Music Favorites from 2014


Twenty-fourteen is nearly in the books, so you know what that means. A pile of music that you probably won’t get around to listening to. Anyway, the goods are up and ready to be shared. Hit the magic HYPERLINK and a few minutes later you’ll have nineteen songs collected for you listening enjoyment.

I didn’t manage to pull together any liner notes this year. I’ll leave it to you to speculate why any particular song made the cut. Usually, the answer is no more complicated than I liked it. My sense is that there is a little something in here for everybody, but no doubt my sad-bastard tendencies shine through.


Let me know if you have come across any music that you really enjoyed from 2014.


Four for Friday

It has been a while since I’ve done a round-up of discoveries, so here goes…

1) I have no idea what I was listening to in 2010, but it should have been this. Thank you Spotify for this recommendation. I will probably be listening to Angus and Julia for an entire month now.

2) “Simon” has been looking forward to seeing The Lego Movie for months. I had no idea Tegan and Sara had it in them. “Everything is cool when you’re part of a team!”

3) Much of my master’s thesis was written while listening to Big Gigantic’s Nocturnal. I think I can confidently say that never before has a PhD been written on Barth while listening to this band.

4) And we’ll round things out with a quote from this Swiss guy who is becoming like a best friend.

Except we’ve never met.

Nor will we.

Because he’s dead.

No one has read the Bible only with his own eyes and no one should. The only question is what interpreters we allow and in what order we let them speak. It is a pure superstition that the systematizing of a so-called historico-critical theology has as such a greater affinity to holy scripture itself and has therefore in some sense to be heard before the Apostles’ Creed or the Heidelberg Catechism as a more convincing exposition of the biblical witness. What we have there is simply a commentary of a theology, if not a mythology.

Happy Friday!

2013 Mixtape


Lots has changed for us in twenty-thirteen, but one thing hasn’t… the end o’ year mixtape. I’m going to go ahead and fess up. This hasn’t been my best effort, and for that I can only offer my sincerest apologies. Searching out the very best in music didn’t rise to the top of the priority list. Somehow, writing a thesis, applying to doctoral programs, having a job, raising a family, spending time with friends, moving across an ocean, commencing studies, and generally getting acclimated to everything new, didn’t leave much time for culling the “best of the best.”

But never fear. As an obscure little band from my new country of residence once sang, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” You’ll find an original contribution or two on here, but mainly these are all songs/bands that came recommended by someone else. In a year in which I’ve been dependent on the generosity of others in an unprecedented way, it only seems fitting that my mixtape reflects a similar dependency.

This LINK gets you the goods.

Before you treat yourself to aural delight, the usual disclaimers apply. These are songs that are more or less new to me in 2013; not necessarily new in 2013. This playlist is right at 80 minutes and should in theory fit on a standard length CD. The time parameters meant that a whole host of songs were left on the cutting floor. Some honorable mentions go out to… Polica, MIA, Sleeping at Last, Avetts, The Head and the Heart, Canopy Climbers, Two Door Cinema Club, Andrew Bird, Glen Hansard, Iron and Wine, Bombay Bicycle Club, Ben Rector, and so on. Enough with the introductions, let’s get on with it…

