There’s never really a bad year for music. There are always going to be great albums from popstars like Lorde or underground masterpieces like Mount Eerie’s new album. When it comes to deciding a personal top ten, it becomes a mix of what releases seemed most significant and what I returned to the most. Where there were excellent albums from Kendrick, Japandroids, and Kesha, these were the albums that defined my year. Also, shoutout to Run the Jewels. RTJ 3 would’ve made the list, but they leaked it Christmas Day 2016, so too bad.
- The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die-Always Foreign
TWIABP continue to carry the torch they helped ignite in the emo revival. Always Foreign sees the band inching forward where Harmlessness left off. It’s the band’s most politically-minded release-to-date. “Marine Tigers” and “Fuzz Minor” are scathing social commentaries delivered by an impassioned David F. Bello. The band also doesn’t shy away from creating indie-rock with a sense of grandeur, as “Infinite Steve” and “Faker” see the band embracing post-rock the size of which the band hasn’t grown to before. With the songs “The Future” and “Dillon and Her Son,” TWIABP don’t shy away from Blink-182 style pop-punk, making this the most diverse set of songs TWIABP have ever released.
It almost feels like every day someone tells me that they want to start listening to podcasts, and since it’s become a regular medium, you can find podcasts about literally anything. I’ve listened to podcasts about everything from tech to crying. There really is a podcast for everyone, whether you need information, a laugh, or an emotional reaction. Here are some of the best new podcasts and veterans that have kept up the good work:
- Swipe Out
Alix McAlpine’s podcast is simple enough on the surface, and it’s certainly not the first dating podcast. The premise is Alix goes on first dates, then discusses them with her friend, while creating a list of qualities she’d like her ideal partner to have. Occasionally, it’s funny, but McAlpine is doing more than just gossiping about her dates. She’s really exploring what it’s like navigating the dating world, as a millennial, with dating apps, and as a young adult. It’s a mostly transparent look into the dating world, and it provides so much insight to those single among us.
Standout episode: Connor/Slim Thicc Continue reading
Continuing our exploration of Bryant Park’s Winter Village…
Fried pickles are an underrated masterpiece. Fried mac-and-cheese bites reign supreme, but there’s something about a nice juicy pickle, covered in breading that makes them a savory appetizer. They can burn your mouth, but having the hot pickle drip on your tongue is also a skill that makes them excellent. Continue reading
Earlier this year, I made an effort to keep track of every album (regardless of release date) I listened to in 2017. I gave up around May, but maybe I’ll try again for 2018. By the time I called it quits, I’d listened to 122 albums, and upon reviewing the list, I did see a bunch of albums I did really enjoy but forgot about. My best-of list will feature my top picks of albums that stuck with me from the time they came out until now, but these honorable mentions were also pretty great albums that I feel deserve some recognition. In no particular order, some of the other great albums from 2017 are:
Lil Peep-Come Over When You’re Sober (Part One)
The morning I found out about Lil Peep’s death was strange. I’d liked some of his songs, but his music hadn’t really grabbed and held me like it had for others. I still felt sad, mainly just seeing someone younger than me die of an overdose. I went back and listened to this album again that day, and I was surprised by how much it resonated with me. Lil Peep is the sort of artist I wish I had when I was fourteen, because it’s relatable and catchy. It really makes me upset that I wish I could’ve seen what else he could’ve done, not just for music, but for young sad kids that I do see a lot of myself in.
Black Kids’ first album in nine years was a lovely return to form. It’s an easily danceable indie-rock record with a bunch of quotable lines. “Iffy” and “Obligatory Drugs” are perfect examples of how Black Kids maintain the same energy that could’ve left them an indie one-hit-wonder. Continue reading
Pop-punk isn’t really the type of scene that bands really grow into large acts in; emo is much more unlikely. Still, against all odds, The Front Bottoms have reared their heads out of a niche corner in an underground scene and become full-fledged rockstars. Seeing them headline Terminal 5, the largest venue the band has ever headlined, it was hard not to get teary-eyed with pride. Continue reading
The best bands are never satiated by just playing their old music, but the best of the best also really enjoy playing their old songs alongside new ones. This past weekend at Brooklyn Bowl, The Hold Steady’s “Massive Nights” showed that Craig Finn and company are amongst the best of the best. Where last year’s shows were strictly a birthday celebration for Boys and Girls in America, these shows were a little more rounded, and the band also had a pair of new songs to feed to a rabid fanbase. Frank Turner was just the cherry to top it off. Continue reading