Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WZBC - Radio Show - 8/03/11

Wow, first week of August! Even though I threw together this playlist relatively quickly the previous night, I think this show turned out really well. It consists of three main blocks: a female vocalist block, a covers block, and a mostly 90’s/80’s alternative block. The covers block got a few callers who were really enjoying it, so I’ll be sure to do another one of those in the future. I played three songs from Stereogum’s Tribute to “Is This It”, released as the album just turned 10 years old. That fact is pretty insane to me. Thus that’s where this episode’s logo comes into play. That cover art never fails to remind me just how much I hate the cover of the US version.

WZBC - Econo Jams - 8-03-11

The Soft Boys - I Wanna Destroy You
Robyn - Indestructible (Acoustic Version)
Lykke Li - Get Some
Kate Bush - Pull Out the Pin
Joanna Newsom - In California
Karen Dalton - Something On Your Mind
Mazzy Star - Fade Into You
Titus Andronicus - Breed (Nirvana cover)
Frankie Rose - Soma (Strokes cover)
Real Estate - Barely Legal (Strokes cover)
Owen Pallett - Hard to Explain (Strokes cover)
Luna - Sweet Child O’ Mine (Guns ‘N Roses cover)
The Go! Team - Bull In the Heather (Sonic Youth cover)
Cap’n Jazz - Take On Me (A-ha cover)
Deerhoof - The Continuing Saga of Bungalo Bill (Beatles cover)
Rilo Kiley - After Hours (Velvet Underground cover)
Dinosaur Jr. - Just Like Heaven (Cure cover)
Sebadoh - Brand New Love
Guided by Voices - Awful Bliss
The Strokes - The Modern Age
Superchunk - Seed Toss
Yo La Tengo - We’re an American Band
Violent Femmes - Never Tell
Cibo Matto - Blue Train
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood
Ozma - Battlescars
New Order - Ceremony

Econo Jams website

Thursday, July 28, 2011

WZBC - Radio Show - 7/27/11

This week’s show was extra long, given that I filled in for the DJ with the show after me. Four hours in a radio station is a long time! Thus this week is cut into two different blocks, as one four hour mp3 is a bit insane. I played a bit more theme specific blocks this week, including a loud/noisy block, a more hip-hop influenced block, as well as a brand spankin’ new 2011 music block. I even played The Beets! Are there any other occasions in history where “Killer Tofu” as been played on FM radio? I sincerely hope so.

WZBC - Econo Jams - 7-27-11 - Part 1
WZBC - Econo Jams - 7-27-11 - Part 2

Deerhoof - Twin Killers
Buzzcocks - Boredom
Au Pairs - It’s Obvious
Bauhaus - Dark Entries
..And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - Mistakes & Regrets
Black Dice - Seabird
Clinic - Voodoo Wop
Devo - Jocko Homo (Be Stiff)
Le Tigre - Deceptacon
Titus Andronicus - Titus Andronicus
Lightning Bolt - Ride the Sky
Daughters - The Virgin
OFF! - Darkness
Pixies - Something Against You
Fugazi - Bulldog Front
Mclusky - Alan is a Cowboy Killer
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Art Star
Microphones - Sand (Eric’s Trip)
Guided by Voices - Echos Myron
Ween - Freedom of ‘76
Magnetic Fields - Strange Powers
Wire - Map Ref. 41N 93W
Orange Juice - Falling and Laughing
Joanna Newsom - Peach Plum Pear
Beulah - If We Can Land a Man on the Moon, Surely I Can Win Your Heart
Beach Boys - Cabin Essence
Eric’s Trip - Sand
Lush - Leaves Me Cold
Smog - Cold Blooded Old Times
Felt - Rain of Crystal Spires
Harry and the Potters - Save Ginny Weasley
Minutemen - The Anchor
Gang of Four - At Home He’s a Tourist
James Carter, Cyrus Chestnut, Ali Jackson & Reginald Veal - Summer Babe

