Monday Links

On Twitter and Facebook I share links each day to various stuff that I think is great and/or worth people’s time. But not everyone that comes here is on Twitter or Facebook, so I gather up the best of those links each Monday and post them here so everyone can get in on the fun. If you’ve missed any of the past Monday Links (or just want to waste some time), check out the archive here.

Daniel Martin Moore and his band playing one of my favorite songs from 2015. Still tremendously lovely.

Lucy Dacus in a cemetery playing one of my favorite songs from one of the best albums of 2016? Yes, please.

Holy hell, this Le Wrens song/video.

And now, Beirut in a Paris apartment in 2009. Damn.

First Monday Links of a new month, so here’s what I was listening to in March. Enjoy.

 

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catching up

That time of the week again.

‘Black Man In A White World’- Michael Kiwanuka
God, it’s so nice to have Michael Kiwanuka back releasing music.

‘It’ll Work Itself Out’- Donovan Woods
Ol’ Donny Woods, just recording songs on the fly in dressing rooms. A real good song. A great song, actually.

‘Goodness Pt. 1’- The Hotelier
This one, all day.

‘studio 6’- Matt Maltese
Good lord, this is gorgeous.

‘Shivers’- JMR
I’ve been waiting a very long time for the debut EP from JMR. It doesn’t disappoint. At all.

‘Love As A Weapon’- Little Scream
My fiance demanded I listen to this yesterday when she got home. It’s a middle of summer, strut around the house jam. She is, quite obviously, a keeper. (Also, quite the change from the Little Scream of the past, which is fun.)

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catching up

Tunes. Here they are.

‘Staring At The Moon’- Isaac Pierce
If there’s one thing I love its surprise new releases from artists I really love that also happen to feature a nice step forward sound-wise and from a songwriting perspective. This tune is the best of a great bunch.

‘Absolute Loser’- Fruit Bats
Have a feeling I’m going to be spending a lot of nights drinking beer on the back patio while listening to this new Fruit Bats album.

‘Golden Days’- Whitney
Same goes for this Whitney album. This track is just wonderful.

‘Sugaree’ (Greatful Dead cover)- Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis and Friends
Not a Dead fan, really, but will obviously listen to Phossy cover anything. Also: this is great.

 

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Five Years / Thank You

This little blog turns 5 today, which seems like both not enough years and too many. Below are a whole lot of words about those 5 years of existence, but they all boil down to this: Thanks. Thanks for visiting this little corner of the internet, for listening to and supporting those artists I love and believe in, for leaving a comment or liking a post or shooting me an email and, really, for being along for the journey to this point. It means more than I can really clearly articulate.

It’s nice to take stock of life when you hit certain milestones, and 5 years seems like a good time to take a look back at life and blog things. It seems like a lifetime ago, but I started this blog 5 years ago because I was, predictably, lonely in the suburbs of Chicago and in need of some sort of connection and creative outlet, and music seemed like the easiest way to find both fulfillment and ‘my people.’ And so I jumped into this whole blog thing headfirst, consuming music at an unholy pace and posting every day, trying (in cringe worthy fashion) to get back into writing again, something I had dreamed of doing when I was in high school but never had the patience to stick with. It all became an obsession, a way to keep my life in order. And, well, it didn’t take long to start meeting people, both online and in real life, who felt the same way about the music I loved and who, as it turned out, were good people, too. Sometimes the internet can connect people in a real way, you guys.

You know what happened next in my life if you’ve been around here at all and/or talked to me in the last few years, but the short version goes like this: my marriage fell apart and we divorced, I got depressed (note: sad songs sound GREAT when you are really sad, but, oddly, are not really all that good for you at that moment in time), I met a girl at a house show when some German friends from the internet came to stay and wanted to go on a crazy trip, I got laid off from a job I hated anyways, and so I moved out west to see about that girl from the house show and that love we were building (spoiler: we’re engaged, so that turned out real nice).  The only constants through all that have been my family (duh), a couple old friends, music, this blog and the little community that’s popped up around it, and all those folks from the internet/blog who I’ve been lucky enough to have become good friends with. 

