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the Treyscars, 2016 version…

Posted by treygar on February 22, 2016

If there is any one thing I really miss about living in Tulsa it is the Circle Cinema, where I could see all the independent and Sundance/Cannes and other film festival films out there.  There are some spots like that here in Pittsburgh, sorta, but none that I can easily drive to from where I live.

All that being said, my intake of movies has dropped significantly.  I even tried a meetup group for such movies here in town, but that didn’t work out either, I didn’t really fit in or feel comfortable….big surprise, I know this.

I was unable to see all the Oscar nominations as I’ve done in prior years, especially in the acting categories, but I will comment on the 8 films nominated for Best Picture and comment on what I have seen in this year’s return of….the Treyscars.  

As a sidenote, Ex Machina, Star Wars the Force Awakens, The Hateful Eight, and hell even Vin Diesel’s Witch Hunter movie were better than most of the movies nominated for Best Picture.  Though I have posted online that The Hateful Eight was mediocre by Tarantino’s standards – even mediocre Tarantino is better than 99 percent of all films released in a given year.

Writing (Original Screenplay) – Ex Machina so needs to win this, highly creative and original sci-fi film with minimal characters.  A nice slow burning film that is as much horror as it is science fiction and drama.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay) – Room – though I prefer Brooklyn as a film (more on that later), whatever source material Room was based on I mean wow, it was transposed to the screen in a powerful way.

Visual Effects – I like the Martian here, space effects and all.

Sound Mixing – Mad Max Boring Road.

Sound Editing – Mad Max Boring Road.

Short Films – did not see any of them so not commenting.

Production Design – The Crapenant – this film will probably win more awards than it should (heck, it already has), but I will admit the scenery on this film was good, but no better than Hateful Eight.

Music – I have no comment on the original songs because they generally choose crappy songs, but for original score if Ennio Morricone doesn’t win than these may be the worst Oscars ever.

Makeup and Hairstyling – Mad Max Boring Road.

Foreign Language Film – I did not see any of these but I hear Son of Saul is a lock so I’ll go for that.

Film Editing – The Big Short – this film was one of the best edited films I’ve seen in a very long time, intercut with all sorts of media cuts and famous folks explaining some of the tough lingo, just brilliantly done.

Documentary – I saw none of these so not going to comment.

Directing – the Revenant will probably win but my Treyscar goes to Room for its portrayal of a very real thing that could happen to anyone due to all the evil in this cold dark world.

Costume Design – Cinderella, I did not see the film but I like the blue dress Cinderella is wearing on the film poster.  In all honesty, I think Star Wars gets the official Treyscar because Kylo Ren’s costume was badass and I loved all the folks in the cantina.

Cinematography – Hateful Eight all the way.

Animated Feature Film – I never watch any of these but the trailer for Anomalisa looks so good it makes me want to see it so I will go for that one.

Actress in a Supporting Role – Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight – she was a riot in this film.

Actor in a Supporting Role – Walton Goggins – The Hateful Eight – he was a riot in this film, biggest snub of the Oscars in my opinion, don’t worry Walton, you get a Treyscar which carries way more weight in life.

Actress in a Leading Role – Alicia Vikander – Ex Machine – another Oscar snub, another time that the Treyscar’s comes through and fixes Oscar’s mistake.  Another snub is Amy Schumer who I think was just amazing in Trainwreck.

Actor in a Leading Role – Michael B. Jordan – Creed – again with the snubs, it is like no one else is watching the same films I am watching.  Creed is another film that I had better than half of the Oscar nominations.  It was a great film to watch with the family, and a great way to re-invent the Rocky franchise for the next generation.  Jordan carried the weight of carrying the franchise with grace and power.

Oscar nominated films from 8 to 1:

8 – The Crapenant – man this movie was awful.  Who cares what conditions they filmed in, that has nothing to do with the final product.  The movie was just crap and its merits are entirely confusing to me.

7 – Mad Max Boring Road – another disappointing film, I will admit it looks good but it lacked story for me.  It was a two hour chase scene.

6 – Bridge of Spies – this movie was more of a negotiation movie than a spy movie, which is fine, just felt the title was misleading.  I never tire of Cold War movies because as we all know the real Cold War is the one going on inside my heart.

 

5 – The Martian – just ranked this above Bridge of Spies because it had slightly more gripping moments even though the rescue was stolen straight out of the Apollo 13 story.

————the top four films were head and shoulder above the other nominees, and I am ok with any of the four following films winning the Oscar.

4 – The Big Short – if you follow me on Facebook you get to see longer commentary on this and all films, what I will say is that finance movies are always fun, and this one is gripping as it shows how no matter how many people lose money or in this case, homes, there is always someone out there profiting.  Millions more will die before its over.

3 – Spotlight – The reason I liked this film so much is because the team of reporters were up against time as The Church was out to foil their every move.  I think if there is one other movie I’d like to see in regards to the molestation scandal of this film it would be one from a parent’s perspective…something not touched on and even more disturbing is the parents that looked the other way or took buyouts while their kids were in danger.


2 – Room – if you want a film to kick you in the nuts, this is the film for you.  Perhaps the last film I remember watching that was this horrific on a human level was the highly underrated German film The White Ribbon, and perhaps also the Canadian film Incendies.  My buddy T.J. can probably harp on Room more as this film really hits one on the parental level – the main question of the film being should the mom have raised the child or given him up?

1 – Brooklyn – ok, here’s why I liked Brooklyn over Room – it is about someone who is trying to find themselves away from home, and that’s what I’m still trying to do.  It also has a lot of hot Irish girls, and I’m a lonely pathetic man.  The picture with the hot Irish girls wins out.

oh, and the Treyscar for Best Picture goes to Vin Deisel’s Witch Hunter movie.

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..top 50ish songs of 2015 by Trey and T.J.

Posted by treygar on January 16, 2016

for the second year now, I’ve had my friend T.J. contribute his top 50 songs of the year – and much like last year neither of us saw each other’s lists (I just got his a few hours ago and he has not seen mine until this thing posts) but there was quite an overlap of us picking the same artist, but just different songs – yet there was a decent exact song overlap as well:

T.J. had Colleen Green at #1 I had her at song at #31
T.J. had The Weeknd at #4 I had him at #29
T.J. had Kendrick Lamar at #9 I had him at #23
we both had Alabama Shakes in the top 10 but just with different songs
T.J. had Grimes at #14 I had her at #42
T.J. had Death Team at #29 I had them at #21 making that silly ass song the one that we had the closest ranking to, hah.
Neither of us had Adele, because she sucks.

A few disclosures on my list – 1) there are a number of 2014 releases on it that to me had more of a 2015 impact on them and somehow these songs all missed my radar last year, but they are great songs and should be lauded so yeah, I cheated a bit.  2) you will notice I have no Father John Misty songs on my list, and that is because his album was the album of the year and by that I mean it should be listened to as one loop – so there was no way I could single one song out as I had done on his previous album.  

Now onto T.J. list with an intro by T.J. and his listing 1-52 followed by my list which counts down from 50-1.

—————————————————-

2015 was one helluva year for art. All year long I could not catch up on the great films and music coming out. But even with all the great work coming out, it took a lot to pierce this thick shield I’ve built up around me. On top of raising three kids as a divorced single father, I work two jobs, one of them starting at 3am in the morning. I spend those mornings directing local news, hearing about all the horrible shit in the world. All of this makes you numb. Sometimes it’s the only way to get through the day. You shut down and float. But every now and then something gets through. Maybe it slaps me in the face. Or hits me in the heart. Or gets my brainwaves going. My body moving. Says what I’ve wanted to say. Makes my naughty bits tingling. Thaws me out. And for a few minutes, I actually feel. Cheers to these songs for doing just that.

1. Colleen Green – “Deeper Than Love”

Cos I’m shitty and I’m lame and I’m dumb and I’m a bore
And once you get to know me you won’t love me anymore

Oh my god I love this woman. And not just because I have a weakness for girls whose emotions are darker than their dark hair. (Plus one for her apparent kinky doctor fetish, too). Colleen Green is the only woman in 2015 that made me feel cool as fuck. All thanks to turning this song up to maximum, rolling the windows down and putting on my Ray Bans even if it was 3am and I was on my way to my soulsucking j-o-b. Sure it’s slightly dangerous but it’s worth it to feel like you’re above all the bullshit for a moment even if you don’t have your shit together.



2. Protomartyr – “Dope Cloud”

That’s not gonna save you, man
That’s not gonna save you, man

Recipe for post-punk magic: 1) killer guitar riff 2) list shit that’s dumb 3) dash of ennui 4) repeat and repeat again. Another motherfucker that begs to be turned up louder than loud. I’m pretty sure I lost my balls sometime between 2011-2014 and in 2015 Protomartyr reattached those wrinkly, saggy bastards, took away all the fucks I had left to give and sent me on my way. Guitars!!!

3.  Majical Cloudz – “Downtown”

There’s one thing I’ll do if it ever goes wrong
I’ll write you into my all of my songs

“Downtown” singlehandedly made me miss being in love. And for a guy who convinced himself that he’d given up on it entirely, this is huge. I can’t shake the mental storyboard I have for a video to this song. I just need a charming, active couple in their 90s.

4.  The Weeknd – “The Hills”

I’m just tryna get you out the friend zone
Cause you look even better than the photos

If you need proof of The Weeknd’s power, look no further than Cinderella Clark. My prudish, nearly-60-year old mother, could not WAIT to buy his album when it came out. The uncensored one too! I’m pretty sure he drops the word “pussy” about 27 times in one song. All he sings about is fucking and getting fucked up, yet he had a grandmother of three from Oklahoma jonesing for his album. Kudos, Mr. Weeknd. Not even the brain-slaughter of my mom getting horny to your music could keep me away from your sultry tunes.

5.  Courtney Barnett – “Pedestrian at Best”

Erroneous, harmonious, I’m hardly sanctimonious
Dirty clothes, I suppose we all outgrow ourselves

Self-Deprecation Anthem of the Year and also one of my peppy go-to driving songs. I’ve never felt so good about feeling so bad for myself.

  1. John Moreland – “Hang Me in the Tulsa County Stars”

When it feels like nothing’s real and no one’s standing on your side,
Just find me in the Indian Nation sky.

When a guy who looks a lot like me sings about the place I live and things I feel, it’s more than a connection. I didn’t just relate to this song. I adopted this song, cared for it like it was my own, lived inside of it and absorbed it into my body. Only Moreland could make me go from numb to sobbing in a single verse.

