Wednesday, September 30, 2009

IMPORTANT SONG



KID ON MY SHOULDERS --- WHITE RABBITS

i pretty much consider this song "the jam." there was a time when i was driving my car and was gaining on another car that i thought was my coworker's who always drives around blasting eminem and shit, so i tried to find an appropriately badass song to stoplight-confront him with. i settled upon kid on my shoulders. the car wasn't my coworkers - it belonged to a bunch of grown-up bitties ready for a night on the town. IRRELEVANT.

that piano / bass thing is incredible. you can feel that this song is building to something, and it eventually builds to that fantastic last half: "we held our tongues throughout it / one day we'll laugh about it." what a great lyric that is, and what a stunning thing to sing - with the piano - a hundred times.

white rabbits are playing pearl street in northampton on october 20. you should make it a priority to be there.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'D ACCEPT "HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE"



dirty projectors "when the world comes to an end" on fallon.
this band can do no wrong.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I MADE FIFTY!



here are the fifty bands i've seen this year and a song by each. i only counted repeats once... i did see vampire weekend four times, grizzly bear and here we go magic three, antlers, beach house, walkmen twice.
* are shows that blew my mind off my face.

1/10 VAMPIRE WEEKEND
2/28 FINAL FANTASY AND GRIZZLY BEAR
3/27 THE SOFT PACK AND FRIENDLY FIRES
4/4 JON MOSES, CUT OFF YOUR HANDS AND *RA RA RIOT
4/16 ANTLERS, BEACH HOUSE, AND THE WALKMEN
4/18 VAMPIRE WEEKEND
5/13 DAVE TRIGGIANO AND CHIDDY BANG
5/29 HERE WE GO MAGIC AND *GRIZZLY BEAR (i wrestled for a long time with this as the best show of my life. i don't really know.)
6/18 CALEXICO AND *ANDREW BIRD (every andrew show will blow your mind)
6/20 *HATCHAM SOCIAL, MIIKE SNOW, MACCABEES
7/3 BACHELORETTE, HERE WE GO MAGIC
7/12 JEMIMA PEARL, PONYTAIL, FUCKED UP, AND MISSION OF BURMA
7/18 BEAR HANDS, *JAPANDROIDS, FUTURE OF THE LEFT, FRIGHTENED RABBIT, GRAND DUCHY, AND RAVONETTES
7/19 CRYSTAL ANTLERS, MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC COMPANY, AND *DIRTY PROJECTORS
7/22 VAMPIRE WEEKEND
7/26 GRUPO FANTASMO, HEALTH, AND BLACK LIPS
7/31 HEARTLESS BASTARDS, SEASICK STEVE, *FLEET FOXES, *THE NATIONAL, *VAMPIRE WEEKEND, YEAH YEAH YEAHS, AND JAY-Z
8/13 AMAZING BABY AND *YEASAYER
8/23 MAX TUNDRA, WIZ KHALIFA, GIRL TALK
8/30 VEGA, BEACH HOUSE, GRIZZLY BEAR
9/20 THE DIG, HERE WE GO MAGIC, *THE WALKMEN
9/26 ELIZABETH AND THE CATAPULT, ANTLERS

elizabeth and the catapult were my fiftieth band; big ups to them.
please use this occasion of this post to listen to hatcham social, the dig, japandroids, bear hands, soft pack, AND that version of dirty projectors' remade horizon that i posted - i'm actually going to use "INCENDIARY" to describe it.

btw, you CAN download these songs if you click "READ FULL POST," go to the post, and go to the download link therein.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

UNDERLINE EVERYTHING



IS SQUALOR VICTORIA THE SONG OF THE DECADE?

i started listening to the national for a reason that's less than ideal, so i'm not going to disclose it on the internet, but i would be lying if i said i found out about them through some random hype machine escapades, bored searching through music blog archives, or for even better reasons like accidentally seeing them live. shamefully, i bought boxer only recently, but then i was hooked. revelation time. what is this beautiful creature? matt beringer has a voice like whale singing and cake icing. squalor victoria is all fast drums and mournful strings. can't you FEEL it when the piano comes in? something must happen here. something must happen here. what will happen here? and the piano happens. and the voice happens. and it all happens. this is a perfect song. it speaks of a thousand things.

when i saw the national live i was not convinced by them and i was not one hundred percent sure that they were something fantastic until they played squalor victoria. after they played squalor victoria they played...

