The Best of the Tenny Tweens, Part III: 41-60

We’re at the midpoint of the list now… this is where the absolute best of the B-plus range starts to blend into the A-minus range. But first, some more fun facts (or at least, facts that a nerdy analytical guy like me considers fun), this time related to geography. Where in the world are all of these artists from?

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Obsessive Year-End List Fest 2015: Favorite Songs

The first order of business as 2015 comes to a close is to sift through all of my favorite songs that I first heard this year (or perhaps late last year, and it just took me a little longer to appreciate them) and attempt to put them in order, which as usual starts to get a bit silly below the top 30 or so. Music videos and some live performances are embedded for that first chunk of the list. As I’ve done in previous years, I’ve also got a Spotify playlist that covers a lot of these, limited to a song per artist and more in chronological order of when I discovered them.

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Obsessive Year-End List Fest 2014: Favorite Albums and Honorable Mentions

As always, I’m closing the year out with a summary of my favorite records from the year gone by. The only qualifying factors to make this list are that they must be full-length albums consisting of new material (I have a separate section for EPs and collections of previously released material), with a release date in 2014. Everything I really enjoyed this year that falls outside of those boundaries still gets a mention, just not a ranking.

It was really hard to pick a clear #1 this year. I love the top four albums on this list just about equally. Two are more “baroque” pop records that lean toward the electronic and experimental, and two are more in-your-face rock records. They’re the only “A grades” that I gave out this year. Which one is my favorite among them changes based on my mood, so I basically gave the #1 slot to the one I’ve enjoyed for the largest chunk of the year. I can’t imagine very many other people who would ever actually listen to all four of them, let alone like them all, but they all come with my highest recommendations for anyone into the types of music these individual artists are making.

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Obsessive Year-End List Fest 2014: Favorite Songs

It’s that time of year again, when I arbitrarily sort through the list of songs I’ve been obsessed with over the past 12 months, and try to whittle it down to a semi-reasonable list of 100 favorites. A lot of these were released in 2013, and a few even in 2012, but as usual, I was late to the party.

Music videos and some live performances are embedded for most of the Top 30. I didn’t want to go too far beyond that, for fear of crashing your browser. I’ve also created a Spotify playlist that explores a number of these favorites, more or less chronologically in the order that I discovered them.

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Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil – Goliath: Man makes plans. God laughs.

2014_SteveTaylorthePerfectFoil_Goliath

Artist: Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil
Album: Goliath
Year: 2014
Grade: A-

In Brief: Even though this is Taylor’s first studio album in two decades, it’s got enough lyrical wit and musical bite to feel like it picks up right where he last left off with Squint. This is quality alternative rock that makes you think just as much as it makes you headbang. (And sometimes it steps on your toes in the process.)

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Divad’s Soundtrack #4: April-July 1995

Here’s what I was listening to during my last days of high school, and over the summer as I began to realize my need to separate from the seemingly small world around me (despite some people that I really wanted to hold on to) and to emotionally prepare myself for my first semester at Occidental College, which I chose over Pitzer out of the two schools that had accepted me, in the fall.

In with the New:
Code of Ethics
Jars of Clay
Tony Vincent
Cindy Morgan
Clay Crosse
Sixpence None the Richer
Anointed
Chris Eaton
Nouveaux
Michael O’Brien

Out with the Old:
Steve Taylor (as a solo artist – appears later with Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil)

It Was Worth a Try:
Big Tent Revival
Ron Kenoly

Listen on Spotify:

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