admittedly, i watch a lot of videos. i spend most of my work days watching whatever on youtube. i fluctuate between tech reviews and music related vids. when i say i spend a lot of time on youtube, i am not fucking around. i would gather at least 3-5 hours of my day are spent on said site. its pretty sad actually… i should be spending that time doing other shit, but alas, that is not the case.
i should mention that caleb’s “trade all the lights” is by far my favorite of the year. its an absolute gorgeous ode to new orleans, a city i both love and i hate. a sentiment i am sure most inhabitants share, but i may be wrong. either way, it kills me every time i watch it. although, hiss golden messenger’s “mahogany dread” is just as lovely and as a dude with a family, it tears at my old man heart strings. then there are the rest, all of which i dig or really dig for various reasons.
buy his stuff via amazon
4. sturgill simpson – metamodern sounds in country music
6. centro-matic – take pride in your long odds
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buy paint another layer on my heart via his bandcamp page
buy bestiary via amazon
buy all dies down via bandcamp
buy michael rank and stag stuff, including deadstock, via their bandcamp page
sometimes its hard to put into words what an artists body of work means to you. most of the times you read reviews and its purely methodical. there’s no heart, no past history, just what they’re hearing now. sometimes music is a puzzle, and it doesnt make sense, until you put it all together. thats how i feel about mr showalter aka strand of oaks. i have loved, deeply, all his releases, but listen to them back to back and it all begins to make a bit of sense. every record, alone, stands on its own merits or awesomeness, but as a whole… he’s not a one off kind of artist, you have to listen to everything. eh whatever… just watch these two videos.. “jm” is his tribute to jason molina, btw.
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the first time strand of oaks’ “end in flames,” i was smitten. then there’s the rest of timothy showalter’s debut, leave ruin, to say it moved me in ways most records dont, is an understatement. it was beautiful and honest, something my life needed 5 years ago, and well it still does. the next year brought me, pope killdragon, which was definitely a darker departure, at least musically, but timothy’s cut to the bone lyrics remained, and again, i found solace in them. i dont really care to know the backstory of songs, cause i make up my own interpretations, and ill be damned if whatever timothy was going through, at that time, didnt fit whatever i was dealing with at that my own personal juncture. this cycle continues with dark shores… so i wont beat a dead horse. the past 5 years havent been particularly easy for me, ive prob drank too much, didnt pay enough attention to my family, had my anxiety rule my world, etc… granted i wasnt an asshole, but i couldve been a much better person than i was, and i suspect timothy was in the same boat. its now 2014, in case you didnt know, and my life is better, still struggling, but better, and after listening to heal for about the 100th time, i can only gather timothy is in a better place too, and we as listeners/fans can only be thankful for that. heal is nothing like any of his previous 3, its loud as hell and glorious as shit. j mascis plays the geetar on the opener, “goshen 97,” for crying out loud! lyrically, he’s just as honest, just as beautiful, and i thank the world for artists like timothy showalter. his ode to jason molina, “jm,” is probably the best tribute i have heard, btw….
its just about june, and i think i have been doing this halfway point top 5 for more than a few years now. im a little early on a couple of these records aka centro-matic and the strand of oaks, but trust me they are worth the wait. there are a bunch of records coming out, or are already out, that may blow all of this all up. but here on may 29 here are my top 5 records of 2014, thus far. EDIT: i realize that i am a bit early on the whole “midway” point thing. eh who gives a shit?
1. hallelujah the hills – have you ever done something evil
3. sturgill simpson – metamodern sounds in country music
4. lee bains III & the glory fires – dreconstructed
5. strand of oaks – heal due out 6.24
“i lose my faith in people, why even take the time? youve got your problems, i’ve got mine.” for the last 4/5 years, i honestly dont even know how many years its been, but timothy showalter has been one of my favorite artists for a good amount of time now. the first time i heard “end in flames” off his strand of oaks debut leave ruin i knew this guy and his music would play a huge part in my life. every record, leave ruin, pope killdragon and dark shores, i believe ended up in my top 5/10 of the year. timothy’s new record heal is due on dead oceans on 6.24. i was hoping to have the record in my mitts, by now, but sadly tis not the case. even after 9 years of music “blogging” i still cant get on some labels distribution lists. oh well, not too bitter. i kid, i kid, kind of. no doubt this will be one of my favorite records of the year.