YEAR END LISTS: ARTIST’S EDITION

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SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU BORIS YELTSIN (Phil Dickey)

1. New Monsters Collective- Spaceland
2. The ACB’s – Stona Rosa
3. Nerves Junior-As Bright As Your Neon Light
4. Double Wedding
5. The North Decade- What You’d Give Up Tomorrow You’ll Pay For Today
6. Telekinesis- 12 Desperate Straight Lines
7. Lonely Forest- Arrows
8. Ha HA Tonka- Death of a Decade
9. Yellow Ostrich- The Mistress 
10. Dolfish- Your Love is Bumming Me Out

(#4 is a song I recorded with some 3rd graders at an elementary school songwriting camp)

Best thing that happened to you in 2011:
I went to the dentist for the first time since 9/11/2001 and the Pujols trade.

What you’re looking forward to in 2012:
Free Energy
Dragon Inn 3 (my nu thang)
Ghoul School (a new movie by Brook Linder)
Truth and Justice for the 3 missing women
When Vitamin Water buys out Pitchfork and Yeltsin headlines VitaminWaterFest

Best Holiday memory from when you were a kid:
I got a dope David and Goliath action figure set one year.

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THE SPINTO BAND

Music We Liked From This Year:

Mike Quinn – Magico
Key Losers – California Lite
Generationals – Actor Castor
Langor – Ladyblade
They Might Be Giants – Spoiler Alert

Music we liked this year that came out in another year:

Penguin Cafe Orchestra – Penguin Cafe Orchestra
Al Green – Tired of Being Alone
Sybylle Baier – Tonight
Raymond Scott – Soothing Sounds for Baby
John Prine – In Spite of Ourselves
The Would-Be-Goods –  The Camera Loves Me
Nina Simone – Little Girl Blue
Pic-Nic – Callate Niña
Konono Nº1 – Congotronics
Billy Meshel – I Blew It

Best thing that happened to you in 2011:

I lived through 11/11/11 the last fully binary day of our lifetime (when you write out the date). also, I found out that every year 11/11 is national corduroy appreciation day. – nick

What you’re looking forward to in 2012:

Releasing our new album, Shy Pursuit and all the fun stuff that comes with that.

Best Holiday memory from when you were a kid:

Eating cookies my mom makes, some are little meringue things, others are balls that have powder sugar on em, and some are just sugar cookies. now she has started making springerle cookies…which are the best holiday cookie ever created. i’m learning how to make em this year…so that will be nice. – nick

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Aaron Pfenning (Rewards, ex-Chairlift)

Top 10 songs

1. Phantogram – “Don’t Move”
2. YACHT – “I Walked Alone”
3. Blood Orange – “Champagne Coast”
4. Class Actress – “Weekend”
5. Discodeine – “Synchronized”
6. Grimes – “Oblivion”
7. Holy Ghost! – “Hold My Breath”
8. Drake – “HYFR”
9. Slowdance – “Les Reines”
10. Beyoncé – “Party”

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CASEY SHEA

#1 has to be “Rolling In The Deep.” Though thanks to modern American
radio playlists, I’ve heard it so many times in the last year, I’ve
developed a strong hatred for it. But there is no denying it’s one of the
best songs in the past few years. Great production, great songwriting,
great execution….and of course, a tremendous vocal.

Bon Iver – “Holocene”
The Strokes – “Gratisfaction”
Foo Fighters – “Rope”
Tally Hall – “A Hymn For A Scarecrow”
Young The Giant – “My Body”
Noel Gallagher – “The Death Of You And Me”
Foster The People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
Beyonce – “Love On Top”
Britney Spears – “Till The World Ends”

Best thing that happened to you in 2011: Only having a few chipped teeth
as a result of diving into shallow water.

What you’re looking forward to in 2012: More touring…stateside and abroad!

Best Holiday memory from when you were a kid: In 1989, it snowed in
Florida a couple of days before Christmas. It was the first and only
white Christmas I’ve had in Florida to this day.
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ARMS (Todd Goldstein)

1. Wild Beasts – Smother

I was initially suspicious of Wild Beasts’ new album – too much space, too few “songs”, the weirdness of their past albums somehow lost… but somewhere in there I fell in love. Smother is sexy and strange and immaculately produced and arranged – it’s also ineffably sad, and it’s that just-out-of-reach tone that kept me searching the sound, coming back to this album over and over again this year.

2. Nicolas Jaar – Space is Only Noise

3. Bon Iver – Bon Iver

4. Richard Buckner – Our Blood

5. Kate Bush – 50 Words for Snow

6. Sandro Perri – Impossible Spaces

7. Robag Wruhme – Thora Vukk

8. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

9. Liturgy – Aesthethica

10. James Blake – James Blake

Best thing that happened to you in 2011: After months of work and struggle, we self-released our new album, Summer Skills. I just got a new tattoo to celebrate!

What you’re looking forward to in 2012: Touring, and writing more songs.

Best Holiday memory from when you were a kid: The absolute, all-encompassing joy I felt upon receiving Mario Bros 3 for Chanukah. I had just seen “The Wizard” with Fred Savage, and this was pretty much the best present a 10-year-old could ask for. I think I cried with joy, which is retrospect is kind of weird.

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WOODEN BIRDS (Leslie Sisson)

Josh T Pearson – Last of the Country Gentlemen
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Wye Oak – Civillian
Real Estate – Days
Telekinesis – Desperate Straight Lines
Little Light – The Winter EP
Dan Mangan – Oh Fortune
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine
Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
St Vincent – Strange Mercy

I’ve known Josh T Pearson since I was a teenager.  He’s always been an inspiration to me in music and life.  The man lives and breathes every note he plays, every word he sings, every soul he swoons.  I’m in awe of his talents and spirit.  Instead of breaking rules, he makes new ones.  Texas is the reason and Last of the Country Gentlemen is the way home.

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JUKEBOX THE GHOST (Tommy Siegel)

Note: These aren’t really in any particular order (because music isn’t a competition, duh).

Deerhoof – “Deerhoof vs. Evil”….Like 2007’s ‘Friend Opportunity’, this album is tied for being Deerhoof’s most ‘produced’ sounding record, but still has its moments of chaos.  If Deerhoof isn’t your favorite band on the planet yet, check out their free live record, “99% Upset Feeling” that was released as a companion piece this year (and then buy everything they’ve put out from ‘Reveille’ onward).  My personal favorite band of the new millennium, and while not my favorite of theirs, “Deerhoof vs. Evil” is a stellar addition to their discography with some totally banging singles.

Delicate Steve – “Wondervisions”….An album of spastic, world-influenced guitar-led instrumentals that breathe and climax in ways that have been largely forgotten by indie rock.  Some of my favorite background music ever.  Wonderful ‘vibes’ (pardon the phrase) all around.

