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.