The Beets - Killer Tofu (Fuck Yeah 1990s Remix)
Cibo Matto - Sci-Fi Wasabi
WHY? - Gemini (Birthday Song)
Wugazi - Sleep Rules (I’m So Tired)
Madvillian - Accordian
Shabazz Palaces - Kings New Clothes Were Made by His Own Hands
The Big Pink - Velvet
Jesu - Silver
Girls - Vomit
St. Vincent - Surgeon
The Rapture - How Deep Is Your Love?
Bjork - Crystalline
Washed Out - Amor Fati
Handsome Furs - What About Us
Sleigh Bells - Tell ‘Em (Kingdom Remix)
Dom - Damn
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Maniac
The Tallest Man on Earth - The Blizzard’s Never Seen the Desert Sand
Vivian Girls - Take It As It Comes
The Vaselines - Lithium
Guided by Voices - Smothered in Hugs
The Zombies - Carre of Cell 44
Can - Mushroom
Magazine - Definitive Gaze
Psychedelic Furs - Sister Europe
Yo La Tengo - Our Way to Fall
Leonard Cohen - Avalanche
John Cale - Leaving it Up to You
The Birthday Party - Mr. Clarinet

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Recording: Cibo Matto - Live at Brighton Music Hall - 7-20-11

Cibo Matto - Live @ Brighton Music Hall - 7-20-11

1. (Intro)
2. Beef Jerky
3. Le Pain Perdu
4. Sugar Water
5. (Boston Banter)
6. Spoon
7. BBQ
8. Tenth Floor Ghost Girl
9. Moonchild
10. Sci-Fi Wasabi
11. Check In
12. Birthday Cake
13. (Encore Break)
14. Blue Train
15. Know Your Chicken

Another awesome show at the Brighton Music Hall! This place is quickly shaping up to be one of my favorite venues in Boston. Continuing the much appreciated trend of 90’s reunions, Cibo Matto returning this year was a delightful surprise. Though I had only really gotten into the band in more recent years, “Birthday Cake” had been in my life for nearly 10 years due to the video game Jet Set Radio Future. Also I was very familiar with “Sugar Water” due to the classic Michel Gondry directed video.

When they first took stage, is was just Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda, the core of the band. The first three songs were all from their debut “Viva! La Woman” and sounded pretty spot on to their album versions. Yuka was clearly using some of the same equipment from the band’s original run, as her keyboard presents were saved on a zip drive! (Remember those?) The rest of the band then joined them for the Buffy approved “Spoon” from their second album “Stereo * Type A,” and remained for the duration of the set. I always think its cool when bands gradually bring out more members, and never see it used enough. In addition to highlights from their two albums and “Super Relax EP,” the band played two new songs, later hinting at an upcoming album! Both were good and fit in well with the rest of their setlist.

Overall “Sci-Fi Wasabi” and “Birthday Cake” got the biggest crowd reactions, both eliciting a band/audience call and response. The energy for “Birthday Cake” in particular was insane, and it will undoubtedly be one of my live highlights of the year. They closed the set with fan favorite “Know Your Chicken,” playing for a bit over an hour total. After the show, the band hung around the merch table, signing shirts/ticket stubs, and posing for photos. Both Miho and Yuki were very gracious and down to earth. In addition to the new record, the band expressed sincere interest in returning to Boston again. If you missed them this time, be sure to see them in the future!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

WZBC - Radio Show - 7/13/11

I really enjoyed this episode. I ended up playing the leftover Summer blocks I created a few weeks ago, as well much more songs from 2011 than normally. I swear I always get callers when I play Polaris, and it’s great. The image this week is one Google result for “Sugar Water.” I can’t wait to see Cibo Matto play next week!

WZBC - Econo Jams - 7-13-11

Cibo Matto - Sugar Water
The Undertones - Here Comes the Summer
Dictators - California Sun
Hold Steady - Constructive Summer
Pavement - Summer Babe
Polaris - Summerbaby
Modest Mouse - Summer
Animal Collective - Summertime Clothes
Future Bible Heroes - Real Summer
The United States of America - The Garden of Earthly Delights
Broadcast - Tender Buttons
Aphex Twin - Goon Gumpas
Animal Collective - Winter’s Love
Pixies - The Happening
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Same Mistake
Bon Iver - Michicant
Lykke Li - I Follow Rivers
Cults - You Know What I Mean
Beat Happening - Indian Summer
Harry Nilsson - Just Wait Till Summer Comes
Belle & Sebastian - A Summer Wasting
Brighter - British Summertime
Magnetic Fields - Summer Lies
Beach Boys - Your Summer Dream
Ween - Sweetheart in the Summer
The Durutti Column - Sketch for Summer
Virginia Astley - A Summer Long Since Passed
The Zombies - Summertime
Modest Mouse - Dead End Job at the Dead Letter Office
Beirut - East Harlem
Les Demoniaques - Teenage Lust
John Maus - Quantum Leap
Bill Callahan - Drover
Marissa Nadler - Baby I Will Leave You in the Morning
My Morning Jacket - Our World

