David Bowie – Blackstar

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Better late than never – here comes my top-20 for 2016 – in no particular order so far…

David Bowie – Blackstar.  Considering Bowie’s immeasurable talent, contributions and influence on rock ‘n’ roll I imagine I’d probably put this album at the top of my annual list anyway.  But it just so happens that this record belongs in this spot regardless of the circumstances.

The first time I heard this album I was making a nighttime drive from San Diego to Phoenix.  I had resisted listening to previews of the record so I could take it in all at once the first time I heard it. I had nothing else to do but keep my car pointed straight and listen to this magnificent record unfold.  Man, if we could all pick our own way to “shuffle off this mortal coil” this is the way to do it.

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Daughter – Not to Disappear

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Better late than never – here comes my top-20 for 2016 – in no particular order so far…

Daughter – Not to Disappear.  The listener might be fooled into thinking this is just chill background music.  The listener would be wrong.  This music should be played loud and listened to carefully as there is a lot more going on and it is much more powerful than it first seems.

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Wolfmother – Victorious

Wolfmother

Better late than never – here comes my top-20 for 2016 – in no particular order so far…

Wolfmother – VictoriousIt’s hard to imagine Wolfmother releasing an album and it not being in my top-20 for the year.  Since the first time I heard of the band (in a surf video called Young Guns II) they have scratched every itch I’ve ever had for melodic hard rock. To my ears, it seemed like someone had put Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and the White Stripes into a blender and poured out a cool mug of Wolfmother.  There may be different players alongside songwriter, guitarist, singer Andrew Stockdale, but their formula of hard-charging melodic 70’s fueled rock ‘n roll is still essentially the same.

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Greyface – What Did You Lose

I read a book once by Jacob Slichter, the drummer for 90’s alt-power-pop band Semisonic, called “So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star”. It was an interesting peek into what it was like to try to make it as a rock band. The times are quite different now with the fracturing of the record company model and the emphasis on social networking etc – but the energy and passion of the musicians is still the same. This new band from LA, Greyface, reminds me of that story and the effort it takes to break out to a wider audience. Check it out!

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Dirty Pennies – Bad Machine – Jan. 14, 2017

Dirty Pennies, a rock band from San Diego, California play their new song, “Bad Machine” at the Ray at Night street festival in North Park. This song, written only two weeks prior and performed only once before, was created as a reaction to what our whole political process has become and is perfect timing considering the controversies surrounding the incoming president. Continue reading

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Greyface – Delilah

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Check out this cool track from new Los Angeles indie/alternative band Greyface. This simultaneously chill but driving track is off their upcoming debut album, Greyola, which will see its release on February 10th. More on Greyface soon…

Click HERE  to listen to “Delilah”

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wimps – The Soda Bar, San Diego -June 29, 2016

[photos by Happy Place Media

After guitarist Rachel Ratner announced they were going to play “a bunch of songs in a short amount of time”, wimps, a 3-piece punk band from Seattle,  launched into “Vampire,” a short, relentless blast of rock ‘n’ roll which as far as I can tell is about being a vampire (or not!). Continue reading

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