Tuesday, December 16, 2008

top 30 albums of 2008

30. Tokyo Police Club: Elephant Shell
Elephant Shell is full of sweet and captivating songs; each track has its own charm along with some clever and witty lyrics.

29. Johnny Flynn: A Larum
One of many wonderful folk records from 2008. The up tempo melodies and gorgeous fiddling are more than pleasing to the ears.

28. Port O'Brien: All We Could Do Was Sing
The folk-rock style in All We Could Do Was Sing sounds like the perfect combination of Great Lake Swimmers, The Decemberists, and The Dodos.

27. Frightened Rabbit: The Midnight Organ Fight
An emotionally charged and beautiful indie rock album.

26. Times New Viking: Rip It Off
So noisy... so much fun!

25. Old Man Luedecke: Proof of Love
A genuine and authentic reproduction of late 20s to 40s country-folk music.

24. Mystery Jets: Twenty One
An extremely catchy pop record full of carefree and cheesy relationship songs.

23. The Ruby Suns: Sea Lion
An incredible psychedelic pop album with Grizzly Bear-like lo-fi/mellow style and Akron/Family level of experimentation.

22. Sigur Rós: Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
Sigur Rós departs from the gloomy tone. Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust is rather uplifting, triumphant and celebratory sounding. "Gobbledigook" puts a smile on my face every time I listen to it!

21. Portishead: Third
The majority of the album sounds like something out of a 1970s Italian horror flick!

20. The Streets: Everything Is Borrowed
Mike Skinner has developed from a musician to a true poet in Everything Is Borrowed.

19. Cocoanut Groove: Madeleine Street
A youthfully carefree/laid back album.

18. Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground: Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground
The rich mixture of styles and sounds give this album a wonderful carnivalesque sensation.

17. My Morning Jacket: Evil Urges
Evil Urges is the best My Morning Jacket album to date.

16. Noah And The Whale: Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down
Noah And The Whale shows that there is a place for charmingly cheesy pop songs.

15. Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend
So catchy!

14. Benoît Pioulard: Temper
From found sound to drone noises, Pioulard beautifully integrates countless elements with tradition folk music. The end product is adventurous, gorgeous and completely mesmerizing.

13. Nico Muhly: Mothertongue
The complexity of Mothertongue is undesirable; it is multi-dimensional, genre bending, and beyond brilliant.

12. Deerhunter: Microcastle/Weird Era Cont.
While Microcastle is more or less full of incredible old-school indie pop influenced songs, Weird Era Cont. is more like Cryptogrmas as it features a more drone-ambient approach. "Nothing Ever Happened" is one of the best songs of the year!

11. M83: Saturdays = Youth
I have always adored M83’s electronic nostalgic sound; Saturdays = Youth is yet another exceptional journey through time.

10. Late Of The Pier: Fantasy Black Channel
Late Of The Pier’s debut is 40 plus minutes of rhythmic basslines, 80s retro synth-pop melodies, and unforgettable abstract lyrics. This one will make you dance!

9. The Wave Pictures: Instant Coffee Baby
Laid back 50s rock n roll sound and entertainingly witty lyrics make Instant Coffee Baby an unique sounding album.

8. Foals: Antidotes
The complex melodies and rhythm driven songs make Antidotes the best math rock album of 2008.

7. The Dodos: Visiter
Almost an hour of up tempo acoustic guitars and rhythmic percussion... absolutely fantastic!

6. No Age: Nouns
I am loving this revival of 80s hardcore punk. Nouns is full of noise and raw vocals; Randy and Dean are always amazingly energetic live.

5. I Was a Cub Scout: I Want You To Know That There Is Always Hope
A delightfully straightforward indie rock album that is full of sincere passion and emotion.

4. Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes
Breathtaking harmonisation!

3. These New Puritans: Beat Pyramid
The youthful and punk-like attitudes make Beat Pyramid extremely entertaining; "Numerology aka Numbers", "Swords of Truth", and "Elvis" are some of the most memorable anthems of the year.

2. Sam Amidon: All Is Well
Sam Amidon celebrates classic American folk blues with songs of grief, loneliness, lost love, and tragedy. Amidon’s soft and fragile voice is meditative and graceful; All Is Well is most gorgeous release of 2008.

1. Atlas Sound: Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel

This is an album that I have been listening to on a regular basis since last December. Let the Blind is quite a personal record and it is an absolute beauty! The ambient instrumentation and touching lyrics give the album this chilling tone; I get weird mixed emotions every time I listen to it. Let the Blind is by far my favourite album of 2008!

