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  • Top 10 Albums of the 2000s

    26. Sep. 2010, 8:20

    Each week for the next 10 weeks I will include a review of one of my top 10 albums of the 2000s on this page. These are not in order of preference, merely alphabetical order, as I feel ordering them would not do justice to those lower down the list. The first one can be found below:

    At the Drive-InRelationship of Command


    This record is emotion in its purest form - the moment the rushing drums and harsh guitar make their presence felt on opening track 'Arcarsenal' signals the arrival of something special. Aggression and anguish resonates through Cedric Bixler-Zavala's voice and never looks like relenting. The guitar work of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is something quite brilliant, burying complex and intricate melodies beneath discordant and overdriven power chords. Iggy Pop makes a cameo appearance, singing backing vocals on one of the album's strongest tracks, 'Rolodex Propaganda', and appearing as the kidnapper in 'Enfilade'. Often ignored are the band's rhythm section, Paul Hinojos on bass and Tony Hajjar on drums, without whom the complex guitar interplay of Rodriguez-Lopez and Jim Ward would sound disorganised and perhaps cacophonous. The surrealist and fiercely emotive lyrics utilising the extensive vocabulary of Bixler-Zavala are one of the many factors that set 'Relationship of Command' apart from other post-hardcore records of the era - his Jeffrey Dahmer-referencing lyrics in 'Arcarsenal' recall the gruesome imagery of Dali and Bunuel's 'Un Chien Andalou'. Bixler-Zavala also ventures into the political, dealing with issues such as the Juarez murders on 'Invalid Litter Dept' and governmental hypocrisy in 'Sleepwalk Capsules'. But perhaps the best aspects of the record are the vicissitudes and shifts in dynamics; from the surging and powerful onslaughts of drums and guitar to the atmospheric breakdowns and contemplative moments. Truly a record unlike any other.
  • Top 10 Albums By Year

    14. Jul. 2010, 9:16

    2010
    1. Caribou – Swim
    2. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
    3. Foals - Total Life Forever
    4. New Young Pony Club - The Optimist
    5. Parades - Foreign Tapes
    6. Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
    7. Scuba - Triangulation
    8. Beach Fossils - Beach Fossils
    9. Male Bonding - Nothing Hurts
    10. Wavves - King of the Beach

    2009
    1. Girls - Album
    2. Mos Def - The Ecstatic
    3. Wavves - Wavvves
    4. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
    5. Red Riders - Drown In Colour
    6. The Boxer Rebellion - Union
    7. Japandroids - Post-Nothing
    8. Engineers - Three Fact Fader
    9. Silversun Pickups - Swoon
    10. Songs - Songs

    2008
    1. Deerhunter - Microcastle
    2. Foals – Antidotes
    3. F***ed Up – Chemistry of Common Life
    4. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
    5. The Departure – Inventions
    6. No Age - Nouns
    7. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours
    8. The Futureheads – This Is Not The World
    9. Black Kids – Partie Traumatic
    10. M83 – Saturdays = Youth

    2007
    1. Yourcodenameis:milo – They Came From The Sun
    2. Panda Bear – Person Pitch
    3. The View - Hats Off To The Buskers
    4. Battles – Mirrored
    5. Caribou - Andorra
    6. The Young Knives – Voices of Animals and Men
    7. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
    8. Air Traffic Control – To Be Free
    9. Apartment – The Dreamer Evasive
    10. Expatriate – In the Midst of This

    2006
    1. Secret Machines – Ten Silver Drops
    2. Deftones – Saturday Night Wrist
    3. The Young Knives – Voices of Animals and Men
    4. Keane – Under The Iron Sea
    5. Gallows – Orchestra of Wolves
    6. Kings of Leon – Aha Shake Heartbreak
    7. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
    8. Red Riders – Replica Replica
    9. Gerling – 4
    10. Beaches - Beaches

    2005
    1. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
    2. The Rakes – Capture/Release
    3. Faker – Addicted Romantic
    4. Doves – Some Cities
    5. The Kooks – Inside In/Inside Out
    6. The Departure – Dirty Words
    7. The Boxer Rebellion – Exits
    8. The Go! Team – Thunder, Lightning, Strike
    9. Incubus – A Crow Left Of The Murder
    10. Grinspoon – Thrills, Kills & Sunday Pills

