December 31, 2016 – Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California

Records of the Year: 2016

ONE. Michael Kiwanuka: Love & Hate. I was looking forward to this release for a long while, and it did not disappoint. Michael says a lot of hard and important things on this record.

TWO. Chance the Rapper: Coloring Book. Really special, and bringing new meaning to "Gospel record." And I really enjoyed David Dark's commentary on Chance.

THREE. Local Natives: Sunlit Youth. Hooks and production on this record were so solid.

FOUR. Bon Iver: 22, A Million. Solid effort for those of us who have been waiting a while for this record.

FIVE. John Legend: Darkness & Light. I really enjoy these songs and love that Blake Mills produced this record.

And in no particular order:

  • Joseph. I'm Alone, No You're Not. The songs are exceptional and the harmonies on this record are so solid and definitely a household favorite in the Dodd home.

  • Radiohead. A Moon Shaped Pool. Standard greatness. Thankful they make music.

  • Anderson Paak. Malibu. Total groove. I love the tone that "The Bird" sets up top.

  • St. Lucia. Matter. A wall of sound in the best way.

  • Sturgill Simpson. A Sailor's Guide to Earth. He is pumping out solid effort after solid effort.

  • Frank Ocean. Blonde. Lots of scrutiny and secrecy around this release, and I dig it.

  • Dawes. We're All Gonna Die. Class in songwriting, and another solid Blake Mills produced record.

  • Paper Route. Real Emotion. Solid.

  • Switchfoot. Where the Light Shines Through. Really love how this record turned out.

  • Crowder. American Prodigal. The Grammys agree with me, and this is such a phenomenal record. Crowder's version of Thad Cockrell's "Great Rejoicing" is one of my highlights of the year.

  • Phil Wickham. Children of God. Sonically always getting better, incredibly heartfelt songs, I love what Phil is doing (especially when collaborating with Pete)!

  • The Last Royals. Never Be Alone. Consistently putting out great songs.

  • Tyson Motsenbocker. Letters to Lost Loves. This really is one of my favorites because of the way these songs ring in your soul.

Honorable mention: Stranger Things Soundtrack, Matt Corby, Travis, Sandra McCracken, Foy Vance, Matt Wertz, Lael, Trent Dabbs, Cass McCombs, One Republic, David Bazan, Macklemore

Check out the Spotify playlist of some of my highlights from these records, and a few more songs I enjoyed from the year. (Big props to Spotify for automating a great collection of my favorites from 2016 as well.)

And I want to hear about your favorite records! Tweet them at me here: @p_dodd

December 26, 2016 – Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California

Holiday Links: December 26, 2016

  • Massive fan of the excellent print work the guys over at Clove Street Press are doing.

  • Baylor Fan Alert: As far as any hires that the Athletic Department could make, so stoked on the Mack Rhoades hire of Matt Rhule.

  • Google always produces an amazing "Year in Search" video.

November 29, 2016 – Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California

Giving Tuesday (and Beyond)

You've probably been overwhelmed with online "deals" over the past week and a handful of "Giving Tuesday" options today. Everyone has a cause and an ask, but for whatever it's worth I thought I'd share a handful of organizations that mean something to me personally and that I've seen amazing work come from.

  • Love Does. I have always been thankful for the work that Bob, Debs, and company take part in. By providing a safe and fun environment for kids to learn in, they create future leaders who break cycles of poverty, restore hope in their communities, and spread love wherever they go.

  • Bro-Am Foundation. Not only are the guys some of the best guys you'll ever know, but their heart to make a difference in the lives of deserving yet underprivileged youth is so awesome.

  • PastorServe. PastorServe is a ministry I know, trust and personally support. This year, PastorServe is dedicating Giving Tuesday to serving Haitian Pastors impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Go to their website to find out how you can help Haitian Pastors by giving Haitian pastor couples an experience they will always remember.

  • Young Life. Through a handful of really important people in my life, I have learned from multiple sources how important Young Life is to introducing people to Jesus.

  • Show Hope. I love how Show Hope paints the message of the gospel with the story of adoption.

  • Preemptive Love. These people are going to really hard places and loving people anyway, regardless of circumstance.

  • Nations Foundation. I am a new Nations super fan. On top of donating, buy the journal!

  • Charity Water. I really appreciate what Charity: Water's attention to detail and care on the mission of providing clean water to people who need it on a massive scale.

On the for-profit side, I have been very impressed over the past few days of the messages sent by Patagonia, Miir & Soma about how to be conscious consumers.