Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Best of 2015

It is once again that time of year where  I go through all the music that I have collected and enjoyed throughout this year and give you my choices for both songs and albums that I think are the best. As you can see at this point it is just me. Larry has been so busy with things in his life right now that he has not had the time lately to write for our blog. He is doing well and will be posting things for the blog in the new year.Once again Larry and I thank you so much for reading our blog. We love having the opportunity to share with you our musical tastes and really appreciate your support of this blog. It makes it all worthwhile when we get notes from people telling us just how much they enjoyed a particular album or band that we have featured. That is exactly why we share our love for music with you. We encourage you to leave us a comment as to what albums or songs did we leave out that you think need to be included.

Fletcher’s Best of 2015 picks
This year for me was a good solid year of music. Some of my favorites put out new music and there were a bunch of really good new bands to the scene. I always love listening to new bands and introducing you to them. I find a lot of bands I write about end up in my favorite albums and songs, but I guess I write about them because I like them so much. I did finally whittle my top albums of the year to six. Make sure you click on all the links of songs for they go to a video of each chosen song.

Top Albums of the Year (listed alphabetically by band)

Courtney Barnett. Sometime I  Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. A fantastic follow up to her last years double Ep’s. Her first full length continues her amazing stories and incredible wordplay. Check out “Elevator Operator” and “Pedestrian at Best”.
The Damnwells. The Damnwells.  I was so happy that one of my favorite bands of all time put out an amazing new album this year. It was recorded with the original band members which made it even more special. I got to work a few dates at their merch table this year and they are still getting crowds excited. Enjoy “ Money and Shiny Things” and “None of These Things
Lord Huron. Strange Trails- I wrote about this band earlier in the year and am still listening to the album, which contains a lot of strong songs throughout. Here is “Fool For Love” and “Meet Me in the Woods
Jesse Malin. Outsiders- I also wrote about Jesse this year but it was before his new album Outsiders came out. I worked for him and he gave me an advance copy of the album. You can now get it and you should. I think it is his strongest work to date. Listen to “You Know It’s Dark When Atheists Start to Pray” and “Here’s the Situation”.
Nathaniel Rateliff& the Night Sweats. Self Titled. Denver has a great music scene. Nathaniel Rateliff is the latest to make some moves outside of Denver. This rock and soul band puts everything on this album from horns to pedal steel. It all works together.  I came to this record late, and I am so glad I did. Enjoy "Thank You" and "SOB".
Parquet Courts. Sunbathing Animal. This Brooklyn band is what rock and roll should be; straightforward and fun with some fuzzy guitars and attitude. Still listen to this record almost daily. It will put the edge back on!!  Take pleasure in “Sunbathing Animal” and “Bodies Made Of

Top Songs of the Year (listed alphabetically by band)
Birds and Arrows. Ghosts in the Water-My good friends from North Carolina (who will soon be moving out west) put out their best album yet from top to bottom, filled with killer harmonies. I will miss them but wish them my best. Make sure you come back to Baltimore!!
Brandi Carlile. Wherever is Your Heart- She just keeps making solid albums. Her voice is amazing and can show so many emotions. Her songwriting just keeps gets better.
Dawes. All Your Favorite Bands – This band keeps putting out strong music. I'm in love with the lyrics of this song. This band is not afraid to slowly build songs. Love that about them.
Alex Dezen. Other People’s Drugs- The leader of the Damnwells put out a series of solo EP’s the past two years. This is very strong work especially since he was putting out a Damnwells album at the same time. This song is my favorite song of the year.
Kopecky. Quarterback- This Nashville band came back strong this year with a new album. I got to work with them a couple of times and they still bring a strong live show.
Josh Ritter. Homecoming- This is a strong album all the way through. Josh sings about beautiful things and real issues. His strong voice is featured on this record.
Caleb Stine. Time I Let It Go- One of the most influential musicians in Baltimore put out a new album a month or so ago. It is his strongest work to date. He is back recording with his band The Brakemen. It's great to have you back Caleb!!
Letitia Vansant. Step in Line- Letita Vansant is another Baltimore based musician whom I totally adore. It took a while to get this album out, but Letitia did it with a lot of perseverance which proved worth it in the end. Enjoy this amazing country tinged voice. Flawless and beautiful!!

Best surprise: Marah releasing my favorite album ever, Kids in Philly, on vinyl. Not only did they release this best album from first to last songs on vinyl, but they put back together the version of Marah that most people consider the best version to do some shows for the vinyl release. Those shows were the highlight of my year.

Best Musical Moments- No doubt. Marah vinyl release show in Philly. A sold out show (800 Marah crazy people) at the Underground Arts venue in Philly in October. It was truly a magical evening for many of us. People came in excited and left even more excited. Marah put on a 3 hour performance that was both brilliant and oozed rock and roll from its core. This show is what rock and roll is suppose to be. I have touted this band for years as the best live band in the business, They leave everything on that stage. they never want to think after a show about if they gave it their all. They always do and always will as long as they tour as Marah. I have had the fortune of being their merch guy the past few years and that has been the thrill of my life. I do want you all to know that as great as musicians as they are, they are the same greatness as humans.
            I had another great year working the merch tables for a number of bands besides Marah this year. Some new ones included Heartless Bastards, Rubblebucket, and Strands of Oaks. Thanks to everyone who trusted me working with them this year.

Looking Forward to in 2016- I am most excited about Alex Dezen putting out his first official solo album. even though he has put out some EP’s, this will be his first full length one under his own name. Also looking forward to new albums dropping from The Jayhawks, Shearwater, Ra Ra Riot, Freakwater, and Eleanor Friedberger. I’m locally excited about a new album from the Great American Canyon Band who deservingly got signed by a label on the west coast. The songs I have heard so far are very strong!! 

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