Juuuuuuune… was such a busy month. I got very behind in mixes I am sorry to say, but I made up for it in putting together some interesting radio programming @CKUT.

I also created a pre Suoni Per Il Popolo festival mix and saw several Suoni shows (including a knockout performance from Marissa Nadler).

One of the other Suoni highlights was definitely the Architek Percussion show, where I had the pleasure of sitting on the floor in the dark at Sala Rossa and listening to a performance of this track

I’ve been pleasantly confounded by the new Jenny Hval album.

And finally, Girlpool has been filling my girls loudly rocking quotient for the month. Important business.

Mother May I?

Urgh. Due to a mix of busyness and lack of sleep (insomnia?) I didn’t get to any shows this month, which I’m still kicking myself for, since I’m pretty sure I missed a few good ones. However, music goes on.

All of a sudden this month everyone on the internet seemed to be talking about Hop Along, so I listened, and it was actually pretty good. File under: lives up to the hype.

I wasn’t all that impressed with the last Tallest Man On Earth album. It didn’t do as much for me as the first two did, but I can’t say the same about this one.

Also, this month brought a new Torres album. Best track by far – Jealousy & I. Here’s a live version.

Weekly mixes are still happening over at 8tracks. Check it out.

In April

At the beginning of April I took a much needed jaunt to NYC in search of spring and new music. Spring was nowhere to be found but I did see The Mountain Goats at Webster Hall, mostly performing songs from their new album Beat The Champ which I hadn’t heard before the show. The album is better than I expected. I am one of those people who is never going to get over The Sunset Tree, and I think their last few albums have been fine but they haven’t done much for me. Beat The Champ, with its admittedly strange wrestling theme is a pretty solid album though. Post show conversation, thanks to several delicious IPAs, deteriorated into how every Mountain Goats song to date is probably a metaphor for a wrestling match. Discuss amongst yourselves.

A few nights later I was at Bowery Ballroom for Jesse Malin’s album release party. Crazy night, crazy crowd.

Other great stuff this month:

Speedy Ortiz had me at Raising the Skate. I’m already calling it as one of the best songs of 2015.

New warped Jackson Scott

A song from Marriages called Skin

And Moon King

You know what they say about March…

in like a lion…

The only show I managed to get myself to this month was the record release for Vincent D’Onofrio & Dana Lyn’s project Slim Bone Head Volt. The album is a collection of diary entries set to wild, jazzy music and the live performance was kind of surreal. It’s the sort of thing that you hope, deep down, is not taking itself too seriously, but at the same time is very seriously taking place, inches in front of your face, as you sip from a glass of red wine… yeah.

I debated going all the way down to NYC for a long weekend mainly just for this, but after listening to the first 10 seconds of Blanche, the ticket booked itself.

Will Butler released a surprisingly listenable album (kind of Strokes-y and fun sounding), which surprised me at least because going in the one thing I had read about it was his affiliation with a certain world famous “Montreal” band who I have tepid feelings for at best. But I listened to Policy, and wanted to listen again, and so I did. Sometimes you have to forget everything you’ve heard before.

out like a lamb…

The month finished off with looooong awaited new music from Jesse Malin which, I assure you, will be 50%-80% of what I listen to for the next year and beyond. Last year was a Tori year, but this year is all about Jesse.

Oh February

What’s been going on this month? Honestly, not very much.

I headed into February with some excitement for a few new albums and a killer karaoke number but was taken down for a while by a brutal bout with the flu. Then I lost my little superhero to a sudden illness. Both those things took a lot out of me, and so the second half of February has been focusing on stuff that’s not awful. At this point, I think it’s been a success.

The new Butch Walker album is good. I’ve definitely been enjoying it this month, particularly this track.

I saw Astral Swans, Hayden and Dan Mangan + Blacksmith last week. Kind of can’t believe that Hayden’s been around for 20 years. Anyone remember this? The show was good, but loooooong. Sometimes I can’t muster up much excitement for all of the pomp & circumstance that goes with these shows. My attention span appreciates the kind of low key shows I’ve been seeing more of lately, where one band goes right on after the other with no crazy 30 minute setups and silly waiting.

Kind of digging this one too.

March (and April) are bringing exciting releases, and some awesome shows too. I’ll catch up with February’s mixes in the next few weeks. Part of the mixes being semi autobiographical makes things complicated when there are weeks I don’t want to necessarily revisit, but it’ll happened. Stay tuned.



say goodbye to January

Welcome to the first of (hopefully) 12 monthly music updates for 2015. This year instead of updating when the mixes go up (which is each Wednesday this time around) I thought I’d do a monthly round up instead.

