Friday, December 28, 2007

i am waiting to be changed

My first 08’ record recommendation belongs to Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel, an album by Atlas Sound, aka Bradford Cox’s solo project. Let the Blind is certainly vocally driven like Deerhunter’s Fluorescent Grey EP; it leans more toward the My Bloody Valentine, shoegaze sound while also remaining that eerie but very much enjoyable ambient and psychedelic feel from Cryptograms. I have been listening to Atlas Sound’s debut full-length for the past three weeks now and I still have not distinguished my personal favourites from it. Let the Blind is one of those spectacular albums that does not offer standout songs because it is just so damn great from start to finish. With Atlas Sound, Bradford Cox continues to demonstrate his brilliant ability to experiment with noise, styles and structures while producing engagingly solid songs at the same time.

River Card [wicked-cool song]
Quarantined [wicked-cool song]
Scraping Past [wicked-cool song]
Bite Marks [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel comes out on February 19th, 2008, pre-order info coming soon

Sunday, December 16, 2007

top 30 albums of 2007

30. Band of Horses: Cease to Begin
Ben Bridwell’s magnificent controlled vocal and the melodic instrumentations work perfectly together to create some electrifying and triumphant sensations.

Is There a Ghost? [super-wicked-cool song]
The General Specific [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

29. Teenager: Thirteen
Teenager have utilized elements from some of the finest music from the past (Joy Division), spiced them up with their own styles, and the result is an outstanding debut record.

Liquid Cement [wicked-cool song]
The Good Fight [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

28. Bloc Party: A Weekend in the City
An excellent follow-up to Silent Alarm. A Weekend in the City is filled with honestly brilliant and unforgettable postmodern lyrics.

Song For Clay [super-wicked-cool song]
I Still Remember [super-wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

27. Taken By Trees: Open Field
World Waits is the perfect escape album... listen to this album on a set of headphones and it will take you to another dimension.

Sunshine Lady
Too Young

[review] [buy]

26. Liars: Liars
Avant-garde undertone and an extensive range of musical ideas make Liars a highly sophisticated record.

Leather Prowler [super-wicked-cool song]
Freak Out [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

25. Okkervil River: The Stage Names
From start to finish, The Stage Names is packed with engaging narratives; it is fascinating, wonderfully passionate, and full of genuine emotions.

Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe [wicked-cool song]
John Allyn Smith Sails [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

24. Shugo Tokumaru: Exit
Exit is as imaginative as a film by Hayao Miyazaki!

Green Rain [wicked-cool song]
D.P.O. [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

23. Basia Bulat: Oh, My Darling
A fine collection of some very gorgeous tunes.

Snakes And Ladders [wicked-cool song]
The Pilgriming Vine [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

22. Wilco: Sky Blue Sky
A wonderful balanced mixture of alternative rock, country, soul, and blues makes Sky Blue Sky a calmingly comforting record.

Ps, the cover art for Sky Blue Sky is also one of my favourites of the year!

Impossible Germany [wicked-cool song]
Shake It Off [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

21. The Horrors: Strange House
Strange House features some fine reinvention of familiar classic rock and punk sound.

Gloves [wicked-cool song]
Sheena Is A Parasite [super-wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

20. The Besnard Lakes: The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse
The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse
is a musically in-depth record; and it should take any person just one listen to realize that it is a brilliantly crafted work of art!!

Disaster [super-wicked-cool song]
Devastation [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

19. Gutevolk: Tiny People Singing Over The Rainbow
Hirono Nishiyama's latest solo project is full of tranquil harmonies, lo-key vocals, and beautiful textualized instrumentations.

Portable Rain [wicked-cool song]
Seed of Sky [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

18. Dizzee Rascal: Maths + English
Maths + English carries the best elements taken from Boy In Da Corner and Showtime, making it a nearly flawless record!

Sirens [super-wicked-cool song]
Temptation [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

17. Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Yet another ultra indie pop masterpiece by Spoon! The bad perfectly executed ten ultimate pop rock tracks, making Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga the most solid effort by Spoon to date.

