It’s no secret that I’m an albums guy. One look at my extensive year-end “Top Albums” list, and it’s clear that I’m a purist at heart, almost always listening to an album from start to finish. However, there is the rare occasion where I’ll queue up a specific song to fit the mood or raise my spirits. The list below contains 25 of those songs that I found myself searching out (why 25? Because I couldn’t cut it down to 20). You will not find many songs from albums on my “Top Albums” list simply because if it’s a great album, I’m probably not going to skip tracks. Instead, you will mostly hear songs that were stand-outs on albums that didn’t quite make the grade. If you are expecting a list that is of the same caliber as my “Top Albums” run-down, you are about to be greatly disappointed. But if you’re up for checking out some of those songs that got multiple replays on my iPod in 2014, the following list should provide you with an entertaining mix.
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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’m not blind to the list of other music websites, and as I peruse them, I always find myself scoffing or shaking my head in frustration. Sometimes it’s because of the thinly veiled politics behind picks; other times it’s the unwarranted hype given to an artist who still needs time to grow. I like to believe that I’m so outside the industry and that I can give you a list that is based solely on my passion for music that lurks outside the mainstream. 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 2014.
In this episode we jump full speed into the best albums to come out already in 2014. Discussions include a history of Mali band Tinariwen and their inspiring back story, a look back at my discovery of Slough Feg at South By Southwest years ago, and an appreciation of the documentary “A Band Called Death.”As with all episodes we pay tribute to Bob Dylan, this time looking at his tumultuous days back in Hibbing, Minnesota.
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks “Lariat”
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra “Take Away these Early Grave Blues”
Tinariwen “Imidiwan Ahi Sigdim”
Self Defense Family “Nail House Music”
Roc Marciano (ft. Ka & Guilty Simpson) “Squeeze”
Slough Feg “Laser Enforcer”
Death “Let the World Turn”
Bob Dylan “North Country Blues”