I am not gonna lie, y’all. I have no idea what’s happening in pop music anymore. And I don’t think it’s just because I’m old. I mean. I am. But I love pop music. And rock music. And rap music. And dance music And country music. I seriously just love music.
But what’s being played on the radio? For one – I don’t listen to the radio. I honestly can’t stand it. It’s so… generic and lost in the 80’s with cheesy-ass DJ’s and contests and what not. I usually have my iPod or iTunes streaming and listen to all the things I’ve loved forever. That means a lot of Foo Fighters, Goo Goo Dolls, Counting Crows, Killers, along with a bevy 90’s and early aughts alt/grunge/pop.
For me to really love it, music has to make me feel something. It can be simply the pure joy of ear candy, but the stuff that I really dig has to move me in some way… to dance, to feel, to connect with. Mostly what I hear now is soulless nonsense about going to the club or being hot or being rich or having gross sex with some douche who thinks he God’s gift. It’s just kind of mind-numbing noise and much of it incredibly mosaginistic.
So writing a blog about the great music discoveries of 2016 is super hard because I had very few. But what I did find, I loved hard.
Foo Fighters – Saint Cecilia EP – No music blog of mine would be complete without a mention of my beloved Foos. Technically, this EP was released for free in November of 2015 as a digital download. But the vinyl/cd versions weren’t released until 2016. This was a little piece of lagniappe by the Foos. After a grueling year of touring with Dave’s bum leg, they found themselves at a boutique hotel in Austin named after the patron saint of music, headlining the Austin City Limits music festival and got a bit of inspiration. They recorded a few songs they’d had ideas for over the last few years. When they had to cancel the last leg of that tour because of the Paris bombings, they decided to release it digitally for free with a beautiful, long-winded love letter to fans written by Dave.
This collection is clearly a throw back to the past with the punky-grunge-inspired Sean and Savior Breath with flavors of their evolution all the way through to the title track Saint Cecilia. It’s a little work of passion that you can hear in every song. I probably listened to 30 times over and over the first day I got it. But I’m a dorky fangirl like that. #nofucks
The Suffers – Debut self-titled album. These guys are SO legit. I saw a post by Buzzfeed about them being on the Late Show with David Letterman and was intrigued because they are from Houston, the city I lived in most of my life. At the same time, Mike read about them on an NPR blog. We were both like OMG – THIS BAND.
We downloaded their EP and loved it. Then we found out they had a Kickstarter campaign going to help fund their first album. Well, we jumped on that shit right quick. The album is really amazing. They call their genre “Gulf Coast Soul” – basically an amalgamation of the cultural melting pot that is Houston. Big horn section mixed with powerful vocals by singer Kam Franklin give it it’s soulful vibe while influences from Ska, Punk, Caribbean and Latin music shines through in the beats, structure and nuances of the songs. Lyrics have lots of little salutes to Houston, which is always fun and are chock full of emotion. It’s a beautiful, singalong that just makes you feel good. I tend to put it on when I cook and have myself an Ali concert.
We’ve had the pleasure of seeing them in really intimate settings and meeting them a couple of times. Great people, so happy to be living their dreams and their shows are a a shit load of fun. We actually rang in 2016 with them at the House of Blues last year.
Check them out. You can download their album on iTunes or buy the CD or vinyl versions directly from their website.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway Kudos for a band lasting as long as the Chili Peppers have. They’ve managed to evolve their sound over the years to be a bit more mellow, but still keep their alt-rock street-cred. I haven’t listened to the entire album, but what I did download I really like, especially Dark Necessities. It’s moody and mellow much like By The Way.
What I can’t get behind is Anthony Kiedes’ pornstache and weird hair do. It’s a bit disturbing. You can check it out in their episode of Carpool Karaoke with James Cordon. I’m obsessed with this series because James Corden is 9 kinds of precious. He makes even the most pretentious of celebrities *cough* Mariah Carey *cough* seem lovely.
The lack of shirts in that still frame is rather frightening. But also hilarious.
Beyonce – Lemonade – A year in review music blog just wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Queen Bey’s epic ode to a philandering Jay Z. We can all relate to the feelings of betrayal and insignificance cheating brings on some level. Beyonce took us through all of the emotions – shock, anger, sadness, loneliness and redemption. It was beautiful and bold and brave and moved us all in some way. Bless her and the courage it took to make that exquisite piece of art. And to forgive.
Also, I have to close this out with what was the most perfect gift given to me by my sweet boo for Christmas. I joke regularly that for any gift occasion I’d like Dave Grohl wrapped up with a bow. Well, I got him for Christmas. And he’s super adorable.
Isn’t mah boo the greatest?
Next topic up in Ali’s blog-a-thon vacay? Concerts!