Thursday, December 31, 2009

tim & jean : come

australia's passion pit.

albums of 09

might as well throw this up too. again, not the best. just my favorite. last post of the decade. happy new year, gang.

animal collective merriweather post pavillion
the antlers hospice
arctic monkeys humbug
dirty projectors bitte orca
the field yesterday and today
florence + the machine lungs
grizzly bear veckatimest
jj jj no2
kurt vile god is saying this to you
lotus plaza the floodlight collective
miike snow miike snow
norah jones the fall
passion pit manners
phoenix wolfgang amadeus phoenix
smith westerns smith westerns
st. vincent actor
sunset rubdown dragonslayer
vieux farka toure fondo
the xx xx



wwii bmw r71 motorcycle.
new york times magazine lists its top 10 music trends of the aughts. here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

songs of 2009

i didn't want to title this "best songs of 2009." mostly because i have no idea what would make a song "the best." or for that matter, what would even make a song just "good." good how? is it good compared to other songs of 2009? is it good compared to other songs in general? is it contextually important? is it musically progressive? is it technically complex? is it a new genre? a reimagining of an old genre? does it add to the value of popular music? is it culturally relevant? will it last? i don't know. i only know what i like. and i only know what i like right now. some of the songs and music that i listened to relentlessly at the beginning of this year haven't been listened to in months. some songs that i listen to relentlessly right now may sound boring in a few months. some songs i'll never listen to again, and some will still be spinning for years to come. it all just seems a little arbitrary.

so i guess what i'm trying to say is that this will ultimately just amount to a list of songs from the year 2009. placed in no particular order. of some possible importance. some may be musically and melodically complex. some may be barely more than the human voice. some may be from new genres. some may be from bent genres. some may be plain 'ol radio pop. they will all be songs i like. i hope you like them, too. i'll include some writing where appropriate, in case you're curious as to why i've included them or what i think of them.

NOTE: all songs with one colon (":") between the artist name and song name will be links to youtube or another site with the song available for download. all songs with two colons ("::") between the artist name and song name will be download links, meaning you right click or control click to download.

- wow. what to say about this one. not my favorite from the album (that would be "temecula sunrise"), but upon first listen you really hear a band that couldn't care less about what it's "supposed" to sound like, and that's all the better for it.

- this song just won't quit. my favorite thing about this song is that on first listen everything sounds so strange and foreign, but by the third or fourth listen it seems like this song was always there. just waiting to be plucked from the ether. putting into blips and words the most basic desire of every good man throughout human history: to provide for those he loves.

- sludgiest bass line of the year builds into an agressively perfect release.

- haunting.

- this one caught me by surprise, because i genuinely disliked their first album. but this is some sort of smiths meets strokes meets...well, meets the horrors, i suppose. and it's beautiful.

- this type of straightforward "guy and acoustic guitar" stuff doesn't much interest me these days. but this song is precious. feels like simon & garfunkel at their most bittersweet.

- not sure what it is that makes this song perfect. the percussion is amazing. the lyrics so literal. the harmonies beautiful, but not as meticulous as say, fleet foxes or grizzly bear. just great music.

- sometimes it's better not to say anything at all.

- just as with grizzly bear and anco, it's tough to pick just one song when the whole album is so impressive. but this is the track that started it all. i had always been impressed at the level of craftsmanship in phoenix's songs as well as surprised at the general amount of critical and general underappreciation that had marked their career before this album. so when this song came out, i never expected that a few months later i would be hearing it over the p.a.s in grocery stores and shopping malls. "from a mess to the masses," i suppose.

- i remember when i first heard "sleepyhead." found it in a quiet corner of the internet on the now defunct blog "goodweatherforairstrikes." found it before stereogum and pitchfork and cellphone companies and whoever else. not to say "i found them first." but rather that it was nice to know that the joy i was experiencing over and over again as i played the song was unencumbered by the copious amounts of hype that seem omnipresent on the internet for any promising new act nowadays. so, naturally, as said hype started to flood the blogosphere for this band's impending debut effort, i started to worry that i had set my expectations too high. until i heard this song.

