After the imminently important “Band 06 wrap up” we felt like it would be unfair not to include all the ladies and gentlemen that made you shake what your mama gave you in 2006.
So, we proudly present: a cross selection (by no means definitive but definetly relatively comprehensive) of
DC DJs picks for 06. SOOOOOOOOOOngs, albums, rants and more.
Between these fifteen you were able to dance 7 nights a week all year at God knows how many locations.
And if you didn’t this week offers you a chance to see them:
tuesday: cory at C.U.N.T and kim @ powwow
thursday: william @ noise academy
friday: josh @ riffraff
saturday: nouveau riche @ dc9 and william for razzmatazz @ the cat
sunday: cory, cassidy, stereofaith, cale all together now for our BYT NYE Party
read.weep.and start frantically downloading. NOW.
Album of the Year
01.Junior Boys – So This Is Goodbye
I can’t get enough of this album, I’ve listened to it almost every day since I saw them live at IOTA Club months ago.
02.Why? – Elephant Eyelash
03.Joanna Newsom – Ys
04.Fujiya & Miyagi – Transparent Things
05.The Hold Steady – Boys And Girls In America
06.Belle & Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
07.LCD Soundsystem – 45:33
08.Beirut – Goulag Orkestar
09.Lily Allen – Alright Still
10.Califone – Roots & Crowns
11.Supersystem – A Million Microphones
12.Girl Talk – Night Ripper
13.120 Days – 120 Days
14.The Thermals – The Body, The Blood, The Machine
15.Professor Murder – Rides the Subway EP
I also make a mix CD of my fav songs every year, here’s the tracklist with a few free downloads:
1.The Equalizer – Junior Boys
2.LDN – Lily Allen
3.Postcards From Italy – Beirut
4.Stuck Between Stations – The Hold Steady
5.We Share Our Mothers’ Health – The Knife
6.Crushed Bones – Why?
7.Pull Shapes – The Pipettes
8.45:33 (edit) – LCD Soundsystem
9.Prangin’ Out – The Streets
10.Free Stress Test – Professor Murder
11.Are You the One? – Presets
12.Blue Honey – Pop Levi
13.Eagles Fleeing Eyries – Supersystem
14.We Are The Sleepyheads – Belle & Sebastian
15.The Orchids – Califone
16.Collarbone – Fujiya & Miyagi
17.A Pillar of Salt – The Thermals
18.Smash Your Head – Girl Talk
19.I Bealive – Simian Mobile Disco
20.Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives – Voxtrot
21.Whoo! Alright-Yeah… Uh Huh – The Rapture
(Joanna Newsom’s Emily and 120 Days’ Come Out were just too damn long)
DJ Joshua – Riff Raff
2006 was a crazy and fun year for me. I moved back to DC with hopes of starting a weekly, and i succeeded (eventually.) Sundays at the Green Lantern were not the best night for RIFF RAFF, but we did what we could.
Once we moved to Cosmo Lounge, things went off without a hitch. Dean and I couldn’t be happier with our location.
I wish I had paid more attention to the mainstream, but i was only exposed to 2 genres: Gay house music (thanks to working at a gay bar,) and rock & roll (thanks to endless record shopping at thrift stores and Smash– rest in peace, by the way.) Trying to list my favorite albums released in 2006 would be a joke, so i’ll just list the 10 of the albums i played most frequently while DJing.
The Cramps: Flame Job
Dokken: Tooth and Nail
Fuzzbox: We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It
The Gossip: Standing in the Way of Control
Heart: Dreamboat Annie
Motley Crue: Shout at the Devil
Peaches: Impeach My Bush
The Who: Hooligans
X-Ray Spex: Germfree Adolescents
DJ Hey Sailor – Evil Disco and all the time at 9:30
Top Ten records.
In order of obsession:
1. Loved Ones – Keep Your Heart
16 year old music for 25 year olds. I’m in love.
2. Valient Thorr – Legend of the World
They’re from venus. Seriously. don’t stand too close to the stage, they smell.
3. The Bronx – s/t
In my top ten bands. Easily.
4. Eagles of Death Metal – Death By Sexy
This is the way rock n roll wants to sound.
5. Forward Russia – Give Me A Wall
Posthardcorey dancey british new ravey thing. But with some balls.
