Saturday, December 25, 2010

omgnyc's albums 2010

2010 seems to have been one of the best years for music in recent memory. This year I had a particularly tough time choosing which albums would make my top ten and I easily could have extended the list to top twenty, but I figure it defeats the purpose if I just talk about everyone album I loved this year. These are my favorite albums of 2010.


01. Beach House | Teen Dream
This may seem like an odd choice for album of the year, however the more I listened to this album the more it just made sense. More than any other album this year, I was constantly finding myself coming back to this one. When it came out last winter, it's sultry sound made for the perfect winter jam. Then again in the spring I saw the band and the album was on constant rotation. By summertime, many of the tracks were staples on roof top party play lists, and finally by the fall there was no escape. More then anything, this album was a great comfort album for the entire year. While at first it seemed like another great Beach House record, it didn't take long for it to sink in as their best work to date. Everything really came together on this album. Victoria's vocals sound rich and powerful. Alex's guitar is the biggest I have heard and finally the percussion added the extra layer missing from their previous work. This is the only album from this year that I listen to as much now as I did the second the download finished.

02. LCD Soundsystem | This Is Happening
The one in which James Murphy writes the best record never made by Bowie and Eno. For what he claims to be the last LCD album, James Murphy left nothing to chance. The opening "Dance Yrself Clean" lingers briefly before kicking into a jam that last throughout the entire album. From the disco drum beats, to the funky bass lines, to the fuzzy guitars, this album takes the flashy sounds of Sounds of Silver and turns them into sparkling dance-punk jams that sound just as solid as any krautrock jam that came out of Berlin. Despite the fact that "Drunk Girls" might have been the funnest song of the year, "All I Want" may be the finest tribute to Bowie that has ever been recorded as that obnoxiously loud sliding guitar wails away for nearly seven minutes. Murphy has done a perfect job of recreating 70s nostalgia and bringing it to modern music without losing an ounce of freshness.


03. Deerhunter | Halcyon Digest
To call a Deerhunter album light would just simply be wrong. However when I first listened to Halycon Digest, I thought my speakers were broken. There was no punching song like "Nothing Ever Happened" and that shoegaze tag no longer seemed appropriate. After repeated listens it became clear that this album was still drowned in noise, however this band has grown up. The harshness has been refined to elegance and where previous albums were covered in noise collages, Halcyon Digest is powered by stunning production. It may even be the case that Deerhunter has tricked an audience into believing this is their most accessible work to date, however tracks like "Desire Lines" and the epic closer "He Would've Laughed" just go to show that this band still have plenty of tricks up their sleeves and they can never be taken for granted.

04. Kanye West | My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
At the end of 2009, Kanye was celebrity enemy number 1. His ego seemed to have finally got the best of him. Then in June the legend returned. "Power" was a statement that Kanye was back ready to regain his place at the top. No more auto-tunned bullshit, just the rap attack over heavy samples that gave him a name in the first place. Over the course of the summer, his GOOD Friday singles built the anticipation to what would become My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Nicki Manaj stole the show with her verse on "Monster" and when "Runaway" was debuted at the VMAs it was clear; Kanye was unstoppable. It is the kind of comeback that doesn't seem possible, then again that appears to be the way Kanye does everything. When people think it's too much he pushed it the extra step. This time everything paid off.

05. Joanna Newsom | Have One On Me
This was the record that gave me the most trouble at the beginning, yet had the biggest payoff. The daunting 18-tracks and over two hours were so intimidating that it took me almost two weeks to figure out how to approach this album. However when I finally dove in, I never wanted this record to end. After presenting the flawless Ys I wondered what Joanna would be able to produce next. Have One On Me was the perfect response. Epicly long tracks have become a Newsom staple and they do not disappoint here as proven by the title track, "Go Long" and the stunning "Good Intentions Paving Company". The glorious sounds that only Newsom can create come to life on this album in perhaps the most grandiose forms she has ever displayed.

06. Arcade Fire | The Suburbs
This was the album I listened to more than anything else all year. It was also the album that hit closest to home. Arcade Fire have continued to release amazing albums that have yet to disappoint. After headling two nights at Madison Square Garden, it really seems as if these Canadians have the indie world at the palm of their hands and it is only a matter of time before everyone else figures out. This is surely their longest album to date and the first to include tracks that I would consider skipping, however the grand statements made on "Rococo" "Half Light II" "We Used to Wait" and "Sprawl II" it makes me reconsider any reason I have for not liking something on this album. I can't recall an album before this one that I have been able to relate to in so many ways and I really hope it takes a while before this begins to fade.


07. Big Boi | Sir Lucious Left Foot The Son of Chico Dusty
Above anything else, this album wins best album name of the year (and possibly ever). It has often been said that Andre 3000 is the core member of the duo Outkast, however I challenge anyone to listen to this album and keep that opinion. After years of delay and record label disputes, Sir Lucious Left Foot... finally saw the light of day this summer. The funky southern sounds and dirty basslines are met with aggressive flow that only Big Boi can deliver and sound as fresh as any hip hop actually written in the past twelve months. The guest list can sometimes be questionable (Vonnegut?) but at other times almost majestic (Janelle Monae). This is southern hip hop at its finest. 1990s sounding tough R&B is paired with ferocious beats that leave only one thing to mind: What will Andre 3000 do next?

08. No Age | Everything In Between
2010's biggest sleeper album. After much anticipation to the follow-up of 2008's raucous Nouns, it seemed that after Everything In Between was released people simply forgot to talk about it. This album saw No Age make the progression to more straightforward rock songs and less of the tonal sounds of Nouns. There are less peaks and valleys on this album as the duo blended the sporadic looping drones and aggressive guitars into more of one distinguished sound. Randall's guitar shreds just as harshly on this record as anything he has done before, with the obvious nods to J Mascis and Thurston Moore, and established No Age as the supreme noise rock band of our time.

09. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti | Before Today
Ariel Pink made the biggest shift in musical direction this year, as he left behind his avant guard noise jams for a stab at a psych-pop gem. While "Round and Round" seems to be the clear focus on the album, each track seems just as poppy as the last and any of them could fit in perfectly on a New Year's playlist. The vocal range on many of the tracks is impressive to say the least and the melodies suggest that Ariel could become a pop visionary if he ever desired to make anything inspired by soft rock songs of the 70s. Every time I go back to listen to this album I forget how much of it I remember and how much of it seems like I'm hearing for the first time. A true sign of perfection; instantly recognizable and forgetful the second it is over.