  1. Thundercat / Flying Lotus / Kamasi Washington – “Them Changes”

Somebody tell me how I’m supposed to feel
When I’m sitting here knowing this ain’t real

Another rotund dude singing about heartbreak. Hell yes. I want to start a club. Me, Thundercat and John Moreland, chowing on omelets at IHOP while talking about the girls that destroyed us. Too bad those guys are busy. At least I have omelets, hashbrowns, my headphones and confusing stares from waitresses as Thundercat’s funky aches make me bob and weave.

  1. Laura Marling – “False Hope”

Is it still okay that I don’t know how to be at all?
There’s a party uptown but I just don’t feel like I belong at all

This folk darling got a lot of shit from her fans for going electric and that’s not the only comparison to Dylan. Her lyrics are killer and she can write the hell out of a song. Her blonde pixie cut and sexy voice mean I’d much rather make-out with her than Mr. Zimmerman, though.

  1. Kendrick Lamar – “King Kunta”

(By the time you hear the next pop, the funk shall be within you)
*POP*

To Pimp A Butterfly is a masterpiece but it’s such a work of art, breaking it into singles feels wrong to me. Except for when King Kendrick channels James Brown and lays down this burner. I play it loud when I want to scare all my white friends away.

  1. Alabama Shakes – “Over My Head”

I feel it through all my past life
It feels good, I’m never saying goodbye

Every housewife and nerdy news anchor I know loves them some Alabama Shakes, but shit, I can’t deny it either. Especially this soulful beast that screams and aches it’s way into my chest every time it’s played. “I’m in over my head,” Brittany Howard wails. Me too, girl. Me too.

  1. Alessia Cara – “Here”

It’s weird when you and your teenage daughter share a favorite song. What’s weirder is that you both relate to it. Then again, maybe it’s not so far fetched. She is my kid. I passed down my genes and apparently my detachedness and anxiety about parties, too.

  1. Jamie xx / Romy – “Loud Places”

Not really The xx and yet it’s the best The xx song in years. Maybe ever. Jamie xx’s whole album is great but this reminder of where he came from influenced where I want to go…. And that’s into the arms of sultry introverted girls that hopefully sing like Romy.

  1. Johnny Jewel / Saoirse Ronan – “Tell Me”

The movie Brooklyn pretty much bored the shit outta me but I’d watch it again and again just to stare into Saoirse Ronan’s amazing blue eyes. Turns out she’s got an equally beautiful voice.

  1. Grimes – “Kill V. Maim”

What Grimes does with her voice in this song makes me feel things, things I’d be too embarrassed to admit publically.

  1. Modest Mouse – “Lampshades on Fire”

Modest Mouse came to Cain’s Ballroom and I was all like “nah I’m over Modest Mouse. I ain’t going to that.” And then I heard this song and I was all like, “Fuck! Tickets are already sold out?!”

  1. SOPHIE – “VYZEE”

Warning: Listening to SOPHIE might drive you crazy. Or it might make you wanna choreograph some sick dance moves in your bedroom while wearing nothing but tightie whities and a cowboy hat.

  1. TOPS – “Anything”

I have a weakness for pop ballads. If you’re gonna break my heart, do it on the dance floor.

  1. Toro y Moi – “Buffalo”

One of the most consistently great artists working today is keeping disco alive with this tune. Every single time it popped up on my playlist, the day immediately got better.

  1. Torres – “New Skin”

The darkness fears / What darkness knows / But if you’ve never known the darkness / Then you’re the one who fears the most. Preach it, Mackenzie. I love this whole damn album and it’s hard to pick a standout song but the breakdown at the end of “New Skin” earned a forever spot in my heart parts.

  1. Earl Sweatshirt – “Grief”

“Daddy, can you change the song?”

“I’m sorry, kids. I know he says the N-word a lot, but he’s a rapper so he’s allowed to.”

“No, it’s not that. This song is just making me really sad. I didn’t know rappers talked about anxiety.”

“That’s why he’s awesome. The name of his album is I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside.”

“Hey, that sounds like us!”

  1. Hannah Diamond – “Hi”

I should not like this song. It’s so simple. So cheesy. So poppy. So adolescent. In 10 years it will either be insanely dated or everything will sound exactly like it.

  1. Elvis Depressedly – “Ease”

I’ll just let the silence drift over my mind
would you ease up on me?

I have failed at everything that i ever tried
would you ease up on me?

All hail the new saddo king.

  1. Demi Lovato – “Cool For Summer”

Hello my name is TJ Clark, 37-year old single-father of three and I have a huge crush on Poot Lovato’s twin sister, Demi. My teenaged daughter is annoyed by Demi Lovato and embarrassed by her father’s crush on the former Disney star but now very very adult bipolar queen. I tell her she needs to be nice to her future step-mother. Demi is who she is and she makes no apologies, dammit. Yes, this song is filthy but it makes me feel things, mostly horny things, but whatever. Don’t judge me. Don’t judge Demi. We’re cool for the summer.

  1. Tame Impala – “Yes I’m Changing”

Life is moving, can’t you see
There’s no future left for you and me
I was holding and I was searching endlessly
But baby, now there’s nothing left that I can do
So don’t be blue
There is another future waiting there for you
I saw it different, I must admit
I caught a glimpse, I’m going after it
They say people never change, but that’s bullshit, they do

The breakup song I needed to hear about five years ago.

  1. Tobias Jesso Jr. – “Just A Dream”

Tobias channels Paul Simon and Paul McCartney stylistically but it’s Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy” that comes to mind during this tune, the sweetest little song about having a baby just before the end of the world.

Songs 26-52. One song for every week in the year. And because I aimed to do 50 but could not let those last two fall off without mention.

  1. Wavves / Cloud Nothings – “Nothing Hurts”
  2. Alex G – “Brite Boy”
  3. D’Angelo – “Sugah Daddy”
  4. Death Team – “Fucking Bitches in the Hood”

  5. Father John Misty – “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt.”
  6. Kurt Vile – “Life Like This”
  7. Sufjan Stevens – “The Only Thing”
  8. Sleater-Kinney – “No Anthems”
  9. Charli XCX – “Famous”
  10. The Chemical Brothers – “Wide Open”
  11. Carly Rae Jepsen – “Run Away With Me”
  12. Jonathan Wilson – “Slide By”
  13. Dan Deacon – “When I Was Done Dying”
  14. Erykah Badu – “Hello”
  15. Joey Bada$$ / Kiesza – “Teach Me”
  16. The Internet / Janelle Monae – “Gabby”
  17. Open Mike Eagle – “Dark Comedy Late Show”
  18. Jeff Rosenstock – “Nausea”
  19. Oscar – “Daffodil Days”
  20. Shamir – “Make A Scene”
  21. Two Sheds – “It’s Okay”
  22. The Walters – “I Wanna Be Good”
  23. Pinegrove – “New Friends”
  24. Viet Cong – “Continental Shelf”
  25. Empress Of – “Standard”
  26. Julien Baker – “Sprained Ankle”
  27. Benjamin Clementine – “Cornerstone”

——————————
Trey’s top 50 songs

50 – Fetty Wap – Trap Queen – I mean, the song is catchy.

49 – Petite Noir – Chess

48 – Twenty One Pilots – Stressed Out – this band should have broken out bigger after their first two albums, nice to see them finally get their just do – but truth be told just over two years ago they were playing to a packed crowd at Lollapalooza on a daytime side stage set so the potential was always there.

47 – Sheppard – Geronimo – fun pop song from this young Australian band.

46 – OMI – Cheerleader – another catchy pop song, and dammit I’m needing me one of them cheerleaders.

45 – Protomartyr – Uncle Mother’s – this one has that Joy Division feel to it.

44 – Tribulation – Melancholia – perhaps the best pure metal song of the year, love it.

43 – Neon Indian – Slumlord

42 – Grimes – Kill V. Maim – Grimes always turns me off with her look at me look at me comments and views, but she always finds a way to make the best dance songs.

41 – Thomas Rhett – Crash and Burn – obligatory country song on the list so no one can claim I don’t like country.

40 – Disclosure and Lorde – Magnets – Disclosure will one day go down as a legendary band, they always find the right beat and the right person to sing on their tracks, and that usually leads to hit songs.  

39 – Diet Cig – Harvard – you know I like my female singer indie rock bands.

38 – Fifth Harmony – Worth It – this song only on the list because it led to this amazing video by this total dream girl that I want to take a road trip with –

37 – Fall Out Boy – Uma Thurman – because, Uma Thurman.

36 – Rihanna – Bitch Better Have My Money – I’m usually critical of Rihanna but this is a damned fine song and that video is insane!

35 – Titus Andronicus – Fatal Flaw

34 – CHVRCHES – Clearest Blue – I do not think we have seen the best of CHVRCHES, which is crazy as they’ve given us a few great albums already.  I think one day they are going to make a song that will be a crossover smash even though that may not be what they intend.  

33 – Young Guv – Ripe 4 Luv – another fun song, this one has a Tegan and Sara guitar vibe going on it and awesome delivery of lyrics.

32 – Christine and the Queens – Tilted – best imported French song of the year

31 – Colleen Green – Deeper Than Love – I defer all comments on this song to T.J.’s ranking of it as his top song.

30 – Waxahatchee – Poison – did I mention I love my female sung indie rock songs?

29 – The Weeknd – The Hills – slightly overrated but the songs are on point.

28 – Twin Shadow – Flatliners – oh man, when he sings ‘you making promises you breaking promises’ in the chorus if you have a heart you listen to this song and say yeah, I’ve been there.

27 – The Struts – Could Have Been Me – those Mercury-esque vocals from this singer I mean c’mon. This is another young band that is bound to give us more special songs.

26 – Jess Glynne – Ain’t Got Far To Go – those claps, you want a big voiced pop song, fuck Adele, this is how you put out a girl power anthem.

25 – Tove Lo – Talking Body – this song is pure sexiness.

24 – Leon Bridges – Coming Home – just when you think that they don’t make ‘em like they used to, Leon Bridges goes out and makes one like they used to.

23 – Kendrick Lamar – King Kunta  

22 – Bully – Trying – indie rock song, female singer – I just can’t get enough.

21 – Death Team – Fucking Bitches in the Hood – this may be one of the silliest songs released this year but you can’t help from going back to listening to it over and over.

20 – Beirut – No No No – short song from this band that has been high only list before with ‘Santa Fe’.  I love how the lyrics match the music on this one “Don’t know the first thing about who you are…”

19 – Elle King – Ex’s and Oh’s – again, fuck Adele – you want a powerful song sung by a female, this blows anything she’s done out of the water.

18 – Vic Mensa and Kanye West – U Mad – if the horns don’t suck you in, I can’t help you with life.  

17 – HOLYCHILD – Plastered Smile – oh man this is a fun song, changes tempos all over the place and the singing is sexy and infectious.  Check out this live version oh my god!

