More magazine junk. This time around, it's NME hitting us with their seventy-five favorite albums of this year. NME has notoriously British taste--which makes sense considering it's a British magazine--and that means that it often lauds crappy Brit-pop/rock. Such is not the case at the top of their 2010 list (there's plenty of Brit-pop lower down), although the number one spot does go to a British act--that said, it's an Il-Buono-approved British act. And there's actually some pretty cool selections throughout the list, notably a top 15 finish for The Fall and their rockin' Your Future Our Clutter. So that's that. The top ten (with my comments) is after the jump, and the whole darn thing is here.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The magazines are rolling out their year-end lists in time for their December issues... Today we get metal mag Decibel's Top 40 Albums of the year. I don't exactly read Decibel on account of I don't really love metal, but I always enjoy checking their lists just to see a different point of view--or at least to learn some great band and album names. The top ten is listed below, and you can see the whole thing here. I won't make any snide comments because I haven't heard a single album in the top ten. In fact, the only albums I've listened to at all on the entire list are High On Fire's and The Body's. Typical hipster metal, I know I know I know... I'll be sure to take a peek at their top picks, though.
10. The Austerity Program--Backsliders and Apostates Will Burn
9. Nails--Unsilent Death
7. Ludicra--The Tenant
6. Torche--Songs For Singles
5. Enslaved--Axioma Ethica Odini
3. Triptykon--Eparistera Daimones
2. Watain--Lawless Darkness
1. Agalloch--Marrow Of The Spirit
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
"Insight (Live BBC Recording)" by Joy Division
I often don't care too much for live recordings, but to hear Joy Division live is to gain new insight (pun somewhat intended) into their genius. (Note: this YouTube link isn't the version I'm referring to, but it's still good.)
Saturday, November 27, 2010
"Bastard" by Tyler, The Creator
There are a couple reasons Tyler and his Odd Future crew have been getting a lot of hype lately. The first reason is presumably because they're really, really batshit crazy. Their beats are fuzzy, their lyrics are bizarre and random and unlike any other hip-hop lyrics, and they themselves are wild and strung out seemingly all the time. But these dudes are also getting hype because their music, crazy as it may be, is very good. This cut, the title track from Tyler's album, is a slow-moving banger, full of hatred and humor and more non sequiturs than you can shake a stick at. We'll see what happens to Odd Future in the future, but, for now, they're ruling underground hip-hop.
Friday, November 26, 2010
"Teenage Heaven" by Eddie Cochran
While the teenage heaven Eddie Cochran describes isn't exactly my vision of teenage heaven--I'm not dying for a Coupe de Ville, for example--it sounds like a rockin' enough time nonetheless.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Oy vey! We're already getting into 2011 lists! Stereogum hit us today with their 50 Most Anticipated Albums of 2011, an entirely speculative and therefore inconsequential list. But I'm posting it nevertheless on account of: 1) I love lists, and 2) I, too, am looking forward to several of these albums. So even though we're not yet done with 2010, here's to a potentially great 2011! (The top ten are after the jump. The rest is here.)
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
So I said that year-end lists are finna start pouring in, and I was right. There are some ones I don't care about too much (such as Gorilla Vs. Bear's best videos list (I don't do music videos)), but I'll definitely be posting a pretty good amount.
This one, from the increasingly reliable FACT Magazine, counts down their favorite record labels of the year. A neat idea, if I may say so myself, even if I don't know too much about some of the imprints themselves. The ones I do know, though, I rather enjoy. So the list, without any comments, is posted after the jump for your amusement, outragement, etc. The original thing is here.
