CMJ 2010 Photos: Miniature Tigers @ Music Hall of Williamsburg


One of our favorite bands ever hit up the Music Hall of Williamsburg during CMJ. We totally had flashbacks of interviewing a young Mini T’s during their first ever NYC visit in 2008 at the festival. How time flys. We feel like proud parents. View all of the photos from the show HERE!

Modern Mystery’s Top 25 Albums of 2009

 

1. The Wooden Birds-Magnolia
From the ashes of the classic indie band, American Analog Set, rose a new project from former frontman, Andrew “AK” Kenny, called The Wooden Birds. Shifting completely everything he’s done musicially, AK has come out with one of the most surprising releases of the year. Creating a record that is more folk than rock, no songs on the album contain any drums what-so-ever. The bass and vocals really take off and captivate you, the listener. The live sets of the song also include Matt Pond on guitar along with songstress Leslie Sisson. I’m not sure I’ve heard such a heart felt and warm record in the past 10 years.

2. Julian Casablancas- Phrazes for the Young
It’s been a long time since we heard from The Strokes as a unified band. A lot of fans were hesitant on the thought of a solo album by the charasmatic leader, Julian Casablancas, putting out music that doesn’t resemble his band at all. What a surprise it was when we found he took his love for a bit of 1980’s dance and incoporated it with his unforgettable voice and lyrics. The end result? One of the coolest records of the year. We’d expect no less from him.

3. James Husband- Parallax 1
It took 10 years for multi-instrumentalist and drummer from Of Montreal, James Husband, to create his solo album masterpiece. Husband is in the spotlight for the first time in his career and wow, is he certainly taking advantage of it. Providing one of the best indie pop records of the past year, he lets out a 60’s retro sound that no one can mess with. The end result is something as charming as it seems. Raw, catchy, and glorious.

4. Alvin Band-Mantis Preying
Rick  Schaier is not only an amazing drummer and artist, but he is also an extremely talented singer and songwriter. Schaier who spends most of  his time playing drums in The Miniature Tigers has begun a new chapter in his book in the form of ‘Alvin Band,’ this year and completely blew our minds. Blending a retro sound with updated electronics, this is one album you should pick up if you haven’t yet. The catchy hooks and vocals will only leave you wanting more. That my friends, is a good thing!

5. Bishop Allen- Grrr
It’s been a long night since Bishop Allen gained attention by two teenagers named Nick and Norah, and fans were at the edge of their seat wondering what the Brookyln line up would come up with next. Taking a further step into their brilliant indie pop sound, the band did not disappoint at all with Grrr. See it as the next chapter in the Bishop Allen movie, one that is bound to have many sequels in store.

6. Grizzly Bear-Veckatimest
Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you may have heard of a little band called Grizzly Bear. Somehow exploding this year, it was certainly one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2009. Every song is flawless. Catchy yet moody. Beautiful in every way. This album describes itself better than anyone ever could.

7. Bat for Lashes- Two Suns
Completely out of left field, the lovely miss Natasha from Bat for Lashes surprised us all this year with making a stunning, charming, and beautiful record. The combination of her voice and the spacey background music is enough to send chills down your spine. And it does just that. The haunting track “Daniel” captivated the attention of many, and the rest of the album is able to keep you around.

8. Flight of the Conchords-I Told You I Was Freaky
Yes, they are known for writing ‘funny’ songs, but on this record, FOTC became even witty and even more advanced it seems in their writing. Their songs, even though the lyrics are mostly ‘silly’, are composed perfectly from start to end. Jermaine and Bret are really on top of their game with this record. We can’t wait to hear more!

9. Phoenix-Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
This band always makes a great record, and their 2009 hit was no different. Everyone wanted a piece of Phoenix and boy, did they get them. This classic indie dance pop record was a must have for everyone who ‘knew what’s cool.’ Apparently, this was the world.

10. Girls-Girls
An unlikely hit, this retro indie duo shocked us all with such a raw and appealing debut album. This lo-fi record filled with melodies, doesn’t need any frills or thrills to make it great. It hold’s its own firmly which is a hard thing to mess with.

11. Cass McCombs-Catacombs
12. Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Its Blitz
13. Pains of Being Pure at Heart-Pains of Being Pure at Heart
14. Casper and the Cookies-Modern Silence
15. Headlights-Wildlife
16. Japandroids- Post Nothing
17. Cymbals Eat Guitars-Why There are Mountains
18. Kevin Devine- Brother’s Blood
19. Joan of Arc- Flowers
20. Passion Pit-Manners
21. The Antlers- Hospice
22. Loney Dear-Dear John
23. Neko Case-Middle Cyclone
24. The Mountain Goats- The Life of the World to Come
25. Dirty Projectors-Bitte Orca

Modern Mystery’s Top 20 Songs of the Year

2009 was an incredible year for songs. No doubt about it. Even some of the last minute yearly additions were able to sweep the early year competitors off of their feet. In 2009 there was a surprise around every corner with the quality of songs written. I’m not sure there could have been a better ending to the decade. Check out our Top 20 Songs below!

