Tuesday, December 25, 2007


20. Manics Street Preachers — Send Away The Tigers
19. The White Stripes — Icky Thump
18. Oceansize — Frames
17. Low — Drums & Guns
16. The Besnard Lakes — Are The Dark Horse
15. The Shins — Wincing the Night Away
14. M.I.A. — Kala
13. Silverchair — Young Modern
12. Panda Bear - Person Pitch
11. Bloc Party — A Weekend In The City
10. LCD Soundsystem — Sound of Silver
9. Battles — Mirrored
8. St. Vincent — Marry Me
7. Justice — Cross
6. Animal Collective — Strawberry Jam
5. The National — Boxer
4. The Good, The Bad & The Queen — s/t
3. Arcade Fire — Neon Bible
2. of Montreal — Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
1. Radiohead — In Rainbows

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Top 30/2006

30. The Strokes — First Impressions of Earth
29. Neko Case — Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
28. Dirty Pretty Things — Waterloo To Anywhere
27. Mew — And the Glass Handed Kites
26. Islands — Return to the Sea
25. Beck — The Information
24. Junior Boys — So This Is Goodbye
23. Anathallo — Floating World
22. Regina Spektor — Begin To Hope
21. Swan Lake — Beast Moans
20. The Long Winters — Putting the Days To Bed
19. Sunset Rubdown — Shut Up I Am Dreaming
18. Grandaddy — Just Like the Fambly Cat
17. Sonic Youth — Rather Ripped
16. The Hold Steady — Boys & Girls in America
15. Gnarls Barkley — St. Elsewhere
14. Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton — Knives Don't Have Your Back
13. The Futureheads — News & Tributes
12. James Dean Bradfield — The Great Western
11. Muse — Black Holes and Revelations
10. Asobi Seksu — Citrus
9. The Decemberists — The Crane Wife
8. The Rapture — Pieces of the People We Love
7. Morrissey — Ringleader of the Tormentors
6. The Velvet Teen — Cum Laude
5. Yo La Tengo — I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
4. Thom Yorke — The Eraser
3. Mogwai — Mr Beast
2. TV on the Radio — Return to Cookie Mountain
1. Elbow — Leaders of the Free World

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Vaudeville Mews: Making Central Iowa suck a little less

Thursday - Irving w/ Kunek

Irving opened for Voxtrot earlier this year in front of a stunning, like, seven people. I even made a proverbial ass out myself when I bought a T-shirt and I told them I didn't need to buy their record because I had already acquired it through … other means. Maybe someone should go and make them feel better.

Monday, Nov. 6 - Asobi Seksu w/ Beati Paoli

There's probably nothing I like more than layered, fuzzy guitars. I like them more than I like beer, food, and breasts and those are on everybody's top five, right? Anyway, Asobi Seksu has them (the guitars) in spades, provided that spades = one talented guitarist. If cute Asian women are your bag, I'm sure singer Yuki Chikudate fits the bill (and that name? Fantastic. Chik-u-date. You wish). If not, just gaze at your shoes with the rest of us.

Tuesday, Nov. 14 - Casiotone For the Painfully Alone

I know this guy has gotten a lot of press, but I've never actually heard the music. But with a name like that, how can it not be the greatest act in America?

Thursday, Nov. 16 - My Brightest Diamond w/ Pedestrian

Following in the grand tradition of great bands that begin with "My" (-Bloody Valentine & -Morning Jacket, not necessarily -Chemical Romance), My Brightest Diamond is the brainchild of Sufjan Stevens bandmember Shara Worden. Her songs are dark, poppy, and very reminiscent of the songs of other ladies who make dark and poppy songs.

Tuesday, Nov. 21 - Wolf Eyes

I absolutely cannot stand these guys, but if you are an angry person and enjoy being deaf, maybe you should attend this show.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The new Killers album is really bad UPDATE: and Brandon Flowers is a twat

see title

THE KILLERS singer BRANDON FLOWERS believes RADIOHEAD frontman THOM YORKE is wasting his talent as a songwriter. The JENNY WAS A FRIEND OF MINE star wishes Yorke would stop writing experimental rock and return to the style of radio-friendly 1990s hits such as CREEP and KARMA POLICE. Flowers says, "He should feel grateful that he's been given the gift to write pop songs - which he needs to write again."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Dancing is fun

C'mon, people: if you want two of the most excellent, truly danceable records this year, shake your booty on over to Best Buy and purchase TV on the Radio's "Return to Cookie Mountain" and The Rapture's "Pieces of the People We Love" — both for $8 each to boot.

Also: The Album Leaf, Barenaked Ladies, The Black Keys, DJ Shadow, Junior Boys, Xiu Xiu and Yo La Tengo.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Geek Out/Freak Out of the Week

Colin Meloy + Ben Gibbard + Blur = musical trifecta of goodness


Arctic Monkeys win the Mercury Prize — "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" is name the best British record of the past year. (link) Eh … I thought "hype" was called hype for a reason.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Finding Ways To Stay Solo

Remember when solo albums spelled disaster for everyone involved, especially the listeners? Ever since Sting broke off from the Police to record music that sucks, members going solo has typically meant what ought to be the end of a career. As always, there are exceptions: Morrissey's solo work at least comes close to his time with The Smiths. But for every Morrissey, there is an Ian Brown, Richard Ashcroft, or Billy Corgan.

Thom Yorke's famously-hyped summer release is pretty swell, and his band is continuing to make brilliant music on tour. A new solo album that fell off my radar, however, until its recent UK release, was that of Manic Street Preachers frontman James Dean Bradfield.

When the project was first announced, I was not expecting greatness. Bassist Nicky Wire has covered lyrics for the Manics since former member Richey Edward's disappearance in 1995. Bradfield's only lyrical contribution to the band was Know Your Enemy's palatable "Ocean Spray," which was not particularly memorable by any means.

Being in the music biz for twenty years seems to have reinvigorated Bradfield's creative energies, because the music and lyrics found on his album The Great Western are truly excellent. The sound is most reminiscent of Everything Must Go combined with the presence of piano found in Lifeblood. While not to far off from the Manics' work, the album has enough of its own personality to stand alone. While there are still some somber tunes, the lyrics here are more uplifting and more honest than Wire's. Appropriately enough, the first track, "That's No Way To Tell A Lie," kicks off the album with catchy guitar and hand claps. Every track here is a well-crafted 3-to-4 minute pop song. Not a return to the Manics' world-changing punk rock of yesteryear (but neither is The Eraser a return to the "guitar-based brilliance" of The Bends).
One of the most listenable solo efforts I have ever heard.

As always, here's a YouTube performance on the late, great Top of the Pops.

And hey, let's not forget about Fergie's upcoming solo album. I can only imagine the magic that can occur when the least talented member of my least favorite group in recent memory gets on her own.