Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Best of 2019 Lists from Friends of Twist & Shout! (Round 5)

Bevin Luna

My obsession with music only grows as the years pass.  Keep it up everyone, there's some killer music being released and I'm so humbled to be present on this earth at this time and place.  I'm releasing a playlist with tracks from all of my "best of" lists through my Instagram account @bevinlunamusic so please give my profile a follow and check it out!  Also, my website is - HAPPY 2020!! I can't wait to hear how music morphs, changes, and paints our backdrop over this next decade!  Thanks to all of the musicians out there for sharing their gifts with the world.  Love you, Bevin

Top 10 Albums 2019
10) iLe - Almadura  
9) Black Belt Eagle Scout - At the Party With My Brown Friends 
8) Thelma & The Sleaze - Fuck, Marry, Kill
7) Helado Negro - This Is How You Smile
6) (Sandy) Alex G - House of Sugar 
5) Charley Crockett - The Valley 
4) Burna Boy - African Giant
3) King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Infest The Rats' Nest
2) NLE Choppa - Cottonwood
1) Jamila Woods - LEGACY! LEGACY! 

Top 10 Albums/EPs 2019 Colorado Music
10) TIE - Bellhoss - Geraniums / Wolf Van Elfmand - Music for Minors (3 to 300)
9) The Sickly Hecks - Go To Heck
8) Yasi - Unavailable
7) Dressy Bessy - Faster Faster Disaster
6) The Beeves - Adam & Beeve
5) Cheap Perfume - Burn it Down 
4) Whippoorwill - The Nature of Storms
3) Serpentfoot - Swaying Spine
2) The Reminders - Unstoppable
1) Kiltro - Creatures of Habit

Top 20 Albums of the Decade 2010-2019
20) Beyonce - Lemonade (2016)
19) Bonobo - Black Sands (2010) 
18) Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy (2018)
17) Kamasi Washington - The Epic (2015)
16) Broncho - Just Enough Hip to Be Woman (2014)
15) Tinariwen - Elwan (2017)
14) Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit (2015)
13) Sturgill Simpson - Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (2014) 
12) Kendrick Lamar - DAMN. (2017)
11) Big Thief - Masterpiece (2016)
10) Wye Oak - Civilian (2011)
9) Pelican - Arktika (2014) 
8) Mensch - Mensch (2012)
7) Y La Bamba - Ojos Del Sol (2016)
6) Bass Drum of Death - Bass Drum of Death (2013) 
5) Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color (2015)
4) Sylvan Esso - Sylvan Esso (2014) 
3) Anderson Paak - Oxnard (2017)
2) Lizzo - Cuz I Love You (2019)   
1) IDLES - Joy As An Act Of Resistance (2018)


Edward Hill (our zine designer!)

Black Cilice - Transfixion Of Spirits
Danny Brown - uknowhatimsayin?
Byyrth - Cold Autumn Shadows
Cavalier - Lemonade REDUX
Cerebral Rot - Odious Descent Into Decay
Chromatics - Closer to Grey
Darkthrone - Old Star
DIIV - Deceiver
Ifernach - Skin Stone Blood Bone
Imperial Cult - Spasm of Light
Lampir - Demo III
Lamp of Murmuur - Melancholy Howls In Ceremonial Penitence
Leviathan - Verräter (Re-Issue)
Lizzo - Cuz I Love You
Mizmor - Cairn
Mortiferum - Disgorged From Psychotic Depths
Mylingar - Döda Själar
Pa Vesh En - Pyrefication
Sanguine Relic - The Essence of Eternity's Despair (2018 but LP dropped 2019)
Sleater-Kinney - The Center Won’t Hold
Sulphuric Night - Forever Cursed
Sunn O))) - Life Metal
Suspiral - Chasm
Tamaryn - Dreaming The Dark
Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

