Diario

  • Top 20 Albums of 2008

    Dic 21 2008, 5:39

    2008 didn't have much going for it in the beginning, especially after such a stellar year like 2007. However it closed out strong, and definitely stepped up to the plate and will make a case of it's own in the future of great years of music. So here you have it:

    20. Ratatat- LP3
    I feel like just about anyone can gain something from listening to this, or any Ratatat album for that matter. Easy for anyone to embrace.
    Favorite track: Shempi

    19. Spiritualized - Songs in A&E
    Watching them perform their Acoustic Mainline set at Coachella in April really showed me how emotional music could be, in a much greater light than I'd ever known prior.
    Favorite track: Sitting On Fire

    18. Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
    This is an album that barely made the list because it had the terrible task of having to hold up to Apologies. Expectations were high for this album, and although it fell short, it's still a very well constructed piece of music.
    Favorite track: The Grey Estates

    17. Lady Gaga - The Fame
    Perhaps the most embarrassing thing I've put on any list, ever. I fell in love with "Just Dance" at work, and opted to get the album. I can't hide my adoration for this album. It always puts me in an excellent mood. The title track is marvelous as well.
    Favorite track: Just Dance

    16. Beach House - Devotion
    This album still remains one of my favorite bedtime/rainy day albums. Beautiful yet haunting melodies.
    Favorite track: Turtle Island

    15. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
    I refused to listen to this album for awhile for reasons unknown, but quickly realized the idiocy in my actions. Dare I say brilliant Nintendo-esque dance tracks.
    Favorite track: Air War

    14. Fuck Buttons - Street Horrrsing
    I liked this album the first time I heard it, but watching them open for Mogwai really changed my thoughts on both the album and them. These two dudes really know how to layer a song with delicate precision.
    Favorite track: Bright Tomorrow

    13. Girl Talk - Feed the Animals
    The inescapable party album. It seems anytime I find myself having to provide music for drinking, it's been this album that's come to the rescue and captured the attention of most (if not all) in attendance. Far exceeds the greatness that was Night Ripper.
    Favorite track: Still Here

    12. M83 - Saturdays = Youth
    The only reason this album isn't in the Top 10 is because I can't NOT compare it to Dead Cities and Before the Dawn, easily two of my favorite albums ever. An absolute shift in direction, I can't hide my excitement for all the great things coming Anthony's way.
    Favorite track: Up!

    11. Man Man - Rabbit Habits
    Possibly one of the best live bands I've ever had the pleasure to witness. Packing more energy than their entire audience, these guys have been putting on brilliant shows for years. Remarkably, their albums capture that essence.
    Favorite track: Top Drawer

    10. Studio - Yearbook 2
    I feel a little crappy putting a "compilation" or "remix" album on here, but I encourage everyone to listen to this album. From the opening notes of "Brown Piano" all the way to the final notes of the album, it's impossible to not bop your head and eagerly anticipate the next direction they're taking with each track.
    Favorite track: Impossible

    9. Sigur Ros - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
    I was fortunate enough to see them live twice this year, the only two times I've seen them in my life. And if you haven't seen them live, watch Heima so that you can get an idea of what an experience this band offers. I'm reliving the tears in my eyes just thinking about it. This album offers a great change in pace, with the highest possible pop concentration in SIgur Ros' library thus far.
    Favorite track:Festival

    8. Air France - No Way Down
    Like Studio, I feel cheap putting an EP on here. However this album coaxed way too many plays out of me to not make a top 20 list. If this was an LP, it could easily be in the top 5. Their sound is so endearing to me, the ultimate mix between excitement and relaxation. It's length of twenty minutes does nothing but inspire you to hear it again.
    Favorite track:June Evenings

    7. Atlas Sound - Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot
    Feel
    Bradford Cox is pure genius, and as such everything he touches reflects that. To see how great this album is, how well it flows, how peaceful it makes me feel, and to know that this is only a glimpse of what he has to offer in his young and brilliant career. Not only is this album great, but practically every Atlas Sound b-side is great. I don't know how he does it but he does. He rocks well.
    Favorite track: Recent Bedroom

    6. Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours
    Quite possibly the best album I've ever liked that I felt I could classify as "pop". And really, it's hard to classify this any other way. Any song on this album could be a hit single, most of which inspire you to get up and move in some way. This has been a favorite of mine all year, and to this day I regret skipping them at Coachella.
    Favorite track: Strangers in the Wind

    5. Gang Gang Dance - Saint Dymphna
    This wouldn't have even made a list of albums I was excited for in 2008, because I'd never heard them at all. Fortunately for me, this is the first piece of their music I heard. I say fortunately because it is clearly (to a virgin listener such as myself) the better album. They found their craft in God's Money, but this is where they perfected it. Easily my favorite band that I was introduced to in 2008.
    Favorite track: Blue Nile

    4. TV on the Radio - Dear Science
    Having never been a fan of TVOTR, and always feeling they were overrated, I thought this album would fall on deaf ears. It did, for a couple listens. But then Lover's Day played for the second time, and it hit home so hard. Next thing I knew I found myself repeating it, and repeating it, and repeating it. And I still don't find myself a fan of their earlier stuff.
    Favorite track: Lover's Day

    3. No Age - Nouns
    If you asked me if Nouns could top Weirdo Rippers, I'd have probably said "probably not." Reason being that I didn't think No Age would have an album like Nouns in them. Fortunately for us, they do. No Age are an absolute treat to witness live, although your eardrums would argue otherwise. Nouns is a constant loop of three minute ditties, fuzzed out guitars and singalong vocals. No Age, where a kid can be a kid.
    Favorite track: Teen Creeps

    2. Deerhunter - Microcastle/Weird Era Cont.
    I can thank this album for getting me to go back and listen to Cryptograms and rediscover the brilliance that that album offers. But this album offers a piece of it's own. It starts off on a speedy dash but abruptly slows to a crawl only to surge back up in typical Deerhunter fashion. Bradford (and Lockett and company) working their genius into your bloodstream. In many ways I hate Deerhunter because if I REALLY listen to their music, I rarely find myself wanting to listen to anything else for the remainder of the day.
    Favorite track: Twilight at Carbon Lake

    1. Why? - Alopecia
    This album started at number one when it came out, and it held that spot the entire year. For a minute I felt that Microcastle made a case, but unfortunately Alopecia has withstood the tests of time (considering that I got it in February.) Yoni has so much to say, and in the 45 minutes he shares with you on this album, he'll probably say more than you'll hear from anyone else in your life. Alopecia has so much insight to offer for anyone. With every fresh listen I find myself dissecting lines and interpreting them in ways I never had before, even though I've heard them hundreds of times. That is where the power of this album lies, Yoni's lyrics. Phenomenal stuff. Impeccable.
    Favorite track: By Torpedo or Crohn's
  • 80,000th Track

