Thirty Hertz Rumble

A bl-g about movies, music and nostalgia by James David Patrick

Category: 30Hz Music (Page 5 of 22)

2cellos wallpaper

2Cellos plays Welcome to the Jungle: The Best Thing I Watched This Week

It might only be Monday, but I’m calling this race early. A) I’m too busy catching up on episodes of Bob’s Burgers to watch anything new on the tele and B) This is amazeballs. These two guys manage to rock as hard on cellos as Slash did on his guitar. Okay, almost rock as hard. But you can tell they’re rock stars. Just look at their cellos. I, of course, had to do a little bit of research on these Croatian fellows (Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser), known as 2Cellos, and it seems they’re quite popular and have records and tour and stuff. I’ve watched a handful of videos now and I have to say that this riff on GNf’R is easily their best stuff. It at least includes the most cello headbanging you’ll ever see in a two-minute video. And there’s something to be said for that.

the best thing I watched this week

 

2Cellos playing Welcome to the Jungle: The Best Thing I Watched This Week

Sidenote: Is it just me, or could these guys also be a pair of excellent Bond henchmen?

I don’t think I need to say too much more about this. I’ll just mention that they played this on the Ellen Degeneres show so there are a few million housewives that are more in the loop than I. (edit: apparently they also appeared on Glee at some point, but that begs the question if you appear on a television show after everyone stops watching it, do you actually appear at all?) Since I’m taking the rest of the week off from scouring the globe for “Best Things” I’ll just abandon ship without my usual assortment of hyperbole and rhetoric. As always, no need to thank me. You’re always welcome.

Bonus: “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Sidesidenote: the image they’re currently cultivating is a half-step removed from John Corbett’s version of a Yanni character in Serendipity. He plays an oboe-like Indian/Pakistani/Bengali/Iranian instrument called the shehnai.

The More You Know… about John Cusack movies.

john corbett serendipity shehnai

Why I (mostly) stopped writing about music

If you’ve been reading this bl-g for any amount of time, you may recall that I founded this Interweb space on the premise that I would write about music and my rediscovery of vinyl records as part of my recovery from a bout of depression and anxiety that occurred in 2010. I know the exact date, you see, because I’d just returned home from the movies. I’d seen Black Swan on it’s opening weekend. I came home that night and after a short conversation with my wife about the movie, I broke down. I’d been experiencing these symptoms of depression for about a month by this point, but I couldn’t put the feelings into words, nor did I truly understand what was happening to me. I told her that I didn’t know what was wrong, that I knew I’d been distant. The things which had made me happy no longer had value. I’d largely stopped watching movies, reading or listening to music. I hadn’t been able to write. I told her I didn’t know what to do to make myself better. It felt very confessional. She says what shocked her the most about that night was when she asked if I wanted to see a therapist. Without hesitation I said, “Yes.”

After six-plus months of conversations with my therapist, I finally considered myself recovered. I continued to attend sessions for over a year, however. I’ve remained emotionally well (with one or two minor lapses) ever since. The existence of this bl-g represents the first step taken toward recovery. It reinvigorated my writing and gave me a focus again. Writing about music, just for the love of music, kickstarted my first steps toward wellness. As I dove into the vinyl hobby, I started going to concerts again. I wrote about all of it. I explored new music and what music had meant to me as a child as an 80’s youth. I wrote about the nostalgia that still fulfilled me.

Somewhere along the way, writing about music, however, became less fulfilling.

I don’t spend less time listening to new releases or scouring record bins for hidden gems. I just stopped writing about music.

Anyone who has spent any time writing knows that the endeavor is a very solitary activity. When writing and submitting fiction to literary magazations, publishers or agents, there’s no immediate response. Often not even denial. Often there’s just the kind silence that hurts more than negativity. Each and every story or novel is a slog with only the sound of that internal, nagging voice spurring you forward. Silence sides with that voice. Writing this bl-g proved helpful. Short bites of writing followed by immediate response. I was writing. People were reading when I wrote more about music and nostalgia. For awhile the topic of the vinyl resurgence held a regular audience.