1. Matt Pond PA- “Starting”
2. Wooden Birds- “False Alarm”
3. Grizzly Bear- “Two Weeks”
4. The Drums-“Let’s Go Surfing”
5. The Spinto Band- “Jackhammer”
6. Sloan-“Take it Upon Yourself”
7. Vampire Weekend-“Cousins”
8. Ryan Adams-“Go Ahead and Rain”
9. Julian Casablancas- “11th Dimension”
10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs-“Zero”
11. James Husband- “A Grave in the Gravel”
12. Alvin Band- “Temple Pressure”
13. Darwin Deez- “Constellations”
14. Surfer Blood- “Swim”
15. Bishop Allen- “Dimmer”
16. Jupiter One- “Flaming Arrow”
17. Phoenix- “1901”
18. Pains of Being Pure at Heart- “Young Adult Friction”
19. Japandroids- “The Boys Are Leaving Town”
20. Julian Plenti- “Games for Days”

Modern Mystery’s Top 10 Videos of the Year


This year was a great time for videos. Sending off 2009 and the decade with a bang, we chose our favorite 10 videos of the year. We’ll stop talking your ear off and let the videos speak for themselves.

1. The Spinto Band “Jackhammer”

2. The Drums “Let’s Go Surfing”

3. Alvin Band “Temple Pressure”

4. Grizzly Bear “Two Weeks”

5. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin “Glue Girls”
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6. Flight of the Conchords “Carol Brown”

7. MGMT “Kids”

8. James Husband “Windows”

9. Vampire Weekend “Cousins”

10. Bishop Allen “Shanghaied”

Modern Mystery Holiday Party Part Four

In this edition of our holiday party, we have a few of our Modern Mystery favorites entering the party. The lovely and charming boys of The Spinto Band, and the wonderful Ben Trokan from Robbers on High Street. Nothing says the holidays like great indie bands sharing some of their cheer with us. Enjoy reading!

Robbers on High Street @ Bell House, CMJ 2009 by ModernMystery. //  
Ben Trokan- Robbers on High Street

King Khan and the Shrines – What Is?
Death – For the Whole World to See
Reigning Sound – Love and Curses
Yura Yura Teikoku – Hollow Me/Beautiful
Chocolate Watch Band – The Inner Mystique
Budos Band 12″ EP
Life on Earth! – A Space Water Loop
PW and The Ghost Gloves Cat Wing Joy Boys EP
The Breakaways – Walking Out on Love
The Soft Pack 12″ EP

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year

I went to India.  Yeah, fucking India!

What do you love about the holidays?

Jingle All The Way.  “Put that cookie down!”

The Spinto Band Year End List

top 11 records:

Generationals- Con Law
Alvin Band- Mantis Preying
Mos Def – The Ecstatic
Neko Case- Middle Cyclone
MF Doom – Born Like This
Cryptacize – Mythomania
Sw!ms- Itemlord
Franklin Bruno: Local Currency: Solo 1992 – 1998
Drug Rug: Paint The Fence Invisible
Half-handed Cloud – Cut Me Down and Count The Rings
Nellie Mckay – Normal as Blueberry Pie

Crazy thing:
One wild thing that occurred was we found a chicken coop in Delaware and built a recording studio inside it.  The construction and decorating has taken up much of the year for us, but as always a close second to crazy things that happened this year would be discovering new places and playing rock music inside those places.  We hit up a bunch of new cities where we have never been and met a bunch of new people who we can now call friends.

Holiday faves:

Eggnog availability and acceptability. 
Christmas lights getting more and more elaborate.  Big ups to LEDs

Tom Hughes-The Spinto Band

Top 10 in Alphabetical Order:

Alvin Band: Mantis Preying
Broadcast and the Focus Group: Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age
Franklin Bruno: Local Currency: Solo 1992 – 1998
Circulatory System: Signal Morning
Cryptacize: Mythomania
Drug Rug: Paint The Fence Invisible
Generationals: Con Law
Half-handed Cloud: Cut Me Down and Count The Rings
Nellie Mckay: Normal as Blueberry Pie
The Sw!ms: Itemlord

Craziest Thing(s) That Happened To Me This Year:

1. We set up our own recording studio which has been a decade long dream come true.
2. Our tour of Europe at the beginning of this year was the best tour we’ve ever done. The most incredible crowds, sights, food and overall experiences I’ve had in a long time.

