the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Top fifteen tracks of 2014


Earlier this week I was driving home from dropping the girls off at school and out of the corner of my eye saw the silhouette of a dog pooping. No, this is not another story about dogs and feces, although I know some of you come here for that very thing and I hate to disappoint. That silhouette is so distinct and universal, the shape the same across all breeds, that even though I wasn’t even looking in the direction of the dog I knew exactly what it was doing. You just can’t mistake that silhouette for anything else. What on earth does this have to do with music, Heather? I’m starting to ask myself the same question and am getting legitimately pissed.

I started off this month on a bit of a high with what I learned and explored on a work retreat in New Mexico, but then my life got sideswiped when Marlo got sick. And then just when I thought I was going to be able to catch my breath she got sick again. I thought about that silhouette this morning when I looked at the pile of things I have fallen behind on, piles both literally and metaphorically. The logo for the last couple of weeks would be that silhouette, and at some point it would animate and spin around while still hunched over. Because the poop is stuck.


Okay. I got broadsided. It sucked. But it does me no good to waste any more energy dwelling on what was completely out of my control, so I’m just going to stamp it all with the logo of the dog pooping silhouette and move on.

This is some powerful spiritual bullshit.

I did not listen to nearly enough music this year, and that’s a shame because I had made a very specific goal to integrate it more fully into my life. New music brings me so much joy. I know that there is so much good music that was released this year that I most likely will not ever get around to listening to, and my immediate response to that is sadness and frustration. Even a little bit of anger. But I don’t want to waste any more energy feeling that way, so I’m just going to stamp that reality with the logo of the dog pooping silhouette and celebrate the music that I did fall in love with.

(As always, please feel free to leave a link to some of the music you’ve discovered. Let me know what I missed out on.)

15. St. Vincent, “Rattlensake”

14. Delta Spirit, “Push It”

13. Taylor Swift, “Out of the woods”

12. Lykke Li, “No Rest for the Wicked”

11. Bleachers, “You’re Still a Mystery”

10. The Antlers, “Palace”

9. Bombay Bicycle Club, “It’s Alright now”

8. Wild Cub, “Thunder Clatter”

7. The Raveonettes, “Sisters”

6. War on Drugs, “Red Eyes”

5. Manchester Orchestra, “Choose you”

4. Lo-Fang, “When We’re Fire”

3. TVOTR, “Careful You”

2. Beck, “Waking Light”

1. Future Islands, “Seasons (Waiting on You)”

  • HayleyD

    2014/12/18 at 11:06 am

    If you’re on Spotify, you should make a playlist of these. Not that I mean to add another task to you list of things to do… but it would save me the time! 😉

  • Carlie Barber

    2014/12/18 at 12:05 pm

    Do you ever listen to KCRW? Its a Santa Monica based public radio station, but you can stream online, and their Eclectic24 streaming station is just awesome for discovering new and different music. ALSO I play an app called Elevate and you were mentioned in one of the games…

  • Elizabeth

    2014/12/18 at 1:42 pm

    My favorite this year is “Take Me To Church” by Hozier. I sing it at the top of my voice every time I hear it.

  • Kristy

    2014/12/18 at 1:48 pm

    There’s so much beautiful music out there, and yet I spend my time listening to the same Fiona Apple/Frank Ocean/Kanye West albums because there’s so much to unpack within these already…and then a friend sends me a list of songs and it’s just too much.

    I’ve been loving electronica with a bit of old-timey soul in it (‘cuz electronica generally makes me feel cold inside), such as Gramatik, Parov Stelar, DJ Okawari, Flying Lotus, and Skeewiff does great mixes.

  • Nicole

    2014/12/18 at 2:14 pm

    That Beck song is amazing. Lots of stuff to try out here, thanks for putting this together.

  • sunbruz8

    2014/12/18 at 2:45 pm

    i just made it! (sunbruz8 if you want to follow!)

  • HayleyD

    2014/12/18 at 2:53 pm

    I made one too, but I may follow anyway. 😉

  • Heather Armstrong

    2014/12/18 at 4:17 pm

    I’m on Rdio (I prefer it to Spotify) and you can find it in my playlists (dooce)

  • anon

    2014/12/18 at 4:45 pm

    I dont know what to say. Havent heard a single one of them :(. May be the Taylor Swift one. I’m not sure

  • Michelle

    2014/12/19 at 7:08 am

    The whole “From Eden” album is good. I really like the song “Jackie and Wilson”.

  • ErinZ

    2014/12/19 at 8:36 am

    No one here wants to get down with the korean hip hop I have immersed myself in this year (or the American hip hop, for that matter. Lookin’ at you Rekstizzy and Run the Jewels) but I *do* think you’d get down with BANKS (song: Fuck ’em Only We Know) and the new Jenny Lewis album. Highly suggest!

  • Jo D

    2014/12/20 at 4:02 pm

    I found my new favorite band this year, Mother Mother. Pretty much every song on every album is awesome and dark and twisty but pop fantastic. It’s a trio of a brother, sister, and their friend, and they do these awesome vocal harmonies that give me shivers.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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