But as my writing turned back toward new artists and new releases, response dwindled. I was again writing for the void. I didn’t need more silence in my life, so output lessened. I grew disinterested in the bl-g, and this space remained largely dormant until I conjured an idea for a post about some of that good old fashioned nostalgia. Even then, due to my less-than-regular posting schedule, I found myself begging for views. No one checks in if you’re not putting up words. Nor should they. That’s not what this is about, nor is it what I’d intended when I signed up for the writing-as-therapy gig.

If it’s not familiar, if it’s not already welcome or expected, it’s often not accepted.

But then there’s the other side of that coin. Much of my disillusionment stems from reading the greater oeuvre known as “music writing.”  As “music writing” has grown, so too has criticism of music writing. We’ve reached a point with the proliferation of music blogs that criticism of criticism has become it’s own genre. I’m also implicated here. I read P-fork (as the spearhead of this particular genre of music writing) like rubberneckers view the aftermath of a traffic accident. I often blame P-fork for everything that ails music writing, but they’re not alone. This is part subjective disagreement and part fundamental discord. Even when I agree with the overall opinion of a review, I often can’t relate what I’ve just read to the music it intends to describe. Purple, expressive and flowery prose often aptly describes the feeling that a certain music inspires. P-fork (just as one example I apparently plan to beat like a rented mule) has allowed rampant negativity to cloud their reviews. “Listenable” has taken on a very negative connotation. Not all music has to break new ground. Not all music must “challenge” in order to justify its existence. Talented writers work in this music writing genre, but I more often than not feel that they’ve completely lost sight of the goal — to express their connection to the music — in favor of fostering aural elitism.

I’m generalizing, but I don’t have the time to write a full treatise here… so generalizations will have to do.

This culture of elitism has plagued music writing since the dawn of the Interwebs (probably before as well). The “I knew about this band when they were playing out of their garage” mentality spread. Soon it included the notion that most average humans haven’t yet developed the aural IQ necessary to appreciate said music/noise of choice. I’ve never to my recollection begrudged someone for “not getting” a particular artist or record. I believe, however, that music appreciation develops and adjusts over time. We become more discriminating, more appreciative of true greatness. Greatness does not require innovation. Greatness can be the evolution of something familiar or merely a catalyst for change. What I’m trying to say, through far too many words, is that music listeners, overall, need to listen to more music and rely less on the hyperbolic elitism fostered by the most visible of music writers.

This is where I radically change directions for a drastic juxtaposition (and to get to the point).

When I started writing about James Bond for The James Bond Social Media Project, I found connections that had eluded me while I wrote about music. Despite being joined at the hip, the online cultures for music and film couldn’t be more disparate. I’m sure others have had different experiences; I can only speak to mine.

When I started the #Bond_age_ live tweet series, I immediately made stronger connections than I had through two years of writing about music. There’s greater acceptance and exchange of new ideas and opinions. Guilty pleasures are discussed and accepted. Where social media has shifted the focus of film criticism and appreciation away from the tedious and nebulous elitism once fostered by a handful of film critics, it has only exacerbated that effect in music. As a result, I’ve gravitated toward writing about film — oddly enough where my writing began as a 15-year-old kid writing movie reviews for Mandel and Patrick’s Movie Corner.

My friend and I began writing that page in 1994 as high school freshman and continued until we went to college. Writing homegrown reviews now seems quaint at best, but this was 1994, goddammit. This was the future. We earned a full-page writeup in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and had our reviews syndicated by MTV’s Adam Curry (who at the time was more than just a forgotten punchline). Sadly little of that endeavor remains, only fossilized records in Google searches. We each wrote reviews for at least two movies per week. We even had our own Top 100 lists. I still have the PPG clipping, and you’ll occasionally see our names pop up in really random book citations, like this one for Accounting for Taste: Film Criticism, Canons, and Cultural Authority 1996-2006 by Jonathan D. Lupo.