The Next Ten (honorable mention):
Mercy Arms: Mercy Arms
Plants and Animals: Parc Avenue
Fall Horsie: Devil(e)durge
The Sea and Cake: Car Alarm
Wildbirds & Peacedrums: Heartcore
Cadence Weapon: Afterparty Babies
TV On The Radio: Dear Science
Women: Women
Vivian Girls: Vivian Girls
Flight of the Conchords: Flight of the Conchord

Thursday, December 11, 2008

join the battle

Patrick Wolf posted a rather long blog post on MySpace yesterday. In it, he talked about parting ways with Universal and starting his new label Bloody Chamber Muisc. He also mentioned something called Bandstocks.

Basically, anyone can invest in a share of the album soon to be released. The more people that invest, the better the packaging, the better the mastering, the bigger the budget for videos and tours etc… the more fantastic the album is… the bigger the tribe… the bigger the battle, and bigger the victory in my language. If you need the finer details then go over to www.bandstocks.com, to hear some snippets of the album, and read all about it! All those that invest get the opportunity to come to secret rehearsals, and to get a limited edition amazing version of the album, get the album first, get first dibs on tickets for the tour. I'll invite you all over for a big homemade Wolf stew and a round of grog when I win my Grammy...

I have not tried it yet, but apparently only UK residents can invest to help Patrick finish mixing his new record, Battle.

You can download a mix featuring clips from Battle track below:
ps, Tilda Swinton is in one of the songs!

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

no age & zach hill: flannel graduate

I am terribly sorry for the lack of posts lately, but I have been pretty busy with school and work… things should calm down soon and I can spend more time on thos blog.

I recently came across this from various blogs: Flannel Graduate by No Age & Zach Hill. Flannel Graduate was a Japan tour CD-R featuring “three” songs from No Age and Zach Hill. The first two "Murder Burger" and "Crummmy Doug" are just seconds of sound that lead to the finale, "California Bird Dudes". This last track is 20+ minutes of incredible jamming, rhythmic drumbeats, and awesome guitar distortion. You can check them out below, enjoy!

Murder Burger
Crummmy Doug
California Bird Dudes [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Friday, December 05, 2008

admission is a blanket

The 2nd annual BlankFest Canada will cover the city of Toronto with a blanket fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 6th at El Mocambo. Blankfest Canada's goal is to collect as many blankets for the homeless as possible and is asking guests to bring new and used blankets or comforters in good condition (minimum one per person) as the price of admission to the event.

For more information about this event, go to http://www.blankfest.com/

Monday, November 24, 2008

port o'brien: all we could do was sing

Port O'Brien began a solo act by Van Pierszalowski, but has since added more members to his indie folk project including the beautiful voice of Cambria Goodwin. Their album, All We Could Do Was Sing, grips me right in with their Akron/Family-like (without the experimental aspect) up-tempo chanting in "I Woke Up Today". The duo continues to impress with their beautiful harmonic singing in "Fisherman’s Son". Port O’Brien’s folk-rock style kind of makes me think of a combination of Great Lake Swimmers, The Decemberists, and The Dodos. All We Could Do Was Sing sounds gorgeous and it is slowly creeping up on my year-end list.

I Woke Up Today [wicked-cool song]
Fisherman's Son [wicked-cool song]
Will You Be There? [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

visit Port O'Brien's MySpace here
buy All We Could Do Was Sing here

Sunday, November 23, 2008

crucified on a cross in front of all my closest friends

I’ve been meaning to post this, but kept forgetting:

Deerhunter: On Platts Eyott Island (Platts Eyott Session)
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Monday, November 17, 2008

vivian girls: vivian girls

Vivian Girls’ self-titled debut is like a bag full of delicious candies. It features that 60’s girl group sound... you know, kind of like The Raveonettes; but what I love most is that Vivian Girls blends that nostalgic sound with the No Age/Times New Viking kind of noise and punk approach. I am a little upset that the album is so short; with the majority of the songs under two and a half minutes long and the total running time just under 22 minutes, I found myself putting the album on repeat all the time. Aside from that minor downside, Vivian Girl is delightfully raw, fantastically up-tempo, and insanely entertaining!

Wild Eyes [wicked-cool song]
Going Insane [wicked-cool song]
I Believe in Nothing
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

visit Vivian Girls' MySpace here
buy Vivian Girl here

Sunday, November 16, 2008

cover song of the moment

The Twilight Sad covered Joy Division’s "Twenty Four Hours", The Smiths’ "Half A Person", and one of my favourite Yeah Yeah Yeahs songs, "Modern Romance", on the band’s limited edition tour release, The Twilight Sad Killed My Parents And Hit The Road.

