June Spotify Playlist of the Month

What goes better together than avocados and indie music? Maybe PBRs and a fixed gear bike? Well, we're not here to argue, but we Read More

Making Newport Dangerous Again: Predictions for NFF’s Speak Out Set

On May 4th, Newport Folk quietly announced “Speak Out,” a set scheduled for Sunday evening, just before the headliner. Not much has been officially Read More

July Spotify Playlist of the Month

Coming back at you in July with another big-time playlist. This month features 65 fresh jams from the likes of Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Read More

M&T Best of 2016

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Maimed & Tamed Best of 2016

2016 has come and gone, but before we dig into our first new playlist of 2017 we’ll leave you with a few quick links to check out all of our favorites from the year that was. Thanks for all the music in 2016 because we damn sure needed it.

Top EPs of 2016

Top 100 Songs of 2016

Top 50 Albums of 2016

M&T Best Albums of 2016

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Maimed & Tamed Best Albums of 2016

The moment you’ve all been waiting for…our favorite albums of 2016. We’ve compiled a list of the 50 best albums of the year and highlighted a track from each of our top 20 albums below. 2016 was a wild ride and we’re looking forward to even more incredible new music in 2017. Check out our top 20 below and make sure to subscribe to the full Spotify playlist of this year’s top albums.

Full Spotify Playlist

20. Tall Heights – “Neptune”

19. Andrew Bird- Are You Serious

18.Car Seat Headrest- Teens of Denial

17. David Bowie- Blackstar

16. Miike Snow- iii

15. Big Thief- Masterpiece

14. Alpenglow- Callisto

13. Weezer- Weezer (White Album)

12. Kanye West- The Life of Pablo

11. The Avalanches- Wildflower

10. Pinegrove- Cardinal

Blending genres doesn’t necessitate greatness, but in this case, the two are inextricably linked. Just like M&T patron saints Wilco and My Morning Jacket, applying a label like “alt-country” or “rootsy” to Pinegrove feels absurd and even offensive. Yep, there are slide guitars and lead singer Evan Stephens Hall’s twang. But there’s are also emo-inspired yelps (“Cadmium”), punk-rock confidence (“New Friends”), and honest discussion of the challenges of adult relationships – all of which evade genre and definitely merit celebration.


Essential Tracks: “Size of the Moon”, “Old Friends”, “Cadmium”, “New Friends”

9. Mitski- Puberty 2

Mitski does more than one thing exceptionally on Puberty 2. She normalizes the rat’s nest of rage, sorrow, and stubbornness that make up depression and mental illness. She distills these emotions into cutting vignettes, thanks to her acute, raw lyrics. And she somehow trademarks her sound while writing songs that range from seething, almost-spoken-word punk (“My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars”) to an almost-pop epic with the best build-up of the year (“Your Best American Girl”).


Essential Tracks: “Your Best American Girl”, “I Bet On Losing Dogs”, “My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars”

8. LVL UP- Return to Love

LVL UP is a band who have paid their dues playing grimy bars, DIY spots, and tiny rock clubs over the past five years and are more than deserving of the breakout status they’ve achieved with Return to Love. They’re not reinventing the wheel by any means here, but I think everyone needed (and appreciated) a little extra angst and overdrive in 2016.


Essential Tracks: “Spirit Was”, “Pain”

7. Deep Sea Diver- Secrets

After years of playing guitar for acts like The Shins and Beck, Jessica Dobson is finally getting the praise and credit she deserves for her own project. Released back in February, Deep Sea Diver’s Secrets was the first record I fell in love with this year and couldn’t stop listening to it for the following 11 months. If you weren’t already privy to Dobson’s talents then throw this record on and you’ll quickly realize that she’s the new indie queen you never knew you needed.


Essential Tracks: “See These Eyes”, “Secrets”, “Notice Me”, “Always Waiting”

6. The Low Anthem- eyeland

In their expansive comeback effort, The Low Anthem have proved once again that they’re not afraid to take bold steps with their songwriting and production. In a departure from some of the more folk-centric material of their past, Ben Miller and Jeff Prystowsky create a sonic landscape on eyeland that has you finding new sounds and layers with every listen.


