• top 20 of 2007

    9. Jan. 2008, 22:32

    tons of good music came out in the past year - it's tough keeping up with new releases while still going back to the albums that i've enjoyed. my smart playlist of albums released in 2007 shows that i picked up roughly 250 new albums in the past year. i went through and wrote down what i really liked (probably about 30 records), then started whittling down. it'd be a shame just to mention the top ten when there was so much to choose from.

    kenji's top 20 of 2007

    20. Sixtoo - Jackals and Vipers in Envy of Man
    i thought i was kind of over the prefuse 73 school of turntablism/IDM. but this record proved me totally wrong.

    19. Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
    finally someone exercises some editorial control over ryan adams and convinces him to do a record with a reasonable number of songs.

    18. Kanye West - Graduation
    i've never managed to get through a single kanye album before, start to finish. but you gotta hand it to him, he knows how to pick his samples.

    17. Bracken - We Know About the Need
    newish anticon signing, and an interesting direction for the label. the middle eastern modes reminds me very positively of chronomad.

    16. MIA - Kala
    mia took over more of the production duties on this record, and it's like her world travels literally showed up in the beats and rhythms.

    15. José González - In Our Nature
    captivating in much the same way seu jorge was last year, but with an almost andrew bird-esque command of the english language. the kind of record that will never sound dated. oh and a killer massive attack cover.

    14. Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover
    the sort of experimental record you wouldn't expect to be good, much less re-listenable. but it's a great side project, as was the johnny and the moon self-titled record.

    13. The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
    of course it couldn't touch funeral, but this record was great in its own right. less bowie, more springsteen.

    12. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
    fact: every spoon record is great. i thought this one was better than the last, though. you got yr cherry bomb was probably my favorite song of the year.

    11. 4 bonjour's parties - Pigments Drift Down To the Brook
    sure, i'm biased; i toured with these guys. but this is a seriously great record; sort of like a japanese broken social scene.

    phew. let's take a breather.

    ok, top 10:

    10. Saul Williams - The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust
    i think i enjoyed this more than the new NIN record. plus they get credit for doing the internet release thing even better than radiohead did.

    09. John Vanderslice - Emerald City
    master of the analog studio, creator of brilliant neutral milk hotel style distortions and melodies. and brilliant at the internet - check out his website for entire albums full of free remixes and live tracks.

    08. Menomena - Friend and Foe
    i think i picked this record up in 2006, but apparently it was a 2007 release. i listened to it so much, and took it for granted so much that i almost didn't include it in the list. but man is this a good one. their secret weapon is the baritone sax player that also handles moog pedal bass.

    07. The Octopus Project - Hello, Avalanche
    a largely instrumental record that is just brimming with good ideas and instrument choices. makes me happy.

    06. The Bad Plus - Prog
    it's not that no one is making good jazz anymore, it's just that everyone else is rehashing the same old standards and living in a sort of 50s bebop neverworld. the bad plus know about that stuff, sure, but they're not afraid to make a lot of noise.

    05. Black Moth Super Rainbow - Dandelion Gum
    weird, brilliant rock/electro/lo-fi music that defies classification yet somehow sounds exactly what the band name suggests. i know, that doesn't make sense. but listen to it. you'll see.

    04. Blonde Redhead - 23
    no one's comparing them to early sonic youth anymore, huh? they've finally arrived at what seems to be their sound. two vocalists just means that the record sounds that much more fresh and varied throughout. they're probably the band i've spent the most time with this year.

    03. Radiohead - In Rainbows
    if radiohead didn't just make great albums all the time, this might even be higher on my list.