10. Sleigh Bells | Treats
I think of all the albums on this list, this may be the one that made it at the last second. It barely beat out others that I gave some serious consideration, but in the end just missed the cut. From the beginning blasts of "Tell 'Em" this album screams fun. It became my summer jam as I listened to it on what seemed like endless subway rides through the city all summer. Yet no matter how hot it felt, this album was hotter. Every song is an instant party with the exception of stand alone slow jam "Rill Rill" and the album never lets up. As soon as the acoustic guitar loop fades, it goes right back to the high energy ballistic audio assault. And it never seems to end.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

omgnyc's songs of 2010

I don't usually tackle my favorite songs, but after taking a crack at the 00's and the 90's I figured I could come up with something for 2010. I didn't limit myself to singles, but rather any song released by itself or on an album this year was up for grabs. I also included youtube links for each track which you can convert to mp3s here.


25. Best Coast | "Boyfriend"
24. Wavves | "Post Acid"
23. Broken Social Scene | "World Sick"
22. The National | "Bloodbuzz Ohio"
21. HEALTH | "USA BOYS"

20. Japandroids | "Younger Us"
19. Caribou | "Sun"
18. Titus Andronicus | "A More Perfect Union"
17. The Besnard Lakes | "Albatross"
16. Big Boi (ft. Cutty) | "Shutterbugg"
15. Cults | "Go Outside"
14. Sleigh Bells | "Rill Rill"
13. Twin Sister | "All Around and Away We Go"
12. Sufjan Stevens | "Too Much"
11. No Age | "Fever Dreaming"

10. Panda Bear | "Slow Motion"
09. Crystal Castles (ft. Robert Smith) | "Not in Love"
08. Deerhunter | "Helicopter"
07. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti | "Round and Round"
06. Robyn | "Dancing On My Own"
05. Joanna Newsom | "Good Intentions Paving Company"
04. Arcade Fire | "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"
03. Beach House | "10 Mile Stereo"
02. Kanye West (ft. Pusha T) | "Runaway"
01. LCD Soundsystem | "All I Want"

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Twin Sister played a Holiday Show

For their final outing of 2010, Twin Sister curated a holiday party at Live with Animals. While sound problems and technical delays plagued the early bands in the evening, things finally clicked when Twin Sister took the stage. The band seemed in an especially jolly mood for this performance; Andrea dressed as a snowflake which she felt too highly resembled Lady Gaga, but was cute none the less. Their dreamy sound echoed through the space with favorites "Milk and Honey" and "Lady Daydream" however it was an old version of "Dry Hump" that really made the evening special. The band announced that some theses songs were being played live for the last time as they launched into the highlights of the night "I Want a House" and the always sensational "Ginger". They finished up the main set with song of the year candidate "All Around and Away We Go" before kicking the holiday theme into high gear with a surprising cover of Paul McCartney's whimsical "Wonderful Christmas Time". While it seemed that earlier in the evening bands were having trouble adjusting to the space, Twin Sister's sound translated just as well as their last show at Webster Hall with the guitars and synths washing over the crowd with elaborated holiday cheer.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Beach House - "I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun"




For the finish to an already excellent year, album of the year contenders Beach House have posted a new song to their blog today entitled "I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun". This delicate new piece is "a winter/holiday song" which is great for all of the indoor lounging ahead in the next few weeks. The sultry tones of Victoria's vocals and Adam's thick guitar are the perfect remedy for the tundra like conditions gripping the nation at the moment and this tune is sure to fit in great on any holiday party mix.

mp3: Beach House - "I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Joanna Newsom played Carnegie Hall


As soon as Joanna Newsom scampered on stage with excitement about playing New York's pristine concert hall, it was clear it was going to be a special evening. Newsom's sprawling epics of grand stature sounded perhaps more at home in Carnegie Hall than any other venue she has played. Her heavenly whimsical lyrics and harp plucking were sometimes met with thunderous percussion and twisted guitar work that added brilliant complexity to her songs. Old favorites "Inflammatory Writ" and "Peach, Plum, Pear" were given new arrangements to fit the mood of her more recent record, the lavish Have One On Me. The evening was spent switching between the piano and harp which required extra tuning and allowed Joanna to be her chatty self and poke fun with her band mates. Even the dare I say simple songs (at least in comparison) off Milk Eyed Mender sounded rich and full and were played with such precision as little snaps and clicks from the drums were placed perfectly among blasting trombone and distinguished harmonies. Invigorating applause was given after the mesmerizing opener "Bridges and Balloon" and both tracks off of the (in my opinion) flawless Ys, however new tracks "Good Intentions Paving Company" and "Go Long" featured stunning and elegant vocal work against tight-knit song structures. For the encore the ensemble returned for a tremendous rendition of the rare "Colleen" adding the final touch to an exquisite evening.

Setlist:
Bridges and Balloons
Have One On Me
Easy
Cosmia
In California
Inflammatory Writ
Go Long
Good Intentions Paving Company
Emily
Peach, Plum, Pear
--
Colleen

*photo from Brooklyn Vegan

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cults/Twin Sister/The Morning Benders played Webster Hall



Webster hall was in a bit of a frenzy tonight for the final stop on the Morning Benders massive tour in support of their excellent album Big Echo. Rising retro pop act Cults kicked off the evening with an all too short set (although they have yet to even release an E.P.) of throw-back wall of sound Phil Spector inspired pop jams that show nothing but promise. With a full length in the works for 2011, it is only a matter of time before the infectious surf riffs and soulful lead vocals really gain attention. Again the inadequate audio system at Webster plagued the group and an early start time of 7:00 did not allow for much of a show, but the group still managed to keep people bopping along.
Twin Sister brought the crowd towards the constellations for their stunning psychedelic dream-pop performance. Andrea Estella's hushed breathy vocals floated over the crowd while dripping guitar licks were blended with droned electronics putting the audience into a stellar daze. Stand out tracks "Ginger" "I Want a House "Lady Daydream" and set closer "All Around and Away We Go" were dazzling and rich of texture.
The Morning Benders played perhaps one of the most polished shows I have ever seen at Webster Hall. Their classic pop jems were drenched with reverb and echoed early sounds of the 1960s. Despite their intrinsic approach to blissful melodies, the quartet were able to generate a huge sound that rang through the hall. In the middle of their set they announced a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" which inspired an full on sing-a-long including guest vocals by Estella of Twin Sister. However it was the final song, a rousing rendition of "Excuses" that really clinched the night.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sufjan Stevens played the Beacon Theater