IS ABEL THE SONG OF THE DECADE?

abel. and i remember it was pouring rain and i was soaking wet and i heard "MY MIND'S NOT RIGHT" and i was talking to simone at the time and then i started yelling the words in her face in the middle of the sentence (i'll leave you to wonder about the validity of that statement because right after the national i saw vampire weekend for the eighth time). whereas squalor victoria is all polished and smooth, with that rainy new-york gloom, abel is just a perfect rock song. the best part is maybe two and a half minutes in: "abel, my mind's... come loose inside the shell!" and then the guitar. what a great song. wonderful to stand in the pouring rain and scream that something's wrong with you. something's inherently wrong with you if you'll go through something like that for music, and maybe by wrong here i just mean REALLY, REALLY RIGHT.


IS BOXER THE ALBUM OF THE DECADE?
this was so hard for me to decide because i love alligator too.


(note chandelier)

let's just say these would both make a top fifty for me.

ps. let's CONSIDER AARON DESSNER too!

I DID WHAT I THOUGHT I WAS SUPPOSED TO DO



SUNLIGHT --- HARLEM SHAKES

harlem shakes DID WORK on this song: sweet upbeat pop with offbeat keyboards and horns. try not to die when the trombone comes in. to throw in some melancholy, this band called it quits last week, i think.

Friday, September 25, 2009

DO YOU HAVE EIGHT MINUTES AND FORTY FOUR SECONDS

this song pretty much just punched me in the face and then i cried for a long time.



DO THESE GUYS LOOK LIKE THEY ARE ABOUT TO BREAK YOUR HEART? NO. WILL THEY DO IT? OH HELL YES.

WAKE --- THE ANTLERS

guh guh guh guh guh. just wait for the end. JUST WAIT FOR THE END. seriously, i cried a little bit.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

DEAR THE WALKMEN,



STOP BEING SO GOOD (AND CUTE)

POSTCARDS FROM TINY ISLANDS --- THE WALKMEN

this band is fucking awesome. end of story. i saw them in a tiny venue in northampton on sunday. MIND = BLOWN. it was truly incredible.

here are some new songs for you to check out:
THIS ONE IS MY FAVORITE. this reminds me of white sky a little - new, unrecorded, unreleased, can't imagine my life without being able to listen to it. not to mention the lyrics about going out to lunch. i love in the chorus when there's empty spaces vocal-wise and hamilton just goes "ohhh!"
"THE ONE WITH THE WHISTLING"
funny story - when i first saw them they opened with this song and the horn section (EIGHT PIECE at webster hall!!) came out HOLDING THEIR INSTRUMENTS and just whistled. anyway, this sounds like some beautiful spaghetti western long shots across lovely italian plains.
A SAD ONE

Monday, September 21, 2009

BAWLING



think of the saddest album you've ever heard - some classic bright-eyesy shit. think about it good and hard. now multiply it by ten. and then you have hospice. i am on track two and i am about to cry. i saw them open for the walkmen in april and i might go this saturday to see them in northampton!

KETTERING --- THE ANTLERS.

luis at pretty much amazing described hospice as "a heartbreaking work of staggering genius" - yes, LIKE THE DAVE EGGERS NOVEL. pitchfork gave it an eight-point-something. basically, we can just assume this is the best concept album in a looooooooooooong time.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

COCONUT NIGHT

We Are Wolves || Coconut Night from Dare To Care Records on Vimeo.



incredibly bitchin' video. amazing wardrobe as well

Friday, September 18, 2009

OH BB JULIAN



11TH DIMENSION --- JULIAN CASABLANCAS

you did it bb. you really did it. thanks for giving me an excuse to google image you today. i would like an excuse to google image you all the time. i always feel guilty about doing things like that without a reason. thank you for crafting this delicious eighties-y pop gem for us. your voice makes me want to die. in the best possible way. love u man.


