20 Songs For September 2015

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Every month I make a playlist of the songs, old and new, that I listened to the most this month, and I write about why I picked each each song. At the bottom is a Spotify playlist with all these songs.

Grandaddy – “A.M. 180”

(This month Grandaddy announced that they were making a new album. It was the perfect excuse to go back through their discography and rediscover some great songs that I forgot about. Under the Western Freeway and The Sophtware Slump are the two albums you want.)

The New Pornographers – “Use It”

(I don’t listen to the New Pornos a lot, but when I do I really get into it for a couple of listens. Twin Cinema is a great starting place for newbies.)

Elvis Costello – “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes”

(This month I went through a pretty intense, albeit brief, early Costello phase. This is one of his best singles off his debut album.)

Tweedy – “Nobody Dies Anymore”

(This is one of those songs that you can listen to a million times and each time you hear something new that will blow you away, whether it be in the cryptic all-meaning lyrics or in the disarmingly simple arrangements. This is also a great “Summer is ending and Fall is finally here and it makes me sad but it also makes me glad” kind of song. Sukierae has really grown on me and I can see it gaining some sort of cult status, much like how 808s and Heartbreak was a low key influential album until Pitchfork decided to do a thinkpiece about it.)

Blink-182 – “What’s My Age Again”

(Because I turned 23 this month…)

IGBO – “Creamy”

(It was on one of my Friday Mixtapes, yet I still love this song oh so much.)

R.E.M. – “King Of Birds”

(See my note about Elvis Costello.)

Craig Finn – “Newmyer’s Roof”

(I’m a big fan of this album, especially this song. It’s a genuinely strong song that tackles 9/11 and doesn’t try and force or exaggerate any dishonest feelings for the sake of imagery or patriotism.)

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – “Bottled In Cork”

(Ted Leo was one of those musicians I always heard about from friends to check out. For one reason or another I never did, but this month I was finally given a specific starting point: The Brutalist Bricks. It’s a fun album, bouncing around between different styles and, like the best rock & roll, it never takes itself too seriously. If you like this then you’ll want to check out the rest of his work.)

Bob Mould – “The Descent”

(I ignored this album when it came out 3 years ago because I wasn’t a Hüsker Dü fan back then. Now I know better, and Silver Age is a worthy solo album that makes a case for Bob Mould The Songwriter instead of Bob Mould The One Guy In Hüsker Dü.)

The Libertines – “Anthem For Doomed Youth”

(Anthems For Doomed Youth is a great album in the same way that the most recent Strokes albums are great; it’s good music that has virtually no hype or press trying to turn it into an event. All you have is the music, but for some people that’s not enough. Oh well. It won’t convert you into a Libertines fan, but for the rest of us it’s a nice thing to have another Libertines album in the world, especially one this good.)

Gillian Welch – “I Want To Sing That Rock And Roll”

(Like a lot of musician I love, I discovered Gillian Welch through Ryan Adams. She sang and played instruments on Heartbreaker and she was an associate producer and performer on the Grammy winning and essential listening O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. Time (The Revelator) is a great album if you also like Heartbreaker.)

Deerhunter – “Breaker”

(I’ve always liked the idea of Deerhunter, a band that combines nearly every great genre of the past 30+ years, throws them into a magical blender, and churns out Amazing Southern Americana Gothic Rock that is brilliant down to the very jangly riffs that they steal from their fellow Georgia neighbor R.E.M. However I can never finish an album without getting bored. Both Microcastle and Halcyon Digest are considered masterpieces (and they probably are) yet I can never listen to them from start to finish. Sometimes it’s just too ~weird~ man. However “Breaker” is already my favorite Deerhunter song because it sounds like the Deerhunter that I want to fall in love with. I’m sure that this new album won’t be the masterpiece that triumphs Halcyon Digest (though you ever know), but I have a feeling that this new album will be this band’s gateway drug.)

Josh Ritter – “Right Moves”

(Josh Ritter is one of my favorite songwriters, and when he premiered a new song off his upcoming new album I celebrated by listening to all his albums. The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter is probably the album I’ve listened to the least, but I still fall in love with the wide range that this album covers.)

The Promise Ring – “Is This Thing On?”

(The best part of this year’s emocore revival is probably all the old albums that I’ve discovered from the late 90s and early 2000s. Nothing Feels Good (a very emo album title indeed) is getting a reissue, thus I play this song in celebration.)

Ryan Adams – “Bad Blood”

(Of course.)

