Tag Archives: Paste Magazine

KDRU – Feb. 22 Show

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Good evening.  I hope you’re all excited about life in general.  I know I am.

Thank you most sincerely to the people listening to my weekly radio show at Drury.  You are paragons of good taste (and/or we’re friends and you feel sorry for me…let’s go with the first one).  For those of you not listening, it’s cool.  Whatever.  No big deal.  I’m just really disappointed and am tearing up a bit.  You should rectify this problem by listening to the show next Wednesday from 11:30-1:30.  It streams here.

I’ll also be on The Weekly Buzz this Friday morning, letting everyone know about some awesome concerts coming their way.  Be sure to listen in.  It’s at 8:30, and I’m pretty sure my voice is an awesome thing to wake up to.  Or so I hear.

Anywho. Here are some of the songs that were played.  I’m not giving a comprehensive list.  I mean, where’s the fun in that?  If, however, you heard a song and want to know more about it, feel free to contact me.

KDRU - Feb. 22

Oh, and the new Fun. album came out yesterday.  I got my bundle in the mail today.  It included this shirt:

Fun. Some Nights shirt...yeah, those are the lyrics to the entire album scrawled in the background. Awesome.

And I am now working on the next installment of Paste Magazine’s Top 50 Albums of 2011.  Yeah, it’s taking awhile, but man there are a lot of albums.  Be patient, young grasshopper, and keep yer eyes peeled.

Best Albums of 2011 – A Retrospective, Vol. II

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Okay.  I get it.  You’re mad.  I know I said I’d have this done on Saturday, but I really did have to find a couple of the albums.  It was hard.  It took time and effort and that is just a really sad story.

Before you start reading, I must stress again the journey taking place here.  Odysseus had the Odyssey, Harry had Hogwarts, and I have this list.  Paste Magazine’s Top 50 Albums of 2011 are not to be listened to lightly.  They will change you.  They will reach inside your ears, tear out the drums and replace them with bongos.

Like I said, it’s a journey.

If you’ll recall from the first volume, the ranking system goes like this:

1 – NO. Just NO.

2 – It doesn’t offend me…much.

3 – I tolerate it.

4 – I want to see this band live. They’re great.

5 – I will stalk this band until they love me or file a restraining order.

39. “The Harrow and the Harvest” by Gillian Welch

"The Harrow and the Harvest" by Gillian Welch

Rating: 3.5/5

Best Songs: “The Way It Will Be”, “Tennessee” ,“Hard Times”

Summary: Very countrified twang.  And it’s adorable at times, moving at others.  Her voice is pure and wonderful.  The songs feel genuine.  Definitely worth a listen.

38. “The Long Surrender” by Over The Rhine

"The Long Surrender" by Over The Rhine

Rating: 4/5

Best Songs: “Infamous Love Song”, “Oh Yeah By The Way”, “Only God Can Save Us Now”, “All My Favorite People”

Summary: This album changes completely from beginning to end, but in such a seamless way that you almost don’t notice that it’s gone from country-blues to country-rock to rock.  Listen!

37.  “Slave Ambient” by The War On Drugs

"Slave Ambient" by The War On Drugs

Rating: 3/5

Best Songs: “Black Water Falls”, “Your Love Is Calling My Name”

Summary: Alternative rock band.  I’d say they’re nothing special, but then they have those two songs that I adore…I think with more than two listens, this band will begin to shine a lot more.  Get listening!

36.  “Out of Love” by Mister Heavenly

"Out Of Love" by Mister Heavenly

Rating: 5/5

Best Songs: “Pineapple Girl”, “Hold My Hand”, “Reggae Pie”

Summary: If you’ve been reading the blog long, you should know how I feel about them.  I adore them.  I’ve seen them in concert.  If you want to know more, read here.

35.  “Camp” by Childish Gambino

"Camp" by Childish Gambino

Rating: 4/5

Best Songs: “Outside”, “Letter Home”, “Heartbeat”, “That Power”

Summary:  This album blew me away.  You already know I’m not big into rap, but this was transcendent.  This album wears many hats, but somehow manages to convince the audience that they all belong in the same closet.  LISTEN TO THIS.

34.  “This Is Where We Are” by Seryn

"This Is Where We Are" by Seryn

Rating: 4/5

Best Songs: “We Will All Be Changed”, “River Song”, “Of Ded Moroz”

Summary: Very chill and relaxed light rock.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Also, River Song…if you don’t get the Doctor Who reference, that’s fine.  My nerdy preferences may not belong in this review…Anyway, definitely worth a listen.