 16 – Baroness – Shock Me – this is a brilliant rock song.

15 – The 1975 – UGH! – this song has that 80’s vibe to it and is a breathe of fresh air to the pop landscape and a tale of not giving up everything when you decide to give someone a second chance.

14 – Gal Pals – Ex-Marionette – they are gals, they are pals, and they fucking rock.

13 – Madonna – Ghosttown – yeah that’s right Madonna released a new album this year and yeah she put out the best ballad of the year, deal with it Adele.

12 – J.D. McPherson – Let the Good Times Roll – J.D. is just the master of modern day rockabilly and hey he has Tulsa area roots.

11 – Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – Cecilia and the Satellite – this was a 2014 song that somehow I missed last year but it really got more play on radio this year.  Just a wonderful romantic song that makes you believe in love.

10 – Walk the Moon – Shut Up and Dance – I’m pretty sure if you can’t jam to this song then you have no fucking soul.  Young love on the dance floor, that is what music is about.

9 – Ellie Goulding – On My Mind – top female pop song of the year.  

8 – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Downtown – this song, featuring many guests on it including the singer of highly underrated band Foxy Shazam – is a brilliant tour de force that I am surprised to not see it on more top lists.  The sing along chorus is the type that comes along only every so often.  The Men Without Hats sample does not hurt.

7 – Death Cab for Cutie – The Ghosts of Beverly Drive – Death Cab is another band that just churns out songs that suck you in and don’t let you breathe.  The beat on this one is one that I couldn’t even put into words explaining.  It’s got a slight Cure feel to it but it totally has Death Cabs stamp on it.

6 – Miguel – Coffee – just to recap everything “wordplay – turns into gun play / and gun play – turns into pillow talk / and pillow talk – turns into sweet dreams / sweet dreams – turns into coffee (fucking) in the morning” – glad we had Miguel around to break it down for us.  This is the song you play when you get a girl to your apartment after 2am.

5 – Big Grams – Lights On – Phantogram plus Big Boi equals a top five song.  It’s just how math works.

4 – Alabama Shakes – Gimme All Your Love – I first heard this song I thought it was the Houston band The Ton Tons, who I adore – but yeah this one just grooves and again, Adele could only wish to sing as good as Brittany Howard.

3 – SOPHIE – Just Like We Never Said Goodbye – last year the SOPHIE produced track ‘Hey QT’ made my top 10 and this time a SOPHIE track is back in the top 10.  Much like Walk the Moon, this one is about young love and how sometimes you see someone after a period of time and you click again as if you never were apart.

2 – BORNS – Electric Love – I think this was officially released in 2014 but like some other ‘14 releases on here, it got way more play in ‘15.  Arena rock song of the year and just a beautiful letter to someone who is so special they are like ‘lightning in a bottle’.

1 – Dawes – Things Happen – every now and then a song comes along, and I hear it, and it is like the words were taken out of my head.  This song has those lyrics that are so relatable it almost makes one cry.

“the true crime would be thinking it’s just one person’s fault”
“ain’t it funny how the past won’t ever let something lie”
“in a different time, on a different floor / I might mourn the loss of of who I’m not anymore”

“I can’t help how I feel / I don’t think anyone can”
“sometimes we’re lovers, sometimes we’re friends / behold the magnetism between two dead ends”

To top it all off, the chorus just summarizes life and relationships in four lines

“Let’s make a list of all the things the world has put you through
Let’s raise a glass to all the people you’re not speaking to
I don’t know what else you wanted me to say to you
Things happen, that’s all they ever do”

In just that one chorus four themes are presented:  1) everyone has been through hard times so no need to compare lists 2) remembering folks who have come and gone, in essence toasting to the cancers you have cut from your life 3)  not being able to satisfy someone with an explanation (who has not been at the point in an argument where they are not sure what else they can possibly say), and finally 4) succumbing to the harsh reality that at the end of the day – shit happens.  

For me, Dawes has put out a song that connects on all levels and came out with one of the more complete songs I’ve heard in the past few year


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….looked a lot like Che Guevara…

Posted by treygar on January 12, 2016

To preface – I’m no music critic, or professional blogger, nor do I claim to be an expert on all things David Bowie, who has just recently passed and who this blog is mainly about.

I’m just a lonely dude not unlike any other lonely person out there, who often turns to music in times of darkness, in times of solitude, in times of sorrow, or when in need of a straight up rocking dance party.

My musical hero is Morrissey, more on that later – but Bowie is up there.

It all started in the days of MTV, he had a few videos on and I thought they were neat and all, but one day my eyes popped across what became one of my top 50 songs of all time (see previous blog from a few years back or Spotify for my playlist of my top 50 songs of all time ever).

It was a long form video at that, and MTV had promoted its premiere very heavily if I remember correctly.  I thought it was amazing, this dude dancing around in some weird Arabian gypsy get up with his face painted silver, scarf around his neck, and the crowd dancing around like a bunch of artsy type who will dance to anything, hipsters basically.  The song, with its use of horns and marimba had a groove to it that to this day gets me dancing – and the lyrics connected with me, then and again, even now.  “Sometimes I feel like / the whole human race” – to me that line speaks about how life just gets so overwhelming sometimes, you get so stressed out, and you feel like you are shouldering the weight of the world.  It also had a hint of romance to it though “..is Heaven any sweeter than Blue Jean.”

I was in love, and I wanted to be Screaming Lord Byron dancing around with my face painted, colorful yet mysterious, leaving the bar with the girl.  I felt for the first time while watching MTV that that was me on the screen, much like Christian Bale’s character in Velvet Goldmine (a Bowie influenced movie and overall amazing film).  

I wanted to find my Blue Jean.  (That has yet to happen, but that is a whole other blog post).

Using that amazing thing known as Columbia House, I was soon picking up David Bowie cassette tapes, one of which being Never Let Me Down which has the highly overlooked song Glass Spider on it.  I remember when we would record ourselves singing songs into blank tapes, one of my earliest recordings was a version of Glass Spider, in which I did the spoken word intro but before long it was just me and my brother shouting “gone, gone, the water’s all gone – mummy come back ‘cause the water’s all gone.”

It was a cassette tape of Diamond Dogs, however, that really got me.  Side B, with its dystopian take on an Orwellian future blew my mind.  Perhaps the best bit of consecutive tracklisting in history starts with We Are The Dead and goes through to the musical exitlude Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family.  I remember Tina Turner’s version of 1984 being performed on MTV as a child, I think it was during Live Aid or something.  Tina Turner, at the time the biggest female star on the planet, put in a David Bowie cover on her album Private Dancer.  That is respect.

I was able during those late teenage years to listen to Bowie’s back catalog, and then keep up with everything he did from Tin Machine on.  Now sure there were some duds here and there, but on each album of his there was usually at least a couple of songs I would fall for.  Songs like New Killer Star and I Would Be Your Slave come to mind.  When The Next Day came out in 2013 Valentine’s Day made it into my annual top songs of the year blog post, coming in in the top 10.  You Feel So Lonely You Could Die was also a welcome addition to my Loneliness playlist.

When I fell in love with Morrissey, it was the Your Arsenal album, which contains I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday, a song that both heavily samples Bowie’s Rock n Roll Suicide as well as a song that Bowie covered.  That Morrissey album was produced by a one Mick Ronson, the guitarist for the Spiders From Mars, in what would be the last album Ronson would produce, so there is always that Bowie/Morrissey connection when I think of Your Arsenal.

Morrissey would go on to cover Bowie’s Drive In Saturday at live shows, and the song is still a live staple of his.  Will be interesting to see Morrissey’s statement on Bowie’s death as he has admitted many times that Bowie was an influence, as have countless musicians and artists.

Another fun Morrissey/Bowie connection is Klaus Nomi, who Morrissey champions to the point of playing Nomi songs before he takes the stage and generally if you leave a Morrissey show, it is Nomi who he plays as the arena lights come on.  Nomi appeared with Bowie on Saturday Night Live as a backup dancer of sorts, when Bowie wore the tuxedo suit that he later gave to Nomi and it became basically something Nomi was more known for than Bowie even though it was Bowie’s originally.  I always thought it great that Bowie supported other artists to the point of giving up a part of himself.

I never got to see Bowie in concert, or meet him obviously, but there are a few degrees of separation between he and I.

Oh, about six or seven years ago now, I was in Austin for SXSW and ended up sitting next to a guy tuning his guitar while waiting for a band to play.  Turns out he was to play before them and he introduced himself and we talked for a good fifteen minutes before and after his set.  His name was Richard Barone and I had never heard of him.  He played a good set though and gave me his card and said to check out his stuff online or at the record store.  Turns out I was talking to the man who had covered The Man Who Sold the World on his record Cool Blue Halo in 1987, and that his version of the song was the one that Kurt Cobain based his performance on at Nirvana’s legendary Unplugged concert.  Barone recently performed the song at the 25th anniversary concert of Cool Blue Halo and had Tony Visconti (another former Spider and longtime Bowie collaborator) play alongside him.

Visconti has also produced for Morrissey and Kristeen Young, another musician I’ve had the pleasure of communicating with and talking to in person a few times.  Kristeen’s relationship to Bowie goes above Visconti, as she has recorded a duet with Bowie, ‘Saviour’ available on her album Breasticles.

Through Barone and Young I always considered myself just a few steps away from David Bowie, and often when I’d go to a Kristeen show I would hope that either Bowie or Morrissey (ok I’ll admit, moreso Morrissey) would walk through the door.

 

I’m devastated writing this, as that child that would sit in front of the TV hoping for Blue Jean to come on while drooling over Martha Quinn has transformed into a lonely weird dude watching NCIS on syndication (still totally dreaming about Martha Quinn), but I digress….

Bowie’s lyrics influenced my shady attempts at poetry, and I often steal the line ‘sordid details following’ from Ashes to Ashes as a segue at the end of Facebook posts.  Me and my friend Martika often lament ‘…ain’t there one damn song that can make me / break down and cry.’

Today there are a few hundred David Bowie songs that are doing just that.   

—————————————————————

I was fully intending to post my best songs of 2015 list as I usually do every January, but with the recent news of Bowie’s passing, I rounded up a few pals of mine who I often discuss music with, to give me their top songs.  If anything, it is a showing of how four different music fans have four different views of favorite songs, feel free to post your list in the comments section.  (my best songs of 2015 list will have to wait a few days)  

————–

My buddy Christopher submits:  In no particular order: ashes to ashes, fame, heroes, space oddity, five years, suffragette city, under pressure, life on mars, always crashing in the same car, china girl.

————–

T.J.’s list:

Couldn’t just do 10. Here’s 20, in chronological order because Bowie is an evolution, an epic told in acts. His work is a bible, every album a testament. And because no fucking way can I play favorites.

1. Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (Rare B-Side Version)
2. Oh! You Pretty Things
3. Life on Mars
4. Quicksand
5. Five Years
6. Moonage Daydream
7. Suffragette City
8. Starman
9. All the Young Dudes
10. Time
11. Young Americans
12. Fame – w/John Lennon
13. Sound and Vision
14. Ashes to Ashes
15. Under Pressure  – w/Queen
16. Cat People (Putting Out Fire)- w/Giorgio Moroder
17 Let’s Dance
18. Tonight – w/Tina Turner
19. Love is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy)
20. Lazarus

—————

My buddy Joe couldn’t stop at 10 either –

#1 Space Oddity.  No question.  One of the 5 greatest rock songs of all time.  Everything else is just greatness.  But 2nd place greatness.  2. Life on Mars  3.  Aladdin Sane  4.  Heart’s Filthy Lesson (best guitar groove of his career).  5.  I Took A Trip On A Gemini Spaceship (Best cover of his career…paying homage to his Ziggy influence, the Legendary Stardust Cowboy).  6.  Heroes.  7.  Always Crashing In the Same Car 8.  5 Years.  9.  Starman.  10.  The Laughing Gnome (this isn’t really a top 10, but it should be heard.  It’s so great.)

But then Joe went on:  You can add God Knows I’m Good as an Honorable Mention.  Love that one

And then, a few hours later, Joe added:  Dammit!  “Velvet Goldmine” is a must.  Why only 10?  

——————

As for me, my favorite 10 Bowie songs are

1.  Blue Jean – without question, it is a song that has been by my side since I was eight years old

In no order from 2-10

Young Americans – ok, this makes a strong case for 1.  An American epic of a song with lyric upon lyric of self doubt and rite of passage thought.  From “Am I still too young?” to “we live for just these twenty years / do we have to die for the fifty more?”

Suffragette City – just a rocking song.

Panic in Detroit – the 1979 re-recording of the song which is a bit more up tempo.

Cat People (Putting Out Fire) – a song so awesome it was featured in two movies, loved Tarantino’s use of it in Inglourious Basterds in a crucial scene of the movie.

Big Brother – my favorite song on Diamond Dogs, my favorite album of Bowie’s – ‘don’t talk of dust and roses / or should we powder our noses’ the song starts out, an amazing couplet and the song just builds and builds from there with majestic horns and acoustic guitars and claps keeping the beat.

Golden Years – a song that should remind everyone to cherish the now.

I Would Be Your Slave – Heathen is another album I love, and this song hits me in the gut, talk about love and passion and sacrifice, it is right here….if I ever did find my Blue Jean, I’d play her this song at our wedding “open up your heart to me / show me who you are / and I would be your slave.”

TVC 15 – the music on this one, the piano, just genius, just rocking, oh oh.   

Heroes – this song maybe sums it all up, it is a song of hope, and i can’t help singing it every time I drive through the Fort Pitt tunnel here in Pittsburgh like the kids do in Perks of Being a Wallflower.

as an added bonus, I’d be remiss not to suggest one listen to Space Oddity and then Ashes to Ashes to hear the tale of Major Tom (and if you are really feeling up for adventure, check out Peter Schilling’s song Major Tom (Coming Home))

David Bowie, you will be missed.   In music – you will live always in my heart and the hearts of many, in the sound and vision of what you have shared with us.

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also known as 10 Things I Hate About Myself…

Posted by treygar on January 3, 2016

For what may be the 20th consecutive year, though I would have to go back in some old printed off emails to be entirely certain, my high school pal Carrie and myself are making resolutions.  Now, we are not necessarily the ‘new year new me’ type that sadly take up Facebook and Instagram feeds – because that is fucking lame folks.  We’ve always tried to be as specific as possible, or as vague as possible, or as vogue as possible.  

First up are recaps of our 2015 resolutions –

Trey’s 2015 resolutions recap:

1) edit and revamp the novel that I write in November.  

Yeah no, I’ve all but laid that November 2014 NaNo novel to rest at this point.  I am rather proud of my 2015 NaNo novel though, sadly only one person has thus far read it all the way through, the rest of my friends suck.

2) write and submit either a script or short story or longish poem to a magazine or journal or studio or something.

No.  

3) while in England (which is 98% planned so going to England would be too easy a resolution to make) I want to do two things while on a pub crawl with my brother-in-law. 1) make out with a random British chick. 2) either sing at karaoke or lead a pub sing along to The Pogue’s ‘Fairytale of New York’.

OK, due to logistical reasons, my sister was unable to host us this year so while this did not happen, I still hold out hope that it could have happened.

4) lose 50 pounds by the time I leave for England.

No, I’m fat, kill me.

5) find a super sexy date for my buddy Corey’s wedding in Tulsa at the end of August.

I did find a super sexy date, but she stood me up (she said she was sick, a reason that I thought went out with pagers).  At any rate, I did creep on a bridesmaid so I’m not going to say this resolution was a complete failure.

6) talk to older/aging friends and relatives more. Time runs out for each of us I don’t want to have any ‘I wish I would’ve talked to him/her more’ type of regrets haunting me.

No, in fact I think I burned more bridges between friends and family members in 2015 than I had in most prior years.  I got to a point where some people were just toxic to my life, and I did not really see eye to eye with them on certain subjects that I am not going to get into.  For the friends that I keep in contact with, I’d like to think I make an effort to always be there for them.  I don’t regret it though, cutting ties with some folks, family or otherwise.  We all change and I decided not to allow others ruin my day no matter how close to me they at one time were, it is not worth the drama.  Sometimes, you have to change the locks on your front door.

7) get a celebrity to give me a shout out on Twitter.

This was a success.  I got WWE Diva Paige to retweet my fanboy t-shirt I made for her.  On my birthday I got a few b-list celebrities to tell me happy birthday so I will take it.

8) take road trips to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Niagara Falls.

50% attainment rate on this one.  Yes to Niagara Falls, no to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

9) play the lotto at least once a month.

No, only played it a few times.  I could have been a billionaire by now, ugh.

10) keep feeling fascination.

And so the conversation turned…

Here is Carrie’s 2015 recap and 2016 resolutions:

I failed at nearly all of my 2015 resolutions.  I did make several recipes from my turkish cookbook.

I almost got my rough draft of my script complete but i fell short of about 15 pages.  that’s so lame!  i couldn’t get my shit together to finish it before the end of the year. pathetic.

 

2016 –

lose 10 pounds

   by a mcdougal/furhman style eating

   no snacking

   limited wine

   running- consistant slow medium length runs,4 to 5 times a week

   yoga 3x a week

   weight training(one or two times a week?)

polish my script (finish it first)

shop script around

finish a new rough draft of a different, new script

write a short film script,  maybe shoot it?

study yan san –  minimum of two lessons a week,  but aim for five

make supplemental videos to yan san

start writing for a blog about japanese travel,  get paid for it

make a godzilla and friends diorama

cook rick bayless’ yuccatan style lasagna

cook several recipes from the rick bayless cookbook

try 4 new asian restaurants in bellaire

read two professional scripts a month

take photos of asti with a birthday cupcake

And now, here are Trey’s 2016 Resolutions

1) Find a way to not turn 40
2) Get to England, and once again find a way to do these two things a) make out with a random British girl at a pub b) sing karaoke or lead a sing a long to The Pogues ‘Fairytale of New York’
3) Lose 49 pounds which is more realistic than the 50 pound number I put out last year and I don’t like to use the same resolution as the previous year.
4)  Curate the perfect jukebox setlists.  I have had some solid lists in the past, but I am still looking for jukebox nirvana, where say every song in a 7-10 song setlist gets the whole bar jumping or crying or something.  I’d say I have had an 80% perfect setlist before, but I want to really find a way to mix music with mood so perfectly that I can die with a smile on my face.
5) Pay off my college loans.  Do pipe dreams count as resolutions?
6) More realistically, pay off a couple of credit cards I ran up during hard times.
7) Write an even better NaNo novel in 2016 than I did in 2015, which was seriously my most favorite work I have put out, in novella form at least.
8) Continue with my wrestling blog – a funny thing happened the last half of 2015 my wrestling blog took off (after I had all but buried it) and I have gained a solid amount of readers on it.  I cover two of the local Pittsburgh federations but I may try to cover a few more.  I’d like to do more interviews and give these local indy wrestlers a place to go to read some unbiased reports of the hard work they put in the ring while wearing multi-colored tights.  
9) Find a place to karaoke in the Pitt area.
10) Finish my children’s book that I have been plotting in my head for years.  Find someone to do the art for it.  Get it published.  Make millions.  Be adored.
11) Actually, change that, I’m going to put ‘Be adored’ as its own resolution.  Someone just fucking hold me dammit.

Feel free to comment or post your resolutions below.

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

…..fallen from grace….

Posted by treygar on February 9, 2015

every now and then, I get an idea in my head and I decide to run with it until I get lazy….this is one of those ideas….the game is to write a few poems starting each one off with the first line from a song by the Pogues, who have some of the best opening lines out there.

If I Should Fall from Grace with God

If I should fall from grace with God
Please don’t let the devil claim me
Though I’ve cheated and I’ve stole
Well I mean just who could blame me

There was whisky, there were whores
There were many hearts a broken
There were lies that I once told
There were candy bars I’ve stolen

There was that one time
That I turned my back on God above
And the time I traded pride
All in the name of love

Set me free, kids
Let me be, kids
Bury me without a word
In an unmarked grave

If I should fall from grace with God
Let me walk the world for ages
Just as Judas did before
I’ve 30 dollars left in wages

I hold the money round my neck
As punishment, not in my pocket
It would take a solid forty days
To list the sins on my docket

I don’t know where anyone
Would even begin to forgive me
Will the ending be as sad
As it was in the beginning?

Set me free, kids
Pray for me, kids
Light a candle for my soul
As the flames take me away.

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….music sounds better with you….

Posted by treygar on January 7, 2015

Here is my long delayed best songs of 2014 list, as well as my buddy T.J.’s list.  We did the same thing mid year.  You may see some songs have moved up and/or down as the year progressed when stacked up to newer songs on both of our lists. Such a great year in music and this is just our personal top 50 but there are another 50 songs or more that could have easily been in their place. As always, my one rule is to limit it to only one song per artist, if I had not had done that there would only have been room for a few songs after putting in all of the Nick Jonas and Taylor Swift songs.  T.J. does not have that rule as you will soon see.

Some notes from looking at T.J.’s list (which I just opened this morning) and mine is that we only have five of the same songs.
– I have Future Islands at 49 he has them at 31
– I have Red Eyes by War on Drugs at 18 he has it at 22 (our closest ranking)
– I have Perfume Genius at 8 he has it at 20
– I have Homeboy Sandman at 23 he has him at 16
– I have Jessie Ware at 5 he has her at 12

A few from his list almost made my list, Lana and Fatima and Jessica Lea Mayfield being ones jest left off of my list.

