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Heavy Rotation #37

This past Friday was a big release day, with 4 new albums that I will probably be listening to over and over again. That means it's probably time to write about what I've been into over the last month-and-a-half or so. Sound good?

Phoebe Bridgers/Stranger in the Alps - Before last fall, I hadn't listened to any of Bridgers' music. Sure, I knew of her, but that was it. It wasn't until Boygenius (the group she's in with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus) that I really heard anything she'd done. Their EP is great, so I thought it was time to expand my horizons and give this one a listen. Better late than never is a cliche for a reason, right? Anyway, the album starts off very strong with "Smoke Signals" and "Motion Sickness." The former is contemplative and moody and lovely with killer lyrics while the latter is more prickly and up-tempo with (again) killer lyrics. It's a strong start to the album. If I had to pick one track to get someone int…
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Heavy Rotation #36

I spent a large part of January just listening to one thing after another and not getting into any sort of groove. That changed toward the end of the month (and into the start of this month), when a handful of albums started getting more spins. These are those albums (CLUNG CLUNG):

Bonny Doon/Longwave - This album and band have been championed by an fellow listener of the Rockin' the Suburbs podcast, so I decided to check it out. Their sound is all jangle and chime, the pace is almost languid at times, and the lyrics have a lot of repetition. The more you listen, the more is just gets lodged in your head. Take, for instance, the way the guitar solo blossoms out of the steady pace of "A Lotta Things," which is all acoustic guitar to that point. "Saved" reminds me of Pavement, with its loping beat and repeating "Are you a believer or not?," but it has some subtle notes on its way out like the one ringing chord on the guitar that just changes the overall …

Heavy Rotation #35

It hasn't been that long since the last Heavy Rotation (certainly there have been bigger gaps between editions), but I have a handful of albums I haven't been able to stop listening to over the past six weeks or so. These are their stories...

The Black Crowes/Amorica - I was a big fan of The Black Crowes when they appeared on the scene; I had both Shake Your Moneymaker and The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion on CD and played them a ton. So why didn't I get Amorica when it came out? Or any of their records after that? I have no idea. I do know what made me check it out now - a friend I met through the Rockin' the Suburbs podcast shared a song off of it and then a whole Black Crowes playlist. That was enough for me to start listening. Honestly, the first time through I thought it was okay. The second time I thought it sounded good. After the third time, I was all in. Their sound isn't really different on this album - it's still got echoes of the Stones and …

Sunday Shuffle #479

I don't know if it's the weather, nostalgia, or something else, but I woke up feeling like I wanted to do a Sunday Shuffle today. I barely open up iTunes anymore and haven't downloaded new music into it in a long time...which also means I haven't listened to a lot of the music I have stored there in a while. So, this is simultaneously old and new in a way and that feels interesting to me this morning.

Let's get to today's ten...

1. Pulling On A Line/Great Lake Swimmers (6) - last played on 11/8/15
2. Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Of/U2 (7) - last played on 5/19/13
3. Us/Spoon (4) - last played on 11/24/17
4. Meat Is Murder/Shout Out Louds (6) - last played on 12/11/16
5. Different Days/Jason Isbell (11) - last played on 6/1/17
6. Another Way I Could Do It/Sloan (34) - last played on 6/22/18
7. Wizard Buys A Hat/The Mountain Goats (8) - last played on 2/12/17
8. Decks Dark/Radiohead (8) - last played on 7/10/18
9. Luisa/Jay Gonzalez (13) - last played on 8…

Heavy Rotation #34

School has started back up and my glorious endless summer days are now ended and gone until next June. Fortunately, this shift in free time hasn't affected my ability to listen to music too much, because I can still listen any time my kids aren't in my room and I'm not in a meeting or making copies or collaborating or what have you. This edition of Heavy Rotation features the albums I listened to over and over again in August and the early part of this month.

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires/Youth Detention - I should have listened to Patrick Foster (one of the co-hosts of the podcast, Rockin' the Suburbs). He touted this album as one of the best of 2017, but it wasn't until the podcast ran an interview with Lee Bains that I gave it a try. Yup, I should have listened. It's a rock album that has 17 songs and 6 of those have exclamation points in the title...and the music matches that enthusiastic punctuation. I love "Whitewash," which starts out acou…

Sunday Shuffle #478

I've got about 25 pages left of the book I'm reading and I don't have any album in particular I want to listen to right now, so I thought I would hit shuffle on iTunes. And if I'm shuffling through iTunes, I might as well do a Sunday Shuffle installment. So, here are today's ten...

1. Goldtone/Kurt Vile (8) - last played on 11/11/17
2. Eastern Terminal/Superchunk (18) - last played on 2/13/18
3. Jealous Girl/Ben Kweller (31) - last played on 8/31/17
4. Changes (Live)/Sugar (2) - last played on 5/1/16
5. Kaputt/Destroyer (9) - last played on 8/28/14
6. Cemetery Guns/Fountains of Wayne (21) - last played on 10/29/17
7. Why Won't They Talk to Me?/Tame Impala (5) - last played on 10/26/14
8. I Want You/Kings of Leon (5) - last played on 10/19/14
9. Battery Kinzie/Fleet Foxes (17) - last played on 11/19/17
10. Full Of Stars/Portastatic (4) - last played on 1/29/17

Heavy Rotation #33

It's just under 2 months since the last Heavy Rotation, which might be the shortest gap between them ever. I also have a few others albums I played a handful of times, such as Violent Femmes' self-titled, but not quite enough to include here. A fact worth noting is that half of these I have been listening to via CD; in fact, I've picked up more CDs in the past few months than I have in years. Anyway, here are some words about what I've been spinning (physically or digitally) of late...

Buffalo Tom/Quiet and Peace - Last time out I wrote about their album Skins and talked a little about the band and my history with them. Quiet and Peace is their brand-new one and the third since their almost decade long hiatus; as much I like Skins, this one is even better.

The opener is "All Be Gone" and it was the first song to be released from the album. I liked it from the start - a charging beat, a soaring melody in the chorus, a tasty guitar solo. It took me a while to ca…