Yellowbirds – “The Color”….Sam Cohen’s debut ‘solo’ record (guitarist of Apollo Sunshine), and the results are brilliant.  Great songs, wonderful guitar playing, and a sound and mood that nobody else is occupying at the moment.  This album is total musical poetry to me.

TV on the Radio – “Nine Types of Light”….Great songs, great album, great band.  Future music worthy of the hype.

They Might Be Giants – “Join Us”….As silly and scatterbrained as any of their early records, ‘Join Us’ managed to worm its way into my brain in ways I wasn’t expecting.  “When Will You Die?” belongs on a list of top 10 songs John Linnell has ever written.

Jay Z/Kanye West – “Watch the Throne”….No explanation really necessary here.

Grateful Dead – “Europe 72, Vol. 2″….I love the Grateful Dead.  Accept this as something you can’t change and move on (I know you’re angry).  This album was released as a companion to “Europe ’72”, an album I’ve worn out from spinning over and over again.  The hour-long Dark Star/Drums/The Other One that makes up the bulk of the second disc is hypnotic and otherworldly.  And the ‘Playing’ that closes the first disc totally shreds.

Ahleuchatistas – “Location, Location”…Reduced to a duo for this record, they’ve trimmed away a lot of their old math-rock tendencies (which I also loved) and emerged with something resembling an instrumental political/noise/punk/free-jazz record.  A great (and totally overlooked) record that belongs in anyone’s collection who likes adventurous and ugly guitar playing.

Fleet Foxes – “Helplessness Blues”….I didn’t love self-titled, but this album is gorgeous and imaginative.  In spite of being the type of band that you could claim was heavily and directly influenced by other bands (CSNY, Simon and Garfunkel, etc etc), they’ve really created their own world on this album and I love hanging out in it.

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – “Mirror Traffic”….To put it bluntly, this album sounds like Pavement.  So therefore, it’s really, really great.  “Senator” is one of the funniest and best songs I’ve heard all year….And though I’d like to say only Stephen Malkmus can get away with singing a chorus with the lyric “I know what the senator wants: what the senator wants is a blowjob”, I think I’m just mad that he thought of it first.

White Denim – “D”….Between Yellowbirds, Deerhoof, Delicate Steve, and White Denim, it’s really good to hear aggressive and tasteful guitar playing.  With all of the shoegazey/dreamy stuff going on, it’s incredibly refreshing to hear a band that kinda sounds like…well…Yes.  Proggy and loopy, with some great guitar playing and solid songwriting.  I’m a new convert to White Denim.

St. Vincent – “Strange Mercy”….I didn’t fall for it quite like ‘Actor’, but this record is still great.  St. Vincent is going to be making great records for decades to come (I have a hunch), so you might as well jump on the bandwagon now.

Deleted Scenes – “Young People’s Church of the Air”….One of my friends said it best when he described the sound of this album as ‘one of the best albums you’ve ever heard playing in another room’.  While their live performances are totally in-your-face indie rock a la other DC icons the Dismemberment Plan, this album is really subdued and beautiful.  ‘Bedbedbedbedbed’ is such an amazing song.  This album should be vastly more popular and you should buy it immediately.

Tereu Tereu – “NW EP”….’Savage Love’ is one of the sickest rock songs I’ve heard all year (in every sense of the word SICK), and the EP is great from top-to-bottom.  Heavily DC-influnced, with delicious little bits of Medications, Fugazi, and D-Plan.  Totally stoked for their next full-length….And NOT just because they’re my friends.  I swear.

Norwegian Arms – “Trimming of Hides EP”/”Sibir EP”….Once again, another friend….But I happen to know a lot of people making great music, OK??  Analog-made freak folk with unusual percussion and tastes of what I would describe as a more spastic Neutral Milk Hotel.  I WANT A FULL LENGTH ALBUM FROM YOU, BRENDAN…OK?  But in the meantime, get these EPs because they’re sick.

Trawler – “Northern Star EP”….Dear friend of mine, recorded in Nashville.  Old school folk music with some 60s rock influence thrown in.  ‘Kill Olympia’ is unreal.  I’ll wait and bestow more praise when the full-length comes out.

 Honorable mentions….

The Psychic Paramount – “II”

Hella – “Tripper”

Tuneyards – “Whokill”

Cave – “Neverendless”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – “It’s a Corporate World”

Traffique – “Endless Weekend Mixtape”

Kate Bush – “50 Words for Snow”

Trouble Books and Mark McGuire – “s/t”

Radiohead – “The King of Limbs”

Marissa Nadler – “s/t”

Joe Lally – “Why Should I Get Used to It”

Joan of Arc – “Life Like”

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THE DEMON BEAT (Tucker Riggleman)

10) Time New Viking – Dancer Equired
9) Pujol – Nasty, Brutish, and Short
8) Yuck – Yuck
7) Stephen Malkmus & The Jick – Mirror Traffic
6) Fucked Up – David Comes To Life
5) OFF! – First Four EPs
4) Tyler, The Creator – Goblin
3) The Black Keys – El Camino
2) Bon Iver – Bon Iver
1) JEFF the Brotherhood – We Are The Champions

JEFF the Brotherhood are so fucking loud, it’s awesome. We got to play with them back in August and it ruled. One of the best live shows around.

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WYLDLIFE (Spencer Alexander)

10. The Rotten Jazz Quartet “Sing Damnit”
These guys have such a unique sound and draw from so many different influences. Its like a real rockabilly Tom Waits on acid.

9. Fleet Foxes “Helplessness Blues”
Good stuff to relax to.

8.V THE VIPER “IIIIV (ONE)”
Some good mash-ups for when you’re in the mood to party.

7. The Downtown Struts “Sail the Seas Dry”
These dudes take the punk rock road that bands like Social D, Rancid, and NoFX, paved and take it step further.

6. The Rolling Stones “Some Girls Reissue”  I guess this doesn’t really count but I’m so into the tune “No spare parts” which TECHNICALLY  is new.
5.Porches “Scrap and Love Songs Revisted”
My buddy Aaron is one of the most talented people I know.

4.Biters “All Chewed Up”
This band is one of the tightest I have ever seen. See them live.

3.Social Distortion “Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes”
This is my all time favorite band, so they are automatically guaranteed a spot in the top three. I’ve been waiting for this album for so long.

2.Liquor Store “Yeah Buddy”
These guys fuckin’ rule. Really epic punk songs.

1.The Booze “At Maximum Volume”
I’m sorry to say that these guys have recently disbanded. This was my album of the summer, I wore this thing out.

