10 Best Albums of 2017 to Pump Up Your Productivity Over the Holiday Break - You won't be disappointed by any of these albums.

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https://www.inc.com/john-brandon/10-best-albums-of-2017-to-pump-up-your-productivity-over-holiday-break.html

Every year, I pick my favorite albums that will pump up your productivity. They have that "something special" that matches up with a work setting, cranking out reports and listening on earbuds at your desk. If you have other picks to add, send me a quick email.

1. The War on Drugs
No artist released an album in 2017 that even comes close to The War on Drugs. It's not just the best of the year--it might be the best of the decade, full of cascading guitar solos and feel-good digressions coupled with poignant lyrics about life and relationships.

2. The National: Sleep Well Beast
A band the cool kids love (and practically worship), The National released a more subdued album in 2017 that focused more on broken relationships. One song called The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness has a groove that will sweeten up any Excel spreadsheet.

3. Elbow: Little Fictions
If you don't know the band Elbow, you're missing out. Prog rock masters from England, the band released an organic-sounding album that fits perfectly with your daily work duties. Songs like Gentle Storm blend nicely into the background (in a good way).

4. Lea Porcelain: Hymns to the Night
A fantastic synth-rock band, this warmly inspiring album sounded amazing on my favorite headphones of the year (the Focal Clear). A song like Bones has breaks and instrumental diversions that will melt your keyboard and mouse into a puddle.

5. Manchester Orchestra: A Black Mile To The Surface
This album by one of my favorite bands sounds more orchestral (living up to their name) and finely-tuned, especially on songs like The Moth that stop on a dime. If you can see them play the songs live it is worth it, especially to see how they choreograph the songs.

6. Japandroids: Near to the Wild Heart of Life
It's jaw-dropping to discover that Japandroids is just two guys, one playing drums and one on guitar. Somehow, it feels like a much fuller sound. Their best album yet, Near to the Wild Heart of Life is as explosive as ever, a post-punk outing with tons of fireworks.

7. Wolf Parade: Cry, Cry, Cry
Reuniting to make their finest album, Wolf Parade seems like a basic punk band with two people playing synth, but they write with revelatory insight. You're Dreaming is their best song, mostly because it made me type faster and think about post-work activities.

8. Jenn Grant: Paradise
Not many artists sing like Jenn Grant, her voice an instrument of ingenuity and grace. On the song Hero she turns a simple chorus into an abject epiphany. Every song has an organic feel with smooth and spacious percussion and bass.

9. LCD Soundsystem: American Dream
For a band that seemed to fall off the face of the planet, LCD Soundsystem roared back to life after seven years in stasis and made the musical rebound of the decade. I'm still amazed by some of the guitar work on the album and how it all fits together.

10. Bleachers: Gone Now
In that weird "guilty pleasure" category of music, Bleachers released a pop album that has echoes of John Lennon and a similar musical ethos. The album sounds like a geeky guy wandered into a Katy Perry recording session and totally took over on every song.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
One song called The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness has a groove that will sweeten up any Excel spreadsheet. 10
You're Dreaming is their best song, mostly because it made me type faster and think about post-work activities. 8
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com. 6
The album sounds like a geeky guy wandered into a Katy Perry recording session and totally took over on every song. 4
It's jaw-dropping to discover that Japandroids is just two guys, one playing drums and one on guitar. 4
For a band that seemed to fall off the face of the planet, LCD Soundsystem roared back to life after seven years in sta 4
Prog rock masters from England, the band released an organic-sounding album that fits perfectly with your daily work du 1
A song like Bones has breaks and instrumental diversions that will melt your keyboard and mouse into a puddle. 1
In that weird "guilty pleasure" category of music, Bleachers released a pop album that has echoes of John Len 1
Every song has an organic feel with smooth and spacious percussion and bass. 0
feel-good digressions coupled with poignant lyrics about life and relationships 0
If you can see them play the songs live it is worth it, especially to see how they choreograph the songs. 0
Songs like Gentle Storm blend nicely into the background (in a good way). 0
other 0


Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Monday, 18 December 2017 17:29 (seven months ago) Permalink

guilty john lennon

flappy bird, Monday, 18 December 2017 17:42 (seven months ago) Permalink

Hi ulysses,

Rolling up my sleeves, booting up webmail (following up with folks after our morning chat), hot cup of keurig, jamming to LCD Soundsystem, getting that presentation buttoned up...

