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2013 Top Albums February 9, 2014

Posted by reidmix in Album Reviews, Arbutus, Best of 2013, Don Giovanni, Fat Possum, Joyful Noise, Labels, Lists, Lovely Sorts of Death, Matador Records, Merge Records, Morr Music, Music, Mythryl, Pau Wau, Reviews, Videos, XL Recordings.
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In my tradition of February sharing my favorite and most earwormy albums of the prior year, I give you the 2013 list.

partygoing

10. Party Going by Future Bible Heroes

Stephin Merritt et. al. at his finest.  Underrated but pure pop.

“John Waters soirée we spun the Warhol” and “At Mink Stole’s birthday in gay Provincetown I came to DJ and left with the clown”

How can you go wrong?

Along with this release there was a vinyl release of all the Future Bible Heroes releases that was a joy to revisit.

Blue-Hawaii-Untogether9. Untogether by Blue Hawaii

Something was lost in the last Braids album, I don’t know what it was, but it just didn’t stick like their debut did.

The good news is that Raphaelle Standell-Preston put all her genius in her duo with Alexander Cowan on the Blue Hawaii release.

The vocal + electronic manipulations are mind-bendy, especially at high-volumes.   She’s channels Karin Oliver dreamy-ness to the n-th degree.

altthumb8. Flowers by Sin Fang

Mr. Seabear returns with another album as Sin Fang (shortened from Sin Fang Bous).

An intricate melding between organic and electronic sounds that the Icelanders are so well-known.

Along with the Half Dreams EP from the year prior — the two seem like a pair — they secure a footing in the woodsy-spacy-folksy orchestral pop.

Bonus from Half Dreams:

ole-1034-majical-cloudz-impersonator-537x537-13687140697. Impersonator by Majical Cloudz

I am reminded of Branden Perry’s The Carnival Is Over.

Sometimes when I hear Delvon Welsh sing, he’s like a ghost from a great band’s past.

The sparsity of his loops and the grandness of his song played over it is imbued with an assertive significance.

The first three songs alone are difficult from keeping on a tight repeat.

“If this is all that I have / If this song is the last thing I do I feel so good / That I sang it”

a3548728279_106. Lanterns by Son Lux

After being challenged by NPR to produce a full album in the 4-weeks of February, when he spent 4 years on his debut album, it could have been an impossible task.

One that he was ultimately successful, built with a patchwork of lyrics that upon repeating gain a undeniable spirituality.

Bonus:  His beats have an almost trip-hop effect.

“Easy, easy / Pull out your heart / To make the being alone”

Bill Baird - Spring Break of the Soul5. Spring Break of the Soul by Bill Baird

I’m happy to say that Bill Baird, out from behind his {{{SUNSET}}} moniker, still makes just plain good music.

He’s so prolific, never sacrificing quality or cheek.  Don’t let his esthetic in the videos trick you, he’s not lofi.

The songs are fun + clever pop, experimental, surfy (in fact each side of this album spells S-U-R-F), have moody marimbas, properly executed feedback, and understated vocals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjfZz1iUM-8

Bonus: Chris Christopherson sad covers FTW.

vw-13666577354. Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend

It doesn’t surprise me this album won best Alternative Album of the Year, it surprises me that the Grammy’s and I agree on anything.  Only a matter of time before the reached critical mass appeal.

Despite them, after VW’s meh Contra rested on their laurels from their debut and the worst use of autotune since Bon Iver, with their 3rd album they didn’t fall in the same trap.

Inevitably, their words and their sound is Vampire Weekend, diplomats and currency and communist revolution from the Upper East Side.

“A gardener told me some plants move / But I could not believe it / Til me and Hannah Hunt / Saw crawling vines and weeping willows”

Waxahatchee_cerulean_salt_cover3. Cerulean Salt by Waxahatchee

Channelling the best parts of Kim Deal and Liz Phair, Katie Crutchfield lands into my top three easily on her own two feet.

Messy and ethereal and, like all clouds must be, lonely:

“The atmosphere is fucking tired it brings us nothing / If you think that I’ll stay forever you are right and,
I’ll give you everything you wanted when I can”

Bonus: Pod-love

1386331137_cover-32. The Time Has Come to Shoot You Down…What a Sound by The Flaming Lips and Various Artists

A late entry into my top-10, one that is so perfect in its reconception of The Stone Roses eponymous debut I’m forced to go back to the original and reconsider the bright sun-shine psychodelia.

