Archive for December 30, 2007

Top Ten of 2007

Just in time for 2008, here are my picks for 2007.


10 The Arcade Fire- Neon Bible

I talked to alot of people who were really disappointed by this album. I think I might actually like it more than Funeral. My friend Dave just walked by and read that last sentence. He says we’re not friends anymore.

MP3: The Arcade Fire- Antichrist Television Blues


9 Tullycraft- Every Scene Needs a Center

So much fun to listen to. I’m a relatively new convert to Tullycraft and I guess twee in general but I fell for em hard after hearing Every Scene Needs a Center.

MP3: Tullycraft- Dracula Screams of Tiger Style (parts 1& 2)


8 Big D and the Kids Table- Strictly Rude

I love Big D and the Kids Table, I’ll always love them. When I first got this album it stayed in my car’s CD player for a solid month.

MP3: Big D and the Kids Table- Souped Up Vinyl


7 Okkervil River- The Stage Names

One of my favorite albums of the year, one of my least favorite album covers. Bleh.

MP3: Okkervil River- Unless it Kicks


6 Ravens and Chimes- Richenbach Falls

At first listen Ravens and Chimes might sound like any other post Arcade Fire indie band. They’re not. With lyrics that always take surprising turns and some really great hooks I’m astounded more people haven’t caught on.

MP3: Ravens and Chimes- Archways


5 The Groovie Ghoulies- 99 Lives

The Groovie Ghoulies has been one of my favorite bands for a long time now and I was really disappointed to hear they broke up. I guess the silver lining is that they left us with a kick ass album before they split.

MP3: The Groovie Ghoulies- Dig


4 Say Hi- The Wishes and the Glitch

Say Hi had a big year in 2007. They released one of their best albums to date and had what “many” have called the interview of their career.

MP3: Say Hi- Bluetime

3 Aaron Schroeder- Black and Gold

I don’t think there’s a track off this album that I don’t love. I use the word “catchy” way too often when writing posts but there’s no better way to describe these songs.

MP3: Aaron Schroeder- Fake Crimes


2 The New Pornographers- Challengers

Challengers is a bit of a departure for the New Pornographers, it’s less manic, more chilled out than their older stuff and while it’s not my favorite of their releases, I still think it’s one of the best albums of the year.

MP3: The New Pornographers- Mutiny I Promise You


1 The Weakerthans- Reunion Tour

I don’t think people believed me when I told them I couldn’t stop listening to this album, but it really was like an addiction. I would tell myself to take a break, try not to burn out on it, and I couldn’t even make it the whole 20 minutes to work on the subway without putting on at least Tournament of Hearts.

MP3: The Weakerthans- Civil Twilight

Bouncing Souls Home For The Holidays (A Rare and Amazing Setlist!)


Bouncing Souls?! Playing a show in my ancestral homeland of New Jersey?! In Asbury Park?!? There is no way I’d miss that opportunity. When the Bouncing Souls announced that they were going to be playing three shows in a row at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, I knew I had to go. Asbury Park in the embodiment of summer for me, which all started back when I first saw my favorite band (the Souls) at Skate Surf back in high school as an angst filled teen. To this day, that first time seeing them was the best show I’ve EVER been to, and even though I’ve seen them plenty times, I was not about to miss seeing them in Asbury again.

I decided to go on Thursday night (12/27/07), since they announced that Thursday would be a show of songs they usually don’t play live.

The Low Budgets

I got to the venue REALLY early to make sure I didn’t miss these guys. These Philly heroes took the stage, and the crowd was immediately unimpressed. The Low Budgets seemed to be having a hard night all around, as the sound levels were all off (I couldn’t hear the vocalist at all), and they all seemed exhausted and not really wanting to be there. The Low Budgets also played a ridiculously short set. It was a huge letdown, but luckily, I can catch them in Philly anytime. Some highlights included:

Fat Cop
Oh Yeah
Plastic
50 Cents

World Inferno Friendship Society


Nothing could of prepared me for what I was about to witness. Ever see the movie Cabaret? That pretty much describes this band in a nutshell. The second they took the stage, the ENTIRE crowd which I originally thought may have been near comatose during the Low Budget set exploded into pits of moshing, ballroom dancing, skanking, and everything else in between. Amazing stage energy, hilarious stage banter (“Well you’re going to have to eventually listen to Ralph Nadar, because every time you drive, baby Jesus cries”), and just an overall strong hellish presence made me a new fan of the band.

