Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Top 10 Albums of 2009

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 2010. Here are my Top 10 Albums of 2009:

1. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca

2. Holopaw - Oh, Glory, Oh, Wilderness

3. The Bloodsugars - I Can't Go On, I'll Go On

4. Pomegranates - Everybody, Come Outside!

5. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson - Summer Of Fear

6. Israel Darling - Dinosaur Bones and Mechanical Hands

7. Miniature Tigers - Tell It To The Volcano

8. Passion Pit - Manners

9. Magnolia Electric Co. - Josephine

10. Bear In Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Top 10 Songs of 2009

Here is a list of my favorite songs of 2009.

1. Dirty Projectors - "Stillness Is The Move"

2. Holopaw - "The Last Transmission (Honeybee)"

3. Yourself and The Air - "Bicycles" (Daytrotter Session)

4. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson - "The Sound"

5. Pomegranates - "Everybody, Come Outside!"

6. Dead Weather - "Cut Like A Buffalo"

7. Bloodsugars - "The Pedestrian Boogie"

8. Israel Darling - "Samson The Mason"

9. Bear In Heaven - "Lovesick Teenagers"

10. Miniature Tigers - "Cannibal Queen"

Monday, December 21, 2009

Flashback: Top 10 Albums of 1999

Later this week I will reveal my Top 10 albums of 2009. Today I look back to a decade ago and here is a list of my Top 5 albums of 1999. I am sure I missed an emo album or something by Dave Matthews Band, but these are my favorites from that year that I still enjoy listening to today.

1. Modest Mouse - Building Nothing Out Of Something

2. Jimmy Eat World - Clarity

3. Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home About

4. Built To Spill - Keep It Like A Secret

5. Brandtson - Fallen Star Collection

6. Sloan - Between The Bridges

7. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication

8. Dismemberment Plan - Emergency & I

9. Moby - Play

10. Supergrass - Supergrass


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Acrylics - "All of the Fire" (Title track for the debut EP on Chris Taylor's (Grizzly Bear) Terrible Records with sweet harmonies like Fleetwood Mac)

2. Cassette - "Home" (Singer/songwriter Samantha Jones is Cassette. Organic and timeless is here music.)

3. Toro Y Moi - "Blessa" (Genre-busting, global electro-pop, touring with Neon Indian)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. The Go Find - "Everybody Knows It's Gonna Happen Only Not Tonight" (Warm electro indie-pop title track to third album out in Feb. on Morr Music)


2. N.A.M.B. - "L.O.N." (Heavy psychedelic pop from Italy, shares label with 65Daysofstatic)


3. Bear In Heaven - "Lovesick Teenagers" (All encompassing, genre-defying soundscapes and heartbreak)


Friday, December 04, 2009

Interview: Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson's excellent sophomore album, Summer Of Fear was released in October on Saddle Creek Records and he has just returned from a tour with Castanets. He took the time for an interview about the tour and the plans for his next album, which he is already working on and says is less bitter and more hopeful than the last album.

Atlas and the Anchor: It has been written that you have been influenced by a lot of great bands but who do you say your influences are?

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson: Pavement, Tom Petty, Jay-Z, Lou Reed, Thomas Pynchon, New Order, Fleetwood Mac, Will Oldham, and The Cars.

AA: My favorite songs on Summer of Fear are "Hard Row" and “The Sound”. What is your favorite song on the record and why?

Miles: I tend to like individual moments of songs more than the songs themselves...I am fond of the middle eight on "100th of March", the coda of "Summer of Fear pt. 1", and the guitar solo on "Boat". Also, anywhere the strings come in.

AA: What were you listening to in the tour van?

Miles: Today we listened to... DMX "It's Dark and Hell is Hot", Jay Reatard "Matador Singles" ZZ Top "Tres Hombres", Dire Straits "Money For Nothing" and Neu "Neu 2"

AA: How did you plan to reproduce the sound of the album in a live setting and who helped you play live?

Miles: This tour is kind of the opposite of my first one for the first album a year and a half ago. That album was recorded with very "good" players but by the time I toured I was leading what was essentially a roaming under-acheiving bar band because that's what I felt comfortable with. We played crazy covers and re-interpreted my own songs to the point where they might as well have been covers, it was a lot of fun but also kind of defensive and unnecessarily off-putting on my part...there was a certain element of the audience that was disappointed and/or alienated by that experience. An earlier, even less functional version of that band had made Summer of Fear, somehow, nine-months earlier. We went in for a week or so and then Kyp and I spent another 40 days or so finishing it over the next 18 months. One member of that band still plays with me. The others I met when they were supporting when they were supporting my friend Holly Miranda. They are very good. I think we are a more satisfying experience now. All that being said, I think the goal now is not to reproduce the album live exactly, but provide a recognizable performance of the songs that is engaging enough to stand there and watch. I also quit getting drunk before shows which, perhaps unsurprisingly, makes a huge difference.

AA: You have already collaborated with some great artists and bands such as Kyp from TV on the Radio and Grizzly Bear. Who would you like to work with next and/or who would your "dream" backing band be?

Miles: I would like to make a record with either Jeff Lynne or Lindsay Buckingham.

AA: It looks like you are aware and ready for a big crash of waves (impending doom?) on the album cover. What was the inspiration for the artwork to the album?

Miles: A neighborhood bar and September's a long story.

AA: Are there any other projects that you are working on that we should know about?

Miles: My memoirs. Also, a screenplay.

AA: I know the album has just been released, but are you working on ideas for a new album and what can we expect?

Miles: I have written more than enough songs for a third album over the last year. I have a tendency to become over-invested in new material when I am doing new stuff so I'm trying to hold off finishing that stuff until it's time to record. I toured the first album right after mixing Summer of Fear the first time and I was somewhat less than eager to get up and play buriedfed every night. We'll probably play a couple songs from the 'next' record on this tour though. It's called "Purple Rain, Purple Rain" and it will be much much better than anything I've done so far. Summer of Fear was written by a very bitter person who had given up on anyone besides his friends and a portion of Williamsburgh ever hearing his music. The songs I have lined up for "Purple Rain, Purple Rain" were all written in a flush of relative success and hopefulness.

AA: What one older and one current song do you wish you would’ve written yourself?

Miles: Hypothetically, "Ambulance Blues" by Neil Young and "Live Your Life" by T.I.. But really, I've found I don't enjoy things I've written the way I enjoy the songs of others so nothing really. Maybe the Eagles catalogue...for the money.

AA: Miles, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. Thanks again!

Miles: No prob, good luck!

Download "The Sound":

Read the Atlas and the Anchor review of Summer Of Fear here:

For more info click here: and

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

3 Songs: New Music

1. Shout Out Louds - "Walls" (New song from their new album Work out 02/23 on Merge)


2. Lymbyc Systym - "Bedroom Anthem" (Genre-defying new track from their new album, Shutter Release out now)


3. Fang Island - "Life Coach" (Enthusiastic poppy prog-rock from their debut album out early next year)