Sean Phipps

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Well, this is it. I’m moving to a more limited role here at the Times Free Press and, for better or worse, that means no more MUSICcast and blog.

We lost two greats over the holiday season. Vic Chesnutt took his own life at the age of 45 after a lifelong battle with depression. I was introduced to his music several years ago and he was one of my favorites. The other, arguably more obscure, artist we lost was Rowland S. Howard.

CASEY PHILLIPS 1. Phoenix. "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix." Glass Note. The moment the electrified, bopping strains of "Lisztomania" start popping out of your speakers like musical candy, it's obvious this French pop/rock quartet's fourth album is something special. From the upbeat, danceable opener to the more subdued, dreamy two-part "Love Like a Sunset," Phoenix's command of your ears and feet is unassailable.

First, Merry Christmas (or whatever it is you celebrate on this day, even if it’s nothing at all). This week’s MUSICcast features Casey Phillips and myself discussing our Top 3 albums of the year. You’ll also hear tracks off those albums. 2009 was a great year in music, as the 00’s were a great decade. Here’s to a new year, decade and happy listening.

Quite simply, 2009 was a year we’d all like to forget. I know I would. The music helped ease the pains, however, of the difficult economic situation, the job uncertainties, the ongoing war etc. On this week’s MUSICcast, I’ll focus on my favorite songs of 2009. A tracklist is available below the link.

Tonight marks the 3rd annual Butch Ross Christmas Show at Market St. Tavern downtown. He’ll be joined by local singer/songwriters for a show “loosely” based on songs from the holiday season. This week’s MUSICcast previews the show and features Butch Ross (and Casey Phillips) in performance. The show is at 8pm. tonight at Market Street Tavern.

The only thing I like about the Holidays is the music. That’s it. I couldn’t care less about Christmas or the Yuletide (what is that?) or trees etc. The music, however, is something I look forward to every year. Some of my favorite songs are about the month of December: The chill in the air, the turning over of a new year, cuddling. And some of my favorites are a little weird and non-traditional. On this week’s MUSICcast, we’ll take a look at music from the mysterious “javier,” a wonderful song from the Sonics, Sally Shapiro’s take on Christmas and more. I hope you enjoy this eclectic mix.

Ah, Thanksgiving. This holiday marks the transition into my least favorite holiday of the year (christmas) and seems somewhat like a non-holiday to celebrate (why shouldn’t we give thanks everyday?) but whatever. I’ll bite. As a music fan, I’ve assembled some of my favorite songs from artists I’m thankful for on this day of thanks. Here’s to Gillian Welch, Bob Dylan, John Hartford and Antony and the Johnsons. Thanks.

Thanks one more time to everyone who participated in the extremely successful FYI Awards on Friday, the 13th. Gratitude is in order for all of the bands and presenters. Thanks so much. On this week’s MUSICast we’ll do a sort of Redux of the show. I’ll be joined by Casey Phillips and we’ll hear some recorded performances from the show.

Firstly, I want to remind you all about the FYI Music Awards taking place tonight at Rhythm & Brews downtown. The show starts at 7pm. Performers include the Distribution, Slim Pickin’s, Roger Alan Wade and more. Tickets are $5 at the door. It should be a blast.

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