Music Monday 12.20.10 Good Old War

If you’re new to my blog, or have been living under a rocking chair for the past while, every Monday I post a poster I made for the band who I listened to the most that week according to my last.fm scrobbles. This has opened the door for new music and staying active with making things…

I had a strong renewal of my faith in Good Old War this week. Not that I didn’t like their first album, because I did, but I really love their new self-titled album. I know I am really late on this, but I finally got to really listening to it this week, and it’s pretty great. I sort of was beginning to write them off as just a bland pop band, but they’re really a bit more remarkable than that. I hear tinges of early Paul Simon creeping through, and their harmonies are nothing to scoff at. If you’ve heard their first album, the second album really is a great progression from there. It’s nothing too unfamiliar, which I liked, but it really is just more impressive all around. Great album art too.

Modest Mouse’s The Moon And Antarctica is their best album (by a long shot) and a great example of a band at their peak. I got this album my junior year of high school and it’s never not sounded good to me. I think their early albums were inventive, but sometimes too rough to enjoy, and I think everything past this album was far too polished and fussed over, making this the perfect medium.

More Vince Guaraldi, obviously. Christmas is so soon, and I’m loving it!

Forgot how great Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs is. But, really great is how great.

 

 

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Music Monday 5.17.10


It’s been just under 4 months since I started this Music Monday thing, and I wanted to talk about what’s been topping the charts in that past time. And because next week will introduce the new format of Music Monday, I wanted to give you a culmination of the past time. So above is all the accompanying pieces of art from past entries combined to make one big piece. Last.fm offers me a chart for the past 3 months, so that’s what I give to you.

Real Estate is not surprising to be found at number one because I went through a few waves of obsession. These guys are playing with Kurt Vile at Johnny Brendas on July 11th and I will be there, so do me a favor, and do yourself a favor and meet me there and let’s have a good time. If you still haven’t checked these guys out…well I don’t know what to say besides help me to help you.

Joanna Newsom no undoubtedly makes this because of her seriously great new record Have One On Me. I know that some of you may be on the fence with her, for various reasons, but in my opinion, this is by far her best work. It such a dense record that has a lot to offer in its many layers, which keep unpeeling themselves a few listens in. I also love the album artwork.

Harlem is one of those bands that almost slipped by. But I obviously was able to latch onto them, and once I did, I realized it was a good thing I did. Hippies is one of the most fun sounding albums I’ve heard recently, and it makes you want to put it on loud and drive with the windows down.

I came across Local Natives in the beginning of February and have been listening to them pretty consistently since then. They are one of my favorite new bands, and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these guys are on the edge of blowing up in a big way, pretty much in the same way that Fleet Foxes did. The dynamic of this band isn’t necessarily anything you haven’t heard before, but they are doing it so well that it just doesn’t matter at all.

Dr. Dog is a band that because of their latest album, Shame, Shame, my interest in them has grown even stronger. It’s a great album that I wouldn’t be hesitant to call their best, and like I said, has put them on my permanent radar. I feel like I can recommend these guys to almost anyone and they would enjoy it.

King Tuff had a wild grip on me these past few months, and much like Harlem, I want to put it on loud and drive my car. The music makes you want to get wild and eat pizza. I can’t really think of a better way to describe it than that…so if anything of those things sound like stuff you can get down to, well by all means, this is for you.

The Avett Brothers are a huge staple in my music listening. In the past year I’ve become obsessed with them, and now they’ll be a part of my life forever. I can’t really think of better songwriters than this band, and I think anyone who gives them a chance, will soon be bitten by their bug, and from there on out, you’re pretty much helpless to them.

Broken Social Scene garnered some plays in part of their new record which reconnected me with them. The cool thing about BSS is that their records are usually packing some serious songs, this most recent one had 14, which is pretty impressive with all things considered. I don’t think I need to convince any of you to give these guys a listen, as I’m sure you have already. But if you haven’t heard the new album yet, I certainly would advise you to give it your ears.

River City Extension just happens to be a group of people who I know, but they’re also a band that even if I knew none of them, I would still be in love with. I’ll spare you because I’ve more than talked your ear off in regards to this band, but RCE is by far one of my favorite bands and I will forever be recommending this band to anyone willing to listen.

Washed Out. To be honest, I can’t really say that I listened to this much after it initially captivated me. It’s one of those things where I listen to something perhaps too much too quickly, and then it’s hard to go back to it for a while. I’m sure by the next EP, the ban will have been lifted. Which speaking of, if you’re looking for a place to start, Life Of Leisure is the way to go.

As always check me out on Last.fm.

Music Monday 4.26.10


I thankfully came across Shugo Tokumaru this week. He’s a Japanese artist combining folk, pop, electronic, and irresistibly. I read about his new album Port Entropy and listened to a few songs on his myspace and realized I needed not only that album, but also his previous Exit. Sometimes it’s hard for me to have interest in music from other countries, but I seriously had no problem getting into this, and I don’t think you will either. For fans of Jonsi’s funky stuff, this is calling your name.

