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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One Sentence Reviews Of Headphone Nation’s 40 Favorite Albums Of The Decade (So Far): 2010 – 2014

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Congratulations – you made it halfway through the decade. How does it feel? Did you come up with a good nickname for this decade yet? Is it as catchy as “The Noughties”? What were the highlights?

It’s easy to get caught up looking back at a particular year (or years) and try to pick out the few highlights that defined the year out of all the countless events. For any pop culture publication, it’s a cheap, bias way to get more hits, and it usually doesn’t do the year justice to what it was actually like.

But hey, we all love to make these lists, and we all love to read these lists.

One of the ways to define a decade is by the most popular (i.e. the easiest to define) musical trends of the time: the 60s were the age of Psychedelia, the 70s saw the height of Big Hair Music (heavy rock and disco), the 80s were the dawn of Indie and MTV, the 90s the mass takeover of Pop music (Grunge-Pop, Britpop, Rap-Pop, Noise-Pop, Trip-Pop, Boy Band-Pop, Riot Grrrl-Pop, it goes on), and the last decade saw the boom of the streaming revolution that we’re still in the middle of. Obviously there were more to these decades than those broad themes, but it gets the job done.

So what is the trend that will define this decade? Is this the age of Doomsday Disco (EDM, Reflektor), Mumblecore (what much of “Indie Rock” has become), or Black Stadium Rock (Kanye West and the realization of his Thriller-sized ego)? Or will we just clump together all this music, much of it angry and noisy, and call it “Great Recession Music”?

It’s too early to tell – we’re only halfway through this decade. There’s no telling to what we’ll be listening to within the next five years and what albums will come to define this decade. So to try and find any sort of pattern in the beginning of 2015 is challenging and probably not necessary.

But like I said, we all love these lists – so let’s have a little fun.

Below is a list of my 40 favorite albums released between 2010 and 2014 and the albums that have defined this decade for me so far. I tried to make things more interesting by describing each album using only one sentence. Of course you cannot properly sum up an entire album in one sentence – but it’s fun to try to anyways!

Please note – this is NOT a list of the GREATEST albums of the decade. This is just a list of my personal favorites, and I hope I introduce you to some great albums that you might have missed in this decade. If this were a GREATEST list, then there would be some albums that I wouldn’t have omitted and some that I would have taken off. For example, Kendrick Lamar’s 2012 good kid, m.A.A.d city is without a doubt one of the best quality albums of the decade, but I have no personal attachment to it – I just like it because it’s good.

There are also lots of albums that I’ve heard are great but I’ve never sat down with and listened to all the way through (Frank Ocean, Grimes, Tame Impala, etc). When I do my inevitable End-Of-Decade list at the end of 2019, some of those albums might appear after I listen to them more.

Also, some of these albums on this list aren’t necessarily “good”, but there’s something about them that I absolutely love or can relate to. Maybe it’s because it’s from a favorite artist, or maybe I have a strong association with that album and where I first heard it or who/what it reminds me of. No matter the reason, these are the albums that I loved the most in this decade so far.

And yes, there’s a good chance that I left out one of your favorite albums. Please forgive me.

This list is in alphabetical order, and click on each album cover for a link to a song from the album.

 

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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My Reactions To The Grammys (As Told By Pictures)

I was going to write a long piece on the 2013 Grammys, but I figured that showing pictures of my reactions would suffice.

Here are some visuals for my reactions to some of the night’s bigger revelations.

 

When my female friend asked me why Justin Beiber was not nominated for a Grammy.

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Whenever LL Cool J mentioned anything about Twitter.

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Anytime Taylor Swift was on TV

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When I realized Wiz Khalifa was actually asked to perform at the Grammys.

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When the Black Keys played with Dr. John.

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When Gotye beat out Fiona Apple, Bjork, M83, and Tom Waits for a Grammy.

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When Jack White performed.

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When Frank Ocean performed.

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When Mumford & Sons won the Album of the Year Grammy.

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When I realized that My Bloody Valentine was not asked to perform at the Grammys.

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When I realized that most of my friends don’t actually watch the Grammys.

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When I read all the funny tweets making fun of the Grammys.

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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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Tom Waits – The Inspiration for Heath Ledger’s Joker?

 

A friend of mine told me to look up this 1979 interview with Tom Waits, because supposedly this was a huge inspiration for Heath Ledger’s terrifying, yet masterful, performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Watch the interview and then watch Ledger in action and see for yourself…

 

And for kicks, here’s a Tom Waits classic – staring Ledger’s Joker!

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: 15 Songs For July 2012 (Via Spotify)

This month’s playlist is a bit on the sadder side. I’ve got ballads and sad songs from Bruce Springsteen, Chet Baker, Glen Campbell, Tom Waits, and Leonard Cohen. But don’t worry, I’ve also got some upbeat summer songs to top off July.

Here are my 15 songs for July 2012.

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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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.

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: 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)”

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: 10 Great Songs About Chicago

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Soundtrack to the Windy City. If I missed any songs, comment below!

Sufjan Stevens – “Chicago”

Wilco – “Via Chicago”

Robert Johnson – “Sweet Home Chicago”

Kanye West – “Homecoming”

Frank Sinatra – “My Kind of Town”

Spoon – “Chicago at Night”

The Hold Steady – “Chicago Seemed Tried Last Night”

Ryan Adams – “Dear Chicago”

Freddy Cole – “On The South Side of Chicago”

Tom Waits – “Chicago”

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 Top 10 Favorite Cover Songs

Recently Rolling Stone posted a reader’s poll of the top 1o cover songs – you can view that list here.

The list was pretty decent, covering most of the stable cover songs – i.e. Hendrix’s take on “All Along The Watchtower,”
Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah,” and Johnny Cash’s haunting “Hurt.”  However, there are plenty of other great covers that aren’t as popular but are just as good, if not better, than the original.  So here’s my personal list, not in any particular order, and a video of each cover.

Heartbeats – Jose Gonzalez (The Knives)

 

Dancing In The Dark – Pete Yorn (Bruce Springsteen)

 

Wonderwall – Ryan Adams (Oasis)

 

River – Herbie Hancock (Joni Mitchell)

 

Such Great Heights – Iron & Wine (The Postal Service)

 

Romeo and Juliet – Matt Nathanson (Dire Straits)

 

Love Me Tender – Norah Jones (Elvis Presley)

 

Hey Ya – Obadiah Parker (Outkast)

 

I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You – Hootie & The Blowfish (Tom Waits)

 

Imagine – Jack Johnson (John Lennon)

 

Any songs I left out?  Comment and let me know what your favorite cover songs are.

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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