I was turned onto U.S. Royalty by one of my tumblr feeds most famous users, novh. He had talked about them enough that I figured I should give it a chance. It’s somewhere between some kind of dusty Americana and something like Rolling Stones meets Fleet Foxes meets The Cure. I’m not even sure that’s entirely accurate, and I’m sure you could piece together a few probable influences, but it’s all nonetheless impressive. They just self-released their first full length, Mirrors, and it’s no doubt worth giving it a shot. This is definitely a record I’ll be listening to throughout the year. You can sort of hear this music being set to panning shots of old mid western plains, which gave me the idea fore the tepee. Great album art too.
Still very obsessed with The Tallest Man On Earth and so I made a companion piece to the poster I made last week. It’s like a night and day thing. A land and sea thing. You can see that though, I mean, obviously. But yea, this guy is incredible, every song is incredible, and I’m just wrapped up in all of it.
Listened to Real Estate for the first time in a while this past week. That was a huge album for me in 2010, which I would have easily put on the best of the year list, but it actually came out in 2009. Still, a really fantastic album that is surprisingly appropriate for every season of the year.
I wonder if next week will be a 3rd poster for TTMON…. do people abbreviate it like that? Sorry, I’m tired.
Surprise, surprise, surprise. Sufjan’s yet again at the top of my listening charts this week. The fact that he was a discography the size of the real Illinois certainly helps, but it’s mostly because by the time I’m done listening to to one album, I want to move onto another. This process can go on for sometime as he’s got quite the range of albums stylistically.
Anyway, some of you may know that the name “Sufjan” means “comes with a sword.” And that is the key to this poster. Sufjan’s sword is certainly not literal, but it is absolutely metaphorical.
I also finally got a chance to see Local Natives this past week. And boy oh boy, really glad that happened. They said the first time they played Philly it was for 2 people at The Khyber… all things considered, what an enormous way they’ve come. The Troc was packed to the brim, and it was shaking at times. I would certainly do your best to see them anytime you can.
Rodrigo y Gabriela are, according to Wikipedia, a Mexican musical duo who specialize in playing fast, rhythmic acoustic guitars; and I would say that’s pretty accurate. My dad had told me about these guys a while back when he heard them on the radio playing covers of Metallica songs. I sort of forgot all about them until this past week, when their name entered into my head and I downloaded their album 11:11, which I immediately got into. While some of it reminds you of classic Mexican guitar finger picking, their speed alone sets them apart from what you might be used to hearing. There’s also something a bit more interesting about them. They’re putting a spin on the familiar and making something really quite original. I would definitely give this a shot if for no other reason but to expand your library.
I really hate going Monday to Monday with no updates in between, but this week has been busy. I moved into my new apartment, and had a pretty eventful weekend which (thankfully) kept me away from the computer. Photos from my trip to the beach will be coming soon.
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.
Real Estate is totally awesome. They’ve got such a great feel good vibe to all their songs, that after a few listens I was totally hooked. I kept going back to them all week long anytime I needed to get work done. If you’re looking for a jam to get down to Fake Blues is the right spot.
Dr. Dog’s Shame, Shame came into my realm this week, and I just couldn’t get enough of it. It’s a really solid effort and I think I’ll be listening to this for a long time to come. Much like Fate it has a classic sound that will always seem relevant.
I somehow just listened to the latest Coconut Records album this week. I have to say I love Jason Shwartzman, and thus I’ll give anything he’s a part of my time. It’s pretty cool that he’s as multifaceted as he is, and while Davy isn’t an awesome album, it has some great songs on it.
Millionyoung was my dose of chillwave for the week. I don’t really think there’s much that distinguishes this from anything else in the genre, but nonetheless it’s still pretty decent.
I also finally listened to the much hyped Neon Indian. I’m still kind of unsure on how I feel about it, and it definitely will require a few more listens to get a grasp on it. I will say though that I didn’t like the singles as much as I did some of the other tracks. Also, when did taking acid become such an in topic in music?
Washed Out, Local Natives obviously.
Memory Tapes, I only got a few listens in towards the end of the week, but I liked what I heard a lot, and I’ll be giving them some more time in the future for sure. It’s along the lines of Toro Y Moi so if you like that, you’d probably like this.
The Avett Brothers have finally made a significant dent in my music listening again. It has been a while, but it finally felt right again, and I went through most of their albums and I was loving it. I guess however, the most significant part of this (at least for me) is that they have surpassed The Beatles as my number one listened to artist of all time, one last.fm. I’m sure the two will teeter back and forth for a while, but The Avetts are on top! I think you all know I love this band, and they are probably my favorite of all time, so this one is a strong recommend.
Next is Sigur Rós. They probably aren’t new to any of you, but I just got so excited thinking about Jónsi’s new album, that I needed to listen to this to wet my whistle for when that comes out. I mean, just watch this.