Most of these songs are on Spotify to listen to or Youtube to watch their videos or you can purchase at iTunes or Amazon or do something crazy and find them at a record store.  Do enjoy.

Here is T.J.’s list – from 1 to 50:

  1. “Hudsonville, MI 1956” – La Dispute

I found myself coming back to this song time and time and time again. For the gut wrenching story. For the nostalgia vibe. For workout jams. For blowing off steam. For growing a pair. For making me fucking love guitars again. The volume got louder each time it came up. It wasn’t love that I felt for this song. It was brotherhood. And family always comes first.

  1. “Chandelier” – Sia

Sia turns her back to the audience when she performs and I still fell in love with her. That’s probably exactly why I fell in love. Not just because I like weird chicks, but because her voice alone pierced my heart more than any other this year. When I hear this song, I envision an entire musical about drunk girls making horrible decisions. I even have the choreography down and everything.

  1. “New Romantics” – Taylor Swift

Even though Tay broke my heart leaving Spotify, I was able to steal her CD from my 13 year old daughter, who is actually the one that hipped me to this song. A bonus track not even on the main album and it slays nearly everything else out this year. Even Taylor’s bonus tracks are better than your singles. GTFO.

  1. “Bored in the USA” – Father John Misty

The best musical of the year as FJM crowns himself the true heir of Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson.

  1. “Never Catch Me” – Flying Lotus/Kendrick Lamar

King Kendrick with Flying Lotus beats? Yes, please. The dancing kids in the video made me love it even more.

  1. “Lost In The Dream” – The War On Drugs

This is a placeholder for what I really wanted to write here which is “Lost in the Dream, the album” as my #6 pick. To me, the whole damn thing is one big rock symphony. It’s like going to your buddy Ethan’s smokey house with the band equipment set up in the living room. You drink half a bottle of vodka, smoke a few puffs, sit on their 1970s couch and listen to them play. You’re not sure where one song ends and another begins. All you know is that no numbness has ever made you feel this way.

  1. “Habits (Stay High) – Tove Lo

My kids sing this song “Gotta stay high-dryated all the time.” It’s like a companion piece to Chandelier and another part of the Pop musical I play in my head.

  1. “Love Again (Akinyele Back)” Run the Jewels w/Gangsta Boo

On the surface, this song sounds like RTJ’s recussitation of sex raps. The chorus “dick in her mouth all day” might initially set your feminism alarm off, but closer examination reveals a flip to the standard. The men are reminiscing about old loves, women they respected and miss. Gangsta Boo makes it clear when she brings it home in the 3rd verse. “I’ve got this fool in love again.”

  1. “Silver” – Caribou

Moody nighttime driving song of the year.

  1. “Motion Sickness” – Shabazz Palaces

Shabazz Palaces are like the Swans of rap. You love them but they also scare the shit out of you. Which makes you love them more.

  1. “Flawless Remix” – Beyonce/Nicki Minaj

The original version sounds like an art piece. The remix a high class strip club jam. Queen B reigns them all. “Of course shits gonna go down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator.”

  1. “Tough Love,” “Sweetest Song,” “Pieces” – Jessie Ware

One cannot listen to just one Jessie Ware song. A trio of pop ballad brilliance is needed. Jessie says it best herself: “I could hear this song forever.”

  1. “Hollow” – Alex G

Bedroom mope of the year.

  1. “Higher” – SBTRKT/Raury

This is exactly how I rap to myself in the car only it’s about 85% gibberish.

  1. “i” – Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick didn’t drop an album this year. He did a lot of features then dropped this one solo single. One letter. He didn’t even bother to capitalize it. Long live the king.

  1. “Problems” – Homeboy Sandman

Ennui rap flow of the year.

  1. “Pains” – Silk Rhodes

The Impossibly Cool song of the year.

  1. “Lawman” – Girl Band

Fistfight song of the year.

  1. “Blue Suede” – Vince Staples

The intersection of Kendrick Lamar and Shabazz Palaces. Could’ve easily put the entire Hell Can Wait EP on this list.

  1. “No Good,” “Queen” – Perfume Genius

I couldn’t pick just one Perfume Genius song either and you really need to listen to both of these to grasp the scope of PG’s extraordinary album of pain and empowerment.

  1. “Hard Time” – Seinabo Sey

The “why didn’t anybody use this in a movie trailer” song of the year? This thing at least has HBO promo written all over it.

  1. “Red Eyes” – The War on Drugs

Only because I was too chicken shit to include the entire album as one song, I had to throw another one on here.

  1. “Continental Shelf” – Viet Cong

If I made a fanfiction Lost Boys soundtrack, this song would be the lead track.

  1. “Mashed Potato Baby” – Franky Flowers

I don’t know if there is a video for this song nor do I want to know because the one in my head is much better. I’m at Guthrie Green during Food Truck Wednesday and the entire video is super slow motion shots of me eating one of everything from Lone Wolf as beautiful people walk past and stare.

  1. “Childs Play” – SZA, Chance the Rapper

The sexiest song you will ever ever find about video games. Chance the Rapper’s W.C. Fields impression almost made this shit number one.

  1. “Fun Gun” – Mike Simmons

Is that a guitar solo? Yes it is and it’s fucking beautiful. Makes me long for summer, this one.

  1. “Jerk Ribs (Mount Kimbie Remix)” – Kelis

Whether it’s milkshakes or jerk ribs, fear not, Kelis. I am coming to the goddamned yard!

  1. “Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth” – Parquet Courts

The “I need to listen to my Dead Milkmen tapes” song of the year.

  1. “Turtles All the Way Down” – Sturgill Simpson

Country’s sole acid king sings the blues.

  1. “Talk is Cheap” – Chet Faker

“I’m gonna make you move with confidence. Then I’m gonna get you so pregnant.”

  1. “Seasons (Waiting On You)” – Future Islands

As if this song wasn’t great enough, dude had to go on Letterman and show us what it would look like if instead of screaming “Stella!!!” like a chump, Stanley Kowalski said “fuck it” and started a pop rock band.

  1. “Go” – Grimes/Blood Diamonds

Emo Queen goes full pop and saddos everywhere wept. I fell more in love and vow to take my photo by the Grimes Elementary sign and send it to her.

  1. “Johnny And Mary” – Todd Terje/Bryan Ferry

Bryan Ferry still gots it.

  1. “Sometimes” – Oscar

Whenever I need to transport back to 1997 and remind myself to chill the hell out and have fun. With a dash of “whatever.”

  1. “Her” – Majid Jordan

It can’t be a coincidence that his initials are M.J. because Jacko’s influence is all over this track that’s begging to be your #1 late night make-out jam.

  1. “I’m Not Part of Me” – Cloud Nothings

Go ahead and pretend this is the Foo Fighters playing Cain’s Ballroom in 1997. You can even hear a little 80s Replacements creeping in. Musical time machine song of the year.

  1. “American Beauty” – Girlpool

Lyric: “It’s not enough to watch a movie, eat me out to American Beauty.” Yep, it’s the “sounds like my last date” song of the year.

  1. “Castaway” – Curtis Harding

Soul music, son. Soul music.

  1. “La Neta” – Fatima

An auditory melting-pot of soulful girl group influences from various decades and yet completely contemporary. The Lauryn Hill of an alternative universe.

  1. “High” – Freddie Gibbs, Madlib, Danny Brown

The Chronic 2014 starring three of modern hip-hops best.

  1. “Overcoming Me” – Christopher Owens

Christopher Owens channels Buddy Holly and holy shit am I about to go through a 50s rock phase?

  1. “The Greatest” (Cat Power Cover) – Halls

Cold. Sad. Haunting. Some serious winter shit. #CoverSongMonday song of the year.

  1. “West Coast” – Lana Del Rey

“Me, Lana? I’ve got the music in me?” Yes, yes I do. Now hold me and let’s look pretty crying together.

  1. “Want Remover” – Protomartyr

Channels the same vibe that made the Rolling Stones beloved in the 60s. That’s the 1960s not the Rolling Stones of their 60s which was in like the 90s.

  1. “Oblivious” – Jessica Lea Mayfield

My air guitar jam of the year. Moody. Sexy. And seriously that little guitar riff during the first :20 seconds will STILL NOT get out of my head.

  1. “Love on the Run” – Blitz the Ambassador, Nneka

If Chappelle’s Show was still on this is the kind of musical guest he would have on the show. Got that great Common/Kanye/Chicago/early Erykah vibe.

  1. “0 To 100 / The Catch Up” – Drake

Drake gets so much shit on the internet even my kids think Drake jokes are funny. But when this song comes on they get really uncomfortable and ask me to change it. Also, pretty sure Drake is the only one still making Forrest Gump references.

  1. “Insane Parties” – Radstewart

This loud-quiet-loud track is worth it just for the lyric, “if you go out and get drunk in a Native American headdress, then you’re a cunt. I don’t care if you’re ⅛ or what.”

  1. “Let My Baby Stay” – Mac Demarco

The track just screams “solo Lennon” to me which is all I needed to give it endless spins this year.

  1. “I Love You But I’m Lost” – Sharon Van Etten

Because all lists should end in tears.

And here is my list, 50 to 1:

50. Shakira and Rihanna – Can’t Remember to Forget You – you would think that the combination of two heavyweights like Shakira and Rihanna would have set the world on fire. Although this is a great song, it is a little too by the book dance standard with not much message behind it. Fun song though.
49. Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting on You) – I will be the first to admit that I discovered Future Islands a few years before everyone got into them. You can find an image of me front row at their set at Fun Fun Fest 2011 on RollingStone.com I had their song from their previous album On the Water ‘Give Us the Wind’ very highly ranked a few years back. That song was epic. This song is great as well but what put them on the map this year more than their great songwriting was their even greater live shows.

48. DJ Snake/Lil Jon – Turn Down for What – this is just a fun song and is as instant a dance hit as there could ever possibly be. In fact, if you don’t start cutting a rug when this song comes on you should leave the planet.

47. Neon Trees – Sleeping With a Friend – Neon Trees are to me as consistent a band out there. Each album is good for 1-2 solid hit songs, and all of their hit songs are unique from one another, so they are diverse and evolving. Lets face it, this song is relatable, we’ve all been in that spot where we’re attracted to one of our friend’s friends.

46. Future – Honest – I like Future’s songs of rap success and excess. ‘I got bitches kissing on bitches I’m just being honest / I’m a rock star for life I’m just being honest..’ – this song makes me want to be a rock star if all the luxuries that Honest speaks about come with it. Granted they probably don’t but it makes for a fun song.

