Monday, January 31, 2011

Smoke 'em if you got 'em...



To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did.  I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times.  ~Mark Twain
I've been smoking since I was 16. I've been a pack-a-day smoker. I've been a smoker who never actually bought cigarettes. (The Moocher!) I've quit many times before. One of the times lasted a good year.  There were times when I rationed cigarettes, only having one or two a day. Cigarettes have been a part of my life for a long time.

Click to play Oasis - Cigarettes & Alcohol

My first cigarette was outside a pool hall. That head change was so fantastic...I was a fan ever since. That first cigarette was a Marlboro Red. I smoked those for some time, until I mooched a Camel Light from a buddy and really liked the taste of those better.

Click to play Less Than Jake - One Last Cigarette

I enjoy the timeout a smoke gives me at work. I enjoy the act of smoking...the inhaling and exhaling. Smoking would get me through the tough times. A cigarette would help me when I was...bored/stressed/tired/hungry. Nothing accompanies an alcoholic beverage better than a cigarette. Nothing accompanies coffee better than a cigarette. A smoke is great after sex and after a meal.

Click to play David Bazan - Cold Beer and Cigarettes

The thing is about quitting smoking is that you have to really want to quit. You have to hate it. I love smoking...but I think you figured that out from the love story above. I was planning on quitting on January 1, 2011. Less a resolution and more an easy quit date to remember. Didn't happen because I had to go to California for a funeral...and I didn't want to add to the stress of that trip by craving the whole time. On the 23rd of January I caught a horrible cold...might have even been the Flu. I had a fever and cough. Seemed like a good time to quit, since I could barely breathe anyways. I'm ready. I can do this. This is my final goodbye. It wasn't you cigarettes...it was me.

CLick to play Band Of Horses - Cigarettes, Wedding Bands

   

Sunday, January 30, 2011

is it truly hip to be square?

You like Huey Lewis and The News?

Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in '83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humour.


The Definitive Collection
A few weekends ago I had an evening in with friends. We ate, drank, played table games, and eventually broke out the record player. Before I go any further I should explain that my vinyl collection is a strange mix, mostly gathered from thrift stores and working at a library when they were phasing out their media. As much as I enjoy LPs I wouldn't be called a collector by any stretch. Just wanted to get that out of the way so you'll (maybe) be less likely to judge me.

The group rifled through my records, everyone putting together their own little playlist. When we started the music I noticed a shocking trend: the albums everyone agreed on most as "top plays" were far from what I would have expected. We had Air Supply, Huey Lewis, Men At Work, and Bonnie Tyler. Stevie Wonder's Innervisions made the cut but Willie Nelson did not. We had Wham on reserve while Cat Stevens sat lonely in the discard pile. Maybe this isn't that strange objectively, but this group is primarily plugged into indie rock and a step away from the mainstream, with the exception of the one hardcore rap fan. Huey Lewis wouldn't even seem a viable option until we all realized at once that we did indeed need a new drug.

I suppose there's no real point to this post, other than the impact of nostalgia and finding a common bond in music that may not otherwise make your playlist. It makes for strange bedfellows. Or maybe having a more finite, random playlist brings people to an unexpected common ground. Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to post some pop music from days of yore.

I guess what I'm really saying is this: Never underestimate the power of Air Supply.








This video is louder than the rest. Watch the volume and protect your ears.



I actually kinda hate putting that song in with the others because I think it's really, really good. I'm just running with the theme here. Go buy some Men At Work albums if you don't know them well: their music still stands up today.

         

Friday, January 28, 2011

Let's Do It Again

Heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend who, heard it on NPR. Got the album, listened to it 100 times, love it, realized it's from 2007. Nina Diaz has the most amazing voice. Her sister Phanie hits the skins, and their longtime friend Jenn Alva plays bass. Joan Jett discovered them and signed them to her label. Morrissey took them on tour. Robert Rodriguez directed one of their recent videos. They're Girl in a Coma. Here. Have a peek.