6. Dragonforce – Inhuman Rampage
Harpsichords have a special place in metal
7. Lawrence Arms – Oh Calcutta
Sometimes you have to grow up a little more before the old pop punk bands make sense.
8. Motorhead – Kiss of Death
They do what they do.
9. The Whips – What We Talk About When We Talk About Rock
Great local rock band made up of old harDCore people. They singer is pretty cute too…
10. Riverboat Gamblers – To the Confusion of Our Enemies
Where old school and new school get it on.
1. Joan Jett – AC/DC
Wicked sweet cover. Carmen electra is in the video.
2. Bolt Action 5 – Tree Friend Tree Foe
Super fun british new rave band. And cute.
Last Years Lingering Obsessions:
1. Everytime I Die – Gutter Phenomenon
I know the stripper’s real name.
2. Against Me! – Searching for a former clarity
Good ole communal punk rock
3. Deadbolt – I should have killed you by now
Like dead elvis’ band. They have a concept album about a dead trucker.
DJ Hey Sailor
DJ Chris Burns – Disco City @ Bourbon
Alright Alright. Here are 5 things for the year that I was stoked on
in DC in 2006:
1) Som Records: Great record shop that is the only reliable place I
can pick up great disco records in the city for affordable prices
(without having to dig through piles at dusty thrift stores).
(Get a free $20 gift certificate to Som Records by sending in your votes here, hurry up, contest ends soon, like yesterday -cale)
2) Daylight: Most slept on party in the city, every Sunday Afternoon @
Liv (Bohemian Caverns). Minimal door pressure, awesome free soul food
buffet, beautiful selections by great DJs (Devine and Source), and an
3) Selam Bar: Obviously a bit of a shameless promotion since I now
hold court there on Friday nights with rotating guests, but KC and
friends threw some of the best parties all year here at this amazing
little Eritrean bar.
4) Pollo Campero: When I am hungover on a Sunday and all I want to do
is watch the ‘Skins and eat friend chicken, this is where i step to.
Great sauces and tasty sides.
5) My track of the year (non-disco): Roland Clark “Sunshine” (Ron
Trent remix) on Need2Soul. Deep, rolling basslines patented by Mr.
Trent along with a powerful and highly emotional vocal about lost love
by Mr. Clark. I was on the verge of tears when I heard this for the
first time when Ron Trent played it himself @ Sanctuary on H Street in
Neal Becton (aka DJ Neville Chamberlain) owner of Som Records at 1843 14th Street NW top ten records (LP and singles) of 2006. Not necessarily in order:
1) The Hold Steady – “Boys And Girls In America”
2) Neko Case – “Fox Confessor Brings The Flood”
3) Various Artists – “Brazilian Beats Brooklyn”
4) Alice Russell – “Fly in the Hand” 12″ single
5) Devandra Banhart – “Cripple Crow”
6) Extra Golden – “Extrs Golden”
7) The Raconteurs – “Broken Boy Soldiers”
8) Hot 8 Brass Band – “Sexual Healing” single
9) Hot Chip – “The Warning”
10) Wolfmother – “Wolfmother”
DJ The Holiday Girl – My Favorite Dress @ St. Ex,
girl about town, flyer designer extraordinaired (www.hollytegeler.com)
1. Belle & Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
Sing along to every song – it’s that consistently good. No draggy, mopey parts – just a great, listen-the-whole-way-through album.
2. Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped
A return to their poppier, more melodic roots (a la Dirty).
3. Mates of State – Bring It Back
Boy/girl pop harmonies make me smile. And want to buy an electric piano.
4. Love is All – Nine Times That Same Song
Frantic, noisy Swedish pop.
5. Peter Bjorn & John – Writer’s Block
Tambourines + hand claps + a Victoria Bergman guest spot= a lovely album of pop gems.
6. Yo La Tengo – I am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
This is all over the board, but in a good way.
7. (Th’ Sounds of) Kaleidoscope – From Where You Were to How You Got There
Dreamy, swirly garagepsych pop songs with crunchy/jangly riffs and Zombies-esque vocals.
8. Aquarium – S/T
Anthemic & catchy retro-kitsch.
9. Soccer Team – “Volunteered” Civility & Professionalism
Lovely lo-fi guitar pop.
