End On End

Thanksgiving observations

Some observations from today:

  • I am so thankful my dad made the trip to share dinner with us. Our first holiday since my mom passed at the end of the summer. ❤️
  • Really thankful for the wife and kids. They are great all of the time, but they really made today an enjoyable day all around. 🥰
  • I am firmly on Team Sides. Wasn’t into turkey this year and enjoyed the taste test of the vegan “turkey” breast we got from Aldis. Maybe it’s time to go full vegetarian.
  • I think I am done watching any non-Buffalo Bills football. The refs are so bad - it is really hard to watch blatant holding and pass interference like every play. The game is a joke.

My Favorite Albums from 2022

It’s that time again, though I’m a little earlier than usual! I’m not going to make you scroll to the bottom to find my top recommendation, so here we go:

  1. PAINLESS by Nilufur Yanya (Listen)

I really, really hope this record gets it’s due. Everything is top notch: the lyrics, the melodies, the arrangements, her voice. It’s a perfect indie rock album, from someone who obviously loves really good music and knows how to fold those diverse influences into her songwriting. She deserves to be HUGE.

  1. sore thumb by Oso Oso (Listen)

Jade Lilitri can really write a catchy song. Musically, Oso Oso is equal parts emo and indie rock (think Death Cab crossed with Built to Spill crossed with Taking Back Sunday and a touch of Pinback) with really great lyrics that you just can’t help but sing along with… this album is high quality from top to bottom and has been in steady rotation since release day.

  1. Your Neighbors Are Failures by Bitter Branches (Listen)

With former/current members of Deadguy, Kiss it Goodbye, Lifetime, Walleye, Kid Dynamite, and Paint it Black you can probably imagine what an amalgamation of those bands would sound like and it’s 100% accurate. It’s brutal, chaotic, and at times melodic – and 100% amazing. Definitely my top hardcore album from 2022.

  1. Careening by Hammered Hulls (Listen)

Hammered Hulls is Alec MacKaye (Faith, Ignition), Mary Timony (Helium, Autoclave, Wild Flag, Ex Hex), Mark Cisneros (Make-Up, Medications), and Chris Wilson (Ted Leo, Titus Andronicus) - a veritable supergroup, in terms of DC punk and indie rock. They also put together a total surprise of an album. You’d expect good from this group of musicians, but this is more than good – it’s top 5 of 2022 good. Political, DC punk in an age that NEEDS more of this kind of music. Highly recommended.

  1. My Other People by TV Priest (Listen)

The second album from TV Priest is a little more mature and maybe a little more melodic than their debut, Uppers – which was #14 on my 2021 list. They still do the post-punk, The Fall/Nick Cave thing, but in a way that I enjoy more than listening to those two groups. I really, really enjoy Charlie Drinkwater’s voice and lyrics. An underrated band and album for sure.

  1. I don’t know who needs to hear this… by Tomberlin (Listen)

Despite being on a record label (Saddle Creek, home of Big Thief, Hop Along, Cursive, Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes, and Spoon) that I tend to follow, I only discovered Tomberlin this year with the release of her second full length. And wow, what an experience. Well written indie folk music, with really great lyrics. Tomberlin really delivers and I honestly think she’s at a higher level than contemporaries like Phoebe Bridgers and even Taylor Swift’s indie folk albums – both of which I really liked.

  1. s/t by Wet Leg (Listen)

If you simply listen to Chaise Longue, you may overlook this band as a joke — but this album is REALLY good. Super catchy and fun. There isn’t enough fun in rock music nowadays and this band really delivers.

  1. Cheat Codes by Black Thought and Danger Mouse (Listen)

Black Thought (from The Roots) is an insanely good lyricist. Danger Mouse is a well respected producer who’s been involved in some great projects (Dangerdoom and Gnarls Barkley to name two.) The combination is divine, especially when you throw in guests like A$AP Rocky, Run the Jewels, Conway the Machine, Raekwon, and Joey Bada$$. It’s my favorite hip hop album of 2022.

  1. Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers by Kendrick Lamar (Listen)

King Kendrick is going to be on a lot of end of year lists, no doubt. And rightly deserved. Kendrick is hip hop royalty and this album delivers the ambitious lyrics, subject matter, and music you’ve come to expect.

  1. Natural Brown Prom Queen by Sudan Archives (Listen)

A blend of hip hop, gospel, R&B, folk, and electronic music, Brittney Parks (aka Sudan Archives) delivers a catchy, off-beat, diverse album that is super interesting to listen to as she sways from one mix of genres to another. Highly recommended.

  1. The Forever Story by JID (Listen)

Hip-hop FFO: Earthgang, J. Cole, Denzel Curry, Cordae

  1. Visitor by Empath (Listen)

FFO: lo-fi, eccentric indie punk with synths

  1. Little Green House by Anxious (Listen)

FFO: emo-influenced hardcore/indie rock

  1. God Save the Animals by Alex G (Listen)

FFO: eccentric lo-fi indie rock

  1. s/t by Spite House (Listen)

FFO: dynamic post-hardcore like Samiam, Seaweed, Jawbreaker

  1. Guitar Music by Courting (Listen)

FFO: chaotic, melodic post-punk with electronic textures

  1. Blue Rev by Alvvays (Listen)

FFO: female fronted indie rock with a touch of shoegaze. Think Velocity Girl, Soccer Mommy, Snail Mail, The Beths, and Hatchie

