Monday, January 28, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
In case you missed it, here is the New Years Eve Radiohead webcast Scotch Mist. They sound amazing. As for me, I missed it because I was too busy freezing at Seattle Center watching the Space Needle fireworks show malfunction. No countdown, no "Happy New Year!!!" . . . just lots of confused, disappointed, cold people wandering back to their cars. Woo Hoo!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Ack! I have been so busy that I failed to offer my Best albums of 2007 list to the deluge of other lists that have been circulating around the blogosphere. I have a tough time ranking albums, so I am going to base my decisions largely upon the following questions:
- What is the album's play count in my iTunes?
- How long has my excitement about the album lasted?
- Does it work as an "album," or are there just specific songs that I like?
- This album got me more excited about music than anything has in a long while. I had sampled their Everything All at Once last year, but for some reason, it didn't stick. I must have played Cease to Begin 10 times through, back to back, when I first got my hands on it. I have subsequently come to enjoy their previous release as well. I love the indie-croon, I love the harmonies that remind me of something off the O Brother Where Art Though soundtrack. The beard frightens me, but I can get past that.
- Bright Eyes – Cassadaga
- Along with the Four Winds EP, Connor Oberst has again impressed me with Cassadaga. I can even forgive the country twang on a few songs due to the overall strength and musicmanship of the rest of the album. I LOVE the strings on the album, am still impressed with Oberst's poetry, and am very glad that his vocal skills have improved yet again, as with each previous succeeding album. My wife still says he sounds like a Billy goat, but thats fine with me.
- Radiohead – In Rainbows
- I hope all of the hubbub about this album doesn't leave a bad taste in peoples' mouth. When Radiohead is "on," I love them. When they are "off," I can't stand it. Kid A didn't do it for me. In Rainbows takes what they do best and projects it down fresh and new paths. It is an odd album in that respect. It all feels very familiar, but doesn't smack of repetition. It doesn't feel like they are simply repeating tired formulas. With each listen I like it more.
- Domo – Baby Mercury
- Why hasn't anyone heard of this band? I have readily admitted my penchant for indie-punk-pop. This Tempe, AZ 3-piece packs a mighty punch! Guitarist and main vocalist Captain Advantage - AKA Jason Sukut (previous keyboardist for fifteen minutes fast) has an unbelievable talent of consistently writing some of the most catchy hooks I have ever heard. Their previous 2006 self-released Sweet Creepy is equally impressive. I hope this band breaks big. I also hope that Sukut's membership in the Source Victoria doesn't distract him from giving us some more Domo albums!
- Minus the Bear – Planet of Ice
- This album was a pleasant surprise. I liked their Menos El Oso, but I didn't love it. However, I love Planet of Ice. It features the best parts of the pre-Menos El Oso era, and incorporates the good innovations from Menos El Oso. It seems like a reconciliation of two styles - like the band was trying to sort through and come to terms with the various sounds they have been toying around with. However, in being such, Planet of Ice fails to break much new ground. Thats fine with me though, because it rocks my socks off! Also, I don't know what it is about the albums title, but it perfectly fits the feel of the music. Weird, I know, but true.
- Iron & Wine – Shepherds Dog
- I can't decide if I like where Sam Beam is taking us. I like this album a lot, but often find myself returning back to his more stripped-down, acoustic recordings.
- Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha
- Holy Musician! Always amazing, but never at the top of my list.
- Lifesavas – Gutterfly
- Spirit in Stone took a long time to grow on me, and I think the same holds true with Gutterfly.
- Maritime – Heresy and the Hotel Choir
- I loved their previous releases. This one holds up well, and might hold together better as an album than the other 2 did.
- Dear and the Headlights – Small Steps, Heavy Hooves
- Another band that everyone should know. These guys are just fun.
- Galactic – From the Corner to the Block
- Funk + a bunch of the Quannum crew = awesome.
- Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
- I don't like all of the songs on this album. But the ones I do like are among my top tracks of 2007.
- Great Lake Swimmers – Ongiara
- I have clocked a lot of hours studying to this album
- The New Amsterdams – At the Foot of my Rival
- SOOOOOO much better than Story like a Scar. SO much better!
- Okkervil River – The Stage Names
- Growing on me, quickly.
- Grand Archives – Grand Archives CDR
- Though only 4 songs long, this self-released CDR is giving me VERY high hopes for their upcoming Subpop full length.
- Blue Scholars – Bayani
- I liked their self-titled and Long March EP better, but I still spin this one a lot. I especially like playing the opening sample of "Still got Love" really loud to annoy the Mrs.
- Adam Panic – Wonderful
- This album has been a long time coming - I am glad it is finally out, but hope it picks up
- Jose Gonzalez – In our Nature
- Why hadn't I heard of this guy before? Amazing.
- Lateef the Truth Speaker and Z-Trip – Ahead of the Curve
- Oh Lateef - how you tease us! I have been waiting for a full length Lateef album for a while! This is getting there, but I'm ready for a full album of 100% new tunes.
- Viţa de Vie - Egon
- I hesitate to mention it, because its Romanian and no one I know but me speaks Romanian. But, this is Viţa de Vie's best album, hands down, by leaps and bounds. Too bad no one but me enjoys it.
Good enough to get significant play-time in my iTunes
- Pinback never stuck with me before, but I like this one.
- Saves the Day – Under the Boards
- "Can't stay the same" is among my top tracks of 2007. There are some other gems on this album, but some not-so-good ones too.
- John Vanderslice – Emerald City
- A few phenomenal tracks, a few lackluster ones.
- Jeremy Enigk – The Missing Link
- The new songs on the EP were great - I wish there was more.
- The Weakerthans – Reunion Tour
- Awesome! I thought these guys were done for.
- The Mighty Underdogs – the Prelude EP
- The LP will be highly anticipated. The Gift of Gab + Lateef = classic. It has a very early '90s vibe in the sample choices.
- The National – Boxer
- I didn't like it on the 1st listen. I have no problem with mumbling, but this album bored me. After a couple more listens, it is growing on me.
- Lyrics Born – The Lyrics Born Variety Show: Season 2
- I liked Season 1 a lot better, but still good.
OK, but disappointing
- Some great tracks, but a bunch of ho-hum ones that didn't resonate with me.
- Jonah Matranga – And
- Angels & Airwaves – I-Empire
- An embaressing admission. Tom is SO pretentious and it shows in the music . . . but . . . I thought it wasn't 1/2 bad. Not great, but I haven't deleted it.
- Matt Pond PA – If you Want Blood
- Matt Pond PA – Last Light
- This album was ok, but bored me. Not many stand out tracks
- Dashboard Confessional – the Shade of Poison Trees
- Better than the last 2 releases. MUCH better. I still yearn for the Swiss Army era though.
- The Thrills – Teenager
- I had high hopes for this one. Maybe too high - and thats why it didn't impress me.
- Rocky Votolato – The Brag & Cuss
- Rocky! You're killing me! I just can't handle this much country twang!
- Jimmy Eat World – Chase this Light
- Oh Jimmy. How you've fallen! Here's what I think the problem is. The band is no longer teenagers or even 20-somethings . . . but they still try to sing about teenage angst. It doesn't work anymore. Plus, too many of the songs smacked forced over-the-top-anthem-ness. Too polished - over produced. I'm not feeling the sincerity in the music like I did with Clarity. This said, there are a few really good tracks. Big Casino is a standout.
- Classic Case – Losing at Life
- Boring. I liked Dressed to Depress, and I loved Blankface. The band broke up in any case, hopefully their next ventures will be better.
- Saul Williams – The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!