Shared this article with a few guys I used to work with. I think they'll really get a kick out of it.

thx,
Evan

Evan, Monday, 18 December 2017 17:42 (seven months ago) Permalink

Dear Evan,

Thanks for your input; everyone on the team here really appreciates it.

I know we're headed into the holidays but do you think we can expect to see the changes to that worksheet done by EOD? It would make the rest of the week run a lot smoother.... : )

Drop us a line on Slack if you need additional input.

Best,
Ulysses

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Monday, 18 December 2017 17:44 (seven months ago) Permalink

http://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3523059952_16.jpg

maura, Monday, 18 December 2017 17:48 (seven months ago) Permalink

Ulysses,

Let me see if I can juggle schedules and push it through. Shouldn't be an issue, but I'll reach out if we have any questions or concerns on our end. We weren't expecting this many asks so late in the year, and we're down a few hands!

Best,
Evan

Evan, Monday, 18 December 2017 17:51 (seven months ago) Permalink

Hi Evan,

Totally get it and not trying to be a pain but the client was breathing down our neck over the weekend so I've gotta ask. Do you figure by Wednesday will be possible? I have total faith that your staff can manage with the increased pressure... you guys are rock stars!

By the way, we are likely going to be a little late processing your invoice with the holiday crush and Wilson in HR getting into that car wreck.... :(

Have a ROCKING Monday!

Best,
Ulysses

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Monday, 18 December 2017 18:00 (seven months ago) Permalink

Hi Ulysses,

Yikes, please send our best regards to Wilson. Same thing happened to Tom here pulling out of Applebees on 46 last week.

No worries- we've got a few other open POs that won't be processed until Jan 1. If it becomes an issue with billing we'll need to take the convo offline.

Anyway we'll get cranking! Let us know if there's anything else.

Thanks!
Evan

Evan, Monday, 18 December 2017 18:13 (seven months ago) Permalink

Automatic Reply: This Is The Dream Of Evan And Ulysses

I am currently out of the office with limited access to email until Wed afternoon. I will respond to your message as soon as I can. Have a great day!
Thank you.

Evan, Monday, 18 December 2017 18:23 (seven months ago) Permalink

my excel spreadsheets are rockin tbh

Joan Digimon (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 18 December 2017 18:25 (seven months ago) Permalink

Hi Evan,

Sorry I didn't respond sooner, had some fires to put out here. Please send my best to Tom; that's a tough one. At least we can hope that Wilson's medically induced coma means that he is, in the words of John Water's Pink Floyd, "comfortably numb".

I'm sure we can get your payment processed before January 15; check with me before then if it becomes an issue. I'll check back with you Tuesday to make sure Wednesday delivery is still achievable.

Like The Boss says, keep on rocking in the free world!

Best,
Ulysses

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Monday, 18 December 2017 19:02 (seven months ago) Permalink

The album sounds like a geeky guy wandered into a Katy Perry recording session and totally took over on every song.

jmm, Monday, 18 December 2017 19:12 (seven months ago) Permalink

Ulysses,

Sorry just need to clarify a few details going forward as there is some confusion.

1. Tom is dead.

2. Wednesday should not be a problem. However keep in mind that Thursday is our company holiday party (we got a great venue!) / Tom's funeral so our availability will be pretty limited to capture any feedback. We can get things moving again on Friday but we'll have to keep tabs to make sure we don't go too far out of scope.

Let me know if that makes sense.

thx
Evan

Evan, Monday, 18 December 2017 19:25 (seven months ago) Permalink

Love how the guy gives up on his own stupid listicle concept after three albums.