Albums that piqued my interest but I haven’t spent enough time with:
Aoratos - Gods Without Name, Belle & Sebastian - Days of the Bagnold Summer, Blood Incantation - Hidden History of the Human Race, Blood Orange - Angel’s Pulse, Cloud Rat - Pollinator, Cthonica - Typhomanteia: Sacred Triarchy of Spiritual Putrefaction, Lingua Ignota - Caligula, NIghtf@%ker - S/T, Pharmakon - Devour, Primitive Man/Hell - Split, S.E.K.H. - Acéphale & Arkhé Tenebre, Skáphe + Wormlust - Kosmískur hryllingur, Andy Stott - It Should Be Us


Len Vlahos

Owner of Tattered Cover -

2019, a Year in Records, by Len Vlahos, co-owner of the Tattered Cover Bookstores, and author of young adult novels The Scar Boys, Scar Girl, Life in a Fishbowl, and the forthcoming, Hard Wired. Learn more about Len at, and

Before I was a writer and a bookseller, I was a musician. I wrote my first song on a two-octave Magnus organ when I was six. It was called "Dyn-o-mite," inspired by the TV show Good Times. The fan on the organ was louder than the music produced by pressing any of the keys, which was good, because the song was awful, even for a six year old.

From there I graduated to trumpet in fifth grade, a passion squelched by braces in the following year, and guitar when I turned 13. The moment I first held a guitar, my life changed forever. I spent the next 20 years playing in bands, most notably Woofing Cookies, who had a full-length LP and two 45s. Our brush with greatness came when Peter Buck (of R.E.M.), produced one of those singles, "In the City." It was released on the now defunct garage label, Midnight Records, sometime in the mid-1980s.

There are two points to all of this:

1) I'm clearly a book guy, but music was/is my first love.
2) I'm old.

In fact, I'm at an age where I'm not discovering a ton of new music. So when Natasha at Twist & Shout asked me for my 2019 playlist, I warned her it would be entirely old. For reasons unknown to me, she was okay with that.

It goes without saying that the records on this list not already in my possession, with one exception, were happily purchased from my friends at Twist. With that in mind, and in alphabetical order by album title, here are the records that formed the heart of my personal 2019 soundtrack:

Bookshop Band, Accidents and Pretty Girls -- These former U.K. bookshop employees did a tour of American indie bookstores last winter, and Tattered Cover was one of their stops. We drew a crowd of 100+, including me and my two sons, and WE LOVED IT!. I'm not sure if their music (all inspired by books) is available anywhere other than their website (the aforementioned exception), but it's definitely been a part of the soundtrack of my year. My favorite track, "Shop with Books In" Watch the video, here:

Green Day, American Idiot -- A timeless record that is more relevant now than when it came out. My 9 year old is really getting into music, and Green Day is one of his favorite bands, so I've been rediscovering their whole catalog this year. (Though I'm still bothered that they made American Idiot into a Broadway musical. Oh well.)  My favorite is the title track:

Sheryl Crow, Feels Like Home -- So I love Sheryl Crow. Her voice makes me melt. Maybe that makes me uncool -- maybe this whole ****ing list makes me uncool -- but I don't really care.  I'm also a pretty big fan of classic country. So when Sheryl released a full-on country record, I was in from the word go. I don't think it was ever released as a vinyl, but I wish it had been. I listen to this in the car all the time. Favorite track, "We Ought to be Drinking."

Kate Nash, Girl Talk -- I love everything about this record. It's dark, it's light, it's sensual, it's screechy, and all in just the right amounts. My favorite track is a perfect punk-pop song called "Fri-End?"

Bruce Springsteen, Greetings from Asbury Park -- We hosted Bruce at Tattered Cover a couple of years ago, and I stocked up on his records in advance. In my humble opinion, his first four records are by far his best -- Greetings from Asbury Park; The Wild, the Innocent, and the E-Street Shuffle; Born to Run; Darkness on the Edge of Town. I never went in for Born in the USA (though I saw him on that tour, and wow, just wow) or The River. Those earliest records have the most interesting songwriting and vocals. My favorite track is "Growing Up," and this video, with just Bruce and his guitar from Max's Kansas City in NY, is one of my all-time favorite videos.
Bonus video, we recorded this version of "Growing Up" to get Bruce's publisher to send him to TC on book tour. It worked. Please forgive the audio quality and my inability to sing.

