Someone stopped Kanye from chewing on his lo-fi vocoder for just long enough to record one really good jam. I dunno if I really really like this song or if I'm just so shocked that it's Kanye doing R & B really well that I think it's a really good song. Really.
Sometimes it takes a while for me to get something. Sorry. I'm not the bleeding edge. Music has to percolate through me for a bit before I can come on here and post about it. I'm not into wasting mine and everyone else's time to write something just for the sake of bumping my blog every eight hours. So when I do put something up here, you should be reading it, listening to it and then talking about it with every person you know. I'm doing all the goddamn legwork here.
What the hell is that thing get it away from me!?
It's just a digital camera Sanjeep.
I'm like your barber. You can visit me every few weeks and be fine. Stay away longer and risk turning into a social outcast. Come by every day and it'll be hard to hide the fact that you're unemployed and living above your parent's garage.
There just aren't five good songs / bands /events / (What else is worth blogging about?) a week that are worth writing about. Other times I just literally don't hear shit until months after its release. Which is sort of the case with Glasvegas. Full disclosure: I think I did hear them once on WOXY but I actually looked into them with earnest after I saw them ranked highly on NME's year end list. Ya I'm the guy that reads that shite.
So here it is, some quality Scottish tunes in the vein of The Twilight Sad. Sorry, the comparison is just too obvious.
Believe it or not I somehow entirely missed the album released by Sia via Australia via the Starbucks imprint this year. Of course I've also been inside of a Starbucks store for about ten total minutes in my life.
I was reading up on the top albums of the year and I found a list which had the error of having Sia at number one. I think it might have been a joke list because it also had Fleet Foxes and Coldplay up there in the top ten. So I had to check me out some Sia and I found out she used to be in Zero 7 which gave her at least some credibility. First song I found is the below linked jam "Buttons" which is super catchy (Thank You CSS) and spuriously lifted my expectations.
So then I wasted 30 seconds of my life walking over to my living room to visit one of the three Starbucks locations in my apartment where I was hoping to find her album. I either did that or I wasted 30 seconds downloading it for free from soulseek. Either way I'm never getting those 30 seconds back.
Before I fell asleep 11 seconds into the first track I remember starting to think that this was quite possibly the most unobjectionable music I've ever heard in my - and then I fell asleep - which is also to say that it is also probably the most unlistenable album of 2008.
But somehow CSS remixed this song "Buttons" and turned it into a really killer track worth checking out.
Acting is hard
I'm also throwing in "Breathe Me" because I'm pretty sure it was used to score the montage in the recent Ben Affleck/Hugh Jackman/Richard Gere + Goldie Hawn Jr./Jennifer Aniston/Julia Roberts film during the part where the male lead storms out of the Hospital/4-Star Restaurant/Wall Street Skyscraper/Crackhouse where he has been neglecting his female lead for far too long and sprints (tracking shot) through the rainy streets of New York/Seattle/Boston/Philadelphia, darting through the offices of the up-and-coming fashion brand/chocalatier/newspaper (editorials floor)/ where he finds the initially impassive female lead who puts her thin well-manicured hand to her mouth, doesn't know to laugh or cry, does both and just as Sia rasps "Be my Friend. Wrap me up. Hold me. Unfold me. I am Sma-a-a-a-all and Needy. Warm me up and Breath me," they embrace each other, make out and roll credits.
Any single that I came across in any form this year qualifies. Remixes qualify. Remixes of last year’s songs qualify. Songs released last year on album’s released this year don’t qualify (Sorry MGMT/Black Kids/Bon Iver etc.). If I don't have a link, then you should be able to easily find the track on Hypem.com or I've linked it somewhere else on the blog so don't be a lazy ass.
The world needs more hot Lykke
and less lazy asses.
40. School of Seven Bells – “Half Asleep” – I think this is the only dream pop band cracking the top 40 this year. What ever happened to dream pop? I used to love that stuff.
39. Los Campesinos! – “You! Me! Dancing!” Life is too short to not love Los Campesinos.
38. Frightened Rabbit – “The Modern Leper” – A fine song. Makes me want to shatter my existence, pick up the pieces and reassemble myself as a miracle worker in Bangladesh or Bed-Stuy Brooklyn.
37. Cloud Cult – “Everybody Here is a Cloud” – Stellar rhythm parts.
36. Girls – “Hellhole Ratrace” – You won’t get it after one listen. After a while you’ll get it. It’s too endearing.
18. Raveonettes – “Sad Transmission” – 4/4 doesn’t get any better than this. Ba dum a dum dum dum dum. Ba dum a dum dum dum dum.