    Lug 27 2008, 2:58

  • 60,000th Track

    Dic 10 2007, 5:58

    Radiohead - Reckoner

    Stay tuned..
  • Top Weekly Artists Log

    Nov 12 2007, 6:01

    2006

    June 11th Dane Cook 6 plays
    June 18th Radiohead 5 plays
    June 25th Jason Collett 29 plays
    July 2nd Jason Collett 29 plays
    July 9th Placebo 12 plays
    July 16th Thom Yorke 68 plays
    July 23rd Thom Yorke 38 plays
    July 30th Radiohead 73 plays
    August 6th Guster 92 plays
    August 13th M83 34 plays
    August 20th Clap Your Hands Say Yeah 49 plays
    August 27th Paulson 85 plays
    September 3rd Hot Chip 118 plays
    September 10th The Decemberists 96 plays
    September 17th The Arcade Fire 19 plays
    September 24th Modest Mouse 46 plays
    October 1st Mitch Hedberg 39 plays
    October 8th Ween 37 plays
    October 15th Zookeeper 79 plays
    October 22nd Red Hot Chili Peppers 59 plays
    October 29th Mitch Hedberg 55 plays
    November 5th Deftones 88 plays
    November 12th Tonight a Fire/Ratatat 82 plays
    November 19th The Smiths 63 plays
    November 26th Elliott Smith 93 plays
    December 3rd Guillemots 104 plays
    December 10th Talking Heads 70 plays
    December 17th Andy C 99 plays
    December 24th dredg 76 plays
    December 31st dredg 132 plays

    2007

    January 7th The Knife 110 plays
    January 14th royksopp 107 plays
    January 21st Guillemots 99 plays
    January 28th Badly Drawn Boy 188 plays
    February 4th The Arcade Fire 118 plays
    February 11th The Arcade Fire 85 plays
    February 18th Cornelius 148 plays
    February 25th Talking Heads 159 plays
    March 4th Sparklehorse 111 plays
    March 11th of Montreal 521 plays
    March 18th Stone Temple Pilots 128 plays
    March 25th Blonde Redhead 83 plays
    April 1st Patrick Wolf 126 plays
    April 8th Bright Eyes 313 plays
    April 15th !!! 110 plays
    April 22nd Bright Eyes 90 plays
    April 29th Patrick Wolf 120 plays
    May 6th The Arcade Fire 245 plays
    May 13th The Radio Dept. 123 plays
    May 20th Radiohead 175 plays
    May 27th Wolf Parade 153 plays
    June 3rd Ween 277 plays
    June 10th Radiohead 138 plays
    June 17th Liars 84 plays
    June 24th Liars 266 plays
    July 1st St. Vincent 102 plays
    July 8th The Doors 250 plays
    July 15th St. Vincent 143 plays
    July 22nd St. Vincent 161 plays
    July 29th Bright Eyes 183 plays
    August 5th Kevin Drew 172 plays
    August 12th Aesop Rock 288 plays
    August 19th M83 163 plays
    August 26th Sigur Rós 174 plays
    September 2nd M83 238 plays
    September 9th M83 456 plays
    September 16th Radiohead 225 plays
    September 23rd Pink Floyd 155 plays
    September 30th Fujiya & Miyagi 144 plays
    October 7th Radiohead 233 plays
    October 14th Radiohead 521 plays
    October 21st Radiohead 583 plays
    October 28th Radiohead 146 plays
    November 4th M83 200 plays
    November 11th M.I.A. 133 plays
    November 18th M83 211 plays

    Radiohead 9
    M83 6
    The Arcade Fire 4
    St. Vincent 3
    Bright Eyes 3
    Guillemots 2
    Liars 2
    Thom Yorke 2
    Talking Heads 2
    dredg 2
    Patrick Wolf 2
    Jason Collett 2
    Mitch Hedberg 2
  • Digital Shades In Rainbows

    Nov 2 2007, 5:03

  • 50,000th Track

    Set 8 2007, 6:01

    In anticipation of my 50,000th track, I took my top ten artists from here and put them all on a playlist and shuffled it up. I figured this way, no matter what track came on, it'd have some emotional weight in my life that I could write a typical boring journal entry about.

    I honestly though I'd make it to 50,000 tracks a lot quicker than a year. With how much I listen to music I'd never think it'd take me a year and three months to listen to 50,000 songs.

    It'd be very easy to say my music tastes have evolved quite a bit since I made my Last.FM. It's been shaped very beautifully, I take nothing but happiness from all the music I listen to. I love music. I love singing along to it, I love going ballistic to it. I love bobbing my head to it, I love getting goosebumps from it. I could not live without music, I'd honestly rather be blind.

    Here are some fun little stats about my top ten artists.

    1. Radiohead - 239 songs, 17.4 hours, 1.07gb
    2. M83 - 79 songs, 6.1 hours, 457.9mb
    3. Guillemots - 76 songs, 6.2 hours, 502.3mb
    4. The Arcade Fire - 63 songs, 4.9 hours, 412.2mb
    5. Bright Eyes - 159 songs, 11.5 hours, 898.5mb
    6. of Montreal - 207 songs, 10.5 hours, 1.03gb
    7. St. Vincent - 12 songs, 46.9 minutes, 78.3mb
    8. Liars - 65 songs, 4.3 hours, 406.5mb
    9. Broken Social Scene - 49 songs, 3.8 hours, 290.7mb
    10. Tool - 75 songs, 8.5 hours, 522.9mb


    49,990 The Arcade Fire-The Woodland National Anthem
    49,991 St. Vincent-Your Lips Are Red
    49,992 Radiohead-The National Anthem (live)
    49,993 Liars-Grown Men Don't Fall In The River, Just Like That
    49,994 Radiohead-Street Spirit (Fade Out)
    49,995 Bright Eyes-Road to Joy
    49,996 Radiohead-Lozenge Of Love
    49,997 Radiohead-Killer Cars
    49,998 Broken Social Scene-Time = Cause
    49,999 Radiohead-Airbag
    50,000 Radiohead-Black Star


    I find it astonishing how much Radiohead was getting played during this 100 song shuffle. Absolutely amazed. I'm very glad that a couple b-sides got on here. Namely Killer Cars. Street Spirit is also my favorite Radiohead song of all time, which pretty much equates to my favorite song of all timne. Nothing but raw emotion in that one. The Liars song is the first Liars song I ever heard, and I pretty much loved it from the start.

    What are we coming to?
    What are we gonna do?

    (How do I still now have the answers to these questions.)

    Blame it on the black star,
    Blame in on the falling sky,
    Blame in on the satellite, that beams me home.

    IMMERSE YOUR SOUL IN LOVE.

    Words to live by.
  • 45,000th Track

    Ago 3 2007, 16:30

    Midlake - Roscoe

    The first song off of the album The Trials Of Van Occupanther, Roscoe is clearly the most standout track on the album. Generally you see artists put tracks like these in the middle of the album, to keep your interest peaked throughout the course of listening to it. Midlake's approach was very different, starting off with a bang.

    When I first listened to the album it didn't impress me. I remember being initially impressed (by Roscoe), but their sound never lingered in my head. I remember the album dragging downwards, and not generating much of a buzz, if any, in my head.

    Fast forward to two months later, last night when I decide to give the album a chance again (since my music tastes are ever-evolving, and I always find myself liking music the second or third chance I give it.)

    Fast forward to me enjoying every second of their melodic sound, wishing I got into them earlier this year so I could have seen them play when they toured with my favorite new artist of the year, St. Vincent. Oh how I'd have love to have seen that show.

    Does anyone know of anything I can do to curb my lack of enjoyment upon a lot of albums first listens?

    This album, after one listen last night, and two more this morning, will clearly become something that'll stick with me. I think it's safe to say Midlake's sound defines peace.
  • 40,000th Track

    Giu 26 2007, 16:48

    Last.FM has had frequent stops in the bathroom this past weekend. And in the process, have completely annihilated my campaign for a 40,000th track. Now that it's working again, I'm able to go back and see what the 40,000th track is. According to my charts, it's At the Bottom of Everything.

    However, I know with certainty that it's not actually that.