:

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 3.36.58 PM

 

…and you can still find us in many old-timey lists of favorite movie review sites that more closely resemble ancient Internet sea scrolls. That’s us down there in that list alongside the San Francisco Chronicle and Usenet! If you’re old enough to remember Usenet, you’ll also find that amusing. Or not. I’m no authority on outdated Internet humor.

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 3.44.43 PM

Maybe writing about music was never my bag. Writing about music may have just served as that temporary dose of adrenaline to bring me back from the brink. It’s entirely possible I just don’t have the stomach and/or necessary disdain for humanity. For as long as I can remember I’ve written about movies; it was just James Bond brought it all back. Though I may never reach the lofty heights of Mandel and Patrick’s Movie Corner (some sarcasm intended), I’ve met people through talking and writing about movies whom I believe will remain lifelong friends and contacts beyond the Twitterverse, even when The James Bond Social Media Project too has also joined the legions of websites in the Interweb heavens.

Am I crazy in thinking that that’s what this is all about anyway? Are any of us doing it for fame or money? I hardly think so. Writing for free, writing with time that would otherwise be spent living AFK, all of this is about the connection with people who share similar passions. As long as this bl-g remains part-time therapy and subject to the whims and memes of my life, it will be about the movies, music, writing, literature and guilt-free nostalgia that fulfills me for just as long as the end result, the connection, justifies the effort.

 

 

Record Store Day 2015

Record Store Day 2015

Time for my obligatory Record Store Day 2015 post. I’ll even phone it in.

I’m not wild about Record Store Day this year. I’m not plotting and planning and scheming how to get those elusive gems that I’m sure will walk out the door after the first few customers. At this point, I participate in Record Store Day for tradition and to support local vinyl shops. There’s no one disc that’ll get me out of bed before the sun comes up to get in line and wait for the 8am open. It’s the activity. It’s a morning that belongs to me. No familial obligations, no place else I need to be… I’ll talk records, buy records and then go home and play records. I’ll tell the 5yo about my morning and she’ll question me with the full powers of her 5yo logic.

Participating record shops open at 8am. Gone are the midnight opens. The RSD organization really needs to lift the ban on the midnight opens. They really put the kibosh on a great experience for forcing participating stores to open in the morning. The queue’s more congenial and the wait less tiresome. There’s far better conversation at 1am, more reason to stand around and chat. At 8am everyone’s a bit crabby because they’ve been standing in line since 4am or something stupid like that.

Part of the thrill is having no clue what your store is going to have available. And no matter how much you study the list in preparation for that dash through the stacks, nothing ever goes to plan. You’ll find some stuff you never knew you needed, guaranteed. But since I like to have scuttled plans, here’s my wishlist for RSD15.

 

30Hz Record Store Day 2015 Wishlist

 

418456378286

Sun Records Sampler Volume 2:

Picked up Volume 1 last year. Great selection of tunes and the Sun Records catalog runs deep. And since I’m a completist, I’ll just keep picking up every damn release they come up with.


 

 

418456384767

Thai Pop Spectacular: 1960-1980

One of the great joys of RSD is picking up oddities like this. These two ladies will slot in nicely next to my Nippon Girls records of Japanese pop hits.


 

 

418456384728

Willie Nelson – Teatro

This is essential Willie. I don’t have this on vinyl. A clean copy would be a lovely thing. This might be my most wanted item for RSD15.


 

418456382357

Music to Drink Beer To (compiled by Dogfish Head)

I drink a lot of Dogfish Head and eat at their brew pub in Delaware each year. I don’t see why having music to drink Dogfish Head by could be a bad thing. The track list boasts Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, A Tribe Called Quest, Muddy Waters, Iggy and the Stooges, Uncle Tupelo… etc.


 

 

418456384706

Frank Sinatra – Songs for Young Lovers

One of Sinatra’s greatest records. I’ve got a lot of Sinatra on vinyl… but not this one.


 

 

418456384834

Jurassic Five – Quality Control (The Wood Box)

It’s Jurassic Five! In a wood box! I love Jurassic Five and the wood box means classy.