Upon first listen to Sufjan Stevens, it is apparent that nothing about him is simple. The progression of his work has done nothing but prove that notion and his live performance seals the deal. For the final stop on his first proper tour in several years, the grandiose nature of his recordings were brought to life by an eleven person backing band including ribbon twirlers, interpretive dancers, and a stereo arrangement of percussionists surrounding the ring leader himself at center stage. The show opened and closed with old classics; the slow banjo plucking of "Seven Swans" kicked off the evening before an onslaught of new material and the sensational "Chicago" was the lone encore. Despite the possible unfamiliarity of the new tunes, the show itself was a spectacle complete with stimulating visuals, complex backdrops, elaborate costume changes, and a full performance of The Age of Adz epic closer "Impossible Soul". There was witty banter between songs during which Mr. Stevens referred to his prophet grandfather who shot lightning bolts from his hands and feet and gave an extensive background of the artist whom inspired his latest work. Full rich dense textures of new favorites "Too Much" and "I Walked" took the crowd to the cosmos and folk ballad "Heirloom" was as light as a cloud. The crowd finally rose to applause as balloons fell from above at the end of the main set and an ever gracious and majestic Sufjan bowed before an embracing audience.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Japandroids played Death by Audio

With Death by Audio filled to capacity, Japandroids took to the stage backed by a mountain of amps. In some ways this may have been the quintessential Japandroids show. The 250 person venue was packed like a sweatbox as clouds of cigarette smoke and beer sprayed through the air. These guys played loud rough noise rock and pummeled the crowd with waves of sound. Unlike the show they played at the Mercury Lounge over a year ago, this show caught the duo on the end of about a two year run supporting their debut full length album. In the final stretch, the dudes left nothing to chance. The crowd erupted for the 1-2 punch of "Wet Hair" and the live debut of recent 7-inch single "Younger Us" (both songs containing perhaps my favorite lyrics from the past two years: "we run the gauntlet/must get to France so we can french kiss some french girls" and "remember that time you were already in bed/said fuck it came out to drink with me instead" respectively) and it seemed as if there was no looking back. The pulverizing drumming of David Prowse was matched by the screaming guitar of Brian King as they reminded the crowd not to hold anything back after each song. Their sound was massive and the crowd was fearless. At one point someone shouted "can it get any louder?" and Prowse simply answered "never."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Phoenix, Dirty Projectors, Daft Punk played MSG



Having not seen Dirty Projectors since the release of their epic album Bitte Orca, I was excited for their opening slot before Phoenix. The band sounded great and the angular guitar work and disjointed vocals translated well to their larger than normal venue size. The fluttering instrumentation which made me apprehensive the first time around, transcended all expectations I had for the evening.

While Dirty Projectors played an all too brief set, the night seriously belonged to Phoenix... at first. Pitchfork claims it was the best Phoenix show ever. Their sugary-sweet synth-pop jams exploded from the speakers. They were amazingly tight and played a near perfect set list. From the opening of "Lisztomania" the frenchmen dazzled their way through a stunning light show and packed in hit after hit. However just when it seemed as if the night couldn't get better DAFT PUNK took the stage. I personally was in a stage of euphoria. After three years of silence, the electro legends made a mind-blowing come back by gracing the stage with Phoenix and ripping through "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger/Around the World" and a live remix of the best version of "1901" that will ever be heard. As they all jammed together the crowd went into an utter frenzy. It was a stunning end to a fantastic (and what will become legendary) show for a band that has reached a whole new level. This will be hard to top.

Set-list:
Lisztomania
Lasso
Long Distance Call
Fences
Girlfriend
Armistice
North
Love Like a Sunset
North North North
Rally
Rome
Funky Squaredance
--
If I Ever Feel Better
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger / Around the World
1901

Friday, October 08, 2010

Coachella 2010



Tilt-shift video of the 2010 Coachella Festival in Indio California.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Deerhunter played the Apple Store in SoHo

Record release days don't have too much importance these days, so to mark the release of their gorgeous new album Halcyon Digest, Deerhunter played an intimate free show in Apple's SoHo store as some additional promotion. The set list consisted mostly of new songs which sounded epic in comparison to their recorded quality in the tiny space and the band played probably the best show I have seen in the store. While calling any Deerhunter song light is by no means accurate, the new album refrains from the harsher tones of previous tracks, especially those found on Cryptograms and earlier work. The opening medley of "Desire Lines" into "Hazel Street" was excellent and "Helicopter" sent waves of sound penetrating through the audience at exceptional volumes considering the event was happening in a retail store. While all of the songs sounded fantastic and left a hankering to see the band play a full set with material from all of their releases, the closing number "He Would Have Laughed" was simply spectacular. The dreamscape nature of each song sounded so much more full live and really displayed the raw talent of Bradford Cox and company as the band was able to add some extra jams in each number, really showcasing that these guys are capable of mixing so many genres into each song.

Setlist:
Desire Lines -> Hazel Street
Don't Cry
Revival
Helicopter
Fountain Stairs
Rainwater Cassette Exchange
He Would Have Laughed

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Titus Andronicus played Webster Hall

The Springsteen inspired punk rockers wasted little time getting down to business Saturday night as they kicked off their set with "A More Perfect Union," the first track off their excellent new album The Monitor, and did not let up for the entire night with the lone exception of when front man Pat Stickles took a moment to replace a broken string so he could keep using his 'good' guitar. The brash noise rock was received with positive raves from the relentless crowd who equally matched the endurance displayed by the band. Titus Andronicus did a nice job of evenly matching tracks from both full length releases and seemed to be thrilled to be playing in front of a hometown crowd. When the band wasn't rocking out with their harsh and heavy hitting tunes they changed the pace with some elegant ballads that still left the crowd screaming along with almost every word. The repetitive nature of many of the bands songs really came forward throughout the night, yet it did not deter the highly under 21 crowd from raging in the pit. The ever enthusiastic fans reacted with great response for almost every song played throughout the set and reached a shocking standstill as tour mates Free Energy took the stage to form the super group Temporary Tattoos as the combined ensemble blasted their way through the ACDC classic "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)".

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Headless Horsemen / Crocodiles played Glasslands

Although plagued by equipment failure and the debut performance by Headless Horsemen showed nothing but promise from the young duo. The post-rock/lo-fi inspired sound displayed the knowledge and skill behind this songwriting pair. Perhaps more at home in a recording studio, or under the embrace of headphones, the mesh of textured sounds and focused thought throughout each number showed large aspirations of great things to come.

