My Top Ten Songs of 2016

Ever since the arrival of our now 2 year old I’ve been remiss in updating this blog.  I’m sure that the small number of followers I once had will either not remember this blog, or have left.

Nevertheless, what better way to restart the blog than a “top ten list.”  The last time I did this was in 2013.  While I have a list for 2014, and 2015, it doesn’t make sense to rehash those years.

I had a hard time paring this down to just ten, but after much deliberation here are my most loved songs of 2016.

1 – Pékin (les amitiés) – Jason Bajada.  Jason is one of my favorite songwriters.  This was my favorite song of his 2016 Album, Volcano. “Comment va ton weekend?”

2- Adore – Savages.  It seems 80s inspired bands are de rigueur lately; there are several on this list.   This song is hypnotic, and just amazing!

3- Algorithm – Emmy the Great. I love Emma-Lee Moss’ voice.

4- Crying in Public – Chairlift.  Synthesizers have never been bad in my world.  I could see Everything But The Girl doing this song back in the 80s.

5 – A Beautiful Mystery – Katie Costello.  I’ve been a superfan of Katie since I saw her supporting Toad The Wet Sprocket many years ago.  All of her music is superb.

6 – Virtue – Bloc Party.  This British band seems to get better and better with each new album.

7 – Sister – Angel Olsen.  For 2017, Angel needs to comeback to the Newport Folk Festival (played there in 2015) but this time on the main stage.  That would make me very happy!

8 – Pull My Arm – Flowers.  This is one of those songs that sound familiar from the very first sound, but it’s entirely new, and you just love it.  At least that is what happened to me.

9 – Fold – Burnt Palms.  Tell me that the 80s aren’t back.  It’s The Ramones + Liz Phair.

10- Tokyo – TEEN.  The Lieberson sisters could easily have been an 80s band.  It’s the best of the “Next-Wave.”

What do you think?

My Top Ten Songs of 2013

Unlike last year, I’m not waiting until June to put together my list of my favorite songs from the previous year. My favorite songs of 2013, in order, are:

1. Fresh Strawberries by Franz Ferdinand. FF has been the best band of the past 10 years. Their 2013 Album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action was nothing short of amazing.

2. Gravediggress by CocoRosie. I don’t know how I have missed this group before, but CocoRosie is wonderfully weird. This song is addictive despite the horrible fact that there is a clown in this video.

3. I Got You by Jack Johnson. I couldn’t help being all romantic in 2013, with getting married to the most amazing woman and all, so yeah I had this song playing a lot this year.

4. A New Life by Jim James. And when I didn’t play Jack Johnson, I was playing Jim James’s A New Life. To be fair, we caught Jim James at the Newport Folk Festival. Now I get why people are so excited about My Morning Jacket.

5. Les jolies Françaises by Jason Bajada. Jason’s Le Résulta de mes bêtises was one of those albums that I couldn’t stop listening to, and still haven’t.

6. Changeling by Alison Moyet. Call me a child of the 80s, but Alison is back. Her voice is just as great as it was back with Yazoo.

7. All That’s Mine by Depeche Mode. Speaking of the 80s, Depeche Mode is still strong and possibly better. I seem to be biased since they are my favorite band. I was once embarrassed to say it, but there is no denying that I listen to them more than anyone else, my LastFM scrobbles don’t lie, http://www.last.fm/user/BernardLeCroix.

8. We Are Not Cool by Stripmall Architecture. I’m crazy about this band.

9. I’d Rather Be High by David Bowie. Bowie is also back. I don’t know what happened between Scary Monsters and now but this album, and this song, is excellent.

10. Came Back Haunted by Nine Inch Nails. I’ve been a Trent Reznor fan forever, but hide it well. NIN is fantastic for Monday morning commuting.

What do you think?

A very late top ten list for 2012

It’s nearly June and I realized that I never posted my favorite songs of 2012.  So here are my top 10 most favorite songs of last year in order, because I wasn’t raised in a barn:

1. Port of Morrow – The Shins

 

2. California – Delta Spirit

 

3. Heartbreaker – Alabama Shakes

 

4. Wait Up – Eight And A Half

 

5. Bird in the Hand – Amy Ray

 

6. Numb – Alanis Morissette

 

7. Never Gonna Let You Go – Esthero

 

8. Weep Themselves to Sleep – Jack White

 

9. Lay Low – Katie Costello

 

10. Stars – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

 

What do you think?

 

Child Poets Amongst Us

Child poets amongst us
A flash of brilliance
Too bright to behold
Brief and profound
Sometimes too sad
Sometimes too much

In childhood Jim
Tortured by souls
Dead Indians on the road
A delusion and inspiration
Madness descending
Lizard king disappears

Jeff following footsteps
But his own light
A hello turns upside
A goodbye unintended
A rush of water
Pain that endures

I ache for Michael
Lost love unfulfilled
His fault perhaps
Too much too fast
Who hasn’t been there
A boy to hold

Madness and brilliance
Hand in hand
Syd struggled
Promise unfulfilled
Your name to borrow
Nothing else

Love castigated
The hubris required
Ian lost the grip
Joy never known
Sought at all turns
But the end was near

The deep ache
Soul never ending
Too much for one
Our pearl Janice
Never ours truly
Laughter still rings

Demons at all turns
Amy swallowed whole
Wanton abandoned
Excess and hurt
To hold her tightly
Assure her good exists

I cry for each
Figuratively sometimes
Others tears do come
Can’t protect the world
The poets and warriors
All the same at the end

Lists

I make lists.  The lists I make are not useful in any way.  They are not “to do” lists or other proper lists.  Growing up I used to keep track of the songs I liked, a personal top 10 chart of sorts.  I would keep the lists in a book, and at the end of the year I’d have my favorite songs of the year.  One day I decided that I would make a mix tape of the previous year’s songs.  That morphed into burning CDs, and now I make playlists on iTunes.

I’ve just completed my 2011list.  Instead of sharing my top 100, which would be pretty ridiculous, here is my top 5.

Half Of Something Else  – The Airborne Toxic Event

Underneath the Sycamore – Death Cab for Cutie

Stay – Diego Garcia

Cassette Tape – Katie Costello

Eyes – Peter Bjorn and John

The older I get, the mellower I get, I think.