Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Times New Viking - (My Head)

Ok so their name is kind of ridiculous, and they feel some bizarre need to bury their songs in distortion and poor recording techniques, but at its core this is still a really well crafted pop song.

Times New Viking - (My Head)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Neko Case - That Teenage Feeling

This is kind of a strange song. For a song that's allegedly about teenage feelings, it's completely lacking in anything that might even being accidentally be construed as "teenage." This song is rather plain instrumentally, relying mostly on Neko Case's soaring voice to carry it. For the most part it succeeds, although it's not quite at the level of some of her truly great songs.

Neko Case - That Teenage Feeling

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Laura Marling - My Manic and I

Sorry about the lack of updates, the start of school has gotten me a little discombobulated. But I'm back now. I would have had this uploaded last night, but I actually went out and saw the wonderful Laura Marling last night and by the time I got home I was ready to collapse. So it's going up now.

Just a lovely little folk song. Enjoy.

Laura Marling - My Manic and I

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Albums from the 00s that I really quite enjoyed

The idea of making an ordered list of my favorite albums seems like just an impossible proposition. So I cheated and decided to make a grouping of tiers. It seems like a fairer way of doing it, because really trying to justify to myself why I think one album is the 15th best and why another is the 16th best would just end with my tearing my hair out.

Tier 1: Albums in this tier are my absolute favorite. Basically if I were stuck on a desert island, I would take these albums with me.

Avalanches - Since I Left You: Man, I wish these guys would hurry up and release another album.

Blood Brothers - Burn, Piano Island, Burn!: It's hard to feel too old for a band when you're 20 years old, but it's certainly possible at a Blood Brothers concert. It's ok though, because it's pretty safe to listen to this album in the safety of your own room without anyone else finding out.

Boredoms - Vision Creation Newsun: Seeing this band at Canes of all places was just bizarre. I mean really, Canes?

Clinic - Internal Wrangler: It's amazing how disappointing this band turned out to be considering the incredible promise this album showcased.

Constantines - self/titled, Shine a Light, and Kensington Heights: The Constantines are my favorite band making music today, and the musical journey they took from the young, angry punk rock of their self/titled debut, to the baby steps they took towards maturing on Shine a Light, and ending the decade with the accomplished and confident Kensington Heights is just a joy for me to listen to. Even a misstep like Tournament of Hearts becomes more interesting when you place it in between Shine a Light and Kesington Heights and see how maybe they needed to make it before they could become great again. If I had access to magic lamp, my #2 wish would be that the Constantines would be heard by everyone.

Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP: I remember talking about this album when I was in high school and complaining that I liked his earlier stuff better. Man, I was pretty dumb in high school.

Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantic: 30 odd minutes of pop-punk awesomeness. Songs about girls and getting high and then back to girls again. It's mixed super loud as well so when you turn the volume up it just gets more awesome.

Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele: Dude must have been on crazy drugs while he was writing the lyrics to this album

McLusky - Do Dallas: Biting sarcasm never sounded this good.

Modest Mouse - The Moon and Antarctica: If anybody ever tries to convince you that bands who make the leap to major labels end up selling out and sucking, you can point to this album and then tell them to shut up.

Mountain Goats - All Hail West Texas: You'd think in order to make an epic album about an area the size of Texas you would need more than a poorly recorded guitar and nasally voice. Turns out you don't.

Radiohead - Kid A: This album changed the way I listened to music. When I first heard it in 2000, it sounded so unlike anything I'd heard. It was recognizable as pop music, but it was still alien. This is actually the one album I could rank, as it's probably my favorite album ever.

Sleater-Kinney - The Woods: ROCK! What a way to go out.

Songs: Ohia - The Magnolia Electric Co: A Neil Young for the 21st century. Nothing wrong with that.

Spoon - Girls Can Tell: This album is criminally under-appreciated and is miles better than the constantly slobbered over Kill the Moonlight.

The Thermals - More Parts Per Million: So it's kind of my best friend Kelly's fault that I like The Thermals so much because I probably never would have paid that much attention to them if she hadn't liked them so much. But on the other hand, she never would have heard of them if I hadn't dragged her to see the Dismemberment Plan so it's really all my fault. And it's not even a bad thing so I really should be congratulated. Go me!