As San Diego noise rockers Crocodiles took to Glasslands on Saturday night, I was greatly surprised upon first impression. The clean cut greaser punk and Clash inspired demeanor juxtaposed the harsh noise-pop/post-punk sound imposed by the expanded quintet. Based off the dense sound layers and heavy bass on Summer of Hate and their recent, just as exhilarating, record Sleep Forever the polished appearance did not seem to coincide with the intensity pumped through the speakers. While the Jesus and Mary Chain influences lashed out in every song, the band failed to acknowledge their crowd and plowed through their set with such fervor it appeared as if they were simply at work. Despite a lack of connection, each song sounded spot on and was met with the highest approval of the night.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Modest Mouse played the Williamsburg Waterfront

As the opening notes to "Gravity Rides Everything" rang through the speakers, I knew this show was going to be great. During their roughly two hour long set, these indie rock titans blasted through jams from each of their full lengths as well as obscure b-sides from various EPs. The band was a well oiled machine powering through song after song with little banter in between. A band in their position could easily have played newer material from high charting records such as their two most recent, however they know their true loyalty to long time fans perhaps seeing them for the first time. The set list was equally comprised of hits, lots of Good News for People... and obscure tracks "Baby Blue Sedan" and "Here It Comes" for the diehards. "Float On" drew mixed emotions, clearly many people became fans of the band from that song, yet it was classics like "Cowboy Dan" "Dramamine" and "3rd Planet" that really enthused the crowd. The six man line up really played out as the double percussion, stand-up bass, horns, and at one point four guitar attack really added to the audio assault displayed by the band. At one of the last outdoor summer shows of the season, Issac Brock led his troops in Modest Mouse through two decades worth of epic jams that could only have been more astounding if they played for another two hours.

Set List:

Gravity Rides Everything
Black Cadillacs
Satin In A Coffin
Here It Comes
Float On
Cowboy Dan
Dashboard
Blame It On The Tetons
King Rat
3rd Planet
Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes
Bury Me With It
Autumn Beds
Here's To Now
The Whale Song
The View

Encore:

Guilty Cocker Spaniels
Dramamine
> Life Like Weeds (Tease)
Baby Blue Sedan
Spitting Venom
> I Came As A Rat (Tease)
Alone Down There

Monday, September 13, 2010

Panda Bear played Governor's Island

By the time Panda Bear took to his boards Saturday, it had already been a long night of droned synth heavy soundscapes that dazed the crowd. Entering among heaps of smoke Panda wasted little time getting down to business. He began his set with the some ambient sounds before launching into a solo take on the Merriweather track "Daily Routine". Instantly sparking the crowd, Panda Bear rarely let the momentum down during the entire night. Mixing and twisting his way with thick juicy beats and throbbing bass, Noah Lennox did an amazing job blending new material from unreleased tracks much in the sense of former Animal Collective shows. However when he wasn't teasing the crowd with new nuggets he powered through stellar performances of recent summer singles "Tomboy" and the set highlight "Slow Motion" as well as Person Pitch closer "Ponytail" and an enthralling rendition of "Comfy in Nautica" in which the entire crowd surged toward the stage with each blasting beat. The setting of lower Manhattan to the left of the stage left quite the ominous tone for the show however the gargantuan and clear sounds was some of the best I have ever heard for an outdoor show. Despite the short set time, Panda Bear did a good mix of crowd pleasers and new material with the usually bizarre background images and pillars of smoke.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The '90s (Albums)

As I end my reflection of the 1990s with my list of favorite albums from the decade it becomes increasingly apparent just how important records were and how much the music industry really changed in that time. It was MTV's first and last full decade of influence. By the end of the '90s the channel had drastically decreased the amount of videos played and reality television was beginning to dominate their programming. Print publications were about to lose their game to online zines and the CD itself was soon to become a thing of the past. 1999 saw the launch of Napster and music would never be the same again. Major labels would soon be crashing as would the idea of an album. In the decade that followed, physical releases were of no importance, release dates turned into leaks, and soon people would only obtain select songs by their favorite artists, something they were previously only able to do with singles. Once again this is a list of how I remember the music from the decade, but unlike the songs I listed earlier, there is an importance to each of these records. I vividly remember the day my parents bought a CD player and countless CDs in the early half of the decade just as clearly as the day my dad helped me download Napster. So not only is this list important because these albums can each hold their own against any other best list from any other decade, but these albums also matter because they were the last of a soon to be dying breed.

50. Squarepusher | Music Is Rotted One Note
49. Sebadoh | Bakesale
48. Björk | Post
47. Foo Fighters | Colour and the Shape
46. GZA/Genius | Liquid Swords
45. Codeine | Frigid Stars
44. Pale Saints | The Comforts of Madness
43. Aphex Twin | Richard D. James Album
42. Afghan Whigs | Gentlemen
41. Spiritualized | Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Now Floating In Space

40. A Tribe Called Quest | Midnight Marauders
39. Nine Inch Nails | The Downward Spiral
38. Wu-Tang Clan | Enter the Wu-Tang [36 Chambers]
37. Pulp | Different Class
36. Save the Day | Through Being Cool
35. Stereolab | Emperor Tomato Ketchup
34. The Cocteau Twins | Heaven or Las Vegas
33. R.E.M. | Automatic for the People
32. Sonic Youth | Goo
31. Silver Jews | American Water

30. The Get Up Kids | Something to Write Home About
29. Mogwai | Young Team
28. Smashing Pumpkins | Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
27. Fiona Apple | When the Pawn...
26. Rodan | Rusty
25. Weezer | Pinkerton
24. Rage Against the Machine | Rage Against the Machine
23. American Football | American Football
22. Slowdive | Souvlaki
21. Pixies | Bossanova

20. Ride | Nowhere
19. Godspeed You! Black Emperor | F#A#∞
18. Pavement | Crooked Rain Crooked Rain
17. Radiohead | The Bends
16. Refused | The Shape of Punk to Come
15. Slint | Spiderland
14. Digable Planets | Blowout Comb
13. Boards of Canada | Music Has the Right to Children
12. Beck | Odelay
11. Nirvana | Nevermind

10. OutKast | Aquemini
09. Modest Mouse | Lonesome Crowded West
08. Green Day | Dookie
07. Elliott Smith | Either/Or
06. Weezer | Weezer
05. Nirvana | In Utero
04. Portishead | Dummy
03. My Bloody Valentine | Loveless
02. Neutral Milk Hotel | In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
01. Radiohead | OK Computer

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The '90s (Songs)

To start this off, this is not a ‘best of’ or ‘most important’ list. If it was, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Hanson’s “MMMBop” would be placed at numbers one and two, respectively. This is a ‘favorites’ list or the songs that to me, best help to remember the 1990s. It was after all the first full decade in which I was alive, and I would be lying to you if I said I remember each of these songs when they came out and told you about how each one impacted me and the way in which I listen to music today. Instead, I can tell you about how I remember my dad having cassette tapes by Green Day, Nirvana, and Sublime and my mom loving the soundtrack to The Body Guard. I remember watching Stephanie Tanner’s band lose the talent show at the Smash Club because they spent too much time on their looks and not enough time practicing “The Sign” by Ace of Base and the time I watched Outkast on SNICK’s Kenan and Kel or any musical guest for that matter who appeared on All That. I also remember being in the 4th grade and absolutely hating Hanson and the Spice Girls and then in the 5th grade when Kyle Hunt mistakenly accused Chris Slattery of singing a song from Annie, when he was actually rapping a song by Jay-Z. That particular event was most likely followed by a homosexual slur and a dead-leg. Growing up in white suburbia means that I remember my mom staying in bed for days when Princess Diana passed away, but hardly a mention over Biggie or 2pac. Needless to say this list is merely one for memories. I don’t have a staff recalling countless songs and I’m sure I am not doing many artists and genres justice, subsequently this is how I choose to remember the decade. When people stop having ‘80s themed parties and switch to the ‘90s, this is the play list I am hoping to hear.