Best thing that happened to me in 2011:
 The best thing that happened to me in 2011 was releasing our first full length album. We are all so proud of that sucker, and its been getting a good response which is all we can ask for. Also, opening for CJ Ramone at Webster Hall was so cool. I can remember listening to the album “Mondo Bizarro” on cassette,which he played and sang on when I was 12, so to be able to share the stage with him was surreal.

In 2012 I’m looking forward to finally getting on the road again. We haven’t toured in a dog’s age.

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ANTHONY D’AMATO

1. The Low Anthem – Smart Flesh
2. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
3. The Felice Brothers – Celebration, Florida
4. Bright Eyes – The People’s Key
5. Blind Pilot – We Are the Tide
6. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
7. Sam Roberts – Collider
8. Chris Bathgate – Salt Year
9. Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire
10. Jessica Lea Mayfield – Tell Me

Best thing that happened to me in 2011: My first UK tour was undoubtedly a major highlight of the year. The crowds were amazing, and I couldn’t have asked for better traveling companions than Jesse Malin & the St. Marks Social.

What I’m Looking Forward to in 2012: Releasing my new album! Recording’s almost done and I’m so excited about sharing it. Definitely a different feel than ‘Down Wires.’

Best Holiday Memory from When I was a Kid: Eating myself into a homemade ravioli coma at my grandparents’ house annually. I plan to keep the streak alive this year.

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ERIC DAVIDSON (freelance writer; singer for New Bomb Turks and LIVIDS; author of We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, 1988-2001 (Backbeat Books))

The ubiquitous caveat – Of course I have not heard every record, seen every movie, read every book, etc. released in 2011. I haven’t had a TV for months, and haven’t even heard the new Atomic Suplex album on Crypt or The Men’s LP, for pete’s sake! But for now, here are my year-end ra-ras ‘bout the junk I dug… in no particular order.

Black Lips – Arabia Mountain (Vice) – While longtime fans keep expecting a drop-off, and new converts still yell for on-stage peeing (annoying said longtime fans), the Black Lips continue to traverse the globe for inspiration while always holding a stash of huge yankee garage-pop hooks in their ass-pocket. So much so this time, that this is probably the most fully enjoyable Lips album to date, after 10+ years in the game!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKdIv5N6rZY

Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo (Matador)
After dishing up some of the cooler scruffy garage-art of the last couple years with his Violators around him, Vile dishes up this beautiful, subtly brazen solo salvo, fogged-up with 12:45am ruminating folk, best left to your weakest mood points on the rainiest nights. Though it all retains enough scruff, snarl, and thrift store demeanor to be enjoyed on a 6pm ride home. So sink into this stuff before the inevitable focus-destroying Kanye photo opp and DJ of the Week remix.

Acid Baby Jesus – S/T (Slovenly)
A more scarred, psych-pep take on all that fuzzy, echoey, melancholy early-60s melody garage-plop churning through the indie underbelly (I call it “Hardly Artcore”), and unwittingly suffused with the oddly inspiring empty pockets of the Grecian economy nosedive. Layers of frightened bellowing and otherwordly distortion, with sticky, oily hooks outta nowhere, make it the most intriguing debut of the year.
http://www.agitreader.com/primitivefutures/acid_baby_jesus.html

OBN IIIs – The One and Only (Tic Tact Totally)
Tykes from down Texas-way, with probably too many side projects (all of them good!), slingin’ killer slash’n’burn, with structure smarts, way more-than-required sweat, and that elusive, effortless ability to make you think R’nR has a pulse.

Last Laugh Records
Label head honcho and sole employee, Harry Howes, really went cuckoo with the reissues of ultra-obscure, first-era punk rock that are truly cracked and a genuine hoot, as opposed to just, y’know, ultra-obscure. He spread his Red Bull wings out into early-70s glam, power pop, and even some new shit – like the house party punk of Liquor Store’s debut, Yeah Buddy! – with his Almost Ready and Mighty Mouth imprints too. But Last Laugh has resurrected the whole “Killed by Death” pinhead impetus for yet another generation of louts.
http://www.lastlaughrecords.us/

Othermen – Just Pallin’ Around With (Killer Diller)
Calling it crazed shockabilly brings to mind lame flame-skull tattoos and leopard print creepers, etc. But it ain’t that exactly. Aside from singer Max Frechette’s pompadour recalling the torn innards of a post-hunt leopard, and his hot licks hollow-body guitar having been taped and stapled back together like Michael Yonkers taught him the Eddie Cochran catalog, the band drunkenly dissects-then-discards any mid-century nods, making a fast racket that wears you out quick. And the 15-minute chat with a very sauced Rico (bassist) at the end is the perfect respite. Who needs more songs anyway?!

Human Eye – They Came from the Sky (Sacred Bones)
(and some Timmy’s Organism singles…)
Timmy Vulgar, Detroit’s alien heart of now-times punk, continues to produce on the level of Ford in the ‘50s, while his sounds – via his Human Eye and Timmy’s Organism projects – evolve into the noise of those dead ol’ axel factories being torn to bits by the drunken arrested adolescents of that new planet they discovered this year. The Human Eye live shows were as consistently id-invigorating of any band this year.

Flesh Lights
The hopped-up hopes of the year, this Austin trio frisbeed out a few singles, but it’s the surprisingly searing sounds of their debut LP on Twistworthy, Muscle Pop, that can really electrify the ears of someone who thinks OBN IIIs could save R’n’R.

Death of Samantha reunion show, Dec. 23, Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
The first, and probably last, reunion of the original lineup of my favorite local Cleveland band (one of my fave bands period) from my formative years. So yeah, kind of a personal pick here, but DoS remain one of the more underrated indie acts of the late-80s, a monster mash of glam gloop, punk pissed, and leader John Petkovic’s lounge lizard leering that put them in the pantheon of great Ohio bands that just didn’t fit into prescribed rock world peg/hole prescripts. On this Xmas Eve eve, the band had a ball and masterfully blasted out tunes from all their releases, and generally lifted the packed faithful up and into 1986 and back again, like maybe they should consider erasing that “and probably last” line from the first sentence here.
http://www.cleveland.com/music/index.ssf/2011/12/1980s_punk-rock_band_death_of.html

Guilty Pleasures – Summer Strange (Dusty Medical)
L.A. Times – s/t 7” EP (Smash It Up)

Long never-unleashed recordings from two of the most savage and sorely under-known bands of the whole late-90s lo-fi garage-punk undie-explosion. Having crawled from somewhere around Bloomington, IL, around 2000, the Guilty Pleasures put out one insanely screechy 7” single, a few brain-gutting gigs, and sometime inbetween recorded this album that sat around for some damn reason, until now. Same goes for L.A. Times, a Devil Dogs-worshipping bunch from, ahem, L.A., who were too young to be told that 60 beers in one night is in fact a lot to drink for one band. Finally quit waiting for someone to dig up their AOL email address and ask ‘em, so they finally just released this sick 4-song slab this year, 300 copies only, so get hunting!

Ed Wood’s Sleaze Paperbacks show at the Boo-Hooray gallery, NYC
An amazing amassing of not just the paperbacks of Ed Wood’s end-of-existence career of porn-pulp writing – featuring astonishingly eye-burning cover art – but loads of personal family/friend photos, magazine articles with more wild cover graphics, and a short film, readings, and recollections from fans at the closing party that revealed that “sleaze” is in the mind’s eye of the beholder
http://boo-hooray.com/ed-wood/ed-woods-sleaze-paperbacks/

The general proliferation of fun, fuzzed-out R’n’R combos splattering the less pretentious edges of the, well I wanna say “indie underground,” but I probably have to start getting used to saying shit like “blogosphere” and “Twitteratti” and other childish words that sound dated the second they leave your lips. Anyway, there are loads of new/ish bands who kept huffing Black Lips and King Khan & BBQ fumes that were let go circa mid-2000s; and exhaled grimey swirls of early-60s girl group and doo-wop dredged melodies, Goner/In the Red/Crypt-rooted garage-punk spasms, some spooky, echoey undertones, and a deep, ceaseless love of the Ramones – all with a cheap-ass trash production style that has as much to do with accidentally mirroring our broke, on-your-own freelance times as Scion or Sailor Jerry blowing cash for cred. Most of it still kicks nasty, though shit is edging a little too cutesy (Jacuzzi Boys, maybe switch to 60-minute IPAs or something). And the shark has been flossing his chops waiting to be jumped (is a Hunx & His Punk song on Two Broke Girls inevitable…?) But for now, it’s a pretty fun party.
So keep it up, The Hussy, Davila 666, Mean Jeans, White Mystery, Strange Hands, Mouthbreathers, No Bunny, The Eeries, Bare Wires, Mark Sultan, Dum Dum Girls, Tandoori Knights, K-Holes, Shannon & the Clams, FIDLAR, Peach Kelli Pop, Jail Weddings, Los Vigilantes, Radar Eyes, Wax Museums, Ty Segall, Useless Eaters, Thee Oh Sees, Royal Headache, and more, etc…

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Meet Conversion Party!

Conversion Party only just released their “proper debut EP” (as they refer to it on their bandcamp page), but they have quite a bit of history behind them. Although split between New London, CT, and Brooklyn, NY, the five members of this band still managed to out out a self-released first LP, More No More, in 2008, but their musical style needed some focusing. When it came time to write new material, they set out to “bring the different stylistic strands together into something that was cohesive,” as their guitarist Alex Waxman explains. From the new sessions came a whole new LP, produced by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s Sean Greenhalgh. No label came forward to release it, but that wasn’t going to stop them. Out of the ten songs they recorded, they chose four and that is how we got the EP Favors, which was released on April 19th. The songs on the EP have a real pop flair but maintain just enough off-kilter elements in the vocals and arrangements to keep our attention. Hopefully the rest of the recordings will make their way into our music libraries soon.

To honor the release of Favors, Conversion Party will be playing two shows as part of the EP Release Weekend: they will be at Bruar Falls TONIGHT, Friday May 6th, with Hsi Chang Li, In Buenos Aires and Natural Fathers, and at Cakeshop tomorrow night, Saturday May 7th, for the venue’s 6th Anniversary Party, where they will share the stage with Surf City and the Beets. But most importantly, two members of Conversion Party took some time to speak to Modern Mystery about music, Favors and the band’s history in a slightly unusual way… I asked Ben and Alex the same questions, and they answered them according to what they thought the other would answer. How well do these answers match up with what their own answers and opinions are? We’re not counting points, of course, this is a friendly game.

 Full name, Birthday and Place of Birth

Alex’s guess: Benjamin Brock Johnson, I believe is Colorado somewhere… A hippie town… Boulder? But I don’t think that’s right. I’m really bad at remembering people’s birthdays I think his is sometime in September? Say September 12th.The real answer was: Benjamin Brock Johnson. My birth place is Montpelier, VT and my birth date is July 28th, 1980. Ben’s guess: Alexander Isaac Waxman. This is going to be hard… He was born somewhere in Massachusetts… In the Boston area, I’m going to guess. And his birthday… [laughs] I’m pretty sure his birthday is somewhere in May, I’m going to guess May 8th.The real answer was:  Alexander Isaac Waxman. My birth date is May 11th 1982 and Boston, MA is my birth town or city.

 When did the two of you first met?

Ben’s memory: I was definitely during college and I want to say we both were  in search or some sort of trouble and found each other as we were trying to find it. I feel like the first time we met was near a bench… But we might have also have met in his roommate’s dorm room Alex’s memory: That would be in college, in my dorm room, after this orientation thing where Ben stood up and talked in front of the whole school. And then he came over and we smoked pot in my dorm room with my pot dealer roommate. 

Unfortunately, I’m not sure we have the technology to have an objective and definitive answer on this one, although Ben did say he thought Alex would say their first meeting would involve pot in Alex’s dorm room… However they met, it led to good things. That’s all that matters, right?

Since the band’s time has been split between New London, CT and Brooklyn, NY, I wanted to know, what are each other’s biggest driving faults?

Alex’s guess: Ah, Everything! [chuckles]  I would say getting distracted. Ben’s answer: Everything? [chuckles] I’m actually a very good driver but none of my friends would admit that. I’m probably the scariest driver, I drive too fast and seem like I’m out of control and I follow people too closely and I slam the breaks too much and come too close to hitting people. But I never actually hit people. Ben’s guess: Inconsistency of speed. Alex’s answer: I’m pretty flawless   [smiles].

Drink of Choice during the recording of Favors?

Alex’s guess:  We sort of drink the same thing. I would have to say beer. Budweiser as well. Ben’s answer: Do smoothies count? I would say smoothies and/or whisky, like Maker’s Mark. Ben’s guess Either Jim Beam or tall boy Budweisers or a combination of both. Alex’s answer: It was pretty much beer down the line… Budweiser.

 

Biggest Musical Inspiration?

Alex’s guess: Radiohead. Ben’s answer: Thelonious Monk. Ben’s guess: He’s going to try to say something so cool… His answer might be Neutral Milk Hotel, or Jeff Mangum. Alex’s answer: Our drummer’s other band Fatal Film.

Oddest songwriting ritual or routine?

Alex’s guess: We all do our songwriting separately so I always picture Ben in his slippers at home… He has this pair of Himalayan slippers that he brings with him whenever we do these bad getaways. They’re blue and have thread… He knows what slippers they are. Ben’s answer: I don’t know if this is the strangest thing but when I write and record demos, I play things and work on things incessantly, and I’m very exacting so if I’m demoing something by myself,  I’ll play it more times than anyone in  their right mind would play something in order to get it exactly right. Ben’s guess: I want to say it’s something physical. He would be trying to get the strangest sound out of what he was doing. Whatever he would be playing with, he would be trying to get the absolutely weirdest sound that could not be duplicated. Alex’s answer: I make really messy demos that sort of fall apart because I’m just trying to get the idea down. So sometimes they’re kind of indecipherable. The other guys have to listen to them with faith… They sort of know that there’s the grain of a good idea there and they listen for that. It’s not necessarily a song when I first present it.

 

Favorite song on Favors and Why?

Alex’s guess: I think he’ll say  “Let Us All” because he wrote it. Ben’s answer: I would say “Let Us All” because I wrote it. Ha, no, I think that song is an incomplete spot in some  ways: it never developed really specific lyrics and it’s not like the rest of our material in a lot of ways. But I think that it has a wild quality to it that I really like. And it’s a bit more experimental than our stuff so it’s ambitious in that way. It reminds me of long, drawn-out noisy guitar rock that we all listen to but don’t necessarily always sound like. Ben’s guess: “Birds of Paradise Lost” because he would really like Matt Potter’s vocal. Alex’s answer: My favorite track on Favors is “Let Us All” because it’s the last track on the record and I love the way it came together. We were really unsure of what it was going to be and during the last couple of weeks of recording, it turned into an awesome song. It’s cool and points for more stuff for us that we can do.

Which producer/musician would he like to work with in the future?

Alex’s guess: I’m sure it would be Radiohead related, like Nigel Godrich or Thom Yorke. Ben’s answer: I’d like to work with somebody who has really interesting drum programming and rhythmic ideas and is also willing to spend a lot of time getting weird sounds and trying really weird things. I think  Scott Walker is somebody whose recordings are…  I’m  in awe of the ideas that he has about making sounds physically and recording them. My impression is that someone like Nigel Godrich spends a lot of time doing interesting things with sound and also really stripping songs down and re-imagining them in new ways. I’d like to work with somebody who is very free-thinking in that way. Ben’s guess: Maybe Panda Bear? Or Jay Reatard or No Age. Alex’s answer: I would like to see what would happen if we didn’t have a producer, if we recorded ourselves and let the process sprawl in a way that it doesn’t with a producer.  But I like James Murphy a lot so… I think we would get along really well with him. I feel there’s a similar sensibility there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most embarrassing moment on stage?

Alex’s guess: I really wouldn’t be able  to guess… I don’t know… I mean he’s been on stage a lot more than I have with   many other bands. I would assume it’s not Conversion Party-related.Ben’s answer: I’m never embarrassed, because I always do what I’m supposed to do [laughs]. Usually my most embarrassing moments on stage are when my bandmates announce songs that I’ve written and how they’re about   my girlfriend. Which is totally fine, I’m not embarrassed about writing songs about my girlfriend, but I always feel it’s a betrayal of the mystery of the art form being presented purely. Ben’s guess:  Alex’s most embarrassing stage moment I think was a show we played at Lit lounge earlier this year. During the second to last song, Matt Potter fell into a wall during a really intense solo and somehow inadvertently killed the power on the whole bottom floor of the club–sparks flew and there was a huge loud sound and the lights went out. It was on the last chord of our fastest loudest song “Awake,” and it was kind of perfect how it ended, but everyone was like “whaaaa?” Alex got pretty mad about that I think because it was this sort of epic example of a performance blowing up in our faces, literally.Alex’s answer: I have two off the top of my head. Once we played an all ages show on a Wednesday in Hamden, CT and there was just one person there and I don’t even think they were there to see us and it was just the worse night. The other was almost prior to this band, the college had offered us a hundred bucks to play on a tennis court. Nobody else could do it except for me and Matt Allen, who is in the band now. It was just the two of us on drums and guitar and it was kind of disaster. But it didn’t really matter; we still got a hundred bucks.

 

 

First CD/Record/Tape you bought?

Alex’s guess: It would probably Nirvana   or Pearl Jam or something like that.Ben’s Answer: The first one that I was given (my preferred answer) was a tape. My father is a jazz pianist and he gave me a tape that was one side the soundtrack of the movie Top Gun and on the other side it was greatest hits Beach Boys mix. And then the first record I bought, either it was Nirvana’s Nevermind or Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream. Ben’s guess: I’m going to guess an Otis Redding tape. But it could be A Tribe Called Quest, or G-Love and Special Sauce? I’m going to say A Tribe Called Quest.Alex’s answer: That’s an embarrassing question. I’m pretty sure I bought a couple CDs at once: one was Aerosmith, and the other one was Jimi Hendrix’s Greatest Hits. But I was listening to much worse shit, I’m sure.

 

 


of Montreal @ Webster Hall, NYC – April 30, 2011


More Photos HERE.
For those who know of Montreal might know them as a super flamboyant troupe that can round up a crowd of sweet smelling pretty girls and boys who lust after lead singer Kevin Barnes’ sexual copiousness. It wasn’t always this way, but as time went by members disbanded, got married, rehabilitated, and regrouped. In between, I guess you could say they found the voice they were looking for all those years. With over a decades worth of albums, of Montreal have traveled a lengthy journey to where they are now. Ten years ago you could listen to Kevin sing about fairies living life through an unconscious slumber (see album Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse) and before that of Montreal was part of The Gay Parade. (The album is a personal favorite of mine, but it’s narrative style seems to be a bit much for newer of Montreal fans. I still say it would make for a great play). It wasn’t until their 2004 release “Satanic Panic in the Attic” that the pieces started to stay glued together, and the songs became more like a journal for Kevin Barnes’ personal afflictions and affections . Now, of Montreal are an unstoppable traveling circus, and you’d better hope you have tickets to the greatest show on earth when they come to your town, because it is a show not to be missed!

The show featured opening band Painted Palms, a dreamy synth-pop collective that started the night amidst yellow, green and blue lights. Their psychedelic bass thumping tunes from their current release Canopy will get you lost in the woods on a breezy summer afternoon right by a water fall, even in a hot stuffy music venue in New York City.

The follow up to this scene was quite the opposite. It began with the entrance of of Montreal aficionado and Kevin’s brother David Barnes revving up the crowd in a suit. This was followed by some scantily clad ladies in flesh-tone unitards, and men baring capes and colors of the American flag. The set started with the tune “L’age D’or” off their latest E.P. thecontrollersphere. “For Our Elegant Caste” followed as Kevin sang the first line “We can do it softcore if you want/but you should know I take it both ways”. It’s actually Kevin’s alter ego “Georgie Fruit” who is the protagonist in the story, not Kevin himself, but that doesn’t stop the girls and guys from screaming their heads off.

The theatrics continued through out the night as they performed songs mostly from Skeletal Lamping, and “False Priest”, with an interlude of “My Bloody Valentine” performed by drummer Clayton Rychlik. You name it, it was on the stage, Painted Palms even joined in for a few songs and skits. Some of the stagecraft includes lucha-libre stylized mask and wrestling matches, a reenacted wedding, men in nude big breasted costumes, pig faces, booty shaking girls (and boys), balloons, streamers, and that’s not even everything!

Even with all antics on the stage, they performed an unyielding set without missing a beat.
Towards the end of the encore Kevin threw on a mask and pinned down some opponents which was followed by members of the band crowd surfing. Finally, at the end of the show, multi-instrumentalist K Ishibashi performed “America the Beautiful” solo on the violin while the audience sang only to have it turn into an official hoedown on the stage moments later. Though the photos capture a play by play of the show, it is nothing compared to the spectacle everyone witnessed. Wherever this journey continues to take of Montreal, I will be right there with them, and from the looks of it they are going to continue to flourish no matter where it is the freak train drops them off. Perhaps I should invest in a feathered boa and some glitter huh?

Words and photos by Cienna Wills

Modern Mystery Holiday Party: Top 10’s From Your Favorite Musicians

The Spinto Band

 Here are our favorite things of the YEAR…Sorry it’s a bit fractured.

ALBUMS

ROAR – I Can’t Handle Change EP
Miniature Tigers – Fortress
Pigeon John- Dragon Slayer
Generationals – Trust EP

Das Racist – Sit Down, Man

Magic Kids – Memphis

From A Fountain – Shale and Sandstone

Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

Austin Leonard Jones – Superstitions
Half-handed Cloud – As Stowaways in Cabinets of Surf, We Live​-​out in Our Members a Kind of Rebirth

NON ALBUMS

Black Swan
The Beast Pageant
Toy Story 3
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Hausu (Criterion Collection Release)

Charlotte Gainsbourg- Heaven Can Wait (the song/video)

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (33 1/3 Series) – Christopher R. Weingarten
Wilson – Daniel Clowes

BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO US THIS YEAR

This summer- battling the Miniature Tigers to a game of Super Smash Brothers onstage at a concert in Akron Ohio. The loser of the game had to wear a Lebron James Cavaliers jersey (post-Miami decision).  We lost.  

Paul Sprangers  (Free Energy)

TOP STUFF ( in random order)

crocodiles
someone still loves you boris yeltsin – let it sway
titus andronicus – the monitor
mates of state – covers album
kanye
robyn
bear in heaven
big boi
midlake
surfer blood

best thing was eastbound and down season 2

Phil Dickey (Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin)

Here are my top 10 songs.

1. “Be Professional” by the ACB’s
2. “Boy Like Me” by the ACB’s
3. “Final Exam” by New Monsters Collective
4. “Live Here” by The Lonely Forest
5. “Dirty Thing” by Telekinesis
6. “Young Hearts” by Free Energy
7. “Hahahaohhoho” by Yellow Ostrich
8. “Best Supporting Actress” by One For The Team
9. “Babies” by Via Audio
10. “Hang with Me” by Robyn

The best thing that happened to me this year was getting married.

Aaron Pfenning (Chairlift, Rewards)

Top 10 songs of 2010.

1. Stars – Warpaint
2. Good Day Today – David Lynch
3. Round and Round – Ariel Pink
4. Only The Young – Brandon Flowers
5. Rules – We Are Scientists
6. Congratulations – MGMT
7. Dance Yrself Clean – LCD Soundsystem
8. O.N.E. – Yeasayer
9. Empire Ants – Gorillaz
10. Dark Night of The Soul – Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse

Best thing of 2010:  Getting number ONE and TWO top scores on Gilligan’s Island pinball with Keith Murray at The Commodore.

 

 Justin Kennedy (Army Navy)

I have been in the studio most of the year and I really try not to listen to much new music while writing and recording. But these songs were some of the best that seeped in!

Top 10 songs of 2010

1. Cee Lo Green “Fuck You
2. Arcade Fire “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”
3. Avi Buffalo “Whats in it for”
4. The Good Natured “Your Body is a Machine”
5. Teenage Fanclub “Baby Lee”
6. Kanye West “Monster”
7. Broken Bells “The High Road
8. Band of Horses “Laredo”
9. Spoon “Got Nuffin”
10. Best Coast “Boyfriend”

 
 
 

 

Todd Goldstein (ARMS)

1. joanna newsom – have one on me
2. james blake – klavierwerke EP
3. vampire weekend – contra
4. baths – cerulean
5. walkmen – lisbon
6. caribou – swim
7. tame impala – innerspeaker
8. oneohtrix point never – returnal
9. jonsi – go
10. pantha du prince – black noise

best thing that happened to me this year: recording the new ARMS album with my amazing new(-ish) band.

Hollerado

Hollerado’s Top ten of 2010
1- Free Energy – stuck on nothing
2 – Titus andronicus – the monitor
3 – Molly rankin – she ep
4 – let’s wrestle – in the court of the wrestling let’s
5 – fang island – fang island
6 – Neil young – le noise
7 – atom division – red smith 7inch
8 – besnard lakes – are the roaring night
9 – strange boys – be brave
10 – Jamie gilmartin – and there was nothing on the radio

Note. We didn’t include arcade fire’s the suburbs because it is so obviously the best record if the year and it should be implicit that it is on everyones list.

Cale Parks (BRAHMS, Aloha)

Alicia Keys – Unthinkable (song)

James Blake – CMYK (ep)

The Radio Dept. – Clinging To a Scheme (lp)

Lindstrøm & Christabelle – Real Life Is No Cool (lp)

Fantastic Mr. Fox – The Eveyln (ep)

Joy Orbison – The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow (song)

Vondelpark – Hippodrome (song)

Steve Moore – Primitive Neural Pathways (lp)

Matthew Dear – Black City (lp)

Dam-Funk – Do U Feel The Same Way I Do (song)

I found a secret spot in Central Park this fall. Many of my favorite moments of 2010 were spent here.

Jennifer O’Connor

Top 10 of 2010

Perfume Genius – Learning
Sharon Van Etten – epic
Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Fridays
Amy Bezunartea – Restaurants & Bars
Lower Dens – Twin Hand Movement
Arcade Fire The Suburbs
Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me
Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
Seeing Tom Petty live finally
Belle and Sebastian “I Want the World To Stop”

The best thing I did this year was put out Amy Bezunartea’s debut record Restaurants & Bars on Kiam.

Jordan Hudkins (The Demon Beat)

Top Ten Songs of 2010 (New/Recently (Re)Discovered):

1. Yo La Tengo – “Sugarcube”
2. Weezer – “Getting Up & Leaving”
3. 1910 Fruitgum Co. – “Indian Giver”
4. Cold Cave – “Life Magazine”
5. Hammer No More The Fingers – “It’s About Caring”
6. The Black Keys – “Everlasting Light”
7. Spirit Night – “Don’t Miss Me”
8. Real Estate – That whole record is pretty gnarly
9. Small Black – “Despicable Dogs (Washed Out Remix)
10. Electric Six – “Escape From Ohio”

Best thing that happened in 2010: Relentless touring!

 
 
 

 

Tucker Riggleman (The Demon Beat)

Top Ten Albums of 2010:

1. Beach House – “Teen Dream”
2. The Black Keys – “Brothers”
3. Spirit Night – “What We Will Be”
4. Woodworkings – “We Sit On Floors, We Stand On Chairs”
5. Girls – “Broken Dreams Club” EP
6. Dandelion Snow – “The Grand Scheme Of Things”
7. Pat Pat – “Wizard of This”
8. Lucero – “1372 Overton Park”
9. J Marinelli – “Pre-emptive Skankery Sessions”
10. Sufjan Stevens – “The Age of Adz”

Best thing that happened in 2010: Playing SXSW along with some of our very favorite bands/friends

Jason Nesmith (Casper and the Cookies)

Under the category of General Listening, this was the year of Sex Clark Five and Lee Dorsey. Those two artists demanded my attention. As for 2010 releases, here are my faves.

1. Aquaserge- Ce Tres Cher Serge, Special Origins
2. Kevin Dunn- No Great Lost (reissue)
3. LCD Soundsystem- This Is Happening
4. Poison Control Center- Sad Sour Future
5. Colleen & Paul
6. Field Music- Measure
7. The Apples In Stereo- Travellers in Space & Time
8. Mike Watt- Hyphenated-Man
9. Venice Is Sinking- Sand & Lines
10. Tela Menos- Patagonian Rats

also good:
Teenage Fanclub- Shadows
Stereolab- Not Music
of Montreal- False Priest
The Method Actors- This is Still It

Would have made the list, but it’s from 2009:
Claire & the Reasons- Arrow (from 2009, but FTW!)
Caribou- Swim

The best thing that happened to me all year:
I started working out! Not like six-pack-abs workin’ out, but general-well-being workin’ out. It changed my outlook on life. I’ve started staning differently. I’ve still got a little belly, and that’s probably not going to change. But I feel so much better.
Runner-up: I got to see Paul Collins (of the Nerves and the Beat) and Van Dyke Parks live, two of the best shows I’ve ever witnessed.

Jim Hix (Casper and the Cookies)

2010 saw the release of a lot of music, both mainstream and indie, that I was super-duper excited about.

When it comes to 2010 mainstream hip hop, 2010 had some really great and memorable stuff. The year began with the awesome (was it the third?) return of Jay Z: Blueprint Vol 3. Then all year we were treated to the emergence to the national stage of Nicki Minaj, hip hop’s lady gaga (that’s a good thing). And finally, we close the year off with my favorite major label record of the year, Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Like Smucker’s Jelly, even the ridiculous name (let’s not even mention the cover!) couldn’t hold that record back! In my favorite track of the year, Monster, you get Jay Z, Kanye, AND Nicki Minaj, all in the same three minutes and all spitting some of their best rhymes ever!

2010 was also the year that my favorite indie band, Poison Control Center, released their epic double record, Sad Sour Future. I’m not sure what the title of the record speaks to, but the songs it contains are instant classics in the PCC cannon for all fans. (if you’re not a fan yet it’s probably because you just haven’t heard them yet. Check them out, they’re SOOO GOOD!) Like I said, it’s double record yet it somehow manages to retain attention and listen-ability all the way through.

One of my other favorite bands, Indiana’s Jookabox, followed up their brilliant release, 2008’s Ropechain with 2010’s Deadzone Boys. (I just checked on Wikipedia and it says that Deadzone Boys came out in 09 but I didn’t get it until 2010 so that’s when I’m counting it!) It’s hard to describe jookabox by comparing them to other bands cause no one else really sounds like them. Trust me, they’re really good so you should get those two records!!

I have some friends in Toronto, Colleen and Paul, and they recorded a record this year under the name “Colleen and Paul” and this record is AMAZING! It’ relies mostly on acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies in the tradition of Simon and Garfunkel, and man, are the songs good! I just checked and the record is available on itunes for less than 8 bucks and it’s self titled and everyone should run to their computers and buy it cause they’ve never heard it and they don’t know that they have little holes in their hearts where these tunes are gonna fit so nicely.

I have to say, a lot of what I listened to this year was new music coming from the little legendary town I call home, Athens, GA! There’s a new three-piece called The Hums. I can find no web presence for this band and I don’t know if the record is released yet, I think my girl friend bought it at one of their shows, but man, its a great record that sounds kind of like the violent femmes playing white stripes songs, but not really. The album is called Lemonland and you can hear it current;y at the vision video store that I work at. I’ll keep you posted as I find out more. The other record I wanna plug cause if you don’t live here you’ve probably never heard of them but this record is my top record of the year, and it’s by a band called Quiet Hooves. The record is called, Saddle Up and I couldn’t find a place on the web where you could buy it but I know they had a cd release party this year so that’s released enough for me. Go one over to their myspace and check them out. (Start with the album tracks! That’s the stuff you wanna hear!) The songs sound like, I don’t know, really good well thought out baroque pop recorded on a cassette four-track. There’s whimsy and mystery and quiet moments of beauty. I can’t say enough good stuff about this album. Keep your eyes peeled and if you run across it, snag it up!!!

Alright that’s it for me. 2011 is gonna see some exciting new stuff for all the bands I play in. The Goons is going to release its first record so keep and eye out for that!! Marshmallow Coast is going to release “Seniors and Juniors Strike Back” which is a complete re-recording of Andy’s first album he released ten years ago! Casper and the Cookies have just started work on our next record and the demos are sounding awesome so look for a release from us sometime next year! Plenty of touring and promoting next year so if I’m in your town, come see me!!!

Owen Evans – ROAR!

Totally! What music fan doesn’t like to make lists? I’m really glad you included songs too. Smart!

1. Magic Kids – Memphis

2. Carol Cleveland Sings – The Cashmere Cassette

3. MGMT – Congratulations

4. Department of Eagles – Archive 2003-2006

5. Candy Claws – Hidden Lands

6. Miniature Tigers – Fortress

7. Avi Buffalo – S/T

8. Sparklehorse – Dark Night of the Soul

9. Half-handed Cloud – As Stowaways in Cabinets of Surf, We Live-out in Our Members a Kind of Rebirth

10. Mini Mansions – S/T

The best thing that happened to me this year was getting to go on tour with one of my favorite people/musicians and meeting the most amazing girl all in the span of two months.
Leslie Sisson


Leslie Sisson – Matt Pond PA, The Wooden Birds

Try this on for size…

2010’s Top Albums That Killed Me:

1. The Radio Dept – Clinging to a Scheme
2. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
3. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
4. The Crackling – Keep Full Ambitious
5. JUNIP – Fields
6. Beach House – Teen Dream
7. Sharon Van Etten – Epic
8. Best Coast – Crazy For You
9. Land of Talk – Cloak and Cipher

10. The Clientele – Minotaur

Aside Honorable Mention:

Matt Pond PA – The Dark Leaves
It’s too good to categorize. Ok, I know I’m in the band, but I’m not on this record so it’s fair to be my fave, even after hearing it repeatedly for a year. Matt is a truly talented songwriter and I’m honored to share the stage with him in not one, but two beloved bands.

This Year’s Top Happening:

My highlight moment was getting called up to sing with Broken Social Scene by the lovely Lisa Lobsinger on Central Park Summer Stage. That came close to dueting with Dan Mangan on the road and spending my year touring in The Wooden Birds and Matt Pond PA. 2010 was a good one. 

 Dave Feldman  (Wyldlife)

Here’s My Top 7 in no order:

1) The Biters- “Hang Around”
2) The So So Glos- “Fred Astaire”
3) The Ex-Humans- “Primitive”
4) The Booze- “Hate City Nights”
5) The Radio Exiles- “Secret Station”
6) The Danvilles- “I Tell You”
7) Cee-Lo Greene-“Fuck You” obviously. That song is incredible.

I’d say that being able to play a show with the Biters was probably my highlight, band wise. That, or any house party show we did at Purchase College. Then again, we haven’t played New Years yet at 58 Gallery, so it might still be too early to tell.

This year pretty much sucked on my end! Anything relating to the band was the best, save for a few more tattoos.

 
 
 Spencer Alexander (Wyldlife)
Heres my top 10 fav songs:

1. Social Distortion “Machine Gun Blues”
After 30 years they’ve still got it.

2.Tokyo Police Club “Favorite Food”
“Champ” is probably the album that was the soundtrack to my summer.

3.The Gaslight Anthem “Boxer”
Sure they sound like Bruce Springsteen, but I like Bruce.

4. The Biters “Hang Around” gotta agree with Dave on this one

5. Arcade Fire “Sprawl II (Mountains beyond mountains)”

6.the Black Keys “Everlasting Light”
I managed to sneak into the end of their set at Central Park, and these guys are as good live as they are on record.

7. Vampire Weekend “Giving up the gun”

8.Girl Talk “Oh no”
Anyone who can make people dance to Black Sabbath is good in my book.

9.Tokyo Police Club “End of a Spark”

10.Cee-Lo Greene “Fuck you”

Best thing that happened to me this year?
I would have to say playing a show at monster island basement in brooklyn, immediately driving to Iowa after our set on a random road trip, driving back to New York after a couple days, and then playing a 101.9 rxp showcase opening for Steel Train at the Bowery Electric. It was a crazy week to say the least.

That or hearing myself on the radio was pretty damn cool.

Active Child Release Music Video, Tour with White Lies

activechild

Los Angeles-based artist Active Child released their new music video via Pitchfork for their new single “I’m In Your Church at Night”. The clip, directed by Petro Papahadjopoulos, has the craziest aesthetic ever: think pastry chefs cooking in the middle of a snowstorm. Regardless, its unearthly sound and electronic sound gives Active Child a new edge. They will also be touring England with White Lies next year. Check out the tour dates below, as well as the mind-boggling video here!

February:
04 – Cambridge, England – The Junction *
06 – Norfolk, England – UEA LCR Union House *
07 – Brighton, England – Com Exchange *
09 – Bristol, England – O2 Academy Bristol *
10 – London, England – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire *
13 – Leeds, England – O2 Academy Leeds *
14 – Birmingham, England – HMV Institute *
16 – Glasgow, Scotland – Barrowland *
17 – Newcastle, England – O2 Academy Newcastle *
18 – Manchester, England – Academy (Manchester University SU) *

* = w/ White Lies

OFF!…..Is Totally On


Nothing in the world is better than the snide and cynical “Tell All” story of a punk veteran.  Keith Morris is the founding vocalist for the punk band Black Flag and also served many years as the poster child for the Circle Jerks.  Now however, he is here to tell us about his new super group OFF!  This Punk alliance consists of Dimitri Coats, former front man for Burning Bridges; Mario Rubalcaba who is known for the three bands Hot Snakes, Rocket From the Crypt, and Earthless; and Steven McDonald of Redd Kross.  Morris is more than ready to move on from his previous failures with the Circle Jerks (for whom he had no polite expressions).  Pitchfork caught the original interview with Morris to talk about what we can expect from the highly anticipated EP due December 14.

The Band all started after the laziness and the stupidity that Morris suffered while in the circle jerk.   “It got like a classroom filled with kids with down syndrome” Keith told Pitchfork.  After 30 years of the same bullshit Keith Morris must’ve gotten tired of the petty bickering and very high-school approach to every situation.  So he did the opposite with his new group.  The thing that makes this EP so freaking great is the vicious original sound it carries to our ears.  Pitchfork actually compared it to early Black Flag, right down to the very recording quality of the demos.  The initial idea and approach to making the EP was “Let’s just go in and do it.” And so they did.  The result of this GO GET IT!  Attitude was a four song EP recorded over the period of two days!  There is so much that you can do with recording equipment these days but none of that can ever tap the resource of raw, in the moment passion that seems to be almost palpable through these first four songs.

As fate would have it, Morris confronted Album Artist Great, Raymond Pettibon to create the artwork for his new band, as he had done before for Black Flag.  Over a lunch two years previous to the EP release, Raymond invited Keith back to his work place which Keith quoted as “a big chaotic mess.” He also told Pitchfork that there were piles and piles of art pieces worth thousands lying around that Raymond offered him to take if he liked. Morris quoted Pettibon saying “Come in here, and whatever you see that you like, you can take with you.  If you get in any kind of trouble and you need any kind of financial help, you’re more than welcome to come in here.  Consider this to be a bank.” Morris told Pitchfork he was “Floored” by the offer.

OFF! Told Pitchfork that they were in fact planning to tour after the release, after a fast paced formation of the band, and a three show success they’re “getting ready to fight a war” and take on the world.  It appears that through everything that has occurred in Morris’ life he fought the good fight to come out on top, once again.  Only this time he is back with a vengeance and a goal to take over the world.