Feb 6 2012

The Top 50 Albums of the 2000s – Hissing Fauna Are You the Destroyer?

Today I continue a series of posts dedicated to the best albums of the last decade, posting analysis of one album at a time.

29. Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna Are You the Destroyer?

Kevin Barnes had certainly already made a name for his project Of Montreal with two eccentric, excellent albums Satanic Panic In the Attic and Sundlandic Twins, not to mention a high-energy, over-the-top live show. But it’s the near flawless Hissing Fauna where Barnes reached the apex of his songwriting ability, and gave us an ultra-high-concept album tackling his own personal turmoil with depression, isolation, and sexual frustration.

Of course, even then, saying things like “sexual,” “high-concept,” and Of Montreal in the same sentence was redundant. But if there was any question as to what exactly the Athens-based band was up to, they made that pretty clear with Hissing Fauna. At this point, you either jumped on board to help Barnes wave his freak flag, or you bowed out. But amidst all the layered falsettos, funk-disco hybrid moments, and weird sound effects, Barnes was writing his most introspective material ever. “Gronlandic Edit” talks about isolation in Norway and the quest for religion, while “Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse,” probably the theme for the entire album, deals with the autobiographical depression the frontman was going through, sleeping for hours in a friend’s apartment.

But if you’re like me, a person who doesn’t really delve into lyrics until many listens later, you won’t notice all this sadness amongst all the heavy dance jams this album is packed with. Hissing Fauna is loaded with fan favorites, live staples, and instant Of Montreal classics, including the sex-soaked “Fabregie Falls For Shuggie,” which is still probably my favorite Of Montreal song ever. As the years went by, it could be argued Barnes went a little overboard with the whole thing, as he’s in the middle of releasing a litany of convoluted, unfocused albums, but back in 2007, he and his group reached a personal best with Hissing Fauna.

Listen to Hissing Fauna Are You the Destroyer on Spotify.

Jul 3 2011

Sunday Night Videos 7/3/11

Feb 24 2011

My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 50-41

Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.

50. Passion Pit – Sleepyhead

Named my favorite song of 2009, I’ve already explained how much I love this song. Even a casual reader of the blog knows how many times I’ve blared it loudly, as I’m doing right now. It never gets old. The song is littered with hooks – in the singing, in the wordless chorus, in the sampling, in the background synths. It all just works. And Passion Pit will likely never top it.

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Jan 3 2011

Top 200 Tracks of 2010 – 200-151

200. The Golden Filter – Solid Gold

199. Delorean – Real Love

198. Band of Horses – On My Way Back Home

197. Games – Heartlands

196. Cults – Oh My God

195. El Guincho – Bombay

194. Marnie Stern – Nothing Left

193. Interpol – Barricade

192. Ke$ha – Your Love Is My Drug

191. Janelle Monae – Make the Bus (feat. of Montreal)

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Nov 8 2010

My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 120-111

Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.

120. Prodigy – Girls

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned fared better across the Atlantic in Prodigy’s native England, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t blaring in my dingy yellow car during high school.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  “Girls” is a standout from a banging comeback from one of the 90’s most successful, riveting, and interesting electronic groups.  And while nothing on the disc comes close to their previous work’s brilliance, and the crew would later shell out typical guitar-driven bore for shillings, this track gives us a glimpse into the progression that could have been.

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Sep 7 2010

Five Upcoming Austin Shows I’m Super Pumped For

The title says it all, my autumn is getting sweeter all the time.

Pixies @Austin Music Hall 9/22

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Jun 17 2010

My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 240-231

Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.

240. Menomena – Wet and Rusting

The finest track from Friend and Foe begins with Menomena’s trademark effects layered across an odd strumming pattern.  By the time we reach the second chorus, the track turns into a cavalcade of rolling drums and scaling piano lines.  And to top it all off, it’s simply beautiful.

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