Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top 10 Albums of 2008

At last...I actually think I am the last blogger to post a year end top 10 list. There were so many great albums this year and I was exposed to a lot more than ever by doing Atlas and the Anchor. It was a hard decision but these were the albums I listened to the most and ones that will continue to be in heavy rotation throughout 2009. Here are my Top 10 albums of 2008:

1. Vampire Weekend - "Vampire Weekend"

2. Walkmen - "You & Me"

3. Mates Of State - "Re-Arrange Us"

4. Jaguar Love - "Take Me To The Sea"

5. Okkervil River - "The Stand Ins"

6. Wolf Parade - "At Mount Zoomer"

7. Sigur Ros - "Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust"

8. The Faint - "Fascination"

9. The Little Ones - "Morning Tide"

10. Shearwater - "Rook"


1. M83 - "Saturdays = Youth"
2. Wilderness - "(K)no(w)here"
3. Dr. Dog - "Fate"
4. The Dodos - "Visiter"
5. Death Cab For Cutie - "Narrow Stairs"

Monday, December 22, 2008

Show Review - The Faint at Soughtgate House

The Faint brought their brand of apocalyptic indie dance-punk to Southgate House in Newport, KY on 12/17 and the combination of their dizzying, DIY light show and the thunderous, pulsating beats and turned the night into an event instead of just another indie rock show.

They pleased the crowd instantly, starting of with well known favorites, "Agenda Suicide", "Drop Kick The Punks" and Take Me To The Hospital" as a quick 1-2-3 punch. Next, they offered up two new songs from "Fascination" with the squirming "Forever Growing Centipedes" and "Psycho". Among the highlights of the night were two tracks from "Wet From Birth", the introverted "Desperate Guys" and Paranoiattack" which relates to the state of our nation as much now as it did when the song was released in 2004. Closing out the set was an encore that included new single, "The Geeks Were Right" and the dance-inducing "Glass Danse" that had everyone moving.

I have been a fan of The Faint since 2001 when "Danse Macabre" was first released and I have been waiting to see them ever since. Sometimes, such a build up of anticipation can heighten your expectations so high that a letdown is almost inevitable, but The Faint delivered an excellent performance worthy of the wait.

Check out www.thefaint.com for more info.

Download "The Geeks Were Right" here: http://www.toolshed-media.com/ts/the-faint-geeks-were-right.mp3

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flashback - Top 5 Albums of 1998

Next week I will reveal my top 10 albums of 2008. Today I look back to a decade ago and here is a list of my Top 5 albums of 1998. I am sure I missed a Ska album or something but these are my favorites from that year that I still enjoy listening to today.

1. Catch 22 - "Keasbey Nights"
Favorite track- "Dear Sergio"
Listen here: http://www.lala.com/song/360569445182079712/360569449477047008

2. Far - "Water & Solutions"
Favorite track- "Really Here"
Listen here: http://www.lala.com/song/504684633477567630/504684642067502222

3. Belle & Sebastian - "The Boy With The Arab Strap"
Favorite track- "A Summer Wasting"
Listen here: http://www.lala.com/song/2954642830615776296/2954642852090612776

4. Remy Zero - "Villa Elaine"
Favorite track- "Gramarye"
Listen here: http://www.lala.com/song/432627039263867186/432627069328638258

5. Clutch - "The Elephant Riders"
Favorite track- "Eight Times Over Miss October"
Listen here: (maybe) www.last.fm/music/Clutch/_/Eight+Times+Over+Miss+October

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Band To Watch - Magic Jackson

Magic Jackson, recent winners of the Dayton band playoffs at Canal Street Tavern, have exploded onto the scene in just six months of forming. Their talent and sound belie the short life span of their band. They mix groove-heavy funk and electrified back porch blues with searing guitar solos and tongue-in-cheek lyrics into a danceable, jam-band friendly blend of funk rock.

The standout track, "Daddy's Funk" is exactly that. A Sly & The Family Stone style guitar line and one of the funkiest bass lines I have heard in a while, lead up to an organ freak-out, creating a sound like your father's funk records from the 70's.
"Penny Says" lays out a sleazy blues jam before launching into another shakedown with vocals dialed in from a ham radio.

Magic Jackson are Nathan Lewis (vocals, guitar), Jeff May (guitar, vocals) Justin Moore (drums) and Mike "McNasty" McKewen (bass) and they deliver a live show not to be missed.
Check out their myspace page for tour dates and info on their soon to be released debut album. Check it out here: www.myspace.com/magicjacksonband

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Faint - Top 10 List of 2008

As a special feature today, I give you the top 10 albums of the year as selected by The Faint, thanks to Filter Magazine. Each of the five members picked their 2 favorites. If you haven't already, check out "Fascination", their latest release after a four year hibernation. It might be on my top ten list...
Look for Atlas and the Anchor's top ten list next week. Also, stay tuned for a live review of The Faint's show at Southgate House soon.