100. No Doubt | "Spiderwebs"
099. Blink 182 | "Dammit"
098. Bush | "Glycerine"
097. R. Kelly | "I Believe I Can Fly"
096. Pedro the Lion | "Suspect Fled the Scene"
095. The Dismemberment Plan | "What Do You Want Me To Say"
094. OMC | "How Bizarre"
093. The Red Hot Chili Peppers | "Under the Bridge"
092. Porno for Pyros | "Pets"
091. Chapterhouse | "Pearl"

090. Robyn | "Show Me Love"
089. GZA/Genius (feat. Method Man) | "Shadowboxin'"
088. Pale Saint | "Sight of You"
087. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones | "The Impression That I Get"
086. Raekwon (feat. Method Man) | "Ice Cream"
085. Belle and Sebastian | "Stars of Track and Field"
084. Destiny's Child | "Say My Name"
083. Harvey Danger | "Flagpole Sitta"
082. American Football | "Five Silent Miles"
081. Veruca Salt | "Seether"

080. Blind Melon | "No Rain"
079. The Fugees | "Ready or Not"
078. NoFX | "The Decline"
077. Dee Lite | "Groove is in the Heart"
076. Archers of Loaf | "Web in Front"
075. Saves the Day | "Jesse and My Whetstone"
074. Fiona Apple | "Criminal"
073. Built to Spill | "Else"
072. Jane's Addiction | "Been Caught Stealin"
071. Missy Misdemeanor Elliott | "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)"

070. Fatboy Slim | "Praise You"
069. Silver Jews | "Random Rules"
068. The Mountain Goats | "Going to Georgia"
067. Digable Planets | "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like That)"
066. Godspeed You! Black Emperor | "Moya"
065. The La's | "There She Goes"
064. Aaliyah | "Are You That Somebody"
063. Air | "Sexy Boy"
062. Polaris | "Hey Sandy"
061. The Cocteau Twins | "Heaven or Las Vegas"

060. The Get-Up Kids | "Ten Minutes"
059. Dr. Dre (feat. Snoop Dog) | "Nothin But A 'G' Thang"
058. Afghan Whigs | "Debonair"
057. Mogwai | "Mogwai Fear Satan"
056. Stereolab | "La Boob Oscillator"
055. Smog | "Cold Blooded Old Times"
054. Len | "Steal My Sunshine"
053. Sunny Day Real Estate | "In Circles"
052. New Radicals | "Get What You Give"
051. Slint | "Good Morning, Captain"

050. Oasis | "Don't Look Back in Anger"
049. R.E.M. | "Night Swimming"
048. Dinosaur Jr. | "The Wagon"
047. Daft Punk | "Around the World"
046. A Tribe Called Quest | "Scenario"
045. Hole | "Violet"
044. TLC | "Waterfalls"
043. Rage Against the Machine | "Killing in the Name"
042. Jay-Z | "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)"
041. The Flaming Lips | "She Don't Use Jelly"

040. Wilco | "Monday"
039. Soundgarden | "Black Hole Sun"
038. The Cardigans | "Lovefool"
037. Refused | "New Noise"
036. Mazzy Star | "Fade Into You"
035. Ride | "Vapor Trail"
034. Boards of Canada | "Happy Cycling"
033. Sonic Youth | "Bull in the Heather"
032. The Verve | "Bittersweet Symphony"
031. Lauryn Hill | "Doo Wop (That Thing)"

030. Massive Attack | "Teardrop"
029. Nine Inch Nails | "Closer"
028. Michael Jackson | "Black or White"
027. Mariah Carey | "Fantasy"
026. Björk | "Unravel"
025. The Breeders | "Cannonball"
024. Slowdive | "Alison"
023. The Cranberries | "Zombie"
022. Pixies | "Veloria"
021. Modest Mouse | "Trailer Trash"

020. Notorious BIG | "Juicy"
019. The Cure | "Friday I'm In Love"
018. Elliott Smith | "Rose Parade"
017. Wu-Tang Clan | "C.R.E.A.M."
016. Weezer | "Only in Dreams"
015. The Beta Band | "Dry the Rain"
014. Pavement | "Cut Your Hair"
013. Portishead | "Sour Times"
012. Green Day | "Basketcase"
011. Outkast | "Rosa Parks"

010. Foo Fighters | "Everlong"
009. The Smashing Pumpkins | "1979"
008. The Beastie Boys | "Sabotage"
007. Beck | "Loser"
006. Hanson | "Mmmbop"
005. Pulp | "Common People"
004. My Bloody Valentine | "Soon"
003. Radiohead | "Paranoid Android"
002. Nirvana | "All Apologies"
001. Neutral Milk Hotel | "Holland, 1945"

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Raveonettes - "I Wanna Be Adored" (Stone Roses Cover)


Hot off the heels of the video in which Swedish pop star Robyn covered the Bjork classic "Hyperballad" another cover featuring two excellent artists has been ringing in my head this week. Fuzzed out post-punk revivalists The Raveonettes have covered the Stone Roses' madchester/brit-pop classic "I Wanna Be Adored". The Stone Roses never got much love in the states, but in England they were deemed visionaries who combined shoegaze and dream-pop in what would later be known as Brit-Pop. They influenced an entire generation of British musicians, notably Oasis who pretty much robbed their sound, and recorded what many consider to be one of the greatest debut albums of all time. The opening track off that album has been given serious compliments in this cover and is a noteworthy song worth checking out.

mp3: The Raveonettes - "I Wanna Be Adored" (Stone Roses Cover)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sufjan Stevens - "I Walked"


The internet seems to have gone into a slight frenzy over the past few weeks over baroque-pop/indie folk superstar Sufjan Stevens. It all began when his label Ashmattic Kitty posted dates to his first proper tour in a few years, followed by an instantly available EP entitled All Delighted People. Then yesterday came the announcement of his first proper LP since the glowing Illinois, called Against All Adz and today the fourth track on the album is streaming at his bandcamp page. It seems good things have finally come after the years of waiting. Electronic drums have replaced the orchestral nature associated with Stevens, however the angelic voice and choir seem to fit quite nicely amongst the new arrangements. Listen to the track below.

