Top 13 Albums of 2016

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Top 15 Albums of 2013

I have 15 albums to post this year which turned out to be a great year for music.

My number one album comes from Foxygen who were able to capture the essence of the best of 60’s psychedlia with obvious inspiration from The Kinks, Doors, Stones.  This year also marked the return of Toad the Wet Sprocket and Camper Van Beethoven AND gave us the first Bowie album in ten years.

1. Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic

2. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – (self titled)

3. The Avett Brothers – Magpie and the Dandelion

4. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

5. Neko Case – The Worse Things Get…

6. Dawes – Stories Don’t End

7. David Bowie – The Next Day

8. Elvis Costello and the Roots – Wise Up Ghost


9. Sam Amidon – Bright Sunny South

10. Yo La Tengo – Fade

11. Camper Van Beethoven – La Costa Perdida

12. Robyn Hitchcock – Love from London

13. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

14. Toad the Wet Sprocket – New Constellation

15. MGMT

 

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Best 10 Albums of 2012

2012 was a down year for music in my estimation.  Here are my top albums of the year with the top 3 standing out.

1. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Here

2. The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter

3. Tame Impala – Lonerism

And in no particular order…

The Lumineers

The Shins – Port of Morrow

Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal

First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar

Delta Spirit

Ben Folds Five – The Sound of Life…

Jack White – Blunderbuss

 

 

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Best Ten Albums of 2011

Yes, I am completely aware that I have made you wait sixteen days for my highly esteemed listing of the best albums of the year. Patience is a virtue. Now, click the covers and buy these records! The order isn’t that important but it is the order that makes most sense today.

1. Middle Brother

2. Decemberists  The King is Dead

3. Ryan Adams  Ashes and Fire

4. Wilco The Whole Love

5. The Head and the Heart

6. Dawes  Nothing is Wrong

7. The Kooks  Junk of the Heart

8. Girls  Father Son Holy Ghost

9. Kurt Vile  Smoke Ring For My Halo

10. Civil Wars  Barton Hollow

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Appreciating Rockpile

Rockpile was a power-pop band in the late 70’s with members Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe. Rockpile released a single album under the Rockpile name – and it’s a good one.

The good news for fans of this album is that there is more music by the band, it’s just not called Rockpile.

Interestingly, since the two stars of the band, Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe, had different record labels as solo artists, they recorded a few albums under each artist’s name before ever releasing their lone Rockpile record in 1980.

Before the Rockpile album was ever released, they recorded Dave Edmunds’ album Tracks on Wax 4 with Edmunds taking all vocals.  Later, the band recorded Nick Lowe’s seminal album Labour of Lust and Dave Edmunds’ Repeat When Necessary simultaneously.  All three are in actuality Rockpile records.  Lowe’s album produced the US Top 20 track Cruel to be Kind and Edmunds scored a hit with Girls’ Talk (later to be covered by Elvis Costello).

Other “Rockpile” records:

This was “power pop” (and some rockabilly) at it’s finest hour.

Here are some videos of the band.

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Because I Can

Posting some text using the WordPress app for the iPad. It’s pretty handy to use in landscape mode as the keyboard is very usable.

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My First Rock Concert

February 14, 1980

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Driving and Shuffling Music on iPhone

If you don’t have a dedicated iPod interface in your car but connect your iPhone through the AUX jack on your car stereo, this information may be helpful.

I like to have a lot of music on my iPhone and then shuffle the songs while driving. Operating the iPhone’s iPod controls while driving is not very safe so if you want to skip a song (and aren’t clued in to the “double click”), you would (1) have to slide the slider, and (2) look at the screen to see the controls and press the advance button.

The iPhone 3G has “shake to shuffle” so you could solve problem two by enabling this feature and shaking the phone instead of finding and pressing the controls.

But this still leaves the issue of glancing at the phone to slide the slider.

If the iPhone is playing and you want to skip a song, you can double-click the button and get iPod controls over the lock screen. You can press the advance button OR simply shake the phone.

While not completely safe, the method above – double clicking the button and shaking the phone – can be done without taking your eyes off the road.

(If you are listening to an album, shaking the phone will advance to the next song. Double-clicking the button is also handy to gain access to the controls while listening to the iPhone with headphones.)

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The Top 10 Films of All Time

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Bold statement but here is my list.  4 from Kubrick, 3 from Coppola, 1 each from Polanski, Lynch, Lean.  There are films I can think of that could easily supplant others on this list but today, this is my list.  Is it obvious that I think the 1970’s produced the greatest movies ever?

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The Top 25 Albums of the Decade

The top 25 albums of the decade as determined by me.  The albums had to be currently in my collection.  I tried to limit any band having more than one entry but in some cases this was impossible.  This has absolutely nothing to do with record sales, popularity, or what others think. This is purely a selfish list of music I listen to. Without further ado, in reverse order for suspense, here are my choices:

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