Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best Album Of 2009: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

I lied, i do have a number one album of the year, it's called Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and its by a little French band called Phoenix. Perhaps you've heard of them.
Before 2009 I'd never heard of Phoenix before in my life but they have released 3 albums previous to this one. Here are the 10 reasons why this album is my favorite:
1. Lizstomania
This is no doubt the catchiest song of the year. The lyrics make no sense whatsoever but its still great. Before buying the album I was singing most of the words all wrong. Thomas Mars vocals are a bit hard to understand.
2. 1901
This one is right behind as the second catchiest song of the year. I love fuzzy keys. They pulled this one off really well live on Jimmy Kimmel.
3. Fences
These are just all catchy tracks huh? This one takes you back to the 80's a bit and is slower than the first 2 album tracks. I'm confused as to the meaning of the song. what does "Fences in a row" supposed to mean?
4. Love Like A Sunset Part I
This is probably the most ignored song on the album for those who don't enjoy instrumentals. This one sounds like they ripped off Foals. Especially with the guitar tone. It's still nice. If you haven't given this one a listen, do its really great.
5. Love Like A Sunset Part II
After the longest song on the album comes the shortest. This one is just beautiful. It's pretty easy to understand the meaning unlike most songs on the album.
6. Lasso
The best bass line of 2008 was in Vampire Weekend's "Campus." This year Lasso has a great one. Check it out.
7. Rome
This one has some elements of Foals in the guitar as well. It's more poppy than any of Foals' stuff though
8. Countdown
It took me sometime to get into this one. I like the line "True, true and everlasting love, that's what you want."
9. Girlfriend
This one is my favorite from the album. Mostly because it's fun to play drums too. It's also a break up song thats really happy sounding, which is nice for a change.
10. Armistice
This one is the darkest sounding song on the album. It's still great.
This album is solid from track 1 to 10. I've never heard any of the earlier stuff from Phoenix but it might be interesting to check out. I can't wait to see what the do next. Do yourself a favor and buy this album. It's awesome.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top Films

This year was a great year for music but it was also a good year for movies as well. Here are my favorites:

1. (500) Days Of Summer
This is maybe my favorite movie ever. The story line is just great as well as the acting, music and ending. I was the most excited I've ever been for a movie when this came out. I don't know any guys who enjoyed this movie, only girls. If you liked this movie and your a guy let me know!

2. Paper Heart
I wish this movie was a real documentary. Nonetheless, it's very well done. This also changed my mind about Michael Cera. He's pretty rad. Original music for this film is great.

3. Where The Wild Things Are
This was another anticipated film. Not as good as I thought it was going to be though. Too Violent. Karen O and the Kids did a great job doing the music. "All Is Love"

4. Cold Souls
This was just hilarious. Paul Giamatti is such a funny man. The whole plot is super funny. See it.

5. UP
I love Pixar films. This one was just as good as the last one which was just as good as all of them. They're all great.

6. Star Trek
They did a really nice job with this one. I'm not much for these types of movies but I loved it. If they ever do a sequel there will be a smile on my face.

7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Just when I thought Harry Potter movie were gonna suck forever this one came out and blew me away.

8. The Invention Of Lying
Ricky Gervais has a weird sense of humor.

-Eliot Larson, Decmeber 29th, 2009

The top albums of 2009, sort of.

For anyone who has tried to compile a list of their favorite albums of a certain year when so much great music has been made, you may find it to be one of the most difficult jobs in the world. I can't seem to pick a certain album to be number 1 or even a top 10 list so here are my favorite albums of the year in no particular order along with my favorite songs from each album:

P.O.S./Never Better/"Savion Glover"
The best rapper in the Twin Cites no doubt. My favorite rapper ever. This album is so creative and fun.

Death Cab For Cutie/The Open Door E.P/"My Mirror Speaks"
Death Cab never disappoints. A solid 5 song E.P before the next album comes out is very much needed.

Passion Pit/Manners/"Little Secrets"
This is one great album. I have had different thoughts than when I first reviewed this. Little Secrets is fun to blast really loud.