Best stuff to happen in January included…

The release of the new Franz Nicolay album, a contender for one of the best albums of 2015 in many opinions. The only show I went to this month was his, an awesome solo affair in an oddly inappropriate venue:

I’ve been surprised at how much great CanCon there’s been in the past couple years and the new Dan Mangan album is no exception. Parts of it sound amazingly like old Fury in the Slaughterhouse.

Looooooong overdue album release news from Jesse Malin, and a new video to boot.

And of course, weekly mixes from yours truly over on 8tracks.

Finally, a bit of sad news – Faye Gade passed away this week. Her name is probably not at all familiar to you but she’s basically the reason you’re reading this. Because of her choice to broadcast Modern Rock in central New Jersey many years ago she made my life (and a lot of other people’s) much better and contributed to a music scene there that’s still going strong. I found this clip from MTV’s The Real World (circa 1992) which features the tiny little studio from the ranch house of radio, WHTG.

Thanks Faye, for making awesome radio happen. You’re an inspiration.

2014 best & brightest

Making an end of year mix is so hard, but so worth it. So I’m sitting down with a glass of wine on borrowed time to not only make a best of 2014 mix, but also to add words which is something I haven’t managed to do since late 2013(?)

I kept up with mix making this year, but I didn’t really write about music at all (except for this?). Sometimes you have to do whatever works. For the last year I’ve been trying to branch out more than ever and listen to everything possible. For this mix I’ve tried my best to find my favorite song from each album I loved this year. In some cases the only thing that helped me narrow it down was lyrics, which is what I secretly really was listening to all along. Nothing new there.

(in a sort of chronological order) with a lyric and a feeling
29 songs about being lonely

for April in NY
you make me want to smoke cigarettes, you make me want to drink whiskey
Against Me – Unconditional Love

my nightingale we beat them to their beds
Hospitality – Nightingale

a prayer for girls
you said, too true
Dum Dum Girls – Trouble Is My Name

I’d rather watch crime TV than see you again
Marissa Nadler – Holiday In

all I want all I ever need is is someone out there who believes
Angel Olsen – Hi-Five

August, watching at a distance
heart filled with octane, fire in my soul
Schoolboy Q – Break The Bank

in a cafe in Vancouver, or in the 80s
surrounded by the night
The War on Drugs – Red Eyes

pulling over artifacts from 2013
this winter hasn’t been so rough, oh it was cold but still it wasn’t cold enough
to freeze the blood beneath my spine, and at least I survived
PUP – Dark Days

for making me feel at home
there is something you believe in, but you can’t touch it and you can’t hold it
Ought – Habit

for waking up
David I don’t believe in God, I don’t think we’re Heroes in this play
White Hinterland – David

taking a bus to the airport
I can almost outrun you and those stalking memories, did I somehow become you without realizing
Tori Amos – Oysters

for friends, and breathing
I know it’s hard to find out what I’m not
I know, I know
Sharon Van Etten – I Know

after the gold rush, shook off the gold dust
Mirah – Gold Rush

for a trip back to 1994
done some things I’m not qualified to
Priests – Doctor

I was lonely, but I was having fun
I don’t want to start over again
Strand of Oaks – Goshen ’97

for stuff that’s warped
I always thought that you’d be here
but shit gets fucked up and people just disappear
First Aid Kit – Master Pretender

for surviving the suburbs
we spend our days locked in a room content inside a bubble
and in the night time we go out and scour the streets for trouble
Alvvays – Marry Me, Archie

We get melted, ice cream, no Carvel
Cam’ron – Lala

for book shopping
higher than a motherfucker, dreamin’ of it, it’s my lovin’
FKA Twigs – Two Weeks

for visiting the west coast, but never wanting to live there
I wanted to go home with you
I wanted to stay true to the cause, but look what we’re living in
The New Pornographers – War on the East Coast

from now on I’m gonna be your friend
Delta Spirit – From Now On

shake your burning placard on the government lawns
have faith that there is consequence in protest songs

Owl John – Songs About Roses

Bleached – For the Feel

there’s no safe place for the heart to hang when the body’s no good
Perfume Genius – No Good

I wish I’d never met you
Caribou – Silver

for the radio
Ex Hex – Radio On

I loved you
Big Star – September Gurls

The Twilight Sad – There’s a Girl in the Corner

Nancy Pants – Borderline