Wait - to say the video is directed by Robert Rodriguez sounds like the whole thing was planned.  He is a fan of theirs, went to see them at SXSW, pieced together shots from their performance, and gave them this video as a gift!  Yes, that Robert Rodriguez.  As in, Sin City.  In return, they contributed the song "Yo Oigo" to his film Machete.
The song in the video, "As The World Falls Down", is from the band's 2010 covers album.  This one is of David Bowie's Labyrinth tune.  They also covered one of my favorite songs of all time, Ritchie Valens' "Come On Let's Go."
Because they come from San Antonio and are from Latin descent, they're being put in the Latino, in the Tejano, in the Alt Latino categories. This sound is Female Punk Rockabilly. I am pretty sure I just made that up. Google that shit. I love it. I want to dye my hair, paint on the eyeliner, and join the band. Or just prance in the background.


The girls are happy with Blackheart Records: It's a "very low-key, relaxed label, which is perfect for us," they say.  And you know, I should backtrack a bit.  Joan Jett got to them after they'd been touring a few years - even after Morrissey pulled them out of their little touring van and onto a plane to London.  After they released Both Before I'm Gone on Blackheart, they opened for Cyndi Lauper and Social Distortion.



I love that they have their own sound but do an amazing job of paying tribute to those who influenced their sound. Their second album, Trio BC, is named after the girls' Grandfather's band from the 50's. Then on Adventures in Coverland, there is pretty much a cover from every band or artist that influenced them, including Selena.

It's hard to pick a favorite from album #1, but I'm going to share "Mr Chivalry" from Both Before I'm Gone and "Come On Let's Go" from Adventures in Coverland.

Click to Play Girl in a Coma - Mr. Chivalry

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Here comes not the sun....but more snow


Okay. I get it. More snow. Seriously. If you're reading this and anywhere in the northeastern part of the United States, you will understand why I'm pissed off. All over facebook, I have friends that have these stupid status messages saying something to the effect of, "I get it, it's going to snow. Welcome to New England." No, assholes, this bullshit isn't natural. I want some fucking sunshine. And this is where my music addition for the day comes in. To all you people saying, "Suck it up, it's New England"? I want to slam your genitalia into a car door. If you're just as pissed as I am? Enjoy this music. It makes me look forward to this god-forsaken winter ending.

Click to Play The Beatles - Here Comes The Sun

Click to Play Belle and Sebastian - Here Comes The Sun (Live)

Click to Play Nina Simone - Here Comes The Sun (Francois K Remix)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

rainbows in gutters (and whiskers on kittens)

Talib Kweli

Talib Kweli has been knocking our socks off for years. Whether in his collaborations with artists like Mos Def, Kanye West, and ?uestlove or on his own solo work, he always shines. He's established himself as a rapper's MC and a hip-hop fan's source of consistently brilliant rhymes. And now he's getting serious.

Gutter Rainbows will be available (digitally only) this Tuesday, January 25th. It's Kweli's first self-released album and he's been touting it for a while as the type of album he's always wanted to make. You can actually hear it through the tracks: there's a dedication and enthusiasm that's contagious. The music and beats are solid, if not amazing at times. There are plenty of great guests on the album but Kweli shines brightest. He's perfectly in his element, and it's a sweet ride to take with him.

The first single, "Cold Rain," has been circulating since late last year. In case you haven't caught it yet, take a listen here first:

Click to play Talib Kweli - Cold Rain

"Tater Tot" tells a story of a solider just back from war who falls into some pretty interesting situations:

Click to play Talib Kweli - Tater Tot

And the title track looks back to a childhood in the Brooklkyn ghetto, while hinting at how beauty can arise from squalor:

Click to play Talib Kweli - Gutter Rainbows

This is the first great hip-hop album of 2011. Grab your copy Tuesday and let Talib Kweli know he's still on track, maybe more so than ever.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I've Got A Black Belt in Doubt

Ahhh! The Cold War Kids have a new album coming out Tuesday! That's the best headline I can give you!