45. Nico and Vinz – Am I Wrong – another great pop song from this year. I think the message in pop music this year was to be yourself and say what you feel and this song with a dancehall reggae vibe is a good example of that. I heard an acoustic version of this once while driving around and they do a great version when they strip down this song as well.

44. Lykke Li – No Rest For the Wicked – really loved Lykke’s new album this year. The problem with her is that all her songs are equally awesome to the point that none stand out. This was my favorite from this album but there are two or three others that are just a hair behind, like Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone, for instance. I think she got her groove back on this album.

43. Lone – 2 is 8 – now if you know me you know I love my songs to have lyrics, so that I am putting a few musical numbers on my list this year means that these songs have grooves so infectious, they are just as good as any song with those emotional lyrics I love so much. This song makes me want to roller skate or something.

42. Beverly – You Can’t Get It Right – another trend I noticed this year was surfer pop punk songs by female led bands, this is the first of a few on the list. It is like Joan Jett meets Lettes to Cleo or Juliana Hatfield on this one.

41. clipping – Body and Blood – this song is dark, and evil, and industrial. The video is haunting. clipping could be the group to take over from Death Grips except it looks like Death Grips are coming back so both bands will just have to continue making kickass music and the world will be a better place.

40. Jennifer Lopez – I Luh Ya Papi – I know this may be the point where my list loses all credibility but this song is really a good dance song and the video that goes with it objectifies men so if anything it is a song about equality. If a girl ever dedicated this song to me on dedication night on a pop station I’d love her forever.

39. One Direction – Clouds – I know that this may really be the point where my list loses all credibility but…..One Direction are on a roll. Four albums in four years each one growing their sound and ability. Going by recording and live performances, they are the hardest working band in the business for the past five years. This song breaks from their standard bubble gum pop and is an attempt at an arena rock sing a long, much like a few tracks were from their previous album Midnight Memories.

38. The New Pornographers – War on the East Coast – this is a great retro sounding song by this all star band that has other bands at a disadvantage. I guess that is why I can’t rate this song higher because really every member of this band is exceptional and could (or does) lead their own band.

37. Hospitality – I Miss Your Bones – another great rocker girl track. The rapid fire vocal delivery on the main verses that go along with the drum and guitar riff work exceptionally well together.

36. Mitski – Townie – this is a fun song with a lot of distortion sung by a girl just searching for a fun night out with boys while sneaking out the window. ‘I want a love that falls as fast as a body from the balcony’. Mitski reminds me of Guyville era Liz Phair which is never a bad thing.

35. Popcaan – Everything Nice – definintely the best reggae-ish song of the year. It has a natural flow to it that makes one want to just find a beach somewhere and dance and drink and love life.

34. Todd Terje – Inspector Norse – this makes TWO songs with no lyrics on my top songs of the year list, which is entirely surprising to me. Basically all you have to do is take this song to a nightclub, turn it way the fuck up, and voila – instant dance party. Song is nearly 7 minutes long and the party on it never stops. Ever.

33. Panda Bear – Mr Noah – it takes over a minute before this song kicks in, but when it does it is a great noisy electronic song that grows on you. I don’t like Animal Collective too much, but when them or one of their solo members or affiliates make a good song, they make a killer song and that is what this one is. This song is made by hipsters, for hipsters, but us regular folk can enjoy it too.

32. YACHT – Terminal Beach – new wave dance party all the way on this one. You like some Pleasure Victim Berlin or some Missing Persons then this is the song for you. YACHT is amazing live so if you ever get the chance be sure to check them out.

31. Dum Dum Girls – Trouble Is My Name – I can never get enough of the chilled out beach rock that the Dum Dum Girls bring on every release. This is such a smooth song it feels like you are listening to the sisters of the Beach Boys.

30. Katy Perry – Birthday – this could’ve gone on last year’s list as well but the single was released this year (same goes for a few other songs on this list). To me this song has a Sheila E vibe in the verses and you have to love the sexual innuendos all over the place.

29. Claire London – Do Dark Things – I found this artist a very weird way, a friend of mine does photography in NYC and did a shoot for Claire a few years ago. I gave her a listen and really dug her but figured she had given up on music. Flash forward a few years and ran across this song online one time and was amazed again. This is a powerful pop song and I like it as the girl is exerting her control, a common theme this year in music was powerful women singing powerful songs and I think we have the Spice Girls to thank for all this.

28. Jason Derulo – Trumpets – This song is silly but so catchy you can’t help but jump around the room when the trumpets kick in. ‘Is it weird that your bra, reminds me of a Katy Perry song’ may be one of the most ridiculous lyrics ever recorded but it works in this song, somehow.

27. Coldplay – Magic – yep you are reading my list right. Mother fucking Coldplay. This song is smooth, it reminds me a bit of Dave Mathews Band epic song Stolen Away with its beat. A great love song from a band that knows the formula for success and exploits it. Bonus points to the lead singer for Coldplay for making my girl Gwyneth Paltrow available again.

26. Johnny Marr – Easy Money – yep you are reading my list right. Even though Morrissey released an album this year, it is Johnny Marr listing on my top 50 and not Mozz. Did not feel Mozz’s album. Much like Marr’s previous album, his new release is some of the best stuff he has done since those golden years known as The Smiths.

25. Bleachers – I Wanna Get Better – Jack Antonoff of fun. and also known as the guy that dates Lena Dunham made the great indie rock anthem of the year in this song. Much like a lot of songs on this list, I’m loving the use of keyboards/piano on songs this year. This song makes me feel hopeful and should I say it, better?

24. Ryn Weaver – OctaHate – this is the type of song that Ariana Grande could only dream of making. It is a r&b/pop/girl power song that has a powerful hook and strong vocals.

23. Homeboy Sandman – Problems – my buddy TJ posted this song and I fell in love instantly. The piano loop on this song drags me in, but the rhymes delivered so smooth and sarcastically make you want to play the song over and over. Also, it directly/indirectly takes a dig at hipsters in one lyric which is always fun.

22. Chrissie Hynde – Dark Sunglasses – little known fact, Chrissie Hynde released her first ever solo album this year. Some really good songs on the album and this first single off of it is a smooth rock song. If you dig this check out the rest of the album I love it.

21. Fever High – That’s So Typical – I heavily promoted this song in my mid year list and still have not fallen out of love with it. The best song released since the 80’s that should have been released in the 80’s.

20. Alex Dezen – Hellp – I will never figure out why more people do not like The Damnwells, Alex’s band. His songwriting is spot on, and in this song you can feel the desperation as he shouts the chorus. Soulful, heartbreaking.

19. MKTO – Classic – this is just a great pop song and I like how it references other pop songs. If I was a younger lad this is the kind of song I would quote when trying to pick up a young girl. The opening line is just great ‘oh girl you’re shining/like a 5th avenue diamond’ so yeah I’m totally dropping that on some poor unsuspecting girl one day.

18. The War on Drugs – Red Eyes – this band got lots of acclaim this year but this is perhaps the only song of theirs that I really got into. It is an American rock song through and through that is on par with some Springsteen and Petty.

17. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues – this song just rocks, if you don’t listen to the lyrics you would rock out to it as if it was the Sex Pistols. What is important about this song though is that it talks of the struggle of a transgender person, without feeling too sorry for the singer of Against Me! who has gone through a lot of criticism during her transgender coming of age. Also, it is a love song, so it hits on all angles.

16. Jenny Lewis – She’s Not Me – ahhh, the jilted girlfriend song of the year. ‘all those times we were making love / I never thought we’d be breaking up / bet you tell her I’m crazy’. This song has a bit of a twist after the first two verses sound like the guy did her wrong and found an easier prettier girl. Listen for yourself I ain’t gonna spoil it.

15. Shamir – I Know It’s a Good Thing – Man the voice on Shamir is just amazing. This song has some retro piano disco vibe musically that makes you wonder if this is something that is a descendant of Donna Summer or Andrea True Connection or Steve Wonder himself.

14. Ought – Habit – the stream of conscious lyrics on top of a Pavement type old school indie rock score really hits home. I take it as the story of a dude when he starts getting into someone and the feeling he feels and wanders if she feels it too.

13. Chumped – Hot 97 Summer Jam – more girlie punk rock. Another summertime surf punk song from a girls point of view waiting for her summer dude to come take her into his arms. This is like a guitar driven sequel to Steal My Sunshine.

12. Nick Jonas – Jealous – ‘I don’t like the way he’s looking at you’ this start songs off. A great chorus this is as ultimate a pop song as one can create. I also like how deep down it is a manly song. Hear me out, who hasn’t had their girl looking hot out in public and noticed other dudes staring her down and not gotten the smallest bit of possessive jealousy flared up? And the girl in this song, I mean wow ‘you’re too sexy, beautiful, everybody wants a taste’ that sounds like as smoking a girl out there.

11. Chromeo – Jealous (I Ain’t With It) – the better of the two songs about male jealousy. This song is more danceable than Jonas’ song on the same subject so it gets the nod. Dance party all over this one as you can feel some Dirty Mind Prince era beats on this joint here.

10. St. Vincent – Digital Witness – I’m digging the use of horns on songs these days and yeah this song has horns that get inside your soul. St. Vincent consistently puts out great songs on a yearly basis and this track is perhaps her most radio friendly so I’m sad that it is not on mainstream radio.

9. Saintseneca – Happy Alone – this song delivers one of my favorite lines of the year ‘to presuppose this precipice / could be climbed by any one of us / that was my misjudgement / I guess I best just shut up and face that / I’ll be alone’ – a great song about being alone, but being alone in ones happiness. In other words, my theme song.

8. Perfume Genius – Queen – just one of the best glam rock songs ever written. If you like T Rex, Roxy Music, Dory era Bowie, Jobriath era Jobriath, you will bow down to this song. If you don’t like any of that, you’ll still fucking love this song!!!

7. Blake Mills – Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me – a rare country song on my list, but this song is a great song about a guy not wanting his girl to tell their mutual friends about how bad he’s treated her, going as far to admitting that he physically abused her. So yeah, way more emotionally jolting than standard red solo cup country fare.

6. QT – Hey QT – every now and then I fall in love with a song that I shouldn’t it, this year, this is that song. It is labelled as PC Music, whatever that is. It is a dance track, it is K pop or J pop or Chipmunk pop. Whatever it is, it is brilliant and I wish I was this girl’s cutie.

5. Jessie Ware – Tough Love – Jessie made the album of the year for me, so it was hard to put this song at just the five spot but I think it is because there are some other songs on the album just as good. Her voice is hypnotic, the beats are pulsating, and the lyrics of yearning and regret and forgiveness are resonating. ‘you have me crying out, crying out, for more….’