Monday, July 11, 2011

Recording: Bill Callahan - Live at Brighton Music Hall - 7-10-11

Bill Callahan Live @ Brighton Music Hall - 7-10-11

Wow! This show was pretty incredible. I’ve really gotten into Smog/Bill Callahan over the last year so I was quite excited with high expectations. However this show totally blew me away! It was such an emotionally affecting performance, and I felt emotionally exhausted after many of the songs. Bill is just such a talented musician and his music in a live environment is really powerful. Electric guitarist Matt Kinsey and drummer Neal Morgan were also big factors for the strength of the performance. Both are immensely talented and can bring some pretty moving and unconventionally beautiful sounds out of their instruments. I was taken aback by Neal in particular, though as Joanna Newsom’s drummer I had seen him live several times before. Still this setting allowed him to get a bit noisier at points, which ways always really engrossing to both watch and experience. I recorded this show on my pocket recorder though unfortunately the battery died during “The Well,” the first song of the encore. I regret not checking on the recorder during the pre-encore break. Thus “Too Many Birds” and “Blood Red Bird” were not captured. However I found the actual set to be the highlight, and I would have gone home more than satisfied after “In the Pines.” Highlights of the night for me included an incredible (way better than the album) rendition of “Our Anniversary” and an epic 18 minute version of “Let Me See the Colts.” Even songs I’m more lukewarm towards like “America!” translated wonderfully live. One of the best shows I’ve seen this year!

1. Riding for the Feeling
2. Baby’s Breath
3. Eid Ma Clack Shaw
4. University Applicant
5. America!
6. Our Anniversary
7. Drover
8. Let Me See the Colts/Say Valley Maker
9. In the Pines
10. Encore break
11. The Well (incomplete)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Mix: 2011 Fourth of July Songs!!

2011 Fourth of July Mix!!!

1. Matmos - The Stars and Stripes Forever
2. Galaxie 500 - Fourth of July
3. X - Fourth of July
4. Bruce Springsteen - 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
5. Ryan Adams - Firecracker
6. The Decemberists - July, July!
7. Siouxsie and the Banshees - Fireworks
8. Elliott Smith - Independence Day
9. Ani DiFranco - Independence Day
10. Aimee Mann - 4th of July
11. Elvis Costello - Indoor Fireworks
12. David Byrne - Independence Day (Cumbia)
13. Beach Boys - 4th of July
14. Azure Ray - 4th of July
15. Sebadoh - Fire of July
16. Aereogramme - Fireworks
17. Bedhead - Roman Candle
18. Thurston Moore and Mike Watt - Fourth Day of July
19. Animal Collective - Fireworks
20. Jimi Hendrix - The Star Spangled Banner (Live)

Cover Art

Friday, July 1, 2011

WZBC - Radio Show - "Summer Songs" - 6/15/11

This episode was a lot of fun. The theme was “Summer songs”: either songs that evoked the Summer or in one way, or had Summer in the title. Mostly the later given that it made research much easier. Though being college radio I needed to keep the songs more “alternative,” I still tried to make a diverse mix. The Deerhoof song is the odd one out though, as I simply just wanted to play that one. Still, I’m very proud of this episode. It will continue over into next week as well, along with some 4th of July themed music!

WZBC - “Summer Songs” - 6-29-11

  • Deerhoof - Super Duper Rescue Heads!
    Jamies - Summertime, Summertime
    Love - Bummer in the Summer
    Chad & Jeremy - A Summer Song
    Yo La Tengo - The Summer
    Semi-Gloss - The Sunburn Song
    Jonathan Richman - That Summer Feeling
    The Cure - Snow in Summer
    Islands - Jogging Gorgeous Summer
    Wilco - Summer Teeth
    The Sundays - Summertime
    Ladybug Transistor - Like a Summer Rain
    Red House Painters - Summer Dress
    Luna - Indian Summer
    Wild Nothing - Summer Holiday
    Neon Indian - Deadbeat Summer
    Yeasayer - Wait For the Summer
    Hüsker Dü - Celebrated Summer
    That Dog - One Summer Night
    Rentals - My Summer Girl
    Belle & Sebastian - I Know Where The Summer Goes
    Emiliana Torrini - Summerbreeze
    St. Vincent and the National - Sleep All Summer
    Girls - Summertime
    Best Coast - Summer Mood
    Jens Lekman - Sweet Summer’s Night on Hammer Hill
    Jonathan Richman - Summer Morning
    XTC - Summer’s Cauldron
    of Montreal - Oslo in the Summertime
    The Jesus and Mary Chain - Surfin’ USA
    Tullycraft - Stay Cool I’ll See You This Summer
    The Lucksmiths - Friendless Summer

