Monday, November 30, 2009

Counting Down The '00s: The Best Of 2008

Ranting 'n' Raving for the 100th time

And with this post, the 100th since starting this blog in March 2008 (hooray!), we approach the culmination of our little tribute to the best music this decade had to offer.

In the "Counting Down The '00s" series of posts we presented the lists of our 30 favorite albums and singles for each year of the '00s (the noughties, the aughts, the two-thousands, the zeroes...why can't we all agree on a name, this is getting ridiculous!) from 2000 to 2008. In December we are going to present our review of 2009 in a manner similar to last year (check out here the relevant posts from last December) culminating with the unveiling of our favorite albums and singles right at the end of the month. In parallel to all this fun stuff, starting tomorrow we'll start revealing our Top 20 Albums of the Decade one by one. In this little game, organized by the All Gone blog, more than 80 other bloggers from this part of the world will be presenting their own picks for the best albums of the decade and the year. You will be able to see the aggregated results here. As I've written before, the Top 20 that we are going to present now is only the prequel to our final full list that is going to appear in Cool Music Database when the time is right. And the right time, contrary to the current media obsession with the subject, I think should be sometime near the end of next year, after we take the time to better evaluate what this year had to offer. Which, of course, means that by then this Top 20 might be slightly different.

Moving on with the subject at hand, the best of 2008 (a year characterized by an abundance of excellent first-time efforts), you can check out below the updated Top 30 Albums and Singles lists and you can read more about them here.

Top 30 Albums of 2008

1. Dig, Lazarus, dig!!! - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
2. Dear science - TV ON THE RADIO
3. Antidotes - FOALS
4. Neptune - THE DUKE SPIRIT
5. Crystal Castles - CRYSTAL CASTLES
6. Midnight boom - THE KILLS
7. Consolers of the lonely - THE RACONTEURS
8. Saturnalia - THE GUTTER TWINS
10. Beat pyramid - THESE NEW PURITANS
11. Oracular spectacular - MGMT
12. A certain feeling - BODIES OF WATER
13. Songs in A&E - SPIRITUALIZED
14. Loyalty to loyalty - COLD WAR KIDS
15. Stay positive - THE HOLD STEADY
16. Box of secrets - BLOOD RED SHOES
17. Vampire Weekend - VAMPIRE WEEKEND
18. Conor Oberst - CONOR OBERST
19. Intimacy - BLOC PARTY
20. Santogold - SANTOGOLD
21. Velocifero - LADYTRON
22. Re-arrange us - MATES OF STATE
23. Imperial wax solvent - THE FALL
24. Beautiful future - PRIMAL SCREAM
25. Saint Dymphna - GANG GANG DANCE
26. Donkey - C.S.S.
27. Partie traumatic - BLACK KIDS
28. The bake sale - THE COOL KIDS
29. Narrow stairs - DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
30. Lookout mountain, lookout sea - SILVER JEWS

Top 30 Singles of 2008

1. Idle hands - THE GUTTER TWINS
2. The step and the walk - THE DUKE SPIRIT
3. To fix the gash in your head - A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS
4. Courtship dating - CRYSTAL CASTLES
5. Machine gun - PORTISHEAD
6. Devil’s trident - TELEPATHE
7. Swords of truth - THESE NEW PURITANS
8. Cheap and cheerful - THE KILLS
9. Paper planes - M.I.A.
10. Time to pretend - MGMT
11. Salute your solution - THE RACONTEURS
12. Dig, Lazarus, dig!!! - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
13. Cassius - FOALS
14. Can't go back - PRIMAL SCREAM
15. Jigsaw falling into place - RADIOHEAD
16. Nothing ever happened - DEERHUNTER
17. Hit the wall - BRENDAN CANNING
18. Rat is dead (Rage) - C.S.S.
19. L.E.S. artistes - SANTOGOLD
20. 88 - THE COOL KIDS
21. Knickerbocker - FUJIYA & MIYAGI
22. Mercury - BLOC PARTY
23. I will possess your heart - DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
24. Sequestered in Memphis - THE HOLD STEADY
25. You lie you cheat - SPIRITUALIZED
26. You bring me down - BLOOD RED SHOES
28. In a cave - TOKYO POLICE CLUB
29. Something is not right with me - COLD WAR KIDS
30. Hang them all - TAPES ‘N TAPES