Essential Tracks: “am i the dream or am i the dreamer”, “ozzie”, “the pepsi moon”, “in the air hockey fire”

5. Fort Frances- Alio

There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of these Chicago indie rockers, but put on Fort Frances’ Alio and you’ll feel right at home. Their songs sound familiar, not because they’re unoriginal, but because they so easily get stuck in your head and stay there for a long, long time. Alio isn’t all just catchy hooks either, from the first track to the last, this record could stand up against nearly everything else released in 2016.


Essential Tracks: “These Are The Mountains Moving”, “Days Get Heavy”, “Building A Wall”

4. Hiss Golden Messenger- Heart Like a Levee

MC Taylor strikes again. In the follow up to 2014’s Lateness of Dancers, Taylor and the rest of Hiss Golden Messenger have created an album that you want to have on repeat all of the time. From the delectable riffs and perfect guitar tones, to the subtle beauty of the lyrics, and everything else in between, Heart Like a Levee is one of those albums that checks all the boxes.


Essential Tracks: “Biloxi”, “Heart Like a Levee”, “All of Me Wants All of You”, “As the Crow Flies”

3. Japanese Breakfast- Psychopomp

Right in the thick of the shitstorm that was 2016, Japanese Breakfast (aka Michelle Zauner) burst onto the scene with her debut album, Psychopomp, which she created in the wake of her mother’s passing. Despite its inspiration, Psychopomp is bright and open — the opposite of the sonic fetal position that you might expect from a woman in grief. Psychopomp has bottled that triumphant feeling of finding beauty and joy despite whatever bullshit that life might be throwing at you. And for that reason alone — not to mention the album’s spirited melodies, surging vocals, and dense compositions — Psychopomp should be on your short list.


Essential Tracks: “Everybody Wants To Love You”, “The Woman That Loves You”

2. Band of Horses- Why Are You OK

If we chose to rank our albums by sheer amount of spins from front to back then Why Are You OK would take the cake. Songs like “Solemn Oath” and “Casual Party” immediately shot into the upper echelon of BOH’s catalogue, right beside classics like “Is There A Ghost” and “The Funeral.” But when you hear J Mascis’ turn on “In A Drawer” or the two-part epic that is “Dull Times/The Moon,” you quickly realize that Ben Bridwell and co. were going for so much more than a couple of radio singles. I don’t have much more space here to reinforce that point, but if you have 15 minutes then do yourself a favor and listen to Bridwell break down “Solemn Oath” on Song Exploder. You won’t be disappointed.


Essential Tracks: “Dull Times/The Moon”, “Solemn Oath”, “Casual Party”, “In A Drawer”

1. Local Natives- Sunlit Youth

Even though we may have listened to Band of Horses more this year, in the end Local Natives lands firmly in our top spot with Sunlit Youth. As a selfish fan I might argue that this is the record that should have followed 2010’s Gorilla Manor, but understandably the band had some very deep and dense personal adversity to work through on Hummingbird. Not to say that we should just gloss over the band’s second release, but it’s clear to hear that they’ve arrived at a very exciting place with Sunlit Youth. Not only have Local Natives taken a giant leap forward with their recorded material, but to hear Sunlit Youth cuts like “Past Lives”, “Fountains of Youth” and “Villainy” performed live it’s easy to see that the band is turning into quite the formidable force on stage as well. If they keep on this course I wouldn’t be surprised to see their next release at the top of this list again and their name at the top of festival lineups.


Essential Tracks: “Past Lives”, “Masters” “Coins”

M&T Best Songs of 2016

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Maimed & Tamed Best Songs of 2016

Let’s cut to the chase, 2016 was a pretty shitty year. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t have plenty to celebrate though and one silver lining was all of the incredible music that was released in 2016. Here we’ve compiled a playlist of the 100 best songs from the year that was and highlighted our top 20 below. Make sure to subscribe to the full 100-track Spotify playlist and then peruse our top 20 below.

Full Spotify Playlist

20. Grammar- “Americana”

19. Joan As Police Woman- “Broke Me In Two”

18. Vita and the Woolf- “Qiet”

17. Big Thief- “Real Love”

16. Car Seat Headrest- “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales”

15. Florist- “The Birds Outside Sang”

14. Ray LaMontagne- “Part One – Hey, No Pressure”

13. Radiohead- “Burn The Witch”

12. Baba Sonya- “Human-Made Machines”

11. A Tribe Called Quest- “We The People…”

10. Blood Orange- “Best to You”

Equal parts dance-pop and Emily Dickinson, the lushest, catchiest song of the year is complemented by acutely painful lyrics of romantic insecurity.


