Week In Review (3/6/15)

Action Bronson – “Baby Blue (ft. Chance the Rapper)

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Toro Y Moi – “Buffalo”

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Best Coast continues being Best Coast and wrote another song about California (but it’s still good)

I dig the Nightcrawler feel (in style and not in Jake Gyllenhaal’s creepy eyes).

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NEW MY MORNING JACKET YA 2015 YOU GO!

The Waterfall comes out May 4th.

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The “Blister in the Sun” guys are back with a new song called “Love Love Love Love Love”

You know, that one song.

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Brent Faiyaz – “Be”

https://soundcloud.com/brentfaiyaz/brent-faiyaz-be/s-Oe4RU

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For Esmé reminds me of CHVRCHES and it makes me so happy

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Got 12 minutes to spare? For Föllakzoid’s new music video for “Electric”, you should make time

This is what Chilean psych rock sounds like.

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Watch Ryan Adams play Patrick Swayze and Natalie Prass play Wendy Fraser on this live Dirty Dancing cover

I would buy an Adams/Prass cover album of Dirty Dancing songs in a heartbeat. Here’s the original.

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Another week, another great track off the upcoming Chromatics album

The fact that this album still doesn’t have a set release date is breaking my heart while I groove on the dance floor in my scorpion jacket.

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This Carmen Rizzo remix of Low Roar’s “Breathe In” is so good

Think if Thom Yorke wrote songs for Sigur Rós.

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Braids – “Taste”

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New Album Releases: Okkervil River – The Silver Gymnasium

okkervil-river_the-silver-gymnasium

I had always heard great things of Okkervil River, but I must admit that I never bothered to give them a decent try until now. Like Drive-By Truckers and Phish before them, this Austin based neo-folk rock band’s excellent discography is shadowed by a lack of hit songs or of a single album that towers over anything else.

Well Okkervil River might have finally found their breakthrough album. The Silver Gymnasium is a concept album inspired by frontman Will Sheff’s New Hampshire childhood and it’s a great listen. Many will find influences from The Band and newer Americana bands such as early Wilco and My Morning Jacket.

Do yourself a favor and enjoy some Okkervil River.

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Hear The New Jim James Solo Album (Via NPR)

jim-james-solo-album

Click here to go to NPR and listen to Jim James’s first solo album Regions of Light And Sound Of God. From the little bits of pieces I’ve already heard, I can tell you that fans of My Morning Jacket won’t be disappointed by their beloved bandleader going solo.

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Music Journal: My Favorite Albums of 2011

In 2011 the album became cool again.  This year I actually got excited for the release dates of many albums, something that hasn’t happened in a long time.  Though there wasn’t one huge album that towered over the rest, except maybe Adele’s second album in terms of album sales, there were a lot of great albums for almost every kind of music fan in 2011.  Here are my favorite albums released this year and then some honorable mentions.

James Blake – James Blake

One of the most powerful album I’ve heard in a long time, this will be the album that I’ll remember the most from this year.  The album is soulful and minimal, using post-dubstep electronics that are usually anything but minimal.  James Blake should be someone to look out for in the future, but his proper debut album has already established his place in music.

Bon Iver – Bon Iver

Before this album came out, Justin Vernon was known more for the story of his debut rather than the music itself (loner musician is sad, goes to a cabin in the winter woods, makes a record, becomes friends with Kanye West).  However with Bon Iver, he is no longer confined to his own myth.  Now he is, to me at least, the Peter Gabriel of our generation, a creative artist who is defining his career with such great songs such as “Calgary” and “Holocene”.  If For Emma, Forever Ago is his winter record, then this is his spring record.

Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire

My favorite singer-songwriter finally released an album after a three year drought, and it did not disappoint.  It sounds like a classic Neil Young record, and it is stacked up there with Heartbreaker and Gold.  It’s good to have you back Mr. Adams.

Wilco – The Whole Love

Wilco had nothing to prove in 2011, but Jeff Tweedy and his most consistent lineup created a fantastic album anyway.  The album keeps the weird dream-pop of Being There and experimental of A Ghost Is Born, all while being one of Wilco’s most accessible albums.  Every song is great, but “One Sunday Morning” could be a top five Wilco song.

Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

Where as their first album sounds medieval, Fleet Foxes’s second album sounds timeless.  This was the album I kept in my car the longest this year, it was the perfect driving album.  This album stopped this band from becoming a one-album wonder and shows a promising future from this band.

