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Top 25 for 2012

You guys should know the story by now. Every year I reset the song count on my iTunes, and share with you the top 25 songs that I listened to last year.

I almost cut and pasted 2011’s list and write up.  Rather than just Guster & Dispatch making the list, I added a little Jason Mraz and Mac Miller.  Wait, who? Mac Miller?

I told you my Guster & Dispatch stories last year, so let’s give you some insight to the others on the list: Jason Mraz, Mac Miller & Christina Perri.  I was also very pleased to find that Guster and Jason Mraz appeared on “Live at Daryl’s House” with Daryl Hall.

Jason Mraz

Mraz concert in IndyJason is one of the most talented artists that I know.  For me, he’s got one of the best outlooks on life and that’s reflected in his songs.  He made the comment one time that he writes songs about people in his life that he loves and are special to him.  That way when he’s performing those songs, he gets to have those people with him when he’s on the road.  I went to see him again this year in Indy.  (Christina Perri made the list as she was the opening act in Indy.)  If you doubt that he’s got some powerful songs, check out his appearance on VH1’s Storytellers.

Mac Miller
How did this song get on the list.  Well, let me tell you.  Last year the HBO had the 24/7 Show “Road to the Winter Classic” featuring the Washington Capitals & the Philadelphia Flyers.  This song was the Flyers victory song and they played it on a few episodes and it stuck in my head. So, I bought it and somewhere along the way it became a song for Truce & I.  It fell to #16 by year end, but it was number 1 for most of the year.

See you next year.

Name Artist Album
1 Never or Now Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
2 We Hold a Gun Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
3 Josaphine Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
4 Circles Around the Sun Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
5 G Major Guster Satellite
6 Flag Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
7 Feels So Good Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
8 You Fckn Did It (Live) Jason Mraz Live Is a Four Letter Word – EP
9 One Man Wrecking Machine Guster Ganging Up On The Sun
10 Keep It Together Guster Keep It Together
11 Rise & Shine Guster Satellite
12 The Woman I Love (Live) Jason Mraz Live Is a Four Letter Word – EP
13 I Never Knew You (Live) Jason Mraz Live Is a Four Letter Word – EP
14 Come to Me Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
15 Lightning Rod Guster Ganging Up On The Sun
16 Knock Knock Mac Miller Knock Knock – Single
17 Get Ready Boy Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
18 Sign of the Times Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
19 Timothy Leary Guster Satellite
20 I’m Through Guster Satellite
21 What Mama Say (Live) Jason Mraz Life is Good – EP
22 Satellite (The Astronauts Remix) Guster Satellite
23 Two Of Us (Live At KCRW) Guster Satellite
24 Satellite Guster Ganging Up On The Sun
25 Distance (w/Jason Mraz) Christina Perri Lovestrong

 

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Top 25 on the iTunes Playlist 2011

Every year, I try to share the top 25 songs on my iTunes. I then reset it for the next year.

I gotta tell ya, this has been a boring year for me musically. Only 2 artists made the list: Guster and Dispatch (Chadwick Stokes is a spin off from Dispatch, so I’m not counting him).

Guster
It’s not a shock that Guster has come in taking up the top 4 spots. Guster is great music for playing while at work or putting the headphones on while working on the computer. I was introduced to Guster by a friend of mine, Paul (PJ). We caught common ground when I was playing State Radio the first time we met and he bought me “Guster on Ice“. I was hooked. I have since bought the entire catalog. They remain the last of the bands that I like that I need to see live. I have a “Best of Guster” (link goes to Spotify) playlist that I made up and it’s my go-to when I don’t want to search for music. The Guster station on Pandora is also a regular play for me.

They own this year’s Top 25, taking 13 of the spots.  I think what I like best about Guster is that they don’t have one particular sound.  So while I look like I need to branch out and listen to other kinds of music, they have such a diverse sound that I feel like I’m listening to different groups.