Choco Blavatsky (seandalai), Monday, 18 December 2017 19:28 (seven months ago) Permalink

Indeed, by number seven, the tunes have got him thinking "about post-work activities", which doesn't sound like it's pumping up his productivity.

Mungolian Jerryset (bendy), Monday, 18 December 2017 20:04 (seven months ago) Permalink

he's right that LCD Soundsystem just seemed to fall off the planet...what the hell were they doing ???

frogbs, Monday, 18 December 2017 20:09 (seven months ago) Permalink

I voted for that. Enough research to know that it was released this year, not enough research to know it was a reunion album.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 18 December 2017 20:43 (seven months ago) Permalink

A song like Bones has breaks and instrumental diversions that will melt your keyboard and mouse into a puddle.

How is a melted mouse and keyboard going to enhance my productivity?

Anyway I cast a write-in for "my favorite headphones of the year (the Focal Clear)"

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Monday, 18 December 2017 21:25 (seven months ago) Permalink

Evan,

Genuinely sorry to hear about Tom; that's a real shame. Glad to hear you were able to find a place that would do a combo party/funeral... could you maybe send me the deets? We may (though I hope not!) need a space with that kind of flexibility ourselves as Wilson appears to be "living on the edge" himself.

Otherwise, as long as we can get that worksheet back by Wednesday we should be fine for the moment. I understand the fear of mission creep; it's something I fight against all day, trust me!

Different topic but it's been on my mind: I was shocked to discover The Beatles are all over the place online now! I had thought everyone had forgotten about them but they appear to be popular enough that you can still find tracks if you look hard enough. There's an album I have (on vinyl!) called Rubber Soul that has some crazy deep cuts that not everyone knows about... it looks like you can listen to it FOR FREE online! Wonders never cease.

Send some photos of the party/funeral space when you can? No rush... unless things change ha ha!

Best,
Ulysses

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Monday, 18 December 2017 23:41 (seven months ago) Permalink

Ulysses,

That means a lot... thx... We were a bit under the gun looking for a place (swamped!) but it turns out the Applebees on 46 was able to accommodate. Pretty convenient and they're offering half priced appetizer samplers in Tom's memory, which are to die for. I enjoy something with a little kick so I'm a big fan of the poppers myself

That works- if it caps out I'll send through an estimate revise and updated SOW.

Hey, that's a trip! I love the Beatles almost as much as the Wings. I've got a box of great stuff in the attic I've been meaning to pull down and check out for old times sake. Even some really old big band classics. How much do you think they're worth?

Let's lock in some time when you're in town and we'll grab a keurig and chat. See attached some pics from last year.

Best,
Evan

https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/0a/fa/2b/f7/tazio-downstairs.jpg
https://media.glassdoor.com/l/eb/7b/d6/7a/dinner-at-local-pub-below-the-radar-during-the-company-retreat.jpg

Evan, Tuesday, 19 December 2017 01:46 (seven months ago) Permalink

Hi Evan,

Thanks for the pics! That's what a party should look like; nice job honoring Tom and keeping it light. Melanie from reception up front is looking gorgeous, please let her know I was asking after her. Hope you were all EXTRA careful getting out of the parking lot!

In any case, while the office will almost certainly be getting out to that Applebee's soon (I'm a big fan of their boneless wings), we thankfully won't have to worry about it for Wilson. Legal was able to find a way to put him on an indefinite leave of absence which means he's not -technically- an employee until he returns to the office, so we wouldn't be taking time off for any mourning or funeral plans. Given how busy we are over here already, that's a BIG relief on our end. We did send a card of course.

Anyways, to reiterate, I don't think there's any need for a revised estimate or SOW at the moment. Deliverables should be the same, yes? We're not asking for any major updating of the timeline, just a small speed up of the project. Let me know if you have questions here but I really think everything should be crystal on your end already.

I don't think I know the big band Wings, tell me more about them? The only Wings I know are Applebee's boneless wings.... : )

Would love to check in person but super busy! You're welcome to stop by here if you like though as I just got a K-575 for the office and it's a beauty!

Talk tomorrow!

