Archive for December 2008

Winner of the contest

27 December 2008

Okay, with only two official (and one unofficial attempt) to guess my top 10, the contest was a bit of a disappointment, but well… this means that Bram has won with only 3 points (2 points for The Morning benders (because you had the spot right, and 1 point for Chad Vangaalen) and was off for the rest.

He’ll be getting the Castanets cd, unless he wants something else. Congrats!

Sorry Flaaks, but I helped you so it wouldn’t be fair to let you win.

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2008 Galore, pt. We’re there! 10 – 1

27 December 2008

So, I’ve made two friends fight (see comments of my big contest-post), I’ve made people go berserk from the waiting, but now we’re there. The following ten albums are the best of this year, in my humble, but very advising opinion. If you haven’t heard any of them, you should keep on listening Britney Spears.

10. Chad Vangaalen – Soft Airplane (Sub Pop Records)

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Sounds like: someone at a concert told me Neil Young, and suddenly i realized Chad Vangaalen is the Electric Neil Young for the Unwashed Yuppie generation.

Vangaalen has been on my radar for the last couple of years, and now he’s on many. Understandable, cause with his falsetto voice and his scrummy lo-fi guitar noise singer-songwriter pop whatever, he’s made one of the best albums of this year. And the third winner in a row. It’s just waiting until he gets in his gospel period before he really stinks.

Chad Vangaalen – City of Electric Light

Chad Vangaalen – Willow tree

9. The Dodos – Visiter (French Kiss records)

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Sounds Like: Hit it with your rhythm stick, hit it! hit it!

The most important thing about The Dodos’ music? The percussion. It’s this tsjakka tsjakka tsjakka sound, combined with folky folky songs, that  are catchy as hell. But still complex. It’s like the best tasting yoghurt ever, but you first seem to get the grasp of this brand new lid system. And they’ve got the refreshing taste of An Animal Collective that’s not too heavy on the acid.

The Dodos – Jodi

8.  Ladyhawk – Shots (Jagjaguwar)

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Sounds like: Testosterone melancholic rock, magnolia el. co

I’m not fond of heavy electric guitar engineering. No Black Sabbath, AC/DC or other rock bands for me. But Ladyhawk seems to pull it of. They seem to go, in a songs ohia kind of way, manage to use the electric power for their benefit, instead of making dull rock songs. And because of that i greatly honour them  with the number 8 spot.

Ladyhawk – S.T.H.D

7. Okay – Huggable Dust (Absolutely Kosher)

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Sounds like: a bug with a romantic soul.

IF there’s one band in this top 10 that you may not really dig, it’s Okay. His voice sounds like that of a dying moth, and his songs are repetitive till nuissance. But oh my god, if you just keep on listening, you’ll probably hear through this facade. And you’ll find out that this is amazingly sweet, romantic, fantastic, bloody wow.

Okay –  Beast

6. The Tallest Man on Earth – Shallow Graves (Gravitation)

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Sounds like: everyone says bob dylan, so i’ll say Bob Dylan too.

It’s true. The Tallest man on Earth sounds a bit like old Bawb, but he still has his own distinctive voice. And then again, when did Bob release anything worthwile for the last time? (woohoo, let the pro-old-bob front prepare to bash me!). TMOE is a bit more lo-fi, there is a bit of noise on the back, but apart from that, the songs are amazingly good. This is roadsong music. Something you listen while you drive home from a good evening with persons you love, or a bad evening in which you just had a fight. As long as it’s night and you’re behind your steering wheel basically.

The Tallest Man on Earth – I Won’t Be Found

5. Wolf Parade – At Mount Zoomer (Sub Pop)

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Sounds like: a combination of Sunset Rubdown, Handsome Furs and other great canadian indie. Heck, it is a combination!

Okay, maybe this record in the overal greatness of great albums isn’t really worth the number 5 spot, but i’m a sucker for this sort of indie music. Every Spencer Krug project let’s say. So, eerie voices, heavy indie rock and baloney music. Damn, this is good.

Wolf Parade – Call It a Ritual

4.  Ane Brun – Changing of The Seasons (DetErMine Records)

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Sounds Like: my favourite female singer-songwriter from Sweden makes another heart-breaking record.

