Dec 29 2011

The Top 50 Albums of 2011 – 20-11

20. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

Age tends to wear and tear a group into writing lamentations on nostalgia, love, family, and life – apparently aging has the opposite effect on Foo Fighters, who have released their loudest, RAWK-iest album since The Colour and the Shape. And the songwriting in at its finest hour since One By One.

19. Gillian Welch – The Harrow & the Harvest

After years, Welch has finally returned, now a primary elder statesmen, with a new album that quiets the naysayers and gives the fans exactly what they wanted. There’s no shortage of emotion here, nor is there lacking of reserved brilliance in melody, balance in structure, and perfect respect to tradition. Best folk album of the year, no contest.

18. Givers – In Light

Simple indie pop wrapped in a blanket of wise intuition and progressive approach. In what should sound like an album full of throwaway 3-minute ditties, Givers transform an overdone sound into a borderline-epic affair full of tempo changes, wavering moods, and consistent unpredictability. And yet, it all feels like a challenging puzzle you’re putting together slowly, but surely.

17. Yuck – S/T

Fuzzy grunge and disarming melodies are the tale here. We can sense this London group loved their flannel, but so did Candlebox; the difference here is not pure derivative formula, but unique arrangement and a knack for knowing what works. We admire grunge’s finest for their abrasive, angsty mood – Yuck goes deeper to find what works not as a method of looking back, but moving forward.

16. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Belong

For those wondering if Pains were a one-note, twee-loving band, think again. The sound is bolder, the scope is grander, and the melodies? Worthy of some of the best written this year. Choruses stick like rubber cement, shy vocals peer out from aggressive guitars, and the ambition just keeps growing as the record plays on.

15. The Rapture – In the Grace of Your Love

Like contemporaries Cut Copy, while everyone around them struggles to meet the expectations of an overcrowded genre, the Rapture takes their time to craft an impeccable album. And that’s exactly what happened. The group’s fourth album is effortless, confident, and a reminder of what everyone else is missing.

14. Cloud Nothings – S/T

2012 may be a sharper, more mature turning point for Cloud Nothings, but until then we have this self-titled debut – a fun, noisy romp through great hooks and haphazard punk licks. Six months from now we may find this effort somewhat naive compared to the growth the band has done in future albums, but for now it’s simply charming.

13. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

No one has ever said Annie Clark wasn’t a gifted songwriter, but what she had in ambition she lacked in accessibility. That is, until now. Clark has found the missing link between her unique approach and a larger audience. Crafting some of her most memorable tunes, St. Vincent has kept that bold brilliance we’ve come to adore.

12. The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar

In a time full of clean, quiet indie, this Welsh group provides the fix for loud and brash. The sound of this debut disc is mighty, and the melodies accompanying the in-your-face noise loom just as large. Joyous anthems are wrapped around chaos, providing optimism amongst today’s apathy and nonchalance.

11. Neon Indian – Era Extrana

Psychic Chasms was a delightful acid trip, an introduction to one of the sharper chillwave pioneers. Era Extrana proves that pioneer has staying power, even if his original subgenre doesn’t. The aural wooziness of his debut is heightened here with dark undertones and enticing refrains. If you feel weird after listening, just know that’s the whole point, as it’s always been.


Dec 22 2011

The Top 200 Songs of 2011 – 50-21

50. Surfer Blood – Miranda

To whet our appetite in between LPs, Surfer Blood released a rocking little EP featuring this excellent little tune.

49. Starsmith – Lesson One

Another band I know little about, but this played nonstop in my car last spring. A great ode to the unrequited and the ones that got away.

48. Cloud Nothings – Understand At All

Another catchy lo-fi power pop rocker from this group’s self-titled debut. Enjoy it while you can, because the follow-up promises to be darker and more ambitious.

47. Kreayshawn – Gucci Gucci

This Internet sensation crept onto FM radio with this undeniable, absolutely fun track. Bonus points for rhyming “over me” with “ovaries.”

46. Born Gold – Decimate Everything

My first introduction to the newly named Born Gold, and I was immediately hooked. There is a remarkable gift here in making the unorganized sound so irresistible.

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Nov 19 2011

Culture Greyhound Podcast 11/19/11

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!

Tracklist:

Azealia Banks – 212
Gauntlet Hair – Mop It Up
Ryan Adams – Lucky Now
Skream – Anticipate (feat. Sam Frank)
Madden Brothers – Firetruck (Kreayshawn X Hollywood Holt)
Yuck – Milkshake


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.

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Mar 27 2011

Sunday Night Videos 3/27/11

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


Mar 12 2011

Culture Greyhound Podcast 3/12/11 – SXSW Edition Part 1

This week the first of a two-part series dedicated to SXSW 2011.

Playlist:

The Diamond Center – Dos Fridas
Hooray For Earth – True Loves
Cloud Nothings – Morgan
Twin Shadow – I Can’t Wait
Yuck – Shook Down


Mar 3 2011

21 Bands To See @ SXSW 2011

Spring break is upon us, and with it the finest week of the year, SXSW.  As is customary, my friends and I are gonna RAGE and make like Andrew W.K. and PARTY HARD and all that good stuff.  New parties and showcases are being announced every day, and next week I hope to have a list of my picks for ones to check out.  In the meantime, however, after the jump is a list of bands I am hoping to see this year while meandering around downtown Austin, and you should try your damndest to see them as well.

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Jan 31 2011

Five MP3s You Must Grab 1/31/11

      1. Fitz And The Tantrums - MoneyGrabber

buy album

      2. The Go! Team - Apollo Throwdown (Star Slinger Remix)

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      3. Best Coast - Sunny Adventure

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      4. Purity Ring - Ungirthed

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      5. Yuck - Coconut Bible

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Dec 12 2010

Sunday Night Videos 12/12/10

Yuck – Rubber from Yuck on Vimeo.


Jul 27 2010

Five MP3s You Must Grab 7/27/10

      1. Nicki Minaj - Your Love

buy

      2. Star Slinger - Minted

source

      3. Evan Voytas - I Took a Trip on a Plane

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      4. Marnie Stern - For Ash

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      5. Yuck - Daughter

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