Blake Snow

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Tagged vampire weekend

Here they are: My favorite albums of the year

Starcadian

Starcadian

Looking back, I won’t remember 2013 as a particularly strong year for music. But I did enjoy a handful of new and retro albums and have fond memories of listening to all of the below, ordered by most played to least played.  Continue reading…

With exception to rap, new music is abnormally good this year

2013 might be to the ’10s what 1991 was to the ’90s — a monstrous year for name brand music.

Phoenix already released their 4-star keeper. Vampire Weekend releases their third album next week to rave reviews (and another really great song). An all analog Daft Punk album follows a week later, which is also garnering favorable reviews and has a catchy summer single.

Then, Empire of the Sun, makers of one of my favorite albums of 2008, releases their second album in June. The first single is good stuff (and shot, by the way, in Bryce Canyon, Utah). And if the first five months are any indication, even more good vibes could crop up in the second half of the year.

As someone who likes to sing, dance, and play air guitar, I’m excited by the prospects. Calendar years are more memorable with good music.

I just did one of the most enriching things yet in my adult life

don't-touch-my-hatAt my daughter’s request, I read James Rumford’s Don’t Touch My Hat (a family favorite) to her kindergarten class.

I tell ya: I felt som’n fierce having 15 pairs of innocent eyes look up to me from a cozy reading rug while showing and telling the story. As I read, there was a sanctity and innocence in the room I haven’t felt in a very long time—maybe not since leaving grade school.

Admittedly, I’ve done a lot of satisfying things this year. I’ve even managed a few professional coups. But this is unexpectedly near the top of my “most gratifying” list for not only this year, but previous years as an adult and father.

More than anything, I’m humbled and honored that my daughter invited me. Magic is soaking my spine. And Rumford is dead on: It’s your heart that counts, not your hat.

PS — Vampire Weekend, you have no idea. The kids do stand a chance. I’ve seen it in their eyes.

Top 5 new bands of the last decade (with video)

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After much mental torment, I’ve decided to name the best new bands of the last decade. For one to qualify, they must have met the following criteria: 1) be awesome; and 2) formed in the year 2000 or beyond (which excludes Spoon, Muse, and The Strokes for example).

With the power vested in me, I hereby announce the winners. Continue reading…