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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Top 25 Tracks of 2009

1)1901 Phoenix

Phoenix - 1901 - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

2)Blood Bank Bon Iver
3)Cannibal Resource The Dirty Projectors
4)Anonanimal Andrew Bird
5)My Girls Animal Collective
6)Two Doves The Dirty Projectors
7)Skeletons Yeah Yeah Yeahs
8)Two Weeks Grizzly Bear
9)Lust For Life Girls
10)Northern Lights Bowerbirds
11)Revenge (Ft. Wayne Coyne) Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse
12)Little Secrets Passion Pit
13)Two The Antlers
14)When I Grow Up Fever Ray
15)Watching The Planets The Flaming Lips

16)While You Wait For The Others Grizzly Bear
17)Bad Romance Lady Gaga

18)Wet Hair Japandroids
19)To Kingdom Come Passion Pit
20)This Blackest Purse Why?
21)Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood St. Vincent
22)Daylight Matt & Kim
23)Gimme Sympathy Metric
24)Island, IS Volcano Choir
25)Young Adult Friction The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Last NEW music post of 2009

As the year draws to a close, lives will get busy, families will go on vacations, and most people will probably be listening to only Christmas music anyways, so this is going to be my last post for new music. I will be posting my top 10 albums and my 25 tracks of 2009 over the next few days with download links. Think of them as my Christmas present to you. So, Love and Joy and all those things to you and your families. See you again in 2010.



Fever Ray's self-titled debut, the first solo endeavor by Swedish electronic artist Karin Dreijer Andersson, came out in March, but never gained the popularity it deserved. While Andersson's work with her other band, The Knife, has been incredibly innovative, it is clear that she still has a lot of new and exciting ideas. This whole album is shrouded in a kind of darkness that is unlike anything else I have ever heard. In a year where upbeat, dance electro music was quite dominant, Fever Ray takes the genre in the opposite direction, one of subtlety and vulnerability. Check it out.

Fever Ray - When I Grow Up

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

10:21 PM

It is still early in the night, but I need a brief break.

Listening to music can be an active process, or one can sit back and let the waves of sound wash over them. Because when the brain isn't actively determining what it is that it is interpreting, the sound travels wherever it wishes, and the resulting feelings are surprising even to one's self. Your mind wanders inside of itself and sees whatever it wants to, a daydream.

The Depreciation Guild are manipulating this effect in their song, and I'm having fun losing myself in this track.

The Depreciation Guild - Dream About Me

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's not easy...

In honor of the Copenhagen Climate Conference that is going on this week to address all the things that we should do (but probably won't start doing for another 5-10 years) in order to stop climate change, here is a song with a wonderfully poignant message on the subject...from Kermit the Frog... performed by Andrew French (just keeps getting better!)

And while it actually is not that difficult to live an environmentally sustainable life, much of the world would agree with this song and say "It is not easy bein' green."

And that's why we are in this climate shithole today.

Andrew Bird - Bein' Green (Muppets Cover)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Two of this year's best new bands, San Francisco's Girls and New York's The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, both use vintage guitar sounds and up-tempo drumbeats, with a young and infectious spirit that says "let's just have fun." Their music videos have a lot in common as well. TOO much in common--grainy film quality, young friends jamming, messing around, and just doing their thing. It seems fun though, a living room party you wish you were invited to... Anyways, just watch the videos and you'll see what I mean.

I got a kick out of it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Top 20 Albums of 2000-2009 (#5-1)

Here it is, folks. Sorry for all the delays, now that life is dull again and finals are over, consistent blogging should resume (I hope.) And now that the list is complete, I will start to cover current things that I'm digging, etc.

So let the debates about who I SHOULD have put on this list commence! (I look forward to it.)

5) The Moon and Antarctica - Modest Mouse (2000)

For 15 years now, Isaac Brock has been writing songs about his experiences--but mostly the pain that he has experienced. While often his lyrics are tongue-in-cheek and whimsical, there is true sadness underneath most of it, and a refreshing cynnicism that tells it like it is. The Moon & Antarctica is no exception. As the title suggests, the album has an ice cold feeling to it, coming from the sound of layered, echoing guitars over very hushed percussion. It is a beautifully minimal and emotional sound that chills the bones. The Moon & Antarctica is clearly Modest Mouse's masterpiece; its lyrics and music are some of the best recorded in this decade. But the album is not all slow-tempo, sad songs. When Modest Mouse gets loud and angry, what results are some really rockin' songs that are equally as powerful. I would love to say that The Moon and Antarctica is also important for its influence on other artists, but--to this day--not a single band has come close to replicating Modest Mouse's uniquely wonderful sound.

