Category Archives: Music

favorite list two,000 twelve end of media collect

Most likely, top 10 lists are bad for the ego and intelligence, so I’m just doing a little round up. None of this is in any particular order, although if it appears first, it’s probably a good thing as it likely means it’s been lodged at the forefront of my memory.

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Favorite films: 

The Master, Amour, Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Skyfall.

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Most disappointing films: 

Prometheus, Cloud Atlas, The Grey (although this doesn’t really count, since I couldn’t finish it.)

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To-See List:

Safety Not Guaranteed, This is Not a Film, Searching for Sugar Man, Compliance, Pitch Perfect, Zero Dark Thirty, Les Misérables, Looper, Take This Waltz, Wuthering Heights, Red Hook Summer, Argo, Flight, Wreck-it-Ralph, Jeff Who Lives At Home, Anna Karenina, Promised Land, Hitchcock, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Lincoln, Starlet, Cabin in the Woods, Samsara, Holy Motors, The Invisible War, Shut Up and Play the Hits, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

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Best Total Ripoff:.

Howard Shore’s Death of Gandalf music used in the Man of Steel teaser.

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Favorite albums:

Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel…, Sufjan Stevens – Silver & Gold, Tame Impala – Lonerism, Grizzly Bear – Shields, The Robert Glaspar Experiment – Black Radio, Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas, Chairlift – Something, Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!, Beach House – Bloom, Ty Segall – Twins, The Shins – Port of Morrow, Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d. City, Mac DeMarco – 2, Diiv – Oshin, Actress – R.I.P.
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Most disappointing albums:

WHY? – Mumps etc., fun. – Some Nights, Yeasayer – Fragrant World, G.O.O.D. Music – Cruel Summer, The XX – Coexist.

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Possibly good but def over rated, sue me:

Frank Ocean – Channel Orange, Jessie Ware – Devotion, TNGHT – TNGHT, How to Dress Well – Total Loss, Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d City,  Passion Pit – Gossamer.

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Most Ironically Aptly Named Album:

Mumford & Sons – Babel.

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Why though:

Bloc Party – Four, Captain Murphy, The Bob Dylan Interview in Rolling Stone Magazine, Jay-Z in every movie trailer, Rolling Stone Magazine, 2 Chainz, Any of the Titans, not leaving the novel Cloud Atlas alone, Total Recall, the website of Total Recall that might be spelled with a “k,” the first half of The Hobbit.

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Favorite Books released in 2012:

Mary Ruefle – Madness, Rack, & Honey: Collected Lectures, Natasha Trethewey – Thrall, Jordan Seng – Miracle Work,  Ashley Farmer – Farm Town (chapbook). (I read a lot this year, but most of them were books I am still reading, most of them poetry, or older books, so this list is short.)

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Quickest Created Meme:

Binders Full of Women

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It don’t make sense

the kinda psychretroGrade A plus plus delic funk vibes that are str8 dank buggin’ out this record.

Another favorite music of 2011 list

I spent a good deal of time writing a bunch of mini-reviews for all these, but then my laptop, which had been freezing daily for months, finally died the other day, and the document along with it, but I’m guessing that in the age of instant information, you’d probably just want a strict list anyway, so I just sighed and quickly reproduced the lists I had. The word “favorite” is intentional. I knowingly didn’t like things that I recognize the objective artistic value of, and knowingly enjoyed what might be seen as rather banal. The order of these is not necessarily a big deal. Without further ado:

Most Disappointing Albums:
Cults – Cults
Mutemath – Odd Soul
Justice – Audio, Video, Disco
Lady Gaga – Born This Way
Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne

“Best Albums” that I cannot haz dig:
tUnE-yArDs – W H O K I L L
Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
Drake – Take Care
The Weeknd – House of Balloons

Favorite Album Honorable Mentions:
Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place
Washed Out – Within, Without
Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
Nicolas Jaar – Space is Only Noise

Favorite Albums:
20. Adele – 21
19. Yuck – Yuck
18. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
17. Tom Waits – Bad as Me
16. Wilco – The Whole Love
15. Beyoncé – 4
14. The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
13. Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation
12. Panda Bear – Tomboy
11. The Antlers – Burst Apart

10. The Caretaker – An Empty Bliss Beyond This World
9. Cut Copy – Zonoscope
8. Real Estate – Days
7. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
6. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
5. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
4. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
3. James Blake – James Blake
2. Destroyer – Kaputt
1. Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Albums that sound good but didn’t make lists because- They were just released/ I just started listening to them:
The Roots – Undun
The Black Keys – El Camino
PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Cass McCombs – Catacombs
Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
Atlas Sound – Parallax

Weirdest Things In Music This Year
James Blake’s Lindisfarne I  Music Video
fun. Records First Terrible Single Ever
Girls’ “Vomit” actually works as a song
Tyler the Creator says he is “over” rape and murder lyrics
Tyler the Creator in general
Daft Punk records the TRON soundtrack
90% of humanity hates Bon Iver’s album at first, Bon Iver gets 4 Grammy noms.
Justin Bieber’s Voice Becomes identical to Colbie Caillat’s

is this the coolest thing anyone’s ever done?

they say this much soul could obliterate your body.

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The Rolling Stones

and the Velvet Underground.

