A late winter bus ride through the rolling, tree-lined hills of Appalachia not only introduced me to my two favorite albums in 2015 but confronted me with thoughts of pain and healing, injustice and equality while seated next to a stranger for hours on end. One album brought tears as I pondered the mortality of everyone I loved and my complicated feelings about the West Coast. The other brought anger – and a sense of awe – as it tackled racial inequality from a place of undefeated strength and joy.
2015 featured the aforementioned albums from Sufjan Stevens and Kendrick Lamar plus so many more I loved. Here are my Favorite Albums 2015 listed in descending order.
It’s mid-October, cold weather is a-comin’ and I am unprepared mentally, physically, spiritually, etc. Surprise, surprise. As a means of blocking out the coming winter and ignoring other pressing matters, today I’ve decided to write about 15 songs – my 2015 Favorite Song Nominees, for lack of a better phrase – that will certainly factor prominently on my year-end list.
Songs are listed in alphabetical order according to title. With one notable exception I elected to limit myself to one song per artist Below,. I’ve included my Faves 2015 Spotify playlist, featuring these 15 songs and many, many others. Enjoy!
Charles Bradley makes the list.
Goodbye, late-arriving summer. Hello, rainy and gray Pacific Northwest fall.
Yes, 2011 is nearly three-quarters in the books. That means I need to buy a suitable jacket, and also begin considering what my favorite songs and albums of 2011 are.
I’ll take a stab at songs first since 2011 has a bountiful crop. Below are 12 songs released this year that I love and could see naming my favorite song of 2011. That does not mean these songs will necessarily populate my top 12 spots at the end of the year though.
NOTE: I decided to list them in alphabetical order according to song title. Ranking them at this point would be an exercise in futility, since I know my mind will change between now and year’s end. Besides I ranked my favorite songs at this year’s midpoint.
BRAIDS made me lose track of time.
It was somewhere around the six-minute mark of Montreal dream pop quartet BRAIDS’ performance of the gorgeous, slow-burner “Native Speaker” at the Holocene when I saw the sun rise over southeast Portland Wednesday night.
Granted, the actual time was somewhere around 11:30 p.m., and I was in a tiny, dark room without a visible window, and the sun wouldn’t make an appearance the entire next day. Damn Portland weather!
But vocalist Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s spellbinding voice echoing the words “oh, you are my native speaker” through the veil of distorted guitar loops woke the sun from its slumber. Or at least it seemed that way to me.
BRAIDS floated into the Holocene in southeast Portland Wednesday night on a cloud of blogosphere buzz as thick as the beautiful haze on their debut record, Native Speaker. They shared the bill with fellow blog buzz band/headliner Baths, a one-man act whose emo lyrics, ADHD beats, and awkward, jerky stage movements I didn’t care for.