Oct 4 2011

The Top 50 Albums of the 2000s – Vampire Weekend

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

36. Vampire Weekend – S/T

If I remember correctly, these guys took quite a while to get pretty popular, at least they did by comparison to some of their blogosphere peers who had almost overnight success (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Black Kids).  I recollect finding rough demos of “Oxford Comma” and “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” on Aquarium Drunkard up to a year before they released this gem, their debut album.  I also remember the Paul Simon comparisons being made almost immediately, as most critics are wont to do when they hear anything remotely referential to Afro-pop.

VW were the first to really incorporate the sound into the ever-growing indie pop landscape, however, and they brought the influences to a much younger audience.  They dubbed the sound “Upper West Side Soweto,” and indeed it had a small movement of its own, generating bands like Ra Ra Riot, the electronic experiment Discovery, and more traditional projects like The Very Best.

I’m not saying the Simon relation isn’t correct; it obviously is, but to deny the band’s growth from that blueprint is simply dismissive.  One listen to the simple pop of the aforementioned two tracks, as well as the stomping “A-Punk” (my personal favorite) and the falsetto friendly “Blake’s Got a New Face,” and you’ll see these guys either were showing all their cards at once or they had healthy knowledge and a palette to grow from.  We know now from their great sophomore effort two years later the latter was the case.

Listen to Vampire Weekend on Spotify.


Jan 20 2011

My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 70-61

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

70. Band of Horses – Is There a Ghost

The first track off Cease to Begin is a great introduction to Band of Horses’ second disc – it’s a beautiful rising track with the simple, repeated lyrics “I could sleep” and “When I lived alone, is there a ghost in my house.”  What follows is a near-flawless album that embodies the Southern spirit and indie charm this now-immensely popular group delivers.

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Jan 13 2011

Top 50 Albums of 2010 – 20-11

20. Vampire Weekend – Contra

      1. Vampire Weekend - Cousins

19. Jeff the Brotherhood – Heavy Days

      2. Jeff the Brotherhood - Bone Jam

18. Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts

      3. Male Bonding - Year's Not Long

17. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest

      4. Deerhunter - Desire Lines

16. The Tallest Man On Earth – The Wild Hunt

      5. The Tallest Man On Earth - King of Spain

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Jan 8 2011

Top 20 Remixes of 2010

20.

      1. A-Trak - Twerk That Driver

19.

      2. Small Black - Photojournalist (Star Slinger Remix)

18.

      3. Two Door Cinema Club - Undercover Martyn Flexin' It (Passion Pit Remix)

17.

      4. The Hood Internet - Someday We'll Find Your Love (Drake x Grum)

16.

      5. Neon Indian - Should Have Taken Acid With You (Future Rock Remix)

15.

      6. Coolrunnings - I Am You (Star Slinger Remix)

14.

      7. The-Dream - Nikki (Gobble Gobble Remix)

13.

      8. Passion Pit - Sleepyhead (Le Chev Remix)

12.

      9. Deerhunter - Helicopter (Star Slinger Remix)

11.

      10. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Round & Round (Little Loud Remix)

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Jan 6 2011

Top 200 Tracks of 2010 – 50-21

50. LCD Soundsystem – Dance Yrself Clean

49.

      1. Dom - Living In America

48.

      2. Arcade Fire - We Used To Wait

47.

      3. The Walkmen - Victory

46.

      4. Free Energy - Free Energy

45.

      5. Deerhunter - Desire Lines

44.

      6. Delorean - Simple Graces

43.

      7. Josh Ritter - Folk Bloodbath

42.

      8. Diamond Rings - Show Me Your Stuff

41.

      9. Janelle Monae - Tightrope (feat. Big Boi)

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Jan 5 2011

Top 200 Tracks of 2010 – 100-51

100.

      1. Vampire Weekend - White Sky

99.

      2. The National - Lemonworld

98.

      3. Magic Kids - Superball

97.

      4. Drake - Up All Night (feat. Nicki Minaj)

96.

      5. Free Energy - Bang Pop

95.

      6. Katy Perry - Teenage Dream

94.

      7. Evan Voytas - Our Thing

93.

      8. DOM - Burn Bridges

92.

      9. Games - Strawberry Skies

91.

      10. Dominique Young Unique - Show My Ass

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Jan 2 2011

Ten Best Music Videos of 2010

10.

9.

8.

7.

6.

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Oct 2 2010

Quarterly Review: July-September 2010

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.

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Sep 22 2010

The Songs of Summer 2010

Today marks the official first day of autumn 2010.  As far as music goes, there is usually one “song of the summer” – a track that we will forever associate with the previous season of this particular year.  This song usually embodies the typical moods related to summer – laziness, partying, a carefree, optimistic attitude, et al.

While I’m not going to try and pick this song, I have my nominations – songs that will bring me back to this summer, my first few months in a new city, and, as with most summers, a good time in near-intolerable heat.

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Sep 13 2010

Five MP3s You Must Grab 9/13/10

      1. Star Slinger - Dutchie Courage

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      2. Atari Teenage Riot - Activate

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      3. Japandroids - Heavenward Grand Prix

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      4. Kanye West - Monster (feat. Jay-Z

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      5. Vampire Weekend - White Sky (Basement Jaxx Club Mix) (Studio Version)

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