Afghan Whigs- Do to the Beast
Apr 10, 2014
With the start of the New Year, it is hard to forget the great albums we had on constant repeat from 2010, and you shouldn't. But, while you're still blasting your favorites, watch out for the following albums this year. Let's hope 2011 exceeds our expectations!
British Sea Power-Valhalla Dancehall, 1/11/ 11
Cake-Showroom of Compassion, 1/11/11
Rye Rye-Go! Pop! Bang!, 1/11/11
The Decemberists-The King is Dead, 1/18/11
The Smith Westerns-Dye it Blonde, 1/18/11
Tennis-Cape Dory, 1/18/11
Cloud Nothings-Cloud Nothings, 1/25/11
Iron and Wine-Kiss Each Other Clean, 1/25/11
The Go! Team-Rolling Blackouts, 1/31/11
Hercules and Love Affair-Blue Songs, 1/31/11
Cut Copy-Zonoscope, 2/08/11
Bright Eyes-The People's Key, 2/15/11
Drive-By-Truckers-Go-Go Boots, 2/18/11
The Low Anthem-Smart Flesh, 2/22/11
Toro y Moi-Underneath The Pine, 2/22/11
Lykke Li-Wounded Rhymes, 3/01/11
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart-Belong, March 2011
Lupe Fiasco-Lasers, 3/ 08/11
Paul Simon-So Beautiful or So What, 4/12/11
The Mountain Goats-All Eternal's Deck, 4/29/11
Beastie Boys-Hot Sauce Committee, Spring 2011
The Black Lips, Spring 2011
Cat Power, 2011
Fleet Foxes, 2011
Jay-Z and Kanye West-Watch The Throne, 2011
Panda Bear-Tomboy, 2011
The Strokes, Spring 2011
1. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
3. Beach House - Teen Dream
5. Bruce Springsteen - The Promise
6. The National - High Violet
7. Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
8. Tame Impala - Innerspeaker
9. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor
11. Free Energy - Stuck on Nothing
13. Ra Ra Riot - The Orchard
14. Sleigh Bells - Treats
15. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
16. Vampire Weekend - Contra
18. Local Natives - Gorilla Manor
19. The Extra Lens - Undercard
Xander Singh’s timid vocals, like almost all the sounds on Pepper Rabbit’s Beauregard, are drowned in reverb. Singh and his collaborator, Luc Laurent, throw just about everything else into the mix. Clarinets, ukuleles, banjos, horns and string sections are among the wide variety of instruments found on the album.
The band’s experimental chamber pop is both orchestral and psychedelic. The opener, “Clarinet Song,” focuses on the lush arrangements. The song peaks when the vocal harmonies are buried beneath horns, woodwinds and marching drums. “None Shall Sleep” swells with emphatic rhythms and lulls with distant horns and ethereal strings. “In the Spirit of Beauregard,” features a heavy psychedelic influence without being drastically different. The clarinet and slow, bouncy piano quickly coalesce into a trippy spiral of sound.
And it actually works. Beauregard makes for an incredible listen. There’s so much going on, but Pepper Rabbit aren’t trying to be Beirut or Arcade Fire. Instead of bold and grandiose, it’s subtle and beautiful. It takes a few listens to hear it all, but that’s one of the most endearing aspects of the album. Pepper Rabbit make you want to discover every nuance within Beauregard.
Check out a live version of "None Shall Sleep," performed on KEXP:
When you have a voice as smooth and calming as Norah Jones’, it’s easy to fit into any song. In Jones’ compilation album …Featuring, released Nov. 2, the Grammy-winning jazz pianist and singer-songwriter slips into rock, R&B and country songs as if she’s been in the genre all along.
“Baby It’s Cold Outside,” one of Jones’ three Grammy-nominated duets with her mentor Willie Nelson, gives a cute, flirty experience to the album (even though Nelson is more than twice her age).
“Take Off Your Cool,” from Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, is a slow jam mixed with acoustic guitar. Although this isn’t Jones’ normal genre, she blends in with Andre 3000’s sensual song. Her work between rap verses with Q-tip and Talib Kweli also shows she can do more than adult contemporary.
“I never really thought I would be singing with rappers,” Jones says on her YouTube channel. “I feel like it’s more of a natural thing than it seems because I know that all these guys love jazz. We share a common love of a certain music that even though we do very different things with it, … in the end it’s always musical and it all works out.”
…Featuring proves that Jones can sing country too. She plays with Gillian Welch, David Rawlings and Dolly Parton. She cowrote “Dear John” with Ryan Adams.
Jones returns to her native genre with songs with Herbie Hancock and Charlie Hunter. The album finishes with “Blue Bayou,” featuring M. Ward.
Partnering with an assorted variety of artists, Norah Jones demonstrates she can work with almost anyone – and sound really really good.
Listen to "Dear John" - Jones' collaboration with Ryan Adams:
Hailing from Nashville, Tenn., The Parting Gifts are bringing late-sixties instrumentals back to the garage-rock scene. On their new album, Strychnine Dandelion, country and folk influences wind their way through tracks sung by gritty voices and underlayed with saloon-style piano.
Several noted blues voices can be found on the album, including Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Patrick Keeler of The Greenhornes and The Raconteurs, Dave Amels, and Jem Cohen and Poni Silver from the Ettes. The variety of gravely voices gives each song an individual flare, spreading the album’s influences to every end of the spectrum.
Overall, the album bears a heavy resemblance to the soundtrack of a spaghetti western. But, if you’re into garage rock-country-folk fusion, then The Parting Gifts are right for you.
Check out "Keep Walkin":
The core of L.A. art/rock duo Eagle and Talon is made up of Kim (on vocals and guitar) and Alice Talon (on drums, casio, and back-up vocals). Since the duo started to write and produce their own music, they have been gaining popularity, becoming famous for always trying to give their listeners something fun to listen to.
In Manila is Eagle and Talon’s second EP, following up their debut full-length, Thracian. For In Manila, Kim and Alice recruited the efforts of Damon Zick (alto sax, bass clarinet), Daphne Chen (viola), Davin Givhan (bass) and Jordan Katz (trumpet/flugal horn). With Alice punching out melodies on her keyboard and Kim’s strong, clear vocals delivering the lyrics, you wouldn’t think they’d need anything more to produce highly enjoyable and upbeat indie music, but the added layers that each of the different instruments bring to the table makes each song that much more unique, helping Eagle and Talon stand out as something that’s a little different and a lot more fun than your average indie band.
Listen to the title track, "In Manila":
Indie music is going to rely heavily on Mikey Jukebox for setting new standards in the future. Jukebox’s self titled debut LP pumps positive energy through every strike of the drums, every stroke of the guitar and every gulp of air that Mikey provides.
The first track “!Hello Dreamer!” infuses a clap track, gentle synths, and flowing instrumental to make one well orchestrated song. Once Mikey’s voice hits a few low notes, you can only think to compare him to David Bowie.
Don’t be shy to hit repeat the next time you hop in your car and blast the new anthem of our generation “Come On Along.” It is another cog in the not-quite-indie glam-rock revival. With this song in mind, Mikey would be best described as vintage in almost every sense of the word. He wears his beats from the '70s with pride as he pumps up a crowd.
Glam rock’s long-extinguished flame has been rekindled in the form of Mikey Jukebox.
Listen to "Come On Along":
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, the alternative synth-pop trio Midnight Juggernauts released their second full-length album The Crystal Axis, bringing a bit of darkness to the world of electronica.
The Crystal Axis begins with the trancelike minute-and-a-half instrumental track “Induco,” which blends seamlessly with “Vital Signs,” a trance track with pop vocals that fades into Bloc Party-esque chants and rhythms before returning to pop. The album continues with a mix of catchy dance tracks and slower electronic pieces. The entire album has dark, almost melancholy music under upbeat pop vocals, creating a middle-ground perfect for a club pulsing with people.
Listen to "Vital Signs":
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is actually two people - Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott. The Motor City band's name might lead you to think they're just a couple of motor heads, but the music of their debut EP, Horse Power, is nothing you'll hear at a NASCAR race.
Epstein and Zott harmonize like a digital reincarnation of the Beach Boys. Their soft-spoken lyrics float over mellow electronics and guitars. Songs like "Vocal Chords" and "Simple Girl" will have you singing, or maybe even whistling, along.
They take the stage tonight in the Rathskeller. The free show starts at 7 p.m.
And don't miss openers Paul's Grandfather - a folk-pop trio from Fredonia, N.Y.