Music Albums That Mean Something To Me

These albums are (mostly?) just in alphabetical order. They represent things to me and mostly likely nothing to you. They are simply here as a list. Maybe someday I’ll write more about what they represent, but today is not that day. Tomorrow’s not looking too hot either.

Mix Tape #19

Why am I starting at 19? I'm really only starting to post here starting with #19. For better or worse, I started posting music related stuff on a Facebook page for my radio dj persona, Mister Orange. But you can embed YouTube just about anywhere, so might as well put them here as well.

2017 Music Round Up

Here is my jwz inspired list of music. He’s not a stickler for the year it was released, but so much of what ended up in my collection this year was not from 2017, I decided to be the stickler. With few exceptions, music has been coming into my library through Apple Music. Yes, I know that I don’t own anything on this list and that it could all be taken away from me with the flip of a switch. I’m 44 now and I don’t have time for your discussion of ownership and copyright law. I’m quite content being wrong.

With that out of the way, here’s 2017:

  • The xx - I See You

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m having a tough time telling one The xx album from another. Still good though.

  • Japandroids - Near to the Wild Heart of Life

    Just pure rock ‘n’ roll. Anthemic, if you will. I guess they broke up and then got back together. Either way there’s some great tracks on this album.

  • The Orwells - Terrible Human Beings

    Just some crazy kids from Chicago (roughly) that want to play loud music.

  • Depeche Mode - Spirit

    Wait, they’re still around? Yup. Still around.

  • Goldfrapp - Silver Eye

    iTunes lists this as “alternative”, which…you know, sure. Synth heavy tunes with sultry vocals. You already know if you like it or not.

  • Future Islands - The Far Field

    This was their breakout year, with tons of press, but they’ve been around for a while and I’m glad to see them getting the attention. I kind of envision them as Joe Cocker doing New Order covers, which I hope you find quite awesome.

  • The New Pornagraphers - Whiteout Conditions

    Hooray! Canadian rock banks!

  • Cold War Kids - LA DIVINE

    They have their catchy songs and their not so catchy songs…

  • Gorillaz - Humanz

    I honestly haven’t listened to this since it came out. This is basically a collection of Gorillaz instrumentals with other people doing the vocals. I think…

  • K.Flay - Every Where Is Some Where

    If you haven’t gotten into K.Flay, do it. Do it now.

  • Kasabian - For Crying Out Loud

    This is probably my favorite album of 2017. I continually come back to it. It’s got tons of strongs tracks (and hilarious videos). You’re In Love With A Psycho is probably my top track.

  • Bleachers - Gone Now

    Don’t take the money.

  • Marnie - Strange Words and Weird Wars

    You like Ladytron, rite? This is Helen Marnie from Ladytron.

  • Portugal. The Man - Woodstock

    Maybe not as strong from start to finish as Evil Friends, but still great stuff.

  • Lorde - Melodrama

    Other than the few tracks getting play, I haven’t really come back to this.

  • Moby & The Void Pacific Choir - More Fast Songs About the Apocalypse

    In This Cold Place.

  • Rancid - Trouble Maker

    Wait, they’re still around? Yup. Still around.

  • Public Enemy - Nothing Is Quick In The Desert

    Wait, they’re still around? Yup. Still around.

  • Nine Inch Nails - Add Violence

    Wait, they’re still around? Yup. Still around.

  • Various Artists - Atomic Blonde Soundtrack

    I heart the 80’s.

  • Broken Social Scene - Hug of Thunder

    Wait, they’re still around? Yup. Still around.

  • Arcade Fire - Everything Now

    Strong tracks, but sometimes I think they’re coming up with excuses to wear suits with sequins.

  • Passion Pit - Tremendous Sea of Love

    A pretty chill album, good for Sunday morning.


    Wait, they’re still around? Yup. Still around.

  • Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins

    Straight up ndie rock.

  • Matt Pond PA - Still Summer

    I don’t really have a pity description, but it’s pleasant.

  • LCD Soundsystem - american dream

    Wait, they’re still around? Yup. Still around.

  • RAC - EGO

    I have an electronic music problem.

  • Ted Leo - The Hanged Man

    I saw Ted play on the JoCo 2017 Cruise. I helped fund this album.

  • The National - Sleep Well Beast

    A little more mellow than I was hoping for.

  • Grouplove - Big Mess

    Infectious alt-pop.

