September 1, 2015 – San Diego, California

Links: September 1, 2015

  • You probably haven't heard about Ryan Adams covering T. Swift's 1989, have you?
  • Super talented Marc Scibillia put out a new EP a few weeks ago. Diggin' it.

  • I so dig Ben Weiland's new reel.

  • And as long as we are talking about Gundersens, Abby's new record is so peaceful.

  • A little past two months of having Friday as international music release day. How are you feeling about it?

  • How all websites look the same.

  • "A different part of our brain is activated when we think about what's possible as opposed to what's required." -Seth Godin dropping knowledge as always

  • Ryan did an amazing job directing the music video for "Jealous Love" from Noah Gundersen.

December 31, 2014

Records of the Year: 2014

ONE. Blake Mills: Heigh Ho. Blake Mills' show at El Rey in September was one of the best I have ever seen, and I don't say that lightly. The instrumentation, the songs, and the talent on display were all top notch.

TWO. Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams. This record was like a ice cold glass of water on a hot day: exactly the right thing at exactly the right time.

THREE. The War On Drugs: Lost In The Dream. This record showcases some amazing tones and great production. I probably listened to it 25 times in a row after the first time I put it on.

FOUR. Beck: Morning Phase. I hadn't listened to Beck too much before this year, and this record as a complete work was really impressive to me.

FIVE. Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Songs in Country Music. Recording live-to-tape is getting more and more rare, and this team knocked it out of the park with that process. I love how this record sounds.

Here are several other records I really enjoyed this year in no particular order:

  • Hozier. Hozier. I'll just say this: I am not the only person who has him on a year-end list.

  • Delta Spirit. Into the Wide. Total rock'n'roll.

  • Young Oceans. I Must Find You. I needed this record this year. The song "I Must Find You" was really great for re-centering and late nights.

  • Copeland. Ixora. I love that these guys came back -- but the April Fool's announcement threw me.

  • Coldplay. Ghost Stories. Continually solid and dominating their niche.

  • Field Report. Marigolden. Singer-songwriter music that feels really fresh.

  • First Aid Kit. Stay Gold. Great songs, good melodies, good harmonies. Sounds like Eisley + country, and Lacey and I loved it.

  • Taylor Swift. 1989. Her marketing people deserve some kind of award as well.

  • Tycho. Awake. Some of my favorite instrumental music in the last decade. Love it.

  • Crowder. Neon Steeple. Solid all-around record.

  • Luke Reynolds. After the Flood. Just heard of this guy recently, and I really like the tunes.

  • Colony House: When I Was Younger. Proud of these 3 ... they have been hard at work for so long. These are all really solid songs.

  • SOHN: Tremors. Incredible voice and great programming.

  • Brooke Fraser: Brutal Romantic. New territory for Brooke, and it's a good direction.

  • Matthew & the Atlas: Other Rivers. New discovery this year for me. Great for working late at night.

  • St Lucia: When The Night. These songs get me playing the air drums really hard.

  • Noah Gundersen: Ledges. Noah really put his best into this record. Excited for people to start seeing our #SerialBoxTV episode with him.

Thanks for reading! I made a Spotify playlist of some of the highlights here.

I want to hear about your favorite records. Tweet them at me here: @p_dodd

September 16, 2014 – San Diego, California

Links: September 16, 2014

August 22, 2014 – San Diego, California

Weekend Links: August 22, 2014

  • I've shared this before, but going into this weekend, I hope this is a good encouragement:

"God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which He must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves." -A.W. Tozer

  • The end of the Tree Ring is near, but I am glad they're not leaving us without a peace offering of a new record. And I am stoked on the new song, "Beside A River."
  • Looking for some great information on the background of what is happening in Ferguson? Check out Vox's coverage of it all.

  • I am really glad to have seen Glass Optical in Dallas earlier this week. If you want literally the best experience buying frames, lenses, and anything optical-related, wait until you are in Dallas and do it then.

  • Seen some ice bucket challenge videos? Interesting piece about how it started.

  • Ryan Adams really nailed it with "Gimme Something Good" on Jimmy Fallon and love this BTS of "Wrecking Ball":

  • Pretty excited about Baylor's new McLane Stadium (shown below). Hope to make it out there this year.

image

  • T. Swift is sure making news with her new video. What do you think?
December 30, 2012

Records of the Year: 2012

I have always meant to compile a list of my favorite records from the past year. Music in general is too valuable to me not to share ... especially when it's music I love!

So here are my top 25 records of 2012. I'll start with the top 5 and then share the next 20 in no particular order. Enjoy!

FIVE. David Ramirez: Apologies. David is the definition of raw talent. I heard it put really well earlier this year when a friend said, "That guy is on the Ryan Adams level." I couldn't agree more. The songs get better and better. Buy it here.