9. The Low Anthem- “am i the dream or am i the dreamer”

The five-year wait between albums from these Providence folk rockers was well worth it. eyeland was quite the sonic departure from 2011’s Smart Flesh and that was highlighted by the expansive textures and layers of “am i the dream or am i the dreamer” which I’d be more than happy to argue is their best song to date.


8. Local Natives- “Past Lives”

Local Natives came back on the scene in a big way in 2016 and “Past Lives” is just one example of why this band is poised to make stellar records for a long, long time.


7. Leagues- “Slow and Steady”

Once this one catches on expect it to be featured in about 100 breakup scenes in television and movies.


6. ANOHNI- “Drone Bomb Me”

ANONHI has always had a gift for drama, and she has outdone herself with “Drone Bomb Me.” Told from the vantage point of a suicidal Afghani girl whose family has died in a drone strike, “Drone Bomb Me” is devastating yet too beautiful to turn away from – the best “car crash” you’ll ever listen to.


5. Carl Broemel- “4th of July”

We all know and love Carl from My Morning Jacket, but his second solo effort gave him the opportunity to showcase his lyrical ideas and expand on the killer guitar chops he’s been known to show off with MMJ. With “4th of July” Carl creates an epic journey that would be worthy of the upper echelon of MMJ’s catalogue had he lent it to the band.


4. The Avalanches- “Because I’m Me”

When you don’t release an album for 16 years there’s sure to be lots of hype and I think it’s safe to say that The Avalanches lived up to that hype. It’s tough to pick just one standout track from Wildflower, but “Because I’m Me” is the perfect album opener and sets the bar ridiculously high for the group’s glorious comeback.


3. Mitski- “Your Best American Girl”

Through both whispers and screams, Mitski shares her all-too-relatable ache to be “American enough” via the most epic crescendo of the year.


2. Band of Horses- “Dull Times/The Moon”

Speaking of album openers, “Dull Times/The Moon” is another example of a band opening with a big statement. The 7-minute track includes two very distinct movements that play perfectly into each other. Nearly 15 years on and the band is still making bold choices that further cement their place as one of our best Americana bands in the 21st century.


1. Kanye West- “Ultralight Beam”

Kanye, Kanye, Kanye. You beautiful, crazy bastard. They say there’s a very thin line between genius and insanity and Mr. West has been toeing that line for years now. It seems The Life of Pablo might have been the project that pushed him firmly over that line, but before he started all of his paranoid rants he gave us the best track of 2016. Between the preaching child sample, Kirk Franklin, that choir, and Chance’s masterful verse, Kanye made good on his promise to deliver the perfect gospel track for TLOP. The production on the track is some next level stuff (as evidenced by this super interesting article and mini-doc on Vox) and if you don’t feel something otherworldly in your bones when that choir kicks in then you better check your pulse. Finally, if Kanye’s never the same on stage again let’s try to remember him like he was during this unreal performance of “Ultralight Beam” on SNL.


M&T Best EPs of 2016

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Maimed & Tamed Best EPs of 2016

With 2016 in the rearview, what better way to kick off our reflection on the year that was than with a look at our favorite EPs from the last 12 months. We’ve said in the past that some may argue EPs should be lumped in with albums, but we like to do things the logical way here at M&T so we’ll be comparing apples to apples and keeping the oranges separate. Check out the list below and subscribe to a playlist of one track from each EP here.

10. Yoke Lore- Far Shore

9. Eryn Allen Kane- Aviary: Act II

8. Good Looking Friends- You Won’t Die

7. The Rare Occasions- Futureproof

6. Lemaitre- Afterglow

5. Wolf Parade- EP4

4. Ron Gallo- RG3

3. Baba Sonya- The “People Things Work Out For” Sessions

2. Lewis Del Mar- EP

1. The Wild Reeds- Best Wishes

December Spotify Playlist of the Month

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Maimed & Tamed Spotify Playlist of the Month December 2015

Here come the holiday pigs and along with them come 45 brand new tracks for your listening pleasure. Our final playlist of 2016 features fresh jams from The xx, Childish Gambino, Jim James, Amy León, Vita and the Woolf, and many more.