4. Ingrid Michaelson – Girls Chase Boys – one of my top songs from the first half of the year and I still cannot get enough of it. Just an ultimate pop song about the fact that relationships come and go and we shouldn’t ‘make it harder than it has to be’ when your heart is eventually broken.

3. How to Dress Well – Words I Don’t Remember – ‘you know that I love you baby’ this song starts off, in some soulful Maxwell-ish vibe. Though vague, I take it as a love song, and all love songs should be vague, so yeah. This song also has a great finale that the beat builds to. The beats upon beats coupled with the soulfulness sining of this song really make it a complete song in my opinion and it was the top song for me at mid year point and was only beat out by two songs the latter half of the year.

2. Taylor Swift – Shake It Off – was there ever any doubt that this would be one of my top tracks? Just like its Shake It Off predecessor by Mariah Carey, Taylor delivers a song about being yourself and not worrying about what haters are saying. In this age where your every move is caught on facebook or twitter or snapchat or tinder or youtube, the ability to still be yourself and not compromise that is something that needs to be promoted more often, and Taylor does this at every opportunity.

1. Hozier – Take Me to Church – Every now and then, there is a song that is made that is so great you realize on the first listen that it will stand the test of time. That is what this song is. It is about humanity, about love, about religion, about acceptance, about the lack of all these things. I was at a bar one time and Losing My Religion came on and this one guy I barely knew that was sitting at the table told me that it took many years, but he finally gets what Losing My Religion was about, I can see myself listening to Take Me to Church 20 years from now and saying the same thing. The song has metaphor after metaphor and you wonder what girl or situation evoked the kind of emotion that Hozer put into music and verse, and you wish that one day you can feel that kind of passion too.

thanks for reading and please list any comments or cheapshots or your own favorite songs below.

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….radio nowhere….

Posted by treygar on January 4, 2015

2014 was not a complete disaster. I took a great transfer opportunity to Pittsburgh, leaving behind a large group of friends and femme fatales I had gathered in Tulsa. The job has been great and am learning so much that will help me further my career with the company. I am getting to see my son twice as much as I used to see him, so that is great. Other highlights include getting my MBA and finishing a quirky little novella during November’s National Novel Writing Month. Though I have yet to find the big haired Italian girl of my dreams up here, I’m in no rush.
As some may know, my good friend Carrie and myself have been doing resolutions since the mid-90’s. We used to write them to one another when she was in college and I was in the Navy, and I’m going to find some of the old ones I have on paper boxed away somewheres and share them sporadically. First up, a recap of our last year’s resolutions and then a listing of our ones for 2015.

Trey’s 2014 resolutions:
– Leave Tulsa. This happened. Though it was all but certain it wasn’t a guarantee, and I never thought I’d say this but I miss Tulsa.
– Read 10 books, going for a low number as I do have a busy first quarter of the year. I finished six, so a little short of goal.
– Once school is done, focus on writing more along with the reading mentioned above. Did not write as much as I would have liked though November’s book really was a fun project that I’m glad I completed.
– Take my son on a killer trip, maybe the Disney cruise, or maybe a video game or gaming convention since he is really into that. Didn’t do anything major, we went all over Pittsburgh and went to all sorts of conventions and Pokemon tournaments, which he is really into, end of day we did what he wanted but I have hope I can talk him into a fun adventure one day.
– Go to a ballgame with my Dad. Didn’t happen, couldn’t talk the old man into flying up here.
– Spend some time with my brother, more than likely listening to Danzig songs and drinking beer. Didn’t happen either, our schedules never lined up.
– Give the best presentation at my capstone final en route to getting my MBA. I rocked my presentation so yeah I call this one a win.
– Lose 30 pounds by June 1st. No.
– Record a cover version of Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns. Sadly no, though that is probably a good thing for the rest of your ears.
– Travel out of the country, even if it is just going as far as Canada or Mexico. Nope.
– Spoiler: contribute to a Music Appreciation forum to the best of my ability. Just accepted the role of contributor to such a site this very day. I did what I could with this site, but me and the other admins sort of let this site die.
– Discover old classic and foreign movies that I haven’t seen before. No, I just kept on watching The Cutting Edge over and over….oh boy….
– Begin to adjunct teach in the fall at any community/junior college or university that will give me the opportunity. No, never got settled enough with work to get the time to do this.
– Find a rich girl that will pay my college loans. No.
– Watch that damned Breaking Bad TV show. Watched parts of it but lost interest. So yeah I watched it but was not impressed.
– Go to a rocking music festival that I haven’t been to yet. Nope. Best show highlights of the year for me were Judas Priest and Ingrid Michaelson.
– Find a way to outdo myself on Christmas cards, which may very well be impossible. I have failed everyone, did not to my cards this year.
– Last, and certainly not least, stop falling for and hanging out with ratchet girls I don’t even know how to answer this one.

Carrie’s 2014 Recap:

1) start marathon training now, so I can have training for an entire year. start at 3 miles for 5 weeks, then up it one mile, stay for three weeks, then up it one mile, etc until at 8 miles, then kick in with traditional training
nope failed at that and traditional training hasn’t gone so well either. the marathon is going to suck but i think i can make it to the finish line before time runs out.
2) more yoga – i’d like to do yoga every other day. need to figure out how to make that happen
no, did good for about two months then stopped
3) weight train twice a week – most of the year then it got weird after i moved in sept
4) lose 12 pounds –
i lost ten, i’m concluding this to be successful
5)eat healthy, get back to following a modified (1-2 servings of dairy, not 3, ,all grains whole grains, 2-3 servings of grains not
i’m considering this a success, even though i didn’t start it until june and it has been derailed the past two months, but i’ve done it and will get back to it
6) finish chupcabra screenplay, finish rough draft of a new screenplay
FAIL!
7) revisit Yan-San, learn 100 new Japanese vocabulary words
FAIL- i hadn’t even looked at yan san
8) break out the bagpipes
NOPE
9) make my own pita bread
NO- I had planned on going to my mom’s today to make the pita bread. getting sick derailed that. guess i shouldn’t have waited until the last minute
10) manage my time better – make a schedule, stick with it, no internet until first block of writing done
since i worked most of the year, this didn’t apply too much. i had done somewhat better with my time than i have in the past.
11) finish the herb alpert music video
i had forgotten i put this one on the list!
12) hang my paintings
yes and I did it in january! then i moved and most of them are hung now.
13)win the lottery
NO but i’ve got one more chance tomorrow!
14) try mappo tofu
YES- tried it twice even, once at heights asian cafe, where it was awful and once at mala shizchuan bistro where it was amazing

Carrie’s 2015 Resolutions:

HEALTH-
Lose 5 pounds and don’t gain any, haha
Get back to the Fuhrman way of eating
Be consistent with boot camp
Return to yoga – 3x a week
Do hula dvd – 3 times a week
stick with my running post marathon, 9 milers

FUN-
take a vacation with jim (well the jim part is a given)
try Banana Leaf, the Malaysian restaurant
cook minimum 5 dishes from Turkish cookbook
make pita bread
Create a short, 3-5 minute, documentary
two yan san lessons a week, can do more if have time
train the parakeets
revamp wardrobe

HOME
organize studio
organize pantry
organize kitchen
organize back room
come up with plan for remodel and storage
plant a garden

WORK/career building
find a part time job
finish Alamo screenplay
finish chupacabra
Sorry I didn’t get these out sooner but the hotel I was at had horrible wifi….

Trey’s 2015 resolutions:
1) edit and revamp the novel that I write in November. I already have some test readers for it and there are parts I’d like to axe/delete/redo/expand upon. I’d like to have this done by the end of April. Not trying to publish or anything for profit, this is my free gift for the world to read. You can all pay for the next one.

2) write and submit either a script or short story or longish poem to a magazine or journal or studio or something. When I watch a majority of television I realize that I can write just as poorly as say, any episode of The Good Wife, so why not me.

3) while in England (which is 98% planned so going to England would be too easy a resolution to make) I want to do two things while on a pub crawl with my brother-in-law. 1) make out with a random British chick. 2) either sing at karaoke or lead a pub sing along to The Pogue’s ‘Fairytale of New York’.

4) lose 50 pounds by the time I leave for England…..mainly to fit into an airplane seat better.

5) find a super sexy date for my buddy Corey’s wedding in Tulsa at the end of August. Ladies, I am taking applications now.

6) talk to older/aging friends and relatives more. Time runs out for each of us I don’t want to have any ‘I wish I would’ve talked to him/her more’ type of regrets haunting me.

7) get a celebrity to give me a shout out on Twitter.

8) take road trips to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Niagara Falls.

9) play the lotto at least once a month and may the odds be ever in my favor.  I don’t want to do this so I can live a life of cocaine and hookers, I just want to pay off my college loans quicker.

10) keep feeling fascination.

Feel free to post any of your comments or resolutions below, and as always, nothing matters when we’re dancing.

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T.G. and T.J.’s top songs of 2014 so far….

Posted by treygar on July 1, 2014

It is exactly the mid-year point of 2014….sorta….I mean, six months have gone by and as our beloved Morrissey once quipped, “…six months is a long time…” As it is, this year has given us a lot of great music, so the challenge to fellow music connoisseur T.J. was to put out a list of each of our favorite songs of 2014 thus far. We were going to do only 10 a piece but T.J. just could not pare it down any further which only means he is going to have hell to pay when the rest of this year’s releases start pouring in the remainder of the year. Feel free to comment, posting what your favorites are, and hopefully you find something on this list that you have forgotten or are finding and will be jamming out all night like I know I will be.

Here is T.J.’s list, I thought that we would have 1-3 songs in common so am entirely surprised that we have 0 songs in common on our Top 15 lists….this really points out to how diverse a year it has been and that there is plenty of music out there to suit everyone’s tastes.

 

Chet Faker – “Talk is Cheap”
His stage name is a nod not only in name but also in sexiness to the great Chet Baker. This song about working out our differences in non-verbal ways is the best “doin’ it” jam of 2014.

Drive-By Truckers – “Hanging On”
Nothing innovative or groundbreaking here, just an honest folk song that hits me right in my goddam gut and sounds like it was written solely for me.

Fatima – “La Neta”
Fuck PBR & B. Hipsters CANNOT steal soul music. Fatima, a London Swede, keeps it safe and shows us the way we can keep soul music alive in 2014.

Jessica Lea Mayfield – “Oblivious”
My air guitar jam of the year. Moody. Sexy. And seriously that little guitar riff during the first :20 seconds will NOT get out of my head.


John Fullbright – “Very First Time”
Fellow Okie channels a bit of Tom Waits-ian balladry and delivers another tune that hits me square in the heart and tear ducts.