    I have itunes and can scrobble at my work. My boss wasn't working yesterday, so my entire eight hour workshift, I was on a Tool kick, and I was listening to them. This would have went well beyond the 40,000th track. But when I got home and started listening again on my computer, shortly after what I was listening to scrobbled, but all the Tool I listened to during the duration of my eight hour workshift did not.

    So, as a result, my real 40,000th track is the band Tool. I don't have a specific track, because I have no idea what order I listened to their albums in. So here is an entry about Tool.

    I started listening to Tool in the tenth grade, while working at Domino's. They were my boss' favorite band, and I absolutely idolized him. He was the coolest and funniest boss I've ever had to this date. Tool fit my mold of the time perfectly, a time that was crafted with Rage Against the Machine, Deftones, and other similar bands.

    The first album of theirs I got was Aenima. From the opening notes, this album fascinated me. To the feedback in the intro of Stinkfist, all the way to the waning moments of Third Eye, this album was something fresh that I'd never experienced. And to this day, this album, and every other Tool album for that matter, are very unique and distinct from the sound of any other band.

    Absolutely absorbed in the greatness of this album, I went out and bought Undertow. I remember laughing and replaying the introduction to Intolerance like five times, because you can hear someone taking a 20-30 second bong hit. I remember opening up the book for the first time, and being disgusted, yet feeling somewhat familiar. Then I remembered: listening to this album at my cousins house when I must have been ten years old. I don't remember any impressions, but I do remember looking at the inside of the booklet and being absolutely disgusted.

    Shortly after I got Undertow I went out and purchased Opiate. Having listened to them in reverse-chronological order, I could see the progression just as well. Initially they were just like any other grungy band. They wrote simple melodies, but with much better lyrics than you'd see in common bands of that mold. With Undertow, they started expanding the length of their songs, adding more solos and interludes. A lot of vocal layering and effects, more production value. But with Aenima, they had reached a level I had not seen until that point. That album has four epic tracks that take a major step in the progression that we see now in Tool. Eulogy, Pushit, Aenema, Third Eye all lead the way to where the band is now with their two latest released, Lateralus and 10,000 Days.

    I don't think it's possible for Tool to make a bad album, and I'd be willing to bet the bank on that. They are all entirely too talented, and to say the least, they are all on the exact same page with where they want to go with their sound. To be honest, Lateralus and 10,000 Days disappointed me at first listen. I guess I felt they could never live up to the beauty that I saw in Aenima. I was very, very wrong. Each album is remarkable in it's own regard. If you've never heard Tool, you're deprived.

    Part of the beauty of Tool is the timelessness of their music. Most bands that are incredible have this incessant ability to feel as if they're ahead of their time. Tool is like this. Radiohead is like this.

    Granted Tool's sound isn't as marketable as Radiohead's. It's not as universal. And musically, you can't compare them at all. They're on almost completely opposite sides of the spectrum. But they share that same unique trait to just set trends and do it with mind-blowing precision.

    I could write another galaxy of pages on Tool, but I just wrote a lengthy entry about Bonnaroo and I'm a bit winded, mentally. But I will copy and paste the part about Tool's performance there in here. Here it is:

    We had a couple hours to kill, so we just hung out and waited for Erin to come back at around 7. She got there, and shortly after, Ash and I ate some hits and the three of us began on the trek towards Centeroo. A half hour later, when we walked through the gates, I could feel it creeping up my spine. I got incredibly giddy and excited, like a child in an amusement park. We walked all the way to What Stage, where Tool was playing, and at this point I was definitely starting to feel it. Not wanting to have a crappy spot, Erin and Ash told me to lead the way through a sea of people. This is one of the craziest things I've ever done, because I had to keep looking at the ground because everyone was laying down. I'd walk for what felt like a couple hundred feet, and look up at the stage and we looked just as far away. The acid was definitely working it's way through my blood. Eventually I found us a nice patch of grass to sit on and wait for Tool since we were an hour early. This is when it really started to get insane. People would walk past us, and I would feel a pulling sensation towards the direction they were going. This went on and on and on because people just kept walking by. The visuals weren't there yet, mostly because it was dark and because we were sitting.

    The second we sensed that Tool was about to come on, we stood up. They all came out to a huge eruption, and me and Ash just looked at each other like, "Here we go!" This was the introductory applause to a roller coaster that would absolutely captivate me. I know it was mostly the acid talking, but this was by far the most intense physical, mental, visual and aural experience I've ever had in my life. I say that with the utmost certainty, that I will never experience something more intense. It's hard to describe, but I can the best way to do so would be that I was a Tool of Tool's music. Their music vibrated it's way through my body, causing me to "dance". Although I wasn't dancing at all, I was having involuntary muscle spasms to the music. I must have looked like the worst dancer ever, but I'll reiterate, I was not dancing. Dancing involves conscious thought. There was no thought. I was being forced into moving the way I was, and I could do nothing to resist it. Ash felt the same way. We couldn't discuss it with each other during a song though, because we were slaves to the song. So many times I wanted to turn to him and say something,and I could not do it because music was playing, and it had to project itself through my body. The videos playing on the screen were so perfectly in tune with their set that it was scary. The light show was simply remarkable, they stretched into the sky for what seemed like miles. All three of us needed a drink SO BAD the entire time, and none of us would leave because it was that amazing. I can say that this performance absolutely killed and performance I'd seen before in my life. And like I said, maybe it was just the acid talking, but I've talked to plenty of people who weren't tripping who said that it was just as amazing as I described it. I've since gotten a hold of the mp3's from this set, and it still blows my mind. No lie; I would pay upwards of $1,000 for a DVD quality video of their performance. Anyone?

    Tool ended their set and walked off stage around 10:45. It was puzzling, because I knew they were supposed to end at 11:30. In my fucked state I sat there staring at my phone trying to explain to Ash and Erin that they cut away short, but I couldn't find words because my mind was fried because of everything it just had to absorb. We stood there for a few minutes in absolute awe, and eventually made our way towards the This Tent. When we got there, I bought a beer because I needed something to help mellow me out a bit. Mellow me out, it did.


    And to close, here are my favorite Tool lyrics:

    Aenema

    Some say the end is near.
    Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
    I certainly hope we will.
    I sure could use a vacation from this


    Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of
    Freaks

    Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA
    The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
    Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
    Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

    Fret for your figure and
    Fret for your latte and
    Fret for your hairpiece and
    Fret for your lawsuit and
    Fret for your prozac and
    Fret for your pilot and
    Fret for your contract and
    Fret for your car.

    It's a
    Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of
    Freaks

    Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA
    The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
    Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
    Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

    Some say a comet will fall from the sky.
    Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves.
    Followed by faultlines that cannot sit still.
    Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits.

    Some say the end is near.
    Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
    I certainly hope we will cuz
    I sure could use a vacation from this

    Silly shit, stupid shit...

    One great big festering neon distraction,
    I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied.

    Learn to swim.

    Mom's gonna fix it all soon.
    Mom's comin' round to put it back the way it ought to be.


    Learn to swim.

    Fuck L Ron Hubbard and
    Fuck all his clones.
    Fuck all those gun-toting
    Hip gangster wannabes.

    Learn to swim.

    Fuck retro anything.
    Fuck your tattoos.
    Fuck all you junkies and
    Fuck your short memory.

    Learn to swim.

    Fuck smiley glad-hands
    With hidden agendas.
    Fuck these dysfunctional,
    Insecure actresses.

    Learn to swim.

