Every month since January 2011, Shaun Johnson has been making monthly playlists of his favorite music. As soon as the last couple days of the month roll around, Shaun starts a new playlist for the next month with whatever music he is jamming out to at that time. These playlists include any music that Shaun loves and are not confined to any specific genre or release date. The playlists usually include new music, but they can also include tracks from bands that Shaun is planning on seeing live that particular month.
These write-ups are solely for Shaun to promote the music he loves and to give him an outlet to write about music in a consistent manner! Don’t be afraid to send him your thoughts on his write-up or playlists on Twitter: @ShaunSJohnson
May started off with me working on my final for my multimedia class. In this final, I had to make a video and podcast showcasing an event and store in Ames. I chose the Friday Night Draft for Magic: The Gathering at Mayhem Collectibles in Ames. In the video, I needed some audio. My friend, Kyle Ewing has a record label called Hang In There Records. So, I hit him up to see if I could use a couple of tracks from an artist of his record label. I ended up choosing TTO’s “Windmills” and Sundance Kid’s “Hole”. Both songs fit the mood I wanted to portray in the video and podcast.
Since I was editing the video and podcast to perfection, I listened to each song over and over again. It’s a good thing I love both songs. “Hole” by Sundance Kid would fit perfectly on a lot of albums by nationally touring post-hardcore bands. Greg Rudolph’s gritty vocals are far from phoned in and play nicely with the chugging guitar chords. “Windmills” has one of my favorite harmonies I have heard this year. When Ewing sings, “Play games with my imagination/ Haunting synchronization”, I cannot help but smile because it is so damn perfect. Ewing crafts a song that guides the listener from a pitch-dark boat ride of despair back into light. The guitar work is heart-wrenching until the latter half, where it becomes up-lifting and gives the listener a sense of optimism.
I went and saw The Story So Far, Four Year Strong and Terror at Wooly’s in Des Moines with my girlfriend, The EZPZ Podcast co-host, Nick Gandy and his fiancé, Shayna on Saturday, May 9th. The show was awesome and way better than I expected. Terror tore apart Wooly’s and had the largest circle pit of the night because….duh…they’re Terror. I say it every time I see them but Scott Vogel is easily the best frontman in hardcore. I had not seen Four Year Strong for a few years and forgot how good they were live. They were probably the best act of the night. The Story So Far were a completely different band than when I saw them at Warped Tour in 2012. When I saw them in Minneapolis, MN at Warped 2012, Parker, the lead-singer, was jumping and running around like a mad man. He pretty much did nothing but stood and sang with a mic stand the entire set. I was shocked. Although, Parker sounded very good, it was not what I was expecting at all.
I find myself going back to Bully at least once every week. I loved their show with Jeff the Brotherhood and the group of people I went to it with. It was just a great night. “I Remember” was released for those that had pre-ordered their debut album, Feels Like, on iTunes. I found myself jamming to it and “Trying” a lot in May in anticipation for the album’s release in late June. I am bummed I missed their co-headline show with Best Coast in Omaha on June 9th, but it just didn’t fit into my schedule or budget.
I revisited Drake’s If Your Reading This It’s Too Late almost 3 months after it’s release. I like the album but I just couldn’t get into it. I added a few tracks that stuck after the 3-4 extra spins I gave the record.
Superheaven released Ours Is Chrome in May. It’s another album I like but not too many of the tracks really stuck with me after the handful of spins I gave it. I really liked “I’ve Been Bored” and the video that went with it, so I threw it on the playlist.
The EZPZ’s Artist of the Month, Turnover, released their sophomore album, Peripheral Vision and caught Nick Gandy and I off guard with how amazing it is. After the first few tracks, I was hooked. Run for Cover Records just keeps on releasing albums I love this year! I snagged the album from their BandCamp page for $5 after it apparently leaked online. “Dizzy On a Comedown” is one of my favorite songs of the year. I could not get the chorus out of my head all month.
You can find me on Twitter and Instagram: @ShaunSJohnson
I record a podcast with my friends Nick Gandy and Dan Brown called The EZPZ Podcast. We are YouTube and theezpz.com/category/podcast! Thanks for reading. June will be a packed month like April because of Electric Forest! I’ll be discovering a ton of new artists and revisiting old ones.