10. Essex Green – Cannibal Sea
I am a sucker for jangley pop. do we see a pattern here?
6. Klaxons: Xan Valleys: for fans of the Liars, Supersystem or Sentai, this collection of singles (the Klaxon’s only release to date) is quirky, has attitude, and it totally bust-a-moveable
5. Camera Obscura: Lets Get out of this Country. Tracyanne’s voice is lush and invigorating with songs that have all the wit of Belle and Sebastian. Listening to them transports you back to the 60’s and makes you feel inherently modern at the same time.
4. TigerCity: Self Titled (steam it on their website) http://www.tigercitymusic.com/ a pure disco-punk extravaganza, think Franz Ferdinand meets 33hz
3. Octopus Project/Black Moth Super Rainbow: House of Apples and Eyeballs: Immaculate and trippy experimental electronic music. Fucking brilliant. Check out BMSR in general. For fans of Air, Four Tet, Caribou
2.Yo La Tengo: I’m not afraid of you and I will beat you ass. If you’re a fan already, you know this that listening to a Yo La Tengo album is like reading Don Delillo, it’s layered, complex, epic, smart and reinvents itself every time you get into it
1. TV on the Radio: Return to Cookie Mountain: I didn’t think TV on the Radio could do it. Their debut EP was amazing but the first album wasn’t all that (I loved it nevertheless) but Return to Cookie Mountain is my favorite CD from 2006. It tugs at my heart the same way anything by The Cure, but with a more cultivated maturity.
This CD is totally atmospheric, beautiful and mesmerizing.
top 10 albums of 2006
1. BELLE AND SEBASTIAN the life pursuit lp – the life pursuit restored my faith in one of my all time favorite bands. their fourth album, fold you hands child, you walk like a peasant, was rather dodgy and the last album, dear catastrophe waitress, was fucking shite. i thought my favorite band has lost their shine! it was bound to happen, however, as the three albums prior to fold your hands child… were absolutely perfect. but, BELLE AND SEBASTIAN returned to the glory that was exemplified on tigermilk. their latest masterpiece runs the gamut of pop, funk, and indie rock with songs like “white collar boy,” “dress up in you,” and “song for the sunshine”. there was no better album for 2006!
2. THE RAPTURE pieces of the people we love – and you thought they couldn’t follow up echoes. fooled you, smart guy! so many tracks on this album are dance floor fillers! with production by likes of such greats as paul epworth and friggin’ dangermouse, what’d you expect? from the opening bass lines of “get myself into it” to the catchy (and stolen) hook of “whoo! alright yeah uh huh,” i couldn’t stop shaking my hips to the hits!
3. VOXTROT raided by wolves e.p., mothers, sisters, daughters and wives e.p., and your biggest fan e.p. – don’t let VOXTROT tell you that they don’t sound like BELLE AND SEBASTIAN. tell them to suck it up and bask in the glory of being compared to one of the greatest bands of all time (yeah, you know it). with three e.p.’s released in one year, one would think the band would have put out an album. instead, they gave us three e.p.’s full of joyous, blissful, indie pop. each song makes me want to dance around naked in a field of daisies. fueled by 60’s pop and a hint of folk, these three e.p.’s were a must have for 2006.
4. GHOSTFACE KILLA fish scale – yo, the wally champ is back droppin’ jewels on ya’ll clowns! GHOSTFACE returned in 2006 to take his place among hip hop’s elite with fish scale. in the first friggin’ song, “shakey dog,” GHOST warns you to “buckle up” and comes straight out the gate with another craftily woven tale from the hood! he continues straight through with more bangers like “kilo” (featuring RAEKWON), “the champ,” and “major operation”. i blew the speakers in my lexus rocking this joint in spring ’06…word to my mother!
5. MSTRKRFT the looks lp – ex-DEATH FROM ABOVE bassist jesse keller and al-p. combine like VOLTRON to form MSTRKRFT. the remixers and djs extraordinaire brought us some heavy hitters for 2006 on their debut album the looks. drop the needle on “street justice,” step back, take a sip of your beer, and watch the dance floor go bananas! other high energy dance numbers included “easy love” and “work on you”. the looks was definitely one of my favorite albums of 2006.