Sufjan Stevens, Illinoise -- Very little of this record stands alone, but taken as a whole, it's a masterpiece. This is what albums should be, a work meant to be experienced in its entirety. I found myself listening to this while writing this past year. Even though I just said few tracks stand out, Jacksonville does.

Noah and the Whale, Last Night on Earth -- I used to travel to the UK once a year for the London Book Fair. While there, I would visit various British record stores and ask for something new and cool that I wouldn't have necessarily found in the US. One of those years, the clerk put records by The Vaccines, Bombay Bicylcle Club, and Noah and the Whale in my hands. It wasn't until this year that I really listened to the last of those, and lo and behold, I loved it. I played it a lot in the car in 2019. Favorite track, "L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.":

Bob Marley, Legend -- Really, nothing needs to be said about this other than how much I love the multi-colored (in the colors of the Jamaican flag) double album vinyl I purchased from Twist. It is an absolutely timeless record that is also a favorite while writing.

Johnny Cash and Friends, Water from the Wells of Home --  While I rarely listen to this record in its entirely, it does have my all time favorite song, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr.'s "That Old Wheel." I couldn't find a video of the song being performed, but there is this recording of Johnny's last live performance. I had tears in my eyes as I watched. This song winds up on many of my playlists, year after year after year, including in 2019.

The Beatles, The White Album -- The Beatles were my first musical love. The White Album is a wildly inconsistent record that has many of the Beatles' best and worst songs, and many of their most interesting tracks as well. This includes two of my all-time favorites: "I'm So Tired," and "Dear Prudence." (Thank you John!). I rediscovered this record this year thanks to the film Yesterday. There is no video of the Beatles performing either song, but this Siouxsie and the Banshees cover of "Dear Prudence" is pretty cool:

Honorable Mention:
In the Valley Below
Jason Isbell


Tommy Robinson

New West Records -

Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains
Helado Negro - This Is How You Smile
King Gizzard and the Lizzard Wizard - Infest The Rats' Nest
Teebs - Anica
Pile - Green and Grey
Deerhunter - Why Hasn't Everything Disappeared
The Oh Sees - Facestabber
Steve Gunn - The Unseen In Between
Ty Segall - First Taste
Madlib and Freddie Gibbs - Bandana
Big Thief - UFOF and Two Hands
Wilco - Ode To Joy
Divino Nino - Foam
Viagra Boys - Street Worms
Crumb - Jinx
Charlie Megira - Tomorrows Gone
Paces Lift and Ben Bounce - Quick Trigger
Alex G - House Of Sugar
Bremmer / McCoy - Utopia
Panda Bear - Buoys
Fontaines DC - Dogrel
The Shivas - Dark Thoughts
Daniel Norgren - Woo Dang
Black Midi - Schlagenheim
AA Bondy - Enderness
Angel Olsen - All Mirrors
Nigeria 70 - No Wahala
DIIV - Deceiver
Slowthai - Nothing Great About Britain
Bill Callahan - Shepard In A Sheepskin Vest


The Marquee Magazine

Top 20 Colorado bands! 

1. AwareNess Sushi Wave
2. calm. Things I learned while dying in Denver
3. Daniel Rodriguez Your Heart The Stars The Milky Way
4. DBUK Songs Nine Through Sixteen
5. Gun Street Ghost Battles
6. Head For The Hills Say Your Mind
7. Heavy Diamond Ring - Heavy Diamond Ring
8. Kissing Party Mom & Dad
9. Kyle Emerson Only Coming Down
10.   Lief Sjostrom impossible parade
11.   Lightning Cult EP2: Ether Waves
12.   Reed Foehl Lucky Enough
13.   Rowboat Birchwood Halls
14.   Rumble Young Man Rumble Transmission
15.   Slow Caves Falling
16.   Sunsquabi Instinct
17.   The Beeves Adam & Beeve
18.   The Drunken Hearts Wheels of the City
19.   The Motet Death or Devotion
20.   The Yawpers Human Question