Jungle – “Busy Earnin’”
If Jungle doesn’t blow the hell up when their LP drops in July then this world is bullshit. They’ve released about four singles so far and ALL of them are dope. Think TV on the Radio meets The Bee Gees.


La Dispute – “Hudsonville, MI 1956”
Because sometimes you need some good-ass post-punk in your life. This is from the best concept album of the year, too. Peep this description from Rock Genius:

The song opens the album and basically narrates the terrible tornado tempest that ravaged Hudsonville, MI, on April 3, 1956. The album as a whole recounts the story of a married couple through moments they’ve lived and shared and the rooms of the house they’ve lived in, from the love of the first years to the slow and relentless decay of their passion. Here, they’ve recently married; the woman with their kid travels to Indiana to visit her family, while the husband stays in Hudsonville where he has to work. The tempest comes, and they both have to hide in the basements of the houses, not knowing what has become of each other. (link: http://rock.rapgenius.com/La-dispute-hudsonville-mi-1956-lyrics)

OBN IIIs – “Uncle Powderbag”
Welcome to your Van Halen revival. I don’t even like Van Halen but gotta admit this song is fun as hell and the most ROCK rock song I’ve heard in years.

Oscar – “Sometimes”
Speaking of revivals, the 90s are alive and well in current music. Some of it crap and some of it super quirky and infectious. This is like a piece of bubble gum that has stayed fresh and gooey for the last 20 years.


Shabazz Palaces – “They Come in Gold”
And speaking of the 90s, who knew an evolution of Digable Planets would be the most forward-thinking hip-hop around? (Answer: Anyone who worshipped Blowout Comb in 1994)

Sturgill Simpson – “Turtles All The Way Down”
What’s that you say? You hate new country and it’s the worst shit around? Let Sturgill Simpson give you the proverbial STFU finger. Sure, the first verse mentions Jesus, the devil, God, getting old, and cheating. Standard country themes, right? But the second verse brings this gem and shows it ain’t just your granny’s Haggard throw-back: “There’s a gateway in our mind that leads somewhere out there beyond this plane / Where reptile aliens made of light cut you open and pull out all your pain.”

SZA & Chance the Rapper – “Childs Play”
Just SZA and Chance the Rapper making Beyonce and Jay-Z look about as hip as Captain and Tennille. This is the sound of a torch being passed.

Todd Terje & Bryan Ferry – “Johnny And Mary”
My Roxy Music soft spot is in full effect with this pick.

Tunde Olaniran & James Linck – “The Internet”
The future of hip-hop might rest in the hands of an androgynous guy from Michigan. In other words, this statewide Manager of Outreach for Planned Parenthood could very well be the new Iggy Pop.

Tune-Yards – “Real Thing”
Like all great songs, this fantastic anthem about brains-over-beauty just sounds better and better the louder you turn it up.

Thanks for sharing T.J., appreciate the collaboration.  Here is my list, thanks for listening everyone.

DJ Snake and Lil Jon – “Turn Down For What”
This song has taken over Rick Ross’ ‘Hustlin’ as the song I think is playing every time I open the door and strut into a room.  And it is playing, but sadly only in my head.

Alex Dezen – “Hellp”
One day Alex will be remembered as one of America’s foremost songwriters, from his solo efforts to the songs and performances of his vastly underrated band, The Damnwells.  This slow number is heartbreaking in nature but hopeful in message.


Lykke Li – “No Rest For the Wicked”
Lykke released a breakup album this year in case anyone hasn’t noticed.  It maintains some of her Swedish pop sensibilities but at the same time sounds almost like church hymns.

Clipping – “Body and Blood”
This industrial hip hop group looks to be the second coming of Death Grips which is definitely not a bad thing.  If you find the video for this make sure you are aware it is very NSFW.

MKTO – “Classic”
Cheating a slight bit on this as it came out in 2013 technically, but it is only now getting radio play on a wide level.  From the opening line to the chorus which references many different pop artists, this is definitely the song I’d be singing to girls if I was in high school.

Nico and Vinz – “Am I Wrong’”
The main music on this song reminds me a bit of Message In a Bottle (is it a sample, I haven’t researched it yet?), this is another heavy radio rotation song right now but what I like the most about it other than the music and delivery going so well is the message of questioning oneself if you are doing right or wrong when you are doing what you feel.  To me it is a relationship song but it could also just be about life in general.

Future – “Honest”
Future really has been making some of the funnest rap songs these past few years.  This a pure bragging song but Future makes bragging sound so cool.  To me it is a sequel to another favorite of mine from a short bit back, ‘Ca$hin Out’.

Fever High – “That’s So Typical”
This song is bringing the 80’s back, so how come more of you aren’t listening to it!!!!?!?!?!?


Katy Perry – “Birthday”
The beat is fun, the verses are Sheila E/Pointer Sisters-esque, and there is one double entendre after another in the new Queen of Pop’s latest single.

Lone – “2 is 8”
I don’t usually like songs with little to no lyrics, but this song defines the word ‘jam’.

St. Vincent – “Digital Witness”
This song may have the best use of a horn section since I dunno, Chicago.  It hits you from the very first note and never lets up.

The War on Drugs – “Red Eyes”
Straight out American rock song here.  I’m thinking a direct descendent of Tom Petty mixed with the best parts of Kings of Leon with this one.


Saintseneca – “Happy Alone”
A song about loneliness that sounds happy, hard to pull off but very well done.  Verse 2 is perhaps my favorite lyrical moment of the year ”To presuppose this precipice / could be climbed by any one of us / that was my misjudgment / I guess I best just shut up and face that / I’ll be alone / happy alone”

Ingrid Michaelson – “Girls Chase Boys”
Girls chase boys chase girls chase boys…..and round and round it goes.

How to Dress Well – “Words I Don’t Remember”
This song is totally not my type, and maybe that is why I like it so much.  It has Maxwell Urban Hang Suite soul mixed with Prince-like lyrics (meaning that I’m not sure what they mean but they mean something profound), as well as a beat that is mesmerizing and climaxes to as satisfying an ending as I’ve heard in a while.

Posted in blog, freedom, music | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

…..let me die….

Posted by treygar on May 28, 2014

Let me die
Let me die in a field of bluebonnets
Wind blowing softly
Not too hot but definitely not cold
Let me die without an ounce of gold

Let me die
Before I get too old

Let me die dreaming of her
Dreaming of being nervous
Holding her hand
Trying to hold her hand
Hoping she’d comprehend
Let me for a moment be her man

Let me die
Taking one last chance

Let me die without having to say goodbye
To anyone
I’m sure many would agree
I’ve already said enough
Let my actions speak
For many weeks
After I’ve gone

Let me be remembered
And not forlorn

Let me die as if I was
In a song
Within a song
About a play
About a myth
About a boy and girl in love

Let all that is below
And all that is above
Leave me be

Let there be a moment where
I am not judged
A split second before
I’m taken away

Let me be free
Let me die

Let me be at one
With the flowers and the thoughts
And the dreams of what I’ve done
What I’ve become

Let me die
Alone.

Posted in blog, freedom, poetry, relationships, snow is evil | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

……yeah yeah, since you’ve been gone…

Posted by treygar on May 4, 2014

Gotta have an intro song…..

On the celebration of my 20 years since graduating high school, and in going along with my song selections for this blog post, I’m writing this on a Saturday night.  Coincidentally, I am doing what I did during my high school years on Saturday nights and that is sit alone in my room reading comics, listening to Cure records, and crying myself to sleep wondering just what my life has become.

People put much on 20 year anniversaries, as well they should.  Two full decades gone, and while I missed the celebration it would serve well to at least speak about the passing of time.

I honestly don’t feel much about high school, as I was more or less a nobody, I know that many people confuse me with the starting quarterback type but I assure you that was not the case.  20 years later and I’m a nobody with debt, less hair, and a lame blog.  So, some progression.

Don’t get me wrong, the formative high school years were entertaining at times, and I made some great friends who have stuck around and kept in touch.  A few in specific kept me going with letters on my lonely seaward days where I was rocking mad bellbottoms for Uncle Sam.  I will forever be in their debt.

I left town quickly after high school though, so that need to reconnect with everyone didn’t get me any more excited than a late night soft core Cinemax movie would, so there’s that.

When you graduate you feel like king of the world, you have the loftiest goals in the world and 20 years later you wonder if you’ve succeeded in anything.

20 years ago I wanted to be a teacher/writer but I’ve learned since that I don’t like people enough to teach them on a consistent basis, and my writing is horrible and I’m pissed that none of y’all told me earlier.  Jerks.

The next thing you think of, or maybe the first thing, is how one has succeeded in the love department.  I always wanted to show up at my 20 year reunion with a model on each arm, laced in furs and diamonds.  And though I had every plans on doing so this year, one of the girls at the escort service got sick and couldn’t make it so I shelved the whole plan.  My travels into relationships have been well documented in vague/not vague poems and prose, and though I could speak for many years on the subject all I can rightfully say after all this time is that if it works out it works out if it doesn’t, it doesn’t, and thanks to all the ratchet girls who have made out with me from time to time I do appreciate it.

You learn a lot going through 20 years of answer searching.  Friends and family have come and gone.  The funerals seem to happen more frequently the older you get and you start to contemplate existence more than you should.  I guess I’ve always wanted to make a difference and I’m scared that my time is running out, so this in turn forces me to live faster than I need to, a quarter mile at a time.  Vin Diesel, you are to be blamed for everything.

You find out you are perhaps racing Keanu Reeves to the death in a James Dean moment, and you only hope the brakes work…..fade to song 2 of this program….


Alas, the days have led me from the suburban war that was La Porte, Texas to Orlando, Mississippi, Virginia, back to Houston, back to Virginia, San Antonio, Tulsa, and now in Pittsburgh for as long as I feel the need to be here….but at the same time I’ve always claimed La Porte as where I hail from.  Not just Houston, because Houston is so vast.  Spending those formative years in La Porte actually means something to me, and something that only I and those raised alongside me really understand much like I’m certain those who are from the evil kingdom that is known as Deer Park probably feel the same way.

I haven’t achieved all I’ve wanted to in those 20 years that have passed, mainly because I’ve yet to find a way to talk Marisa Tomei and Lucy Liu into joining me in a tub of banana yogurt.  I do digress…..

It isn’t about achievement though, I think that is what I learned more than anything.  We all live for different things, and being able to appreciate life is the important thing that finally hit me a few years back while I was consuming one too many shots of patron with some twins from Okmulgee…… That being said, tonight I’m going to dance on my own, but you’re all more than welcome to join, here’s to hoping for another 20 fellow Bulldogs…..

Posted in blog, freedom, music, random musings, relationships | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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