I’m really fond of Ane Brun. And as long as public radio doesn’t play her, i’ll keep on loving her (just joking, i don’t care about radio, cause i don’t listen to it). So, the best voice around, or one of the best and a really good talent of writing songs that hti you like a rock during national rock throwing day. You want to be hit, cause that’s the whole point. No mp3 (big label, scary!) , but a youtube link.

3. Johnny Flynn – A Larum (Vertigo Records)

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sounds like: Old irish folk in a brand new 21st Century jacket.

I think this album is the one i’ve played most during the entire year, just because there doesn’t seem to be a mood not fit to listen to this. Flynn just uses an old formula, but succeeds in surprising me with it. It’s strange: i’m known as a singer-songwriter fanatic, and i’ve heard quite the lot of them, but it keeps on mesmerizing me how people can come up with new snogs that bedazzle me. that’s a lot of difficult words in one piece. Just listen will you? (By the way, also listen to his girlfriend Laura Marling. the UK Folk scene is alive and kicking)

Johnny Flynn – The Box

2. The Morning Benders – Talking Through Tin Cans (Self-Released)

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Sounds like: The Shins, the Beatles, the pop, the sixties, the summer, the amazingly amazement singalong.

So, you want an album that you can listen to while barbecuing your veggie burgers? You need something that can serve as a soundtrack for that great summer where you will write a novel about in the future? The Morning Benders debut album is the one you need. They ended high in my promising artists list last year, and they amazingly met the expectations. This is heartwarming summer breeze pop for when you love the shins, but hate their popularity.

The Morning Bender s- Heavy Hearts

1. Why? – Alopecia (Anticon)

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Sounds like: Anthems of a indie generation.

I don’t think most people realize how amazingly good this album is.  On the level of lyrics, there is nothing better released… it’s funny, witty, street poetry. But also musically it’s soo well organised that it even beats Chinese Government drills. There isn’t a sound out of place,. Those two stuff combined, together with the overal quality of the songs, makes this the album of the year for me.

Why? – Fatalist Palmistry

Thanks for your attention. Maybe there is more stuff coming up tomorrow, otherwise i’ll be gone until at least 3d of January. And then i’ll try to be a regular blogger again.

my top 10, tomorrow

26 December 2008

be prepared.

(or not)

Big Contest !

15 December 2008

So, now that i’m almost at the end of my 2008-list I decided to do a little contest. Get ready!

What? Guess which albums are in my top 10. You get extra points if the albums are in the right place.

What can you win? A still sealed album of The Castanets (First Light’s Freeze, once bought it, but realized i already had it) OR an album by The Teeth OR an album by the High Strung.

How to Participate? Just put my supposed Top 10 in the Comments box. If you win, i’ll contact you.

Deadline? Enter your lists before 00.00 a.m/p.m (midnight) on Christmas (So the night between 24th & 25th). Before that time I won’t have any time to really update my blog.

To people who are just too lazy to participate: If you want any of these albums to give away to your friends on christmas. I’m always willing to trade one of these (yep, i’m trying to get rid of cd’s that are just lying here gathering dust)

2008 Galore!, pt. Almost there: 20 -11

14 December 2008

So, another addition to my big list. I’ve already started listening to stuff from 2009 (hello Andrew Bird), and some albums that maybe could end up in the 2008-list if i’d made it next year, but right now, we’ll just keep on going.

20. Scary Mansion – Every Joke is Half The Truth (Zum Records)

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Sounds like: There can never be enough Early Cat Power-clones, if they are as good as this.

Scary Mansion is probably unknown to most of you, but that’s absolutely blasphemous of all of you (well, that’s not the right word here, but it gives my message more strength). Scary mansion is like a scary mansion, but warming and emotional at the same tmie. It’s one of those albums that you listen to a first time and think “god, this is not really special”, and then  a second time “wow, this is pretty good”, until you end up finding it better than the original. For everyone who doesn’t like Cat Power’s career change. A bit of PJ Harvey t0o sometimes.

Scary Mansion – Go To Hell

19.  These United States – A Picture Of The Three Of Us At The Gate to the Garden of Eden/Crimes (United Interests => Self-released)

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Sounds like: soothing folkpop that makes people feel warm in cold days.

