Archives For Music Monday

2014 is half over and here’s my top 5 albums of 2014 so far and my favorite songs.

Top 5 Albums of 2014 (so far)

Click to open in Spotify

  1. Lykke Li – “I Never Learn”
  2. Sohn – “Tremors
  3. Phantogram – “Voices”
  4. Bombay Bicycle Club – “So Long, See You Tomorrow”
  5. Wye Oak – “Shriek”

Not a bad year for women in indie music – 3 of my 5 top albums. And St. Vincent is many folks’ #1 album – though I couldn’t get into it. Much preferred her last release.


Top Songs of 2014 (so far)

Click to play in Spotify


If you want to dig deeper into some good music, here’s a list of my Spotify playlists for each month so far (anywhere from 20-50 songs/month):

Would love to hear what you’re listening to.

What have been your favorite albums and songs of 2014 so far?


flaming lips

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

That’s right – it’s Best-Music-of-the-Year time.

Time for everyone to start releasing their Best-of-2012 lists (like Paste already did).


I’ve been working on my two lists: Top Albums and Top Songs of 2012 – but it’ll be a few weeks before I get them all in order.

To get you warmed up, here’s my “Best 50 Songs” lists from 2010 & 2011 (as a playlist on the free music service Spotify):

Best Songs of 2010

Best Songs of 2011


Here’s a list of some albums I’m considering for best albums of 2012 (in alphabetical order – click to play for free in Spotify).


What have been your favorite albums and songs of 2012?


photo courtesy of kk+

It’s a special SXSW Free Music Edition of Music Mondays.

For those of you who can’t afford $599 tickets to SXSW (not to mention airfare and hotels). . .

Here’s a ton of free, legal songs from many of the bands that are playing at SXSW:


An additional free-of-charge tip:

  • Be sure to check back frequently with Google’s new, all-things-media store Google Play. Everyday they have a different album for 25 cents. I’ll repeat. An entire album. 25 pennies. Even I will buy Coldplay Mylo Xyloto for 25 pennies (they’ve also had Lady Antebellum, Guns n Roses, et al). They also have a daily book for 25 cents (Moneyball is today’s).
  • AND Amazon seems to be matching every day’s music deal (if, like me, you prefer Amazon’s much simpler though not-nearly-as-simple-as-iTunes downloads).

Let us know in the comments about any other great music deals we’re missing out on (SXSW related or otherwise)!

Watched the Grammy’s last night. Such a strange mishmash of performances. What demographic are they exactly trying to appeal to with Justin Bieber followed by Bob Dylan followed by Drake/Rihanna followed by Barbara Streisand?

For some reason it is nowhere near as compelling as the Oscars (even though I like music more than movies).

Whereas the Oscar winners are usually widely acclaimed actors/movies, Grammy winners/nominees seem completely arbitrary (nominees in best Rock album: Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Jeff Beck, Tom Petty, and Muse.  Hmm- which is the only one from this decade?).

I guess this stems from that fact that the music industry is far more diverse (with over 30,000 albums released every year) than film (with less than 1000 feature films released to theaters per year) and it’s difficult to have consensus.

Maybe the diversity that makes it difficult to Award is what makes music so appealing. There’s a genre for everyone. My genre of choice= indie rock/pop.

Anyway, you can get any of the Albums of the Year nominees for $5 on Amazon (though Arcade Fire is the only one worth getting! Here’s a good write-up (with video) of Arcade Fire’s win).

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Yeasayer is giving away a free EP – a GREAT love song (and two remixes) that was #7 on my list of top songs of 2010

(Warning. Don’t watch the video. it will ruin the song for you. we’ve resolved to never watch a Yeasayer video again. Great musicians. HORRIBLE video makers.)

Here’s a pretty decent free 6 song Sampler of Amazon’s Top Artists on the Rise.

If you love music and have never seen La Blogoteque you should check it out.

For the last 5 years, an independent filmmaker in Paris has been filming a who’s who of indie rock bands as they perform acoustically in unique locations. Each video is beautifully shot with great audio. My all-time-favorite is Phoenix performing Lisztomania on a double decker bus by the Eifel Tower (and the video for 1901 is cool too).


Other good performances:

Bon Iver

Local Natives performing Who Knows Who Cares

Yeasayer performing 2080/Tightrope

And the original video that started the series: The Spinto Band performing Oh Mandy (a tribute to my Valentine – my wife Mandy!)