    2004
    1. The Futureheads – The Futureheads
    2. Kasabian – Kasabian
    3. The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free
    4. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
    5. The Cops – Stomp on Tripwires
    6. Jackson United – Western Ballads
    7. Cut Copy – Bright Like Neon Love
    8. The Libertines – The Libertines
    9. Jebediah – Braxton Hicks
    10. The John Butler Trio – Sunrise Over Sea

    2003
    1. Bonobo – Dial ‘M’ For Monkey
    2. Gerling – Bad Blood!!!
    3. Blur – Think Tank
    4. Kings of Leon – Youth & Young Manhood
    5. Thievery Corporation – The Richest Man In Babylon
    6. Rage Against the Machine – Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium
    7. Powderfinger – Vulture Street
    8. The Mars Volta – De-Loused In The Comatorium
    9. The Karminsky Experience Inc. – The Power of Suggestion
    10. Outkast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

    2002
    1. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – BRMC
    2. Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights
    3. The Streets – Original Pirate Material
    4. Parva – 22
    5. Doves – The Last Broadcast
    6. Moby – 18
    7. Supergrass – Life On Other Planets
    8. Augie March – Strange Bird
    9. Midnight Oil – Capricornia
    10. Jebediah – Jebediah

    2001
    1. New Order – Get Ready
    2. Radiohead – Amnesiac
    3. Something For Kate – Echolalia
    4. Gerling – When Young Terrorists Chase The Sun
    5. The Strokes – Is This It?
    6. Incubus – Morning View
    7. Eskimo Joe – Girl
    8. Muse – Origin of Symmetry
    9. Ian Brown – Music of the Spheres
    10. Radiohead – I Might Be Wrong

    2000
    1. At The Drive-In – Relationship of Command
    2. The Avalanches – Since I Left You
    3. Doves – Lost Souls
    4. Radiohead – Kid A
    5. The Cure – Bloodflowers
    6. Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R
    7. Spiderbait – Grand Slam
    8. Thievery Corporation – The Mirror Conspiracy
    9. Deftones – White Pony
    10. Phoenix - United
  • Top 50 Artists Questionnaire

    7. Mai. 2010, 8:27

    1. How did you get into 29? (Mos Def)

    It was initially around the era of 'The New Danger' (I caught on a bit late), but I only got heavily into Mos when 'The Ecstatic' came out. It's probably my favourite hip-hop record of the 2000s. I bought it on vinyl at JB Hi-Fi when I went to Melbourne.



    2. What was the first song you ever heard by 22? (Foals)

    'Olympic Airways'. I saw the slightly surrealist film clip and was captivated. I bought the CD single, and then the double disc version of 'Antidotes' soon after. I've got the new box set of 'Total Life Forever' on pre-order too.



    3. What’s your favourite lyric by 33? (Friendly Fires)

    Basically all of 'Jump in the Pool' is pretty good.



    4. What is your favourite album by 49? (John Mayer)

    The live album 'Where the Light Is' is great, so is the DVD.



    5. How many albums by 13 do you own? (Gallows)

    I only own 'Orchestra of Wolves' (the 2CD version) at this stage, but I plan to purchase 'Grey Britain' soon. 'Orchestra of Wolves' is classic though, just brutal hardcore.

    2:36 till the end is epic (turn it up loud):


    6. What is your favourite song by 50? (At the Drive-In)

    'Cosmonaut'. Powerful.



    7. Is there a song by 39 that makes you sad? (Gorillaz)

    Gorillaz? Nahhh... All of 'Plastic Beach' is awesome though.

    Snoop is smoooooth on this one:


    8. What is your favourite album by 15? (The Smiths)

    'The Queen is Dead'. An absolute classic. I'm actually surprised they aren't higher on my charts.



    9. What is your favourite song by 5? (Deerhunter)

    'Circulation'. That riff could just keep going forever.



    10. Is there a song by 6 that makes you happy? (Wavves)

    'Cool Jumper'. Actually, most of their stuff is surprisingly cheerful/hopeful.



    11. What is your favourite album by 40? (New Order)

    'Get Ready'. A lot of people discount this album but I think it was the perfect mix of their guitar stage and their electro/dance stage.



    12. What is your favourite song by 10? (You Am I)

    This is a very tough one. It would have to be out of 'Trainspottin' and 'Disappearing'.