6. THE MORNING AFTER GIRLS shadows evolve lp – take a heaping helping of MY BLOODY VALENTINE, sprinkle a little JESUS AND MARY CHAIN on it, let it bake for couple of years and you have the shadows evolve lp. perfect for those, like me, who refuse to believe that shoegaze is dead…no, no, no, i’m not listening to you!
7. WHITE ROSE MOVEMENT kick lp – disco punk, punk funk, dance rock, call it want you want, but the debut lp by WHITE ROSE MOVEMENT never left my record case in 2006. songs like “london’s mine,” “girls in the back,” and “alsatian” kept the dance floor going at my night SORTED.
8. FORWARD RUSSIA build me a wall lp – a rock and roll, disco punk juggernaut! FORWARD RUSSIA’s debut album is a mind-f***ing, genre bending, all out assault on your ears. i didn’t know whether to mosh or dance, yet i couldn’t stop listening to it. the songs are all named with numbers. “nineteen” is a good one. “thirteen” is even better. buy it, so you can understand what the hell i’m talking about.
9. THE PRESETS beams – so you weren’t impressed by their live show…big deal. don’t act like you didn’t dance your ass off to songs like “are you the one” and “down down down” at LIT! THE PRESETS’ beams was another favorite of mine for 2006. it killed it on the dance floor, the coup de grace being “i go hard, i go home”
10. JUSTICE waters of nazareth e.p. – this e.p. owned 2006, save the life pursuit. JUSTICE ripped it live and on wax in 2006. the song “waters of nazareth” sounds like a chainsaw waiting to cut off your skinny little hipster legs! i cannot count the amount of times this song killed it at clubs. not to be outdone, “let there be light” holds its own as a standout track as well. call it new rave, call it euro crunk, call it whatever, but definitely call it one of the best of 2006.
albums that i anxiously awaited, but ended up not doing a damned thing for me (aka “i didn’t get it” aka i thought they sucked, so sue me):
1. YEAH YEAH YEAHS show your bones – someone in management should have buried this bone…woof!
2. THE KNIFE silent shout- this one was no deep cuts…not even close.
3. HOT CHIP the warning – attention media: stop putting PRINCE and HOT CHIP in the same sentence. james murphy’s production magic didn’t help this one at all. sorry, dudes.
4. CSS cansei de ser sexy – don’t front, ‘cause you know “let’s make love and listen to death from above” was the only hot track on this shit. weak sauce…
Nouveau Riche DJ's EVERY last saturday of the Month (this week @ DC9)
Here is our list: the Nouveau Riche “15 Songs That Rocked Our Ass in 2006” list. five from each of us.
in alphabetical order only:
Clipse – Mr. Me Too
DAT Politics – Turn My Brain Off
DJ Shadow – 4 Freaks (feat. Ka Da Sneak, Turf Talk, Mistah FAB, and Droop-E)
E-40 – Tell Me When To Go (feat. Keak Da Sneak)
Freeform Five / Mylo vs. Young Dro – Shoulder Lean Remix (Krames remix)
Guy Gerber – This Is Balagan
Justin Timberlake – My Love
Lily Allen – LBN (Radio Clit remix)
Rod Lee – Dance My Pain Away
Sa-Ra Creative Partners – Hollywood
Spank Rock – Bump
T.I. – What You Know
The Knife – We Share Our Mother’s Health
TV On the Radio – I Was A Lover
Uffie – Ready To Uff
1. the black angels “passover”
2. sonic youth “rather ripped”
3. tom waits “orphans”
4. radio birdman “zeno beach”
5. sareena maneesh “s/t”
6. quasi “when the going gets dark”
7. belle and sebastian “the life pursuit”
8. sparklehorse “dreamt for lightyears in the belly of a mountain
9. french toast “ingleside terrace”
10. yo la tengo “i am not afraid of you and i will beat your ass”
kim of powwow at Felix
These are not things you’d ever hear at Pow Wow, where we freak out to “Psychotic Reaction” and “He’s a Whore” on a weekly basis. We keep it strictly rock, and mostly retro. But that’s not all I’m into; I’m all over the place. Here’s my list of favorite songs and albums from this year, in no particular order. Enjoy.