Mp3:
Zen and the Art Of Breaking Everything In This Room
My Ancestral Homeland, New Jersey

Bouncing Souls


Before the Bouncing Souls took the stage, they played some Bruce Springsteen (as they do at most shows)… Except, this time, they were playing The Boss in NJ, at The Stone Pony (where Mr. Springsteen got his start). Experiencing a strong sense of my Jersey pride, the entire crowd sang along to “Born to Run”, and instead of just playing a 30 second clip, they played the entire song. The second they took the stage, the Souls broke into my favorite song (I know it’s a strong statement, but it’s seriously my favorite song ever), “The Freaks, The Nerds, and The Romantics”. Without a second for air, they broke straight into “These Are The Quotes From Our Favorite 80s Movies”, and I knew it was going to be a good set. It was great to see my favorite band again (in Asbury nonetheless), as I noticed they always put on a more energetic show in the lovely state of NJ. There wasn’t any room whatsoever in the venue, and the crowd was 2/3 hardcore frat boy meatheads trying to hardcore dance, but I swore that I wouldn’t let the testosterone hyped crowd ruin my good time. The setlist was amazing, and while not in order:

The Freaks, The Nerds, And The Romantics
Some Kind of wonderful
lay em down, smack em, yack em
old school
these are the quotes from our favorite 80s movies
sounds of the city
the new thing
ole (part of it)
no rules
all of this and nothing
bmx song
the something special
late bloomer
streetlight serenade to no one
’87
lifetime
no security
we’re coming back
kate is great
low life
single successful guy
highway kings

Buy:
Chunksaah

My Mom Likes Atom and his Package

My mom is strictly an an NPR person, she has an ipod but she only uses it for podcasts and audiobooks. So when I was home for the holidays and played her a few Atom and His Package songs I wasn’t expecting much of a reaction. But I got one! In fact she asked me to send her a few songs and I thought while I was uploading them I might as well share my favorites with you lovely people. Feel free to send them to your moms!

MP3: Atom and His Package- (Lord It’s Hard To Be Happy When You’re Not) Using the Metric System
MP3: Atom and His Package- What WE Do on Christmas
MP3: Atom and His Package- If You Own the Washington Redskins You’re A Cock
MP3: Atom and His Package- Nutrition (Dead Milkmen cover)

Buy:
Insound
Amazon

New Mountain Goats

Hope you all had good holidays. One of my coworkers today claimed that he was getting too old to get excited about presents. Pfff! First off I think he’s lying, secondly I’d like to say that I am not so feel free to shower me with gifts. One of my favorites this year was from Mountain Goat, John Darnielle and Vanderslice, John Vanderslice.

Here’s the word from the Mountain Goats official site:

“For years, John Vanderslice and I have been talking about doing a collaborative album … we drummed up this story about organ harvesting colonies on the moon, and the guys who secretly work up there six months out of the year, toiling in the employ of an unidentified government agency. Our protagonists live lives of secluded, anonymous luxury during their off-seasons; theoretically, anyway (hardly any songs have been written for the project; God knows if it will ever be finished), one of them begins to tell his story in the following song.”

M4a: The Comedians- Surrounded

Also, it looks like the new Mountain Goats album Heretic Pride has leaked. The Runout Groove has a couple tracks up.

The 7 Best Albums of 2007

Well 2007 came and went, and what a year it was… Graduations, moving, birth of housewives, and more ska CDs than you can shake a stick at. Here are my favorite releases of 2007… Indies, before you start complaining “bullshit list!” I’m sure Sasha is gonna put together a different list of her favorites. Besides, I would love to learn all your favorites, what are your top 7 of ’07?

7. The Revenge – Less Talk, More Shots
Blistering hardcore punk, the way it was meant to be played. The Revenge plays unrelenting thrash (in the veins of Bones Brigade and Cut the Shit) that is hard to find in this age of chunky breakdowns and growling meatheads with “Hatebreed” shirts on.

Stream the entire album over at punknews.org.

6. Mustard Plug – In Black and White

Mustard Plug gave us a darker version (well, as dark as a ska band can be) of itself with their 2007 release. Still bringing us the solid hornlines, catchy choruses, and good ole time skanking, In Black and White is one of the better albums in the Mustard Plug catalog.


MP3:
Mustard Plug – Over The Edge
Mustard Plug – Coasetic

5. Intro5pect – Realpolitik!

Bringing something new to the creativity starved punk genre, Into5pect knows how to keep things fresh with their techno-beats over some of the most innovative punk heard to date.

MP3:
Intro5pect – The War At Home
Intro5pect – Crooked Lies (Make Baby Jesus Cry)

4. Bedouin Soundclash – Street Gospels

When I heard Bedouin Soundclash was coming out with a new album, I expected it to be good, but I definitely did not expect for it to be one of the best album’s released in 2007. Street Gospels is their strongest album to date, bringing us some root reggae influenced tunes that will have you singing on the first listen. Street Gospels also features one of the sweetest breakdowns in a reggae/dub song ever on “Jealousy and the Get Free”.

MP3:
Bedouin Soundclash – Jealosy and the Get Free
Bedouin Soundclash – St. Andrews


3. Streetlight Manifesto – Somewhere In the Between

This album has been so hyped up for so many years now, I was almost sure I was going to be disappointed when it finally came out. I was proved wrong. The horn sections sound much more polished, harmonic, and the songs simply sound more “full” than they did on Everything Went Numb (now I’m not claiming that SITB is better, just sounds more complete). I’m not a big fan of concept albums… and I wouldn’t call SITB a concept album, but the lyrical content definitely deals with one central theme.


2. Big D and the Kids Table – Strictly Rude

It took me a while to get into this one, as I was not prepared for Big D forsaking their usual blend of ska-punk for a more traditional sound. However, once Strictly Rude grew on me, I can confidently say the chill songs on here are some of the best Big D has ever written. Strictly Rude is the perfect album for winter, well… because it reminds me of the summer days that are ahead.

MP3:
Big D and the Kids Table – Breaking the Bottle
Big D and the Kids Table – Souped-Up Vinyl

1. Melt Banana – Bambi’s Dilemma

Hands down the best release of 2007. While half of the songs on here are their older experimental stuff that I don’t really listen to, the other half is solid enough to carry Bambi’s Dilemma to the number one spot. From the experimental noise thrashiness mixed with the rapping of the lyrics, Bambi’s Dilemma is so original, so fresh, that after I listen to it, I seriously have musical A.D.D to the point where every other album is boring and already been done a thousand times before. I know that sounds incredibly snobbish… but… I’m a snob.


MP3:
Melt Banana – Green Eyed Devil
Melt Banana – Spider Snipe

Buy:
Amazon.com
Interpunk.com

I Never Get Sick of This One

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZFWpvw7InY]

MP3: No Doubt- Oi To The World (Vandals Cover)

Buy

Top 10 Christmas Songs You Won’t Hear On The Radio

Sick of those same damn christmas songs that seem to stalk you everywhere you go? Have no fear! The Housewives are here!

10. Fear – Fuck Christmas
For all you scrooges out there. This one is fucking last.

9. The Impossibles – White Christmas
Who doesn’t love The Impossibles? Who doesn’t love epic mid-tempo versions christmas songs?

8. Less Than Jake – Grandma Got Runover By A Reindeer
Someone should of taught her to look both ways before crossing the street.

7. Pipedown – Carol Of The Bells
Carol of the Bells is probably the creepiest Christmas song ever written…now only if it had a a creepy hardcore band playing it…

6. The Vandals – Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies
Dance with these fairies, and you’ll be stabbed.

5. The Vandals – Nothing Going to Ruin my Holiday

This song sounds like it was specifically written with cheesy holiday comedy movies in mind.

4. Mighty Mighty Bosstones – This Time Of Year
How could the Bosstones possibly love this time of year being up in freezing Boston? Very solid song nonetheless.

3. MU330 – Xmas Card
The saddest christmas song I’ve ever heard.

2. The Vandals – Oi to The World
Hilarious.

1. Atom and His Package – What WE do On Christmas
Atom (who happens to be Jewish), taking a jab at the notion of a jewish conspiracy. Pretty much saying it’s true, and it all happens on christmas.

Buy:
Amazon
Interpunk

The Perfect Album

The Beta Band’s Three E.P.’s is the perfect album for a day like today. A day when you stayed out late and had to get up early. A day when even after a shower and coffee you feel like a zombie. But you’re a zombie that needs to pack for a long trip to go see zombie relatives up north and it will probably be cold.

These songs don’t bash you over the head or lull you back to sleep, they take you by the hand and say “We’re going to get through this morning, you and I. Just follow my lead.”

Buy:
Insound
Amazon

The White Rabbits- Fort Nightly

Here’s another genre bender for you guys. White Rabbits are an indie rock band from New York, but they’re so much more than that! Rocking two drummers and enough syncopated beats to garner comparisons to Madness and The Specials their eclectic sound won me over immediately.

MP3: White Rabbits- The Plot
MP3: White Rabbits- I Used to Complain Now I Don’t

Buy:
Insound

Good Bye NJ License Plates

Well I finally had to get rid of my NJ License plate, which means people won’t be expecting me to cut them off anymore and my odds for getting in an accident just increased 10 fold. I now have a Pennsylvania plates… and an unexplainable burning desire to drive in the left lane 15 under the speed limit while merging without a putting my blinker on…

MP3:
Bouncing Souls – Inspection Station

World Inferno Friendship Society – My Ancestral Homeland, New Jersey
Anchor Set – Pennsylvania

Buy:
Bouncing Souls
World Inferno
Anchor Set