Check out the full 45-track playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

November Spotify Playlist of the Month

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November 2016 Spotify Playlist Of the Month

November means foliage, turkey, football, and of course fresh jams. Take a listen to this month’s playlist featuring brand new tracks from Jim James, Hiss Golden Messenger, Chargaux, Crying, The Ballroom Thieves, Lady Lamb, Wild Pink, and 37 others (to be exact).

Check out the full 45-track playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

October Spotify Playlist of the Month

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Maimed & Tamed Spotify Playlist of the Month October 2016

Nothing says fall like fresh produce and some fresh tunes amiright? Take a listen to this month’s playlist featuring brand new jams from M&T favorites like Local Natives, Leagues, Jim James and the Ballroom Thieves, along with newcomers like S U R V I V E, WRENN, and plenty of other bands that aren’t written in all caps.

Check out the full 60-track playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

September Spotify Playlist of the Month

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September 2016 Spotify Playlist of the Month

Is summer over already? Not too fast, we’ve still got some warm weather jams to play you out with the end credits of summertime including new tunes from The Rare Occasions, Bon Iver, Tall Heights, LVL UP and more.

Check out the full 50-track playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

August Spotify Playlist of the Month

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M&T Spotify Playlist of the Month August 2016

Somehow it’s already August, but with hot weather comes hot jams, and we’ll certainly take that as a consolation prize. This month our playlist features new songs from 30 artists including M&T favorites like WilcoLocal Natives, Júniús Meyvant, and Tall Heights as well as newcomers like Amy León, Pool Cosby, Gizmo Varillas, and more.

Check out the full playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

Newport Folk Festival 2016 Recap

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Newport Folk Festival 2016 Recap

Another beautiful Folk Festival weekend at Fort Adams State Park has come and gone, and though we’re sad it’s over, we can still relish all of the incredible performances we were able to see over the course of three days. Check out the highlights below while we start dreaming about next year’s lineup.

Friday July 22

Basia Bulat at Quad Stage

An impressive Newport debut from Basia Bulat included a 101 year old harp that she bought from ebay, rocking a cape on-stage à la (her producer and our hero) Jim James, and a genuine excitement and reverence for being part of the festival. Something tells me this won’t be the last time we see Ms. Bulat at the Fort.


The Staves at Fort Stage

The Staves’ impeccable recordings set a high bar, and their live performance clears it handily. Armed with a drummer, synths and vocoders, The Staves dispelled false notions of “folksiness” by nailing highly complex new releases like “Outlaw.” The similarly intricate, yet-to-be-released “Tired as Fuck” was a crowd favorite, though perhaps not for the parents in the crowd – sorry, kidz!


Matthew Logan Vasquez at Quad Stage

It’s no secret that Vasquez, much like his Middle Brother cohorts, gushes with love for this festival and that was certainly on display during his Friday set inside the Fort. Vasquez performed a selection of songs from his debut solo record, Delta Spirit’s catalog and a handful of covers, and was joined at different points throughout the set by Parkington Sisters and Fruit Bats’ Eric D. Johnson. We knew to expect a rollicking family affair from Vasquez, but what made this set extra special was that Vasquez was able to put his stellar guitar playing skills front and center.


Violent Femmes at Fort Stage

As longtime fans of Violent Femmes we really couldn’t have asked for much more from this set. The classic xylophone line on “Gone Daddy Gone”, the tongue-in-cheek perfection of “American Music”, most definitely the largest saxophone I have ever seen in my life (that thing had to be at least 10 feet tall), and of course “Blister In The Sun”. Video via YouTube user cstoltze


Ray LaMontagne at Fort Stage

Or should we say Ray LaMorning Jacket? The “Jacket Boys”, as Ray called them, were just as much of an attraction for this set as Ray was himself. With a set comprised mostly of tunes from his last two records, LaMontagne was all business and barely spoke between songs, but let his music do the talking instead. An incredible live vocal performance from LaMontagne and ripping solos from the “Jacket Boys” throughout made this set one of the highlights of the weekend.


