In Defense Of: Modest Mouse’s We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

In Defense Of is a feature in which I come to the unsolicited rescue of a piece of entertainment that I happen to enjoy quite a bit despite some sort of fan or critical backlash against it. I’m a real-life Batman.

Modest Mouse slugged out a decade of scrappy, deranged music before “Float On” happened. The first portion of that decade found the band testing its own limits and wading into deeper and deeper waters; the rest of it was devoted to making startling indie classics like This is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About and personal favorite Lonesome Crowded West. Then there was the stunning The Moon and Antarctica, a decidedly toned-down affair every bit as monumental despite a new approach. For those invested in Isaac Brock and company, commercial success seemed both impossible and like some sort of street-cred condemnation. Continue reading “In Defense Of: Modest Mouse’s We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank”

My Favorite Music of 2015: The Notable Omissions

Any year-end “best of” list is going to contain its fair share of surprising omissions, and my coverage of 2015’s music output is no different. I wanted to take a moment (or several moments?) to discuss some notable albums that failed to make an appearance on my personal top 20 or my 10 honorable mentions list. While there is a wealth of music that I didn’t hear in 2015, there is a also a great deal that I spent plenty of time with and didn’t feel like I wanted to celebrate on high. Hell, there are a lot more of these albums than the ones that I wrote up in this very space. Continue reading “My Favorite Music of 2015: The Notable Omissions”

My Favorite Albums of 2015 (1-10)

I’m going to take a deep breath here before I reach the culmination of my efforts. Now we’re down to my 10 favorite albums of the year, the ones I played again and again and again. These things soundtracked my days at work, any time at my computer, my nights before sleep, and everything in-between. They’ve all made my life a whole lot more enjoyable, and they’ve even given me new perspective on music and artistic expression along the way. I love these albums, and I hope you’ll check them out if you already haven’t. Continue reading “My Favorite Albums of 2015 (1-10)”

My Favorite Albums of 2015 (11-20)

Now that everyone has had time to let those honorable mention albums sink in, it seems only right to pummel my tiny audience with albums number 11-20 on my list of 2015’s royalty. Here you’ll find the stuff that I revisited many a time, stuff that (in some instances) narrowly missed the vaunted top 10. A lot of these albums are virtually interchangeable for me, as they merely did things right in different ways for me. It was the little things that made the difference between, say, position 14 and position 15. Let’s get in there and get our hands dirty. Continue reading “My Favorite Albums of 2015 (11-20)”

My Favorite Albums of 2015 (Honorable Mentions)

Here we are, at the cusp of me trying to write love letters to my favorite albums of 2015. I need to do this without becoming excessively long-winded and while still describing the general aesthetic of the artists involved so that maybe you’ll want to listen to them if you haven’t. This was a difficult list to make, as utilizing Spotify Premium (as much as it aggravates me sometimes) and having a job that allows me plenty of alone time means that I listened to more music than ever before in a calendar year. Continue reading “My Favorite Albums of 2015 (Honorable Mentions)”

My Favorite Songs of 2015

As the year 2015 A.D. comes to a close, there is simply no better way to recap the passage of time than to indulge in the time-honored tradition of making trivial lists. This particular list will cover my favorite 60 songs of the year, while over the coming days I will also post my 20 favorite albums of 2015 along with 10 honorable mentions and the requisite gleeful gushing about each one I wind up including. It’s a great time to be alive! Continue reading “My Favorite Songs of 2015”