Friday, December 18, 2009

2009 Top Ten

Well Well Well...another year and another list. I love them...I love searching them, finding them, finding new music, and sharing with what I listened to this year...Enjoy!

1. Phoenix-Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix


2. Animal Collective-Merriweather Post Pavilion


3. Avett Brothers- I and Love and You


4. Wilco- Wilco (the album)


5. Dinosaur Jr.--Farm


6. Passion Pit--Manners


7. Deastro--Moondagger


8. Ramona Falls-Intuit


9. Sonic Youth--The Eternal


10. Cymbals Eat Guitars-Why There are Mountains



Best of Lists:
Hip Hop: Mos Def- The Ecstatic

Singles: Lady Gaga- Poker Face

Musical Surprise: Phoenix- Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Compilation: Dark Was the Night

Last Year Surprise: Jessica Lee Mayfield- With Blasphemy, So Heartfelt

EP- Bon Iver- Blood Bank

Rock: Dinosaur Jr.

Honorable Mention:
Andrew Bird
The Mountain Goats

I hope you find a gem in there yourself! Have an awesome 2010!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

birds of a feather



I have been quiet lately. I don't know if it's that I have nothing to say, that I have been overwhelmed with change, or that I have disjointed myself from that place of writing and I need to find the road back home. I am at work and i don't know why but I felt compelled to write, right now.

Lately (and when I say lately I mean the last few months) I have been aware of the flocking of birds, the patterns, the necessity of community and togetherness in their traveling. I am compelled by these birds. Every single day I see their movements or their resting. Living in Michigan you would think they would have been long gone by now, migratting to warmer weather and mates. But the weather has been unseasonable and they are staying and allowing me to be in shock or awe when they move and soar together.

Everyday i see their swooping. The movement. Soaring.

I am reminded that I am not alone. I don't have to do this thing called life again. I am sure some of these birds have had collisions with one another, that they are out of formation, line if you will. I am sure they are still in the flock. I hope that I can find my flock. The group of people that you gather and soar with. That you move into new places and new journeys. My fellow friends are scattered all over the place and I know one day we to shall be together but it's been awhile....and i am sure it will continue to be awhile but i know that those birds are my daily reminder to put myself out there. To continue to try new things and find new people. To create. To renew. To grow. To be challenged. To be changed.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ramona Falls: Intuit



I am often skeptical when I get a stack of records and think will some of these be records be something that will be something I actually really love. This record has blown me away. It's smart, thick, and full of life and astute understanding of everyday life.

the more I think about it the more I think it's like the National meets Grizzly Bear. Smart independent rock meeting beautiful percussive harmonies. To me It's like a step up from the National and and a step left from the constructed chaos of Grizzly Bear. I honestly can't stop listening to this record.

The first song entitled "Melectric" has to be one of the most beautiful songs I have heard in quite sometime. I love songs that almost encapsulate desire through what I like to call a tug of war method. It pulls you in and out until you it just breaks and bursts. Sign me up. Let me tell you I haven't stopped listening since I heard it on Sunday. I can also tell you that I might drive to Chicago just to see them play.

This is a project from Brent Knopf from Menomena. For the Ramona Falls project, named after a childhood hiking trail on Mt. Hood, Brent collaborated extensively with musicians in Portland and New York. Performed by Brent Knopf, Intuit includes guest appearances by 35 friends (including members of The Helio Sequence, Mirah, and Talkdemonic, etc.).

You can stream the whole record: HERE.

DOWNLOAD the track "I Say Fever".

SEE them on tour....
8/21 – Los Angeles [The El Rey]
8/23 – Costa Mesa [Detroit Bar]
8/25 – San Francisco [Café DuNord]
8/28 – Seattle [The Crocodile]
8/29 – Portland [Doug Fir]

9/9 – Minneapolis [The 7th Street Entry]
9/10 - Madison [The High Noon Saloon]
9/11 – Chicago [The Chopin]
9/12 – Cleveland [The Beachland Tavern]
9/15 – Boston [Great Scott]
9/17 – NYC [Piano’s]
9/18 – Brooklyn [TBA]
9/19 – Philadelphia [Kung Fu Necktie]

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I should have been a great many of things...



After my many travels to a land that was once my home it has shaken up what I thought was comfortable and have new thoughts and new dreams of what could be possible. When this happens I get a bit of concrete feet and watch a lot of movies and stand still for awhile. Tonight the beautiful Little Women was on and some of my favorite quotes stung me a bit.

The first is from Marme to Jo:
Oh, Jo. Jo, you have so many extraordinary gifts; how can you expect to lead an ordinary life? You're ready to go out and - and find a good use for your talent. Tho' I don't know what I shall do without my Jo. Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it.

The other...
Jo March: I find it poor logic to say that because women are good, women should vote. Men do not vote because they are good; they vote because they are male, and women should vote, not because we are angels and men are animals, but because we are human beings and citizens of this country.

Mr. Mayer: You should have been a lawyer, Miss March.

Jo March: I should have been a great many things, Mr. Mayer.

These two things really have been strong thoughts as of late. I don't know where my gifts, talents, and heart will lead me but I do know that the gears are turning and action and reaction will be needed.

I guess the heart wants what the heart wants. Somedays you need to argue with it and other days you just need to go with it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Free mix




Get a really GREAT mix tape free from insound.

i love insound.
Great distributor of great indie jams.
if you don't know them....well you should.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Adventures at the Library: Part Two

So my musical adventures continue. Clinton Macomb Library I appreciate you and your musical selections. I am a musical listening machine lately. I have to drive everywhere so I have had some time to listen and make some new impressions. So here are three more thoughts for three more records.


Art Brut: "Bang, Bang Rock & Roll"
The record starts with:
Formed a band
We formed a band
Look at us
We formed a band

Hell yeah they formed a band and this 2005 release is amazing. Tough, fun, rock love. I love this record because it is so much fun, the lyrics are interesting, and it defintely announces hey we are a band, these are our songs, love them, hate them, f-you. I think overall it is a nice record to remind yourself to not take yourself to seriously. Art Brut released a new record "Art Brut vs. Satan," this pushes me over to edge to want to own it, listen to it, and probably dance around my bedroom with a dinosaur as a microphone.



Dr. Dog: Fate
I LOVED THIS RECORD!! It's my favorite of the three I have listened to during this library round. This 2008 release missed my listening ears. Oh my gosh I love it. It's fun, it's americana, it's roots, it's just plain good. As people were talking about My Morning Jacket they should have been speaking louder about this record. It's cool and breezy, not to cocky or arrogant. If this record was a person I would love to hang out with it. Who wouldn't really. GET THIS RECORD!!! I wish I would have a year ago.

See them live:
Jul 31 2009 12:30A
Pickathon Portland, Oregon
Aug 1 2009 8:30P
Pickathon Portland, Oregon
Aug 3 2009 9:00P
Bethlehem Musikfest Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Sep 18 2009 7:00P
Nightfall Concert at Miller Plaza Chattanooga, Tennessee
Sep 19 2009 9:00P
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Bristol, Virginia
Sep 20 2009 2:00P
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Bristol, Virginia
Sep 28 2009 9:00P
The Orange Peel Asheville, North Carolina
Sep 29 2009 7:30P
The Loft Atlanta, Georgia
Sep 30 2009 8:00P
The Howlin’ Wolf New Orleans, Louisiana
Oct 1 2009 10:00P
Chelsea’s Cafe Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Oct 2 2009 12:00P
Austin City Limits Festival Austin, Texas
Oct 3 2009 1:00P
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Golden Gate Park San Francisco, California
Oct 5 2009 8:30P
The Brookdale Lodge Brookdale, California
Oct 6 2009 9:00P
Henry Fonda Theatre Los Angeles, California
Oct 7 2009 9:30P
Club Congress Tucson, Arizona
Oct 9 2009 10:00P
Urban Lounge Salt Lake City, Utah
Oct 10 2009 9:00P
Belly Up Aspen, Colorado
Oct 11 2009 9:00P
Fox Theatre Boulder, Colorado
Oct 12 2009 9:00P
The Bottleneck Lawrence, Kansas
Oct 13 2009 9:00P
The Gargoyle Club St. Louis, Missouri
Oct 15 2009 9:00P
The Mad Hatter Covington, Kentucky
Oct 16 2009 8:00P
Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, Ohio
Oct 17 2009 8:00P
Mass Moca North Adams, Massachusetts
Oct 20 2009 9:00P
Gravity Lounge Charlottesville, Virginia
Oct 21 2009 9:00P
Cat’s Cradle Carrboro, North Carolina
Oct 22 2009 8:00P
Ottobar Baltimore, Maryland
Oct 23 2009 9:00P
Theatre of the Living Arts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oct 24 2009 9:00P
Theatre of the Living Arts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania




Josh Ritter: The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
I really got into Six Feet Under a few years ago and there was a beautiful end scene where a track from Josh Ritter was featured. The song was "Come and Find Me." So I took his advice after many listens and tried to find him. I found this record, The Historical Conquest of Josh Ritter" and was underwhelmed and to be honest kind of bored. Six tracks in I was just not into the record. Help me people! I don't understand what everyone loves about him! Is it just this record? Is it him? One track does not a great artist make. Is there anybody out there who will help me understand?

