Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One of my favorite parts of the Holiday Season is recapping the music that has shaped my life in the past year. I made sure to wait until the actual new year, along with reading every "Best Of" list i could, so i wouldn't leave anything out. So here. A comprehensive list from one of music's greatest appreciators.

1. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam

Landslide. My favorite freak folker's outta Maryland (or anywhere for that matter) create something as fresh and raw as a newly slained zebra. Pure genius. A collective of dream melodies, bouncy blast drums, and eerie cool lyrics. AC solidify their spot in music history. Leave my music heart forever patched with strawberry jam.
Key Tracks / Fireworks, Peacebone, Reverend Green, Winter Wonderland.

2. Kanye West - Graduation

Kanye is a perfect 3 for 3 when it comes to creating classics; a self made dynasty in half the time as MJ's Bulls. Yeezy can never be overrated or outdone. "Top 5 mc's you gotta rewind me / im high up on the line you can get behind me".
Key Tracks / Champion, I Wonder, Flashing Lights.

3. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna

I was introduced to Hissing Fauna almost year to date. Kevin Barnes n company accompanied late night sled rides into spring blooms. Summered his way through August only to fall into winter again. Hard topping that anniversary.

Key Tracks Heimdalsgate Like a Prometheon Curse, A Sentence of Sorts, Gronlandic Edit

4. Panda Bear - Person Pitch
Proud to say i bought this album. Call it a whim, call it a sin saving for not downloading, either way it was worth every penny and more. Best vibe since Beach Boy's "Pet Sounds".

Key Tracks / Bro's, Take Pills, Ponytail.

5. Vampire Weekend - Blue CDR

It may be cheating to include this 08 release on the best of o7 list but fuck...it rules and made an unexpected appearance in my top 5. it. Upbeat versatile students mix reggae with punk, and pop rock to make awesome dessert.

Key Tracks / Oxford Comma, Boston, Campus.

6. Caribou - Andorra

Retro pop record with origin. Andorra puts me in a bubble and floats me to the top of the city, than bursts itself with slicing tambourine zils.

Key Tracks / Melody Day, Sandy, She's The One, Eli

7. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky

Wilco is one of those special bands that get better over time. Jeff Tweedy is seasoned and sounding better than ever, a record that is pleasure to any age ear.

Key Tracks / Either Way, Impossible Germany, Hate it Here, Walken.

8. Shugo Tokumora - Exit

I just recently heard this cartoony pop gem, and i must say there is nothing cuter than a Japanese man singing broken English. *parachute* is turned into a *prachute* Every melody of Shugo's is unexpected and catchy.

Key Tracks / Parachute, Green Rain, Button, La La Radio, Wedding.

9. R. Kelly - Double Up
Cheers to R. Kelly for keeping my faith in R&B. One of the best records of it's genre for all time. At times an uncomfortable bliss, but overall a smooth record perfect for bed beats. Real Talk.

Key Tracks / Leave Your Name, Freaky in the Club, Real Talk, Same Girl, I'm a Flirt, Sweet Tooth

10. Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover

Personal inspiration Spencer Krugg brings back the circus for yet another great album. Random Spirit Lover aims directly for the soul and hits it bulls eye. Who needs Wolf Parade.

Key Tracks / Mending of the Grown, Up On Your Leopard, The Courtesan Has Sung, For the Pier, Taming of the Hands.

11. Dan Deacon - Spiderman of the Rings

Only artist to pull of hit track off a woody woodpecker sample. Deacon finds his niche as a keyboard synth god, drawing comparisons to atom and his package, and postal service.

Key Tracks / Woody Woodpecker, The Crystal Cat, Wham City, Big Milk, Okie Dokie.

12. Shout Out Louds - Our Ill Wills

I was disappointed most of the big dogs (pitchfork, spin, rolling stone etc) excluded Our Ill Will's from their best of list. Shame on you, here's a band that is growing with each move. One of the most ear friendly records of our time.

Key Tracks / Parents Living room, Suit Yourself, South America, Hard Rain, Tonight I Have to Leave it.

13. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

Every ones favorite Indie Gods return with an even darker chamber pop sound. Read your Neon Bible and go to neon heaven.