"Skinny Love" by Bon Iver
Justin Vernon's career and cool factor have both received huge boosts from his involvement in Kanye's supposedly-perfect new album, and, while Vernon's work on that album--like everything on that album--is great, whenever I think of him and his voice I have to go back to "Skinny Love." I was (and still am) a little bit of a For Emma, Forever Ago hater, but "Skinny Love" is one of the most sincere, beautiful songs of the past decade. And that's a fact. It's goosebump-inducing every time.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Oh my, oh my. Is it that time of year already? Year-end list time? Arguably my favorite time of the year because I'm a nerd who loves lists? Well, at least on This Recording, it is. Recently writer Danish Aziz published his 15 favorite tunes of 2010 on the site, thereby officially throwing out the first pitch of the year-end list season.
His list (posted after the jump with my reactions) is nice and pithy, including short blurbs about each song which can be read here. The list has some interesting picks--some songs I like, some I hadn't heard--but it's certainly most significant because it means that we're all gonna have to start buckling down and making our own lists, and also that Il Buono is gonna be a lot more fun in the coming month, as I'll be posting every list I see. To 2010!
"Turtles Have Short Legs" by Can
Easily one of their most fun songs, "Turtles Have Short Legs" is just a catchy, singalong-y romp of a piece that further demonstrates Can's range and further proves that they're one of the best bands to ever grace our Earth. (This also marks Can's third appearance in SOTD, making them the first band to accomplish such a feat.)
Saturday, November 20, 2010
"Cold As Hell" by DZA
I don't know about you, but I don't often actually read Pitchfork's longwinded articles that they display at the bottom of their homepage. However, I decided for some reason to read their "Beg, Borrow, and Steal" feature about new Russian electronic, and boy am I glad I did. The Moscow electro/glitch/crate-digging/experimental scene is a burgeoning one, full of music indebted equally to Flying Lotus as it is to eastern European experimental. DZA, whose name is presumably a (funny) play on (or homage to) GZA and RZA (the latter of which is actually a quite like-minded producer), seems to be the frontrunner of the scene, i.e. its Ramones, its Animal Collective, etc. This track, "Cold As Hell", is one of his Five-Finger Discount mixtape's most interesting tracks, although the whole tape is one funky, choppy, compressed sonic journey. Bottom line is DZA and his cohorts are making some of 2010's best music.
Friday, November 19, 2010
"En Phase/Hors Phase From Dedans Dehors" by Bernard Parmegiani
It's pretty hard to dismiss anything by someone with the name Bernard Parmegiani, but when you're dealing with a composition by someone with a name that awesome that also sounds as good as this does, well then you're just in luck. This piece, while short, is a truly innovative nugget of '70s electronica. Awash in different textures and timbres, the piece follows various arpeggiated patterns, never settling down or conforming to traditional compositional norms. It's basically awesome in every way... (The video that's linked to only plays the tune from about 35 seconds in until about the 1:18 mark.)
Thursday, November 18, 2010
"Citadel" by The Rolling Stones
So we all know kids these days (like yours truly) don't appreciate the past, which is to say most of us hate the goddamn Rolling Stones. I'm not a big fan of theirs, but the fact of the matter is they actually did make some pretty great music--and much of it is found on their batshit crazy Their Satanic Majesties Request. Sgt. Pepper's (better, yes better) bastard child, Request is my favorite Stones album and "Citadel" is one of its finest songs. It proves that the Stones were (and are) true artists and innovators, not just rock n' roll/blues copycats. Listening to this song and album make me care slightly more that there's a new Keith Richards book out there...
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
"I Can Feel It" by Jon McMillion
One of this year's most slept on tracks from one of this year's most slept on albums, "I Can Feel It" is a messy, busy, funky, glassy piece of work. But it's cluttered samples and oscillations amount to something actually quite pretty and very suited for the dancefloor.
The folks at Gibson are good at making guitars. They are less good at making lists. This list of their 10 Greatest Venues amounts to little, as it's simply a list of some obvious places that were hotbeds of different rock movements at some time or another. It's hard to argue with because I've never been to any of them (except for the lobby of The Apollo), but it's a list nonetheless, and my desire to go back in time to Max's Kansas City and CBGB's is keeping me interested.
Apollo Theater (New York)
Cavern Club (Liverpool)
CBGB (New York)
Crocodile Cafe (Seattle)
The Fillmore (San Francisco)
First Avenue and 7th Street Entry (Seattle)
40 Watt Club (Athens)
Marquee Club (London)
Mac's Kansas City (New York)
Whisky-A-Go-Go (Los Angeles)
There you go...
Monday, November 15, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
"Mmm Skyscraper I Love You" by Underworld
Sometimes I'm like, "If I could time travel to any scene, it'd be Woodstock or Haight-Ashbury." And then other times I'm like, "No, it would definitely be Germany in the early '70s." And then I'm also like, "For sure downtown Manhattan in the late '70s. Or maybe Manchester in the late '70s/early '80s." But then sometimes, like when I listen to Underworld, I'm like, "I want to be raving it up in Bristol or London in the early to mid '90s because the music is so freaking off-the-wall good and fun to dance to even though I don't really like dancing."
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
"6.6" by Supersilent
It took me a while to appreciate Supersilent for more than just their album design/packaging aesthetic (which is beautiful and smart and awesome and commendable in every way), but after hearing their landmark 6 a couple times, I now understand why they're considered one of the best experimental groups in music. Pieces like this one, titled just "6.6," are a little hard to digest at first due to their improvised, free-form nature. Eventually, though, Supersilent's members' superb musicianship and knack for creating otherworldly, complex-yet-minimal sonic atmospheres shine through, and the music becomes an engrossing, encompassing experience. (Alliteration...) "6.6" may not have the lyrical weight of an Elliott Smith song per se, but it's devastating and beautiful nonetheless.
Monday, November 8, 2010
"Chug Chug Chug-A-Lug (Push 'n' Shove)" by The Meters
Did I pick this song just so I could type its title? Maybe. But it's also a great, funky-as-hell, swampy tune from the masters of great, funky-as-hell, swampy tunes: New Orleans' The Meters. Though easily most known for their monumental "Cissy Strut," The Meters are one of the most important funk bands of all time, and songs like this one--silly as its title may be--help prove that point.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
"Running Up That Hill" by Chromatics
A faithful but great cover of a faithful but great song, Chromatics' version of "Running Up That Hill" is as beautiful as the Kate Bush original, albeit in a more breathy and shimmery way. It's just very smooth and well composed, and it makes me excited for the rumored After Dark 2 compilation from Italians Do It Better that I've been reading about.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
"Greyhound Bus" by The Moldy Peaches
We continue on the nostaliga trip I started yesterday with "Riot Radio" with this gem from The Moldy Peaches. Back in the days before Juno, I listened to The Peaches all the time; they were funny, weird, inappropriate, and wrote catchy songs. I'm sure that I was a snob once Kimya Dawson got a little famous and thus stopped listening to The Moldy Peaches, but upon revisiting them I gotta say they're still fun to listen to.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
"Riot Radio" by The Dead 60s
I remember buying this song, or rather this whole album, with an iTunes gift card I received for my Bar Mitzvah. This was one of my favorite songs of 2005, but when it popped into my head randomly the other day, I thought I wouldn't still like it. Such wasn't the case. This is a great song, albeit thoroughly derivative of British post-punk, and I'm currently wondering what ever happened to The Dead 60s--and why that's their name, when they clearly were ripping off the late '70s/early '80s.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
"The Ballad Of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest" by Bob Dylan
Unfortunately, this isn't a song about a friendship between a Delta blues singer and Rob Halford. Fortunately, this is still a very good song.
Monday, November 1, 2010
"Sookie, Sookie" by Don Covay
I'm not exactly sure what's going on in this song; the "Sookie" refrain doesn't make much sense lyrically or musically in context. But I love it nonetheless. In addition to the peculiar words and phrasing, the song has some very skittish guitars and a restless organ. And about halfway through, minimalist horns take over the mix, thereby completing what was already a thoroughly--or at least comparatively--strange piece of soul-pop-funk.