2016, the year we played ourselves. Or the year we got played. Looking back, it’s hard not to respect this past year. On a simple scale of fucks given, 2016 gave the fewest. And, sort of like the Death Star, it’s hard not to admire how thoroughly evil and powerful the year was. It was bright in terms of music, and that may be its only bright spot. As far as real humans go, 2016 can only be described in one way: the year we were all Alderaan.
Most years I struggle to find ten albums that I enjoy listening to, from start to finish. This year, I struggled to narrow the list to a mere ten because excellent albums abound. Genre did not limit the excellence, nor did age or visibility. The musical landscape is more diverse than ever. Whether the lack of major label control has led to true creative freedom for all musicians remains to be seen, but it is beginning to look like artists are increasingly willing to make music on their own terms. And, in a year that many considered to be terrible, that is a bright, shiny ray of hope. Celebrate with me by listening to these albums and songs and supporting these artists.
Bob Dylan has won a Nobel Prize for Literature. This naturally has blown Patrick's mind.
Another legendary poet/songwriter, Leonard Cohen is back with, You Want It Darker, his self-proclaimed final album. We're digging into Cohen's latest tome, exploring the legacy that he's leaving behind, and more.
PLUS! Guitarist Daniel Bachman has a new self-titled album, and we've got your first taste of his latest instrumental goodness.
You’ve heard our Best Of 2014 podcast, now here’s the breakdown of 2014, list style, as ChunkyGlasses co-founder Paul saw it. Paul is a man of many opinions (we’ll let you be the judge of how good they are #sickburn), but most of all he’s a man with impeccable taste in music. No genre escaped Paul’s scrutiny this year, so if you’re looking for eclectic redefined, look no further than the picks we present to you now.
SOUNDS LIKE: Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Because it answers the “whatever happened to” question about…you know what, listen to the song first, then we’ll tell you who sings it. Trust us, it’s good.
Bob Mould - Silver Age
Best Tracks: Silver Age, The Descent
One of the true elder statesmen of rock, Bob Mould still knows how to turn out a kick ass album. A pure blast of 90s tinged grunge/alt rock free from irony or nostalgia, Silver Age could have come out two decades ago and sounded right at home. Fortunately for the music buying public, Bob was busy with Sugar back then and waited until this moment (when we really need it) to drop this impressive set of great guitar tracks on us all. Put on your flannel, crank up the cd player, and enjoy.
Screaming Females - Ugly
Best Tracks: Doom 84, Red Hand
Holy hell does this album shred. Marissa Paternoster has always had a way with a guitar (and by that, I mean she throttles her axe and aggressively squeezes every last ounce of sound out of the thing) and a great voice. But on Ugly, she and the rest of the band graduated from the enjoyable if somewhat simplistic punk stylings of their earlier albums to produce a full throated beast of a guitar rock album. From the stripped down nastiness of “Red Hand” and “It All Means Nothing” to the 7 and a half minute epic “Doom 84,” the album is perfect for any time you are in the mood for some old fashioned, grunge and punk inflected guitar rock.
Unfortunately, Marissa has taken ill and has had to stop touring. Here’s hoping she gets well and gets back to the concert circuit soon.
Many musicians have written about getting “in the van” to head out on tour, and by and large they don’t make it sound like a pleasant experience. Perhaps they should roll out on a $3,500 German-made black HP Velotechnik Grasshopper foldable touring bike, as that’s Peter Mulvey’s choice of ride, and it sounds like he’s having a fun time. Traveling around the country on his bike, Mulvey is, in his own words, “turning American into a European Socialist dystopia one folksinger at a time.” He’ll ride his bike into town this evening and do his best to communize Jammin’ Java. (Alright, in point of fact he’s riding from Union Station, but still…)
Originally from Wisconsin, Mulvey spent time honing his skills in Boston subways (as did Tracy Chapman before him). He now has more than a dozen albums under this belt, ranging from contemporary folk to acoustic rock to an all-instrumental album with longtime collaborator David Goodrich.
On his latest album, The Good Stuff, Mulvey focuses on a wide array of covers, from Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk to Tom Waits and Joe Henry. The songs are all linked by Mulvey’s fantastic ability with an acoustic guitar, which seems to be tuned a different way on every song. (His website’s discography lists the tunings for each song, which has no doubt caused many a guitar player to say “wait….what?”)
His original material is fantastic as well, particularly 2007’s solo acoustic Notes From Elsewhere, which best reflects his live performances – witty, insightful songs sung with one of the best voices this side of Leonard Cohen.
What's a word economist? F@#@ if I know, but Paul is a pretty damn good one. And while we may not agree (Often? Ever?) on what is good in new music these days, ChunkyGlasses just wouldn't be the same without his "dark cloud" of curmodgeonly goodness.
Oh, and that picture above is both recent and accurate. Resistance is futile.
Well now we gone and done it. Yes folks, it's official! Today we're proud to announce the ChunkyGlasses podcast, available now in a variety of formats for you to shove into your earholes.
To say that you can expect the same intelligent and informative discourse that you've come to expect from the site (you have, right?), would, to put it mildly be an outright lie. No people, this podcast is for fans of music, beer, and smoked meat products - in that order. There's nothing to see here except the raw unedited opinions of a bunch of guys who were stupid enoght to start a music site and then failed to get off the stupid train until it reached it's logical end: This podcast.
So, if you've got some time and want to be (mildly) entertained by our musings/rantings/what have you, then tune in below or subscribe to us via iTunes/or your favorite podcast catcher. We're shooting to release a new edition every two weeks for now, and have plans for special guests on upcoming episodes that we think you're gonna like. So strap in, make sure your beer is full, and join us as we continue our magestic journey through the world of music as we know it.
This station is officially ON!!!