Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Last night, while driving around blissfully by myself in the misty fog, returning various Christmas gifts that didn't quite work out, and Beck's "Black Tambourine" came up.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
The little rockers are all hopped up on freedom and excess and the indulgence of new toys, and it's only 9am. I still have to work today and I'm not sure how we can co-exist peacefully.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Top 20 Albums (New and newly discovered) in 2010
End of year lists are kind of like a big left-overs meal where you sift through everything you've collected up over the year and pick out what you liked well enough to have more. I decided to add the “new to me” caveat to the list because, frankly, I have a life and unlike when I was in high school and college, I can’t devote all of my time to chasing down the next new thing.
20. Falcon – The Courteeners
I first heard The Courteeners when they opened for Morrissey, and was really impressed. A seemingly under-rated, unknown band, (at least in the US) which is disappointing for their amount of talent.
19. Witching Hour - Ladytron
This album by Ladytron came out late last year, but didn't show up on my radar until early this year; I have since been hooked. This year has just seen the release of singles and remixes, but hopefully they are just teasers for 2011 .
18. The Best of the Undertones- The Undertones
This re-release of the classic Undertones ranks high for me. I first discovered The Undertones in a backwards sort of way. I first heard "Teenage Kicks" as a cover by Thee Headcoatees, then traced it back to a cover by The Vibrators and eventually to legendary band, The Undertones. That was a lot of work pre-internet. A great primer album for those learning their music history and a must-have for collectors.
17. Sherlocks Daughter- Sherlocks Daughter
Like an Australian version of Sigur Ros, Sherlocks Daughter is sure to impress.
16. There is No Enemy- Built to Spill
This one came out late last year, but I didn't pick it up until January. I did, however get to go see Built to Spill play again a few months ago. Having seen Built to Spill play more times in my life than any other band, I never pay more than $5 to see them, but no matter whether I seem them play for free at a neighborhood street fair in Boise or headlining a Festival halfway across the country, they never disappoint.
15. Trans-continental Shuffle- Gogol Bordello
I really wish I had listened to Gogol Bordello more BEFORE I saw them at Lollapalooza. It's always refreshing to hear bands that come up with a completely new sound and identity. On the flip side, I hope they have enough to say to outlast this current bright shining star they are riding. The band has the message and energy to be the new political band of the decade, like Rage Against the Machine in the 90s or REM in the 80s, but lack the angry passion of youth to push them forward. Fantastic album, but a bit skeptical about their future.
14. Idyll Intangible- Navvy
Every year I seem to get hooked on something kooky. Two years ago it was Art Brut, last year the Aquabats, this year it’s Navvy.
13. Sister Kinderhook – Rasputina
Thanks to Guy Magnificent for the introduction to Rasputina. Now if only I hadn't missed their concert….
12. Music for Men- The Gossip
The Gossip create such marvelous dance tracks. Another band I am looking forward to hearing more from.
11. A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation –The Wombats
The Wombats put out my favorite workout album of the year. Probably not a conventional "workout" album, but it helps me get started taking those first steps on the treadmill like none other. Also a “late arrival”.
10. High Violet - The National
This album was the first I had heard of The National, but I love it. I need to spend some time with their archives.
Royksöpp is simply delicious.
8. Crossing the Rubicon - The Sounds
The Sounds are my favorite new girl-lead band.
7. Sleep Forever – The Crocodiles
The Crocodiles are like having Jesus and Mary Chain’s musical twins putting out new music.
6. Smart Accessories – The Cute Lepers
The Cute Lepers had better keep putting out new music, and not break up again (they used to be the Briefs) or I will be very put out.
5. Under the Great White Northern Lights - The White Stripes
This is one of those albums that no one seems to agree upon when exactly it was released since the tour pre-dates the print date and release dates. Anyhow, I say it counts for this year. I usually only buy older music on vinyl, stuff I want to sit around and savor, but this was a only a slight deviation from that norm. The music is old and familiar to White Stripes fans, but the live performance was the new element. I plunked down 35 clams from my stash of "un-mommy money" at Reckless Records in Chicago for two heavy pieces of vinyl and it is worth every copper penny. The combination of favorites like "Iky Thump", "Little Ghost", "Blue Orchid" and "Seven Nation Army" combined with gems like the cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene", Meg and Jack make this a must have for music collectors.
4. The Resistance- Muse
Yet another late arrival. Apparently one of the casualties of living in Turkey was I didn’t discover Muse earlier. Sheer musical genius.
3. A Brief History of Love- The Big Pink
Just can’t get enough of The Big Pink. This band has "it", that non-pinpointable thing I search for in music, a combination of smart lyrics, unique rhythms, clarity and distortion, beauty and elegance with a heaping dose of dark human grit. It doesn't hurt their cause having AkikoMatsuura, the coolest female drummer on the planet (tied right next to Meg White of course). Very high on my watch list to see live and crossing my eyes, fingers and toes for more from them this next year.
2. Peghead & Friendly Dog Salad & The Last Polka- Black Happy
Technically these Black Happy albums are re-issues that have been out of print for at least 15 years, but I have brand new 20th anniversary copies, AND they are now available on Napster and iTunes. There is nothing like a 20th anniversary edition of anything to make you simultaneously feel old and young in the same instant.