Gorillaz new album Plastic Beach is certainly the source of these plays…and in fact any plays regarding Gorillaz. I never really listened to them aside from anything that was on TV or the radio, and I was interested enough to give this a shot. To be honest, I really didn’t mind it, and some stuff was particularly good. I have to say, I enjoy the songs that aren’t featuring anyone better than the ones that are, but there are some stand out parts, Mos Def’s songs for sure, that I’d say make this album at least worth a few listens. Also, the more chances I gave it the more I got into it.
Local Natives are still dominating me. Such a good band, and I’m so pissed they canceled their show at Kung Fu Necktie. My wait to see them live continues…
Fool’s Gold I stumbled onto by using the last.fm radio player, and I was glad to see the thing actually played me something I’d never heard, and liked. These guys are in the style of an afro-beat band similar to something like Rubblebucket, but with a zest…the zest being the singing is done in Hebrew. It makes me want to put on my Jim Duncan jersey and daaaaaaance. To start, check out this video.
River City Extension. Obviously.
Nurses is another band that came onto the last.fm radio and I remembered I had seen a video of them playing a song I really liked. So I got a hold of the album, and I still really really love the song I had originally heard, which is called Technicolor, but I don’t really like much else of the album. There’s one or two other decent songs, but the rest is just really not that good. However, I will say that Technicolor is worth your ears.
And finally, Discovery. I had heard a Ra Ra Riot song that I knew I knew, but didn’t know where from. Well, it turns out that it was Discovery who was doing more a less a cover of on their LP. That makes sense since Discovery is one part Ra Ra Riot, and one part Vampire Weekend, two bands I don’t really care for that somehow equals one band I’m moderately interested in.
So that’s how this week panned out, as always, check me out and last.fm.
Again, Local Natives took up the majority of my listening this week. I’m becoming obsessed with them. I found out their playing at Kung Fu Neck Tie in May, and I’m getting excited already. Such a great band, listen to them if you haven’t yet.
I heard a little more of Hot Chip than I was familiar with while driving with my friend Anthony, and I liked what I heard so I downloaded some of their stuff, and I’m diggin’ on it. Very cool dancy stuff, just really fun.
Another peak of interest for Surfer Blood, who hit the nail on the head picking a name describing their sound. Another really fun band.
Both Raekwon and Dangerdoom showed up because of my new embark on an M Nice project. They are two of the top rappers today, and listening to them helped me get back on my game. MF Doom makes these unreal rhymes with off the wall references that make you think, and then make you laugh. The Dangerdoom album is one of the few albums I can listen to at almost any point. Ever.
The Drums are a super cool band I literally stumbled upon, and I’ve been loving them the past few months. The trouble is, since they only have an EP out, they’re never getting onto these lists, because there’s just not enough songs to make a heavy hit. But I was listening to a bunch of EPs this week, and this one got action a few times. It’s Beach Boys meets Joy Division.
Toro Y Moi, you know about, but if you don’t listen…just go ahead and start.
Chalk Talk recorded a live set at WUML, and that aided to their plays. I love these guys. So fun, so nice. Learn their lyrics, see them live, sing along, have a blast. Download the live set here.
Add me on last.fm and we can be e-buds.
Local Natives took over the past few days with force! I checked these guys out after hearing a few more things about them, and they have quickly become one of my new favorites. I haven’t been this into a new band in years. I highly recommend listening to these guys, and I anticipate them gaining a lot of attention in the next while.
I have to say, I sometimes forget about Dr. Dog, but I was just reading about their new album due in April (I think?) and it got me excited, so I went back and listened to Fate, which is such a great record, and then went back and listened to some older stuff which I hadn’t had. They’ve got that unique psych-rock sound without it being annoying or contrived.
I was turned onto the The Morning Benders after watching this video. They’ve got a new LP coming out, so I stocked up on past releases to hold me until them. I’m definitely anticipating what that’s got to offer.
Owen Pallett ditched the Final Fantasy moniker (for legal reasons I assume) and put out his new batch of cuts Heartland. The cover for this album is another great one, and I obviously wouldn’t be talking about it if the music wasn’t just as good. He’s got the violin act down pat.
Toro y Moi is more new music to me. I had heard the name, and finally just checked it out. It’s in the style of bands like Four Tet and Tycho, but I feel like this is just a bit edgier than acts like those. And the guy went to school for design, so you know I’m interested.
Volcano Choir hit the right note with me this week, and I was loving it. Put this on while driving through some snowy scapes, and enjoy the ride.
CAKE is such a bizarre band. I only started listening to them this summer once I knew I was going to be playing with them at Art Scape, and it opened a world of unknown. CAKE garnered some success on a few songs, but they are so much more than what I think the general public recognizes them as. If you don’t already, try to give them a listen, I think you’ll be surprised with the songs you’ve never heard.
And of course I’ve talked about Beach House before, but they caught a few more listens this week because of their new record Teen Dream which I think is their strongest yet.
Get on over to last.fm and check out what I’m listening to at any point, or if you’ve got an account, we can be friends.