Favorite Thing About the Holidays:

The smell of fireplaces, both during and the morning after when it’s soaked into your sweater.

Modern Mystery’s Holiday Party Part One

Welcome friends! Come out of the cold and be intrigued once again this year by our Modern Mystery Holiday Party! This year we’re doing things a bit different. Posting several bands and artists at once for maximum, er, readage. That isn’t a word, we know, but we’ve been trying to pass ‘Radtacular’ as one for about a year now in hopes that it takes off. Maybe it will. Sigh.

Enjoy the first round of our Holiday Party. You never know who will drop in, and sometimes, neither do we!

Charlie Brand- The Miniature Tigers

Top 10 Albums of 2009:

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
Alvin Band – Mantis Preying
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Julian Casablancas – Phrazes For The Young
Neon Indian – Psychic Chasms
Animal Collective – Fall Be Kind EP
Micachu – Jewelry
Peter, Bjorn & John – Living Thing

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

The craziest thing that happened to me this year was touring for the first time. It’s been a life changing experience.

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

The thing I love most about the holidays is the overall smell in the air. I guess you could even classify it as a vibe more than a smell. Very warm and cozy.

Alex Gerber- The Miniature Tigers

Top 2 of 2009:

Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear
Curse Your Branches by David Bazan
Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

Craziest thing to happen is that I joined Miniature Tigers.

The craziest thing that happened to me this year was touring for the first time. It’s been a life changing experience.

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

What I love most about the holidays is family, warmth and love.

Will Currie-Will Currie and the Country French
 
Top 10 Albums of 2009:
 
Dan Mangan – Nice, Nice, Very Nice
Said The Whale – Islands Disappear
Arkells – Jackson Square
Wilco – Wilco (The Album)
Patrick Watson – Wooden Arms
Zeus – Sounds Like Zeus EP
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus
Julian Casablancas – Phrazes For The Young
Hey Rosetta! – Into Your Lungs
Joel Plaskett & The Emergency – Three

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

The craziest thing that happened to me this year was probably the time that my girlfriend and I attempted to cross into the US without proper ID. We were just going into the states to buy some breakfast cereal that they no longer sell in Canada, i.e. Trix and Coco Pebbles, and we were planning on being there no more than half an hour. We told the border guard that and said “if you don’t let us in, it’s no big deal, we’ll just go another time.” and he just kept getting more and more mad, as if our nonchalance was offending him. Anyway, in the end Myself, my lovely girlfriend, and her Toyota Tercel were allowed to cross but we were marked as “Non-compliant” at the border, whatever that means. Sounds like we were bein tough. We crossed back into Canada a bit later. the Canadian Guard said “Whatcha get?” We said “Cereal!” He said “Neat!” and we went back to our lovely country. It was then that I thought “Whoa, that was crazy. The craziest thing that’s happened to me this year? Perhaps.”

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

What I love the most about the holidays is walking downtown Toronto and seeing everything lit up and everybody going crazy shopping in the evening and stuff like that. It makes me feel like I’m in a movie or something. Basically Yonge St. from Dundas down to Queen St. That’s all prime Christmas movie atmosphere. Also, the World Jr Hockey Tournament is an amazing part of the holidays. If you’re a Canadian it’s awesome, others may be disappointed though.
Ahmed Gallab-Sinkane, Caribou, Yeasayer
 
Favorite Record of 2009:
Sa-Ra Creative Partners are a group composed of Om’Mas Keith, Taz Arnold, and Shafiq Husayn. Their 2009 release “Nuclear Evolution: The Age of Love” is the the future of music as we know it.

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

– Playing in Caribou Vibration Ensemble with Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra
– Listening to Marshall Allen tell me about the Sun Ra Arkestra dancing on the Sphinx in Egypt.

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

Well, being Sudanese and growing up in The U.S. I have become very confused about the holiday season. My family doesn’t really celebrate the American holidays. I mean, we used to get a Christmas tree and make our parents buy us stuff. But we always picked out exactly what we wanted and wrapped the gifts ourselves. There wasn’t ever a surprise element involved. I guess we never really got the whole concept in the first place.

Anyway, I like hanging out my with my mom and dad a lot. Lately I’ve been having a lot of girl problems so I talk to them about it. The conversations usually go like this like this:

Me: Hey guys, I’m really down. I want a girlfriend
Mom: Get a job
Dad: Get a haircut