  • Prophets of Rage - Prophets of Rage

    Chuck D, Cypress Hill, and Rage Against the Machine in a blender.

  • The Regrettes Feel Your Feelings Fool!

    I first saw them do a covery of Fox on the Run for The AV Club and was hooked.

  • New Politics - Lost in Translation

    Maybe a euro-pop version of Blink-182?

  • Dan Auerbach - Waiting on a Song

    Black Keys dude going solo.

  • The Killers - Wonderful Wonderful

    I’m so torn. I really wanted to like this, and after they released Run For Cover I thought this was going to be what I’ve been waiting for since the release of Sam’s Town. Well, at least Run For Cover is awesome.

  • Cut Copy - Haiku From Zero

    Down under electro-pop.

  • Wolf Parade - Cry Cry Cry

    Hoorary for Canadian rock bands!

  • Wolf Alice - Visions of a Life

    Kinda dark brit pop.

  • Erasure - World Be Gone

    Wait, they’re still around? Yup. Still around.

  • Sleigh Bells - Kid Kruschev

    I can’t stop listening to this.

  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds - Who Built the Moon?

    Holy Mountain was on heavy repeat for a while.

The Year In Music

This year was an interesting music year. I’m going to tackle this chronologically, as it was added to my library, not the year it was released. I’m not as “on it” as I used to be, so it takes a while longer for me to find stuff. In fact, most of the music that I found this year was through These aren’t really “reviews”, as you can find better reviews from professionals or even on Pitchfork.


I bought The Wombats Proudly Present…This Modern Glitch by The Wombats. I haven’t listened to it a lot since then.

That was it for January.


This is when I finally broke down and accepted LCD Soundsystem into my life. Steven made sure I kept my Britpop membership up to date with The Big Pink (Future This and A Brief History of Love) and Sleigh Bells released a new album, Reign of Terror. I’ve been listening to all this all year long.


The 20th Anniversary of Nevermind was released, making me feel old. I yelled at some kids to get off my lawn and felt a lot better. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to pick up Siberia by Lights. Other than that, not much happened.


Future Islands was new to me, as was their album In Evening Air.


My friend Angela really wanted to go see AWOLNATION, and Megalithic Symphony was on special at the Amazon MP3 Store. After that, it was mostly bands I heard on Eight And A Half with their self-titled debut, Miike Snow - Happy To You, Oberhofer - Time Capsules II, and Santigold - Master of My Make-Believe. I also added The Sounds - Dying To Say This To You and Garbage - Not Your Kind of People.


At long last, The Hives graced us with a new album, and what an album it was. Lex Hives was easily my most listened to new music in 2012. Overshadowed by this towering release of rock ‘n’ roll was Metric - Synthetica, Japandroids - Celebration Rock, and Fun. - Some Nights. I also finally got around to adding M83 - Hurry Up We’re Dreaming to the collection.


I added nothing to the collection in July. Well, that’s not entirely true. I downloaded the free track Lots from the then upcoming Dan Deacon album America. It’s really good.


Bloc Party - Four was an interesting release. I got immediately hooked on a couple of tracks but the rest of the album didn’t seem to click. It quickly fell by the wayside. Spector - Enjoy It While It Lasts gets my Britpop Album of the Year award. It’s fantastic. I heard of the Neon Trees because they were on tour with The Limousines, so I picked up Picture Show. Yeasayer - Fragrant World was mostly purchased because they were using TopSpin Media. This allows them to sell direct to fans, so they get the bulk of the profit from their work. I love this model. I also got the vinyl.


Indie supergroup Divine Fits (I bet they hate the reference “supergroup”) released A Thing Called Divine Fits. It’s pretty good. The Killer released Battle Born. I’m still getting used to it. The Vaccines release Come of Age. I’m still getting used to it.


Matt & Kim release Lightning and I’m still dancing. Passion Pit drops Gossamer and I was already tired of Take A Walk. I grabbed Cassius - The Rawkers EP because I <3 U SO.


A new to me band, Hooray for Earth and their album True Loves, brought back glorious memories of late 80’s/early 90’s pop music. Amazon finally had a sale on Of Monsters and Men - My Head Is An Animal and I’m already tired of Little Talks. You should also pick up any Swim Deep you can find.


This is always Amazon MP3 blowout month. So, I typically pick up a few more albums than I normally would because they’re only $5 or less.