Dispatch
Ahhhh, Dispatch. Taking up the other 12 spots on my Top 25 is Dispatch.  Chad, Pete & Bradigan did me the courtesy of going back out on tour together this past year.  I was able to see them in Millenium Park this past June. If you don’t know the history of Dispatch, Wikipedia tells all. Mark put me onto Dispatch a few years back, but alas, they had already broken up.  They have been Top 25 regulars for the past few years.  Great band, great harmonies, great live show.

Dispatch is one of bands that you hope will go on forever.  They can do all their solo projects, then come back together every couple of years and throw an EP or new music on us.  I’m cool with that.  They are hinting at another album for 2012, so we will see.

There you have it, the top 25 songs played in my iTunes for 2011.  The full list is below in all it’s glory.  I have reset the playlist count and 2012 is a fresh slate.  (FYI, the first other artist was Led Zepplin’s D’Yer Mak’er at #26)

 

Name Artist Album Count
1 Keep It Together Guster Keep It Together 67
2 Lightning Rod Guster Ganging Up On The Sun 51
3 One Man Wrecking Machine Guster Ganging Up On The Sun 51
4 Jesus & Mary Guster Easy Wonderful (Deluxe Edition) 48
5 Flying Horses Dispatch Silent Steeples 47
6 Satellite Guster Ganging Up On The Sun 47
7 Hercules Guster Easy Wonderful (Deluxe Edition) 42
8 Jesus On The Radio Guster Keep It Together 41
9 Hey, Hey Dispatch Silent Steeples 40
10 Questioned Apocalypse Dispatch Silent Steeples 40
11 Manifest Destiny Guster Ganging Up On The Sun 40
12 Broken American Dispatch Dispatch – EP 39
13 The Captain Guster Ganging Up On The Sun 37
14 New Underground Guster Ganging Up On The Sun 36
15 Two At A Time Guster Keep It Together 36
16 Con Man Dispatch Dispatch – EP 35
17 Homecoming King Guster Keep It Together 35
18 Steeples Dispatch Silent Steeples 34
19 Hang On Guster Ganging Up On The Sun 34
20 Water Stop Dispatch Silent Steeples 33
21 Mayday Dispatch Silent Steeples 33
22 Melon Bend Dispatch Dispatch – EP 32
23 Coffee and Wine (Bonus Track) Chadwick Stokes Simmerkane II (Bonus Track Version) 30
24 Past the Falls Dispatch Silent Steeples 30
25 Elias Dispatch Silent Steeples 30

 

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Watching stuff being made is cool.

I’m not exactly sure where I got it from or when it started, but I have always liked something more if I see how it was made.

About 3 years ago, I was flipping channels and I happened across a PBS special on Herbie Hancock – Possibilities. It’s a documentary that shows the making of the album: Possibilities. Now, to this point, I had one Herbie Hancock disk in my collection and as far as being able to identify a song besides “Rockit“, I would fall short with anything past Cantaloupe Island. This album featured duos with Sting, Paul Simon, John Mayer & Christina Aguilera, to name a few. I think what I will remember most about watching it was that Truce came and sat next to me when he heard Christina Aguilera singing and watched then entire show with me. This was 3+ years ago and Truce didn’t stay put for more than 2 minutes if Elmo wasn’t involved. So, for him to sit and watch a non-Sesame Street documentary for about 2 hours, floored me. I think that may be the night that he started to like jazz. I can put on the jazz station in the car and he will listen away. He likes the horns best. But, I fell in love with the creative process that was shown. Songs from that album make the iPod top 25 list a couple years back, that is for sure.

About the same story is true for the song “In Repair” off of Continuum, by John Mayer. I didn’t really like the song that much, but included in the disk was the video of the making of that song. I was amazed to find out that the keyboard/organ sound at the beginning of the song is actually a guitar. The video shows John having no song at the beginning of the day to putting the finishing touches on it at 1 a.m. Being able to create a song in one day and being able to watch that was cool. In Repair remains one of my favorite songs on that album.

