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Showing posts from January, 2015

Divination

The trees lean in the hazardous downpour,
soaking up life-giving water like a thirsty
woman gulping the last breath of tainted air.

The rain is heavy on my back; the air is
electric with the dampening light of midmorning,
misting until the dampened t-shirt is a boon companion.

"Here we go," I mutter to myself, soaking in
my surroundings. I'm going in, not coming out.
The morning hike is medicinal, cleansing.

This is a rehabilitation, a divining, a benediction.
Here I go deeper into the forest.
I won't return until night. 


Top Records of 2014: 5-1

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5.Simone Felice - Strangers (Dualtone)Felice's second solo album is as uncomplicated as its cover art, uncluttered by most of the tropes of post 70s songwriting. Replete with melodic piano lines, the rare, tasteful horn section, and a flair for the understated, Strangers is a jubilant visitation with modern characters and places shone through a prism of classicism. Yet the album feels more like a natural progression of his work with The Felice Brothers, especially in the many sing along choruses that pop up in every song. Felice makes great use of literary wordplay that makes allusions to other songwriters. In "Molly-O," he sings "It's you and only you baby blue that can bring out the gypsy in me" and "Our Lady of the Gun" sounds suspiciously like The Felice Brothers' "Frankie's Gun," although that might just be the title -- the subject matter is a knowing exploration of school shootings. The record is quiet and contemplative jus…

Top Records of 2014: 10-6

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10. Afghan Wigs - Do To The Beast (Sub Pop)I'll be the first to admit that I was late to the party with the Afghan Wigs, missing out on Greg Dulli's soulful vocals and the dark subject matter that makes the band original until long after they broke up. So I was waiting with bated breath for new material. Like Mark Lanegan, Dulli is a masterful singer who knows how to shine in any given situation and adeptly takes control of the mood and the tone of any song he sings. Do To The Beast sounds fuller than the older records, relying on more instrumentation to give the record a punchy, full feel, but the band's gritty vibe remains intact. "Parked Outside" comes on strong and powerful, a ferocious salvo that takes your breath away. "Matamoros" contains electronics but they don't take away from Dulli's clever phrasing and expressive yowl, although the violins make the track feel even more seasick. "Algiers," the first single off the record ta…

Top Records of 2014: 20-16

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It's been another slow year at Snobbin'. As much as I tried, the posts have come fewer and farther in between. Hopefully that will change in the new year, but for now I want to present my top records of 2014. The list was really hard to determine this year because there were a lot of great records, but there was also less variety in what I had time to listen to and what came out. For example, Metal and Punk records didn't make the list like they have in recent years because I didn't hear that much that really rewarded repeat listens. The list has become more of a singer-songwriter, Americana sort of exercise. That's just the way I've been heading the last few years. I also decided to shorten the list as I think last year's was a tad extreme.

20. Sun Kil Moon - Benji (Caldo Verde) Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek can be an ornery, irascible cuss. This year alone he called out fans at a show as hillbillies and started a tongue in cheek fight with an…