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

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The Morning Benders Prep New Album

Some lovely news this week from camp Morning Benders. The band is set to release their second full length titled ‘Big Echo.’  The album was recorded after the brief winter tour this year with Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor. ‘Wow’ to say the least. Though there is no official release date for the record, we are sure it will be out on +1 Records by the end of the year, by early next year (according to singer Chris Chu). The Morning Benders are also taking their show on the road for the first time to Europe this summer along with a handful of shows in the West Coast (even one with Beach House). The band will be playing a few festivals in the UK with Lily Allen, Wilco and Grizzly Bear, a lineup not to be missed!

Check out The Morning Benders track titled ‘Hand Me Downs’  on their MYSPACE

Tour Dates:

UK/Europe Dates:
Aug 11 2009   8:00P
Dublin Castle 
London

Aug 12 2009  8:00P
Old Blue Last 
London

Aug 13 2009  8:00P
The Boogaloo 
London

Aug 14 2009  12:00P
Way Out West 
Göteborg, Sweden
http://www.wayoutwest.se/

Aug 15 2009  12:00P
Oya Festival (John Dee) 
Oslo, Norway
http://oyafestivalen.com/

Aug 30 2009  12:00P
SF Outside Lands 
San Francisco, CA

Sep 19 2009  8:00P
MusicfestNW Berbati’s Pan (w/ Beach House!) 
Portland, Oregon

Happy Grizzly Bear Day!

We’re not sure if there is any other way to say it, but Happy Grizzly Bear Day! Really, has anyone talked about anything else all day besides the release of ‘Veckatimest’?  We haven’t been able to have a conversation all day without someone mentioning it. 

‘Veckatimest’ is an album that is rich with one impressive song after another.  It gets better with every listen and truly takes you on a musical journey. This is by far Grizzly Bear’s best album yet, and is definitely the year’s most anticipated indie record. Not to call early shots just yet, but this is sure to be headed to many ‘Top Albums Lists of 2009’. 

Check out ‘Veckatimest’ on Grizzly Bear’s MYSPACE

Watch Grizzly Bear’s New Video for ‘Two Weeks’

The band is also on an extensive tour (with 3 New York stops!)

May 26 Vancouver, BC Commodore (w/ Foreign Born)  
May 28 New York, NY SOLD OUT: Town Hall (w/ Here We Go Magic)
May 29 New York, NY SOLD OUT: Town Hall (w/ Here We Go Magic)
May 31 Brooklyn, NY SOLD OUT:Music Hall of Williamsburg (w/ Here We Go Magic)
Jun 01 Washington, DC SOLD OUT: 9:30 Club (w/ Here We Go Magic)
Jun 02 Philadelphia, PA Trocadero (w/ Here We Go Magic)
Jun 03 Boston, MA Berklee Performance Center (w/ Here We Go Magic)
Jun 04 Montréal, QC Le National (w/ Here We Go Magic)
Jun 05 Toronto, ON SOLD OUT: Phoenix (w/ Here We Go Magic)
Jun 07 Minneapolis, MN Cedar Cultural Center (w/ Here We Go Magic)
Jun 08 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theatre (w/ Here We Go Magic)
Jun 09 Bloomington, IN Buskirk-Chumley (w/ Here We Go Magic)
Jun 11 Carrboro, NC Cats Cradle (w/ Here We Go Magic)
Jun 12 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo
Jun 13 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle (with TV on the Radio)
Jun 15 Dallas, TX Granada (w/ Here We Go Magic)
Jun 16 Austin, TX SOLD OUT: The Parish (w/ Here We Go Magic)
Jun 18 Tucson, AZ Centennial Hall (w/ Wilco)
Jun 19 Los Angeles, CA Wiltern (w/ Here We Go Magic)
Jun 21 San Francisco, CA Fillmore (w/ Here We Go Magic)
Jul 19 Chicago, IL Pitchfork Music Festival
Aug 07 Osaka, Japan Summer Sonic
Aug 09 Osaka, Japan Summer Sonic
Aug 13 Olso, Norway Øya Festival
Aug 14 Göteborg, Sweden Way Out West Festival
Aug 15 Rees-Haldern, Germany Haldern Pop Festival  
Aug 16 St. Malo, France La Route du RockFestival
Aug 18 London, UK Koko  
Aug 20 Hasselt, Belgium Pukkelpop
Aug 21 Biddinghuizen, Netherlands Lowlands Paradise
Aug 22 Glanusk, UK Green Man Festival
Oct 02 Austin, TX Austin City Limits Festival

Grizzly Bear Announce New Album, Tour Dates

It seems to have been so long ago since Grizzly Bear released ‘Yellow House’ but the band is back in full form with their newest record,  ‘Veckatimest’ which will be out on May 26th on Warped Records. It seems that the new record is actually more brilliant than the  last according to sources (Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold has called it “the album of the 00s.”) Who knew they could really top it? Of course the album has already been leaked, and though Grizzly Bear really isn’t too keen on that happening, they have learned to accept it.

The band wrote on their blog this week:

Hey all,

So yeah, we are kind of bummed this leaked so early. We know it’s not the 90’s anymore and times have changed, and we’re super grateful for all the support people have shown us on the blogs and internet, but we were kind of hoping it wouldn’t happen this soon.

Ultimately we feel like we put out a great album and hope people enjoy it, and we really hope people take the time to pre-order and support the good one-and-a-half years it took to write and record it.

I promise you the album art for both CD and vinyl is going to be gorgeous. And a bonus: all vinyl people will get a high quality download coupon with their purchase.

Leaking is a tricky subject; as we all know, I’ve had my run ins with the law O__o (Hi, Mr. Sheriff!) I have conflicting opinions about it, as it’s really complicated, but ultimately it saddens me that a bummer-quality version of Veckatimest is going around. Please consider putting your energies into a pre-order or into waiting till May 26 for the album the way we intend it to be presented.

Not to get all mushy, but we definitely put a lot of love and work into this one and are just excited to hit the road and tour it again.

Ok, there! Got that off my chest.
Warm regards.

Its kind of a hard situation since the album isn’t due out for another 3 months, but is not the first time.

Grizzly Bear will also be hitting the road this Spring so be sure to check them out on tour.

05/24 – Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theatre
05/25 – George, WA @ Sasquatch Festival
05/26 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore
05/28 – NYC @ Town Hall
05/29 – NYC @ Town Hall
06/01 – Washington DC @ 930 Club
06/02 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
06/03 – Boston, MA @ Berkley Performance Center
06/04 – Montreal, QUE @ Le National
06/05 – Toronto ON @ Phoenix
06/07 – Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
06/08 – Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theatre
06/09 – Bloomington, IN @ Buskirk- Chumley
06/11 – Carrboro, NC @ Cats Cradle
06/12 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo
06/13 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle (With TV On The Radio)
06/15 – Dallas, TX @ Grenada
06/16 – Austin, TX @ The Parish
06/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern
06/21 – San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore

Check out Grizzly Bear on Myspace

Watch ‘Ready, Able’ (A new song) that Grizzly Bear performed with the Philharmonic this weekend.