- just what i wish american dance music was like. huge synths, people moving in unison, hands in the air, sweat everywhere. people dancing with each other, as opposed to on each other. like this.

- a song that almost makes me cry. just so much power in that voice. and those drums. knocks the wind right out of you.

- the man continually outdoes himself. he makes me feel bad for other songwriters.


- all his songs sound like dreams i've had. and the prolificacy with which he writes songs makes me think that that might be more than coincidence. dreamweaver.

- i'm more of a pub kinda guy, but if i heard this song (or any song off their fantastic debut) coming out of a club, i would be much more inclined to dip inside.

- makes me wish i was 18 and single. it's comforting to know that one hundred years from now, teenage boys will still be writing songs in an effort to win the hearts of teenage girls. or at least to get them naked.

- many many blog years ago, when i had first read about panda bear's breakout album person pitch, but before i had listened to the music, this is sort of what i imagined/hoped it sounded like. bliss.

- hoping this album does for beach house what wolfgang did for phoenix.

- in my opinion, one of the most overhyped artists of the year. but this song is brimming with all the life and yearning that the first years out of school bring. sounds like a beach boys demo sung and played by a skate punk. in a good way.

- aesthetically, lyrics, instrumentation, arrangement and production have never gone together so flawlessly. at least not in this year.

- well, maybe those things have gone together as flawlessly in one other song. this song. this one tugs on the soul like only an antony song can.

- unhindered postadolescent optimism.

- a song by a boy for a girl. simple. timeless.

- a song by a girl for a boy. with this song norah outcatpowered cat power. impressive.

- i prefer to see dan with the black keys, but this song just can't be denied.

- the best 80s song written in 09.

- i fell in love with her music this year. she was always on my radar, but something happened when i heard this song for the first time. like lounge music that you could never lounge to.

- maybe more than any other modern song i've ever heard, this song puts me somewhere that i've never been. whereas kurt vile songs feel like dreams i've already had, this song feels like an uncomfortably bizarre dream i've yet to have, but is surely on its way.

- my girl turned me onto four tet and burial sometime last year, but i wonder if she could have been as excited as i was when i first heard this collaboration. it's amazing to hear such delicate restraint when locked into a groove that deep.

- it's either lofty ambition or blind adoration that would cause a band to attempt a recorded cover of an icon like bruce, especially when most of what the boss does can't be improved upon. but i think even bruce himself would get a kick out of this one.

- african pop has never been appropriated more appropriately.

- yeasayer just doing what they do best: lifting spirits and freaking out.

- another super overrated band. but this song is a knockout. listening to this song is like watching a john hughes film.

- sorry, gang. i don't know what to say about this one. it's just a great pop song. i love parties. i love usa. i love this song. i got earwormed. hard.

- one of my favorite things mike skinner has ever done. released for free via mike's twitter, here's to hoping it will appear on his next (and final) streets album. "now that things are costing nothing, is any of it good? come and love me read my nothings, blogging with the flood." how painfully appropriate.


so there you have it, gang. i'm quite sure i'm leaving out lots of good stuff so feel free to chime in with your recommendations in the comments section, and if anything new comes to my attention i'll throw it up here.
this just made me feel good. to see someone (who otherwise has no vested interest in the outcome of a situation) take action simply because it's the right thing to do. love it.



according to the youtube description for the video, a guy threw his bicycle at a pair of purse-snatching thieves who were speeding away on a scooter, causing them to crash and become quite upset.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

lists

lists lists lists. with the internets in full bloom and traditional print doing a lot of mimicking in an effort to stay (or maybe feel?) relevant and this being not only the end of a year, and not only the end of a decade, but the end of the first decade in a new millennium, end of the year/decade/etc. lists have probably been all up in your faces for the last few months. due to overwhelming demand, another one is on its way. stay tuned.

mead

mead. nectar of the gods. drink of my forefathers. made from fermented honey. now available and made in the usa for just $14. described as a food-friendly semi-dry white wine with just a touch of sweetness. here.

mountain man : mouthwings

this is a reworked version of the previously released song set to appear on the bands forthcoming 2010 album, sun dogs. it's about "being safe and sad and a mother."

