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TV 2016

My TV list comes with two caveats. One is that I haven't had as much time to devote to watching TV this year, thanks to my TTT courses (and is a main cause my being always behind on pop culture). The second is that this is the second year in a row that we didn't have cable, which means I'm watching mainly on Hulu, Netflix, and the CW app. So, I didn't see Game of Thrones, Atlanta, or many of the other highly-acclaimed shows from the year. That's okay, they are still there. Likewise, my list includes some TV that aired in 2015, but that I just got around to this summer or fall. That's fine too. Only TV critics are up on everything and even they can't really be up on everything. So, here's what I enjoyed this year...
1. DC TV (The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow) - No surprise here, right? The Flash is still my favorite super-hero and while the second season of the show wasn't as strong as the first, it was still good. The current third s…

Podcasts 2016

I love listening to podcasts, but I don't have a whole lot of time to listen to them. I listen when I stretch in the morning and at night, while I drive to school (3 minutes one way) or the Y (6 minutes) or out on errands, while doing the dishes, while cleaning the house and doing laundry, and for 10 minutes while I'm falling asleep. Maybe that seems like a lot, but it's not that much. I also like a wide variety of podcasts, which means I'm always behind. I'm listening to March episodes of one and August episodes of another and 2015 episodes of some others and I can never catch up. A friend suggests I should just cut my losses and jump to current episodes, but I know I'll get behind again, so what does it matter. I love the medium and don't want to miss out on episodes of shows I really like. Speaking of which, here's what I was into this year...

1. Comedy Bang Bang! - This is the third year I've been a listener of Comedy Bang Bang! and this is the …

Sunday Shuffle #438/439

I thought I'd do a double issue today, since next Sunday is Christmas and I won't be doing a shuffle. I just went back into the archives and discovered that my last double issue was all the way back on June 30, 2103. Huh.

I'm starting this before going out to shovel snow, but will pause soon. We got more in Valpo than they were predicting, so there's a lot to do. The temperature and wind chill are going to drop steadily too. I've got my sights set on watching football today, so I want to take care of my chores this morning. Hope you are safe and warm.

Okay, let's get to today's twenty...

1. Guide Down Denied/Grandaddy (9) - last played on 9/19/14
2. Song 2/Blur (7) - last played on 11/27/16
3. Black Postcards/Luna (9) - last played on 3/23/15
4. Holy War/Matthew Sweet (8) - last played on 9/30/16
5. Dark Hand of Contagion/Minus 5 (7) - last played on 2/22/15
6. Watch the Corners/Dinosaur Jr. (20) - last played on 12/11/16
7. Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed…

Sunday Shuffle #437

For the first time this winter, I had to go out and shovel snow before I could start today's shuffle. Thankfully, I had a homemade cinnamon roll I could warm up for my breakfast. Today's docket includes the usual chores of laundry and cleaning, homework, football, reading, and an in-service/Christmas party at the Y. Time to get today's ten going so I can get to the rest...

1. The Lines You Amend/Sloan (20) - last played on 11/12/16
2. Elevation/U2 (5) - last played on 10/25/15
3. Towner/Spoon (7) - last played on 6/21/15
4. Black Venom/The Budos Band (8) - last played on 10/3014
5. Meat Is Murder/Shout Out Louds (5) - 2/22/15
6. Watch the Corners/Dinosaur Jr. (19) - last played on 11/4/16
7. Blue Headlights/Shout Out Louds (6) - last played on 6/9/13
8. Payback Time/East River Pipe (7) - last played on 12/4/16
9. Puttin' on the Dog/Tom Waits (8) - last played on 11/22/15
10. Victory/The Walkmen (14) - last played on 3/14/16

Sunday Shuffle #436

I was surprised a Christmas song popped up last week on the first go-around. Will there be another one today? Only one way to find out...
1. Trophy Wife/The National (14) - last played on 3/16/16 2. Nashville/Old 97s (20) - last played on 10/21/16 3. Spidyr/The New Pornographers (7) - last played on 5/21/15 4. Look Me Over/M. Ward (7) - last played on 6/7/15 5. The Ballad of Bjorn Borg/Pernice Brothers (12) - last played on 11/15/16 6. Get Away/Yuck (14) - last played on 9/16/12 7. Liza's Earworm/Tom Adamson (10) - last played on 9/16/12 8. Oh Mississippi/Lissie (8) - last played on 4/18/15 9. Trampled Under Foot/Led Zeppelin (9) - last played on 3/23/15 10. Bar Italia/Pulp (12) - last played on 4/2/16

Sunday Shuffle #435

This Thanksgiving week has been great, but it's time to refocus and remember that there are four weeks until Christmas. I have to do work for my TTT courses all the way up to the 23rd and school goes through the 20th. There are only two more weeks of swimming lessons, so my time will be freed up somewhat at that point. Still, it's going to be busy right up until Christmas, but I know I will get through my work and truly be able to enjoy that next break. Speaking of Christmas, any Christmas music that pops up will be included over the next 4 Sunday Shuffles, including today.
So, let's get to today's ten...
1. Satan/Teenage Fanclub (12) - last played on 10/21/16 2. Shoulder To Shoulder/Little Joy (4) - last played on 3/3/13 3. Ruby II/Amy Millan (6) - last played on 11/22/15 4. Nothing To Hide/Yo La Tengo (7) - last played on 7/10/16 5. We're Gonna Make It/Mavis Staples (10) - last played on 2/7/16 6. Old White Lincoln/The Gaslight Anthem (10) - last played on 4/24/1…

Sunday Shuffle #434

Hard to believe I'm typing this on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The weather has certainly turned in the past couple days, so it does feel more Thanksgiving-like that way. I'm excited to have the week off from my TTT course and to have only a two day week at school. Some family is already here and more will be arriving. I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday week!

