Thursday, December 29, 2005

2005 SONIC REVIEW!

Instead of a defined list here are the albums, shows and musical going ons I was really into this year. Goodbye 2005.


Xiu Xiu's album La Foret was huge for me this year. I could not stop listening to it, and Jamie and Caralee don't give an inch. Seeing their live show at the Middle East in Cambridge during the worst part of my year was by far the best live show I saw this year. Aside from La Foret they released myriad albums and splits and evev created a new band with Larsen, XXL. I look forward to see what 2006 brings for the hardest working band in avant-destructo-post-pop, haha.

Arab Strap are perhaps my favorite band. Their newest album, The Last Romance, made a big impression on me. I was cool to it first as they eschewed drum machines and simple structures for more refined instrumentation and songs. My review of it is here. There music is as personal as it gets for me, and it looks like they are crossing the pond in 06, SXSW included.

Black Dice's Broken Ear Record got me going crazy when it came out.


Jose Gonzalez was a pleasant discovery, for many people I'm sure, his voice is good but it's his style of guitar playing that is the real treat.

I gained an appreciation for avant-garde composers, especially Alvin Lucier

Discovering that not only does my old friend Nat Baldwin perform, compose, and sing his own songs, but he is friends with my Austin friends, and I love his work.

Broken Social Scene's self titled record is great, the sum of many is greater than one and all that. However I didn't dig on Metric and The Most Serene Republic too much.

Like everyone else on the face of the planet, Animal Collective's Feels moved me in a very profound way. The people who say Animal Collective are on their way to becoming one of those legendary bands are wrong, they already are.

Then there is the more accessible version of Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear who I fell deeply in love with on Halloween night when they opened for The Mountain Goats.

The Books album Lost & Safe was tremendous.

I really loved getting to know Patrick Wolf's music.

Diplo is ridiculous, and on that note if I had to choose an album of the year it would have to be M.I.A.'s Arular for making an unbelievable dance album full of cheap sounds, reactionary politics and great beats. It is a new genre and it was the most exciting album of the year for me anyway.


BEST SHOWS I WAS AT IN 2005, also known as WHO CARES!

Sub-Pop showcase at SXSW, Thermals and Sleater Kinney killed, absolutely killed.

Some Girls at SXSW, I should have mentioned their record The DNA Will Have Its Say up above but I only really listened to it a handful of times. Some Girls set reminded that punk and hardcore should be about volume, anger, and just not giving a fuck about any one's opinion.

Xiu Xiu at the Middle East. Words Can't Describe.

Prefuse 73 at the Middle East. Top Notch form for the knob twiddler.

Ted Leo at the South St. Seaport

The Mountain Goats and Grizzly Bear on Hallowen at the Knitting Factory

The Go! Team at the Paradise Boston


Thats about it. I know I am forgetting plenty, but 2005 has been a trying year for me and its ending on a sad note. I am excited for 2006 and here is what I'm already looking forward to.
SXSW
Sigur Ros US Tour
Moving to New York
New Design and focus for this Blog

Happy New Year To Anyone Who Actually Reads This.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Flava Flavin


So it's christmas and i got some good stuff, one of which is a book on Dan Flavin, my favorite artist. The book is wonderful because I have seen alot of his work and installations, it might not work so well if you haven't seen his work up close. I just wanted to post on his work because it makes me happy, and I have been drinking copious amounts of wine all night. Dig on it.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Known Pleasures


Brooklyn Vegan posts about new Joy Division songs as a part of Anton Corbijn's biopic on Ian Curtis. This would mean the three remaining members; Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, and Stephen Morris, a.k.a New Order would lay down some cuts for the film, which is cool.

I am a tremendous fan of both Joy Division and New Order.I don't know how I would feel about seeing "Joy Division" play a show these days, it would be cool and all but I have come to terms with only ever hearing JD on my speakers. I think it would be good, however, for New Order. The swell of Joy Division interest, aping, and what iffing in the last few years would have us believe that Curtis was the only talent in the group, and that the sound was sculpted entirely by Martin Hannet. Curtis was a huge talent, but he was only one part of the innovation that was JD's music, the other three made the tunes and crafted the sound, then they started New Order and took it to a whole new level. So good for them for getting a chance to celebrate their songs and their friends life.

Here's a prediction for you as well, Coachella 2007- Night One- My Bloody Valnetine, Night Two- Joy Division

Saturday, December 17, 2005

New Hobby

So today I began converting my LP's to mp3's. I have been meaning to do this for awhile but never got around to it. I can now finally have access to all my old Hardcore 7" when ever I want and can sell off the ones i was only keeping for a song or two. Unfortunately this will take me forever.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

SXSW

Partial Artists list released for SXSW this year over at Done Waiting. Yee Haw!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I like you Tomlab...but you're crazy.

