Sunday, December 25, 2011

Best music of 2011

Merry Christmas folks, anyway as you can see I love lists and listing things, heres a gift to you dear reader. A list of some of the Best albums of 2010 and my second update of the year. I know, you don't even need to say "thanks", you're welcome. Let's just pass over the "what have you done all year" bullshit and get to the list.

10. Tv On the Radio - Nine Types of Light

I've always been kinda ambivalent towards this band, they were obviously talented but I felt like they only hit their marks half the time. I wanted to like them, have some of the same passion that so many people had for them but it always fell short. On this album it seemed like they finally figured out the formula and created a mostly listenable album. Honestly, I hardly skip any songs on this unlike their previous efforts where I was just searching for the thing that I liked.

9. Little Dragon - Ritual Union

I've been intrigued by this band since they appeared on the Gorillaz - Plastic Beach album and here they've delivered a stunning electro - pop album. I think that sometimes when you make an electronic album you're immediately stereotyped as a very impersonal band. Little Dragon has done something that few electro bands have and made it as enjoyable as ever. Heres my favorite song off the record over video from An Endless Summer.

8. My Morning Jacket - Circuital

After releasing Evil Urges a few years ago they come back and dial the experimentation way back.
That's not too say these guys have closed up their bag of tricks it's just to say that their maybe playing it a little safer. I attribute that to lead singer Jim James' cover of George Harrison tunes and playing with The Monster of Folk.

7. Radiohead - The King of Limbs

They just keep making beautiful music and this band could be here solely on the strength of this one song. I'm praying they make a stop in Vegas when they hash out their entire tour for this album.

6. Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital

I'm in no way opposed to this movement of electronic making a comeback in the alternative world. This album has some strong writing and some of the catchiest tunes I've heard all year. Though this band could handle with trying to be U2 less.

5. The Horrors - Skyying

Look I loved the last effort for these guys, and now I'm thinking they're at this spot on the list basically on the strength of their last album. This time they're more interested in not going into crazy atmospherics. I hope on the next album they allow themselves to go crazy again and not be so tight.

4. Wilco - The Whole Love

Jeff Tweedy could teach a class on how to write a song. I don't think these guys can make an album I won't like nowadays, maybe that's 'cause I'm in my 30's now though.

3 Cults - Cults

Sexy, and Sincere this album came with a lot of expectations and it lived up to them if you're asking me. This came with the energy and confidence of a band I would expect to have been around forever so this seems like an anomaly as a Freshman album.

2. Fucked Up - David Comes to Life

I had no clue who Fucked Up were in 2010, by 2011 I was praising their latest album. I'm not even a fan of hardcore music, however, when you change the rules of what defines a hardcore band I'll check it out. Honestly the beautiful harmonies provided by the girl from The Cults that this band included is what puts it here on my list, it was almost as crucial as the incredible talent of the everyday pieces of the band. I saw someone compare the songwriting to Bruce Springsteen and would like to agree.

1. The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From the Vaccines

This was the album that The Strokes were supposed to make. Hands down. I can't wait to see what the future holds for these guys, I pray its more of this.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm On a Train Gaylord (working title), a travel diary/tale of survival

About a year ago some friends and I elected that it would be a great decision to visit Europe during the winter months (This is when most of us have our time off). Winter sounded perfect to me since my employment is non-existent during this time and I have been making zero progress in my attempts to effectively breed Unicorns. We all understood that visiting Europe in the winter isn't ideal but don't have much of a choice, I'm also confident that we've all packed appropriately for the cold, maybe even overestimating the harshness of their winter in eastern Europe.

I'm writing this on the day I leave for Europe and my plan is to be able to update at train stations and hotels. Our merry crew of raconteurs for this trip is small, really only four people. The good news is that by having only four people everyone has a role within the group and are all a little different in personality. Monica (the muscle) is probably the more adventurous and daring of the group, Matt (the wild card) is generally quiet and will most likely just go with the flow, though is always good for a random event, Dana (the muscle) seemingly has a lot of plans and activities figured out which are sure to include breweries and wineries (I have no problem with that at all) as well as other destinations, and then theres me (the brains). If you can't tell we may be in some trouble when the brains (me) of this operation can barely write, this is also why we had no interest in bringing someone to take up the role of the Beauty, we realized early that the extra muscle would be more necessary.

Trouble isn't anything anyone is worried about though. We all prayed last night, Monica, Dana, and I all prayed to the right and good Christian God, while Matt prayed to Satan (I'm just assuming that from what I've read from his Facebook updates.), while I also suggested that we also make an offering to The Monster Mash and pledge to do the "Graveyard Smash" at each destination. This suggestion has fallen on deaf ears, if anything happens to us I know why.

The only part that could be scary at all though is the fact that the four of us will be together for three weeks straight. This means that Casino's in Vegas have automatically set the over/under line for SERIOUS arguments at about five. I expect a few arguments to look like mildly like this one (LINK), with maybe less boyfriend talk and a lot more arguing about schedules. Anyway if you want to follow us on our trip and are able to read my ramblings, feel free to check back here every few days. I hope to update at least 2-3 times a week.

