Tame Impala - Innerspeaker (2010)




This is one of those albums that sounds like the cover looks - a colorful, washed-out atmosphere where patterns and echoes merge and move you.

These guys channel psychedelia in the best way, creating something warm, washed, buzzed, but still fresh. Lots of reverb and filters make it dreamy. Stripped of effects, this is great songwriting and killer musicianship. Like a sonic collage they paint with their instruments, the guitars, bass and drums complimenting each other and combining to make a heady, swirling and cohesive whole.

I can't stop listening, definitely a personal best of 2010.

Download

The Body - All the Waters of the Earth Shall Turn to Blood (2010)


if Fuck Buttons made a hardcore album, it might sound like this. it draws you in until you're so focused on what's going on that you feel every shift in the music. each track features a unique element, and they don't beat you over the head with it like a lesser band would (check the sick stutter cuts in track 3). great sense of timing and restraint throughout - even the vocals are used well, for texture or emphasis. basically, you could write a master's thesis on how awesome this album is. definitely on my short list for album of the year.

Best of 2010

Sleater-Kinney - All Hands on the Bad One (2000)


In one of my favorite albums by my favorite ladies, the girls pick up some guitars, bang on some drums, and put out some seriously catchy shit.

Get into it if you dig chick bands, riff-based guitar, and minimalist rock with a sharp edge.

Get all hands on it here

Sincabeza - Edit Sur Passage Avant Fin Ou Montée D'Instrument (2007)


god damn, i don't know what it is about france, but it certainly does shit out great bands on a constant basis. here is sincabeza, a math-rockish band with exceptional music akin to that of chocolat billy. really good album with exceptional musicianship and some... rare than usual song structures. energy up the ass. fucking ace instrumentation in some tracks makes it as unique as it is good. like always, highly recommended!


oh, and because of the 2 million hits we achieved, here is a super rare alternate version of neutral milk hotel's oh comely!

Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty (2010)

Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty (2010)

if you haven't got this already you have been sleeping on some of the best shit i have ever heard, genuinely. i just posted it at this point because it's not on here and i want to get the #BestOf2010 going on the blog, other posters start doing this too, it's really sweet when a load of awesome shit that may have been missed gets posted at the end of the year.

The Karl Hendricks Trio - For A While, It Was Funny (1996)


you know, the 90s had it's share of good music, yet the majority of it was buried under the "grunge" that was dominating the majority of the decade. due to this, gems such as for a while, it was funny were completely overlooked. the karl hendricks trio performs exceptionally in this album defining the later sounds of the 90s that prevailed even to this day. album aged greatly and is perhaps one of the best of the decade. similar to walt mink, weezer(blue album), kid dakota.

James Blake - Klavierwerke EP (2010)

James Blake - Klavierwerke EP (2010)

Simply put, Klavierwerke translates to "piano works" and this time around, James Blake takes the more minimalist approach to ambient/dubstep and reintroduces the genre as one capable of exuding melodies. Using his own voice, a mixture of heavily-reverbed and dry claps, white noise, extended silences and the ever-present clackety clack of the hi-hat, James creates 4 tracks that sound nothing like the ambient/dubstep you may be familiar with. Even this description is somewhat lacking...

The Gun Club - Fire of Love (1981)


huge RIP to legendary Hollywood dive bar, Ye Coach & Horses, which shuttered it's doors yesterday after 74 years (!) of excellence in the boozing arts. for decades it served the shadier side of Sunset clientele - daytime drunks, bikers, punks, and goths, not to mention scores of musicians, writers, starving artists, and A-listers on benders... and now it's gonna be a fucking bookstore. who can read at a time like this?

not only that, but YC&H had a kickass jukebox, chock full of lesser known 80s LA rockers, like this all-killer-no-filler release from punk trailblazers The Gun Club. it's big on blues/Americana like contemporaries X and The Flesh Eaters, which is why Jack White is on their dicks, but with a Richard Hell/Husker Du/E&Bunnymen speed burst. really, it most reminds me of Come On Pilgrim-era Pixies, and tGC beat them to the punch with the loud/quiet/loud thing by a good 7 years. and they all boozed at YC&H.

god this is depressing. i need a fucking drink.

i will fuck you until you die, bury you and kiss this town goodbye

Thingy - To The Innocent (1999)


What's up people? Long time no post. What I am posting tonight is only one of the many projects of one Rob Crow (Pinback, Heavy Vegetable, Optiganally Yours, etc). The music on this album is best described as math rock. If you are at all familiar with Rob Crow's music then you will find delight in this album. If you haven't had the pleasure, I think you will find yourself at the very least, amused.

Download & Comment

Nokturnal Mortum - Голос сталi (The Voice of Steel) (2009)


While I'm not actually participating in "Nothing But Black Metal November," I have been listening to quite a bit of the genre in the past few days. Here is one album that, if I was man enough to participate in this joyous month of festivities, I could have on repeat and never tire of.

"The Voice of Steel" is the translated title for this folk/prog/black metal masterpiece that was hailed as the metal album of 2009. I'm not sure that I would agree 100%, but to deny that this album kicks ass and takes names would be deserving of a solid blow to the head, courtesy of that viking blacksmith on the cover. What you have here is a rock solid black metal foundation, on top of which is layered all sorts of awesome folk melodies, badass vocals in Ukranian, and a dash of prog. Because seriously, too much prog and you'll end up with a sad, mournful trainwreck of an album. Sort of like Robyn's tits in Venture Bros.