Monday, December 28, 2009

jj : from africa to malaga

jj :: from africa to malaga

scanwiches

the premise is simple. and delicious. "scans of sandwiches for education and delight." the outcome is visually and gastrically delightful. visit here.

michael jackson : this is it (video)

directed by spike lee.

canabalt

not really one for video games, but i've been sick for the last few days and this has made some of the more unpleasant hours a little more bearable. a little bit like 'helicopter.' give it a whirl. super simple and slightly addictive.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

rudolph

spongebob squarepants : don't be a jerk, it's christmas (video)

jimmy fallon + the muppets do '12 days of christmas'

john locke poster

novels : novels

so novels is a canadian super-group of sorts, featuring graham wright (tokyo police club), luke lalonde (born ruffians), will currie (the country french, dean marino (ex-po) and jason sadlowski (jay sad). it was a weekend project instigated by graham wright, a challenge to have every contributing member write one song each, and then to have the other members help perform and record that song. novels is what came of it. now the band is giving it away here. the concept is cool. luke lalonde's song is awesome. check it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

jj nº 3 out 3.9.10

don't believe i've highlighted jj on here before, but they're great. recommended for fans of air france. new album in march. the song below is a standout from their last album.

Monday, December 21, 2009

kings of leon : use somebody live at 02 (video)

still have mixed feelings about this song. on the one hand, "use somebody" measures up pretty well to some of the best arena-rock/rock ballads out there. on the other hand, it's not the kings i prefer. i'd really rather listen to them when they're burning barns, kicking shit, and yelping unintelligibly about impotence.

young man

just found this fellow. really like it. sounds like acoustic vampire weekend meets paul simon meets mellow panda bear.


stay tuned for a forthcoming concept album called boy, featuring songs from a child's perspective on life.

miike snow : silvia (video)

the love language : lalita

love this one.

radiohead back in studio in january.
print available at etsy.

magistrates breakup

magistrates have announced via myspace/facebook/twitter that they have disbanded, but will all be working on other musical endeavors. no other information was given.

this is unfortunate as it was one of my most anticipated debuts. the band seemed to be able to perfectly straddle the line between pop and dance, always delivered in earnest.

i'm under the impression that they have a full album worth of material out there. whether or not it will ever see the light of day remains to be seen. if you haven't listened to the song below before, i highly recommend downloading it. extremely infectious.


crummy chicago weather looming. want a pair of these real bad.

broken bells : the high road

broken bells (james mercer of the shins + danger mouse) are giving away a song for free for a limited time. grab it here. i like it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

interpol singer paul banks on lp4

carlos [bassist] has gone to total new levels of crazy sophisticated orchestration. there's some really classical stuff going on. i think he brings that elegant, orchestral quality and he's gone even further with that. daniel [guitarist] and carlos, they've really pushed what they do. it's very atmospheric but it sounds really different in my mind. what we've worked on is a real step forward and just very different and very relaxed in what we're doing, but it certainly doesn't sound like anything we've ever done before, to me.

the he addressed drummer sam fogarino's earlier comments about the new album sounding like their debut:

i heard that. i don't even know what he's talking about. maybe daniel's progressions remind him of the first record. i don't know. the only thing that makes sense about that comment to me is in sam's drums, they sound really mean, and really good.

the drums : i felt stupid - video

more beach boys/joy division sounding stuff. beach division? joy boys?

idiot glee : i want the night to stay

sounds like early a cappella grizzly bear. great name for a song, as well.

trailer for white stripes doc

gift idea

Falling Whistles 2009 from Dan Johnson / brokenspacebar on Vimeo.

to give to falling whistles, go here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

homeless man covers radiohead

this is pretty powerful. the opie and anthony show (whatever that is) has a recurring segment where they pick a homeless person off the street and buy them some clean/warm clothes. this character, named mustard, was chosen for it. he mentioned he was a musician. they give him a guitar. this happened.


almost made me cry. i doubt that that song means more to anyone in the world than it does to that man (that includes thom yorke).

runaways trailer

poorly done trailer, but i have high hopes that the movie will be great.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

vampire weekend : white sky

stream yet another tasty cut from vampire weekend's forthcoming contra over at the band's myspace. the more i hear, the more i expect this album to surpass vampire weekend.

iron man 2 trailer

skeeting.

hot tub time machine trailer

telekinesis! : coast of carolina

thanks to npr for alerting me to this one. like death cab at its bounciest.