You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb [wicked-cool song]
The Underdog [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

16. Bishi: Nights At The Circus
Mixing Indian folk music with pop/dance elements makes Nights At The Circus one of the most unique and original records of the year.

Nights Circus [wicked-cool song]
Never Seen Your Face [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

15. The Twilight Sad: Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters
An emotionally pure hearted album.

Cold Days From The Birdhouse [super-wicked-cool song]
Talking With Fireworks/Here, It Never Snowed [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

14. The Acorn: Glory Hope Mountain
A beautifully constructed concept album that’s based around Rolf Klausener’s (lead-singer) mother, Gloria Esperanza Montoya, and her struggles and hardships she experienced growing up in Honduras.

Flood Pt.1 [wicked-cool song]
Oh Napoleon [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

13. Plan B: Paint It Blacker, The Bootleg Album
Early this year, Plan B released a limited bootleg album that features new and resampled tracks from Who Needs Action When You Got Words. The perfect samples of rock and alternative songs from The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Larrikin Love, Leonard Cohen, and Radiohead enhances the fact that Plan B is one of the most talented and creative new artists in the world.

Kidz feat Willy Mason (Where the Humans Eat) [super-wicked-cool song]
Suzanne feat Leonard Cohen (Suzanne) [super-wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

12. Menomena: Friend And Foe
A magnificent blend of experimental rock with jazz and blues.

Wet And Rusting [wicked-cool song]
Weird [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

11. Feist: The Reminder
So wonderfully pleasant!

The Park [wicked-cool song]
Intuition [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

10. Napoleon IIIrd: In Debt To
The highly textualized instrumentations as well as ironic and thought-provoking lyrics are why In Debt To is in the top 10.

This Is My Call To Arms [super-wicked-cool song]
Hit Schmooze For Me [super-wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

9. Deerhunter: Cryptograms
My love for both the band and the record stands on a very personal level.

Cryptograms [super-wicked-cool song]
Spring Hall Convert [super-wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

8. Klaxons: Myths of the Near Future
A perfect and very innovative record!

Totem on the Timeline [wicked-cool song]
Magick [super-wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

7. Radiohead: In Rainbows
An instant Radiohead classic!

All I Need [wicked-cool song]
Faust Arp [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

6. Good Shoes: Think Before You Speak
With most songs under three and a half minutes long, Think Before You Speak is jam-packed with fast and witty pop songs; indeed, it is catchiest album of the year!

Morden [super-wicked-cool song]
All In My Head [super-wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

5. PJ Harvey: White Chalk
Hauntingly gorgeous!!! PJ Harvey has taken a brand new direction on White Chalk: musically, the angry rock guitar melodies are replaced by haunting piano notes whereas vocally, her commanding deep voice is replaced by mesmerizing soft tones as well as unusual high pitches.

Grow Grow Grow [wicked-cool song]
The Mountain [wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

4. Patrick Wolf: The Magic Position
The Magic Position is divided evenly between bright and tragic music and subject matters. The sound and style is in a way, the combination of both Lycanthropy and Wind In The Wires.

Overture [super-wicked-cool song]
Get Lost [super-wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

3. Great Lake Swimmers: Ongiara
A lyrically and vocally stunning record. Yet another astonishing record by Great Lake Swimmers

Your Rocky Spine [super-wicked-cool song]
Changing Colours [super-wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

2. Jamie T: Panic Prevention
Panic Prevention features a wide musical range that extends from punk and alternative rock to 2-step and reggae. It is loud, witty, and in-your-face; but most importantly, it is an incredibly unique and fresh sounding record.

Salvador [wicked-cool song]
Sheila [super-wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

1. No Age: Weirdo Rippers

The band’s approach of noise rock with a twist of indie pop, 80s' hardcore punk, and Suicide influenced style projects wonderfully surreal/dreamlike sensations for the listeners. Weirdo Rippers is number 1 becuase it is just a brilliantly solid and engaging record from start to finish!