    13. What is a good memory you have involving 30? (Black Kids)

    Seeing their first ever Australian show at Gold Coast Big Day Out 2009. They actually stole the day and were probably the best act that played.

    This song (and in fact the entire album) has some of the best lyrics going round:


    14. What is your favourite song by 38? (The Velvet Underground)

    'Hey Mr. Rain (Version One)' from the 'Peel Slowly and See' box set. Basically epitomises the Velvets' sound and yet it's virtually an unknown track.



    15. Is there a song by 19 that makes you happy? (Jeff Buckley)

    Well they're not technically songs, but the monologues 'Duane Eddy/Songs for Lovers', 'Reverb/The Doors' and 'Matt Dillon/Hollies/Classic Rock Radio' from the 'Live at Sin-e' album make me laugh every time.

    http://s25.last.fm/preview/2876755/545/0001455732/11/693263403.mp3

    16. How many times have you seen 25 live? (Gerling)

    Once, in 2006. I met the band members at the soundcheck and talked for about half an hour and they signed all my stuff.



    17. What is the first song you ever heard by 23? (No Age)

    'Eraser', on a Sub Pop compilation album.



    18. What is your favourite album by 11? (Red Riders)

    That's tough... both of them. But if I really had to choose, 'Drown in Colour'.



    19. Who is a favourite member of 1? (The Doors)

    Well that's obvious isn't it. I'm just like everybody else.

    Perhaps the greatest live performance ever recorded:


    20. Have you ever seen 14 live? (Fucked Up)

    No, they've never been to Australia (at least that I know of). It would be simultaneously chaotic and amazing.



    21. What is a good memory involving 27? (Girls)

    When I first heard 'Morning Light'.



    22. What is your favourite song by 16? (Pixies)

    'Gouge Away'. The drum sound in this is virtually unrivalled in its greatness.



    23. What is the first song you ever heard by 47? (The Music)

    'The Spike'. At first I actually thought the lead singer from Aus-pop atrocities Savage Garden had decided to join an amazingly good indie band.



    24. What is your favourite album by 18? (Phoenix)

    'Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix' without a doubt. Their magnum opus.

    The drums on this sound tinny and crap and the synths are crunchy and distorted. For a better version, go buy the album you cheapskates:


    25. What is your favourite song by 21? (Buzzcocks)

    The entirety of 'Another Music in a Different Kitchen'. Possibly the greatest punk rock album ever made.



    26. What is the first song you ever heard by 26? (Muse)

    'New Born'. That and 'Plug In Baby' are my two favourites to this day. Nothing they do will ever top 'Origin of Symmetry'.



    27. What is your favourite album by 3? (Beck)

    'One Foot in the Grave'. Followed by 'Odelay', then probably 'Guero'. The druggy melancholy and disillusionment throughout the album is virtually unique.



    28. What is your favourite song by 2? (The Prodigy

    'Your Love'. It doesn't get any more 90s e-fuelled rave than this.



    29. What was the first song you ever heard by 32? (The Triffids)

    Wasn't it 'Wide Open Road' for everyone?

    My favourite is 'Lonely Stretch' though - so melodramatic and powerful:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/recsradio/radio/B000GFLE6S/ref=pd_krex_dp_001_005?ie=UTF8&track=005&disc=001

    30. What is your favourite song by 8? (The View)

    'Dance Into the Night'. It was so good seeing this live at the Hi-Fi Bar in Melbourne.



    31. How many times have you seen 17 live? (Faker)

    Unfortunately never... I plan to see them if they ever make their way up to my town though.

    'Addicted Romantic' is undoubtedly their best work:


    32. Is there a song by 44 that makes you happy? (The Vines)

    'Candy Daze' is quite cheery.



    33. What is you favourite album by 12? (Cut Copy)

    Both of them! Maybe 'In Ghost Colours' by a kitten's whisker, but I wouldn't want to exclude 'Bright Like Neon Love', a great record in it's own right.



    34. What is the worst song by 45? (Dizzee Rascal)

    'Suk My Dik'. No question.

    I love this song though, the intro couldn't be any more 90s:


    35. What was the first song you ever heard by 34? (Joy Division)

    Believe it or not, 'Digital'.

    This is the best though:


    36. What is your favourite album by 48? (Northern Uproar)

    The self-titled debut. 'Rollercoaster' and 'Livin' it Up' are immense.



