John Book’s Best Music Videos Of 2016

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As promised or better late than never, here’s my list of what I feel are the best music videos of 2016. As with my albums list, I have not seen every single music video that came out this year, that would be impossible or at least I would not have time to do anything else. This list is a mixture of things I like/enjoy, along with a number of videos that surprised me in some fashion. As in previous years. what attracts me to these videos is the direction, the cinematography, the editing, and how it feels with the music. While humor isn’t a full factor, I do like it when an artist isn’t afraid to share their sense of humor, especially when it’s unexpected. Are videos becoming more exciting, or are albums becoming less powerful? Maybe on the former and I really hope not on the latter, I still want albums to be very strong but the means of promoting a song becomes stronger, even though we no longer consider MTV as a factor to get noticed. Here’s my list, a selection of 20 different music videos, a selection that is much more than Best Albums I came up with this year.

Brain Tentacles’ “Fruitcake”
Ciphurphace’s “Elbow Space”
Clipping. “Air ‘Em Out”
The Coathangers’ “Perfume”
The Evaporators’ “I Can Be Shaved”
Ill Poetic featuring Reggie B’s “Silhouette”
Kosha Dillz featuring MURS’ “We Are Different”
Jake Kost’s “Northwet”
The Lemons’ Ice Cream Shop
Lovely Bad Things’ “Teenage Grownups”
MoSS featuring Eternia’s “Day & Night”
Mother Feather’s “Mirror”
Open Mike Eagle & Paul White’s “Smiling (Quirky Race Doc)”
Phèdre’s “Zastroszy”
Risley’s “Time Was Slow”
Selector Dub Narcotic’s “Hotter Than Hott
Summer Cannibals’ “Say My Name”
Tanya Morgan’s “Stoops”
White Night’s “AI”
Rachael Yamagata’s “Over”

John Book’s Best Albums Of 2016


If you’re looking at the covers for hints or anything, there is one major hint: there is no hip-hop that I considered something worthy of being “my best”. That’s sad, considering all of the music that came out in 2016, especially Moka Only, who came out with an album a month throughout the year.

Another thing that is of interest, perhaps only to me: there’s a lot less albums in my “top” list. In the past, I’ve had everything from 40 to 50 albums a year, I’m sure I had a year where I had a lot more. Then it went down to 20 and now it’s down to ten. Trust me, there is no lack of music out there but a part of me almost wants to say there’s way too much. Then again, some of my favorite artists didn’t release music in 2016. Then again, Neil Young released an album this year and one of my all time favorite bands, Melvins, came out with two albums this year and neither are on this last so have I entered an alternate universe of sorts?

To be honest, I don’t know. I will say this: the following ten albums are those that stood out incredibly for me, getting repeat listens long after I played them for review, did a review, and casually put them on the side. These albums didn’t get a casual push to the side. They are albums that I feel are worth my time, worth the time of the artists, producers, and engineers and it is something I feel you should check out, for they could be worthy of your time. Check a few out or be faithful and buy them all. I did reviews of each one, so click the links and see what I originally thought of each release:

Berlin Soundpainting Orchestra’s “Holothuria” (Aut)
Bloody Knives’ “I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This” (Saint Marie)
Great Lakes’ “Wild Vision” (Loose Trucks)
halfsour’s “Tuesday Night Live” (Jigsaw)
The High Violets’ “Heroes And Halos” (Saint Marie)
Eloisa Manera Ensemble’s “Invisible Cities” (Aut)
Scary Little Friends’ “Silent Revolution” (Randm)
Silent People-s/t (Aut)
Steel Cranes’ “Tango” (Mister White Tights)
VA – Typical Girls (Emotional Rescue)


Does this mean this will be the end of my Best Of lists? No, not yet. Are these choices not enough for you? I’m so used to having an overwhelming amount of albums on my lists that it’s not enough even for me. I want a deeper and arguably better 2016.

With a “Best Of” list involving ten albums, what is my favorite pick of the year? I honestly don’t have one. All of the albums were good but none of them were mindblowing to the point I would be telling anyone and everyone what was incredible. I did not get a chance to listen to every albums released nor did I listen to everything I wanted to so it’s hard to say what went wrong, if anything went wrong. It just seems so… brief? Then again, as always, when the new year comes around, I’ll end up making discoveries I didn’t the year before and come up with things like “well damn, now THAT was a good album.”