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

1. Rox In The Box/The Decemeberists (18) - last played on 3/13/16
2. Scythian Empires/Andrew Bird (10) - last played on 8/7/16
3. Rock On/T. Rex (11) - last played on 2/7/16
4. The House That Heaven Built/Japandroids (22) - last played on 11/9/16
5. Can You Tell/Ra Ra Riot (4) - last played on 1/11/15
6. Harvey Haddix/The Baseball Project (5) - last played on 2/12/12
7. Rise To Me/The Decemberists (17) - last played on 5/24/15
8. No You're Not/Spoon (17) - last played on 8/13/16
9. Andiamo/The Twilight Singers (5) - last played on 6/30/13
10. My Heartbeat's Dying/The Rav…

Sunday Shuffle #433

I had a great time at the Sloan show Friday night. They played all of One Chord To Another, took a break, and then came back to play songs from all over the catalog. Chris Murphy has a ton of charisma and led us in clapping and singing along, usually abetted by Patrick Pentland. Patrick had some guitar issues at the start of both sets, but once they were sorted out he ripped off some nifty guitar solos. Jay Ferguson charmingly forgot the lyrics to one of his songs and Andrew Scott was fantastic behind the drum kit. When it was Andrew's turn to sing, he would come up front and put on a guitar, Jay would switch from guitar to bass, and Chris would go from bass to drums. Gregory Macdonald played all the keys and contributed harmonies. The harmonies were stellar throughout and the band sounded great. I've already started listening through their catalog again and seriously thought about doing another Sunday Sloan...but that would be overkill.

So, here are today's ten from my fu…

Sunday Sloan #3 (Sunday Shuffle #432)

This Friday I will be going to my 5th and final concert of the year and if you read the title of the post, you have already figured out I will be seeing Sloan. The band is touring behind the 20th anniversary of One Chord To Another, their 3rd album. They will play the album in its entirety for the first set and then do a second set featuring songs from the rest of their catalog. I love the band and have never seen them before, so I'm very very excited. Naturally, I've started listening to all of their albums in anticipation, so this dedicated shuffle fits in perfectly. Please listen along via the Spotify link if you don't know this great power pop and rock band. I'll do the usual ten songs unless nothing pops up from OCTA, then I'll continue until we get one. Happy listening!

1. Light Years (24) - from Never Hear The End Of It
2. C'mon C'mon (We're Gonna Get It Started) (16) - from Navy Blues
3. You've Got A Lot On Your Mind (12) - from Commonwealth

Sunday Shuffle #431

Good

* The weather has been very nice the past couple of days, which we don't always get this time of year.

* Yesterday started a break week for my current TTT course. In addition, I'm now halfway through the courses I have to take this year before student teaching.

Bad

*The Cubs are down 3-1 in the World Series. They can definitely come back, but the bats need to wake up immediately. I will be watching tonight.

Music

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

1. Suppose/Buffalo Tom (6) - last played on 2/7/16
2. Slapped Actress/The Hold Steady (10) - last played on 3/12/15
3. Shrinking Violet/Bishop Allen (7) - last played on 9/13/15
4. My My/Reigning Sound (5) - last played on 12/28/15
5. No Dreams/Oakley Hall (5) - last played on 12/21/14
6. Joke or a Lie/Sharon Van Etten (11) - last played on 4/24/15
7. Sunday Sounds/Apples In Stereo (6) - last played on 10/26/14
8. Ghost Under Rocks/Ra Ra Riot (6) - last played on 1/18/15
9. E. Watson/The Decemberists (13) - last played on 10/23…

Sunday Shuffle #430

It's been a pretty big weekend already.

I can't believe I'm typing up a Sunday Shuffle with the Cubs in the World Series. Last night's clinching game was great, from the outstanding performance by Kyle Hendricks to the way the Cubs hitters went after Clayton Kershaw. I watched when they were 1 game away from the Series in both 1984 and 2003 and saw it all slip away, so last night was even better. I've been a Chicago baseball fan ever since I was a kid and I was never someone who thought you had to love one team and hate the other. 2005 was magical for the White Sox and that playoff run came at a difficult time, as both of my grandmothers passed away that fall. I hope this year is just as magical for the Cubs...and that it only helps me get through my schoolwork this week. Go Cubs!

