Best Music of January

 
 Please reply and tell me if you liked this or not.. it's really important for me to know if stuff like this is useful to anyone... tell me about some music you've heard, etc... :) 
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Things That I've Missed:  

There hasn't been any albums this month that  I feel that I might have missed out on. Kanye West's VH1 Storytellers is the only thing of interest to me that I've missed out on. The  Los Campesinos album sounds good also from what I've heard.

Best Songs:  

The way I want to format this is to make it more of a playlist than a "Top 5" kind of deal. For now, these may seem like their just songs out of the best albums.. I'll try to get better at finding just singles from all over as the months go on if I feel like doing this again. 
   
       

 "Before Destructions"  by Spoon  
"Heaven Can Wait" by Charlotte Gainsbourg 
  "Used To Be" by Beach House
"Cousins" by Vampire Weekend 
"Out Go The Lights" by Spoon
"Trick Pony" by Charlotte Gainsbourg 
 "Silver Soul" by Beach House 
 "Norway" by Beach House  
"California English" by Vampire Weekend 
 "Who Makes Your Money?" by Spoon 
"Giving Up The Gun" by Vampire Weekend 
   
 
 

Best Albums:    

 
4. "IRM" by Charlotte Gainsbourg 
Chances are, you've probably seen Charlotte before, and didn't know she was a singer on the side. Charlotte is an amazing French actress that I'm sure is going to be in many great movies in the future(her resume for now includes Antichrist, 21 Grams, and The Science of Sleep). She has a pretty voice, but the album interests me a bit more due to the production being led by Beck. Beck contributes many things throughout the album from backup singing to playing various instruments. It's a bit hit and miss throughout for me, but there are a good handful of songs that stand up with some of Beck's better songs from the past decade.  
 
  
 
3. "Contra" by Vampire Weekend 
Contra was not the album I wanted Vampire Weekend to follow up the self-titled album with. After hearing it, I'm about half and half with enjoying and not enjoying it. I respect the need of the band moving forward from just being fun pop-rock, but making lyrically retarded songs like "Horchata" isn't the way to move forward. Still, this album is very nicely produced, and there are another handful of great Vampire Weekend songs to be found here. I know I didn't rank the songs, but "Giving Up The Gun" is my personal favorite song so far this year.  
 
  
 
2. "Transference" by Spoon 
Three years ago, Spoon's "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" was my favorite album of the year in 2007, and I've stuck with that CD for a long time after then. Spoon is one of the few formulaic bands(think ACDC), where they don't stray away too far from what makes them work. Transference is the furthest they've ventured out, and it works for the most part. This is Spoon at their most reserved, no where close to as "YOU'VE GOT TO HEAR THIS" as Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, but it doesn't have to be all the time. (Side note: I might be fine with that because of them touring in my area with Deerhunter.. can't wait for the live show) 
 
     
 
1. "Teen Dream" by Beach House 
Ok, I've had this album since November. It leaked onto the internet way before it's time to get a proper release, but none if this is really important. I saw Beach House live when they toured with Grizzly Bear, and thought that they were just a nice band that were pretty mellow and cool. Then they played "Norway" of their upcoming CD, and in my book they went from mellow to the real deal. Now that their CD is out, I've listened to it just about every morning on my drive to school. It's a great way to gather all your thoughts after your sleep and truly appreciate the beauty of "Teen Dream". Yes, it does take a fair amount of patience to listen to, but once you understand how great the guitar, keyboards, and soft drums mix Victoria Legrand's voice, you should be on board with Beach House.       
 
  
   
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Please reply and tell me if you liked this or not.. it's really important for me to know if stuff like this is useful to anyone... tell me about some music you've heard, etc... :)
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"Best Of" Lists of Boredom! 2009 Edition! Part One!

Favorite Movie Scenes of 2009.
5. "Car Scene" - The Hurt Locker
All this movie was is just moment after moment of intense scenes of a guy in a bomb suit defusing bombs in Iraq. This was the most intense, ton of bombs found in the back of a car. How do the bombs dedinate and will it be defused in time? How Fun.

4. "The Bear Jew" - Inglorious Basterds
This scene is brilliant, it has classic Tarentino lines, the Hugo STiGLitZ sequence, someone killing a nazi officer while pretending he's Ted Williams, this scene is awesome. The brilliant part comes in at the German officer getting the last laugh right before his death. He's asked a dumb question about one of his pens in his suit, "Did cha get that for killing jews?", and he replied with "Bravery."... oh yeah, that burns a little bit when you think of his current situation... too bad one of the other soldiers were cowards and revealed everything the nazi officer died for.