There is something amazingly calming in the voice of These United States’ vocal parts. I’m too lazy to look up who the singer is, but his voice seems always in doubt, and that sounds kinda cool. A bit like the Shaky Hands debut album last year, although this is even better. At least the ” A Picture Of the Three…”-album. I haven’t listen enough to Crimes, which got released later this year.  Very Nice guys, and the fact that Paleo plays along, is just another Hooray for These united States extra

These United States – At First Sight

18.  She & Him – Vol. 1 (Merge Records)

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Sounds like: M. ward just adding a little magic to an already amazing album.

I know this album is mostly the effort of actress Zooey Deschanel (who looks amazingly cute in ‘A Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy’, that just as a male chauvinist pig sidenote). Anyway, She & Him is more she, and its incredibly warm songs make this album stand out from similar stuff that may got released over the years. That’s the M. Ward-production. (Is it obvious that i don’t have much to say about this album)

I’m not gonna give an mp3, cause you can fully stream the album here.

17. Mother Mother – Oh Mighty Heart ( Last Gang Records)

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Sounds Like: The Easy to Get Version of THe Fiery Furnaces

Mother Mother really isn’t the sort of music i normally listen to, but i get completely hooked by this jumpy indie rock where man and woman fight each other most of the time.  IT’s something that could be very famous in Indie world if it just gets enough attention by bloggers. So let’s start the hype. Mother Mother, go listen you hip indiecrowd. Goddamnit.

Mother Mother – Body Of Years

16.  Adam Green – Sixes And Sevens (Rough Trade)

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Sounds Like: The Childish Version of Frank Sinatra does it again.

I must admit: I’m kind of fond of the puberal wit of Adam Green. I used to when he was still in The Moldy Peaches, and I still do now that he’s this crooner with dirty songs. I know many people hate this guy, but he’s still the guy who gave the most entertaining show i’ve ever seen. (Gotta love his dance moves). Anyway, his previous album wasn’t that good, but on Sixes And Sevens he tries some other directions in some songs, and they all turn out great. The Panflute in “You Get So Lucky” is fucking awesome. (Never knew i would say that about a pan flute)

Adam Green – You Get So Lucky

15. Goldmund – The Malady of Elegance (Type Records)

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Sounds like: The piano sounds to a trip in a never ending forest

Goldmund is the pianoproject of the guy from Helios, and he beats other neo-classical piano hero Max Richter this year with his album ‘The Malady of Elegance’. Piano music is something you shouldn’t be talking about if you don’t know anything about it, but just listen and enjoy. From the Great Type Records.

Goldmund – in A Notebook

14. Miss Autopsy – The Hill  (Lens Records)

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Sounds like: people should really start taking my advice about this eerie nihilist singer-songwriter.

I’ve written about Miss Autopsy before on my blog, i’ve written a review about him in Gonzo Circus, i’ve told people to buy them on daMusic, and i’ll put them on the number 14-spot in my 2008 list. No, The Guy hasn’t given me any money to promote his music, but this is just a very underappreciated album. Maybe i should start to spread it on blogs and hope all those people listening to it will eventually buy it. Anyway, miss autopsy, you better go and listen now.  (also a great experiment to see how i can start a hype).

Miss Autopsy – The Doctor

Miss Autopsy – The Telephone Song

13. Chauchat – Upon Thousands (Yer Bird Records)

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Sounds like: Your nineties indie gloom, good for the holidays and to beat hte financial crisis

Chauchat is the dark version of nineties bands like Built To Spill and Pedro The Lion. The guitars are sad (and loud at times),  and is really really underappreciated. They have released some albums for free on last.fm (downloadable too) and with what seems to be their first proper release on a label, they should be getting praise from all of you. But no, you just shut up and listen to all those daft bands. (yes, i’m in a very judging mood). So, beg for forgiveness and listen to the amazing songs from these indie-retro band. Sadcore.

Chauchat –  Fight Obscurity

12. David Karsten Daniels – Fear of Flying (Fat Cat Records)

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Sounds like: Your average bible Belt-singersongwriter

Whether David Karsten DAniels believes in God or not, is not sure, but he at least struggles with faith. That was obvious in his previous album, and is so in this album too. He does that with a similar grandeur of Sufjan Stevens, although his songs are less all over the place (more like seven swans). He was in my list last year too, so this seems to be someone who’ll stay put in my musical favourites.