Musically, I'm still on a high from Friday night's Teenage Fanclub show. They sounded so good and their set list was so strong that I couldn't complain at all. I'm here to…

Sunday Sculpt #2

I enjoyed doing the first Sunday Sculpt, so I thought I would bring it back this week. My focus today is Teenage Fanclub. I know they've been featured on my one artist Sunday Shuffles twice, once at the end of June and the other on my 44th birthday in March of 2015, but I'm seeing them in concert this Friday and I'm really excited about it. I think I've mentioned before that I missed them in the 90s, but they have become one of my favorite bands since the early 2000s and I have never seen them in concert. Their new album, Here, is just as fantastic as their classics. The band has 3 songwriters - Norman Blake, Gerard Love, and Raymond McGinley - and all of them have written a bunch of great songs. I'll represent each one of them on this playlist, but know that this will only scratch the surface of this fantastic band. I hope you take the time to listen and discover the band if you are unfamiliar with them.

1. The Concept (from Bandwagonesque) - I have to start with …

Sunday Shuffle #429

Lots to do and I want to be able to do some reading and watching for me as well, so let's get right to today's ten...

1. Sleep Tonight/Stars (9) - last played on 5/1/16
2. Wet Cement/The Morning Benders (8) - last played on 12/22/10
3. Sweet Tooth/King Khan And The Shrines (5) - last played on 12/16/12
4. Neglekted/The Afghan Whigs (29) - last played on 8/15/14
5. The Next Messiah/Jenny Lewis (7) - last played on 10/27/13
6. The Hill/Ty Segall (13) - last played on 11/1/15
7. Got It Bad/The Broken West (10) - last played on 9/2/12
8. The Meat Of Life/Clem Snide (18) - last played on 3/11/15
9. Apocalypse Dreams/Tame Impala (4) - last played on 11/3/14
10. 15 Step/Radiohead (18) - last played on 3/13/16

Sunday Shuffle #428

Today feels like a shuffle day, so let's get right to today's ten...

1. Nothing Is Good Enough/Aimee Mann (5) - last played on 11/1/15
2. Atom/British Sea Power (3) - last played on 3/13/11
3. Kingdom of Love/The Soft Boys (9) - last played on 4/10/16
4. House Of Cards/Radiohead (22) - last played on 11/13/15
5. Jealousy/Spoon (11) - last played on 6/20/15
6. Museum Of Flight/Damien Jurado (15) - last played on 3/22/16
7. Little Hill/Telekinesis (14) - last played on 9/1/15
8. Revenge/Spoon (10) - last played on 6/5/15
9. It Takes All Kinds/Aimee Mann (4) - last played on 3/10/15
10. Baby, We'll Be Fine/The National (5) - last played on 3/4/16

Sunday Sculpt #1

I mentioned about a month ago that I was unsure whether I wanted to go forward with the Sunday Shuffle on a regular basis or not. I've had the idea of the Sunday Sculpt in my head for many months, but I wasn't sure if it was something I really wanted to commit to. Well, I can at least try it out and see if I like it. So, here we are.

What is the Sunday Sculpt? It's a way for me to include music by artists that I mostly have on CD. Obviously, I can't shuffle massive amounts of albums, as would be the case for, say, Springsteen or Tom Petty. I still don't want to ignore all this music I love. I also like creating playlists, but I haven't really put one together in a while. The Sunday Sculpt is a way to combine those two desires. I'll come up with a spontaneous playlist for one artist (or maybe based around a theme at some point) and instead of putting play counts and last played information, I'll write a few words about why I chose the song or what have y…

Sunday Shuffle #427

I've still been on a high from last weekend's Matthew Sweet show and have shuffled his music a handful of times since then. Heck, I'm even wearing my brand-new Matthew Sweet shirt that my wife bought me. Rather than subject you to yet another Sunday Sweet, I decided to just make this a regular episode. Usually, I let the shuffle run all day, but I started the great Drive-By Truckers live album, It's Great To Be Alive!, last night and I want to get back to that. The new DBTs album is less than 2 weeks away! Okay, enough geeking out about music; it's time for today's ten...

1. Reptile Style/Reigning Sound (6) - last played on 4/5/15
2. Care of Cell 44/The Zombies (14) - last played on 3/6/16
3. NW Apt./Band of Horses (30) - last played on 6/8/16
4. Uglier/Redd Kross (5) - last played on 3/14/15
5. Heartbreaker/The Walkmen (24) - last played on 11/7/15
6. The Rake's Song/The Decemberists (7) - last played on 12/13/15
7. Charmer/Aimee Mann (19) - last played on…

Heavy Rotation #29

One problem I've had with listening to a majority of music via Spotify is that I don't have a record of what I've been listening to...which sometimes means I forget about music that I really like. I decided to start writing down what I listen to back on July 10, so I have a pretty good idea of the albums I've listened to quite a bit since then. So, here's what I've been into...

Big Thief/Masterpiece - I first heard the title track on All Songs Considered and was immediately taken with its rock crunch, jagged guitar solo, and the sweeping voice of lead singer Adrianne Lenkar. I was happy that the rest of the album lived up to the promise of that first song. The opener, "Little Arrow," is bare bones, just an acoustic guitar and Lenkar's voice; it feels like a field recording, with some slight distortion or maybe a blown speaker effect. It's an affecting little tune and makes the guitar and drums opening of "Masterpiece" that much more e…

Sunday Sweet #2 (Sunday Shuffle #426)

I posted the first Sunday Sweet back in April, right after it was announced that Matthew Sweet would be playing this year's Popcorn Fest. I ripped my CDs to iTunes and talked about how the play counts would be much higher the next time I devoted a Sunday Shuffle to his music. Well. the Popcorn Fest is this coming Saturday and while I'm still very excited to see him perform...I haven't gorged on his music this summer. I started going through his albums last weekend and haven't gotten all the way through one time yet. So, the play counts are still low, but like I said last time, I've listened to most of these on CD a hundred times or more. I wonder what his setlist will be...and I hope to see some of you there!