Ulysses

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Tuesday, 19 December 2017 15:34 (seven months ago) Permalink

Gentlemen,

Been following the thread here in the usual capacity (big brother IS always watching, or in this case, your beloved vice president of ops is watching; i.e. ME!) and wanted to alert you of a Star-Ledger news notification just came across my ticker:

It seems the Applebees on 46 has JUST had its entire workforce stricken with a massive bout of necrotizing norovirus. Now, you see, that's a real pickle of a condition in which the body essentially digests itself--the internal organs just start rotting inside and then go STRAIGHT to the excretory system. (The colon is the last to go; that's why the decaying organs are shat out before the whole bodily situation just breaks right down. It's weird.)

Anyhow, the point being: Bartles & Jaymes night is f**ked for the foreseeable future.

Moving right along: Glad to see you two forging ahead with the project. New financials are coming across my desk and it appears the client consented to our requested budget increase, INCLUDING the Jagermeister-on-tap that Wallace demanded for the offsite management office and the How I Met Your Mother-themed decor. (That Barney, what a riot!)

Last but not least: Any calls from a man who refers to himself as Anton should be immediately hung up. I think he's an Interpol undercover.

Best,
Calvin A. "Slothrop Rhymes" Gentry III, MBA

horford chants out between two worlds, "kyrie walk with me" (slothroprhymes), Tuesday, 19 December 2017 15:59 (seven months ago) Permalink

Ulysses,

Those pics are from last year actually. Tom is the one across from Melanie. I'll let her know! I'm sure she remembers you and would be REALLY happy to hear from you; she just went through a rough divorce. By the way, how's your wife doing these days? Tell her I said hi...

That's great to hear about the Wilson situation- with him out I'm sure you have that much more on your own plate. I'm glad legal was considerate enough to give you guys a break. With Wilson gone does that mean you'll get a bigger holiday bonus as well? I know you were saying your kid wanted that dirt bike, so it would be a load off I imagine... :)

As far as the PO is concerned, let's set up a Lync call and talk through things. I'm not too worried about the scope but if it gets tight me might look to see how we can piggyback the extra hours onto the next thing. Deliverables are the same yes, but I think we only have a few rounds of revisions baked in. So I just want to keep an eye on it.

Oh come on you know The Wings! The Beatles side project by one of the main guys? I'm a bit of a classic rock nut myself. I had some real hi-fi stuff back in the day. It's the only way to go. The boneless wings are killer though you got me there LOL

With the digital display? That things a real beaut! I might have to bring my own pods though. I'm a die-hard Peets man.

Best,
Evan

Evan, Tuesday, 19 December 2017 16:05 (seven months ago) Permalink

I can’t tell if the original article is satirical or not. Seems like some of the writeups like the LCD soundsystem are serious enough?

✖✖✖ (Moka), Tuesday, 19 December 2017 16:25 (seven months ago) Permalink

Hi Evan,

Thanks for connecting me with Melanie's email; she hasn't been answering my calls, like EVER. She may still be angry about that one night at Chili's, who knows. Linda is fine, thanks for asking.

Holiday bonuses have been frozen until we find out what happens with this new tax plan. Financial is losing their minds; apparently we're too rich to see long term benefit and not rich enough for any short term benefit. Thanks Obama! I keep telling them to just move to out of country accounts but what do I know apparently ... : )

Anyways, Linda put her foot down on the dirt bike; Rachel broke a finger rollerblading last month and there's fear she'll do worse on a Yamaha. Rach is being pretty nasty about it honestly and taking out on me and not Linda, which seems entirely unreasonable given that it was all her decision, not mine. #MeToo, you know? On the plus side, the broken finger means an end to the fidget spinner at the dinner table. That was driving me CRAZY.

So Wing is George Harrison's thing? I had been wondering what he was up to. Do they have a new album out? I should Shazam that.

Let's do that call at 3:30 EST today? Bear in mind that our budget is pretty rigid. I can maybe get 10 to 12k for a month's extension but that's really as far as I can go with it. You know I appreciate your energy and focus on this project but I just want us to go into this with reasonable (and matching!) expectations. Still waiting on that worksheet btw. before we're out of the AM would be appreciated...?