    Cuz I'm praying for rain
    And I'm praying for tidal waves
    I wanna see the ground give way.
    I wanna watch it all go down.
    Mom please flush it all away.
    I wanna watch it go right in and down.
    I wanna watch it go right in.
    Watch you flush it all away.

    Time to bring it down again.
    Don't just call me pessimist.
    Try and read between the lines.


    I can't imagine why you wouldn't
    Welcome any change, my friend.

    I wanna see it all come down.
    suck it down.
    flush it down.
  • Bonnaroo Review

    Giu 26 2007, 16:12

    Thursday, June 14th.

    Geoff, Juliana, Erin, Ash and I arrived in Manchester at about 8:00 AM to a line that stretched much farther than the eye can see. It was coming the opposite direction on the road we were in, so the cops directed us to go to the end and then turn around. We drove for about five or ten minutes, still not seeing the end of the line, and eventually turned into a gas station and attempted to turn back into the line. Only problem was, the line wasn't moving. We were fortunate enough that we wasked the people right at the entrance to pull back so our two cars could go in front, and they let us. Very kind of them, we were exceptionally thankful. From there we sat in the line for about a good half hour before it even started moving.

    Once it did, we arrived at the gates about another half hour to an hour later. We finally got to our campsite and started setting up around 10:30 AM. Our camping spot, although five times farther away than last year, was much better. We actually had enough room for our tent and screen house, and then some. As we were setting up the tent I turned and saw this guy next to me hitting a bowl. And in typical Bonnaroo style, said bowl was offered to me. I took a hit of some marvelous marijuana, and was instantly put in that vibe where I was ready to have an amazing time for the next four days. The shows didn't start until about 8:00, so we didn't have anything to do, so we all sat around until about 5:30.

    From there we went into Centeroo, and got food, drinks, etc. I have to give Bonnaroo props for their micro brewery beer selection. Top notch choices. Erin was there to photograph for spin magazine, and she had to photograph The Black Angels at This Tent. So we chilled out and watched them play a couple of songs. I don't remember having a negative or positive opinion on their performance, I wasn't really paying attention because I met up with Kyle and Harvey and Jamie and was hanging out talking to them and drinking beer.

    Right after The Black Angels on This Tent was Mute Math. I'd never heard them, and only heard of them, but because of the lack of a decent lineup on Thursday I was very excited to see them. And they did not disappoint in the slightest. Their sound was perfect for pumping up the crowd for the start of a fine festival. Highlights included one of the members playing one of those keyboard guitar things. They always make me happy. Also, some "random" naked guy ran out on the stage during their performance and started dancing. Little did I know at the time, but this would seemingly spark a wave of nudity that didn't disappear for the duration of the weekend.

    From there we wandered over to That Tent to see [The National], who I had also heard good things about. I have their album on my computer, and I've listened to it once, and never was too impressed with it. I was also not impressed at all with their live show. They were a snoozer. I left a couple times to get food and more beer.

    As the crowd cleared out from The National, we waited for our moment to stream our way through the cracks and get up front for Rodrigo y Gabriela. We got about thirty feet away from the stage, and anticipation built for what felt like ages. I had never heard of them until I was at Coachella, and I missed out on seeing them because Junior Boys was playing. In retrospect, I made a big mistake. Rodrigo y Gabriela are incredible. Two acoustic guitars coming together to create a perfect sound. Their albums are great, but they truly do not do them justice at all. Their live show is simply remarkable. I stayed for about five or six songs, but I started to get headrushes, and I'd have to sit down in the middle of the crowd. I'd stand back up, and get another one. I left probably halfway through their set, and apparently missed some really good covers. Oh well, there's always the next festival they play at, and I'm most certainly going to see them when and if they play Philadelphia.



    Friday, June 15th.

    We awoke around 7:00 AM, as is natural when you're camping. We all went into the screen house and just laid there, preparing ourselves for what would undoubtedly be one of, if not the biggest days. About an hour after we woke up, two hippies walked up to our campsite and offered us doses. I jumped out of my chair and said "Hell yeah!". Ash heard this in the tent while he was getting changed, and he popped his head out like "Uh... Can I have some too?". So we ended up buying doses off these two guys, and then they smoked us up out of my new bowl I had just purchased earlier that morning. Feeling fulfilled, I was prepared what I could potentially make the best day ever. We chilled at the campsite until around 11:30, and then started on the half hour walk to Centeroo.

    We got into Centeroo, and I was supposed to meet Harvey and Kyle at 12:30. Harvey showed up, Kyle did not. I could go into it, but there's no point. But I basically wasted the first part of the day waiting around for people to meet up at certain times and certain places who failed to show up. That's one thing you NEVER do, is NOT be at a meeting place when you're supposed to be. You're ruining other peoples times. End rant.

    I was waiting in my certain place watching Cold War Kids at That Tent. I was outside of the tent, and I couldn't see the stage at all, but I could hear perfectly fine. And I love Cold War Kids, they were one of the acts I was most excited to see, and although I hung around for their entire set in the blazing sun, I didn't get the full experience since I wasn't able to see them or dance in a crowd, I was just standing against the driver's side door of an 18 wheeler. They sounded awesome, and apparently the drummer broke one of his drums on the first song, and they played right through it. The novice that I am, I didn't notice.

    After that we all headed over to This Tent to watch Tortoise. This was a tough choice for me, because I also wanted to see Brazilian Girls, a band that I'm half into and half not. I missed them at Coachella, and dismissed it because they were playing here to. I personally think I made the wrong decision, just because our spot for Tortoise was in the field, with the sun practically directly over us and no shade anywhere in sight. Tortoise's sound doesn't adapt well to a live show, namely a festival. I'm sure it'd have sounded great in an intimate environment, but I guess they just don't have the appeal that Explosions in the Sky has, because they were simply phenomenal at Coachella. Ash, who was excited to see them most, didn't even enjoy their set.

    Craving nothing more than shade and not having another show to see for another hour or so, we went to the Disco Arcade tent where people were playing Guitar Hero on a HUGE screen. It was entertaining to say the least, and relieving to say the most.

    After that we set out to the sign for This Tent to watch Hot Chip and wait to meet back up with Harvey and Kyle before we ate those doses. Yet another instance where if I had my way, and wasn't waiting for someone I'd have been up front watching them perform. Even though they disappointed me at Coachella, I love their songs so much that I had to see them. Needless to say, Ash and I had a good time barely dancing under the sign, because it had shade just like the tent did.

    After not seeing them meet us by the end of the show, I decided to text them and be a nice guy and wait around for another half hour under the sign for them to show up. We waited that half hour, and they never did. So we started making the walk back to our campsite to chill out for a couple hours before Tool and take those doses. By the time we got back to the campsite a half hour later, I had two text messages from both of them saying that we should meet them at their campsite. Above and beyond sick of attempting to adhere to them, I sent them a nasty text back stating that they've fucked us over enough today, and that if they want these doses, they're coming to our campsite (which truly was as far away as possible.) That was the last we heard of them at Bonnaroo.