 

 

418456384782

Bernard Herrman – Psycho

BHerm on vinyl is always essential. Some of his trademark work right here. Scare the neighbor kids off your lawn.


 

 

418456374008

Side by Side – “Walk On By”

Each year the RSD brains come up with a series of Side-By-Side releases, 7″ singles with two artists who covered the same song. To me, this is the most interesting of the 2015 releases. Dionne Warwick and The Stranglers doing “Walk On By.”


 

 

418456420156

Country Joe & the Fish – Together

Coincidentally I just got into listening to Country Joe after picking up the Zachariah soundtrack. It’s seems little bit like fate that they’ve got a RSD15 release then. Don’t mess with fate, boys and girls.


 

 

418456387212

Simple Minds – Celebrate, Live from the SSE Hydro Glasgow

As a Simple Minds junkie, I can’t pass up a 2 x colored, clear vinyl live album. I can’t. I might try, but if it’s in the store, it’ll be in my grasp. Come over. I’ll play it for you. We’ll have a Simple Minds jam session with everything they’ve ever recorded. On vinyl. We’ll have gin rickeys. I dunno. What do you drink while listening to Simple Minds? Maybe Dogfish Head has some suggestions.

 

30Hz 25 Best Albums of 2014

Yes. I’m delinquent. I realized just the other day that I’d never compiled my list of 25 favorite records from 2014. And since we’re now 22 days into 2015, that’s simply inexcusable. As I mentioned in my list of Top 101 Killer Jams, I felt that Oh-14 was a rather lackluster overall year. No record approached CHVRCHES status on the 30Hz totem pole. The upside to this is that a lot of records got a ton of play because I couldn’t focus on just one. I’m not going to pretend I’m doing this for the greater good. I’m not spreading knowledge or leading the tone-deaf masses to the trough of good taste. I’m merely sharing the records that caught my ear, the records that regularly found their way onto my turntable or earbuds. I hope you find something new on this list. I hope you find that new favorite band or record. If not, well, then feel free to berate me for failing to lead you to that promise land. And now…..

30Hz 25 Best Records of 2014

best_songs14

The Almost Rans:

Alana Amram And The Rough Gems – Spring River; The Antlers – Familiars; Aphex Twin – Syro; Benjamin Booker – self-titled; Got a Girl – I Love You But I Must Drive Off a Cliff Now; Haley Bonar – Last War; Interpol – El Pintor; Jezabels – The Brink; Kishi Bashi – Lighght; The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Days of Abandon; Patsy Matheson – Domino Girls; The Rural Alberta Advantage – Mended With Gold; Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majesty; Sweet Soubrette – Burning City, Zammuto – Good Graces

I will now phone-in 25 26 blurbs for my favorite 25 26 records of 2014.

Read More

30Hz Top 100 of 2014 (50 to 1)

Load times on the videos forced me to split this into two posts. Carry on.

best_songs14

Rdio Playlistified:

Spotify Playlistified:

 

50. “Coffee” – Sylvan Esso

My wife and daughter, who will listen to the same song 40 times in a row and not grow weary of it, will not let me play “Coffee” in their presence any more.

49. “Problem” – Ariana Grande (feat. Iggy Azalea)

What song? There’s no Ariana Grande song here. I would not listen to Ariana Grande. Don’t ask me any more questions. (Okay, but there’s some great production going on here that has nothing to do with the artist at all. They’re all just industry puppets anyway.)

48. “Hunter” – Still Parade

I know nothing about this band! I Shazammed this track on one of the music blog shows on XMU.

47. “Weight of Love” – The Black Keys

The Black Keys scale it back for this slow burner after their far more raucous and Top-40-accessible record El Camino. It’s bit of bluesy, guitar-fueled bliss.

46. “Can’t Do Without You” – Caribou

Caribou has a way of turning simplicity into orgiastic electro-pop. Some have argued that “Can’t Do Without You” is the pinnacle of their powers. I’m sticking with “Melody Day” from 2007’s Andorra.