<a href="http://sufjanstevens.bandcamp.com/track/i-walked">I Walked by Sufjan Stevens</a>

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Buke & Gass - "Your Face Left Before You"

Before Buke & Gass appeared on Stereogum's Quit Your Day Job and before they opened for the National in Europe, I reviewed one of their early shows which gained a spot on the band's press page. Now Stereogum is previewing two new tracks from the bluesy/folk duo. These new tracks keep in tradition with the steel fast paced strumming and one-two kick drum beats of earlier tracks and still sound like a refreshing take of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Hear the tracks over at Stereogum.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Dead Weather played Prospect Park

Not too many people would have the audacity to walk on stage, blow torch in hand, and proceed to light their front woman's cigarette. Then again, not everyone is Jack White. The Dead Weather was in full force from the moment they graced the stage. The all-black-everything entourage attacked the stage with pristine white guitars that were used as battle axes as they attacked the stage with their raw sound. Alison Mosshart prowled the stage taking complete command of each song as White's drumming thundered between wails on guitar and tight thumping bass. Song after song pummeled the crowd, showing that their strong suit really is in the live performance, as the set built to the electrifying "Will There Be Enough Water?" Once Mr. White strapped on his six string there was no turning back. He ripped through the track while sharing lead vocal duties and microphone battles with Mosshart. Despite being behind a kit instead of his usual lead, White still ran the show, top hat, feather, and all. His fills on the skins were pulsating all evening however, on both the occasions he took duty on guitar his true talent was unveiled. Few have been as productive as Jack White in this past decade and while I still believe that neither of his recent projects have matched the brilliance of the White Stripes, the Dead Weather truly earned much respect last night.

Setlist:
1. 60 Feet Tall
2. Hang You From The Heavens
3. You Just Can't Win (Van Morrison cover)
4. So Far From Your Weapon
5. I Cut Like A Buffalo
6. No Horse
7. The Difference Between Us
8. I'm Mad
9. Rocking Horse
10. Hustle and Cuss
11. Die By The Drop
12. New Pony (Dylan cover)
13. Will There Be Enough Water?
--
14. Forever My Queen
15. Blue Blood Blues
16. I Can't Hear You
17. Treat Me Like Your Mother

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Plastic Bertrand pulls a Milli Vanilli



According to a recent BBC report, the UK Top 40 hit "Ca Plane Pour Moi" by Belgian act the Plastic Bertrand was not actually sung by the esteemed pop star. The song received minor attention in the States perhaps most notably on the soundtrack in National Lampoon's European Vacation, however in the UK it reached number 8 on the charts in 1978. Now producer Lou Deprijck is stating that he recorded the vocals and took 0.5% of the royalties in return. After recent court battles and claims from both parties, Bertrand was quoted saying: "I don't mind saying it wasn't my voice," he said. "I wanted to sing but he wouldn't let me into the studio." He added "I'm the victim. I wanted to sing but he wouldn't let me into the studio. This is going to dog me till my dying days. I'm really fed up."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Caribou - "Sun"



Caribou's latest release Swim continues his trend of twisted jangly dream-pop and electronica/IDM with what could possibly his most well crafted album to date. While Andorra may have been more accessible with lead single "Melody Day" the tracks off Swim show the progression of Caribou's complex textured sound.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Deadheat Summer - the heat stroke mixtape



While the 4th of July may have passed, summer is certainly in full swing. That means roof-top parties, beach trips, sitting in A.C., and anything free outdoors. Below is my first ever mix-tape (or playlist) for all to enjoy for the rest of this wickedly hot summer. These tracks have been blazing through my speakers for the better part of 2010 and some are sure to make my top tracks of the year. So whether you're chillin' by the pool, sweating to death on the MTA, or still setting off some fireworks, these tunes should keep you entertained.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Panda Bear - "Tomboy" 7"



On Tuesday July 13, Panda Bear will release the first single off of his new album Tomboy, the follow-up to his 2007 critically acclaimed LP Person Pitch. The new tunes still seem to have the Panda Bear feel of sample heavy repetitive beats that recall a Beach Boys-esque psych-pop mood.However right now, you can hear the track of the same name as well as the b-side "Slow Motion." While these are not high-quality rips, nor are they authorized by Panda Bear, they give you a clear idea of the direction in which the new album seems to be taking.

"Tomboy":
ACT by a2592825

"Slow Motion":
ACS by a2592825

Monday, June 28, 2010

The xx - "You've Got the Love" (Remix) [ft. Florence Welch]

I wasn't the biggest fan of this song the first time around, but only once before have I ever seen footage of a remix done featuring both the original artist and the band doing the remix with such excellency. Florence kills the vocal work so hard that you don't believe it is live until she walks out on stage. Looks like the xx live show has picked up since I saw them last October.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Video: Crystal Castles - "Celestia"

Trance-goth duo Crystal Castles have released a video for the first single Celestia off their new album which is once again self titled. The elcectro assault continues on the new album with intense pulsing beats and dense vocals from Alice Glass along the lines of recent witch haus trends. This single along with the track "Pap Smear" are sure to jams at raves all summer and the rest of the year as well.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wavves - "Post Acid"


Garage Pop act Wavves have in my opinion been one of the most overrated acts in recent years. Many have acclaimed the loud disjointed fuzzed out noise rock, but I have always looked the other way to acts like Crocodiles, No Age, Japandroids, and HEALTH. However the first single from the forthcoming LP King of the Beach has shifted my interest. "Post Acid" has a pop punk vibe to it but still carries a distorted lo-fi guitar jangle feel. Green Label Sound has a link for the mp3 here.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Rock the Bells 2010

I don't usually give much attention to hip-hop on here not because I'm not a fan, but because it is not really my expertise. I appreciate good hip-hop and will listen to most of it, commercial radio hip-hop/rap has never really sparked my interest though. However with that said, I feel I really need to address how awesome this years Rock the Bells festival is going to be and I have not posted in a while and this seems like the best thing to address. Along with previously mentioned acts like Wu-Tang performing 36 Chambers, Rakim, and Slick Rick yesterday the festival announced the additions of A Tribe Called Quest, Snoop Dogg, and the ever elsusive Ms. Lauryn Hill!

