What I’m Listening To: November 2019

It feels like an eternity since I have last written. Over the last month I took a trip to Nashville to see a good friend and check out some shows at the legendary Ryman Auditorium. During that trip, we also drove down to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the site where so much music history happened.

The trip had a nice reset built into it, and I took the opportunity to take a break and to refocus on a whole bunch of stuff on a personal and professional level. That unfortunately left a lot of listening and writing to do and I wasn’t doing much of that. I mean, there was supposed to be a Halloween playlist thing I wanted to write and I let it slip by. I guess there’s always next year, right?

I have been going back and listening to a whole bunch of albums for a year-end wrap up and it definitely got the gears going. So let’s get into what I’ve been listening to lately.

Megan Thee Stallion, Tina Snow

I’ve only recently found out about hip hop artist Megan Thee Stallion. She was one of the artists performing at the second annual Dia de los Deftones festival last weekend. One of my favorite things about how the Deftones roll is that they are rabid fans of all music and want to share that with everyone. If you’ve ever seen Deftones live, before their set they will play a vast array of music and you’ll catch many people in the crowd holding their phones up trying to Shazam what’s playing. To find out that an artist like Megan Thee Stallion was booked to perform at the festival was not as shocking as it may seem.

Megan Thee Stallion was the opening act of the main stage and thanks to the magic of Instagram, I was flooded with post stating how she killed it. And while her music at first glance may not gel all too well with most of the acts that day, her swagger and catchy-as-hell music won over a lot of people and it piqued my interest.

Funnily enough, one of my personal friends posted a track of hers the following day and I took it as a sign to check Megan out. I listened to both 2018’s Tina Snow and this year’s effort, Fever and really loved it. I am glad I have gone back and listened to more hip hop this year, there are some strong artists out there putting out some great albums.

Perhaps it’s me getting older, but I am eating up these throwback-ish beats and flow and Megan is knocking it out with ease.

Mosa Wild, Talking In Circles EP

The other night I was enjoying a beer at my favorite place and was swallowed up by the music playing. It was beautifully melodic and swelling and I loved it. It sounded familiar, so I was expecting it to be from someone I had heard of, so I was delightfully surprised that it was from a group I never heard of.

It felt reminiscent of groups like Bloc Party and Snow Patrol and even had element of Coldplay in how it sounded bigger-than-life. I love that sound, so to hear a group do it so well made me very happy.

When discussing the music with the server who had put the album on, I mentioned that I got a lot of Frightened Rabbit vibes listening to Mosa Wild. It’s tough to mention that group and not get hit with waves of sadness. Frightened Rabbit was an undeniable force that moved and healed a lot of people. The tragic loss of frontman Scott Hutchison has left shockwaves that will forever be felt, but the art that’s inspired from it continue to move me in many ways.

This led me to discover a very moving piece by Hanif Abdurraqib which then led me to…

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I Meant To Read: Hanif Abdurraqib, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us and Go Ahead In The Rain: Notes To A Tribe Called Quest

After finding out about Abdurraqib’s essay about Hutchinson, I was tasked with reading everything he has put out. After mentioning that to a couple of friends the following day, they were surprised I hadn’t read anything by him, so I went ahead and bought these two books later on that day. The very nice person behind the counter was very happy about my purchase. She then told me that she makes an effort to tell everyone looking for a good book to read They Can’t Kill Us…

By just reading a little bit, I am floored at how natural his writings feel. It’s artistry at it’s finest. I hope to someday put something out that brilliant, or at least something like fifteen percent as good. I’m looking forward to a good day to sink my teeth into these books. Figuratively, of course.

So, thanks to being influenced by others to give a couple new things a listen or, in this case, a read, it should help spark things back up. I have a lot on my plate and I am very excited to rip into it and see what the future holds. I hope that last sentence wasn’t my last words here, that’d be a downer, huh?

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