Coming Home (playlist: Nov 5, 2015)

Coming Home

(compiled Nov 6, 2015)

Travels and transitions (moving across the world) always results in my playlists taking a backseat, despite how important they are to maintaining my sanity and well being. They truly are a rhythmical road map to my peace of mind and self-awareness, offering a common ground when I am on foreign ground. No matter how transient or unpredictable life gets, my playlists remain a constant, an extension of something familiar. It have officially been over FOUR MONTHS (longest hiatus yet) since I’ve compiled my last playlist, but let me tell ya, I’ve brewed up something SUPER SPECIAL. It’s got to be one of the TOP TEN of my all my playlists (80+) thus far.

This playlist title (‘Coming Home‘) is inspired by one of the hit tracks from a new favorite artist of mine — Leon Bridges — that I discovered back in June from my sister. I was also lucky enough to see him at Outside Lands (OSL) music festival this year in San Francisco (first OSL in 3 years), and WOW was he something else. Living up to his title as “the new Sam Cooke,” Leon Bridges will have you movin’ and groovin’ and finding your Motown Mojo. ‘Coming Home’ also reflects my MOVE BACK to Northern California where I had always left my heart and knew I would be “coming home” to. Milky Chance was another band that I saw for the first time live at OSL, and I was very impressed by the live rendition of their songs (especially those with the insane harmonica solos!). Right after OSL, I was lucky enough to catch the Seattle-based folk rock six piece — Hey Marseilles — that I had wanted to see ever since leaving California in 2012. Unfortunately that meant me waiting 3 years because this band never made it on tour to the UK or to Australia. Hey Marsailles was INCREDIBLE (very surprised that they do not have a larger fan base), and their opener LA-based opener — Wildling— was awesome as well (check out their cover of Neil Young’s ‘Heart of Gold‘ that I included on here). Around this same time, I was also listening to some new albums from two of my ALL TIME FAVORITE BANDS, Foals and Ratatat. I was especially excited to see that Ratatat has put out a new record because it had been nearly 5 years since generating any new material. Seeing them live at Bonnaroo in 2011 will forever mark them as one of the greatest live acts, and it’s super cool to know that my buddy Alex Barnett was their guitar tech for Ratatat’s recent shows in France. I also want to give a shout out to the amazing tunes (check out ‘Loosen Up‘) coming from Travis is a Tourist, an Belfast-based artist I was lucky enough to see and meet when he played a small pub in London last year.

With early October bringing about San Francisco’s famous FREE Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (HSB) festival, I was able to FINALLY SEE The Oh Hellos, another band that I had wanted to see since leaving California but never because they never toured outside the states. Having been FRONT & CENTER for their performance and knowing almost every lyric to their songs, I nearly had an ANEURYSM when they started to play ‘Hello My Old Heart,’ one of my LIFE ANTHEMS. This 10 piece folk rock group BLEW ME AWAY, and their relentless energy — triple drums, fierce stomping, feverish violins, banjo breakdowns — had me in quite a favorable frenzy. I still plan on writing a full review about them and I guarantee they will be back here in the Bay Area soon enough, especially to promote the release of their new album, ‘Dear Wormwood’. They were an obvious HSB festival standout, as was the band that played before them, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds. This pint-size powerhouse (my size and frame) leading this band had pipes that could shake up the tree in ALL of Golden Gate park, and I really hope they come back next year so I can sing along to their super catchy tune, ‘Sugar.’ By the way, if you like the sound of The Oh Hellos, then you should be sure to check out Wild Child, who recently were recently in town for a show at the Independent. Another new band I saw at HSB was The Sheepdogs, hailing from Canada and dishing out a healthy serving of pure ROCK. I really enjoyed singing along with the crowd to their hilarious hit song, ‘I Don’t Know.’

