1. Speaking of Norway, check out this wonderfully dark video by Kaisers Orchestra “Begravelsespolka” Love the goth tap-dancing!

    Kaisers Orchestra — Violeta Violeta Vol. I, II, & III

  2. In case you thought the bands these days forgot how to rock out… check out Comanechi

  3. Home taping is killing the music industry… Bow Wow Wow were the original music pirates. via jwz.

    "Rumor has it that the very first cassette single, Bow Wow Wow’s C30, C60, C90, Go! from 1980 — a song that is about home taping — also had a blank B-side for the same reason, but I can’t find any photographic evidence of this."

  4. Best 13 Albums of 2013

    If you are on an iPhone/Android or don’t have Flash you can listen top to the mix here.

    Yeah I know I’m pushing the “top ten” list thing in slowly in to realms of ridiculousity but there were a lot of good albums this year! Any way here it is including a 8tracks mixtape with 3 songs per album. Order is in what I think would play well together not in order of preference album-wise.

    • Junip - Junip - Another great indie rock album. Self-titled which is odd for their second album but whatever. It’s really good and nothing beats Jose Gonzalez’s voice. Saw them in concert this year too and loved em.
    • Lucius - Wilderwoman - Debut album of indie pop rock featuring not now but two fabulous singers. More softer pop stylings which tends not to be my style but they are damned good and obviously going places.
    • Wild Child - The Runaround - Solid second album by folk rockers Wild Child. Better than their first and I really liked their first! Love love love how happy all their songs about heartache are.
    • Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside - Untamed Beast - excellent second release by this Portland based indie rockabilly band. Sallie Ford’s voice reminds me of Janis Joplin and her lyrics are wonderfully both personal and humorous. I saw them in concert too. Sadly they sucked in concert but even so the album is too good to not include in this list.
    • L’ Orange & Stik Figa - The City under the City - best hip hop album of the year. Kanye West, Jay Z, Drake, Eminem, Lil Wayne, et al can all suck it.
    • La Parasite - My Mind Travels Far - Great dark and kick’n glitchy hip hop out of France. Style ranges from some tracks that are very in the Glitchmob style to some that are almost Moby to angry mob inducing industrial-tinged French rap.
    • Woodkid - Golden Age - Debut album of totally majestic music that make you want to run out and become a hero and rescue someone from something! I saw Woodkid in concert this past year and it was amazing!
    • Moderat - II - Amazing second album by the co-produced side project of Modeselektor and Apperat. It’s better than their first album and frankly I think it’s better than either of their individual groups. 
    • Kelpe - Fourth: The Golden Eagle - Kelpe has been a long running favorite of mine. They are both pioneers in the hip hop wonky beat sound and always manage to have a feel all their own. In my opinion other more well known acts in this genre like Floating Lotus have nothing on Kelpe’s ability to be both full of odd beats and emotionally gripping.
    • Boards of Canada - Tomorrow’s Harvest - It’s been a long time since we heard from this band and it was worth the wait. Listen in the dark to the album in it’s entirety from start to finish.
    • Soosh - Colour is Breathe - amazing dreamscape ethereal wonky beat with a touch of sinister. Love this album and another great one to listen all the way through! Listen at night in the dark.
    • The Ocean - Pelagial - This album by the metal band The Ocean is if anything the most Album of Albums. Only Boards of Canada and Woodkid’s album comes close to being so tightly knit song wise. The style ranges all across the metal spectrum from drone to doom to progressive to death. It’s just amazing to hear how they transition often in the middle of songs.
    • Finntroll - Blodsvept - The latest album by these kick ass Finnish troll death metal band is just good all the way through. Saw them in concert this year too and damn was it a good show!

    RUNNERS UP (not included in the mix):

    • Thao & The Get Down - We The Common - A great album and I was gonna put them on but it was more of an album with great songs than a great overall album. It’s a hard choice sometimes.
    • The Knife - Shaking the Habitual - Another long time coming and a great album that covers amazing ground musically but overall too disjointed to include in this list. I find it hard to find the right time to listen to this album as I can’t figure out what it’s mood wants to be — sometimes that can be a good thing but not in this case.
    • Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus - An excellent album with some great tracks but not as good as Tarot Sport. Now Tarot Sport there was an “album album”! Not sure if they can ever top Tarot Sport to be honest.
    • Spoonbill - Boca Fiesta - an EP and I’m not counting EPs here so but damn I love this EP.
  5. Ahhh yay! Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside have a new album out and they are playing at the Bottom of the Hill, Nov 11th Squeeeeeee!

    BTW video is sorta not quite safe for work. I also have no idea what is going on in it.

  6. "Head On" by Man Man from the new album ‘On Oni Pond,’ out September 10th!

  7. This song by Swedish band Junip, with José González on vocals and guitar is pretty excellent! Didn’t even know José had a new group. Still love love love his solo album “Our Nature”

    Junip - Junip

  8. David Byrne and St. Vincent. Wow. Nothing more needs to be said. 

    P.S. ignore the live performance on Colbert Report. The sound is muddy and sounds like ass. Same crap sound that ruined Morrissey’s performance on Colbert a bit ago.

  9. Firewater “International Orange” Review

    I was really excited for Firewater’s latest album, especially after I heard that he ran off to travel the world again to record it much like he did when creating his amazing 2008 album “The Golden Hour”. However, I’ve given it several listens now and I gotta say I’m rather disappointed. Musically it’s much like the world-punk style of “The Golden Hour” which normally would be grand but for some reason on “International Orange” most of Tod A.’s wonderful pathos is missing.

    The lyrics themselves are definitely part of the problem. Most of “International Orange” is full of generic sounding calls to revolution rather than the angry heart-baring shouts to sky, personal laments, and biting wit that made prior Firewater albums so gripping. There is no song like “This is My Life” on the album with it’s sorrow-filled punch in the heart that somehow amazingly also feels like celebration:

    I’ve never cared for authority
    I’ve never felt part of the majority
    Well I lost my home
    And I lost my wife
    This is no joke
    Yeah, this is my life
    This is my life

    In contrast, here are the lyrics to “Up from the Underground”

    Well you can shut us up
    But you can’t shut us down
    Cause we are coming up
    From the underground
    You can chop down the tree
    But you can’t kill the seed
    A few molotov cocktails are all that we need
    You can lock us up
    But you can’t lock us down

    Generic. 

    This PopMatters review by John M. Tryneski really says it best:

    "These songs lack any specificity of insight about the current moment or, failing that, any sort of timeless relatability that could transcend the day’s events. Instead we’re just left with boilerplate laments about hard times and vague warnings aimed at a generic ‘them’ from an equally unspecific ‘us’."

    There are a few fun songs on the album — “The Monkey Song” and “Strange Life” — but yeah it’s mostly disappointing… but hey every artist has a meh album or two or three and Tod A has quite an amazing back catalog which still rocks strong years later. And judging by Firewater’s prior concerts I’m sure the live show (Independent Sept 29th) will still kick ass. I personally can’t wait to boogie to “The Monkey Song”.

  10. Chairdance song of the day “The Monkey Song” by Firewater.

    Off of the new Firewater album International Orange

    Go see them live at the Independent Sept 29th!