This is also something I’ve been waiting for since I began making my Best Of lists years ago but there are no major label releases on here. It’s an all-indie list, it’s major free and this wasn’t intentional, I don’t fear anyone but as I began putting the list together, I realized there was nothing on any Universal, Sony, or Warner Bros. labels. By next year, there may be only two majors for all I know.

This is my list and it does represent my musical interests. I’m honestly saddened there aren’t any hip-hop on this and I don’t want that to be the future, nor is that an indication of the state of hip-hop in 2016, far from it. Nonetheless, my Best Of 2016 list is a Top 10, I present it to you.

PLEDGE DRIVE: Keep this website alive by making a donation to ThisIsBooksMusic.com

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It is that time of the year where I have to bring this up one more time, but it is that time that I have to renew my web domain once more, and I am asking for your help.

What I am placing is a “tip cup” of sorts. If you enjoy the type of coverage that I feature here at ThisIsBooksMusic.com and would like for it to continue, I am looking for your donation to continue the website for another year, if not more. If you are able to “give a tip” to ThisIsBooksMusic.com, you can do so via PayPal by clicking here. Your private information is secure when you donate via PayPal, and you are also able to make a donation even if you are not a PayPal member. The deadline is September 30th.

While it would be nice for me to run advertising on my website, ThisIsBooksMusic.com is ad-free for a reason, and I’d like to keep it that way. The music I cover is the music I would like for you to listen to and discover for yourself, and pass the information along to those who you think would be interested. This website is about the music I like, support, and listen to on a regular basis, within as many genres as possible. I don’t pick and choose just to make random choices, these are my musical habits, and I share that on a regular basis. If the website is unable to be renewed, all donations will be refunded, no questions asked. If you are able to make a donation, I would be very appreciative.

ATTENTION: Notice on digital files at ThisIsBooksMusic.com

ThisIsBooksMusic.com is not a haven for unauthorized files. MP3’s and links to files of full albums are approved by their publicists/media person and the artists themselves. I will also post embedded code for artists and labels who have music to share for streaming and/or downloading through websites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud, among others. I’m posting this note because I had uploaded an MP3 to Mediafire to specifically share with my readers. A complaint was received from a company in England stating that the track had a watermark they had created for that file, and they requested that Mediafire remove it immediately. Mediafire then chose to delete my account. Doing a bit of research, I discovered that:

1) the MP3 I was given was created by the publicist
2) the band did not work with the company, nor did it have a watermark

Mediafire users are allowed to file a counter-claim, but I was given an e-mail today which states what I already knew: my account has been suspended. No detail, no explanation, no anything. For Mediafire, end of story.

If I ever upload any MP3’s that I’m unauthorized to share, I would remove it immediately, without question. I do not share anything and everything that I receive, this website is not a free-for-all. The core of this website has been my writing, but it also has a wealth of articles, news items, and reviews, but this is a music website, and again, I have passed along music where I have permission to do so. I will continue to post links and embed players to websites like Soundcloud and Bandcamp, but I will no longer do any uploading any files you give me, even with your permission. Hosting them elsewhere is easy and simple, so please do so.

PLEDGE DRIVE: Keep this website alive by making a donation to ThisIsBooksMusic.com

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In the close to 18 years I’ve had a presence online, this is the first I’ve ever had to do something like this, but if you are a regular visitor of ThisIsBooksMusic.com, I need your help this time.

I am not someone who looks for charity, in fact I’m usually the one who prefers to help when I am able to. In the past, not only with this website but with some of the other domains I have maintained over the year, I have not had any problems with renewing my domain name and hosting. This website is and has never been a domain-for-profit, ThisIsBooksMusic.com is a place where you can find music, video, and book reviews, along with news items, links to videos, podcasts, and MP3’s that are offered and approved by publicists and/or artists. It is and hopefully will remain my online home that also serves as a “resume hut”. I have never made any money from this website, nor was it intended to. However, this website has served as a place where potential clients and employers are able to browse through my work and see if I am worthy and/or “of interest”. As a journalist for over 25 years, my work has been in print, which means there was a time you could walk into a store, buy a specific magazine and see a review and/or article with my name nearby. I’ve also done my share of freelance work, and before the internet, I was published in over 70 different publications, both independent/DIY fanzines and mainstream publications.