FOUR. Sigur Ros: Valtari. This was the perfect record for Sigur Ros to release in keeping with their trend of giving the world music for thought, for inspiration, and to separate each listener from the world's distractions. Buy it here.

THREE. Milo Greene: Milo Greene. I was a latecomer to this party, but these songs and arrangements strike something inside of me I can't yet place. Maybe it is the fact I wish I had written these songs. Buy it here

TWO. Matthew Perryman Jones: Land of the Living. As a Kickstarter backer for this record and spoiling myself by listening to it for the first time driving through California mountains, the brilliance of this record would be just as present if I listened to it in a junk yard. Most of my favorite combinations of lyrics and melody from the year are on this record. Buy it here.

ONE. Michael Kiwanuka: Home Again. The best sound I heard this year. It amazes me how different guys with guitars enter the music scene with unique sounds, but the production and instrumentation on this record blow me away more than any other. It is the freshest collection of songs I have come across in a long time and is well-worthy of being number one on this list. Buy it here.

  • Lord Huron: Lonesome Dreams. Having loved the vibe their record puts out, I was pleasantly surprised when their live show had more of an "islandy" feel than I expected. Buy it here.
  • Paper Route: The Peace of Wild Things. Rock geniuses with incredible programming talent. And they have so much energy live. Buy it here.
  • The Tree Ring - Brushbloom. I Iove so many things about this record: the ode to San Diego's nature and topography, the incredible arrangements, subtly perfect harmonies. Listen here and buy here or here.
  • alt-J: An Awesome Wave. I had the chance to watch them play a few weeks ago and their live set rivaled their record, which says a lot. Buy it here.
  • Lecrae: Church Clothes. An incredible record to run to, there is no surprise how it charted Number 3 on the Billboard 200. So much truth so well said. Buy it here.
  • Sara Watkins: Sun Midnight Sun. Sara is full of raw talent. As far as acoustic & folky instruments make music, her collaboration with Blake Mills produced one of the best collections I can remember. Buy it here.
  • Sucre: A Little Bird. I almost forgot to include Sucre on this list, but I wore this out when it came out in April. So glad for melodies like these. Buy it here.
  • Asgeir Trausti: Some sweet Icelandic word. Austin and Jordan told me about Asgeir Trausti after their autumn trip to Iceland. They described him as an "Icelandic Bon Iver" and I listened to it for a few weeks straight. I couldn't get enough, especially of Leyndarml. Unfortunately, you can't purchase this record, but you can listen to it here.
  • Walk The Moon: Walk The Moon. This band is making pop-rock cool again. Watching their set in November was captivating. I walked in to the House of Blues just after they started their set and everyone was moving. The energy was palpable. This record is a great representation of what I saw that night. Buy it here.
  • Lovelite: In Three Persons. Lovelite & Tyler Chester are a "power team". The songs all have specifically incredible qualities, but my favorite is " Every Breath is a Chance". Listen to and buy it here.
  • Frank Ocean: Channel Orange. You can't go very far these days without hearing about Frank's first record. What I appreciate about this record the most is there are no rules (i.e. a 10 minute song). Buy it here.
  • John Mayer: Born & Raised. John Mayer can do no wrong. This record is timeless. His playing could not be more perfect. His honest songwriting couldn't be more transparent. I love it. Buy it here.
  • The Digital Age: Rehearsals. New circumstances pushed these guys to new territory, and I love where they're going. Lots of sound for fans to be excited about. Buy it here.
  • Taylor Swift: RED. Continually impressive that she writes these incredibly catchy songs herself. You know you like her too. Buy it here.
  • Greg Laswell: Landline. Greg is such a great songwriter. Love how he approaches his craft. The record's title track is a highlight for me. Buy it here.
  • Father John Misty: Fear Fun. I loved the latest J. Tillman record, and have kept my loyalty even among a name change. Buy it here.
  • J. Thoven: City Maze. There is a bright future ahead for this 5-piece group of guys. Aside from being genuine people, their knack for good songs is developed way past the level you would expect a new band to be at. You will be so pumped when you see their SerialBox Presents session. Buy and listen here.
  • Lauren Chandler: The Narrow Place. You might have seen my thoughts on Lauren's EP recently, but I am so stoked on how this EP turned out. Worth several listens after you buy it. :) Buy it here.
  • Hauschka: Substansial. As a novice writer, I would have a hard time describing to you the circumstances and emotion when I first heard this record. However, it couldn't have been any more picturesque. Although it didn't come out this year (2004), I played it enough to be on my "top records list" for the next 3 years. Buy it here.
  • Young Oceans: Young Oceans. Music with spiritual value is rampant, but Young Oceans stands out to me above the rest. Listen to it and I think you'll know what I am referring to. Buy and listen here.

Thanks for reading! Excited for the year of music ahead.

1 2