Flight of the Conchords

Though some of the comedy duo’s songs may have pushed the envelope for Newport’s family vibe (see”Too Many Dicks (On The Dance Floor)” and “Business Time”), the majority of the crowd still got their fair share of hearty laughs from the performance. Fans of their HBO show were certainly pleased with song selections like “Bowie In Space” and “Prince of Parties,” but their new tracks and between-songs-banter probably got even more laughs.


Saturday July 23

Rayland Baxter at Fort Stage

A perfect way to start Day 2, Rayland has certainly come into his own performing with a full band, and that was prominently on display early Saturday morning. Extended jam sessions on songs like “All In My Head” and set closer “End to Come” were highlights, but what was most impressive was the dynamic setlist and his ability to keep the whole crowd captivated throughout.


The Texas Gentlemen and Friends at Quad Stage

Led by Beau Bedford, the Texan collective brought some of the more country-leaning folk music to this year’s lineup. Each band member was a stellar player and performer in their own right, but the moment everyone will be talking about was when the “and Friends” portion of the billing turned into Kris Kristofferson and Margo Price performing “Me and Bobby McGee.” One of those hallmark Newport moments that hardly happen anywhere else. Video via YouTube user cstoltze


Father John Misty at Quad Stage

I think Caroline put it perfectly when she called Josh Tillman a “trollbadour,” as his solo acoustic set was filled with jabs at fellow festival performers like Brittany Howard and Graham Nash. The former may have been warranted (see this cringeworthy Chipotle ad with Howard and, it pains me to say it, Jim James), but picking on a sweet old man like Graham Nash is another story. All trolling aside Tillman certainly kept the crowd engaged with his one man show of music, social commentary, and comedy. The only thing that was missing was an on-stage boxing match between him and Ryan Adams to settle their 1989 pseud0-fued.


Sunday July 24

River Whyless at Quad Stage

The Asheville quartet kicked off the festival’s final day with a bang and I wouldn’t be surprised if it earns them an invite back to the Fort next year. They created epic soundscapes on songs like “Pigeon Feathers” and “Widows Walk” from their 2012 debut LP, and also got the crowd moving with their new single “All Day All Night.” To close out their impressive set they brought out Kam Franklin from The Suffers to perform a cover of Billy Brag & Wilco’s version of Woody Guthrie’s “Airline to Heaven,” bringing everyone to their feet.


Glen Hansard at Fort Stage

When the Irishman opened his set with The Swell Season classic “Falling Slowly” we knew we were in for quite the treat. Hansard’s passion is so raw and you can feel the emotion in his voice with every word he sings so that made songs like The Swell Season’s “When Your Minds Made Up” and Woody Guthrie’s “Vigilante Man” all the more powerful. Not to mention guest appearances by Elvis Costello, Jocie Adams, and trombonist Curtis Fowlkes throughout the set. In true Newport fashion Hansard closed out his set by inviting a fellow Irishman up from the crowd to sing a verse of Brendan Behan’s classic Irish drinking tune “The Auld Triangle,” along with Costello, Adams, and Fowlkes. See full video below including said random Irish dude in the plaid shirt and fast forward to 2:20 to see his featured verse. Video via Anthony Mulcahy aka THE DUDE IN THE VIDEO.


Middle Brother at Fort Stage

Vasquez, Goldsmith, and McCauley made their triumphant return to the Fort on the five year anniversary of their debut and certainly did not disappoint. Playing their entire self-titled album and joined by guests like Kam Franklin, Shovels & Rope, and Jonny Fritz, their main stage set was certainly a highlight for all of the festival faithful in attendance. “Million Dollar Bill” served to be the perfect ending to a joyous set with each of the three frontmen taking a verse and leaving us hoping for another reunion in the near future.


Elvis Costello at Fort Stage

Elvis seemed to pick up where Patti Smith left off: critiquing the establishment, yet through beauty, not hate (best evidenced by new ballad, “American Mirror”). Costello took NFF Producer Jay Sweet’s decree of “love each other” to heart in more ways than one, as he invited about half of Sunday’s performers on stage with him. Flanked by Larkin Poe, the Preservation Jazz Hall Band, Dawes, Villagers, and more, Costello provided us with the cathartic gang’s-all-here singalong we needed to close out the weekend.