Thursday, December 14, 2006

Top 19 list of 2006 (Why 19...Why Not?)

19. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
Beirut is without a doubt unique. Original, and talented but not something you will always be in the mood for.
If you like: Hard to say....
Favorite Song: "Postcards from Italy"

18. Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I'm Dreaming
Wolf Parade's Spencer Krug delivers this semi-Wolf Parade album. Not quite as good but it definately contains a few very strong songs.
If you like: Wolf Parade, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, David Bowie
Favorite song: "Stadium and Shrines II"

Birdmonster - No Midnight
Birdmonster's debut contains quite a few gems. While the EP had two powerful songs, this album start to finish is not quite as solid.
If you like: Modest Mouse, Cold War Kids
Favorite Song: "All the Holes in the Walls. "

Mates of State - Bring It Back
Bring It Back's bouncy organ pop will undoubtedly have you bopping your head and praying no one sees you goobing out to classics such as "Think Long" or "Punchlines."

If you like: Stars, New Pornographers.
Favorite Song: "Punchlines."

Mew - And the Glass Handed Kites

Even before Pitchfork said it, I have hated this album cover. However, remember the old saying. This "cover" is overruled by what is inside. Deep, layered instrumentation with a rangy solid voice provides a solid album.
If you like: Sigur Ros, Radiohead
Favorite Song: "The Zookeeper's Boy"

Arizona - Welcome Back Dear Children
Blogger's favorite Arizona mixs sounds of Radiohead with the Shins to debut a stellar album with highlights such as "Waking Up," and "Some Kind of Chill."
If you Like: Radiohead, Shins, Sigur Ros.


The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth

A great Strokes album. Casablancas sings straight into the mic on these tracks and ends up with a couple of the best Strokes songs ever.
If you like: Strokes...Surely you've heard of em.
Favorite Song: The best Strokes song Ever.."You Only Live Once"

The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
This was my first Hold Steady to hear. Pretty impressive. Just got it so it could move up my list. The singer's voice is decent but lyrics and instrumentation make up which was similar to Arcade Fire's Funeral. (not that it sounds like that just that his Arcade Fire's singer does not have the greatest voice.) This album almost has a Southern Rock feel.
If you like: Jerry Joseph & the Jackomormons, Cleotis, Any southern rock. Favorite song: "Hot Soft Light"

Colour Revolt - EP
Okay, so maybe I'm partial because they are from Oxford, but these guys definately have potential to do amazing things. This album has layered melodies that are dirty around edges. Jess's untamed voice carries the band with his note hitting melodies that segway into scary controlled screaming that really brings a unique sound to the table.
If you like: Modest Mouse, and Bands more on the edge of hard rock....
Favorite song: "Mattresses Underwater."


Phoenix - It's Never Been Like That

This is the first Phoenix Cd i have heard, and I must say I am impressed. This poppy number will undoubtadely satisfy.

If you like: The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie
Favorite Song: (tie) "Long Distance Call", "One Time Too Many"

Cat Power - The Greatest

Never thought I would have a chic singer in my top ten. Not that I am sexist, I just don't really do chic music. However, before I even knew she was hot, I was all ears. Between her voice and the instrumentation of the horns and deep piano riffs, I can't stop listening.

If you like: Good music
Favorite song: "Living Proof"


Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
I had this album in the top four but decided to bump it up. Admittingly, if this album had just come out, it would probably still be there. This is Belle and Sebastian finest in a long time and is probably in a tie for second in all time B&S albums.

If you like: Belle and Sebastian (surely you know them, but if not compare them to a new age Beatles or Beach Boys)

Favorite Song: "Another Sunny Day"


Midlake - The Trials of Vann Occupanther

Midlake brings back a 70's Simon and Garfunkle sound while keeping in the "indie" genre to create a solid album from start to finish. Layered music with a ranging beautiful voice.

If you like: Simon and Garfunkle, Radiohead.
Favorite Song: "Roscoe"


TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain

I honestly did not like the critically acclaimed last album Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, but this one blows it out of the water. TVOTR two vocalists bring out the highs and lows harmonically backed by amazingly funky tracks that create a fun, exciting album. Originality is a word that comes to mind.

