Category Archives: Music Playlist

Top 20 Albums of 2019

# Artist Album Label
1.Vampire WeekendFather Of The BrideColumbia RecordsListen | Buy
2.Ex HexIt’s RealMerge RecordsListen | Buy
3.Better Oblivion Community Center
Better Oblivion Community CenterDead OceansListen | Buy
4.TemplesHot MotionATO RecordsListen | Buy
5.Joe HenryThe Gospel According To WaterearMUSICListen | Buy
6.Bonnie ‘Prince’ BillyI Made A PlaceDrag City RecordsListen | Buy
7.Oh SeesFace StabberCastle FaceListen | Buy
8.TacocatThis Mess Is A PlaceSub Pop RecordsListen | Buy
9.SebadohAct SuprisedDangerbird RecordsListen | Buy
10.Caroline PolachekPangPerpetual NoviceListen | Buy
11.Charly BlissYoung EnoughBarsuk RecordsListen | Buy
12.DiivDeceiverCaptured TracksListen | Buy
13.Andrew BirdMy Finest Work YetLoma Vista RecordingsListen | Buy
14.Lana Del ReyNorman Fucking Rockwell!Polydor RecordsListen | Buy
15.BeckHyperspaceCapitol RecordsListen | Buy
16.Pernice BrothersSpread The FeelingAshmont RecordsBuy
17.Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsGhosteenGhosteen Ltd.Listen | Buy
18.New PornographersIn The Morse Code Of Brake LightsConcord RecordsListen | Buy
19.Charli XCXCharliAsylum RecordsListen | Buy
20.Bob MouldSunshine RockMerge RecordsListen | Buy

Here are Youtube and Spotify versions of a “Selections from” playlists featuring a great selection off of each album:

If you don’t see either of the embedded versions of the playlist, you can listen by clicking the direct links above.

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Top 20 Albums of 2018

# ArtistAlbumLabel
1.Janelle MonáeDirty ComputerBad Boy RecordsListen | Buy
2.First Aid KitRuinsColumbia RecordsListen | Buy
3.Laura Veirs
The LookoutRaven Marching BandListen | Buy
4.BoygeniusBoygeniusMatador RecordsListen | Buy
5.Sloan12Yep Roc RecordsListen | Buy
6.Snail MailLushMatador RecordsListen | Buy
7.Dirty ProjectorsLamp Lit ProseDomino Recording Co.Listen | Buy
8.Soccer MommyCleanFat Possum RecordsListen | Buy
9.Jeff TweedyWarmdBpm RecordsListen | Buy
10.JayhawksBack Roads And Abandoned MotelsLegacy RecordingsListen | Buy
11.SuperorganismSuperorganismDomino Recording Co.Listen | Buy
12.Lucy DacusHistorianMatador RecordsListen | Buy
13.Lykke LiSo Sad So SexyLL RecordingsListen | Buy
14.Father John MistyGod’s Favorite CustomerSub Pop RecordsListen | Buy
15.FlasherConstant ImageDomino Recording Co.Listen | Buy
16.SantigoldI Don’t Want: The Gold Fire SessionsDowntown RecordsListen | Buy
17.Manic Street PreachersResistance Is FutileShornday LtdListen | Buy
18.Hop AlongBark Your Head Off, DogSaddle Creek RecordsListen | Buy
19.SuperchunkWhat A Time To Be AliveMerge RecordsListen | Buy
20.Tracyanne & DannyTracyanne & DannyMerge RecordsListen | Buy

Here are Youtube and Spotify versions of a “Selections from” playlists featuring a great selection off of each album:

If you don’t see either of the embedded versions of the playlist, you can listen by clicking the direct links above.

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RIP Grant Hart

Here are two playlists I threw together highlighting Grant Hart’s best songs, one from Husker Du, and another compiling his solo work and his work with Nova Mob.

Songs are in no particular order, probably best listened to on shuffle.

Grant Hart – Pt. 1

Grant Hart Pt. 2

Top 20 Albums of 2015

# Artist Album Label
1. Grimes Art Angels 4AD |Listen|Buy|
2. Wilco Star Wars Anti/Epitaph |Listen|Buy|
3. Florence + The Machine How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful Universal |Listen|Buy|
4. Laura Marling Short Movie Ribbon Music |Listen|Buy|
5. Low Ones and Sixes Sub Pop |Listen|Buy|
6. Wavves V Warner Bros. |Listen|Buy|
7. Ezra Furman Perpetual Motion People Bella Union |Listen|Buy|
8. Best Coast California Nights Harvest |Listen|Buy|
9. Desaparecidos Payola Epitaph |Listen|Buy|
10. Chvrches Every Open Eye Glassnote |Listen|Buy|
11. Beach House Depression Cherry Sub Pop |Listen|Buy|
12. Joanna Newsome Divers Drag City |Listen|Buy|
13. Panda Bear Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper Domino |Listen|Buy|
14. Lou Barlow Brace The Wave Joyful Noise |Listen|Buy|
15. Hop Along Painted Shut Saddle Creek |Listen|Buy|
16. Courtney Barnett Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit Mom & Pop Music |Listen|Buy|
17. Built To Spill Untethered Moon Warner Bros. |Listen|Buy|
18. Tame Impala Currents Modular/Interscope |Listen|Buy|
19. My Morning Jacket The Waterfall ATO/Capitol |Listen|Buy|
20. Purity Ring Another Eternity 4AD |Listen|Buy|

If you don’t see either of the embedded versions of the playlist, you can listen to them directly from the source at Youtube or Spotify.