3. "Chase Scene" - Observe and Report
This youtube video is not the scene I'm talking about. I'm talking about the scene where a mall cop chases a naked pervert around in the mall in slow motion. Full Frontal Nudity gloriousness. At the end, the mall cop catches up, whips out a pistol, and shoots the pervert in the chest. Justice was served.

2. "Once Upon A Time... In Nazi Occupied France" - Inglorious Bastards
This is the best thing Tarantino has ever done. A scene where it's just two people are talking. One person is trying his best to hide something from the other person, and the other person knows exactly what the person is hiding, and where he's hiding it before he opens the door. Hans Landa is an amazing character, he knows everything that is going on, and will hint at you he knows it, but the consequences of you telling him exactly what he wants to know is so huge. His discription of the Jews during WWII is so frightening and true in so many ways, in order to find and slaughter Jews, he must think like one, and he's the best at doing that "Because I'm aware what tremendous feats human beings are capable of once they abandon dignity."

1. "Married Life" - Up
I love Pixar. I grew up with their first couple of movies, and it seems that their willing to mature with their storytelling as I mature(except for Cars.... that was a bad turning point for them). This scene surprises me so much that they went this far to characterize Carl and Ellie's life... ah, gets me teary eyed every time....

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Favorite Songs of '09

5. 1901 - Pheonix
A.K.A. that song from the annoying car commercial. Vocals are spot on pop rock, and I love that raw synthesizer/bass combo that drives the song forward.

4. Zero - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
It's about time someone got the synthesizer right in a rock song. The bridge is magnificent, and matches what you think something of a CD titled "It's Blitz!" would sound like.

3. Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear
"DUDE, THEIR HEADS EXPLODE AT THE END OF THE VIDEO!". That's how Grizzly Bear was introduced to me, and that's how I will forever be sold on them. The song is also insanely beautiful and weird. The piano and drums throughout the song sound like both the instruments are just dicking around.. and they work perfectly together. Bass line is addictive, and the melodies are fantastic. The song just builds up to the last line of the song and is effing epic! "TIIIIIIUHIIIIIIIIIME!"

2. Daylight - Matt and Kim
This is another song that was somewhat ruined for me by commercials(Bicardi and Community)... but is still enjoyed very much be myself. Kim is just so infectiously happy, I can't help but love her.

1. My Girls - Animal Collective
I hate Animal Collective. They are overrated, and about 4/5 of their songs is just noise to me. This song, however, is perfect. By perfect I mean there is nothing that can make this song any better than it is. It's got an AMAZING chorus that ranks up there with classic rock songs from the Beach Boys, and the production is mind blowing. My car is put to the limit when it plays this song. If you don't love this song, you're listening to it wrong.
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Is it my fault I don't do acid when listening to Flaming Lips?

I don't mind admitting my tastes in music. I especially don't mind saying that I enjoy music that tends to be a bit weirder than the normal. Hell, one of my favorite albums of this year, The Dirty Projectors "Bitte Orca", is bat-shit insane. Most credible music critic websites tend to go for it as well(as they should). But is it just me, or is the Flaming Lips new CD, Embryonic, a CD that's just filled with noise and unlistenable filler. So many critics are rambling about how inspirational and expressive the album is. Yeah, it's expressive if you count looping a simple guitar/bass rift for about five minutes with an occasional gong going off in the background while Wayne is saying some common bullshit that he usually writes.   
 
  

  
 
I really don't mean to come off as being a Flaming Lips hater, because I'm not. I respect a lot of their work, the only real experimental stuff from them to make be interested needs to have a gimmick behind it(like when they put out 4 CD's and told you to play them all at the same exact time). Embryonic isn't completely terrible, there are some redeeming songs on here that they are playing on night shows and public appearances, but the rest of the CD, even though it is interesting to hear what they have done, has nothing to offer.  
 
  
  
 
I take this topic and I move it further with the ultimate evidence. Animal Collective. Animal Collective is, at most time, the worst band ever. It's just constant noise and randomness that goes nowhere. But critically, everyone loves them. My Girls could be one of the best songs this decade, but it's by one of the worst bands. You know why My Girls is awesome? Because there is structure, it goes somewhere.   
 
  
  
 
Then again, music is an art form. Art ellicits a response from it's viewers, and Flaming Lips/Animal Collective just gives me a negative response, while others love it, so my opinion is just an opinion. Just one question I need to ask. Does anyone like experimental noise music that isn't on hard drugs at the moment?
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Review of Jay-Z's "The Blueprint 3".