1. The Ugly Truth (3) - from Altered Beast
2. Sunrise Eyes (4) - from Sunshine Lies
3. Pleasure Is Mine (7) - from Sunshine Lies
4. If Time Permits (2) - from In Reverse
5. Do It Again (3) - from Altered Beast
6. We're The Same (3) - from 100% Fun
7. Girlf…

Sunday Shuffle #425

I can't believe I've done this 425 times. I've been wondering lately if it my be time to retire this feature, in large part because I don't add very many albums to my iTunes anymore. Plus, I have tons of albums I haven't ripped, so artists like Tom Petty and Drive-By Truckers and R.E.M. have little to no representation and I have all their albums. Still, I don't know that I'm ready to give this up because it's been part of my Sunday for so many years. In fact, I'm already planning for next week to be a single artist focus again. Anyway, while I'm not sure what the future holds for the Shuffle, I do know I'm ready to get to today's ten...

1. Between The Bars/Elliott Smith (10) - last played on 2/1/15
2. M.O.R. (Live In Utrecht)/Blur (4) - last played on 5/22/16
3. No Way/Sonic Youth (5) - last played on 2/14/16
4. Where Did I Leave That Fire/Neko Case (23) - last played on 8/10/16
5. The Past Is A Grotesque Animal/Of Montreal (5) - last p…

Sunday Shuffle #424

Got up to run this morning, but my back had other ideas. Hope I can get it back in shape soon (see what I did there) - the Popcorn Panic is in less than 3 weeks!

In the meantime, let's get to today's ten...

1. Pretty Mary K (Other Version)/Elliott Smith (7) - last played on 5/15/16
2. Do It Anyway/Ben Folds Five (12) - last played on 2/1/15
3. Kiss/Prince (3) - last played on 3/6/16
4. And I Was a Boy From School/Portastatic (5) - last played on 11/22/15
5. No Key, No Plan/Okkervil River (7) - last played on 7/14/13
6. Past Time/The Baseball Project (6) - last played on 2/21/16
7. Cigarettes, Wedding Bands/Band of Horses (4) - last played on 6/19/16
8. I'll Take It/Tom Adamson (10) - last played on 7/31/16
9. Black Mirror/Arcade Fire (9) - last played on 7/17/16
10. Rider/Okkervil River (15) - last played on 5/8/16

Sunday Shuffle #423

I finished in the pool on Friday, started my classwork yesterday, and start school on Wednesday. The calendar says summer lasts for another month plus, but it is quickly coming to an end mentally. I'm gearing up to make this a great school year - my 9th at Central. I'll be student teaching starting in March, which will be here before I know it, I'm sure. I'm going to do my best to balance between school and school and swimming lessons and life, to try to not get bogged down in the work and stress about it. I know I won't be able to engage in pop culture as much as I'd like, but that's okay. I'll appreciate every book I do get to read or TV show I'm able to keep up with. The one good thing is that music is always able to be a constant. Don't know what I'd do without it. Anyway, I got a little rambly this morning and I apologize if I bored you. Just a little State of the Justin for the 2016-2017 school year. Let's get on with today's t…

Sunday Shuffle #422

I have one week left in the pool teaching summer swimming lessons.

My first TTT course of my second and final year in the program starts Saturday.

School starts in 10 days.

Let's pretend none of this is happening and get to some music...

1. Be Good/Tokyo Police Club (6) - last played on 1/24/16
2. Care, I Don't Care/Irving (8) - last played on 10/26/14
3. Wall of Dumb/Higgins (11) - last played on 12/6/15
4. Dry Land/Buffalo Tom (8) - last played on 1/31/16
5. How To Hang A Warhol/Little Joy (8) - last played on 11/9/14
6. Weird Summer/Velvet Crush (14) - last played on 8/2/16
7. Run Thru/My Morning Jacket (6) - last played on 2/21/16
8. Kicked In/Superchunk (19) - last played on 3/22/15
9. Scythian Empires/Andrew Bird (9) - last played on 11/29/15
10. Snowy/Josh Rouse (9) - last played on 2/21/16

Sunday Shuffle #421

I was on the fence about whether I wanted to do one of these today, but it looks like I'm going ahead so here are today's ten...