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Best of 2019 Lists from Friends of Twist & Shout! (Round 4)

Scott Brand

Director, Commercial Development, Caroline

Top 9 of 2019! (In no particular order!)
Obsequiae – The Palms of Sorrowed Kings
Besvarjelsen – Vallmo
Immortal Bird – Thrive On Neglect
Mndgsn - Snaxx
Horndal - Remains
My Diligence – Sun Rose (Mottow Soundz)
Frankie and the Witch Fingers – ZAM
Battles – Juice B Crypts
Mass Worship – Mass Worship


Esmé Patterson

Denver-based musician. You can find out more about her here -

Bill Callahan - Shepherd In a Sheepskin
SUNN O))) - Life Metal
Solange - When I Get Home
Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains
Blackwater Holylight - Veils of Winter


Michael Bunnell

ThinkIndie Executive Director; owner Record Exchange, Boise ID

Bob Dylan - Travelin’ Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15
John Coltrane - Blue World
Hayes Carll - What It Is
Kronos Quartet - Terry Riley: Sun Rings
Steve Earle and The Dukes - Guy
Buddy and Julie Miller - Breakdown On 20th Ave. South
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen
Hildur Gudnadottir - Chernobyl Soundtrack
Eilen Jewell - Gypsy
Josh Ritter - Fever Breaks
Wilco - Ode To Joy



Hiii, Ben here from the band Corsicana. I tried to list records in order of their personal significance, hope y'all enjoy! You can check out my band's stuff at (:

My top 10 list for the year would have to go something like this:
1 - i,i by Bon Iver
2 - U.F.O.F. by Big Thief
3 - MAGDALENE by FKA Twigs
4 - ANIMA by Thom Yorke
5 - Atlanta Millionaires Club by Faye Webster
6 - Dimly Lit by From Indian Lakes
7 - Anak Ko by Jay Som
8 - LP3 by American Football
9 - Better Oblivion Community Center by Better Oblivion Community Center
10 - Ventura by Anderson. Paak

My best of the decade list:
1 - 22, A Million by Bon Iver
2 - Familiars by The Antlers
3 - Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens
4 - good kid, m.A.A.d. city by Kendrick Lamar
5 - Stranger In The Alps by Phoebe Bridgers
6 - LP1 by FKA Twigs
7 - The King Of Limbs by Radiohead
8 - Moving Away by Gleemer
9 - Pure Heroine by Lorde
10 - Ology by Gallant

Monday, January 13, 2020

I’d Love To Turn You On At The Movies #234 - Mystery Train (1989, dir. Jim Jarmusch)