Five years ago they released Robbers & Cowards and you might have heard their single "Hair Down" in 2006. Unless you wrote them off for their weird band name. Around that time, Daytrotter's Sean Moeller said they "write and play songs as if they're burning from the inside out." That's Cold War Kids. Stories begging to be told are easily unfurled on the lips of Nathan Willett, and the necessary sounds that support these tales come through in the form of bass, piano, rhythm, and drums provided by Matt Maust, Jonnie Russell, and Matt Aviero.


2008's Loyalty to Loyalty was heavily thematic, full of characters with sad and mysterious backgrounds. And although their third album, Mine Is Yours sounds like it is closer to the same vein as the first, the stories are even more powerful. The slow burn starts off with an opening title track, and the souls of these voices penetrate more as each track progresses. Don't get attached to me, "Royal Blue"'s narrator warns. But his counterpart, in Track 4, "Finally Begin", sounds like he figured something out, even if he's still working on it all.

Click to Play Cold War Kids - Finally Begin


I wish somebody’d push me
That way I’d know who to blame


I think I'm sharing that track not because it's the strongest on the album, but because it best demonstrates the typical Cold War Kids theme: "I know what to do, but I can't make the choice and I'm stuck in the middle. So here's my whole story, with half of it left out."




This album rocks. I want to share every track with it. Make sure you grab it on Tuesday.







Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More.....there must be more

Not sure why, but the title used is from Derrick Carter's "Where U At?" I guess I could say it works in this sense in that here I'm just sort of showing the extent of influence late hip-hop producer Jay Dee has had. Now, I had done a post based around one of his tracks a few months back, but this post is more to show his reach in music.



Yep. Jay Dee had a hand in that. Crazy, eh? Or how about these two songs?





Yep, more production work by Jay Dee. Having worked with Q-Tip and the Pharcyde is just the beginning, really. You guys should check out the full list of stuff he's had a hand in. Oh, and the best part is that the video for "Drop" by the Pharcyde was a Spike Jonze product. Did you notice Ad Rock pop in there?

So the last surprise of work by Jay Dee was a Slum Village remix of "Aerodynamic" by Daft Punk. You heard right. As a way for Slum Village to avoid paying for the use of a sample, they were asked to create a remix for Daft Punk's Daft Club, and the resulting remix is here.

So boys and girls? Now you know. And knowing is half the battle. Yo Joe! Umm.....yeah.

Click to Play Q-Tip - Vivrant Thing
Click to Play The Pharcyde - Drop
Click to Play The Pharcyde - Runnin'
Click to Play Daft Punk - Aerodynamic (Slum Village Remix)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Glory days, well they'll pass you by

Now I think I'm going down to the well tonight
and I'm going to drink till I get my fill
And I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinking about it
but I probably will
-Bruce Springsteen


Kid Rock just turned 40 January 15th.
Kid Rock celebrated the day by having a 3 hour concert in his hometown of Detroit. The venue was the Detroit Lions stadium, Ford Field. During the show, looking over the 60,000 hometown fans, he said "I don't even know what to say...There is no place on earth I'd rather be right now than here."

I tired to find time to review the new album, Born Free of Kid Rock back around its release date of November 16, 2010...but time got away from me. Maybe that's what Kid Rock had in mind for this album. The album is a continued departure from the rap-rock that made Kid famous. It's an album that harkens back to the late 70's / early 80's Americana that Kid Rock loves so much. Perhaps it's the time that he wishes hadn't gotten away from him?

Rock churns out Southern Rock, a la Bob Seger or Tom Petty. Born Free is not as good as Seger's Night Moves or Petty's Into The Great Wide Open, but it is a great feel-good record that will get you through the cold months and into the summer. Kid Rock even convinces his idol, Bob Seger, to play piano on the song "Care" while he does the best raspy Seger-esque impression he can!

The song I love most is the track Purple Sky. Check it out below, and pick up this album, even if you aren't a fan of Kid Rock's seven previous albums... I guarantee you will find something to love here...and dont wait too long, else you'll be without it come summertime! You will need a soundtrack for those backyard BBQs or beers in the back of the pick-up. You know how fast time flies...