1. All The Way/Hoodoo Gurus (5) - last played on 8/14/11
2. From Now On/Nada Surf (8) - last played on 6/4/16
3. Sleep Like a Baby Tonight/U2 (1) - still haven't bothered to download this whole (free) album
4. Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood/St. Vincent (10) - last played on 8/9/15
5. The Cabbage/Teenage Fanclub (7) - last played on 2/2/16
6. The Strangers/St. Vincent (9) - last played on 2/21/16
7. I'll Take It/Tom Adamson (9) - last played on 10/26/14
8. We End Up Together/The New Pornographers (18) - last played on 6/14/15
9. Girl In The War/Josh Ritter (12) - last played on 4/28/15
10. Sentimental Heart/She & Him (4) - last played on 11/22/15

Sunday Slack (Sunday Shuffle #420)

I'm not super excited about my title for this specific band's shuffle, but they were often described as "slacker rock" back in the 90s and it fits my alliterative parameter, so here we are. I heard their cover of "The Killing Moon" on KEXP last month and it is amazing. I've been playing it a lot (via Spotify) and digging into their music again. This is another band I love that I was ignorant of during that decade (see also Superchunk, Teenage Fanclub, etc.). I have all five albums on iTunes plus an extra track and as I'm typing this I realize I should probably download the other songs of their "greatest hits" before I actually shuffle, so (virutally) stand by...

Okay, that's sorted. At some point I really need to rip the deluxe editions of their first two albums as well, but for now, let's get to the music. Oh, the band? Pavement.

1. Unseen Power Of The Picket Fence (1) - from No Alternative
2. Major Leagues (16) - from Terror Twil…

Sunday Shuffle #419

Today's my 23rd anniversary, so I'm taking the shuffle all the way to 23 songs..

1. She Comes To Me In Dreams/Great Lake Swimmers (6) - last played on 2/28/16
2. on the occasion of a departure (ps 39:4)/The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers (7) - last played on 10/21/12
3. Electric Music/Band of Horses (16) - last played on 6/9/16
4. Racing Like A Pro/The National (16) - last played on 4/9/16
5. Radio Campaign/M. Ward (4) - last played on 3/25/12
6. Fear City/Elliott Smith (7) - last played on 10/5/14
7. 36 Inches High/Nick Lowe (7) - last played on 1/3/16
8. Brief Candles/The Zombies (14) - last played on 5/22/16
9. I Want To/Best Coast (9) - last played on 5/22/16
10. Ballad Of Wendy Baker/Ben Kweller (14) - last played on 10/11/15
11. Back to Your Heart/Dinosaur Jr. (10) - last played on 2/20/16
12. Patterns/Telekinesis (26) - last played on 4/10/16
13. In My Dreams/Eels (7) - last played on 2/21/16
14. The Appleblossom Rag/Josh Ritter (19) - last played on 11/22/15

Sunday Shuffle #418

It's been two weeks since the last shuffle and four weeks since the last regular edition of the shuffle, so it feels like it's time to get back to the usual routine. I haven't pulled up iTunes since before our 4th of July trip, so I decided to sync up my phone to make sure all of the play counts are updated before I started today. I'm also working on another post, which may be up later today...but might not be until mid-week. We'll see. For now, though, let's get to today's ten...

1. He Doesn't Know Why/Fleet Foxes (6) - last played on 1/31/16
2. Endless Grey Ribbon/Nick Lowe (8) - last played on 5/19/13
3. Something In The Water/The Henry Clay People (8) - last played on 5/29/16
4. In The Hearts Of Men/First Aid Kit (11) - last played on 3/13/15
5. Georgia, Georgia/Elliott Smith (5) - last played on 2/17/13
6. Words You Used To Say/Dean & Britta (5) - last played on 12/27/15
7. Romans 10:9/The Mountain Goats (6) - last played on 4/16/15
8. I Didn&#…

Sunday Scots #2 (Sunday Shuffle #417)

The first Sunday Scots edition of the Shuffle was back on March 29 of last year (my 44th birthday even). At the time, I said that Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub was saying they were close to finishing a new album and I was excited by that prospect. It wasn't until this week, however, that they announced the new album, Here, will be coming out on Sept. 9. Furthermore, they released the first song and I'm already in love with "I'm In Love." Since I have the band on the brain, I figured it was a perfect time for the second edition of Sunday Scots. I'm also sure that the third edition will happen not long after Here comes out.

A note before we get to today's ten: The Shuffle will not appear next Sunday, as we will be hanging out on Canada Lake in the Adirondacks with family for the 4th of July weekend. I hope everyone enjoys that weekend as much as I'm sure I will. Okay, music time...

1, I Gotta Know (16) - from Grand Prix
2. Commercial Alternative (9) -…

Sunday Soar (Sunday Shuffle #416)

It's time for another themed installment of Sunday Shuffle and today I'm focusing on Band of Horses. Their new album, Why Are You OK, came out just over a week ago and I've given it a few spins. It's a solid entry into their catalog, which includes four other albums; the 10th anniversary of their first album, Everything All The Time, occurred back in March. There are 55 songs spread over those five albums (the first album and Cease To Begin were only recently loaded into iTunes), which means we'll get to 18% of them this morning. Before we get to today's ten, I'd like to take a moment and wish a Happy Father's Day to those it applies to, with a special mention to two big music fans who are celebrating their first one - Ryan McCracken (my awesome cousin) and Brett Evans (who just became a father this week)! Alright, let's hear some tunes!

