Best Music of 2014

What a horrible year for new music.  There were quite a few albums I was looking forward to (The Antlers, Fanfarlo, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Lily Allen, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Beck, Lykke Li, Wooden Wand, How to Dress Well, The Rentals, Alt-J) that just completely disappointed me.  Especially you, Wooden Wand.  Get it together.  You were going to be my new favorite band.

These are the albums that I enjoyed. There is no order, because none of them were outstanding enough to be given a rank:

Andrew Bird – Things Are Really Great Here, Sort of… – This is an album of covers of Handsome Family songs.  It’s an Andrew Bird country album.  I like Andrew Bird, and I’ve been going through a big country phase, so I enjoyed this.  It also led me to explore the Handsome Family’s albums, which I just couldn’t get into.

Slow Club – Complete Surrender – I hadn’t been a big fan of Slow Club in the past, but this is very nice and R&B-like.  I’m pretty sure this is not what their other albums sounded like.

Allo Darlin’ – We Come From the Same Place – I liked Allo Darlin’s last album too.  This is more of the same.  They have a really good bassist, and that goes along way with me.

Chet Faker – Built on Glass It took me awhile, but I found my sexy album for 2014.  This is what How to Dress Well could sound like if they decided to focus on melody.

Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music – Every best of list has this one on it.  It’s pretty good.  It’s edgy enough that you can listen to country music without feeling like you are listening to country music.

Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker – I think DP would like this album.  It’s aggressive bluesy rock n roll.  This guy can yell, and sometimes you need that.

LVL UP – Hoodwink’d – This gets a mention just because the lyrics reference the Silver Jews.  At first I thought that the album was supposed to be all cut up, but now I think my copy is just bad.  Anyway, I’ve got at least 7 songs that are whole, and I like pretty much all of them.  It’s got a nice 90s sound.

Sun Kil Moon – Benji – Now everyone who knows me knows that I love sincerity in my pop music.  If the lyrics are so sincere that you just want to cringe yourself into a ball, then I am right there.  Sun Kil Moon is like the indie Counting Crows.  This guy is pouring his heart out there on every song.  He likes to make mention that he’s the kind of guy who writes songs and goes on tour and connects with his audience.  There’s even a song about the Newtown massacre, that gets stuck in my head sometimes.   I’m cringing just thinking about it.

Brent & Kent’s Best Songs of 2011

The Annual Combo List of our favorite songs, ranked and averaged.

Top 20:


1. Sadness Is a Blessing – Lykke Li
2. Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out – The Antlers
3. Rolling In The Deep – Adele
4. Hanging From a Hit – Okkervil River
5. The Words That Maketh Murder – PJ Harvey
6. California – EMA
6. Two Cousins – Slow Club
8. Carrying the Torch – Generationals
9. Shangri-La – YACHT
10. Walking Far From Home – Iron & Wine
11. Go Outside – Cults
12. My Mistakes – Eleanor Friedberger
13. Runner Ups – Kurt Vile
14. Wicked Games – The Weeknd
14. Dust Bowl III – Other Lives
16. The Last Goodbye – The Kills
16. Hate Me Soon – Yellow Ostrich
18. Sleep – The Dodos
19. Lovers Lane – Hunx & His Punx
20. Serve the People – Handsome Furs
20. Meantime – Givers
22. Would You Say Stop? – Acid House Kings
22. Deep Oblivion – David Lowery
24. I Miss My Friend – Madeline
24. Civilian – Wye Oak
26. I Was There – The War on Drugs
27. Spitting Blood – Wu Lyf
28. Drover – Bill Callahan
29. Tina Said – Those Darlins
29. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Byé Lai Mar – This one isn’t in the playlist above, because it is cooler than you.
31. Mr. Know It All – Kelly Clarkson
31. The Hunt – Youth Lagoon

The Lovely Bones

My apologies for not updating this in awhile.  In order to try and make myself update more regularly, I’m going to try to put reviews of movies/music that I have recently seen up here.  Since I usually see movies about a year after they come out, I will not feel bad about posting spoilers.

The Lovely Bones.

I never read the book, but I’ve heard many people have.  It seemed like there was a lot in this movie that would be better with a deeper exploration, the kind you can do with a book that is harder to do with a movie.  I don’t feel I am the kind of person who needs a happy/satisfying ending every time, but it really seemed to me that the ending of the film said that it didn’t really matter that these children had died in terror at the hands of a brutal killer, so long as they had each other in heaven.  It was pretty unsatisfying.  Because I wanted a little justice in my ending, it made me feel like a movie watcher with totally unrefined and pedestrian tastes.