So a little continuation of my 2016 review ... despite the world sucking eggs, the year did provide some good music. Here's my list of songs that really stuck with me, or that I listened to a lot in 2016 (note, a couple are from 2015, but resonated with me or I played the hell out of them this year).
One thing you won't find on here is my absolute favorite band, Alkaline Trio. Since Matt Skiba decided to join Blink 182, Alkaline Trio hasn't done much of anything, and I greatly fear that this might be the end of the group. I really hope that's not the case, but it's been awhile since their last record.
Also no Polysics, who haven't produced much, if anything this year. Nor any Tegan and Sara, who, while they did drop an album, I found it hard to really get into any of their songs this time around.
So what do I have for you then? I'll start with probably my favorite song of 2016...
Phantogram -- "You Don't Get Me High Anymore" (a haunting explosion of feeling that takes over my brain and body)
One of my all-time favorite bands, The Descendents, dropped a new album in 2016 and I finally got to see them live this year. The whole record, Hypercaffium Spazzinate, is a gem, but the first two songs really spoke to me...
The Descendents -- "Victim of Me"
The Descendents -- "On Paper"
This next band is one of the biggest explosions in 2016 and people either love them or hate them. Haters call them Millenial hipsters that think they can rap, and that all of their songs sound alike. To a small degree, I can see that argument, but this song just gets in my head, and like 'em or not, these kids do have talent.
21 Pilots -- "Stressed Out"
Another of my favorite bands, Motion City Soundtrack, get at it with another catchy tune, and while the second video here is from 2015, it really spoke to my mood the entire year.
Motion City Soundtrack -- "Lose Control"
Motion City Soundtrack -- "A Life Less Ordinary"
OK GO has made an entirely new art form from the music video, having tested the bounds of math, science and music to create stunning visuals to accompany their music. Just when you think they outdid themselves and will never be topped, they drop something completely new ... like this total mind fuck:
OK GO -- "The One Moment"
Old Weezer is back! With Shades of the Blue Album and Pinkerton, Weezer's latest offering, White Album, is a true blast from the past, with hooks and lyrics that will MAKE you sing along. Meanwhile, a song and video produced during this dumpster fire of an election cycle, really spoke to the heart of our personal hells...and features Patton Oswalt
Weezer -- "King of the World"
Weezer -- "I Love the USA"
If your body doesn't move to this song, you're not alive.
Meghan Trainor -- "Me Too"
Beyonce blew up even bigger in 2016 and became a target of controversy for daring to have a voice from black America. To me, this song is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Beyonce -- "Formation"
How about a supergroup made up of Public Enemy's Chuck D, Cypress Hill's B-Real and members of Rage against the Machine, most specifically Tom Morello? The newly dubbed Prophets of Rage are not only great -- they're needed right now. Desperately.
Prophets of Rage -- "Prophets of Rage"
Oh Bowie, why have you left us too early? Your impact on music as a whole will be greatly missed, but you left us one hell of a swan song. Caution, if you like Bowie even a tiny bit, you'll cry during this. He knew he was dying and left us all some final words...
David Bowie -- "Lazarus"
We also lost Phife Dog from a Tribe Called Quest last year. This new song is not only a great social commentary on the race and class wars we're fighting, but a haunting in memorium for Phife.
A Tribe Called Quest -- "We The People"
Seattle's Macklemore also returned to the fray with his thought-provoking White Privilege II. I know some people hate Macklemore, but to me, he speaks from the heart about whatever he's talking about ... and he's one of the few artists to stand right up and call his own white privilege out. To me, he is sincere, and a serious powerhouse of lyrical talent.
That one too deep for you? Here's 2015's Downtown, with its ridiculously catchy hooks and epic throwback special guests (and one amazing relatively newer artist)
Macklemore -- "White Privilege II"
Macklemore -- "Downtown"
A newer band I just discovered this year, Grouplove is another group with uncanny hooks that draw you in. This particular song, I feel, could be the opening song to my life.
Grouplove -- "Welcome To Your Life"
Green Day dropped a new record near the end of 2016 too. While I haven't heard the entire album yet, it's pretty good. Though this one, very politcal song, really struck a nerve with me.
Green Day -- "Say Goodbye To The Ones We Love"
Another one of my favorite bands also went uber political, dropping this heart-wrenching song during the election, in an effort to get more of us to the polls...
Airborne Toxic Event -- "America"
Bringing it back to Seattle and a little (or lot) lighter, I present you the amazing Tacocat. Their up-tempo beats and witty lyrics make any topic sound good. Bonus, this video was directed by one of my wife's friends, and features another friend!
Tacocat -- "I hate the Weekend"
And I'm ending this with more light-heartedness. Dork-Gods Nerf Herder released a new album after years upon years of "hiatus." It's great to hear new songs from them -- especially when they nerd it up about things like Doctor Who, Star Wars and vegans working at Burger King:
Nerf Herder -- "Doctor Who"
Nerf Herder -- "I'm the Droid (You're Looking For)"
Nerf Herder -- "Hotel California"
So there it is, my list of musical faves of the past year. Hope you enjoyed!
- 2016 in Music