Friday, December 12, 2014

The 10 Best Albums of 2014

I love the years that this list is hard to do. Fun fact: I have been looking forward to this since late summer when it occurred to me there was always something new I was getting into on my frequent plane trips and bus rides. Every month, there was some great new sound.

The craziest part: even with so much great stuff, my pick for the year's top album wasn't even close.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Sounds of the Season 2014

Friends, you can imagine how the year has been going since this is the first post in six whole months. But this, and the forthcoming albums of the year post, are things you can count on here. Neither rain nor sleet, nor lack of hours in the day shall delay these music-oriented posts.

Anyhow, I'm kind of surprised how this year's mix came together. Confession: I usually start nosing around the Interwebs for songs around Labor Day. I don't think I had any ideas by Nov. 1 this year. Also, this is the eighth year I've been putting this together. I'm not saying the well is dry... but I'm not NOT saying it either. The way I see it, if I get next year's in some kind of shape, I can celebrate 10 years with a "best of the holiday mixes mix" and call it a great decade.

If this is your first year reading about this, back in 2007, I thought it would be fun to put together a mix of rock and humor Christmas songs. When the "great to listen to at work" radio station in your town switches to all-Christmas-all-the-time around Sep. 15, they rarely play No Doubt's "Oi to the World," or everyone's favorite rendition of "O Holy Night" by Eric Cartman. If ever. So I made a mix happen and it was good.

In doing the research, I found there were a lot of great alt-rock holiday songs out there. Hanukkah started to get its due. Then, I realized rap and hip-hop were badly underrepresented on my mixes. I'd say the reigning high water mark remains the 2011 effort, but all of them have been a nice departure from the same old stuff.

So, if you're looking for a fresher set of tunes to set the holiday mood, check the blog archives on the left and, for sure, see the list below.