1. Twilight Singers, “A Stitch in Time” and “Powder Burns”
I will always love Greg Dulli. I don’t care if he’s an asshole who can’t really sing: the stuff he’s put out post-Whigs, with his New Orleans-inspired, symphonic, lush Twilight Singers, is just gorgeous. A friend of mine recently asked me what they sounded like, and all I could say was a clichéd “sex and whiskey and heartbreak and nighttime.” But that pretty much nails it. “Flashback,” sung mostly by the other douchebag in the band, Mark Lanegan, is a standout.
2. Ghostface Killah, “Fishscale”
I saw this album pop up on a lot of white, indie-rock, snotty blogger “best of” lists this year, and I feel a bit of shame for adding it to mine. But look, bitches: I’ve been down with the Wu since the beginning. I was the only girl in my high school pumping “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” or “36 Chambers” out her shitty Hyundai in the parking lot. And that’s real. Why? The beats are always sick and the lyrics are always sharp – and often, funny as hell. Case in point: In “Kilo”, freaked out on coke, Ghostface spits, “Paranoid as a motherfucker right now, who the fuck? Close the blinds and shit! Who that? Captain Kirk?”
3. Prototypes, “Je Ne Te Connais Pas”, from the “Je Ne Te Connais Pas” EP
Le sexy French electro-punk. One of their songs (“Who’s Gonna Sing”) is featured in an iPod commercial, which means they’re probably already lame, but I don’t care. C’est super-cool, ça: loud, totally danceable, with sing-along-even-though-you-don’t-speak-French lyrics, shout-sung by their stylish frontwoman. Download the EP from Minty Fresh while you still can (it’s free).
4. Neko Case, “Fox Confessor Brings the Flood”
Goddamn, do I love me some Neko Case. She’s just twangy enough, her lyrics are always poignant without being cheesy (“Hold on, Hold on” is especially spot-on) and her voice – oh, her voice. How it soars and makes me so incredibly jealous. Sorry for wasting all those years on voice lessons, Mom. Neko makes me want to go mute. But then I couldn’t sing along to “Star Witness,” and that would be a tragedy.
5. Tokyo Police Club, “A Lesson in Crime” EP
They’re all fast and jangly and syncopated drums and piercing guitars and twitchy post-punk goodness *breath* and I like it.
6. Battle, “Tendency,” from the “Back to Earth” EP
Ooh, cute British boys in a band! Yeah, yeah, a dime a dozen, right? I know. But this song is so fucking endearing. I just love the singer’s earnest delivery, calling himself a “drunken arse” as he professes his true-for-the-moment love for “the best bitch (he’s) ever had.” The song is almost anthemic, with its searing, slightly dark and metallic guitars and sing-along chorus. It’s been running through my head for months now, and I’ll be front row when they finally tour the US.
7. Lily Allen, “Knock ‘Em Out,” from “Alright, Still”
True story: some weirdo was hitting on my fellow DJ, Sara, and I at the Black Cat a while back, and since he wasn’t taking any hints, I told him I had just had an abortion to get him the fuck away from us. So of course I love this song. It’s that idea, all wrapped up in a candy-flavored, skittering little pop song – only she prefers excuses ranging from “I lost my phone” to “I’ve got syphilis!”
8. Cold War Kids “Hang Me Up to Dry, ” from the “Up in Rags” EP
A little funk, a little art, a little desperate-sounding vocal, and a bit of the blues all combine to make this slower-paced song really catchy. There’s a lot of buzz about this band, and I don’t think I buy it, but the song is still worth a listen or 12.
9. Justin Timberlake, ” Love Stoned/I Think She Knows,” from “FutureSex/Love Sounds”
Yes, I have tickets to his February concert. Bite me; it’s going to be awesome. Remember earlier I said I was “all over the place”? So is this song. There’s beatboxing, and stuttering, disco-style violins, and stupid lyrics (“She’s freaky but I like it”)…and then, the violins slow down, some trippy, quickly strummed guitars fold in, and things get hazy. It’s a 7 minute track and worth every second.
10. Hot Snakes, “Thunder Down Under”
A “live-in-studio” record of some of the best songs from over the years. They’re a fucking sonic assault, this band. And yeah, it’s not really new material, but it captures the intensity of their live performances. I am a huge, huge fan of Hot Snakes – and especially of guitarist John Reis, whom I find randomly sexy. (I met him once at the Black Cat and nearly started hyperventilating.)