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WZBC - Radio Show- 6/22/11

This week it’s a photo of “Bug” era Dinosaur Jr.- J and Murph specifically. I just saw them last night perform the album live at the Paradise along with OFF! and a Henry Rollins on stage interview. Here’s what that bizarre (but awesome) interview situation was like. I wish more shows tried unique things like that. Awesome show overall!

WZBC - Econo Jams - 6-22-11

Fiery Furnaces - Here Comes the Summer
Smog - No Dancing
Daniel Johnston - Some Things Last a Long Time
The Dismemberment Plan - The City
Beach House - Gila
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Let the Cool Goddess Rust Away
Dinosaur Jr. - Freak Scene (Radio Edit)
Ween - The Mollusk
Cut Copy - Hearts on Fire
The Field Mice - Sensitive
Bonnie “Prince” Billy - A Minor Place
Lush - Sweetness and Light
The Magnetic Fields - Why I Cry
The Olivia Tremor Control - Hideway
The Mekons - Hard To Be Human Again
Marissa Nadler - Famous Blue Raincoat
Joanna Newsom - Easy
My Bloody Valentine - Soon
The Modern Lovers - Hospital
Violent Femmes - Kiss Off
Sebadoh - Rebound
Pavement - Shady Lane
Hercules and Love Affair - Blind
The Residents - Easter Woman
Sonic Youth - Shadow of a Doubt
Ride - Vapour Trail
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Darklands

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WZBC - Radio Show- 6/15/11

For this week the logo is Harry Nilsson, because he was amazing. I also played “Without Her” during this show. Lots of callers during this one. Enjoy!

WZBC - Econo Jams - 6-15-11

Cat Power - Cross Bones Style
Smog - Look Now
Deer Tick - Art Isn’t Real (City of Sin)
Felice Brothers - Frankie’s Gun!
Bert Jansch - Needle of Death
Harry Nilsson - Without Her
Mazzy Star - Into Dust
McLusky - She Will Only Bring You Happiness
Black Lips - Family Tree
Kurt Vile - Jesus Fever
Deerhunter - Tribulations
LCD Soundsystem - Tribulations
The Walkmen - The Rat
Harlem - Someday Soon
Roy Harper - Me and My Woman
Joanna Newsom - Have One ON Me
Bat for Lashes - Daniel
The Smiths - Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now
John Cale - Gideon’s Bible
The Wrens - She Sends Kisses
Swans - Love Will Tear Us Apart
Vashti Bunyan - Somethings Just Stick In Your Mind
Tiny Tim - Livin’ in the Sunlight, Lovin’ in the Moonlight
Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers - Ice Cream Man
The Sonics - Psycho
The Vaselines - Molly’s Lips

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

WZBC - Radio Show- 6/8/11

This show features Zach Condon of Beirut in the logo as he saved me from near disaster. I was attempting to switch over from CD to laptop for the second song, yet suddenly got the dreaded “Not Responding” on all the windows open. There’s a bit of awkwardness when I’m trying to kill time on the air. Thus two Beirut songs in a row! Things definitely shaped up by the end though.

So as always I give away free tickets to films at the Coolidge Corner and Brattle Theater, as well as shows at The Middle East during my program. Definitely an incentive to listen live! The concert report airs roughly around 8:30.