    We had a couple hours to kill, so we just hung out and waited for Erin to come back at around 7. She got there, and shortly after, Ash and I ate some hits and the three of us began on the trek towards Centeroo. A half hour later, when we walked through the gates, I could feel it creeping up my spine. I got incredibly giddy and excited, like a child in an amusement park. We walked all the way to What Stage, where Tool was playing, and at this point I was definitely starting to feel it. Not wanting to have a crappy spot, Erin and Ash told me to lead the way through a sea of people. This is one of the craziest things I've ever done, because I had to keep looking at the ground because everyone was laying down. I'd walk for what felt like a couple hundred feet, and look up at the stage and we looked just as far away. The acid was definitely working it's way through my blood. Eventually I found us a nice patch of grass to sit on and wait for Tool since we were an hour early. This is when it really started to get insane. People would walk past us, and I would feel a pulling sensation towards the direction they were going. This went on and on and on because people just kept walking by. The visuals weren't there yet, mostly because it was dark and because we were sitting.

    The second we sensed that Tool was about to come on, we stood up. They all came out to a huge eruption, and me and Ash just looked at each other like, "Here we go!" This was the introductory applause to a roller coaster that would absolutely captivate me. I know it was mostly the acid talking, but this was by far the most intense physical, mental, visual and aural experience I've ever had in my life. I say that with the utmost certainty, that I will never experience something more intense. It's hard to describe, but I can the best way to do so would be that I was a Tool of Tool's music. Their music vibrated it's way through my body, causing me to "dance". Although I wasn't dancing at all, I was having involuntary muscle spasms to the music. I must have looked like the worst dancer ever, but I'll reiterate, I was not dancing. Dancing involves conscious thought. There was no thought. I was being forced into moving the way I was, and I could do nothing to resist it. Ash felt the same way. We couldn't discuss it with each other during a song though, because we were slaves to the song. So many times I wanted to turn to him and say something,and I could not do it because music was playing, and it had to project itself through my body. The videos playing on the screen were so perfectly in tune with their set that it was scary. The light show was simply remarkable, they stretched into the sky for what seemed like miles. All three of us needed a drink SO BAD the entire time, and none of us would leave because it was that amazing. I can say that this performance absolutely killed and performance I'd seen before in my life. And like I said, maybe it was just the acid talking, but I've talked to plenty of people who weren't tripping who said that it was just as amazing as I described it. I've since gotten a hold of the mp3's from this set, and it still blows my mind. No lie; I would pay upwards of $1,000 for a DVD quality video of their performance. Anyone?

    Tool ended their set and walked off stage around 10:45. It was puzzling, because I knew they were supposed to end at 11:30. In my fucked state I sat there staring at my phone trying to explain to Ash and Erin that they cut away short, but I couldn't find words because my mind was fried because of everything it just had to absorb. We stood there for a few minutes in absolute awe, and eventually made our way towards the This Tent. When we got there, I bought a beer because I needed something to help mellow me out a bit. Mellow me out, it did.

    Since Centeroo is entirely empty when a headliner is on, it was very easy for us to walk our way up to the front of This Tent to await the arrival of Aesop Rock. He was the perfect change of pace from Tool, he had everyone into it. It was great getting to see two artists who I've never seen before, but always dreamed of seeing, back to back. He played a couple new songs, which sounded absolutely awesome. And he continued the blatant trippiness that Tool started, and added sweet vocal effects and lyrics about dosing in his set. I remember him playing a remix of "No Regrets", which was awesome, because a lot of people in the tent knew the words! Ash and I were plagued by awkward looking lesbians standing in front of us the entire time at Tool, and they apparently followed us to Aesop Rock. If you could see the way these girls danced, you'd just sit there in shock, thinking, "Are these bitches for real?". Anyway.

    After Aesop's set we were all feeling a bit drained, so we sat down against a tree (Ash's idea), in the middle of an "intersection". Which, of course, subjects you to the gazing eyes of thousands of people while you're coming down on acid. Not exactly the best situation. Ash tired of this after about five minutes, and we wandered around Centeroo. We got the chance to watch "Dazed and Confused" that was played in the SuperJam. It was very sweet. We all wanted to get back to camp though and relax, so we started that dreaded walk back.

    I knew I'd be able to trip by myself, or with Ash, and be able to handle myself. But Erin wanted to hang out with us, so we said she could, and that she could be our "trip sitter". She was resourceful while we were in Centeroo, but me and Ash truly owe her our lives for getting us back to our campsite that night. I would have never been able to get us there, as good as I am with directions. The entire time I thought we were going the wrong way, but Erin got us there safe and sound. Thank you, Erin.

    When we got back to camp Geoff was awake, and we chilled with him for a little bit. Then Ash and Erin went to bed, and me and Geoff stayed awake and talked for awhile. Then Geoff went to bed, and I still wasn't tired. But not wanting to sit in the cold by myself, I went in the tent and put on M83. Perfect choice, Sean.



    Saturday, June 16th

    We awoke at 8:30 (yay, sleeping in!), and went in the screen house. This is apparently when my bronchitis started. Geoff and I hung a tarp over the one side to add more shade, which worked out perfectly. Ash's suitcase was in the screen house from the night before, and it's a very vintage suitcase. It looks like an old relic. Geoff made a joke and called it the "immigrant suitcase", which had everyone laughing their ass off. Eventually, his suitcase became the joke of the morning. We were saying that it was the only lasting piece of wreckage from the Titanic, amongst many other hilarious things. Having seen no shows in the comedy tent, it was definitely the comedic highlight of the weekend. It was situated in between all of us on the tarp on the ground, and we were all putting our drinks, phones, etc. on it, because it functioned sort of as a table. Ash would complain about this, to which Geoff would reply, "If you don't want us putting stuff on it, move it." Ash, being the lazy person he is, wouldn't move it. Instead Ash would say things like "Oh yeah. Well I'm just going to grab your backpack and put stuff on it." Which also had me laughing my ass off. I'm laughing so hard typing this, it was hilarious. Anyways.

    The heat was starting to drive us mad, so we went in Geoff's car and sat in the air conditioning for two hours. It was so relaxing. We smoked a bowl, and came up with more suitcase jokes. After that, we left the car to go back to the 95 degree heat, and this instantly made me exhausted, so I laid down on a chair on the screen house and slept for about two hours, knowing I didn't have to be anywhere until 5:30 when Ween came on. I awoke at 4:45, and looked at my phone, and got up almost instantly to leave for Centeroo by myself.

    I got to This Tent to watch Ween a little before they came on. So I went to the beer tent right there and got a couple beers and found a nice spot of semi-shade to stand and watch them. They were slated for 2 and a half hours, and they played the entire time. They played every song I could have requested of them, and I was delighted. They even played "Mister Richard Smoker", which worked it's way into my head for the duration of the day. Watching a band that appeals to hippies is always great because you get to watch the hippies dancing. They are so funny. Thank you, hippies.

    After Ween ended I went and met up with everyone and we split ways, Ash, Juliana and Erin went to see The Police. Me and Geoff said "Fuck that" and decided to just walk around Centeroo. We checked out the Disco Arcade again. I wanted to go in the Silent Disco but the line was way too long. We got food, smoothies, etc. I was sick of laying on the cold, damp grass, so I bought a hippie blanket for $12 to lay on. We went to The Other Tent where Girl Talk was playing, and laid down on the blanket and drank smoothies. Then Geoff spilled his, and got up to buy a new one. I fell asleep on the blanket. He got back and we waited and waited for Girl Talk. (Ween ended at 8, Girl Talk started at 12). Eventually Ash, Erin, and Juliana came back, and all hung out.

    The Other Tent started filling up fast, so we claimed our spots about twenty feet from the stage. By the time Girl Talk came on, the tent was fascinatingly full, and incredibly energetic. He came out and mixed a brilliant set, everyone was going nuts. (I think it's a physical impossibility to not get into a Girl Talk performance). We danced and had a blast the entire hour. Marvelous.

