2016: A Solipsistic Musical Review

I dispensed with the terror that accompanied force-feeding myself popular music news and reviews shortly after I started writing about music in 2011 (in a brief, quasi-professional capacity anyway), both activities seemed from the-off to dissipate in enjoyment the more they were required of me, and the further I got from ‘my path’.  I felt in my twenties, as my tastes diversified that my discovery of new music was effortless; a self-sustaining passion driven not by trend-setting publications, but word of mouth and meticulous cross referencing of liner notes, or the research and natural curiosity that was born out of adoration. As I’ve gotten older and responsibilities have overtaken the free time I had to dedicate myself so absolutely in this pursuit, progress as been slow but sure; in this strolling I came to accept that I couldn’t keep abreast of everything new, and theorised – informed by the deluge of new music – that there was already in existence more great music than I likely have hours left in my body, and I should just drift with the current. My ‘path’ is now forged by the happenstance of hearing something on independent internet radio stations (chief among them the indefatigable Freeform Station of the Nation: WFMU), from past purchases that I never gave a fair crack back in the day, or my many expeditions round local charity shops where I fill holes in my collection or take chances on interesting looking discs. Here are ten choice selections from the discoveries I made this past year.

Endless Loop: This Is Hardcore

pulpHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“This Is Hardcore” by Pulp

The party is over.

The Joup Friday Album: Soundgarden – Superunknown

soundgardenTimes are…well…they’re strange right now to say the very least. Everything is uncertain. There seems to be an overhanging fear above us all, ominous horizons, and no end to the darkness gradually spreading out like spilled ink before us. Instinctually, many of us recoil at this impending doom, losing ourselves in comfortable things and memories, a coping mechanism of sorts to shield our hearts, minds, and souls from this bleak world. We wade in nostalgia and bask in the warm glow of old things. We try to remember happiness. And we forget ourselves. At least for a while.

Endless Loop: Prospectors Arrive

therewillbebloodHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Prospectors Arrive” by Jonny Greenwood

Endless Loop: X-French Tee Shirt

shuddertothinkHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“X-French Tee Shirt” by Shudder to Think

You know who never got enough love? D.C. band Shudder to Think. Beginning in the mid-80’s as a post-hardcore band, though eventually morphing into something far more complex, Shudder to Think incorporated elements of said hardcore punk, alt-rock, pop, glam, and math rock into their huge and angular post-modern sound.

Endless Loop: Cheap Beer

fidlarHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Cheap Beer” by FIDLAR

I drink a lot of beer. Not in an alcoholic way or anything, I just like to sample a large swath of different craft brews from all over the country. I even write about it. That being said, there was a time before the craft beer explosion, before I had a little bit of extra income to spend on pricier lagers and ales, before I grew up a little, when quantity always outweighed quality. The cheaper the beer, the better, because that meant there would be more of it.

The Joup Friday Album: Linda Ronstadt – Greatest Hits, Vol. I

lindaronstadtgreatesthitsIf I were to be totally honest, the last two weeks have been about escape. It’s my luxury, as a white woman – I own the privilege that allows me the momentary slip away from the gaping maw of hate, insecurity, shallowness, petty weaknesses, and detestable outcomes this country coughed up like a big, phlegmatic hairball come Election Day. Some say we did this to ourselves. Others say we did it to each other.

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