The Faint's Top Ten Albums of 2008:

Joel Petersen: The Kills, "Midnight Boom" and F**k Buttons, "Street Horrrsing"
Jacob Thiele: MGMT, "Oracular Spectacular" and Late Of The Pier, "Fantasy Black Channel"
Dapose: Noism, "+/-" and Russell Haswell, "Second Live Salvage"
Todd Fink: Mr. Oizo, "Lamb's Anger" and Hercules & Love Affair, "Hercules & Love Affair"
Clark Baechle: Portishead, "Third" and TV On the Radio, "Dear Science"

Download "The Geeks Were Right" from "Fascination" here: http://www.toolshed-media.com/ts/the-faint-geeks-were-right.mp3

Check out tour dates for The Faint here: http://www.thefaint.com/
Check out more Top 10 lists here: http://www.filter-mag.com/

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Top 5 Songs of 2008

5. Wolf Parade - "Call It A Ritual" from album, "At Mount Zoomer" http://www.lala.com/song/360569445171207206/360569453761141798

4. Okkervil River - "Starry Stairs" from album, "The Stand Ins" http://www.lala.com/song/360569445176464126/360569462356333310

3. Jaguar Love - "Georgia" from album, "Take Me To The Sea" http://www.lala.com/song/2954642830615781252/2954642847795650436

2. Walkmen - "In The New Year" from album, "You & Me" http://www.lala.com/song/937030197557917610/937030214737786794

1. The Dodos - "Fools" from album, "Visiter" http://www.lala.com/song/937030197557855008/937030214737724192

Click on each link to stream the song. More lists coming soon...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Baby Teeth solo projects - All City Affairs and Abraham Levitan

Baby Teeth, the wry, 70's inspired indie rock trio from Chicago have made their mark with their brand of organic Elton John meets Genesis meets Hall & Oates sound. Now two of the members are branching out into more electronic and funkier fare, each on their own. Vocalist/keyboardist Abraham Levitan with a solo album, "Speak, Memory" and "Identity Theft", the debut solo project by All City Affairs which is the brainchild of drummer/vocalist Peter Andreadis.

"Identity Theft" by All City Affairs is a slick study in modern and contemporary music, taking cues from all genres including rock, reggae, hip-hop, jazz and pop. The song "One More Shot" has a fat synth bass line and beat to go with the funky guitar and lyrics about a hipster's shallow attempt to be seen in the scene. "The End Of Loneliness" combines acoustic guitar, and an 80's synth drone with hand-clap drums. Mixing samples, hip-hop beats and live instrumentation with layers of Peter's smooth, unassuming voice, he has created a danceable album to get lost in.

"Speak, Memory" by Abraham Levitan is an eclectic mix of Technicolor soul and funky electro-pop. Abraham's signature vocal delivery, songwriting ability and keyboard prowess are all on display on the opening track, "Weekend At Home" which mostly resembles his work in Baby Teeth. Shaking things up, "Slave To Efficiency" slinks along on a bluesy electro beat with squelching keyboards and pleading vocals, asking, "Don't hate me. I'm a person,
too". Abraham has created an eccentric and fun album that will please all Baby Teeth fans.

There is not much to hate but a lot to love from both of these solo efforts. The guys from Baby Teeth prove to be very prolific as they will release a new Baby Teeth album early next year. Both "Identity Theft" and "Speak, Memory" are available now digitally on iTunes.

For more info click here: www.lujorecords.com and www.babyteethmusic.com

All City Affairs-
"One More Shot" http://lujorecords.com/media/02%20OneMoreShot.mp3
"The End Of Loneliness" http://lujorecords.com/media/04%20The%20End%20Of%20Loneliness.mp3

Abraham Levitan-
"Weekend At Home" http://lujorecords.com/media/01%20Weekend%20At%20Home.mp3
"Slave To Efficiency" http://lujorecords.com/media/04%20Slave%20to%20Efficiency.mp3

Also check out Daytrotter for an exclusive live session from Baby Teeth with 5 unreleased songs here: http://daytrotter.com/article/1499/baby-teeth-2

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Matt & Kim - Live video on Baeble Music

Matt & Kim have a new album, "Grand" coming out Jan. 20th through FADER Label. Last summer, they played a crazy, anything goes show at the McCarren Park Pool in their hometown of Brooklyn. Baeble Music captured this over the top performance that included toddler backup dancers, an impromptu mic-check R. Kelly cover and guests, The Rude Mechanical Orchestra among the surprises. Check out this clip of "Yea Yeah" with the backing orchestra:

Watch the full concert at baeblemusic.com

Baeble Music also is giving away one of Kim's cracked cymbals autographed by Matt & Kim themselves! Check it out here: http://www.baeblemusic.com/blog/11-21-2008/thehookup:autographedmattandkimcymbal

Download "Daylight" from the new album, "Grand" here:

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sin Fang Bous - "Clangour"

Sin Fang Bous is the solo project of Sindri Mar Sigfusson from the quiet Icelandic folk band Seabear. Expanding on Seabear's polite pop folk, "Clangour" is drenched in melody and texture and dripping with experimental sounds, creating dreamy avant-garde psych-folk that resists the restraints of both pop and folk music much like Animal Collective or Grizzly Bear.

"Clangour" is an exciting album to listen to because of the anticipation of what strange sound will come next. For example, digital video game blips, a high strung beat, swelling piano and a soothing chorus make the opening track, "Advent in Ives Garden" a great introduction to the album. "Catch The Light" reels you in with it's choir of different voices, creaking keyboards, and angelic guitar strums.

Sin Fang Bous has created an experimental but very warm, melodic and accessible folk-pop album. You can buy "Clangour" now at iTunes or the physical CD release is Feb 17, 2009 on Morr Music.

Download "Catch The Light" here: http://www.toolshed-media.com/ts/sin-fang-bous-catch-the-light.mp3

For more info: www.morrmusic.com or http://www.myspace.com/sinfangbous