Well, it’s been a full year of doing these little old Music Monday posts. I started making posters for my “most listened to artist for the week (according to last.fm)” one year ago, and for 52 weeks have made something every Monday. I decided to make a collage of the work, much as I did the last time. It’s nice to see everything all next to each other and see how I evolved, or what waves of style I went though, or better, the waves of music I had interest in.
However, I think this is going to be the end of Music Monday if not forever then at least for a while. I sort of like doing things with a definitive start and end, and a year is a pretty good time to round things out. It’s been great, but I don’t want to be locked down to doing this anymore on a week to week basis. There’s many more projects I’ll probably work myself into, and I’m excited to do something completely different. Or maybe something terribly similar. Who knows.
I’m just loving everything about The Black Keys lately. It’s bluesy, riff heavy, and you actually feel cooler just listening to it. I have to put the windows down and turn the music up anytime I’m listening to them in the car. It’s funny how certain music has that command, and these guys are one of those bands. I have to admit, I was sort of late on this band, not really listening to them until this summer when I heard them on a hot ride into Philadelphia with Mike in Wechter’s old truck. That sort of seemed like the perfect setting for them. Their latest album Brothers is definitely one of the best releases this year.
Another band I’m late to the game on is Miniature Tigers. I finally wised up and checked them out this week and was so glad I did. River City Extension is playing with them tomorrow night in Brooklyn, and if you like either of those bands and can make it out, that’s a show not to miss.
Black Churches. One of my favorite bands, some of my favorite people, and another band where the windows go down and the volume goes up. These guys have been blessed with the strange ability to write a song better than the last one they wrote. Sort of unfair for the rest of us, but so long as they’re continuing writing music, I’ll be benefiting in some way.
Ba Babes just released their new EP called Hate The Beach which they have put online for free. If I were you, I’d download that right now. It’s classified in my iTunes as “garage wave” which is a pretty decent indicator of what you’re going to get. These guys are doing it the right way, and I expect big things from them. They have a split cassette with Dark Surfers coming out on Cassanova Cassettes very soon. Stay peeled for that one.
It’s funny to me that in all these times of doing Music Mondays I’ve yet to make a poster for the band that I love more than any other; The Avett Brothers. These guys just released their third live album, Live, Vol. 3. and as far as their live albums go, this one is the one. For a band who’s become known for their live show, it does a really nice job of putting a bow on it. I’m going to refrain from saying something like “you can feel the energy” but let’s just if I had a cooler way to say it I would. And I pretty much already did. This band can really do no wrong, and this is just another example of how true that really is.
Some may find it a bit corny, but the truth is, Coldplay is just plain good. They are one of the bands of our time who will not only be around for quite a while, but will also be looked back on fondly. I hadn’t really listened to them in a few years and this weekend I was remembering how much I liked X & Y when that came out. Of all their albums, this is the one that seemed to slip by me the most, though ironically, it is also arguably their best. Talk has one of the greatest guitar lines of the past 10 years and that’s a fact. I guess for all their hype and popularity I still find them to live up to how great they are made to be. I can really respect that.
Speaking of albums I haven’t listened to in years Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over The Sea is something I overplayed to the point that I couldn’t dare try to listen to it, but in my nostalgic moments of recent, I had to give it a play. Boy, glad I did.
I met this guy Danami after he tweeted at me on twitter saying he had been following my work for a year. I was both flattered and surprised. I had a few more exchanges with him, and found out that along with being a super nice and positive guy, he was also a rapper. He’s from Detroit and he’s pretty much killing it on all fronts. I just sent him some Nom Now stickers…you know, gotta get that national reach. Check him out for sure. For fans of Lupe, Talib, or Ghostface…. Settin’ In s my JAM.
This week I discovered a little band called Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. through the extremely awesome website Daytrotter. I was drawn to them because the name made me laugh, and once I listened to them I was pretty much immediately hooked. I’m not entirely sure how to describe them, because some songs are just unbelievable grooves, and some just going to make you smile. They do a cover of The Beach Boys’ song God Only Knows which is a high mountain to climb, and they hike it. Head straight over to download the Daytrotter now.
Because of the obvious connection with the racecar driver by the same name minus one Jr., I wanted to make them their own racing jacket. I was also exploring a lot of new techniques for creating and manipulating textures. This was a very fun piece to make.
Some other highlights this week include Fruit Bats, who have become my summer go-to band, We Barbarians, who came as a recommend from my buddy Biff who caught them with Local Natives. They can best be described as Cold War Kids meets early U2. Definitely check them out.
