Guest Post: Top 3 records of 2015 so far

I am still working through music my dear friend Anthony has shared with me over the past 10 years — I think I asked him to stop in 2008, so I could catch up. This week, I asked Anthony if he’d contribute to my blog with his favorites of 2015:

Something I’ve noticed among a lot of my peers, friends and acquaintances. An unscientific large percentage saw their pursuit of music stop right after college graduation. I can understand this as people get busy with jobs, kids, pets and life in general. While I understand, I can’t relate.

I’ve been actively seeking out music for the last 31 years. Even before, I loved listening to the radio. My 9th grade year, 1984 was when I discovered bands like Joy Division, The Cure, R.E.M. and The Replacements and the curiosity to keep learning never abated.

Oddly, I’ve never been in a band and never really had the desire to. While I enjoy concerts and shows, I have always preferred listening to music at home or with friends to being at a live venue. I get asked often for recommendations and often end up asking the person more questions about what they like and ultimately end up annoying about 6 out of every 10 people who ask me about music.

I’m going to share a few records from this year which I really have enjoyed. I’m positive there are plenty of online reviews which will add more detail about them.

Father John Misty — I Love You Honeybear

Father John is a guy named Josh Tillman who has recorded a few albums under this moniker as well as under “J Tillman.” He was also drummer in Fleet Foxes for a while. This record is a throwback to 1970’s AM Soft Gold. He’s urbane and witty, but also heartfelt and sincere. Making a folky roots record in 2015 can be painfully derivative. Making a collection of great songs is timeless no matter the year. This is like a good pot of gumbo, let the temperature subside so you can taste all the layers. Don’t approach it hungry, let it invite you in over a few listens. The producer is Jonathan Wilson who has made a few fantastic records of his own over the last few years.

THEESatisfaction — EarthEE

People don’t realize that Seattle is a hotbed for fantastic hip hop. Conscious hip hop which bends styles of music into a rich combination of sounds and poetry which really defies words. You just have to listen. The two women in THEESatisfaction have created a flowing record of psychedelic, post modern music which I’ll probably have my head fully around in say, October. There are quite a few guest spots on this from their peers in this movement. If you think “I don’t like rap,” give this a try.

Viet Cong — Viet Cong (self-titled)

I love darkwave/post-punk more than any other genre. I’ll listen to bad albums by bad bands who wear their Bauhaus influences on their sleeve. When great albums by great bands like Viet Cong come along, I’m over the moon. This isn’t simple derivative copycatting here. This is an album carefully thought out and sequenced. It has a true beginning, middle and end. Like any good post punk record, it makes you nervous and jumpy with the mix of futuristic angularity and low-fi basslines and rhythm. This delivers everything I look for.

What are your favorites from 15?

Categories: music

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14 replies

  1. i’m always seeking out new music too – my favs are everything avett brothers. thanks for the new music suggestions, i’ll check them out. )


    • You might like that J Tillman country dude if you like the Avett Brothers. I haven’t listened to them much but think they’re in the same proverbial rodeo. My friend Anthony is like a savant with music. I’m hoping he’ll start his own blog because he’s like a fountain of musical knowledge. Good to have people like that in your life.


  2. I’ve listened to a few of the tracks from Father John’s album and the other two are new to me.

    Hip Hop is not my favourite style though the track Recognition by THEESatisfaction that I found on their site made me want to explore more of their music and even if I’m not as unconditional about darkwave/post-punk, I’m already listening to another one of Viet Cong’s tracks.

    I’ve listened mostly to preview singles so far this year.
    The first that caught my attention is from an older band, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Do The Get Down:

    Courtney Barnett is one of my recent favourites. Post-Grunge with clever lyrics and, after a couple of EPs, she is releasing her first LP this year:

    Dead Sara is hard rock band from LA and I like there latest single Mona Lisa from their upcoming album:


    • Lovely. Well shucks, enjoyed all those videos – especially the JSBX. Nice to hear them sounding as fresh as they sounded in the mid 90s. And that video is quite gripping, all those NYC references…very fun. The Courtney Barnett is getting lots of play here, unabashed kind of “Teen Spirit” right? And I like the Dead Sara too, thanks for sharing.

      I ordered the Viet Cong CD off Amazon so I can have the extra “album only” track. They played a live in-studio here in Seattle yesterday and their last song must have gone for about 15+ minutes. It kept acting like it was going to stop, but kept going, and had this insane kind of Sabbath quality to it. I can’t wait to get the CD and listen to it top to bottom, and immerse myself in some blackened blood voodoo. Thanks for playing my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Literally my pleasure. As you have probably noticed, I’m a bit of a music nerd.


      • You’re in good company.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! That’s where I first heard them, on the radio playing this session. Now I’ll have to watch it – can’t wait! Thanks! And I have a friend coming tomorrow from Portland; I’m going to subject him to this. Thanks for thinking of me on this. What do you think of their record? I was going to put on Physical Graffiti but maybe I ought to do that now. My tinnitus is rather sharp today, though. Cheers, – Bill

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome. Since I heard about them in this post, the association with yourself is probably permanent. I could not not share a session on a Seattle station. 🙂
        I’m sampling on YouTube and enjoying it. I can tell that if I relistened and/or was more relaxed, i could really get into them. I’ll be vacationing in Vancouver in a couple of weeks. That might give me the right environment.


      • It’s funny to think this kind of music could be more enjoyable were you more relaxed. I love it! Edgy! Have you been to Vancouver before? I love that city; just been there a few times but took the train twice and it’s a beautiful ride between Seattle and BC, especially if you take the observatory car that has a bar.


      • I grew up there and will be spending time with siblings and offspring.

        Their music is intense with a lot going on and the same goes for me these last couple of weeks. My break will give me the time to give it a “real” listen.


      • Good, sounds like you really need a break. Replace some old fuses and get in touch with some good music. Amen to that, and happy Friday.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. While I’m not a music nerd (or anything coming close to it) I do have several in my immediate location. My kids have grown rather fond of Shpongle (very electronica) and Kitaro (also electronica, but with an eastern flair) -and have introduced me.

    The new music I found/loved last year had to be The Black Moods (decidedly Rockabilly) – the BF’s band opened for them in their only live show of the year.

    And if you’re interested in the BF’s band (which has been accused of being Apocalyptic Art Rock) go to youtube and look up Statobahn. They reformed last year as The Beltempest, but there’s not much up on the ‘net under that name yet.


    • Are you sure you’re not a music nerd? Sounds like you’ve got a touch of it, should get it checked, could be the BF or your kids’ influence…I will check the BF ref, thanks Peg. That Kitaro sounds like the same band I listened to in the 80s with lava lamps and tapestries and so forth. Friends with pony-tails. You get the picture. Cool that you like rockabilly: absolutely nothing wrong with that. One of the best radio programs for that I’ve heard is on 6-9 PM Friday nights on KEXP, you can stream if interested. One of the DJ’s has been doing it for about 20 years and the other is a kooky paralegal I used to work with. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

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