WZBC - “Econo Jams” - 6/8/11

Beirut - Mount Wroclai (Idle Days)
Beirut - Rhineland (Heartland)
Antlers - French Exit
Soft Cell - Say Hello Wave Goodbye (12” version)
Sonic Youth - Schizophrenia
Red Krayola - Victory Garden
Eric’s Trip - Behind the Garage
Joanna Newsom - The Book of Right-On
Julie Dorion - Nice to Come Home
Mount Eerie - You Swan, Go On
Ween - Oh My Dear (Falling in Love)
Lou Reed & John Cale - Smalltown
Pavement - Grounded
Kraftwerk - Ohm Sweet Ohm
Residents - Amber
Wire - I Feel Mysterious Today
Smog - Cold Blooded Old Times
Galaxie 500 - Snowstorm
Mangetic Fields - Take Ecstacy with Me (Susan Anway Vocal)
Devendra Banhart - A Sight to Behold
Leonard Cohen - The Partisan
Low - In Metal
Bill Callahan - Too Many Birds
Mountain Goats - Color in Your Cheeks
Alec Ounsworth - Holy, Holy, Holy Moses (Song for New Orleans)
Yo La Tengo - The Summer
Elliott Smith - Alameda
Sebadoh - Spoiled
Red House Painters - Have You Forgotten
The Replacements - Here Comes a Regular
Radical Face - Welcome Home, Son

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WZBC Radio Show - 5-25-11

Here’s another podcast! It was a particularly sunny morning, thus the ridiculous sun image.

WZBC - Radio Show- 5/25/11

Built to Spill - Randy Described Eternity
The Feelies - Do It Again
Liquid Liquid - Optimo
DOM - Burn Bridges
Bill Callahan - Baby’s Breath
The Notwist - Consequence
The Go! Team - Friendship Update
Television Personalities - The Glittering Prizes
J. Mascis - Several Shades of Why
Panda Bear - Last Night at the Jetty
Thurston Moore - Benediction
Perfume Genius - Learning
Joanna Newsom - Only Skin
Fugazi - Repeater
Liz Phair - Divorce Song
Galaxie 500 - Fourth of July
Modest Mouse - Talking Shit About a Pretty Sunset
The Antlers - Epilogue
Ween - What Deaner Was Talking’ About
Vivian Girls - Tell the World
Sebadoh - Soul and Fire
Luna - California (All the Way)
John Cale - Paris 1919

Friday, May 20, 2011

WZBC Radio Show - 5-18-11

Finally! I have my own FM radio show! This is a very exciting week for me as though I’ve had various college radio shows over the past few years, they’ve all been internet streaming only. Now I’m actually on the radio…with listeners! I have concert and film tickets to give away! It’s all very cool.

My show airs every Wednesday from 8-10am on WZBC 90.3. It broadcasts to Boston and the surrounding area, though worldwide internet streaming is here. So this here is the podcast of my first episode. I think the show name will be "Econo Jams." I made the logo image a foggy tree as the first show was on an extremely foggy day. The setlist follows. I still have a few microphone and volume level kinks to work out, but I have all summer for that.

WZBC - Radio Show- 5/18/11

Grizzly Bear - Knife
Joanna Newsom - Good Intentions Paving Co.
Galaxie 500 - Tugboat
The Feelies - The Boy With the Perpetual Nervousness
The Fall - Totally Wired
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
John Cale - All My Friends
Neutral Milk Hotel - Naomi
Panda Bear - Drone
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Satan Said Dance
Sonic Youth - Dirty Boots
Cibo Matto - Birthday Cake
The Slits - Typical Girls
Orange Juice - Falling and Laughing
Modest Mouse - Interstate 8
The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatrist
Deerhoof - Spirit Ditties of No Tone
Polaris - Everywhere
Beach House - 10 Mile Stereo
Clinic - Distortions
New Order - Dreams Never End
Portishead - Machine Gun
The Microphones - The Glow
Guided by Voices - I Am a Scientist
The Olivia Tremor Control - NYC-25

Friday, March 25, 2011

Recording: Sebadoh - Live in Boston 3-24-11

Sebadoh - Live in Boston - 3/24/11

1. On Fire
2. Skull
3. Too Pure
4. Sister
5. Shit Soup
6. Mind Reader
7. Got It
8. Love to Fight
9. Drag Down
10. Dreams
11. Magnet's Coil
12. Ocean
13. Rebound
14. License to Confuse
15. Drama Mine
16. Nothing Like You
17. Crystal Gypsy
18. Bird in Hand
19. Careful
20. Beauty of the Ride
21. Not a Friend
22. Together or Alone
23. Sixteen
24. Give Up
25. Junk Bonds
26. New Worship
27. Brand New Love
28. Not Too Amused
29. Willing to Wait

Monday, February 14, 2011

Best of 2010: Song Mixes

Rather than making an ordered list, these are two mixes I made of various favorites from the year. However, they are structured in the way that each track flows pretty well from one to the next and genre similar songs are grouped together. Surprisingly though, The Tallest Man on Earth transitions quite well into Kanye. It’s been a while since I actually made mixes for this blog, so I hope you enjoy them!

Mix #1:

1. LCD Soundsystem - Dance Yrself Clean
2. Crystal Castles ft. Robert Smith - Not in Love
3. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti - Round and Round
4. Girls - Heartbreaker
5. Dum Dum Girls - Jail La La
6. Robyn - Dancing On My Own
7. Janelle Monae ft. Big Boi - Tightrope
8. Deerhunter - Desire Lines
9. The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio
10. The Walkmen - Stranded
11. Beach House - Zebra
12. Joanna Newsom - In California
13. The Tallest Man on Earth - Love is All
14. Kanye West - Runaway
15. Sleigh Bells - Crown on the Ground

Mix #2:

1. Arcade Fire - We Used to Wait
2. Sufjan Stevens - I Walked
3. Joanna Newsom - Good Intentions Paving Company
4. Belle & Sebastian - I Didn’t See It Coming
5. Yaesayer - Ambling Amp
6. Deerhunter - Revival
7. Caribou - Odessa
8. Sleigh Bells - Rill Rill
9. LCD Soundsystem - I Can Change
10. Gorillaz - On Melancholy Hill
11. The Drums - Let’s Go Surfing
12. Surfer Blood - Catholic Pagans
13. Dom - Jesus
14. Harlem - Someday Soon
15. Menomena - TAOS
16. Titus Andronicus - A More Perfect Union
17. Beach House - 10 Mile Stereo
18. Joanna Newsom - On a Good Day
19. Perfume Genius - Learning

Best of 2010: Concerts

10. The Feelies @ The Middle East (3-19-10)
9. The Buzzcocks @ Paradise (5-17-10)
8. Sufjan Stevens @ Orpheum Theater (11-12-10)
7. LCD Soundsystem w. Sleigh Bells @ Orpheum Theater (9-28-10)
6. Iggy & the Stooges @ House of Blues (8-31-10)
5. Belle & Sebastian w. Dean Wareham @ Orpheum Theater(10-15-10)
4. Weezer @ Orpheum (12-14, 12-15)
3. Joanna Newsom @ Sanders Theater (3-17-10)
2. Pavement @ Agganis Arena (9-18-10)
1. Guided by Voices w. Blitzen Trapper @ Paradise (11-5-10)

I'm so on board with the 90's reunion trend that is going on lately. In 2010, Pavement and Guided by Voices reunited, Weezer played Blue + Pinkerton shows. In 2011, The Dismemberment Plan, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Pulp, Jeff Mangum, Sebadoh, and Archers of Loaf are all touring. And it's only February. Sure reunion shows can be an easy cash-in, and I've seen a few disappointing ones (recently Echo & the Bunnymen), but when they're on, they can be one of the greatest live experiences you can have. The thrill of seeing something live that you never expected to see is truly wonderful, and I can easily say that for the Guided by Voices, Pavement, and Weezer shows that I attended this year. However out of the three, GBV took the cake.

I never expected to see GBV live, much less in their classic (1992-1996) lineup. Plus seeing them in a club, the exact same venue when they played Boston in 1996 was surreal. The setlist was impeccable - nearly 40 songs, with the majority from Propeller, Bee Thousand, and Alien Lanes.
It was also the first 21+ show I've attended, and for good reason. Robert Pollard passed beer and his bottle of Tequila around the audience, and by the end of the night, the stage resembled an ashtray. We were transported back in a time before indoor smoking was banned in 2004, the same year GBV disbanded. Legality be damned! Though by the end of the evening, all the alcohol clearly has some impact on the band's playing, this hardly mattered as this was never what Guided by Voices were all about. This show was such an experience, a celebration where you could truly feel the power of the music and love from both the crowd and the band. I swear each band member high-fived me ten times.

Best of 2010: Films

40. Babies
Jackass 3D
38. Unstoppable
37. Rabbit Hole
36. Shutter Island
35. Best Worst Movie
34. Splice
33. I Love You, Phillip Morris
32. The Runaways
31. True Grit
30. Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt & the Magnetic Fields
29. The Town
28. Let Me In
27. 127 Hours
26. Kick Ass
25. Hot Tub Time Machine
24. Another Year
23. Get Him to The Greek
22. The Kids are Alright
21. Temple Grandin
20. Catfish
19. Buried
18. The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights
17. The Fighter
16. How to Train Your Dragon
15. Never Let Me Go
14. The King’s Speech
13. Inception
12. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
11. Somewhere
10. Last Train Home
9. Who Is Harry Nilsson? (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)
7. The Social Network
6. Exit Through the Gift Shop
5. Fish Tank
4. Greenberg
3. Blue Valentine
2. Black Swan
1. Toy Story 3

If I write a blurb about Toy Story 3, I'll start thinking about the ending, and then I might start sobbing. Oh my GOD. I can't think of a more emotionally loaded ending scene in any film. I swear, all the tears in the theater eliminated years of spilled soda stickiness from the floor. That's kind of a gross image... But really, this is one of the greatest animated films ever, and easily my favorite film of the year.