FLASHBACK... i was ELEVEN when this was shot. wow.

EPs OF THE DECADE

this one was easy for me to figure out.


RA RA RIOT EP
i was talking about this with my friend theo one night - as i was disappointed by the virgins' full-length after how great their EP was, theo felt disappointed by the rhumb line after how great this EP was. he said something like "they took all the energy out of some of the songs." i like the rhumb line quite a bit so i don't necessarily agree, but this EP is half the length and twice as awesome. and that's truly saying something, i think. it's worth noting that the EP has a manner to act and everest - two of the sexiest, angriest, most affecting songs i know - and the album doesn't. that alone gives it an edge.

OTHER FAVORITES:

VAMPIRE WEEKEND "MANSARD ROOF EP"
MANSARD ROOF is all the triumphance in simplicity. LADIES OF CAMBRIDGE is all tempo shifts and bar chords and heartbreak. fledgling bands out there, take a tip from ezra and rostam and chris and chris: THIS is how you make a name for yourself.


PROFESSOR MURDER "RIDES THE SUBWAY" EP
i haven't blogged about this band but they are worth your time. the most fun dance music i can really imagine.


GRIZZLY BEAR "FRIEND"
for shift, and alligator, and HE HIT ME, one of the best covers of the decade.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ALSO ELLIGIBLE

here are some random albums and songs i feel contend for best of the decade, in no order, with a "review" of less than ten words.

JAMS:
A MANNER TO ACT --- RA RA RIOT
creepily affecting
I LUV THE VALLEY OH! --- XIU XIU
physically hurts
DUPPY CONQUEROR --- SAM BUCK ROSEN
this song makes you feel like you can do anything
STILLNESS IS THE MOVE --- DIRTY PROJECTORS
R&B diva + talking heads guitar = gold gold gold
WOMEN'S REALM --- BELLE AND SEBASTIAN
mom bought this album when i was 11. thanks mom
FIGHT AND KISS --- WE ARE WOLVES
feels like being punched. and being kissed
NOBODY MOVE NOBODY GET HURT --- WE ARE SCIENTISTS
so intensely singable. what's mine is yours
SKIN IS MY --- ANDREW BIRD
the most talented man in rock music. no contest
DEAD LEAVES AND THE DIRTY GROUND --- WHITE STRIPES
straight simple rock knows how to be heartwrenching
SHINE A LIGHT --- WOLF PARADE
another song that makes you feel you can do anything
BE GOOD --- TOKYO POLICE CLUB
straight playful indie pop. TPC could write the book
HOW WE KNOW --- THE THERMALS
this is a love song. did you know that?
JUST DRUMS --- TAPES N TAPES
hype can make good - very, very good
THERE THERE --- RADIOHEAD
well, duh.
USE IT --- NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
two sips from the cup of human kindness & i'm shitfaced
ABEL --- THE NATIONAL
a perfect rock song
ELECTRIC FEEL --- MGMT
there is no denying that this song is awesome.
YOU! ME! DANCING! --- LOS CAMPESINOS
big buildup and glorious breakdown
THE GOOD ONES --- THE KILLS
fuzz, drum machine, sexy croon. delicious
OBSTACLE 1 --- INTERPOL
EVIL --- INTERPOL
joy division if the strokes are the sex pistols. an equal and opposite reaction
BANDAGES --- HOT HOT HEAT
i pray this goes down as the classic it is.
TAKE ME OUT --- FRANZ FERDINAND
another classic
WE USED TO VACATION --- COLD WAR KIDS
nouveau blues. piano embodies discord
OVER AND OVER AGAIN --- CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH
hype made good. again.
ALMOST CRIMES --- BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
first two lines of lyrics = GOLD
HELICOPTER --- BLOC PARTY
the first song i binge-listened to, eighth grade
ATLAS --- BATTLES
this sounds like industry. incredible metallic creativity
NEIGHBORHOOD #2 (LAIKA) --- ARCADE FIRE
BLACK MIRROR --- ARCADE FIRE
WAKE UP --- ARCADE FIRE
this band changed everything.
DID YOU SEE THE WORDS --- ANIMAL COLLECTIVE
the best song they have ever made. no contest