The Decemberists – The King Is Dead

The album I didn’t expect to love so much, especially considering the past work of the band that is the closest thing to a modern day Smiths.  Simple lyrics, stripped down production, lovable songs, what more do you want from an album?

Honorable Mentions (Albums You Should Still Check Out)

My Morning Jacket – Circuital

Drive Motion Picture Soundtrack

Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

Jay Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne

Tom Waits – Bad As Me

M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

The Strokes – Angles

This is an awesome album collection, and I am excited to see what I’ll be buying in 2012.

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Music Journal: My Favorite Songs of 2011

Well 2011 is almost at an end, and what a year it was.  There’s a lot to cover from this year, so for my first of three parts of my end-of-year review, I’ll play for you guys my favorite songs released this year.  There’s a variety of song here, from rap, electro, folk, rock, indie, and even cheesy 80s jazz pop (and that’s a compliment). Here are the songs, in alphabetical order by artist, released in 2011 that I listened to the most.  Enjoy.

“Mona Lisa” – Atlas Sound

“Wash.” – Bon Iver

“Swim Club” – The Cave Singers

“LES” – Childish Gambino

“Need You Now” – Cut Copy

“You Are A Tourist” – Death Cab for Cutie

“Kaputt” – Destroyer

“Over My Dead Body” – Drake

“Helplessness Blues” – Fleet Foxes

“Down in the Valley” – The Head And The Heart

“That’s My Bitch” – Jay-Z and Kanye West

“Video Games” – Lana Del Rey

“Midnight City” – M83

“Wonderful (The Way I Feel)” – My Morning Jacket

“Super Bass” – Nicki Minaj

“Taken For A Fool” – The Strokes

“Yonkers” – Tyler The Creator

“Fail Forever” – When Saints Go Machine

“One Sunday Morning” – Wilco

“Cameras” – Wiz Khalifa

Any songs that I left out? comment below or hit me up on twitter @BradyWGerber and let me know your favorite track from 2011.

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Grammy Nominations: Who Should Win, Who Will Win, And Who Got Snubbed

The Grammy nominations have been announced, and there were a lot of pleasant surprises.  Some things I expected (Kanye West and Adele with the most nominations), but there were some genuine shockers (Bon Iver getting so many nominations, Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy not up for Album of the Year).  Here is the list for the most prominent awards and their nominees along with who I think should win, who will probably win, and who I believe got snubbed out of a well-deserved chance at this year’s Grammys.  Also to clarify, Song of the Year means that it was the best written song and the award goes to the songwriters.  Record of the Year is the best sounding song and goes to the performers and producers.

Album of the Year

Adele – 21

Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

Lady Gaga – Born This Way

Bruno Mars – Do-Wops & Hooligans

Rihanna – Loud

Who Should Win: None of these.  I’m very unimpressed with this selection.  The only album here I’ve heard is Wasting Light which is a great album, but there were much better albums that came out this year.

Who Will Win: 21, because that’s what most people heard all year.

Who Got Snubbed: Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. This was truly the album of the year.  It was commercially successful while still being artistically strong.  The Purple Rain of our generation (might not be a good comparison musically, but hopefully you get what I mean).

Record of the Year

Bon Iver – “Holocene”

Adele – “Rolling in the Deep”

Mumford & Sons – “The Cave”

Bruno Mars – “Grenade”

Katy Perry – “Firework”

Who Should Win: “Holocene”.  The production of this song is gorgeous and is matched with an equally gorgeous vocal work from Justin Vernon.  A highlight from a truly great album.

Who Will Win: “Rolling in the Deep”.  It was impossible to escape this song, and unfortunately I bet most people have never heard “Holocene” (for those people, please click here).  But then again, I said the same thing about Arcade Fire at last year’s Grammys.

Who Got Snubbed: The Strokes – “Taken For A Fool”.  Listen to the song here and see if you agree.

Song of the Year

Kanye West – “All of the Lights”

Mumford & Sons – “The Cave”

Bruno Mars – “Grenade”

Bon Iver – “Holocene”

Adele – “Rolling in the Deep”

Who Should Win: “The Cave”.  This is such a great and uplifting song, something that has been missing from popular music for a long time.

Who Will Win: “Rolling in the Deep”.  Same reason as why it’ll win Record of the Year.

Who Got Snubbed: The Head And The Heart – “Down In The Valley”.  A simple yet powerful song.  Click here to make up your mind on it.