AND, MY MOST HATED:
The Hold Steady, “Boys and Girls in America”
Dear Craig Finn: Shut up. Seriously, just shut up. I hate your voice. I can’t even write an intelligent critique due to so much hate! You make my teeth grind. You’re not revelatory, and you’re not the voice of my generation. Cease and desist, and tell all your dorky fans to shove it. Love, Kim.
Ca$$idy - Tease/Garutachi, BYT's NYE Party
klanguage - klanguage
the bird and the bee - again and again and again and again
the knife - silent shout
the hourly radio - history will never hold me
new young pony club - ice cream
album of the year:
luxembourg .. front
okay, this album was a late comer for me. i just got it in the mail from those fabulous kids at dogbox records and, well, it’s my second favorite album of the year. very nearly number one. ah, fuck it. i’m making it my album of the year. i love tvotr, but this one, i’m clutching to my breaking heart. love. luxembourg. two words i never thought i’d use in the same sentence, ever.
it was tvotr, it really was. right up until this morning. but i changed my mind. it’s still a great album, though. truly, epoch-makingly great. but, oh, the heart of the boys of luxembourg..
tv on the radio .. return to cookie mountain
tvontheradio.com .. first time i heard about this album, it was in etherea in alphabet city. the nice owner fella knows sitek and the boys pretty well, and gave me a heads-up that the apocalypse was coming. next, i got to hear the demo in a certain boutique in baltimore. the song was “province,” and i just stood there and gawped at the speakers, that such an incredible sound could be made by such nice and unassuming fellows. then, i bought the album. it’s breathtaking. literally. no breath. when i saw the boys perform “wolf like me” on letterman .. no one sounds good on letterman, except tvotr .. i was completely at sea. these blokes have not just rewritten the book on modern indie, they’ve burned the old one, fed it to a friendly dog, taken the shit and burned that, taken the assembled ashes, baked it into cupcakes and fed it to astronauts. so, in all, good stuff.
the rest, in no intentional order (but i guess it’s alphabetical, eh? yeah, it is. pathetic, isn’t it?):
ellen allien & apparat .. orchestra of bubbles
www.orchestra-of-bubbles.com.. my love for ellen allien knows no bounds. she and andrea parker are the two most talented and beautiful women in electronica. the things i don’t like about her recorded output are the remix 12″s of her own songs (including both price and the quality of the mixes – other people remixing ellen allien tracks is roughly as appealing as back hair). other than that, she does no wrong. this album is an ample illustration of that principle. my trepidation at a collaboration with the less interesting apparat was only somewhat justified, as this is easily the best electronic release of the year. a few miscues aside, the majority of the album is wonderful, with the best tracks .. “turbo dreams,” “sleepless,” and “way out” .. sounding like outtakes from allien’s astonishing “thrills” album. the standout on the album, though, is the most apparat of all of them, “leave me alone,” as stellar a piece of pop as i’ve heard all year. apparat’s depressed vocal performance gloriously balances the deliciously shuffling beats to extraordinary effect.
lily allen .. alright still
www.myspace.com/lilymusic.. the lack of a u.s. release for an album as perfect as this is simply inexcusable. from start to finish, and bsides included, this is a fun, sunny and perfect album. if you haven’t already heard “ldn,” do yourself a favor. from there, they’re all good .. “alfie,” an ode/admonishment to a stoned brother; “smile,” a gleeful reclaiming of happiness after being dumped; “nan, you’re a window shoper,” a glorious re-take on the 50 cent song .. and so on. probably the biggest shocker on the album is her versatility. we can all see how great it is to steal (download the “alright, steal” comp on soulseek to see what i mean), but when she writes her own songs, they’re quite good. with all the still-unreleased songs she has in the can, expect a cracking follow-up soon.