Buffy Sainte-Marie – “Ke Sakihitin Awasis (I Love You Baby)”

(I had no idea who Buffy Sainte-Marie was when she beat out Drake at this year’s Polaris awards. So I wrote about her.)

Built To Spill – “Velvet Waltz”

(I was going to go see Built To Spill this month so I spend some time with their old albums. It didn’t work out, but at least I have a few new favorite BTS songs.)

Jeff Tweedy – “The Ballad Of The Opening Band”

(I usually try and stick with one song per artist, but this song is one of my cornerstones of my Fall Playlist, so it belongs here.)

The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – “You Can’t Live There Forever”

(This Album Is Not The Masterpiece That It’s Hyped Up To Be & That’s Ok Because Because It Still Has A Lot Of Great Songs.)

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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Fall Spotify Playlist: Autumn Sweater

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Yesterday was the official beginning of Fall, which means it’s time to break out the pumpkin spice latte (or Oktoberfest), sit out on your porch and read a book, or finally take that road trip you’ve been meaning to do before it gets too cold outside. No matter what you end up doing this Fall, these songs will fit the many moods of the changing leaves.

Happy Fall!

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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Playlist: 20 Songs For August 2015

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1. Lyla Foy – “Impossible”

2. The Rolling Stones – “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)”

3. Donnie Iris – “Ah! Leah!”

4. Nada Surf – “Blonde On Blonde”

5. Timber Timbre – “Hot Dreams”

6. Bruce Springsteen – “Land Of Hope and Dreams”

7. Langhorne Slim & The Law – “Changes”

8. Youth Lagoon – “Highway Patrol Sun Gun”

9. Sibylle Baier – “Colour Green”

10. Among Savages – “New York City”

11. Jefferson Starship – “Jane”

12. Apanhador Só – “Mordido”

13. Gabor Szabo – “Love Is Blue”

14. One Direction – “Little Black Dress”

15. Beach Slang – “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas”

16. Carly Rae Jepsen – “Gimmie Love”

17. Beach House – “Sparks”

18. Mac Demarco – “Another One”

19. Arbes – “Key Largo”

20. Small Black – “No One Wants It to Happen to You”

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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Spotify Playlist: The Open Road

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There’s still plenty of summer left, which means you still got time to get in your car and take that road trip you’ve been meaning to take since you read ‘On The Road’. Or you can go visit your grandma who lives an hour away. Or you can go to the store and pick up some toilet paper. No matter where you’re going, you’ll need some good tunes for the road.

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Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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Playlist: 20 Songs For July 2015

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It’s been a while, but monthly spotify playlists are back. Fun fact: there was a Neil Young song on this mix before he took (most) of his albums off of Spotify. I will try and survive somehow.

Here are my 20 songs for July 2015:

1. The Presidents Of The United States Of America – “Video Killed The Radio Star”

2. Charanjit Singh – “Raga Madhuvanti”

3. Grateful Dead – “Eyes Of The World”

4. Hiss Golden Messenger – “Mahogany Dread”

5. Excuse 17 – “Watchmaker”

6. Neneh Cherry & The Thing – “Dream Baby Dream”

7. The Weakerthans – “Aside”

8. White Reaper – “Pills”

9. State Champion – “Don’t Leave Home Without My Love”

10. The Death Of Pop – “Nowhere”

11. Houndstooth – “No News From Home”

12. Wilco – “Magnetized”

13. R.E.M. – “Strange Currencies”

14. Yo La Tengo – “Friday I’m In Love”

15. Vince Staples – “Summertime”

16. Tame Impala – “Yes I’m Changing”

17. Titus Andronicus – “I Lost My Mind (+@)”

18. Deafheaven – “Irresistible”

19. Spraynard – “Applebee’s Bar”

20. Communions – “Forget It’s a Dream”

 

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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Playlist: 20 Songs For February 2015

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February in the Midwest is always a great time to listen to lots of music, since it’s too cold to leave the house. This month’s playlist includes many new songs and some deep tracks from Joe Cocker and Oasis.