The New Pornographers new album Together was this week’s unexpected gift. This is some of my favorite stuff I’ve heard from them, and for anyone (if there is anyone) who’s doubting their ability to put out good music, this should squash that. This is another one I recommend checking out right away. Something tells me this will be a very summer album.

REAL ESTATE. I’ve been feeling these guys so much over the past few weeks, and just last Sunday I finally got to catch them live at The Barbary in Philly. Seeing a band who you’ve never seen live before lets you hear their recordings differently after that. It’s one of my favorite things about music. It literally transforms songs almost to the point of you hearing them for the first time again. Anyway, after I saw them, I needed to re-hear that album again over and over again.

I started getting into Bill Callahan last week, and this past week I just kept on loving it. I got Rough Travel For A Rare Thing which is his latest, a live album. I’m always really hesitant about live albums. I tend to feel like it’s not the real thing. But I fortunately keep learning that it’s just a different thing. This album is one for the books, and if you’re trying to feed your Callahan fix, hit this up now.

I had such a Secret Mountains day yesterday. I feel like I say this every time I talk about them to anyone, but I’m just so proud of them. They are getting all sorts of press and becoming one of Baltimore’s brightest shining stars. If you’re not already listening to these guys I need you to fix that now. They have two FREE recordings online, their Kaddish EP, and a mobtown studios session. Start listening now before they blow up and you come in late on the game, like an idiot.

Simon & Garfunkel. So I went to Kirby’s friend’s birthday get together this Saturday night at a bar at Seaside. There was a lot of people who I only kind of knew, and much more who I didn’t know at all. While Kirby was making rounds, I watched this old TV above the bar that was on mute with subtitles playing the YES channel, which yes, that’s a Yankees channel. BUT, it had an interview with Paul Simon on it, and I was just so into it. He talked about how he met Art in the 4th grade. Art got up to sing and Paul looked up and was wowed. The interviewer asked him if he thought it was because he had a beautiful voice, and he said no, it was because that was the first time he realized that he wanted to do that. After that, I needed to listen to Simon & Garfunkel in the worst way.

Still experiencing some Broken Social Scene fever due to their new album which will be another summer smash.

I finally got the new Black Churches EP, Black Gold which features some of their finest written and produced songs yet. The songs are just so slick and smooth, but dark and rough at the same time. Another group of guys who I just love. Check out the shirt I made for them just a few posts down.

Add me on last.fm!

Music Monday 4.19.10


Broken Social Scene was laying it on thick this week in part of their new album Friendship Rock Record. Now I can’t say I’m the biggest listener of BSS, partially because I forget about them a lot. I feel like I’m hearing mixed reactions to this record, but I think it’s actually really strong and I’ve been giving it all the listens it deserves. If you liked them before, this is another little gift. If you haven’t listened….where have you been?

I was having such a Bob Dylan week. And I can tell you why! I’ve been blowing through Mad Men this past week, and at the end of one episode (which I wish I could remember more exactly) it ends with Don sitting on the stairs and “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” playing the show out. It was such a perfect scene that reminded me how much I love that song. I listened to The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan a few times in a row right after that.

I had my first experience (aside from a few Smog songs) with Bill Callahan. And now I’m a believer. His baritone voice can go toe to toe with Josh Dean anyday. A compliment to both. Too Many Birds is one of the best songs I’ve heard recently.

I was part of a time warp video for a little bit as I listened to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah this week. I loved their self titled in 2005, didn’t care for their follow up in 2007, and feel pretty much the same way about both in 2010. Their self titled also still reminds me of driving to Kirby’s house when I first started dating her. Apparently this band isn’t doing much these days, but if they do nothing else again, that first record will always be something I’ll go back to at some point or another.

Paul Simon is a king. And his self-titled debut album is one of the finest examples of a group of songs I can think of. Check that out if you don’t have it already.

Nick Drake can put me at ease on the tensest of days. Bryter Layter into Pink Moon is also one of the strongest succession of albums I can think of.

Townes Van Zandt popped up this week because I had a hankering for Flyin’ Shoes. Speaking of, that’s a great album to start on for those who know nothing of his and want to get into it. He’s probably the most underrated and under appreciated folk singer I can think of.

Let’s talk about She & Him for a minute. Right before Volume Two came out I started to realize that She & Him is bad music in a sheep’s costume. You may be in disagreement because we are told that Zooey Deschanel can do no wrong. But the truth of the matter is that she shouldn’t be doing what she’s doing. She’s kind of inserted herself into everyone’s heart with an image of herself that she created in order to do so. And I’m not buying it anymore. She’s not even that good looking. It’s all in how she’s styling herself. Ayway M. Ward is leagues better alone than he is with her on any account. I agree with my friend Jeff who said that I hope I never see a Volume Three.

Last.fm friends dude.