Showing posts from December, 2020

SHIVER: The 2021 Winter Playlist

Four out of four Santas agree: once you've grown tired of hearing Mariah Carey belt out holiday tunes for the umpteenth time, plug into this playlist that will help you embrace the frigid temps (and the frosty new year). New singles from Ava Max, Troye Sivan, Roosevelt, and Britney Spears featuring Backstreet Boys (what is this, 2000?) should keep you warm enough for the next couple of months... @TheFirstEcho

The 2020 Review: 10 Great Songs of the Year

Given the kind of year it was, it makes sense that my favorite songs of 2020 all share a certain retro vibe that transported me back to certain eras from the past forty years. These are the men and women who produced earworms, crafted lyrics, and gave good vocals to help me (and some of you) get through our national crisis... 1. "Midnight Sky" by Miley Cyrus - Here's the thing: Miley is well aware of your Stevie Nicks comments, and yet she went ahead and delivered this glorious slice of rebellion that she admits is inspired by the Fleetwood Mac queen. The result is an irresistible 21st-century homage to "Edge of Seventeen" that manages to do what so few songs in 2020 could: get better with every listen. And if it wasn't exactly your rhinestone-studded cup of tea, she "don't need to be loved by you." 2. "If You're Too Shy (Let Me Know)" by The 1975 - The group's best track from Notes on a Conditional Form is a synth-and-s

A Requiem for 2020

As I start to write this, news from Kentucky has come in, announcing the devastating verdict in the trial for the killing of Breonna Taylor. It is yet another soul-crushing development that has become characteristically and dreadfully de rigueur for 2020. It arrives just days after the untimely death of American pioneer Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Her passing spreads across social media with countless sad emojis populating people's posts and comments about the outstanding legacy of the Supreme Court Justice, a real-life superhero. That announcement comes just weeks after the death of Chadwick Boseman, a man who portrayed a fictional superhero and represented so much to so many. Meanwhile, the air quality in Southern California has finally improved after a week of the worst conditions I have experienced in the two decades I've lived in Los Angeles. While a sizable portion of the country is on fire, another is drowning in floods caused by back-to-back hurricanes. All Halloween activitie