The Clientele – “We Could Walk Together”

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When you spend most of your day trying to consume as much music as you can and somehow regurgitate it back through your writing, it’s hard to find a song that literally makes you stop typing. Music writers are conditioned to immediately look through the lines of a song and nit pick every little detail to determine what makes it sound like X or how this band was influenced by Y, and so on. There are not enough hours in the day to just sit around and listen to music. Nobody’s got time for that. Within thirty seconds you have to sense if a song would be worth writing about, write about it, and then move on to the next soundcloud, bandcamp, or whatever.

But the best kind of music actually forces you to stop what you’re doing and pay attention. Get off Facebook and sit on your bed with your eyes closed kind of music. It’s the goal of every musician to break through into someone’s mind like that, to cause the listener to stop thinking and to feel a certain emotion, or just to feel anything at all. Let the music create images in your head and allow yourself to dream of what the music looks like to you. Listen to it twenty times in a row. It’s ok, you’re allowed to. Pick up the album sleeve (or case) and study the damn album cover.

The last time I heard anything like this was two years ago when I first heard Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires Of The City, specifically when I first heard “Hannah Hunt” and “Everlasting Arms”.

Last week it happened to me again with this song.

I cannot express what an amazing feeling it was to hear this song for the first time. I had to step away from my computer and sit on my bed so that I wouldn’t try to analyze it or try to think of what this song sounded like. My brain was turned off, and I took in that heavy drum beat, that shiny guitar, and that dreamy lo-fi voice. I was dumfounded.

I did some research and this song is from The Clientele’s 2000 debut Suburban Light. I had never heard of this band before nor this album. Apparently most people haven’t – even Mark Richardson over at Pitchfork admits to the album’s somewhat obscurity. I can see why – like the album, the band itself is shadowy and mysterious.

Regardless, I am so thankful for this reminder that the best music will always surprise you, even after you think you’ve heard everything. I’m forever grateful for the moments like this, so much so that I had to write an entire post about it. It’s the reason why this website exists in the first place, to hopefully give you an opportunity to experience this feeling with a new song, album, or artist.

This album probably won’t hit you the way it hit me, and that’s ok. It’s not supposed to.

Keep your ears open.

Never stop exploring.

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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Valentine’s Day Is Coming Up, So Here’s A Sad Chet Baker Song

Nothing says Singles Awareness Day Valentine’s Day like a sad song with the word VALENTINE in it. This song was actually written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, but you might recognize the Etta James version which Kanye West samples.

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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My 25+ Favorite Songs of 2014

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Another year, another playlist of my favorite songs of the year. This year’s playlist has a particular mix of random greatness, from gloriously loud guitar rock to jazzy electronics and everywhere in between. This year wasn’t as full of epic pop songs as last year, but there are still plenty of quality songs to hear from 2014.

Enjoy!

 

*p.s., as time goes on I’ll add other great songs from this year to this playlist that I forgot to include, twenty-five is just a good starting point.

 

 

Against Me! – “True Trans Soul Rebel”

Alvvays – “Adult Diversion”

Cloud Nothings – “I’m Not Part of Me”

Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me (feat. Kendrick Lamar)”

Gerard Way – “No Shows”

Hamilton Leithauser – “Alexandra”

The Hold Steady – “Spinners”

Honeyblood – “Super Rat”

Lana Del Rey – “Brooklyn Baby”

Mastodon – “The Motherload”

Matt Kivel – “You and I Only”

The Men – “Another Night”

Modern Baseball – “Fine, Great”

Parquet Courts – “Sunbathing Animal”

Real Estate – “Had To Hear”

Reigning Sound – “My My”

Ryan Adams – “When The Summer Ends”

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – “IMF”

Sharon Van Etten – “Tarifa”

Spoon – “Do You”

St. Vincent – “I Prefer Your Love”

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Lariat”

Strand of Oaks – “Goshen ’97”

Sun Kil Moon – “Micheline”

The War On Drugs – “Red Eyes”

AND MORE!

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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Wilco – “True Love Will Find You In The End (Daniel Johnston Cover)”

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An excellent cover of one of my favorite songs. This comes from the just released Alpha Mike Foxtrot Rare Tracks 1994-2014. The band also just released its first greatest-hits set What’s Your 20? which celebrates Wilco’s first 20 years.

 

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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Double Feature: “Handle with Care” Covered By Two Different Music Supergroups

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In 1988 Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne formed the Traveling Wilburys and released their debut album Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1. The first song off the album is “Handle with Care” and it became one their most popular songs in their short career (Orbison died right before a proper follow up could be recorded).

 

In 2006, Jenny Lewis recorded her own cover of “Handle with Care” for her album Rabbit Fur Coat with The Watson Twins, Conor Oberst, Ben Gibbard, and M. Ward. These are two very different music supergroups from different eras, yet each version is great.

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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Song Of The Moment: Bobby Bare Jr. – “The Monk at the Disco”

“The monk at the disco says a prayer…for the skinny girl with blond curly hair…who forgot to put on her underwear”

“[He] has God in his soul…as the tall black bartender offers to sell him blow”

Keep this in mind the next time you see a monk at a disco.

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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Song Of The Moment: One Finger Riot – “The Sea”

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Faris McReynolds is a L.A. based painter by day and self-described “simple-punk” musician by night, and the latest album from his project One Finger Riot, The Sea, is out now. You can stream the single “The Sea” below via SoundCloud.

Check out McReynolds’s website here.

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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Song Of The Moment: Reigning Sound – “My My”

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Already one of my favorite songs of 2014, imagine if the Velvet Underground (circa Loaded) was fronted by a Lou Reed sounding like the lead man in a Drive-By Truckers cover band.

Check out the new album Shattered which comes out today. You can also stream the album over at Grantland.

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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Double Feature: Smokey Robinson’s “The Tracks Of My Tears” Inspired The Who’s “Substitute”

“Smokey Robinson sang the word ‘substitute’ so perfectly…I decided to celebrate the word itself with a song of its own.” – Pete Townshend, 1987

 

Also, Townshend claimed to have stolen his guitar riff from Robb Storme & The Whispers’ 1965 single “Where Is My Girl”.

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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