 Jay Z

The past ten years of Jay-Z's career has been hit or miss. We have the best out of Hove with 2007's "American Gangster" and Jay-Z's first retirement album "The Black Album". The latter of the two might as well be more known for the future "Gray Album" by DJ DangerMouse, but that's a different story. We have also seen Jay-Z's worst with "Kingdom Come" and All of the collaboration albums with R Kelly. The Blueprint 3 is Jay-Z's latest attempt and falls somewhere in between his best work and his worst work. It's nothing to pass off, as it defaults to one of the best hip-hop albums of the year, but it's nothing that anyone should get to excited over either.
 
  

  

In the Giant Bomb panel at PAX, Alex argued about how hard it is to write about a mediocre product, and that's just what this is. Jay-Z lead sing, DoA(Death of Autotune) is so brilliant and ferocious at the third track of the album, he never has the true ability to follow it up with anything. Run This Town immediately follows DoA, and while you can definitely enjoy the rest of the album on the first couple of listens throughout the CD, it gets stale really quick, on each listen, you eliminate songs in the rotation each time, untill your down to about three or four songs.
 
  
  

It's not flat out terrible songs, they just don't have anything to new to offer or say. Most of the worse tracks also will tend to feature some unknown rapper(at least to me), and it just seems like filling time up on the CD to make it longer. Young Jeezy is the opposite of what I like in a rap song, so I might be a tad bit biased here, but Young Jeezy can seriously piss off. All of the beats are slightly amusing, but nothing compared to Jay-Z's back catalog. One beat had potential by Swizz Beats on the song "On To The Next One", when I read that it was sampled from Justices "D.A.N.C.E.", I imagined the song to be fun not unlike "It's a Hard Knock Life", but the song ultimately disappoints by being dark and meaningless. Another lowpoint of the CD is "Venus vs. Mars". Try not to feel a little embarrassed that this song was made by Jay-Z. Ludacris will usually stoop this low in sexual song writing, but it's really weird hearing it come out of Jay's mouth, with the chorus being "(Girl) Daddy get it in, (Jay) Baby go hard" over and over. The song is just dirty and filthy, it's really awkward to listen to. 

  
   

There are a few standouts to point out on the Blueprint 3. DoA obviously being the biggest. DoA is just four minutes of Jay-Z trying to save Hip-Hop, while also taking a couple of stabs at Scene rockers in one line. A Star Is Born might be a controversial pick, cause I can see people hating it, but I love that song for some reason. The song is about Jay-Z justifying why he is one of the greatest rappers today by naming rappers of the past, and how they didn't survive, but Jay did. The last of the greats can also be Hate-able(irony), the song is called Hate. While I'm on this subject, the best thing for Jay to remain fresh, and for Kanye to regain some fans back after his shenanigans at the VMA's would be if Jay-Z and Kanye released some kind of collaboration album. Hearing them rap off of each other(with albeit, ridiculously dumb rap patterns) is very fun to listen to.


Overall, Jay-z disappoints with the Blueprint 3. He raps about moving the genre forward, but doesn't back it up with any legitimately game changing songs. Everything seems pretty tacked on, despite the hype of hearing something different(Hey, what happened to that MGMT song, by the way?). A couple of years ago, he made a CD that he said he would retire on. After hearing Blueprint 3, it could be time for Jay-z to hang up his Yankees hat and focus on running his label behind the desk, not in front. 

Recommended Downloads: 
 Death of Autotune 
 Run This Town 
 A Star is Born 
 Hate 
19 Comments

Favorite Beatles song

After this week, I've been going back and forth throughout the beatles catalog like I have never before. Playing through Rock Band has let me gain a new appreciation for most of the beatles work. Harmonix has totally given us something much better and much more loving than any documentary could ever do. So going back and forth, I'd just like to point out some of my new favorites. 
 
Maxwell's Silver Hammer - Actually, I loved this song way before Beatles Rock Band came out. Due to a flash on newgrounds.com(that website ran by the Behemoth guys). The flash kinda perfectly captures the brilliant mix of playful, fun rhythm and delivery with some very psychotic, creepy characters that could definantly drive the story of a horror movie.... It's a less praised song, but I absolutely love it. 
  

 
I Am The Walrus - Obvious choice #1. This song never gets old, Lennon nails the delivery of the lyrics, arguably the best vocals that he's ever done in any song. LSD has never sounded better.
  
 
Dear Prudence - When Considering the best Beatles songs, this has to be in there. This song tears into your soul. Paul gives one of his best bass lines, everybodies voice is beautiful, George's continous accoustic guitar loop keeps the song going, the band jams the song briefly in the end. To me, this is the perfect Beatles song. 
  
 
Come Together - Super Obvious Choice #2. Listening to this song  makes you wonder what happened to Top 40 music. Psychedelic Beatles at their best. 
  