The 75 songs below tell the story of the last 5 years, from the pain and loneliness that inhabited a couple of those years to the contentment, happiness and love that’s shown up since. These songs all mean something to me still, though in some cases they now mean something far different than they did when they first became significant to me. ‘Morning Thought’ was the first song I ever posted here, and I still think its a jam. But then there’s ‘Rivers and Roads,’ a song that I chased around in that former life I was living but now feels like an artifact, foreign and cold. There’s ‘Hopeful,’ the song that so perfectly captured my story and meant so much to me as my whole life burned around me, and now sounds so comforting in the way things do when you can look back and realize that the horrible thing that consumed you was the best possible thing for you. There’s ‘Hey Mami,’ the one I played so loudly in my lonely apartment that I’m surprised the neighbors never pounded on my door (and which I had forgot about the electricity of, and so I spent about an hour listening to it on repeat yesterday). And then there’s ‘Let It Breathe,’ a love song so perfect and real that it still stops me dead, a song that pretty well tells the story of what’s happened in the partnership I find myself in now. It’s all there in song, in this playlist, from the all the pain and darkness that inhabited a couple of these last years to the contentment and happiness I’ve found since, from the loneliness to the working hard to figure out who exactly  I was to the being real lucky and finding a girl who loves me for who I am. These songs are my story, and that, friends, is why I love music. Thanks so much for listening and sharing and being there.

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Monday Links

On Twitter and Facebook I share links each day to various stuff that I think is great and/or worth people’s time. But not everyone that comes here is on Twitter or Facebook, so I gather up the best of those links each Monday and post them here so everyone can get in on the fun. If you’ve missed any of the past Monday Links (or just want to waste some time), check out the archive here.

Well, this…this is a thing.

Just a quick reminder after that: The Staves are altogether lovely.

Basically just need Joan Shelley to sing me to sleep every night.

Very, very enamored with this new Lucy Dacus album, you guys.

Also very much all about Lapsley’s album, which is all fire.

Still love this Mount Moriah song even after about 500 listens.

Same goes for this Aidan Knight song.

A thing I didn’t talk about enough and tell you was wonderful in 2015: Lemolo’s Red Right Return. Here, take a look/listen.

Oh hey, Shakey Graves playing some new songs and such. Enjoy.

 

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catching up

Some songs to listen to as you wait for everyone to stop pretending SxSw is a good time.

‘Rain’- Foals
Grade A Jam. 10/10. Want more.

‘Gimme Your Love’- Motel Radio
This is one of those cases where something pops up in my newsfeed and I press play cause I’ve got nothing better to do and then I’m blown away and listen to it 10 times straight through and am very happy. May it do the same for you.

‘Had 2 Know (Personal)’- White Denim
This new White Denim album is going to be the soundtrack to a lot of poor decisions made this summer, I can just feel it.

‘Postman’- Sam Moss
Well, this dusty, twangy little number is an unexpected delight (and a wonderful step forward from Sam as a songwriter). Excited to hear this album.

 

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spring2016 – a mix

Well, you guys, we finally made it. Almost. In a few days. Whatever, the clocks changed, it’s spring. It was a hard winter, if we’re being honest, even if it was mild. The lack of snow and bone-chilling temperatures can’t hide the fact that it’s really not a lot of fun to be required to leave the house in February. But enough of that- it’s almost time for baseball and open windows and back porches and fresh blooms and grilling. You survived winter- here’s a soundtrack for the coming spring. Enjoy!


(listen via the embedded player above, click here to listen on 8tracks or click here to listen to a modified version of the mix on Spotify)

  1. Old Friends – Pinegrove
    2. Copper Mines – Mothers
    3. Trouble Maker Doppelgänger – Lucy Dacus
    4. Brace for Impact (Live A Little) – Sturgill Simpson
    5. Calvander – Mount Moriah
    6. What I Need – Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
    7. Where To Start – Lou Doillon
    8. Cut The Rope – Del Water Gap
    9. Watch Your Step (Bobby Parker cover)- The Arcs
    10. Strip Mine – The Cave Singers
    11. Gimme Your Love – Motel Radio
    12. Theoretical Girls – Star Parks
    13. Golden – Amanda Bergman
    14. What Light (Never Goes Dim)- Aidan Knight
    15. Empire Builder – Laura Gibson
    16. Someday Soon – Basia Bulat
    17. Haven, Mass – Bon Iver
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