The Blerd Radio Podcast

We had a lot to say about the best music of 2015; so much so that we wound up splitting the podcast into two parts.

Me (Big Money)Michael Parr and Dr. Z spent the last episode counting down our ten favorite albums of 2015. In the second half, we:

-talk about our favorite singles of the year, with a healthy appreciation for Miguel's "Coffee", Kendrick's "Alight", and the return of Chic. There's also some embarrassment regarding the appreciation of 2015 Justin Bieber, and shouts out to a song called "Drop That Kitty".

Michael Parr also really, really wants you to check out this performance of Mr. Lamar doing "Alright".

Elsewhere, we talk about Janet Jackson's comeback a little more (while also shouting out the surprise return of New Order), we question Dr. Z about the bad white dancing of Popblerd associate Matt Albright, and cap our review of 2015's live performances with a tip of the cap to the mighty Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings.

A slew of our (formerly) favorite artists vie for the Most Disappointing Album of the Year prize (including Dr. Dre, Beach House and Snoop Dogg), we collectively scratch our heads at artists like Migos and Fetty Wap, and we run through some of our most highly anticipated albums of the new year (like Ra Ra Riot, Sia, David Bowie and more).

The podcast wraps up with a remembrance of artists that passed away in 2015, with a slight detour into Scott Weiland's recent passing and America's bent towards reveling in train wreck behavior. Finally, proving that we all (sort of) talk about things other than music, we give props to Empire (OK, that's technically about music, but whatever), the Purple Stuff podcast, and Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between The World And Me.

Listen in the player below, download the podcast from Liberated Syndication, or give us a rip on iTunes! Enjoy, and happy holidays!!

Direct download: 2015_Part_Two.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 8:30am EDT

Blerd Radio 2015 | Episode 15

Ladies and gentlemen, it's that time again. 

Big Money, Doctor Z and Michael Parr have donned their holiday apparel, and are sitting by the fire talking about the year in music.

Trying to sum up twelve months in music is a bit of an arduous undertaking, so this year end podcast is split into two parts. The second installment will arrive in a week.

Part one focuses on 2015's best albums. It was a great year for music, and the panel had a bit of trouble narrowing their lists down (and once that was done, there was much hand-wringing in regards to putting those lists in order!) Ultimately, the three individual lists, while featuring some overlap, offer up a cross-section of music from a wide array of genres: New Orleans jazz meets sad bastard pop, neo-disco and everything in between. That said, the entire panel is also in 100% agreement as to what the year's best album is.

The panel is also in agreement that 2015 was one of the best years for music in recent memory, which made editing individual lists even more of a pain in the ass. Dr. Z, smartly, used his own yearly tradition of making a mix CD for his friends (that you, too, can own if you get in touch with him soon enough) to whittle his list down. 

You'll have to listen to the show to get specifics on each album (as well as shout outs to a bunch of records that did not make the list), but here's each panelist's top ten for 2015.

Dr. Z

10. Nation Beat feat. Cha Wa: "Carnival Caravan"

9. Keith Richards "Crosseyed Heart"

8. Nicholas Payton "Letters"

7. Carly Rae Jepsen "E-Mo-Tion"

6. Bomba Estereo "Amanecer"

5. Janet Jackson "Unbreakable"

4. Naughty Professor "Out On A Limb"

3. Kamasi Washington "The Epic"

2. Christian Scott "Stretch Music"

1. Kendrick Lamar "To Pimp A Butterfly"

Big Money

10. Disclosure "Caracal"

9. Cee Lo Green "Heart Blanche"

8. Jason Isbell "Something More Than Free"

7. Blackalicious "IMANI Vol. 1"

6. Tame Impala "Currents"

5. Janet Jackson "Unbreakable"

4. My Morning Jacket "The Waterfall"

3. Miguel "WILDHEART"

2. D'Angelo & The Vanguard "Black Messiah"

1. Kendrick Lamar "To Pimp A Butterfly"

Michael Parr

10. City & Colour "If I Should Go Before You"

9. Coheed & Cambria "The Color Before The Sun"

8. Disclosure "Caracal"

7. The Internet "Ego Death"

6. Miguel "WILDHEART"

5. Janet Jackson "Unbreakable"

4. Blackalicious "IMANI Vol. 1"

3. The Decemberists "What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World"

2. D'Angelo & The Vanguard "Black Messiah"

1. Kendrick Lamar "To Pimp A Butterfly"

Also discussed/recommended:

The Keith Richards documentary "Under The Influence"

Dr. Z's occasionally discussed but fairly well documented hatred of jam bands.

"Black Messiah"'s appearance on 2015 lists even though it was released in 2014.

"You + Me", a sorely underrated 2014 project featuring City & Colour's Dallas Green and pop superstar P!nk.

Why is Sam Smith only tolerable when working with Disclosure?

How becoming a new dad for the third time caused Michael Parr to love Coheed & Cambria even more.

Why all Decemberists fans look alike, and so much more!

Part two will cover the year's best singles, as well as a few words regarding 2015's most notable comebacks, the least-understood musical trends, and a final salute to some of the musicians that left us this year. Just chill...till the next episode.

 

 

Direct download: Best_Of_2015.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 8:30am EDT

Blerd Radio 2015 | Episode 14

The penultimate episode of Blerd Radio's 2015 season focuses in on hip-hop, as each member of the panel counts down their 10 favorite emcees of all time. The inspiration for this episode came about because of this Billboard article, and while the piece itself was a source of derision for many, the lists created by me (Big Money)Dr. Z and Michael Parr all shared at least half their content with the Billboard tally.

Before we get to the hip-hop section of the show though, one major musical feat has to be addressed-Adele's monster debut. For the first few minutes of the episode, Adele's success is analyzed. While Blerd Radio podcasts are fairly well-known for intense sidebars, this might be the first time a podcast has ever BEGUN with a sidebar.

Now, it's on to the discussion. Before the panel counts down from 10-1, a few defining factors are discussed. First and foremost, what makes a great emcee? Is it flow? Is it storytelling ability? Is it vocabulary? Is it some intangible "X" factor? Or is it a combination of all those factors? Also tackled the age old question of why some of the greatest technical emcees are saddled with the worst possible production.

New-school hip hop (with a few notable exceptions) is summarily yawned at, with a couple of shots thrown in Drake's direction. The lists' bias towards NYC is also discussed (just as Big Money broadcasts his first show from the tri-state area).

A lengthy discussion about the dearth of quality female rappers follows; as no femcees made any of the top 10 lists (and Billboard's inclusion of Lauryn Hill seems more like forced inclusiveness than a ranking based on true skill).

Next up? The lists. We won't spoil any of the podcast by enumerating the choices in this show summary, but suffice to say you will be surprised by some inclusions/omissions, and you will be completely not surprised by others. The lists are different enough from one another that they provide some interesting discussion.

Stay tuned for the next episode; in which the panel discusses the best music of 2015!

(Also, apologies for some sound quality issues...there was a computer freeze about 2/3 of the way through the episode.)

Direct download: Top_10_Emcees.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 8:30am EDT

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