1. Neighbor (30) - from Infinite Arms
2. Compliments (29) - from Infinite Arms
3. Weed Party (7) - from Everythin…

Sunday Shuffle #415

It's a late edition of the Sunday Shuffle this week. Grant's graduation and open house were the events of the weekend, so it's been a little busy around here. I've been back from taking my brother to the airport for about a half hour and there's no way I can focus on any schoolwork today, so I thought I listen to some music and veg out for a bit. Hope everyone else has enjoyed their weekend as much as we did!

1. Backstabbin'/Sloan (19) - last played on 1/9/16
2. Reverse Running/Atoms For Peace (8) - last played on 12/5/13
3. Be Invited/The Twilight Singers (12) - last played on 5/22/16
4. Miss The Misery/Foo Fighters (34) - last played on 6/10/16
5. Pieces/Dinosaur Jr. (16) - last played on 3/6/16
6. Valerie/Crooked Fingers (8) - last played on 1/30/16
7. Fortune Teller/Sugar (9) - last played on 5/5/16
8. Honey Bee/Superchunk (21) - last played on 7/13/15
9. Delta Momma Blues/Steve Earle (4) - last played on 4/14/13
10. Play The Part/Little Joy (7) - last play…

Sunday Shuffle #414

I'd started a non-Sunday Shuffle post a few days ago, deciding I should use June to get back to some actual content...but I gave up pretty quickly. I still have two weeks left of my teaching course and Grant graduates next weekend and I start swimming lessons tomorrow, so time isn't my friend right now. Add to that the fact I'm way behind my book pace for the year and I still have a bunch of TV shows to catch up on and podcasts galore, so I'm not really up on things to write about either. Maybe in a couple of weeks I'll be ready to go. Until then, you'll get some more Sunday Shuffles.

Here are today's ten...

1. Rude/Dinosaur Jr. (13) - last played on 6/4/16
2. Roscoe/Midlake (7) - last played on 3/12/15
3. History of Lovers//Iron And Wine/Calexico (6) - last played on 2/28/16
4. Everywhere/Ex Hex (18) - last played on 4/18/16
5. Step/Vampire Weekend (18) - last played on 4/26/15
6. Wonderful/Josh Rouse (5) - last played on 8/16/15
7. The Well and the Lighth…

Sunday Shuffle #413

Summer is here and I'm happy that it is. Jill finished school this week, but Grant and I have to go through Friday. I have the week off from my TTT course, so I'm going to catch up on some reading and TV. There was baseball I could watch yesterday and I can watch some again today, so you can bet I'll be doing that. Few things bring me joy more than baseball and a book in my lap for between innings.

Here's today's ten...

1. I 4 U & U 4 Me (Home Demo)/The Decemberists (15) - last played on 8/19/15
2. Part One/Band of Horses (6) - last played on 5/7/16
3. Shame Chamber/Kurt Vile (5) - last played on 7/23/15
4. In the Eyes of My Friends/Sugar (2) - last played on 10/5/14
5. I Could Have Done This Myself/Lightspeed Champion (4) - last played on 9/1/14
6. Nonstop Disco Powerpack/The Beastie Boys (10) - 5/15/16
7. Mountain/Lucero (7) - last played on 4/29/12
8. Evergreen/Matthew Sweet (1) - played countless times on CD
9. The Sleeping Beauty/American Music Club (4) - …

Sunday Shuffle #412

I need to be knee deep in schoolwork today and I would like to finish the book I'm reading too (I'm now officially 8 books behind pace to make my goal for the year), so I'm going to jump right into today's ten...

1. Car Radio/Spoon (18) - last played on 8/9/15
2. Looking Over My Shoulder/Elliott Smith (9) - last played on 5/17/15
3. Every Single Switch/Centro-Matic (5) - last played on 7/15/12
4. Slow Fade/Teenage Fanclub (11) - last played on 2/21/16
5. England/The National (25) - last played on 3/11/16
6. Brief Candles/The Zombies (13) - last played on 10/31/12
7. I Got the Hots/The Soft Boys (9) - last played on 1/17/16
8. Snakes in the Grass/The Essex Green (8) - last played on 2/2/16
9. Watch Out For Me Ronnie/Yo La Tengo (10) - last played on 12/13/15
10. New York, New York/Ryan Adams (3) - last played on 3/22/16

Sunday Shuffle #411

Had my best run of the year this morning - 3 miles in 24:18, an 8:06 pace. So, with that blazing speed (ha ha) in mind, let's get right to today's ten...

1. From Ghost Town/Robert Forster (10) - last played on 2/7/16
2. Bedouin Dress/Fleet Foxes (15) - last played on 2/20/16
3. Teenage Kicks/Portastatic (5) - last played on 3/24/13
4. Mornington Crescent/Belle and Sebastian (9) - last played on 1/11/15
5. Choose to Play/Redd Kross (6) - last played on 2/28/16
6. Getting Ready to Get Down/Josh Ritter (10) - last played on 12/29/15
7. Porchlight/Buffalo Tom (16) - last played on 3/9/15
8. Talking Backwards/Real Estate (6) - last played on 3/27/16
9. Eden Was A Garden/Roman Candle (4) - last played on 8/16/15
10. Burn Through Love/Matthew Sweet (5) - last played on 4/17/16

Sunday Shuffle #410

It's the Mother's Day edition of the Sunday Shuffle...which doesn't really change much of anything. We are going to see Captain America; Civil War in a little while and I have cleaning to do, so there will probably be a gap in the songs this morning. Not that you'll notice, but I thought I'd give you the inside baseball.