Click to Play Kid Rock - Purple Sky

Saturday, January 15, 2011

son(s) shine


I'll keep today's post brief, because I don't actually have much information to give on The Son(s). News of their new single hit my inbox earlier this week and despite my attempts I can't find much about the band. What I do know is that they've been around for a while. They started with three members but are now down to one. They're from Scotland, like so many bands I love. And they have a new single coming out on January 17th, which would be this Monday. Word on the street is that it's the precursor to a full-length slated for somewhere around March. Word from kilter is that, based on this single, it's going to be good.

The songwriting reminds me in a very positive way of Doves, who I may need to double back and write up one of these days. Fellow Doves fans should know what I mean. The production is raw and immediate, and the vocal harmonies are amazingly layered. I can't say I was blown away by all of their earlier work but these two new songs have me really anticipating what's to come.

You can listen to the new single "Radar" and its b-side at their
bandcamp site. Act now and you can also grab a free copy of a 2-song album they released last October.

If you like the new tunes remember to grab them Monday, and keep an eye out in a couple months for more material. I'll do my best to remind you but I have the attention span of...Hey! Look, a kitty!


Friday, January 14, 2011

This is us all trying not to be sober

When did the news become entertainment?

Right out of the gate this album, as it was designed to do, grabs hold of you and tells you there's no way you're not going to listen to this. It's too important. So sit down. No, wait. Stay standing. And raise your fist.

Political punk.

So content to live in your ignorance while they manipulate and tell you it's true.

Don't think it's just FOX News with the spin and rhetoric. Politicos on both sides love the ignorant masses who will remain divided and follow the wildly dramatic claims and warnings.

Smoke or Fire have been writing hardcore punk songs with lyrics full of social commentary since 1998. At the time, they called themselves Jericho. They had changed their name by the time they recorded the album Above The City in 2005 with Fat Wreck Chords. They stuck with the label ever since, and in November of 2010 released The Speakeasy.

The commentary in the lyrics are not focused solely on the sad state of our humanity. Songwriter Joe McMahon dispenses words of advice to other bands in the industry in Track 6, "Hope & Anchor."

Click to Play Smoke or Fire - Hope & Anchor

Those days are over now, what started off as fun
Has made you question everything and not trust anyone


It's this and "Porch Wine" that can be used more as personal anthems rather than revolutionary battle cries. Also, I love this track musically more than the others on the album:

Click to Play Smoke or Fire - Porch Wine

The realization of great potential
Leads to the feeling of an emptiness
And what to fill it with in our time?


All I can offer you is a shrug. Find something lasting to fill it with. Make a change. Quote pundits on your FaceBook page and do nothing. Self-medicate. The only certainty is death.
(And taxes.)




Wednesday, January 12, 2011

War....and guns.....what are they good for?


NOTE: I am including the link to write your Representative here and at the end of this post.

Anyone that's known me for a while knows how strongly I feel about many issues and how readily I display my emotions on my sleeve. I've learned to temper it a bit the older I've gotten, but occasionally, it still overflows and comes out as pure anger. The events of Saturday, January 8th down in Tucson, Arizona are a good example of this. Now Representative Gabrielle Giffords is in critical condition, and six are dead.

Arizona has been the subject of many jokes within the last year. The controversial immigration law they enacted inflamed passionate debate amongst both sides. Extremes were certainly brought out on both of those sides, but common sense tells us that if we want to end a problem, we work to display some patience and forward-thinking. The state of Arizona didn't didn't display those traits, and is now facing a PR nightmare about it's image. That's a conversation left for a different day, but the point is that these problems continue to bog down the state.

In 2004, a Republican led Congress let lapse the Federal Assault Weapon Ban. If this had been in place within the last few weeks, Jared Loughner maybe wouldn't have committed the atrocities we bore witness to on the 8th. However, as was stated pretty clearly on BBC News' World News America, the NRA and the small percentage of people in this country who care solely about gun restrictions make up a large voice. We may never see a day where we can go worry free about the threats we saw carried out in Tucson due to this misguided logic.

