Somehow, it’s been 20 years since 1996 – perhaps the first year I started to really listen to music. Back then, I was enrolled in several CD clubs in which I’d buy an album and then receive like eight more for free in the mail. Life was weird before the internet took over. Anyways, here are my favorite records from way back when.

Beck, Odelay
Best track: “Jack-Ass”

Dave Matthews Band, Crash
Best track: “Two Step”

Fugees, The Score
Best track: “Killing Me Softly”

Jamiroquai, Travelling Without Moving
Best track: “Virtual Insanity”

Phish, Billy Breathes
Best track: “Prince Caspian”

Sublime, Sublime
Best track: “Doin’ Time”

The Wallflowers, Bringing Down the Horse
Best track: “One Headlight”





Khruangbin is a three-piece band from Texas, comprised of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald Johnson on drums. Taking influence from 1960’s Thai funk – their name literally translates to “Engine Fly” in Thai – Khruangbin is steeped in the bass heavy, psychedelic sound of their inspiration, Tarantino soundtracks and surf-rock cool.

Listen to their debut album, The Universe Smiles Upon You.

Best Albums of 2016

I’ll update this list as the year goes on, but here are my picks as of July.

Anderson .Paak – Malibu listen
Andy Shauf – The Party listen
Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial listen
David Bowie – Blackstar listen
Deakin – Sleep Cycle listen
Glass Animals – How to Be a Human Being listen
Kanye West – The Life of Pablo listen
Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered. listen
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity listen
Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate listen
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool listen
Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth listen
The Avalanches – Wildflower listen
Whitney – Light Upon the Lake listen

110 Best Movies of the 21st Century

The hippest flicks of the third millennium.

A History of Violence
A Separation
All Is Lost
Almost Famous
American Hustle
American Psycho
Before Midnight
Best in Show
Black Swan
Burn After Reading
Catch Me If You Can
Children of Men
City of God
District 9
Eastern Promises
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Ex Machina
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Frances Ha
Funny Games
Ghost World
Gone Baby Gone
High Fidelity
In Bruges
Inglourious Basterds
Inherent Vice
Inside Llewyn Davis
It Follows
Kill Bill
King Kong
Knocked Up
Little Children
Little Miss Sunshine
Lost in Translation
Love & Mercy
Mad Max: Fury Road
Midnight in Paris
Minority Report
Mulholland Drive
No Country for Old Men
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Ocean’s Eleven
Old School
Pineapple Express
Requiem for a Dream
Step Brothers
Synecdoche, New York
Take Shelter
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
The Babadook
The Cabin in the Woods
The Dark Knight
The Fall
The Fighter
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Hangover
The Hurt Locker
The Incredibles
The Kids Are All Right
The Lord of the Rings (Trilogy)
The Master
The Pianist
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Social Network
The Tree of Life
The Wolf of Wall Street
The Wrestler
There Will Be Blood
This Is the End
Tropic Thunder
United 93
Up in the Air
Waking Life
Walk Hard
Wet Hot American Summer
Winter’s Bone
Wonder Boys
Y Tu Mama Tambien

Ian Pooley, “Stonyridge Terrace”

Over the course of his more than twenty singles for Force Inc, the prime German label for forward-looking techno, Ian Pooley has been inspired by the minimalist sound of Detroit as well as deep house.

A Band of Bees, “(This is For The) Better Days”

The Bees (known as “A Band of Bees” in America) – British indie rock band’s feet firmly planted in 2000s with sprinkles of ’60s garage and psychedelia.

White Denim, “A Place to Start”

Ragged but right Austin, Texas combo that patches together a soulfully scatterbrained rock & roll assault.

Brazos, “Day Glo”

Austin-based jazzy, folky alternative rock band fronted by singer/songwriter Martin Crane.

Fleet Foxes, “In the Hot Hot Rays”

An overlooked gem from their early days.


Dreamy folk rock out of my sweet home Chicago. This is music that grows on you like a vine as songs evolve into multi-instrumental soundscapes of reverie. Listen to their debut album, Light Upon the Lake.  You’ll feeler cooler in no time.

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