  1. Dustin O’Halloran – An Ending, A Beginning // This has all the elements of a proper lead off song. A title that alludes to what has transpired in the past year. Properly down-tempo, which sets the tone for the entire mix. Instrumental. Like I said, just right. This song apparently comes off a Bonobo project of some kind. I think it was @taylorhall who first showed me the goodness of Bonobo.
  2. Loch Lomond – Wax and Wire // So there is a guy who I like watching on youtube who does tricks and stuff on bikes. His name is Danny MacAskill and he’s amazing. One of the pastors at our church in Aberdeen suggested that I check out his “Way Back Home” video. In addition to being blown away by his cycling prowess, the music was fantastic. By the way, Danny is Scottish and so is Loch Lomond. Good stuff.
  3. The Jezabels – A Little Piece // This is the other song on the bike video. Not Scottish though. Aussies.
  4. Lurgan – Wake Me Up (in Gaeilge) // I don’t think I’ve got the names right, but I’m not sure. So someone named Avicii sang a song that went crazy. Alison went to Ireland for a blog thing and got to see the song covered by a young Irish band that covered it singing in their ancestral language.
  5. One Direction – Right Now // I’m sure you are wondering what alternate Chino-verse you are living in when 1D bumps the Avett Brothers, but the “struggle” is very real for the father of a fourteen year old girl. There is no denying that after seeing “This Is Us” early this fall, I’m officially a Directioner.
  6. Alt-J () – Tessellate // I believe this was a 2012 release, but I was introduced to it early this year by @KandaceCity. This album was on heavy repeat throughout the year and may very well go down as my favorite.
  7. Bastille – Pompeii // This one came recommended by my good friend, Ben Land. This song also begins a string of songs that all have mild (or not so mild) imperialistic allusions.
  8. Lorde – Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Tears for Fears Cover) // As the family and I were getting used to driving around Aberdeen, which was no small feat considering that the steering wheel and the side of the road on which one drives is “wrong,” we listened to Lorde’s “Royals” on the radio exactly 1009 times. I can not hear it one more time, but I’m liking this one from the Catching Fire soundtrack. So true… everybody does want to rule the world.
  9. Lissie – Mountaintop Removal // Lissie is a favorite of MP’s and mine. I’m not entirely sure, but I think this is a critique of materialistic impulses that are true in many places but especially true in ‘merica.
  10. Scroobius Pip – Thou Shalt Always Kill // This one comes to us via my friend and office mate, @KevinHargaden. He has brought many very good things into my life, but this “song” possibly tops the list. “Thou shalt not judge Lethal Weapon by Danny Glover.” I think you need to see the video to truly appreciate it.
  11. The National – Graceless // I’m a devotee of The National. They make music. I listen to it. I like it. It’s that simple. This wasn’t always the case, but my good friend Bobby Harrison encouraged me to stick with them, and now they have stuck with me.
  12. Volcano Choir – Alaskans // Another good friend (@jacobslaton) sent me the latest Volcano Choir album as a gift. What a fine gift it is. Jacob, pour one out for me around the firepit.
  13. Andrew Belle – Dark Matter // A few years ago, Bobby and I would listen to Andrew Belle in the office. A year or so later, Alison and I saw a show of his. His new album is a not quite as “sad bastard” as the last one, but I still like it.
  14. Royal Teeth – Wild // This is another Bobby recommendation. It is nice when a friend knows just the sort of music you’ll like and sends those recommendations your way. Keep em coming.
  15. Ed Sheeran – I See Fire // So I think this is the first song I’ve ever heard by Ed Sheeran, and it will probably be the last. However it was this song’s destiny to be on my 2013 best of’s. From the moment the first words were sung at the closing credits of the second Hobbit film, I was hooked.
  16. José González – Stay Alive // This is the third song on the playlist form a soundtrack. I’ve been looking forward to seeing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I’m looking forward to it all the more knowing that Mr González is lending his talent to the film.
  17. Greg Laswell – Comes And Goes In Waves (2013 Remake) // This one is sort of cheating. It is a song from a few years back, but when I found out that he reworked one of my favorite songs of his, I couldn’t resist including it.
  18. Denison Witmer – Right Behind You // @bob_davidson introduced me to Witmer’s song-crafting several years ago. He rounds out pretty well a quartet of ultra sleepy man tunes.
  19. Gungor – Finally // Needs no comment.

Four for Friday

Photo Oct 04, 2 13 43 PM

Once upon a time, I used to listen to music and post some of my favorite finds on this blog. That was before I decided to completely turn my life upside-down. Hopefully, returning to Four for Friday is a sign that things are making a move towards normal. Remember, sharing is caring.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich- Midnight City (M83 Cover) // We could make this an all BFL post, but I’ll refrain.

Amos Lee – Chill in the Air // This song has some pretty hard country leanings. But since it is Amos Lee, I guess we’ll let it slide. 

Matisyahu – Sunshine (Acoustic) // If you don’t love when Matis starts beat-boxing, you are dead to me. 

Two Door Cinema Club – Changing of the Seasons // I really have no explanation for why I enjoy Two Door Cinema Club as much as I do. 

Hopefully, Four for Friday will at least become a monthly installment here.

Man CD (2012)


It is that time of year again. Man CD time. Most of you here already know what this is all about. For those of you who don’t, the concept is simple enough. A group of men turn in a song that they enjoyed (the most?) over the past year. The songs are then compiled and arranged, then lo and behold – Man CD.

Ok, that’s about it. HERE is the link to the goods. HERE is a link to a pdf that just has the track listing and who submitted them.

I feel the need to explain my submission. I don’t believe it was anything close to my favorite song, but I did feel that it was an appropriate lead off song for the group of men who put Man CD together. Honestly, the VIDEO is better than the song… sort of.

Four for Friday

Don’t pretend like you haven’t missed it. I know you have. This is the “live show” edition of Four for Friday. Two of these artists I’ve seen recently. One group I plan to see soon. And it would be great if K’naan came to Little Rock sometime, but I’m not holding my breath. Enjoy.

Matisyahu – Tel Aviv’n // Had the chance to see him about a month ago. Lots of fun!

GRiZ – Smash the Funk // I went with a few friends to see this guy open for Big Gigantic a couple weeks ago. Honestly, one of the most interesting musical performances I’ve ever witnessed. Whether you like it or hate it, as one of my friends said, “this is the direction music is heading.” Yup.

Bear Colony – Flask Retort // They’ll be at the Rev Room in about a week.

K’Naan – Is Anybody Out There? (feat. Nelly Furtado) // Not local.

Four for Friday

I’m not sure what you have done over the past few months without “Four for Friday” to scratch that music itch. I’m trying out Soundcloud. If you hate the Soundcloud format, let me know and I might change it.


Four (videos) for Friday

This week’s installment of Four for Friday is all videos. As is becoming more and more my custom – minimal comments, just the goods.

I like it.

Your new favorite musician.

So very good.

In the words of Ian Cron, “How are humans not extinct?

Four (quick picks) for Friday

No uninspiring graphic.

No banal commentary.

Just music.

Delta Spirit – California

Carolina Chocolate Drops – Country Girl[audio:]

Shearwater – You As You Were [audio:]

Gungor – This Is Not The End [audio:]