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Cool New Music

I interrupt my interruption to bring you twenty new(ish) songs that are rocking my world these days. Let me know which ones hit you.

Regular blogging will resume at some point this year.


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My Birthday Advice: Don’t!

doggies + Elvis
Today is my birthday. Over my 25+ years on earth, I’ve learned many life lessons. Most of them came from songs. My birthday gift to you is a playlist of 100 songs offering advice as to what not to do.


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Best Songs Of 2014

I don’t understand Beyoncé. She spells her name with an accent over the second e, but she pronounces her name with the accent on the second syllable. That makes no sense to me. Musically, however, I was down with Cé in 2014. She challenged herself artistically with her latest album, snuck out at the tail end of 2013, and for the most part she succeeded. Yonc places four songs in my year-end list, more than anybody else, with two of those songs in my top ten. And to think, she owes her whole career to me.

The big trend that nobody talks about is that Sweden has invaded in a big way. Tove Lo and Neneh Cherry (welcome back!) are on my year-end list, and First Aid Kit are in this week’s top ten. Three acts may not look like a big trend to you, but let’s encourage Sweden. They still have a ways to go to make up for Ace of Base. Elsewhere in Scandinavia, Norway is represented by Röyksopp, Annie and Bjarne Melgaard. Come on, Denmark and Finland – let’s step it up! Other foreign acts representing this year are Britain’s George Ezra, Katy B, Disclosure, Sam Smith, SBTRKT and alt-J; Scotland’s Paolo Nutini and Belle & Sebastian; Canada’s Mac DeMarco, Tegan & Sara and Arcade Fire; Australia’s Courtney Barnett and Sia; France’s Daft Punk, Nigeria’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; and Neverland’s Michael Jackson.

There’s little hip hop on my 2014 list. Very little. Two songs, both performed by Kendrick Lamar. This is the poorest showing for rap in a year-end list since the early eighties, I think. I’m too lazy to look for my old listings, but I’m pretty sure that’s accurate. Was hip hop really that lame this year or am I turning into my mother?

Country music fared a little better than hip hop. Three songs, two of those performed by Miranda Lambert. The third song is “Follow Your Arrow,” performed by Kasey Musgraves, which is my #1 song of 2014. This is the first time a country song has topped my year-end list, I think. I’m too lazy to look for my old listings, but I’m pretty sure that’s accurate. The song, about being true to yourself and not letting others dictate your path, resonated with me when I was at a crossroads in my professional life. Do I continue working for the man in a soul-sucking job or do I pursue my passions? I opted to follow my arrow. If I crash and burn, Musgraves will hear from my lawyer. Also, it was rad to hear a simple, catchy tune coupled with the lyrics “Kiss lots of boys or kiss lots of girls if that’s what you’re into.” It was radder that this song won the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year award, despite being only a modest hit on the country chart. Raddest was that two male country singers, Billy Gilman and Ty Hendon, who each have sold hundreds of thousands of records, announced that they kissed lots of boys and that’s what they’re into. I’m paraphrasing.

I now present to you my favorite songs of 2014. The list was compiled from my weekly top ten lists. I crunched the numbers and this is the result. Songs that are in Glenn’s Ten at the present time (e.g. First Aid Kit’s “Cedar Lane,” Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk!,” Perfume Genius’ “Queen”) are not included; I’ll put them on my 2015 list. Here are the 83 tracks that made my weekly top ten in 2014:

