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I like my music old and crusty. Layers of dirt over scratched black vinyl only makes me want to play it more. Small obscure labels with unknown bands etched into that vinyl makes me excited. What does it sound like, how was it recorded. Sometimes the sounds coming off the vinyl makes me cringe but sometimes this atheist finds heaven.
Regular listeners to my show (Tuesday 09:00 - 12:00 am) will know the section I play thrift store finds. The sound quality may not be crisp and clean but the emotion expressed is the thing for me. The sound of some spotty youth crying their heart out whether in anger or love, I don't care. Raw, nasty and ugly is beauty to me.
So the day I found the huge boxes of 60's soul 45's was a good day for me. Hidden amongst the Motown and Stax I picked up all the small independent labels releases.
I dj'd yesterday morning, and i have to say that Willie Nelson has returned to my personal listening rotation in a big way. His new album, teaming up with Asleep at the Wheel, is really excellent. Classic western swing songs. My toe is still tapping.
The divisiveness of 808s & Heartbreak is amazing... (so amazing... it's amazing...) I'd like to hear from other people who've heard this record. How many times have you heard it? Is it a "grower"? Do you find it therapeutic? Most importantly, do you think 808s & Heartbreak can SAVE LIVES? William Bowers' article has me thinking... with your emotional well-being in the balance, which way do you tip on Kanye's new album?
Below are my top 10 (or so) released this year, in no particular order. It's been a pretty good year for music. I've especially enjoyed the reverby vocals of Blitzen Trapper, and the fun vocal mishmosh of Fleet Foxes. Seems that there have been all these bands with "woodsy" themed names in the past few years, just recently reaching a fevered pitch. To wit: Grisly Bear, Fleet Foxes, Department of Eagles, Silver Antlers, The Mountain Goats, Donkeys, Gregory + The Hawk. Many bearded men.
I dug these records this last year:
Fleet Foxes - S/T (Sub Pop): Amazing orchestration of vocals. Melody structures are evolved from the voice. I love their rhythmic structures. Kind of other-worldly. Great mix of folk and pop, reminds me of 70s soft rock in a weird way (but a good one.. I think). They really experiment with vocals, it's a very different approach than most bands would take.
Thirteen of my favorite songs from last year.
1. "strange overtones" :: Brian Eno & David Byrne (Everything That Happens Will Happen Today)
2. "killa soundboy" :: Fort Knox Five (Radio Free D.C.)
3. "bob" :: Otto (What's Happening in Pernambuco)
4. "the whistling song" :: the Pinker Tones (Wild Animals)
5. "policia" :: Pistolera (En Este Camino)
6. "nouveau americain" :: Brazilian Girls (New York City)
7. "i hold the mic" :: Meat Beat Manifesto (Autoimmune)
8. "vampires" :: Thievery Corporation w/ Femi Kuti (Radio Retaliation)
9. "the house of games" :: Adrian Sherwood (Becoming a Cliché)
10. "harampa rija" :: Cankisou (Le La)
11. "here sat i (off jumps the don) :: Don Cavalli (Cryland)
1. Maurizio Bianchi...Symphony for a Genocide...Hospital - Created as a testimony to the atrocities of the Holocaust. Bianchi's abrasive electronics comprised of synthesizers and tape loops are incredibly black and devastating, with wailing alarm sounds, mechanized and annihilating beats, and a few broken vocal samples. As disturbing as it is amazing.
2. Dino Felipe...No Fun Demo...No Fun - Miami-based musician dabbles in experimental mind-melting noise-rock. Jaded, damaged and surprisingly danceable!
3. Circle...Panic ...Ektro - Thank the Gods for more NWOFHM !!! Warning: apocalyptic hardcore hatred and defiance lies inside this high speed album of piss and mayhem! More, more, more.
4. Digital Leather...Sorcerer...Goner – Any friends of the Urinals, is a friend of mine. A grinding 80s synth-punk album mixed with some industrial clamor makes for a raucous finish!
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend Portastatic - Some Small History
Explorers Club - Freedom Wind All Girl Summer Fun Band - Looking Into It
Robert Pollard - Is Off to Business Boston Spaceships - Brown Submarine
Los Campesinos! - Hold On Now, Youngster Oxford Collapse - Bits
Love Is All - A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night Dr. Dog - Fate
Her Space Holiday - Sleepy Tigers [EP] Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
1. Arthur Russell - Love is Overtaking Me (Audika, 2008)
2. Iron Curtain - Desertion 1982-1988 / Artifact (Pylon, 2007/8)
3. Das Kabinette - Spy Thriller (Minimal Wave, 2008)
4. VA - BIPPP: French Synth-Wave 1979/85 (Born Bad, 2006/7/8)
5. Betty Botox - Mmm, Betty! (Endless Flight, 2008)
6. The Lines - Flood Bank / Memory Span (Acute, 2008)
7. Hercules & Love Affair - s/t (DFA, 2008)
8. Portishead - Third (Island, 2008)
9. Gang Gang Dance - St. Dymphna (the Social Registry, 2008)
10. Alex Moulton - Exodus (Expansion Team, 2008)
Love is Overtaking Me, Arthur Russell (Audika)
Imperial Wax Solvent, The Fall (Narnack)
Tell Tale Signs, Bob Dylan (Columbia)
Congress EP, Bottomless Pit (Comedy Minus One)
Third, Portishead (Island)
Microcastle | Weird Era. Cont., Deerhunter (Kranky)
Hercules and Love Affair, Hercules and Love Affair (DFA)
St. Dymphna, Gang Gang Dance (Social Registry)
Singles 06-07 and Singles 08, Jay Reatard (In the Red, Matador)
Francophonic, Franco (Sterns Africa)
1. Arthur Russell -- Love is Overtaking Me
2. Hercules and Love Affair -- S/T
3. Barbara Morganstern -- BM
4. Gang Gang Dance -- St. Dymphna
5. Betty Botox...Mmm, Betty!
6. V/A -- Don't Stop: Recording Tap
7. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds -- Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
8. V/A -- Nigeria Disco Funk Special: The Sound of the Underground Lagos Dancefloor 1974-1979
9. V/A -- Bearded Ladies vol.1
10. Antony & the Johnsons...Another World EP