Occur's Favorite Music of 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014 at 5:00 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music U2 invaded our iTunes, everything came up butts and Taylor Swift became the first musician since ... herself to sell more than 1 million copies of an album in its debut week. Underneath the publicity stunts and sonic 180s (not just the Sonic Highways), 2014 provided some memorable surprises musically. Dig in and see what we dug this year.   Album image courtesy Republic   FAVORITE ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright in the End In... READ MORE

7 Autumn Albums We're Dying To Hear

Monday, September 22, 2014 at 6:00 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Pumpkin Spice Lattes, sweaters and sweet, sweet tunes from some big names. It’s fall, and we’re jazzed for these 7 upcoming albums. From jazz to freak-folk, there’s something for everyone. (Even grandma gets a new Barbra Streisand collection. Go, Gran!)   Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – Cheek to Cheek (Sept. 23, Interscope)Momma Monster and the long-reigning king of cool come together officially on this album of standards. It’s not the first time the odd couple have... READ MORE

For the Workforce, Drowning - A Labor Day Playlist

Monday, September 1, 2014 at 6:00 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Photo by Melissa Bobbitt   It's Labor Day, the last great holiday before autumn settles in. We've created a Spotify playlist in honor of those who dared to stand up for workers' rights-- and for those whom the 9-to-5 workweek just isn't their idea of a career. To the CEOs making a positive difference in the world, to the fry cooks, to immigrants struggling to provide for their families in foreign countries, to the college grad getting... READ MORE

Best of 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 7:14 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Mystical singing space cats. The resurrection of the Thin White Duke. "YOLO" versus "Y.A.L.A." The year in music circa 2013 was a zany one that was forward-thinking (everybody's droppin' the bass these days) and reverent of the past (every new band sounds like it's from the 1980s). Here's what we loved and loathed: BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Thao & the Get Down Stay Down – We the Common BEST EP OF THE YEAR: Andrew McMahon –... READ MORE

Cry havoc and let emo rule again

Monday, October 21, 2013 at 1:58 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Dashboard Confessional in concert circa 2007. Photo by Melissa Bobbitt Perhaps my generation is having a hard time admitting we're turning 30. We're no longer cool (instead of consciously Through Being Cool). We are now those "old" weirdos at concerts that saunter into the venue 10 minutes before showtime instead of proving our fandom by lining up in the wee hours to get a front-row spot at a GA gig. (My posse and I used to... READ MORE

Questionable Christmas Classics

Monday, December 10, 2012 at 1:31 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Ah, the holidays! The perfect time of year to be among friends and family, singing time-honored songs of yuletide and celebration. But before Gramps and Little Timmy join in the harmonies, take a second look at these memorable wintertime hits. Parental guidance suggested? The obvious one: "Baby, It's Cold Outside." This feminist's alarms go off every time I hear this one. It's playful, to be certain, but with lines like, "Say, what's in this drink?"... READ MORE

A-grade B-side albums

Monday, October 22, 2012 at 3:15 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music It's a miracle enough when a regular album flows cohesively and tells a story. But when a collection of rarities and b-sides from an artist's entire career gels like the "real" thing, it's utterly divine. Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie is the latest bard to pull off this feat with Former Lives (Barsuk). Though compiled from scraps of unfinished works not suitable for his main gig or his lauded side project,... READ MORE

... with a little help from their friends

Monday, September 10, 2012 at 1:02 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music California Wives' "Purple" video used fan art to embellish the visuals. California Wives just released a splashy video for their latest single, "Purple," and it's got fandom written all over it. Or drawn all over it - listeners could submit their artwork via a Sharpie promotion, and the Wives would feature the best in the background. They're one of dozens of bands that are turning to the proletariat for contributions. (And we're not even talking... READ MORE