beirut .. gulag orkestar
http://www.myspace.com/beruit .. so feh to the albuquerqians for not sharing beirut with me. this is the most out-of-nowhere bit of genius i’ve heard since, well, since patrick wolf. actually, i’d be quite curious to hear what they think of each other, since they seem very similar. the main difference being beirut‘s laser-like focus on merging indie with balkan folk songs, and patrick’s seeming quest for some flavor of fame. still, one doesn’t have to hear “postcards from italy” back to back with “the hazelwood” to realize that these two kindred, young loonies should have drinks. anyway, i could waste time describing this album, or simply point out that in twenty years time, you’ll regret not having bought it when it came out and seen the shows and reveled in the incredible beauty of it all. an album for the ages, worth more than everyone’s top ten combined. it’s THAT good.
jarvis cocker .. jarvis
www.myspace.com/jarvspace.. you don’t have to be a mindreader to realize that this was going to make my top ten. he’s back, he’s still brilliant, and the “cunts are still running the world” track might just be the song of the year (it’s a hidden track on the album), if david bowie hadn’t leant his backing vocals to tvotr’s “province.” you want a track by track? f* you. it’s jarvis, innit?
dears .. we are a gang of losers
god, i was anticipating this album, but worried. so worried. they were, according to the indie music press, trying to tone down their orchestral noir sound into something more immediate. but their live shows could best be described as romantic orchestral noir! so, what would they lose on their latest album to make it sound more “immediate?” nothing. not a sausage. it’s amazing. and, it’s just as romantic, sweeping and epic as the last one. the standout, by far, is “hate, then love.” i can only describe in cliché what is the second best song of the year, so i won’t. just download it. did you care for the smiths? somehow, this hits harder. older. more adult. more painful. oh, and i want to sing it from a rampart .. shout it at the uncaring masses of felt tip hip kids (getting reflexive, aren’t i?) until they fall over, covered in spittle. “ticket to immortality” (or is it immorality) is another highlight, but the album’s uniformly good, except for “whites-only party,” which is too clever, by half. heart-broken in the back of an airplane, this album is one for the ages.
kasabian .. empire
http://www.kasabian.co.uk .. it’s good. it doesn’t kill me, but it’s good. what could they do after that first album? after _that_ marketing campaign? sure, compared to the raw genius of “test transmission,” “l.s.f.” and the rest of the debut, it’s just the sound of a band treading water, but lordy, they’ve swum in some deep and azure waters. and, it’s still a damn sight better than the sophomore efforts of the futureheads or franz ferdinand or the scissor sisters. now that they have this out of their system, maybe they can relax and take their time coming up with that brilliant third album? here’s to hoping.
the long blondes .. someone to drive you home
http://www.thelongblondes.co.uk.. this one’s a stunner. these singles have been dripping out since, what, 2002? is that when new idols/long blonde came out? and who told me about them? brandon grover of we fought the big one? madness! well, now the album’s out, and let’s look at it: the towering “giddy stratospheres,” along with corkers from the singles .. lust in the movies, once and never again, separated by motorways, weekend without makeup. amazing. but the greatest song on the album, and the one that makes my hairs stand on end every time i hear it is “you could have both.” as powerful and destructive a statement of love and lust as i’ve ever heard, musically and lyrically. pure genius. there are other songs on the album, too, and they’re all great, but man. wow. lordy. whew.
love is all .. nine times that same song
http://www.loveisall.se .. so good it hurts. fun, screamy, wonderous, danceable, chaotic, messy. the nme described their second single “make out. fall out. make up.” as the sound of “a dog (wearing shades) jumped all over the mixing desk, pissing wildly with excitement.” that gets to some of the excitement, but this band is far better than pissing dogs and insane horn stabs and stockholm monster samples. they also have gorgeous, delicate gems of fragile beauty like “felt tip” and “turn the tv off,” the former is the perfect soundtrack to a suntan, and the latter leaves me in tears nearly every time i hear it. oddly, the first two tracks can be a little hard on the ears at first listen. start with “felt tip” and go from there.
pipettes .. we are the pipettes
www.thepipettes.co.uk .. thanks so much to kathryn for this one. if there’s a more perfect song than “dirty mind,” it’s “judy,” and if there’s a more perfect song than that, it’s “pull shapes,” and if there’s a more perfect song than that, it’s “your kisses are wasted on me.” glorious, glorious songwriting, with a fever dream of girl groups rewritten by smart and smarmy feminists. go ahead, listen to “your kisses,” and see if you can resist jumping up on your desk and pointing around the room. listen. you’ll know what i mean. that, or you’re in a coma. either way, it’s an astounding record.