Key Tracks / Keep the Car Running, The Well and the Lighthouse, No Cars Go, Intervention.

14. Jay Z - American Gangster


Key Tracks / Hello Brooklyn, No Hook, I Know, Say Hello, Falling.

15. Figurines - When the Dear Wore Blue

Filled with ghostly ambition and awesome eerie melodies. Another great album left stranded from best of list.
Key Tracks / Childhood Verse, Hey, Girl, Let's Head Out, Good Ol Friends, The Air We Breath

16. Radiohead - In Rainbows

17. Clap Your Hands and say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder

18. Freeway - Free at Last

19. The National - Boxer

20. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga

21. Pinback - Autumn of the Sephras

22. Burial - Untrue

23. Say Anything - In Defense of the Genre

24. Good Life - Help Wanted Nights

25. Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortadela

26. Prefuse 73 - Preperations
27. Besnard Lakes - Dark Horse

28. M.I.A. - Kala

29. Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew - Spirt If

30. Motion City Soundtrack - Even if it Kills me

31. Octopus Project -

32. Mum - Go Go Smear the Poisen Ivy

33. Dntel - Dumb Luck

34. Rilo Kiley - Under the Blacklight

35. Lil Wayne - Da Drought 3

36. Once - Sountrack

37. White Stripes - Icky Thump

38. Richard Swift - Dressed up for the Letdown

39. Great Lake Swimmers - Ongria

40. Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends

41. Justice - Cross

42. Black Lips - Good Bad not Evil

43. Voxtrot - Voxtrot

44. Rouge Wave - Asleep at Heavons Gate
45. Lupe Fiasco - The Cool
46. Twilight Said
47. Band of Horses
48. Fiery Furnaces - Widow City
49. Beirut - Flying Club Cup
50. Rufus Wainwright - Realese the Stars

Honorable Mention
Avett Brothers - Emotionalism, Liars - Liars, Chris Brown - Exclusive, Paramore - Riot, Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity, LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver, Gui Boratto - Chromophobia, The Field - From Here We Go Sublime, Dirty Projectors - Rise Above, Common - Finding Forever

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Songs For Ghost

Ghost and music have few things in common, however they do share one distinctive quality; both are infinite. Ghost enjoy most all good music but are more susceptible to the songs they can shiver and shake too.

Since these earthbound spirits are going nowhere fast they tend to get ornery and bored, so they haunt. But there is a way to befriend your ghost.

I have complied a list of songs that will satisfy or at least tantalize the shades of unknown that roam your home.

*(mgl) = most ghostly lyric

** you can click on any of the links to open or save the song. they are all ghost worthy. or to make it easier just click on the link at the bottom for all of them in one file. **

Band of Horses - Is there a Ghost - A climatic ghost rock, all in the title.
(mgl) ~
" I could sleep / when i lived alone / is there a ghost in my house "

Sunset Rubdown - A Day in the Graveyard II - Echoing stroll through a cemetery. Alex and I are witness to what can happen during a day in the graveyard
(mgl) ~
" there was a day in the graveyard / with helicopters over head / i had a rose pedal bed / and the sun on my shoes "

Bright Eyes - I Will be Gratefull for this day - ghost vibe the creepy organ lead in this song. this along with the lyrics reminding them of the innocence of love they once felt in their human lives.
(mgl) ~ now he's a shape that moves like echos through my empty room / and there's a voice that speaks / like someones right behind me / i turned around and found exactly what you would expect / the clothes are left on my floor / the papers piled on my desk / but the ink is where the cause effects is meant by it / the story is incomplete / the pictures left unfinished "

Mum - They Made Frogs Smoke till They Exploded - the scariest choir of dead children you will ever here "meh-ming" and possibly the greatest song title ever.
(mgl) ~ "meh meh mameh meh meh"

Album Leaf -
Over the Pond - spirits are often calmed by this one. The trickling piano drops gives soundtrack to their love of gracefully hovering over water. Listen closely for laughter, and maybe you can hear them sing along.

Sufjan Stevens -
In the Devil's Territory - Seven Swans in it's entirety has been known to summon spirts. My pal Dan knows first hand the effects this plucking spell can have on you.
(mgl) ~ Be still know your sign / The Beast will arrive in time / We stayed a long, long time / To see you, to beat you / to see you at last.