    After that ended, Ash, Erin and I wandered over to Which Stage to see The Flaming Lips. I was excited to see them because I'd heard great things about their live shows. I'll just leave it at this: We watched them for about a half an hour, and they only played two songs: "Yeah Yeah Yeah Song" and "Waiting for Superman". Fortunately for me, they are two of my favorite songs of theirs. But the singer just kept talking. And talking. And talking. Half hour, two songs. It got incredibly boring, so we called it a night and went back to camp. In retrospect, I regret this move, because it was the last real night at Bonnaroo, and I had yet to wander and explore at evening like I had last year. Then again it was much more convenient because of where our campsite was last year. I guess it's not that big of a deal, because Sasha and Digweed are horrible, and they were the late DJ's. But I'd have liked to have gone to the Silent Disco at least once. Wah!


    Sunday, June 17th

    We woke up at 8:30 again, and almost instantly went into the cars for AC. Ash and I were going to see Demetri Martin at 2, and everyone else wasn't going anywhere until 2:30. But Ash and I had to wait in line, so we left at around 12:30 to get in line for Demetri Martin. We finally got to Centeroo on the hottest day yet, and the line was so long there was a certainty that we'd not get inside the air conditioned comedy tent to watch them.

    We gave up on that thought instantly, and decided to drink. We went to the Broo'ers Festival, where you could buy tickets to taste test beers, or buy full ones. We bought $15 worth of tickets and got drunk, because we were slamming back 3 oz samples like it was our job. I tasted the best beer I've ever had in my life (which is a real stretch if you know me and my relationship with Blue Moon). It was made by a brewery in Georgia called SweetWater. And it was blueberry flavored. Sounds gross, but simply remarkable.

    We left there, and dying of heat, we went to This Tent where there was ample shade for us to relax in. There we watched Sonya Kitchell, who didn't sound half bad at all.

    After that, we made our way up front because I wanted to see Elvis Perkins. He did not disappoint at all. He was absolutely awesome, I adored his entire set. And to make things even better, Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah came out and played a song with him! It was an awesome performance that was one of my favorites of the festival, and I barely know his music that well. I'm certain I will be listening to him a lot more in weeks to come.

    We contemplated between leaving after Elvis to see The Decemberists, who were playing Which Stage. I wanted to more than anything in the world, but we would have had to stand out in the sun for an hour and a half, and we would have lost our spot in the FRONT ROW for Feist. Staying and watching an act we had no interest in made more sense than leaving, standing in the sun, and coming back to probably have to stand in the sun and watch Feist. Sorry Decemberists. Another band I missed at Coachella with intentions of seeing here. However I've seen them live before, and although they're remarkable, and although they're one of my favorite bands, it wasn't worth what we'd lose to have to see them.

    Martha Wainwright played after Elvis Perkins, and she wasn't bad at all. I used this time however to relax and I even dozed off for a little bit. But she didn't disappoint, and it definitely helped make it more worth waiting for.

    Finally Geoff and Juliana and Erin came and met up with me and Ash who had been in This Tent the entire day. They admired our spot right up front for Feist. Feist came out to tremendous applause, and performed brilliantly. This girl can rock out. Her voice is incredible, and her stage presence is awesome. Jumping around, doing crazy things with her guitar, simply splendid. She even cracked some good jokes in between songs. One of the highlights of the weekend, no doubt. Since we were right up front we were right next to the VIP area, and just like at last year's Bonnaroo, I saw Demetri Martin there, and was standing about five feet away from him. Here is Feist's setlist for those interested. Two songs are noted as ??? because I have no idea what they were. If anyone knows, please let me know!!!

    When I Was A Young Girl
    I Feel It All
    So Sorry
    My Moon My Man
    The Park
    ???
    Limit To Your Love
    ???
    Gatekeeper
    Secret Heart
    Brandy Alexander
    1 2 3 4
    Mushaboom

    ENCORE!

    Sea Lion Woman
    Let It Die

    From there we went to Which Stage to watch The White Stripes. They weren't bad, but they were far from great. It probably mostly had to do with our anticipation of Bonnaroo ending and us leaving. We stayed for about a half hour of their set, and Ash and I headed back to the campsite to finish packing. But first we walked down Shakedown and were offered everything under the sun for super cheap. I bought pot for my friend Anthony who we were stopping to see in North Carolina on the way back. Because of this being my objective, I turned down anyone who offered me acid. Boy, do I regret that decision, because I could have gotten hits for as little as $4 each.

    After everyone gathered back at the campsite we finished packing up and were about to leave when this super-hippie next to us came up and offered us e-pills. This guy was rolling so hard, and it was so evident, Geoff and Juliana bought some, and I bought two for myself because the guy totally sold me. Being a salesperson, I know how it is to put effort into something and get rejected for seemingly no reason. I couldn't reject this guy, he really did a marvelous job selling, especially under the influence of such intense drugs. Yay drugs.

    We drove off into the night and stopped at the first motel on the way back for the best shower of our lives, and I proceeded to fall right asleep on the bed in the air conditioned room. We left in the morning for an eight hour drive to North Carolina to see Anthony, where we got dinner and drinks, and went back to his house and chilled all night and ended up sleeping there. Tuesday morning we awoke and drove straight home to Pennsylvania, and got back around 7:30 PM.

    Overall, I'd have to say that this Bonnaroo's experience was better than my Coachella experience overall, but I'm still undecided as to whether or not it was better than last year's Bonnaroo. Tool's groundbreaking performance carries a lot of weight in my "better than Coachella" statement. Anyways, I've been typing this for about an hour, so I'm done. Hope you enjoyed. :D.
  • twentythree 23 twentythree

    Giu 6 2007, 3:35

    I've decided (with the insistence of Leah :P) to make a Top 23 albums of my lifetime. One for each year.

    They are going to appear in alphabetical order.

    And I'm limiting myself to one album per artist as well.

    I'm feeling somewhat nostalgic today, and respectful towards the roots of my music taste.

    This was not easy to do AT ALL. And I'm sure that it would differ on a different day, under a different mood.

    But here we go.

    Adrenaline - Deftones

    This was an album that I acquired in ninth grade. This was after people had already started listening to Rage, a band I had been into for quite some time. I needed something else to charge me up, and low and behold there was Deftones. Instantly I was blown away by their sound. They had the grunge sound of a few years prior with the angst and energy that fit my life so well at the time.
    Favorite track: Lifter

    Aenima - Tool

    I guess I was an angry teenager like most others in my time. I'm not so sure what there was to be angry about. I had always heard of Tool but never really listened to them until tenth grade. Initially I was in love with the Opiate EP and Undertow because of their grungier sound. However once I heard epics such as "Pushit" and "Eulogy" my mind was blown. They were like the Pink Floyd of metal music, and their sound evolved so much in this album.
    Favorite track: Eulogy

    All At Once - Paulson

    Geoff got me into Paulson about a year and a half ago. Instantly their sound brought me back to my emo days, only they sounded so much more acceptable. The entire album from front to back is constructed with awesome guitar licks, seamless drumming and moving lyrics. Having seen them four times live, I can attest to how danceable their sound is. They always perform with the emotion you can hear clear as day on the album.
    Favorite track: Programs