            Jim Jarmusch’s 1989 anthology film Mystery Train gathers up all of the uniquely Memphis things and presents them to us through the eyes of aliens, people who aren’t natives but who have come to Memphis. The film consists of a trio of short stories that all take place on the same night in Memphis; of a young Japanese couple, an Italian widow, and a Brit as they search for the real Memphis - or at least what they think is the real Memphis. These stories all have common threads that are typically Memphis: a seedy run down motel, Elvis, and a touch of that feeling that maybe locals aren’t so kind to folks that aren’t from 'round here (there is a skepticism in the voice of every Memphis native in the film). Jarmusch takes you on a ride through the nighttime streets of Memphis and leaves you with a mysterious feeling, like maybe it didn’t, or couldn’t, really happen.- Anna Lathem
            Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: a Japanese couple, Italian widow and Joe Strummer walk into a seedy hotel in Memphis, Tennessee…. In Mystery Train that’s exactly what happens, along with a ton of other things. Like many of Jarmusch’s films, there is a common thread that flows through all of the stories that in the end connect them all together. This time it just happens to be the lovely Arcade Hotel. I use the word "hotel" lightly - this place might not even count as a motel; they don’t even have TV’s in the room! Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Cinque Lee are perfectly out of place as the Night Clerk and Bellboy of the Arcade Hotel. They play off each other well, snarky and strange the entire time, almost as if they had snuck in, replaced the normal staff, and decided to set up strange shop running this hotel. The “hotel” sees all of our characters come and go at some point in the night.
            I think there is a law somewhere that says you can’t talk about Memphis without talking about Elvis, and there is plenty of that in this film. In the first story “Far From Yokohama” Jun and Elvis-obsessed Mitsuko make a pilgrimage to Sun Studios, experience strange American customs like tipping the busboy, and argue over who is better - Elvis or Carl Perkins. In “Ghost” Luisa (Nicoletta Braschi) gets firsthand experience with the phenomenon of everyone having a “ghost of Elvis” story, including getting conned out of twenty bucks by a very enthusiastic story about a man picking up a mysterious hitchhiker that turned out to be the ghost of The King himself just trying to catch a ride back to Graceland. She also experiences her own ghostly vision of The King - or maybe it was all a dream. “Lost In Space” shows us that while Memphis natives might love The King, a surly Brit named Johnny (Joe Strummer) absolutely hates being called Elvis because of the way he looks, stating that he would much rather be nicknamed “Carl Perkins Jr.” as he gets in trouble at a bar and a liquor store.
            Mystery Train, oh how you capture the dirty, dusty and hazy feel that Memphis still has to this day. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen another film that captures what it looks, feels and sounds like on a hot summer night in the south, but somehow Jarmusch manages to do just that. It could be because all scenes interior or exterior that were set at night were actually filmed at night, which gives the film a consistent southern nighttime buzz. Jarmusch brings Technicolor to the darkness of Memphis; polarizing street lights along a pitch black road, railroad crossing lights that beam across a deserted intersection. It is the perfect mysterious setting for these three stories.

- Anna Lathem

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Best of 2019 Lists from Friends of Twist & Shout! (Round 3)

Trout Steak Revival

Trout Steak Revival will be appearing at Mission Ballroom on Saturday January 11th!  More details HERE.

From the band members of Trout Steak Revival- their Top 10 List (no particular order)

Rayland Baxter: Good Mmornin
Bon Iver: i,i
Billie Eilish: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Bill Callahan: Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest
Molly Sarle: Karaoke Angel
The Deer: Do No Harm
Hayes Carll: What it Is
Yola: Walk Through Fire
The Highwomen: The Highwomen
Mandolin Orange: Tides of a Teardrop


Barry Osborne

I'm a Denver-based singer-songwriter, learn more about my post punk old time banjo music at Also, Associate Marketing Director at Swallow Hill Music.

2019 (Alphabetical by band and/or first name)
Avenhart* - For July
Bellhoss* - Geraniums
Billie Eilish - When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Dervish - The Great Irish Songbook
J.S. Ondara - Tales of America
Lula Wiles - What Will We Do?
Peter Mulvey - There is Another World
Small Glories - Assiniboine & The Red
Strand of Oaks - Eraserland

Best of the Decade (Alphabetical by band and/or first name, year in paren)
Aimee Mann - Mental Illness (2017)
Billie Eilish - When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019)
Allo Darlin' - Europe (2012)
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Genuine Negro Jig (2010)
Dinosaur Jr - Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not (2016)
J.S. Ondara - Tales of America (2019)
Jason Isbell - Southeastern (2013)
Kinesics* - Surfacing (2018)
Tanya Donelly - Swan Song Series (released as EPs 2013-2014, released as a collection in 2016)
Trampled by Turtles - Stars and Satellites (2012)

*Denotes Denver band


New Mexican

New Mexican is the solo project of American folk rock musician Matt Hoffman, who was born in Las Cruces, NM, and whose family history extends through southern New Mexico.