In the spirit of giving, Tomlab is willing to sell you four, as in 4, cd's for the price of one. You cannot choose which albums, only if you want pop or experimental. These will be cd's from their catalogue, presumably that are just collecting dust. I doubt you would receive anything new, i.e. The Books, Patrick Wolf, Final Fantasy, but they have released a ridiculous amount of records by a ton of great groups. Take a risk and have fun. I need to contact them anyway and get off the german language e-mail list.

Punk Pics


Great photos of all your favorite punks by Andy Rosen. I wrote my undergrad thesis on U.K. punk and race, so i always have a fondness for stuff like this, not to mention that The Clash were one of the coolest looking bands to ever grace a stage.

from Boing Boing

What a way to end the year

This year has seen a record increase in gun violence in the city of Boston. Last night four people were shot to death in a basement recording studio in Dorchester, one of the hot spots of gun violence in the city. I'm glad the Boston police have stepped up efforts to curb college parties city wide, but can't seem to find a solution to curbing the rate of gun crimes. At one point a friend and I did some rudimentary calculations and figured that about 1 in every 2,000 Bostonians was shot this year. Of course the majority of these crimes have happened in the same neighborhoods so that stat is a bit skewed.

Monday, December 12, 2005

World Baseball Classic

I normally don't like to write about sports. However, I am beyond excited for the World Baseball Classic this spring. It will be interesting to see how lineups are constructed and pitchers are used. It will also be nice to watch teams without caring about the outcome, although I do think I will be routing for the Dominican Republic, sorry USA. Baseball has become so intricate and stat based, each team has a philosophy, i.e. small ball, power, defensive play etc. I doubt managers will have time to dictate their play based upon a philosophy.

As to why I will route for DR. The Dominican Republic has produced the greatest, and my favorite, players of this generation. It will be the most powerful hitting lineup in the history of the sport, and the best pitcher of the last ten years, Pedro, will be their ace. It will showcase how a small, impoverished nation has been able to create "natural" ball players of a claiber unseen lately. I will route for DR because their players are just that, naturals. They dont go to clinics and camps and they dont have the newest gear or best fields. They just play to play. I cannot wait.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Cat Power


What news could possibly make a day of non-stop snow, the loudest thunder, and pink lightning a bit more enjoyable. Cat Power playing Boston on Feb 18th, thats what. Thanks Brooklyn Vegan

No Fun Fest


Tiny Mix Tapes gives the lowdown on this years No Fun Fest. The dates sync up with SXSW, so i shant be attending any of it. Oh well. Wonder if this was intentional.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Chemikal Underground Documentary

BBC Radio 1 is playing a 1 hour and 15 minute documentary on Chemikal Underground. It seems like it is on tonight but I can't find the exact time. Either way you can listen to it archived here

Mess with Texas

As a New Englander growing up I never thought much about what was west and south of New York City. But I did spend a year in Texas and fell in love with parts of it. One thing I began to understand was the saying "Don't Mess With Texas". This is pretty funny.

Snow


Snow
Originally uploaded by Forest Hills.

Just the Flickr/Blogger "Blog This" option on Flickr

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Xiu Xiu

Good review over at tinymixtapes of the new "livish" Xiu Xiu record. The reviewer also touches on how Xiu Xiu shows are the worst place for loud people to be, which was actually a conversation I had last week.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Overly Excited With A Lack of Info

Yesterday morning i was fast asleep on the floor of a friends apartment in NYC. My phone rang and I decided to not answer , but then I did answer only to find out from the caller that Arab Strap is playing SXSW as part of their US tour in March. I had been looking everywhere for info on a possible AS tour, but could find little info. Their newest album is being released in the US in February, it came out in the UK this past fall and my gushing review is on this site. I did find this info on Donewaiting's SXSW blog. So it seems it is true. I am beyond happy for this news. Because it means i will be able to see them in Austin in March and then perhaps in Boston and New York as well.

This does bring up the one frustration I have with my favorite band. They do not make any info about their US activities easy to find. It seems since their split with Matador they have given up on the Colonies. Oh well, I am thinking of applying to be their webmaster, since their's seems to moved on.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Can It Be?!

Has Pitchfork been usurped again by a smaller more agile indie blog? It would seem that this is true. The news of the Neutral Milk demos has been around for a few days on Tiny Mix Tapes and Brooklyn Vegan. I have been thinking alot lately about the idea of independent media and Pitchfork especially. It seems that there is definitely an anti-Pitchfork contingent, I even have heard of a group in Austin that is trying to create a site to specifically compete with Pitchfork! It would seem that just like in all forms of media, the small blog will continue to scoop the bigger sites and media outlets. I'm assuming Pitchfork has a Masthead and Editorial staff, whereas Brooklyn Vegan just posts. Interesting to nerds like me I suppose. I will however commend Pitchfork for their great oral history piece on Detroit Techno and Chicago House. That seems to be their greatest strength in my eyes, to write great contextualized articles and gain access to artists and musicians.