Animal Collective/Merriweather Post Pavillion/"Brother Sport"
I was a little hesitant about this album at first. Brother Sport is such an amazing song though. I'm new to AC but I love this.

Julian Casablancas/Phrazes For The Young/"Glass"
Actually, I was suprised that i even liked this. It's so different than the Strokes stuff. Its so fun to listen to. So catchy.

No Age/Losing Feeling E.P/"Genie"
I really enjoyed this short little E.P from No Age. Its a bit different from Nouns. Regardless, it's great.

Brand New/Daisy/"You Stole"
BN continues to get stranger and stranger as the years go on and the albums come. This one is pretty hardcore and raw.

Japandroids/Post-Nothing/"Young Hearts Spark Fire"
These guys are the most underrated drums and guitar band. Their music is so fun to listen and rock out to.

HEALTH/Get Color/"Die Slow"
A late favorite for me. I bought this album on a suggestion from Gareth Campesinos! Strange music but dancy and fun!

Mastodon/Crack The Skye/"The Last Baron"
This changed my mind about metal music. Every track blows my mind. These guys really make something special.

Dirty Projectors/Bitte Orca/"Stillness Is The Move"
This band/album/song never gets old. The girls' voices are beautiful and Dave's guitar playing is simply amazing.

The Bad Plus/For All I Care/"Barracuda"
What can I say? Adding Wendy Lewis for this album makes them even better. Amazing music.

The Dodos/Time To Die/"Fables"
Two person music has never ever been this good. Vibraphones rock.

Grizzly Bear/Veckatimist/"Two Weeks"
just give it a listen and read my review. GREAT

Wavves/Wavvves/"No Hope Kids"
I never get tired of distorted pop songs. Do you?

-Eliot Larson, December 29, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed 1

About a year i got the second Los Campesinos! album or their first "mini-album" in the mail. This past Sunday, I bought it on vinyl. Although I have not been listening to it all the times for a full year, once in a while its nice to listen to a couple tracks from the album. In short, the album is a masterpiece and definitely the better of the first 2 LC! records that came out in 2008. If I were to go back in time and re-do my best of list for 2008, "WAB, WAD" would be right up there with Death Cab's "Narrow Stairs." After another couple listens to the album on vinyl I feel no different than I previously had. To me, I think it's so interesting as to what they decided to do with the record. First of all, it's not an official album according to the band. It was advertised as a "mini-album," despite containing 10 tracks. They also invited some friends from other bands and some other artists to interpret their meaning of We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, including drawings, poems and stories. That's a pretty ambitious thing to do for a band that only 7 months before released their debut album. There were no singles released from the album.
Here are my 10 Highlights of the album:
-Ways To Make It Through The Wall is possibly the best track on the album, but don't hold me to that. It was my favorite for weeks when I first heard it. The line "A room full of vacuum and a room full of air look the same" made me think: "No there not!"
-Miserabilia is another fun track. My favorite part is at the beginning when Aleks says "No one matters" and Gareth echoes her saying the same thing in a muffled tone.
-The title track is just as good as it sounds like it would be. The keyboard melody played over and over again is so catchy and fun, it's hard not to like this one.
-The one weird song on the album is "Between An Erupting Earth And An Exploding Sky" Lasting just over a minute, its pleasant to hear something different than normal Campesinos! music and listen to and instrumental.
-You'll Need Those Fingers For Crossing is the second longest LC! song ever and is certainly single worthy. It's a shame they didn't put it out on 7 inch.
-It's Never That Easy Though, Is It? (For The Other Kurt) is the only LC! song I don't associate with a name. Walking into a room to see your ex making out with someone else with your favorite band's most popular song in the background would be awful.
-The End Of The Asterisk is a song I had trouble with when I first bought the album. It has now turned into one of my favorites. I think of it as the "My Year In Lists" of WAB, WAD, mostly because of how long it is.
-Documented Minor Emotional Breakdown #1 is my favorite one from the album. From the oo's and aah's to the super catchy guitar riff to almost a minute of feedback and randomness, it's just so perfect.
-Heart Swells/Pacific Daylight Time is one of the prettiest songs done by Team Campesinos! It's also one of the only acoustic songs done by them and it's the easiest song to understand in terms of lyrics.
-All Your Kayfabe Friends is another favorite of mine. The opening line is hilarious: " Word is you slept in a weird position and your back and your shoulders are aching/ I said my stomach's chewing it's way out from the inside 'cause I've gone 3 days now without eating." Great stuff.
This is one of my favorite albums of all time and buying it again re-assured that. Do yourself a favor and take a listen to a track or two that I've posted a link for. Who knows, maybe it'll change your life like it did mine. If you already own it take another listen or buy it on vinyl. If you don't buy it or I'll burn you a copy, just ask. This is the work of a masterpiece. Absolutely fantastic.

