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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Can't help but Fell Queasy about Brandon Flowers' Solo Album


I don't know about anyone else, but I love The Killers. I don't care if you give me their early stuff like "Mr. Brightside" or their older stuff like Sawdust, I'll pretty much eat it right up. But with the coming release of The Killers' lead singer Brandon Flowers' new solo album. With the first taste of the solo effort being "Crossfire", I get a little uneasy because it feels like it's just The Killers, but without being called The Killers. It sounds a lot like a stripped version of "Read My Mind" and I don't know if I can accept Flowers on his own. Don't get me wrong, I actually like "Crossfire", but if this is what the entire disk is going to be like this, I will be less than encouraged to go out and get it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just Because it's Cool

I think it's safe to say that I am now obsessed with The Black Keys' new album Brothers mainly because the video for their single "Tighten Up"--a bluesy fest of cool--is just awesome.





Okay, admit it, you know that this video cost about 6 bucks to make.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Band of the Moment: Sleigh Bells

What happens when you clash the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Metallica, Peaches, and most likely whatever is under Deadmau5's rodent mask? Brooklyn electroclash fuck-wreck Sleigh Bells. Their debut album, Treats, is a gigantic piece of raw noise-pop screeches with massively addictive vocals that will never leave your mind once they have been inserted like a turkey baster into the bird on Thanksgiving Day.

Sleigh Bells is remarkably edgy with refreshing new bloops and beats that will turn the best of us deaf from listening to it. Only at their lowest sourcing of being a nuisance do Sleigh Bells become fatigued, which is not very often on their disk. Every song is a slice of teenie-bopper jolt rolled into a cluster nugget of fresh vibes, which they evade being pretentious or under educated in their casual dance nature.

Their impeccable talent of being able to make you move is highly admirable in a new way that most bands have frequently failed at creating. I look forward to seeing what else they have before them in their bright future.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I Know I Am Late, but I Needed Time to Really Evaluate: The Best Albums of 2009


10. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Everyone's favorite French guys lit up the peppy sound check with danceable synth tunes and impeccable vocals.

9. Girls - Album
Possibly one of the most oddly-looked at album of the year, Album by the San Francisco duo Girls (ironically two long haired guys) lights up the depressed party carrying along a mixture of Beach Boys sounds, with Morissey mentality.

8. The xx -xx
If you sit in a dark room while listening to one of the greatest debuts in the past decade provided by English newcomers The xx, you will fall deep into the synchronized hums and bleeps of a staggering four-piece feeling every second of the disk that is a silent boom of a step forward for the future of indie rock.

7. St. Vincent - Actor
It may have been St. Vincent's (alias of the wonderful Annie Clark) roaring guitar with mysterious lyrics clashed with the wonderfully sadistic mystical backing instruments that made this complex album ahead of it's time creatively, but I can speak for myself that it's when St. Vincent sends out the lyric like a dangerous siren in "Marrow": "Help Me".

6. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
With every word that Ed Drowste seems to spill out like smooth butter, the more and more you fall in love with his voice and the paradigm of the past musical traditions put into one brilliant album. "About Face" and "Two Weeks" bring in such different emotions, yet they stay true to their personal mission in their folksy work of genius.

5. The Horrors - Primary Colours
The Horrors did for shoegaze that The Strokes did for garage rock, they revitalized a monumental genre and made it reach a crowd that guarantees a beautiful near future. Primary Colours speaks in extremes with vague lyrics, and an even more vague personality that stands above all the rest with leadman Faris Rotter moving mountains with his blank slate of vocal expression that explains more about the group than if a band were to write an entire book on what they mean.

4. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
Someone asked me, after checking out my obsession with Dirty Projectors being played out on Facebook, what kind of music that Dirty Projoectors play. I caught myself speechless. Bitte Orca delivers multiple styles ranging from easy listening pop, to country, to hard rock in a brilliant concoction that delivers with a large experimental vibe that loses you in its intellectual value. Your mind is saying yes as you stand back in awe at it. Also of note, Amber Coffman's stunning voice is perhaps one of the most darling things I have ever heard.


