• 2010 in music.

    Gen 5 2011, 19:47

    Ok, so this is a little late but I had this saved on my computer and figured it's better than never to share this.

    2010 was an amazing year in music.

    Best Albums
    1. Jónsi – Go
    2. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
    3. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
    4. Avey Tare – Down There
    5. Xiu Xiu – Dear God, I Hate Myself
    6. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today
    7. MGMT – Congratulations
    8. The National – High Violet
    9. Vampire Weekend – Contra
    10. Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts
    11. Sleigh Bells - Treats
    12. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
    13. Gonjasufi – A Sufi and a Killer
    14. The Drums – The Drums
    15. Wavves – King of the Beach
    16. Best Coast – Crazy for You
    17. Liars - Sisterworld
    18. Geographer – Animal Shapes
    19. Hunx and his Punx – Gay Singles
    20. Girls – Broken Dreams Club EP
    21. Delorean – Stay Close
    22. Juiceboxxx – Journeyman from the Heartland
    23. Active Child – Curtis Lane
    24. Alcoholic Faith Mission – Let This Be The Last Night We Care
    25. Perfume Genius - Learning
    26. How to Dress Well – Love Remains
    27. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles II
    28. Das Racist – Shut Up, Dude
    29. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – The Social Network Soundtrack
    30. Beach House – Teen Dream

    Honorable Mention:
    Owen Pallett – Heartland
    Tonetta – 777
    Toro Y Moi – Causers of This
    Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
    She & Him – Volume Two
    The-Dream – Love King
    Emeralds – Does It Look Like I’m Here?
    The Naked & Famous – Passive Me, Aggressive You
    The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards
    Of Montreal – False Priest
    Juiceboxxx – Thunder Zone Volume One
    Das Racist – Sit Down, Man
    Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
    Salem – King Night
    Halem – Hippies
    Magic Kids – Memphis
    Fang Island – Fang Island

    Worst Albums:
    Yeasayer – Odd Blood
    Daughters – Daughters
    Minus the Bear - OMNI
    Weezer – Hurley
    How To Destroy Angels – How To Destroy Angels
    Interpol – Interpol
    Liz Phair – Funstyle

    Best live acts I saw in 2010:
    The Flaming Lips
    Yo La Tengo
    Built to Spill
    Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
    The National
    Owen Pallett
    Xiu Xiu
  • Top ten albums of 2009 (plus honorable mentions and worst albums)

    Dic 10 2009, 8:57

    10. Brand New - Daisy
    I was never the biggest Brand New fan growing up, I'll admit that. I hated Your Favorite Weapon the first time I heard it and I only liked a handful of tracks off Deja. When I actually gave Devil and God a first listen in the fall of 2007, I fell in love with it. I was eagerly waiting to hear the follow up to that and Daisy really caught me off guard. There is something wrong with Jesse Lacey and we can hear his mindframe cracking in Daisy. This album probably had one of the coolest introductions to the first track I've heard in a long ass time. Lacey's yell and scream might have caught some old fans off guard and I know a lot of people that really dislike this album..but what I like about Brand New is they're not getting stuck in their genre like their peers and their experimental nature actually comes across succeeding instead of so many others.

    9. The Paper Chase - Someday This Could All Be Yours, Part One
    The Paper Chase are a scary band. They do experimental jangle indie pop (can you believe there is such a thing?) better than most and this album builds on the strength of that. Only the Paper Chase could pull off a concept album about a natural disaster and pull it off with such intensity and wit as they do. Seriously, this album was recorded before the swine flu outbreak and they're pretty much narrating the world's fear about it in tracks like "the Common Cold". I saw them at the Firebird this past July and while I thought the mixing was a little off and the show could've been a little bit longer, I was blown away by the musicianship these guys have. Apparently, the sequel to this concept record is coming next year...

    8. Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs
    Yo La Tengo have been codenamed the "essential critic's band". In my opinion, they are one of the last bands of that age who can pull off jumping from genre to genre and not look like a bunch of old timers not wanting to give it up. The first time I heard the single "Here to Fall" over the summer, I was surprised at how trippy and James Bond like it sounded. Yo La Tengo are smart and cunning musicians, the albums they produce feel like motion pictures to me as each track offers a completely different piece of scenery each time you listen to it. I feel they are at their best though with those awesome 90s indie rock tracks like "Nothing to Hide".

