Monday, August 14, 2017

'Twas the Night Before Harbsmas

A good friend of mine in New Jersey (he's also the president of their local University of Michigan alumni club) has been writing up a parody of The Night Before Christmas for each of Harbaugh's seasons at U of M.  Here is this year's version - I can't wait for the season!  Go Blue!

'Twas the Night Before Harbsmas
Nick Kahn

‘Twas the night before Harbsmas and all through the Big House
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The trucks they were packing for Texas with glee
As they readied for the start of Harbaugh’s year three.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Two Old Two New - #4

Two Old

Twenty One Pilots - Vessels, and Self-Titled.  This band finally hit it big with their 2015 album "Blurryface", but they've been rocking since the early 2000s.  "Vessels" pushed them into the limelight in 2013, it has most of their modern feel; go back a bit further to their self-titled first album in 2009, and you'll get a feel for their roots.  Going album to album, you can feel them discovering and polishing their style.  Try this for a progression: "Fall Away", "A Car, A Torch, A Death", "Isle of Flightless Birds", "Migraine", "Car Radio", and "The Run and Go".

John Mayer - Continuum.  Yeah, I put John Mayer on this list, deal with it.  For all his poppy foolishness back in the day, he's an incredible musician, and Continuum is a work of art.  His two newest mini-Albums (The Search for Everything - Wave One and The Search For Everything - Wave Two) still don't rattle me like Continuum does, though there are a few tracks that have underlying strength, notably "Helpless".  For Continuum, check out "Belief", "Gravity", "Bold as Love", and "I'm Gonna Find Another You".

Two New

Jon Bellion - The Human Condition.  The movie John Wick carefully plays with action movie cliches, never quite overdoing it, but running right along that line to create maximum enjoyment.  Jon Bellion does the same thing for Hip Hop Alt Rock (or however you want to classify his style).  Easily my most played album of late 2016 / early 2017.

Portugal. The Man. - "Feel It Still".   A new track off their recent album Woodstock, "Feel It Still" drives forward with an itchy, consistent energy, but you feel like they're holding back a little the entire time, toying with you - I love it!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Two Old Two New - #3

Two Old

Freelance Whales - Weathervanes.  This was the first studio album by Freelance Whales, back in 2009, and I doubt I've listened to any other album straight-through more times than this one.  The calmly energetic feel and cutely poetic lyrics are woven together into a modern romantic's giddy lullaby - I giggle every time I hear lines such as "Shut me up with your long tube socks; they don't scream 'hey let's just be friends'" and "Please don't put your face into your hands, we could be friends".  If you don't want the full journey, check out "Hannah", "Starring", and "We Could Be Friends".

Destroyer - "Bay of Pigs".  Shout-out to Josh G. for introducing me to this in Chicago back in 2009; when he got the vinyl for it, he was adamant that the first listen be done laying on the apartment floor with eyes closed.  It was a beautiful way to experience this wandering, thoughtful 13+ minute song.  I've also used it on repeat when I need to focus or block out noise.

Two New

Coleman Hell.  A new obsession!  Thanks to Google Play for the recommendation. Coleman Hell seems to combine my love for energetic indie pop and vocally-driven dance music; iTunes describes him as a "genre-mingling dance popster", which feels appropriate.  "2 Heads" brought him to fame, but also check out "After Hours" and "Devotion".

Lo-Fang - "You're the One That I Want". A haunting rendition of the song written for the film version of Grease in 1978 - this version couldn't be further from the original! I heard it on the HBO series The Leftovers (highly recommended), and its tone fits that show perfectly. "#88" and "Boris" are two other solid tracks from his debut album Blue Film.