ALBUMS:

DIRTY PROJECTORS "RISE ABOVE"


NEW PORNOGRAPHERS "MASS ROMANTIC"


BLOC PARTY "SILENT ALARM"


WE ARE SCIENTISTS "WITH LOVE AND SQUALOR"
(extra points here for being named after MY FAVORITE SALINGER SHORT)


PROFESSOR MURDER "RIDES THE SUBWAY"


RA RA RIOT EP


BELLE AND SEBASTIAN "FOLD YOUR HANDS CHILD, YOU WALK LIKE A PEASANT"


SPOON "KILL THE MOONLIGHT"


GRIZZLY BEAR "YELLOW HOUSE"


ARCADE FIRE "FUNERAL"


THE NATIONAL "BOXER"


RADIOHEAD "HAIL TO THE THIEF"


SUFJAN STEVENS "COME ON FEEL THE ILLINOISE"


TAPES N TAPES "THE LOON"


WHITE STRIPES "WHITE BLOOD CELLS"


sorry about that monster of a post. all these albums and songs are worth a listen. i might add more, i feel like i've forgotten a bunch!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

FEEL LIKE I'M GONNA IGNITE



IS I TURN MY CAMERA ON THE SONG OF THE DECADE?

speaking as we were with grizzly bear about how incredible simplicity can be the most affecting of all --- ladies and gentlemen, i turn my camera on. the more you listen to spoon the more you realize that they are all simplicity - down to the name of the band, even. what is i turn my camera on? simple drums, the undertone of that sexy funk bass riff, cuts of guitar, that voice. c'est tout. and when you're listening to this song - it works. this is one of the sexiest songs i can think of. "i saw the stars go off, i saw the stars go off at night and they're looking alright."



IS GIMME FICTION THE ALBUM OF THE DECADE?

gimme fiction is one of my favorite albums of all time (if not my favorite album of all time) and it came out this decade - in 2005 - so it is safe to say this is also a strong contender for number one. if you don't have this album or if you are not familiar with it please familiarize yourself with it ASAP. THIS BOOTLEG OF MY MATHEMATICAL MIND might help you realize it better than anything else. every song on this album is good. every song on this album rips your heart out and every song sews it back in. the point i'm getting to - spoon have been consistently good for six albums and almost two decades, and gimme fiction is GREAT.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I THINK YOU ARE A CONTRA



CONTRA is vampire weekend's second album, january 12 2010. i just spent the last ten minutes fanning myself with my hands and figuring out how i will drive to new york for the release show.

tracklist:

01 Horchata
02 White Sky
03 Holiday
04 California English
05 Taxi Cab
06 Run
07 Cousins
08 Giving Up the Gun
09 Diplomat's Son
10 I Think Ur a Contra

i wish it was more than ten!
if you read this blog / are obsessed with VW, you've heard white sky, run, cousins, and giving up the gun (or at least the original l'homme run version). i'm willing to bet that california english is a renamed little giant. i've heard holiday, too... it's good! I AM SO EXCITED I CANNOT BREATHE A LITTLE.

you can listen to the first little bit of track 10 at VW'S WEBSITE. it sounds like dave longstreth greeting the sunrise. i can't wait to drive to this album.

GET A HANDLE ON YOURSELF, SON



IS DO THE WHIRLWIND THE SONG OF THE DECADE?
(i replaced the video because guys, you HAVE to hear the live version. SO SICK)

my life as a music listener has four stages.
1. when i was ten and listened to showtunes
2. the strokes
3. architecture in helsinki
4. vampire weekend

the AIH period of my life lasted from the first time i saw them, on september 28 2006, until the first time i heard vampire weekend, on december 17 2007. during this time i pretty much listened to nothing but architecture in helsinki. i bought places like this the first day it was released (i took the train into the city with my friend and we went to virgin megastore and i bought places like this and m.i.a.'s kala, which were released on the same day) even though i'd had it since it was leaked three months previous.

my first architecture in helsinki song was do the whirlwind. it has very special meaning for me, as it will have for pretty much anyone who has ever seen them play live. i have seen this band three times. whenever they come near me i will see them. i would be a different person without this band.