    7. Tegan and Sara - Sainthood
    I have to give props where props are due. Daniel Madrigal showed me Tegan and Sara my senior year in high school with So Jealous and I really wasn't sure what to think of it the first time I heard it. It was a complete guilty pleasure for me. When they started to become a little bit popular I gave their 2007 album the Con a listen and I wasn't impressed and at that point had written Tegan and Sara off completely. Once again, Dan told me Sainthood was a record I was going to get hooked on and he couldn't have been more right. There is such an emotional anguish to this record that it's hard to explain, if Tegan and Sara wanted to do a less noisy Pinkerton but full of the awkward relationship abdonement found in that album..it would be Sainthood. The production on this album is really fantastic too, tracks like "Hell", "The Cure" and "Northshore" will have you bobbing your head to the beat but could also make you realize how much your life hasn't been completely what you wanted it to be.

    6. Kings of Convenience - Declaration of Dependence
    I'm going to be an idiot and say the first time I heard Kings of Convenience it reminded me the first time I heard Iron & Wine. The gentle voice and soothing acoustic guitars really drew me in, of course these are two completely different acts with Sam Beam growing up near alligators down in Florida and the Kings boys being from Norway. Either way, Iron & Wine has become almost a parody of what I enjoying about them and KOC have blown me away with this new record. It is a wonderful, relaxing record and the harmonies constantly leave me speechless. It is the perfect record to just relax in bed to. I was also quite impressed by how good of lyricists these two guys are. I recommend you go listen to "Me in You" right now...seriously, do it.

    5. Noah and the Whale - The First Days of Spring
    Noah and the Whale's debut was a great record full of adorable twee pop that made you just want to get up and dance about how great your life was. The first time I heard I felt exactly how the record sounded. Enter seven months later and the follow up to their 2008 debut is the most emotionally gripping record about the end of a relationship and the difficulty of getting yourself back these 22 year old ears have ever heard. The lead singer Charlie Fink and band member Laura Marling's relationship ended sometime before recording for this album had started so this is basically a concept album about their relationship ended. Before you judge the album just on that alone, listening to it will blow you away as they ditched a lot of the happy happy twee sound for an incredible and beautiful Sigur Ros maturity. I've also never heard an album where the lyrics are pretty much summarzing me as an individual at that moment. It's heartbreaking and soul devastating...but that's life and there's nothing better to listen to during that timeframe.

    4. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
    At War With the Mystics, the Lip's 2006 album, was such a huge dissapointment for me I was ready to close the book on the Flaming Lips all together. Which was a shame as Yoshimi is my second favorite album of all time. After seeing their feature film Christmas on Mars and that ended up being shit..I thought it was almost time to the fearless freaks to close the book and call it quits. I couldn't have been more wrong the first time I heard "Silver Trembling Hands" over the summer. Everything about this album from the length, the sound texture and atmosphere to even the freakishly creepy album cover has sparked new life into this band. The album is full of glithy, staticy krautrock and for a band that always seemed to talk about the wonders of life and quite optimistic, this is quite a departure from the past couple of albums we've heard from them in a decade. This harks back to some of the earlier freak-out experimentation of the early and mid 90s. It's quite a bleak record but the music is heavy and full of tremendous soundscapes. Welcome back boys.

    3. Nurses - Apple's Acre
    What a treat this record is. It's such a damn shame they had to cancel all the dates in their fall tour because these guys are really, really good. These Portland, Oregon guys have made a record that sounds completely homegrown on a farm and you can't seem to get enough of it. In no way, is this a hick-ish venture...there's something unexplainable about these guys and how they treat music overall. This is experimental pop music at it's best. For those that GET this sound, it's an essential record..I don't expet these guys to ever be on top 40 radio but the sounds these guys produce is so incredible and it was constantly on repeat the first time I heard it.