If you like: Rock, with a touch of hip hop beats with melodic singing. (Similar to The Roots).

Favorite song: "I Was a Lover"


Cold War Kids - Robbers and Cowards

Here is one where Pitchfork's tune was off this day. When combine "We Used to Vacation" "Hang me up to dry" "Robbers" and "Hospital Beds," the score equals at least an eight. These tracks are top notch while the others complete the album. Granted it has one or two weak tunes but all in all great album.

If you like: Black Keys, Black Crowes.

Favorite Song: "We used to Vacation"

Built To Spill - You in Reverse

Classic Built to Spill. Starting off strong with "Goin Against Your Mind" and cleaning up with my second favorite, "The Wait" Doug Martsch brings his strongest album in his later BtS years.

If you like: Destroyer, Flaming Lips.

Favorite Song: "Goin Against Your Mind"


The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

Wow, is all I can say. Especially for the Decemberists this is their big one. I really did not even want to give it a chance, but thankfully I did. From start to finish, pure gloriousness. The Decemberists always take me back to Irish pub days for some reason where men wore kilts and rode horses. (random thought) Anyway, buy it.

If you like: Neutral Milk Hotel....or just good music.

Favorite song: "01 - Crane Wife"


Band of Horses - Everything All the Time

What an album...I know what you are thinking...unoriginal. Well the more I listen to it, the less it sounds like My Morning Jacket. This is a classic that ranks up there with Clap Your Hands debut last year. Just go buy it if you haven't.
If you like: My Morning Jacket, Jane's Addiction

Favorite Song: "The Funeral"

01.......Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies

Absolutely genius is all I can say about Dan Bejar (member of supergroup New Pornographers.) Bejar's is today's Dylan. (I know its bold but oh well.) Everything about this album is perfect: The lyrics, the singing, the harmonic voice singing, the leads, the rythm, the piano, and the drums. Everything significantly contributes to create a perfect album.

If you like: David Bowie, Built to Spill, Velvet Underground, New Pornographers.
Favorite Song: Rubies (i guess its hard to pick one)

Please Feel free to post you top ten list under comments or post your thoughts.


The Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics....apparently I am a Mystic. Come on guys what happened.

Tapes n Tapes - The Loon ...this album is just not that good. The bloggers wanted to be the first one to bring these guys up for some reason and pitchfork thought they were good. What am I missing.....

Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche..I guess it is overexposure. Although I love the guy I am so over him right now. I need a break.

Loose Fur - Born Again in the USA.....At first I thought this was okay but now I think it is weak.

Grizzly Bear - Yellow House....I mean I love the song "On a Neck, On a Split" but that is about as far as it goes

Drive-By Truckers - A Blessing and a Curse....the only blessing I found was "Gravity's Gone" and that it reminded me how good Dirty South really was.

AND FINALLY: Two Albums that deserve to be in last years top 5

The Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree
This would have been in my top five. What a gut wrenching album, written just after Darnielle's abusive father dies.
Strange voice but classic songwriter.

Favorite Song: This Year

The National - Alligator
Quite possibly one of the best albums I have ever heard. This would have been tied for number one with Clap Your Hands last year. Absolutely amazing.
Favorite Song: Secret Meeting

Thursday, November 30, 2006

TV on the Radio: Return to Cookie Mountain

TV on the Radio's new album "Return to Cookie Mountain" is really all it is cracked up to be. Granted it is a little different then most things out there, but this is not saying it is too weird or lacks any melodies (i.e. Deerhoof). Anyhoo, you definitely need to sample to make sure you enjoy this type of music. I honestly can't describe it. It is like almost hip hop melodies with rock mixed in. Just so you know it was critically acclaimed. Pitchfart gave it a 9.1. Sample some here The songs on this site are "Province" and "Wolf like Me"....both are great tunes. Another great tune is "I Was a Lover."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Decemberists: Crane Wife

The new Decemberists album is quite solid. It begins with a mandolin number, "Crane Wife" which could quite possibly be the best track on the album. Other notable tracks are...every other track on the album. I know what your thinking..."I don't like his voice." Well get over it because even my wife claimed she "hated the Decemberists" and now she can't quit listening to it. Trust me. The album is a classic from start to finish despite whether you have made an opinion about the Decemberists or not.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Conversation With Isaac Brock

