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my year in music 2014

i’d like to think of 2014 as my “year of travel.” i usually sit back and reflect on the year as it comes to an end and try to think of one category to place it in. this year i traveled a lot (for me) – cruised to the southern caribbean, toured israel for my second time on a 10 day trip, spent 10 days in southern california, spent a weekend in nyc at governor’s ball, relaxed and partied in provincetown for a weekend, returned to my old stomping grounds in pittsburgh for a couple of days and hung out on cape cod.

my travels introduced me to new music as well as inspired me to dig back into the archives and listen to some old favorites to fit my mood.

according to spotify, who tracked my listening habits throughout the year (creeps!), i actually listened to a lot of reggae rock. weird. i didn’t even realize how much i had been listening to pepper (who i’m sad to say was horrible live) and damien marley.

one of my favorite songs of the year was “wotless” by kes the band. i heard this song on a boat in barbados that took me snorkeling on gatorade-blue waters and it was so beyond fitting for the scene that i could’t even deal. i didn’t have access to wifi out on the ocean (drats!) but i managed to use my super-savvy music obsession skills and wrote down some of the lyrics so i could look it up later on. i listened to “wotless” so many times after the cruise just to try and relive some of those moments. it made me a little less depressed that i don’t actually live on an island and i spend winters shoveling out my car every other day.

governor’s ball was huge for discovering new bands to listen to. after my weekend in nyc, i gained a newfound appreciation for disclosure, and started listening to the war on drugs, bleachers and banks. it also made me nostalgic for some old favorites like outkast, the strokes, julian casablancas, tv on the radio, the naked and famous and the kills. plus, i got to see jack white – and ended up seeing him again at fenway park, which was incredible.

my trip to israel reintroduced me to one of my old favorites, matisyahu. it just seemed right to listen to my fav jewish rapper while i was there. he totally gets it. i also started listening to bastille more while i was in israel because i had just seen them at gov ball a week before i went – i felt electric when it was 3:30 am with the sunrise peeping over the horizon and my tour bus was driving through the desert on the way up to mount masada and i had “of the night” playing in my ears.

going to california enabled me to see one of my favorite bands of 2013, haerts, as well as get to know another band i only vaguely knew, st. lucia. both of the bands had the perfect sound for my surroundings in sunny southern california. “wings” by haerts will always be one of my favorite songs and st. lucia was the perfect backdrop to my beach days.

i got to meet some musicians this year as well through my job at the river. i met ingrid michaelson, phillip phillips, melissa etheridge, deer tick (twice), the hold steady, paolo nutini, st. paul and the broken bones, foster the people and hozier. after meeting these musicians in person i typically went home and binge-listened to them for about a week. all of them were pretty cool, also – #1 coolest though was paolo nutini, who actually spent time with us during the promotion just chatting and goofing around – not just strictly business.

overall this year was fantastic all things considered – a lot of new changes and excitement with music to accompany everything that was going on. 2015, we ready.


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#tbt: “hurricane” by bob dylan

just a quick post to get my thoughts down somewhere tangible.

recent events in ferguson and new york reminded me of this song…an old classic that i love and hadn’t listened to in a while. also speaks to some huge issues we have in this current day and age…listen to the lyrics. it’s a true story.


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first aid kit for fall

fak1-970x545the weather is starting to get cooler around here and fall is in the air. “my silver lining” by first aid kit has been in my head all week and since i have this interesting thing that i do where i constantly associate songs with seasons, i wanted to share this video. fall is my favorite season anyway, so i tend to associate the best music with fall. it’s a subconscious thing, i can’t really explain.

if you aren’t familiar with first aid kit, think folk meets old school country (like, johnny cash country) meets alternative. i’m really not into country as most people know it to be today, but this is just different. they’re not twangy or cheesy, they’re mellow and modern.

they have some other great songs too, if you like this one. check out “emmylou” and “stay gold”.