We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed:
Documented Minor Emotional Breakdown: (Sorry, not too exciting videos)

-Eliot Larson, 12/3/09

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Grizzly Bear-Veckatimest

Grizzly Bear-Veckatimest
[9.8, Warp, 2009]

I bought "Veckatimest" back in July at Amoeba Records in San Francisco. I had heard "Two Weeks" on The Current many times and decided to check out the entire album,I had no previous knowledge of who Grizzly Bear was or what their music sounded like. Until now (October) I hadn't gotten into the album at all.
And What a fantastic album it is. "Veckatimest" (For those wondering what the title refers too, its an island off the coast of Massachusetts.) starts off with the pleasant "Southern Point" which is like multiple songs in one. It starts off with a jazzy beat and then starts a big sounding chorus with lots of harmonies, finishing with a happy piano sound. "Two Weeks" is the obvious single off the album and is the most accessible to more casual fans. Even after countless listens it never gets old. "All We Ask" is a very march-y sounding tune with drumrolls, and dynamics. (For fans with short attention spans this is not the song for you, it may seem boring at first.)
"Cheerleader" is one of the most experimental songs on the album full of bass and vocal effects, echoey backing vocals and sampled handclaps. Nico Muhly does the choral arrangements on this and lends a hand doing string arrangements "Southern Point," "Ready, Able," and "Foreground." The next track "Dory" sounds like a musical song about a boat. The Beginning really shows Grizzly Bear's singing capabilities. (This may sound like a choir to some and The Brookly Youth Choir appears on a couple of songs but not this one.)
"While You Wait For The Others" is the 2nd single off the album and is certainly as good if not better than lead single "Two Weeks." It is certainly the most rock sounding song on the album. I hear a bit of The Beatles in the guitar parts. "I Live With You" is another faster paced song with stomping rhythms, dynamics and horns. "Foreground" is a beautiful piano piece that ends the album on a peaceful note. This is one interesting album filled with many different instruments, sounds and effects that expand Grizzly Bear's sound. A solid. 9.8. We'll see where this one ends up in my top 10. I bet it'll be in the top 5.

-Eliot Larson, October 14th, 2009.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Brand New- Daisy