Tomorrow, December 1st, you can find out our choice for Album Number 20 for the '00s (as well as a hint of what lies below). Meanwhile, here's a video interview of Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo revealing to The Boston Phoenix his Top 3 albums of the decade, as well as his favorite Sonic Youth release for the aughts (a choice that finds me in agreement):

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Counting Down The '00s: The Best Of 2007

In 2007 we had no less than four records that equally deserved the number one spot of our "Albums of the Year" list. In the end the honor went to Les Savy Fav who made their spectacular comeback with a work of amazing variety and impressive punk-rock dynamics. This is what we had to say about the album in our end of the year review: "It was certainly the most impressive comeback of 2007. A decade since their debut and six years since their last full-length, Les Savy Fav resurfaced with the magnificent “Let’s Stay Friends”. It is their fourth and best album so far, a stylistically diverse, powerful record that achieves that rare, perfect balance between aggressive, pedal-to-the-metal punk rock intensity and melodic, even danceable, pop tunes. “Patty Lee” is perhaps the best example of this precarious balancing act, followed closely by “The Equestrian”, “The Year Before the Year 2000” and the single “What Would Wolves Do?”".

Equally impressive was Blonde Redhead’s “23”, the definitive album of their continuously evolving career. Here’s a quote from our review: "The New York based Japanese-Italian trio started in the mid-90s making glorious noise under the mighty shadow of Sonic Youth. They kept experimenting, continuously evolving their sound, and by the turn of the century, with album number five “Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons”, they had developed their own, unique voice. “23”, their seventh LP, is their masterpiece. A majestic dream-pop landscape where new wave and no wave meet and live happily ever after!".

The other two top releases of the year came from The White Stripes and Grinderman. Jack and Meg returned to form with the classic rock powerhouse that was “Icky Thump”, in my opinion their best album of the decade along with “Elephant”, while Nick Cave returned to the wild sound of his frenzied Birthday Party days with the first Grinderman album.

Modest Mouse delivered another excellent work, this time with the help of '80s guitar legend Johnny Marr, and successfully claimed a place in our end of the year Top 10 list for the third time in this decade. Equally successful was Interpol’s third release, Spoon continued full speed ahead with their sixth LP, while we also had four very important sophomore releases from Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem.

Dinosaur Jr. proved that there was a very good reason for their reformation by delivering “Beyond”, an astonishing album that picked up exactly where the original line-up had left off 19 years ago with “Bug”. Mark E. Smith surprisingly offered his best work for the year not with The Fall but with Von Sudenfed, the product of his collaboration with German electronic experimentalists Mouse On Mars.

The particularly strong Top 20 of the year also included albums from El-P (“I’ll Sleep When You're Dead” was our favorite hip hop album of 2007), The Go! Team, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Bright Eyes, Kings Of Leon, The Shins and Radiohead who questioned the established way of distributing music by trying out a pay-what-you-like model. Personally, I decided to download the mp3s for free to decide if I liked the album and then, after approving of what I had heard, I paid for the cd. Call me old-fashioned, but paying for low quality digital music files makes no sense to me. Having something tangible in my hands and, more importantly, of high sound quality is what deserves my money, in my opinion.

Top 30 Albums of 2007

1. Let’s stay friends - LES SAVY FAV
3. Icky thump - THE WHITE STRIPES
4. Grinderman - GRINDERMAN
5. We were dead before the ship even sank - MODEST MOUSE
6. Favourite worst nightmare - ARCTIC MONKEYS
7. A weekend in the city - BLOC PARTY
8. Neon bible - ARCADE FIRE
9. Our love to admire - INTERPOL
10. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga - SPOON
11. Tromatic reflexxions - VON SUDENFED
13. Beyond - DINOSAUR JR.
14. I’ll sleep when you're dead - EL-P
15. Sound of silver - LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
16. Proof of youth - THE GO! TEAM
17. Cassadaga - BRIGHT EYES
18. Because of the times - KINGS OF LEON
19. Wincing the night away - THE SHINS
20. In rainbows - RADIOHEAD
21. Boxer - THE NATIONAL
22. Under the blacklight - RILO KILEY
26. Myth takes - !!!
29. Lose all time - YOU SAY PARTY! WE SAY DIE!
30. A Place To Bury Strangers - A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS

Top 30 Singles of 2007

1. The prayer - BLOC PARTY
2. Four winds - BRIGHT EYES
4. Reformation - THE FALL
5. Icky thump - THE WHITE STRIPES
6. No cars go - ARCADE FIRE
7. The Heinrich maneuver - INTERPOL
8. Hang me up to dry - COLD WAR KIDS
9. Dashboard - MODEST MOUSE
10. Fledermaus can't get it - VON SUDENFED
11. No pussy blues - GRINDERMAN
12. Brianstorm - ARCTIC MONKEYS
13. It's getting boring by the sea - BLOOD RED SHOES
15. Mistaken for strangers - THE NATIONAL
16. Weapon of choice - BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE
17. Chips ahoy - THE HOLD STEADY
18. What would wolves do? - LES SAVY FAV
19. What's a girl to do? - BAT FOR LASHES
20. Grip like a vice - THE GO! TEAM
21. North American scum - LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
22. Golden skans - KLAXONS
23. Men’s needs - THE CRIBS
24. Charmer - KINGS OF LEON
25. Threshold apprehension - BLACK FRANCIS
26. Been there all the time - DINOSAUR JR.
27. 3's & 7's - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
28. 2080 - YEASAYER
29. To the east - ELECTRELANE
30. I’m not gonna teach your boyfriend how to dance with you - BLACK KIDS

Friday, November 27, 2009

August 30, 1992: Nirvana Live at Reading

To paraphrase James Murphy in "Losing My Edge": "...But I was there. I was there in 1992 at the Reading Festival, standing in the mud, watching Nirvana take the stage. I told him, "You should come out in a wheelchair"..." (James, feel free to use it in a future remix).

The cd/dvd combo of "Nirvana Live at Reading" is out now and it goes into my pyramid’s treasure vault, along with "Daydream Nation" and "Perverted by Language", to ensure my eternal entertainment!

Here's the official trailer and related videos for your audio-visual pleasure:

Nirvana "Live At Reading" - Official Trailer

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Counting Down The '00s: The Best Of 2006

2006 was the year of TV On The Radio and Arctic Monkeys, two of the best bands of the '00s. TVOR first came to our attention in 2003, when they released their breakthrough EP “Young Liars” and the following year claimed a spot in our Top 10 albums of 2004 with the excellent “Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes” LP. In 2006 the band continued its meteoric rise with “Return to Cookie Mountain” one of the most innovative rock albums in recent years. Its impressive guitar sound was enriched with soulful vocals, funky rhythms, melodic synths and unusual percussion to create a truly unique blend. Here’s how we presented the album at the unveiling of our 2006 "Best of" list: “…Their excellent debut introduced us to a band capable of experimenting and mixing disparate influences into a surprisingly accessible and ultimately fulfilling whole. With their sophomore effort TV On The Radio manage to improve on perfection and provide amble proof that we’re dealing here with exceptional talent that will certainly leave a lasting mark on this decade’s rock music”.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, Arctic Monkeys took the UK by storm with the release of the record setting “Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I Am Not” (the fastest-selling debut album in the country ever), an album that continued the streak of classic Brit debuts that started a couple of years back with Franz Ferdinand and continued with Bloc Party in 2005. This is what we had to say about our second Album of the Year at the time: “...the band from Sheffield emerged fully formed out of the booming British indie rock scene and demanded our attention from the very first single. To their credit, the unavoidable music press hype didn’t get to their heads and went on to produce a classic debut that lived up to the impossible expectations. Their lyrics might sometimes be incomprehensible outside of Yorkshire but their melodic guitar fury will certainly resonate across the rock universe.”

Among the rest of the great releases of the year we find another two excellent debuts from Brazilians Cansei De Ser Sexy and teenage Nashville punks Be Your Own Pet. C.S.S. made the party album of the year, a perfect mix of dance beats and punk guitars, while BYOP delivered an adrenalin shot to the heart of the worn-out punk genre, reminding us how it used to be done 30 years ago. Thurston Moore approved and so did we.

