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  1. So much happens.

  2. #nowplaying (Or, ‘I Don’t Usually Do This’)

    Because of my day gig, the most common opening question I get from strangers at dinner parties and the like is, “So what are you listening to right now?”

    In truth, working in music media has kind of atomized my listening habits. With rare exceptions, I no longer have the time or the processing power for obsessive and exhaustive dissection of albums and artists. Moreover, describing a pop song to someone who’s never heard it, and who often has no context in which to place it, feels like the kind of logic problem you go to MIT to learn how to solve. Except on a one-to-one level with people I know intimately, I have little interest in tastemaking anymore. That said: I’m still listening all the time, in whatever crazed, chaotic way I can manage, and sometimes it feels good to do it out loud. So here, in alphabetical order, are a few songs that have moved me this year.

    1. AGAINST ME! “Transgender Dysphoria Blues
    2. THE BOTH “Milwaukee
    3. CAYETANA Serious Things Are Stupid
    4. DELAY Explanation
    5. DIANE CLUCK Sara
    6. FRANKIE COSMOS Birthday Song
    7. FUTURE ISLANDS Seasons (Waiting On You)
    8. GOLDEN LOOKS Hey Say
    9. LITTLE COBWEB Cadmium Yellow Pale
    10. MARTHA 1967, I Miss You, I’m Lonely
    11. MISSING EARTH New Snow
    12. OWEN PALLETT On a Path
    13. PERFECT PUSSY Interference Fits
    14. PHOEBE NOVAK If You Need To
    15. QUARTERBACKS Center
    16. SPEEDY ORTIZ American Horror
    17. SPOILS Burnt Jacket
    18. SPOONBOY The Dispossessed
    19. TIGERS JAW Hum
    20. WILD ONES Curse Over Me
  3. Before I lose my nerve: A solo cover of my favorite song by The Ambulars, amongst my favorite songs period.

  4. nprmusic:

    More from NPR’s Rhythm Section series.

    I finally got to sing on the radio. Much love to the who musicians who shared their time and skills for this story.

  5. Track Work: Art Sorority For Girls, ‘Man With A Van’

    bandwidthdc:

    This new song from D.C.’s Art Sorority For Girls (artsorority) might be the catchiest tune you hear all week. Listen.

    After cutting his teeth in New York’s anti-folk scene, Daoud Tyler-Ameen moved to D.C. for a job and brought his musical project along with him. A few years later, that project—indie-pop band Art Sorority for Girls—has a new catchy single with a surprisingly dark narrative.

    “Man With a Van” speaks from the viewpoint of a jilted New York, resentful of Tyler-Ameen’s move south. ”There’s this subconscious voice about the city incarnate judging you for leaving it,” says the songwriter, a New York native who now works here at NPR. “It may not have anything to do with reality, but the city is bitter and jealous. It takes glee in imagining your downfall.” In his telling, New York doesn’t handle rejection well. “Though it’s still too close to call,” he sings, “There’s bets on how you’ll lose it all.”

    A little love from my adopted city’s local member station; I might finally be home. Listen to “Man With a Van” at WAMU’s Bandwidth.

  6. It’s nice to see you. How have you been?

  7. A new aspiration, engendered by a year’s worth of weekly karaoke: To involve myself in music that grooves, wherein physicality trumps intellect every time. I know by now that I spend too much time in my head; my instinct is, free your hips and the rest will follow.

  8. It’s just some walls to keep the warm air in.

    I believe. I believe. I believe.

  9. Q: Are you a beta male? I’m not even sure what the term means.

    A: Well, I don’t know. I don’t really know what the term means either, but it’s something that is often bandied around: You’ll read about sad boys and beta males and just this suggestion that there’s something wrong with being that, being complacent. I’ve constantly been rejecting my maleness all my life, but unable to actually proceed to identify myself as anything else, to give up the privilege of my maleness. So that sort of state, whatever you’d wanna call it, forms a lot of the inspiration behind this record: being unable to give up one thing to be something else that you’d want.

    I had a lot of fun editing this interview with Owen Pallett for work, but this is the moment that broke my heart a little.

  10. "Advertising is like the flu. If it’s not constantly changing, people develop immunity."