Everybody's Down [super-wicked-cool song]
Loosen This Job [super-wicked-cool song]

[review] [buy]

***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Monday, December 10, 2007

cover song of the moment

Atlas Sound, aka Bradford Cox's solo project posted a great cover of The Velvet Underground's "I'll Be Your Mirror" on the Deerhunter blog last week. "I'll Be Your Mirror" originally appeared on The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967); it was written by Lou Reed and sung by Nico.

I'll Be Your Mirror (The Velvet Underground cover) [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

la la radio

Shugo Tokumaru’s Exit is quite fantastical! Right from the very first track, Shugo Tokumaru generates this endless dream-like sensation that will surely make one feels happy and inspired. The textures and layers of the arrangements will keep listeners curious and become imaginative; when I hear tracks such as "Parachute", "Green Rain", "Future Umbrella", and "D.P.O.", my mind is immediately overfilled with surreal, fantasy-like imageries. Exit is the musical equivalent to a film by Hayao Miyazaki simply for the fact that both are creatively limitless. In fact, Shugo Tokumaru should really score a Miyazaki film in the future! Shugo Tokumaru sings in Japanese; however, that should not be a problem for those who are unfamiliar with the language as the music alone should satisfy most people. Certainly, Shugo Tokumaru’s latest will appear on my soon to be completed top 30 albums of 2007 list as Exit is such a joy and pleasure to listen to!

Parachute [wicked-cool song]
Green Rain [wicked-cool song]
D.P.O. [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Shugo Tokumaru: ExitBuy Exit here

japanese planet terror

This looks 1,000 times better than Planet Terror!!!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

cover song of the moment

The Decemberists released a fine cover of Joanna Newsom’s "Bridges and Balloons" in 2005. The song appeared on an EP which came with the vinyl edition of Picaresqueties.

Bridges and Balloons (Joanna Newsom cover) [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Friday, December 07, 2007

impossible germany, unlikely japan

If you purchased Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky, you can download a bonus EP via their site. Go here for instructions on how to acquire the EP.

The Thanks I Get [wicked-cool song]
Let's Not Get Carried Away
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

buy Sky Blue Sky here

Monday, December 03, 2007

i am STILL in love with lisa from toys r us

Due to popular demand, I am currently re-uploading the Conor Oberst demo cassettes from this post, refresh your browser for updated links, enjoy!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

protect your language

AOL has posted the making of Björk's new video, "Declare Independence" on Spinner. The video, directed by Michel Gondry will be out on December 6th.

In other news, Tokyo Police Club will be playing at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto for FREE on January 26 at 7 p.m. and the Feist with Great Lake Swimmers show at the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts on February 18 has been rescheduled to May 13.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Sigur Rós’s concert DVD, Heima, came out in North America about a week ago. I had the pleasure of watching it on the big screen last Friday at the Royal Cinema in Toronto and I was completely blown away by the experience. Ultimately, you don’t have to be a Sigur Rós fan to enjoy Heima. The movie is naturally beautiful and the music is gorgeous as usual. I especially loved the way the film was edited; in particular, the use of various imageries to foreshadow future scenes/events.

Heima is out on a 2-disc DVD set and a deluxe edition that comes with photobook. I have to say, get the deluxe edition if you see it! (Most stores in downtown Toronto are sold out of it already) The packaging and contents are outrageously stunning! I paid $30 for the deluxe edition and I feel that I should’ve paid more for it!

If you are like me (who is completely obsessed with the DVD at the moment), you probably can’t stop watching/listening to the full-length performances on the second disc. And since the Hvarf /Heima CD set is just not enough, I have taken all the live performances (15 in total) from Heima and converted them into mp3s. You can download all of them below!

from Heima, DVD Disc 2:
Sé Lest
Olsen Olsen
Ágætis Byrjun
Á Ferð Til Breiðafjarðar Vorið 1922 (with Steindór Andersen)
Hoppípolla/Með Blóðnasir
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Sigur Ros: Heimabuy Heima here