33.  “The Head and the Heart” by The Head and the Heart

"The Head and the Heart" by The Head and the Heart

Rating: 3.5/5

Best Songs: “Winter Song”, “Sounds Like Hallelujah”, “Rivers and Roads”

Summary: Again, light rock.  Definitely an acoustic feel.  And I’m digging it.  Definitely worth a listen (more impressive since this was their debut album…even if it was originally released in 2009 then re-mastered by Sub-Pop in 2011.  Let’s not quibble over details.).

32.  “Ashes & Fire” by Ryan Adams

"Ashes & Fire" by Ryan Adams

Rating: 5/5

Best Songs: “Dirty Rain”, “Lucky Now”, “I Love You But I Don’t Know What To Say”, “Do I Wait”

Summary: When I was writing down the best songs from the album, I realized I wrote down 9 of 12.  THAT’S HOW GOOD THIS WAS.  I loved it.  A light folksy feel to it.  Very simple lyrics that are more powerful because of their simplicity.  It’s great.

31.  “12 Desperate Straight Lines” by Telekinesis

"12 Desperate Straight Lines" by Telekinesis

Rating: 3.5/5

Best Songs: “You Turn Clear In The Sun”, “Car Crash”, “50 Ways”, “Fever Chill”, “Dirty Thing”

Summary: Strikes me as a rock/pop/punk band. Reminds me of Panic!, but doesn’t have that campy feel.  Which I kind of enjoy.  Sometimes it’s nice to have straightforward music…worth listening to.

30.  “Bad As Me” by Tom Waits

"Bad As Me" by Tom Waits

Rating: 3.5/5

Best Songs: “Raised Right Men”, “Talking At The Same Time”, “Pay Me”, “Hell Broke Luce” 

Summary: He is not my cup of tea.  He grows on you, but that voice is just never going to be my favorite.  It’s too bluesy and rough for me.  Worth a listen, though.  And, let me assure you, listening to this album more than once is ESSENTIAL.  Because it gets SO much better the more you listen.   And, for the record, I want to see him live (even though he’s a 3.5).  I want to know if his voice sounds like that live.  I really want to know.

All right.  That is the second installment.  Yes, you’ll notice we still have a ways to go, you and I.  But we’ll make it.  It’s like I said earlier.  It’s a journey.  It’s not about when we get to number one.  It’s about what we learn on the way.  Or something.

Before I say good night, I was wondering who’s going to the Lemon Drop benefit on Friday night?  I’ll be there.  It’s looking like it should be a good lineup.  AND, it helps out an organization that supports Springfield’s local music scene.  It’s a worthy cause, kids.

Plus, it’d give you something to do.  We all know how your social life is these days.

You’re welcome.

Best Albums of 2011 – A Retrospective, Vol. I

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This post is a bit different from my regular ones. As some of you may know (I’m going to call you lot the good readers), I’ve been listening to Paste Magazine’s 50 Best Albums of 2011.

The going has been rough. I’ve heard things -unhearable things. Things I shouldn’t mention lest they infect your earholes with their…IDEAS.

But you’ll hear about some of them tonight. Tonight’s post features music from the bottom 11 albums (50-40). I haven’t listened to all of them yet. Cut me some slack. I’ve already told you that you need to listen to something twice before you know if you like it. I’ve taken that advice. Which means I’ve listened to these albums at least two times. The amount of time I’ve already invested is insane, and I have 39 more albums to go.

Sing, O Muse, of my perseverance and open-mindedness. Because some of these albums really try me. And some of them make me smile.

I’ve decided to rank the albums on a scale of 1-5. The scale goes like this:

1 – NO. Just NO.

2 – It doesn’t offend me…much.

3 – I tolerate it.

4 – I want to see this band live. They’re great.

5 – I will stalk this band until they love me or file a restraining order.

WARNING: These ratings are based on my musical knowledge and preferences. Don’t expect an exhaustive look at the album’s good and bad points. You won’t get it. That being said, I do tend to simplify things. I’m not going to toss out random references to other bands you’ve never heard of to sound well rounded and a shade pretentious.

That ain’t my style…mostly.

50. “England Keep My Bones” by Frank Turner

Frank Turner -

Rating: 4/5

Best Songs: “Eulogy”, “English Curse”, “Wessex Boy”

Summary: English folk rock at its finest. Highly recommended.

49. “Mountaintops” by Mates of State

Mates of State -

Rating: 3.5/5

Best Songs: “Palomino”, “Desire”, “Mistakes”

Summary: I’m a sucker for male and female vocalists sharing the song. This band is an interesting blend of easy-listening and folk rock. Worth listening to.

48. “Take Care” by Drake

Drake -

Rating: 2.5/5

Best Songs: “Make Me Proud”, “Cameras/Good Ones Go Interlude”

Summary: If you know anything about me, it’s that I’m very set in my musical ways. I don’t do hip hop or rap. That being said, I saw some things to like about the album. If I knew more about the genre, I could probably give a better review. I think the album has enough musical and lyrical surprises for you to give it a listen.

47. “Days” by Real Estate

Real Estate -

Rating: 1/5

Best Song: “Out of Tune”

Summary: Generic. Not worth it.

46. “Holy Ghost!” by Holy Ghost!

Holy Ghost! -

Rating: 4/5

Best Songs: “Do It Again”, “Hold My Breath”, “Jam for Jerry”, “Hold On”, “Slow Motion”, “Some Children”

Summary: These guys are great. They’ve remixed songs for LCD Soundsystem, MGMT and Phoenix. They know their stuff. HIGHLY recommend.

45. “Screws Get Loose” by Those Darlins

Those Darlins -

Rating: 3/5

Best Song: “Be Your Bro”

Summary: Very much in the tradition of The Runaways, Those Darlins are girl rock. I couldn’t listen to them every day, but once in awhile will be nice.

44. “Smoke Ring For My Halo” by Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile -

Rating: 2.5/5

Best Song: “Peeping Tomboy”

Summary: This album was not very accessible. Very old school country rock. That being said, I come off loving that song. I don’t know where that leaves me…

43. “The Big Roar” by The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable -

Rating: 5/5

Best Songs: “The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie”, “I Don’t Want To See You Like This”, “A Heavy Abacus”

Summary: Yes. This album is a whole lot of yes.

42. “Wild Flag” by Wild Flag

Wild Flag -

Rating: 2/5

Best Songs: “Black Tiles”, “Future Crimes”

Summary: Girl power rock. Cool concept. Not so crazy about the execution. Listen to a couple of songs to see what I’m talking about.

41. “James Blake” by James Blake

James Blake -

Rating: 4/5

Best Songs: “Lindisfarne I”, “Give Me My Month”, “To Care (Like You)”

Summary: This album is deceptive. The first time I listened to it, I hated it. I listened to it again, and I started loving it. It’s weird British dubstep/bluesy/folksy, making it wonderfully eclectic.

40. “In The Mountain, In The Cloud” by Portugal. The Man

Portugal. The Man -

Rating: 3/5

Best Songs: “Head Is A Flame [Cool With It]”, “So American”

Summary: Pretty traditional indie rock. And, don’t get me wrong, I like falsetto used sparingly, but it’s in pretty much every song. It gets a little tiring.

And that’s the first 11 albums. Needless to say, there will be 39 more. Patience, kids. We’ll get there.

Oh and, before I forget, be sure to submit to the best band name contest. Closed for entries next Wednesday, so get them in!

Weekly Setlist – Jan. 12

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Good evening, cubs.  It’s beginning to feel a lot like winter.  With that in mind, tonight’s playlist is very cold friendly.  Listen to it while you’re reclining on a chaise, sipping tea out of your good china and watching snow flake gently against your window…I wish I was that classy.  Also, you sound like a snob.  And that monocle looks ridiculous.  Just so you know.

Anyway, here’s the playlist.

Jan. 12 Setlist. I really can't draw straight lines, can I?

Here’s the playlist on Spotify and Grooveshark.

And, big surprise, here are the individual songs.

“First Day Of My Life” by Bright Eyes

“New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” by LCD Soundsystem

“Love Vigilante” by Iron & Wine

“Tiny Vessels” by Death Cab For Cutie

“Say Yes” by Elliott Smith

“Casimir Pulaski Day” by Sufjan Stevens

“Blood Bank” by Bon Iver

And, before I let you go completely, I have a couple of announcements:

1.  Tomorrow I will announce the next contest.  Hope you’ve been practicing your Googling skills.  You’ll need them.

2.  I’m almost done listening to 1/5 of Paste Magazine’s Best 50 Albums of 2011.  It’s a daunting task, and I can report that I’ve lost only a few soldiers thus far.  On the whole, I think they were weak and had no taste, so they were no great loss.  I’ll keep you abreast of any further developments.  Full report will be given on Saturday.