I saw Bob Mould in concert at The Metro with my friend Scott on Friday night. It was a great show. I almost made today's shuffle one that just focused on him, but since I've mostly listened to him this week, I thought I'd take a tour around my iTunes instead. If you're interested, I put together a Spotify playlist of the set.

Anyway, Happy Mother's Day to those of you to whom this applies! Let's get to today's ten...

1. Shadow of Love/Sloan (27) - last played on 11/27/15
2. Cheers and Applause/Portastatic (6) - last played on 5/3/15
3. Pedestrian At Best/Courtney Barnett (15) - last played on 5/1/16
4. Armchairs/Andrew B…

Sunday Shuffle #409

We haven't seen the sun in a while here in NW Indiana; the last time I saw the sun was when we flew into Louisville on our first leg home from Baltimore Monday night. So, please, sun, come and visit!

Speaking of Baltimore, we had a wonderful time not only at my cousin Lauren's wedding to Nick, but also throughout the whole weekend with all the family. A week ago today six of us walked out to Fell's Point, a really cool section of the city, and sat outside for brunch, shopped for records, ate ice cream, and more. We hung with the family at our great rental place in the afternoon and I finished off playing lots of euchre with my brother, cousin, and father. So much fun.

Last night was prom, which went very well. I didn't get to bed until 2:00, but I got up and had a great 3 mile run this morning. I need to get a lot of schoolwork done while my brain is still functioning well, so I'm going to shut up now and get to today's ten...

1. Right Back Where We Started Fro…

Sunday Sweet (Sunday Shuffle #408)

I still can't wrap my head around the news that Matthew Sweet is playing the Popcorn Festival this year. I have been a fan for almost 25 years, ever since Girlfriend came out in October 1991. That album is in my top ten, for sure, and could even be my all-time favorite. His 1995 album 100% Fun is also a favorite and I never take a road trip with the CD in the car. Heck, his music is probably what fueled my love of power pop. So, this news is pretty darn exciting.

I decided to load his CDs into iTunes last night, so I could do a shuffle with his music today. I had a couple albums in already, but the play counts are going to be extremely low today. Oh well. I've listened to all these songs many many times. I'm sure that by the time the concert comes around (and I most likely do another Sunday Sweet) the play counts will be higher.

If you're not familiar with his music (or forgot about him since in the mid-90s), check out the Spotify playlist that I'll link to later t…

Sunday Shuffle #407

Life is very busy right now, so my Saturday Song idea is on hold for a while. I'll get back to it when I can. Meanwhile, I have quite a bit of schoolwork to do today, so let's get right to today's ten...

1. Ill Wills/Shout Out Louds (7) - last played on 3/14/15
2. Sunken Union Boat/John Vanderslice (5) - last played on 1/18/15
3. The Great Unknown/The Damnwells (9) - last played on 4/4/15
4. Sean/Foo Fighters (9) - last played on 3/22/16
5. Blankest Year/Nada Surf (5) - last played on 4/6/16
6. Flaming Heart/M. Ward (6) - last played on 3/20/15
7. Satanic Messiah/The Mountain Goats (6) - last played on 4/24/15
8. You Can't Help Me Now/The Both (11) - last played on 7/21/15
9. Calculating Bimbo/Belle & Sebastian (15) - last played on 1/13/15
10. Give It Time/Old 97s (15) - last played on 3/26/16

Sunday Sloan #2 (Sunday Shuffle #406)

I've been slacking on my music posts over the past two weekends, skipping two potential Saturday Songs and a Sunday Shuffle. It can be blamed on my spring break or on the fact I've been listening to a whole bunch of new music or that I've been trying to catch up on TV. I used to get annoyed with myself when I missed weeks, but these days I'm okay with it.

I know my last Shuffle was dedicated to one artist, but I couldn't help myself today. Last night I was listening to One Chord To Another, which Sloan just put out in a deluxe vinyl version (these are times when I wish I had a record player), and went on YouTube to find the b-sides. From there, I rewatched their KEXP performance from when Commonwealth had come out...and then I watched a show they did at Massey Hall that was just put up in December. So, the Sloan addiction is full on this morning. If you don't know this band, please listen to the Spotify playlist that I'll put up later. You won't regret …

Sunday Surf (Sunday Shuffle #405)

Nada Surf released their seventh studio album, You Know Who You Are, two weeks ago. I've been a fan of the band since Let Go in 2002 and was really looking forward to the new one so much so that I listened to their music a lot in the days before that release. As part of that process, I ripped their CDs into iTunes so I could play everything I owned; I only had their last album, 2012's The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy, as a digital release. That all goes to explaining the play count disparity between songs from different albums and why play counts are so low for an album like The Weight Is A Gift (from 2005), which is one of my favorite albums. I might as well mention their other two albums that might appear on today's shuffle - Lucky from 2008 and If I Had A Hi-Fi from 2010, which is a covers record. If you don't know the band, you owe it to yourself to listen along at some point this week via my Spotify playlist, or just start with Let Go and work your way forwa…

Saturday Song #3

This song came to mind this week for two reasons:

1. This band, one of my favorites, has been posting pictures and video of themselves in the studio working on their 11th album this week.

