Monday, December 10, 2007

10. White Williams
Think Dan Deacon after he has taken his ADHD meds and pulled on off the gravity bong. Hazy vibes and chill new wave vocals drift along with icy indifference backed by understated snyths. We would dance if we could get off the couch.

9. Dan Deacon
Spiderman of the Rings
My favorite live act of the year unleashes a kaleidoscopic album infused with high fructose corn syrup, Saturday morning cartoons, all things neon, unabashed glee, bent circuitry, and one trippy green skull. He takes this amalgamation, fills a syringe with it, ramps up the BPMs, and injects it directly into Woody Woodpecker's neck. Hang on and spaz out.

Tell me that wasn't the funnest shit you've heard all year, or any year?

8. Copy
Hair Guitar
The digitized, grainy tones sound like a guitar plugged into a colecovision amplifier. The blippy, buzzing notes riff off the steady, mid tempo beats to conspire in the perfect Friday night primer; sublime dance tracks for the pixelated among us.
The Bone Thugs remix CD packaged along with Hair Guitar only double the awesomeness. The fact that Copy personally emailed me the Bone remix after I complained about not receiving it with my Emusic download, exponentially increases the awesomeness. The awesome, one might say.

7. Lil Wayne
Da Drought 3
Still the only rapper to literally invoke an LOL from me, Weezy tears up this 2 disc mix tape. With his loose flow and ridiculous wordplay, Wayne is nearly singlehandedly responsible for keeping rap in my musical rotation. He bests the original version of every song he tackles, and with that, cements his claim of being the best rapper alive.

(not much of a video, but one epic track)

6. St. Vincent
Marry Me
Something so distinctly American and timeless about Miss Annie Clark's pure, clean voice. Superbly crafted, albeit unconventional, songs are wrapped in winterly instrumentation and topped off with dark, sharp lyrics. The next Liz Phair.

5. Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew
Spirit If. . .
The gentle intimacy of Kevin Drew's vocals set to the crowded, meandering instrumentation of Broken Social Scene's jam session pop gems make for a rich, rewarding listen.

4. Justice

Who knew electronica dance music could be so damn.....metal?

3. Sunset Rubdown
Random Spirit Lover
One of the most polarizing musical auteurs (film term, I know, smart ass) in indie-rock today, Spencer Krug returns with an album full of jangling xylophones and shimmering keys. The result is an album just as weird, affecting, and fantastic as Shut Up I'm Dreaming.

2. Arcade Fire
Neon Bible
Hard to live up to the expectations, but I think they did. Truly the voice of our CCTV monitored, terrorized, war-weary generation.

1. Of Montreal
Hissing Fauna, are You The Destroyer?
I couldn't stop listening to this sprawling concept album. Twelve flawless tracks dripping with heartache, soaked in melodrama, and saturated in eye shadow; glam-psych-pop, anyone?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Cover Me

Rock Plaza Central cover JT's "Sexyback"

Cassettes Won't Listen cover Liz Phair's "Fuck and Run"

Speaking of CWL, their new album, The Quiet Trial is a subdued, chill album of fresh beats perfect for studying or any other activity enhanced by background music. CWL website is here.

Peter Bjorn and John cover Paul Simon's "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard"

I found the CWL and PB&J covers at MOKB, and yes, I do love acronyms.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Deadly 1-2-3 Combo

Of Montreal
Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

Of Montreal, what has gotten into you? Oh yeah, divorce. I have never been a huge fan of these shiny indie-pop veterans, but this album blew my proverbial load. I won't lie to you, I haven't listened to much of anything else in the past few weeks since acquiring this album. The lengthy, buzzing, prog-rock anthem "The Past Is A Grotesque Animal," is an infectious masterpiece in the vein of TVOTR's "Wolf Like Me." Of Montreal's new-found cynicism transpires in the form of icy drones, odd transitions, and jaded lyrics, but none of these new dimensions sacrifice the band's pristine melodies or infectious hooks.

"Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse"

Arcade Fire Neon Bible

Pack your bags and go home 2007, it's over. We have the album of the year, a winner is you, Arcade Fire. Neon Bible is the album of the year because it rocks to heights previously believed to be unattainable, and it also deals with pressing social issues and current events; war, religious extremism, government, death, capitalism, and hysteria are deftly and poignantly addressed. Gothic undercurrents, melodramatic organs and ghostly choruses resonate with an emotional gravitas that most "emo" bands can only dream to achieve. I wasn't sure how Arcade Fire could live up to the 2004 phenomenal work, Funeral, but they may have topped it with Neon Bible. This CD drops on March 6th, until then my low quality bootleg will have to do.

