Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Things We Heard In Twenty Eleven.

This past year was fucking strange anyway you look at it I guess. Perhaps the strangest ever. The whole world erupted in revolution, and governments fell. The Iraq War declared mission accomplished eight years after the first time it was erroneously and hastily done by George Douche, and natural disasters literally knocked The Earth off of it's axis. Politically we saw our President slowly start to form what at is beginning to look like some sort of nutsack. Some longtime bad guys were hunted down and/or shot, anally raped by and had their porn rifled through by SWAT Teams or their long oppressed and pissed off peons, and the GOP Dipshit Contingent had eleventy-two different debates to prove to voters just how dipshitty they are. Yes Sir, this year was chock full of all kinds of damned screwy shit.

Personally for me, I was fortunate enough to finally become a father in January at the ripe old age of forty to a beautiful, healthy and very cool daughter. I couldn't have asked for a better child, and if she turns out anything like me, I'm gonna take her right back to Babies-R-Us where we got her.

There was an assload of good music to come down the pike this year, and for once I kept up with everything. I loved a lot of what I heard...

ELEVEN ALBUMS I LOVED THIS YEAR

WIRE- RED BARKED TREE- This album came out in January when my daughter was born, and this, along with Harold Budd's THE WHITE ARCADES, was the soundtrack to her first few days on Earth. Always been a big Wire fan and this release, while not quite as good as OBJECT 47, proves they are still crucial. Acoustic Guitars!

P.J. HARVEY- LET ENGLAND SHAKE was the first Polly Jeanic set I had heard in ten years, and this concept album about the First World War is fucking genius. I burned this album up all year.

FLEET FOXES- HELPLESSNESS BLUES- I first heard this album in a Barnes And Noble bookstore and was annoyed with it at first, but by the time "Grown Ocean" came on I was nearly weeping and for damned sure sold on it. What beautiful harmonies! I asked the music dude who the fuck it was, and procured it right there. Yes, I am a wussyfied yuppie housewife.

DES ARK- DON'T ROCK THE BOAT, SINK THE FUCKER- Finally after six long years Aimee released something else, and it was worth the wait. "It's Only A Bargain If You Want It" might be The Song Of The Year.

RADIOHEAD- THE KING OF LIMBS- Yes, I finally learned to quit bitching about every Radiohead release, and embrace their blips and bloops. Does that make me a hipster, or no longer one? I am confused. Watching them perform this album IN THE BASEMENT helped a lot, and everything they put out this year I loved. All is forgiven.

KURT VILE- SMOKE RING FOR MY HALO- This guy is a new artist to me. There are a couple of different types of songs he writes; the classic eighties Warren Zevon "Sentimental Hygiene" sounding classic rock gems, and delicately fingerpicked two chord wonders. His delivery is classic, and I look forward to hearing what he comes up with from here on out.

REAL ESTATE- DAYS- Grade A Government Certified Jangly Wuss Rock. A great listen from front to back. I'll take it.

BATTLES- GLOSS DROP- I thought these guys were through after finding out their singer had left, but they proved me wrong by bringing in guest vocalists like Gary Numan. Good Stuff. Being from the town of Breadwinner though, I still don't quite get the whole Math Rock Tag.

TOM WAITS- BAD AS ME- How in the hell could I NOT have this album on this list? Everything he touches is fucking gold.

TUNE-YARDS- whokill- The pipes on this gal are incredible. She's going to go far, and maybe all the way into the Hall Of Fame one day. What a total weirdo, and she damned near stole the show this year. Delay pedals and floor toms. I love her inventiveness. What a sight for sore eyes!

THE ROOTS- UNDUN- P.J. started out the year with a great thematic album, and these dudes finished it out with one. Hand me the phone and the gun, this batch of songs is downright depressing. The hardest working band in the business? Yep.

Welp, there you have it. Besides these fine works there were releases by Mike Watt, Iceage, Richard Buckner, The Men, Cass McCombs, Cut Copy, Mastodon, Fucked Up, Wild Flag, Thurston Moore and Atlas Sound to keep me plenty busy. Happy Holidays. I am looking forward to what comes around next year.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thurston Moore- Demolished Thoughts



Honestly, this is the first of the three solo releases by Thurston that I've bothered to check out, and you know what? I like it. With Hipster Supreme Beck at the boards, it comes across at first as a combination between his very own SEA CHANGE and Nick Drake's FIVE LEAVES LEFT, but once you get past the lush strings and cavernous sound, it is very much a Sonic Youth Record. Long instrumental passages, dissonant chords, and themes of urban dread. "Orchard Street" is a downtown sprawl that could've been an outtake from their classic Daydream Nation, but songs like first single "Benediction" sounds like a whole new direction for Moore. This is truly a beautiful recording, and it works.

BENEDICTION (you tube)
Benediction mp3