I left my staff (and podcast) duties on KH-Vids in October of last year; when my pals Nick and Cal asked me to join them for a Life is Strange spoilercast, I jumped at the opportunity. It ended up being a several hours’ discussion that left me grateful I’m no longer responsible for editing these episodes down to a reasonable length. I haven’t delivered on my promise to write more about the game because I’ve been sour about the way it ended, but I had a lot of fun and spoke quite a bit. Check it and other episodes of the KH-Vids Podcast out on their website!

They’re here, it’s happening, they sound great.

As I’ve previously expressed, Brand New’s The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me (2006) is perhaps one of the finest albums in my rotation; each track cuts and bleeds and I adore them all, individually and as a collected work.

Without delving too deeply into Brand New history (which is long and dramatic), in the recording process for The Devil and God, nine of their demos for their album leaked out to the internet. Fans nicknamed the songs included in the leak as Fight Off Your Demons, and gave each track a name to facilitate discussion and reference. Upset at the leak, Brand New went on to scrap the demos; some were refashioned for the eventual album release (“Untitled 06,” nicknamed “Mamas,” became “Luca,” and “Untitled 08,” nicknamed “Yeah,” became “Sowing Season”), others later appeared as b-sides (“Untitled 03” became “aloC-acoC”/”Brothers”) or singles (“Untitled 07” became “(Fork and Knife)”). The remaining tracks, however, remained exclusively in their unmastered, unmixed, lossy leaked version: fantastic, but difficult to enjoy even for non-audiophiles. (more…)

As the year closes, naturally I must compile experiences and interests from the period into data and statistics.

Okay, maybe I’m not being quite that heartless, but last.fm sure makes it easy to indulge that desire. I scrobble (almost) all of my music to last.fm as I enjoy having a record of my listening habits for both reference and analysis. This year I finally found a solid app to do so from my phone, too, though my scrobbles lack what I listen to at work, which is a lot, as well as about half the year of listening on my phone. Therefore, as we head into 2016, I’d like to look back on what I listened to the most in 2015 (not necessarily my favorite releases from the year — my musical discovery process is best described as ‘stumbling across things years after release’). (more…)