Friday, February 25, 2011

Remembering The White Stripes

The White Stripes broke up this month (Wednesday, Febuary 2) and I would be remiss if I didn't post anything about such a significant loss in the music world. It may have passed over the heads of some but The White Stripes have established themselves as one of the biggest bands in the world and a dominant creative voice in their 13+ years of existence. The band has release some of my all time favorite songs, music videos and albums. I especially have to mention White Blood Cells which was a pivotal album in the evolution of my musical tastes and still holds true as a modern classic. The White Stripes were a testament to the fact that a band can reach the mainstream and still remain innovative album after album. They were also a crucial element in bringing blues back to mainstream radio which is something we should all be thankful for. The announcement was made on Jack White's Third Man Records with a graceful statement which can be found below along with some of my favorite songs and videos.

Exploding in Sound Issue Wax Unwound for Free

If you are still hungry for new music after riffling through the 2010 Year-End Report and the New Track Rundown, my friends over at Exploding in Sound have their latest compilation, Wax Unwound, available for free download and it is packed to the brim with awesome new tunes. This latest entry represents my favorite in the consistently excellent series of compilations coming from the Exploding in Sound camp. It contains two of my absolute favorite tracks from last year (Pile - "Don't Touch Anything", Black Mountain - "Old Fangs), great female-fronted bands (She Keeps Bees, Sky Larkin), some of Boston's best (Young Adults, Nassy), and several masters of noise (Zach Hill, Ty Segall). As always, Zach Hill's song "Total Recall" is an incredible testament to how much distortion the human ear can take in. Really, there is something for everyone on this compilation - everyone who likes rock music at least. The press release and download link are below. Go get it!

New Track Rundown

It's been a long time since I did a new track rundown. There is way too much amazing music coming out right now to let it go any further. Below are my favorite songs and videos that have been floating around in February. There were a few big surprises like Poor But Sexy, a band that features Jason Caddell who is the guitarist of The Dismemberment Plan. The group has influences from 70s soul/R&B mixed in with a little P-funk, something not enough bands are doing these days. After much speculation, The Strokes finally released a new song and it definitely surpassed my expectations. J Mascis is already wowing me with his new track "Is It Done" off of Several Shades of Why; the cover of which is above. Also of great note, I can't get enough of the new Cold Cave song, "The Great Pan is Dead." Wes Eisold has come along way since his days with Give Up The Ghost [one of my favorite hardcore bands of all time which will always be known as American Nightmare to me] but he is still churning out some pretty fascinating and remarkable music. Everything can be heard below and I am also including dates for when you can catch the artists that are coming to Boston.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Radiohead Unleashes The King of Limbs Today

It seems improbable that I would be listening to a new Radiohead album today but, it is winding to a close as I finish this sentence. You can get The King of Limbs here or stream it below. At the present moment, I am absolutely in love with "Morning Mr. Magpipe" and "Lotus Flower." "Give Up the Ghost" also has me under its enchanting spell with its slow, dreamy progression. The album is on the short side and the syncopated beat found on closer "Separator" is guaranteed to leave you wanting more. I'm hoping Thom Yorke's haunting bellow of "If you think this is over, you're wrong" on the final track is a hint that there is more to come. That's probably just wishful thinking. The video for "Lotus Flower" can be found after the album stream. Fans of funky Thom Yorke dancing will be pleased. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

2010 Year-End Report

It is now apparent that the inspiration I spoke about in my previous post was only to be had on that fateful Friday, as I did not follow up on my promise of show/record reviews to be posted. The truth is that blogging had turned out to be a much more exhausting and time-consuming endeavor than expected. It was hard to keep up while I was working fulltime and I put my priorities where they needed to be. Alas, this year has brought me a new challenge in that I have lost said job. Although I have scrapped the notes from the shows I had attended, I decided to give something to readers who have been asking me what has been on my playlist.

I have taken it upon myself to compile this monstrous recap of everything I had enjoyed in 2010 in order to present the artists who have made my year that much better. It was a daunting but fun task. It’s also interesting to compare it to my Mid-Year Report and see how my tastes had evolved throughout the year. The run-through includes a link to my favorite track from each of my top 40 albums as I count them down so you can indulge in the experience of each release. In this way, the top 40 album countdown also doubles as a Top 40 songs countdown as well. There is also a short write-up included with each one so you can get the full effect of why the album had such an impact on me. You don’t have to (and probably won’t) take it in all at once, but it is worth your time to go through this list and check out each artist so you don’t miss one that you’d enjoy if they came to your town.

I own almost every album on this list (just waiting to get a few on vinyl) and have seen most of these bands live. As always, I urge you to purchase anything that you have discovered here. There is plenty to take in and I tried to make it as interactive as I possibly could but you’re going to have to do some research if you want to check it all out (i.e. movies). A big part of why I thought this might be a fun project is feedback, so if there is something you like or anything you have to say about the post, do so in the comments! Everything is below starting with my Top 40 albums. Just hit play on the first track and it should play sequentially as you read. Enjoy!