The Wrens - The Meadowlands: This is how you make rock music in your late 30s and not end up sounding like creepy loser stalkers like The Hold Steady do.

Jens Lekman - Night Falls over Kortedala: Like a more sincere Jonathan Richman who's discovered computers. Tons of fun live as well.

The National - Alligator, Boxer: I debated for quite awhile whether or not to included Boxer, but after thinking it over for the longest time I decided to include it. I like Alligator more, but Boxer is still a classic.

Tier 2: Albums in this grouping are still rad as fuck, but they're missing that special something that makes me need them.

Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit, Dear Catastrophe Waitress: Sensitive boys learn to bring the funk, sensitively however.

The Decemberists - Her Majesty...: I used to shop at the bookstore where half the band worked. It's a fine line writing precious songs for English majors and they certainly lost the thread after this album

Dizzee Rascal - Boy in Da Corner: This album still sounds dirty and grimy to me.

The-Dream - Love Vs. Money: I'd put the best 3 songs on this album against almost any other collection of 3 songs released this decade.

Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Lift Your Skinny Fists like Antenna to the Heavens!: I think just typing out the name of the band and the title of the album is more than enough words.

Interpol - Turn On the Bright Lights: So it turns out these guys don't actually sound much like the Joy Division at all. Still some absolutely terrible lyrics though.

Ted Leo - Hearts of Oak: I had forgotten I used to listen to Ted Leo all the time until I started trawling through albums released this decade to make my list. Solid tunes.

Liars - They Were Wrong So We Drowned: Brilliant left turn album by a band I wouldn't have thought had it in them.

Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim: Realizing that she created this album when she was only 18 is kind of depressing to me. When I was 18 I was busy (not that busy obviously) fucking up my first go around at college.

New Pornographers - Electric Version, Twin Cinema: Power pop perfection

AC Newman - The Slow Wonder - Even more Power Pop perfection

Radiohead - Amnesiac: Sometimes I wonder if the Amnesiac version of Morning Bells retroactively ruins the Kid A version.

Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun: Incomprehensible singing never sounded so lovely.

Sleater-Kinney - One Beat: I bought this album because the Willamette Week had a feature article on the band. So now we know that particular alt-weekly isn't entirely worthless.

Songs: Ohia - Didn't it Rain: The album is kind of back-loaded.

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga: Even this album is better than Kill the Moonlight.

Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Sky Blue Sky: Dad rock, but still good.

Tier 3: These albums are good, but I could probably live without them. I also ran out of energy to say anything else nice about them. I am tired.

Pains of Being Pure at Heart - self/titled
Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Part II: These were both released in 2009, and I haven't spent enough time with them to figure out if I'll still like them in 6 months so they'll go here for now. They both seem like solid, throwback albums though.
Blood Brothers - Crimes
Calexico - A Feast of Wire
Deerhoof - The Runners Four
Dismemberment Plan - Change
Explosions in the Sky - Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever
Liars - They Threw Us in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top
Lightning Bolt - Wonderful Rainbow
Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree
Marissa Nadler - Songs III: Bird on the Water
Notwist - Neon Golden
PJ Harvey - Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
Reigning Sound - Too Much Guitar
Spiritualized - Let it Come Down
Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free
Times New Viking - Rip it Off

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Nation of Ulysses - N-Sub Ulysses

This song seethes. I don't think I've ever heard horns sound punk rock before. And I don't mean in that shitty ska band way, but in a violent and angry way. Anyway, check it out.

Nation of Ulysses - N-Sub Ulysses

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Songs: Ohia - Farewell Transmission

This song is just epic. When Jason Molina sings "mama here comes midnight" I get chills. I'm seriously considering enacting a policy where if you don't like this song, you're no longer my friend.

Songs: Ohia - Farewell Transmission

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Liars - We Fenced Other Gardens with the Bones of Our Own

This is a weird fucking song. I remember when I first heard it after being a fan of their debut album. That they could take such a bizarre turn instead of simply rehashing their previous work was interesting. That they could actually pull it off and create something great was even more impressive. It's kind of hard to judge this song without hearing something from their earlier work so as a special bonus I'll include a second song to make up for skipping the previous week.

Liars - We Fenced Other Gardens with the Bones of Our Own

Special bonus song:

Liars - Grown Men Don't Fall in the River, Just Like That