Monday, December 29, 2008

Top 10 Albums of 2008: #1

#1 The Kills- Midnight Boom
I probably listened to this album everyday for 3 months straight. It’s got everything you need really; Fun, bitterness, dance tunes, low down feelings, encouragement, sex, drugs and rock n roll. Sedative and upper. Split personality. Play ground rhythms and poetry. Singer Allison Mosshart is smokey, not sexy, not cute, but smokey. Her counterpart Jamie Hince is a mad man and does guitar like no other. He uses and abuses the damn thing. He is not the kind of guitar guy that you’ll find on the cover of Guitar World magazines. He doesn’t play the guitar; he USES the guitar to make the sounds that he wants and that the songs need. If this album sounds “electronic” to you then look no further than Jaime’s guitar and his array of pedals. The song Last Day of Magic is my pick for single of the year. It’s kind of like a pop song except that it will kick your teeth in if you look at it the wrong way. URA Fever is an anthem for the outsider in all of us (some more than others), “U R A fever, U R A fever, you ain’t born typical.” Cheap and Cheerful is a dance song built around the playground clapping games that are featured in a 60’s documentary called Pizza Pizza Dadio! The lyrics, “I’m bored of cheap and cheerful, I want expensive sadness.” mean to be humorous and satirical underneath the deep dark guitar tones. I could go on and on about this one but I think it would be a lot easier if you just went out and bought the damn thing and listened to it for yourself.

Last Day of Magic:

URA Fever:

Cheap and Cheerful

Top 10 Albums of 2008: #2

#2 These New Puritans- Beat Pyramid
These New Puritans are one of the freshest bands to come out of 2008. TNPs are an English group that have learned a thing or two from groups like The Fall and Gang of Four. Highlights on Beat Pyramid include the song Swords of Truth and the aptly titled Elvis; a song where the verses sound like the future speeding between your ear and the chorus is a soaring hook that declares, “and if there is a God, Then let him take me up.” Ephemeral to ethereal in 3 seconds flat, and the transition between the two is as beautiful as any. The future bit bounces in your skull until it gets stuck in the part of your brain that wants to know the meaning of life. It’s like Science Fiction without having to read anything.


Top 10 Albums of 2008: #3

#3 Foals – Antidotes
The Foals are a group from Oxford England that take the sounds of American No-Wave and The Rough Trade sounds of England in the late 70’s and brings them to the contemporary with an originality that makes them far less dull than it may sound. On their debut album Antidotes there are familiar sounds yet fresh material. Not unlike its post-punk predecessors the guitar chimes instead of blares and takes on the role of a more beautiful/less kitschy steel drum. The drummer favors his high-hat in 16/4 time and a snare drum that resonates a metallic taste. The songs build a big hollow factory with paper thin windows that don’t allow for the steely noise to pitch too sharply. But like a factory you feel like if you have seen one that you have seen them all. Antidotes can sometimes feel redundant because of its distinct yet repetitive styles. The reprise comes with the melodies of the singer. In the songs Balloons and Cassius the vocal performance gives the album exciting and jagged shapes that are not present in the instrumentation (except maybe the saxophone parts, which are the best bits of saxophone that have been in a rock n roll song since James Chance and the Contortions.)


Top 10 Albums of 2008: #4

#4 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds- Dig Lazarus Dig
Every song is good. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are still brilliant!

Top 10 Albums of 2008: #5

#5 Hot Chip- Made in the Dark
No matter how I feel… Ready for the Floor makes me feel good on the inside. :)

Top 10 Albums of 2008: #6

#6 Sigur Ros- Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
Could a group sound more beautiful? Gobbledygook is Godly!

Top 10 Albums of 2008: #7

#7 Fleet Foxes- Fleet Foxes (and the Sun Giant EP)
I listened to these songs executed live and outdoors right in front of the San Francisco Bay as the sun was setting. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Listen to White Winter Hymnal and English House. It’s worth feeling like a hippy for a couple minutes… I swear.

Top 10 Albums of 2008: #8

#8 David Byrne and Brian Eno- Whatever Happens, Happens Today
The masters. Different than My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. More palatable but awesome

Top 10 Albums of 2008: #9

#9 Ra Ra Riot- The Rhumb Line
Beautiful stuff. Beautiful melodies.

Dying is Fine:

Top 10 Albums of 2008: Intro and #10

Of course there were lots of great albums this year that aren't on my list. These were my personal favorites. Here are some Honorable Mentions: The Duke Spirit- Neptune, Deerhunter-Microcastles, MGMT- Oracular Spectacular, The Futureheads- This is not the World, The Notwist- The Devil You + Me, Blitzen Trapper- Furr, No Age- Nouns, Vampire Weekend- Vampire Weekend, The Walkmen- You + Me... On and On

#10 The Afternoons- 4 track Demo
No it’s not a full length album but I want to put it on my list anyway so get lost. The Afternoons are an L.A. group that has yet to release a full length album but when they do, well… buy a hat and get ready to hold on to it. This L.A. band, made up of 7 people (some formerly of the band Irving), is one of the most exciting bands in L.A. at the present moment. They have a huge sound that brings to mind a band like the Arcade Fire. I think they could go all the way so hopefully we see a full length from them sometime in early 2009.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What love brings.

U2- Zooropa (fan edited video)

David has reminded me about my blog! So, since the year is almost over and a new U2 record is out early next year I thought I would post this video made by the same person who edited the Acrobat video that I posted earlier in this blog. It's a really cool clip by's manana69!

Sunday, January 27, 2008