Category Archives: Music Discourse

Favorite Albums of All Time

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What are your favorite albums of all time?

Mine (with album name, artist name, primary songwriter, and year) are:

1. I Am The West: Lovers // Carolyn Berk // 2009

2. I Was The EastLovers // Carolyn Berk // 2005

3. Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?: The Like // Z Berg // 2005

4. The Guest: Phantom Planet // Alex Greenwald // 2002

5. Feel The Sound: Imperial Teen // Will Schwartz // 2012

6. Roomful of Smoke: Leslie and the Badgers // Leslie Stevens // 2010

7. More AdventurousRilo Kiley // Jenny Lewis/Blake Sennett // 2004

8. Middle of Nowhere: Hanson // Taylor Hanson // 1997

9. AlvvaysAlvvays // Molly Rankin // 2014

10. Grandpaw Would: Ben Lee // Ben Lee // 1995

11. Let GoAvril Lavigne //Avril Lavigne // 2002

12. Hey You. Yes You.: Ben Lee // Ben Lee // 2002

13. Room Noises: Eisley // Sherri/Stacy Dupree // 2005

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Polygraph Music

At Polygraph, you can trace how music taste — based on top-charting songs — has evolved over the years.

Head to Polygraph for an audio (and visual) representation of the songs at the #1 spot each week.

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Indie Musicians Who Fought Cancer

1. Carey Lander (Camera Obscura)

Diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2011, Lander died in 2015 at 33 years old.

2. Benjamin Curtis (School of Seven Bells)

In early 2013, Curtis was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma at 34 years old. He died in December 2013.

3. Charles Bissell (The Wrens)

Diagnosed in 2016, Bissell is currently fighting multiple myeloma.

4. Annakalmia Traver (Rubblebucket)

In 2013, Traver was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 29. She’s currently healthy/in remission.

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Indie Musicians Who Lost a Parent at a Young Age (And Later Wrote About It)

Here are 4 indie musicians who lost a parent at a young age and later incorporated the experience into their music.

1. Soko

Soko’s dad died suddenly of an aneurysm when she was 5 years old.

“We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow” — “I can tell that you didn’t have to face your mother losing her lover / without saying goodbye / because she didn’t have time.”

“Ocean Of Tears” — “God has a plan to kill us all / And every day I wake up from a crazy dream where I’m looking for my Daddy and I know he’s here…And I’m too aware of mortality…I am haunted now.”

2. Carolyn Berk of Lovers

When Carolyn was 15 years old, her mom died of cancer.

“Take Good Care” — “You said the best thing I could do for you / Is to take good care of myself / And you became a ghost before you wanted / And my heart is the home you’ve haunted / And every time I hear the sirens sing / I feel footsteps inside of me / Like your heart beating, like my heart beating.”

“Seven Years” — “These scars of mine are more than skin deep / And there are ghosts in the air I breathe / And these ghosts will haunt your dreams / They’ll taunt you in your sleep / Saying, ‘Oh, we know about the love you lost and need’… My darling, you’re only fifteen, but in seven years you will see.”

“Tiger Square” — “My mother said to keep away from there / from Tiger Square / But she’s been gone now for so long, so long.”

3. Robert Schwartzman of Rooney

When Robert was 11 years old, his dad died of cancer.

“Go On” — “I remember when we held each other while the world changed / I was 11, you were 13, we never seemed to act our own age / How could we know in a heartbeat things would never be the same?”

“Holdin’ On” — “I was young, I’d seen it all / A cemetery in the middle of a super mall / I went to school, I never learned / How it feels, how everything you love can burn…I don’t know what I’ve lost / And I don’t know how to get it back”

4. Molly Rankin of Alvvays

When Molly was 12, her dad (John Morris Rankin of The Rankin Family) died in a winter car accident in Canada when his car skidded off the icy road and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

“Next Of Kin”: “No color to his skin / Inform the next of kin…I left my love in the river / The only one I see / I lost his hand in the current.”

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MGMT vs France

After Brooklyn-based indie rock band MGMT released their single “Kids” on October 13, 2008, the song became very popular. Rolling Stone listed it in the top 50 Best Songs of the 2000s, and the song’s official music video now has over 58 million YouTube views.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his political party, Union Pour Un Mouvement Populaire (UMP), also loved the song. In 2009, they played “Kids” at a national congress, meetings, and in internet videos – but without the band’s permission, and without paying them.

MGMT threatened to sue, pointing out the irony that the UMP was simultaneously trying to pass anti-piracy legislation. The UMP offered to pay the band a symbolic gesture – one euro – for its unintentional copyright infringement. MGMT called that offer insulting, and the band’s lawyers eventually worked out a settlement with the UMP. MGMT donated the 30,000 euros they received from the UMP settlement to artists’ rights organizations.

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iTunes Play Count

What are the most played songs in your iTunes library?

To check, just click the “Plays” column to sort your library by most played to least played songs. It’s interesting but not always accurate because iTunes counts a play when the song ends. So, if you listen to songs with lengthy outros and stop before you reach the very end, iTunes won’t count that as a play.

Here are my current top 5 most played songs, with the play count on the far right.

iTunes Most Played Songs

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