    37. How many times have you seen 42 live? (My Bloody Valentine)

    Never. I'm fairly sure I would sustain permanent ear damage though.



    38. What is your favourite song by 36? (The Kooks)

    'Sofa Song'. The entire first album is one of the most concise and hit-packed albums of the contemporary era. They cop so much undue criticism.

    1:31 till the end is the highlight of the album:


    39. What was the first song you ever heard by 28? (Eskimo Joe)

    'Sweater'. I've been into them since I was a wee lad. Saw them in August 2009 at the Hordern Pavilion and they played 'Sydney Song' for the first time in years, great moment.



    40. What is your favourite album by 7? (The Futureheads)

    It's a dead heat between the first record and 'This Is Not The World'. One of the best bands currently going round.

    Buy this album. Now.


    41. Is there a song by 31 that makes you happy? (Midnight Juggernauts)

    'Nine Lives' and 'So Many Frequencies' are great.



    42. What is your favourite album by 41? (Swervedriver)

    'Mezcal Head' by a long shot. Everyone should listen to this at some point in their lives. The perfect desert driving album.



    43. What is your favourite song by 24? (Kasabian)

    'Running Battle'.



    44. What is a good memory you have involving 46? (Dick Dale & His Del-Tones)

    First time I heard 'Night Rider'.



    45. What is your favourite song by 35? (The High)

    'So I Can See'. A great and vastly underrated band who disappeared in the shadows of The Stone Roses.



    46. Is there a song by 9 that makes you happy? (Crystal Castles)

    Every song they have done. I never thought in a million years that their second record could live up to their first, but it actually surpassed it. Brilliant band.



    47. How many albums by 4 do you own? (Oasis)

    Too many.



    48. Who is a favourite member of 37? (The Departure)

    All of them. I sincerely hope Parlophone rot.



    49. What is the first song you ever heard by 43? (The Jam)

    'Town Called Malice'. 'The Gift' is my favourite Jam album, closely followed my 'In The City'. Their career was book-ended by great albums.



    50. How many albums do you own by 20? (Doves)

    All of them.

  • Articles I've Written On Wikipedia (New Edition)

    15. Feb. 2010, 3:19

  • Ultimate Song Length

    31. Okt. 2009, 5:11

    I recently came across an article which claimed that 2:42 was the ultimate song length. However, I would like to put forward the case that 3:24 is in fact the ultimate song length. I would like to cite the following songs for reference:

    Apartment - Fall Into Place
    Cut Off Your Hands - Oh Girl
    Phoenix - Girlfriend
    Blur - There's No Other Way
    The Clash - London Calling
    The Cure - Close To Me
    Dogs - This Stone Is A Bullet
    Razorlight - Before I Fall To Pieces
    Gerling - Doin' OK
    The Cure - Fire in Cairo
    Franz Ferdinand - 40'
    The Kooks - Naive
    The Young Knives - The Decision
    Birds of Tokyo - Silhouettic
    You Am I - She Digs Her
    The Futureheads - Back to the Sea
    Gerling - Deka
    The Young Knives - Tremblings of Trails
    The Boxer Rebellion - In Pursuit
    Eskimo Joe - Breaking Up
    Grinspoon - Champion
    Dizzee Rascal - Dance Wiv Me
    The Beatles - Revolution
    Wire - Once Is Enough
    The Libertines - Death on the Stairs
    Kings of Leon - Revelry
    Linkin Park - Easier To Run
    Cold Chisel - Cheap Wine
    The Presets - Are You The One?
    Goldfrapp - Ooh La La
    Blur - Popscene
    The Prodigy - Fire
    Midnight Oil - Blot
    At The Drive-In - Cosmonaut
    Magic Dirt - Watch Out Boys
    The Libertines - Tell The King
    Kaiser Chiefs - I Can Do It Without You
    Garbage - When I Grow Up
    New Order - All The Way
    The Clash - Cheapskates
    The Living End - Uncle Harry
    Nirvana - Mr Moustache
    The Beatles - Hello Goodbye
    Grinspoon - Signpost
    You Am I - Who Put The Devil In You?
    Kaiser Chiefs - Team Mate

    So there you go, that's why I reckon 3:24 is the ultimate song length. No further explanation should be needed. However, if further explanation is needed, post a comment on my profile page.
  • Bands/Artists I've Seen Live (Alphabetical Order)

    8. Mär. 2009, 7:57