Tag: indie

2012, The year the world ended.

2012 Record of the Year

So some of you may have seen my list of ten albums of 2012 on our new blog Four North Men of the Rockpocalypse.  If you are one of those who hasn’t yet, go check out the three other North Men and see what they thought the top albums of the year were.  Remember we are four completely different guys with four greatly varying opinions, so the lists should be pretty interesting.  You should also be careful, you may just discover something new…

Here, I will get into a little bit more details on to what I liked so much about some of the albums I chose for my version of the list.  I will be very interested in seeing if any albums I picked even make it onto any of my counterparts lists. Anyway, here I go…

1.  Fionna Apple – The Idler Wheel – This albums was one of my biggest surprises this years, although most of that was probably self inflicted.  I may have had a unfair bias against Miss Apple from my youth.  (a misguided one at that)  I have since discovered that she has an amazing catalog of albums.  Like much of the music I like I need to contain substance.  This album was both passionate and even abstract at times.

2.  Jack White – Blunderbuss – Does anything Jack White touches not amazing?   Mr. White has an incredible way of taking classic american sound and taking modern spin on the sound.  He is constantly stealing from the past while creating something new and fresh.

3. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant – I did love this giant!  I couldn’t stop playing this album for a while.  I even frequently would start this one right from the beginning after listening to once. It’s funny, I didn’t even know who David Bryne was before this, so this album opened the door to the Talking Heads. It is now one that I am happy to have passed though this door.  The music has so many layers, and it makes me want to get up and dance.  Not much I listen to does that.  Now I finally see why so many artists love them.  

4.  First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar – I was in love with these young ladies even before this record came out.  These ladies have such beautiful harmonies!  I love the modern Folk movement.  I still find the lyrics so mature for such young song writers though. 

5.  Grizzly Bear – Shields  – At the beginning of 2012 I  thought for sure that this would be #1 on my year end list.  As you can see it isn’t, and I actually wonder if their previous album Veckatimist may hurt them.  Veckatimist is certainly one of my favorite albums of all time and it may have made it hard for this one to live up to.  All together, I obviously did like this album if it is here, but it just wasn’t as cohesive as Grizzly Bears previous album.  

6.  The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter – These brothers are so good.  They much like Mumford (and the Lumineers) bring that old time country sounds a modern feel.  These albums just make me feel warm and fuzzy and I do like me some bluegrass.

7.  Heartless Bastards – Arrow – This is the only album in my top 10 that I did not discover on my own.  A special thanks to Andrea Civello for introducing me to this blues group from Ohio.  It is a very soulful album, and is somewhat is the realm of the older Black Keys albums.

8.  Mumford & Sons – Babel – See both 5 & 6, that pretty much sums up this one.

9.  Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill – I have always been fond of Neil Young.  Despite varying opinions of his more recent albums,  I have been quite a fan of everything he releases.  You really never know what your going to hear out of him next.  The first track on this album alone is worth giving this one a listen.

10.  Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror  – This on just rips.  If you put this one on, be sure to turn it way up!

Honorable mentions: The xx – Coexist, Cat Power – Sun, The Mars Volta – Noctourniquet, Poor Moon – Poor Moon, The Shins – Port of Morrow, Lisa Marie Presley – Storm & Grace, Muse – The 2nd Law, The Lumineers – The Lumineers

Biggest suprise by far is Lisa Marie Presley.  She has always just been a pop artist until now.  Storm & Grace actually had a lot of substance, and was nothing like you would expect!  The Lumineers came to me from another blog I follow,  You Hear that?.  I was instantly in love.  Then this band blew up!  It’s amazing the trend of great music in the mainstream realm at present.  Last one I’ll mention is Poor Moon.  Another great folk record coming from former members of the Fleet Foxes.  I just missed seeing these guy this past summer.  Poor me!

If you would like to listen to these on Spotify here is the link…

So what do you think?  Am I crazy? Amazing? Crying? Living on the Edge?  Tell me what you think!  And share your top albums with me too!

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Hell Dragon

In my forever running quest for music I love, I started blogging.  As a result I started visiting others music related blogs as both a way of trying to discover music, but also a way of learning what people are blogging about and to get ideas for my blog.  In my adventures to foreign blogs I have discovered lot of great blogs and tons of different music.  One band in particular that has been in heavy rotation is a band called the Black Girls.

The Black Girls are a cool blend of indie rock, soul and funk.  I saw one blog refer to them as snuff rock. I have no idea what that means, but whatever you call them, they are good.  These guys hail from Richmond, VA and are signed to a label called Worthless Junk Records.  I actually discovered them after first seeing a fellow blogger reviewing a split 45 from Worthless Junk label mates the White Laces and a Philadelphia band called the Arches.  As a result I ended up ordering the 45 myself.  When I received my package I was surprised to also find a copy of the Black Girls eponymous first album.  I ripped it to Mp3 and fell in love.  Since then the Black Girls have release there second album called Hell Dragon.  I have been streaming it pretty religiously via Spotify.  As soon as I can afford to I’ll be buying it on vinyl!