And yeah, that 575 display is super sweet; it's touch sensitive though which means I'm forever having to clean fingerprints off it. Still worth it.

Peets, huh? I'm a Stumptown guy (even after the merger) but I'd be happy for us to taste test some time and see who comes out on top. Would love to be proven wrong!

Yours in caffeine-nation (lol),
Ulysses

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 20 December 2017 12:23 (seven months ago) Permalink

Hi Ulysses,

Did you receive my email yesterday with the deck? The firewall has been really acting up over here. Maybe it went to your junk, but I definitely clicked it. The guys over in IT are driving me nuts. I told them I clicked, they prattle on about some nonsense about how it all looks "fine" and they can't find anything wrong? I told them it won't click, and the thing won't take when I try clicking, and they look at me like I have three heads. "Be more specific"? Give me a break, this your job buddy not mine. Bunch of clowns. It's ridiculous. Because I definitely tried to send it to you yesterday, no question there... I'm going over their heads to see if we can do something about this, because that deck was definitely completed yesterday. It wouldn't take, I don't know, it's their problem.

Did we have a 3:30 yesterday? I had a chat run over and by the time I got out it... I tried to call you and it went right to message. I'm thinking that it must be because I chewed those dopes out over in IT. They must have sabotaged my network which is why when I called you yesterday you didn't get it. Not my fault. They need to figure this out.

Also, I'd have sent something to you earlier this morning but I get to the bus stop only 5 minutes late and the idiot bus driver decides not to wait for me. Can you believe this? The bus is only 2-3 blocks away, and I'm over here going "hey! hey! wait" and the jackoff keeps going like he doesn't see me? I'm going right to that guy's manager down at the depot and he'll hear about the headache this causes you, for not getting the deck earlier. Which was done.

I hope you understand. I'd never throw anyone under the bus like these chumps did to me. I'm better than that. I have principles.

Let me know if you have any time to chat today. I have a window at 12 and 4. Whatever works best for you.

Best,
Evan

Evan, Thursday, 21 December 2017 16:23 (seven months ago) Permalink

Hello Evan,

We did have a 3:30 yesterday. I did not receive your deck. I did, however, spend much of the day on hold with the client trying to explain why we still don't have a functioning timeline for delivery.

I'm afraid I'm already locked in through 7:30 today and then cutting out for the holidays. As I noted in prior emails, I had really hoped we could get this squared away beforehand. We're going to need to readdress this lack of follow through directly and seriously as soon as I'm back on the 2nd as I will need to provide oversight to my superiors as to what went wrong here before we can cut a check. I've got to tell you, this is sorely disappointing. I had expected more from your company.

Anyways, HAVE A ROCKIN' CHRISTMAS!

http://thumbs.gfycat.com/ClosedCanineHyracotherium-max-1mb.gif

Ulysses

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Thursday, 21 December 2017 17:36 (seven months ago) Permalink

Hi Ulysses,

This is Evan. Sending this from my personal email.

My apologies for all of that. However, I am no longer at the company. Management said something about "very recent client complaints in regards to follow-through", but since as far as I can tell all of my clients are extremely happy with my response time and deliverables, I figure it's those IT dorks going over my head and making up crap. Has to be... :(

Anyway, the santa picture made me LOL and I figured while I'm making my way through this $1 Long Island Iced Tea + All-Day Brunch Burger combo I should see if you can put in a good word down at your office. Maybe you have an opening? Do me a solid? Thanks in advance!

- Evan

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

Evan, Thursday, 21 December 2017 18:32 (seven months ago) Permalink

Your mail message to the following address(es) could not be delivered.
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Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Thursday, 21 December 2017 19:23 (seven months ago) Permalink

great work guys, stuff of novels

niels, Friday, 22 December 2017 08:19 (seven months ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 31 December 2017 00:01 (six months ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Monday, 1 January 2018 00:01 (six months ago) Permalink


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