Soon after HSB, I made sure to not miss Kurt Vile when he added a second night (aside from the Filmore) to play at Slims in San Francisco. This was my 5th time seeing the Violater (who also happens to be from Philly like me), and no disappointment to be had. He consistently brings his game, with the name of the game obviously being to VIOLATE US with his incredible guitar-plucking skills (he first learned on a banjo!) and experimentation with lo-fi elements/sound distortion. There is no doubt that Kurt will continue to amaze and amuse (such a unique songwriter) with his music, and that the new album (‘Believe I’m Going down’) will be received well on his upcoming world tour (especially with that siiiiiick single, ‘Pretty Pimpin‘). Other bands that I saw that month were Daughter/Ben Howard, Of Monsters and Men, and Little Green Cars/Hozier, all 3 Fridays back-to-back at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley.

More recently, I FINALLY broke my music review hiatus (many to get to in the huge backlog!) with a review of Little May‘s awesome performance at The Independent on Monday night. This was their first show in San Francisco and you can tell they are excited to get back here again, hopefully for OSL this summer. They just released a new album — ‘For the Company’ — that was produced by the incredible Aaron Desser of The National. Having been on tour with Angus and Julia Stone and soon City and Colour, there is no stopping this awesomely adorable trio of Sydney-based Sirens. Learn more from my review here!  Also hailing from Australia is the AMAZING Boy & Bear that have just released a new album — ‘Limit of Love’ — and will be playing at Brick and Mortar (such a TINY VENUE for this folk rock powerhouse) on Nov 19. I have seen them a handful of times before in the UK but am super stoked to see them again since this new album release (see below for my favorites from this new album). Speaking of the UK, the Sister Sirens that are The Staves have released their much anticipated new album that was produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Volcano Choir. Their harmonies are simply MAGICAL and must be attributed to their physiological bond as sisters. Speaking of Volcano Choir, the soulful singer that opened for Little May — Doe Paoro — had previously worked with Justin and others from Volcano Choir to produce her recent album, ‘After.’ Half Moon Run — a band that I deemed my FAVORITE NEW BAND of 2013 and saw 4 times in 5 months — also just released a new album called ‘Sun Leads Me On,’ and I am very excited to see them in San Francisco in January. Finally, one of my favorite bands HAILING FROM San Francisco — Geographer — just released a unique and catchy spin on Paul Simon‘s ‘I Know What I Know’ and I can’t WAIT to see this one live when they play in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve.

Now go grab some headphones and HAVE A LISTEN to this playlist that I am OH SO PROUD OF.  Rock on. 🙂

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Here’s a Spotify playlist with most of the songs (some still missing):

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You can download all of the songs (out of order) from my link on Box.com

https://app.box.com/s/yvlz7lzy06iyob268hvrqvi580m520fw

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Coming Home- Leon Bridges   
Walk The Wire- Boy & Bear 
Crystals- Of Monsters And Men  
Pretty Pimpin- Kurt Vile   
Sugar- Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds   
To Travels & Trunks- Hey Marseilles  
Mountain At My Gates- Foals
The Shine Is Brighter At Night- Little May  
The Kitchen- Tow’rs  
Steady- The Staves   
Heart Beats- Hey Marseilles   
Brown Skin Girl- Leon Bridges   
Loosen Up- Travis Is A Tourist   
Heart of Gold- Wildling
Cream On Chrome- Ratatat
Seven Hours- Little May   
Bright Stars Burning- Hey Marseilles   
Turn Your Love- Half Moon Run   
I Don’t Know- The Sheepdogs   
Bitter Water- The Oh Hellos   
Where’d You Go- Boy & Bear   
Let Me Down- The Staves       
Fools- Wild Child  
A Thousand Faces- Boy & Bear 
Feathery- Milky Chance 
Better Man- Leon Bridges 

I Know What I Know (Paul Simon cover)- Geographer
In A Week (Feat. Karen Cowley)- Hozier
Traveling- Doe Padro 
Limit Of Love- Boy & Bear   
Make It Holy- The Staves   
Exeunt- The Oh Hellos
Bow & Arrow- Little May   
Dust Bunnies- Kurt Vile  
Abrasive- Ratatat

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One thought on “Coming Home (playlist: Nov 5, 2015)

  1. […] up on my previous playlist — ‘Coming Home — I’ve launched a new playlist called ‘West Coast,’ as this title track by […]

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