17. M83 – “Graveyard Girl” – Although honestly I could have picked seven songs off this album to take this spot.
16. Amadou et Mariam – “Sabali” – Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. That. Is. All.
15. Parts & Labor – “Nowhere’s High” – This band has been one of those critical darlings forever it seems and I’ve never been able to get into their stuff. Finally they release an album with a little more pop and it’s got some good tunes.
14. Ra Ra Riot – “Oh La” – This song has to have been on The OC at least once this year. O well. I like it. I’m gay. Whatever.
13. Ravens & Chimes – “Archways” – It took me about ten tries to really get this song. Then I got it and I couldn’t get rid of it.
12. Florence and the Machine / Kid Harpoon – “I’m Goin’ Down” - The year’s number one cover recorded on a demo / at a radio station. I just can’t get over how beautifully earnest it is.
5. Santogold – “Lights Out” – I really had trouble putting this song so high because of its obvious overcommercialization but I just had to be honest with myself so I’m putting this song where it would be if I hadn’t started hearing it during halftime of college football games.
4. Cajun Dance Party – “Amylase” – This song just absolutely goes off. 17 year old British kids just nailing it. To quote/paraphrase Derek from GWFA "Without a doubt the best song ever written during an eleventh grade chemistry class."
3. Tokyo Police Club – “Be Good” (RAC Remix) – Yes this song was on the 2007 TPC EP. But this remix embraces this band’s sound so perfectly and takes the track to a whole new level (dog).
2. Mr. Gnome – “Pirates” – This song runs you over like a Mack truck. It still blows me away every time I hear it. Its soft/loud dynamic is other worldly. The only thing I can compare it to is Zeppelin.
I'm more of a singles guy than an albums guy. That's more a reflection of how the music industry, and my buying/pirating habits have changed over the last few years. It has nothing whatsoever to do with dating habits and girlfriends. There is no correlation between liking singles more than albums and engaging in casual unprotected sex more than having a steady girlfriend period. I can't even imagine why anyone would think that there was a correlation unless they were just really really really stupid and dense. God people are dumb.
Dear Mrs. Claus,
Meet in stables ASAP, Rudolph out at pasture. I'll bring the eggnog + pheromone oils
It's just way easier to grab a few tracks here and there in order to get an impression of a band. If you like what you hear, you go steal the rest from soulseek or something.
Still, I decided to do a best of 2008 albums list. I may do a singles list later, if I can get over the inertia that keeps me from doing posts in the first place. I may do a worst of list as well. Or, most overrated or something; mainly because this is a blog and I don't really have to answer to anyone for what's said here.
I guess what one of my big problems with making the albums list is that some of my favorite stuff I get exposed to comes from EPs. For example, Bon Iver is on this list, but I have hardly listened to him at all this year because his EP from last year was so good. Some of this other stuff I can hardly believe was released in 2008 (See #1) but I'm using the release date that Itunes has listed as the ultimate release date judge.
Anyhow this list is gonna be broken down into a couple of sections. The top 5-10 are indispensable, which means that at some point I played a song from one of these albums 9000 or more straight times or that I listened to the album on repeat for the better part of a month. The albums below that are albums that didn't suck and are worth listening to for one reason or another.
Overall I find it strange how this list definitely drifts into very mainstream territory as we get towards the top.
They made the list at the expense of a few other bands that I probably listened to more or may be a bit better - actually who the fuck knows, we’re on number 25, it’s not like I’m batshit crazy for these guys.
24. Kings of Leon – Only By The Night (August 26th, 2008 RCA/Sony)
Everyone has a guilty pleasure. At least mine doesn’t involve farm animals or white hoods.
Shhh...I can keep a secret
as long as you can.
23. Air France – No Way Down (October 5th, 2008)
This was actually just two EP's bundled together. I apparently can't adhere to principles. This band just barely made the list. I didn’t listen to them a whole ton this year but they have some very cool music.
20. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (February 19, 2008 Jagjaguwar)
If this list were made last year and included EP’s, Bon Iver would have made the top 5. Even though this music is timeless, I just find it hard to bump something I hardly listened to this year any higher.
“Sleepyhead” carries this EP on to the best of the year album list. It woulda been the #1 single if I woulda done a singles list. It’s an irresistible jam that makes me twist and jump like nothing else.
The reason I wake up in the morning
is because this person.
In the same world as me.
BRB buying megaphone
and starting band.
11. Lykke Li – Youth Novels (August 19th, 2008 LL)
Every time I hear “Lights and Music” I feel like I’m hearing the definitive stereotypical club jam. I mean I like the song, but I can also actually take something away from the rest of the songs besides a coke induced endorphin drip.