In the internet era, I have written for a number of websites, including Okayplayer, FunkierThanThou, Music For America, and Skyscraper. As with this website, all of my online articles have been a means for me to get paid work. My goal has always been for me to write for publications that I enjoy reading, and that would not mind for me to be one of their paid contributing writers. Unfortunately, that has been very difficult over the years but that has never stopped me from continuing on with this website. I have a passion to write and in the years I have been online, I feel I have gained more support and a following much greater than I ever did as someone who was print-only. The support has been incredible, humbling, and sometimes overwhelming, but I don’t do it for applause. I simply want to share my love of music with people who are willing to take time to read what I write about.

In life there are peaks and valleys. Currently, I’m in a bit of a valley and right now I am unable to renew the domain and hosting. I’ll be honest: if I have to let the domain and hosting expire, I will do so. I have no problem in shifting things to a tumblr-type blog if need be. When I’m able to get things back together again, I will simply create a new domain and website. I’ve had a few domains expire not due to lack of funds, but lack of interest. I want to continue doing what I do here, and I hope you feel the same way.

If you are a regular visitor and enjoy the artists you have been exposed to, like the type of coverage I do here, or perhaps you may enjoy my style of writing, I would like for you to consider making a donation. What I am looking for right now is $150, which will pay for a 1-year renewal of both the URL, domain, and hosting. I had hoped to make a switch-over to a different hosting company which would have lowered the costs by about 40% or so, but was unable to do so before an established deadline. If you are able to donate $2, $5 or $10, that would be great. I am not looking for anything higher than $150 to raise, this is not a Kickstarter campaign for you to buy my own earwax sculpture documentary. Your donation is here to insure that ThisIsBooksMusic.com will be renewed for at least another year. When I am out of the valley, I will be sure to renew it for much longer than a year so I don’t have to write something like this again.

If you are able to “give a tip” to ThisIsBooksMusic.com, you can do so via PayPal by clicking here. Your private information is secure when you donate via PayPal, and you are also able to make a donation even if you are not a PayPal member. If you want, I would be able to show you as a donator by listing your initials and your zipcode on this page. The deadline is September 27th, so if you are able to donate, I thank you immensely. When I have reached the $150 needed, I will remove this page and will not accept anymore donations, simple as that. If I don’t, that is okay. As stated earlier, I will simply move into tumblr-blog mode for a bit and when I am able to, I’ll start from scratch once more. But if you are able to make a donation, I would be very appreciative.

Mahalo nui (thank you).

-John Book

SOME STUFFS: Cascadia.fm announce sale and end of network

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A year, a month, and a day after I made the announcement of Cascadia.fm‘s debut to Portland, Oregon and the rest of the world, it seems the internet broadcast network will be closing up shop in its current motif.

Cascadia.fm founder Robert Wagner made the announcement through Twitter that the network has been sold to a company in Southern California. By doing this, Cascadia.fm will now be a new company with completely new shows, and broadcasting from California. None of the programming that is currently on the channel will be there, including Knit Happens, Cort & Fatboy, Unibash Radio, and the show that gave the network its life, Portland Sucks. Cascadia.fm will become a new company under new ownership.

This has caused a bit of a panic amongst listeners and supporters in Portland, the Pacific Northwest, and judging from the comments on the announcement page, in various spots around the world, with many asking about what will become of their favorite shows. Here is what is known:

  • Cascadia.fm as we know it will end its live stream and broadcasts effective immediately on Friday, November 18th, at 5pm.
  • The status of all shows currently presented by Cascadia.fm are now “free to roam”. If you follow some of these shows, you will find out the status of each one from their creators.

    Wagner made a comment on his own blog that Portland Sucks will definitely continue in podcast form, and only as a podcast. A few other shows have announced that they plan on continuing in some form. Bottom line is, everything that is been under the Cascadia.fm umbrella will no longer be. Take care, time of your life, good riddance, right? In a way yes.