DAvid Karsten DAniels – Oh, Heaven Isn’t Real

11. Ghost Bees – Tasseomancy  (Youth Club)

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Sounds like: Alela Diane & Mariee Sioux & Other neofolk female singers , Joanna Newsom

The Songs on ‘Tasseomancy’ have the grandeur of the songs on Joanna Newsom’s Ys. They Really have. It’s a bit musical-storylike telling. And because all of you voted that album to the number one spot in 2006, you should all be finding this amazing. folk, 2 girls, a lot of instrumentation. Wonderful.

Ghost Bees – Erl King

So, still ten to go.

Exciting!

Lord Of the Rings, the better version: Bone (Jeff Smith)

11 December 2008

blog_011-753041What? Bone by Jeff Smith

About? An epic story about three funny looking creatures who are cousins (Phone Bone, Smiley Bone and Phoncible Bone). They end up in a sort of Fantasy-like valley after being chased out of Boneville, and suddenly find themselves amidst a sort of Lord of The Rings battle between rat creatures, dragons and medieval humans.

I just spent last week  reading ‘Bone’ by jeff Smith, the acclaimed comic artist.  And what can I say? All these awards this comic book got are well-deserved. I’m not very fond of Fantasy. Dragons, elves…most of the time they just piss me off. So I didn’t read Tolkien’s oeuvre, nor did I enjoy the films. But ‘Bone’, although very epic fantasy at times, is just better, because it’s funnier. It’s this clash of Fantasy-realism and the cartoonesque figurs of the Bone cousins.

It’s no graphic novel. It doesn’t fit the definition I use, but then again…a 1,332 page long comic book which tells one story with the grandeur of one of the most famous books of the 20st Century.. Can’t you consider that ‘a graphic novel’?

Franktly, i don’t care. You should all just go and read it.

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2008 Galore!, Pt. 743 (i lost count): 30- 21

9 December 2008

And here we are again, for just the following 10 of the list. Yes, It takes a lot of time writing these posts, which is the reason why i postpone it, but i need to finish this. So, off we go:

30. Final Fantasy – Plays to please/Spectrum, 14th Century (Blocks recording club)

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Sounds like: Indie, the musical.

How vaudeville can you get, is a question that you can ask if you listen to these two teasing EP’s by Final Fantasy. They are released on something that i’m not even sure is a label, but i could be wrong. I got it the illegal way, but still I’ll all advise you to go out and buy these two little gems. If you like previous Final Fantasy-releases you get more of the same. Spectrum, 14th Century is filled with nature recordings as an extra, but it’s ‘Plays to Please’ that is really amazingly good. Vaudevillian all the way, so to speak.

Final Fantasy – Nun or Bawd (From ‘Plays to Please’)

29. Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornados) (Earthology Records => self-released)

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Sounds like: A combination of everything that should make a band really big in evil, big indie-worshipband land

Really, guys. If you like Arcade Fire, you can not not like Cloud cult. That’s like saying you don’t eat chocolate, but you have this craving for chocolate pudding. Cloud cult is witty, rocky, elektronic, folky, muddy, don’t know how many more words i have to put here until someone stops reading and just listens to the song.

Cloud Cult – Everybody here is a cloud

28. Pete Molinari – A Virtual Landslide (Damaged Good Records)

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Sounds like: The 50’s version of Turner Cody, Richie Valentine? (50’s middle class Rock-‘n-roll..my parents dig this)

Retro, retro, retro! I can’t stress it  enough, but 2008 was in my opinion mostly retro. Take Pete Molinari e.g. He sounds as if he’s on some tv-show, black & white, in the fifties. People don’t really know what internet is, and they aren’t yet familiar with never stopping consumerism. Pete Molinari is on, and his innocent singer-songwriter romantic songs fit the times. They aren’t as wild as Elvis, they are middle class white “gosh, Pete is a very fine singer. that boy is gonna be big if he doesn’t die in a plane crash” songs.

