Tag Archives: music

My Favorite Albums of 2016

2016 was a both wonderfully great year and a fantastically crappy year. I celebrated my ten year wedding anniversary and also ten years at the Kansas City Art Institute. I learned a lot, both professionally and personally. Legends died. A dangerous idiot was elected president of the United States.

Regardless, music is enduring. Here is a list of my favorites from last year (screw the top ten thing, I have a lot of favorites!) Featured you will find two soundtracks that I just can’t stop listening to, two albums by one band, the final albums by two of my favorite artist who happened to end their time on Earth this past year, songs about love, songs about life, songs about songs, songs about humanity, and songs just for fun. In no particular order:

  • Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  • Andrew Bird – Are You Serious
  • Leonard Cohen – You Want it Darker
  • David Bowie – Black Star
  • Mac Quayle – Mr. Robot OST
  • Yello – Toy
  • Bon Iver – 22, A Million
  • Deerhoof – The Magic
  • Hope Sandoval and the Warm Intentions – Until the Hunter
  • Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression
  • Jim James – Eternally Even
  • M83 – Junk
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  • Paul Simon – Stranger to Stranger
  • Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  • Ramin Djawadi – Westworld OST
  • Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop – Love Letter for Fire
  • Thee Oh Sees – A Weird Exits
  • Thee Oh Sees – An Odd Entrances

Top ten Albums of 2014

Listed in no particular order, maybe, probably.

  • St Vincent – St. Vincent
  • tUnE-yArDs – Nikki Nack
  • Sallie Ford – Slap Back
  • Deerhoof – La Isla Bonita
  • The New Basement Tapes – Lost on the River
  • Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots
  • Beck – Morning Phase
  • Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes
  • First Aid Kit – Stay Gold
  • The Pixies – Indie Cindy
  • Warpaint – Warpaint
  • Broken Bells – After The Disco
  • Tobacco – Utilma II Massage

Oh, is that more than ten? Oops! Oh well! There was seriously a LOT of good music this year. I can’t wait to hear what 2015 has in store!

One edit: I guess the Nick Cave was out last year, so I’ll sub the New Basement Tapes, which should have made the list anyway.

Lists from the last six weeks (in no particular order)

New albums I’ve missed that looking forward to finally hearing:
Damon Albarn’s Everyday Robots
Liam Finn’s The Nihilist
Lykke Li’s I Never Learn
The Pixies’ Indie Cindy
tUnE yArDs’ nikki nack
The Horrors’ Luminous
The Eels’ Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
The Black Keys’ Turn Blue
Tobacco’s Ultima II Massage

Books I’ve read:
Nick Harkaway’s The Gone-Away World
Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim, Kill the Dead, and Aloha from Hell
Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation and Authority
Daniel Suarez’ Daemon and Freedom

Comic series I’ve consumed from beginning to end:
Runaways
Y, The LastMan
Invincible
Federal Bureau of Physics
Grindhouse – Doors Open At Midnight
Guardians of the Galaxy
saga
The Sandman Overture
Revival
Morning Glories
I also got all caught up on The Walking Dead

I think I’ve read a lot more comics than books because they are so much less work to concentrate on. I remember at one point when I was reading Sandman Slim – I was on both steroids and painkillers, a I could actually hear what was going on in the scenes. Not only the main action, but stuff that my brain made up for background noises. I’m sure the lack of sleep enhanced the hallucinations too. It was kinda cool.

Bon Iver at the Uptown with Kathleen Edwards

I love seeing bands I like perform live. Some of the best concerts are ones in which the band does something a little different than what you’ve heard before. Bon Iver played at the Uptown last night and they were surprisingly loud and flexible with their music. One of my favorite performances of the evening was an excellent Björk cover.

The opening act, Kathleen Edwards, was great too. Beautiful voice, great lyricism, and between songs, a mouth like a sailor. She came across as a very real person.

For more pictures of the concert, check out my flickr gallery: Here

Same as it Ever Was

This has been quite a concert season for us. First we saw Midland Theatre. Then we drove to Denver to see Sigur Ros at Red Rocks, followed quickly by Beck the next Monday at the Uptown. Sigur Ros was great, especially considering the location. Red Rocks is a beautiful place, and the sound was awsome. Beck was technically good, but he seemed burned out somehow, like it was just another day on the job.

It all pales in comparison, for me anyway, to last night’s concert. After a lifetime of being a fan, I finally saw David Byrne live! He is, by far, one of my favorite artists. He’s so original, and yet totally genuine. He seems to be truly touched.

One of the two first tapes – yes, tapes – I ever bought with my own money, back in junior high, was Talking Heads ’77 (the other was Joan Jett – I Love Rock ‘n Roll). I’ve loved his music ever since, whether as part of Talking Heads or his solo career.

In concert he looks like he’s really having fun. The audience gave him a standing ovation the moment he got on stage and by the end of the third song another one, worthy of a cheer for an encore. I think he and his band were truly taken aback by that – they looked a little surprised and touched. David Byrne smiled a lot, which is great to see. The first two encores at the end of the concert were expected, but the third looked totally impromptu.

The whole evening felt a little surreal to me – I couldn’t believe I was actually seeing him in person. And we had some great seats, center orchestra, just seven rows from the stage. Byrne played a great mix of material. I wasn’t sure he would since the concert was billed as an evening of him performing his collaborations with Brian Eno. Don’t get me wrong, I would have been just as thrilled to experience that, but he also included stuff from his own solo career as well as some Talking Heads material. It was the most incredible evening. I was in tears for a lot of it – overwhelmed by his presence. Anyway, enough gushing, here are some pictures (these and a few others are now on my Flickr Page):

David Byrne at the Uptown

David Byrne at the Uptown

And a couple movies: