• Rob Treynor's top 10 albums of 2013

    Dez 30 2013, 5h59

    Nobody ever sees these journal entries on anymore...but I'm placing it here out of tradition. Here we go.

    10) Air Review - Low Wishes
    Each year, whenever I hear a great record, I place a song in a playlist called “Best of the year- contenders.” Air Review, with their January 29 release, “Low Wishes,” was the first track in that playlist all year. Many other songs come and go from the playlist as my tastes become more fickle, but this quintet out of Dallas made an album that I just kept coming back to. Just slightly reminiscent of the Gotye album from a couple of years ago - Air Review mixes catchy vocal hooks, prominent drum beats, and music predominated by whole notes. It’s mellow, but driving at the same time. But the hooks are what kept me coming back all year.
    Watch ‘America’s Son’

    9)Jim Bianco - Cookie Cutter
    Jim Bianco wrote songs about people who helped to fund this album. Contributors were given a set of questions to answer, and the answers became the inspiration for the songs. Monologues at the beginning of each track shines light on the answers to the questions that inspired the song you're about to hear. The name comes from the fact that everyone received the same set of questions to answer. The questions can be found here:
    Watch the goofy “That’s What She Said”

    8) Iron & Wine - Ghost On Ghost
    Not as quiet as he used to be: Iron & Wine's "Ghost on Ghost"
    I’ve always enjoyed Iron & Wine, although lately Sam Beam has been so adventurous with his musical releases that he’s failed to make a consistently awesome record. So it came as a huge pleasure to discover Ghost on Ghost this year - a nice collection of songs that include the kind of quiet songs that sound like they were recorded in a way as to not wake the neighbors, and a lovely successful group of songs that venture into stronger instrumentation and full-throated singing from Mr. Beam. It’s a great mix of songs and the best Iron & Wine album in a decade.
    Watch “Joy”

    7) C2C - Tetra
    Yes, I like an album featuring an album cover of frolicking unclothed women in a group of balloons. I probably would have been embarrassed to buy this album if it weren’t just a download with a tiny thumbnail for an album cover. Although, the exuberance and joy expressed on the models’ faces on the cover fit with the fun that is the music within. C2C is a crew of French turntablists that create fun dance tracks somewhat reminiscent of Moby’s 1999 blockbuster “Play.” While C2C draw from different source material, what they were able to take away from the Moby-model of dance music is a sense of verse-chorus-verse that is usually missing from music created mainly with laptops and turntables. “Tetra” is a catchy collection of non-stop fun that might make you want to prance around nekkid with a bunch of balloons.
    Watch “Happy”

    6) Wild Belle - Isles
    The Chicago brother-sister duo known as Wild Belle are half-rested in the post neo-soul movement currently dominated by groups like Alabama Shakes. The other half is squarely in the pop realm, sounding at home among Lorde or Florence + The Machine tracks. That said, Wild Belle is also fully original, and Natalie Bergman’s nasal croon is unique and inviting, and Elliot Bergman’s love of african world fusion music makes the band never sound trite, predicable or boring. An excellent debut.
    Watch “Another Girl”

    5) Josh Ritter - The Beast In Its Tracks
    Josh Ritter came to my attention when his songwriting was compared to The Decemberists. His prior albums are full of vignettes upon gilded-age riverboats and folk tunes about Joan of Arc and mythological apocalypses. In other words, it should be right up my alley. But I never really connected with his music until this album, when all of those literary allusions and third-person stories were thrown out the window. See, it seems Mr. Ritter had had some trouble with his old lady, and the divorce ended up serving as a muse. While the album on repeated listens can be a bit of a bummer, the music certainly never is.
    Watch the heartbreakingly beautiful “Hopeful”

    4) Camera Obscura - Desire Lines
    Camera Obscura started off sounding like a Belle & Sebastian side project with their 2004 album “Underachievers Please Try Harder,” and while the band’s sound hasn’t changed much in the past decade - it’s matured and gained a sense of focus that was lacking on the band’s prior albums. The Glasgow band, lead by the honey-voiced Tracyanne Campbell, now sound like the step-child of 90s groups Cocteau Twins and Everything But The Girl, but grown-up and not embarrassed by their heritage nor influence. From start to finish, this “Desire Lines” offers a consistent variety of mid-tempo, shoe-gazing chamber pop that had me spinning the record again and again and again.
    Here’s “New Year’s Resolution”

    3) The Silver Seas - Alaska
    I thought about putting this album in the #1 spot, since it’s been in the last year and a half that I’ve discovered and completely devoured everything there is by the Nashville band The Silver Seas and their lead singer/songwriter Daniel Tashian -- and I think the group deserve more people listening to them. But then I realized that people are more likely to stop reading my crappy reviews well before I hit the #1 spot, so I put “Alaska” here. Songwriter Tashian writes a mellow lite-rock version of power pop - his are songs full of beautiful, effortless Beatles-esque melodies, but lack the crunchy guitar that typically accompanies them in today’s power pop movement. Sounding like a cross between Josh Rouse and Jackson Browne, The Silver Seas make music from a different era, but make it sound like it’s from this one. Check it out, and everything else by this band.
    Watch “I’m The One”

    2) Calexico - Spiritoso

    I’ve never thought to put a live album in these lists. It feels like cheating. I don’t know whose rules they are, but you can’t include live albums or greatest hits. Them’s the rules. But here we are, and I’m putting Calexico’s International Record Store Day Exclusive live album from Germany in my #2 spot for the year. This is the album that made me change from liking Calexico to loving Calexico. They may, in fact, be trumping The Decemberists as my favorite band soon. And it’s all from this epic, epic, epic live album where this band from Tucson is joined by a symphony orchestra. Sting, Tori Amos, Peter Gabriel, in recent years, have done the whole back-catalog-now-with-orchestra thing - but their attempts were snoozefests. But Calexico’s music, well, it feels like it needed the symphony to be complete - like the album versions were demos and this live performance was the final product. This album is cinematic. It feels like a John Huston western movie. It packs a wallop and makes you want to show down your foes at high noon.
    Hear Frontera/Trigger

    1) Snakadaktal - Sleep in the Water
    Oh my gosh, this guys are so young looking. It kind of boggles the mind at how mature of a record these kids from Australia were able to put together for their debut. A lovely evocative mix of complicated textures of arpeggiated guitars and open spaces and heavy reverb, Snakadaktal fully understand and embrace the “dream pop” classification/pigeonhole. The album’s dreamy nature reminds me of 80’s music, but in a vague-peripheral way. I can’t seem to nail down what it is about their music that makes me think of my high school years, but it’s there. As the album progresses, it turns away from that ethereal 80s sound to one more acoustic, with the ambitious-yet-understated The Sun I, The Sun II, and The Sun III dominating the second half of the record. These kids are amazing. I hope they don’t hit a sophomore slump, because I’m already clamoring for more music like this album.
    Watch “Fall Underneath”
  • Rob's 10 favorite albums for 2012

    Dez 7 2012, 18h57

    I'm keeping my reviews brief this year.

    10) The dB's - Falling Off The Sky
    The last time the dB's put out a record was in 1987. Time has changed and so have these guys. It doesn't sound like a dB's record, but it sounds like a record that a dB's fan would enjoy. And that's good enough for me.
    Listen to "That Time is Gone"

    9) My Tiger My Timing - Celeste
    Sometimes sounding like Human League, sometimes sounding like Sleigh Bells, the british electronic quintet My Tiger My Timing have created a catchy album full of dark, noisy songs that you can sing along with.
    Watch "Let Me Go"

    8) Foxy Shazam - The Church of Rock & Roll
    Imagine a crazy, dionysian all-night party with the guys from The Darkness and Scissor Sisters and you'll have an idea of the silliness that is Foxy Shazam. I believe they take themselves more seriously than those aforementioned bands, and it helps sell their product. They're jokey, but serious about creating a very distinct kind of 70's arena-rock.
    Watch "I like it"

    7) Lavender Diamond - Incorruptible Heart
    Lead singer Becky Stark has one of the sweetest, loveliest voices since Karen Carpenter left this earth. This album is full of interesting chamber-pop songs full of melancholy and melody.
    Watch "Everybody's Heart's Breaking Now"

    6) Rosco Bandana - Time to Begin
    Finger-pickin', shoe-shuffling southern hipster rock 'n roll from the heart of Alabama. You think you have this band all figured out, and then they pull out a killer Blur cover tune that messes up your notions of the band.
    Hear "El Luna"

    5) Audra Mae & The Almighty Sound - S/T
    Audra Mae was a singer-songwriter, creating quiet little country-tinged folk songs. Then she formed the Almighty Sound band and became a belter. Part Bonnie Raitt, part Lurlene Lumpkin - she has a voice that lets you hear the emotion in her voice. While this album didn't really rock my world when it came out, I returned to it again and again (ask my friends on, and now count it among my most favorite albums.
    Listen to "Ne'er Do Wells"

    4) Gemma Ray - Island Fire
    This German-born Brit creates lovely and creepy music that evokes both Nouvelle Vague and Dusty Springfield. Every track sets a great mood, especially two Sparks cover tunes that end the record (and performed with Sparks).
    Hear "Runaway"

    3) David Myhr - Soundshine
    Ex-Merrymaker creates the best power-pop album of the year. Indelibly catchy hooks amid nostalgic melodies. This record will make you want to rollerskate in a speedo.
    Watch "Cut to the chase" [youtube]
    2) Kishi Bashi - 151a
    Pure exuberance from Of Montreal's former fiddler. What I imagine the angels in heaven would compose if using ProTools and a laptop.
    Hear "Manchester"

    1) Asoflate - Widows & Orphans
    Indie rocker Matt Stokes' band Asoflate hit me like a sack full of bricks. Every song evokes strong emotions. If you're in a good mood, this may cure you of it.
    Hear "Everything Wrong"
  • The 10 Best Albums of 2011

    Jan 4 2012, 0h00

    About 18 months ago, my relationship with music changed.

    It changes from time to time, as my life and technology has progressed. The way I listen to music - the where, the when and the how of it, affect the who, what and why of the music I listen to.

    18 months ago, I decided to try out the music leasing model. I'd had a few backup hard drives die on me, and I'd lost a big chunk of my musical collection. And I was the kind of guy that digitized his CDs and then sold the CDs to Half-Price books. So I didn't have originals anymore.

    So I subscribed to Rdio. It was before Spotify was able open shop in the States. When Spotify finally got going in the US, I thought I may jump ship, but it lacked some of the bells and whistles that I grew accustomed to with Rdio.

    One of the things I enjoyed with Rdio was the discovery process. Every Tuesday (at midnight, Monday night), hundreds of new albums appear in Rdio's catalogue. They're all in random order and come with no descriptions. You often have no idea what kind of music will assault you from your earbuds when you click play. It could be Bollywood death-metal, french hip-hop, alt-bluegrass - who knows.

    Monday nights or Tuesdays, I "drop the needle" on hundreds of records only to say "Ak! Yuck" for most of them.

    But when the needle drops onto something listenable, it's like a revelation. Especially when I stay up late on Monday nights - it's exciting to be among the very, very first to hear something truly artistic, lovely, original, bold, or whatnot. It's very exciting to be the one among my music-nerd friends to say, "This band. Look over here. These guys are good."

    I don't have the opportunity nor temperament to discover music through live shows, but Rdio makes me feel a bit like that snooty record store clerk that's heard it all already.

    Many of my all-time favorite musical acts have released albums this year: Mike Doughty, Iron & Wine, Kate Bush, St. Vincent, Peter Gabriel, The Mountain Goats, Mates of State, Decemberists and Wilco. And all, with the exception of Peter Gabriel, sounded promising on first listen. And yet, I've failed to get back to many of them. I've been so enamored with discovering new music that most of my old musical friends have been languishing in my collection, waiting for that moment that I'll connect emotionally with them.

    But not the Peter Gabriel. His album ("New Blood") sucked.

    Also, 6 months ago, my music listening habits changed again with the advent of allows people to share songs with one another in real time. I enjoy it very much, even though it's song-based, and my music listening habits tend to be album-oriented. But since I enjoy Turntable, my tastes have now been focusing more on strong songs and less on a stronger package.

    Anyway, with those things in mind, here are my favorite albums for 2011.

    10. Treefight for Sunlight - A Collection of Vibrations For Your SkullTreefight for Sunlight
    Sounding like an early Yes album - meets XTC - meets Polyphonic Spree, Treefight for Sunlight have a trippy, sunny sound that sound like a hallucinogenic trip to the beach with no ill side effects. Treefight for Sunlight are a quartet from Denmark, but their sound is sunny enough to make one assume them to be Californians. Lush layers of heavily-reverbed tenor voices soar over looped guitar and piano samples can easily remind one of Animal Collective. But Treefight for Sunlight write more complex song structures. This album challenges the listener, but with a smile and open arms.
    Listen to Riddles & Rhymes: [youtube]
    9. Kate Bush - 50 Words for Snow
    I put off listening to this album until just last week. I was reluctant to listen to it.
    Earlier this year, Kate Bush put out a re-working of earlier music called "The Directors Cut." Included, was a new video for the song "Deeper Understanding" - one of my favorite Kate Bush songs ever. But the video was so awful, so terrible, so very disappointing, I thought I'd never listen to Kate Bush again. "The Directors Cut" was a waste of time in many ways, also. Lots of songs about sex with snowmen. And yes, it's still a great album.
    Kate Bush has always been a bit kooky, and that often translates into head scratching decisions upon occasion. But those artistic risks she takes also cause her to be one of the best rock musicians ever, when she succeeds.
    And boy, did she succeed with "50 Words for Snow"
    Minimalist arrangements, focusing on her voice and piano, make this chilly winter album exceptionally intimate, and she uses that intimacy to her advantage. She builds these songs slowly, telling quirky winter fables and drawing in her audience to hang on her every verse. It's brilliant stuff. I'd probably have ranked it higher if I had listened to it more.
    Listen to "Wild Man" (edit) [youtube][/youtube]

    8. Mocean Worker - Candygram for Mowo
    It's been a number of years since I've heard an album that just sounded like a party waiting to happen. Starting with track one, ("Shooby Dooby Doo Wah!") and going through the next 13 tracks, "Candygram for Mowo" is 60 minutes of non-stop booty shaking. Unlike most dance albums, however, Mocean Worker culls his musical inspiration and samples from the most unlikely of places. Old 78's from the 1930s, classic jazz, hip hop, gospel, big band and lounge are all well represented, reconfigured, and made new. On top of these, Mocean Worker adds new sax solos, piano and horn parts, along with the occasional guest vocalist. The hip-hop, De La Soul-influenced "My Own Little World" featuring Lyrics Born on the mic, is a standout track.
    Mocean Worker, aka MoWo, aka Adam Dorn has been putting out a steady stream of albums for over 10 years, but this is the first one I'd ever heard. It won't be the last.
    Listen to "My Own Little World"

    7. Florence & The Machine - CeremonialsCeremonials. Good stuff.
    Before I'd finished listening to the third track on "Ceremonials" - I knew I was listening to one the best albums of the year. Florence Welch & Co's sophomore effort was a gelled sound. Florence's over-the-top white-girl-belting-soul sound over dreamy organs, pianos and guitars, and countered with the tribal bombast of hugest drums this side of Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight." In many ways, "Ceremonials" sounds like a long-lost Eurhythmics Greatest Hits record. Welch sings much like Annie Lennox. She has a strong voice and likes to use it. And even when she's trying to sound fragile or emotional, she does it with some serious strength. This album has something for everyone. Hipsters and their moms could both enjoy this album. It's probably a good CD for family road-trips. It doesn't really challenge the listener - this is very accessible music - which may make repeat listens get a bit boring. But this is still a solid album full of some of the best pop of 2011.
    Listen "Shake it out" [youtube][/youtube]

    6. Youth Lagoon - The Year of HibernationYouth Lagoon
    This is the kind of album I typically give one listen to and move on. It's a homemade affair, recorded in novice musician Trevor Powers' bedroom. It's sung quietly into the mic, as if he's trying to not piss off his neighbors. The whole thing is awash in 20 layers of reverb, as the hipsters so often do these days. On first glance, it's a pretty typical indie affair
    But Powers, aka Youth Lagoon, has a sense of melody. And an ability with his homemade recording. His vocal lines are stronger than his voice allows. His keyboard parts and guitar lines take up a lot of the melodic slack here. And while his drums sound cheap, they're programmed well, mixed right up front, and demand the listener to take notice.
    This may be a moody, echoey indie record, but it refuses to be background music. This music demands your attention. It reminds me of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Galaxie 500, Sparklehorse, and well, I could name a lot of similar sounding musical projects. But this one's special. Worth a listen. Give it a spin. G'head. You'll like it.
    Check out "July" [youtube]

    5. Lucinda Williams - Blessed
    Late in 2010, I 'discovered' Lucinda Williams. Obviously, she'd been around for quite a while, and had already I'm Blessed to have heard this record.garnered plenty of popular and critical attention. So the fact that some 41-year-old dad in rural Ohio "discovered" her didn't register as even a blip on Ms. Williams radar.
    She registered with me. And a mere month or so after discovering how good she was, she released a great new album. With sleazy guitar solos and greasy Hammond Organ parts, dutifully played by the likes of Matthew Sweet and Elvis Costello, and produced by Don Was. Instrumentally, this was a perfect little rock 'n roll record.
    And then there's Lucinda's performance. For those unfamiliar with Ms. Williams' singing, it can sound like a cross between Stevie Nicks and Courtney Love. But,! Don't go running away screaming just yet. She pulls it off. Her songs are so heartfelt, so believable. You believe that Lucinda's lived a hard life, and has loved and lost. Songs like "Seeing Black" - her reaction to musician Vic Chesnutt's suicide - is a tough enough song on its own merits, but it's preceded by "Copenhagen," another song about the loss of a loved one (I haven't found any clues as to who). And this is her upbeat album. It's called "Blessed," after all. And when she says that she feels blessed, you believe her. And you feel blessed for living an easier life than she has. She's an incredible talent, and this is an amazing record.
    Watch "Copenhagen" [youtube][/youtube]I

    4.The Decemberists- The King Is Dead / Long Live The King
    Yay! Decemberists don't disappoint! Here's the point where Paul Mazzoni rolls his eyes and says, "The Decemberists. Of course"
    The year was bookened by two Decemberists releases. "The King Is Dead" came out in January, and the EP "Long Live the King" was release at the end of October.
    "The King is Dead," while catchy and full of hummable songs, worried me. I knew my expectations were too high for this release, and this was a nice reset button - in that it was an all-around atypical Decemeberist record. But it took the release of the EP in October for me to realize that all they were doing with the King Is Dead was making the best R.E.M. record since "Fables of The Reconstruction." (R.E.M. must have agreed, since they broke up shortly after "The King Is Dead" was released.)
    "Long Live the King" saw Decemberists back in true form with songs of evil plantation owners and dead babies. The band was able to stretch its arms out of the REM confines, and even delivered a nice performance of the Grateful Dead's "Row Jimmy."
    They gave me a scare, but The Decemberists remain my favorite band.
    Watch, listen "The Calamity Song"

    Rare is it for a Various Artists record to have enough consistency to make it on to one of my 10 best lists, and even rarer is it for a tribute album to appear here. And I love tribute albums. Or, rather, I love the idea of tribute albums, and am a sucker for most of them. And most have some lovely moments but are overall disappointing. Usually on tribute records, there's one or two good songs placed right at the beginning, and the rest of the songs are by artists you never heard of and would rather never hear from again.
    Rave On Buddy Holly was different.
    Rave On Buddy Holly was under the direction of Randall Poster, who's been the music supervisor for Wes Anderson and Martin Scorsese. Poster had enough clout to get some big names, spanning musical generations. And all musicians, save for one, give great performances.
    Two things make this tribute to Buddy Holly work: One, was that Poster found musicians whose musical styles already mesh with the music of Buddy Holly. There's no "Holy shit, what's Prince doing singing a Joni Mitchell song?" moments on here.
    The second thing that makes this record work is Holly's songs. The simplicity of the songs, the strength of the hooks, and the timelessness of the lyrics make these songs sound as fresh today as they did when the Crickets recorded them.
    The standout tracks are numerous. Paul McCartney, coming off a messy divorce and marrying wife #3 does a rollicking and self-aware "It's So Easy To Fall In Love." Graham Nash hasn't sounded as good as he has on "Raining In My Heart" in years. Justin Townes Earle sounds like he was born 4 or 5 decades too late with his raw "Maybe Baby." And newcomerJenny O's version of "I'm Gonna Love You Too" may be the best track on the album.
    Even tracks by the Black Keys, and Kid Rock - and I'm not fans of either - work well on this album.
    The only thing that fails, and it fails epically - is Lou Reed's "Peggy Sue."
    Is it safe to say the Lou Reed hasn't done any worthwhile music in over 20 years? And 2011, he's released a bunch of stinkers.
    If Reed hadn't contributed to this album, "Rave On Buddy Holly" would have been my #1 pick for the year.
    Watch Justin Townes Earle sing "Maybe Baby" [youtube][/youtube]

    #2. The Belle Brigade - S/T
    Barbara Gruska and her younger brother Ethan are The Belle Brigade. Barbara, an Oberlin graduate, started as a drummer for Jenny Lewis and the Playboys. Watching Barbara and Ethan perform, I'm reminded of the Carpenters, since the sister is on drums and the brother is on guitar.
    But this sister is also on guitar. And this brother's on piano. And they both sing. And the both sing really well. And the especially sing really well together.
    Not since Fleetwood Mac introduced the world to the harmonies of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham has the world had a pair of singers that sounded so natural together, so perfect.
    It's an amazing freshman effort, and I kept it from being my #1 pick because I'm eager to hear an even better, more mature version of these guys. I'm not sure it's possible.
    The album is wonderfully fleshed-out musically, but I prefer this acoustic and live version of "Losers" because it shows how powerful their voices are together, even live.[youtube][/youtube]

    #1 Asa - Beautiful Imperfection
    Asa ( prounounce Asha) a French-Nigerian, is not a household name in the States. But she should be. She has a voice that fits squarely in the space between Amy Winehouse's and Sade's. She writes songs about as poignant-yet-catchy as anything Bob Marley or Marvin Gaye's written. She's backed by a fantastic set of musicians that shine light on all of her talents. And while she's offering up her world-beat version of neo-soul, she's also offering a wonderful snapshot of the beginning of this second decade in the twenty-first century. In "Maybe," a song about wanting to succeed and reach one's full potential, she laments, "There never used to be/This much attention to security/Until the terror and catastrophe/And now there's guns and war machines."
    This is a fantastic album. I believe it will have some legs, too. I believe that this will be an album highly cited by future musicians that grew up listening to neo-soul.
  • 10 best albums of 2010. Numbers 4-1

    Dez 24 2010, 5h59

    4. J Roddy Walston & The Business
    Rowdy rock and roll isn't usually my cup of tea. It's something I can appreciate, but typically I don't seek it out.

    Oh sure, there has been raucous music that has appealed to me. Punk like Atom & His Package or The Dead Milkmen has always made me smile. The Replacements and Cracker have always been great for boozy sloppy rock 'n roll....but for all of the music I listen to, bands like these are exceptions.

    This year added another one.

    J Roddy Walston & The Business are a rock quartet out of Baltimore. This is sloppy raucous rock and roll with a bottle of Johnny Walker in one hand and a Penthouse magazine in the other. This music might not be the best to dance to, but it'd be a great soundtrack for a bar fight.

    J Roddy Walston plays piano like Jerry Lee Lewis, and has that same kind of feral-animal vibe. He sings like a cross between The Replacements' Paul Westerberg and George Thorogood.

    They have the energy of the first Ben Folds Five album, minus the snarkiness and plus some great 70's-inspired rock guitar parts.

    The energy that exudes from a studio album is impressive. I can only imagine how fun their live shows would be.

    Check 'em out: Watch "Don't Break The Needle"

    3.One Fast Move Or I'm Gone: Music From Kerouac’s Big Sur

    Okay okay okay. Technically, this album came out in October of 2009, so it shouldn't qualify for my best of 2010 list. But I'm not prepared to put Cee-Lo's "The Ladykiller" on the Best of 2010 list quite yet - it just came out in November of 2010 and I haven't had a chance to really listen to it yet.

    This has always been a problem with year's best lists: Stuff released at the end of the year may end up dominating the listening habits the following year yet never make a "best of" list due to their release date.

    And there have been a few contenders these last couple of months. Albums that might have to make the Best of 2010's list, but probably won't sink in to heavy rotation until 2011 for me. Kid Cudi and Aloe Blacc both have what seem to be incredible albums that didn't make my list this year, and I'd like to give them a chance at 2011.

    And this year, much of this year, I spent listening to this incredible offering by the lead singers of Son Volt and Death Cab For Cutie. And it didn't make my "best of" list last year.

    Each trade vocal duties from song to song. The songs were based on Jack Kerouac's writings and the project was for a soundtrack to a documentary on Kerouac.

    I have to admit that I have not seen the documentary, nor have I read any Kerouac aside from "On The Road."

    The "Big Sur" album can be a bit of a downer, but I'm often a sucker for a good downer. And it doesn't get much more beautifully depressing than this:
    "We used to dream together
    But now I drink alone.
    From the bottle to the tumbler
    Is the only journey left I know. "

    Farrar and Gibbard both have distinct and emotional voices, and they compliment each other surprisingly well. The unadorned, country-fied musical accompaniment seems to fit the sparseness and beauty of the Big Sur area of California.

    This is a glorious album.
    Watch "These Roads Don't Move"

    #2.This is What Happens

    How to describe The Reign of Kindo?

    Ask Thelonius Monk to join Rush and have David Mead sing.
    How's that? No?
    Make Keane a prog-rock band that does jazz covers of "Ok Computer."
    No? Okay.
    Just watch the &^%&@@#@ Youtube clip and then we can continue. Here's "Out of Sight, Out of Mind"

    When I was in high school, I was in a band called Alchemy. We did covers and originals and thought we were much better than we were. When I dreamed about us getting discovered and recording an album and touring the world - I imagined a band that sounded like The Reign of Kindo: Complex pop that defies typical ABAC song structure played by deft musicians at the top of their game.

    Interestingly, Alchemy's guitarist, John Sabal, went on to be in a band called Dark Green Bottles ( which did indeed sound similar to The Reign of Kindo. And perhaps not surprisingly, it was Mr. Sabal that introduced me to the Reign of Kindo band to begin with.

    Anyway, This is the Reign of Kindo's second album, and it's certainly no sophomore slump: The songs here on "This is What Happens" show the band at the absolute top of their game. This album is full of smart lyrics, rich harmonies, and some of the best, kick-ass musicianship I've ever heard. It's complex yet never tedious, which is quite a feat.

    Drummer Steven Padin is a force to be reckoned with, and pianist Danny Pizarro seems to do just that. Joe Secchiaroli's vocals are calm, mid-range, and just utterly fantastic. This band could fall apart under a different voice.

    This Is Also What Happens

    Did you watch that video yet? They're cool right?
    Did I mention that they also released an 8-bit version of the album? (

    So, yeah. One more album to go.

    1.The ArchAndroid
    If you've followed me on Facebook in 2010, my #1 album probably isn't a big surprise to you. If you've ignored all of my other posts but are inexplicably reading this one, I'll summarize:
    Janelle Monae, on her debut full-length album, has created a masterpiece.

    She took two two divergent musical ideas - The concept album and iTunes' "Shuffle Mode" and has managed to merge these concepts together flawlessly.

    The Archandroid is the continuing story of a time-traveling robot named Cindy Mayweather that comes back in time to free the enslaved robots from zombies.

    That's the story.

    Who the hell cares, actually,what the story is. Take a look at any rock opera or concept album and look at how ridiculous the storyline is. Most operas are pretty stupid without the music, too.

    What's amazing here is how the songs seamlessly switch from genre to genre. Monae will write one song that sounds like a Judy Garland number and that'll go into a hip-hop track, which is followed by a glam-rock a/la David Bowie track. And each track is very well done. So well done, in fact, that she could persue a career in any single genre and do quite well.

    The only album I can really compare this to is Michael Jackson's "Thriller" - which also jumped genres from song to song and equally hit each track out of the park.

    This is such an ambitious, genre-blurring debut it's impossible to even imagine where Janelle will go from here. More of the same? Broadway? Her own theme park? No clue. But it'll be fun finding out where she'll be.

    This album really needs to be heard all the way through to get a good idea of how incredible it is, but here's Tightrope ([youtube][/youtube]) and Bebopbyeya with Emory Symphony Orchestra ([youtube][/youtube])

    I'm so tickled I got to see her in a small club performing this incredible album this year.
  • 10 best albums of 2010. Numbers 10-5

    Dez 15 2010, 5h54

    #10. The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night
    If you're at all familiar with Pink Floyd's The Wall, you might remember the song "Waiting For The Worms," which featured Beach Boys-like harmonies over the dark Floyd grooves and lead vocals through a bull horn. I read somewhere that Floyd tried to employ The Beach Boys on the actual track, but it didn't work out.
    Anyway, that interesting mix: summery harmonies and moody minor-key grooves, are all over The Besnard Lakes' 2010 release "The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night"
    The married duo of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas create these vast canvasses of space in which they hang their art - it's spacey and slow and intricate. Olga's voice plays well with Jace's and the guitar is crunchy and noisy and reverby and, well, it's the sort of thing that someone growing up listening to classic rock will instantly cling to.

    Watch "Albatross"

    #9. Broken Bells
    Broken Bells was supposed to be a one-off record by James Mercer and Danger Mouse. It has done well enough commercially that the two have decided to continue the collaboration. The album contains the songs "The Hard Road," which may be 2010's best single-that-doesn't-have-the-F-word-in-the-title.

    What's interesting is how both Danger Mouse and James Mercer's band The Shins failed to consistently live up to my expectations. Moments of sheer brilliance came from both in the past, but were usually followed, on the same disc, with real clunkers.

    Actually, Danger Mouse, in my mind, always works best as a collaborator. His work with Cee-Lo in Gnarls Barkley had been Danger Mouse's best work to date. But Broken Bells ventures further into the kind of indie rock I'm more comfortable with listening to.

    This album is chuck full of hooks, clever lyrics, interesting dynamics, various instrumentations and vocal stylings - yet it all feels cohesive together.

    I'm pleased that Broken Bells have publicly made plans to make a follow-up album, but it will be hard to beat this one.
    Check out their interactive "video" for October here:October

    #8. High Violet
    All our lonely kicks
    That make us saintly and thin
    We'll play nuns verses priests
    Until somebody wins

    -"Little Faith"

    Matt Berninger is a bit of a puzzle. His lyrics, as poetry, don't read very well. But as lyrics, they're evocative and paint an interesting canvas. Likewise, Berninger's singing is a bit monotonous and emotionless if isolated, but in the context of the music surrounding it - keeps the listener's attention fully rapt.

    This is The National's fifth album, but only the second I've heard.

    Berninger's baritone voice, which I mentioned is non-chalant and unemotional, disguises the fact that the National's music is driving, sonically challenging, and well, rather hard rocking at points. Especially of note is Bryan Devendorf's drumming, which can be subtle yet full of poly-rhythmic intricacies.

    The band reminds me of The Magnetic Fields, but put through an orch-pop blender by Neutral Milk Hotel and then siphoned through a Sufjan Stevens filter. (I'm sure that sentence makes sense to absolutely nobody, but I'm sticking with it.)

    The album rewards the repeat listener. What makes this album gorgeous can be easily overlooked on first blush, but the slow reveal is quite a glorious one.

    Great stuff.
    Watch "Bloodbuzz Ohio"

    #7. Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates
    A tribute to Hall & Oates made the ten best albums of the year. Chew on that. It's my list, and I'm not sure how I feel about that when looking at it in the abstract.

    While I loved the first Bird & The Bee album, I wasn't enamored with the 2009 follow-up Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future, nor was I impressed with singer Inara George's work with Van Dyke Parks, her 2009 solo album, or the 2010 Living Sisters album.

    But this collection of Hall & Oates songs shows The Bird And The Bee at their best. The title of the CD, calling Hall & Oates 'masters', isn't meant to be ironic: George and Greg Kurstin treat these songs as pop treasures, and in their able hands - Hall & Oates songwriting sounds like it could easily be in the same canon as Cole Porter, or at the very least, as good as anything that came out of the Brill Building.

    Inara George's vocals don't stray far from Daryl Hall (or John Oates on "She's Gone" and "Sara Smile"), but she sings the flourishes and embellishments effortlessly. In contrast, Hall usually would emphasize the effort in his singing. This emphasis gave the originals a swagger that the Bird & The Bee thankfully didn't try to replicate.

    The backing tracks here are more 8-bit than the originals ever were, but it doesn't exactly sound like an electronic album. Kurstin's always been able pull off this feat, and it here on a covers album, it brings these Philly blue-eyed soul songs into the 21st century, without straying to vastly far from the original charts.

    Seriously. A Hall & Oates tribute is among the ten best musical releases of 2010. And it was a good year for music.


    #6. Blood/Candy
    Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, the forces behind The Posies, have created a beautiful little masterpiece with their 2010 release of Blood/Candy.

    Big Star, the godfather and muse to the 1990's power pop movement, essentially passed the powerpop torch to The Posies when Auer and Stringfellow had been picked to join Alex Chilton for the Big Star revival in 2005.

    As Big Star looked to re-form this year with the original lineup, The Posies went back to being the Posies. Sadly, Alex Chilton passed away before Big Star could reunite at SXSW.

    This Posies record, released in September, sounds like it took a while to put together. These songs have been well-polished in the studio and tinkered with. Not to say that they're full of ornamentation, but each little 3 or 4 minute song is neat and tidy and perfectly wrapped.

    Back in the 90's, I had never been a fan of the Posies. I didn't dislike them - they just were pretty low on my radar. Music of similar ilk, however, (like Matthew Sweet, Jellyfish, Jason Falkner) was very much in my 5-disc cd changer for the majority of the decade.

    Blood/Candy doesn't quite have the crunchy guitar of 90's power pop. It feels more akin to something one of the Finn Brothers (eg. Crowded House) would have put out.

    Actually, the Neil Finn comparison is pretty good. The way that the Posies craft songs is very similar to the way Neil Finn has.

    There's nothing challenging or new about this album, mind you. This is pure ear candy. But the Posies, with Blood/Candy, have proven that they're master confectioners.

    Watch The Glitter Prize:

    #5. The Suburbs
    I have a strange relationship with Arcade Fire. Their second album, Neon Bible never clicked with me. The first album, Funeral I first heard after Neon Bible and its appeal was slow in coming.

    The Suburbs

    They're far more popular than I can fathom to understand: Their type of music is smart, brooding, complex and completely lacking in the ways of current popular music trends. Are they played on the radio? TV? I really don't know where enough people would hear this kind of music for it to gain as big of a fan base as they have been able to garner.

    But when I've heard them, I knew their music was good. It just wasn't clicking with me for some reason. (The band Broken Social Scene also falls into this category with me, but even more so.)

    I knew I was going to give The Suburbs a chance, especially after reading some of the early reviews.
    But the problem for me was that the music service I subscribe to - Rdio - hasn't worked out a licensing deal with Merge Records - so the way that I get 99% of my music didn't have The Suburbs, and so I just kept putting off and putting off hearing this album.

    Then someone (I think it was Dennis Laycock) posted a link to their interactive HTML5-driven video ( and I was hooked.

    The Arcade Fire do a great job of collecting songs along a theme, putting them together into a nice cohesive package, and creating a product where the album as a whole is stronger than any individual track. And I love albums. Especially in this 99¢-a-song world we've entered, the longer format is what I long to hear with every new release.

    But that being said, The Arcade Fire still don't quite sit well with me. I really have had to force myself to actively listen all the way through this album, otherwise the songs tend to blend together and lose meaning.

    For whatever reason, I'm not at all excited by the music to really want to actively listen. Even now. Even after a few dozen plays and recognizing the brilliance therein.

    I've put this in the list, and this high up, because I want to like this album. And I really adore Funeral now, so I'm thinking I'd kick myself later if I didn't list The Suburbs now.

    I still dislike Neon Bible, though.
  • My 1001 Album Journey....

    Abr 10 2010, 0h33

    I'm attempting to listen to every one of the "1001 Albums You Should Listen To Before You Die" this year. Each album, all the way through. At least once.
    This blog is my attempt to keep track of what I've listened to. Bold albums means I've heard it this year.

    0001. – Frank Sinatra | In The Wee Small Hours
    0002. – Elvis Presley | Elvis Presley
    0003. – The Louvin Brothers | Tragic Songs Of Life

    0004. – Louis Prima | The Wildest!
    0005. – Fats Domino | This is Fats
    0006. – Duke Ellington | Ellington At Newport

    0007. – Frank Sinatra | Songs For Swingin´ Lovers!
    0008. – The Crickets | The “Chirping” Crickets
    0009. – Count Basie | The Atomic Mr. Basie
    0010. – Thelonious Monk | Brilliant Corners
    0011. – Sabu | Palo Congo
    0012. – Miles Davis | Birth Of The Cool
    0013. – Machito | Kenya
    0014. – Little Richard | Here´s Little Richard
    0015. – Tito Puente And His Orchestra | Dance Mania, vol. 1
    0016. – Billie Holiday | Lady in Satin
    0017. – Jack Elliot | Jack Takes The Floor
    0018. – Sarah Vaughan | Sarah Vaughan At Mister Kelly´s
    0019. – Ella Fitzgerald | Sings The Gershwin Song Book
    0020. – Ray Charles | The Genius Of Ray Charles

    0021. – Miles Davis | Kind Of Blues
    0022. – Marty Robbins | Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs
    0023. – The Dave Brubeck Quartet | Time Out
    0024. – Joan Baez | Joan Baez
    0025. – Elvis Presley | Elvis Is Back
    0026. – Miriam Makeba | Miriam Makeba
    0027. – The Everly Brothers | A Date With The Everly Brothers
    0028. – Jimmy Smith | Back At The Chicken Shack
    0029. – Muddy Waters | Muddy Waters At Newport
    0030. – Bill Evans | Sunday At The Village Vanguard
    0031. – Ray Charles | Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music
    0032. – Booker T. And The M.G.s | Green Onions
    0033. – Stan Getz And Charlie Byrd | Jazz Samba
    0034. – Ray Price | Night Life

    0035. – The Beatles | With The Beatles
    0036. – Bob Dylan | The Freewheelin´ Bob Dylan
    0037. – Phil Spector | A Christmas Gift For You
    0038. – Sam Cooke | Live At The Harlem Square Club
    0039. – Charles Mingus | The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady
    0040. – James Brown | Live At The Apollo
    0041. – Stan Getz And João Gilberto | Getz / Gilberto
    0042. – The Beatles | A Hard Day´s Night
    0043. – Jacques Brel | Olympia 64
    0044. – Solomon Burke | Rock ´n´ Soul

    0045. – Dusty Springfield | A Girl Called Dusty
    0046. – The Rolling Stones | The Rolling Stones
    0047. – Buck Owens And His Buckaroos | I´ve Got A Tiger By The Tail
    0048. – Jerry Lee Lewis | Live At The Star Club Hamburg
    0049. – The Sonics | Here Are The Sonics
    0050. – Bob Dylan | Bringing It All Back Home
    0051. – Otis Redding | Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul
    0052. – The Beach Boys | The Beach Boys Today!
    0053. – John Coltrane | A Love Supreme
    0054. – B. B. King | Live At The Regal
    0055. – The Beatles | Rubber Soul
    0056. – Bert Jansch | Bert Jansch
    0057. – The Byrds | Mr. Tambourine Man

    0058. – Bob Dylan | Highway 61 Revisited
    0059. – The Who | My Generation
    0060. – The Beatles | Revolver
    0061. – The Beach Boys | Pet Sounds
    0062. – Fred Neil | Fred Neil
    0063. – The Byrds | Fifth Dimension

    0064. – Bob Dylan | Blonde On Blonde
    0065. – The Monks | Black Monk Time

    0066. – The Kinks | Face To Face
    0067. – The Mamas And The Papas | If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears
    0068. – Paul Revere And The Raiders | Midnight Ride
    0069. – The Mothers Of Invention | Freak Out
    0070. – The Rolling Stones | Aftermath
    0071. – Simon And Garfunkel | Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
    0072. – The 13th Floor Elevators | The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
    0073. – John Mayall´s Blues Breakers | John Mayalls Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton
    0074. – The Yardbirds | The Yardbirds

    0075. – Nina Simone | Wild Is The Wind
    0076. – Astrud Gilberto | Beach Samba
    0077. – Nico | Chelsea Girl

    0078. – The Beatles | Sgt. Pepper´s Lonely Hearts Club Band
    0079. – Country Joe And The Fish | Electric Music For The Mind And Body
    0080. – Buffalo Springfield | Buffalo Springfield Again
    0081. – Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band | Safe As Milk
    0082. – Moby Grape | Moby Grape
    0083. – Love | Da Capo
    0084. – The Beau Brummels | Triangle
    0085. – The Monkees | Headquarters
    0086. – Tim Buckley | Goodbye And Hello
    0087. – Love | Forever Changes
    0088. – Cream | Disraeli Gears
    0089. – Pink Floyd | The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
    0090. – The Who | The Who Sell Out

    0091. – The Velvet Underground | The Velvet Underground And Nico
    0092. – Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim | Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim
    0093. – The Doors | The Doors
    0094. – The Byrds | Younger Than Yesterday

    0095. – The Young Rascals | Groovin´
    0096. – Jefferson Airplane | Surrealistic Pillow
    0097. – The Kinks | Something Else By The Kinks
    0098. – Donovan | Sunshine Superman

    0099. – Merle Haggard | I´m A Lonesome Fugitive
    0100. – The Jimi Hendrix Experience | Are You Experienced
    0101. – The Electric Prunes | I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
    0102. – Loretta Lynn | Don´t Come Home A Drinkin´(With Lovin´On Your Mind)
    0103. – Shivkumar Sharma / Brijbushan Kabra / Hariprasad Chaurasia | Call Of The Valley
    0104. – The Velvet Underground | White Light / White Heat
    0105. – The Jimi Hendrix Experience | Axis: Bold As Love
    0106. – Aretha Franklin | I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You
    0107. – The Rolling Stones | Beggars Banquet
    0108. – Traffic | Traffic
    0109. – The Incredible String Band | The Hangman´s Beautiful Daughter
    0110. – The Kinks | The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society
    0111. – Ravi Shankar | The Sounds Of India
    0112. – Os Mutantes | Os Mutantes
    0113. – The Jimi Hendrix Experience | Electric Ladyland

    0114. – Leonard Cohen | The Songs Of Leonard Cohen
    0115. – Johnny Cash | Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison
    0116. – Laura Nyro | Eli And The Thirteenth Confession
    0117. – Aretha Franklin | Aretha: Lady Soul

    0118. – Blue Cheer | Vincebus Eruptum
    0119. – The Byrds | The Notorious Byrd Brothers
    0120. – Big Brother And The Holding Company | Cheap Thrills
    0121. – The United States Of America | The United States Of America
    0122. – Dr. John, The Night Tripper | Gris-Gris
    0123. – Iron Butterfly | In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
    0124. – The Pretty Things | S. F. Sorrow
    0125. – Simon And Garfunkel | Bookends
    0126. – The Small Faces | Ogden´s Nut Gone Flake
    0127. – The Band | Music From Big Pink

    0128. – Jeff Beck | Truth
    0129. – Caetano Veloso | Caetano Veloso
    0130. – Scott Walker | Scott 2
    0131. – The Zombies | Odessey & Oracle
    0132. – Van Morrison | Astral Weeks
    0133. – The Byrds | Sweetheart Of The Rodeo

    0134. – The Beatles | The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album)
    0135. – The Mothers Of Invention | We´re Only In It For The Money
    0136. – Neil Young With Crazy Horse | Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
    0137. – Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band | Trout Mask Replica
    0138. – Creedence Clearwater Revival | Bayou Country
    0139. – Crosby, Stills And Nash | Crosby, Stills And Nash
    0140. – Blood, Sweat And Tears | Blood, Sweat And Tears

    0141. – Flying Burrito Brothers | The Gilded Palace Of Sin
    0142. – Johnny Cash | Johnny Cash At San Quentin
    0143. – Creedence Clearwater Revival | Green River
    0144. – The Beatles | Abbey Road
    0145. – The Who | Tommy

    0146. – Miles Davis | In A Silent Way
    0147. – The Bee Gees | Odessa
    0148. – The Pentangle | Basket Of Light
    0149. – The Rolling Stones | Let It Bleed
    0150. – Nick Drake | Five Leaves Left

    0151. – Dusty Springfield | Dusty In Memphis
    0152. – Elvis Presley | From Elvis In Memphis
    0153. – The Velvet Underground | The Velvet Underground
    0154. – Quicksilver Messenger Service | Happy Trails
    0155. – Led Zeppelin | Led Zeppelin
    0156. – The Band | The Band
    0157. – Led Zeppelin | Led Zeppelin II

    0158. – MC5 | Kick Out The Jams
    0159. – The Temptations | Cloud Nine
    0160. – Sly And The Family Stone | Stand!

    0161. – Tim Buckley | Happy Sad
    0162. – Chicago | Chicago Transit Authority
    0163. – Fairport Convention | Unhalfbricking

    0164. – The Youngbloods | Elephant Mountain
    0165. – Isaac Hayes | Hot Buttered Soul
    0166. – The Grateful Dead | Live / Dead
    0167. – The Kinks | Arthur-Or-The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire
    0168. – King Crimson | In The Court Of The Crimson King

    0169. – Leonard Cohen | Songs From A Room
    0170. – Fairport Convention | Liege And Lief
    0171. – Scott Walker | Scott 4
    0172. – The Stooges | The Stooges
    0173. – Alexander Spence | Oar
    0174. – Frank Zappa | Hot Rats

    0175. – Creedence Clearwater Revival | Cosmo´s Factory
    0176. – Derek And The Dominos | Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs
    0177. – Miles Davis | Bitches Brew
    0178. – Spirit | Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus
    0179. – Black Sabbath | Black Sabbath
    0180. – The Doors | Morrison Hotel
    0181. – The Carpenters | Close To You

    0182. – Stephen Stills | Stephen Stills
    0183. – John Lennon | John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band
    0184. – Crosby, Stills, Nash, And Young | Déjà Vu
    0185. – Black Sabbath | Paranoid
    0186. – Neil Young | After The Gold Rush
    0187. – Led Zeppelin | Led Zeppelin III
    0188. – Deep Purple | In Rock
    0189. – Van Morrison | Moondance
    0190. – The Grateful Dead | American Beauty
    0191. – Nick Drake | Bryter Layter

    0192. – Ananda Shankar | Ananda Shankar
    0193. – The Who | Live At Leeds
    0194. – Soft Machine | Third
    0195. – Rod Stewart | Gasoline Alley
    0196. – George Harrison | All Things Must Pass
    0197. – Simon And Garfunkel | Bridge Over Troubled Water
    0198. – Baden Powell | Canto On Guitar
    0199. – Cat Stevens | Tea For The Tillerman

    0200. – The Stooges | Fun House
    0201. – James Taylor | Sweet Baby James
    0202. – Paul McCartney | McCartney
    0203. – Santana | Abraxas

    0204. – Syd Barret | The Madcap Laughs
    0205. – Jethro Tull | Aqualung
    0206. – David Crosby | If I Could Only Remember My Name
    0207. – Sly And The Family Stone | There´s A Riot Goin´On
    0208. – Marvin Gaye | What´s Going On
    0209. – Yes | The Yes Album
    0210. – The Bee Gees | Trafalgar
    0211. – The Who | Who´s Next
    0212. – Carole King | Tapestry

    0213. – Isaac Hayes | Shaft
    0214. – The Allman Brothers Band | At Fillmore East
    0215. – The Rolling Stones | Sticky Fingers
    0216. – John Lennon | Imagine
    0217. – The Beach Boys | Surf´s Up

    0218. – Yes | Fragile
    0219. – The Doors | L. A. Woman
    0220. – Can | Tago Mago
    0221. – Elton John | Madman Across The Water

    0222. – Dolly Parton | Coat Of Many Colors
    0223. – Don McLean | American Pie
    0224. – Emerson, Lake, And Palmer | Tarkus
    0225. – Led Zeppelin | Led Zeppelin IV
    0226. – Serge Gainsbourg | Histoire De Melody Nelson
    0227. – Rod Stewart | Every Picture Tells A Story

    0228. – Emerson, Lake, And Palmer | Pictures At An Exhibition
    0229. – Leonard Cohen | Songs Of Love And Hate
    0230. – Joni Mitchell | Blue
    0231. – Funkadelic | Maggot Brain
    0232. – Janis Joplin | Pearl
    0233. – Fela Ransome-Kuti And The Africa ´70 With Ginger Baker | Live!
    0234. – Faces | A Nod Is As Good As A Wink … To A Blind Horse
    0235. – Flamin´ Groovies | Teenage Head
    0236. – Gene Clark | White Light

    0237. – John Prine | John Prine
    0238. – Harry Nilsson | Nilsson Schmilsson
    0239. – T. Rex | Electric Warrior
    0240. – David Bowie | Hunky Dory
    0241. – Randy Newman | Sail Away
    0242. – Chico Buarque | Construção
    0243. – Big Star | No. 1 Record
    0244. – Black Sabbath | Black Sabbath Vol 4

    0245. – Steely Dan | Can´t Buy A Thrill
    0246. – Neil Young | Harvest
    0247. – Curtis Mayfield | Superfly
    0248. – Slade | Slayed?
    0249. – Deep Purple | Made In Japan
    0250. – Yes | Close To The Edge

    0251. – Lou Reed | Transformer
    0252. – Hugh Masekela | Home Is Where The Music Is
    0253. – Milton Nascimento E Lô Borges | Clube Da Esquina
    0254. – Todd Rundgren | Something / Anything?
    0255. – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band | Will The Circle Be Unbroken
    0256. – Stevie Wonder | Talking Book
    0257. – Stephen Stills | Manassas
    0258. – T. Rex | The Slider
    0259. – David Ackles | American Gothic
    0260. – The Eagles | Eagles

    0261. – Tim Buckley | Greetings From L.A.
    0262. – Nick Drake | Pink Moon
    0263. – Paul Simon | Paul Simon

    0264. – Roxy Music | Roxy Music
    0265. – Alice Cooper | School´s Out
    0266. – The Temptations | All Directions
    0267. – David Bowie | The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
    0268. – War | The World Is A Ghetto
    0269. – Al Green | Let´s Stay Together
    0270. – The Rolling Stones | Exile On Main St.

    0271. – Lynyrd Skynyrd | Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd
    0272. – Michael Viner´s Incredible Bongo Band | Bongo Rock
    0273. – David Bowie | Aladdin Sane
    0274. – King Crimson | Lark´s Tongues In Aspic

    0275. - Bob Marley And The Wailers | Catch A Fire
    0276. – Hawkwind | Space Ritual
    0277. – John Cale | Paris 1919
    0278. – Can | Future Days

    0279. – Lou Reed | Berlin
    0280. – Genesis | Selling England By The Pound
    0281. – Marvin Gaye | Let´s Get It On

    0282. – John Martyn | Solid Air
    0283. – Roxy Music | For Your Pleasure
    0284. – Faust | Faust IV
    0285. – Herbie Hancock | Headhunters
    0286. – Mott The Hoople | Mott
    0287. – Mike Oldfield | Tubular Bells
    0288. – Todd Rundgren | A Wizard, A True Star

    0289. – Elton John | Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
    0290. – Steely Dan | Countdown To Ecstasy
    0291. – Waylon Jennings | Honky Tonk Heroes
    0292. – Pink Floyd | The Dark Side Of The Moon
    0293. – Stevie Wonder | Innervisions
    0294. – ZZ Top | Tres Hombres
    0295. – Paul McCartney And Wings | Band On The Run
    0296. – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band | Next
    0297. – Alice Cooper | Billion Dollar Babies
    0298. – Iggy And The Stooges | Raw Power
    0299. – The Isley Brothers | 3 + 3
    0300. – New York Dolls | New York Dolls
    0301. - Eno | Here Come The Warm Jets
    0302. - Bad Company | Bad Company
    0303. - Genesis | The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
    0304. - Shuggie Otis | Inspiration Information
    0305. - Stevie Wonder | Fulfillingness´First Finale
    0306. - Eric Clapton | 461 Ocean Boulevard
    0307. - Kraftwerk | Autobahn
    0308. - Van Morrison | It´s Too Late To Stop Now
    0309. - Joni Mitchell | Court And Spark
    0310. - Queen | Queen II
    0311. - Roxy Music | Country Life
    0312. - Tangerine Dream | Phaedra
    0313. - Sparks | Kimono My House
    0314. - Supertramp | Crime Of The Century

    0315. - Richard And Linda Thompson | I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
    0316. - Gil Scott-Heron / Brian Jackson | Winter In America
    0317. - Queen | Sheer Heart Attack

    0318. - 10cc | Sheet Music
    0319. - Neil Young | On The Beach
    0320. - George Jones | The Grand Tour
    0321. - Gene Clark | No Other
    0322. - Steely Dan | Pretzel Logic
    0323. - Randy Newman | Good Old Boys
    0324. - Bob Marley And The Wailers | Natty Dread
    0325. - Robert Wyatt | Rock Bottom
    0326. - Gram Parson | Grievous Angel
    0327. - Eno | Another Green World
    0328. - The Dictators | Go Girl Crazy!
    0329. - Neu! | Neu! ´75
    0330. - Led Zeppelin | Physical Graffiti
    0331. - Keith Jarrett | The Köln Concert

    0332. - Aerosmith | Toys In The Attic
    0333. - David Bowie | Young Americans
    0334. - Burning Spear | Marcus Garvey
    0335. - Bruce Springsteen | Born To Run
    0336. - Emmylou Harris | Pieces Of The Sky
    0337. - Gilberto Gil e Jorge Ben Jor | Gil & Jorge – Ogum Xangô
    0338. - Joni Mitchell | The Hissing Of Summer Lawns
    0339. - Tom Waits | Nighthawks At The Diner
    0340. - R. D. Burman / Bappi Lahiri | Shalimar / College Girl
    0341. - Neil Young | Tonight´s The Night
    0342. - Bob Dylan | Blood On The Tracks
    0343. - Patti Smith | Horses
    0344. - Pink Floyd | Wish You Were Here
    0345. - Queen | A Night At The Opera

    0346. - Willie Nelson | Red Headed Stranger
    0347. - Earth, Wind And Fire | That´s The Way Of The World
    0348. - Curtis Mayfield | There´s No Place Like America Today
    0349. - Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers | Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
    0350. - The Modern Lovers | The Modern Lovers
    0351. - David Bowie | Station To Station
    0352. - Joni Mitchell | Hejira
    0353. - Boston | Boston
    0354. - Eagles | Hotel California

    0355. - Abba | Arrival
    0356. - Kiss | Destroyer
    0357. - Rush | 2112

    0358. - Jorge Ben | África / Brasil
    0359. - Joan Armatrading | Joan Armatrading
    0360. - Aerosmith | Rocks
    0361. - Parliament | Mothership Connection
    0362. - The Penguin Cafe Orchestra | Music From The Penguin Cafe
    0363. - Jean Michel Jarre | Oxygene
    0364. - Ramones | Ramones
    0365. - Fela Kuti And Afrika ´70 | Zombie
    0366. - Peter Tosh | Legalize It
    0367. - Stevie Wonder | Songs In The Key Of Life
    0368. - Peter Frampton | Frampton Comes Alive!

    0369. - Tom / Vinicius / Toquinho / Miúcha | Gravado Ao Vivo No Canecão
    0370. - Kraftwerk | Trans-Europe Express
    0371. - Billy Joel | The Stranger
    0372. - Bob Marley And The Wailers | Exodus
    0373. - Electric Light Orchestra | Out Of The Blue
    0374. - Weather Report | Heavy Weather
    0375. - Muddy Waters | Hard Again
    0376. - The Stranglers | Rattus Norvegicus
    0377. - The Clash | The Clash
    0378. - David Bowie | Low
    0379. - Steely Dan | Aja

    0380. - Wire | Pink Flag
    0381. - John Martyn | One World
    0382. - Talking Heads | Talking Heads:77
    0383. - Fleetwood Mac | Rumours
    0384. - David Bowie | “Heroes”

    0385. - Dennis Wilson | Pacific Ocean Blue
    0386. - Suicide | Suicide
    0387. - Iggy Pop | The Idiot
    0388. - Peter Gabriel | Peter Gabriel (I)
    0389. - Television | Marquee Moon
    0390. - Meat Loaf | Bat Out Of Hell
    0391. - Elvis Costello | My Aim Is True

    0392. - Iggy Pop | Lust For Life
    0393. - Ian Dury | New Boots And Panties!!
    0394. - Sex Pistols | Never Mind The Bollocks Here´s The Sex Pistols
    0395. - Pere Ubu | The Modern Dance
    0396. - Kraftwerk | The Man-Machine
    0397. - Blondie | Parallel Lines

    0398. - Elis Regina | Vento de Maio
    0399. - Pere Ubu | Dub Housing
    0400. - The Only Ones | The Only Ones
    0401. - Elvis Costello | This Year´s Model
    0402. - The Jam | All Mod Cons
    0403. - Joe Ely | Honky Tonk Masquerade
    0404. - The Adverts | Crossing The Red Sea With The Adverts
    0405. - Big Star | Third / Sister Lovers
    0406. - The Residents | Duck Stab / Buster And Glen
    0407. - Public Image Ltd. | Public Image
    0408. - Magazine | Real Life
    0409. - Bruce Springsteen | Darkness On the Edge Of Town
    0410. - Funkadelic | One Nation Under A Groove
    0411. - Throbbing Gristle | D.O.A. Third And Final Report
    0412. - Thin Lizzy | Live And Dangerous
    0413. - Talking Heads | More Songs About Buildings And Food
    0414. - Buzzcocks | Another Music In A Different Kitchen
    0415. - Van Halen | Van Halen
    0416. - Willie Colón And Ruben Bládes | Siembra
    0417. - The Cars | The Cars
    0418. - Devo | Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
    0419. - Dire Straits | Dire Straits

    0420. - The Saints | Eternally Yours
    0421. - Marvin Gaye | Here, My Dear
    0422. - Willie Nelson | Stardust
    0423. - Chic | C´est Chic
    0424. - X-Ray Spex | Germ Free Adolescents
    0425. - Brian Eno | Ambient 1: Music For Airports

    0426. - Siouxsie And The Banshees | The Scream
    0427. - AC / DC | Highway To Hell
    0428. - Sister Sledge | We Are Family
    0429. - Crusaders | Street Life
    0430. - The Germs | (GI)
    0431. - The B-52´s | The B-52´s
    0432. - Holger Czukay | Movies
    0433. - Police | Reggatta De Blanc
    0434. - The Fall | Live At The Witch Trials
    0435. - Talking Heads | Fear Of Music
    0436. - Joy Division | Unknown Pleasures
    0437. - Chic | Risqué
    0438. - The Undertones | The Undertones
    0439. - The Clash | London Calling
    0440. - Japan | Quiet Life
    0441. - Marianne Faithfull | Broken English
    0442. - The Slits | Cut
    0443. - Elvis Costello And The Attractions | Armed Forces
    0444. - Neil Young And Crazy Horse | Rust Never Sleeps
    0445. - Gang Of Four | Entertainment!
    0446. - Cheap Trick | At Budokan
    0447. - Fleetwood Mac | Tusk
    0448. - Pink Floyd | The Wall

    0449. - Public Image Ltd. | Metal Box
    0450. - Michael Jackson | Off The Wall
    0451. - The Damned | Machine Gun Etiquette
    0452. - Gary Numan | The Pleasure Principle
    0453. - The Specials | Specials
    0454. - Adam And The Ants | Kings Of The Wild Frontier
    0455. - Dexy´s Midnight Runners | Searching For The Young Soul Rebels
    0456. - AC / DC | Back In Black

    0457. - The Cramps | Songs The Lord Taught Us
    0458. - Dead Kennedys | Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
    0459. - Peter Gabriel | Peter Gabriel III (a.k.a. Melt)

    0460. - The Soft Boys | Underwater Moonlight
    0461. - The Cure | Seventeen Seconds
    0462. - Echo And The Bunnymen | Crocodiles
    0463. - Motörhead | Ace Of Spades
    0464. - Killing Joke | Killing Joke
    0465. - Judas Priest | British Steel
    0466. - The Circle Jerks | Group Sex
    0467. - Talking Heads | Remain In Light
    0468. - Joy Division | Closer
    0469. - Iron Maiden | Iron Maiden

    0470. - The Undertones | Hypnotised
    0471. - The Jam | Sound Affects
    0472. - Tom Waits | Heartattack And Vine
    0473. - UB40 | Signing Off
    0474. - The Teardrop Explodes | Kilimanjaro
    0475. - The Specials | More Specials
    0476. - Steve Winwood | Arc Of A Diver
    0477. - Pretenders | Pretenders

    0478. - Einstürzende Neubauten | Kollaps
    0479. - Siouxsie And The Banshees | Juju
    0480. - Heaven 17 | Penthouse And Pavement
    0481. - The Go-Gos | Beauty And The Beat
    0482. - Motörhead | No Sleep ´Til Hammersmith
    0483. - Soft Cell | Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
    0484. - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark | Architecture And Morality
    0485. - Brian Eno And David Byrne | My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts
    0486. - Black Flag | Damaged
    0487. - X | Wild Gift
    0488. - The Psychedelic Furs | Talk, Talk, Talk
    0489. - The Human League | Dare!
    0490. - The Gun Club | Fire Of Love
    0491. - Bauhaus | Mask
    0492. - Bobby Womack | The Poet
    0493. - Tom Tom Club | Tom Tom Club
    0494. - Rush | Moving Pictures
    0495. - Abba | The Visitors
    0496. - ABC | The Lexicon Of Love
    0497. - Prince | 1999

    0498. - Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five | The Message
    0499. - Elvis Costello And The Attractions | Imperial Bedroom
    0500. - The Cure | Pornography
    0501. - Dexys Midnight Runners | Too-Rye-Ay
    0502. - Simple Minds | New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84)
    0503. - Madness | The Rise And Fall
    0504. - Donald Fagen | The Nightfly
    0505. - Haircut One Hundred | Pelican West
    0506. - Kate Bush | The Dreaming

    0507. - Orange Juice | Rip It Up
    0508. - Michael Jackson | Thriller
    0509. - The Birthday Party | Junkyard
    0510. - Venom | Black Metal
    0511. - Bruce Springsteen | Nebraska
    0512. - Associates | Sulk
    0513. - Iron Maiden | The Number Of The Beast
    0514. - Duran Duran | Rio
    0515. - Violent Femmes | Violent Femmes

    0516. - Malcolm McLaren | Duck Rock
    0517. - Def Leppard | Pyromania
    0518. - R.E.M. | Murmur
    0519. - The The | Soul Mining
    0520. - Tom Waits | Swordfishtrombones
    0521. - The Blue Nile | A Walk Across The Rooftops
    0522. - Hanoi Rocks | Back To Mystery City
    0523. - Cyndi Lauper | She´s So Unusual
    0524. - Paul Simon | Hearts And Bones

    0525. - Echo And The Bunnymen | Porcupine
    0526. - ZZTop | Eliminator
    0527. - Eurythmics | Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
    0528. - U2 | War
    0529. - The Police | Synchronicity

    0530. - Meat Puppets | Meat Puppets II
    0531. - Culture Club | Colour By Numbers
    0532. - Frankie Goes To Hollywood | Welcome To The Pleasuredome
    0533. - Run-DMC | Run-DMC
    0534. - Sade | Diamond Life
    0535. - Cocteau Twins | Treasure
    0536. - Minor Threat | Out Of Step
    0537. - Van Halen | 1984
    0538. - Prince And The Revolution | Purple Rain
    0539. - The Replacements | Let It Be

    0540. - The Style Council | Café Bleu
    0541. - Tina Turner | Private Dancer
    0542. - Echo And The Bunnymen | Ocean Rain
    0543. - Minutemen | Double Nickels On The Dime
    0544. - Lloyd Cole And The Commotions | Rattlesnakes
    0545. - Youssou N´Dour | Immigrés
    0546. - Bruce Springsteen | Born In The USA

    0547. - The Fall | This Nation´s Saving Grace
    0548. - Abdullah Ibrahim | Water From An Ancient Well
    0549. - A-ha | Hunting High And Low
    0550. - Tears For Fears | Songs From The Big Chair
    0551. - Dire Straits | Brothers In Arms

    0552. - Prefab Sprout | Steve McQueen
    0553. - Mekons | Fear And Whiskey
    0554. - Big Black | Atomizer
    0555. - Suzanne Vega | Suzanne Vega
    0556. - The Pogues | Rum, Sodomy, And The Lash
    0557. - Kate Bush | Hounds Of Love
    0558. - The Smiths | Meat Is Murder
    0559. - Tom Waits | Rain Dogs
    0560. - The Jesus & Mary Chain | Psychocandy
    0561. - New Order | Low-Life

    0562. - Simply Red | Picture Book
    0563. - Dexy´s Midnight Runners | Don´t Stand Me Down
    0564. - Scritti Politti | Cupid And Psyche 85

    0565. - Elvis Costello And The Attractions | Blood And Chocolate
    0566. - Afrika Bambaataa And The Soul Sonic Force | Planet Rock – The Album
    0567. - Beastie Boys | Licensed To III

    0568. - Metallica | Master Of Puppets
    0569. - The The | Infected
    0570. - Nanci Griffith | The Last Of The True Believers
    0571. - Billy Bragg | Talking With The Taxman About Poetry
    0572. - Talk Talk | The Colour Of Spring
    0573. - Megadeth | Peace Sells… But Who´s Buying?
    0574. - Bon Jovi | Slippery When Wet
    0575. - Sonic Youth | Evol
    0576. - Slayer | Reign In Blood
    0577. - Throwing Muses | Throwing Muses
    0578. - Paul Simon | Graceland

    0579. - Run-DMC | Raising Hell
    0580. - XTC | Skylarking
    0581. - Steve Earle | Guitar Town
    0582. - Bad Brains | I Against I
    0583. - Anita Baker | Rapture
    0584. - The Smiths | The Queen Is Dead
    0585. - Peter Gabriel | So
    0586. - Anthrax | Among The Living
    0587. - Dinosaur Jr. | You´re Living All Over Me
    0588. - Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris | Trio
    0589. - Def Leppard | Hysteria
    0590. - R.E.M. | Document
    0591. - Prince | Sign O´The Times

    0592. - The Cult | Electric
    0593. - Depeche Mode | Music For The Masses
    0594. - The Sisters Of Mercy | Floodland
    0595. - George Michael | Faith
    0596. - Hüsker Dü | Warehouse: Songs And Stories
    0597. - Butthole Surfers | Locust Abortion Technician
    0598. - Astor Piazzolla And Gary Burton | The New Tango
    0599. - The Smiths | “Strangeways, Here We Come”
    0600. - Guns N´Roses | Appetite For Destruction
    0601. - The Jesus And Mary Chain | Darklands
    0602. - Ladysmith Black Mambazo | Shaka Zulu

    0603. - Laibach | Opus Dei
    0604. - Napalm Death | Scum
    0605. - Sonic Youth | Sister
    0606. - The Triffids | Calenture
    0607. - Michael Jackson | Bad
    0608. - Pet Shop Boys | Actually
    0609. - U2 | The Joshua Tree

    0610. - Terence Trent D´Arby | Introducing The Hardline ..
    0611. - The Pogues | If I Should Fall From Grace With God
    0612. - Leonard Cohen | I´m Your Man
    0613. - The Waterboys | Fisherman´s Blues
    0614. - Fishbone | Truth And Soul
    0615. - Everything But The Girl | Idlewild
    0616. - Living Colour | Vivid

    0617. - Mudhoney | Superfuzz Bigmuff
    0618. - R.E.M. | Green
    0619. - Happy Mondays | Bummed
    0620. - The Go-Betweens | 16 Lovers Lane
    0621. - Cowboy Junkies | The Trinity Session
    0622. - Tracy Chapman | Tracy Chapman
    0623. - My Bloody Valentine | Isn´t Anything

    0624. - Pixies | Surfer Rosa
    0625. - Metallica | …And Justice For All
    0626. - Dinosaur Jr. | Bug
    0627. - Dagmar Krause | Tank Battles
    0628. - K. D. Lang | Shadowland
    0629. - American Music Club | California
    0630. - Morrissey | “Viva Hate”

    0631. - Sonic Youth | Daydream Nation
    0632. - The Sugarcubes | Life´s Too Good
    0633. - Dwight Yoakam | Buenas Noches From A Lonely Room
    0634. - Jane´s Addiction | Nothing´s Shocking
    0635. - Public Enemy | It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
    0636. - Faith No More | The Real Thing
    0637. - Lenny Kravitz | Let Love Rule
    0638. - John Lee Hooker | The Healer
    0639. - New Order | Technique
    0640. - Madonna | Like A Prayer

    0641. - Queen Latifah | All Hail The Queen
    0642. - Spacemen 3 | Playing With Fire
    0643. - Firehose | Fromohio
    0644. - Beastie Boys | Paul´s Boutique

    0645. - The Young Gods | L´Eau Rouge
    0646. - John Zorn | Spy Vs. Spy: The Music Of Ornette Coleman
    0647. - The Stone Roses | The Stone Roses
    0648. - Neneh Cherry | Raw Like Sushi
    0649. - Baaba Maal And Mansour Seck | Djam Leelii
    0650. - Kate Bush | The Sensual World
    0651. - The Cure | Disintegration
    0652. - 808 State | 808:90
    0653. - Coldcut | What´s That Noise?
    0654. - Barry Adamson | Moss Side Story
    0655. - Aerosmith | Pump
    0656. - Pixies | Doolittle
    0657. - Bonnie Raitt | Nick Of Time
    0658. - Fugazi | Repeater
    0659. - Soul II Soul | Club Classic Vol. One
    0660. - De La Soul | 3 Feet High And Rising
    0661. - Janet Jackson | Rhythm Nation 1814
    0662. - Jungle Brothers | Done By The Forces Of Nature
    0663. - N.W.A. | Straight Outta Compton
    0664. - Cocteau Twins | Heaven Or Las Vegas
    0665. - The Shamen | En-Tact
    0666. - Deee-Lite | World Clique
    0667. - The La´s | The La´s
    0668. - The Black Crowes | Shake Your Money Maker
    0669. - Depeche Mode | Violator

    0670. - Pixies | Bossanova
    0671. - Megadeth | Rust In Peace
    0672. - Digital Underground | Sex Packets
    0673. - Pet Shop Boys | Behaviour

    0674. - Happy Mondays | Pills´N´Thrills And Bellyaches
    0675. - George Michael | Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1
    0676. - Neil Young And Crazy Horse | Ragged Glory
    0677. - Ice Cube | Amerikkka´s Most Wanted
    0678. - Jane´s Addiction | Ritual De Lo Habitual
    0679. - LL Cool J | Mama Said Knock You Out
    0680. - Public Enemy | Fear Of A Black Planet
    0681. - Sinéad O´Connor | I Do Not Want What I Haven´t Got
    0682. - A Tribe Called Quest | People´s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm
    0683. - Sonic Youth | Goo
    0684. - Ride | Nowhere
    0685. - My Bloody Valentine | Loveless
    0686. - Nirvana | Nevermind
    0687. - Crowded House | Woodface

    0688. - Cypress Hill | Cypress Hill
    0689. - Julian Cope | Peggy Suicide
    0690. - Gang Starr | Step In The Arena
    0691. - MC Solaar | Qui Sème Le Vent Récolte Le Tempo
    0692. - Jah Wobble And The Invaders Of The Heart | Rising Above Bedlam
    0693. - Red Hot Chili Peppers | Blood Sugar Sex Magik
    0694. - Ice-T | OG Original Gangster
    0695. - Mudhoney | Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge
    0696. - Public Enemy | Apocalypse ´91… The Enemy Strikes Black
    0697. - Caetano Veloso | Circuladô
    0698. - Pearl Jam | Ten
    0699. - Saint Etienne | Foxbase Alpha
    0700. - Sepultura | Arise
    0701. - Slint | Spiderland
    0702. - U2 | Achtung Baby
    0703. - The KLF | The White Room
    0704. - Massive Attack | Blue Lines
    0705. - Primal Scream | Screamadelica
    0706. - Teenage Fanclub | Bandwagonesque
    0707. - Metallica | Metallica
    0708. - Pavement | Slanted And Enchanted
    0709. - Aphex Twin | Selected Ambient Works 85-92
    0710. - Arrested Development | 3 Years, 5 Months And 2 Days In The Life Of Arrested Development
    0711. - Koffi Olomidé | Haut De Gamme – Koweït, Rive Gauche
    0712. - Morrissey | “Your Arsenal”
    0713. - Baaba Maal | Lam Toro

    0714. - Lemonheads | It´s A Shame About Ray
    0715. - Rage Against The Machine | Rage Against The Machine
    0716. - The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy | Hiphoprisy Is The Greatest Luxury
    0717. - K. D. Lang | Ingénue

    0718. - Dr. Dre | The Chronic
    0719. - R.E.M. | Automatic For The People
    0720. - The Pharcyde | Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde
    0721. - Spiritualized | Lazer Guided Melodies
    0722. - Sugar | Copper Blue
    0723. - Tom Waits | Bone Machine
    0724. - Sonic Youth | Dirty
    0725. - Stereo MCs | Connected
    0726. - Ministry | Psalm 69
    0727. - Tori Amos | Little Earthquakes
    0728. – Ice Cube | The Predator
    0729. – Pantera | Vulgar Display Of Power
    0730. – Alice In Chains | Dirt
    0731. – Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds | Henry´s Dream
    0732. - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan And Party | Devotional Songs
    0733. – P. J. Harvey | Dry
    0734. – Suede | Suede
    0735. – Paul Weller | Wild Wood
    0736. – The Smashing Pumpkins | Siamese Dream
    0737. – Auteurs | New Wave
    0738. – Liz Phair | Exile In Guyville

    0739. – The Afghan Whigs | Gentlemen
    0740. – Aimee Mann | “Whatever”
    0741. – Grant Lee Buffalo | Fuzzy
    0742. – Nirvana | In Utero
    0743. – Jamiroquai | Emergency On Planet Earth
    0744. – Pet Shop Boys | Very
    0745. - P. J. Harvey | Rid Of Me
    0746. – Blur | Modern Life Is Rubbish
    0747. – Sheryl Crow | Tuesday Night Music Club
    0748. – The Fall | The Infotainment Scan
    0749. – Wu-Tang-Clan | Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
    0750. – Björk | Debut
    0751. – Orbital | Orbital II
    0752. – Snoop Doggy Dogg | Doggystyle
    0753. – Sebadoh | Bubble And Scrape
    0754. – The Boo Radleys | Giant Steps
    0755. – William Orbit | Strange Cargo III
    0756. – Method Man | Tical
    0757. – Frank Black | Teenager Of The Year
    0758. – Girls Against Boys | Venus Luxure No 1 Baby
    0759. – Jeru The Damaja | The Sun Rises In The East
    0760. – Pavement | Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
    0761. – Portishead | Dummy
    0762. – The Sabres Of Paradise | Haunted Dancehall
    0763. – Nas | Illmatic
    0764. – Beastie Boys | III Communication
    0765. – Elvis Costello | Brutal Youth
    0766. – Morrissey | Vauxhall And I
    0767. – TLC | CrazySexyCool
    0768. – Oasis | Definitely Maybe
    0769. – Soundgarden | Superunknown
    0770. – The Offspring | Smash
    0771. – Drive Like Jehu | Yank Crime
    0772. – Blur | Parklife
    0773. – G. Love And Special Sauce | G. Love And Special Sauce
    0774. – Ai Farka Touré With Ry Cooder | Talking Timbuktu
    0775. – Hole | Live Through This
    0776. – Massive Attack | Protection

    0777. – Manic Street Preachers | The Holy Bible
    0778. – Suede | Dog Man Star
    0779. – The Notorious B.I.G. | Ready To Die
    0780. – Jeff Buckley | Grace
    0781. – Orbital | Snivilisation
    0782. – Nirvana | MTV Unplugged In New York
    0783. – Nine Inch Nails | The Downward Spiral
    0784. – The Prodigy | Music For The Jilted Generation
    0785. – Green Day | Dookie
    0786. – Foo Fighters | Foo Fighters
    0787. – Garbage | Garbage

    0788. – Nightmares On Wax | Smokers Delight
    0789. – Tricky | Maxinquaye
    0790. – Raekwon | Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
    0791. – The Smaching Pumpkins | Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness
    0792. – Rocket From The Crypt | Scream, Dracula, Scream!
    0793. – The Chemical Brothers | Exit Planet Dust
    0794. – Tupac | Me Against The World
    0795. – Elastica | Elastica
    0796. – Supergrass | I Should Coco
    0797. – Radiohead | The Bends
    0798. – Guided By Voices | Alien Lanes
    0799. – Femi Kuti | Femi Kuti
    0800. – The Verve | A Northern Soul
    0801. – Madredeus | Ainda
    0802. – Pulp | Different Class
    0803. – Leftfield | Leftism
    0804. – D´Angelo | Brown Sugar
    0805. – Oasis | (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
    0806. – Goldie | Timeless
    0807. – Alanis Morissette | Jagged Little Pill
    0808. – Screaming Trees | Dust
    0809. – Super Furry Animals | Fuzzy Logic
    0810. – Fatboy Slim | Better Living Through Chemistry

    0811. – Dr. Octagon | Dr. Octagonecologyst
    0812. – Stereolab | Emperor Tomato Ketchup
    0813. – Tortoise | Millions Now Living Will Never Die
    0814. – Beck | Odelay
    0815. – Belle And Sebastian | “Tigermilk”

    0816. – DJ Shadow | Endtroducing…
    0817. – Eels | Beautiful Freak
    0818. – The Divine Comedy | Casanova
    0819. – Fiona Apple | Tidal
    0820. – Wilco | Being There

    0821. – Sepultura | Roots
    0822. – Barry Adamson | Oedipus Schmoedipus
    0823. – Fun Lovin’ Criminals | Come Find Yourself

    0824. – Maxwell | Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite
    0825. – The Charlatans | Tellin’ Stories
    0826. – Manic Street Preachers | Everything Must Go
    0827. – Everything But The Girl | Walking Wounded
    0828. – Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds | Murder Ballads
    0829. – L. T. J. Bukem | Logical Progression
    0830. – Underworld | Second Toughest In The Infants
    0831. – The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion | Now I Got Worry
    0832. – The Cardigans | First Band On The Moon
    0833. – Marilyn Manson | Antichrist Superstar
    0834. – Fugees | The Score
    0835. – Ash | 1977
    0836. – Belle And Sebastian | If You´re Feeling Sinister
    0837. – Blur | Blur
    0838. – Radiohead | OK Computer

    0839. – Finley Quaye | Maverick A Strike
    0840. – Missy Misdemeanour Elliott | Supa Dupa Fly
    0841. – The Chemical Brothers | Dig Your Own Hole
    0842. – Primal Scream | Vanishing Point
    0843. – Robert Wyatt | Shleep
    0844. – David Holmes | Let´s Get Killed
    0845. – Sleater-Kinney | Dig Me Out
    0846. – Prodigy | The Fat Of The Land
    0847. – Buena Vista Social Club | Buena Vista Social Club

    0848. – Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds | The Boatman´s Call
    0849. – The Divine Comedy | A Short Album About Love
    0850. – Cornershop | When I Was Born For The 7th Time
    0851. – Daft Punk | Homework
    0852. – Robbie Williams | Life Thru A Lens
    0853. – Mariah Carey | Butterfly
    0854. – Carlinhos Brown | Alfagamabetizado
    0855. – Maria Bethânia | Âmbar
    0856. – Supergrass | In It For The Money
    0857. – Elliott Smith | Either / Or
    0858. – The Verve | Urban Hymns
    0859. – Spiritualized | Ladies And Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space
    0860. – The Dandy Warhols | The Dandy Warhols Come Down
    0861. – Bob Dylan | Live 1966
    0862. – Manu Chao | Clandestino
    0863. – Billy Bragg And Wilco | Mermaid Avenue
    0864. – Mísia | Garras dos Sentidos
    0865. – Fatboy Slim | You´ve Come A Long Way, Baby
    0866. – David Gray | White Ladder
    0867. – Lucinda Williams | Car Wheels On A Gravel Road
    0868. – Pulp | This Is Hardcore
    0869. – Madonna | Ray Of Light
    0870. – Lauryn Hill | The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
    0871. – Hole | Celebrity Skin
    0872. – Mercury Rev | Deserter´s Songs
    0873. – System Of A Down | System Of A Down
    0874. – Queens Of The Stone Age | Queens Of The Stone Age
    0875. – Air | Moon Safari
    0876. – Talvin Singh | OK
    0877. – Korn | Follow The Leader
    0878. – Khaled | Kenza
    0879. – Kid Rock | Devil Without A Cause
    0880. – Boards Of Canada | Music Has The Right To Children
    0881. – Suba | São Paulo Confessions
    0882. – XTC | Apple Venus Volume 1
    0883. – Skunk Anansie | Post Orgasmic Chill
    0884. – Incubus | Make Yourself
    0885. – The Magnetic Fields | 69 Love Songs

    0886. – Travis | The Man Who
    0887. – Slipknot | Slipknot
    0888. – Beth Orton | Central Reservation
    0889. – Nitin Sawhney | Beyond Skin

    0890. – Death In Vegas | The Contino Sessions
    0891. – Moby | Play
    0892. – The Flaming Lips | The Soft Bulletin

    0893. – Les Rythmes Digitales | Darkdancer
    0894. – Le Tigre | Le Tigre
    0895. – Eminem | The Slim Shady LP
    0896. – Britney Spears | …Baby One More Time
    0897. – Metallica | S&M
    0898. – Bonnie “Prince” Billy | I See A Darkness
    0899. – Shack | H.M.S. Fable

    0900. – Basement Jaxx | Remedy
    0901. – Red Hot Chili Peppers | Californication
    0902. – Sigur Rós | Ágætis Byrjun
    0903. – Doves | Lost Souls
    0904. – Air | The Virgin Suicides

    0905. – Ryan Adams | Heartbreaker
    0906. – Bebel Gilberto | Tanto Tempo
    0907. – M. J. Cole | Sincere
    0908. – Emmylou Harris | Red Dirt Girl
    0909. – Limp Bizkit | Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavored Water
    0910. – Radiohead | Kid A
    0911. – U2 | All That You Can´t Leave Behind
    0912. – Linkin Park | Hybrid Theory
    0913. – Elliott Smith | Figure 8
    0914. – Badly Drawn Boy | The Hour Of Bewilderbeast

    0915. – P. J. Harvey | Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
    0916. – Erykah Badu | Mama´s Gun
    0917. – Coldplay | Parachutes
    0918. – Common | Like Water For Chocolate
    0919. – Mike Ladd | Welcome To The Afterfuture
    0920. – Red Snapper | Our Aim Is To Satisfy
    0921. – Eminem | The Marshall Mathers LP
    0922. – Goldfrapp | Felt Mountain
    0923. – Giant Sand | Chore Of Enchantment

    0924. – Lambchop | Nixon
    0925. – Ute Lemper | Punishing Kiss
    0926. – Madonna | Music
    0927. – The Avalanches | Since I Left You
    0928. – Outkast | Stankonia
    0929. – Radiohead | Amnesiac
    0930. – Silver Jews | Bright Flight
    0931. – Björk | Vespertine
    0932. – Gorillaz | Gorillaz
    0933. – Ryan Adams | Gold
    0934. – Destiny´s Child | Survivor

    0935. – The Strokes | Is This It
    0936. – Gillian Welch | Time (The Revelator)
    0937. – Gotan Project | La Revancha Del Tango
    0938. – The White Stripes | White Blood Cells
    0939. – The Beta Band | Hot Shots II

    0940. – Jay-Z | The Blueprint
    0941. – Röyksopp | Melody A.M.
    0942. – Drive-By Truckers | Southern Rock Opera
    0943. – Super Furry Animals | Rings Around The World
    0944. – Jurassic 5 | Power In Numbers
    0945. – Wilco | Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
    0946. – Ms. Dynamite | A Little Deeper

    0947. – The Bees | Sunshine Hit Me
    0948. – Norah Jones | Come Away With Me

    0949. – Coldplay | A Rush Of Blood To The Head
    0950. – The Coral | The Coral
    0951. – Johnny Cash | American IV: The Man Comes Around
    0952. – The Flaming Lips | Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

    0953. – Doves | The Last Broadcast
    0954. – Missy Elliott | Under Construction
    0955. – Bruce Springsteen | The Rising
    0956. – Beck | Sea Change

    0957. – The Roots | Phrenology
    0958. – Justin Timberlake | Justified
    0959. – Yeah Yeah Yeah | Fever To Tell
    0960. – Radiohead | Hail To The Thief
    0961. – The White Stripes | Elephant
    0962. – Dizzee Rascal | Boy In Da Corner
    0963. – Outkast | Speakerboxx / The Love Below
    0964. – Kings Of Leon | Youth And Young Manhood
    0965. – The Mars Volta | De-loused In The Comatorium
    0966. – Lightning Bolt | Wonderful Rainbow
    0967. – Rufus Wainwright | Want One
    0968. – Scissor Sisters | Scissor Sisters
    0969. – Morrissey | You Are The Quarry
    0970. – Björk | Medúlla

    0971. – Mylo | Destroy Rock & Roll
    0972. – Brian Wilson | Smile
    0973. – The Icarus Line | Penance Soirée
    0974. – Arcade Fire | Funeral

    0975. – Devendra Banhart | Rejoicing In The Hands
    0976. – Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds | Abattoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus
    0977. – Franz Ferdinand | Franz Ferdinand
    0978. – Kanye West | The College Dropout
    0979. – Cee-Lo Green | Cee-Lo Green… Is The Soul Machine
    0980. – TV On The Radio | Desperate Youths, Blood Thirsty Babes
    0981. – Liars | They Were Wrong, So We Drowned
    0982. – The Streets | A Grand Don´t Come For Free
    0983. – Rufus Wainwright | Want Two
    0984. – The Zutons | Who Killed… The Zutons?

    0985. – The Killers | Hot Fuss
    0986. – Ozomatli | Street Signs
    0987. – Green Day | American Idiot
    0988. – Common | Be

    0989. – Richard Hawley | Coles Corner
    0990. – Antony & The Johnsons | I Am A Bird Now
    0991. – M.I.A. | Arular
    0992. – Sufjan Stevens | Illinoise
    0993. – Lupe Fiasco | Food & Liquor
    0994. – Ghostface Killah | Fishscale
    0995. – Christina Aguilera | Back to Basics
    0996. – Ali Farka Touré | Savane
    0997. – Muse | Black Holes & Revelations
    0998. – Artic Monkeys | Whatever People Say I Am, That´s What I´m Not
    0999. – Joanna Newsom | Ys
    1000. – Arcade Fire | Neon Bible
    1001. – The Good, The Bad & The Queen | The Good, The Bad & The Queen
  • TMBG at the Capitol

    Mar 14 2010, 21h53

    Sun 14 Mar – They Might Be Giants
    Kinda sleepy (as was the band), so these are just notes. I may or may not clean this up into a proper review.