OR HOLD MUSIC?
i still remember the first time i heard this song. SUCH A JAM.


IS IN CASE WE DIE THE ALBUM OF THE DECADE?

this might be my number one, guys. i've got to do some more thought but this album is like a big chunk of gold. neverevereverdid is one of my favorite album openers ever. and the whole thing is just a big mixture of fun and foreboding. KILLER.

also, if we're going to do hottest hotties of the decade, i would be REMISS not to mention GUS FRANKLIN whom i CRUSHED ON MERCILESSLY for a long time. i was always struck by the fact that he looks like harold from harold and maude (best movie ever). he once told me i was a good dancer and i was convinced i was dreaming. but yeah, HE'S GOING TO BE UP THERE.

Monday, September 14, 2009

IS WHERE WE BEGIN



IS THE MODERN AGE THE SONG OF THE DECADE?

yes. yes. yes. wholeheartedly yes. this is it. is this it? this is it. i mean, can you think of anything else that sums up this decade? anything? for better or for worse the strokes changed music, they truly did. a great majority of indie bands wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the strokes. when i think of the stages of my life musically i have been defined truly by three bands and one of these bands is the strokes. i spent all of middle school listening to the strokes. after i graduated high school my best friend and i got in my car and played the modern age and soma and barely legal and someday and i was almost crying. this is the decade in which i grew up, and this is the band to which i grew up.

sorry to tell you guys my life story there.

OR IS IT REPTILIA?
this was my first strokes song. a little broken-hearted mess about the primal side of your brain, love and hate, telling stories at a bar, not drowning fast enough. i remember in sixth or seventh grade i spent about three hours one night watching this video over and over and over again. i'm pretty sure that's when i figured out that sex was possible. that thing julian does at about 2:45 with his foot (white loafters), the big sexy eyes, the unnecessary amount of face closeups on pretty much every member of the band... too much for a twelve year old girl.

OR IT COULD BE NEW YORK CITY COPS! removed from is this it last minute. drunk lyrics, perpetually hungover, empty promises. is this it? this is it. this is what new york sounds like and what it feels like and what it looks like. my first week of high school i played this 130 times (in 5 days, all three and half minutes). it's always fall 2005 in my mind always always always.


IS IS THIS IT THE ALBUM OF THE DECADE?

like i said earlier, you must admit that music would be a different landscape entirely without this album. i mean, this defined the sound (not to mention fashion) that came out of new york for more than eight years. being from new york i am inclined to say that new york defines the sound that comes out of almost everywhere else, in terms of indie music. what would BE without the strokes? now we're getting into some alternate history shit. what if the south won the civil war?

it is also worth noting that if i had to do a "hottest hotties of the decade" (should i actually do this? maybe i should) julian casablancas would make my personal top five if not top two. if not number one. actually, probably not number one. but seriously... HOLY BALLS.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I DON'T WANNA BE SO SAD



PRETTY & NICE are here to help you. one listen to this song and you will be HOOKED:

TORA TORA TORA --- PRETTY & NICE.

even better is "lazy bumblebee," hear it on their myspace. been listening all day!

TO SEE THE DAWN



IS CAPE COD KWASSA KWASSA THE SONG OF THE DECADE?

(i wish i could say WHITE SKY up there but as it hasn't been officially released my hands are tied.)

when some people talk about vampire weekend it is difficult for them to just distill everything and talk about the jams. for some people it is difficult to separate their music from their roots or their inspirations or their alleged "cultural imperialism" (lol); for me personally it is sometimes difficult to separate the fact that i love their music from the fact that their frontman LOOKS LIKE THIS. but that is a story for another time.

now i am going to just talk about the jams. the point we have to make here is that no one did what vampire weekend did with cape cod kwassa kwassa. don't get all technical on me about paul simon because he didn't work in the clever lyrics about sex and massachusetts. what this song gets across better than DARE I SAY any other song on the subject (doin' it) is the incredibly accurate AWKWARDNESS. down to the voice crack in "is your bed maaAAAaade?" i remember reading an article on one of my favorite music blogs about c.c.k.k. in december 2007 about how that break section with all the cooing and gentle bass was the love scene of the song, ie. all those awkward questions ("is your sweater ooooOOOon??") worked. how lovely is it to think about it that way? a story and a song in one little package. in its incredible simplicity it is smart and clean and perfect.


