My third Christmas shopping guide looks at some of the top music box sets available in 2018. I previously looked at Black Friday's Record Store Day and the best new indie records. This post includes ornate albums that I have passed on for different reasons, but remain enticing. Treasures from my personal collection are also evaluated. Not only are there indie music and classic rock box sets, but also new and used ideas that have value for fans on different budgets.
The holiday season is upon us, which means that millions of people are looking for the best gift for the music fans in their lives. For the vinyl-inclined, you can find a quick guide to Record Store Day’s Black Friday selections here. For less exclusive picks for fans, new music is always a great gift. These ten new indie albums make great Christmas gifts in 2018. There is something for everyone, including R&B, psychedelic rock, and French pop.
Cover albums are often anti-climatic. Ten-ish artists are randomly thrown onto a record honoring a classic achievement or artist. Usually only one or two songs are worth the cost or time. One cover album that defies this norm is AHK-toong BAY-bi.
I love traveling. I hate flying. It can be a terrible experience. Cramped quarters, the usual full day that it takes for my ears to pop, and lack of sleep will hamper any enjoyment of being on a plane. Before I set foot in an airport, I stock my phone with a special flying playlist to cope with airplane anxiety. A few songs always make their way onto the list.
Two-and-a-half hours of hits. An icon on his final tour. A crowd that almost drowned out the performer on every big chorus. Elton John's concert in Philadelphia last Wednesday night was an unforgettable evening. The pop star played an epic show as he closed a chapter on a city he has played to for decades.
Petal has recorded a cover of Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky.” The band cut the single in a collaboration with Brooklyn artist Kevin Devine. In their version, Petal cut the signature synthesizer sound and decreased the tempo of the Long After Dark classic. The change altered the song's tone completely, creating a somber contrast to the original.
I just binged my way through the first season of HBO’s Insecure. I had heard good things about the show. I did not anticipate how much I would love Insecure’s soundtrack. It took me forever to get through the first season because I keep googling the music in every episode. One song from the series blew me away: 1500 or Nothin’s “Girl.
Aretha Franklin passed away today. The 76-year-old singer was more than her moniker alluded to. The Queen of Soul sang gospel, R&B, and even opera. She was not just a singer, but an individual whose voice blew away millions.
Instead of making things easier, the Internet has made it difficult to find a source for good new music. There are so many platforms that it is hard to narrow down the crazy amount of music that is out there in 2018. Whether it is rising talent or established artists who I have missed out on, I am always looking for fresh music. I listen to a lot of Adult Alternative and Indie, so Philadelphia’s WXPN is my most reliable source for interesting artists. I also listen to a few podcasts to supplement my perpetual curiosity. The podcasts that will help you discover new music are more than just playlists. They offer song deconstruction, live performance, and in-depth interviews.