    Songs performed:
    Bed Bed Bed
    Clap Your Hands
    I Never Go to Work
    Get Up And Go
    One Dozen Monkeys
    Pirate Girls 9
    Dr. Worm
    The Famous Polka
    I Am a Paleontologist
    Roy G. Biv
    [puppets come out and do their schtick to "free ride"]
    What Is A Shooting Star?
    High Five
    Why Does The Sun Shine?
    Particle Man
    Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

    813 Mile Car Trip
    Stalk Of Wheat
    The Alphabet of Nations

    free swag: #1 TMBG Foam fingers and bumper stickers that Flans handed to the kids
  • Get Back: The 21 best albums of the 21st century [part 2]

    Dez 3 2009, 13h52

    Get Back: The 21 best albums of the 21st century [part 2]

    The Beatles - Love [2006]
    It's like seeing the house you grew up in after it appeared on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." - the doors and windows are right where they should be, but the rest of the place looks brand new. Really? All you did was move the picture from the dining room into the kitchen? Well, it looks great in the kitchen!
    Anyway, that's how I felt about "Love," The Beatles' collaboration with Cirque Du Soleil. It's a greatest hits album, but mashed-up, remixed and the result is breathtaking. From a surprising new horn section on 'Drive My Car,' (taken from "Savoy Truffle") to much more major mashups ("Get Back" utilizes the opening guitar from "A Hard Day's Night", the drum and guitar solos from "The End", percussion from "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)", and the orchestral swell from "A Day in the Life") - the album is an inspired reinvention of a well-worn back catalog.
    Listen, Watch - "Get Back"

    Bruce Springsteen with the Sessions Band - Live In Dublin 2007

    Bruce Springsteen recorded a fun little album of his favorite Pete Seeger tunes with some folk musicians. The album was loose and carefree. At points, you can hear people shouting out the chord changes. It felt like sitting on a front porch with some very talented friends. Then Bruce took that group of musicians, spit-polished them, and put them on the road. He sculpted these breezy folk musicians in much the same way he did his E Street Band, and as a result, created the first turbo-powered arena folk band. Three concerts from Dublin were filmed and recorded, and the best of those three became this album as well as a DVD (and PBS pledge-drive favorite). As a fan of rock and roll, this is a very accessible way to get into some back-catalog Pete Seeger tunes...and as a folk fan, the re-imagining of the Springsteen originals (especially "Further On Up The Road") makes this live album great fun. The Dublin crowd seems to know every word to every song, and the band switches from celtic to bluegrass to New Orleans-gospel without skipping a beat.
    Listen, Watch "American Land"

    Atom & His Package - Hair:Debatable [2004]
    Hair: Debatable
    This Bryn Mawr chemistry teacher is everything I love about punk rock. Okay, I'm not a big punk rock fan. But Atom & His Package's sole member, Adam Goren, has captured my attention and I love his enthusiasm, spirit and humor. And it's all on display on his farewell-to-the-business live album from 2004. "I'm Downright Amazed (At What I Can Destroy With Just a Hammer)," my personal favorite, is performed with great skill and enthusiasm, as are "Pumping Iron For Enya," "Hats Off to Halford" and the rest of the set list. The audience is so close in the mix as to make this sound more like a bootleg, and one would expect nothing more from this bare-boned comic of Philly punk.
    LIsten, Watch '"(Lord It's Hard to be Happy When You're Not) Using the Metric System"

    Elliott Smith - Figure 8 [2000]
    Maybe I'd go along with the critics who didn't like this album as much as "XO," (Smith's album that preceded it) if I had heard "XO" first. But that's not how it worked for me. "Figure 8" was my introduction to Elliott Smith, and it has remained a perennial favorite ever since I first gave it a spin back in 2000. The guitars are brash yet subdued somehow, and Smith sings like he's trying not to wake up his roommate in the room next door. The melodies are more inventive than they first appear, and the song title sequencing makes the track listing sound like a conversation: [ "Everything Reminds Me of Her" "Everything Means Nothing to Me" ; "I Better Be Quiet Now" "Can't Make a Sound" "Bye"]. A side note, this is the first of two albums in my list that have a song about Mary Kay Letourneau. I guess she inspires great art. Hmph.
    Listen, watch "Son of Sam" -

    Solomon Burke - Don't Give Up on Me [2002]
    Don't Give Up On Me
    I had Johnny Cash's American recordings on this list, until I remembered this gem by Solomon Burke. The two are not without their similarities. Burke, like Cash, was a houshold name from the 60s that spent much of the intervening decades recording second-rate material only to return to form with great songs written by heavy hitters, and stripped-down production that allows us to hear every crag and croak in these senior citizens' voices. But while Johnny Cash's American recordings span 5 albums, Burke managed to capture the same excellence in just one. Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits were among the songwriters who contributed a new song for this album, and the still none of the songs shine brighter than Burke does.
    Listen, watch "None of Us Are Free"

    The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love [2009]
    In an era of 99¢ songs, where the single has trumped the album, and the attention span for long works has diminished to almost non-existence, it's a wonder that The Decemberists would put out a rock opera. Telling a single story over the course of an hour of a shape-shifting deer, the queen of the forest, a pregnant damsel in distress, all as told by an infanticidal rapist of a narrator...well, okay, it's better than I can describe it, really. This album really rocks. It gets downright metal at moments, even if the lyrics would have gotten you beaten up in gym class if recited ("And we'll lie awake 'til the corn crake crows/bereft the weight of our summer clothes"). If you've known me on facebook at all over the course of this last year, you'll know that I think this is quite possibly the best album I've ever heard, period. So, it should be no surprise that I've listed it.
    Listen, watch 'The Hazards of Love, pt 1'
  • Step Into My Office, Baby: The best albums of the last ten years [part one]

    Nov 29 2009, 17h24

    Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress [2003] What I always liked about the voice of Belle & Sebastian's lead singer, Stuart Murdoch, was that he sounded much like Ray Davies of THE KINKS. And what I like about "Dear Catastophe Waitress" is that it has a subtle precious vibe to it reminicent of the Kinks' "Village Green Preservation Society." -- The songs have a sentimentality and sense of humor that seems very local.
    And while songs like "Piazza, New York Catcher" may not be the most timeless of tracks, "If She Wants Me" or "Wrapped Up In Books" certainly are.
    It still surprises me that Trevor Horn produced this album. The former lead singer of Yes and the Buggles who produced with bombast throughout the 80s and 90s (Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Seal, Yes), was able to turn it down a notch for the better-than-twee indie hipsters from Glasgow. And while I'm currently kind of tired of their sound - this album did play as soundtrack to much of the last ten years for me.
    Listen, watch "I'm A Cuckoo"

    Goldfrapp - Supernature [2006]
    While Madonna's output of the decade mostly disappointed, and Britney's pop ingenuity was mostly overshadowed by her personal life - Goldfrapp delivered. If you're not familiar with Goldfrapp, think Madonna channelling Edith Piaf in a subterranean East Berlin discotheque in the late 70s.
    Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory debuted in 2000 with the equally excellent "Felt Mountain" - which has a smoky caberet feel to it. But 2006 saw them crank it up and simplify to create some great grooves and moments of pop brilliance. There's nothing overly complex or thoughtful on this album, but it's laden with timeless sultry hooks that make you think about things to do when the lights turn off.
    Listen, watch:
    - "Number 1"
    - "Ooh La La"

    Laura Veirs - Saltbreakers [2007]
    Let me start off this by saying that this really was the decade of Nonesuch records. You could pick any ten records that the label put out this decade and have a compelling list of great music...This is my first Nonesuch on the list, but more is to come.
    That said, Seattlite geologist-turned-rocker Laura Veirs blew me away with "Saltbreakers" in 2007.
    Laura's guitar playing reminds me of Bill Frisell: A clean sound with long sustains and drones....A lazy rhythm guitar that occasional forget that it's playing the lead. Laura's voice is almost conversational, especially in her enunciations. It has a disarming effect and makes you eager to hear each next confession within the album. There are no sleepers here: from the dreamy "To The Country" to the rollicking sing-along of the title track - each song captures your attention and imagination.
    Listen, watch "Pink Light" -
  • The Hazards of Live

    Jun 2 2009, 11h32

    Mon 1 Jun – The Decemberists, Blind Pilot

    Set One:
    The Hazards of Love, in its entirety. With guest vocalists Shara Worden and Becky Stark.

    Set Two:
    Leslie Ann Levine
    We Both Go Down Together
    Billy Liar
    Yankee Bayonet *with Shara Worden
    Dracula's Daughter a/k/a "The worst Song I've ever written. Please don't share this on Youtube"
    O Valencia!
    Sixteen Military Wives
    Crazy On You [Heart cover] with Shara and Becky.

    Eli, the Barrow Boy
    Sons and Daughters

    I was having a tough time explaining to my lovely wife, who joined me to see this concert, why I felt like a giddy 15-year-old boy at the show.

    The Hazards of Love is an amazing rock-opera concept album. And from the first listen, it was my favorite among favorites: I grew up on prog rock, and most of my favorite albums tell twisted incomprehensible stories and there's no breaks between the songs. So to see The Hazards of Love performed in its enirety, with no breaks between songs, no introductions or banter, no breaks to tune a bouzouki or to get a bottle of water - well, it was something I'd missed out on by being just a bit too young with the concept albums of yore. I never saw Pink Floyd perform "The Wall" or Genesis do "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway."

    And The Decemberists, much like Genesis with their "Lamb" tour, seem poised on the precipice of something much bigger. We saw them at the moderately sized Lifestyles Community Pavilion, but I have a suspicion that their next tour will be played to arenas.

    As for the music, The Hazards of Love was performed note-for-note perfect. Only on the high notes on The Hazards of Love 2 (Wager All) did Colin's voice falter. He reached the notes, but didn't hold them as long.
    But what a treat is was to see their guest vocalists.

    Becky Stark as Margaret looked every bit like the Princess Buttercup that her voice sounds like. She was lovely and ethereal, and wore a white dress that drew all eyes to her on the dark and gloomy stage.

    Shara Worden was a shock. Her soulful vocals as the Queen are an amazing bit of rock and roll, but on stage she brings a sexual energy to the performance that I wasn't expecting. She has this amazingly sultry alto voice, full of vim and soul, yet looks like Columbia from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I'm going to have to check out some My Brightest Diamond now (her band).

    Jenny Conlee rocked on the organ and accordion. My wife accused me of having a crush on her. I told Shannon that my crush extended to the rest of the band.

    Nate Query is the band's bassist. He looks like he should be a CEO for a small upstart green-friendly corporation. Perhaps it was the fact that he looked the most comforatble in a tie, and had the most respectable haircut. Query is the unsung hero in this band. His bass parts are fun and full of melody, and are every bit as interesting as Chris Funk's guitar work.

    Funk, the unlikely rock god that he is, seems to have taken a class out of the Robert Fripp School of Rock Stars, by hiding in the shadows for much of the show, often facing away from the stage. Not exactly a showboating ham, but his musicianship is first class.

    John Moen, the drummer, reminded me of Max Weinberg in the sense that he could play these incredible beats and polyrhythms and not look like he's exerting much energy at all. His backing vocals seemed to be spot-on, although slightly too low in the mix for most of the night.

    Colin Meloy needed a haircut. Shannon thought he was wearing a hat, since his bangs had gotten to "Shaggiest Sheepdog" length. But as I mentioned before, he's incredible as a singer. The guy must be a dream to work with in the studio, since he seems able to nail the vocals 99.9% of the time, in pitch with the right inflection and emotion.

    The rest of the band, too, were much like that: Its as if last night was proof that they recorded "Hazards of Love" in the studio in one take (they didn't). Very few flubbed notes, missed beats, etc.

    This does mean that the band live is more like Rush or Yes than say, Phish: There wasn't much room for improv in the songs. A few songs in the second set were a bit less structured and allowed the band to breathe a bit, but for the most part, the songs were played with a laser-like precision.

    Highlights from set one:
    The Rake Song, where all but Query and Meloy got to bang on tomtom drums in unison, reminding me of a cross between Donnie Iris' "Love is Like a Rock" and Spinal Tap's "Big Bottom"

    Jenny Conlee's amazing hard-rock organ solo on The Queen's Rebuke/The crossing, along with the ghostly background vocals by Jenny and Becky behind the voluptuous lead vocals by Shara Worden.

    Set Two opened with Leslie Ann Levine, and then got a bit casual. After Leslie, Colin said, "Hi. We're The Decemberists. In case you weren't already of aware of that, you've now seen quite a good deal of us." He then went on to explain how easily they could be confused with the Kings of Leon, who were "back stage"

    Set two included "Dracula's Daughter" - which Colin said was the worst song he'd ever written. It included a line something like "And you think you've got it bad/She's got Dracula for a dad"

    Shara Worden came back out for Yankee Bayonet and did her best Laura Veirs imitiation.

    Sixteen Military Wives became a massive sing along, with the left half of the crowd singing the melody; the right half singing the harmony. Colin then asked the balcony to sing the incredibly low bass line, and then chastised them after they attempted to sing it.

    Set two ended with a cover of Heart's "Crazy on You" sung by Shara Worden and Becky Stark. Becky Stark wailed on the high notes, proving she could rock harder than Meloy allowed her to do on "Hazards." Chris Funk seemed to really enjoy himself on the tasty Nancy Wilson guitar parts.

    Eli the Barrow Boy was the first encore, and the show ended with "Sons and Daughters" - another one that allowed the crowd to sing along to the line "Hear all the bombs fade away" over and over. Many of which were still singing it as the lights came on and the crowd faded away.

    A fabulous show. I can't imagine that many songs from "Hazards" will be played on future tours, so I feel honored to have been able to witness it performed in its entirety.

    [to be proofread and revised]