2. Thursday was St. Patrick's Day and the first graders were all about hunting for leprechauns and four leaf clovers at recess.

That means this week's song can be nothing other than...

"Four Leaf Clover" by Old 97s

Too Far To Care was not my first Old 97s album, but it was my second. I started with Fight Songs in 1999, loved it, and immediately went back to pick up TFTC, which had come out in 1997. Turned out I loved TFTC even more, to the point where it's one of my all-time favorite albums. "Four Leaf Clover" is the last song on the album and takes it out on a great note.

It starts with a bit of feedback and then Philip Peeples brings in a pounding drum attack. After a strum of an electric guitar, Murry Hammond comes in with a fantastic bass line. The song builds from t…

Sunday Shuffle #404

I hope everyone remembered to move their clocks ahead last night (and checked out my second Saturday Song post!). I thought I would get into the spirit of springing forward with today's shuffle, so I'm going to post the second 10 songs that come up...springing past the normal "today's ten." Why not?

11. Punch of Love/Jay Gonzalez (12) - last played on 9/27/15
12. The Government Darling/Spoon (9) - last played on 2/18/16
13. Love To A Monster/Okkervil River (13) - last played on 12/13/15
14. I Should Have Known/Foo Fighters (34) - last played on 2/19/16
15. Miss Teen Wordpower/The New Pornographers (3) - last played on 6/14/15
16. In Line/Sharon Van Etten (8) - last played on 9/1/13
17. Said The People/Dinosaur Jr. (16) - last played on 2/12/16
18. Mansions of Los Feliz/Eels (6) - last played on 1/10/16
19. Drop Me Off/Pela (5) - last played on 8/26/12
20. Just Because/Earlimart (10) - last played on 2/28/16

Saturday Song #2

I've realized something important about this new feature...it's going to be difficult to decide what song to write about each week. There are so many great songs, so how do I go about narrowing it down? As it happens, today (or yesterday, depending on which website you look at) is the 25th anniversary of the release of Out of Time, and learning that fact this morning made for an easy decision...

"Me In Honey" by R.E.M.

I knew a little about R.E.M. before 1991. I sang along on the radio to "The One I Love" in 1987 and again to "Stand" in 1988, but that was as far as I took it. In 1991, though, I was starting to branch out and try new music and "Losing My Religion" was all over the radio, so I bought my first R.E.M. album. It was not my last, to be sure. Speaking of last, the band has always had a way with album closers. Think "Wendell Gee" from Fables of the Reconstruction, "Electrolite" from New Adventures in Hi-Fi, &q…

Heavy Rotation #28

Here's what I've been mostly listening to for the last month or so...

Foo Fighters/Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace and Sonic Highways - The Foos were featured in my last Heavy Rotation way back in October and I suggested then that they would appear in future editions. Obviously, I was right. My Foo resurgence continued with the TV version of Sonic Highways, which I got for Christmas, and watching those episodes did not make me sick of the songs. In fact, I only wanted to listen to them more, especially opener "Something From Nothing," which is played in every episode. The song is Foo Fighters in a nutshell - quiet opening, pounding drums, power chords, a solid melody, a guitar solo, and lyrics that might not make total sense but sound good when you're singing along. That combination totally works for me right now and Sonic Highways delivers in spades - from the snarl of "The Feast and the Famine" (track #2) to the epic sweep of "I Am A River&q…

Sunday Shuffle #403

The Heavy Rotation that I thought would get posted during the week ran up against my schoolwork. I was able to get most of the rest of it written yesterday, however, so I should go up this week. In the meantime, I hope you checked out my first Saturday Song post; if not, please check it out. If anyone has any feedback, please offer it up via the comments or Facebook or Twitter. As always, you can listen along to the Shuffle each week over on Spotify.

I'm seeing Bob Mould two months from today...wonder if he'll make it in today's ten...

1. Why Do You Have To Put A Date On Everything/Superchunk (20) - last played on 7/9/15
2. Talk on Indolence/The Avett Brothers (4) - last played on 3/14/15
3. Cheer It On/Tokyo Police Club (6) - last played on 11/3/14
4. Green Arrow/Yo La Tengo (3) - last played on 11/13/11
5. Truth Lies Low/The Drams (4) - last played on 7/19/11
6. Strange Mercy/St. Vincent (13) - last played on 12/20/15
7. This Is How It Always Starts/Grandaddy (6) - last …

Saturday Song #1

The idea for this new feature has been around for at least a couple years; I almost started in a few different times and then just...didn't. So, why start now? The blog has been fairly stagnant for a long while now and I want to get back to some actual writing. I do still enjoy doing the Sunday Shuffle, but that format doesn't lend itself to talking about the songs. There are so many great songs out there and I want to focus on one song a week, to tell you why I love it. I'm sure I will cover songs almost everyone knows and songs that only a handful of you know. Either way, I want to share my passion for music in another format. I will create a Spotify playlist to house every song that gets featured here, so that you can listen along if you're so inclined. Okay, let's get to our first song...

"Mary Jane's Last Dance" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

It was the era (the early 90s) when bands would put out a greatest hits album and include newly-record…