Oxford Producer Dennis Herring and Isaac Brock talking outside of Sweet Tea RecordsMy wife and I had the pleasure of seeing Isaac Brock numerous times this past year with their recording of the new album at Sweet Tea Records in Oxford. Finally, I got a good chance to talk to him. He was coming out of Proud Larry's with some To-Go food, and I did everything but chase him down. I yelled, "Isaac" and he turned around. I was surprised at how normal and nice he was. We talked about the new record and how he was finishing mixing it. He then talked about how James Mercer of the Shins came down to Oxford to record (possibly an album appearance). Then, he talked about how he liked Oxford, and then described that he felt like a ghost in the town. Not only did he not feel like a rockstar, he basically said no one noticed him even as a person. He was pretty funny also. As I was trying to talk him in to playing around here, I used the wrong words in describing why they could not. I used the words "commercial success." Which he quickly said, "What do you mean (in a defensive way)?" But, I quickly recovered by explaining I meant that they could not play a small place like proud larry's anymore, and he agreed.

He was also inquisitive of us, which I was surprised of. He asked where we had been and what are we doing here in Oxford. I told him of my intentions hopefully one day being in the music business. His advice to me was that I may not like representing artists although he did say he had a great relationship with his attorney and agent.Of course, I did not have my camera.
Anyway, here are some new modest mouse tunes via Net zoo My favs so far are "Missed the Boat" and "Dashboard."

My Morning Jacket in Nashville, at the Ryman.


MMJ was amazing as usual. Just as we arrived, we were walking to Roberts' bar and saw Jim James. He was very cool, although I was so shocked I didn't have much to say. The concert was phenom thanks to my second row seats..(thanks David and Shuff). The highlight was definately "One Big Holiday." He played "Tonight I Want to Celebrate with You" on the omnichord. They rocked out Magheeta (above). I always wonder why my neck hurts the next day after every My Morning Jacket show...then it occurs to me......To top it all off, as we were leaving we saw John Prine who had been in attendance.

Also: At Dawn and Bermuda Highway

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Drive By Truckers live in Memphis at the New Daisy

DBT is one of the most intriguing live acts out there. They bring so much energy to every show. Every song is played with full steam. Patterson Hood, although not my favorite singer, leads the band with his energy. He runs around the stage and plays the guitar to the crowd like you would not believe. One special part of the show was when Patterson talked of Memphis. He gave a shout out to all the bands from Memphis including Lucero and Big Star. He then went on to discuss how in 91' he worked at the New Daisy and saw Nirvana there with about 120 other people. He discussed how he always let Rufus Thomas of Sun Studios use his phone. The encore was amazing. They played "People Who Died" for like 15 minutes, as Patterson screamed like Axle Rose. We were standing basically on the second "row." Here is the setlist:

Lookout Mountain
72 Highway's Mean
Never Gonna Change
Ronnie and Neil
One of these Days
Feb. 14
GD Lonely Love
The Night GG Allen Came to Town
Shut up and Get on the Plane
Do it Yourself
Dress Blues (new song - Jason sings - amazing)
Living Bubba
Uncle Frank
Sink Hole
The Day John Henry Died
Gravity's Gone
Glad and Sorry (Faces Cover - Golden Smog also re-made this song)
Bulldozers and Dirt
18 Wheels of Love
Marry Me
Puttin People on the Moon
Outfit (greatest song ever)
Women Without Whiskey
Let There be Rock
People Who Died.

As you can see they played forever. It was a memorable experience.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Wilco in Oxford

Since I have such a poor internet connection, I could not upload the pictures...I will soon.
All in all it was a great show. I do, however, have a few complaints. Wilco plays similar setlists on different tours. They always go through A Ghost is Born and a little YHF. I honestly believe that they need bring a little more variety....maybe a cover or more Being There. I was happy to hear Passenger Side, for I thought they had abandoned A.M. I will say the new song "Let's Not Get Carried Away" has more energy than many of their songs on any album. I am a huge fan of the track. Anyway, they always play a great show and this one was no different. I just feel like the last 3 times I have seen them, it has been very similar setlist. Oh well, I should be blessed for having seen them so many times recently. Oh yeah, I met Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse the other day in Oxford. I talked to him for like 20 minutes. I will post the details soon....