Static Sex is the project from my buddy Dana Yurcisin, who just released an album called Bedrooms which is all over the internet for free. The whole thing is really great, and highly inventive for a home-recording of that nature. Lots of great songs. For fans of Neutral Milk Hotel or anything Brian McLendon does.
Murder Boats has been described by John Andrews of Wisdom Tooth as the best band in the world. I’m certainly not going to disagree with that. Cannot wait for this full length.
So Arcade Fire did it again this week, and topped my charts. I have the tendency to sometimes over praise a band’s newest album and perhaps too quickly pronounce it their best, but despite that, I’m not going to NOT say that here. The Suburbs is a really really solid album that leaves me satisfied in ways their previous albums don’t. Whether you agree or disagree, this album is one to seek after. Arcade Fire are just one of the bands that will be talked about by our kids.
I took a ride with Wechter and Mike a few weekends back, and Wechter (amongst some interesting hip hop mix tapes) was playing The Black Keys latest album Brothers and I was really impressed. I’d not really ever listened to them before, but I knew they did the song that’s being used as the intro for the show Hung, and I liked that, and I liked everything I’d heard in the car, so I decided to give it a shot. These guys are playing some straight up rock and roll that I could easily get behind. I’d be interested in hearing some older albums for sure. Recommendations?
I was in a bit of a time warp circa 2004 with a few doses of Modest Mouse and Bright Eyes. I can’t say what called my interest to either of these this week, but it was alright. Sometimes you need to listen to something you haven’t in years.
Also got my fix of André Charles Thériault, who is one of the finest songwriters around. I’d put André’s album in my list of albums I can always listen to and enjoy. The songs are so relaxing, and instantly calming, it’s sort of unbelievable. Much like the Arrested Development movie, I don’t care when it comes out, I just need to know another André album will eventually be made, and I can rest easy.
I’ve been waiting a long time to finally hear The Drums new self titled full length pretty much since I first heard their EP, and it was certainly what I was hoping it would be. As almost defined by their EP’s title, these guys are summer time. I’m loving this.
I also gave listens to a few bands I’ve been hearing so so so much about. Those being Flying Lotus, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, and Janelle Monáe none of which sounded like I had imagined them to, but I enjoyed all, & Flying Lotus the most . Janelle Monáe’s song Tightrope is bonkers, but the rest of the album is kind of a let down like most pop artist’s albums are.
Check out The Drums new album, and slide over to my last.fm if that’s what you’re into.
I was finally tuned into the world of No Age this week. And in all fairness it was because I saw a photo of my buddy Mike Walsh showing off a vinyl of theirs. He’s up on the good stuff as much as anyone I know, so I took it as a sign to give it a peek. Described often as noise rock, I found them to be less noisy then some of the other bands being called the same. Which I was happy about…I often find those bands too be a little too noisy. No Age was doing it all right in my book. I’ve only listened to their album Nouns but I’ll be exploring some of their other stuff for sure.
Some other new bands I just got into are Avi Buffalo, who I’m just loving, The Alps who are this chill instrumental band who I was feeling, Junip and their awesome new EP, which led me into some José Gonzalez who I hadn’t listened to in a while and it was long overdue. I also found the first Bruce Springsteen album I actually can say I liked thanks to my pal James Ramirez. Surprisingly enough it was his 2005 album Devils & Dust. Despite my distaste for The Boss, and the fact that guys like him make worse each year starting from their debut, this actually did something for me. Check it out if you’re not too embarrassed to have it show up in your last.fm.
So this is going to be the new style for Music Mondays. I’ve decided I’m going to make a poster for the top artist rather just a general accompanying image. I’ll also continue to post screen grabs from my last.fm, but I don’t think I’ll be talking about much besides the week’s top artist. I’m doing this in part because I was feeling slightly stressed out trying to talk about new things week it started to impede how I might normally listen to music. I also wanted to turn this into an opportunity for me to make more posters. So we’ll try it like this for a while. If things don’t work out, we’ll move on.
So this week I was getting into Fruit Bats who’s album The Ruminant Band was hitting the spot in all the right ways. It’s a lot of acoustic songs with an occasional supporting backing band with tons of great harmonies/melodies. I had this on Saturday morning, and it just seem to be the perfect music for the day. I’d really recommend checking them out and The Ruminant Band is a great place to start. Below is how the rest of the week rounded out…if you’re interested in anything else, just leave a comment.