Favorite Records of 2014

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Another year gone by, another year in music to review. For me personally, it was a strange year in music. I found myself listening to unsigned / self released artists more often than some of the mainstream artists that I love so much. 2 Neil Young records – the 1st was good, if not great. The 2nd was a little too lush for my tastes. Neither appear on my year-end round-up. I looked forward to the new John Mellencamp (yes, seriously) but I came away only loving about half the record. Bruce Springsteen added Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine to his band and the record he released didn’t disappoint me. I managed to get out to a few shows in 2014 and was blown away by Mudhoney (twice) and First Aid Kit. Speaking of First Aid Kit, their Stay Gold record grew in stature with repeated listens and should help them become a household name. So without further rambling, here are the records that I played the most in 2014. Note: these are listed randomly and I chose to focus on full length releases that were released in 2014.

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First Aid Kit – Stay Gold

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Nostalgia has become a funny thing in this age of “the social network”. We have Throwback Thursdays, Flashback Fridays, and other movements accompanied by their #hashtags seem to be popping up weekly. What does it all mean? For every person in their mid to late 30’s (my age group) looking at the past through rose-colored lenses, the present slips away just a bit. Was everything really better 10 to 15 years ago? Or is it easier to believe that it was, given that we have overcome those struggles and face new ones in the present? I’m not really sure what the answer is, but it has been an ongoing thought process for me, watching daily nostalgia come over on my various social network feeds. First Aid Kit have entitled their 3rd record Stay Gold – after lines from the famous Robert Frost poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay”. Quite possibly, First Aid Kit also looked to the film The Outsiders as inspiration, as the scene with Ponyboy reciting Frost’s poem to The Karate Kid is something that has always stayed with me. Hues of Technicolor and gold.

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23 Albums Touched by the Hand of God in 2012

Nov 18

23 albums touched by the hand of God in 2012 – a non-numbered list of albums that I’ve played over and over that were released in 2012. Some of them were reviewed here on Jason’s Jukebox, some of them weren’t. All of them are worth your time and attention. The last look back at an amazing year of music. I’ll see you later this week with my 1st review of 2013.

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First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar

Everything I know about Sweden can be distilled into the following:

  1. IKEA
  2. Swedish Fish (usually purchased at IKEA)
  3. Lingonberry Jam (purchased at IKEA)
  4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  5. Pärson Sound  – International Harvester – Harvester – Träd, Gräs och Stenar (same band basically in different incarnations) are my favorite psychedelic band and they are from Sweden
  6. The Jens Lekman song “The Cold Swedish Winter” with its lyrics “When people think of Sweden / like Cliff Richards who thought it was just / porn and gonorrhea / And Lou Reed said in the film / Blue in the Face / that compared to New York City / Sweden is a scary place