Friend and Foe

Menomena create lush, full-bodied, crashing rock anthems with a tbsp of innovation, dash of weirdness, and pinch of genius. With sauntering hooks and soaring vocals that sound like a sublime hybrid of Ozzy and Tunde Adebimpe (TVOTR) Menomena produce one immediately accessible and affecting but robust and intricate ballad after another. Any fan of rock will due no wrong in picking up this album. Wikipedia sheds some light on the group's unique approach to songwriting,
The band uses a computer program called the Digital Looping Recorder, or Deeler for short, in the song writing process - it was programmed by band member Brent Knopf. Drummer Danny Seim explains the process, "First, we set the tempo of the click, which is played through a pair of headphones. We then take turns passing a single mic around the room. One of us will hold the mic in front of an instrument, while another one of us will lay down a short improvised riff over the click track. We usually start with the drums. Once the drums begin looping, we throw on some bass, piano, guitar, bells, sax, or whatever other sort of noisemaker happens to be in the room. Deeler keeps the process democratic, which is the only way we can operate"

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Currently Digging

Miss me? Sorry for the slow updates, I'll try harder this year.

Rock Plaza Central
Are We Not Horses

According to their myspace page,

The new record, Are We Not Horses, is all about robotic horses.
Robotic horses who think they are real horses.
For real.
And in the end, the robot horses are going to give up on trying to figure out what they are and what they should be doing, and instead they decide to just ride off toward some lights they see in the distance, hoping that the lights will have the answers for them. But the lights turn out to be nothing other than the stars, billions and billions of miles away. Fortunately the horses have no conception of time and thus experience no real sense of loss. In fact, because they were designed to run, they are elated to run forever.

Think Broken Social Scene meets the Mountain Goats with a sprinkle of Soggy Bottom Boys, but way more appealing than that amateurish description indicates. I think I have found my new favorite band.

"When We Go, How We Go part 2"
My Children, Be Joyful
(Probably my least favorite track on the album)

Check out more incredible music at Rock Plaza Central's myspace

Be He Me

Be excited, be, be excited! These young folks are cranking it up to 11, with their wheat field and pipe bomb combinations. They possess some of the same endearing enthusiasm and explosiveness as Ace Fu labelmates, Man Man. Their refreshing excuberance and unbridled energy reach through the speakers and forcibly bang your head. But underlying all the chaos is a nuanced, layered, transluscent texture that adds a compelling depth to the sometimes acerbic, sometimes dreamy rock. You can't deny the awesomeness of this record.

Bleary Eyed
Dry Clothes

There are more examples of sublime cacophony at Annual's myspace.

The Coup
Pick A Bigger Weapon

A refreshing blast of politically charged, socially-aware hip-hop. Smart, incisive lyrics challenge the American dream with a decidedly Marxist bent. A vintage flavor in the vein of KRS-One permeates the album, lending a warmth and familiarity to the music. While I don't especially enjoy some of the slower R&B inspired jams, the passionate odes to revolution should inspire everyone to pick a bigger weapon and fight the power. I just read the band suffered a terrible fire in their touring van and lost all of their equipment and many personal belongings, they have a paypal donation button on the group's myspace page to help them pay some bills, hit it up if you are feeling genereous.

My Favorite Mutiny (Flat out banger!)
We Are The Ones

For more tunage, visit The Coup's myspace page.


I have been listening to Malajube consistently for the last few weeks, and was reminded of their awesomeness today by MOKB.
I think there are two types of people, those who focus primarily on the lyrics, and those that focus primarily on the beat. I tend to focus on the lyrics, and the fact that this album is entirely in French and I stilll enjoy it immensely is a testament to the kick ass nature of it all. They remind you of all your favorite bands, in a good way.


"Montreal -40˚c"

The Looks

My lame habit of letting band names dissuade me from checking them out needs to end. I was always hesitant to check out MSTRKRFT because the moniker reminded me of KMFDM, who always bored me. Pretty silly. But after Chris Walker Versus ranked The Looks his favorite album of 2006, I decided to give them a much needed listen and I wasn't dissapointed. This is hot, sweaty dance music that pulsates with the force of a piston. No beating around the bush with these folks, each track cuts right to the chase which comes in the form of unyielding, dark, mechanical dance beats with a dose of vocoder tastefully holding it together. Admittedly, I found some of the beats a little "blah" and disinteresting, but overall MSTRKRFT put together a fantastic record sure to get the party people moving.


