My Top 20 from 2016

2016It seems my mixes celebrating the music from each year have become less obligatory over the past few years, I’m not going to make amends, but I did enjoy quite a bit of music this year. My wife and I were listening to one of my old “Best of Year” mixes last week as we were doing far more driving than even I prefer and she commented on how good a year that was for music and I thought how every year is a good year for music if you know where to look. This year is no different, some groups I’ve been listening to for a decade or more put out some new stuff and I’ve stumbled across some new ones that have been put on heavy rotation on my Google Play Music playlists. Listed below are 20 favorite tunes from the past year.

  1. Andrew Bird | Left Handed Kisses (with Fiona Apple)
    • Mr. Bird began writing a song about why he doesn’t usually write your average love song, when a second voice kept inserting itself in his writing. I love am a huge fan of the duet and this song is a great combination of voices. (Video)
  2. Animal Collective | Golden Gal
    • I’m hit or miss with this group, but I dig this new tune. (Video)
  3. The Avett Brothers | Ain’t No Man
    • Catchy stomp/clap tune by these folk rockers. If you missed them on Austin City Limits – go watch. (Music Video)
  4. Band of Horses | Whatever, Wherever
    • My favorite album by these guys since 2010’s Infinite Arms. I was thankful Delta chose this as a featured album on our recent Thanksgiving trip to South Korea. I put this on repeat and drifted in and out of sleep – it made me love the album even more. (Video)
  5. Fruit Bats | Absolute Loser
    • This isn’t the voice for everyone, but I really enjoyed their new album. (Video)
  6. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam | A 1000 Times
    • This is a fun combination of artists, and this catchy tune has been on heavy rotation recently, hopefully it’s pop doesn’t lose it’s flavor as time goes on. (Video)
  7. The Head and the Heart | All We Ever Knew
    • It has been fun watching this group grow and create a bigger sound to fill up the larger arenas they play these days. (Video)
  8. Ingrid Michaelson | Hell No
    • This is a fun break-up song, with a great video featuring the Deaf West Theatre.
  9. Kings of Leon | WALLS
    • Probably the song that got the most repeat listens. My favorite songs from these guys are the slow build introspective numbers that sit an wallow in emotive feeling. (Video)
  10. Ladyhawke | Wild Things
    • Coming out of New Zealand, this is a bit more pop than I usually listen to, but I really enjoy this album and it has a great 80’s synth-pop sound, if you hadn’t guessed from the name of the band. (Video – Rollerderby!)
  11. The Naked and Famous | Higher
  12. Pete Yorn | Lost Weekend
    • Another great tune from another great album by Pete. (Video)
  13. Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop | Every Songbird Says
    • Iron & Wine duet album? Yes, please. (Video)
  14. Sara Watkins | Move Me
    • 1/3rd of Nickel Creek, this is her 1st solo album and it’s not quite as bluegrass/banjo-y as her roots would suggest, though on this album that is not a bad thing. (Video)
  15. St. Paul and the Broken Bones | All I Ever Wonder
    • Rock & Soul or Alternative Soul – whatever you want to call it, it’s good. (Video)
  16. Vandaveer | A Little Time Off Ahead
    • Another fun song by these guys, they keep getting better.(Cartoon Video)
  17. Weezer | King of the World
    • I don’t know how they keep putting a hook that I want to listen to over and over again in every album they put out. I really enjoy their newest self-titled album. (Video)
  18. Whitney | Golden Days
    • This has a fun throw-back vibe and sounds to me like a heavy summer evening. (Video)
  19. The Wild Feathers | Overnight
    • How much good mid-tempo rock these days doesn’t have a throw-back vibe. (Video)
  20. Young the Giant | Something To Believe In
    • Catchy up-beat pop rock. This is not so much like me to like something so not-depressing, but it’s good stuff and that’s hard to argue with. (Video)

You can listen to the entire mix over on Spotify, or 8Tracks, or if you prefer you pull up a playlist of all the videos over on YouTube or if you’re as lazy as I am you can just watch them below.

Top 20 from



November 3 is the release date for the newest Weezer album – Raditude. I posted a new track from it back in August – HERE (the file is still there.) Currently iTunes is offering a $19.99 deal for the super-fans out there where you can download exclusive content from now until the release of the new album. It looks like you’ll get some songs from the album and some rarities as well. You can check out the We All Want Someone To Shout For Blog for the iTunes stuff that just came out (while supplies last,) including a nice live cover of “the Clash.” The album sounds good from the couple songs I’ve heard so far. When the band sounds like it is having a good time – their music sounds great. Here’s hoping they continue to have a great time together.

Leaked Weerez

This one is sure to be deleted, and I really wasn’t going to, but well it’s just too good. New Weez leaked a little too early online but it’s happy and fun and takes me back to the earlier days of Weez, maybe not as simple as the “Blue Album”, but then I’m glad they’re a bit more complex with their harmonies and overall musical abilities, it gives them depth that is appreciated. So, grab this one while you can – and be sure to grab the new album “Raditude” when it comes out October 27.

(If You’re Wondering if I Want You To) I Want You To|W

Want Weezer For Christmas?

If you’re one of the cool kids with an iPhone (Nope, I’m not that cool), then you can get a new app that seems a bit like Guitar Hero, with Weezer Christmas songs. If you’re like me and you just want the Weezer Christmas songs you can now purchase them through iTunes because of a high demand. It’s a fun little EP of songs appropriately entitled “Christmas With Weezer” including such classics as ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’, ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ and ‘Hark! the Herald Angels Sing’. Nothing really new to these songs other than Rivers singing and all the Weezery goodness of the band playing songs we know and love.

The Christmas Song|Weezer
Christmas Celebration|Weezer