Songs of My Year

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2016 was a lot of things. Depending on who you are it was a very good year, full of happiness and growth. Alternatively… it may very well have been a terrible year marred by unwelcome imbalance and impending doom. Oh and anywhere in between, of course. Regardless of where you fall on the scale, I do believe we can all agree on one thing: It was a good year for music. I’ve compiled a list of the 20 songs released in 2016 that I feel are a good example of the vastness and diversity of the great music being produced in this day and age. My favorite songs of the year? Yes, my favorite. But I bet there is something here for you no matter what kind of music you like. This is in no particular order and the only requirement is that the single or album it was part of was released this year. I’ll limit myself to a sentence or two about each song.

1.  1000 Times by Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam

Album: I Had A Dream That You Were Mine

Produced by Rostam Batmanglij

I cheated, what can I say, this is my actual favorite song of the year. Hence the #1 spot. A perfect mix of a heart warming love tale buckled to the end of Leithauser’s raspy howls.

2. A Million Reasons by Lady Gaga

Album: Joanne

Producers: Mark Ronson, Stefani Germanotta, BloodPop

She’s outdone herself with the album Joanne and this song stands out. Showing growth in songwriting and appealing to an older audience.

3. Spit Out The Bone by Metallica

Album: Hardwired… to Self-Destruct Disc 2

Producer: Greg Fidelman

This is just what the doctor ordered. The pacey drums and blistering riffs hint that Metallica is at the top of their game.

4. PillowTalk by Zayn

Album: Mind Of Mine

Producer: Levi Lennox

This song debuted at #1 virtually EVERYWHERE in the world, breaking records while he was at it. Fucking in, fighting on.

5. Hearts/Wires by Deftones

Album: Gore

Producer: Matt Hyde

These guys are my favorite band and this album was a return to form in my eyes. This song brings your focus from melodic trance to dual roarings: Guitars and Chino.

6. The Numbers by Radiohead

Album: A Moon Shaped Pool

Producer: Nigel Godrich

Not much has to be said about who I think is the best band in the world. Radiohead numbs everything and this song has a nineties Radiohead feel to it. Elusive bastards.

7. We The People by A Tribe Called Quest

Album: We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service

Producer: QTip

I didn’t like this song from jump street… but it grew on me, you can’t argue with this beat.

8. New Song by Warpaint

Album: Heads Up

Producer: Jacob Bercovici

All girl rock alt-rock band makes a pop song. And they are gorgeous. Try to sit still to this one.

9. Me Too by Meghan Trainor

Album: Thank You

Producer: Ricky Reed

Only two possible questions: Do I include this song? Or How can I not include this song? Super catchy and…super catchy.

10. Faithfully by Skylar Spence

Album: Single

Producer: Ryan DeRobertis

Only song to be released in 2016 by for this guy (formerly Saint Pepsi). Do you know the sample? OK, it’s Aretha Franklin’s Wonderful

11. Loud(y) by Lewis Del Mar

Album: Lewis Del Mar

Producer: Max Harwood

Local heroes hailing from Rock Rock Rockaway Beach. How do I not know someone who knows them? Opening line on this song says it all “Can you please sit the fuck down”

12. Easier by Mansionair

Album: Easier

Producer: Mansionair

Three dudes from Sydney just making music to chill out to. Lyrics really hit home, does it get easier? Will I figure it out?

13. Perfect Illusion by Lady Gaga  (Second time on the list, remember that come Grammy time)

Album: Joanne

Producers: Mark Ronson, Stefani Germanotta, BloodPop, Kevin Parker

Perfect pop song. Queens of the Stoneage front-man taking on some guitar duties with super producer Mark Ronson. Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker on drums. The album also boasts Beck and Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine. Lady Gaga could have four songs on this list.

14. Gardenia by Iggy Pop feat. Josh Homme

Album: Post Pop Depression

Producer: Josh Homme

QOTSA frontman popping up AGAIN. This is a haunting melody that you should not miss. Iggy is an icon for sure.