    All Eyez on Me - 2Pac

    I was heavy into rap and hip-hop in eighth grade. It started with Wu-Tang Clan, which I really got into as early as third grade thanks to my older sister Cristin. Eventually the music of Wu-Tang offered nothing new, Wu-Tang Forever (which came out in seventh grade) never really struck me as that great of an album. As such, I turned to other artists, mainly 2Pac. He's always struck me as an awesome lyricist. The passion with which he puts forth his words is hard to come by in the hip-hop world today. Not to mention the production on this album is top-notch. To this day I can safely say it's one of the most well constructed rap/hip-hop albums in existence.
    Favorite track (disc 1): Tradin' War Stories
    Favorite track (disc 2): When We Ride

    Before the Dawn Heals Us - M83

    This is someone else I can thank Geoff for. Sadly I only got into them a little over a year ago. However, this past year has held some beautiful moments while this album was playing. Most memorably would be at Bonnaroo last year, sitting in Geoff's car in the AC trying to survive while listening to this. Of course some psychedelic substances helped enhance the value of it. I can't listen to this album without being transcended to that or some other incredible memory in my life. It confuses me to this day how people fail to see the beauty in this album, or any M83 album for that matter. Their sound is so cinematic, so engrossing. It really defines the way music should be.
    Favorite track: Moonchild

    The Bends - Radiohead

    I've been a fan of Radiohead since the moment I saw "Creep" on MTV when I was in third grade. They instantly struck me as a band that had an unfounded ability to make one feel the singers pain. Although it's known that all musicians put emotion into music, they were the first band to make me actually feel it. That feeling transferred even better into this album, which blew my mind from day one. From the opening notes, you could sense that Radiohead were bringing electronic elements into a traditional rock realm. From front to back this is the most solid rock and roll album we will probably ever see in our time. There is not a dull moment on the album, not a single song that isn't perfectly put in place. And although Radiohead just continue to get better and better (I could have easily put ANY Radiohead album on here) this one sticks with me the most because it is just that: THE BEST ROCK AND ROLL ALBUM OF ALL TIME. In a lot of ways I view some of their other albums as better, but they're better in different ways. I don't think I could ever take that title away from this album. And unlike some other selections on here, this pick isn't about memories. This is about pure rock and roll. Kid A and Hail To The Thief hold much, much greater memories for me. But The Bends takes the cake.
    Favorite track: Street Spirit (Fade Out)

    Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene

    This is one of my "memories" selections that I just mentioned. Initially Broken Social Scene never really impressed me that much. I felt like I was listening to much greater things at the time, and I slept on them really bad. Then a year ago they (mostly this album) hit me really, really hard. When I went to Virginia Beach with my family, I had about ten cd's with me. Although I didn't have this one for the drive down there, every night I spent on the beach deep in thought, I listened to this album. And it was so fucking perfect. Now I know why there are tracks on the album titled "Our Faces Split the Coast in Half" and "Windsurfing Nation" and "7/4 (Shoreline)". This album was made to be listened to on the beach. If you don't trust me, sit on the beach by yourself in the middle of the night and put it on. That, or sit for an hour until the climax of this CD waiting for the sun to rise on the Atlantic Ocean. It will be worth it, weather permitting.
    Favorite Track: Major Label Debut

    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

    At first I thought this band was such a wannabe Radiohead. The way Alec droned on and on, dragging his words in a monotone manner really made me feel like he was paying tribute to Thom Yorke in his own way. Because of this, I didn't like it at first. Eventually we drove down to Bonnaroo for thirteen hours and this CD was in there for a good portion of the time. It started creeping it's way into me. Then at Bonnaroo I saw them perform live, me and Geoff got up right in the front to the left, and were standing right next to Demetri Martin. I wasn't blown away, but by the time we drove home, all I wanted to listen to was this album. After I got back it became my favorite CD of the time. For awhile they were the top artist on my Last.FM if I'm not mistaken.
    Favorite track: In This Home on Ice

    Float - Aesop Rock

    "So I heard y'all wanna float". The first Aesop Rock album I got a hold of was Labor Days. I thought it was the best hip-hop I'd heard in my life until I got a hold of this, and it elevated me to another level instantly with that first line. I was indeed floating upon first listen. This album spawned an entire hip-hop fetish for about a year. I was all over the place trying to find more hip-hop. Blockhead's work as producer on this album is remarkable. Aesop Rock's flow and intelligence has yet to be mimicked by any other MC. Just listen to "Basic Cable" or "6B Panorama" and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. If you don't, then there's something missing in your brain.
    Favorite track: Basic Cable

    Funeral - Arcade Fire

    One of many bands that I started listening to simply because of their name, I must admit that I saw through the greatness of this band into nothing. For a year or so I really only liked the song "Rebellion (Lies)" I started dating this girl who was also into them, and we started listening to this album quite a bit. Even then, it never really hit me how beautiful it was. I guess I was always too distracted to truly appreciate the beauty of it. (Yet another Bonnaroo story) Then at Bonnaroo when we were setting up our tent, Justin put this CD on in his car and played it so we could all listen. It wasn't until then that it hit me how remarkable of an album it was, and how I had slept on so many of the great tracks on it for so long. The classical elements of Arcade Fire are unseen today in modern rock. The diversity of instruments they use that resembles an orchestra, the singing style that they use in almost every song resembles a choir. By the time Rebellion came on, I had already changed my opinion about my favorite song on the album. Twice. It would be a very simple thing for me to put this in my Top 5 albums of all time. But please don't force me into making that list.
    Favorite track: Wake Up

    Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? - of Montreal

    I had this album in September of last year even though it didn't come out until March. I listened to it once and dismissed it as the new age of emo due to Kevin Barnes' voice. It's easy to say I slept on yet another great album. Finally all of my friends were super super excited to see Of Montreal in March of this year. Wanting to know what their boner was all about, I popped this album on again. Instantly the production of it drew me in. The album is entirely seamless. It's hard to distinguish when one track ends and another begins. This album absolutely consumed me. Possibly more than any other album has in the past. I scrobbled Of Montreal 521 times in one week, and almost all of it was this album. To this day that is a record on my Last.FM, and I find it hard to imagine it going away. I literally listened to this album over and over. And getting to see them perform live only deepened my love for them even more. They're remarkable both on the stage and in the studio.
    Favorite track: A Sentence Of Sorts In Kongsvinger

    Myth Takes - !!!

    It's not often you'll see a band that doesn't really have a name, just symbols. I saw them on the lineup for Coachella and looked them up, seeing that they were similar to bands like The Rapture who I was excited to see there. So I decided to check them out. Initially wasn't that impressed, which I guess is starting to become a recurring theme of these blurbs. I think my problem was that I was mostly listening to them while playing video games. One day my cousin (whose music taste I hold in the highest regard) IM'ed me and he said "Dude. Myth Takes is one of the best albums of 2007 easily." I put it on immediately after that and actually listened to it with full intent. And I was blown away. Their sound is so unique in todays music scene. The description for them on last.fm is perfect. They list like nine genres in the first sentence, it's so true. Such a lovable sound. Such a danceable sound.
    Favorite track: Must Be The Moon

    One Day I'll Be on Time - The Album Leaf

    The Album Leaf was easily the first instrumental band I got into. The way I used to find bands in days before last.fm was I'd look at concert listings and any names that looked cool, I'd try and find their stuff. I remember having tickets to see them live in 2001, but after they sold the tickets they came out and said it was 21+. I remember working at Pizza Hut in 03 and playing this album on the stereo there, and our 65 year old driver loving it. I even burned it for him. The only opportunity I had to see The Album Leaf live was a trip to the city on the train in the pouring rain and waiting outside for three hours for the show to start. It was worth every second. It may have been the first show I squirted tears at. I remember hearing "Vermillion" on a Hummer commercial after they first came out and getting super pissed because this was "MY BAND". I also remember them being played in the background of an entire episode of The Real World. This album will always hold the honor of being my first "post-rock" or "shoegaze" album. However you want to refer to it.
    Favorite track: Asleep

