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So it is December. The last month of the year, and that means it is awards season. And that means it is time for the 2nd Annual Earie Awards. "The Earies" - "They sound odd, but they really aren't".
Continuing a tradition that dates back to... well last year... we present our first "Earie Award" for 2016 on December 1.
Just to explain for those new to E2TG, The Earie Awards are a completely subjective arbitrary way that I choose to honor some of the great music of the preceding year. There is no eligibility period, basically, even if an album came out in 2015, if it entered my consciousness in this year, it is eligible. And it is not specifically or exclusively albums that I honor. An artist/band that grabbed my attention with live shows or in other ways... eligible. Basically, it is "Earie" eligible if I say it is...
In 2015, the very first ever "Earie" went to Darrin Bradbury, who happened to have been our Artist of the Year in 2014. So, I thought I would continue that one year tradition by handing out the first award of 2016. The "Nice Guys Kick Butt and Then Write Sad Songs About It" Award goes to the one and only Jon Latham! Jon was our 2015 Artist of the Year. And in 2016, he continually showed why he was the absolute best choice for that award. In addition to recording his new album, unveiling some incredible new songs, leading bands at some of the best tribute shows in town, making his official Americana Music Fest showcase debut, backing other musicians, and sharing stages with Kevn Kinney, Aaron Lee Tasjan, and many more; Jon has continued to be one of the nicest and most humble people I have ever met. His new album, Lifers, is due in early 2017, and I predict it will be his breakthrough. I base that upon the bits I have heard and the songs that he has unveiled of late.
Congratulations, Jon! Jon is or will soon be heading to the Holiday Hangout in Arkansas, so I am accepting this award on his behalf, and I will be hocking it later today to get some scratch.
On to the shuffle. I still don't have a Throwback Thursday playlist, so stop asking me about it, jeez! I decided, just for the heck of it, to shuffle all the songs on my phone again. So, it is Wild Thursday. Who cares if the letters don't match...
"You Can't Go Back" by Post Death Soundtrack
Post Death Soundtrack are from Calgary/Vancouver. The album is called The Unlearning Curve. It has elements of industrial, electronic, rock, pop, and psychedelic music. To my mind, it is more accessible than some of those terms may bring to mind. I have really enjoyed digging into this music which was new to me.
"We Belong Here" by Adeem the Artist
The album is called Kyle Adem is Dead. There is a Kyle Adem Spotify page, but Kyle Adem is dead, so go to the Adeem the Artist page instead. Seriously, though, I saw Kyle Adem at New Faces Night a couple of years ago, and I was impressed enough by his songs to remember his name, but I have to say hearing this new music under a new moniker has been revelation. Easily of my favorite albums of the year, and some of best/most original songwriting I have heard in a while. Dig his stuff!
"54-46" by Chase Walker Band
Chase Walker Band performing a Toots and the Maytals song. Man, I really dig this. Groovy stuff. I could not pull up a video for this song, so I substituted a recent performance clip of Chase Walker performing with Christone "KINGFISH" Ingram at The Legendary Kimbro's Pickin' Parlor. This is some real-life, modern blues music. The Chase Walker Band album is called Not Quite Legal.
"I'm in Trouble" by The Replacements
What every shuffle needs is a little Replacements music. From their debut, Sorry Ma...
"Someday" by Smoking Flowers
Nashville's Smoking Flowers have been on the edges of my consciousness for a while, but of late, they have jumped to the forefront. Look for a new album in 2017. Meanwhile, they are hosting a pretty awesome Christmas celebration/benefit a week from today at The 5 Spot with an incredible list of guest performers. The Collins family, of which The Smoking Flowers are a part, host a monthly residency at The 5 Spot which just started, and I think will become a "Don't miss" Nashville event.
"Coney Island" by Tomas Doncker Band
Tomas Doncker Band's Big Apple Blues was an artist marvel. A tour de force love letter to New York City. This is one of my favorite tracks from that album.
"Angels and Demons" by The Tourists
And we close things out, with a slice of pure new wave pop heaven. As I have previously reported, The Tourists were a British band that featured Pete Coombs plus Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox - who went on to form Eurhythmics. The video is a fan-made mashup of the song with footage from Indiana Jones.