One of the surprises of the year came from Archie Bronson Outfit, a band that made its debut on Domino in 2004. Their second album showed tremendous progress, a blues-punk explosion that demanded our immediate attention, but the majority of the British press, in its Arctic frenzy, seemed to ignore them. The Hold Steady had better luck as their third LP gave them a wider audience and gained critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Yeah Yeah Yeahs made their triumphant comeback after 3 years by unveiling a brighter, more melodic sound in comparison to their raw debut. Despite the more pop-friendly orientation, “Show Your Bones” managed to be just as adventurous and breathtaking as its predecessor, while it cemented Karen O's status as one of the best singers of this generation. The Strokes and The Decemberists continued to amaze us with their third and fourth album respectively, while Sonic Youth and Built To Spill quenched once again our thirst for epic sounding guitars.

Top 30 Albums of 2006

1. Return to cookie mountain - TV ON THE RADIO
2. Whatever people say I am, that's what I am not - ARCTIC MONKEYS
3. Cansei De Ser Sexy - C.S.S.
4. Show your bones - YEAH YEAH YEAHS
5. Be Your Own Pet - BE YOUR OWN PET
6. Derdang derdang - ARCHIE BRONSON OUTFIT
7. The crane wife - THE DECEMBERISTS
8. First impressions of earth - THE STROKES
9. You in reverse - BUILT TO SPILL
10. Rather ripped - SONIC YOUTH
11. Boys and girls in America - THE HOLD STEADY
12. Pieces of the people we love - THE RAPTURE
13. Fishscale - GHOSTFACE KILLAH
14. Yoyoyoyoyo - SPANK ROCK
15. Standing in the way of control - GOSSIP
16. Ringleader of the tormentors - MORRISSEY
17. I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass - YO LA TENGO
19. Robbers & cowards - COLD WAR KIDS
20. Hit the floor! - YOU SAY PARTY! WE SAY DIE!
21. Sam’s town - THE KILLERS
22. The Lemonheads - THE LEMONHEADS
23. The Bronx - THE BRONX
24. The invisible deck - THE ROGERS SISTERS
25. The body the blood the machine - THE THERMALS
26. Drum's not dead - LIARS
27. Impeach my bush - PEACHES
28. The greatest - CAT POWER
29. Broken boy soldiers - THE RACONTEURS
30. Avatar - COMETS ON FIRE

Top 30 Singles of 2006

1. Steady as she goes - THE RACONTEURS
2. Wolf like me - TV ON THE RADIO
3. Turn into - YEAH YEAH YEAHS
4. The greatest - CAT POWER
5. Rise up with fists!! - JENNY LEWIS WITH THE WATSON TWINS
6. A stitch in time EP - THE TWILIGHT SINGERS
7. Alala - C.S.S.
8. Pull shapes - THE PIPETTES
9. Chosen one - THE CONCRETES
10. O Valencia! - THE DECEMBERISTS
11. Goin' against your mind - BUILT TO SPILL
12. Who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys EP - ARCTIC MONKEYS
13. You only live once - THE STROKES
14. When you were young - THE KILLERS
15. Get myself into it - THE RAPTURE
16. Standing in the way of control - GOSSIP
17. Never learn to cry - THE ROGERS SISTERS
18. Monster hospital - METRIC
19. Eleanor put your boots on - FRANZ FERDINAND
20. Solar throw-away - STEREOLAB
21. You did it! - YOU SAY PARTY! WE SAY DIE!
22. Over and over - HOT CHIP
23. Sweet talk - SPANK ROCK
24. Don’t feel right - THE ROOTS
25. Cowbell - TAPES ‘N TAPES
27. Fraud in the 80’s - MATES OF THE STATES
28. You have killed me - MORRISSEY
29. Incinerate - SONIC YOUTH
30. World wide suicide - PEARL JAM

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Counting Down The '00s: The Best Of 2005

As we come closer to the end of the year, the frequency of our posts dedicated to the best music of this decade will be increasing. Our list of the top albums of the '00s is currently under construction and the plan is to unveil the Top 20 between the 1st and 20th December in synch with over 70 Greek bloggers who’ll be voting for their favorites at the same time. The poll is organized by the All Gone blog and you’ll be able to see the aggregated results here. Of course, this Top 20 will just be a prequel of our full list which will appear in Cool Music Database sometime in 2010, after we had the chance to better evaluate this year's releases.

