• A rough assortment of 2010's highlights.

    Gen 17 2011, 4:18

    The Black Keys: Brothers- If there was anyone out there worried that the best blues rock band in the world was growing stagnant, Brothers put that baby to rest. Expanded instrumental sections and bolder songwriting put the Akron duo firmly in the spotlight, and it'll be interesting to see where they go next.

    Crystal Castles: Crystal Castles ( II ) - Hear about album. Acquire album. Listen to album & dismiss it out of hand. Later come back to album. Listen to it for the rest of the year, rabidly.

    Chromeo: Business Casual - My favorite album yet from the Canadiens - especially Don't Walk Away & J'ai claque la porte. Another band that hasn't lost its stride.

    The Gaslight Anthem
    : American Slang - Though these guys are (like Lucero & the Hold Steady) moving towards balladry & arrangements rather than relying on youthful angst & razor-sharp wordplay, American Slang is a great album in the best tradition of Jersey rock. I personally hope their next album finds them rediscovering their punk roots, but if they continue to channel Springsteen and late 20th-century Americana this well, I'm cool.

    Josh Ritter: So Runs The World Away - A beautiful & ambitious indie rock album with some of the best songwriting of the year. I will continue to stick up for The Curse as one of the prettiest songs I've heard in recent memory.

    Darkthrone: Circle The Wagons - Fathers of black metal, continuing their ascent through crust punk-influenced rock n' roll - and while I'm not much for (non-automotively speaking) hybrids, this is the balls.

    Midlake: The Courage Of Others - My summer album. I love their take on Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young-esque country-rock revivalism, and can especially appreciate their back-to-the-roots lyrical fixation.

    Arcade Fire: The Suburbs - Probably the most important album that dropped this year to the hipster crowd with Peter Pan-styled ambitions, but also just a damn good album that takes a wistful look at the results of retail rampancy in North America.

    John Grant: Queen Of Denmark - Unflinchingly soul-baring & sardonically hilarious in equal parts, this debut album from the Czars' lead singer is going to have me digging through their back catalogue. Members of Midlake made the music to back Grant's baritone, and in digging through their experimental and jazz roots alongside their (now-) regular country-rock sound, probably made a more well-rounded album for Mr. Grant than they have yet for themselves.

    Cee Lo Green: The Lady Killer - 2010 saw Mr. Green dropping a hyphen & one of the best R&B albums I've heard since... a while. There are maybe 3 tracks worth skipping on this. I included the Intro and Outro in that estimation.

    The Sword: The Warp Riders - Yee-uh

    Not quite as honorable mention:

    Rotting Christ: Aealo - Too much Greek throat singing for my taste. I really liked Theogenia and was a bit disappointed by this one.
    Joanna Newsom: Have One on Me - One disc will be plenty Ms. Newsom, please & thank you. Greater than the sum of its parts because overall it is average and there's so goddamn much on it that the gems get overshadowed.
    The Hold Steady: Heaven Is Wherever - I miss Fritz's keyboard & Craig's balls.
    Eminem: Recovery - Eminem has regained his ability to rap well. He lost his abilities to choose worthwhile collaborators, decent beats or diversify his subject matter convincingly.
    Bruce Springsteen: The Promise - If this had been an album and not a compilation of cutting-room floor tracks (from Darkness on the Edge of Town), I'd say it was one of the best of the year. As it is, I can't stack compilations up against studio albums, even when they're the Boss'.
    LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening - Dude drank way too much of his own Kool-Aid, in my personal opinion.
    Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - See previous.
    Jamey Johnson: The Guitar Song - I really like what I'm hearing, I just haven't had enough time to digest it, having just acquired it.
    Fitz and the Tantrums: Pickin up the pieces - See previous.

    And of course, there are probably plenty of albums I missed during the year or obliviated during the making of this list. So it goes.
  • Great records. Great records. Last of the Aughts.

    Dic 6 2009, 3:24

    Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavillion substaintially altered the way I listened to music this year, and cemented AC as one of my favorite bands.

    Mew dropped an album that took longer to grow on me than I expected, but was very rewarding once I'd stuck with it for more than just Hawaii and Repeaterbeater, and I now consider it second best in their catalogue.

    Wolves in the Throne Room's new album did not disappoint, and it was a lot of fun to see them play from it live, In a similar vein...

    Blut Aus Nord's Memoria Vetusta II - Dialogue with the Stars is a grand, sweeping epic black metal album, one of the best I've heard in a long time.

    Sonic Youth's The Eternal was another great release, and I glad I got to see a lot of it played live, too. "No Way" is one of my favorite songs for the year.

    Mos Def's the Ecstatic is one of the best rap albums I've heard in years. Glad to have him back to emceeing, and good to see that the Hollywood money doesn't appear to have dulled his edge.

    A Place to Bury Strangers (Best band name ever? Maybe.) sounds like listening to knives through a colander backlit by a strobe light. Big fan.

    HEALTH's Get Color is an absolutely superb noise-rock album.

    Napalm Death's Time Waits For No Slave is just terrific. These guys have to be some of the most technically skilled instrumentalists out there.

    Warbringer's Waking Into Nightmares was another excellent metal release in a year of excellent metal releases, I love when thrash metal bands get all ethereal.

    The Mountain Goats's new, Bible-inspired The Life of the World to Come has already gotten a lot of hyperbolic press from me. But it's still better than steak from Hindu cows. The EP from Darnielle and Vanderslice that dropped this year is the money too.