  1. Expert in a Dying Field by The Beths (Listen)

FFO: female fronted punk-tinged indie rock with major hooks

  1. Don’t Know What You’re In Until You’re Out by Gladie (Listen)

FFO: female fronted punk-tinged indie rock with major hooks (sense a trend?!). Think early Waxahatchee, Lemuria, Cayetana (ex-members), Hop Along, Swearin’

  1. Skinty Fia by Fontaines D.C. (Listen)

FFO: Post-punk with a hint of folk, electronic, and melodic indie pop

  1. We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong by Sharon Van Etten (Listen)

FFO: dynamic indie singer-songwriter

  1. Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You by Big Thief (Listen)

FFO: eccentric indie folk

  1. Few Good Things by Saba (Listen)

FFO: introspective R&B influenced hip-hop

  1. Melt My Eyez See Your Future by Denzel Curry (Listen)

FFO: eccentric hip-hop ranging from high energy punk to funk and jazz

  1. Farm to Table by Bartees Strange (Listen)

FFO: indie rock that incorporates elements of bedroom pop, electronic music, alt-rock, folk, and hip-hop.

Anxious at the Rec Room in Buffalo
Anxious at the Rec Room in Buffalo
Oso Oso at the Rec Room in Buffalo
Oso Oso at the Rec Room in Buffalo

Wrap Up

If you are on Apple Music, I’ve added these albums and another 25 or so of my honorable mentions to a playlist. I’ve also got plenty of reports on Last.fm, if you are interested in browsing.

SO, did I miss anything good? There was so much good music this year, I had to have missed something. Hit me up if you have something you think I’d like!

Addendum

Previous Years: Best of 2021, Best of 2020

Note: Looking back at 2021, I’d definitely put Turnstile at #6 and Tyler the Creator at #7, with every album from Quicksand on down moving one spot lower to fill in the remaining order.

Be sure to follow me on Apple Music — I create and share playlists throughout the year and I’m definitely interested in seeing what other folks are listening to!


🎧Now Listening: Don’t Know What You’re in Until You’re Out by Gladie

FFO: Cayetana (ex-members), early Waxhatachee, Hop Along, Lemuria, Swearin’

This album is certainly making my Best of 2022 list.


Buffalo storm prep update: local grocery stores cleared out — except pumpkin spice stuff. We aren’t that desperate yet.


Bummed Turnstile and Snail Mail canceled tonight, due to our coming snowstorm. Time to prep I guess! ☃️


My oldest friend Chris, aka Itinerant Printer, is having a massive sale on his amazing letterpress prints. Do check them out - I just grabbed three.


Some recent vinyl pickups: new Soulside and Hammered Hulls, two classic Dinosaur Jr., and Check Your Head from Beastie Boys. 🔥

New vinyl: Soulside, Dinosaur Jr, Beastie Boys, Hammered Hulls

I put together my finalists playlist for 2022 album of the year - 50 so far. Check it out here on Apple Music


Attempting to port the Hugo theme Congo for micro.blog. Stay tuned!


🎧 Insta-buy: Blue Period by Beauty Pill

A double LP compilation including the band’s complete Dischord recordings from 2003-2005.


🎧 Now Listening: Curses by Future of the Left


Just voted! Most people I’ve ever seen at our polling place too. Still have time today, if you haven’t. #JustVote


The sweetest pitty. Watson wedges himself behind me every single workday.


🎧 Now listening: Igor by Tyler, the Creator


🏄‍♂ Exploring the omg.lol universe


I’ve taken a little hiatus from writing One Last Wish posts (my music newsletter), so here are a few top notch new releases I’ve been digging:

Enjoy!


Major milestone! 300 days complete in my song-a-day playlist journey. Grab it on Apple Music: music.apple.com/us/playli…


Mr. Robot and the compounding effect of tiny changes

I just completed a re-watch of Mr. Robot and it stands up (and still very relevant) 7 years later… it’s probably one of my favorite TV series of all time. My favorite scene of the series is one of the last – Elliott’s realization that changing the world requires more than one-off, big interventions:

What if changing the world was just about being here, by showing up no matter how many times we get told we don’t belong, by staying true even when we’re shamed into being false, by believing in ourselves even when we’re told we’re too different? And if we all held on to that, if we refuse to budge and fall in line, if we stood our ground for long enough, just maybe… the world can’t help but change around us.

I can’t help but think of the impact of compounding – whether it’s financial or building habits or any social justice issue. Tiny improvements over a long period of time can equate to big changes on the macro scale. As much as the current state of the world makes me very worried, especially as a parent of two young ladies and a transgender son, I have to believe this is true – for their sake.

For me, it’s a good reminder to double down on that approach in my every day life:

  • default to kindness, acceptance, and positivity
  • small daily efforts toward my projects and goals
  • small, better daily health choices

A little better, each and every day.


Beautiful fall day for a hike at Artpark


My assistant is being a little oppressive today. 🥰


Quicksand and Spotlights last night in Buffalo


Anxious, MAGS, and oso oso last night at Rec Room in Buffalo.


Amazon has gone full QVC.


264 days down. My song-a-day playlist on Apple Music: music.apple.com/us/playli…


Los Campesinos! at the Velvet Underground in Toronto. They’ve been on my bands to see bucket list and it was worth the wait. 🔥