Meanwhile, we continue our "Counting Down The '00s" series of posts where we present our 30 favorite albums and singles from each year of the decade and this time the focus is on 2005, a very productive year for the rising British rock scene.

A year after the excellent Franz Ferdinand debut (inexplicably absent from the recently posted NME list), it was time for Bloc Party to steal the limelight with their equally amazing first full-length "Silent Alarm". Here’s how we presented our choice for Album of the Year at the time: "The most prominent debut of the year belongs to Bloc Party, one of the best new bands to come out of the booming British guitar scene of the last couple of years. Again the inspiration came from the past, particularly the late 70s - early 80s post-punk sound, when bands like Gang Of Four mixed angsty punk riffs with dance bass-lines to deliver socio-political commentary while making you dance. Bloc Party took that sound and attitude and updated it for a 21st century world, where the issues might be different but the existential angst remains the same".

With the release of their sophomore album, Franz Ferdinand consolidated their position as one of UK’s top new acts, while another example of the strengthening of the British indie rock scene was "Cuts Across The Land", the promising full-length debut of The Duke Spirit. Our all-time favorite band, The Fall, was also in top form in 2005 as they released one of their best records for this decade, "Fall Heads Roll". Further proof of the continuing influence of Mark E Smith on today's music came from the stunning debut of New York's LCD Soundsystem. DFA's finest act masterfully combined dance beats and punk attitude, while James Murphy's "singing" brought to mind the unique talk-sing style of Mr. M. E. Smith. As an added bonus, the album came packed with a second cd containing the amazing first singles of the band, including one of the top tracks of the '00s, the underground electro anthem "Losing My Edge" that name-checks some of the finest artists in the history of modern music.

Other great releases of the year included career highlights for both Spoon and The Decemberists with "Gimme Fiction" and "Picaresque" respectively, the fiery punk of "Golden Ocean" from Kristin Hersh’s 50 Foot Wave (basically a slightly modified version of Throwing Muses), the blues-punk explosion of The Kills second LP "No Wow", the two very different but equally inspired albums of Conor Oberst’s Bright Eyes and Sufjan Stevens' stunning tribute to Illinois.

Top 30 Albums of 2005

1. Silent alarm - BLOC PARTY
2. LCD Soundsystem - LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
3. Gimme fiction - SPOON
4. Picaresque - THE DECEMBERISTS
5. Fall heads roll - THE FALL
6. Golden ocean - 50 FOOT WAVE
7. No wow - THE KILLS
8. You could have it so much better - FRANZ FERDINAND
9. I'm wide awake, it's morning / Digital ash in a digital urn - BRIGHT EYES
10. Illinois - SUFJAN STEVENS
11. Cuts across the land - THE DUKE SPIRIT
12. Lullabies to paralyze - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
13. The great destroyer - LOW
14. Broken Social Scene - BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
15. Everything ecstatic - FOUR TET
16. Let us never speak of it again - OUT HUD
17. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH
18. The woods - SLEATER-KINNEY
19. Witching hour - LADYTRON
20. Set yourself on fire - STARS
21. Pretty in black - THE RAVEONETTES
23. The secret migration - MERCURY REV
25. Ex hex - MARY TIMONY
26. Face the truth - STEPHEN MALKMUS
27. Late registration - KANYE WEST
28. Get behind me Satan - THE WHITE STRIPES
29. Cripple crow - DEVENDRA BANHART
30. The mouse and the mask - DANGER DOOM

