Wait, it’s December already? I have a bookmark on my Chrome browser linking to the 2015 top 89 songs of the year. I never got around to listening to it. That’s how I always feel with these top 10 lists. I just don’t get around to them as quickly as I would like to. Luckily, I’ve been listening to the Current a lot more this year, so I think I have a better sense of some good music that’s come out. Here’s a list of the artists, albums, and songs I picked up on. It will probably take me a while to think of all of them, but here’s my starting picks
Weezer- The White Album: Weezer is the Saturday Night Live of rock bands. Everyone liked them better a long time ago. You also get people who get weirdly upset at them for different business decisions that the band made. (I remember a while back when I heard The Who song “Bargain” used in some car commercials. I was so upset! I have since lightened up my stance on this sort of thing). I’ve liked Weezer, but I’ve never really been “into them.” The released the White Album this year. It was an emotional rock album. I love the opening line, “It’s gonna be allright/if you’re on a sinking ship/the California kids/will throw you a lifeline.” I have no idea who the California kids are, or what the sinking ship is, but I’m a sucker for any music that tells me that “it’s going to be allright.” I need that more often than I’d like to believe.
Catfish and the Bottleman- Seven: I’m not a huge fan of the normal rock group lineup. It just feels like most bands have just gotten so whiny, or they don’t have any flavor. (I suppose you could argue that rock n’ roll has always been a little bit whiny), but I like these guys. They’re a band from Wales. They seem to hit that sweet spot for me where it’s a band that brings me back to high school, yet I feel totally cool listening. Good on you, guys.
Farewell Milwaukee: I saw this band three times in 2016. That’s probably the most I’ve seen any band live, ever. I got into them after seeing them at the Basilica Block Party and started listening to them more often. After a show in Delano, I met the lead singer and a few band members. They were all pleasant and the appreciated their fans coming out- something I admire in good bands. They’re new album, AM, is a fun sing-along record that I’ve grown to appreciate the more I listen to it. It’s got stuff you want to sing along to, but also some more complex songwriting that makes you want to listen a little bit more attentively.
Cloud Cult: I saw them at Hazelfest and it was one of the most wonderful concerts I’ve been to. The lead singer Craig Minowa is a really deep guy (his interview on On Being is marvelous) and the songwriting is like a cup of hot cocoa that you enjoy in front of the fireplace. It nurtures the soul.