(click link to be taken to download)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

robin hood trailer

unreleased elliott smith

elliott smith :: cecilia/amanda

local natives : sun hands

local natives :: sun hands

who knew : sharpen the knife

another great one by who knew. still sounds like wolf parade. still sounds great. stream it here.

the morning benders. big echo. 3.9.10

morning benders tour dates

March 10th || Jonny Brenda's || Philadelphia
March 11th || The Black Cat || Washington DC
March 12th || Local 506 || Chapel Hill
March 13th || The Drunken Unicorn || Atlanta
March 15th || The Bottletree || Birmingham
March 23rd || The Rhythm Room || Phoenix
March 25th || Troubadour || Los Angeles
March 26th || Casbah || San Diego
March 27th || Detroit Bar || Costa Mesa
March 28th || Muddy Waters || Santa Barbara
March 30th || The Independent || San Francisco
April 1st || Holocene || Portland
April 2nd || Crocodile Café || Seattle
April 3rd || Media Club || Vancouver
April 5th || Club Velour || Provo
April 7th || Hi-Dive || Denver
April 9th || The Vaudeville Mews || Des Moines
April 10th || The Maintenance Shop || Ames, IA
April 11th || Huckleberry's Pizza – Presented by Daytrotter || Rock Island, IL
April 12th || Schubas Tavern || Chicago
April 14th || The Drake Hotel || Toronto
April 15th || La Sala Rossa || Montreal
April 16th || The Monkey House || Vermont
April 17th || TT The Bear's || Boston
April 22nd || The Mercury Lounge || NYC

yeasayer international tour dates

02-05 Los Angeles, CA - Natural History Museum
02-08 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
02-09 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
02-16 Birmingham, England - Academy 2
02-17 Glasgow, Scotland - King Tut's
02-19 Dublin, Ireland - Academy
02-20 Belfast, Northern Ireland - Speakeasy
02-21 Manchester, England - Academy 3
02-22 Leeds, England - The Faversham
02-23 London, England - Heaven
02-25 Bristol, England - Thekla
02-26 Brighton, England - Audio
02-28 Koln, Germany - Luxor
03-01 Antwerp, Belgium - Trix Club
03-04 Malmo, Sweden - KB
03-05 Stockholm, Sweden - Debaser
03-06 Oslo, Norway - Rockerfeller
03-08 Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega Small Hall
03-09 Hamburg, Germany - Knust
03-10 Berlin, Germany - Postbahnhof
03-11 Munich, Germany - 59/1
03-12 Zurich, Switzerland - Zukunft
03-13 Rome, Italy - Circolo Degli Artisti
03-14 Milan, Italy - Tunnel
03-16 Barcelona, Spain - Apolo 2
03-17 Madrid, Spain - Moby Dick
03-19 Paris, France - Point FMR
03-20 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
04-03 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
04-04 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
04-05 Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
04-06 Atlanta, GA - Masquerade
04-07 Memphis, TN - Hi Tone Cafe
04-08 Dallas, TX - Granada Theatre
04-09 Houston, TX - House of Blues
04-10 Austin, TX - The Parish
04-11 Austin, TX - The Parish
04-14 Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
04-15 Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
04-17 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
04-19 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
04-20 Seattle, WA - Neumos
04-21 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom
04-23 Salt Lake City, UT - In The Venue
04-24 Denver, CO - Bluebird Theatre
04-25 Omaha, NE - Waiting Room
04-26 Saint Louis, MO - Gargoyle Club
04-27 Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theatre
04-28 Madison, WI - Majestic Theatre
04-29 Chicago, IL - Metro
04-30 Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
05-01 Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace
05-02 Montreal, Quebec - La Sala Rossa
05-03 Boston, MA - Paradise
05-04 New York, NY - Webster Hall
05-05 Philadelphia, PA - The Trocadero

Monday, December 14, 2009

who knew : made believe

this song seems to borrow every one of its tricks from wolf parade's apologies to the queen mary, specifically the song "i'll believe in anything" (i.e. thundering drums, warbling vox, razor synths, open a-string guitar riff, big chorus about believing, etc.). i mean, they're practically the same song. but i suppose there isn't really a better template from which to sculpt cloud-reaching indie-rock anthems. "make believe" doesn't come close to the former, but that doesn't mean it isn't one hell of an attempt. damn good. haven't heard such a beautiful cacophony in quite some time.


bonus points for being from iceland.