Modest Mouse - Gravity Rides Everything

4) Takk... - Sigur Rós (2005)

The most well-known, and, arguably, the best act to come out of the fantastic Iceland music scene, Sigur Rós has shown in this decade that the US and the Mainland of Europe are not the only places that can produce fantastic rock music. In fact, Sigur Rós blows all other bands out of the water when it comes to making beautiful songs, and even though very few people can understand the language that they sing in. However, the story of Sigur Rós this decade has been that music is a language that is universal. Jónsi Birgisson's strangely unique voice, blended with the amazing musical talent of the rest of his band makes a sound that is familiar, yet also foreign. However you describe it, it is beautiful enough to make you cry. By this point in the decade, their music has transcended to the level where anytime a movie-maker wants a beautiful song that is a bit alternative, Sigur Ros has often been the choice (ex: Vanilla sky, The Life Aquatic, and many movie trailers.) Between Takk..., their breakthrough LP Ágætis Byrjun, and the beautiful ( ) album, it is hard to choose their best release. However, as entire albums go, Takk... contains amazing singles, yet retains a wholistic album feel. Takk... also features more guitar than any of their previous albums, and to good results. I am not sure how they do it, but Sigur Rós creates music that is as beautiful as their Icelandic homeland, sharing it with the rest of the world--acheiving well-deserved success.

Sigur Rós - Sé Lest

3) Discovery - Daft Punk (2001)*xsn0d49DASA9WXsQXfCKW1y9rm3/Daft_Punk__Discovery.jpg

To put Passion Pit and LCD Soundsystem on this list requires a nod to the godfathers of the now-popular electro-pop genre, Daft Punk. Daft Punk made hits in this decade that were accessible to and loved by everyone. And I mean everyone. Their music has amazing beats, perfectly captures the spirit of adolescence (ex: "Digital Love"), and it's sexy. On top of that, their mixing and production is rather incredible. But Daft Punk's Discovery was far more important to this decade than just being the album that had both "One More Time" and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger." The number of young, up-and-coming dance lovers whom Daft Punk influenced with their music is amazing. Without Daft Punk, the modern electro-dance scene would not be what it is today. That means artists like Justice, MSTRKRFT, and countless remix artists/DJs would not be where they are now. And that is why they finish at #3.

Daft Punk - Digital Love

2) Illinois - Sufjan Stevens (2005)

The best songwriter of this decade deserves this high-up spot on this list. Throughout his work in this decade, Stevens has shown his skills spanning across many diverse genres (folk, worldbeat, electro, classical composition, .... ) And while each of his 7 studio albums in this decade is incredibly unique--with the exception of the similar Illinois and Michigan albums--Stevens' most widely popular and most impressive acheivement this decade is Illinois. There is something remarkable to be said about a songwriter able to dedicate a perfect 24-track album entirely to a US state, only to later release a set of 21 amazing B-sides and outtakes that didn't make the cut on the last CD. Stevens is a songwriting machine, but no song ever suffers from this. Something about the way he writes--the subtlety and the vivid imagery that they contain--makes every song personal. His beautiful, soft voice just makes it even better. And one cannot leave out Stevens' amazing musical talent as a multi-instrumentalist. His use of horns, snares, and flutes on Illinois in addition to the usual guitars, etc. is a new take on folk that is different from all others. And whatever your preconceived notions are about the banjo are,
the way that he uses the instrument on songs like "Casimir Pulaski Day", and "Decatur" will make you fall in love with it. Illinois is Americana music for a new generation, and while it is hard to say at this moment whether or not it will stand the test of time--it sure deserves it.

Sufjan Stevens - The Predatory Wasp of the Pallisades Is Out To Get Us

1) Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene (2005)

The only band featured twice on this list, Broken Social Scene takes the title with their 2005 self-titled release. Everything said about You Forgot It In People rings true on this album, but to even greater magnitude. The quiet jam songs are even more intimate, contrasting with huge anthems that will wake you up and inspire you. With this release, Broken Social Scene writes about the problems of our decade, but leaves the anti-war songs for Neil Young and Green Day to write. Instead, Broken Social Scene identifies a more immediate problem with people in modern society--apathy and the lack of loving, personal connections. And wouldn't most of our problems in the world be solved if we all just cared a little more? As song titles like "Handjobs for the Holidays" and lyrics like "why are you always fucking ghosts?" suggest, people care more about pornography and other fantasies over real connections with people--an interesting thought. With this album, the Canadian indie collective tries to make sense of a world that is going crazier every second. As with most great pieces of art, the album gives no answers, but instead provides a catharsis of emotion and a chance to scream out all the frustrations that life throws at you. And it accomplishes that goal perfectly.

Broken Social Scene - Superconnected