9. Black Kids – Party Traumatic (July 22nd, 2008)
I really can’t believe this album has a 2008 release date. I swear this album got huge last year. So many songs on here that just make me feel like dancing.
8. Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts (April 8th, 2008)
As cheesy as this is to say, this album is just full of life. If I wanted to start a high tech company and work in Silicon Valley I’d probably just pump this album through my blood and be a trillionaire in six to eight weeks.
Top to bottom this is probably the best album of the year. There really were no monster singles though and I guess MGMT’s pop power really put them over the top for me.
2. Tokyo Police Club – Elephant Shell (March 25th, 2008 Saddle Creek)
I fucking love every song on this album and every remix of every song. Maybe it’s because they all sound the same. I don’t care. Huge credit for making me love a band that plays a genre (post-punk) of music from a label (Saddle Creek) that I really don’t care for.
There is one thing I can say about the band Mason Proper with absolute certainty: Mason Proper will make one moderately entertaining album and then fade into anonymity over the next three to nine years in a career path mimicking Seven Mary Three. During this fade, they will commence several tours which will include stops at southern state school cities like Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Chapel Hill, North Carolina culminating at the Georgia State Fair in 2014 where they will play the 2pm slot, six hours before a reunited Creed takes the stage.
They have one really good song ("Fog") but then there's also some garbage that made it's way to MTV2 and convinced me of their impending demise.
WTF OREGON NEVER SECEDED FROM THE UNION
I tried to warn you but you were out of your head. I'll meet you in the fah ah ah ah ah og.
I haven't heard much good stuff over the past week and I'm really reluctant to do a post involving Vampire Weekend in any manner, especially a post where I write something favorable about them. But...the Chromeo remix of "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance" is really good. Take away the annoying and precious VW authored rhythm sections, substitute a legitimate composer and now we have a really great dance song, a really great song.
I envision this conversation taking place when this song is played at a typical networking event @ awful 14th St. gay? bar / dj set @ a pre-MGMT, pre-Cold War Kids, Pre-TV on the Radio concert / some friend of yours' party (20 people or less) who's getting their Masters in (Worthless Advanced Degree Subject) which will not enhance their earning potential or status on the social/sex ladder as much as they hope and desire.
Person 1 (kindof annoying whiney voice): Hey does Paul Simon have a new album?
Person 2 (AIR OF ENTITLEMENT IMPOSSIBLE TO AVOID): I think this is a Vampire Weekend song.
Person 1: O I like it. Let me write that down using just my index finger on my gigatouchipad5000 and I'll download it later to play at thanksgiving for my mom and dad I bet they'll like it too.
Fratster: FUCCCCCCCKKKKKKKK!!!!!! I WANT TO STAB MYSELF RIGHT NOW IN THE FACE!!!
Person 2: Did someone say someth-
Person 1 (loosening ascot): It's a remix or something. The original is much better.
Or something like that. Anyhow, thank you Chromeo for legitimating this song.
Is this Alaska in Winter?
Or is this Alaska in Summer.
OK now for Alaska in Winter the band. It really is just nice smooth music that is easy to listen to. It's not original or unique in really any way I can think of. You can actually even forget it's on most of the time. It's that good. So check it out, it's the best I've heard this week:
There are a lot of crappity new albums out there that people have been blogging about. I'm just gonna name some of them here so that you can save yourself the few minutes of your life that I wasted for you and not download any of their songs. I'll start off with a couple that should be pretty obvious, names anyway.
I was born in 1992 and I wear a bikini does that make me a ho?
1. TV on the Radio - "Dear Science" Their new album is baddy mcbad and you should consider yourself a terribad hipster if you like this album or blogged about it.
2. Deerhunter - "Microcastle" Like TV on the Radio, I didn't Just Say No To...! this band last year, their EP anyway. Then they released this album that Pitchfork and everyone liked and it's pretty boring. Like Barry Manilow does 2008 boring.
3. El Guincho - "Palmitos Park" Lots of people with seemingly good musical taste have blogged highly about this guy. They're nuts. Just because he sings in spanish doesn't hide his badness. He's malo. Just say no!
Other ba(n)ds that you should Just Say No To...!
4. We Have Band - "Yes 'We Have Band' is actually the name of our band and I'm not really sure if we even have an album or EP with a name but our single 'Oh' is really bad" Um...There seem to be plenty of people who like this band / song/ concept but it's very bad and you should Just Say No!