45. “Making Breakfast” – Twin Peaks

Looking at these guys you’d think they were just some stoners that got out of bed one morning, with clearer eyes than usual, and decided to make a record… but this is actually highly competent garage rock featuring a nifty hook. Regarding the band’s name and the potential problems with the new season of the TV show Twin Peaks, frontman Cadien James said, “Luckily, no one’s talking shit about us right now, so that’s chill. I’m pretty stoked for this show. I’m actually not feeling too nervous. I got some trust for my boy D. Lynch.” You know what? I take it back. These guys are just stoners who decided to make a record one day.

44. “West Coast” – Lana Del Ray

I read some quote from Lana Del Ray wherein she made fun of hipsters. Listen, Lana, I’m no friend of hipsters, but you making fun of them has probably opened up some space-time paradox and you’re putting us all at risk of being sucked into a parallel dimension where everyone cures their own meats and wears t-shirts with cereal logos from the 1980’s.

43. “The Hollies” – Patsy Matheson

Nifty vocal harmonies and varied instrumentalism elevate Patsy Matheson above the surging hordes of female singer/songwriters. “The Hollies” doesn’t necessarily reflect her larger body of work, which is more like thoughtful gut punches. But “The Hollies” stayed with me all year, a standout on her second album Domino Girls. For a more representative track listen to “No Contract.”

42. “Mother & Father” – Broods

This New Zealand electro-pop act teased us with a 2013 EP and followed it up with a strong full length that showcases their command melody. I never thought much about Georgia Nott’s vocals until hearing her isolated on the video below without any production. The girl can sing, yo.

41. “Black Moon Spell” – King Tuff

King Tuff (Kyle Thomas) does not prevaricate around the bush. He’s going to play you some guitar and anything else that happens is just gravy.

40. “Kelly” – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Has any indie-pop band been as consistent as The Pains of Being Pure at Heart? Sung by Jen Goma from A Sunny Day in Glasgow, “Kelly” is the indie-pop ideal. Sweet without being saccharine and melodic without falling in love with its own whimsy — or worse — perceived importance.

39. “On the Rocks” – The Rural Alberta Advantage

I’m still not sold on the advantage of rural Alberta, but as long as this band wants to try to convince me, I’ll allow it.

38. “Alexandra” – Hamilton Leithauser

The frontman for the Walkmen goes full crooner, because you should never go half crooner.

37. “Violent Shiver” – Benjamin Booker

This New Orleans guitarist cites The Gun Club, Blind Willie Johnson and T. Rex as influences. He just might be better than all of them. A tremendous blues guitar talent with the ability to crossover into the indie and mainstream.

36. “Queen” – Perfume Genius

This is a ballsy performance from one of the most exciting emerging artists. Perfume Genius wears his heart on his sleeve and challenges us with every disjointed chord.

35. “Sun Went Black” – Springtime Carnivore

A springtime carnivore gets the young, tender meat. Springtime Carnivore (aka Greta Morgan) is far less menacing but proves with this track that she’s got some teeth to go with the pop-sensibility.

34. “After the Disco” – Broken Bells

The album just laid there and died, limp and unwanted… except for this killer jam.

33. “Rather Be” – Clean Bandit (feat. Jess Glynne)

I found this track on somebody else’s Best of 2014 list. If you want to know more about Clean Bandit or Jess Glynne, there’s a search bar right up there in the top right corner your browser.

32. “Beggin For Thread” – Banks

Banks >>> Lorde.

31. “Algiers” – The Afghan Whigs

I remember you guys.

30. “Dripping Down” – East India Youth

The best track on electro-artist William Doyle’s Total Strife Forever is a complex and emotional little ditty that shot up my charts toward the year’s end. I really want to call him “East India Yute” as per Joe Pesci’s character in My Cousin Vinny.

29. “Busy Earnin'” – Jungle

I’ve had an itch for some new “Daytime Disco” since the last Poolside record. Jungle is doing some heavy scratching and hitting all the right goddamn spots.

28. “Small Window” – Luluc

Slow, sad and seductive. Luluc takes some sweet ass time getting where it’s going, but once they get there… it’s heavenly. Dive into the record and just let it wash over you.

27. “Two Weeks” – FKA Twigs

Wait. I know this one.

It’s been two weeks since you looked at me / Cocked your head to the side / and said I’m angry.

Also something about a Chinese chicken.

28. “Somebody’s Talking” – The Preatures

Hey 30Hz, this one should be higher. Jerk. Damn catchy tune.

I’m sorry. I thought I should knock it down a few pegs since The Preatures made a surprise Top 10 appearance last year.

That’s dumb.

You’re dumb.

It’s my list. I can be as f’ing arbitrary as I want.

25. “The Natural World” – The Cymbals

Early in ’14 Cymbals released The Age of Fracture to little fanfare before that album then disappeared from the rader entirely. Opens with a lazy bit of melodic synth that could have been the centerpiece of a Pet Shop Boys jam before escalating into catchy hook that sounds like some lost Dogs Die In Hot Cars. Speaking of disappearing entirely, what the hell happened to Dogs Die In Hot Cars? That was a great record. Don’t let The Cymbals disappear like Dogs Die In Hot Cars.

24. “Maidenhead” – Protomartyr

“Maidenhead” christens Protomartyr’s Under Color of Official Right like a shattered bottle of champagne. A earwormy bass line surrenders to a wall of guitar and droning vocals from frontman Joe Casey. This post-punk band from Detroit borrows from Joy Division and Nick Cave and delivered a timeless slice of Motor City garage rock.

23. “I’ll Get You What You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)” – Bret McKenzie

We may never see any new music from The Flight of the Conchords (though Bret and Jemaine are planning a return to HBO in some form) and Bret’s ode to Lite AM/Lionel Richie/Michael McDonald for the Muppets: Most Wanted only makes me pine for their return even more. Damn you, Bret.

22. “The Wheel” – Sohn

Sohn, aka Christopher Taylor, Viennese-based English ambient/electro artists made a name for himself by working with Lana Del Ray, BANKS and Rhye. That’s gravy, except his 2014 record Tremors might be better than any of them.

21. “Chandelier” – Sia

The song details “the demoralisation and rationalisation of alcoholism through the typical thought process of a ‘party girl’.” Works for me. I dig it because Sia just destroys the vocals in the chorus.

20. “Fiona Coyne” – Saint Pepsi

“Oh darling, won’t you believe me? I’ll love you till the record stops… the record stops.”

A sunny electro/disco jingle with nothing but happy vibes and the above bit of creative lyricism from Ryan DeRobertis.

19. “Class Historian” – Broncho

Elton John playing a sweet ass toy piano made of chickens.

18. “River” – together PANGEA

I’d never heard of these Los Angeles-based garage rockers until I discovered this track two weeks ago. You’ll have to excuse me because I’ve got three together PANGEA records to dig into.

17. “Repeat Pleasure” – How to Dress Well

2012’s Total Loss was a near perfect record. What is This Heart? proves that success was no fluke. Some of the best neo-soul music over the last handful of years has been produced by twentysomething solo white guys. How to Dress Well. Autre Ne Veut. The world confuses me sometimes.

16. “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)” – Chromeo

I’m hesitant to call this a “club banger” because I don’t go to “clubs” and the only “bangers” I really know are Irish sausages.

15. “I’m Not Part of Me” – Cloud Nothings

Part of me just wants to hand Cloud Nothings the banner for Greatest Garage Band in the History of Evar. Can we get that made up? What’s that cost at Kinko’s nowadays?

14. “Left Hand Free” – Alt-J

Though the new Alt-J record disappointed me a bit… two singles, surrounded by filler… this track confounded me with flurries of cryptic, nonsensical lyrics and a slick little backbeat and I kinda love it.

13. “Happy Idiot” – TV On the Radio

This song was almost too perfect so I docked it a few points. C’mon TV on the Radio, you can do worse than this.

12. “OOO AAA” – The Cathedrals

Hey, I just heard this great song on XMU.

What’s it called?

OOO AAA.

Ooooh aaah?

