blanck Mass, Fazerdaze, At the Drive-In, and Pissed Jeans. Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or GooglePlay.
Check it out HERE, or better yet, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or GooglePlay (search: BDWPS).
(Sandy) Alex G “Powerful Man”
Juana Molina “Cosoco”
Blanck Mass “The Rat”
Aimee Mann “Patient Zero”
At the Drive-In “Governed by Contagions”
Fazerdaze “Lucky Girl”
Pissed Jeans “The Bar is Low”
King Crimson “21st Century Schizoid Man”
Bob Dylan “One Too Many Mornings”
In the latest episode of “Year of the Neil”, we take a look at the demise of Buffalo Springfield and the beginning of Neil’s solo career.
Check it out HERE, or better yet, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, GooglePlay, or Stitcher (just search: Year of the Neil).
The Magnetic Fields
50 Song Memoir
If 50 Song Memoir is proof of anything, it’s that Stephen Merritt is at his best when facing a monumental challenge. In 1999, he released 69 Love Songs, a box set that was just that – 69 songs about love, each told with Merritt’s signature bittersweet, often humorous lyrics. Since that seminal release, Magnetic Fields have stagnated a bit with a handful of meandering, mixed-bag albums. But in 2017, the songwriter has returned to his muse with another gargantuan challenge: to write 50 songs about his 50 years on this planet. Not only does he meet the quota, but the massive task helped him to shake the cobwebs off of his muse and write some of his best material in over 20 years.
Some may find the idea of a five-CD, 50 song album to be a bit too tedious, but Merrit masterfully tells his story in a way that is endlessly entertaining and continuously mysterious. This isn’t a straight-forward memoir (we never learn the names of his parents, if he has siblings, or the names of his lovers); instead, each song plays as a snapshot – sometimes a hilarious story (a mean cat, failing an ethics class in college, a song about how surfing is a dumb sport) and sometimes a heartbreaking revelation (the impact his mother’s boyfriends would have on him over the years, fears of the AIDs epidemic, mental illness). Merrit is at his finest though when the songs are a combination of both his signature snark and sadness.
In this episode we listen to new music that pairs well with a sunny, summer afternoon. You’ll hear new songs from Sacred Paws, Spiral Stairs, The Feelies, Slowdive, Real Estate, Pile, Julie Byrne, and Why?. We also take a look at the Showtime documentary “Making Pet Sounds” and listen to Bob Dylan’s “North Country Blues”.
Check it out HERE, or better yet, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and GooglePlay (search: BDWPS).
Sacred Paws “Everyday”
Spiral Stairs “Dundee Man”
The Feelies “Gone, Gone, Gone”
Slowdive “Sugar for the Pill”
Real Estate “Darling”
Pile “Rope’s Length”
Julie Byrne “Follow My Voice”
Why? “Proactive Evolution”
The Beach Boys “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times”
Bob Dylan “North Country Blues”
I just realized that I never posted the latest Year of the Neil episode on here. Sorry for slacking as of late! I’m hoping to get back on track in the coming weeks.
In this episode, we take a look at a teenage Neil Young heading out on his own to pursue a career in music.
You can check it out HERE, or better yet, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or GooglePlay (just search: Year of the Neil).
Father John Misty
[Sub Pop; 2017]
Whenever I listen to Father John Misty’s 2017 release, Pure Comedy, I can’t help but think about the works of one of my all-time favorite authors, Kurt Vonnegut. To place Josh Tillman, the man behind FJM, on the same level as Vonnegut would be a bit hyperbolic, but Tillman’s satirical portrayal of a misguided human race is reminiscent of Vonnegut’s hopeless take of humanity.