We're watching both sides point fingers over this tragic event. If you're reading this, and you're blaming liberals? Or the Tea Party? Or anyone, for that matter - STOP IT. The only way we will ever see an end to this senseless violence is by working to prevent it. By using that same patience and pragmatism I spoke of earlier. That doesn't equate to taking your guns away, as the NRA would have you believe. This young man was initially unable to buy the bullets he sought, believe it or not. He instead went to a second Wal-Mart and made the purchase there.

Just think about that. While you are in a Wal-Mart with your young son or daughter looking at buying a bicycle, a man is buying bullets. Bullets are not the harmless creation the NRA would lead you to believe. They are made for a single purpose. When this first came about, I couldn't help but think of a good quote by comedian Eddie Izzard from his stand-up special Dress To Kill.

"The NRA says 'guns don't kill people, people do.' But I think that the gun helps."




The solution? Is not more guns. Restrictions on firearms need to be in place. We need laws in all fifty states that require proper training by civilians for use of these weapons. Proper registration and storage at homes need to be in place, also. If you insist on owning a gun, I have no issues with that. I have to stress this. However, a gun is a major responsibility. On top of being a responsibility? It's a privilege. One that I feel should be taken away if you can't prove that you are enough of an adult to do what are honestly very simple things.

For anyone that may call my opinions into question, I've lived a life where as a child, I grew up around weapons. I never liked them, but thankfully, they were stored properly. If you were to ask anyone in the military or that works for your local police, they will likely agree with me on the changes I've spoken of. Many I've spoken with have agreed.

Lastly? That link again to write your representative. Take five minutes and express your concern.

Click to Play Edwin Starr - War

Click to Play Edwin Starr - War (King Britt Remix)

Click to Play Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pseudocoded

human.Author I = "Mookie";


human.EveryoneElse you; //will be defined at runtime

if (You.break(myHeadphone)){
    I.Voice.Yell.ToMouth() = "You will pay for this!";

I.Hit(you, Rock);

return;
}


Happy New Years peeps! I hope you are all well. I am renewed and ready for another year of music posts for you. I can't wait to read your comments and emails! Our fans are the best in the world! Let's get it on then?


...


Sean "Jay-Z" Carter
To start off the year I am doing a book review of sorts. The book is Jay-Z's book Decoded which was available for sale November 16th, 2010. I received the book as a xmas present from The Little One. She knows a music book will always make me happy!


Jay-Z (also known as Sean Carter, Jigga, or Hova), for those of you that don't know, is a successful hip-hop artist and entrepreneur. He had a net worth over $450 million in 2010, has sold 50 million albums worldwide, co-owns a chain of sports bars and lounges called The 40/40 club, and is part owner of the New Jersey Nets. He was once the CEO of Def Jam, founded the record label Roc-A-Fella Records, and is the creator of the wildly successful clothing line Rocawear.


That's some resumé...


Like Jay-Z, his new book is also many things. It's a lyrical anthology, a biography, and a coffee table art book all wrapped into a beautiful hardcover package. The book covers 36 of Jay-Z's songs, which he "decodes" for the reader. Jigga provides perspective and insight on the lyrics and the stories behind them.


Hova says this about the vision for his book:


The cover of Decoded is based on
Andy Warhol's 1984 "Rorschach" paintings.
When I first started working on this book, I told my editor that I wanted it to do three important things. The first was to make the case that hip-hop lyrics—not just my lyrics, but those of every great MC—are poetry if you look at them closely enough.

The second was I wanted the book to tell a little bit of the story of my generation, to show the context for the choices we made at a violent and chaotic crossroads in recent history. And the third piece was that I wanted the book to show how hip-hop created a way to take a very specific and powerful experience and turn it into a story that everyone in the world could feel and relate to.