Brand New-Daisy
DGC/Interscope/Procrastinate! 2009

Brand New has become one of my favorite bands in the past couple months. I bought their debut album "Your Favorite Weapon" from a suggestion from a friend, and i loved it. Every song is solid. Next I bought their 2003 effort "Deja Entendeu," which was hard for me to get into at first but i grew to love it almost as much as Your Favorite Weapon. I have yet to buy "the Devil & God Are Raging Inside Me, so i can't tell exactly how there music has changed through the years. When I first heard that 'Daisy' was coming out i was pretty excited and listened to the first single "At The Bottom." At first listen I thought it was awful. I ended up pre-ordering Daisy anyhow (it came with some extra goodies too)
I received "Daisy" 4 days before it's release. The first thing I thought of when i put it in was Fugazi. everything was like Fugazi. The short song names, the almost avant-garde art+pictures in the fold out, the b&w fisheye photo of Jesse and even the first song, Vices sounded like Fugazi. After the first listen to the album i was totally un-impressed. everything was different. The fun, pop/punk of sonfs like "Jude Law and a Semester Abroad" from Your Favorite Weapon was gone. After i spent about a week with "Daisy" i realized how different, can also be good.
The first track starts off with 1 minute and 20 seconds of an old sing-songy piano song that was obviously sampled from something recorded over half a century ago. I was surprised when the actual song starts with a hardcore emo sound. To me it still sounds like Fugazi. The next track, "Bed" sounds a bit like "Jesus Christ" from their last album. Previously, I had said that at first i hated At The Bottom. The country style vocals that Jesse was singing really didn't work with me. After multiple listens it's one of my favorites. "You Stole" is a nice 6 minute song that starts off with an older Brand New sound and turns into something that fits more with the tone of this album. The following track "Be Gone" is one of the strangest songs that i've heard in a while. It sounds like an old blues tune and has unbearably distorted vocals, which skip like a not yet loaded YouTube video."Sink" is a pretty awesome song filled with dynamics that vary from screaming to almost whispering. The title track is pretty nice and and features some drum machine, interesting guitar effects and even a little spoken word piece from what appears to be a little boy. The album ends with "Noro," a more depressing track in which Jesse sings he's on his way to hell. It also has a great bassline and reverbed drums. it ends with a minute and 20 seconds of the same old song that Vices begins with and is a nice way to bookend the album.
These guys really have a sound of their own. I haven't heard a band quite like them. I'm not even quite sure what genre to put them under, whatever genre it is, it's great. What these guys are doing is totally original, it's fantastic, it's Brand New.

-Eliot Larson, September 26th, 2009.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Super Fuzzed Up: Times New Viking.

Last week I saw a wonderful band called Times New Viking. The show was part of the Music and Movies in the Parks series. Usually they bring in local bands to play these gigs but an international band who was scedualed for that night had to cancel the show due to problems with their Visa's. Times New Viking replaced them.
For those of you who don't know Times New Viking is a 3-piece punk/pop band from Ohio. (guitar, drums, keys) anyhow their music is pretty fun especially live. Everything is distorted. On purpose, yes, however weird it may seem to some people everything. One of the first things I noticed when I got to the show (a little late) was that their mics were pre distorted in some way which was pretty cool. The drummer Adam usually sings and Beth the keyboardist does some singing as well. For music and movies there are usually quite a lot of people so I decided to go down next to and sort of in back of the stage to hear and see better. I noticed that Adam was sitting on a old wood folding chair! I thought it strange to have a drummer sit on a folding chair. At one point when i went away and then came back again he was standing up playing drums and the chair was folded up and off to the side. (Maybe it broke.)
I had noticed that there was no merch stand around (and there usually is at these shows) so after their short 45 minute set I waited around a bit and approached Beth asking her if they had any CD's with them for sale. She said they didn't because this was the end of their tour so they had sold out but she said she'd check in the van anyways. So about 5 minutes later she came back with their 2008 album "Rip It Off." (You can imagine that I was pretty happy by now) I paid her the money, thanked her and then ran back to where we had a blanket laid out on the ground. I sat and told my story of how i managed to get this CD to my mom and dad (and aunt and uncle for that matter who were also at the show with us) I soon asked if anyone had a pen and then ran off back to the stage. On the way there I noticed that Jared (the guitarist) was running sort of away from the stage. He stopped to talk to someone and I quickly asked for his autograph before he ran back to the stage to pack up. He signed it and crossed off the 2 peace signs which are on the cover on the album. Adam was a bit closer to the stage so I ran down there and asked him to sign it, he the asked me "Did Jared already sign this?" and I said yeah. He chuckled a bit and signed his name and drew 2 peace signs next to where they had been previously crossed off. I didn't get Beth to sign it but she seemed in a sort of bad mood and I had already asked her for a CD and all so I didn't get it.
The next day I listened to "Rip It Off." It's a pretty cool disc of music. most of the songs are really really short (and sweet of course) but nonetheless great. My favorite is "Drop-Out" also known as "Get Off" and is pretty much 1 minute of "She got off, he got on she got up he got off!" "(my head)" is a 2 minuter about messing with someone's mind/head and is pretty fun as well. The album starts off with "Teen Drama" which is about (you guessed it) Teen Drama. Everything on "Rip It Off" is super distorted and its often hard to follow along the lyrics.
Apperantly the genre of music that TNV fit under is "Shitgaze" which i assume is a take off on the genre "Shoegaze" like Pavement and My Bloody Valentine. Other notable Shitgaze bands include No Age and Wavves (both which I'll blog about later, stay tuned) anyhow, if your into punk music that poppy and is really distorted check out Times New Viking.