    Portland Sucks began under its own entity, a podcast that was a way to simply get some thoughts out. That show would become a part of the Small Plate Radio Network, and then came PDX.fm. It would spawn PDX.am, but then the .am part shut down. PDX.fm evolved into Cascadia.fm and now we’re… here. While Wagner plans to keep Portland Sucks going, his future endeavors are unknown. Or at least he plans on saying more when he’s ready to reveal something of interest. He did say that Portland Sucks co-host Sabrina Miller may not be coming back “after the transition is made due to her increasingly busy schedule.” Miller has become one of the network’s primary faces and voices, with the lady known as SabMil to some (and for a select view, Luscious Duvet) becoming a personality on a network that apparently ended up with no personalities. Maybe it didn’t, or that’s a way of saying that Miller, Wagner, and everyone involved in the network were simply being themselves, and not playing the role or being fake for anyone.

    I think that’s what attracted me to their shows. I’m someone who would still like to move to the Portland area, and because of my curiosity as to what kind of podcasts were being down in the city, as a way to find persons, places, and things that were similar to my own, I found Portland Sucks. It sounds like the conversation I might have at a record store, book store, doughtnut mansion, a park, simply people shooting the shit and not being afraid to say what they want to say. I’ve listened to shows throughout the last few years, and I keep on asking myself “why am I not hanging out with these fuckers?” It may not have been their intention, but Cascadia.fm created shows that made the listener feel welcome, like old friends and family members. Or maybe that family member that you didn’t think you’d ever see, but you dealt with their crap. I am a fan, and whatever the future has in store for Portland Sucks, Wagner, Miller, and everyone else, I would like to remain a fan, whether it’s in audio form or otherwise.

    There have been a number of changes in the years I have been listening, and none of them could be predicted. I had posted a comment on their website, saying that my interests are merely selfish because I want to hear more. Cascadia.fm in its current form will be coming to an end, but there will be more. What that “more” will be is unknown, at least for now.

    Cascadia.fm will be doing one last week of streaming before the plug is pulled on November 18th at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern. As an early Thanksgiving present, I would like to say thank you for the shows and podcasts you have offered as a collective. I know there was a lot of hard work, time, and dedication involved, but please know that all of your work was never without support and gratitude. With liberty and blumpkins for all… thank you.

  • ThisIsBooksMusic.com post #2001: a john book oddity

    As I was about to make a new post here on the site, I noticed that I have already made 2000 posts and what you’re reading (as suggested by the subject line) is post #2001.

    I want to say mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) to those who have shown support by browsing through, visiting, or bookmarking my website as part of your everyday web travels. I’m just a numbnut who loves music, and I’m glad to call you my fellow numnnu… well, maybe that doesn’t sound right. Nonetheless, I am appreciative of your continued visits, especially considering that I don’t have a specific target audience (or a target audience, period).

    I’ve mentioned it in my podcasts and I can apply it here. If there’s something you’d like for me to cover or check out, send me an e-mail at johnbook9 [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, or even better, get to me on Twitter at @ThisIsJohnBook.

    A few things of interest in 2011. For those who don’t know, I’m currently putting together a hip-hop cookbook, where I’m looking for MC’s, DJ’s, and producers who have a love for food and may have a somewhat unknown skill for cooking. I’m not talking about cooking up an ice cream tattoo on your face, but real culinary skills. I’m putting together a first edit of the book but am still looking for more people to bring in. If you are someone that loves food and want to talk about it and share a recipe with my readers, you can find out more by clicking here. My goal is to have the book completed this year, and to do some heavy promotion for it through interviews with television and radio, plus the blogosphere. Stay tuned for that.

    I’m also looking into becoming a music supervisor and executive producer for record labels, television and movie studios. What I want to do is become the one who selects the music for your projects, because sometimes I’ll watch a TV show and go “yes, I think that song works but I think there’s one better.” There’s a lot of new artists who want to be heard, and it would be great to give them that exposure. My knowledge of older music runs deep, so if someone from HBO‘s Big Love wanted a song for the end credits in this last season, I would say Princess Ramona‘s “Then I Start To Yodel”.

    I also know of some friends of mine who want to start some interesting projects on the music and video side, so if I’m able to assist in giving them a forum, or to shine light their way, that’s what I will do.