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My attempt at a Giant Bomb Folk song

for question of the week... on my third take of the song(I didn't have time for more because I had to go to class) 
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N2-eQ20Qx8  
 
lyrics: 
  There's gonna be a Giant Bomb tonight

Might cause the kids to get frightened
The man is tellin' us to hold on tight
'Cause there's gonna be a Giant Bomb tonight

*harmonica*

That night I heard the name of a man
The heroic name of Jeff Gerstmann
He was the only one up when everybody was down
he was gonna save the town tonight

He had a super team, one of a kind
him and four friends came just in time
Everybody was panicked, but they were calm
Tonight's the night they were gonna stop the Giant Bomb

Ryan had no fear of Gin
When Dave makes bets, he always wins
And Brad's soothing voice makes him a man amongst men

I didn't forget about the last one
His name is Vinny, and always on the hunt
He'll kick the shit out of you with a Galactic Punt
As long as he doesn't cast Bufu

So there's the story, of my song
I've let it drag on for way to long
Be sure to tell you daughter, be sure to tell your mom
that these four duders saved us from the Giant Bomb! 
 
Make fun of me as much as possible. 
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Best Music of the Year so far(January-July 2009)

Ok, lets get some music discussion going.


What's the best CD's/Singles so far into this year?

Songs of the Year:(In no order)

Albums of the Year:(In no order)

Music Video of the Year:

  

73 Comments

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs "It's Blitz!" Discussion/Review.

The best part about "It's Blitz!" is that it was completely unnecessary to change the sound of previous works from the YYY's. From the last two albums/EP's they put out, 2006's "Show Your Bones", and 2007's "Is Is", The YYY's proved that they have one of the most talented guitar/drums duo in music today in Nick Zinner and Brian Chase. These two have provided some of the most enjoyable guitar riffs and experimental drum breakdowns of this decade.


  


But that's not what "It's Blitz" is about. If not anything, this is the first album that proves the synthesizer just might be as awesome as most alternative rock bands wants us to believe it is. Last year, synthesizer was all over the place, most noticeably MGMT. On "It's Blitz", we get a taste of the frenetic side of the synthesizer with the 80's song on acid single, "Zero", and then it is used to perfection to slow down the tempo and pace with the absolutely sweet sounding "Skeletons". "It's Blitz" might also go down as the CD that proves Karen-O as the most entertaining frontman/frontwoman of the decade, at one moment she's vulnerable, the next she's a fucking 100 year old queen in "Dull Life" and is completely in control of the song. (Note: listen to this album on speakers that are worth a damn, you'll appreciate it later.)

Breakdown:
  1. Zero - Takes a while to get it's feet going, but when the bridge kicks in and Karen-O starts yelping "Shell-shock!", it's hard to not want to just jump from your seat and do a little moshpit dance
  2. Heads Will Roll - Very aggressive disco song, awesome jungle beat at the end of the song.
  3. Soft Shock - Might be the breakout song from the album. The guitar effects in the chorus seems to reflect Karen's voice perfectly and just makes this song melt into your mind.
  4. Skeletons - It takes balls to put a song like this on an alternative rock cd. Karen is as vulnerable as ever, and the drum stick clacking sounds like an outtake from an Animal Collective song. This leads to the song to just continue to build up rhythmically, mixing electronic drum noises with real drums, it's pretty interesting.
  5. Dull Life - I'm thinking that Nick Zinner had multiple ideas for some mean guitar licks on his next cd, and then Karen and Brian just ruined it by telling Nick that the next CD was going to be all synthesizer. Nick must have cried at that meeting, and feeling sorry for him, they let Nick put all of his ideas into one song, and that song would be called "Dull Life". ..... That's how I imagine how this song was made at-least.
  6. Shame and Fortune - If there was one throwaway song on this CD, it would be this one, unfortunately it kinda drags on and doesn't go anywhere.
  7. Runaway - Since when did the YYY's have an orchestra backing them up? Takes a while to build up, but it rewards you for sticking around by the end of the song.
  8. Dragon Queen - This song is just awesome. It has backing vocals from the dude on TV on The Radio, and that's exactly what this song sounds like, which is TV On The Radio + The YYY's.
  9. Hysteric - The obvious top single on the album. Karen's voice is just amazingly sweet in this.
  10. Little Shadow - This song is just special to me for some reason. It's such a children's song, the organ mixed with drums sounds absolutely amazing, Karen's voice is perfect, Thank You YYY's.

Must have tracks:
The entire CD. Buy the deluxe version on iTunes for some acoustic versions (Hysteric is especially great acoustic)

Final Verdict:
Approved.

  

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