5. Late of the Pier - "Space and the Woods" I downloaded a few of their songs, they were all bad and I quit listening to them, and I deleted them from my hard drive to make space for Hannah Montana pictures (non-nude). Then I kept reading about them over and over and so I deleted my Hannah Montana pictures (non-nude) and I downloaded some of their songs again and they were still bad and I quit listening to them again and then I deleted their songs to make room for some Vanessa Hudgens pics (nude).
There is this song called Paris from Friendly Fires' pretty good new album that has some allegedly shit hot remix. The remix is actually way-too-seriously-bloghousey to be awesome.
The song covers basically the same material (becoming cooler and going to Paris) as Time to Pretend and the chorus is very tight (around 80% as tight as an MGMT chorus). Anyways, I'm kindof digging the overall Friendly Fires aesthetic. Also check out Jump in the Pool. I didn't just link it to clog up some other guys bandwidth. It's a good jam. Friendly Fires - Paris (Aeroplane Remix featuring Au revoir Simone)
Tracks from Esau Mwamwaya have been trickling to me all summer. Everything I've heard has been promising, but I hadn't heard the knockout track that delivered on the promise til just now. If Vampire Weekend got an episode of SNL, this song should get a season.
I really should just leave this post with the title. After reading this sixteen times, it is in fact the best thing you'll find in here.
I've been doing some thinking, which means that I just thought of this, but all my reviews read like shitty Patrick Bateman styled crapola. In case you're confused, that means my reviews - ya know, the ones where I talk a lot about how the music sounds; those are the one's that read shitty. Ya shitty, not shittily, sorry. They read shitty. I think that's more than enough poop references for one paragraph, THIS THING'S GETTING BLOATED!!!!
However, this post does, unlike shoulder hair, have a purpose ...for those of you non-heroine abusers who are fans of late night dance beats, or early night beats, or good clean american fun.
Ok, I'm just saying that if I had a club or any one of those places that hires the penis pill spam man to cluster fuck my inbox with promotions, I'd play these tracks a lot. That's it! These tracks are Awesome! and lest I fuck the goodness of these songs up with words I'll stick to Awesome thank you. Weird Tapes - TV Romance
I should not be doing a Kings of Leon post. Except I actually like their new single. A lot. It helps that WOXY keeps reminding me to like it. Thank you WOXY!
My general impression of Kings of Leon's already released music has been roughly the same as Pitchfork's review of their latest work. OK I'll just put it this way, I got nothing out of it and I thought it sounded like generic American rock, whatever that is. However, this new track is cool. It's ambitious and big and European. It's Euro Rock! Minus the Hasselhoof. Think Twilight Sad and ya I'll say it U2.
Since I'm covering big bands today apparently, I'll just say that the more I hear the new Killers song "Human," the more I like it. Its only downfall is that its too broadly appealing. How Horrible. I mean like, I could imagine this song being played on regular radio and TV and MTV and like in jesus, teenagers ipods, shit no doubt a kidsbop mix is already in the works.
Brandon Flowers with guitar (1973)
Human is new wave Enrique Iglesias. It's Enrique Iglesias for hipsters, college kids, tweens, hockey moms, Movie, TV, and Music music execs. It's Enrique Iglesias for Enrique Iglesias. The Killers are Enrique Iglesias with a better band. I'm not saying that's not good. I'm saying that's why everyone loves them. It's pretty music that you can listen to without feeling like you got caught masturbating to Sears catalogs by your grandparents.
One thing I think I can safely say now safely with some degree of safety, accuracy and precision is that the Killers are probably safely the best band of the last ten or so years and there's really probably no doubt that its a safe bet that there's no more critically and commerically successful band from the past decade, ya fuck you radiohead and coldplay, and other bands not worthy of capitalization.
I think the Killers are gonna wrap it up with this album. The critics and college kids may have loved In Rainbows, and dentists across the country are jamming to Viva La Vida, but the Killers are gonna come out of this ahead with another huge album.
1. One day I'll get back to posting about bands you actually may not have heard of. But I feel like my views about some established bands have been sortof contrarian as of late, so I thought I'd share a few words.
OMG I love Robin Hood (and Lykke Li)
2. I stole (which means I didn't ask) the Killers link from Minneapolis Fucking Rocks which is a really good blog. Thanks! I also stole the Kings of Leon link from another blog I've never heard of.
Anyways, I don't really understand how a blog could get pissed at another blog for stealing it's link. It would be like if Robin Hood had a rival um...thief like, what if Little John started pinching a bit of booty from Robin Hood and redistributing it.
Ya, a blog getting upset about another blog stealing its links would be like Maid Marian getting upset at Little John for pinching Robin Hood's booty, which in case you're Sarah Palin, a nonnative-english speaker, or just not catching my drift is perfectly fine with me.