Hiss Golden Messenger - Terms of Surrender
Wilco - Ode to Joy
Strand of Oaks - Eraserland
Joe Pug - The Flood in Color 
The Highwomen - The Highwomen
Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow
Vampire Weekend - Father of the Bride
Josh Ritter - Fever Breaks
Chris Staples - Holy Moly
Lula Wiles - What Will We Do



Local Denver musician (Colorado native) Joel Van Horne (Covenhoven)

TOP 10 2019 (in no order)
Low Roar - Ross.
The Lumineers - III
Leif Vollebekk - New Ways
Gregory Alan Isakov - Evening Machines
The National - I Am Easy to Find
Sigur Rós - (presents) Liminal Sleep
Bon Iver - i, i
The Tallest Man on Earth - I Love You. It’s a Fever Dream
Rayland Baxter - Good Mmornin
Jose Gonzalez & The String Theory - Live In Europe

TOP 15 OF THE DECADE (in no order)
Leif Vollebekk - Twin Solitude
Low Roar - 0
Big Red Machine - Big Red Machine
Gregory Alan Isakov - Evening Machines
Jose Gonzalez - Vestiges & Claws
The National - High Violet
Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
Sigur Ros - Valtari
Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
Bon Iver - Bon Iver
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs 
Junip - Junip
John Craigie - No Rain, No Rose
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats - Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
Lord Huron - Lonesome Dreams

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

2019 Best of Lists from Friends of Twist & Shout! (Round 2)

Mike Marchant

My name is Mike Marchant. I’m a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer who has been releasing records under a bunch of different names for about a decade. My latest project is called Lightning Cult. It’s a collaboration with my pal Luke Bern Carr. You can find us in record stores, at, and on streaming services. We have an Instagram (@lightningcultsound) but we mostly use it to post pictures of dogs and bicycles.

Floating Points - Crush - The rest of this list is in no particular order, but this is definitely my #1. It’s immersive and beautiful. I’ve listened to it more than anything that came out this year. I think that the most interesting sounds being made today are being made with modular synthesizers. Every synth sound and drum sound and blip and squeal on “Crush” sounds amazing... But, what makes this record really special is that all of those amazing sounds are working in service of excellent compositions.

Peter Ivers - Becoming Peter Ivers - I used to cover Ivers’ songs during solo performances. Every time I did, someone would come and ask me, “hey, what was that one song?” Well, that one song and a bunch of other great ones are on this record.

The New Pornographers - In the Morse Code of Brake Lights - A.C. Newman knows his way around a huge hook…  I love pretty much everything he releases.  Also, the string arrangements are amazing and Neko sounds better than ever.

Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising - Impeccable songwriting, impeccable production.

Fennesz - Agora - Most nights, around 8 or 9, I take a walk around my neighborhood and listen to a record. I must have listened to Agora a few dozen times during these night walks. This is ambient music that rewards active listeners. 

Oso Oso - Basking in the Glow - I guess I’m into emo again? Is this emo? Whatever, it’s great.

Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains - RIP David Cloud Berman. You and your songs mean whole lot to a whole lot of people.

Thurston Moore - Spirit Counsel - Woah. Two and a half hours of Thurston Moore. I’m into it.

Thom Yorke - ANIMA - So I put this on and think, “hey, this is cool, I like it but don’t love it.” Then this one melody shows up (4:40 into “Twist”, it repeats through the end) and makes me weak in the knees and brings me back to the record over and over again….

Cate Le Bon - Reward - Cate Le Bon is an amazing songwriter, and I love her inventive arrangements.


Bevin Traylor

Former Twist & Shout employee Bevin Traylor is now a manager at Euclid Records in St. Louis ( These are her faves of the year in no particular order/

Black Marble – Bigger Than Life
Ride – III
Nilufer Yanya – Miss Universe
Ezra Furman – Twelve Nudes
Highwomen – S/T
People Under The Stairs – Sincerely The P
Priests – Seduction Of Kansas
BabyFace Willette – Face To Face (reissue)
Fat White Family – Serf’s Up
Floating Points – Crush
Coathangers – Devil You Know


Andrea Paschal

ThinkIndie GM/CIMS Executive Director 2020

A Selection of Favorites from 2019:

1. Aldous Harding - Designer
2. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Ghosteen
3. Orville Peck - Pony
4. M83 - Knife + Heart (Official Soundtrack)
5. Bat For Lashes - Lost Girls
6. Blood Orange - Angel’s Pulse
7. Xeno and Oaklander - Hypnos
8. Vendredi sur Mer - Premiers Émois
9. Piroshka - Brickbat
10. Jenny Hval - The Practice of Love