French Reform is actually a Chico band and they’re quite good. I wouldn’t have heard Dan Deacon if it wasn’t for Bob Mould can still rock. The xx can still calm you down. Crystal Castles can still make you wonder why they don’t fix their equipment. Paul Banks still isn’t Interpol.

November Music Rundown

So, thanks to an anonymous donor, the music collection took quite a bump in November. Let’s take a peek:

  • (Ǎhk-to͝ong Bāy-Bi) Covered / Various Artists (iTunes)
    A bunch of big name (and medium name) bands covering songs from U2’s Achtung Baby. Pretty good stuff.
  • Another Life / Mark Stoermer (web site)
    The bassist from The Killers. It was a free download. It’s really far too mellow rock for me.
  • Different Gear - Still Speeding / Beady Eye (iTunes)
    Ah, Liam Gallagher and the rest of Oasis minus Noel Gallagher. It has moments. Not a huge fan though.
  • A different Kind of Fix / Bombay Bicycle Club (iTunes)
    Indie rock out of North London. You can tell they grew up on Lush and other shoe gazer bands of the 90’s.
  • The Drums / The Drums (iTunes)
    I guess this is “indie rock”, but if you really miss old, poppy Cure and New Order then this is for you.
  • Elsie / The Horrible Crowes (iTunes)
    Soft rock, stick with The National instead.
  • Foxy Shazam / Foxy Shazam (iTunes)
    Do you miss Queen and Journey? Give this a listen.
  • Hunger / Frankie & The Heartstrings (iTunes)
    Do you miss the Jam, even though you thought it was too punk?
  • Junk of the Heart / The Kooks (iTunes)
    You either like his voice or you don’t.
  • Killer Sounds / Hard-Fi (UK only at the moment)
    A strong follow to ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds / Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (iTunes)
    These solo efforts from the Gallagher brothers show that Oasis was far more than the sum of its parts. Like Beady Eye above, it has moments…
  • Psycho Jukebox / Jon Fratelli (iTunes)
    I do miss The Fratellis, but they’re gone. It’s time to move on and this is a good album, just don’t expect the edge of The Fratellis. It’s like Jon “grew up” or something.
  • Romance Is Boring / Los Campesinos! (iTunes)
    Fun indie rock on the edgy guitar side with catchy vocals.
  • Ungrateful / Frankie & The Heartstrings (UK only at the moment)
    I would bet money these guys opened for Billy Brag in some nowhere club in London once.

The 2009 Non Wrap-Up

I was going to do a big 2009 music wrap-up post, just like [jwz does]( But, yeah...that hasn't happened. I did spend a little time hacking up some code to help me generate links for all the music I did come across in 2009. So, at least there's that. Or rather, this:

* [A Fine Frenzy]( -- [Bomb In A Birdcage](
* [Arctic Monkeys]( -- [Humbug](
* [Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse]( -- [Dark Night of the Soul](
* [Depeche Mode]( -- [Sounds Of The Universe](
* [Editors]( -- [In This Light and On This Evening](
* [Franz Ferdinand]( -- [Blood: Franz Ferdinand](
* [Franz Ferdinand]( -- [Tonight: Franz Ferdinand](
* [Grand Duchy]( -- [Petits Fours](
* [Green Day]( -- [21st Century Breakdown](
* [Jamie T]( -- [Kings & Queens](
* [Jay-Z]( -- [The Blueprint 3](
* [Jet]( -- [Shaka Rock](
* [Julian Plenti]( -- [Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper](
* [KMFDM]( -- [Blitz](
* [KMFDM]( -- [Krieg](
* [Kasabian]( -- [West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum](
* [La Roux]( -- [La Roux](
* [Manchester Orchestra]( -- [Mean Everything To Nothing](
* [Matt & Kim]( -- [Grand](
* [Metric]( -- [Fantasies](
* [Moby]( -- [Wait For Me](
* [Morrissey]( -- [Years Of Refusal](
* [Mos Def]( -- [The Ecstatic](
* [Ned's Atomic Dustbin]( -- [Session](
* [Nosaj Thing]( -- [Drift](
* [Passion Pit]( -- [Manners](
* [Paul Van Dyk]( -- [Volume](
* [Pet Shop Boys]( -- [Love etc. (remixes)](
* [Pet Shop Boys]( -- [Yes](
* [Phoenix]( -- [Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Remix Collection)](
* [Phoenix]( -- [Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix](
* [Prodigy]( -- [Invaders Must Die](
* [Rancid]( -- [Let the Dominoes Fall](
* [Skold Vs. KMFDM]( -- [Skold Vs. KMFDM](
* [The Bravery]( -- [Stir the Blood](
* [The Crystal Method]( -- [Divided By Night](
* [The Killers]( -- [Live From The Royal Albert Hall](
* [The Rifles]( -- [Great Escape](
* [Them Crooked Vultures]( -- [Them Crooked Vultures](
* [U2]( -- [No Line On The Horizon](
* [Weezer]( -- [Raditude](
* [White Lies]( -- [To Lose My Life ...](
* [Yeah Yeah Yeahs]( -- [It's Blitz!](

