Top Tunes ’16: Doug “R@T” Brooks of Radio Free Athens< < Back to
This is yet another installment of a December-long series that examines what Athens-centric tune heads have been jamming to all year long. Keep tabs on the series throughout the month here.
I have purchased quite a bit of music this year. I think one of the reasons that I did buy so much music is because I found myself frequently turning off my radio and television because of the political mayhem that took the civility out of democracy. Music has been a way to get away from all of that. It has also been an influence on my shows. This year’s list also includes the influence of my son Raad, who I was happy to have as a guest DJ with me this year.
I have broken my list down in to three categories: stuff that blew my mind, stuff that I loved and stuff that I have been so busy that I have not been able to listen to very well but I have liked what I heard.
The stuff that blew my mind:
Lydia Loveless – Real
Probably my favorite recording of this year.
Lucius – Good Grief
This was one of Raad’s favorite car CD’s this year.
Earwig – Pause for the Jets
Lizard and James were on my show. If you get there then you have made it.
Tancred – Out of the Garden
Nirvana meets Liz Phair is the way that I have described this.
Dwight Yoakam – Swimmin’ Pools and Movie Stars
The version of “Purple Rain” on this is worth listening to over and over.
St. Paul & the Broken Bones – Sea of Noise
They have gotten better with age.
Empire of the Sun – Two Vines
Synth-Pop that reminds me of the late ’80s and early ’90s. The “guilty pleasure” of the year.
Leonard Cohen– You Want It Darker
Prophetic first track.
Bon Iver – 22, A Million
Great music but a puzzle in trying to figure out track names.
The stuff that I have loved:
Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions – Until the Hunter
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
Bob Mould – Patch the Sky
Band of Horses – Why Are You OK?
Black Mountain – IV
Tim Easton – American Fork
Aaron Lee Tasjan – Silver Tears
Andrew Bird – Are You Serious
American Football – II
The too busy to listen to critically but I liked what I heard list:
Phish – Big Boat
The Dandy Warhols – Distortland
Metallica – Hardwired to Self Destruct
Macy Gray – Stripped
Events of the year:
– My first show at The Union after the re-opening. I was pleasantly surprised at what The Union has become. I am old enough to remember when the upstairs bar was in the center of the room. I have seen three decades of shows there and am happy that there will be plenty more.
– The Washboard Festival in Logan. A very cool little festival that features the humble washboard that is still made in Logan. Washboard Hank from Canada was awesome.
– The granddaddy of them all still has to be the Nelsonville Music Festival. I am heading in to my ninth year of volunteering for it because I believe in what this festival stands for. Keeping it small, family friendly and bringing some of the best music that you can see for an affordable price here in Southeast Ohio.
My Best of the Best:
For those of us who are not connected, downloading and streaming our music, one of the best places for us to buy CD’s and vinyl is our local, independently-owned music store. My version of Radio Free Athens would not be possible without the help of the great people at Haffa’s on Union Street here in Athens. Andrew and his staff have gone out or their way to get me the music that I want so that I can share it with you on Saturdays. Support your local music store!
And now for the last of the best: Radio Free Athens. I am biased in this because I have been doing it for at least 10 years. Live free-form radio is a rare thing these days. Radio shows that let the DJ’s to pick diverse music styles is almost unheard of. Fortunately we have Radio Free Athens that airs Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. It is produced by music obsessed community volunteers and OU students who have a diversity of tastes.
Doug “R@T” Brooks is a former Ohio University student, a current teacher, longtime Nelsonville Music Festival volunteer and a host of Radio Free Athens.