Best New Artist

Bon Iver

J. Cole

Nicki Minaj

Skrillex

The Band Perry

Who Should Win: Either Bon Iver or Nicki Minaj.  Both have been around for a decent time making quality music, but they are now getting due credit.  I’ll be happy just as long as J. Cole, Skrillex, or The Band Perry doesn’t win the award.

Who Will Win: This is a tough call.  Probably Nicki Minaj but there’s a decent chance for Bon Iver.

Who Got Snubbed: The Head And The Heart.  I’m not sure if they would be eligible, but this is a solid band with a promising future.

Best Rock Album

Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

Jeff Beck – Rock ‘N’ Roll Party Honoring Les Paul

Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown

Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You

Wilco – The Whole Love

Who Should Win: The Whole Love.  I’m so glad Wilco gets recognition from the Grammys.  This was by far my favorite album out of all of these, and I actually listened to all of these (expect Jeff Beck).

Who Will Win: Wasting Light.  The album did well commercially and it really is a great album.

Who Got Snubbed: The Strokes – Angels.  This might not be the band’s best album, but it was better than most of the albums on this list.

Best Alternative Album

Bon Iver – Bon Iver

Death Cab For Cutie – Codes and Keys

Foster the People – Torches

My Morning Jacket – Circuital

Radiohead – The King of Limbs

Who Should Win: Bon Iver.  For goodness sake please give Justin Vernon a Grammy.

Who Will Win: No Idea: This is a hard call because all these albums did equally well commercially.  Radiohead is probably the most well known band here, but they don’t deserve this Grammy.

Who Got Snubbed: Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues.  This album had my vote for the best album of the year so far.  Though my opinion may have changed, this album still deserves a Grammy.

Best Rap Album

Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne

Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV

Lupe Fiasco – Lasers

Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday

Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Who Should Win: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.  The least the Grammys can do for Kanye is to give him this award to make up for not being nominated for Album of the Year.

Who Will Win: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.  I have faith that the Grammys won’t screw this up, but anything can happen.

Who Got Snubbed: Nobody.  That’s because MBDTF deserves this award.

Other Thoughts On This Year’s Grammys

James Blake should have been nominated for Electronica Album of the Year.

Congratulations to Fleet Foxes for being nominated for Folk Album of the Year.

So how did I do?  Are my predictions accurate or way out of line?  Comment below or Tweet at me (@BradyWGerber) and let me know who should bring home the big trophies at this year’s Grammys.


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Music Journal: Six Reasons Why You Should Be Excited For The New Bob Dylan Tribute Album

Another year, another new Bob Dylan album.  Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International is a new Bob Dylan covers album (how many does this guy have?!) scheduled to be released on November 22nd.

Here are six reasons why you should be excited.

1. It’s a whole album of Bob Dylan songs.

Enough said.

2. Most Bob Dylan cover albums kick ass.

Check out I’m Not There and you’ll get what I mean.

3. My Morning Jacket is on the album.

And if it’s anything like their take on The Band, then “You’re a Big Girl Now” will be a highlight.

4. …and so is Adele.

You can hear her sing “Make You Feel My Love” here, it’s awesome.

5. …and so is Dave Matthews Band, Rise Against, Sting, and plenty of others.

All solid artist who will probably do Dylan justice.

6. …and oh yeah, Ke$sha is on the album too.

Yes, you read that correctly.  She will be covering Bob Dylan, and supposedly she’s doing “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.”  It doesn’t matter how you feel about her, you know you want to hear what that’ll sound like.

So don’t hide your true emotions and be excited for the new Dylan record!

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Playlist: Songs To Help You Enjoy Your Simple Bliss

Today is a great day.  You’re in a great mood and it’s beautiful outside.  You go out for a walk and you take the time to smell the roses and count your blessings.

These are the songs that should accompany you for these moments.

The Beatles – “Here Comes The Sun”

 

The Cave Singers – “Swim Club”

 

Delta Spirit – “Devil Knows You’re Dead (EP Version)”

 

The Head and the Heart – “Down in the Valley”

 

John Denver – “Sunshine On My Shoulders”

 

Josh Ritter – “You Don’t Make It Easy Babe”

 

Louis Armstrong – “What a Wonderful World”

 

The Moldy Peaches – “Anyone Else But You”

 

Mumford & Sons – “Timshel”

 

My Morning Jacket – “Wonderful (The Way I Feel)”

 

Paul Simon – “Father and Daughter”

 

Tom Waits – “Blue Skies”

 

Wilco – “One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)”

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