EDIT: My original link was to a bad copy of the album. The last track skipped, as Stephen Fry would say, "like a bitch." I HOPE THIS ONE WORKS

Bush Tetras - Boom in the Night: Original Studio Recordings 1980 - 1983 (1995)



These guys were an outfit of the no wave scene. Their sound is heavy on rhythm, with a huge focus on interlocking bass and drum lines, polished off with a little grime and attitude. 'You Can't Be Funky' and 'Too Many Creeps' are personal favorites. If you ever got into controller.controller, you'll love this shit.

Put it on and dance dance dance, talk talk talk.

EinstürzendeNeubauten-StrategiesAgainstArchitecture VI (2010)



EN is probably one of my favorite bands of all time. I discovered them in the early 90's when they were still somehow lumped in with industrial music (never could understand that). If you are not familiar with them take a look at their wikipedia page for more info.

For their 30th anniversary, Neubauten has released the sixth installment of their "Strategies Against Architecture" series, showcasing rare/live/alternate versions of songs recorded between 2002-2010. These songs represent the more artsy 'reserved' side of the recent Neubauten sound, differing greatly from their earlier, more 'abrasive' sound. Nevertheless, expect some loud crashing noises to pop up here & there.


Listen
Buy

Arnold Schoenberg - Verklarte Nacht (2001)


Schoenberg is unfairly known as the dude who ruined modern music with atonality. after writing something like this, maybe the only place to go was WEIRD. it's the perfect distillation of the romantic era - instead of 120 min., it's a lean 28; instead of 100+ players, only 6 solo strings. the intimacy is key, as every marcato draws blood, every pizz dances, every harmonic sings. and it's based on a beautiful poem about lust, betrayal, and unconditional love, and the premiere touched off a riot. lots of reasons to like this, and i think you will.

i am walking here with you in a state of sin

playing this season in: DC, NYC, Boston, LA, Milwaukee, Berlin, Dallas, Philly, Frankfurt, Venice, Glasgow, basically everywhere - go see it

Rivers Cuomo - Alone The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo (2007)

Rivers Cuomo - Alone The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo (2007)

Cuomo has always played his solitude to his advantage. When he "disappears," his fans know where he's gone (Harvard), and now these "private" recordings are made public. This is exactly what it sounds like: an album of one-offs, hard-to-finds, and unreleased material that dates all the way back to 1984 (though a majority of the material comes from his active 1993-5 period).

Vashti Bunyan - Lookaftering (2005)




I recently had my mind blown by Fever Ray's cover of 'Here Before', and my search for the original led me to this album.

After a thirty five year hiatus, it's a haunting sophomore to her debut. It's tender, brooding, wise, and the aged inflection in her voice adds a melancholic element to her songs. These songs are timeless, medieval-sounding folk, and feature a seamless and tasteful layering of instruments like the dulcimer, french horn, mellotron and glockenspiel. There's also a touch of harp, courtesy of Joanna Newsom.

Per usual, my favorite tracks are those in a minor key: 'If I Were' and 'Same But Different' are gorgeous. And of course, 'Here Before' is stunning and worth the entire download.


Once I had a child, he was wilder than moonlight...
(...and apologies for poor bit rate. Shout if you find a higher quality download!)

Junkboy - Koyo (2010)

Masters of chilled out multi-instrumental beauty, Junkboy once again sensually caress your auditory senses to ecstasy with their new album. Their latest sound is a bit more heavy on the vocals/harmonies, adding a female voice to some tracks; has some use of strings; a tinge more of a rock feel than their previous work; yet is still grounded in their generously melodic acoustic leanings, deft use of horns and woodwinds, and nice piano work. A great record with a classic vibe.

Goodness.

Album removed as per artist's request.

Gallowbraid - Ashen Eidolon (2010)


Apparently we're a week into "nothing but black metal November," and I've been guilty of listening to, well, everything but black metal. I planned on holding out until the new Agalloch album is released later this month (yes, I am going to buy it, and no, I'm not going to post it here) to start my black/folk binge, but then some asshole went and shared this Gallowbraid EP.

Ashen Eidolon sounds like if Agalloch had switched out the post-rock influences Ashes Against the Grain for celtic-sounding leads and some more black metal, and then added Mantle-esque acoustic passage. If that sentence meant nothing to you, then listen here: this EP is some goddamn awesome atmospheric black metal that makes you want to go run headfirst into a tree, so that you can be be one with the forest. Shit yeah.

The Bastard Noise - A Culture of Monsters (2010)


new LP from Man Is The Bastard alter-egos The Bastard Noise. it's not powerviolence, tho; it's more along doom/sludge/noise lines, with Nathan Explosion-esque vocals and pummeling... well, everything. there's a lot going on here, with really interesting custom instruments and Monoliths & Dimensions-level arrangements. still not really my thing, but it comes HIGHLY rec'd by metalheads and, either way, there's no denying that this is a good, challenging, and innovative release.

[removed on request]