Dec 30 2011

The Top 50 Albums of 2011 – The Top Ten

10. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l

Merrill Garbus has always been known for oddball melodies and quirky arrangements, but the growth shown on this spectacular album is spellbinding. Memorable, inviting, disarming, and purely inventive, this standout is unlike anything anyone in music is doing right now, and is an un-arguable example of the unique power of the musicality of tUnE-yArDs.

9. The Weeknd – House of Balloons

The addiction to partying, to tripping, to rolling, to getting wasted and blackout obliterated has never been so perfectly soundtracked than in this promising debut. The hollow feelings, the numbed experiences, and the utter craving to do it all again to forget about the last time is captured here. Dark, demented, honest, and with the worst intentions.

8. Araabmuzik – Electronic Dream

The title of this introductory mixtape is certainly appropriate – like the blurred drive home after a night of partying, the triple-time drum machines, 90’s era female vocals, and repeated reminders that “you are now listening to Araabmuzik” blend together like the final dance at the club, or the final steps to the bed.

7. Terius Nash – 1977

He’s proclaimed himself the Love King, but for his free mixtape, The-Dream chose not only to name it after the year of his birth, but opted to use his real name as the moniker of choice. Why? Because the Love King isn’t bragging much this time around. Lamenting on heartbreak, personal turmoil, and soulful anguish, this is the most introspective effort from Nash to date.

6. Jay Z/Kanye West – Watch the Throne

A collaboration of this magnitude certainly wasn’t going to meet the overhyped expectations it was given. With that out of the way, while nothing revolutionary, Watch the Throne is certainly memorable. It’s not even a collaboration, but a competition. Who can out-rap the other? It’s a battle of braggadocio rhymes and quick wit, and it’s entertaining all the way through.

5. Born Gold – Bodysongs

Freak pop might fit, but that’s more akin to the psychedelic work of Flaming Lips. No, Born Gold (formerly Gobble Gobble) is more futuristic ADHD pop. Chaotic electronic noise and stuttered, effected vocals surround the magnificent melodies of this group’s surprisingly strong debut. A joyous proclamation of computer-glitching defiance throughout, it might give you a fabulous headache.

4. Drake – Take Care

What a short, strange trip it’s been for Drake, who has evolved from a hashtag-rapping former actor to the most interesting, downbeat, and flat-out real rapper in the game right now. Take Care is the best rap album of the year because its mixed-emotion honesty is overwhelming, its beats are curiously addicting, and its mood is so powerfully smooth. Pristine production amongst contradictory, conflicting verses, this album is simply sublime.

3. Hooray For Earth – True Loves

Quite possibly the most overlooked album of 2011, Hooray For Earth are delivering subtle, yet undeniable unforgettable electronic jams for the undeserving masses. Everything here, from the hooks of the title track, to the gradual grandiosity of “Sails,” to the fist-pumping madness of “No Love,” is a winner.

2. Primus – Green Naugahyde

Since frontman Les Claypool has remained active, it’s hard to believe it’s been twelve years since Antipop, but our favorite alt-funk oddballs pick up right where they left off, bringing instant career highlights reminiscent of all the brightest spots of their catalog. It’s not exactly forward-thinking, but when the funk is this solid, who cares?

1. M83 – Hurry Up We’re Dreaming

While not as completely cohesive as the shorter Saturdays=Youth, Anthony Gonzalez managed to out-epic that album, a feat many surmised would be impossible. Then again, what’s more epic than a dream-pop double album exploring the concept of childhood slumber? And with that concept comes feelings of excitement, innocence, comfort, and imagination. There’s a lot to take in, but repeated listens will deliver the ultimate reveal: Gonzalez is brilliant, and this album is remarkable. Near flawless, completely enjoyable.


Dec 23 2011

The Top 200 Songs of 2011 – The Top Twenty

20. Wiz Khalifa – Roll Up

Delivering sing-song verses, that trademark stoner laugh, and a chorus you’ve memorized by the second time you’ve heard it, Wiz Khalifa might be one of the laziest rappers on Top 40 radio. But that’s exactly the point. He’s not some uptight, eccentric, crazy ambitious, domineering figure. He’s that pot-smoking friend who’s down for whatever, and if your down, he’s down. The most casual summer jam of the year.

Continue reading


Dec 21 2011

The Top 200 Songs of 2011 – 100-51

100. The Strokes – Under Cover of Darkness

When the band sticks to what they know, they sound great. Angles is a hot-and-cold album, but this is the first of two tracks that showcases the former.

99. Born Gold – Wrinklecarver

Originally released as former project Gobble Gobble, nothing has been done to this track in terms or re-mixing or mastering, but it just sounds better in context within the new album Bodysongs.

98. St. Vincent – Cheerleader

Another highlight from Strange Mercy – here Annie Clark shows off her knack for start-stop surprises around what sounds conventional at first, then grows to be beautifully unusual.

97. Drake – Lord Knows (featuring Rick Ross)

The snare hits, the booming bass, the background vocals, that “Just Blaze!” intro, the use of the phrase “Murdercedez Benz.” What’s not to love here?

96. Wiz Khalifa – The Race

One of the more down-tempo tracks on the fun Rolling Papers, Wiz drops a chill-out anthem for the end of the night when you just wanna light one up and take it easy.

Continue reading


Oct 3 2011

Quarterly Review – July-September 2011

Once every three months I list the best of what I heard in albums/songs/remixes for the quarter. I do this to personally keep up with all the awesome music I hear, as it ultimately helps me at the end of the year when I do my overall listing for the previous twelve months. I also do it to introduce you cool cats to tunes you may have missed independently.

Continue reading


Sep 23 2011

FFF6 Playlist Series – Saturday’s Orange Stage

A friend of mine and I were discussing the awesome awesome lineup for Fun Fun Fun Fest this year, and recently, they announced their schedule for our viewing pleasure. My friend was excited, but admitted he knew only a few bands. Where, he wondered aloud, could he find a comprehensive rundown of each band, a sampling of their musical chops, so he could further educate himself before the finest weekend of his year? I assume the Fun Fun Fun website has such a playlist, and they do, and it’s cool, but I wanted to make my own. So every Friday, from now until the fest (that’s nine weeks), I will be posting a playlist for your educational purposes for each stage and day, excluding the Yellow stage, which is mostly comedy.

This week’s playlist covers the bands playing on the Orange (Indie) stage on Saturday – Maneja Beto, Future Islands, Joe Lally, The Joy Formidable, Tune-Yards, Tinariwen, Ra Ra Riot, M83, Girls, Lykke Li, and Spoon.

Listen to the playlist on Spotify.

Missing From Playlist (not on Spotify yet): Keep Shelly In Athens

My Stage Pick: M83

Like there was any doubt who I would be picking this time around.  Anthony Gonzalez and his crew are one of my favorite bands ever, and the new album is incredible.  You can bet I will not be missing the opportunity to hear the fresh material live and seeing them live for the first time ever.  M83 is not only my personal highlight for this stage/day, but the entire fest.  But for what it’s worth, I’m also pretty stoked for Tune-Yards and The Joy Formidable.


Aug 16 2011

Five MP3s You Must Grab 8/16/11

      1. Danny Brown - Monopoly

source

      2. Maluca and Party Squad - Lola (Radio Edit)

source

      3. Pusha T ft. Kanye West & Young Jeezy - Amen (Tags)

source

      4. Tune-Yards - Gangsta (Ad Rock Remix)

source

      5. ”SBTRKT
@https://culturegreyhound.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/SBTRKT-Wildfire-Drumma-Boy-Remixft.-Shabazz-Palaces.mp3″ volslider=”y”]

source


Aug 2 2011

My Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 Picks

With yesterday’s lineup announcement from Transmission, my heart is still a-flutter.  Though I’m not crazy about the move to Auditorium Shores, this year’s roster of talent has eviscerated any worry I had that this year might not be so fun fun fun.  The lineup is crazy good; though I’m not familiar with the Black stage as some of you (as is the case every year), I do have some picks from the other stages that you will most likely find me at come November 4-6.

M83

This is the one I’m flipping out over.  I’ve been dying to see an Anthony Gonzalez show for about three years and there’s no way I’m missing this one. Highest priority.

Hum

I’m a big fan of “Stars” and the rest of that seminal, yet somehow forgotten album You’d Prefer An Astronaut, and the kids at Transmission are like daytime talk shows for bands – they always can make a reunion happen.  I’m there expecting some spaced-out shoegaze rock.

Childish Gambino

Community might just be the best comedy on television, and Donald Glover’s Troy might be my favorite character.  But when Glover isn’t making me laugh (he’s also doing a stand-up routine on the Yellow stage), he’s wowing me with crazy wit rhymes.  Dude is a solid rapper, and this show should be nothing but fun.

tUnE-yArDs 

All I keep hearing is how amazing this girl is live, and I finally have the chance to witness it for myself.  Fest-goers and critics called her the indisputable highlight of Pitchfork in Chicago this year, one to not sleep on.  And as awesome as that new album is, you can bet I won’t.

