Glacial is an impressively eclectic trio: Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo on guitar, The Necks’ Tony Buck on drums and Highland Bagpipes’ contributor David Watson on, well, bagpipes. The fact that this album is one 48-minute track, it’s an instrumental and bagpipes are involved might immediately sound like a kitschy experiment Continue reading
The long awaited solo effort from the silky-voiced Frank Ocean was big enough. Add to the fever his announcement/note/whatever it was that Frank once loved (like, love loved) another man changed this from a record release, to a seismic shift in macho hip-hop culture, not to mention giving his crew, Odd Future, a new air of legitimacy and complexity in the face of all their blatant gay-bashing.
Somehow, lost in all of this, was the record. Ocean’s first release “Novacaine” left many wanting more, including Jay-Z and Kanye West. Ocean would be tapped to sing the refrain on both “Made it in America,” and “No Church in the Wild” on the duo’s epic collaboration Watch the Throne. He would release two more singles, “Swim Good” and “Thinkin’ Bout You,” the latter being the lead track to his major label debut, Channel Orange. Continue reading
Amy Heckerling’s Clueless (1995) should be on everyone’s Top 10 Teen Comedies list. First of all, it might be the best adaptation of a Jane Austen novel (Emma). Second, the film is solely responsible for the popularization of phrases like “Whatever!” and “As if!” which (regrettably in hindsight) remained a major part of teenage girl vernacular for the better part of two years. But most importantly, Clueless is a zeitgeist flick that Continue reading
The Modern Lovers by The Modern Lovers (1976)
The Modern Lovers were a super group of not-yet-knowns in the 1970s. The band that played on their classic debut consisted of Jonathan Richman on guitar and vocals, Jerry Harrison on keyboard, Ernie Brooks on bass and David Robinson on drums. They disbanded after two short years in 1973 and the album itself wasn’t released until three years later. Richman went on to have a successful (albeit sappier) solo career keeping the band name as his back-up band, Harrison became the keyboardist for the Talking Heads, Brooks Continue reading
Traps is Jaill’s second release on Sub Pop after 2010′s That’s How We Burn and their third record as a band. Their first album, There’s No Sky (Oh My My), was released on Burger Records as Jail. Apparently Sub Pop forced them to change their name as there was a European band named Jail years ago. Continue reading
Mark Kozelek made his name during the early 90′s as the leading man and singer/songwriter behind Red House Painters. Since the Red House Painters’ disbanding in the late 1990′s, Kozelek has continued to release acclaimed albums under the guise Sun Kil Moon. Kozelek’s latest installment as Sun Kil Moon, Among the Leaves, comes 20 years after the RHP’s epic debut Down Colorful Hill. With the possible exception of the confused Modest Mouse cover album Tiny Cities, he has a critically untarnished record. Sun Kil Moon is Continue reading
TOPS is the Montreal-based foursome of singer/synth Jane Penny, guitarist David Carriere, bassist Tom Gillies and drummer Riley Fleck. Their debut, Tender Opposites, was released in February of this year on Arbutus Records (also home to Grimes). I read only two things prior to hearing this record: 1) The production is similar to “new” Ariel Pink, and 2) TOPS bites a Fleetwood Mac sound, particularly Continue reading
Lotus Plaza is the solo project of Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt. Spooky Action at a Distance is Pundt’s second release after 2009′s very bright but somewhat washed-out debut, The Floodlight Collective. Like Deerhunter frontman and bandmate Bradford Cox did with last year’s Parallax (#2 on my Top 11 Albums of 2011), Lockett Pundt proves once again that members of busy bands can produce wonderful things on their own time. It should also be noted that the outspoken Pundt may be the Continue reading
Chicago’s Disappears has been busy, busy. Three albums in three years: 2010′s Lux, 2011′s Guider and this year’s Pre Language. Disappears is admittedly not doing anything new. Their three albums reclaim late 60′s garage rock (the Velvet Underground aesthetic on Lux and the White Light, White Heat structure of Guider), early 70′s proto punk and Krautrock, late 70′s post punk (particularly The Fall and Wire) and early 90′s shoegaze. Their sound also incorporates elements of frontman Brian Case’s former band The Ponys.
Pre Language wasn’t exactly what I expected Continue reading
Port of Morrow is The Shins’ fourth album and the first on leading man James Mercer’s own label, Aural Apothecary, after satisfying their three-album Sub Pop quota. I gave numerous listens to their first two albums Oh, Inverted World and Chutes Too Narrow including but not limited to: Continue reading