The Joup Friday Album: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs

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Radio is my preferred method for listening to music. I love not knowing what song is coming next. An iPod on shuffle is not enough – I know everything I put on there. Streaming services try to figure me out, but make too many near-misses and end up throwing too many repeats at me to satisfy my need for musical surprises. In my teens, Chicago’s WXRT was in a golden age and kept me happy most of the time. In my twenties, an internet station called Desperate Radio was programmed by a man from Washington DC whose musical taste matched mine perfectly. In my thirties, British music paper NME hosted an internet station on their website that fulfilled my needs. And now, I end up flipping between a handful of satellite stations in my car.

The Joup Friday Album: Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

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As someone whose preferred style of music (noisy or jangly guitars with catchy hooks) is deeply out of style at the moment, it’s rare that any artist comes along who catches my attention enough for me to even learn their name. I can’t think of an artist who has better managed to catch my attention in the last few years than Courtney Barnett. I heard her first single, “Avant Gardener” on the radio and liked it enough to turn it up every subsequent time I found it on the dial, enough to tell myself, “I should really download that EP so I can listen to it in the car,” but not enough to actually get around to downloading it.

Endless Loop: The Albatross

elfpowerHave 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.

“The Albatross” by Elf Power

In 2000, somehow, someway, neo-psychedelic indie rock band Elf Power managed to record a song that heralds the arrival of the end of everything more effectively than a thousand doom metal bands.  How they did it is beyond me, but “The Albatross,” the epic and thundering closing track from the band’s The Winter Is Coming is my go-to for that sort of thing, a hallmark of doom-laden guitar rock.

Endless Loop: Walk Into the Sea

lowHave 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.

“Walk into the Sea” by Low

Endless Loop: Let the Distance Bring Us Together

homeHave 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.

“Let the Distance Bring Us Together” by Bright Eyes & Britt Daniel

Endless Loop – Alleluia

odawasHave 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.

“Alleluia” by Odawas

Endless Loop: Lions

jonquilHave 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.

“Lions” by Jonquil

Last year’s divine shittiness has been thought about and dwelled upon and writ into the stars ad nauseam to the point that to decry it even further seems utterly derivative and clichéd.  It changes nothing.  It helps no one.  And it certainly doesn’t add anything to the table for discussion or dissent.  It simply is what it is.  Unfortunately that same shittiness hangs over this new year like an ominous cloud, casting dark and frightening shadows across everything for all to behold and tremble.  And that’s no way to begin a new year.

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