I've talked to a few people about the book that I know are fans of Jay-Z. None of them had yet read, or even cracked open the book, but had heard that there wasn't anything "new" in the book. Specifically, that the stories articulated in its pages were "known" by the "real" fans for some time. 


While that's probably true, they are missing out on the clear specific breakdown of the songs. Jay-Z annotates the lines of the songs, dropping knowledge on the story being told. Sometimes the breakdown of the lyrics relates to the hip-hop culture, politics, or specifically to Jigga himself. The breakdown often highlights the architecture of the rap. In the track "My 1st Song" Jay-Z points out "that the pace is double-time and the lines are all stuffed with internal rhymes which gives the song the breathless rhythm of my earliest songs, which when I was essentially a speed rapper." 

Click to play Jay-Z - My 1st Song

Marvin Gaye
The lyrics are broken down to explain the culture of the hustler and the music is explained to help you understand the mood and frame of the story. For example, in the song "American Dreamin'" Jay-Z points out the the song samples Marvin Gaye's "Soon I'll Be Loving You Again" and that "the sample transports you to a blue-lit room in the seventies; you can practically smell the smoke from a joint coming out of the speakers." Even if that's not what you get from hearing the track, it's fascinating to hear an artist break down this level of minutiae to their work. It's not something we often get to see and understand when we enjoy the final product on the album.


Click to play Jay-Z - American Dreamin'

This song was featured early in the book, the second song broken down. It was at this point that I decided to create a playlist of all the songs in the book. I wanted to hear the songs while I read about them. If you get the opportunity to read the book, I suggest you do the same. If you don't have access to all of the 36 songs mentioned, you can maybe rectify that here.


One of the revelations in the book that strikes a chord in me was on why hip-hop is controversial and often misread. It's something I've often struggled with when trying to explain rap music to people. There are people who just don't get, or even HATE, hip-hop. I try and stress upon what they are really missing out on. That the song is not all about bitches, drugs, and violence--but that there are great stories being told with an amazing flow. These excerpts from Decoded really break it down beautifully. I want to end my post with these excerpts from the book. I hope that it hits you in the same way that it hits me. Maybe if you are not a fan of hip-hop, it can give you the perspective and context to listen again.



Hip-hop has always been controversial, and for good reason. ... It leaves shit rattling around in your head that won't make sense till the fifth or sixth time through. It challenges you. Which is the other reason hip-hop is controversial: People don't bother trying to get it. The problem isn't in the rap or the rapper or the culture. The problem is that so many people don't even know how to listen to the music.

The art of rap is deceptive. It seems so straightforward and personal and real that people read it completely literally, as raw testimony or autobiography. And sometimes the words we use, nigga, bitch, motherfucker, and the violence of the images overwhelms some listeners. It's all white noise to them till they hear a bitch or a nigga and then they run off yelling "See!" and feel vindicated in their narrow conception of what the music is about.

But that would be like listening to Maya Angelou and ignoring everything until you hear her drop a line about drinking or sleeping with someone's husband and then dismissing her as an alcoholic adulterer. But I can't say I've ever given much of a fuck about people who hear a curse word and start foaming at the mouth. The Fox News dummies. They wouldn't know art if it fell on them. 


  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

no wonder the armada lost...

One of my goals (let's not call it a resolution, ok) for the year to is try to stay a little more timely with what I'm reviewing. I often felt like I was behind the ball last year, reviewing albums weeks after they'd been released and after you'd probably read a million other reviews already. For 2011 I'll do my best to write up albums closer to their release date if possible. I've mentioned before that I don't have fancy connections that give me promos to listen to or anything, but I'll try to make it work.

In the spirit of this new approach, I got my hands on Valhalla Dancehall, the upcoming release from British Sea Power. It's good. Pretty damn good. Let's just jump right in with a track:

British Sea Power

Click to play British Sea Power - Georgie Ray

Am I the only one hearing some Bowie in there?

