January 11, 2021

Alex's End of 2020 List

1. Live streams - While enjoyable, a rather poor substitute.  But then again, back in the day, I thought EDM was a poor substitute, so what do I know. One upside, the free Dead & Co. livestreams back when the pandemic started gave me a chance to experience them. I guess Mayer really is that good...I fought the good fight to keep disliking him, but eventually he won me over. Like I said, he’s really good.

2. Loss of a guitar god- ah, Eddie Van Halen - ’Jump’ was one of my first 3 45’s...back when you could get 3 for $.99 at Sam Goody (My mom wasn’t crazy about the kid angel with the cigarette on the cover but still let me get it).  His death gave me a chance to go back through some of VH’s back catalog...been a very long time since I’d listened to some of that stuff.  Also reminded me of some of my other favorite ‘Eddie’s: 1. Eddie Hazel (I still remember the first time I heard Maggot Brain...chills.  And much like Hendrix took Watchtower and made it his own, Hazel owns California Dreamin 2. Eddie Hinton- he should have a patent on the term ‘blue eyed soul’ 3. There’s also Eddie Murray, but that’s for another thread (Go Orioles).

3. Loss of ‘the every man’s Dylan’- John Prine was so much more bad-ass than most...even if he looked like a guy that worked at your local hardware store. Was good to reconnect with his music in a more profound way this year


4. Dolly Parton saves the world - what has she not done in her life?  Steals her man back from that hussie Jolene and then helps fund a pandemic vaccine.  Mix in some Linda Martell next time you’re in a Dolly mood, you won’t be disappointed.

5. Grammys once again doing their best to slide into irrelevance - Fiona Apple puts out maybe the album of the year and Dylan puts out a classic...Grammys shrug.  The Weekend, who should prob be nominated multiple times in the same category is completely snubbed.  Sounds like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays.  All three are great listens.

6. Playing for Change - I can’t believe I didn’t find this series sooner.  Best find of 2020. Watching the kids dance to Ripple played by musicians from all over the world, a definite highlight of the year.       

7. Favorite album of 2020 - Caught it from the Rye.  I literally want to be friends with Tre Burt (why won’t he respond to my Facebook messages??).  Also add in Under the Devil’s Knee...a protest song written in response to racial injustice that sounds like it could be a Woody Guthrie cover.

8. Most recent discovery - The Shave Experiment by Q.  Surprised how much I like this.  Expect big things from him in the future.

9. The reboot of High Fidelity on Hulu - Amazing job they did here...the fact it didn’t get picked up for a second season is either a blessing promising the series won’t outlast it’s charm or yet another of 2020’s curses. I’m leaning towards the latter. 

Ok, so there you have it...my stream-of-conscienceness musings on 2020.  A ton of stuff I left out, but the best is always what you don’t have to think too hard about.  So with that, I’ll raise my glass (Dewar’s) and...cheers.