No. OOO AAA.

Well, that’s stupid.

So it goes.

11. “Champions of Red Wine” – The New Pornographers

I am pro-red wine. That means I’m a champion of red wine, and therefore this song is about me. Brill Bruisers is also the best New Pornographers record since Electric Version.

10. “Pools” – Glass Animals

When I first listened to this record it made a sound akin to the air deflating from a latex balloon and then I heard “Pools” and it still sounded like pfpfpfpfftttttttttttttt…… except now I can’t delete it from my iTunes and it’ll continue to take up space because “Pools” is excellent and I’m obsessive about keeping full albums in my collections. Even digital.

9. “Do It Again” – Röyksopp & Robyn

Play “Do It Again” again, Sam.

8. “There’s a Revolution” and “Did We Live Too Fast?” – Got A Girl

You can’t make me pick. Don’t make me choose. I wrote about Got A Girl already so you might as well just read that instead because Dan the Automator retweeted it.

7. “Past Life” – Lost in Trees

Certain songs transfix and paralyze. Whenever I hear “Past Life” I tend to stop what I’m doing and listen, as if for the first time. All productivity slows to a halt. Lost in Trees has been good in the past, but this is the best Lost in Trees has ever been.

6. “Lazaretto” – Jack White

On “Lazaretto” Jack White should be the villain in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because he f’ing shreds.

Get it? Because the antagonist in TMNT is Shredder.

5. “Archie, Marry Me” – Alvvays

“Archie, Marry Me” found its way into a Ben Gibbard live set at the Seattle Arts Festival. If this isn’t the seal of indie-approval, I don’t know what is. The Death Cab frontman sat solo at the piano and played a stunning down-tempo version that showcased Alvvays talent for lyricism. Sadly, only a short clip exists on the Interwebs, but that it happened at all must have been the capper on Alvvays’ breakout year.

4. “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” – Run the Jewels

The second collaboration between El-P and Killer Mike dropped from the heavens, a momentary defibrillator reviving ballsy, old school hip hop. The album also boasts my favorite rap song of the year – “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” featuring Rage Against the Machine’s Zack De La Rocha. There really wasn’t another rap record that came close to Run the Jewels in 2014.

3. “Go” – Grimes (feat. Blood Diamond)

Grimes wrote “Go” for Rihanna to sing. Rihanna turned her down. Indisputable proof that Rihanna is a dunce, but a brilliant dunce; Grimes doesn’t need any other cooks in the kitchen.

2. “Red Eyes” – The War on Drugs

The War on Drugs dresses down perfection with natural simplicity and grungy minor chords. They’re still channeling the Boss on their own terms, twisting Springsteen’s version of Americana into a reflection of our misbegotten new millennium.

1. “Seasons (Waiting On You) – Future Islands

Despite previously delivering two brilliant records, Future Islands failed to achieve any crossover notoriety. Their fans remained of the indie variety – devout and vocal, but lacking that mainstream megaphone and soapbox. 2014 proved to be the year that put Future Islands on the map. “Seasons (Waiting On You)” immediately dominated the blogosphere and independent and alt-rock radio outlets such as XMU, KEXP, etc. And then they appeared on David Letterman where frontman Samuel T. Herring dropped a legendary performance on an unsuspecting studio audience, prowling the stage like a jungle cat and growling the refrain. As of December 15th, the video of that performance had garnered over 3 million views. This isn’t Taylor Swift territory, but we can’t all be Taylor Swift. Fans of this “new” band should do themselves a favor and give Future Islands’ 2010 record In Evening Air a listen. I’m still shocked it didn’t get more play upon its release. There’s always time to make amends.

A radio staple for months and remixed dozens of times… yet I’m still not done with this song. The catchy hook, soulful warbling and synthy introducation made this one a keeper. Make sure to track down the reinterpretation of “Seasons” from the experimental jazz group BadBadNotGood who isolated Herring’s soulful warbling and transformed Future Islands into pitch-perfect 1970’s soul.

Page 5 of 22

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

Pin It on Pinterest