-Eliot Larson, August 19th 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Passion Pit mind their Manners with debut full-length

[Frenchkiss, 2009]
Passion Pit started out as a one-man side project of Michael Angelekos. He recorded his debut EP “Chunk Of Change” in his bedroom for his girlfriend making beats and playing hook-filled synth lines. Buzz began to start around the mega catchy song “Sleepyhead.” Then he put together a band and they started touring. “Manners” is their debut full length full of fun, catchy and danceable tunes. It starts off with “Make Light” a bass-driven mid tempo tune that isn’t too catchy or good at all. Then it jumps into a very 80’s sounding “Little Secrets” which features a children’s choir singing the chorus (higher and higher and higher), You’ll probably find yourself singing along. In the first single “The Reeling” Angelakos brings back the choir again which makes the song even more memorable and fun than it is to begin with. “Eyes As Candles” is another memorable tune full of na’s and hey’s (which makes up the chorus) “Swimming In The Flood” is one of the weakest tracks on the album and features a totally out of place hip hop sounding beat. On “To Kingdom Come” we finally hear some guitar even though it is mostly a synth driven tune. The video is a good laugh when it portrays all the band members as 19th century scientists who make an amazing discovery and begin hopping around with excitement. “Sleepyhead” follows and sounds as good as ever. (For those wondering it’s the exact same version as on the EP.) “Let Your Love Grow Tall” is a standard song about love but does not disappoint with the children’s choir singing Let your love grow tall! The album closes with the very average (and not that impressive) “Seaweed Song.” Angelekos’ voice never changes from his normal super-high falsetto which may be why I’m only impressed with 7 of the 11 of Tracks. Overall “Manners” is a nice collection of pop tunes, one of the best in 2009 so far. I can’t wait to hear what they do next with their sophomore release.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Holding Steady.

Yesterday I went to see Tapes n’ Tapes and The Hold Steady at the Basilica Block Party. Cities 97 sponsored it. I would of much rather attend an 89.3 The Current sponsored Tapes and Hold Steady show. When I originally heard that The Hold Steady was playing at the Block Party along with TNT I thought it weird that 2 hugely popular indie rock bands were playing at the same festival alongside Cities 97 bands Matt Kearney and The Black and Counting Crow(e)s. Regardless of the lineup the part of the block party I saw was very good.

Tapes n’ Tapes were one of my favorite groups back a few years ago. I went to see them at The Taste Of Minnesota in 2007. They put on a great show and played a bunch of new songs that made me very excited for a new album. When it finally did arrive in April of 2008 I was very disappointed with the results. Every song seemed distorted in every way possible and the vocals got more and more annoying. Not every song on the album was awful but for the most part it wasn’t that great. This time when I saw them live I had similar feelings as I did about their 2nd album. As soon as I saw them I immediately thought of Josh Grier who has grown out his hair to a fairly long length. He looked like he belonged in a 70’s classic rock band. On most of the songs he head banged, or tried to. As usual he was playing his red Fender Stratocaster. Bassist Erik Applewick grown some glasses since I had last seen him and he hat cut his hair shorter. And it was LOUD! The mix was on the side of awful as the guitar and vocals were a lot higher than the bass and the drums. Matt’s keyboard was barely heard, when there was a keyboard part to be heard. As on the most recent record everything was distorted. Even the drums; Jeremy Hanson is probably the most talented musician in the band didn’t shine half as much as he did the last time I saw them live. One of their most popular songs and one of my favorites “Cowbell” with a driving bass line, was totally re-done with a lot more guitar and less bass. The Dirty Dirty, the 5-minute closer to Walk It Off (and the highlight) was one of the best songs of their set. The show ended on a good note when they closed with the mostly instrumental “Jakov’s Suite” from the 2005 debut “The Loon” was surprisingly good. At the end I found myself clapping for them and enjoying the show very much. After The Hold Steady I walked up to Josh and Jeremy and had them sign my ticket. As people they hadn’t changed at all since the last time I met them and were very nice. Hopefully the next Tapes n’ Tapes will be better than the last one.