Top 30 Singles of 2005

1. Neighborhood # 2 (Laika) - ARCADE FIRE
2. Here comes a city - THE GO-BETWEENS
3. The good ones - THE KILLS
4. Juicebox - THE STROKES
5. Sister Jack - SPOON
6. Soul meets body - DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
7. Daft Punk is playing at my house - LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
8. Ageless beauty - STARS
9. Love in a trashcan - THE RAVEONETTES
10. Portions for foxes - RILO KILEY
11. Love is an unfamiliar name - THE DUKE SPIRIT
12. Hey scenesters! - THE CRIBS
13. I bet you look good on the dancefloor - ARCTIC MONKEYS
14. Little sister - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
15. Blue orchid - THE WHITE STRIPES
16. Jumpers - SLEATER-KINNEY
17. C’mere - INTERPOL
18. Munich - EDITORS
19. Two more years - BLOC PARTY
20. Walk away - FRANZ FERDINAND
21. I feel just like a child - DEVENDRA BANHART
22. California - LOW
23. Black and white town - DOVES
24. Get ready for love - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
25. I can hear the grass grow / Clasp hands - THE FALL
26. Blood on our hands - DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979
27. Apply some pressure - MAXIMO PARK
28. Goodnight goodnight - HOT HOT HEAT
29. Tied up too tight - HARD-FI
30. Just let go - FISCHERSPOONER

Monday, November 16, 2009

Counting Down The '00s: The Best Of 2004

Our countdown of the '00s continues with 2004, a year that was particularly good for new bands. Among the top 10 albums of the year we find the debuts of Franz Ferdinand, TV On The Radio and Arcade Fire, three of the best new acts of the decade. Franz Ferdinand's self-titled LP played like a greatest hits compilation, as each and every song on it sounded like a potential number one single in an ideal hit parade. As a result, the album claimed the top spot in our end of the year list and this is what we had to say about it at the time: "...Scotland's Franz Ferdinand offer the latest classic debut of the '00s, following in the footsteps of The Strokes and Interpol before them. 11 songs with hit single potential, taking punk’s energy, '70s glam and '80s new wave and magically transforming them into 21st century power-pop splendor."

The other top album of the year, though, came from a seasoned veteran. Nick Cave started one of the most prolific periods in his illustrious career with the amazing double album "Abattoir blues / The lyre of Orpheus". Other heroes from the past who made triumphant comebacks in '04 included Morrissey (with his best solo effort in ages), Sonic Youth, Mark Lanegan and the Beastie Boys with one of the best hip-hop albums of the '00s, the New York-centric "To the 5 boroughs".

Among the best releases of the year we also find the excellent "Good news for people who love bad news" from the consistently brilliant Modest Mouse (the album that finally gave them some of the commercial success they deserved), "Louden up now", the punk-funk dynamite of !!!, "Pawn shoppe heart", the garage-pop masterpiece of The Von Bondies, "Antics", the sophomore Interpol album that solidified their position as one of the best bands of the decade and "Misery is a butterfly", a magnificent album that hinted that for Blonde Redhead the best was yet to come.

Top 30 Albums of 2004

1. Franz Ferdinand - FRANZ FERDINAND
2. Abattoir blues / The lyre of Orpheus - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
3. Good news for people who love bad news - MODEST MOUSE
4. Louden up now - !!!
5. Desperate youth, blood thirsty babes - TV ON THE RADIO
6. Pawn shoppe heart - THE VON BONDIES
7. Antics - INTERPOL
8. You are the quarry - MORRISSEY
9. Funeral - THE ARCADE FIRE
10. Sonic nurse - SONIC YOUTH
11. Misery is a butterfly - BLONDE REDHEAD
12. Bubblegum - MARK LANEGAN BAND
13. No cities left - THE DEARS
14. To the 5 boroughs - BEASTIE BOYS
15. Hot fuss - THE KILLERS
16. The power out - ELECTRELANE
17. Bows + arrows - THE WALKMEN
18. You're a woman, I’m a machine - DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979
19. Tyrannosaurus Hives - THE HIVES
20. Uh huh her - P.J. HARVEY
21. More adventurous - RILO KILEY
22. The Concretes - THE CONCRETES
23. Thunder, lightning, strike - THE GO! TEAM
24. The Futureheads - THE FUTUREHEADS
26. Audit in progress - HOT SNAKES
27. This island - LE TIGRE
28. The college dropout - KANYE WEST
29. American idiot - GREEN DAY
30. Shake the sheets - TED LEO + THE PHARMACISTS