    2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Paviion
    I'll be honest. I didn't care for this the first time I gave it a listen. Their 2007 album Strawberry Jam is such a strange album but was actually one of the most fun records to listen to as you experienced something new with each listen. Go figure, thats what happened after my second listen to MPP. Animal Collective is probably one of the coolest bands out there right now because everything they seem to do just works for them 100%. A friend of mine once said that if Shel Silverstien ever wanted to write lyrics for a band, it would be Animal Collective. He's completely right, they invoke so many strange visual images with each song but they are so well crafted it sucks you right in. The same thing can be said about the music, the first time I heard "Summertime Clothes" I couldn't believe such music existed. The whole album is incredible as a whole and they are constantly pushing themselves to do great and innovative things.

    1. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
    Without a doubt, my favorite album of the year. Even with Two Weeks taking off, there's something magical about this band. They seem like they are everyone's favorite band these days from the guys in Radiohead to Trent Reznor to even Jay-Z..which is surprising because they have a sound that some could find quite damn boring to the casual or untrained music ear. They are a freak folk band that has influences from the Beach Boys to even some Jefferson Airpane. Their sound is so unique to them and it captures your attention which each lsten. I had the pleasure of being front row for their show at the Blue Note in Columbia back in October and I was blown away by how precise they were with their instruements. Edward Droste has the most epic and beautiful singing voice I've ever heard live. There's something truly special about this band as it's even hard to write about them..you just have to listen to it and experience it for yourselves.

    Honorable Mentions
    Netherfriends - Calling You Out EP
    Girls - Album
    Cursive - Mama, I'm Swollen
    Morrissey - Years of Refusal
    Sonic Youth - The Eternal
    David Bazan - Curse Your Branches
    Built to Spill - There is No Enemy
    Napalm Death - Time Waits for No Slave
    dredg - The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion
    Joan of Arc - Boo Human
    Silversun Pickups - Swoon
    The Middle East - The Recordings of the Middle East
    Major Lazer - Guns Don't Kill People...Lazers Do
    Atlas Sound - Logos
    Sunn O))) - Monoliths and Dimensions

    Worst Albums of the Year
    Converge - Axe to Fall
    Weezer - Raditude
  • NIN|JA 2009 @ Kansas City, MO

    Mag 29 2009, 0:37

    Great show! This was my third time seeing them and it was probably one of the most exciting ones yet because hopefully this isn't the last time I get to see them. This was my first time driving outside of St. Louis and while it freaked me out at first, things couldn't have gone any smoother actually. The hotel my girlfriend and I stayed at was right off of the highway and only about a good ten minutes away from Starlight. I was glad we were able to check in so early and relax before the show too.

    Well when we got there, we waited in the nin.com presale line and while it looked really cloudy..it wasn't raining until we actually got inside the venue prior to the doors being open to the public but thankfully it stopped raining within like a good twenty minutes. I thought the Starlight was an awesome venue and it looked/sounded incredible. Our seats were in BOX 1, Row H and I remember thinking to myself how bad I wanted ORCH seats but I still can't believe how close to the stage we were even with the seats we had. We had a great view and this was probably the closest to the stage I've ever been for a Nine Inch Nails show. I was able to talk to a guy named Michael who when I asked didn't have a name on the NIN fan forum Echoing the Sound but was familar with nin.com and I want to say a BIG thank you to Nathan, I believe you said your name was Papalagosh (sorry if I got that wrong) and Lt. Randazzo (heh heh filter), Tony, from Echoingthesound.org for coming up to me to introduce yourselves. I thought that was the neatest thing and it was so nice to meet you guys.

    Street Sweeper Social Club kicks ass live...so much of it sounds like Rage Against the Machine but I'm perfectly fine with that. Their cover of Paper Planes sounded so good and I thought their attire was actually really cool. Trent couldn't have picked a cooler opener.