As for The Hold Steady, they were amazing. I think they are a lot better live than on record. RT Rybak the mayor of Minneapolis came on the stage before the show with a Hold Steady shirt and said nice things praising the block party, the fans and the “best city in America, Minneapolis” Mayor Rybak, I agree with you. I think that pumped everyone up and he went off saying that they would be on in a few minutes. About 10 to 15 minutes later Craig Finn and the gang took the stage. As soon as Tab Kuebler played the first few chords of “Constructive Summer” I immediately grinned. This was going to be a great show. Ever since Stay Positive came out I have never gotten tired of that song. When the “Raise a toast to saint Joe Strummer” part was said, everyone raised their drinks, which was such as nice thing to see. Hopefully those people all know who Joe Strummer is. Everyone at the show seemed to know all the words to all of the songs. They played everyone favorites “Massive Nights,” “Chips Ahoy!,” “Southtown Girls,” and of course “Stay Positive.” When “Party Pit” started (My fav HS song) there was some sort of feeling of happiness that I don’t often have when listening to music. When the song came to the part where Craig yells “we walked across that Grain Belt Bridge into BRAND NEW MINNEAPOLIS!” It made me think about how much they love playing music and singing about their favorite city it made me so thankful that we have a band like this from my hometown. When “Lord, I’m Discouraged” was played It was a nice song to be played at festival at a house of worship. Tad played his double neck SG, and did some amazing shredding during the solo, which made them seem like a classic rock band. Maybe in 35 years that’s what they will be called. They played other songs from older albums that I wasn’t too familiar with but they were still great. They left the stage at 9:56 only to return 5 minutes later and play a 4 or 5 song encore. They started off with the acoustic ode to beer “Citrus” which is as much of a laugh as is a song. Then they launched into the half acoustic “First Night” and then “Your Little Hoodrat Friend” which is the first song I heard by the Hold Steady which actually didn’t make me a fan. In between songs or during some low part to the song with some quiet drum and bass Craig praised the crowd and Minneapolis and thanked his family, which was in the crowd. He also thanked the bands’ other kind of family, the road crew. At one point he said the two greatest places of worship in Minneapolis were the Basilica and First Avenue, which put a smile on my face and most likely everyone else’s in the crowd. They also played the amazing Stay Positive closer “Slapped Actress” which included keyboardist Franz Nicolay (the only person in the band that doesn’t have a Minneapolis connection) putting his hand over his heart when Craig Finn mentioned Ybor City Franz’s hometown. The second to last song was “Stuck Between Stations.” That was quite possibly the highlight of the show and possibly the best Hold Steady song ever. They ended with “Killer Parties.” Every so often I would stop listening to the music and look over around me and see all these happy people around me and the wonderful city around me. It sorta made me feel grateful about everything I have in life and I’m not sure why. Minneapolis is a wonderful city and when people like Mr. Finn sing about it with such a passion it brings a smile to my face. At one point in the show he said, “there is so much joy put into what we do up here.” (here being the stage) I agree with Craig and RT, Minneapolis is a wonderful city. May the Hold Steady live on forever in the hearts of music fans all around. For people that understand what my closing statement is: The Hold Steady almost killed me last night.