Animal Collective - Cuckoo Cuckoo - The eerie tempo of the piano and ambient voices in this track captures their attention
(mgl) ~ " the king and i died / he kept floating past my eyes / and singing his song / life was good, now deaths all wrong / cause you can't feel a thing / no heart flutters in late spring / you just drift and pray for Sunkist golden days "

Michael Cashmore - How God Moved at Twilight Ghost relate to Cashmore's shaky voice. They enjoy his descriptive lyrics.
(mgl) ~ " white sheets and blooded proof of touch less dawn / picking at sunlight / no longing love or stones / and sleep is your dark eyes "

Panda Bear -
Bro's - This happens to be "gowl's" (my ghost) fav song.
(mgl) ~ i'm not trying to forget you / i just like to be alone / come and give me the space i need / and you may you may you may you may find that we're alright "

Beach Boy's -
Hang on to your Ego - ghosties get off to any beach boys songs, even if they aren't intended or written for them. They use this song to haunt one of their favorite preys, those with guilty ego's great enough to hold onto. i cope these people learn there lessons.
(mgl) ~ " they come on like they're peaceful / but inside their so uptight / they trip through the day and waste all their thoughts at night "

Avey Tare & Kria Brekken - Sis Around the Sandmill - The entire track is reversed, automatically making it intended for ghost. everyone knows the reversed rules.
(mgl) ~ "all"

Dntel ft Jenny Lewis - Roll On - Each and every ghost loves jenny lewis, gowl even once dated her.
(mgl) ~ " a warm bed, well that was something / and history's hopes keeps thumping / and it's just no fun / when you hate the person that you've become / bitter alone and isolated "

Grizzley Bear - On a Neck, On a Spit - I picture a ghost traveling decollete areas, roaming without cause.
(mgl) ~ " My messenger in disguise / makes up for such short goodbyes / You can't come home again / Each time it's different /And the yards around your feet fall away while you're asleep "

Liars - The other side of Mt. Heart Attack - if there is such thing of ghost companionship this is it's theme song.
(mgl) ~ If you need me i can always be found / If you want me to stay i will stay by your side.

Gentleman Hanger aka James Carlson - Sleigh Ghost - a woolgathering dream turned shrine created by yours truly. woodblocks, whale calls, and an unsolved cracking sound possibly made by a ghost opening a can of encore cola.
(mgl) ~ " He comes to you at last / he covers up your past / the ghost inside your sleep / the ghost inside your dreams "

full album

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

what's the day, what's you doin, hows your mood, how's that song?

What better way to launch my blog than with an Animal Collective concert review. Never before had I been so lucky as to win a pair of free tickets to such a monumental happening . The moments prior to the AC boys Chicago opening had me overwhelmed with anticipation and expectation. Personal idols who could not and would not do me wrong... I was right.

Unfortunately my already abused ears were forced to sit through opening act Eric Copeland. Guy seemed as if he were born from the dead skin of Panda Bear's Person Pitch. Copeland's inability to realize the misery and ear ache he was causing his audience was almost as embarrassing as his inability to look up. He kept his head down the entire performance, his hands blanketed his mouth & Mic. Personally I don't believe he was even using vocals.

By the time Copeland was finished I noticed Panda Bear scampering back n forth on stage. A few scattered claps around the theater also noticed the lengthy pale genius. It was time. Geologist started up the bubble machine for opener "Unsolved Mysteries". By the time the adolescents track turned Jack the Ripper was finished I was ready to turn my chair into a trampoline for my trademarked Peacebone bounce. I would have to wait until mid-end show.

The rumors of AC playing mostly unreleased songs for their live shows were true. Which since expected I couldn’t be disappointed. Other than "Unsolved Mysteries" and "Peacebone" the only album explosives the boys brought were "Fireworks" and old school track, "Leaf House".

Avey Tare's vocals were absorbed perfectly with the Vic Theater's acoustic's. Each Animal did his job, except for the absent Deacon; who's guitar presence was replaced by pre recorded tracks from mixers and keyboards, not doing justice to what may possibly be the freshest sound in all of music.