I have to admit I never gave these guys much of a chance before. I've heard random tracks here and there but never followed up to see if I actually liked the band. What I can say about this album is that it's driving and full of energy, yet loaded with hooks and introspection; a mix only the British seem to be able to actually pull off. The moods and genres shift a bit along the way but it all works. It's enough to spur me to go back and check out the rest of their catalog, which is one of the best compliments I can give. So to those of you saying, "kilter, I've been a fan forever and I think you're pretty much a big loser for not being one yourself all along," I hang my head in shame. You're right, I was wrong. I hope you're happy now.

Valhalla Dancehall drops this Tuesday, the 11th. I definitely recommend giving it a listen. I mean, of course, beyond what I've posted here for you.

Click to play British Sea Power - Baby

Click to play British Sea Power - We Are Sound

 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mmmmmmoby


So another new year has come into our lives. And with it? Well, another year of my pointless banter about music. And what better way to start it all off than by posting some good ambient tunes by one Richard Melville Hall. You guys probably know him by another name - Moby.

The first track here is something I thought of the other night not really knowing why I thought of it. However, this one is one I said flat out to all my buddies on Facebook that I would want played at my funeral. That's a pretty morbid statement, yes, but it's 100% true. This is just a hauntingly beautiful song, and hell, it was even used in the Sopranos. So check out "When It's Cold, I'd Like To Die" off of the mid-'90's electronica breakthrough album Everything Is Wrong.

Click to Play Moby - When It's Cold I'd Like To Die

The next one is off of his critically acclaimed album Play. You know, I had sort of skipped past a lot of this album. Not even sure why. This is one I had to be reminded was a great tune. After posting this one online, as well, I got one comment from the following video accompaniment to it.

This song makes me *sob.*. Love it.




So yeah. Go check this one out.

Click to Play Moby - My Weakness

The last one is a lengthy tune that doesn't really seem to be long enough, if you could believe it. This as well as Panda Bear's "Bros" and the Mad Professor dub of Massive Attack's "Protection" are all in select company, there. It's "Alone", off of the failed Animal Rights album. The album was one I anticipated, but definitely had the same reaction as many - confusion. It was a very different sound from what I was used to, but there was plenty on it to like. This, to me, is the standout track. Just gorgeous.

Click to Play Moby - Alone

Okay, go buy stuff. I told you to, so you're obliged.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

another year over, and a new one's just begun

2010 has slipped away and here we are in a new year. It's time for resolutions and promises that will be kept for a month or so, time for hope and optimism that the next 365-ish days will bring better things, time to wave goodbye to the last 365, whether fondly or with great relief.

It would be fitting to do a "best of 2010" type of post here, maybe with a top ten list, but there are already so many of those out there. Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy won the hearts of most of the big music bloggers, and some of us here would agree. There were a ton of great albums released this year and I could throw down a top ten, though it would be hard to choose. Instead I'd like to revisit just a few albums I didn't get the chance to write up since I joined the staff here late in the year.

In the spring a collaboration between Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse was released. Dark Night Of The Soul featured a bevy of guest singers, including the always unique David Lynch. It was the last work of Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous, who committed suicide this year. I've always loved the band's subdued sound and delicate approach. Sparklehorse will be missed.
Sparklehorse


The Books released their fourth full-length album, The Way Out in the spring as well. If you're unfamiliar with The Books, they're a duo who use found art to create lush soundscapes. With the number of samples they blend it should be a mess, but they put it all together in a remarkably listenable way. This was one of the most interesting albums of the year, by far.

Click to play The Books - Group Autogenics I

M.I.A.'s Maya hit the charts and helped cement her position as a challenging, brilliant, artist. She's political, throws tons of different genres into the mix, and still makes it groovy and danceable.

Click to play M.I.A. - Space

M.I.A.
Man, there were just so many more. Broken Bells, The Black Keys, The Arcade Fire, you'll see them all on the lists out there. This is a great time to go back and listen to anything you may have missed along the way.

I'm looking forward to what 2011 has in store. At the very least we should get new releases from Veto and Elbow, which will be enough for me.

I hope the new year treats everyone well.