Monday, May 24, 2010

LCD Soundsystem played Terminal 5

LCD Soundsystem wrapped up their four night home town stint at Terminal 5 last night with their traditional house rocking tendencies. Despite performing the same set list all four nights the intensity on the final performance was still spot on. James Murphy and company rocked a wide selection of tracks all containing the dancy disco beats, post-punk bass, and krauty guitar which LCD is known. While Murphy's side comments were entertaining between songs, the man's song writing skills have certainly grown as time has progressed. Sound of Silver was certainly acclaimed by the blog world and This Is Happening may be even better. Murphy surely does his homework while crafting his tunes as his influences are highly visible throughout each album (listen to "All I Want" followed by David Bowie's "'Heroes'". However while his punk ethos remain true, his performance is unquestionably top quality. His backing band sounded flawless ripping through solos and moving the crowd for roughly two hours. Long time fans were rewarded and vividly apparent for classics such as "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" and "Losing My Edge" but new favorite "Drunk Girls" catapulted the audience into a frenzy. In addition to the stellar musicianship ,a pulsating light show assisted in the intensity of the show. Main set closer "Yeah" lost the audience in a haze of fog accompanied by alien green lights and throbbing strobes. However it was home town anthem "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down" that, well... brought the house down especially when the chorus to Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" was added and ushered out what is rumored to be the last LCD tour. Although James assured us he'd be back to New York.

Setlist:
Us v Them
Drunk Girls
Get Innocuous
Yr City's A Sucker
Pow Pow
Daft Punk is Playing at My House
All I Want
All My Friends
I Can Change
Tribulations
Movement
Yeah
--
Someone Great
Losing My Edge
New York, I Love You But Your Bringing Me Down

Monday, May 17, 2010

New Arcade Fire Soon!

The end of school has once again resulted in a lack of posts. However Arcade Fire seem to understand as they wish "good luck with finals" in a recent post stating that their new single will be here in the coming weeks!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Beach House played Webster Hall



Summer finally hit New York City this past week just in time for a night of hazy pop music. Chillwave outfit Washed Out kicked things off with his bass heavy fuzz jams recalling 90s beats and lo-fi swirling vocals. The muddy choppy sounds were a fitting start to the majestic sounds that Beach House would soon deliver. As the opening sounds of "Walk in the Park" resonated through Webster Hall it was clear that the band had descended from the heavens and brought their silvery sparkled moon rock set with them. The drizzling guitar put the hall in a trance completely under the control of Victoria Legrand's booming cosmic voice. Of course certain numbers were the highlights of the evening, the set list comprised all of Teen Dreams. While all three albums were represented it was the new tunes that rocked Victoria onto the floor. We were even treated to the debut of a new song called "White Moon." The show was droning and melodic, but by the time "10 Mile Stereo" was ringing out the night, I had been won over. Everything from "Gila" to "Master of None" to Take Care" was brilliant; each a simple sun-drenched pop song.

Setlist:
Walk in the Park
Lover of Mine
Gila
Better Times
Norway
Silver Soul
Master of None
Astronaut
White Moon (new song)
Used to Be
Zebra
Heart of Chambers
Take Care
--
Real Love
10 Miles Stereo

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Interpol - "Lights"

At the beginning of the past decade it looked like Interpol was going to be the next big thing along the lines of The Strokes and The White Stripes. They were a bass booming band from New York and the guy sounded like Ian Curtis. Then things went a little sour. People didn't really like Antics as much as me, and their third release, Our Love to Admire, was when they really dropped the ball. But hey I'm never one to count someone out and the band stated at the end of last year that their next album was going back to the sound of Turn On the Bright Lights. Well the first song, entitled "Lights", is up for grabs on the band's site and by the sound of things (heavy bass and reverb) they are moving in a backward step (that's a good thing BTW). Here is to hoping the album follows through with that promise!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart Played Other Music (Part of Record Store Day)

Aside from my birthday, Record Store Day may be my most looked forward to day of the year. It celebrates everything I love (bands, vinyl, performances) and packs it all into one awesome day. For the third year in a row independent record stores have celebrated this event with super limited releases, re-issues, and other awesome merchandise from genre crossing artists and labels. This year I picked up a Neil Young 7", a MC5 7", and a re-issue of the epic Modest Mouse classic The Moon and Antarctica on double 180 gram vinyl. To top the day off I headed back to NYC hot spot Other Music to catch an intimate performance of The Drums and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. These aren't the types of shows I attend to see amazing performances, but merely to be a part of such a unique experience. The reconfigured store was jam packed with fans as the two bands ripped through their respective sets. TPOBPAH were my main draw for the evening as I have missed seeing them in the past and couldn't resist a FREE chance to see them up close. They rocked through lush, keyboard heavy, dream-pop that cracked the tiny speakers in the shop when the jangly guitar recalled 80s feelings of the Smiths and Jesus and Mary Chain. Favorites such as "Teenager in Love" and "This Love Is Fucking Right" were accompanied by new tunes that challenged the awesomeness of their previous numbers. In between songs the band mentioned their love for the store and the whole record day experience showing just how much this day can really bring together a community of people.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Darlings played Brooklyn Bowl



Brooklyn garage-pop ensemble Darlings got some buzz during the city's CMJ festival and recently did a stint at SXSW, however they have yet to get a real steady following. Their guitar fuzzed pop sound had lots of room to fill at the large Brooklyn Bowl and the early set time really prevented any sort of audience from packing the place. The squealing voice from the spastic guitarist matched up pretty well to the band's recordings however the band seemed to lack a sort of energy needed to make the songs really explode. "Eviction Party" could have got people moving had there been enough of a crowd and set closer "If This Is Love" really nailed the night for me. Perhaps these guys need to stick to smaller places for the time being until they can get enough people to really rock the walls.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Thom Yorks (Atoms for Peace) played Roseland Ballroom



After waiting in line for seriously hours, many feared that this night was never going to happen. Around 9:30 Franny and I made our way into the jam packed Roseland Ballroom and tried our best to squeeze our way to the front of the stage. We actually lucked out and got a supreme view from the first row all the way to the left, which pretty much highlighted Thom and Flea for the entire evening. When Thom released The Erasure back in 2006 many felt that it was a watered down version of something that Radiohead would produce and it received lack luster reviews. Well after witnessing the songs performed live, I would say all of those reviews have been put to shame. The new band really breathed a new life into each track which on record now sound too simple and on an album highly relying on dub-step like beats, Flea showed why he was the clear choice on bass. Also I don't know if there is a more fitting partner to Thom's quirky dancing them the frantic pulsing and shaking of Flea. Even from the opening track "The Erasure" his chemistry with Thom shone as they dueled their strings to the end. The only time a song felt basic and plain was on my personal highlight from the album, and now band name, "Atoms for Peace" however the rest of the evening really made up for any forms of disappointment. There was a brief pause as the band finished the full album until Thom came back onstage and debuted his live acoustic cover of "All For the Best" followed by the elusive yet beautiful Radiohead track "Fog (Again)" which nearly brought me to tears until my heart raced for a solo piano version of "Everything In It's Right Place." This portion of the show really allowed to Thom to connect with the audience in a way rarely seen when backed by his normal bandmates. The rest of Atoms for Peace joined him for another Radiohead b-side and the final songs of the night.

