Recently, DFC gathered a few friends together to write about their top albums of the year. 2015 has been a fantastic year in music, full of comebacks, surprises and lots of buzz. Read what some friends of the blog had to say about their top picks. Continue reading
2015 has been a rather interesting year in music, and it’s also been a year which I have been unable to update this site as much. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to update this blog as frequently as I’d like, and just do an occasional discussion post or list post such as this one. No need to worry, however, as you can still catch my opinions over at the Iris Records blog, as well as my podcasts over there as well.
All blog updates aside, I have been enjoying a handful of albums this year, which you can view below. If your favorite album doesn’t appear on my list, chances are I haven’t heard it or didn’t dig it as much! So without further ado, here are my favorite albums of 2015, so far.
This is NOT a review, but rather a reflection. Although it may be categorized as a review, please disregard it.
Upon first listen, To Pimp a Butterfly was a confusing experience. Layered instrumentation, strange interludes, and spoken word outros made my first listen all the more head-scratching. However, now I’m really starting to see the full picture. It’s not the story album that GKMC was, but rather a loose concept about his own personal growth throughout his life. The instrumentals are also insanely rich, and I respect him for picking unique instrumentals to suit his themes, rather than mending “current” beats to his liking.
Furthermore, I really don’t think any rapper out there today quite has the guts, ambition, or vision to make an album such as this. This is the album every rapper hopes to make, or at least tries to make, but never quite reaches.
In an interview with the New York Times, Lamar is quoted: “I’m the closest thing to a preacher that they have,” said Lamar. “I know that from being on tour — kids are living by my music. My word will never be as strong as God’s word. All I am is just a vessel, doing his work.”
Now, if any other rapper out there today made this same statement, I would immediately assume he/she was completely egotistical and full of themselves. But in this case, I can truly believe those words (to an extent). Sure, he’s no missionary, but Kendrick gave the American people, particularly blacks, the record they never thought they needed. And now that it’s here, we can willingly accept it.
To quote my friend Robert Treanor: “It isn’t looking backward. It’s looking to the future. This is one of the most American records ever made. Music didn’t need this record, the American people needed it.”
After a delay, the list is here. These are my top 50 albums of the great year that was 2014.
1. Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else
2. Sun Kil Moon – Benji
3. Ty Segall – Manipulator
4. The Men – Tomorrow’s Hits
5. Beck – Morning Phase Continue reading
A frequent topic brought up in music discussion has been how the ushering in of new and modern technologies have affected the way we interact with and purchase music, as well as its importance on the development of music itself. Jeremy from DFC, along with four other friends of the blog, Adam Nicholls of Shock! Radio, Ryan Dye, Tom Hummer of Velocities in Music, and James Laubhan, have gathered to discuss this important issue in music today. What began as a chat about entitlement in younger music listeners quickly developed into a discussion about the digital age of music as a whole. Read the discussion below.
Cleveland-based Cloud Nothings originally began in the late 2000s as the solo project of now-frontman and chief lyricist Dylan Baldi. The project initially boasted catchy and melodic indie pop tunes on their first two albums (their self-titled record is highly recommended), before moving on to much darker and heavier material on their next two albums, one of them being their new record Here and Nowhere Else, released earlier this year.
This new record brought intense energy and passion unheard in previous releases, and that was definitely evident in their live show at Irving Plaza on Tuesday. The band opened with the fiery two-punch songs “Now Hear In” and “Stay Useless” that definitely set the tone for the rest of the night. A memorable moment was during the track “Cut You”, when the eager audience yelled the lyrics “Do you want to hurt him/do you want to kill him”.
The trio continued to blaze through fan favorites such as the mosh-ready “Separation” and the hooky “Just See Fear”, but perhaps the highlights were the two longest songs in the band’s repertoire, “Pattern Walks” and “Wasted Days”. The latter was drawn out to an appalling 10 minutes, approximately (too busy moshing to keep track of time). The band closed out the night with “No Future/No Past”, possibly the band’s darkest song to date. Cloud Nothings continue to prove they’re one of the best live bands out there right now, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
In addition, the Detroit-based garage rock act Tyvek opened for the band. They showed to be a great opening act for Cloud Nothings by bringing out solid riffs, energetic drumming and fantastic guitar solos. While it was nowhere near as explosive as Cloud Nothings’ set was, they were still a very enthralling act to have witnessed live.
Alas, it’s time for another Spoon record. This Texas-based rock quartet (now quintet with new member Alex Fischel) has been proving themselves time and time again that they’re an extremely solid pack of songwriters who write really concise, catchy, and groovy indie rock tunes. Although their music wasn’t necessarily groundbreaking, they were able to spawn a few of the most enjoyable and accessible indie records of the 2000s (Girls Can Tell, Kill The Moonlight, etc.). And with their new record, Spoon continues to push forward this fact further into the decade.