501 stf

class actress : careful what you say

whoa. i hear chairlift. in the best possible way.

the white stripes : let's shake hands


oh man do i miss these cats.

from the forthcoming under great white northern lights dvd.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

hey. trying out a tumblr to see if it's superior in anyway to the blogspot format. the clipped videos are getting old. there will be some overlap while i run both simultaneously. check it out here.

richard hawley ft. alex turner : only one who knows

Friday, December 11, 2009

stereogum posted a list of 69 most anticipated albums of 2010. 2010 looking pretty ace. out of stereogum's extensive list, here are the ones i'm most excited about:

yeasayer : odd blood
vampire weekend : contra
hot chip : one life stand
beach house : teen dream
four tet : there is love in you
mgmt : congratulations
los campesinos! : romance is boring
the morning benders : big echo
band of horses : night rainbows
spoon : transference
ted leo : the brutalist bricks
toro y moi : causers of this
gorillaz : plastic beach
pantha du prince : black noise
the national
the walkmen
panda bear
interpol
lcd soundsystem
joanna newsom
the hold steady
the strokes
fleet foxes
no age
arcade fire
of montreal (produced by jon brion!)
jens lekman
essential.

yeasayer. odd blood. 2.9.10.

beck, feist, nels cline : weighted down

Record Club: Skip Spence "Weighted Down" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

toms

toms cold weather option.

rooney singer robert schwartzman = solobob

just loving this song/video. as enjoyable as anything by empire of the sun.


thanks for the tip, shani.

that tattoo on his left arm is so legit.

pawnee father and son, 1912

blakroc do letterman : ain't nothing like you (hoochie coo)

so smooth.

secret door/confetti

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

burial : fostercare

kid cudi ft. mgmt & ratatat : pursuit of happiness

she & him 'volume 2' tracklist

01 Thieves
02 In the Sun [ft. Tilly and the Wall]
03 Don't Look Back
04 Ridin' in My Car (NRBQ cover)
05 Lingering Still
06 Me and You
07 Gonna Get Along Without You (Skeeter Davis cover)
08 Home
09 I'm Gonna Make It Better
10 Sing
11 Over It Over Again
12 Brand New Shoes
13 If You Can't Sleep

foreign born : early warnings

one of my favorite songs of summer 2009. mp3 below.


a decade with duke

some months back, justin vernon 0f bon iver went back to eau claire and put on a show with his alma mater's jazz band, doing some bon iver originals as well as some covers (including a surprisingly spot-on version of "lady is a tramp"). recommended. buy it here.

Monday, December 7, 2009


iowa nation head chief, white cloud

snl digital short : shy ronnie

avatar featurette : pandora and its creatures


almost like bbc 's planet earth.

harry potter & the deathly hollows teaser trailer

need it on my body.
get the complete 'arrested development' series (seasons 1, 2 & 3) for 30 bucks from here.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


arctic monkeys show at the riv tonight.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

vampire weekend video : california english pt. 2

sounds really good.

jonsi : boy lilikoi

sigur ros frontman jonsi birgisson is releasing a solo album. you can download a song, "boy lilikoi," for free from here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

kol's "use somebody" up for four grammy nominations.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


if you don't feel something stir in your soul at 1.04, leave this blog and never come back.

shout out louds. work. 2.23.10.

small black video : despicable dogs

hot chip : one life stand

stream the new single at hot chip's myspace.

final fantasy : lewis takes action

final fantasy is giving away a song for free from his forthcoming album heartland. get it here.

shout out louds : walls

the shout out louds are giving away a song for free from their forthcoming album work. get it here.