After seeing David Gray’s “making of” video for Life in Slow Motion, I bought his entire catalogue. So, if you want me to get hooked on a group or album, just include a video that shows them in the studio and I will plop my money down.

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Top 25 Songs for 2008

Every December for the past few years, I have looked over the old iTunes song count and reflected on my top 25. Since it’s near the end of the year, I thought I would take a moment and give you my Top 25 for 2008.

Snow ((Hey Oh)) – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Turn It Again – Red Hot Chili Peppers
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
Geek In The Pink – Jason Mraz
Plane – Jason Mraz
I’ll Do Anything – Jason Mraz
Next Year – Foo Fighters
Bella Luna – Jason Mraz
O. Lover – Jason Mraz
Did You Get My Message? – Jason Mraz
Lucky (feat. Colbie Caillat) – Jason Mraz
Wordplay – Jason Mraz
You And I Both – Jason Mraz
21st Century – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Song For A Friend – Jason Mraz
The Remedy (I Won’t Worry) – Jason Mraz
London Calling – The Clash
Falling Down – Duran Duran
Please Don’t Tell Her – Jason Mraz
Pork and Beans – Weezer
Life Is Wonderful – Jason Mraz
I’m Yours (From the Casa Nova Sessions) – Jason Mraz
Hard To Concentrate – Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Beauty In Ugly (Ugly Betty Version) – Jason Mraz

To say this was the year of Jason Mraz, would be an understatement. I got his latest release (We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things) and fell in love with it. I quickly went back and bought the back catalog. I have always liked talented songwriters and Jason fits that bill. He’s got a great voice and some really good lyrics. Besides that he’s got a great attitude on the music business. He allows his shows to be taped and freely distributed. The key is: freely. Don’t try to sell a concern or they will hunt you down. Jennifer, Kevin Reese and I went to see him in concert for my birthday in July. He was great and about a week later, I was able to download that concert and enjoy it all over again.

So 16 of the top 25 are Mraz songs, so that tells you what I was listening to this year. Throw in the 5 Chili Peppers songs and I had a pretty limited scope of music in 2008. Stadium Arcadium is a great disk and I think is the RHCP best album.

Throw in touches of the Clash, Duran Duran, and Weezer and you have your top 25. I have always prided myself on my diversity when it comes to music, I must say that I was a little disappointed at the lack of it here. O well, numbers don’t lie.

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Two Bits of Music to Check Out.

Every now and then, I find some new music that I really like and feel that I need to share. In the past week, I have found two of these such artists. Check them out.

#1 – James Morrison – Undiscovered 51SAKEc0HEL._SS500_.jpg

I first downloaded the single for “You give me something” when it was a free download from iTunes last year. I listened to it and liked it, but it really caught hold of me when it was featured in a promotional ad (for HBO or FX, not sure which one). I saw the ad and thought, “Wait a minute, I have that song.” I dug it out of my iTunes library (currently 9200 songs strong) and learned that he had an album that was released. Needless to say, I downloaded it and it’s become my regular listen at work and in the car. I liken it to Gavin DeGraw, John Mayer or David Gray. Great songwriters and good music to listen to. I mean really listen to, great lyrics and talented musicians. My personal favorites are; One Last Chance and Better Man. Give it a listen, I think you will enjoy it.

#2 – Flight of the Conchords – Flight of the Conchords 61Moyxd4CoL._SS500_.jpg

I watched the first season of Flight last year on HBO. It’s truly one of the most unique shows ever on television (hence why it’s on HBO, not the major networks). This album contains the music featured in the show. If you have never seen the show, do yourself a favor a watch one. I watched the first episode and when Jen asked me if it was any good, I said, “I don’t know”. The more that I watched, the more I enjoyed it. Can you get the album and enjoy it without having seen the show, yes. But will you understand where the songs come from better? By far. I think the best tracks are; Business Time, The Most Beautiful Girl(In the Room) and Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenoceros.