Posted tagged ‘Why?’

The List is done!

28 November 2009

 

So, finally my  2009-list is done, a bit later than last year. Listening to all the stuff from this year, I had a mixed feeling… there were not as much outstanding records as last year, and a lot of bands I really looked forward to disappointed me.

That being said, I’ve got a really amazing number one, which I will reveal in the course of the following weeks, hoping to have finished before or just after Christmas. I also will try to finish my best of the decade list by then, so I’ve got a lot of work to do.

Anyway… the albums that you won’t see in my end of year list (that you would’ve suspected in the first place)

Islands – Vapours: Vocoders are there to be destroyed. This band is finally over for me. I won’t be trying any next stuff.

Devendra Banhart – What will we be: Banhart’s first major label release, and you can hear that. All the fun is sucked out of his songs. The promising future turned into a bland present.

Monsters of Folk: Though they gave a great show (and I got wronged by Oberst and James about how they suck these days), the sum isn’t nearly as good as the separate parts. At least on the record.

Micah P. Hinson All Dressed up and smelling of strangers: I like cover albums, but i have no idea what Hinson was thinking with some of these versions.

Findlay brown: I don’t even wanna remember this. From superfolkie (and a high spot in my 2007 list) to Phil Collins’ evil stepbrother. Yuk. (I’m not even giving the name of the album, because I wanna spare you guys that).

Misophone – I sit at open windows: I once asked them if they would release their old material, and i think this is one of the albums preceding “Where has it gone, all the beautiful music of our grandparents? ..” The bad thing is you can hear that they’ve not grown to their full potential on those albums yet. Guys, ignore my request and just start recording new stuff.

Grizzly Bear– Veckatimest: i must say it was on the shortlist for quite a while, but in the long run it just wasn’t good enough to obtain a place in the top 50. The Same for Castanets, Casiotone For the Painfully Alone, Bonnie Prince Billy, Hallelujah The Hills, Why (my number one of last year!) and Noah & The Whale.

Wilco – Wilco (the album): the last three albums of this band are probably all in my top 50 of the last ten years, and although this one has enjoyable songs, It’s just a bit below Wilco-standards. There isn’t one song no it that would end up on my Wilco best-of mixtape. This hurt probably the most this year. Ouch Wilco.

So, now you have a small overview on what’s not there. Keep checking the blog for the Yes-list.

Yes!

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An Inside Out Sock’s best of the Decade list: 26 – 20

14 November 2009

So, I can’t even keep up with regular posting on this blog, but I decided to chip in on the trend to, now that 2010 is only a month and a half away, reflect on the past decade. In terms of society, we’ve entered a new Dark Ages as far as I’m concerned, but because one of my mission statements for this blog was to not talk about me, I’ll only bother my friends in the bar with that. I don’t consider myself important enough to be sharing my opinion on everything that’s going on.

So, let’s talk about music then! In my list there will be no Wilco, no Arcade Fire or no Radiohead. The first two surely would be in my traditional decade list, but I decided to focus on those bands that aren’t in any lists, albums that have been ignored or forgotten, or albums people have never even heard about. 26 albums precisely, and I believe all of them are timeless. At least to my ears, because I give them a spin all too often.

Making this list sucked. I had to leave out a lot of favorites. And quite a few of the bands have featured on this blog before. I won’t upload new songs for them, unless the uploaded songs are from another album.

Anyway..here is number 26 to 20. Oh yeah, no albums from 2007, 2008 or 2009. I wanted to make it really obscure.

26. Hudson Bell – Captain Of The Old Girls (Upperworks, 2002)

captaincover Sounds like: A nineties indie-retro melancholy soup

Hudson Bell is one of those bands I got to know by just downloading everything that was in my way. Ninety per cent of those songs disappear into the Microsoft Trash can, where it will be monitored how much illegal music I have once owned, so that it can be used against me. Hudson Bell is the bastard son of Neil Young and Built To Spill, but just a little bit sadder then. I wrote about them here. You can also find some songs there. And release that new album man.