Setlist:
The Eraser
Analyse
The Clock
Black Swan
Skip Divided
Atoms For Peace
And It Rained All Night
Harrowdown Hill
Cymbal Rush

All For The Best (solo)
Fog (Again) (solo)
Everything In It's Right Place (solo)
Paperbag Writer
Judge, Jury, Executioner
The Hollow Earth
Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Where It Started...

I keep thinking about this list every time I come home and finally decided to write it. A few summers back some friends posted the five records that shaped the way they listen to music and being back in this town does nothing but remind me of growing up. So here are what I think are the five records that really influenced everything I listened to past and present.

1. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
I cannot think of a single album that I have probably listened to as much as this one. Some of my earliest memories of not only music in my life, but just life in general are when my dad would play this album and sing along. It has always been my favorite record of all time and I can not realistically see that ever changing. It combines everything I love about music and fuses classic rock riffs, psychedelic lyrics, a sitar, and finished with arguably one of the greatest songs ever written.


2. Green Day - Dookie
This album made it's way into my possession sometime in middle school. I remember my dad owning the cassette and listening to it in the car when I was younger, but it wasn't until later when it would really opening my ears to punk music, despite the fact that it had already been almost a decade since Green Day had 'sold out.'




3. Taking Back Sunday - Tell All Your Friends
Out of all the records on this list, this is the one that has faded. The songs don't hold up anymore, but the memories that come with it will never go away. I remember hearing it for the first time in eighth grade and it opening a whole new world for me. Not only in terms of what would later be called 'emo' but also a new world of people. In a small suburban town, this album introduced me to people I still know to this day and established friendships that made high school worthwhile.




4. The Strokes - Is This It?
This was the first record I ever bought that made me feel cool. The Strokes revived rock and roll in the early 2000s and highlighted the New York scene. It was this album that inspired me to go to college in NYC, change the way I dress, grow out my hair, and countless other things that to this day I consider it one of my top ten favorite records. This was the band that made me want to find the next big thing, the next shift in music. And I'm still looking.




5. TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes
In my junior year of high school I downloaded this album and opened my ears to experimental music. This was not poppy and radio friendly, but in fact raw and underground. The noises that came off of this record were harsh, yet for some reason it called to me as something new and something I needed to hear more of. It led me to sounds pouring out of Brooklyn and gave me some hope that cool had not left New York and possibly would still be around when I would arrive two years later.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Joanna Newsom played Town Hall

A single spotlight shone down on an elegant harp as Joanna Newsom graced the stage for the opening number of her sold out show at Town Hall last night. Her majestic voice echoed the silent theater as she dazzled and mesmerized the crowd with selections from her three brilliant full length albums. She has been one of few artists over the past decade that has been able to release multiple albums that range in composition yet still retain her unique song writing skills. For just over an hour and a half Joanna pleased the crowd with classics such as "The Book of Right-On" "Inflammatory Writ" and my highlight of the evening, the set ending, "Peach, Plum, Pear" which was simply spectacular. While her songs are illustrious on record, she breathed a new life into them especially with her backing strings, horn, and percussion. While "Emily" was the only track off the exceptional Ys, new tracks from Have One On Me such as "Soft as Chalk" and "Easy" helped fuel the fire of my love for this new record. Her humbleness and quite beauty added a touching element to the show and the audience erupted in a roaring applause after each song to shake those nerves she claimed to have at the beginning of the show.

Setlist:
Jackrabbits
Have One On Me
Easy
Inflammatory Writ
Soft as Chalk
Kingfisher
The Book of Right-On
Autumn
Emily
Peach, Plum, Pear
--
Baby Birch

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Beach House - La Blogotheque

Straight off the success of perhaps their best, if not just equally great, album to date Teen Dream Baltimore dream-poppers Beach House appear on La Blogotheque. However instead of doing the standard take-a-way show, the group played an almost full set on Soiree de Poche. This almost half hour show highlights the truly majestic voice of Victoria and the lush sound of the slowly dripping guitar for which Beach House are loved. The hazy camera doesn't quite focus on the trio which really allows for the elegant floating sound to permeate your speakers and showcase what a brilliant sound this band is capable of producing.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Joanna Newsom played Jimmy Fallon

In what seems like quite an unlikely pair, but then again she is dating Andy Samberg, Joanna Newsom made her second television appearance the other night when she was the musical guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. After releasing the daring, yet amazing, triple album Have One On Me she seems to be conquering all musical endeavors as of late, so why not late night tv? Let me also point out how simply beautiful she looks in this video. Maybe Samberg can get her a spot on SNL soon? Watch "Soft as Chalk" below and check out Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold cover it here.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Sunny Day in Glasgow played Mercury Lounge

This past week had been one of the worst weather related weeks I have ever experienced in this city. Wind, rain, snow, freezing temperatures all peaked throughout the week so I decided to cap it all off with a late night performance by A Sunny Day in Glasgow. Franny and I head to the Mercury Lounge around 11:30 to catch these guys after braving the tundra of Manhattan. The dreamy shoegaze sound blasted through the speakers and invaded the small club with such power that it swallowed the crowd. The lush soundscapey textures combined delayed droning guitar, hazy electronica, and tremendous female harmonies recalling the 90's sound of the Cranberries. The band packed the set list with jams from both albums as well as a few new ones. Although they had to over come so tour opening technical difficulties the band still powered through giving each song full rich sound.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The White Stripes - Under Great White Northern Lights



Back in 2007 the White Stripes toured Canada for their 10th anniversary playing in every province and doing unique shows exclusively for the tour. Now the band is releasing a special commemorative box set including a documentary of the tour and an accompanying live album. The documentary, directed by Emmett Malloy, highlights the White Stripes explosive live show and off-stage moments across Canada. The box set ships March 16th and the film is screening globally.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Broken Social Scene - "World Sick"


It has been five years since the last, self-titled, Broken Social Scene record and today the band dropped the first single from their highly anticipated new album Forgiveness Rock Record out May 4. Once again the album will feature a great guest list including Feist, members of Pavement, and members of Tortoise/Sea and Cake. The epic almost seven minute track "World Sick" is available for a free download on the band's website and it sounds just as one would hope.