Bruce Trujillo

Host / Programming Assistant, Indie 102.3
Colorado Public Radio

In alphabetical order:
Better Oblivion Community Center - Better Oblivion Community Center
Black Belt Eagle Scout - At The Party With My Brown Friends
Alex Cameron - Miami Memory
Colfax Speed Queen - Dirty Mirror
Combo Chimbita - Ahomale
Helado Negro - This Is How You Smile
Kiltro - Creatures of Habit
Lizzo - Cuz I Love You
Angel Olsen - All Mirrors
Y La Bamba - Mujeres

Monday, January 6, 2020

I'd Love to Turn You On #247: Bob Dylan - Time Out of Mind (1997)

             The final song on Time Out Of Mind, Bob Dylan’s 30th studio album, is the 16-minute “Highlands.”  It begins with what sounds like a world-weary sigh exhaled in unison with an opening guitar figure. The result is that the music presented feels as natural as breathing, as opposed to a contrived or constructed work. This central metaphor pretty well defines the mystery and magic of Bob Dylan. His best work feels like the musings of a naturally inquisitive and discerning mind, thus they are rewarding to the discerning and inquisitive listener. He asks and speaks for all of us. “Highands” is one of a very few songs in Dylan’s catalogue that breaks the 10-minute mark (“Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands” and “Brownsville Girl” being the other two), and as such it is given the room to breathe unlike much of Dylan’s contemporaneous work. Teetering between thoughts of mortality and alienation from modern society Dylan openly yearns for the peace and beauty of either youth or death - we’re never quite sure. Musically the song and the entire album creak with a wooden authenticity, while still betraying all the modern production flourishes of Daniel Lanois. The album is soaked in waves of reverb and Lanois takes great care in mike placement and the specific instruments used on each song. The result is the contrary sensation of someone whispering in your ear while standing on the moon. It sounds far away, yet incredibly intimate simultaneously. Lanois has taken shit for his techniques, but I am a huge fan. I feel like the albums he produced in the 80’s, 90’s and beyond are some of the very few which pay tribute to the past while pointing the way to the future. His productions are immediately recognizable and entirely magical. Time Out Of Mind might be his most consequential achievement because it threw open the door to a modern era of Bobness, an era where his albums sound great again and he seems to have comfortably shrugged off the expectations of modern record making and found a comfortable place in the timeless firmament of musical tradition.

          Leading up to Time Out Of Mind Dylan had struggled with his craft, leaning on albums of traditional covers, an unsatisfying stint with The Grateful Dead and generally weak new material (1990’s Under The Red Sky is in contention to be his worst album), yet suddenly he seemed reconnected to his lyrical and musical muse. The songs were heavy with folksy wisdom and ruminations on the natural order. Perhaps that is the greatest strength of this album; it restores Dylan’s rightful place in the tradition of great American singer/songwriter’s and lessened the incessant imperative to constantly be “the voice of a generation.” Now he was sounding like a voice for ALL generations. Take opener “Love Sick.” Dylan takes a common phrase and turns it around, exploring it from all angles “I’m sick of love…but I’m in the thick of it/This kind of love…I’m so sick of it/I’m sick of Love …I hear the clock tick…I’m sick of love…I’m love sick.” Two simple words, normally spoken together to indicate an early state of romance are tumbled around to show the complexities and pitfalls of the most fraught state of human existence. In so few words Dylan perfectly illustrates his poetic mastery. Love isn’t only beautiful… it can make you sick. Each song on Time Out Of Mind follows this template: simple, declarative language employed in the most strategic and extraordinary ways to illuminate the complexities of the human condition.