I actually caught some of Toy Story 2 on TV today, and it suddenly was much sadder than I remembered. I also saw an ad on the bus for Toy Story 3 ON ICE. I just don't know about that. Though I'm pretty sure if you collect all the tears shed from the movie going public, you could fill the rink. Ice tea-r. Ouch.

Best of 2010: Top 60 Albums

Well, I’m a bit late to the party this year when it comes to year end lists. I’ve been making this sort of list for several years now, and have noticed that publications are beginning to post their lists earlier and earlier. This year it seems most lists were already complete and ready by late November. That’s just too early! December isn’t entirely a dead month for media releases. For instance Ghostface Killah released a really solid record this year on December 21st. But did it make any lists? No, it couldn’t! Then Gorillaz put out a surprise album on Christmas day! Sure it wasn’t very good, but it was still a significant December release.

Anyways, I’m probably just trying to justify my laziness for finalizing this list so late. I mean, I’m posting this thing AFTER the Grammy’s even. Shit. Well, these are my top sixty albums of 2010. Even though I listened to more than sixty albums this year, if I make the list longer than that I’ll have to start listing records I found to be mostly forgettable, and what’s the point of that? Well after much listening and re-listening, then reading lists and some more listening, here’s where it stands as of today. As always a single listen can throw off an album’s placement, though the top ten is nearly set in stone.

60. ceo - White Magic
59. Dirty Projectors + Bjork - Mount Wittenberg Orca
58. Perfume Genius - Learning
57. Rose Elinor Dougall - Without Why
56. Grinderman - Grinderman 2
55. Clinic - Bubblegum
54. The Vaselines - Sex with an X
53. Tame Impala - Innerspeaker
52. Glasser - Ring
51. Liars – Sisterworld
50. Wild Nothing - Gemini
49. Twin Shadow - Forget
48. Robyn - Body Talk
47. Das Racist - Shut Up, Dude
46. Charlotte Gainsbourg – IRM
45. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
44. Antony & the Johnsons - Swanlights
43. The Black Keys - Brothers
42. Das Racist - Sit Down, Man
41. Daughters - Daughters
40. MGMT - Congratulations
39. Ghostface Killah - Apollo Kids
38. Harlem - Hippies
37. Holy Fuck - Latin
36. The Fall - Your Future Our Clutter
35. Wolf Parade - Expo 86
34. Four Tet - There is Love in You
33. Best Coast - Crazy For You
32. Avey Tare - Down There
31. Girl Talk - All Day
30. Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
29. No Age - Everything in Between
28. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles II
27. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - I Learned the Hard Way
26. Owen Pallett - Heartland
25. Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
24. Beach Fossils - Beach Fossils
23. Belle & Sebastian - Belle & Sebastian Write About Love
22. Dom - Sun Bronzed Greek Gods
21. Girls - Broken Dreams Club
20. The Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt
19. Jonsi – Go
18. Caribou - Swim
17. The Drums - The Drums
16. Yeasayer – Odd Blood
15. Dum Dum Girls - I Will Be
14. Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
13. Menomena - Mines
12. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti - Before Today
The National - High Violet

Janelle Monae - The Archandroid
9. The Walkmen - Lisbon
8. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
7. Sleigh Bells – Treats
6. Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
5. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
4. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
3. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2. Beach House – Teen Dream
1. Joanna Newsom – Have One on Me

My number #1 album is no surprise, as even from the day it leaked, nearly a year ago, I was certain that it would be my top of the year. This fall will mark five years of my Joanna obsession, and it certainly won’t be ceasing any time soon. There’s simply no one else out there writing on her level. Her songwriting, lyrics, and musicianship are all just of the highest quality. There’s no female singer-songwriter out there today who comes even close. That is an objective statement. Joanna Newsom is the best female singer-songwriter working today.

