I’m excited to see new music coming out teasing forthcoming sophomore followups to promising debuts we’ve seen the past few years from Jungle, Haerts, and Cullen Omori. And we got new music out from Wild Nothing, Bob Moses, Chromatics, Interpol, Holy Esque, and more. Check out my latest playlist below! Keeping up with my live music streak, I owe a big thanks to Paul Allen for backing the Upstream Music Festival in Seattle’s Pioneer Square earlier this month. I saw an awesome mix of local/regional and national acts. Highlights included Lukas Nelson, Cut Copy, and Flaming Lips on the big stages, and intimate performances by Elise Trouw, Lo Moon, Zola Jesus, and Hibou.
A bunch of new music for you to checkout this month including new tracks from Mitski, Jungle, Holy Esque, Dirty Projectors, and more. And we have new albums from Courtney Barnett, Middle Kids, and Beach House that are worth a listen. I did manage to see a few live shows recently, including Dirty Projectors, TV on the Radio, The Moondoggies, Grand Hallway, and a crazy MusiCares benefit show honoring Mike McCready (a few instagram pics below).
Six straight days and nights of music in Austin was maybe a bit ambitious, but how else was I going to check out over 60 live bands at SXSW. My highlights were incredible music performances by Dermot Kennedy, Pale Waves, Tank & The Bangas, Sam Fender, and Superorganism. Check out a few pics below. My first DNAK playlist of the year heavily draws from acts I loved in Austin, sprinkled in with other new tracks in my rotation. Check it out.
My annual live music binge (aka SXSW) is coming up, and that means a little music research is in order. I poured through the imposing list of planned performers and pulled together a playlist to help me decide who I might want to checkout while I’m in Austin. This list definitely tilts towards my own musical interests, which I’d roughly describe as indie rock, indie pop, and indietronica with an occasional dose of alt rock and alt country. So if you’re heading to Austin (or want to check out some new tunes), check it out. There is a good mix of familiar bands (Cut Copy, Ghostland Observatory, Okkervil River, Superchunk), a number of acts I’ve seen in Austin in the last few years (Lo Moon, Lucy Dacus, Natalie Prass, Porches, Speedy Ortiz, Sylvan Esso, Wye Oak), and some artist I’m really looking forward to seeing for the first time (Japandroids, Morgan Saint, Sunflower Bean, Superoganism). But most of these acts are new to me, and that’s the fun of going from venue to venue in downtown Austin to seek out new acts. If you’re gonna be down there, let’s hang out and listen to live music together.
EDIT: I had a fantastic SXSW, and some of my favorite performances were Pale Waves, Dermot Kennedy, Pale Waves, Sam Fender, Tank & the Bangas, and Superorganism. Definitely check them out of it you can.
Continue reading SXSW 2018
Going through my play history to pull together my best-of lists is one of my favorite year-end activities. It’s always tough to pare the list down to 50, but these are the tracks I’ve had in heavy rotation and/or I think I’ll want to keep listening to years into the future. As a sign that I’ve been keeping up my live music habit, I’m pretty excited that I managed to see half of the bands featured in this list live on stage this year! Some of the performance highlights for me this year were Sylvan Esso, Grandaddy, Hamilton Leithauser, and Spoon at SXSW; Perfume Genius and Wolf Parade at Capitol Hill Block Party; Lorde, SOHN, and Maggie Rogers at Outside Lands; Cold War Kids, Arcade Fire, New Order, and U2 at their own shows; and Blitzen Trapper playing an acoustic set visiting our Amazon Music offices in San Francisco. And let’s not forget Paul Allen’s inaugural Upstream Fest in Seattle that transformed Pioneer Square into a music lover’s dream for a weekend. And with that, here are my favorite 50 songs of 2017.
If you prefer, you can jump to the end to see Amazon and Spotify playlists.
Let’s get started with Songs 41-50
You can call me obsessed for seeing Arcade Fire twice in October, but if you haven’t seen a show on their arena tour, you’re definitely missing out. I also managed to catch Alt-J and Phantogram live up in Seattle this month. But even if you don’t get out to live concerts, that’s no excuse for not checking out new music. My latest list includes new singles from MGMT and Franz Ferdinand, and we have tracks from an avalanche of LPs out from ODESZA, Cut Copy, Julien Baker, Stars, Fever Ray, Destroyer, and more. Check it out.
As summer fades into fall, many of my favorite artists are releasing some great new music. September saw new LPs by The Horrors, The War On Drugs, ODESZA, Cut Copy, The Killers, The National, LCD Soundsystem, and my friend Tomo Nakayama. We have tracks from new albums coming in October from St. Vincent, Wolf Parade, Destroyer, and Beck. I’m also enjoying the singles just out by First Aid Kit, Maggie Rogers, and Bjork. Enjoy.