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Friday, December 31, 2010

Epic Review of 2010 Part II

Top Albums Continued: didn't have enough time to proof read or check the links. So excuse any gross grammar/spelling issues and let me know if any of the links are dead.

10. Frightened Rabbit - The Winter Mixed Drinks
Their last album (The Midnight Organ Fight-2008) was at number 4. Winter of Mixed Drinks is very similar and delivers more rocking and intense lyrics. Frightened Rabbit  do a great job of packing an emotional punch in every song. I'm jealous that my brother got to go out drinking with this band after seeing them in concert in Iowa.
Favorite Tracks:
Swim Until You Can't See Land
The Loneliness and the Scream
Nothing Like You
Living In Colour

9. Best Coast -Crazy For You
After releasing a string of great EPs and singles in 2009 Beth Consentino and Bob Bruno put out a great album. Beth does all the vocals and harmony on the album and give it a great 50's girl group meets Dick Dale sound. Can't help but be happy after listening to this album even though it is filled with break-up and heart wrenching songs.
Favorite Tracks:
Crazy For You
When I'm With You
Boyfriend - Ghostwaves Remix

Fantastic video!

8. Laura Veirs - July Flame
A great discovery when I saw an ad for her new album listed at $2.00. Heard the title track and have been listening ever since. Straight forward folk pop music. She has a great voice and writes catchy tunes. One of the few concerts I went to this year and even though she was 6 months pregnant she put on a great show and her voice sounded good live.
 Favorite Tracks:
July Flame
Sun Is King
Where Are You Driving
Little Deschutes
Wide-Eyed, Legless
Life Is Good Blues

7. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Very rarely do I enjoy whole albums of hip-hop, but this is an exception. It is interesting throughout and doesn't waste the whole album talking about how awesome it is. It rocks, is sexy, and at times mellows out and looks inward. The Bon Iver sample is also a great bonus. This may be even better then the number 7 ranking, but since it came out so late, I haven't fully digested it. Runaway is intense!

Favorite Tracks:
Lost In The World
All Of The Lights

Bonus Video:

6. Beach House - Teen Dream
Intense and dreamy. Really love Victoria Legrands voice and the music just complements it perfectly. I have enjoyed tracks from this band in the past, but gotten bored with their albums. They seem to have hit a peek and the whole album is great.

Favorite Tracks:
Walk In the Park
10 Mile Stereo
Used To Be

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Epic Review of 2010 Part I

This year will be remembered as the year my I-pod gave out. I lost over 80GB of music most of it from 2009 and 2010. The better part of it, is that my external hard drive is not functioning correctly either. If I can get that up and going then all will be fine, but I have spent the past 2 months buying, tracking down, and re-downloading as much of my music as I can find. It hasn't been all bad because in the process I have found 2 new music blogs that I really like that put up some great mix tapes (TSURURADIO and ATG). I am sure I will overlook some song or band that I (or you) really dug this year, but here is my attempt to cover the music that rang through my ear buds most often or got turned up to 11 in the swagger wagon. Not sure how many parts this will take; I have tried to include a couple mp3s, official videos, and live footage of each of the bands, but because of the epic nature of the coverage I'll have to break this up into parts. There is probably too much music here to digest in one sitting, but good luck.

Now on to the countdown:
16. Beach Fossils - Beach Fossils
A lot of the music this year had that surfer garage sound and I was glad for that. I'm sure I'll use the terms over and over in these reviews but I loved the garage revival. I'm a fan of the Nuggets box sets, punk rock, Buddy Holly, the Modern Lovers and early Beach Boys.In terms of sound these guys are poppy. Hailing from Brooklyn they were NYC's version of the garage revival. Listened to this all summer long, was a great soundtrack for the beach.

Favorite Tracks:
Golden Age

Standing drummer = kool with a "k."

15. Crocodiles - Sleep Forever
The Crocodiles have that retro garage sound and when I hear Sleep Forever I think of Jesus and Mary Chain, and early Stone Roses. Everything sounds muddy and beautiful. I love the echo of the vocals.

Favorite Tracks:
Sleep Forever
Hollow Hollow Eyes
Billy Speed
Hearts Of Love

14. The Walkmen - Lisbon
Lisbon has the same moody feeling that the Walkmen have had since their first album. There are quiet reflective moments throughout the album and a raucous crowd pleaser in Angela Surf City.

Favorite Tracks:
Angela Surf City
Blue As Your Blood
While I Shovel The Snow

The Walkmen || Angela Surf City [1 of 3] from Ray Concepcion on Vimeo.

13. The Strange Boys - Be Brave
Lead singer Ryan Sambol sounds drunk and deranged, but it goes perfectly with the loose ramshackle sound of the band. This was a great E-music discovery before E-music went sour. These guys should go on tour with The Crocodiles.

Favorite Tracks:
A Walk On The Bleach
Be Brave
Night Might
Friday Night In Paris

12. Hot Chip - One Life Stand
I have liked everything Hot Chip has done and this album is no exception. One difference I see from past albums is One Life Stand has fewer stand alone dance floor hits, but is a more cohesive album. The band seems to be reflecting on having families and getting older and being content with it. I just enjoy seeing videos with these old guys still kicking.  My wife is also a big fan.

Favorite Tracks:
Thieves In The Night
I Feel Better
One Life Stand
Alley Cats
Take It In

One of the best videos of the year. Goes from funny, to weird, to disturbing, and back to funny.

11. The Black Keys - Brothers
These guys have been making that garage blues sound forever. Same gritty blues sound as always, but this is the first Black Keys album I have been repeatedly going back to.  Tighten Up and Howlin' For You I play on weekly basis.

Favorite Tracks:
Tighten Up
Everlasting Light
Howlin' For You
Next Girl

Another top video for the year

I'll be back later tonight or tomorrow with more of the countdown.