    02. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
    this is where it got really tough. of the top two, i think this one was more original and more lyrically interesting. it was just barely edged out by:

    01. Low - Drums and Guns
    the first low record i picked up at release. breathtaking, emotional, and full of awesome sounds and textures. definitely the record with songs that were constantly stuck in my head all year.

    anyone else out there make a list? leave me a message if you did.
  • top 10 all time - part two!!! OMG

    5. Jan. 2007, 20:43

    okay, back to part two of my two-part thing. here is:

    Sort Of Not Obvious Top 10 Albums Of All Time

    10) Live at The Village Vanguard
    09) Lost Souls
    08) 13 & God
    07) Black Love
    06) Station to Station
    05) Neon Golden
    04) Five Leaves Left
    03) Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (the basement tapes)
    02) The Shape of Punk to Come
    01) On the Beach

    still working on my best of 2006. peas!
  • top 10 all time - part one

    19. Dez. 2006, 23:11

    i had to come up with my top 10 all-time albums a couple months ago, and it seemed like the perfect sort of content to post here! it also allows me to put off making by "best of 2006" list for a little while.

    so here it comes, in two parts: "sort of obvious" comes first.

    Sort of Obvious Top 10 Albums of All Time

    10) XO
    9) Armed Forces
    8) Kid A
    7) Smile
    6) Odessey and Oracle
    5) Grace
    4) Innervisions
    3) Physical Graffiti
    2) A Love Supreme
    1) Low

    i almost hate making these lists - doing one year at a time is much easier.
  • happy national day of slayer!

    6. Jun. 2006, 16:19

    happy 06/06/06! today is officially the national day of Slayer, and i'm going to do my part by listening to as much slayer as i can today. you really should do the same.
  • "is it in fact unfair to criticize a formerly great artist for his latter-day sins?"

    15. Mär. 2006, 19:27

    last night was mostly disappointing. it was a Stevie Wonder-themed night, which was pretty exciting at first. then the songs came. one contestant after another went by, and nearly all of them chose songs from his meager 80s ballad output. what were they thinking? didn't they see ?

    taylor was really the only one that impressed me, picking the wildly inappropriate living for the city (from 1973's brilliant Innervisions) and just nailing it. i haven't liked any of his performances yet, but he was really the only one who seemed to have the chops to pull it off. and i'm not even going to talk about the bald dude who sang the effing Red Hot Chili Peppers version of higher ground. yeesh.
  • elbow us tour dates?

    2. Mär. 2006, 18:28

    anybody know the accuracy of the Elbow tour dates listed here: http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2006/02/elbow_touring_i.html?

    i checked all the usual venues in boston and don't see it listed anywhere. if this is really happening i am totally pumped, i haven't seen them since they were supporting doves in 2002.
  • monocle pop

    2. Feb. 2006, 5:33

    i've come down with this weird cold that is just bad enough to make me unhappy, yet mild enough that i can still work. it's reduced me to an evening's coalescence on my couch, taking cold medicine and drinking beer under a blanket. and i noticed two things on vh1 classic:

    1) rob halford appears to be 1000 years old now. holy man

    2) Heart is performing on "decades rock live". okay, that's nbd, but the supporting act? um, Alice in Chains.

    it's not that it's too soon for them to regroup and start performing... it's just a little too soon for them to open for Nancy Wilson.

  • ten best of 2005

    2. Dez. 2005, 21:03

    everyone loves lists, right? here's my top ten for this year.

    10) Get Behind Me Satan
    9) Rossz csillag alatt született
    8) Elbow - Leaders of the Free World
    7) Brazilian Girls
    6) Silent Alarm
    5) Gimme Fiction
    4) Pixel Revolt
    3) Broken Social Scene
    2) 13 & God
    1) Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

    honorable mention goes to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, M.I.A., Doseone, and Aesop Rock.

    tags: , ,
  • kanye done right

    8. Sep. 2005, 21:18

    as near as i can tell from Time, USA Today, Pitchfork, etc, i must be the only person not totally impressed with Kanye West. however, i'm actually pretty impressed with Lush Life's new mashup - West Sounds. it's a mashup of The College Dropout and Pet Sounds... not all of it is awesome, but i already think i like it better than College Dropout.

    you can get it here: http://www.kanyewestsounds.com/
  • good week for good music

    29. Aug. 2005, 16:33

    wow, new Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, John Vanderslice, and New Pornographers all in one week. three really good records at once - 'Howl' is especially surprising as a very pleasant blues record. i didn't know they had it in them.