Part of what makes this album so great is HOTT MT’s presence on several tracks including the divine jewel that is Waterfall.  My only complaint was how great Fool’s Gold was the first time around, it just doesn’t hold up here.

One of those 500 super-extra-limited edition RSD releases (if you have one to sell that is much less than $300, let me know), you can hear the full album on Soundcloud.

I Wanna Be Adored:

Waterfall:

e62eaf251. Wondrous Bughouse by Youth Lagoon

This album came out early in the year, I felt I’ve had to hold on to it, returning to it, listening to the greatness of it, to make sure it didn’t get overshadowed by novelty.

A carnival-ride, with so many layers and back alleys, this album represents the fruition of Youth Lagoons debut.  Like looking through a lens, if given the production time and equipment, it makes you wonder what what the fragility of The Year of Hibernations may have transformed into.

Who knew this 4-track wonder would become so psychedelic and anthemic.

“You’ll never die / You’ll never die”

Bonus:  Through the Mind and Back / Mute

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Privilege the Parenthetical Girls: Evelyn McHale February 9, 2010

Posted by reidmix in Free MP3, Indie, Labels, Music, Slender Means, Upcoming Releases, Videos.
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I’m a total fanboy for Parenthetical Girls.  I squee at paypal confirmations from Zac.  It’s a sad state I know but to discover their next album is being released in five parts is a collectors paradise for me (unless I’m one out like I was with the No Age series *sigh*).  You can pre-order the first part from their parentheticalgirls.com site.

Until then, here is the first video off the first 12″ in the series titled “Evelyn McHale”, a song that introduces the title character who is known for the most beautiful suicide and is a *ahem* springboard for other confessions — as stated by the press release. Zac promises us songs in the vein of early Roxy Music / Brian Eno and Hounds of Love era Kate Bush.  Where do I sign-up?

Evelyn McHale” (mp3) by Parenthetical Girls. Taken from the release Privilege pt. 1: On Death & Endearments, available digitally and as a limited edition 12″ via Slender Means Society on February 23rd, 2010.

My Boys sing My Girls (Video) January 27, 2009

Posted by reidmix in Domino, Indie, Labels, Music, New Releases, Videos.
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I’m not gonna say it: just play it!  I need to break up some of this text with something I’m excited about.

What I like about this video is that the electronics are front and center and everything else is sugar for the eyes (Animal Collective even put themselves into that 2-dimensional space)

Makes me think, Science Fiction. Double Feature.

Coachella ’08 Band Pictures June 30, 2008

Posted by reidmix in Music, Photos, Videos.
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I’ve uploaded my picture collection of the bands I saw at Coachella this year.  They include, in reverse order, Love & Rockets, Stars, Shout Out Louds, Annuals, Prince, Portishead, Animal Collective, St. Vincent, Bonde do Role, Fat Boy Slim, Datarock, and Dan Deacon.

The Prince and Portishead pictures were far away on the Jumbotron, but the nice thing about the Portishead pictures is that it looked like a live music video as you can see by the one above.

I have about 130 pictures of Love & Rockets, I think partly because they are such glamorous performers, but also, I felt my goth roots showing, feeling happy among my fellow peeps.

I also have some videos of St. Vincent, Bonde do Role, Fat Boy Slim and of course the Dan Deacon one I previously uploaded.  All in all, good times!  Please follow any one of the thumbnails in the following mosaic:

Love & Rockets ThumbnailStars ThumbnailShout Out Louds ThumbnailAnnuals Thumbnail

Prince ThumbnailPortishead ThumbnailAnimal Collective '08 ThumbnailSt. Vincent Thumbnail

Bonde do Role ThumbnailFat Boy Slim ThumbnailDatarock ThumbnailDan Deacon Thumbnail

Dan Deacon’s Wham City Sing-Along June 12, 2008

Posted by reidmix in Carpark, Indie, Labels, Music, Photos, Videos.
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I’ve renewed my Flickr account and am starting to upload my Coachella pics and videos and I’ve started from the beginning: with Dan Deacon. What was so amazing was that about halfway through the video — on the chorus — everyone started singing right along with Dan Deacon making it a very communal and amazing way to kick-off Coachella.