what about this, guys? a.o.t.d?

there is no doubt that for me this would rank up high, simply because it changed a lot of things about me as a music listener - what i listen to and what i hear and what i see. and certainly seeing them eight times says something about the ridiculous level of my devotion. this album is solid, to say the least. it always hits me how simple and triumphant mansard roof is.

in terms of hottest hotties of the decade, TAKE A LOOK AT THIS PICTURE and tell me you don't wish you were lying on the floor in some corner flipping through one of their history textbooks waiting for this photoshoot to be done so you could talk about the cultural significance of madras plaid and listen to jay-z.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

YOU GOTTA NERVE



IS THE RAT THE SONG OF THE DECADE?

the rat is a thousand things but first of all it is very angry and very driven. "you've got a nerve to be asking a favor. you've got a nerve to be calling my number." i suppose it is best summed up by one youtube comment: "after hearing this song i wanna get drunk and wander the streets alone." there is a profound loneliness to this song. it is perhaps one of the most bleak songs that i know. it is certainly the most bleak song that i love.


IS A HUNDRED MILES OFF THE ALBUM OF THE DECADE?

i don't think so, simply because most people consider the walkmen's best album to be bows + arrows (which is really good, not gonna lie). for me, most walkmen albums have a bunch of solid songs on them and then some i just don't like. i like all of a hundred miles off. when i think of how music can deliver triumphance i think of the mariachi horns in louisiana and all of lost in boston (i think of another very important song too. but this is a story for another time). and when i think of how heartwrenching music can be i think of all hands and the cook. this album is a necessity, point-blank, and it one of my favorites of the decade for sure.


also: for sure one of the best covers of the decade would have to be this delicious piece of delicious:
MANY RIVERS TO CROSS --- THE WALKMEN
put this on in your car. try not to stick your hand out the window and play with the slipstream. try not to scream along with hamilton: MANY! RIVERS! TO CRAAAAOAOOAOAOOAOAOSSSSSSSS!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

CAN'T YOU FEEL THE



IS KNIFE THE SONG OF THE DECADE?

i don't have much time now, but i was just listening to this song and i felt like i had to write about it. the thing about knife is that it isn't my favorite grizzly bear song (i'm partial to ON A NECK, ON A SPIT). when i really think about it though, the song that most defines grizzly bear's sound (and grizzly bear is definitely one of the best bands of the decade) is undeniably, definitely, without a doubt, knife, because you can feel the knife. the slow chords and the layered vocals - sexy, scary, distant, close, everything at once. for a song so simple ("you think it's alright. can't you feel the knife?") it packs a punch i can't even describe.


IS VECK THE ALBUM OF THE DECADE?
almost certainly not, it's too soon. but i think it is the album of the year, which puts it in my top ten by default, and it is so close to perfect.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

ALL I WANT TO DO IS:



IS PAPER PLANES THE SONG OF THE DECADE?

i can't decide really what mine is so i'm gonna do a ~blog series~ and make a series of hypotheses. SO here's one for your consideration.

i remember when kala came out and pitchfork was all on this song and they called it a "hipster anthem" which i guess it is, although it is a sure bet that maya didn't write it to be a hipster anthem. now paper planes is just an anthem: it's a hipster anthem and a stoner anthem and a bittie anthem and an anthem for everything because it is an anthem and although so few of us in the first world can really relate to what maya sings ("if you catch me at the border i got visas in my name / if you come around here i make them all day") it feels like you can. no one on the corner has swagger like you. no one on the corner will ever have swagger like you because you can do anything.

while we're on it...



IS ARULAR THE ALBUM OF THE DECADE?

is it? seriously is it? i've always liked arular better than kala because it's so raw and so much more pissed off. i mean, is there any song this decade that tells you to shut up and listen more than BUCKY DONE GUN? no. there is not. and then like magic we all shut up and listened, and she had a lot of really worthwhile things to say.