Handshake Drugs
Shot In The Arm
Impossible Germany
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
Muzzle of Bees
Company In My Back
At Least That's What You Said
Jesus, Etc
She's a Jar
War on War
I'm The Man Who Loves you

Late Greats
Heavy Metal Drummer
I'm a Wheel
Kingpin (drunk chick throws flask on stage)

Let's Not Get Carried Away
Passenger Side

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Band of Horses live at Proud Larry's in Oxford

Band Of Horses rocked Proud Larry's. This was their ninth show in a row. Although his voice didn't show it, you could tell his throat was killing him. They played a nice cover of David Alan Coe's "You Don't Even Call Me By My Name." They were very into the crowd especially during the cover. They played pretty much everything but "Saint Augustine." Great show all around. Video of the cover below. P.S. His tattoo on his neck looks like an animal from "Where the Wild Things Are." (Above)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Oxford...Oh How I Love You

Oxford keeps moving up the ladder in the music world. I just found out that "the whistler" Andrew Bird is releasing his new record on fat possum records here in Oxford. From his website. "When not on tour, Mr. Bird is working on his new album "Armchair Apocrypha" in Minneapolis, MN - click here to read a bit more about the recording in process... it will be out next spring on Fat Possum records." Also, Fingerlings 3 "is also finished - it is for sale at the shows and will be available on the website in early October - it includes live selections from the new album, a few studio outtakes, as well as other tracks from the last few years." Band of Horses show at Proud Larry' coming soon. Sorry, I finally got the internet and got married, moved, and passed the bar, so I will try to post more...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The National: finally....

I finally took all the bloggers' advice and bought The National Alligator. It truly is a solid album from start to finish. I hear echoes of Interpol mixed with Crash Test Dummies, but better. Most of the album is very unique mixed with some catchy choruses. The instrumentation contains violins, cellos, keyboards, and guitars. It takes a listen or two to get into his voice, but by the end you will love it. Here is their website to download songs etc. website and myspace. "Secret meeting" is my favorite song.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New Wilco Tunes

Here are some new Wilco Tunes....Thanks to rbally. PS all my available downloads are gone due to some server crash by savefile....sorry.
What Light

Let's Fight


Impossible Germany

Memphis, TN
Tuesday September 12, Ted Leo and Rx (Hi Tone)
Wed. September 13 Elf Power (Hi Tone)
Thurs. September 14 Murder By Death (Hi Tone)
Tues. September 19 Wolfmother (New Daisy Theater)
Saturday September 23 Built to Spill (Young Ave Deli)
Saturday October 21 Okkervil River and Elvis Perkins (Hi Tone)
Friday October 27 Drive By Truckers (New Daisy Theater)
Saturday October 28th Lucero (New Daisy Theater)
Thursday December 14th Black Keys (Young Ave Deli)

Monday, August 21, 2006


Sorry for the break. Just finished the bar then got married. All of these are Oxford shows.....WOW!!!
Saturday August 26 - Colour Revolt at Two Stick
Wed. August 30 - Richard Buckner at Proud Larry's
Thurs. September 21 - Colour Revolt at Thacker Mountain Radio
Thurs. September 21 - Band of Horses with Blueground Undergrass and Chad VanGaalen
Tues. October 10 - WILCO at the Ford Center in Oxford
Fri. October 13 - Colour Revolt at Proud Larry's

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Best thing I have heard in a while......Arizona

This is honestly probably the best thing I've heard in a while.Arizona has got it all: lyrics, the voice, numerous instruments, that all create unique, original melodies. They now have the cd on ITunes and it is not supposed to come out until August 18th. I would have to compare them to a mixture between Radiohead and Phoenix. Check out DOWNLOAD "Some Kind of Chill"
Also, check out i guess i'm floating blog. here. They have two more songs.
Oh, and I will be not posting any next week because I am taking the Bar......

