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2015 Year In Review
CJ Simonson comment 0 Comments


Getting sick in the opening days of 2016 is never particularly fun – but it beats getting sick during the closing days of 2015 every time. The song I’ve continued to go back to more and more these last two weeks isn’t on Spotify and I’ll get to that in a moment. The song is “Cigarettes” by a band called The Lonesome Wilderness. They’re a Phoenix, AZ based band and for whatever reason, being a local product still means something to me.

Living in California has made me appreciate whatever art comes out of Arizona even more. Maybe I wasn’t in tune enough with the culture when I was living there, but from what I could recall there weren’t a lot of buzz worthy acts coming out of the area. We had Calexico from Tucson, Jimmy Eat World of course, some burned-bright-and-fast Warped Tour acts like The Maine, The Summer Set, and, in a different vein, Authority Zero. And then the classics: Gin Blossoms, Meat Puppets, Rodger Clyne/The Refreshments. The days of “indie” acts making it big never came when I was in High School though – we made it close with The Format but it never quite came.

The thing about this song “Cigarettes” is that it’s hard to find. And by hard to find, I mean it’s on BandCamp and I would never have heard it had it not been for a wonderful Phoenix New Times article on the 50 best songs to come from Arizona in 2015. I’m thankful lists like this exist – how else would I discover a song like this? Certainly not on Spotify.

No one is a bigger fan of Spotify but much of its all seeing eye is on acts that are much larger than a group like The Lonesome Wilderness. I don’t mean they can’t get on Spotify, anyone can if they want. I have friends bands that are on Spotify. But I mean that in a discussion about Spotify not having Neil Young or Taylor Swift, we often forget that some of the great things coming out of music exist on other, more hidden, parts of the internet. BandCamp especially. Or maybe SoundCloud. Or DatPiff. For Arizona hip-hop act Injury Reserve, would I have sought out their incredible debut mixtape Live From The Dentists Office had it not been on Spotify? I don’t know. I need to be better at doing that, and that’s one of my pledges for 2016. Thanks for reading this site, friendos. It always means a lot.

Top 20 Albums of 2015

Top 50 Songs of 2015

Top 5 Worst Albums of 2015:

5. Wilder Mind by Mumford & Sons

4. New Glow by Matt & Kim

3. Silverball by Barenaked Ladies

2. Professional Rapper by Lil Dicky

1. Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven by Kid Cudi

Top 5 Most Underrated Albums of 2015:

5. A Flourish and a Spoil by The Districts

4. Prom King by Skylar Spence

3. At.Long.Last.A$AP by A$AP Rocky

2. The Long Goodbye by An Autumn For Crippled Children

1. Every Hero Needs A Villain by CZARFACE

Artist of the Year:


Best Covers of 2015 (In No Order):

Jeff Rosenstock/Andrew Jackson Jihad Covering A Bunch of Shit

“Then He Kissed Me” (The Crystals Cover) by Chumped

“Don’t Dream It’s Over” (Crowded House Cover) by Flock of Dimes

“Dancing In The Dark/All My Friends” (Bruce Springsteen/LCD Soundsystem Covers) by Hot Chip

“The Suburbs” (Arcade Fire Cover) by Father John Misty

“Archie, Marry Me” (Alvvays Cover) by Ben Gibbard

“Last Christmas” (The Waitresses Cover) by Carly Rae Jepsen

Best Live Shows of 2015 (In No Order):

Run The Jewels (FYF)

Neutral Milk Hotel (The Observatory)

FIDLAR (The Regent Theater)

Swans (The Constelation Room)

Powerful Moments I Had With Music in 2015:

Generally enjoying the whole “Hotline Bling” thing and appreciating the fact that everyone else seems to be enjoying it as well.

Singing along to a series of Weezer hits at Burgerama with some homies.

Watching my friend punch a chick in the face during Run the Jewels. It was just funny. And sad. And appropriate.

The 48-hours after Kendrick Lamar dropped To Pimp A Butterfly.

Listening to “Moonlight Mile” by the Rolling Stones on a back porch in Nashville, TN, enjoying everything that beautiful state has to offer.

Sam Herring coming out for “Seasons (Waiting On You)” with BADBADNOTGOOD and noticing some of the crowd not be as into it as they should’ve been

2015 Feature Opinion Year In Review

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