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Well, here we are at the last day of November. We about to enter the final month of 2018. As a friend likes to point out, the calendar year is arbitrary and has been/is different era to era, culture to culture. Regardless, it is as good a time as any to take stock. What's working, what's not, what could be better, and where to set sights for the year ahead. I'll be focusing on all that in December, all while continuing to bring new music to light and to reflect on the great music of 2018.
I am working on making a decision about the E2TG Artists and Bands of the Year. As in the last two years, my thought is to have two winners in each category. Band and Artist of the Year Nashville and Band and Artist of the Year (Non-Nashville). Truthfully, every time I think I've settled on a list, I remember another artist who is kicking butt. It's not going to be an easy decision, but do know - everyone I write about is a winner in my book. Plus, despite rumors to the contrary, E2TG awards to not include a cash prize or anything like that.
We have a pretty nifty shuffle of songs to close out the month. Let's get to it!
"Heart is a Nest of Snakes" by Extravision
First up, we have a track from Waking Up, the debut album by Extravision which is a solo and collaborative project of Ryan Stier (River Monks). Based in Iowa (it seems like there is quite a bit of cool music coming from that Midwest state), Extravision has a unique sound - with elements of psychedelia combined with elements of folk and more straightforward rock. The album deals heavily with the subject of death. This is a an album that I received early in the year, but which for whatever reason didn't pop up in the shuffle until recently. I'm glad it did. I'm a fan.
"Elizabeth" by Rich Krueger
Following up, yesterday's post with two songs - we have another track from Rich Krueger's awesome NOWThen album. The album has an all-star cast including Gary Lucas of Captain Beefheart, Robbie Fulks, John Fulbright, Peter Stampfel, and more. This track is a sweet yet honest ode to the life partner of a creative dreamer. Krueger is near the top or at the top of my list of 2018 "discoveries".
"A Day Like This (Etta Bea) (Dedicated to Aileen Violet)" by Nathan Bell
A great companion to Rich Krueger's song. Nathan Bell's latest studio album (released almost simultaneously with a live album) is called Loves Bones and Stars, Love's Bones and Stars. The focus of this album is very much on family (but not in a "focus on the family" kind of way. As I have said before, because it is true, Bell writes with the same honest intensity whether he is getting political, personal, or just telling a story.
"Trance Fear" by The Pull of Autumn
The first of two instrumental tracks in the shuffle. This is from The Pull of Autumn - a new project that features members of several different alternative/whatever bands from the 80s/90s. I love instrumental tracks during my commute (and in general). This is lush but not insubstantial music. I say it that way, because there is a lot of lush/chill music that doesn't really resonate with me - because it seems not substantial enough. That is strictly my opinion - but anyway, I don't think this music fits that category - which is what I am desperately trying to say."Williamson County Jail" by Tim Carroll
Tim Carroll has been getting some much deserved love from the Nashville media of late. He is currently the sixth most tagged artist/band in E2TG history (and climbing). This is another song from his most recent album, Keeping Time. One thing I love about Tim Carroll - he plays a weekly Happy Hour gig at The 5 Spot on Friday nights (and has for years). His band may change from week to week (depending on who's in town and free), but it always sounds tight. But none of that is the one thing I was talking about. In the midst of a rock and roll Happy Hour on a Friday night, Carroll can play a song like this which tackles real-world social issues, and (by the force of his talent and skill) he doesn't lose the "ready-for-the-weekend" crowd. It's truly a Nashville institution and one every visitor to town should experience (and every none visitor who's never been - should make plans to attend soon - like tonight maybe!)
"Magique Afrique" by Hologram Teen
Next up, more instrumental goodness from Hologram Teen - which features Morgane Lhote of the English-French new wave band. The album is called Between The Funk and the Fear.
"Deep Creep" by Justin and the Cosmics
More PERF from Nashville's own Justin and the Cosmics. Justin Collins is a fierce, fearless, and intense front man for the band.
"Tattoo King" by Neville and Sugary Staple
Next, we have some new music from Rude Rebels. In addition former Specials member Neville Staples and his his wife Sugary, the album also features Rodney Radiation who orginally joined The Specials at the same time as Staple.
"Human Clay" by Klammer
I have been digging this band/album. Klammer play hard rocking post-punk from Leeds UK. You Have Been Processed is the name of their latest album. A great way to close the books on another shuffle, week, and month!
I am continuing to work on my Spotify playlists for E2TG. So far, I have completed nine - January - September 2018. These are meant to be a cross-section of music I featured during those months - not necessarily music released in those months. If you are interested, you can check out the playlists (links below) and follow my personal profile to find out when new playlists are created.
JUST ADDED! August and September 2018 Playlists!
E2TG January 2018
E2TG February 2018
E2TG March 2018
E2TG April 2018
E2TG May 2018
E2TG June 2018
E2TG July 2018
E2TG August 2018 (NEW!)
E2TG September 2018 (NEW!)
E2TG October 2018 (Coming Soon!)