1. “Follow Your Arrow” – Kacey Musgraves
2. “Ain’t It Fun” – Paramore
3. “Happy” – Pharrell Williams
4. “Every Time the Sun Comes Up” – Sharon Van Etten
5. “Do You” – Spoon
6. “Partition” – Beyoncé
7. “Drunk in Love” – Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z
8. “Really Don’t Care” – Demi Lovato featuring Cher Lloyd
9. “Seasons (Waiting on You)” – Future Islands
10. “Beggin for Thread” – Banks
11. “Avant Gardener” – Courtney Barnett
12. “Budapest” – George Ezra
13. “Habits (Stay High)” – Tove Lo
14. “Gotta Get Away” – The Black Keys
15. “Love Never Felt So Good” – Michael Jackson
16. “Somethin’ Bad” – Miranda Lambert featuring Carrie Underwood
17. “Hundreds of Ways” – Conor Oberst
18. “Step” – Vampire Weekend featuring Danny Brown, Heems and Despot
19. “Put Your Number In My Phone” – Ariel Pink
20. “Blue Moon” – Beck
21. “All the Rage Back Home” – Interpol
22. “i” – Kendrick Lamar
23. “5 AM” – Katy B
24. “Secrets” – Mary Lambert
25. “Cinnamon and Lesbians” – Stephen Malkmus
26. “Just One Drink” – Jack White
27. “Chandelier” – Sia
28. “Automatic” – Miranda Lambert
29. “How Can You Really” – Foxygen
30. “Out of the Black” – Neneh Cherry featuring Robyn
31. “XO” – Beyoncé
32. “Wait for a Minute” – Tune-Yards
33. “Control” – Broken Bells
34. “Bored in the U.S.A.” – Father John Misty
35. “Latch” – Disclosure featuring Sam Smith
36. “New Dorp, New York” – SBTRKT featuring Ezra Koenig
37. “All About that Bass” – Meghan Trainor
38. “I Blame Myself” – Sky Ferreira
39. “Do It Again” – Röyksopp and Robyn
40. “Birth in Reverse” – St. Vincent
41. “Prince Johnny” – St. Vincent
42. “Bother” – Les Sins
43. “Brother” – Mac DeMarco
44. “Everything Is Awesome!!” – Tegan and Sara featuring The Lonely Island
45. “Dark Sunglasses” – Chrissie Hynde
46. “Heart is a Drum” – Beck
47. “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” – Kendrick Lamar
48. “Let Me Down Easy” – Paolo Nutini
49. “Talking Backwards” – Real Estate
50. “Stranger to My Happiness” – Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
51. “High Hopes” – Bruce Springsteen
52. “Electric Lady” – Janelle Monae featuring Solange
53. “Crying for No Reason” – Katy B
54. “After the Disco” – Broken Bells
55. “***Flawless” – Beyoncé featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
56. “West Coast” – Lana Del Rey
57. “Nothing More than Everything to Me” – Christopher Owens
58. “Left Hand Free” – alt-J
59. “The Party Line” – Belle & Sebastian
60. “Low Key” – Tweedy
61. “Come Get It Bae” – Pharrell Williams
62. “Do What U Want” – Lady Gaga featuring R. Kelly
63. “Alone in My Home” – Jack White
64. “Fever” – The Black Keys
65. “Me and Liza” – Rufus Wainwright
66. “You Are Your Mother’s Child” – Conor Oberst
67. “Inside Out” – Spoon
68. “Instant Crush” – Daft Punk featuring Julian Casablancas
69. “I Wanna Know” – Best Coast
70. “Eyes to the Wind” – The War on Drugs
71. “Forever” – Haim
72. “It Comes Back to You” – Christopher Owens
73. “Just One of the Guys” – Jenny Lewis
74. “My Own World” – Eleanor Friedberger
75. “Spit Three Times” – Neneh Cherry
76. “Lazaretto” – Jack White
77. “Russian Kiss” – Annie featuring Bjarne Melgaard
78. “Another Night” – The Men
79. “Dangerous” – Big Data featuring Joywave
80. “Gust of Wind” – Pharrell Williams
81. “A Place with No Name” – Michael Jackson
82. “Give Life Back to Music” – Daft Punk
83. “We Exist” – Arcade Fire

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Glenn’s Ten (11-18-14)

Greetings, readers! Today we check in with Glenn’s Ten, the list of my ten favorite current songs at this moment.