Pete Molinari – Adelaine

27. Mount Righteous – When The Music Starts (Self-Released)

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Sounds like: Big Band Hippies

I’ve written about this band before, and so you all should already know them. For those who weren’t aware of my blog at the time: Welcome! Mount Righteous is a big band hippie Texan band, which sounds a bit like the polyphonic spree, but better… if you like this kind of party music where everyone sings along, claps his hands and dances with each other, try this.  And because i’m lazy, i’ll just repost the song i gave away back then.

Mount Righteous – Licorice Night

26. Ezra Furman & The Harpoons –  Inside The Human Body (Minty Fresh Records)

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Sounds like: Finally, we can get rid of Bob Dylan (and clap your hands say yeah)

Ezra Furman was in my list last year, on the number 5 spot, and if I listen to this album just a bit more (cause i haven’t really listened to it that much, not used to the songs yet), I know this album will end up much higher in the list. Ezra should be the one stepping into Dylan’s footsteps. Not “gosh, why did i become so boring” Conor Oberst. This is great Neil Young, Dylanlike Singersongwriter southern rock songs/singersongwriter stuff! Just listen to the song, and notice the background choir. Fucking goosebumps.

Ezra Furman & the Harpoons – Take Off Your Sunglasses

25. The War on Drugs – Wagonwheel Blues  (Secretly Canadian)

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Sounds Like: Bruce Springsteen goes Sonic Youth

ok, i stole that comparison from vaaaaarious other blogs, but it’s really accurate. The War on Drugs has made an album of which you know that it will sound timeless all the time. They’ve made solid songs the springsteen way (and i don’t even really like springsteen), but added a bit fuzz and distortion to them. Adding to that, a great singing voice, and we’re all there, in our farmer shirts and our no wave-hairdo.  It’s like they say: you can not go wrong with Secretly Canadian (you can though).

The War on Drugs – Taking The Farm

24. Raz Ohara & The Odd Orchestra – Raz Ohara & The Odd Orchestra (Get Physical)

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Sounds like: Indie R&B

Damn, another band i already discussed here. this osunds as i’ve said like an R&B version of the Notwist or the Go Find. eeeeh, what else can i say..go buy it? you can read all the rest in the previous post!  or listen to the song.

Raz Ohara & the Odd Orchestra – Kisses

23. Women – Women (Jagjaguwar Records)

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Sounds like: Living on a garbage belt, and getting bored, so let’s make some noise.

I saw Women live a few weeks ago, together with their producer Chad Vangaalen. Thought they were boring. That doesn’t help appreciating the music on the album, but I’m still really enjoying this. It’s sometimes Animal Collective, sometimes lo-fi No Age, sometimes something else. I know everyone with a moderate taste in music would call this absolute rubbish, but I enjoy the fact that you have to look for songs between the noise. Long live layered lo-fi! (there are some more quiet songs on there too)

Women – Black Rice

Women – Group Transport Hall

22. Ratatat – LP 3 (XL Recordings)

Sounds Like: An Electronic Walk through the land of Oz.

I don’t listen that many purely instrumental or electronic music. Mostly because most albums don’t interest me. I know that’s quite the prejudice, but i don’t care (you also won’t find kayne west, or any other hiphop-soul-whatever guy or girl in this list, just to show how amazingly diverse i am. I’m not) Anyway, I got the ratatat album to write a review about it, and to my own amazement really liked this. These little miniature songs take you on a trip through a sort of miracle lollipop land. I imagine this land is Oz, but it could also be Alice’s wonderland (no it’s not weird enough for that), or the land where Mary Poppins live when she’s not taking care of some annoying kids.

Ratatat – Black Heroes

21. Mount Eerie – Lost Wisdom (P.W Elverum & Sun => self-released)

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Sounds like: the great winter depression of lo-fi (and did Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia turn back to its roots?)

I must admit that although i’m very lo-fi minded, the projects of Phil Elverum are always a bit hard for me to grasp. I think you must really listen to it day and night to really find it amazing the way the real Microphones-fans do. Then again, it’s great stuff. And if you ask the wonderful Julie Doiron to accompany on your album, you just know that it’s gonna be amazing. Lost Wisdom is sad, but wooden cabin sad. It’s the christmas melancholy, when you know the last fire is burning and after that you’ll freeze to death.

Mount Eerie – What?