Tag Archives: big ups

Top 40 Albums of 2016 (40-21)

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For me, this list is the most important thing I write all year. While I enjoy all the various writing avenues I take, the “Top Albums” list is really the end-all-be-all. I’d be beating a dead horse if I discussed what a disappointing year 2016 has been, but instead, I want to focus on some of the great music released.  Once again, I’ve compiled a list of some incredible albums that hail from a wide range of genres. Give the first 20 a read through and a listen, and I’m sure you’ll find something that strayed beyond your listening peripheral in 2016.

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The Top 20 Albums of 2016 (So Far)

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2016 has been a comeback year for “the album” with artists like Beyonce, Chance the Rapper, Radiohead, Drake, and Kanye West dominating news cycles with the surprising arrivals of their new full-length albums. I see this as both a blessing and a curse. As a fan of the long-form listening experience, I love that albums as a whole are getting love in the age of Spotify playlists and Pandora radio. On the other hand, many of these albums do not deserve the hype that surrounds them (i.e: Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book pales in comparison to his last effort, Acid Rap, and Drake’s VIEWS might be the most uninspiring, uninteresting albums of 2016). Lost amidst all of this album release hoopla is a lot of the great music not getting the attention it deserves. That’s where we here at BDWPS come. Below you will find 20 original, rousing, and memorable albums that you should have been listening to instead of wasting your time with the latest Rihanna album.

(All of the albums on this list were released before June 1st. I set this cut-off date to ensure I’ve had ample time to listen and connect with albums before placing them on the list.)

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BDWPS Podcast #45

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In this episode, I discuss some of the highlights from my week at SXSW including performances from Thao Nguyen, MONEY, Big Ups, and Nap Eyes. We also check out new tracks from Little Simz and Lucinda Williams, and I discuss The Descendents documentary “Filmage”. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play (search: BDWPS).

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Playlist

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down “Fool Forever”

MONEY “You Look Like a Sad Painting on Both Sides of the Sky”

Big Ups “National Parks”

Nap Eyes “Lion in Chains”

Little Simz “Have I”

Lucinda Williams “The Ghosts of Highway 20”

The Descendents “Hope”

Bob Dylan “Blowin’ in the Wind”

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SXSW 2016

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This year’s SXSW was a unique experience for several reasons. For one, it was the first year where I spent the entire week going to shows by myself. In the past I’ve been able to coerce a friend or two into joining me, but my persuasive skills were not as effective this year. This year’s list of bands also lacked the same “star power” as it usually contains. Most years, I have a handful of must-see artists on my list. In a weird way, this lack of beloved artists made for a more exciting week of shows. Instead of spending my time trying to catch some of my favorite bands, I focused my energy on discovering new music, which really is the point of attending SXSW. Without a list of favorites bogging down my days, I was allowed to explore the musical landscape. Here are some of my favorite moments/performances of the week.

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