 

my soul is going up to the sky
above the Chelsea drug store.
Let It Bleed, baby
peel slowly, and see
I’m going to the Beggars Banquet
I’m beginning to see the light
Jesus
gimme shelter
there’s a pain where there once was a heart
 all my friends are junkies
(that’s not really true!)
I am the prodigal son
that’s the story of my life
what goes on? Some kinda love
if you try sometimes, you just might find
you get what you need
lets drink to the salt of the earth
it’s sunday morning and i’m falling
out of grace
help me in my weakness
help me find my proper place
Said, “Father will you look on me as a child?”
Well father said, “Eldest son, kill the fatted calf,
call the family round
Kill that calf and call the family round
My son was lost but now he is found.
Cause that’s the way for us to get along”
Hey.
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the first thirty seconds of “Monkey Man” sounds like the first thirty seconds of rebirth.

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Mid-Year Report

A few lists I made, because hey y’all, lists are comin back in style, mark my words. All of these lists are in no particular order, because the law states that I don’t need to do that until the end of the year.

My So Far-vorite Albums of 2011.

Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver
The Antlers – Burst Apart
James Blake – James Blake
Radiohead – The King of Limbs
Battles – Gloss Drop
Cut Copy – Zonoscope
Adele – 21
Washed Out – Within & Without
Beyoncé – 4
The Caretaker – An Empty Bliss Beyond This World
My Morning Jacket – Circuital
Wild Beasts – Smother
Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
Panda Bear – Tomboy
Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place

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Discovered albums/ albums that I realized I loved/loved a lot more this year:

Mos Def – Black on Both Sides
Justin Bieber – My World 2.0
Sufjan Stevens – All Delighted People EP
Jackie Wilson – The Jackie Wilson Story
Menomena – Friend & Foe
Santigold – Santogold (but really only “Lights Out,” and “I’m a Lady”).
Otis Redding – Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings the Blues
Black Star – S/T
Grizzly Bear – Friend EP

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So Far-vorite Movies of 2011:
(I’ve seen close to none. These, however, are in order.)

The Tree of Life
Hanna
Super 8
X-Men: First Class

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Best Graduation Commencement Address:

Conan at Dartmouth

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Eisley – The Valley

Another review for The Chimes:

In today’s age of technological advancement, rampant information, and instantaneous accessibility, the A-list seems to be increasingly filling up with younger names. This seems to have exploded in recent years, but back before it wasn’t completely ridiculous to hear that Justin Bieber might be in your next intro to psychology class, Eisley was already turning heads with their double edged sword of mature sounding music and demure youthfulness. Their cohesive vision was cemented through a realized integration of their lyrics, art, fashion, and music, which might have very well made them instrumental in forming the popular modern penchant for “vintage culture.” Their first album Room Noises was full of scenes seemingly taken from some shelved Lewis Carroll fable, and Eisley has always been accompanied by images of muted earthtone colored woodcut stencil images of smiling suns, Victorian dressed adolescents, birdcages, and animals with suits on. As if they knew that world would become overexposed, their criminally underappreciated sophomore effort Combinations kept that flavor to a minimum and explored classic themes of self-reflection. Their latest record The Valley follows suit, tackling relationships, impressions, and the ever-unusual dance of human interaction.

 

The Valley retains a significant tightness, which can be explained either as more structured or simply evidence of maturity. It’s a bit unusual since the subject matter does seem to be a bit less “profound” compared to Combinations. Here we find the women of Eisley singing about relationship woes almost exclusively, and all in ways we’ve heard before, whereas the reflections on familial tensions in their second album was perhaps less cliché. The stories are still just as personal though, and vocalist Sherri DuPree , formerly married to Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory, references her break-up as influencing much of the lyrics in The Valley.

The instrumentation itself and even the way these melodic hooks fall on the ears seems a bit more confident and seasoned, as if there were audibly noticeable years of wisdom in the riffs alone between this album and the last. The rolling chorus on “Watch It Die” compliments it’s bouncy hand-clapping verses in a way that would never occur in an earlier Eisley record, and “Oxygen Mask” is infused with a subtle foot-stomping shuffle, giving it a memorable distinction from the rest of the songs. Since the band’s “sound” is so defined and well preserved, making each song unique is a skill they’ve had to work especially hard at. Combinations was a start and perhaps this album is their best effort in accomplishing that delicate balance.

The music sounds more poppy, maybe due to lead singers Sherri and Stacy DuPree getting married to frontmen of pop and rock styled bands (Max Bemis of Say Anything and Darren King of Mutemath, respectively.) This fresh emphasis on song structure will probably serve the band most in the long run. Previously the DuPree sisters proved to the world that they could sing, but often by laying alternate vocal parts over each other, producing gorgeous sounds, but also a muddled and therefore forgettable melody. Here, the voices combine with the rest of the band to serve and provide a showcase for the song, rather than the other way around.

The song titles are simple as usual, (“Sad,” “Smarter,” “Please,” and “I Wish” to name a few) but the lyrics are stronger and feel more natural. Some lines in previous albums seemed written on the spot without edits, and came off as undeniably awkward, but here the band has discovered that even phonetic sounds matter. They still retain traces of their fairy tale roots, and sometimes this is a welcome trait. Other times they give way to overly theatrical lines that not even a pretty song can pass off as unnoticeable, for example combining the exhaustible poetic “Oh!” with the character “Mr. Moon.” Pseudo nursery rhymes can be done well, and who better to illustrate this than Eisley, but sometimes it feels misplaced. Thankfully there is enough content here to excuse these moments. The line is completed as “Oh, Mr. Moon, shines down on my home, it’s where I belong without you…” which is in itself an interesting idea, especially within the song’s greater picture.

The album closes with “Ambulance,” a hopeful plea for rescue. With real life relationships for the most part intact, it seems Eisley has little to worry about in their band career as well.