15. Brazil by Declan McKenna (single released in 2015, EP in 2016. Got airplay in the USA only in 2016 so we’ll count it)

Album: Liar EP

Producer: Declan McKenna

17 years old. Can’t say enough about his still developing talent. This is a gem of a song.

16. Everything You’ve Come To Expect by The Last Shadow Puppets

Album: Everything You’ve Come To Expect

Producer: James Ford

Arctic Monkeys front-man Alex Turner is back at it again with Miles Kane, one of my favorite solo artists. Beautiful depth to this song, tongue twisting lyrics and did you see the dang video??

17. Everybody Dies by J. Cole

Album: Single

Producer: J. Cole

Watch out, J. Cole is taking names. A modern dis track that has a better beat than 98% of rap out there. Oh, you recognize that sample? Minnie Ripperton Inside My Love… you probably heard it on A Tribe Called Quest’s Lyrics To Go.

18. Magnificent (She Says) by Elbow

Album: Litte Fictions (2017)

Producer: Craig Potter

You’ll have to wait a bit for the album but this brilliant single will hold you over. Elbow have been around for 20 years so if you haven’t heard of them you need to rethink your music taste.

19. Blackstar by David Bowie

Album: Blackstar

Producer: Tony Visconti

Clocking in at 10 minutes, this song is a trip that opens up a can of whoop ass at the halfway mark. RIP

20.7 Years by Lukas Graham

Album: Blue Album (April 2016 USA release)

Producers: Future Animals

This song makes me wanna tear up. Not admitting if I actually do. But if a song makes you feel that much it’s a good one.

Listen, you are probably complaining. I don’t care, It took over 4 hours to put this together because I kept listening to all this dang music. Pretty impossible to narrow things down so there are some songs missing for sure.  So who is missing? What song should not be on this list? That’s it for now. Keep the needle on the record.

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Beasties and The Endless Sh*t

 

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I really don’t want to admit that this actually happened, but hey… it makes for a semi-humorous story. I was about 7 years old at the time. 1987 was in full effect and The Beastie Boys had just started their multi-decade spanning mission to skew my alarmingly sane and clear outlook on life. I’ll never forget the day. I was on my porch with my little Aiwa boom box (it was kind of small…didn’t really have much of a boom to it) and I was pumping some good old Beach Boys. Loved them; such feel good, innocent music. I was sitting there, probably wondering why my parents kept buying me Velcro shoes, when the older boys across the street came outside to play some basketball. Man they were cool, I would go over there to hang out but I didn’t want to get shot with a BB gun. (Yes, I mean not that I had gotten shot, but my friend did.) Now these dudes had a real boom box, like the size of a suitcase. I can admit I had a little boom envy; I wanted to boom like that. Well I tried not to pay attention. Then my life changed forever. The rif and 3 words that would change my life: NO SLEEP TILL…

I didn’t know what was happening. I turned my baby box off and just listened. Half way in I got brave and just had to go over there.

“What do you want, little man?”

“What is this music?”

“Ha ha, you don’t know who the Beastie Boys are?  Ha Ha Ha Ha”

“Mother fucker I’m 7” (OK I didn’t say that, but I should have)

“No…”

“Go get mommy and daddy to buy you this tape; it’s called License To Ill”

I had no idea what that meant but I definitely needed to ill. I was going to have to trick mom into buying this for me since it had a parental advisory sticker on it. My dad would put me in a full nelson if I tried to buy something like that.

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That isn’t what the story is about though, I just wanted to share. About my curiosity, it was around the time of my Beastie Revelation that I found myself in the upstairs bathroom busy taking care of a #2. Shitting used to be fun back then, before it was just a chore. I was still perfecting how I wiped my ass, I think I still crumpled up the toilet paper into balls at that point instead of the nice square size folds I do now. This particular time I was in there for extra-long, so long that my mom noticed. I was sat up on the toilet when my mom knocked. I had a box of Ritz crackers with me and I was eating away so I had to swallow then I said “Yes?” My mom asked if I was OK and what was taking so long. I was eating. “I’m eating” My mom just up and violated my privacy and came in and started in all crazy about why I am eating on the toilet.  So I told her. It was really an experiment. I had already put together that we eat so we shit… but I wanted to know if I were to eat while I was shitting, could I just shit endlessly… or until I ran out of crackers.  My mom got my dad and made me re-explain what I was doing. Then they laughed at me. I thought I was being brilliant. Whatever. They took the crackers and told me my experiment was over. How was I supposed to know it wouldn’t work?  I can’t be the only one that’s tried this. You tried this right? Anyone?