    Morrissey's Years of Refusal got a lot (tons) of spins this year, but due to a tire-related mishap it mainly reminds me of the side of I-80. Really liked nearly every track on it.

    Kings of Convenience's Declaration of Dependence was totally worth the wait. More punch in the songwriting adds to an already killer mix.

    G.o.D. Jewels' Glory or Death tape was a great summer record, and even the outtake tracks (or "deleted scenes") were outstanding. I knew he could wax with the best of them, but once I heard "José Calderón/Keep a Spanish shooter/Got my hands on Lugers that'll vanquish losers/On the block with Jazz like I'm playing with Boozer" in the Originators flow it was a done deal.

    Japandroids' Post-Nothing is a LOUD album that makes me want to drive a car with the top down in the summer, French-kissing French girls.

    Quentin Tarantino's soundtrack to Inglorious Basterds continues his tradition of badass soundtracks. With choice cuts culled from Ennio Morricone (How can some people listen to so many movie scorer-people and not be in love with this man?) and period-specific tunes from France and Germany next to a Bowie gem... I haven't played a soundtrack this much in a long time.

    Jarvis Cocker's new album Futher Complications is awesome, witty and thoroughly of the British working-class poet-Lothario archetype perfected by Moz and others. Really liked "I Never Said That I Was Deep", whole album is super.

    There's seventeen. They are not in order, but they are seventeen of my favorite albums from the year.

    Other notables were new albums from Circulatory System, Slayer, She & Him, Drakkar Sauna, Erin McKeown, Florence + The Machine, a whole slew of foreign metal bands, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Modest Mouse, some that do not come to mind right now and Chuck Ragan.

    Disappointed by Jay-Z, Muse, Grizzly Bear and Cloud Cult, but the latter made it up to me with a great concert. Besides, their disappointments pale in comparison to the Danko Jones debacle of years past.

    Still waiting on the new Clipse album and the garage-rock project by the Apples in Stereo frontman, but seeing as I cannot download music until I again posess a computer of my own, it appears I shall wait awhile longer.

  • A-Z...with a twist.

    Lug 19 2006, 15:47

    Arctic Monkeys

    Bob Dylan
    Built to Spill

    Camp Lo

    Devin the Dude
    Deep Purple

    Elliott Smith

    Franz Ferdinand
    Frank Sinatra

    Gnarls Barkley

    Iron & Wine
    Iron Maiden

    John Jennon
    Johnny Cash


    Lacuna Coil
    Led Zeppelin
    Living Things


    Nine Inch Nails
    Neil Young

    Of Montreal

    Plastic Ono Band
    Porcupine Tree

    Queens of the Stone Age

    Rage Against the Machine

    Smashing Pumpkins

    Theivery Corporation

    ...dammit 2 times

    Velvet Underground

    White Stripes

    ...dammit 2 times again

    Young Jeezy
    Yo La Tengo

    ...dammit 2 times a 3rd time

    Hey, I tried.
  • Top Guitarists?

    Lug 13 2006, 19:57

    Had the discussion last night on who the creme de la creme axmen on the planet were...active of course. I've got far too much bias to see around the monolith of Tom Morello, I truly think he's the best guy strumming a 6 right now. Best riff constructionist, most innovative...man he rocks.

    Other ones thrown around were Jack White, John Frusciante, and Josh Homme. I forgot Kirk Hammett, and Dave Mustaine. Kerry King too. I dunno, there's a shitload of cats out there who can wail on their Strat or Les Paul...your thoughts?
  • Top 15 Artist thing.

    Giu 27 2006, 19:10

    1. Mogwai
    -First Song Heard? Hunted By A Freak
    -Current Favorite? Summer (Priority Version)

    2. Eagles of Death Metal
    -First Song Heard? I Only Want You
    -Current Favorite? Whorehoppin (Shit, Godamn)

    3. Weezer
    -First Song Heard? Undone (The Sweater Song)
    -Current Favorite? In The Garage/Mykel and Carli/Jamie

    4. Elliott Smith
    -First Song Heard? Coast to Coast
    -Current Favorite? Bottle Up And Explode!

    5. Sublime
    -First Song Heard? What I Got
    -Current Favorite? Santeria

    6. Rage Against the Machine
    -First Song Heard? Bulls on Parade
    -Current Favorite? Testify/Killing In The Name Of/Sleep Now In The Fire (my hardest choice...love these guys)

    7. Devin the Dude
    -First Song Heard? Devin's Medley
    -Current Favorite? Right Now

    8. Nirvana
    -First Song Heard? Smells Like Teen Spirit
    -Current Favorite? Something In The Way

    9(tie). Queens of the Stone Age
    -First Song Heard? No One Knows
    -Current Favorite? First It Giveth

    9(tie). The Smashing Pumpkins
    -First Song Heard? Today
    -Current Favorite? The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right)

    11. Jay-Z
    -First Song Heard? Hard Knock Life
    -Current Favorite? Ignorant Shit

    12. Wilco
    -First Song Heard? I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
    -Current Favorite? Misunderstood

    13. The Beatles
    -First Song Heard? Ummm...Come Together?
    -Current Favorite? Hey Jude

    14. John Lennon
    -First Song Heard? Aside from the Beatles catalogue, Imagine
    -Current Favorite? Working Class Hero

    15. Ti
    -First Song Heard? 24s
    -Current Favorite? What U Know