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Radio Schmadio

Sean McColgan, Guest Contributor

Hey all! Sean here. You might remember me from a few years back, collaborating with PledgeMusic and Derek Archambault working towards Derek’s recovery (he’s doing great these days, by the way, so thanks for all your help!). I’ve got a new project I’m working on right now, called Radio Schmadio. The idea behind this is curating playlists for small businesses, specializing in coffee shops and bars. Please feel free to poke around on my site and let me know what you think – sign up for the newsletter, check out the sample playlist we have to offer, send suggestions my way. You can do all of that at http://www.radioschmadio.com and you can direct tweets to @radio_schmadio as well as liking Radio Schmadio on Facebook. Thanks!

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New Music // Skinny Lister – “Wanted”

“Wanted” is the first track taken from Skinny Lister’s upcoming third album, “The Devil, The Heart & The Fight” which is due to be released on September 30, 2016 from Xtra Mile Recordings. You can preorder the new album here, and be sure to check their website for tour dates in the United Kingdom as well as the United States.

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New Music // Beans on Toast – “The Great American Novel”

The first time Jay tried to write a song about his time in America it ended up being “too sappy” so he scrapped it and wrote “Fuck You Nashville” instead. His second attempt, “The Great American Novel” manages to find some ground in between those two extremes. “It’s my love letter to America,” Jay explains.

Check out his video for the single, taken off his upcoming album “Rolling Up the Hill” which is out December 1st on Xtra Mile Recordings.

And if you live in America be sure to catch Jay as he tours the US with Skinny Lister and Frank Turner.

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Top 25 Albums of 2014 (As Picked By Vas)

by: Vasilis

Better late than never! I have been making “Best Of” lists since 2008 and it is always one of my favorite parts of the year. I love spending copious amounts of time in November and December combing through the releases I loved, the releases I may have slept on and missed entirely from being too busy, and even the releases I didn’t like at first (two of my top 15 albums this year were records I did not like after the first few listens earlier in the year). With that said, 2014 was a great year for music and, next to 2011 (the best year of music in this decade by a mile), this is probably my single favorite top 10 I’ve put together in terms of pure quality of the releases and the bands doing the releasing. I could even extend this to my top 13 albums, all of which hit me especially hard at one point or another.

As always, this is a personal list and is not meant to reflect the 25 best albums released this year; I do have a very specific and select taste in music and do not pretend otherwise. You will not find Taylor Swift, St. Vincent, or FKA Twigs on this list, as their music does not appeal to me (it doesn’t mean it’s not good, it’s just not my thing). Also, I stand by all 25 albums (and 5 EPs) on this list and would recommend them very highly. Without further adieu, here they are! My 25 top albums of 2014.

5 FAVORITE EPs

05. Four Year Strong – Down In History

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Favorite Track: “What’s in the Box?”

04. Beach Slang – Cheap Thrills on a Dead End Street

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Favorite Track: “American Girls and French Kisses”

03. The Color and Sound – Peace of Mind

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Favorite Track: “Cigarettes”

02. Allison Weiss – Remember When

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Favorite Track: “Remember When”

01. The Front Bottoms – Rose

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Favorite Track: “Jim Bogart”

25 FAVORITE ALBUMS

25. Andrew Jackson Jihad – Christmas Island

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Favorite Track: “Temple Grandin”

24. Rx Bandits – Gemini, Her Majesty

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Favorite Track: “Wide Open”

23. PrawnKingfisher

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Favorite Track: “First as Tragedy, Second as Farce”

22. Somos – Temples of Plenty

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Favorite Track: “Dead Wrong”

21. Tiny Moving Parts – Pleasant Living

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Favorite Track: “Boxcar”

20. Have Mercy – A Place of Our Own

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Favorite Track: “Spacecrafts”

19. Tigers Jaw – Charmer

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Favorite Track: “Nervous Kids”

18. Hostage Calm – Die on Stage

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Favorite Track: “Your Head / Your Heart”

17. Taking Back Sunday – Hapiness Is…

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Favorite Track: “Better Homes and Gardens”

16. The Gaslight Anthem – Get Hurt

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Favorite Track: “Dark Places”

15. Manchester Orchestra – COPE/HOPE

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Favorite Track: “Cope”

14. Say Anything – Hebrews

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Favorite Track: “Kall Me Kubrick”

13. PUPPUP

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Favorite Track: “Reservoir”

12. You Blew It!Keep Doing What You’re Doing

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Favorite Track: “Award of the Year Award”

11. Driver Friendly – Unimagined Bridges

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Favorite Track: “Stand So Tall (ft. Dan Campbell)”

10. Joyce Manor – Never Hungover Again

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Joyce Manor’s third album Never Hungover Again follows the mold of short songs but is their best work yet. The songs are fun, fast and strike you immediately and display improved musicianship and songwriting. The band hit home on every emotional note, especially on album highlights “Heart Tattoo” and “Schley”.

