Monday, January 30, 2012
2011 was the year of 90s revival. For me, nothing could beat Yuck's debut as evident in my year-end report. While I was obsessing over that release, I happened to miss Radical Dads, another great band in the same vein. The trio is comprised of Lindsay Baker, Chris Diken, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s Robbie Guerton, who have all previously played together in the nine-piece collective Uninhabitable Mansions. They sound energetic and bubbling with ambition on their debut, Mega Rama. The guitars provided by Baker and Diken are the driving force behind these tight jams. Guerton holds everything together with precise drumming while also sharing vocal duties with Baker. They display great chemistry throughout and a knack for writing short but memorable songs.
Friday, January 27, 2012
I'm playing catch up with this release. Unknown Mortal Orchestra were featured on a significant amount of year-end lists for 2011 yet I managed to elude them until now. This is definitely a case of better late than never. To be quite honest, the lo-fi production approach was starting to wear on me until I heard these guys. Unknown Mortal Orchestra utilizes grainy production in a way where it almost seems like a member of the band. On tracks like the irresistible single "Ffunny Ffrends", there is an odd cohesion created by the murky sound that holds all the elements together. The guitar playing is impressive throughout with some solos even poking out in songs like the amusing "Thought Ballune". Perhaps my favorite, "Jello and Juggernauts" stands out from the rest because of it's ability to let the vocals take charge. The melody makes it sound like an R&B song from another planet. "How Can U Luv Me", another highlight, is an upbeat yet confessional 70s style jam that contains clever lyrics like "How can you love me / When you don't like me, baby / How can you look at me / And not see I'm lonely". Elsewhere, the stuttering beat and funky rhythm of "Strangers are Strange" makes you want to stop what your doing and dance awkwardly around the room. They also have some entertaining music videos that fit perfectly with their lighthearted sound. Don't hesitate on this release like I did!
Thursday, January 26, 2012
I haven't covered much new music this year but that doesn't mean there aren't already some great songs circulating. Below is a new track rundown of everything I have been listening to lately. The first track is the newest from Brooklyn up-and-comers Conveyor. It is a captivating journey through spacey melodies with slow building acoustics and well placed electronic flourishes. "Stay Useless" is the perfect introduction to Cloud Nothings' buzzworthy new effort Attack on Memory. It makes great use of the raw Steve Albini production and brings to mind the guitar-driven slacker anthems of the 90s. Mathew Dear's track "In the Middle (I Met You There)" shows how well he can mesh funky rhythms with memorable keyboard lines. It comes from his excellent four song EP, Headcage. Sonic Youth may be finished but that isn't going to stop guitarist Lee Randaldo from writing innovative guitar lines as you can hear on "Off the Wall", the first taste of his upcoming debut album. Scottish shoegazers The Twilight Sad are set to release No One Can Ever Know, their third album, on February 7. If "Another Bed" is any indication, they are leaning towards a synth-laden sound that borrows more from punk and new wave than their previous two efforts. Check out all these and more after the jump. As always, I have included the dates when these great artists are playing in the Boston area.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The new year has begun and avid music fans have been left in purgatory. With the promise of so many big names and long-awaited albums, the first quarter of the year probably seems duller than it actually is. Some anticipated albums have already hit shelves, and none have fans more split than The Big Pink’s sophomore album, Future This. While not entirely avoiding the sophomore slump, the album shows flashes of brilliance in between some inopportune and lackluster moments. The duo consisting of Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell have crafted a record that relies much heavier on pop structures than their highly lauded debut, A Brief History of Love.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Sound collage innovators The Books have released some of my favorite records of all time, so I was overjoyed to hear that Nick Zammuto, one half of the duo, was working on a solo project under his last name. The Idiom Wind single serves as the first taste and is three tracks full of the innovation and creativity you would expect. It is the precursor to a full-length scheduled to be released in the spring on Temporary Residence. You can order the single here via Make Mind. The 7″ is limited to 500 copies and there will be a digital option made available as well.
In yesterday’s post, I briefly mentioned my affinity for Sebadoh. What I didn’t mention was my love for Guided by Voices, but you know those go hand-in-hand. Speedy Ortiz, the solo project of Quilty's Sadie Dupuis, perfectly captures the spirit of both those bands with battered songs of lo-fi excellence. Each song on The Death of Speedy Ortiz was written in 30-50 minutes and home recorded the same day with Sadie playing all roles. It is an impressive feat, especially given the results in tracks like “Cutco” which bring to mind the best slacker anthems of the 90s. The chorus of “All my friends want to cut me into bits / They should throw me on a skillet / Make dinner of what they get” has a downtrodden yet infectious melody that is hard to forget. The ingenious bedroom album is available for free so don’t forget to download yourself a copy.
Monday, January 16, 2012
I hope you enjoyed Stereo Typing's Top 50 Albums of 2011 and explored all the featured bands. It's now time to take a look at the other aspects of 2011 which made it a special year. Below are a few lists of my favorite EPs, 7"s, reissues, shows, disappointments, comedies, movies, and some other categories of interest. I've included a few quick words and plenty of media where available. Check it all out after the jump.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
It was quite the undertaking counting down my Top 50 Albums of 2011 but I came out unscathed. There is plenty to be excited about in the world of music; not just these albums, but also the fact that music sales are up for the first time since 2004. The times they are a-changin': digital sales finally beat out physical music sales for the first time. Additionally, vinyl sales are up a whopping 39%! I purchased a great deal of this Top 50 on vinyl and if you have a record player, there is nothing like it. Whatever your medium, I encourage you to purchase anything you have discovered here. I hope you've enjoyed the countdown so far. The Top 10 is an unpredictable list full of great albums you need to hear. Give everything a spin and let me know what you think! With further ado, I give you my favorite albums of 2011:
The Top 20 has finally arrived after a short intermission. I know that you have probably been dying with anticipation. These ten records include many psychedelic rock bands and singer/songwriters. Although 2011 wasn't a particularly good year for heavy music, some hardcore/metal bands did manage to stake a claim in the Top 20. Also, everyone's favorite band that set the bar too high for themselves. Read all about it and listen to some fantastic tunes after the jump.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
I hope you are enjoying our Top 50 Albums of 2011 so far. The trend of looking back to the 90's for inspiration is finally starting to appear in these next ten. Along with those, there are some polarizing artists and several that are just plain out there. Also, some old school veterans that I wasn't expecting to have as great of a comeback album as they did. Sample everything below and check back tomorrow when the Top 20 starts.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
The beauty of piecing together a year-end list is the spread of various genres that have managed to capture your interest. With this installment of our continuing Top 50 Albums of 2011, there is much more diversity than the first ten which resulted in an interesting sampling of the previous year's music. These ten albums collectively have influences from styles that include indie rock, classic rock, country, world music, rap, soul, and post-rock. I urge you to check them all out because it's often surprising what you end up liking.
Monday, January 2, 2012
Happy New Year! Stereo Typing is proud to ring in 2012 with a look back at the albums that made 2011 a memorable year for music. I'll be revealing my Top 50 Albums of 2011 by releasing ten each day this week. Along with a description as to why you need to hear each one, I will include the track that made the biggest impact on me. I am posting these tracks for sampling purposes so that listeners can understand why I am obsessed with these records. If there is something that should not be featured here, email me and I will take it down ASAP. As always, I encourage you to purchase anything you have discovered and liked. I have gone over this list an obsessive amount of times and it is truly a testament to how much I love music. Please take the time to look it over and enjoy discovering some great new tunes!