3. Julian Casablancas - Phrazes for the Young
It's hard to believe that an actually good solo career could flourish, and Julian Casablancas is the one behind it. Casablancas interprets a Utopian 2042 with distress and modern angst matched with even higher chants and his absolutely legendary vocal appreciation. Glamorous dance hall electro beats power up a wonderous imagination of history and it all ends with a sorrowful realization that Julian so simply conveys. You can tell that it is a great album when I didn't have to mention The Strokes once, cant you?

2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion Animal Collective's beautiful Merriweather Post Pavilion showed everything that they can succeed at, which is layering synthesizers and other beats, and reckoning blockbuster status while still keeping an intimate and welcoming nature among others. "My Girls" will go down in history as such a magnum force of triumphant feat for love and everything that may prosper. Every track is an abundant oasis of sympathetic vibes with a hopeful outlook that succeeds even more then their previously known stature.

1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz
More bliss than blitz, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs changed sweetly this year in a testament to the dance floor and synth dreams while holding onto all of their previous heart. Karen O has always pushed the juxtaposition between banshee queen and poised darling, but she opts for both in this tremendous effort filled with as much remorse and girt with rocking charisma as their legendary debut.Nick Zinner's always-perfect-amount of synthesizer and Bryan Chase's heartbeat drums along with Karen O's guiding voice bring you to a land of unexpected fixed emotional roller coaster. The album has the rare power to pick you up in the beginning, then rock you to splendor all within the best fifty minutes of music recorded for 2009.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Model - Like.

As I stood with my hand above my mop that I call my hair yesterday morning in the lobby of my school where all the ghetto kids and scenesters catch up before failing their algebra classes, my friend mentioned the fact that everything I do, physically, makes me look like a narcissistic model.

I make sure my three-dollar, black wool coat always exposes about 6 inches of my vintage tee of some sort of bar in the late 60's. (by the way, the one I'm wearing now is for a place called "Ruckidee's"). I also stand with my legs crossed and with an iced-cold expression in the morning. I've seen my friends' evidence, in the form of pictures, I do stand like that...but trust me, it's not all on purpose. The way I dress--like a homeless hipster--is severely intentional. Everything else is inspired by my dislike for the place I am in and fueled by the desire for 2:25 to come. I am an A student, but I don't like it anymore than anyone else.

And another thing, just because my bangs make me look like Zooey Deschanel, it doesn't mean you can say I remind you of Kate Moss.

Band of the Moment: Harlem


I was in Newbury Comics last week for National Record Store day (more on that event later), and as I checked out, the music playing over the speakers caught my undivided attention. The last live band had just gotten offstage, and this coming over the stereo was much better. When I looked towards the register, the vinyl of Texan band Harlem's new album, "Hippies", was displayed above the laminated sign "Now playing". I instantaneously felt the feeling that everyone who loves music loves more than they love Daft Punk: "I think I have just found a new band".

When I got home, even before opening the cheap White Stripes album I had bought used, I went straight to youtube (thinking Harlem was too obscure to be on any downloading platform) to listen to the album.

The first song I listened to when I got to the website was "Someday Soon", a rattling, guitar-peppy filled, chant-like, ubercatchy song that I realized was the song that had caught my ear inside Newbury Comics. I immediately fell in love with their punky songs that sounded like they were recorded in their buddies basement. I was in complete indie rock heaven.

When I checked them out on Myspace, I found out that they were coming to Boston--in four days. Of course, they were going to be coming to Boston the night before I come back from spring break. I went to Boston on Friday morning, and on the train I noticed that they were featured in the concert calender of the Metro. My reaction was a fusion of giddiness and sad. It was only a ten dollar show--and I probably could have gone, but I figured that they were bound to come back someday soon. I honestly would not be too surprised if they end up playing Lollapalooza or Coachella next year. That, my friends, would be fantastic.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lets get Physical

Lately, I have decided to be entirely alternative, and in this case, being someone from 1999; I am going to expand my wee album collection.

Yes, I am rejecting downloads. Well, for the most part. I will still be "buying" downloads, but I do want to be proactive with the physical object of a CD. This all kind of started last year when my friends got me all I wanted for my birthday, Yeah Yeah Yeahs' It's Blitz!. From then, I got a hint to start my collection. Christmas, and buying Vampire Weekend's Contra in January definitely got me going with all of this CD commotion.

Since then, albums from The White Stripes, Bloc Party, The Strokes, MGMT, Sonic Youth, and many others have followed. Anyone have any ideas on what I should get next?