Friday, December 28, 2012

Top 10 Albums Of 2012

1.  Pomegranates - Heaven
2.  Niki & The Dove  - Instinct
3.  Jack White - Blunderbuss
4.  The ShinsPort Of Morrow
5.  Father John Misty – Fear Fun
6.  Band Of Horses – Mirage Rock
7.  The Walkmen - Heaven
8.  Human Cannonball – Let’s Be Friends
9.  Old MonkBirds Of Belize
10.  Dylan MondegreenDylan Mondegreen

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Top 5 EPs of 2012

1.  Southeast Engine – Canaanville (
2.  Rubblebucket – Oversaturated (
3.  Magic Bullets – Much Ado About (
4.  State Lines - Self-Titled 7" (

5.  MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR – Self-Titled (

Friday, December 14, 2012

CONTEST: Soundgarden - "King Animal" CD

UPDATE: Congrats to winner Scott S. of Union, OH!

90's grunge rock icons, Soundgarden are back after a lengthy hiatus with the release of their highly-anticipated new album King Animal.  The album is a welcome return to form and it's like they never left with Chris Cornell's trademark soaring vocals and Kim Thayil's thick and rhythmic guitar sludge highlighting an excellent new set of anthemic and driving songs. 
In the spirit of Christmas, a copy of the new CD can be yours thanks to the band, their label Seve Four/Universal Republic, and Atlas And The Anchor! Just send an email to with the title of your favorite Soundgarden song and one winner will be chosen at random next Friday, 12/21/2012.
Check out the lyric video for the stunning single "Non-State Actor" here:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Serapicos - "Serapicos Is A Town"

Serapicos is the recording moniker for the Sao Paulo, Brazil based indie singer-songwriter Gabriel Serapicos, who has just recently self-released his fantastic debut album, Serapicos Is A Town.  Though he speaks his native Portuguese, he sings in English and he taught himself the language in part while watching Wes Anderson and Coen Brothers films along with the subtitles.  The dark yet whimsical worlds of those movies helped him fashion the humorous and movie-like lyrics and characters of Serapicos Is A Town.  To record the album, Gabriel assembled a cast of studio musicians to help him bring his music to life, including his younger brother Pedro who contributes keyboards and acoustic guitars. 
The opening track, “There Is No Satisfaction” is a soaring and hip-shaking 1960’s garage-pop revue complete with vintage organ and a funky guitar riff.  The witty innuendo of the first single, “Blow Me” stands out with melodic guitar runs that are reminiscent of Pavement’s Stephan Malkmaus, a bouncing rhythm and an infectious sing-along chorus.   The self-deprecating “Artists Are Crazy” follows with a busy yet inventive arrangement filled with various synths sounds and processed guitars along with a swirling chorus.  Aside from its child-like title, “Pee Pee Jazz” is a sweet and dreamy waltzing ballad with a shuffling wire-brush beat that showcases Gabriel’s ability to write pop songs with a great sense for blending the classic with the modern.  “Lucky Numbers” is moody and atmospheric with twinkling piano notes and a lurching bass line as Gabriel opens up with an aching and emotional vocal.  As a change of pace, “Inspire Me” stands out with some sunny and strummy Beach Boys-like melodies and some delirious psych-pop inspired background vocals.  Another standout, “The Sexiest Girl In The World” features a reverb-rich guitar riff and some catchy melodies that recall the quirky mid-90’s indie-pop created by Cake.  The piano-led “Balloon” is highlighted by Beatles-esque melodies and more psychedelic guitar work.  A punk rock-inspired count-off opens “The Egg Song” but the song quickly goes in a different psych-pop direction with vintage organs and a pumped up rhythm along with infectious group vocals for yet another standout moment.  Later, Gabriel moans and laments on “When Your Husbands Away”, which is set to meditative cyclical acoustic guitars for a down and out folk tune.  “I Just Want To Be Your Friend” features a poppy arrangement with buoyant piano that is the opposite of the playfully hurtful lyrics.  “Love Pills” follows with another intriguing arrangement filled with sparking bells that lulls you into a dream-like state.  Warped keyboards and chiming guitars give the cosmic pop of “Russian Roulettes And Persian Carpets” a Shins-like boost.  And the fifteen song album closes out with the pounding piano, 50’s rock guitars and syrupy sweet melodies of “Sexy Julia” and the instantly memorable whistling and introspective folk of the title track, “Serapicos Is A Town”.
Serapicos Is A Town, the debut album by Serapicos is not entirely cohesive but neither is an actual town, with all of its characters and such but it has enough standout moments and interesting quirks that it captures your attention for the entire fifteen song cycle and that, along with Gabriel’s crafty arrangements and super-catchy melodies make for a very promising debut.  The good news is that the prolific songwriter with the baritone voice is already sitting on two more albums worth of songs ready to be recorded and I can’t wait to hear what he comes up with next!     

Friday, December 07, 2012

Free Friday: Tyler Daniel Bean - "Longing"

Tyler Daniel Bean formerly of screamo outfit ghosting. has recently set out on a solo career and his promising debut album, Longing is out now on vinyl via Kit Kat Records and as a pay-what-you-want download through his Bandcamp page. 

The Burlington, Vermont based folk-punk troubadour has created a nostalgia-laced sound that rivals the emotional fury and weighty lyrical storytelling of early Bright Eyes, yet still retains his aggressive emo-punk spirit, especially on the slow-burning yet explosive opening track, “Flowers At My Feet”.  The standout first single, “Heather Lane” is built on a shuffling folk-rock rhythm and an aching yet anthemic vocal.  And another standout, “Rootbeerington” features a stomping beat and a melodic guitar line that is reminiscent of 90’s Midwest emo like The Promise Ring. 

Stream and Download Longing here:

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

3 Songs: On Repeat

Joan Of Arc – “King Song” (The Chicago art-rock mainstays have released a new self-titled album that consists of seven stripped-down acoustic folk songs.  It is out now on Joyful Noise Recordings and limited to only 190 hand-numbered copies on white vinyl with six short but elegant, minimalist folk songs on side one and just a single, fifteen-and-a-half long track on side two.  Get one now while they last!)     

The Wonder Revolution – “Firefly” (Featuring members of The Appleseed Cast and Paper Airplanes, this prolific Kansas-based collective led by guitarist David Lord are set to release Firefly, their third album of 2012, next week on Air House Records.  Their unique sound blends layers of jazz-indebted post-rock with prog-rock tendencies and wide-eyed vocal melodies and with the visual artists in the band, their live show is a one of a kind experience as well.)

Jacob Morris – “Wet Cigarette” (The Athens, GA based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who has played cello for Patterson Hood and has ties to the Elephant 6 collective, released Moths his debut solo album this week on Cloud Recordings.  Jacob’s brand of quirky folk-pop also touches on 60’s psych-pop and singer-songwriter fare along with some super-catchy melodies and inventive arrangements that keeps pace with all of the great music that has come from the Athens scene.)