Top 30 Singles of 2004

1. Float on - MODEST MOUSE
2. The rat - THE WALKMEN
3. Staring at the sun - TV ON THE RADIO
4. Take me out - FRANZ FERDINAND
5. Slow hands - INTERPOL
6. C’mon c’mon - THE VON BONDIES
7. Theme from Sparta FC #2 - THE FALL
9. Somebody told me - THE KILLERS
10. Lost in the plot - THE DEARS
12. An open letter to NYC - BEASTIE BOYS
13. Irish blood, English heart - MORRISSEY
15. Reptilian - THE STROKES
17. Johnny Cash - SONS AND DAUGHTERS
18. Single again - THE FIERY FURNACES
19. The letter - P.J. HARVEY
20. Beat your heart out - THE DISTILLERS
21. American idiot - GREEN DAY
22. Good reason - SEAFOOD
23. You can’t hurry love - THE CONCRETES
24. This deed - ELECTRELANE
25. Meantime - THE FUTUREHEADS
26. She’s hearing voices - BLOC PARTY
27. Hello? Is this thing on? - !!!
28. Absolute affirmation - RADIO 4
29. Ladyflash - THE GO! TEAM
30. Come to this - THE SLEEPY JACKSON

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Listening Habits 10.2009

In this month's album selection we have a healthy dosage of hedonistic noise, an abundance of ingenious experimentation, inspired melancholic ballads, a bit of electro brit-pop, plenty of grungy guitars and even more ear-shattering noise.

The title of the second A Place To Bury Strangers album clearly states the band's intentions. They are after our heads and they have just the right guitars and effect pedals to achieve the critical mass of noise necessary for their sinister purpose. Peace and quiet-loving folks will be seeking injunctions but for noise-heads across the globe who love nothing better than to have their minds blown, this is a cause for celebration.

The band's sound remains rooted in their love for the "Psychocandy" wall-of-noise with its buried pop melodies while paying close attention to Kevin Shields' guitar effects, Sonic Youth's sonic assault, Big Black’s shattering rhythms and the gothic new wave atmospherics of the early '80s. The main difference with their debut album is the superior production (perhaps the result of a cash injection from the Mute deal) that makes "Exploding Head" sound richer and more dynamic, while the songwriting is more consistent, avoiding the highs and lows of the first effort. The amazing "To Fix the Gash in Your Head" was the track that showcased what this band was really capable of, and this potential is fully realized this time around resulting in a thrilling noise trip that renews and revitalizes the genre.

Among our Top 3 albums of the month we also have the latest Flaming Lips psychedelic opus as well as the most pop friendly effort of The Fiery Furnaces.

The Oklahoma freaks have struck a rich new vein of inspiration and the imaginative sounds that burst out have filled a double album full of the most dazzling, wildly experimental music they’ve done since "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots". "Embryonic" is immersed in a creative chaos as the band proceeds in destroying and recreating its musical universe and by the time it reaches its conclusion with the magnificent "Watching the Planets" we are left observing a brand new cosmos that took shape in just seventy minutes.

As for the Friedberger siblings, they have managed to surprise us once again by presenting us their most accessible record since "Gallowsbird's Bark". In "I’m Going Away" they have simplified their unpredictable song structures without losing any of their inventiveness, creating a joyously melodic pop record that is not afraid to rock out when it’s necessary. Matthew’s piano sets the tone in most of the songs while Eleanor’s imposing delivery dominates proceedings as usual.

Top 10 Albums

2. Embryonic - THE FLAMING LIPS
3. I'm Going Away - THE FIERY FURNACES
4. Dragonslayer - SUNSET RUBDOWN
6. Broken - SOULSAVERS
7. There Is No Enemy - BUILT TO SPILL
8. King Of Jeans - PISSED JEANS
9. Backspacer - PEARL JAM
10.In This Light And On This Evening - EDITORS

Top 15 Tracks

2. We Are Water - HEALTH
3. Death Bells - SOULSAVERS
5. Watching The Planets - THE FLAMING LIPS
6. Charmaine Champagne - THE FIERY FURNACES
7. Heart Of Stone - THE RAVEONETTES
9. False Jesii Part 2 - PISSED JEANS
10. You Go On Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II) - SUNSET RUBDOWN
11. Morning Light - GIRLS
12. Quick Canal (feat. Laetitia Sadier) - ATLAS SOUND
13. Papillon - EDITORS
14. Give Blood - RAIN MACHINE
15. Got Some - PEARL JAM


Charmaine Champagne - THE FIERY FURNACES