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Top 20 Albums of 2014

# Artist Album Label
1. Run The Jewels Run The Jewels 2 Mass Appeal |Listen|Buy|
2. Sloan Commonwealth Yep Roc |Listen|Buy|
3. Tweedy Sukierae Anti/dBpm |Listen|Buy|
4. Tennis Ritual In Repeat Communion |Listen|Buy|
5. Beck Morning Phase Capitol |Listen|Buy|
6. Spoon They Want My Soul Loma Vista/Republic |Listen|Buy|
7. St. Vincent St. Vincent Loma Vista/Republic |Listen|Buy|
8. Jenny Lewis The Voyager Warner Bros. |Listen|Buy|
9. Temples Sun Structures Fat Possum |Listen|Buy|
10. +/- Jumping The Tracks Teenbeat |Listen|Buy|
11. Alvvays Alvvays Polyvinyl |Listen|Buy|
12. Ex Hex Rips Merge |Listen|Buy|
13. Real Estate Atlas Domino |Listen|Buy|
14. Lykke Li I Never Learn Atlantic |Listen|Buy|
15. Cloud Nothings Here & Nowhere Else Carpark |Listen|Buy|
16. Sia 1000 Forms of Fear RCA |Listen|Buy|
17. Mac DeMarco Salad Days Captured Tracks |Listen|Buy|
18. Andrew Bird Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of… Virtual Label |Listen|Buy|
19. Conor Oberst Upside Down Mountain Nonesuch |Listen|Buy|
20. Bob Mould Beauty & Ruin Merge |Listen|Buy|

If you don’t see either of the embedded versions of the playlist, you can listen to them directly from the source at Youtube or Spotify.

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Top 20 Albums of 2013

# Artist Album Label
1. CHVRCHES The Bones of What You Believe Glassnote |Listen|Buy|
2. Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires Of The City XL |Listen|Buy|
3. National Trouble Will Find Me 4AD |Listen|Buy|
4. Frightened Rabbit Pedestrian Verse Canvasback/Atlantic |Listen|Buy|
5. Eleanor Friedberger Personal Record Merge |Listen|Buy|
6. Sebadoh Defend Yourself Joyful Noise |Listen|Buy|
7. London Suede Bloodsports Warner Bros. |Listen|Buy|
8. Club 8 Above the City Labrador/Universal |Listen|Buy|
9. Charli XCX True Romance Atlantic |Listen|Buy|
10. Superchunk I Hate Music Merge |Listen|Buy|
11. Laura Veirs Warp & Weft Raven Marching Band |Listen|Buy|
12. Low The Invisible Way Subpop |Listen|Buy|
13. Foxygen We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace
& Magic
Jagjaguwar |Listen|Buy|
14. Head And The Heart Let’s Be Still Sub Pop |Listen|Buy|
15. Tegan & Sara Heartthrob Warner Bros. |Listen|Buy|
16. Strokes Comedown Machine RCA |Listen|Buy|
17. Iron & Wine Ghost on Ghost Nonesuch |Listen|Buy|
18. Kanye West Yeezus Def Jam |Listen|Buy|
19. Sleigh Bells Bitter Rivals Mom & Pop Music |Listen|Buy|
20. Franz Ferdinand Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action Domino |Listen|Buy|

If you don’t see either of the embedded versions of the playlist, you can listen to them directly from the source at Youtube or Spotify.

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Top 20 Albums of 2012

This year I am featuring combined post of my Top albums of 2012 list and the companion “selections from” playlist at the bottom.

# Artist Album Label
1. Tennis Young & Old Fat Possum |Listen|Buy|
2. Twin Shadow Confess 4AD |Listen|Buy|
3. Chairlift Something Kanine/Columbia |Listen|Buy|
4. David Byrne & St. Vincent Love This Giant 4AD |Listen|Buy|
5. Purity Ring Shrines 4AD |Listen|Buy|
6. A.C. Newman Shut Down The Streets Matador |Listen|Buy|
7. Grimes Visions 4AD |Listen|Buy|
8. Bat For Lashes The Haunted Man Capitol |Listen|Buy|
9. Andrew Bird Hands of Glory Mom & Pop Music |Listen|Buy|
10. Beach House Bloom Sub Pop |Listen|Buy|
11. Dirty Projectors Swing Lo Magellan Domino |Listen|Buy|
12. Wild Nothing Nocturne Captured Tracks |Listen|Buy|
13. Grizzly Bear Shields Warp |Listen|Buy|
14. Passion Pit Gossamer Columbia |Listen|Buy|
15. Fanfarlo Rooms Filled With Light Canvasback/ATL |Listen|Buy|
16. Evens The Odds Dischord |Listen|Buy|
17. Tame Impala Lonerism Modular Fontana |Listen|Buy|
18. Divine Fits A Thing Called Divine Fits Merge |Listen|Buy|
19. Shins Port of Morrow Aural Apothecary/Columbia |Listen|Buy|
20. Cloud Nothings Attack On Memory Carpark |Listen|Buy|