1. Foxy Shazam – Foxy Shazam
In my mind nothing has come as close to musical perfection this year as Foxy Shazam. They are the whole musical package. Seeing them play live 3 times and getting to know them a bit hasn't hurt either. But even if that hadn't been the case I would still stand by this year’s number 1 choice as the very best new thing out, and they have made the biggest impact on my musical tastebuds this year.
Got back late last night from Chi-town. Yesterday was the working part of the vacation where I had to clean the apartment and meet the new tenant so I could make it a tax deductible Christmas Vacation (hooray for tax write-offs).
Thursday, December 23, 2010
I'm still enjoying my escapist Christmas in Chi-town, not yet facing the crumbling faded remnants of Christmas just past.
Monday, December 20, 2010
2010 ROCK'N'ROLL CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN PLAYLIST
25 Tunes for Christmas, in no particular order
a total of 58 were posted, 3 more are coming. check individual posts for more songs, links, info.Check out Ophelia's Art for more cool Christmas Art
(cards, tees, etc)
- "Christmas Island" - Depeche Mode (not posted, link here)
- "Mary X-mess" - Sun 60 (not posted, link here)
- “Christmas Vacation” - Descendents
- “The Christmas Song” – The Ravonette
- “Zat You Santa Claus” – Buster Poindexter and the Banshees of Blue
- “Santa Baby” - Kylie Minogue
- “Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You” – The Cute Lepers
- “It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas” – Toad the Wet Sprocket
- “She Came Home For Christmas” – Mew
- “When I Get Home for Christmas” – Snow Patrol
- “Last Christmas” – The Puppini Sisters
- “Snow Brigade” – Mew
- “Il est Né, le Divin Enfant” – Siouxsie and the Banshees
- “All I want For Christmas” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- “Father Christmas” –The Kinks
- “Fairytale in New York” – The Pogues with Kristy MacColl
- “Christmas Wrapping” – The Waitresses
- “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)”- The Ramones
- “It Doesn’t Often Snow at Christmas” – The Pet Shop Boys
- “Little Drummer Boy” – David Bowie & Bing Crosby
- “White Christmas” – Iggy Pop
- “Walking in the Air” – Foxy Shazam
- “I'll Be Home for Christmas" - Girl in a Coma
- “Oi to the World”- The Vandals
- “It’s Christmas All Over Again” – Tom Petty
This man wants YOU to have a Merry Christmas!
Thanks to The Vinyl Villain for sharing this fabulous bit.
As much as I wish I could present everyone with a New York Dolls Christmas tune wrapped up in a glittery box with a neon pink bow, it just doesn't exist.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Busy day around here, as Mr. IMo? has invited strangers to dinner, so I'm running late and don't have time to say anything but, here's today's tune by the talented Miss Natalie Merchant.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
As much as I love Eartha Kitt, I have to admit that Kylie Minogue managed to infuse "Santa Baby" with even more coy seduction and mischievousness than the original.
Friday, December 17, 2010
I have been in love with The Cute Lepers this year since I discovered them. And just yesterday I found their christmas tune on A Blackheart Christmas, a Blackheart Records album. Blackheart is the home of Joan Jett, so you know it has coolness as its superpower.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
You'd think that blogging about Christmas would help me feel Christmasier, but I got nuthin'.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Everybody talks about going home for Christmas. I generally prefer to run away from home for Christmas, and go some place else. This year I am doing a combination of both, running away from this home but going to our old home in Chi-town. Our 700 square city feet (closets included); our real home away from this home when someone else isn't living in it.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
"Last Christmas" -The Puppini SistersOver at 17seconds yesterday "last christmas" was also the feature. Check it out for yet another cover of the tune.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Having a school-free snow day today. We got hit with some of that mid-western blizzardy fun and now everyone gets to unexpectedly stay home. It's not even the fun, go outside and sled down the hill and build snowmen and snowboard down the small backyard slope kind of snow, so it's pretty much worthless. Bah-humbug!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
I may have mentioned before that I want to grow up and be the delicious Karen O. That girl can rock.
Friday, December 10, 2010
One of the best things about The Kinks, is their storytelling. They don't mess around with half-baked lyrics that are disconnected and could have been written by a drunk monkey with a typewriter. In the same 4/4 time signature many rock musicians can only manage disjointed phrases or elementary rhymes, The Kinks weave tales of everyday life without sounding folksy.
"Father Christmas" - The Kinks
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
This is such a good song, I have decided to let it stand alone. I like to just let it play 10 times in a row, and it's definitely Yaz's favorite Christmas tune to dance to.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Billie Holiday's voice in the background is such a relaxing way to spend a day.
One of the joys of marrying into a different culture means more holidays. For me I get Sinkterklaasdag, also known as St. Nicholas day. I celebrated it twice while in Poland (Święty Mikołaj) and it was fairly similar.
Friday, December 3, 2010
White Christmas ties with Miracle on 34th Street (original not the 1990s remake) as my top Christmas movies. My mom always wanted to have Bing Crosby be her dad so we watched a lot of Bing when I was a kid.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Alright, I know that I am effusive with praise when it comes to Foxy Shazam, but they really have no equal right now.
- Foxy Shazam
(from Jesus Christ Superstar)
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Alright everybody. I now pronounce it Christmastime!