It violates all the rules of [High Fidelity]( It's alphabetized. It has no judgement associated with bands or albums. It's just a lifeless list. The only thing you have to go on is that at some point in 2009 I thought I might like said band/album and bought it. Some of them weren't that great. Some I don't listen to at all anymore. Some I have on near perpetual repeat. How will you know?! You won't. Sorry, but it's really not that important.

Still Driving (Part 3)

Previously on Still Driving ([1](,[2]([David Stillman]( needed music for a road trip that would take him from Chico, CA to Boulder, CO. He would stay mostly on I80. Here is his playlist. Well, the last part at least.

[Meat Beat Manifesto]( -- [Satyricon](ttp:// is an amazing piece of work. Jack Dangers, the mad genius behind MBM, should really be considered the father of "Big Beat" and this album clearly laid down the path for others to follow. Countless samples, distorted vox, and beats that refuse to let you sit still. If you're into any kind of "electronic" music at all, this is a must-listen.

[Morcheeba]( -- [Big Calm]( doesn't fit in any single genre, but if I had to put one word on the label, it would be "chill". Not "chill" in a boring way, just in a "we're not going to kill you with guitars, drum loops, or vocals". Also, the vocals are quite sexy.

[Primus]( -- [Frizzle Fry]( is another "you damn kids should know you musical history dammit" selection. And no, I didn't like [School of Rock]( The chalkboard scene was cool, but a scene does not a movie make.

[The Rifles]( -- [Great Escape]( was passed along to me by Steven because he knows I love britpop. This is great britpop.

[The Sisters Of Mercy]( -- [Vision Thing]( was included just to screw with David. I doubt he liked this at all, but there are some great driving tracks on this album. Also, he wanted stuff that he hadn't heard before and I'm positive he hadn't heard this.

[Slipstream]( -- [Be Groovy Or Leave]( Another europop band that never saw the light of day on this side of the pond. They were a NME poster band for half a week or so, but this album has some catchy tracks. Good britpop, not sure I would call it great though.

[The Stone Roses]( -- [The Complete Stone Roses]( (CD only) was another "lets suck money from stupid Stone Roses fans while they keep waiting for the mythical 'Second Coming' album" label production. The upside was that they actually put tracks on it that weren't widely available to people. So, that was nice. [The Second Coming]( eventually did come out and everybody panned it because it didn't sound like the first album. The Stone Roses are an important part of the history lesson of britpop, so this is why it made the playlist. Also, it's just damn good music.

[Symposium]( -- On The Outside (out of print in the US) was in the same vein as Ash, a bunch of kids wailing on guitars making incredibly catching pop-punk. Again, what more do you need?

[The The]( -- [Dusk]( was a bit of a stretch. It's not really pop music at all and I hesitated to put it on the list, but one cannot survive on pop music alone. The lyrics on this album are quite amazing and [Johnny Marr]( is on guitar.

[Underworld]( -- [Dubnobasswithmyheadman]( and[ Second Toughest In The Infants]( (iTunes only) are great electronic albums. If you don't think you've heard Underworld, their biggest hit (_Born Slippy (Nuxx)_) plays over the ending credit of _Trainspotting_. They tend to mix into some vocals, which makes it a little more accessible if overly beepy music drives you nuts.

[White Lies]( -- [To Lose My Life ...]( probably wouldn't exist if there was no Joy Division. Sure, everybody thinks they're an Interpol meets The Killers rip-off, but we know better...don't we.

[Wolf Parade]( -- [Apologies to The Queen Mary]( is a bit crazy. There's this indie-Modest Mouse thing going on, but I think the music is better. It has less "we're being weird for the sake of being weird" and more "rock music is awesome".