Certain bands spark magic on the first listen. The debut Fitz and the Tantrums EP, Songs For A Breakup, Vol. 1 has that musical wizardry.
The Black Keys are back. Five years may not be a ridiculous absence for some bands, but Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach were everywhere in the beginning of the decade. Three career-changing records over four years vaulted the band into the elite tier of music acts. The ensuing half-decade turned out to be a long time for album number nine to come to fruition: The Black Keys' Let's Rock.
What kind of music do I take on a road trip? This question might be priority 85 for most people. This is something I spent more time on than planning the route (or really anything) from Philly to Lake Winnipesauke, New Hampshire. The ten-hour, six-state, 437-mile drive is a long time. Podcasts are not really an option. I listen to baseball and pop-culture podcasts. My wife prefers current event and true crime podcasts. Music it is.
HBO always plugs great music into their TV shows. It is impossible to watch the smash drama Big Little Lies without noticing the song from the opening credits. The song is "Cold Little Heart" by Michael Kiwanuka. It is a perfect choice for the show's theme music and a brilliant start to Big Little Lies.
Anyone who squeezed into Union Transfer last Friday was rewarded with a full-throttle show from Strand of Oaks. Supported by Wild Pink, the concert was the last on their joint North American tour leg. The bands packed passion, energy, and a lot of guitar into the homecoming gig for Philly's Strand of Oaks.
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.