There are no changes in my top three. For the third week in a row, Tove Lo is at #1 with “Habits,” Banks is at #2 with “Beggin for Thread,” and George Ezra is #3 with “Budapest.” Entering this week’s top ten is Father John Misty’s “Bored in the USA” at #4, Les Sins’ “Bother” at #5, and Belle & Sebastian’s “The Party Line” at #8. This is the first time in Glenn’s Ten for Misty and Les Sins (who also records under the name Toro y Moi). I haven’t published Glenn’s Ten in the blog for a few weeks, so there are a few other songs that will appear to be new entries to those of you keeping score at home.

Here is Glenn’s Ten for this week:
1 – “Habits (Stay High)” – Tove Lo
2 – “Beggin for Thread” – Banks
3 – “Budapest” – George Ezra
4 – “Bored in the U.S.A.” – Father John Misty
5 – “Bother” – Les Sins
6 – “Inside Out” – Spoon
7 – “Let Me Down Easy” – Paolo Nutini
8 – “The Party Line” – Belle & Sebastian
9 – “Cedar Lane” – First Aid Kit
10 – “Low Key” – Tweedy

Today’s playlist are the above ten tracks followed by ten songs that were #1 on this date in Glenn’s Ten history.

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Glenn’s Ten – 9/30/14

Ariel Pink’s “Put Your Number in My Phone” moves into #1 in Glenn’s Ten this week, knocking from the top Meghan Trainor’s “All About that Bass.” There are three new entries – “Beggin for Thread” performed by Banks, “i” performed by Kendrick Lamar and “Dangerous” performed by Big Data featuring Joywave.

Glenn’s Ten for this week is:
1. “Put Your Number in My Phone” – Ariel Pink
2. “Gotta Get Away” – The Black Keys
3. “Secrets” – Mary Lambert
4. “All About that Bass” – Meghan Trainor
5. “Beggin for Thread” – Banks
6. “Alone in My Home” – Jack White
7. “i” – Kendrick Lamar
8. “Flawless” – Beyoncé featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
9. “Dangerous” – Big Data featuring Joywave
10. “Do You” – Spoon

Rounding out today’s playlist are ten tunes that were #1 on this date in Glenn’s Ten history, in reverse chronological order.

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Glenn’s Ten – 9/17/14

Meghan Trainor’s “All About that Bass” moves into #1 in Glenn’s Ten this week, knocking from the top Demi Lovato’s “Really Don’t Care.” There is one new entry – “Alone in My Home” performed by Jack White.

Glenn’s Ten for this week is:
1. “All About that Bass” – Meghan Trainor
2. “How Can You Really” – Foxygen
3. “Really Don’t Care” – Demi Lovato featuring Cher Lloyd
4. “Electric Lady” – Janelle Monae featuring Solange
5. “Do You” – Spoon
6. “Flawless” – Beyoncé featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
7. “Dark Sunglasses” – Chrissie Hynde
8. “Chandelier” – Sia
9. “Alone in My Home” – Jack White
10. “New Dorp, New York” – SBTRKT featuring Ezra Koenig

Rounding out today’s playlist are ten tunes that were #1 on this date in Glenn’s Ten history, in reverse chronological order.

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Glenn’s Ten – 8/27/14

Demi Lovato’s “Really Don’t Care” remains at #1 in Glenn’s Ten this week. There is one new entry – “A Place With No Name” performed by Michael Jackson, who has been in Glenn’s Ten many times over the years.

Glenn’s Ten for this week is:
1. “Really Don’t Care” – Demi Lovato featuring Cher Lloyd
2. “Chandelier” – Sia
3. “Do You” – Spoon
4. “New Dorp, New York” – SBTRKT featuring Ezra Koenig
5. “All the Rage Back Home” – Interpol
6. “How Can You Really” – Foxygen
7. “Dark Sunglasses” – Chrissie Hynde
8. “Electric Lady” – Janelle Monae featuring Solange
9. “Nothing More than Everything to Me” – Christopher Owens
10. “A Place with No Name” – Michael Jackson

Rounding out today’s playlist are ten tunes that were #1 on this date in Glenn’s Ten history, in reverse chronological order. It’s a place where Rihanna, The Chemical Brothers, Simply Red, Anthrax, Thompson Twins, Frank Zappa and Skee-Lo can peacefully co-exist.