Sovay: What in the heck is that?

I was daydreaming as I was studying for this dreaded bar, and "Sovay" popped in my head. Then, I asked myself, "What does that mean?" Well, thanks to Google check this out.

"Sovay" is the name of the album's first song, but don't run off to look up the word in a dictionary; not knowing what the word means, says Bird, is what makes it so much fun. In an interview, Bird explained that the song was born during a time of writer's block. Thinking that his muse had left him, Bird cracked open a volume of old English poetry and came across the mysterious word that serves as this song's title. Bird had no idea what he meant, but, for whatever reason, the song seemed to flood him with inspiration, and the great songs began gushing out. It's an easy-going, lilting little pop song about fighting back against the forces that seek to contain and confine creativity. It's a song about the tricky nature of inspiration. It's a song about something happening that's never happened before… "and a word washed ashore…"

Sovay, Sovay all on a day
She dressed herself in man's array
With a sword and pistol all by her side
To meet her true love, to meet her true love, away did ride

As she was riding over the plain
She met her true love and bid him stand
"Your gold and silver, kind Sir," she said
"Or else this moment, or else this moment, your life I'll have"

The Bird version is sort of similar.

sovay, sovay,sovay
all along the day

I was getting ready to consider my next plan of attack
I think I'm gonna sack
the whole board of trustees
all those Don Quixotes and their B-17s
and I swear this time
yeah this time
they'll blow us back to the 70's
and this time
they're playin Ride of the Valkyries
with no semblance of grace or ease
and they're acting on vagaries
with their violent proclivities
and they're playing ride
Ride of the Valkyries
all along the day

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Indieblockedappella: WOW

These guys have a lot of time on their hands but I will have to give it to them, PRETTY DANG GOOD. It is some guys playing covers all acapella, their voices as instruments. Click here and then click on one of the songs. Truly amazing, hilarious, talented, I don't know.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Andrew Bird Live at Bonnaroo

This is a really quality recording. The song "Plasticides" is a new song I remembered he played in Oxford. This whole show is very good. He makes the songs sound so different live (in a good way). He is accompanied by DOSH. Great Show.
1. Intro
2. Capital I
3. Measuring Cups
4. Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left
5. Simple Exercises
6. Ravel
7. Why?
8. Plasticities
9. Tables & Chairs
10. Fake Palindromes
11. Skin Is, My

Friday, July 14, 2006

Okkervil River coming to Memphis, Birmingham

Trust me on this one. I had been wanting this cd for a while and finally got it months ago, but keep forgetting to post about it. Okkervil River hailing from Austin, TX, is hard to decribe. Maybe Bright Eyes with a better voice? You need to see for yourself. Black Sheep Boy is a solid CD from start to finish. Here are two amazing songs on the album. "Black" and "For Real" Don't believe me? Stylus gave it an A. Pitchfork an 8.5. Tiny Mix tapes gave it a 4/5. Their tour dates are:
07.13.06 - New York, NY - Castle Clinton
08/05/06 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
09.06.06 - Brisbane, AU - The Zoo
09.07.06 - Sydney, AU - Newton RSL
09.08.06 - Melbourne, AU - East Brunswick Club
09.09.06 - Adelaide, AU - Fowler's Live
09.10.06 - Perth, AU - Rosemont Live
10.03.06 - Little Rock, AR - Revolution*
10.04.06 - Columbia, MO - Blue Note *
10.05.06 - Ames, IA - Maintenance Shop *
10.06.06 - Madison, WI - High Noon *
10.07.06 - Chicago, IL - Schuba's *
10.08.06 - Chicago, IL - Schuba's *
10.09.06 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig *
10.11.06 - Columbus, OH - Little Brother's *
10.12.06 - Buffalo, NY - Soundlab *
10.13.06 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall *
10.16.06 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar *
10.18.06 - Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse *
10.19.06 - Athens, GA - Caledonia Lounge *
10.20.06 - Asheville, NC - The Grey Eagle *
10.21.06 - Memphis, TN - Hi-Tone *
10.22.06 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live *

* w/ Elvis Perkins

Stay tuned for Andrew Bird - Live at Bonnaroo.