25. Arab Strap – Monday At The Hug & Pint (Chemikal Underground, 2003)

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Sounds like: Scottish pub-sadness, but as long as there is beer in the end, we’ll be happy.

Arab Strap wasn’t known for their happy songs. The collaborative project of Adrian Moffat (who released a fine album this year by the way) and Malcolm Middleton (who has been releasing good stuff since he started a solo career) was all Scottish melancholy. It was rough, but musically amazing. The Mumbling of Moffat, combined with the sometimes uptempo melodies, makes this album a master in duality. Ok, this is crap, but it’s really good. As an extra I’ll add a song of a sideproject of Moffat, The sick anchors, where he sings a cover by Atomic Kitten in his own amazing way. If you have that single, I’ll marry you.

Arab Strap – The Shy Retirer

The Sick Anchors – Whole Again (Atomic Kitten cover)

24. the Love of everything – Handjob Community ( Redder Records, 2004)

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Sounds like: Daniel Johnston’s squeaky basterd nephew, but even worse at singing.

I have not known the Love of Everything for more than a year, but already they are among the most played bands on my last.fm pages the last six months. It’s got this sincerity I’m looking for in music. Anyway, i wrote about the band not so long ago. You can download some songs there.

23. Havergal – Lungs for The Race (Secretly Canadian, 2001)

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Sounds like: The Postal Service who didn’t care about being poppy. Why, but not Why?

Havergal..damn, i wish he would resurrect from whatever grave or coffee bar he’s in, to release something new. He made two albums and then kind of disappeared from the face of the earth. the last login on MySpace is from beginning of 2009. Maybe i should become a documentary maker and then go on a search for Havergal. Anyway,  I wrote about him here.

22. Black Bear – The Cinnamon Phase (Baskerville Hill Records, 2006)

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Sounds like: Casiotone for The Painfully Alone, you’d better watch your back.

Another project that hasn’t been heard of after this album. Too bad, cause I think this is one of my favourite bleep-bleep indie squeak bedroom projects. I wrote about this project here. Download those songs.

21. Chauchat – Chauchat (Free digital release, 2006)

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Sounds like: the sadcore indie project no one knows about, but everyone should know, cause it’s fucking underrated.

I don’t use the word ‘fucking’ that often, but in regard to Chauchat, it’s necessary. There is no vessel in my mind that would doubt that this band can be really big with the american indie crowd. It’s got all what indie bands need. Damn. Luckily, it’s not too late to discover, cause this album can be found for free on the internet. And therefore I applaud them even more. Also try out their other stuff. And by writing this, I found out they released a new album for free this year, to be found on Last.FM.

Chauchat – Olde Smuggler

Chauchat – Young And Dethroned

20. Okay – High Road (Absolutely Kosher Records,  2005)

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Sounds like: A cricket singing about heartbreaking emotions.

This cd was rediscovered by me the last week. It’s been my wake up-cd. The unique way with which Okay connects the sad lyrics (and voice) with poppy melodies..It breaks my heart each and everytime. another bastard son of Daniel Johnston, with the ability to unite melancholy with uplifting indie pop.

Okay – Compass

The rest is for later this week! (or two or three or four. Eventually I’ll get there)

 

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.

What Happened to the poetry?: Havergal

24 October 2008

Who? Havergal

What? slacker folk with dots of elektronica

Sounds like? slowed down Postal Service sung by some pavement-fan, The prenatal Birth of Why?

There once was a time, that there was a guy, that was called Havergal by many people in many nations. Havergal was a musician, who made music for the sad lonely indie kid who enjoyed his folk with a bit of modern electronics. He sang as if he didn’t really care. Both songs down here are from his masterpiece ‘Lungs For The RAce’.

I really wonder what happened with him. I want him back.

Havergal – Lungs For The RAce

Havergal – Hey

You can find his albums at Secretly Canadian.

If anyone can tell me what the guy is doing right now (musically i mean), just let me know!