Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 5 Albums of the Year

As 2009 comes to a close, I hope the year was a good one for you. Thank you very much for checking out the blog, I hope you found something you liked and keep reading. After much deliberation and procrastination, I have come up with my top 5 albums of the year. Drum roll please...

5. Miike Snow - Miike Snow
The electronic trio released the self-titled debut in September and gained some airplay from the first single, "Animal". They can easily be this year's Peter Bjorn & John, which isn't that bad when you are a side project. Given their success, they may record again, but I doubt it, so scoop this up. If you like the vocals, check out Fires of Rome (Andrew Wyatt sings for both groups) and search for Bloodshy & Avant's production skills or remixes (the other 2 talented men of this group).

4. The Dead Weather - Horehound
Equal parts of The White Stripes, The Kills, Queens of the Stone Age & The Greenhornes this group took the greatness of each member and scorched everything in their way. Released in July on Third Man Records, the group was formed as another side project of Jack White, this time showcasing his skills behind the drum kit. Although most people would prefer to see Jack on guitar and singing, Alison Mosshart was a breath of fresh air and electrifying on stage (I caught them @ the Vic this year). Expect another album Spring of '10.

3. Mos Def - The Ecstatic
If there was a "Comeback of the Year" award, the mighty Mos Def would have received this honor as well. After the dreadful "Tru Magic" most people thought he was losing his focus with his attempts to break into acting. Maybe he heard this, because The Ecstatic is rough, confident and banging. Check out "Quiet Dog" or "Casa Bey" for tracks only Mos Def could release and I thank him for doing so.

2. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast
This could have been the year of Andrew Bird, but the Kings Of Leon and my #1 band stole some of the spotlight, and rightfully so. On his past albums there were points of absurdity and loss of focus which can be attributed and forgiven due to his immense talent. This time he manages to stay the course and seamlessly blend the album into a flowing mixture of sounds and emotion. I drove all the way to Colorado this summer to see this man and I'd do it again. For those of you looking for a challenge, try the limited edition double album "Noble Beast/Useless Creatures" for a second album of instrumentals and fragments. It's a brief peek behind the curtain.

1. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
You can catch these guys everywhere because they have been EVERYWHERE. Despite very little popularity in the states, this French band reinforced my belief that good music will find it's way to the masses. The album is flawless with every track worthy of being a single and DJs took notice. Take a spin around Hype Machine and you could get dizzy at the amount of remixes out there for every song. "Lisztomania" may start the party but "Love Like a Sunset" and "Countdown" keep it going.

Who knows what will happen next, but I think I have a pretty good idea. Come back next week for the "Albums of 2010" post and my first blog of the "Alphabet Project". Be safe and thanks again for reading, it was a damn good year...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Eddie Vedder @ the Kennedy Center Honors

Last night CBS broadcasted the Kennedy Center Honors, a show that honored Bruce Springsteen among others. The night started with a tribute to Robert De Niro and an amazing musical number for fellow honoree (and genius) Mel Brooks. But like most things he does, Bruce and his music stole the show. Well-respected artists stepped up to contribute to the night (John Mellencamp, Ben Harper, Melisa Etheridge & Sting) and long time friend and fan, Eddie Vedder dug deep and performed "City of Ruins". Check it out, and jump on YouTube to see Eddie cover a few other Bruce gems like "Atlantic City" or "Growing Up".

Monday, December 14, 2009

Welcome to my complete music library...

I'm not sure how many people have encountered this dilemma and it may sound absurd to a few. But, I am only 8 gigs short of maxing out my current iPod. When I bought the 160 gig model, I never imagined that I would fill it. However, with the accessibility of torrents my library seemed to double over night! That being said, no one really needs this much music. In fact, you probably only listen to a few artists with the rest just taking up space. The only question is: What do I get rid of? As I scroll through the artists, that question gets heavier and heavier.

So in an act of utter stupidity I have come to a very democratic and time consuming conclusion. I will actually listen to every song/album/artist I own. If it sucks, it's gone. Do I really need Bishop Allen's "October EP", or Matt Pond PA's "Measure"? My hope is to have a leaner, kickass iPod at my disposal and enough room to continue to find and enjoy new music. So let's begin...

Here are the rules:
1. I will listen to them alphabetically. The first artist is A-Trak, up next Ac/Dc, followed by Adam Ant, etc.
2. Because I appreciate the idea/concept of the "album" I will listen to the album in it's entirety as it was intended to be heard.
3. After completing the letter, I will post a blog about something great, something I found, or something about a band and their career.
4. If you want a more detailed account, I will send out a tweet from my account (theearlynerd) every time I start a new band.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dave Grohl: 10 Questions

Occasionally you find an artist or band that is cool no matter what. For everyone who thinks it's about the "music", yes it is. But being a rock star has such an exotic flare, you can't deny that you didn't jump off your bed with a broom in hand thinking you were shredding a solo. Some bands seem to roll into popularity with the trends (ahem, the Strokes), while others stay the same and that makes them popular. Dave Grohl, and practically everything he associates himself with, has endured and persevered to make some fantastic music. Who else can claim ushering in the grunge movement (Nirvana), tackling classic rock (he was the touring drummer for Tom Petty shortly after Nirvana ended), introducing stoner rock to the masses (his drumming on Queens of the Stone Age's "Songs for the Deaf" is phenomenal), accurately defining the term Supergroup (see Them Crooked Vultures) and ruling the pop charts and Mtv audience (Foo Fighters)? Simply put, the guy can do know wrong...