"Easy Love"

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

In My Esteemed Opinion

1. Sunset Rubdown
"Shut Up I Am Dreaming of Places Where Lovers Have Wings"
More of a three-act tragedy than merely a song, Krug slowly builds the tension until finally peaking with an uncharacteristically crisp hair-metal guitar solo, before easing into an 80's synth-pop dance beat. Track of the year, no battle.

2. TV on the Radio
"Wolf Like Me"
The guitar riffs slowly emerge through the thick haze of feedback and distortion, the drums and vocals kick in to provide a reference point in the blinding musical surge. It seeps deep into the bones and possesses one's senses. You are the werewolf; this track is the full moon. You don't listen to this song; you survive it.

3. Midlake
Probably the only track on the list anyone will be listening to in 20 years. Inviting and warm, "Roscoe" is a soothing throwback to the age of soulful singer-songwriters. A perfect soundtrack for melancholic mountian men or cruising in your 1970 Trans Am, top down in the middle of August. (I stole that last one from a friend)

4. Man Man
"Van Helsing Boombox"
Man Man reigns in some of their unbridled, volatile energy to craft a sublime, subdued, bluesy melody. Honus Honus's distinct growl hopelessly yearns for a woman using poetic, vivid, and well-structured lyrics. Vaudeville piano melodies stumble against a lazy bass line, while a brain-dead kick drum keeps pace. The funnest drown-my-sorrow-with-malt-liquor track of the past decade.

5. The Knife
"Silent Shout"
Chilly and otherworldly, Silent Shout haunts one's senses long after the song ends.

6. Islands
"Swans (Life After Death)"
The title of my blog should give you a clue as to how much I enjoy this track. It's a joyous, optimistic ode to death and the impending apocalypse.

7. Voxtrot
The prettiest song of the year.

8. Final Fantasy
"This Lamb Sells Condos"
Lively keys mingle with energetic violins and tightly arranged symphonic elements to emerge with a bouncy and exhilirating, tightly wound tune. Best Lyrics: "And his massive genitals refuse to cooperate/No amount of therapy can hope to save his marriage." Runner-up: "Conjured up a fire mage/Burned off both his eyebrows and half a head of hair."

9. Margot & The Nuclear So and So's
"Quiet As A Mouse"
A foot-stomping indie classic.

10. His Name Is Alive
Syrupy electric beats wobble like sheets of aluminum while Andy FM's soft vocals hypnotize the listener into a sublime daze.

11. Beirut
"Mt. Wroclai (Idle Days)"
Makes you feel like you are attending an Ukranian wedding.

12. Swan Lake
"All Fires"
"...must burn a life to live."

13. Sparrow House
"When I Am Gone"
Gorilla vs Bear said it best when he wrote, "Wes Anderson, I well expect this to be prominently featured in your next film."

14. Lil' Wayne & DJ Drama

Empathy infects every facet of contemporaneous society. Wars continue to rage in the Middle East, Katrina hits, and hardly a collective peep is heard from the music industry. Why aren't more musicians writing songs about these events? Baby Weezy is, and this is one fiery condemnation of the Bush administration's lackluster response to Katrina. Bravo, Lil' Wayne.

15. Tap Tap
"100,000 Thoughts"
A lo-fi, fuzzed-out, twangy little diddy with a liberal dose of handclaps.

16. Two Gallants
"Las Cruces Jail"
Dusty, country-influenced track that gallops with the force of a locomotive.

17. Cold War Kids
"Hospital Beds"
The soulful piano riff and passionate vocals may leave you covered in goosebumps.

18. Shout Out Out Out Out
"Dude You Feel Electrical"
You are electric?

19. Junior Boys
"Double Shadow"
Nothing will get your entire car doing shoddy interpretations of the robot faster than this song. A focused, centered dance track that does nothing spectacular or wildly different, but still comes across fresh and engaging.

20. Klaxons
"Gravity's Rainbow"
A mescaline-laced roller coaster of love.

21. Annuals
"Carry Around"
"I've got magic in my head/Magic up my nose/Magic coming out my fingers/Magic coming out my eyes/I've got magic coming out every-fucking-where I look."
No arguments here.