Now, have a wonderful evening and try to stay warm…unless you like being cold.  Maybe I should have said, have a wonderful evening and try to stay happy.

That’s better.

My Band Shirts

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You know how I’m crazy and get a lot of band shirts?

Yeah. Here they are.

1. Yeah.  It’s Signed.

New Antennas Up shirt. Signed by the band. From left to right (then down): Bo McCall, Kyle Akers, The Ryantist and Jonny Universe.

This doesn't do justice to the awesomeness of the shirt. But it looks like the picture is puffing out the words "Antennas Up." That was too perfect for me to pass up.

The boys signed it and sent it to me.  They get serious props for that.  Oh, and the whole making good music thing.  They get props for that too.

And now I want all of you Springfieldians to follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook, sign up for their mailing list and harass them until they come to Springfield again.

2. Yeah.  It Rocks.

Ludo Concert Shirt that my friend Nicole made.

My friend Nicole made these shirts for us for the August 2011 Ludo concert (as the pictures tend to let you know…whatever).  She made them the night before.  It’s covered in glitter from us spraying each other with canned glitter…because we were sparkly alien creatures.

And, if you’ll remember from the Without A Face post, Henry Dillard signed the sleeve of the shirt.

It was such a successful night.  Also, send your love to Andrew  Volpe, lead singer of Ludo, and his wife.  He just announced they’re expecting a baby!

3. Yeah. It’s Artsy.

The Decemberists 2011 "Popes of Pendarvia" shirt. Not, however, the official concert shirt.

This shirt means a lot to me for a whole bunch of reasons.  First, it’s the Decemberists.  You know how I feel about them.  Second, it was my first Decemberists concert.  My brother and my friend Brett (he of excellent arm reach from the Ludo concert last month) took me to it (it was my Christmas present from my brother) and we had an amazing time.  John Moen, the drummer, sang me a song.  He WAS singing to me.

And the shirt is awesome by itself.  It’s a pic of Jenny Conlee, multi-instrumentalist for The Decemberists, and it’s just so…cool looking. I feel cooler wearing it.  It’s like I add ten points of cool.  Also, I think I lost all of those points for the future by acknowledging that said points exist.  Damn.

4. Yeah. It’s Psychic.

Mister Heavenly shirt. See! It says "Out of Love"! That's their album title! So clever!

This just seems to encapsulate Mister Heavenly completely.  A pinch of nostalgia, a sprinkle of raspiness, all mixed together with some honey and awesome drums…it’s not a perfect recipe, but it’s a tasty one.  Assuming you’re a person who eats music.  Which would be weird.  Please don’t do that.

Anywho, Mister Heavenly’s great and so is this shirt.

5. Yeah. It’s A Propeller.

Tommy & The High Pilots shirt. It's simple and pretty great.

This is the High Pilots shirt I ended up getting after they didn’t have a different one in my size.  And, you know what?  It was divine intervention.  Because this shirt is great and, in a moment of shameful immodesty, it looks pretty great on me.

And this shirt has a warm, fuzzy memory attached to it.  Matt Palermo, drummer for the High Pilots, sold me this shirt personally.  Man, I love those guys.  That’s another band you all need to help me bring back to Springfield.  Let’s make that happen.  Flitter with them here, Book their Faces here, and peruse their site here.

So those are my band shirts.  What?  Those could be the only ones I have.  YOU DON’T KNOW ME.

My Loot...errr...band shirts.

Oh.  Those.  Right.  Well, if you want to get technical, sure.  I have a few.

Inventory:

The Decemberists – 3 shirts, 1 hoodie

Tommy & The High Pilots – 3 shirts

Ludo – 3 shirts

Antennas Up – 2 shirts

Fun. – 2 shirts

Mister Heavenly – 1 shirt

Without A Face – 1 shirt

Ha Ha Tonka – 1 shirt

I’d say I’m done collecting shirts.  But you know me better than that, don’t you?

Good night darlings!

PS: New contest announced soon (probably Wednesday).  Be prepared (though not Jeremy Irons prepared…props to those who get the reference).

PPS: My quest to listen to Paste Magazine’s Top 50 Albums of 2011 is going well…there are some winners and some duds.  I’ll be sure to release a full review list once I’ve finished.  Why don’t you go ahead and get started?  You’ve got a bajillion hours, right?