Monday, December 20, 2010

Weekends "Totem"

I don't know if this song has anything to do with Inception's use of the word "totem" or not, because I don't know what the fuck this song is about. That doesn't stop it from being kind of perfect. And the video. Video is good.

Weekends "Totem" from Friends Records on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Music: Best of 2010

Best Albums 
(included streams/downloads aren't necessarily my favorite tracks from the records, just the ones I could find hosted online)
1. Titus Andronicus "The Monitor" A
Titus Andronicus "Four Score and Seven (Part 2)"
2. Deerhunter "Halcyon Digest" A-
3. Surfer Blood "Astro Coast" A-
4. Beach House "Teen Dream" A-
5. Kanye West "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" A-
6. Black Keys "Brothers" B+
7. The Walkmen "Lisbon" B+

8. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti "Before Today" B+
9. Sleigh Bells "Treats" B+
10. Tame Impala "Innerspeaker" B
11. Avi Buffalo "Avi Buffalo" B 
Avi Buffalo "What's in it for?"
12. LCD Soundsystem "This is Happening" B
13. Spoon "Transference" B
14. Arcade Fire "The Suburbs" B
Win is still riding on the coattails of "Funeral." Honestly, if this was anyone else do you think this record would make the top of any best-of lists?15. Teenage Fanclub "Shadows" B

Warpaint "The Fool" B
Male Bonding "Nothing Hurts" B
Male Bonding "Year's Not Long"
Jaill "That's How We Burn" B
Jaill "Everyone's Hip"
The Hold Steady "Heaven is Whenever" B
The National "High Violet" B
The National "Bloodbuzz Ohio"
Dr. Dog "Shame Shame" B-
Yeasayer "Odd Blood" (the first half, at least) B-
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings "I Learned the Hard Way" B-
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings "I Learned the Hard Way"
Harlem "Hippies" B-
Wavves "King of the Beach" B-
No Age "Everything in Between" B-
No Age "Fever Dreaming"
The Vaselines "Sex with an X" B-
The Vaselines "Sex with an X"

The Morning Benders "Big Echo" B-
The Brooklyn via San Fran group led off its second album with perhaps the song of the year, "Excuses," a glorious amalgamation of glee-club harmonies, bluesy strings and soaring melodies, but then let Chris Taylor's (Grizzly Bear) production drag the following nine tracks through the tasteful, reverbed sludge that makes Taylor's outfit so damn boring. Only the occasionally fuzzed-out guitar struts through the languid, hung-over drapery, heard on the second track on the top-loaded record.
Listen (at least to "Excuses,") here:

She & Him "Vol. 2" C-
Everything M. Ward does deserves a listen. At a certain point, though, even if I recognize something as quality work (mostly the production and instrumentation) doesn't mean I have to like it, or force myself to listen to it on the reg. I just don't see the point of She & Him. Zooey doesn't write quite good enough songs, they are pleasant enough, but I'd rather just go dig up some old records.

Foals - Total Life Forever C

Robyn "Body Talk Pt. 1"
Robyn is terrible and I'm tired of all these hipsters saying otherwise.
AV Club and Pitchfork readers who like Robyn, for the most part, talk shit about American pop music, meaning either A.) they would also like American pop music if it wasn't popular, or B.) force themselves to like Robyn instead because she is not a house hold name here (and therefor "cool"), and that's pathetic.
For those who like Robyn and also like American pop music, that's fine, you're honest with your tastes and I don't dislike you, I just dislike your music. 

Janelle Monae "The ArchAndroid"
I don't like modern RnB, even modern RnB with touchstones in classic soul, and thematic inspiration in Fritz Lang's dystopian masterpiece Metropolis. Janelle's got style, enthusiasm and a fantastic stage presence, but I find her voice thin, her melodies less-than-memorable and the production sterile. I'll pass. Give me Sharon Jones any day.

Best Coast "Crazy for You"
At first I thought, 'maybe there is more to this if I keep listening.' After several spins, the melodies were finally in my head and I liked her voice, so I posted a stream of the album on this site, and kept listening, hoping I would form some sort of summer bond with the record. Shortly after that near honeymoon, it hit me that, nope, there is nothing more and my first instinct was absolutely correct. She sings about her cat, getting high, and boys. There's nothing here to warrant multiple listens, praise or scorn. It's jangly pop, and it's borrrrrrring as fuck.

Vampire Weekend "Contra" C
I think yr a contra. NO! yr a contra ... this album stinks.
Wolf Parade "Expo 86" C
Broken Bells "Broken Bells" C-
M.I.A. "Maya"
The Thermals "Personal Life" C-

Like, but haven't listened to enough of yet
Gorillaz "Plastic Beach"
Pomegrantes "One of Us"
Dum Dum Girls "I Will Be"
Broken Social Scene "Forgiveness Rock Record"
The Tallest Man on Earth "The Wild Hunt"

Did not hear
New Pornographers "Together"
Band of Horses "Infinite Arms"
MGMT "Congratulations"
Joanna Newsom "Have One on Me"
... and thousands more