Music by Year

Another 12 months have passed. I recapped my reading during that period on Tuesday with my list of books. As I mentioned in that post, 2014 was a decent year for me as a writer with a new book, and host of bylined articles for a variety of publications.

When I’m writing, I like to listen to music—not always—but more often than not. What I enjoy listening to remains eclectic. I’m not sure I could assign a category to all of it. However, I’ve stayed true to a musical genre that I first latched onto following leaving behind theological structures that weren’t working for me. This was back in 1984. Then, my radio oasis was a commercial station in Chicago, WXRT, that played a pretty wide selection of music and bands. I first heard Husker Dü on their station, along with fellow Minneapolis rockers, the Replacements. Their late-night Friday night program, “The Big Beat,” opened me up to all kinds of new music with dissident elements, including Billy Bragg.

Walking away from religious autocrats leaves an empty space and a void. Music helped to fill part of that emptiness. From then until now, music has remained a passion of mine.

As 2014 closed out its yearly chapter, the first few days of the dawning new year have been filled with some of my favorite DJs from 2014 sharing their own best-of lists from the past year.

One station that I stream regularly is MIT’s WMBR. While considered a “college station,” I gather that most of their DJs are actually people from the community in Boston and surrounding suburbs. On most mornings, I’m apt to be listening to their “Breakfast of Champions” programming. Each one of these morning hosts rotate daily. After listening for more than a year now, there are certain ones that I’ve grown fond of because of the music they play.

Listening to WMBR helps me stay current with some of what’s being churned out under the banner of indie rock.

Wednesday morning’s BOCs segment with Becca Smith delivered a couple of new bands/artists I am looking forward to checking out in 2014.

Then, this morning, Jon Bernhardt’s show offered up another batch of best-of from 2014, some of these artists being ones that have been around for awhile.

Music, just like writing, has seen delivery methods change, and the structure of releasing albums and new material change due to technology’s forward march. However, as long as there are old skool tools like radio (delivered via the interwebs, now), I’ll continue to attempt to keep up with what’s new and not become stuck in the rut of the past.

Ty Segall's "Manipulator," one of my personal faves from 2014.

Ty Segall’s “Manipulator,” one of my personal faves from 2014.

Some “new” bands/artists for me in 2014, in no particular order:

–Purling Hiss (on old fave, Drag City)
Ty Segall
–Faces on Film
–Cough Cough
–Robert Scott (not new, as I’ve been a fan of Scott’s bands, like The Clean, for a long time, but nice to see Scott still churning out new material on the Flying Nun label)
Wussy (another band that’s been around for a few years and still cranking out new stuff)
–Ex Hex (former Helium guitar goddess, Mary Timony’s new band)