    Basically, not only will you get music, video, and book reviews, links to videos, news items, and opinions, but where I’ll open the “Idea Bank” in order to make things happen.

    Once again, thank you for paying ThisIsBooksMusic.com a visit. It’s not just about “my music” or the music that I enjoy (or sometimes not enjoy), but it’s very much your music too and what you want, need, or should hear.

    SOME STUFFS: Internet radio takes its first sip of beer with the introduction of Cascadia.fm

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    If you have a favorite internet radio station or radio show, or happen to love the wide range of different programming that is available out there, I would like to introduce you to a new network that I feel will be a force to reckon with this decade, one that I feel will become your daily listening habit. Friends, get familiar with Cascadia.fm.

    Cascadia.fm is the new version of what was PDX.fm, a “channel” based in Portland, Oregon that is dedicated to the views, opinions, hobbies, and interests of people in Portland, done by people in Portland. It is a home grown effort that looked to find an audience with their brand of humor, wit, and passion, and in time would find it not only in Portland, but throughout the Pacific Northwest, the West Coast, the United States, and in small pockets around the world. It was able to do this with a series of shows that are diverse as the people behind them. As attention towards Portland grows on a national and international scale, PDX.fm felt it was time to take on the challenges of a growing audience by letting people know why their city can be an influence for the rest of the nation, and perhaps the world. In other words, now that they have a loyal audience, it’s time to get to the people who aren’t listening but need to.

    The demise of PDX.fm is only in name, but now transformed into Cascadia.fm, they are now expanding their scope to Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. It will be the premiere internet radio network for the Pacific Northwest, all of “Cascadia” if you will, and programs pertaining to these areas will be added very soon (as I’m looking at the new site, i can see the potential of dedicated channels with programming dedicated to each region). Take a look at their daily schedule and you’ll find a show that will suit your interests. Cascadia.fm also hosts a number of events from movie showings to trivia contests, and even an annual Baconfest that I had the pleasure of visiting for the first time this past August. What will also be of interest in the coming weeks is an emphasis on applications for the iPhone and other forms of gadgetry, along with apps for other internet broadcasters that they plan on revealing soon. In other words, they are becoming more than just a network that broadcasts shows and archives podcasts, they are dabbling in multimedia by talking about it and creating it.

    Cascadia.fm is becoming an internet station that is expanding on the multitasking it has become known for, and by doing so, it is shining the light on the tech-savvy community of Portland that are helping to keep its city vibrant alive, while keeping true to its unique spirit. It’s talk radio, it’s good radio, it’s quality radio, but you can hear it on your mobile device, in the car, on your laptop or desktop. It looks to the future, and they’re welcoming you to listen.

    PDX.fm showed what a group of creative people can do when they put their minds together. Cascadia.fm is simply a new pair of shoes, and its ready to take its first step into the great wide open. From a “small plate” to a gourmet buffet, they are expanding their pallets and hope that others will join them. I call myself a fan because I enjoy the shows and the sense of community I think exists amongst everyone on the network. I want to spread the love by letting you know about them and if it moves you, spread the word. Cascadia.fm: they will thank and if you’re lucky, spank you later.

    RECORD CRACK: Freeway & Jake One’s “The Stimulus Package” gets the vinyl treatment

    The buzz over the compact disc packaging of The Stimulus Package by Freeway & Jake One has been causing ripples on many hip-hop board and forums, making people realize that there’s still life in proper album packaging. I liked it, but of course being the vinyl junkie I am, I asked “HOW ABOUT THE LP VERSION?” Here’s the answer.

    As you’ll see by the video, The Stimulus Package will be available as a 2-record set in a color gatefold cover, and the vinyl itself… aaah yeah. This will be a beaut.

    Both the vinyl and CD versions of The Stimulus Package can be pre-ordered directly from Fifth Element, and if you order now, you’ll be automatically entered to win one of five 100 dollar cash prizes, and you’ll get a number of extra goodies too like free mixtapes, coupons, etc. Rhymesayers may be practicing quality packaging with their cash money, but they’re also giving away something in recession-conscious times. Now let’s see if the label helps stimulate the brain matter of other labels and artists to push their product in the same fashion.