    As far as NIN goes, they delivered once again. While I will agree with pogo and say that as far as the set list goes, it was about average. I still can't believe we didn't get Metal, Heresy, Americans, TDTWWA or even Down In It. The songs we DID get to hear like Becoming, Way Out is Through, Physical, Piggy (Nothing Can Stop Me Now), Fragile and fucking NOW I'M NOTHING blew my mind. I remember telling people in line how awesome it would be if they actually opened up with that and I can't tell you how excited I was to hear it. Yet while they didn't play a lot of songs I was hoping to hear, I'd say NIN was on top form and this was probably the most intense show I've ever seen from them. March of the Pigs sounded even more heavier than usual (thanks to Trent hurling a microphone stand in the air) and Survivalism had an even more eletronic edge to it. There was just so much energy and with the seats I had, it was great to experience it that way. Musically, these guys are still on the top of their game and each one of the members brings something really special to the show. The lights are also pretty neat, not as much of a show as the LITS tour but still really cool.

    Anybody else think Robin Finck jumping up near his amp during the Wish solo was badass?

    I think Trent must read the upcoming shows forums on nin.com and he made sure to let everyone know "Oh, it's not going to rain..." Haha. Hopefully, Trent changes his mind about 'touring in ten years'.

    "Now I'm Nothing"

    "March of the Pigs"



    "The Fragile"


    With all that being said, I pretty much knew I was going for Nine Inch Nails. I was extremely excited for the Jane's Addiction announcement because I thought it couldn't get much more badass with JA opening...then came the announcement they would be headlining and I really didn't know what to think. I thought the opening video was an awesome way to get into the show but opening with Three Days really didn't do it for me. In fact, a lot of the songs being played a step or two down sounded off to me. About three or four songs in, I headed out which doesn't bother me too much as I'm sure some awesome footage is on it's way soon. I don't like when bands jam and JA seemed to be doing a lot of that at the beginning which some people like and that's fine but it just wasn't for me....plus..I'm what some people might call a bad fan and my favorite song is Jane Says, the closer.

    Overall, this was a great experience for me. I saw my favorite band on what could be it's final tour at an awesome venue and took a road trip to go see it. Thanks for everything Trent!

    Wed 27 May – Nine Inch Nails, Jane's Addiction, Street Sweeper Social Club
  • I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing...

    Set 25 2007, 8:36

    So last Sunday me and Chris went to Cicero's to go check out So Many Dynamos, a band who I missed at a Creepy Crawl show with Horse the Band back in 2005 cause I thought was throwing up outside in the snow...which is a completely different story for another time. Anyway, so it had been awhile since I had been to Ciceros and I had no idea of any of the other bands that were going to be there. It just felt something fun to see on a Sunday night I suppose. Me and Chris missed most of the first band that played cause I was eating and I was waiting to pay, but after that got done..the second band came on and I still can't believe what I saw. The name of the band was "The Band Apart" and all the members were japanese, we eventually found out this was only thier second show in America. The singer could barely speak any english but sang beautifully with a pretty good english accent.They played amazing and played with such intensity that it blew me away. It was something about the fragile and emotional aspect in their sound that reminded me of Sunny Day Real Estate mixed with Minus the Bear. My jaw was open the whole time. When I got them I looked them up on Youtube and found this video. I don't even remember if this song was played live but it has been in my head and won't leave. I haven't fallen in love with a song like I have with this one, I'm not sure what the hell he's saying but the music is just so good that it doesn't matter.

    After they got done playing, I asked the singer for the setlist..I'm not sure he knew what I meant cause he picked up a chord and looked at me like a confused beagle to which I replied "no, can i have that paper."

    It was in complete japanese so I knew I had to have it..he handed it to me and told me "Ohhh, but it in japanese?!" I told him it was ok, I knew how to read it. He laughed and he went on his way. Anyway, it might be kind of lame to write a blog about a band but I feel like I was a part of something special and that damn song has been stuck in my head nonstop.

    the band apartThe Flaming LipsSonic YouthSerena ManeeshIdiot PilotThe Beach BoysHot Chip
  • Irony

    Ago 29 2007, 8:00

    Brand NewMy Bloody ValentineThe New PornographersMinus the BearThe RentalsMice Parade

    By this time next year, you'll be in the same situation I was. Not even Moses can part those legs after that...