rifles .. no love lost
“>http://www.therifles.co.uk there are so many great boy-led guitar bands that have been bubbling under and just come out with their debut album: the arctic monkeys, the duels, milburn, etc. i never suspected that of all of them, the rifles would come out with the most compellingly wonderful of all of them. Thank you, fritz! christ, it was aeons ago when i first heard their debut, “peace and quiet,” on jukebox vinyl. then came “when i’m alone,” which after two hundred listens is still as grippingly fabulous (starts like the cure’s a forest on steroids, finds gorgeous harmonies on the way, and never once slackens) and the great “local boy.” but it was “repeated offender” that convinced me that i was hearing a de-politicized and non-reggae rebirth of the clash. sure, for some, that sounds like an awful idea, but man, oh man. like spizzenergi without the shit name. like josef k without the disdain for pop. like the jam with cure riffs minus the goth? metaphors suck, comparing bands is lazy (and GOD am i lazy!). so forget it, i don’t know who to compare them to, but download “repeated offender” and you tell me. great, eh?
and, god help me, but i’m still buzzing with anticipation of patrick wolf’s “the magic position,” and bloc party’s follow up to their uneven and over-praised debut. HURRY UP YOU FUCKERS!
1.) Quantic "One Off's Remixes and B Sides" (Tru Thoughts) Assembling some of his best non-LP work (primarily b-sides and remixes of other artists), this double-disc set provides further proof that Quantic is one of the most innovative & prolific producers working today, with a unique sound that is funky, organic and instantly recognizable.
2.) The Raconteurs 'Broken Boy Soldiers' (XL) Jack White's white-boy blues tendencies tempered by Brendan Benson's classicist power-pop songwriting and wrapped in ballsy, fuzzed-out psychedelia. The best rock album of the year is also the shortest (which is a statement in itself).
3.) Gnarls Barkley 'St. Elsewhere' (Downtown) Yeah, the album went mega-platinum and is utterly played out (as are all those pop cultural-referential costumes!), but Gnarls' sampledelic neo-soul is an instant classic. "Crazy" is single of the year, hands down.
4.) Lily Allen 'Alright, Still' (Parlophone) UK Hip-hop as recorded for Two-Tone Records.
5.) Alice Russell 'Under the Munka Moon 2' (Tru Thoughts) Another amazing collection from the UK Queen of Soul, this sequel sets Ms. Russell's incredible vocals in a variety of [remixed] settings.
6.) Wolfmother 'Wolfmother' (Interscope) Shamelessly derivative of everything that's great about heavy, heavy rock circa 1969-72. Bonus points for tapping Mstrkrft to remix "Woman" into hand-clapping punk-funkiness.
7.) The Flaming Lips 'At War With the Mystics' (Warner Bros) Since 'The Soft Bulletin', I can't help but see every new Flaming Lips album as a major event.
8.) Thom Yorke 'The Eraser' (XL) Despite taking a break from recording with Radiohead, Thom Yorke still has things to say. So he says them all by himself with Pro Tools. The resulting album proves to be much more than a stop-gap.
9.) Scott Walker 'The Drift' (4AD) 40+ years into his career, Mr. Walker has made some of his most challenging music yet. Dense, paranoid and utterly compelling.
10.) various artists 'This is Melting Pot Music' (MPM Records) The first comp from this small German label displays a deep and amazing roster of live funk bands and cut'n'paste-style producers from the US and Europe. Totally excellent!
11.) Ghostface Killah 'Fishscale' (Def Jam) The Ghost' extends his reach lyrically and musically and comes up with his best work since Supreme Clientele. High-quality, imaginative hip-hop from start to finish.
12.) various artists 'Brooklyn Beats' (Mr. Bongo) From DJs Sean Marquand and Greg Caz (residents at the long-running Black Betty club night in Brooklyn), this is an obsessively-collected bunch of vintage funkiness from Brazil.
13.) various artists 'The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 5: 1965' (Hip-O-Select/Motown) Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Marvelettes, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, The Temptations, Junior Walker, Brenda Holloway... So many classics on a single label in a single year. Simply incredible. , "