Favorite Track: “Heart Tattoo”

09. La Dispute – Rooms of the House

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Warning: Never listen to La Dispute when in a fragile emotional state. The band’s music is saturated with powerful human situations and speak of suffering and pain. Each track is its own story and combines to form the novel that is the band’s third album. Look no further than opener “Hudsonville MI 1956” and “Scenes from Highways 1981-2009” to be brought to the edge of tears.

Favorite Track: “Hudsonville, MI 1956”

08. Modern BaseballYou’re Gonna Miss It All

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This album, 10 months after its release, is still a ton of fun to listen to. Sung with an almost noticeable goofy grin, the band’s music doesn’t it take itself too seriously (despite being classified as “emo”) with lyrics about iphones, graduating, and watching TV and brainstorming tattoo ideas with your friends. It’s the album written for 20-somethings by 20-somethings, and it’s a real blast from start to finish. Full Review

Favorite Track: “Your Graduation”

07. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

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This album is important, there’s no other way to say it. Laura Jane Grace sings about her experiences as a transgender woman in a way that is eye-opening and empowering to the LGBTQ community. She shines a light on her pain and problems while also speaking of hope and can be a huge stepping point for the community in the punk scene. It doesn’t hurt that the music is edgy and in-your-face, one of their best albums yet. Full Review

Favorite Track: “Black Me Out”

06. Fireworks – Oh, Common Life

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Dave Mackinder uses Firework’s third album to pay tribute to his late father (who passed away while the band was on tour in 2011), creating a dark, poppy punk record built around heavier use of keyboards and mellower guitar tones. The band’s fun sound isn’t compromised though (as is evident on the upbeat “Play ‘God Only Knows’ at My Funeral” and “Flies on Tape”). This album builds off the band’s incredible sophomore effort Gospel and takes their sound to places it’s never gone before. Full Review

Favorite Track: “Run, Brother, Run”

05. I Am the AvalancheWolverines

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Sporting a ferocious bite (much like the band’s sophomore LP Avalanche United), Long Island’s I Am the Avalanche present a personal and heartfelt punk album. Wolverines is an ode to life, including the good (friends getting married on the feverishly quick “177”) and the bad (becoming addicted to pain killers on punchy “The Shape I’m In”). The band continues to improve with every release and have found their niche. Full Review

Favorite Track: “Young Kerouacs”

04. Bayside – CULT

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CULT is a celebration of everything Bayside have accomplished over their career (the band turns 15 in 2015). The album is a “greatest hits” of sorts, combining elements of each of their five prior studio albums to create a perfect snapshot of the band’s classic sound. Album highlights include the explosive opener “Big Cheese”, the sweet and sincere “Transitive Property” and the introspective “Objectivist on Fire”. Full Review

Favorite Track: “Objectivist On Fire”

03. The Hotelier – Home, Like Noplace Is There

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Sometimes a band comes seemingly out of nowhere and sweeps the scene off their feet. The Hotelier was that band and Home, Like Noplace Is There was that album in 2014. Stunningly sincere, personal, and brilliant musically and lyrically, this album is a masterpiece reminiscent of a veteran band and not a group that is releasing their sophomore album. Home, Like Noplace Is There has the chance to define the “emo revival” genre for years to come. Opener “An Introduction to the Album” and closer “Dendron” are two of the best songs of the year and wonderfully bookmark this album.

Favorite Track: “The Scope of All This Rebuilding”

02. The Menzingers – Rented World

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At this point, no one should be surprised at all at what The Menzingers can do and instead should wonder what can’t the band do? Their fourth album follows their 2012 magnum opus On the Impossible Past and is well-crafted and personal. Opener “I Don’t Wanna Be an Asshole Anymore” and lead single “In Remission” are two of the best songs the band has written, and the acoustic closer “When You Died” is an unexpected wonderful change of pace for the band. Full Review

Favorite Track: “In Remission”

01. Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties – We Don’t Have Each Other

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There’s not much I can say about this album (or Dan Campbell from The Wonder Years) that I haven’t said in my many reviews of his work. His storytelling is impeccable and he continues to push his capabilities further with every album and project. Full Review

Favorite Track: “Carolina Coast”

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New Music // Beans on Toast – “A Whole Lot of Loving”

by Cherie

Our favorite drunk folk singer is back with new songs from his upcoming album The Grand Scheme of Things that’s due out on December 1st (of course) on XtraMile Recordings. Listen to his new single “A Whole Lot of Loving” and be sure to keep an ear out for some (rumored) upcoming North American tour dates.

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New Music // Marina and the Diamonds – “Froot”

Welsh singer Marina and the Diamonds released the title track from her upcoming album “Froot” last week. Froot will be the third album from the singer, whose previous album Electra Heart which debuted at number one on the British music charts.

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Box Tiger Tease New Music and Announce Two October Shows

Our friends in The Box Tiger have been working on some new music and two weeks ago they posted a teaser for their newest single “Fire Walk With Me” over on their facebook page. It’s just a short fifteen second clip but fans will be excited to learn the full track will be released sometime in Novemeber – with a short tour to celebrate it’s release.

Until then the band is playing just two more shows in October. You can catch them on October 30th in Portsmouth, NH and in their hometown of Portland on the 31st. Check out their facebook page for more details.

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