Honorable Mention:

Best Coast – The Only Place – Mexican Summer
Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself – Mom & Pop Music
Dinosaur Jr. – I Bet On Sky – Jagjaguwar
Light Ships – Electric Cables – Domino
Diiv – Oshin – Captured Tracks
Bob Mould – Silver Age – Merge
…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – Lost Songs – Superball
School Of Seven Bells – Ghostory – Vagrant

From now on, I have decided to embed playlists from Youtube, as they are easily viewable/listenable by anyone and do not require any sign-up or download of any kind to enjoy the music as you would from the alternatives like Spotify and Rdio. is no longer an option as they will eventually be shut down completely.

Just the tracks from the top 20 list are included and they have been re-sequenced for maximum listening pleasure, please enjoy.

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It Still Moves by Amanda Petrusich


Published by Faber & Faber in 2008, It Still Moves is one part road trip dairy, one part cultural study, and one part musicological thesis.  The author Amanda Petrusich a contributing writer for and tons of other music publications.  She has also written one other book:  Pink Moon (about the classic Nick Drake album of the same name) as a part of the 33 1/3 series by Continuum Books.  I found her writing to be well thought out, organized, and meticulously researched.  She uses a well planned road trip to a string of important musical destinations as a vehicle to parcel the more historical/factual info in as a story.   The travel portion of the book does come off as a little forced at times, as she very obviously tried to make the best of a few of the less than inspirational experiences at a few of the featured locations.  Overall the book does a wonderful job at delivering a full/wide view of American Music, hitting all the cornerstones of what “Americana” is thought of, including The Blues, Country, Folk, and the more recent interpretations and combinations of the those styles.

The book is composed of 17 parts including an introduction and epilogue.

Here is a rough guide to what they cover:

  • Intro – Just that, acts to identify what the book is going to try to accomplish which is mainly to discover just what “Americana” is.
  • Chapter 1 – Examination of the American Highway, and how that relates to American music.
  • Chapter 2 – Focuses on the history of the Blues kicked off with a visit to Beale Street in Memphis Tennessee.
  • Chapter 3 – Sam Phillips, Sun Records, and the birth of Rock N Roll also in Memphis.
  • Chapter 4 – Elvis Presley and his impact on popular music with a visit to Graceland.
  • Chapter 5 – Further examination of the Blues through travels to Clarksdale Mississippi.
  • Chapter 6 – Country music by way of Nashville Tennessee.
  • Chapter 7 – Alternative Country
  • Chapter 8 – Continued travels through Virginia and Kentucky.
  • Chapter 9 – Minstrel shows and early radio.
  • Chapter 10 – Appalachian folk music, The Carter Family, and early Country music.
  • Chapter 11 – Americana by way of Cracker Barrel.
  • Chapter 12 – John Lomax, Leadbelly, Moses Asch, and Folkways Records.
  • Chapter 13 – Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music and Smithsonian Folkways.
  • Chapter 14 – Woody Guthrie, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, and the Folk revival of the 1960s.
  • Chapter 15 – Independent Folk.
  • Epilogue – Continued ruminations on the definition of Americana.

The driving question here is “What is Americana?”, which I think is an important one to ask.   Although I’m not sure the book fully answers it, then again I’m not sure any book can or should try.  Americana, at least when it relates to music, is just one of those terms that is too complicated to define.  Whenever you are trying to precisely define a label that is used as a shortcut to describe an art form you inevitably will get your self into trouble.  It is a journal full of pitfalls, contradictions,  and personal opinion.  Although I personally often fall back on the genre/sub-genre/style labels in my writing, I try not to be restrictive with my labels when setting something in stone.  Take Neil Young for instance, can you really say he is strictly a “country-rock” artist?  If you do, you are completely omitting all of his work that does not exactly fit into that label.  I prefer to keep it simple and classify things in general terms like Pop/Rock.

Just for fun here is a link to the Webster Dictionary definition of Americana.

I would also like to offer a playlist of music that is directly mentioned in the book or inspired by the books subject.

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Playlist: Selections from my Top 20 Albums of 2011

Considering the faltering legal status of my usual go to music playlist site, I am including a link to the playlist through Spotify.

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Playlist: Selections from my Top Albums of 2011 – Honorable Mention

Considering the faltering legal status of my usual go to music playlist site, I am also including a link to the playlist through Spotify.

Selections from Top Albums of 2011 – Honorable Mention

Until its future demise I will continue embedding playlists from Grooveshark.

If you do not see the embedded playlist below please follow this link or check it on Spotify through the link above.

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