Taking a step backwards, despite my obvious infatuation, this album took me a long time to digest. Though not as musically dense as her previous album Ys (my favorite record of the last decade), its length is rather daunting. Though Ys was a double record with five songs, Have One on Me is a triple record, totaling eighteen songs, six on each record. There really haven’t been many triple albums in history- the most notable that come to mind are George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, The Clash’s Sardanista!, and The Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs. I enjoy all of these records (Sardanista to a lesser extent), and even consider 69 Love Songs to be my all-time favorite record. Yet all these records have their share of considerably lesser songs, and even filler. Have One on Me on the other hand has no filler of any sort. Each of the three records make their own concise statement. They each have a wonderful opening song that both feels like an album opener and sets the record’s momentum, and an particularly emotional closer that wraps up each record nicely. However, when you listen to all three in a row, like Voltron they form something even greater than the sum of their parts.

I was finally able to see the album as Voltron around the 6th listen, yet with every repeat listen I get more and more out of the record. This is truly a record for the long run. Songs that seemed almost unmelodic, meandering, and frankly, boring, with initial listens became highlights. Examples of this would include “Kingfisher,” “Go Long”, and especially the title track. I look back at myself listening to these songs with a hesitant ear and almost think “how I could have been so naive?”

With modern technology constantly changing the way we listen to music, I also find the timeless nature of this album to be incredibly refreshing. The internet gives us the ability to download practically any album we want, in minutes, for free. Nearly every new release leaks at least a week in advance, and there is always a rush to consume the record, and sprout your “definitive” opinion as quickly as possible. You grab a record on mediafire, unzip it, and listen to it through your shitty computer speakers. While you’re listening you might revel in the hype of another upcoming record, or contribute to the backlash against a recently acclaimed record that’s getting just a little too much attention (though in the scope of things isn’t really at all.) Everything becomes overrated. It’s like fast food. This is not what music listening should be.

Still, I can be just as much of a victim to this practice as anyone. If I wasn’t there’s no way I’d ever be able to make a ridiculous year end list like this. Albums like Have One On Me though bring you back to the ideal of music listening. Like all of Joanna’s albums it is beautifully packaged, with a gatefold box housing the three vinyl records, each with a custom dust jacket, and a huge elegant lyric booklet. It’s just made to be sprawled out on a bed, booklet poured through while the record plays over your stereo. Just listening to a record can really be one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have.

10 Least Favorite Albums of the Year

10. Salem - King Night
9. The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever
8. Magnetic Fields – Realism
7. Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record
6. She & Him - Volume 2
5. Vampire Weekend - Contra
4. Wavves - King of the Beach
3. Broken Bells - Broken Bells
2. Chromeo - Business Casual
1. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More

This list would have a different #1 if I could physically finish Lil Wayne’s rock album. It hasn’t been a bad year though, as I don’t actually hate a lot of these albums, but just find them rather boring. Some more than others. Others I find annoying and a bit irksome. Only one truly makes me want to barf. Why Dylan, why?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Essential Daniel Johnston

Today Daniel Johnston turns 50. In honor of his birthday, here is a custom "best-of" mix that I made over the Summer. I found that the official Welcome to My World compilation lacked some essential early material (especially Songs of Pain cuts) as well as material from the underrated Fun. I mean, how can you exclude "Life in Vain," "Silly Love, ""Grievances," "I Had Lost My Mind," "An Idiot's End," "I'm a Song," and "Held the Hand?" Then again, when it comes to Daniel Johnston favorites, it can get very subjective. Anyways, here's my version complete with a custom cover which you can find at the left or here. The mix runs just below 80 minutes, so it should perfectly fit on a CD-R. Enjoy and celebrate Daniel!

The Essential Daniel Johnston

1. Grievences
2. Living Life
3. I Had Lost My Mind
4. Never Relaxed
5. The Sun Shines Down on Me
6. Like a Monkey in a Zoo
7. Man Obsessed
8. An Idiot's End
9. Peek A Boo
10. The Story of an Artist
11. Casper the Friendly Ghost
12. Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Your Grievances
13. Speeding Motorcycle
14. The Beatles
15. Walking the Cow
16. Hey Joe
17. I'm a Song
18. Etiquette
19. Funeral Home
20. Go
21. Devil Town
22. Some Things Last a Long Time
23. True Love Will Find You in the End
24. Held the Hand
25. Laurie
26. Come See Me Tonight
27. Silly Love
28. Life in Vain