Posted in music, Uncategorized

The Best of 2016 — Music

If you were to ask Kris what something is that is very “me” he would likely say that I am always looking to try something new. Not in the sense of being fickle or taking on too much, but that if someone talks about a book that sounds good I’ll put it on my list. Same with podcasts, tv shows…

So I decided to compile a few posts compiling the best things I read, listened to, played, watched, whatevered in 2016. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have your own “to check out” lists open to add a few and if you do, please let me know in the comments.

Read about my favorite books/podcasts/games of 2016.I am a musical person. I’ve played the piano since I was 4 (no joke!) and actually played professionally for a few years. I also play the flute, sing, and am self-taught on guitar and violin. Music is vital to my existence. What follows is a list of what I really enjoyed in 2016. I’ve noted songs that were introduced to me by my two fav recommendation givers: Kris and Suzanne.

Like with games, if you ever want my take on something musical or want recommendations based on what you like, just holler.

I love all sorts of stuff but I’m a sucker for super good lyrics and I also love really good/multi-faceted/unusual harmonies.

Best Tunes I Rocked Out (or cried into my beer) To in 2016

  • Nobody’s Baby – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
  • Gray or Blue* – JayMay
  • Hangover Days – Jason Collett
  • Feel Us Shaking – The Samples
  • Wonder – Colin Meloy (this is a beautiful song about having a baby. Considering my aversion to children the fact that I like it says something!)
  • Fuck Was I* – Jenny Owen Youngs
  • White Horses – Darlingside (this one reminds me of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. I love a good many-part harmony)
  • Come Pick Me Up – Ryan Adams & Kim Richey
  • Start A War – The National
  • Good Intent – Kimbra (Thanks to Suzanne for this one!)
  • White Daisy Passing – Rocky Votolato
  • God Only Knows – Natalie Maines (incredible Beach Boys Cover)
  • I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You – Colin Hay (this belongs on my playlist entitled “Music to Slit Your Wrists By”… particularly interesting considering Colin Hay was the lead singer of 80’s fun band Men At Work.)
  • Michigan – The Milk Carton Kids (I hate when people assume that something is liked because of a connection. Plenty of songs about Brooklyn, my motherland, don’t do it for me. This song is not simply named after a place where I spent some amazing years but is also a brilliant song.)
  • Just Like Me – Betty Who (another from Suzanne and one of my most listened to tracks of ’16)
  • Reflections – Misterwives (So this one is yet another Suzanne song AND the summer of July 2016. Our Fresh Air Kid, Ryan, was OBSESSED. Every time I hear it I miss him and can’t wait to pick him up for our 2017 adventures)
  • Christmas in LA – Vulfpeck (this is one of mine but it is impossible to sing this song without wishing Lisa were in the room… since she is equally obsessed). If you’ve never heard of Vulpeck they are worth checking out — music students from U of M who are freaking incredible!
  •  In a Week – Hozier (I didn’t want to like Hozier but I’ve been converted. This is another for the “Music to Slit your Wrists by” playlist. But it’s incredible. Karen Cowley is the woman vocalist on the track)
  •  Waste – Phish (Phish is a band I want to like more than I do. This is a great song, though, and one I listened to a lot this year)
  •  Unemployed in Summertime – Emilíana Torrini (Thanks to Suzanne for this great summer jam)
  •  Rise – Josh Rouse
  •  Jealous of the Moon – Nickel Creek (not to be confused with Nickelback)
  •  1612 – Vulfpeck (if this comes on I sing the WHOLE thing and do a stupid little dance to it. It is ridiculous and embarrassing, kind of like my reaction to hearing Tyrone, but I can help it.) Also: Frank Sinatra. (just listen to the damn song)
  •  King of the World – First Aid Kid
  •  Reasons to Quit – Phosphoresent
  • Salome – Old 97’s

Best Songs I Saw Live in 2016

I love going to live shows and because 2015 was Kris’ and his best friend’s 40th birthday years we planned a group vacation to see TWO NIGHTS of My Morning Jacket at Red Rocks. We went Memorial Day Weekend 2016.

It was an awesome week long getaway with three of my fav men and two mind blowing nights at Red Rocks. This included seeing them do my fav cover of theirs night one which can be found here. The song is Tyrone, by Erykah Badu.  We go to a LOT of MMJ shows but this was the first time I got to see this one that had been on my list. Within the first three notes I screamed, “TYRONE!” and everyone around us flipped out. I’m one of those people who knows every song by the first note. Anyway… brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Hope you will enjoy it. Although it’s nothing like being there, sorry. :)

When this song plays in the car, in my house, etc. I have to sing the ENTIRE thing as if I am performing at the Grammy’s. I’m sorry if you’ve never seen this gut wrenching bit of pretty amazing performance art ;o)

Night one at Red Rocks also included a track off the first MMJ album, A Tennessee Fire.  I’m neither a huge fan of the album nor of the song, but the Red Rocks version was incredible. It’s called Picture of You.

So those are the tunes that blew my mind in 2016. I hope you’ll find some new favs. Suzanne and I make collaborative Spotify playlists a few times a week and are constantly swapping songs to listen to while we write. What should we add?




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