Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nick Drake

This is a comfort album to me; one that I've heard for many years now and enjoy when I stumble upon it now and again. You know there's that music that never really leaves you. For whatever reason it doesn't get old, you just may get excited about something shiny and new, but it waits patiently for your return. Nick Drake will be happy to sit with you in all sorts of situations; I'd recommend a long scenic road trip with this album, Way to Blue.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Although maybe one of the most cringe-worthy band names I've ever encountered, I can't help but enjoy this album. It's poppy, trebly, and something I imagine skinny kids working in record stores in the 90s would be all over. Can't you imagine a scene in a movie like Empire Records or High Fidelity where one of the nerdy workers puts this on the store sound system and explains, while looking through his bangs at the ground that "Pains of Being Pure at Heart" changed his life?

I love it. Enjoy!

Friday, January 1, 2010


2009 was a really great music year for me. Amidst recording a handful of DJ mixes, I discovered a lot of great new music representing all genres. I haven't been this in love with my headphones and great albums since high school bus trips on the soccer team where I spent a lot of long hours on school nights traveling with my Sony Discman.

I've compiled a synopsis of my favorite albums that were released this last year and hope that you'll take time to enjoy them as well. I love perusing people's "album-of-the-year" lists and discovering new music and am excited to sit with band such as Animal Collective, Bat For Lashes, DJ /rupture, Jason Lytle, Neko Case, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Raekwon, The Swell Season, Thieves Like Us, and Volcano Choir. All have released great albums in 2009 which I've either overlooked, need to give a second listen or are completely new to me.

Freelance Whales - Weathervanes

This band out of Queens has really excited me this last year. I was fortunate enough to get to see them live at the Rickshaw Stop and I'm so thankful. I don't know that I've ever seen a band so joyful, humble and thankful. At only ten bucks, I felt like I was almost stealing from them. Glad to report that they've just been signed with Frenchkiss/Mom & Pop Records.

Fanfarlo - Reservoir

I went to the ten buck concert to see the Freelance Whales and stumbled upon Fanfarlo! Really great surprise and I've been listening to their new album on repeat ever since. Although on the border of too "tortured, hipster" band, at least they're from London, so they dress different than the hipsters here.

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

2009 was the year of Phoenix for me. I got to catch them live at the Warfield, which although I was stuck in the rafters, was loud, flashy and full of aisle dancing. There new album is close to perfect and has also helped shoot this French band into the mainstream spotlight. Rock on, rock on.

Drake - So Far Gone

I've written in depth about Drake in the past and shared some of my excitement. I probably listened to this mixtape more than any other album this past year and am curious to see if he can capture that magic again in 2010 with his debut with Cash Money Records.

The Antlers - Hospice

I stumbled upon the Hospice album during my weekly NPR podcast listen and was haunted by it. This is a headphones album and I've enjoyed getting lost in this ode to the passing of a close friend. Downside: always come away a bit solemn.

Passion Pit - Manners

I've previously written about Passion Pit in my ode to painful vocalists. Manners ended up carrying through the months for me and It's a really comfortable blend of pop/rock/electronic that I tend to gravitate toward.

Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels
I thought no one had heard of the Great Lake Swimmers until I tried to go to a small show her in the city at a very low-key venue and got turned away by a sold out show. This album is beautiful in a spacey, folky sort of way. I wouldn't be surprised to see these guys show up at events like Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in coming years.

Wilco - Wilco (the album)
I've spent a lot of time with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot over the years, as have every college student, and this new album has got me re-excited about Wilco. Every time one of these songs plays I feel like Jeff Tweedy is sitting on my sofa singing, maybe even with his family as backup vocals.