Cold Cave

I saw them in 2009, but since then they’ve dropped the Depeche Mode/New Order thing for the most part – now the vibe, at least on their latest album, is more of a Bauhaus feel, and I’m curious to see how it translates live.

Radio Dept. 

One of my favorite albums of last year – Clinging to a Scheme – had that sweet, jangly shoegaze electro that I love so much down to a high-minded science.  This group has been around for a while, but they’re finally getting the hipster love they deserve, and I’m pumped to see the show they put on.

Cloud Nothings

If you’ve never seen Cloud Nothings kick out the jams, you’re in for a treat.  Just be prepared – you will not be able to stand still. At all.  Show is a rapid-fire blast of percussion and sweet hooks.

The Joy Formidable

One album most people have slept on this year is the surprisingly rock’n’roll Big Roar – I’m curious to see if these newcomers can translate their loud studio sounds and big choruses to a big ol’ park in downtown Austin.  I’ve got high hopes.

Public Enemy

This is probably the festival’s entire highlight – the one for the newspapers and bloggers and whatnot.  Austinites, riddle me this: if you had the chance to see one of the most influential, seminal, and downright badass hip-hop groups of all time, you’d go, right? Of course you would. Believe the hype.

Diplo

America’s Producer is gonna rock your world, along with his Major Lazer crew on the Blue stage.  And I thought I was getting spoiled when I saw A-Trak last year!

Neon Indian

I’m gonna hold off on this one until I hear the new album in October, but if it’s good, you can bet I’ll be wanting to hear those new tracks live.

Spank Rock

Fuck yes.  If any band can bring the fun x3, I’d place my bet on these guys. Sex jams and x-rated hip-hop.  Someone had to pick up where 2 Live Crew left off, and these guys do it properly.

Baths

One of the most legit producers I’ve seen in a long while, the beats and collages this guy cooks up just blow my mind, take a listen to Cerulean if you don’t believe me.

Purity Ring

I’ve been raving about this group for awhile – their music is encompassing of great pop and subtle sounds thrown in to create a pretty progressive, yet undeniably infectious, feel.  I’m very curious to see how they bring that studio texture to the stage.

WTF Award – Turquoise Jeep

I’ve slept on this, mainly because I’m not an Internet meme-chaser or whatever, but apparently these guys are a YouTube sensation and have been for a year or so.  Turquoise Jeep is a mysterious record label, headquarters location unknown, featuring a strange roster of artists that put out hilarious R&B/rap songs and post super-low-budget videos for them.  With a straight face…it’s hard to tell if these guys are in on their own joke or not, but I’m willing to bet they are.  Anyway, they’re booked for Fun Fun Fun, which is….well, it’s not the strangest thing Transmission has ever done, but it’s likely up there.

There are a ton of other bands on the lineup that I’m excited to see that I didn’t list here – these are just the ones that rank as high priorities for me (except for that last one, which I just thought was pretty damn funny.)  Once the schedule drops in September, there’s sure to be some nail-biting conflicts.  Like I said, I’m not too familiar with the Black stage roster, which is usually the case every year – not a big metal/punk/Danzig guy.  What are your picks for the fest?  What did I miss? What Black stage bands are you pumped about that I can’t miss? Educate me!


Apr 1 2011

Quarterly Review – January-March 2011

Once every three months I list the best of what I heard in albums/songs/remixes for the quarter. I do this to personally keep up with all the awesome music I hear, as it ultimately helps me at the end of the year when I do my overall listing for the previous twelve months. I also do it to introduce you cool cats to tunes you may have missed independently.

Continue reading


Mar 27 2011

Sunday Night Videos 3/27/11

J Mascis – “Not Enough” from stereogum on Vimeo.


Feb 19 2011

Culture Greyhound Podcast 2/19/11

Every Saturday, I post a 15-20 minute podcast featuring some tracks I’ve been jamming the previous week, as well as some commentary and random musings from yours truly. Enjoy!

Playlist:

tUnE-yArDs – Bizness
PS I Love You/Diamond Rings – Leftovers
Radiohead – Lotus Flower
The Hood Internet – Dutty Disagreements (Sean Kingston and Nicki Minaj vs. Stewrat)