Monday, November 26, 2007

in state of confusion you made an illusion

Portishead have been teasing fans about this so-called new album for I don’t know how long now. It has been more than 10 years their last studio full length... there’s that track from the Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited compilation last year, but that’s not nearly enough! Well, if you are really hungry for some new Portishead materials, there’s something that might slow down your hunger, however; I can’t promise anything because it's not quite Portishead. Let’s just say, Elsiane’s Hybrid serves as an appetizer until the new Portishead record. The debut from the Montreal duo is undeniably influenced by Portishead... many of you are probably going say that they are a complete rip-off, but I somewhat disagree. Hybrid does sound a lot like Portishead, but I think that Elsiane did a great job in making that style their own... their songs are more melodic and gentle while at certain points, they are even dramatic and epic sounding. The bottom-line is, Hybrid is a wonderful album regardless if they rip-off Portishead or not!

Mend (To Fix, To Repair) [wicked-cool song]
Hybrid [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

buy Hybrid here

Thursday, November 22, 2007

washing the blood that has covered and stained me

Since discovering Glory Hope Mountain by The Acorn about a month ago, I have not been able to put it down. Oddly, I was skeptical about the album at first and it did take me a few listens to get into The Acorn's latest. So, just a little caution, if you are not too trilled about this record after the first listen, don’t give it up... trust me... you will not be disappointed again! Glory Hope Mountain is a beautifully constructed concept album that’s based around Rolf Klausener’s (lead-singer) mother, Gloria Esperanza Montoya, and her struggles and hardships she experienced growing up in Honduras. The first thing that struck me about The Acorn’s latest is Klausener's gorgeous voice; he has one of those very controlled and soft style very similar to Tony Dekker... and we all know how much I love Dekker’s majestic voice! Luckily for Klausener, his vocal is further enhanced by the equally exquisite instrumentations by the rest of the band. Unlike some of the vocally driven projects out there, where the music is secondary; the music is a vital component of Glory Hope Mountain as it very much structures the overall mood. If you are a sucker for the folk country/indie sound like Great Lake Swimmers and Wilco, Glory Hope Mountain is definitely for you.

The gang from Ottawa will stop by Toronto for an in-store event at Soundscapes this Saturday at 5pm and they will also be playing a show at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern that same night!!!

Crooked Legs [wicked-cool song]
Antenna [wicked-cool song]
Flood Pt.2 [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

buy Glory Hope Mountain here

Saturday, November 17, 2007

we rarely speak, but I do think of you a lot

I have been enchanted by the beautiful vocal of Victoria Bergsman’s solo project Taken By Trees recently. Taken By Trees’s Open Field is hauntingly gorgeous... and not in the same hauntingly gorgeous way as the new PJ Harvey record. In fact, the two belong in completely opposite spectrum. Unlike White Chalk, which feels sad and vulnerable, Open Field feels playful and light-hearted. Bergsman’s intentions for her solo debut seem to be fairly clear: the simple melodies along with a somewhat minimal instrumentation aid to emphasis Bergsman voice and lyrics. The former member of The Concretes has one of those voices that possess the power to stop you from whatever you are doing and have you devote all your attention to her. Open Field should be a record for everyone... I mean, how can anyone not enjoy such a naturally dreamy album?

Julia [wicked-cool song]
Lost and Found [wicked-cool song]
Too Young [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Taken By Trees: Open Fieldbuy Open Field here

Thursday, November 15, 2007

do you like my ponytail?

Other then the fact that Natalie Portman's Shaved Head is probably the coolest/funniest band name in music today, I had absolutely no knowledge of the band prior to listening to their debut EP, Secret Crush; but thankfully, their music live up to their name. The EP is full of lighthearted and amusing electro dance punk tracks. Other than "Sophisticated Side Ponytail", which sounds delightfully like a Peaches song, the majority of the EP reminds me of The Faint and The Rapture, as well as a bit of The Blow. I feel that it is unnecessary for me to write any more about the Secret Crush EP because I am sure that many of you will download the songs below simply for the fact that band’s name is Natalie Portman's Shaved Head!

Sophisticated Side Ponytail [wicked-cool song]
Beard Lust [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

please visit Natalie Portman's Shaved Head's MySpace page here

Wednesday, November 14, 2007