    Paul's Boutique - Beastie Boys

    I don't think i could have a proper top 23 albums without having a Beastie Boys album. Then again I have a list like this without having an album by The Doors on here. Yet it still feels appropriate, as much as I've been influence by The Doors and Jim Morrison. Ironic. Anyway, there was a period of a good four months where all I listened to was the Beastie Boys. It started when their greatest hits compilation came out. They're so fun to listen to. I've always wanted to see them live. I had tickets to see them in 2000 on their tour with Rage Against the Machine, and then Rage broke up, so the show got cancelled. That would have been the greatest concert ever. Paul's Boutique is layed with track after track of "ill rhymin and stealin". It's hard to choose it over the much edgier Ill Communication, but I have to give it the edge because of songs like "Egg Man", "High Plains Drifter", and "The Sounds of Science".
    Favorite track: High Plains Drifter

    Picaresque - The Decemberists

    A band I can thank an ex-girlfriend for. And also be thankful that our bad breakup hasn't destroyed the quality of the album, and probably did nothing but add substance and meaning to it. Colin Meloy writes some of the most incredible imagery in his lyrics, it's impossible not to admire what he does. They have similar orchestral elements to the Arcade Fire. Because of this their sound is a lot more unique and polished. Violins, accordians, all sorts of crazy stuff I never thought I'd be able to rock out to. But they make it work so well. Colin's voice takes some getting used to, but once you're accustomed to how English he sounds, and how non-English he is, you must fall in love. For about a month or two after my bad breakup this was my recovery album, and I couldn't have asked for more.
    Favorite track: On the Bus Mall

    Point - Cornelius

    I only got into this during the winter this year, but to this day I love it to death. I could listen to this album for 24 hours straight, and most likely want to go another 24 hours. To me what makes some music even more beautiful is knowing about the artist itself. And to know that it's just one person writing and making all the music really puts a lot more into my thoughts of it. The dynamics of the sound on this album are much different than anything else I've ever heard. Abstract and ambient noises, water drops, birds tweeting, etc all used in a manner that adds that transcendental feeling to it. I can't listen to this album and not be transformed into a peaceful state. Perhaps I shall make myself really angry and put this on in an attempt to alter that.
    Favorite track: Tone Twilight Zone

    The Queen Is Dead - The Smiths

    School kids chanting in the beginning of this album immediately makes me think of The Wall by Pink Floyd, another album on this list. And the album only gets better as a whole. Morrissey has a way of presenting his emotions in a manner unlike any other singer. I can't even begin to describe it. He easily has the most classical voice of any singer I've ever come to admire. This band does not feel like an 80's band, and this album does not feel like an 80's album. They feel two decades ahead of their time, or two decades behind their time. I can't decide. I'm just sad that I never truly discovered the greatness of The Smiths until two years ago.
    Favorite track: Bigmouth Strikes Again

    Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine

    It has been well over a decade since I first heard this album, and to this day it puts me in the same place it did when I first heard it. Even fifteen years later, it still sounds so crisp and flawless. It's easy to say that Rage revolutionized music. Tom Morello is easily the most innovative guitar player ever. The things he does live and in the studio to produce the sounds that he does are remarkable. I have long held views similar to that of Rage's. And I'm sure that I have because before I could even logically think for myself about manners they were discussing, I was already listening to them and starting to learn some things. It's safe to say I was bred into Rage Against The Machine.
    Favorite track: Know Your Enemy

    Richard D. James Album - Aphex Twin

    The only reason this album made it on here is because of how many times I've listened to it while tripping on acid. I'll be as blunt as possible and as honest as possible. Because of how many times I've done this, I can listen to this album and instantly think of those things that I'd thought of so many years ago. Aphex Twin is a ridiculous composer, but I feel a lot of his other albums have weak tracks. This one has always been my favorite of his by far. There are so many good tracks on here it's almost as scary as the cover.
    Favorite track: 4


    Start Here - The Gloria Record

    Although this is not my favorite Gloria Record album, it's the most worthy because it's an LP and not a 5 song EP. Their sound is a lot more evolved than the two previous EPs. There's a lot more insrumentation and more emphasis put on production. In my opinion there's not a single weak moment on the CD, although I didn't initially feel that way at first because it's a total change of pace from the first two EP's. They have always, and will always, be my favorite "emo" band. And they deserve a place on here. I was fortunate enough to meet Chris Simpson, the singer, a year ago in New York. It was truly fascinating. He was easily one of the most genuine and sincere people I've ever met in my entire life. He was very appreciative to speak to me, and very respectful and generous. I didn't think I could have fallen more in love with him, but I did. This album will forever remind me of almost an entire year back in 02, when I was trying to ween myself away from emo, and did so by listening to this.
    Favorite track: Ascension Dream

    Through The Windowpane - Guillemots

    Although Geoff tries to take credit for this one, I have no choice but to give it to Leah. I heard them for the first time in Geoff's car, but only for about two minutes or so. Never listened to an entire song or anything. Then I realized that there was this new band I'd never heard of creeping up my number one neighbor's charts, and low and behold it was a band named Guillemots. I downloaded the album late one night and put it on hoping to fall asleep after it. That plan failed. I had to play it again. Then I was able to fall asleep. The album starts creeping into your veins with the amazing introductory track "Little Bear", and it never leaves you until the closing notes of "Sao Paulo". I am proud to say that I have since turned a bunch of my friends into Guillemots fans. Normally I like music but I try and hoard it and keep it as my own. But with Last.FM and the generosity of certain people, I've learned that that's not the way music is meant to be. It's meant to be shared and heard by everyone. "Trains to Brazil" may easily be the best rock song in recent memory. It's so catchy, I don't see how anyone young or old could not like it.
    Favorite track: Trains to Brazil

    Tiny Music... Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop - Stone Temple Pilots

    Another album that defined a part of my life, I had this album almost immediately after it came out. It was the second CD I ever owned, and as such I used to listen to it constantly. One great song after another, this album truly exhibits what drugs do to songwriting skills. In case you missed that reference, drugs make songwriting better. This was their first album that started creeping away from the grunge sound that they helped define, and they did such a good job progressing their sound. Normally when bands start changing their sound, it's for the worse. Stone Temple Pilots started it off right with this album, but lost it shortly after this came out when Scott Weiland went to jail and rehab. Oh well, further proof that all good things must come to an end.
    Favorite track: Seven Caged Tigers

    The Wall - Pink Floyd

    As a child I remember making my dad repeat the part "Look mommy, there's a little plane up in the sky". Or whatever the kid says. It wasn't until seventh grade when I stole my dad's CD and started listening to it. Instantly I thought I was discovering something great, and boy was I right. It didn't really hit me until eighth grade how unique this album is, and the meaning it has behind it. Eventually I was able to see the movie, which only added to that emotional element so much more. I have only ever sung at karaoke once, and the one song I did was off of this album. The track was "Nobody Home". And even the best of singers would butcher this song, because they didn't go through what Roger Waters did. This will forever be cemented in time as the best double disc release ever. If you want to contest that, try me.
    Favorite track (disc 1): Mother
    Favorite track (disc 2): Nobody Home