Quiet Hounds = Loud Sounds

Quiet Hounds

On February 24th, 2013 at 6pm eastern time there is a Quiet Hounds concert that you can attend no matter where you are at that given moment… so long as you have the internets. Here is what’s happening:

You can buy a ticket online for an affordable $4.99 here: Quiet Hound Tickets

Just click on the buy button and follow some simple instructions and you will be able to watch what they have described as an “intimate, storytelling WEB CONCERT…” Basically we get some insight on these mysterious men in masks that make insanely good music. Who, what, and why… just answer the dang questions!

Yes, there is a teaser video:

I’d like to think I have some decent music taste so let me just tell you that the recurring thought I have had since this band caught my ears is that they are freakishly, eerily, almost uncannily good. If you need proof that the live show is worth your 5 bucks, just watch this performance of the song I Get Up:

They are making it very easy to like them. And since we can’t all just get up and go to Atlanta, they’re going to bring Atlanta into our homes. It’s a very nice gesture. If that’s not enough, there is buzz of what is being described as “The Hound Signal” (refer to Bat Signal) that your town can create and use whenever the Quiet Hounds are needed. Here is how it works:

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I know you like it.

I wouldn’t miss out on this opportunity. This is pretty much cutting edge stuff, if one of your go-to bands is from a state a thousand miles away… you can still enjoy the live show in the comfort of your own home. Who knows, with enough alcohol and a proper surround sound system you won’t even know you aren’t in Georgia.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite tracks by them. Again, they ooze talent and this is more proof:

 

Quiet Hounds Facebook     Quiet Hounds Twitter

Courrier – Inch Of Rope (New Single out 2/5/13)

Courrier kick off their Catherals Of Color CD Release Tour by releasing Inch Of Rope, a catchy tune with a pounding beat that will make the laziest person want to climb a mountain.  Listen Below!

BUY IT ON ITUNES HERE!

 Courrier Main Site     Courrier Facebook    Courrier Twitter

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Courrier – Cathedrals of Color – What buzz?

Courrier

Courrier | Alt Rock Band | Cathedrals of Color – Cathedrals of Color.

Nothing to see here, folks. Just another world class band on the verge of Stateside domination, and that may be an understatement. With no sophomore jinx to speak of, Courrier’s new album Cathedrals of Color (Colour if you ask me) transcends the limits of alternative rock. A grueling recording session with legendary producer Tim Palmer (U2, Pearl Jam, The Cure) coupled with leaps of interpersonal growth have landed these Texas boys on the cusp musical mastery.

The first single off the album is entitled Love is a Fire (LIAF) and was released back in May. It serves as a perfect gauge of the band’s upward direction.  Uplifting and melodic, the steady thump of the drums and soundscaping guitars give the listener reassurance that music is indeed for and from the soul.

Relentless touring and selfless devotion to their fans have made Courrier’s network an ever-flourishing, constantly-expanding entity. In October the boys pulled off a successful home tour during which they played short acoustic sets in the homes of fans across the country to showcase their new songs.

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They are fresh off of the Sunset Session Tour with Duncan Sheik and Alpha Rev and are gearing up to tour the entire month of February in support of their album release. Get tickets and check out the dates HERE.  Cathedrals of Color is an album you are not going to want to miss. Catch glimpses of album standouts Inch of Rope, the title track Cathedrals of Color, and The City at Night in the video below.

Be sure to check out the Presale Bundles they are offering Here, they’ve made a bunch of cool collectibles available to fans including a Skype performance just for you!

For more of their music videos, interviews, and outtakes check out their Courrier Youtube page. And of course, check them out on Twitter and Facebook. Give them a like!