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Glenn’s Ten – August 19

Demi Lovato’s “Really Don’t Care” remains at #1 in Glenn’s Ten this week. There are two new entries – “How Can You Really” performed by Foxygen and “Electric Lady” by Janelle Monae. Between them Foxygen and Monae placed five tracks in Glenn’s Ten last year.

Glenn’s Ten for this week is:
1. “Really Don’t Care” – Demi Lovato featuring Cher Lloyd
2. “Do You” – Spoon
3. “New Dorp, New York” – SBTRKT featuring Ezra Koenig
4. “Chandelier” – Sia
5. “All the Rage Back Home” – Interpol
6. “Dark Sunglasses” – Chrissie Hynde
7. “How Can You Really” – Foxygen
8. “Nothing More than Everything to Me” – Christopher Owens
9. “You Are Your Mother’s Child” – Bright Eyes
10. “Electric Lady” – Janelle Monae featuring Solange

Rounding out today’s playlist are ten tunes that were #1 on this date in Glenn’s Ten history, in reverse chronological order. Where else will you find Lil Jon, Smashing Pumpkins, Hanson, George Michael and The Offspring on the same playlist?

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Glenn’s Ten – 8/12/14

Demi Lovato’s “Really Don’t Care” moves from #4 to #1 in Glenn’s Ten this week. There are three new entries – “New Dorp, New York” performed by SBTRKT featuring Ezra Koenig, “Chandelier” by Sia and “Dark Sunglasses” by Chrissie Hynde. This is SBTRK’s first appearance in Glenn’s Ten, while guest vocalist Koenig has been in the countdown a handful of times with his band, Vampire Weekend. Sia has been in Glenn’s Ten previously as a co-writer of Britney Spear’s “Perfume;” this is her first time in the ten as an artist. Chrissie Hynde showed up in Glenn’s Ten many times with her band Pretenders and with UB40 on a cover of Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe.”

Glenn’s Ten for this week is:
1. “Really Don’t Care” – Demi Lovato featuring Cher Lloyd
2. “Do You” – Spoon
3. “New Dorp, New York” – SBTRKT featuring Ezra Koenig
4. “All the Rage Back Home” – Interpol
5. “Chandelier” – Sia
6. “Nothing More than Everything to Me” – Christopher Owens
7. “You Are Your Mother’s Child” – Bright Eyes
8. “Dark Sunglasses” – Chrissie Hynde
9. “Left Hand Free” – Alt-J
10. “Heart is a Drum” – Beck

Rounding out today’s playlist are ten tunes that were #1 on this date in Glenn’s Ten history, in reverse chronological order.

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Glenn’s Ten – August 4, 2014

Spoon’s “Do You” holds on to #1 in Glenn’s Ten this week. There is one new entry – “Really Don’t Care” performed by Demi Lovato featuring Cher Lloyd. The track, a pop song in the “Call Me Maybe” vein, is the first Glenn’s Ten entry for both of these women.

Glenn’s Ten for this week is:
1. “Do You” – Spoon
2. “All the Rage Back Home” – Interpol
3. “Left Hand Free” – Alt-J
4. “Really Don’t Care” – Demi Lovato featuring Cher Lloyd
5. “Heart is a Drum” – Beck
6. “Nothing More than Everything to Me” – Christopher Owens
7. “You Are Your Mother’s Child” – Bright Eyes
8. “Every Time the Sun Comes Up” – Sharon Van Etten
9. “Just One of the Guys” – Jenny Lewis
10. “Control” – Broken Bells

Rounding out today’s playlist are ten tunes that were #1 on this date in Glenn’s Ten history, in reverse chronological order.

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