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nme’s 100 most influential artists (and who they missed)

i’ll get right to the point. here’s their list:

100. Deerhunter
99. The Cure
98. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
97. Iceage
96. Country Teasers
95. Dirty Projectorsde5d89f27c935733bfcccb5ecb1c75b7
94. Richard Hawley
93. Black Lips
92. St. Vincent
91. Foals
90. Flying Lotus
89. Simple Minds
88. Oneohtrix Point Never
87. Billy Bragg
86. The Triffids
85. Black Flag
84. Nine Inch Nails
83. The Jesus and Mary Chain
82. Massive Attack
81. Animal Collective
80. Dusty Springfield
79. Suicide
78. Stevie Wonder
77. Best Coast
76. Vampire Weekend
75. The Wedding Present
74. Slint
73. Wu-Tang Clan
72. Grimes
71. Rilo Kiley
70. Pharrell
69. Nick Lowe
68. The National
67. Jay Z
66. The Slits
65. Diplo
64. The Zombies
63. Talk Talk
62. The Stoogesled-zeppelin-in-concert-vintage-concert-poster-www.freevintageposters.com
61. DJ Shadow
60. DJ Rashad
59. Chic
58. Black Sabbath
57. James Blake
56. Happy Mondays
55. The Chills
54. Aphex Twin
53. The Fall
52. Nas
51. Television
50. Sufjan Stevens
49. Death From Above 1979
48. Bat For Lashes
47. The Cars
46. Wiley
45. T Rex
44. Bikini Kill
43. New Order
42. PJ Harvey
41. Led Zeppelin
40. Tame Impala
39. Brian Jonestown Massacre
38. Dr. Dre
37. Kraftwerk
36. My Bloody Valentine
35. TV on the Radio
34. Depeche Mode
33. The Knife
32. Pavement
31. Bjorktumblr_lhrie5vGYd1qg35us
30. Bon Iver
29. Bruce Springsteen
28. Beck
27. The Stone Roses
26. Fleetwood Mac
25. Nirvana
24. Queens of the Stone Age
23. Burial
22. Sonic Youth
21. Hole
20. Prince
19. Neutral Milk Hotel
18. Aaliyah
17. Blur
16. The Velvet Underground
15. Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
14. The Clash
13. Joy Division
12. The Breeders
11. The Smiths
10. The xx
09. Nick Cave
08. Kate Bush
07. The Gun Gun Club
06. The Flaming Lips
05. The Strokes
04. The White Stripes
03. Kanye West
02. David Bowie
01. Radiohead

…and here’s who they (quite obviously, in my opinion) missed – in no particular order:

the beatlesF05F7927-71AA-49A7-B8EF-687AF7108BC9
the who
jimi hendrix
bob dylan
the rolling stones
the talking heads
neil young
johnny cash
madonna
michael jackson
eminem
sublime
pearl jam
daft punk
arcade fire
pixies
metallica
oasis
miles davis
little richard
james brown

for justification/explanation on how nme created the list, check out their blog post on the topic.

did i miss any? please, correct me if i’m wrong.


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that guy with two first names

10547501_842130895819076_5456134286615101341_nlast week i had the opportunity to watch american idol winner phillip phillips perform live in the river music hall. he was in boston to play a show with oar that night at the blue hills bank pavilion so he stopped by wxrv during the day to perform a couple songs and take pictures with fans. he only played two songs which was a biiit of a bummer (most artists who come to the rmh play four), but i can’t complain too much because i got paid to watch him be interviewed and jam with his band and take pictures with him. not a bad day on the job.

he played “raging fire” and “lead on”, both from his new album behind the light. he sounded incredible in the tiny music hall and really came alive while he was performing – a drastic difference from his interview, where he was pretty shy.

after watching him perform live i came home to download his albums – i only knew a couple of his songs: “home”, “gone, gone, gone” and “raging fire”…his three popular singles. i later found this cover he did of chris isaak’s “wicked game” and i was blown away – it’s worth a listen even if you aren’t familiar with the original song. check it out below.


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relix > rolling stone/every other music magazine that i don’t read.

relix magazinei recently started reading relix magazine thanks to a suggestion from my cousin’s wife’s dad (are you following? good). it’s much less known in the world of music magazines than heavy hitters like rolling stone or billboard or xxl, but it’s waaay better. it comes with a free cd. it’s like the adult version of getting a prize at the bottom of your cereal box. except that when i think about it, i am in fact an actual “adult” and i still dig my hand into the bottom of the box.

relix has an interesting origin – according to wikipedia (the bible) the magazine started as a handmade newsletter in the 1970s devoted to connecting people who recorded grateful dead concerts, but it rapidly expanded into a music magazine covering a wide amount of artists.

what you can expect in each issue is a focus on live music, band interviews, album reviews, concert festivals, music videos, podcasts, musician classifieds, and show reviews. you’ll also find a ton of new music suggestions to listen to, so you won’t have to read this blog anymore!

check out relix online here.