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
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

Papooz

papooz

French duo’s slinky debut Green Juice is a subdued dance album that’ll make you want to boogie on a terrace in Paris with a cig on your lip. Give them a listen if you want to be hip.

Out of Our Heads: Rock ‘n’ Roll Before the Drugs Wore Off

outofourheads

Just finished this fascinating book by George Case. Highly recommend it as a breezy summer read.

“Take a trip through rock ‘n’ roll’s haziest, craziest period, beginning with the Beatles and Bob Dylan “turning on” in a New York hotel, and continuing on through two-decades of wonderful, colorful, history-changing music. From psychedelic Woodstock warriors like Hendrix and the Jefferson Airplane to psycho-stereo adventurers Pink Floyd; from the post-hippie bliss of Neil Young and cosmic cowboy Willie Nelson to the druggy blues of Black Sabbath and the hemp-happy rhythms of Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, Out of Our Heads gleefully celebrates music’s most creative minds – and their chemically induced expansion.

“This is the rare book that is unafraid to bask in the groovy good times of rock ‘n’ roll without the politically correct preaching that has helped stifle the party. To all those who have ever listened to Dark Side of the Moon on a pair of headphones and said “Wow”: this book is for you.”
Amazon

Andy Shauf, “The Magician”

Dylan at 75

“Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.”
Mr. Tambourine Man

Of all the artists who have walked this earth, none have spoken to my core as profoundly as the Midwestern troubadour known as Bob Dylan. He is easily my favorite poet, able to paint masterpieces with words both down-home and surrealistic.

Dylan has always epitomized Caucasian cool, his nonchalant approach to fame seeming more and more quaint as the American pop cultural landscape has become overrun with “look at me” types. While he continues to churn out albums as a senior citizen, it is the young Dylan, wise beyond his years, hair growing in a million different directions, that will be venerated for decades to come.

May the bulb that illuminated his mind continue to shine a little light on us all.

Dylan at 75 Playlist

Anderson .Paak, “Come Down”

Tame Impala – Deezer Session

Dylan LeBlanc

dylanleblanc

Best singer-songwriter I’ve heard in a while. Soulful and musically masterful. A great lowkey album that’ll sound great on a front porch in summer as you sip on a cold beverage in the breeze. A kind California country vibe permeates his songs.

Sounds like: Ray LaMontagne

Listen to his latest album, Cautionary Tale.

Three Movies the Oscars Overlooked

Though this trio of films received a combined zero nominations from the Academy, all three are award-worthy and worth a watch.

The End of the Tour

IMDb: 7.4
Metacritic: 82

Synopsis: The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking epic novel, ‘Infinite Jest.’

This movie is not for everybody. It’s a simple character study about two literary intellectuals discussing the merits of art and fame. Jason Segel does an excellent job disappearing into his role and provides the film with a low-key depth.

Love & Mercy

IMDb: 7.4
Metacritic: 80

Synopsis: In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy.

A fascinating look at the life of a musical genius. This is a film for not only fans of the Beach Boys, but for anyone who’s intrigued by the intersection of creativity and mental illness. The use of sound throughout is especially remarkable.

Tangerine

IMDb: 7.1
Metacritic: 85

Synopsis: A working girl tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart.

Another flick that’s probably not for everyone. Shot entirely on iPhones, this tragicomedy follows a group of underrepresented characters through the seediest parts of L.A. on a kinetic and colorful journey. It’s a small story but one that deserved to be told.

Top 100 Albums of the ’00s

1. Kid A, Radiohead (2000)
Essential Track: “Everything in Its Right Place”
kida
2. Funeral, Arcade Fire (2004)
Essential Track: “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)”
funeral
3. In Rainbows, Radiohead (2007)
Essential Track: “Reckoner”
inrainbows
4. Is This It, The Strokes (2001)
Essential Track: “Last Nite”
isthisit
5. Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, Arctic Monkeys (2006)
Essential Track: “A Certain Romance”
whateverpeoplesayiam
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