Twenty Four Hours (Joy Division cover) [wicked-cool song]
Half A Person (The Smiths cover)
Modern Romance (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover)
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Friday, November 14, 2008

i just can't get enough eletric shocks

Patrick Wolf has launched a Youtube channel; go here to visit Patrick Wolf TV. I am most impressed by this video:

Monday, November 10, 2008

it's a good one!

You can download a brand new track from The Pan I Am (Edward Larrikin's new project) over at edwardlarrikin.com

Thursday, November 06, 2008

anything could happen and it could be right now

Tour only releases are usually pretty special for those who could make it out to see the bands; otherwise they could be pretty annoying for fans of the bands that did not schedule nearby dates.

Los Campesinos!, No Age, and Times New Viking teamed up for a very limited 7” to celebrate the Shred Yr Face tour. I have been dying to hear Times New Viking's cover of The Clean and after weeks of searching for this 7”, I have finally got my hands on it! (This one is pretty much not available anywhere, that is why I am posting all three songs from the 7”)

Los Campesinos!: Death To Los Campesinos! [Napoleon III Remix]
No Age: Revolving Credit For Kitty
Times New Viking: Anything Could Happen (The Clean cover)

Conor Oberst is offering Gentlemen's Pact EP during his current tour.

Gentlemen's Pact
Synesthete Song

The Acorn/Ohbijou Split 12" is available at one of the bands’ remaining Canadian dates. The two bands covered each other’s song on the split and they both have a brand new song to showcase as well.

The Acorn: Burrows [wicked-cool song]
Darcy (The Acorn cover)
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

help me obi-wan kenobi, you are my only hope

I don’t know what channel you were watching the US election coverage on, but CNN utilized the coolest/most useless technologies I had ever seen on TV: hologram interviews... check out the hilarious videos below.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

self-promotion time

I started a new blog a few days ago. Its focus is on art/design and it acts as an extension to my portfolio.

Visit my new blog here if you are interested.

Friday, October 31, 2008

happy halloween!

Bradford Cox is giving the first hundred or so people at the Deerhunter show tonight a free cassette of a John Peel pretend/tribute session he recorded last month.

Go to the Atlas Sound blog to download some Halloween tunes!

Also, don’t forget to listen to/buy Deerhunter’s double-album Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. During an Atlas Sound show in Toronto back in July, Bradford mentioned that even though Microcastle has been finished for months, it wouldn’t be out till late October because he wanted to release it around Halloween time. In a way, Microcastle is (way) less ambient and experimental compared to Cryptograms. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a good dose of Cryptogrmas-like goodness in songs like "Calvary Scars" and "Twilight At Carbon Lake"; however, for the most parts, it is full of incredible old-school indie pop influenced songs! For example, "Nothing Ever Happened", the first single off the new record, reminds me so much of Guided By Voices; it is hands down one of the best songs of the year! On the other hand, Weird Era Cont. is more like Cryptogrmas as it features a more drone-ambient approach. At this point, I am not sure which one I like more, Microcastle or Weird Era Cont.; but one thing that I am sure of is that they combine for one unforgettable release!

Microcastle [wicked-cool song]

Weird Era Cont.
Vox Humana [wicked-cool song]
VHS Dream [wicked-cool song]

...here are some bonus downloads:
Jay Reatard/Deerhunter Split 7"
Oh It's Such a Shame (Jay Reatard cover)

Nothing Ever Happened 7"
Little Kids (Demo) [wicked-cool song]
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

visit Deerhunter's MySpace here
buy Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. here

Thursday, October 30, 2008

some wolf news

First, NME has some news on the new Patrick Wolf DOUBLE ALBUM!

Second, check out this short film from DigForFire.tv:

Friday, October 24, 2008

benoît pioulard: temper

I just love it when a song or an album is able to create some sort of dreamy atmosphere/sensation. Sigur Rós has always been the band at creating the best atmospheric music. Lately, I have been drawn to Temper by Benoît Pioulard. Pioulard’s structure and arrangement to each song are fascinating. From found sound to drone noises, Pioulard beautifully integrates countless elements with tradition folk music. The end product is multi-dimensional, adventurous, gorgeous and completely mesmerizing!

Ragged Tint [super-wicked-cool song]
The Loom Pedal
Cycle Disparaissant
***all files expire in 7 days or until bandwidth reaches its limit

visit Benoît Pioulard's MySpace here
buy Temper here

The video for "Ragged Tint" is just perfect: