Avalanches – Subways [Live at Primavera 2016]

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While we’re all salivating at the thought of an honest-to-goodness new Avalanches album, I thought I’d share this live gem, a recording of their latest single from last week’s Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, Spain.

Here’s Subways:

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LCD Soundsystem – Yr City’s A Sucker

11 years ago, this song became one of my favorite things ever, for an entire summer and a little bit longer. Part of LCD Soundsystem‘s self titled debut, it ended the bonus disc collecting their massive dance singles. Yr City’s A Sucker is absolutely unfuckwithable.

Any one of the lengthy tunes on that disc could be held up as the vanguard of 00’s disco punk, from hipster lament Losing My Edge to ecstatic rave-up Yeah. Every single one is a club stomping classic, packed with more funky swing than entire albums’ worth of dance music. This one, though. Yr City’s A Sucker always stayed ringing in my head longest.

It wasn’t just the fact that it was the final track; it’s the point where the record’s sarcastic hedonism curdles into a nihilistic snarl. But a sense of humor creeps in, the whole endeavor played for laughs. It’s the band laughing at its own shtick while still kicking in high gear.

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Best of 2015: 25 More Great Albums

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I hear a lot of great music almost every day, and it really adds up. I might not be rich or famous, but my life is wealthy with incredible music. I want to make everyone else as wealthy, too. Every single year, there are so many great albums that I’d recommend anyone, far more than I’d feel comfortable putting on a top ten list.

So here we are, my “honorable mention” list of 2015 albums. Every one of these albums are worth your time. Unlike my top list, they appear in the order that I heard them.

After you’ve checked this out, make sure to see the 17 Best Albums of 2015 here.

Read on to hear the best of the rest of 2015:

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“And it hurts with every heartbeat…”

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I don’t really have anything clever or interesting to say about this song, other than this: it hits me right in the feels.

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The Best Music of 2014

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This is a list of seriously amazing music. The best albums released in 2014, no shit. You probably haven’t heard of some of these artists. That’s okay. That’s awesome, in fact. Most of it’s off the beaten path, and it’d be a shame if that’s the only reason you never heard it. My biggest pleasure with this blog is hearing from friends who discovered something that’s become absolutely essential in their lives. I treasure that feeling and only hope to spread it. Enrich your life. Be adventurous, try out some of the music streaming on this page! It’s free right now and you’re definitely not doing anything better!

Okay.

I know this is late in the sense that most people publish their lists before the year is done, but I couldn’t care less about being first in judging an entire year’s worth of beautiful music. I’d always rather be finished than first.

Every piece of music on this list deserves attention. You’ll probably love some and hate others, because that’s how taste works.

See the Best of 2014 Honorable Mention list for the greatest albums that didn’t quite make the final cut!

[Note: excepting the ABSOLUTE FAVORITES section, these albums are listed in the order I heard them.]

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에프엑스 – Red Light music video

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I’m new to k-pop but I’ve often enjoyed what little I have heard in the past, far more than American counterparts in the sugary pop game. Other than Taylor Swift, there’s nothing currently on Top 40 radio that I’m remotely interested in. I like to hear pop that crackles with audacity.

This brings me to the earworm-worthy tune below: Red Light, the first song I heard by Korean pop stars 에프엑스 – aka f(x).

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Robert Hood’s Dancer, An Ass Shaking Classic

I’ve been a fan of Robert Hood‘s brand of sensually minimal techno since hearing a reissue of his classic Minimal Nation double 12″ in 2009, falling in love with the beyond-lush Motor: Nighttime World 3 a few years later. Somehow I’d never dug through his vast collection of singles until last Friday. I was working at my desk when Dancer queued up, and immediately had to stomp my feet along, slapping the desk with my open palms.

This track is a 4/4 monster, piling grand piano and a hairy sax groove on top of a throbbing beat, with just the slightest hint of guitar sprinkled around. The mixture of pure electronics and live instrumentation works in a way most hybrids could only dream of. It’s the kind of song Daft Punk would kill to make; the sound feels like peeling their recent album Random Access Memories down to its beating heart.

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Only a handful of Detroit masters craft techno with such soul, such a playful jazz sensibility, as Robert Hood. I’m thinking of Carl Craig, Kenny Larkin, and of course Underground Resistance, where Hood began his musical odyssey. While this tune is obviously more of a house thumper, I’m happy to share it as another example of the playful, jazzy core of what makes Detroit techno one of my favorite sounds of all time.