-Eliot Larson, June 12th, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wilco (the album) Review

Wilco (the album)
[Nonesuch; 2009]

Wilco is one of the most interesting indie rock bands of the last 15 years. Each of their albums has been fairly unique and different. First there was the country debut “A.M” followed by the more popular but still country-ish “Being There” next came a couple of albums with Billy Bragg and then their third album “Summerteeth” which, is an example of Wilco at their prime. Then came the electronica phase and “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” which pushed Wilco even more into the mainstream with the popular “Heavy Metal Drummer.” In 2004 they released “A Ghost Is Born” and soon afterward added master guitarist Nels Cline. Sky Blue Sky was released in 2007 and now we have Wilco (the album), let’s see….this is their 7th studio album. It seems that with almost every new album release Wilco’s lineup changes. This time it hasn’t and probably for the better. All the members play an important roll in all of these tunes including their two keyboard/pianists Michael Jorgenson and Pat Sansome.

When I first heard Wilco (the song) back when they played it on The Colbert Report in November ’08 I was a little disappointed. Couldn’t Jeff Tweedy think of anything better to write than “Wilco, Wilco, Wilco will love you baby?” The more times I’ve heard it the more it grows on you and it is for sure one of the album’s stronger tracks. Track 3 “One Wing” is a sad song, but nonetheless pretty good and worth a listen. On “You and I” Mr. Tweedy brings in Broken Social Scenster Leslie Feist, better known for her solo work for a nice duet. “You Never Know” is one of the best Wilco songs to date and sounds similar to Summerteeth era Wilco. Check out the George Harrison-esque riffs. “Country Disappeared” is a nice, mellower, no chorus tune. “I’ll Fight” sounds like it could of made it on to Sky Blue Sky but with some added organ. “Sonny Feeling has a short solo and is the closest the band gets to something like the amazing guitar work in Sky Blue Sky’s, “Impossible Germany” or “Walken.” “Everlasting Everything” ends the album on a nice note and features some violin and trumpet.

-Eliot Larson, June 27th, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Music.

I've been hearing a lot of Kevin Devine on The Current lately and I'm really enjoying his song called "I Could Be with Anyone"
Apparently he is good friends of Brand New singer Jesse Lacey, which is another band that I started listening to lately. Brand New is a emo-ish band and they go on the Warped Tour, most bands that go on that tour i don't care for but Brand New has some okay songs.

Conor Oberst has a new album out, it's pretty great. Almost half of the songs are written by people in his Mystic Valley Band but even those are great. This is certainly one of the best 2009 releases so far. Highlights include Nikorette, Air Mattress and Bloodline.

Recently a friend burned me an album by a band called Cursive. He gave me their 2003 album called "The Ugly Organ" they are sort of an emo band but never the less an interesting band.They have a cello player and an organ player so most of the songs are pretty interesting. The album closes with a 10 minute epic build up song. My favorite tracks are: Some Red Handed Sleight Of Hand, Art Is Hard and The Recluse. The album is produced by Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes fame.

Matt & Kim are a keyboard and drums duo from Brooklyn. They are sort of a more fun version of Mates Of State with a little more energy. Their new album is entitled "Grand" named after the street they live on in New York. They are plenty of fun, and for sure a great listen for fans of Mates of State and Tokyo Police Club. Their single "Daylight" is currently number 13 on the Alternative iTunes charts and was featured in a Bacardi commercial.

The Gaslight Anthem are a great band out of New Jersey. Their most recent album is entitled "The '59 Sound" and is influenced by 50's a 60's rock n' roll. They were origanally tagged as a a punk band but they sound a lot closer to Bruce Springsteen meets The Clash's London Calling. It's hard to describe their music. They have been on the Warped Tour before but their music differs quite a lot from any of the bands that go on the Warped Tour such as Rise Against and The Alkaline Trio. The title track is one of my favorites from 2008.

In music news Conor Obest, Mike Mogis, M. Ward and Jim James are teaming up to put out an album under the name "Monsters Of Folk" which is sure to be interesting.