My Top Music of 2015

I don’t listen to music the way I used to.  Mostly gone are the years spending hours reading and researching  new music and piling up new stuff to listen to.  Much less taking the time to just sit and listen to an album while doing nothing else.  My listening experience has evolved as has the pervasiveness of music and media in general.  Within that synesthesiac experience Shazam is my best friend. Whether at a Vinyl Rock party in Spain, or at a local bar/lounge, or when binging on Netflix at home; my ears and phone are always at the ready and I capture the songs old and new which I then download to my collection.

I should mention that as a true lover of music I haven’t listened to the Radio in over 15 years, but I still overhear Top 40 stuff.  When I first heard “Uptown Funk” somewhere I thought it was The Time’s “Jungle Love” (with good reason, but both are great jams).  I heard Azealia Banks’ “212” in an outdoor lounge by the sea with a great sound system in Alicante and wondered “whoTF is that?!” spitting on top of EDM like it was nothing (love her punk-as-fuck moxie too). The rest is a lot of old Vinyl Rock-n-Roll (on MP3!) and great Funk/R&B tunes that I’d missed out on (how fantastic is Syl Johnson’s”Different Strokes”?!) as well as some Golden Age Hip-Hoppers still putting great stuff out.  I’m also honored to know a few of the artists on my lists in person (X-Vandals, ILLUS & Wizard Sex AKA  (were in the Top 100).

Lastly, despite shallow Pop-Rap’s reign (Fuck you Drake!) it’s great to see that the tradition of political Hip-Hop bookends my Top 40; with Kendrick Lamar’s scathing “The Blacker The Berry” on one end and activist Killer Mike (who may have single-handedly socio-politically affected the 2016 elections when he interviewed a presidential candidate) has killer verses on my No.1 song of the year.

Top Songs heard in 2015*:

40. Kendrick Lamar – The Blacker the Berry
39. Michoacan – In the Dark Of The Night (Clap Rules remix)
38. The BaNNed – Looking For the Steel
37. Ana Tijoux – Somos Sur (feat. Shadia Mansour)
36. New Edition – N.E. Heartbreak
35. Chill Rob G ft. R.A. The Rugged Man – Tell ‘Em
34. Amboy Dukes – Journey To The Center Of The Mind
33. Los Dug Dug’s – Smog
32. Vampire Weekend – Cousinz (Toy Selectah Mex-More Remix)
31. Brown Sabbath feat. Alex Marrero – The Wizard (Black Sabbath cover)
30. Missy Elliott ft. Pharrell Williams – WTF (Where They From)
29. The Supremes – You Keep Me Hanging On
28. The Dead Weather – Three Dollar Hat
27. Kongcrete – RadioActive
26. Babymetal – Catch Me If You Can
25. X-Vandals – World Iz Ourz
24. Laid Back – White Horse (U.S. Edit)
23. Pixies – Where Is My Mind
22. M.O.P. – Ante Up
21. Fort Knox Five – Insight
20. BabyMetal – ヘドバンギャー!!
19. The Trashmen – Surfin’ Bird
18. Cake – Comfort Eagle
17. Babymetal – ギミチョコ!!
16. Boney M – Daddy Cool
15. Blackalicious – Blacka
14. X-Vandals – Attica Again
13. Sister Nancy – Bam bam
12. Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
11. The Runaways – Cherry Bomb
10. Achozen (SOAD’s Shavo Odadjian, The RZA) – Salute-Sacrifice
9. GZA feat. Tom Morello – The Mexican (Babe Ruth cover)
8. Mogilny – Technotronique
7. Escort – Cocaine Blues
6. Azealia Banks – 212
5. De La Soul ft. Nas – God It

4. Syl Johnson – Different Strokes

3. Systema Solar – Yo Voy Ganao

2. Blue Öyster Cult – Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll

1. Run The Jewels feat. Zack De La Rocha – Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)


Top Albums heard in 2015*:

  1. X-Vandals – Ghettoblaster
  2. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2
  3. Babymetal – Babymetal
  4. Ana Tijoux – Vengo
  5. Blackalicious – Imani Vol. 1
  6. The Dead Weather – Dodge and Burn
  7. Rhiannon Giddens – Tomorrow Is My Turn
  8. Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside
  9. Jack White – Lazaretto
  10. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
  11. James Blake – Overgrown
  12. The Black Keys – Turn Blue
  13. Systema Solar – La Revancha Del Burro
  14. Royal Blood – Royal Blood


Best Live Shows of 2015:

  1. Rhiannon Giddens @ Prospect Park
  2. The Noise @ Exile
  3. Ana Tijoux @ Rough Trade
  4. Wizard Sex/Savage Hearts @ a bunch of places
  5. X-Vandals @ Camaradas El Barrio
  6. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear @ City Winery



*Obviously not all the music here came out in 2015, this is the year I got into it.

2 thoughts on “My Top Music of 2015

  1. Glad to see X-Vandals and Illus in the mix… I need to think about my 2015 music hits…. Kendrick Lamar will definitely be in there

    1. Yeah Shaq, it’s great when you legitimately like your friend’s music. And yeah With Kendrick Lamar (and Earl Sweatshirt), there’s hope in the future.

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