22. Peter Bjorn and John
Maybe it just reminds me of my trip to this eccentric city.

23. I'm From Barcelona
"We're From Barcelona"
A celebratory anthem about friendship performed with an earnestness unseen since those Mentos commercials.

24. Josh Ritter
"Girl In the War"
A folksy, natural, acoustic tune reflecting on war.

25. Phoenix
"Long Distance Runner"
I couldn't totally snub these french new-wave rock sensations.

26. The Fiery Furnaces
"Teach Me Sweetheart"
It might give you a headache, but I find it brilliant.

It's a little redundant when comparing it to my best albums. As you can see, I don't listen to many singles, just albums.

I had a particularly hard time leaving off ; "Wildcat" by Ratatat, "I Have No Sister" by Oh No! Oh My!, "Louie Louie" by Teitur, and "Shakey Dog" by Ghostface Killah. Consider these understudies, or add them on and call it an even 30.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

In My Humble Opinion

1. TV On the Radio
Return to Cookie Mountain
A huge, inspired album packed with a dense, trapped-in-the-eye-of-a-hurricane atmosphere.

2. Sunset Rubdown
Shut Up I Am Dreaming
Quirky in the best sense of the word, Krug and co. build enchanting melodies out of a messy and jangly amalgamation of sounds.

3. Man Man
Six Demon Bag
Oozing primal energy, Man Man are the preferred music of drunk pirates everywhere.

4. Margot And The Nuclear So and Sos
The Dust of Retreat
Impeccable songwriting and a large stable of instruments combine to create moody, evocative chamber-pop.

5. Figurines
Fast and furious dutchmen unleash a flurry of fantastic tracks with just enough yelp and innovation to keep it engaging.

6. Islands
Return To The Sea
Unconventionally beautiful pop.

7. His Name Is Alive
Haunting, detached, and entirely infectious, a record for your late-night drive home.

8. Cold War Kids
Robbers and Cowards
They cut me to the core, Baxter.

9. Tap Tap
They rock and flail that whiny, lo-fi, hiccupy sound that is so hot right now.

10. Girl Talk
Night Ripper
Best dance party CD, ever. (of 2006 anyway)

11. Beirut
Gulag Orkestar
Accordion-filled rock songs straight from 18th century Eastern Europe.

12. I'm From Barcelona
Let Me Introduce My Friends
Hey buddy, let's go throw a frisbee at the park and drink a juice box.

13. GhostFace Killah
Who would have thought Ghostface would prove the most vital and talented of the Wu-clan?

14. The Knife
Silent Shout
Spooky, hypnotic house on the rocks.

15. DJ Drama & Lil' Wayne
The Dedication 2
Can anyone resist Baby Weezy's raspy, mouth-full-of-blunt-smoke drawl? Best mixtape of 2006 also finds Weezy at his best; relaxed and funny.

16. Annuals
Be He Me
Hums, whispers and drifting hooks combine with exuberant screams and emphatic percussion to create a distinctly unique and consistently satisfying record.

17. Midlake
The Trials of Van Occupanther
70's AM rock that is warm, smooth and undeniably appealing.

18. Peter Bjorn and John
Writer's Block
Cool, understated, and entrancing pop that sets the mood for overcast winter afternoons

19. The Decemberists
The Crane Wife
Hitting their stride with this album, The Decemberists sound more assured and bold than ever; but some of thier old eccentricities are noticeably absent.

20. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Show Your Bones
Solid album that rounds off the rough edges of their previous record, resulting in a restrained and more enjoyable experience.

21. My Brightest Diamond
Bring The Workhorse
She's got some incredible pipes; simply pristine.

22. Final Fantasy
He Poos Clouds
Mini-symphonies revolving around D&D and personal torment.

23. Icy Demons
Tears Of a Clone
Sitcom soundtracks and Nintendo scores for Yetis.

24. Clipse
Hell Hath No Fury
I think these two might sell crack.

25. Herbert
Subdued and confident after-hour beats.

26. Liars
Drum's Not Dead
Whoa. Tribal drum circle, anyone?

There it is. Please, point out the glaring omisions and ridiculous inclusions.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

Everyone's favorite band was kind enough to post two new tracks off their upcoming album, Some Loud Thunder.

CYHSY- "Underwater (You and Me)"
CYHSY- "Love Song No.7"

You can also listen to another track, "Satan Said Dance," on their myspace page, and it just happens to be the first great song of 2007.
Thanks for the heads up, Nic.