Black Girls are currently on tour with The Head and the Heart.  They are scheduled to be here in Portland, ME, Friday, March 17th (tomorrow).  I wish I could go, but will sadly be working.  Give a listen below to the first four tracks of the latest album.  The first track features the No BS! Brass Band (side project of Bon Iver horn man, Reggie Pace).  If you like it go buy it!!

Got a good reason for taking the easy way out.

A while back, our good friend (and frequent blog reader) Brian, sent me a link to a website.  This website I immediately thought was awesome and bookmarked on the spot.  That was about 2 months ago.  That was the last time I even looked at the page.  So I was going though my bookmarks last night and came across it and decided to visit it again.   Man it is still awesome!   I’m going to make sure not to ignore it for another two months.  I am speaking of coarse about Daytrotter.com. (yes, my title is from the Beatles song Daytripper, not Daytrotter!)

What Daytrotter is a music site.  The premise of this website is “One band a day, every day, 28 Daytrotter Session songs each week” as stated on its about page.  They have a band/artist come in to there little studio when passing through Illinois during a tour.   The band usually pile out of there van, tired from the rigors of the road, and pile into a studio to record 4 tracks all in one take.   That’s what makes this so cool. There is very minimal tweeking, no overdubbung or no special set-up.  These are recorded quickly for a unique and raw performance.

The artist are for the most part (atleast to me) relatively unknown artists, although there are some fairly well known artsits.  This is a great place to go to discover new music!  During my digging last night I uncovered some gems from some of my favorite artists, such bands include Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, Death Cab for Cutie, The Civil Wars, Dirty Projectors and Fitz & the Tantrums.  These are just a few of the 20 odd recognizable ones I downloaded, there are hundred more I don’t know.

You can explore 3 different ways.  When you click on an artist’s Daytrotter Session, you can either listen to a streaming version of each track (good for sampling) or you can download the whole session in Mp3 format for free.  Some artist provide a lossless version of the session in Apple lossless format for 3-4 bucks.  (exact copies of the analog tapes! nice!)  The last way you can access the site is through its nifty little iTouch/iPhone app.   I haven’t spent much time on the app as of yet, so I don’t really know what that is all about other than for streaming the tracks. There are a few other bonuses to the site, but I’ll let you explore and discover those on your own.  Below is the logo of Daytrotter.com, you can click on it to access there homepage! Happy discovering!

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Ain’t No Cure For Them Summertime Blues

I think Eddie Cochran had it all wrong.  There is always a cure for the blues, especially during summertime.   After a weekend of beautiful sunshine and a little boredom with my old playlist, I decided to give my 8 gig iTouch a make over.  Not that I don’t love every piece of music on there, it was just starting to seem repetitive.  My core artists will still be there, but I’m going to try to stretch my limits a little this time and try to put some stuff I wouldn’t usually put on there.  So here are some of my highlights and changes with a little bit of insight on my choices:

Core: (I couldn’t force myself to delete these)

  • RadioheadComplete Discography – This is my favorite band, a day with out Radiohead is a day not worth living.
  • Fleet Foxes – Complete Discography – These guys have been a big threat to the above band the past 2 years.
  • The Black Keys – Complete Discography – The last of my BIG3.  They can do no wrong.
  • Fitz & the Tantrums – Pickin’ Up the Pieces – Addicted and for some reason Soul music seems so summer to me.

Oldies but Goodies (Well its an oldie where I come from)

  • Fire on Fire – The Orchard – My local music post got me craving these guys.
  • B-52’s – Self Titled – This album seems to summer to me I had to put it on there.
  • Foo Fighters – The Colour and the Shape – Classic Foo
  • Pearl Jam – No Code and Riot Act – I’m a big Pearl Jam fan and haven’t listened to these ones in a while.

The Alternatives (Bands that I’ve heard 1 or 2 albums, but haven’t listened to these)

  • Wilco – A.M.Love there Self Titled and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot so decided to check out their 1st one.
  • Modest Mouse – Building Nothing Out of Something – Again listened to 2 albums a ton and want to grow this relationship
  • Grizzly Bear – Sorry for the Delay and Yellow House – LOVE Veckatimest and excited to hear more.
  • Bright Eyes – Fevers & Mirrors – Connor just has put out way to music to have listened to it all.

The Newbies (love to explore music, added 10 in total)

  • Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will – Been meaning to check them out and my buddy Erik loves them.
  • Regina Spektor – Songs – Going outside my comfort zone a little here, we will see…
  • Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes – Carson Daily had her on and the one performance I saw was cool.
  • Karen Dalton – Green Rocky Road – Going with some really old folk music that Bob Dylan once loved.

My iTouch is going to be a whole new experience after this.   All in all I only kept about 10 albums I had previously.   Going to be fun!  I know my list will be bigger than most peoples, but what are you listening to this summer?