BEST of 2009 (Studio Album/Song)

30 12 2009

I’ve heard a lot of music this year.  I go through about 1gb every week of new music and I listen to it all.  Both lists are subject to change until the end of the year and are in no particular order.  Enjoy…


Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

The XX – The XX

The Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca

Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion

Local Natives – Gorilla Minor

Fanfarlo – Resevoir

Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

The Temper Trap – Conditions

Mew – No More Stories Are Told Today, I’m Sorry, They Washed Away

Honorable Mention:  Andrew Bird – Noble Beast, The Mean – Meet Us Here

Song (not on previously mentioned albums)

Trouble Weighs a Ton – Dan Auerbach

Done – Built to Spill

Stay off the Fucking Flowers (featuring Raekwon) – Blakroc

What Would I Want? Sky – Animal Collective

James – Camera Obscura

Generator ^ First Floor – The Freelance Whales

Baby I’m a Fool – Melody Gardot

Sandman, the Brakeman and Me – Monsters of Folk

Pray Me Home – Neal Casal

Star Eyes (I Can Catch It) (feat. James Mercer) – Dangermouse and Sparklehorse

Honorable Mention:  Keep A Secret – Whitest Boy Alive, Fires – Band of Skulls

Tomorrow I will cover my favorite concerts and live albums of the year.  Note:  I went to over 100 concerts this year, so it’ll be all over the place stylistically.

New Madrid Faults — To The West Goodbye

27 04 2009

New Madrid Faults have been the first band that I’ve truly felt connected with from almost the minute they got together to being an intricate part in reeling them into Ropeadope. I first met John Kimock when I was in college. I always remind him that I first saw him perform at Illick’s Mill with his father, Steve Kimock. However, that’s not to say he doesn’t deserve every inch of merit he receives because he is easily one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen…and at the ripe age of ___ (side note: the other day, John and I had a humorous conversation with an intern at Joe’s Pub where he refused to give her his age, so I won’t either). Also, that’s not to say his bandmates, Matt Mulchany and Matt Juknevic, aren’t as equally talented as he is. John ALWAYS stresses to me the collaborative nature of the group, so I will never try to undercut that aspect.

Sooooo I told John to pick one song that best defines his band and send me the official version on the record, since I have like 10 versions of each song and I’m not sure which is which anymore. He chose “To The West Goodbye” and to be honest, I was crossing my fingers for that one since it’s one of my favorites of theirs.

New Madrid Faults, Concerning Small Town Abberations

The song begins like a Drift song (ambient trumpet post-rock) then the guitar and glock pick up and they instantly morph into bizarro-pop, something akin to The Decemberists or Neutral Milk Hotel. About halfway through, they kick it up a notch and almost sound like Calexico rocking out with Dinosaur Jr. (call me stupid all you want, but that’s what I’m hearing). And then come full-circle to The Album Leaf ambient complete with vocal sampling and all sorts of electronic distortion.  And this is all in one song.

All I know is, I have the epic, 7 minute, genre-expansive song on repeat while I’m writing and it’s making this moth in my room go insane, so it must be sick (the music that is)…basically dig ’em on myspace, facebook, imeem, or not at all (but I’d strongly recommend it).

Man Man made the best music video I’ve seen in a while

19 04 2009

I love Man Man…part hipster, part circus freak show (note:  their stage names are Honus Honus, Pow Pow, Critter Crat, Chang Wang, and Organ Freeman), part Waits, part Zappa..simply put, awesome.  AND they’re from Philly!

Check out their new music video:

New Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey album for free

29 01 2009

Free! What did I tell you guys. Free is the new standard. Free is a realistic and feasible option if the industry opened their minds to the possibilities of diversified streams of income…even the RIAA is realizing that it’s hard to stop FREE (to an extent).

Thank being said, check out JFJO’s new album Winterwood. I’ve been a huge fan of these guys since I saw them with Steve Kimock a couple years ago. And, as I was telling their manager via email, “it’s about time [they] put Vernal Equinox on an album. I FUCKING LOVE THAT SONG!”

Listen for yourself and I dare you to tell me you don’t love their unique brand of Post-Rock Jazz.

JFJO Winterwood Tour 2009...seem them in a city near you!

JFJO Winterwood Tour 2009...seem them in a city near you!

Stream new Springsteen album before it comes out

22 01 2009

Never been a huge fan of the Boss, but I can understand why people love him.  I saw him once do a solo show in Philly at the Spectrum.  I liked that a lot, but it didn’t transform my overall thoughts on him.  Anyways, feel free to listen to his newest record, “Working on a Dream” here.

Lonely Hearts Dub Band

17 01 2009

After a successful duo of cover albums done with a reggae twist (Dub Side of the Moon and Radiodread), the Easy Star All-Stars have decided to tackle one of the greatest albums of all time, Sgt. Pepper.

It hits store on April 14, so check it out because if it’s even worth one-tenth of its predecessors than it’s definitely worth picking up.

I love animal collective

11 01 2009

I just got their new album, Merriweather Post Pavillion (referred to as MPP from now on), which is the name of a venue in Columbia, Maryland near their hometown of Bmore. It’s like the Jones Beach or Gorge of Baltimore.

I had seen these guys three times: the Trocadero in fall 07, the Electric Factory spring 08, and at All Points West Festival in summer 08. The Factory show was a slight bummer because it was Passover, so I couldn’t throw down beers with my buddy Chris from college who came in from Hoboken for the show.

Overall though, everytime I’ve seen them, they’re able to change things up to make each performance unique through vocal looping and other forms of improvisation while segueing between songs like a DJ. They perfectly bridge the gaps between Live PA and instrumentation.

See for yourself. This is one of my favorite songs from MPP:

From start to finish MPP is an exceptional album. The Collective seems to find solace in giving people a perception of who they are with every record and then redefining themselves with the following next record. MPP is more electronic and softer than Strawberry Jam. The voice seems to guide the melody through layering and distortion. However, despite how weird or experimental their songs may be, it maintains a pop format. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is what the Beach Boys would be doing if they had all that electronic equipment and took ecstasy instead of acid.


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