Here are my 20 songs for February 2015:

1. Pink Gloves – “80’s Girls”

2. Girlpool – “Chinatown”

3. Taylor Locke – “Running Away From Love”

4. Joe Cocker – “Space Captain”

5. Title Fight – “Your Pain Is Mine Now”

6. Father John Misty – “Holy Shit”

7. Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – “No Action”

8. Quarterbacks – “Not In Luv”

9. Kendrick Lamar – “The Blacker The Berry”

10. Kevin Garrett – “Control”

11. Drake – “Energy”

12. Blur – “Go Out”

13. Oasis – “Songbird”

14. Passion Pit – “Where the Sky Hangs”

15. Stonefox – “This City”

16. Beach Slang – “Too Late to Die Young”

17. Open Mike Eagle – “Split Pants in Detroit (Or Hyrule)

18. Calexico – “Cumbia de Donde”

19. James Davis – “Better Than You Are”

20. Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers – “Captain America”

 

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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Playlist: 20 Songs For January 2015

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My first monthly playlist of 2015 includes new music from Sleater-Kinney, Viet Cong and The Decemberists along with some deep tracks from St. Vincent, Can, Nick Lowe, and more.

Here are my 20 songs for January 2015:

1. Cat Power – “The Greatest”

2. Parquet Courts – “Stoned and Starving”

3. The Breeders – “Drivin’ On 9”

4. Bully – “Milkman”

5. Madonna – “Hung Up”

6. Thea & The Wild – “Strangers and Lovers”

7. St. Vincent – “Champagne Year”

8. Nirvana – “Oh Me”

9. Arctic Monkeys – “Dance Little Liar”

10. American Football – “Never Meant”

11. Sleater-Kinney – “No Cities To Love”

12. Viet Cong – “March of Progress”

13. The Decemberists – “Philomena”

14. Jose Gonzalez – “Leaf Off / The Cave”

15. Sharon Van Etten – “I Don’t Want to Let You Down”

16. Can – “Vitamin C”

17. Belle & Sebastian – “Nobody’s Empire”

18. Daniel Johnston – “Life In Vain”

19. Nick Lowe – “The Beast In Me”

20. Cloakroom – “Outta Spite”

 

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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Playlist: The 70s – Dazed And Confused

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Just like I made a playlist for the 60s, the good old 1970s gets its own spotify playlist.

I’ve tried to cover as much ground as I could – from disco (Bee Gees, ABBA), Heavy Metal (Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin), R&B, funk, and soul (Al Green, Isaac Hayes, Marvin Gaye), lo-fi and punk (Buzzcocks, The Clash, New York Dolls), soft rock (Fleetwood Mac, Elton John), singer-songwriter (Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor), to good old rock & roll (Bowie, Springsteen, Aerosmith). I also tried to throw in some deep tracks, including songs from Ann Peebles, Candi Staton, The Damned, David Essex, Dr. John, Fela Kuti, Freda Payne, Jorge Ben Jor, The Osmonds, Richard Hell, Rodriquez, The Slits, and more.

And yes, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Dazed and Confused soundtracks are on here too.

Enjoy!

 

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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Headphone Nation’s 100 Favorite Songs Of The Decade (So Far): 2010-2014

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Am I an idiot for thinking that I can only pick 100 songs to share with y’all and not feel guilty about all the other music that I’m leaving out? Is this list completely bias? Am I brain-dead from trying to write about why I love every single song on this list?

The answer is yes.

Reminder: this is a list of MY FAVORITE songs of the decade, not THE GREATEST songs of the decade. There is a key difference. Same rules apply to this list as they did for my favorite albums of the decade so far.

Also make sure to check out the spotify playlist with all these songs at the end of this list.

Alright, let’s begin.

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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Playlist: 20 Songs For December 2014

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This month’s playlist comes a little earlier than usual, since I will be away from my computer from Christmas till New Years.

Here are my 20 songs for December 2014:

1. Mad Season – “River Of Deceit”

2. J Mascis – “Me Again”

3. Galaxie 500 – “Decomposing Trees”

4. Eels – “It’s A Motherfucker”

5. Jake Bugg – “Broken”

6. Elliott Smith – “Everything Reminds Me Of Her”

7. Buena Vista Social Club – “Chan Chan”

8. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Into My Arms”

9. Bikespeed Champion – “Overgrown”

10. Intimate Stranger – “Imaginary Conversation #1”

11. Ryan Adams – “By The Way”

12. Sunny Day Real Estate – “Seven”

13. Beyoncé – “Blow”

14. Vulfpeck – “Fugue State”

15. Goldfrapp – “Strict Machine”

16. Spoon – “Out Go the Lights”

17. The Libertines – “Can’t Stand Me Now”

18. D-Angelo & The Vanguard – “The Charade”

19. Guillemots – “Little Bear”

20. Aimee Mann – “Wise Up”

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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