The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fast Food Icons

These guys are showing up in music videos lately. What's the deal? Are we forgiving them for our obesiity? How is Ronald Mcdonald even considered a romantic interest for the singer from Best Coast (honestly I love their music. Can't wait for an LP). I have proof that all fast food icons are possible date rapists. Really they should scoop up some Ed Hardy shirts and then the look is complete. No jury WOULDN'T convict.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wrestlemania 26

Yesterday I went to Wrestlemania and ran a live tweeting session of the entire event and for your pleasure I've decided to post it here.

3:30 pm: "super jumbo cotton candy that is super and jumbo". Overheard from a super jumbo cotton candy salesman.

3:47 pm: The wrestler "Santino" appears to have a monster unibrow. Google it.

3:49 pm: A midget just kicked a few peoples ass. Maybe it was a dwarf but who gives a damn.

3:53 pm: They just opened the roof here. My buddy Donny has admitted he would hate his life.

3:58 pm: After I suggested wrestlmania had a comicon element Donny reminded me this is the "showcase of the immortals".

4:05 pm: Donny has now said fantasia wasn't good enough to sing "the star spangled banner" at wrestlemania. He wanted beyonce instead.

4:09 pm: Just realized I'm about to see "the Miz" from the real world wrestle. I am the most excited person in a crowd of 72k 2 watch

4:15 pm: MIZ WINS MIZ WINS!!!! Him and the big show remain tag team champs.

4:19 pm: Million dollar man has a son??? Oh yes and now I know who I'm rooting for on this match. #teamdibiase.

4:20 pm: It appears I'm In a minority for this match. These people don't know.

4:31 pm: The million dollar man's son just lost to a man I am to believe is tortured by mental illness. Randy Orton won.

4:34 pm: Eddie guerrero's wife is following his legacy. Maybe this means after she wins the championship she will die

4:36 pm: Wwwooooohhhh. Ladder match folks. Wait there's a Jamaican involved?? If he wins drug test that guy for ped's

4:55 pm: Lots of boos in the crowd as the "all american american" wins the money in the bank/ladder match.

4:58 pm: And they decided to reopen the roof at university of Phoenix stadium. Perhaps fan man will make an appearance.

5:05 pm: There's a Ginger wrestling??? Triple H please dominate this. Ginger's were born to be behind the scenes. Re: Ron Howard.

5:48 pm: Hitman v. Mcmahon. The 13 year rivalry that started at the "Montreal screwjob". I pray that the mean street posse comes.

5:52 pm: Mr. Mcmahon has the greatest swaggar of any person alive. I may try to mimic it myself.

6:06 pm: This match is like watching a snuff film. Kinda boring and we know it ends.

6:39 pm: My younger favorite chris Jericho with the fan upsetting win holds onto the title Long live the liontamer.

6:46 pm: Donny can't have another beer. He's about to buy another replica belt.

6:49 pm: Dear Batista. It's not very masculine to have a tattoo around your belly button. I'm just letting you know.

7:20 pm: Shawn Micheals v. Undertaker now. Supposedly if Shawn micheals loses he finally is allowed to retire at the age of 55 or so.

7:51 pm: Goodbye Shawn micheals. If it makes you feel better I just saw a grown man cry. Hope that helps.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Raaaaaaaandy has declared war on Bieber

THIS CHILD IS A MENACE!!! Don't be fooled by the fact that he is apparently 12 or something (I didn't do any research, Sorry! I don't want to end up on some internet watch list). However all I need to do is just listen to the testimony of Raaaaaaaandy, that sounded pretty damn cut and dry to me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Her Best Performance

Allright this lady is now officially not as bad as I believed. Charm, Wit, Grace these are not the qualities I attribute to Sandra Bullock often (typically annoying and frustrating). However, accepting an award for the Worst Performance of the year for her work in "All About Steve" in person at the Golden Raspberries is awesome and she did it with style. Bravo. Now about tonight, I wouldn't mind if you won Best Actresses since it was a boring year for good roles in the lead lady department.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The best Albums of 2009

Allright I realize that I have been off the grid for a while and now your wondering if you should ever read anything I say after I left you like a dead beat dad you skips on your visitation weekend. However I pledge to make it up to you by giving you some good best of year lists, and really there aren't ever enough of those are there?

In this case we're starting off with the best Albums of 2009 I hope you enjoy these since I expect that you will be trying to download the torrents as your reading them.

11. (I know eleven is a ridiculous number to start with but I couldn't leave the album off my list, sorry) Handsome Furs - Face control This is an example of a husband/wife team can pull off some great rock music. Typically electronic drums just drive me crazy but this album changes that. Great lyrics as well as great arrangements make for a great album any day. If your a fan of Sunset Rudown or Wolf Parade you woe it to yourself to scoop this up. Also I would like to congratulate this band on avoiding the sophmore slump, now go make a third album.

10. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayerm This is another band that fell out of Wolf Parade and put together a great album. Dragonslayer though is this bands fourth effort and It may be there strongest. They came far and aren't afraid to spread their wings sonically. While making straight forward alternative to even dipping their feet in prog-rock craziness they seem right at home doing anything. Truly an interesting album from a band that has a great history.

09. The Decemberists - Hazards of Love Okay if you don't dig this after the first listen give it a few. Any band that rights a fairytale rock opera is bound to raise eyebrows. With a story that vould have been written by the Brothers Grimm Colin Meloy and company put together one of the best albums of the year with songs about a shapeshifter that falls in love and what he goes through to protect his love. The album does a great job of going back and forth between slow and fast paced songs and achieves a terrific balance of the two. I would love to see this on stage rather than on the video the band is putting together but in the meantime I can just put this on. (listen to "the rakes song" and the wonderful "Isn't It a Lovely Night?")

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Decemberists - The Wanting Comes in Waves
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08. The Doves - Kingdom of Rust If your kind of in the mood for a rainy days type of record look no farther. With reverb drenched guitars this trio from Manchester did it again. A few years after their previous album "Some Cities" these guys made another hit. Also on some tracks including 10:03 they even sprinkled a touch of pyschedelia on the album.

07. The Horrors - Primary Colors Wow. This is a band that I couldn't have been happier with. This was another great Sophomore album, however in this case it's different. Different in the sense that the band's first album was an abortion. Please if I was this band I wouldn't bring it up at all. This is perhaps why this band actually left their previous label. Also they changed direction. No longer are they more focused on being a punk band, they've decided to change direction and become more of a post-punk band. Going away from being another crappy British punk band that brought in an occasional synthesizer and trying to go to becoming the next Joy Division is always a good plan. With great songs about telling a chick that she's better off without him(Who can Say) to seeing how life is a journey that where sometimes you need to take a different direction than most and invite others on your journey (Sea Within a Sea). Breakout tracks are "Who can Say" and "Sea Within a Sea"

If you decide to get this album be sure to get this single that was released about 5 months ago. Beautiful and it's painting a much nicer and acceptable (optimistic) view on life.

06. Wilco - Wilco (the Album) This is the sound of Wilco trying to just remake something that will get them the same success they get on previous albums like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born. Clearly they haven't tried to extend their range or bring anything new to the table. Yes I may be giving them a pass for this album. However this is not taking that much from them. I LOVE those albums and aren't that worried. I'm merely excited to see what else this band is willing to do when they have the ball in their hands. That being said there are some REALLY good songs from this album. Specifically the songs "You and I feat. Feist" which is a great song about relationships and the strength you get from the other person. The darkest song though on the record though is one of the best written songs they've had about a man who had just killed someone and driving away "Bull Black Nova" which is lead by a great guitar solo which reminds the listener that this band is a rock bad first and pop-rock second, that's just if you needed a reminder.

05. Modest Mouse - No Ones First and Your Last Heres another complaint that someone may have. This isn't a traditional album, this is a collection of B-sides and basically is just an EP. However, what's cool about this collection is that they are just cuts that work as a B-side collection because they were songs that were left out of the last 2 LP's so at least the music is relevant to what they are doing currently. Too often a collection of B-sides get released over a bands catalog and the music itself is no longer cohesive to create an album of random songs with varying styles. Hoewever, Modest Mouse gets it right and releases some great songs that no fan should go without.

04. Mos Def - the Ecstatic Mos Def comes back with his strongest Hip-Hop album since Black on Both Sides here. Going away from what he was trying to do the previous albums with adding his rock band Black Jack Johnson here he goes straight to Hip-Hop. With great production from Oh No and Madlib he makes an amazing album that's also very personal. My favorite track though is one that seemingly has a beat that sounds part negro spiritual part club banger. In one word: Amazing.

03. Girls - Album Heres the great Lo-fi album of the year. this is an album for a generation that asks "what now?" Here the band doesn't answer you, what they do is basically go "yeah I'm a mess as well so I can't help you too much". Which is actually pretty helpful. On the song "Lust for Life" songwriter Chris Owens basically accepts that he's screwed up and is just fine with it. With a great mix of garage aspects but with a light nod to optimism made this a phenomenal hit. Though they can hit some lows this band accomplished alot and needs to be recognized.

02. Phoenix - Wlofgang Amadeus Phoenix No other band came with this much hype. You could really say that Phoenix is a pop act and you wouldn't be wrong. Clearly slick this band brought guitars to a euro-pop surface and made what could only be considered fun. Really this is the sound of a band coming out to take over the world.

01. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz Okay and the winner is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Now many people complained how this great garage band turned into a dance rock band but honestly the new formula copmliments the band just as well. It was as if the band sat down with Deborah Harry (Blondie) and everyone was content with being the version of Blondie for the 21st century. While some of the songs are perhaps almost made for the dance floor however, the band is still willing to go to the same depths emotionally as they pulled off years ago with the song "Maps". Songs in particular is the anti-"Maps" cut called "Skeleton" which is the about the end of a relationship. Really haunting and beautiful this album was what stood out for me at the end of the year in what was honestly a disapointing year in music.