          Back to “Highlands” - Dylan ends the album with a fatalistic, but somehow hopeful sentiment: “Well, my heart’s in the Highlands at the break of day / Over the hills and far away / There’s a way to get there and I’ll figure it out somehow / But I’m already there in my mind / And that’s good enough for now.” These lyrics can be read as poetry, yet with Lanois at the dials Dylan’s musings become musical monuments as well. Time Out Of Mind is such an important album in Dylan’s discography because it succeeds so wildly on both of these fronts. After at least a decade of seemingly not caring what his music sounded like, he produced an album of compelling, relevant, modern roots-rock, and after casually tossing off lyrics for a number of years he had re-fastened his poet’s loupe and started offering his audience polished thought diamonds once again. Time Out Of Mind declared boldly that Dylan’s best days as an artist were definitively not in the past thus proving composer Edgard Varese’s bold proclamation of 1921, “The present day composers refuse to die.”

- Paul Epstein

Thursday, January 2, 2020

2019 Best of Lists from friends of Twist & Shout! (Round 1)

Down Time

Here’s our top Ten List of best albums of 2019:
Not sure if we had to rate them, but we did anyways :)

10 - Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising
9 - Alex G - House of Sugar
8 - Devendra Banhart - Ma
7 - Crumb - Jinx
6 - Dehd - Water
5 - Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains
4 - Angel Olsen - All Mirrors
3 - Karen O - Lux Prima
2 - Y la Bamba - Mujeres
1 - Cate le Bon - Reward

Down Time is an indie art rock band from Denver that has been gathering a devoted following in the local scene since their first release in 2017.  Their new album, Hurts Being Alive will be out this March and was produced and engineered by Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley from Tennis.


Kendall Smith

1. Lizzo - Cuz I Love You
2. Big Dopes - Crimes Against Gratitude
3. Kiltro - Creatures of Habit
4. Kevin Morby - Oh My God
5. Raconteurs - Help Us Stranger
6. Deerhunter - Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?
7. Gary Clark Jr. - This Land
8.  Karen O, Danger Mouse - Lux Prima
9.  Larry Nix - Hardly Haggard
10. Prince - Originals

Kendall Smith is the former Event Director of The UMS and current Partnership and Events Manager for Colorado Public Radio. 



End Of Year No Order:
Ari Lennox - Shea Butter Baby
Clario - Immunity
Snoh Aalgrea - Ugh, Those Feels Again
King Princess - Cheap Queen
Maggie Rogers - Heard It In A Past Life
Megan Thee Stallion - Fever
Ariana Grande - thank u, next
Lucky Daye - Painted
Free Nationals - Free Nationals

End Of The Decade No Order:
Kid Cudi - Man On The Moon 2
Frank Ocean - Blonde
Saba - Care For Me
Kendrick Lamar - DAMN. and good kid, m.A.A.D city, and To Pimp a Butterfly
Tame Impala - Currents and Lonerism
Lorde - Melodrama and Pure Heroine
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus
Drake - Take Care
Kali Uchis - Isolation
Anderson Paak - Malibu
Rihanna - ANTI
Beyonce - Lemonade and Beyonce
Solange - A Seat At The Table
JID - The Never Story and Dicaprio 2
Rosalía - El Mal Querer
Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
Nai Palm - Needle Paw
Kanye West and Jay Z - Watch The Throne
Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
Kaytranada - 99.9%
Mac Miller - Swimming
Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap
Tyler, The Creator - Flower Boy
King Krule - 6 Feet Beneath The Moon
Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dreams
Bryson Tiller - Trap Soul

Iranian-American artist YaSi is a firecracker on stage with sentimental lyricism. Introspective, genre bending, and honest music has led YaSi to tour with Raja Kumari and open for the likes of Teyana Taylor to Zara Larsson. Her music has been on Spotify's Fresh Finds along with blogs like Earmilk and Indie Shuffle.

Visit YaSi's website here:


Vinyl Me, Please

My Best of 2019

1. FKA Twigs - Magdalene
2. Solange - When I Get Home
3. James Blake - Assume Form
4. Slowthai - Nothing Great About Britain
5. Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow

Honorable Mentions:
Faye Webster - Atlanta Millionaire's Club
Hatchie - Keepsake
Sturgill Simpson - Sound & Fury
Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising
Kevin Morby - Oh My God

Courtney Catagnus is the Director of Digital at Vinyl Me, Please (, focused on bringing album campaigns to life across digital channels.