Wilco...live in Detroit


I can say that I am one lucky lady to be able to see Wilco twice within the same week. Good luck and fortune rarely shows itself in this way and when it happens in this manner than I run with it and take full advantage.

Last Tuesday was Wilco at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in Michigan. Wilco indoors doesn't happen very often and going back into my memories I think it has been since 2005 where I saw them indoors. What a treat!! Indoors made a difference with hearing the delicate percussion lines in songs from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and just how good Nels Cline really is.

I was lucky to have a space that allowed me to peer through the crowd and have a direct view of Nels' hands as they fly on this Jazzmaster. Holy crap...so good and so beautiful. The night was full of great jams both new and old. Nothing was better than the first encore with Poor Places into Reservations and then topping it off with Spiders (Kidsmoke). Those songs almost haunt me. It made me stop moving. Stand still. Listen. It was like I could see the ghosts of my past. The air in the room changed to like everyone was accessing a memory with a line like "I've got reservations, about so many things, but not about you."

The night was fun, lots of really good midwest jams. The crowd was so fabulous, singing along, having fun. I danced the whole evening and sang along on the top of my lungs. I was having a rough day and let me tell you Wilco (as promised) did make it better.

(Hummingbird LIVE)


Royal Oak Set List:
Wilco (the song)
Bull Black Nova
You Are My Face
IATTBYH
A Shot in the Arm
One Wing
Handshake Drugs
A Magazine Called Sunset
Deeper Down
Jesus, etc.
In A Future Age
Impossible Germany
I'll Fight
Summerteeth (started and restarted)
Sonny Feeling
Hate It Here
Can't Stand It
Walken
I'm The Man Who Loves You
Hummingbird

Encore
Poor Places
Reservations
Spiders (Kidsmoke)

2nd Encore
You Never Know
Heavy Metal Drummer
California Stars (w/female fan choir)
Red-Eyed and Blue
I Got You (At The End of the Century)
Hoodoo Voodoo
Kingpin
I'm A Wheel

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This Womans Work



I watch So You Think You Can Dance every Wednesday without fail. I watch it with great friends of mine I literally have known ALL of my life (trust me there are baby pictures involved). There are two words that get my stomach in a knot, or make me pause, or make me stare off into space and those words are: breast cancer.

Last night this piece was performed to represent the struggle. I have never been more moved in my life. Never a dance or art for that matter has pushed me over the edge more than this piece. Even sitting here writing this I have tears in my eyes.

The song was an excellent choice, the dancing was superb, the male dance Ade got it. He completely got what it was to support someone with the struggle. To want to catch them, hold them up, never leave them alone. He was SO strong. It is such an AMAZING piece.

The video shows the story and the thankfulness of the judges for being able to have the courage and strength to dance this piece. I am so thankful.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Deastro: Growers EP


Download a free Deastro EP: Growers

CLICK ME!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Javelins



To be young and to be in Detroit. There are some great bands in this newly found fair city of mine. One of my favorites is this delightful band Javelins, probably one of my favorite bands in Detroit. This indiepop band always puts a smile on my face and gets me excited about the possibilities of music. The band is really nothing I have heard before. Tight pop with eerie sounding distorted tracks makes one early to fall in love with.

Last night I enjoyed them at The Lager House. A quick set that was fully enjoyable made me excited about this three, now turned four piece. Matt Rickle, Matt Howard, Julian Wettlin, and Will Yates bring strong indie sensibilities with their influences of My Bloody Valentine, Talk Talk, Stereolab, and Built to Spill to help you understand the low-fi love I give to their jams.

Please check out there record, Heavy Meadows, a smart ten song collection chalk full of this wonderful sound and delightful jams. Erica Froman from the lovely band Anathallo loans her beautiful and stunning voice to give many of these tracks depth and success. I hope you can check them out, I have and will continue.

Javelins - "Out on the Sand" from Suburban Sprawl Music on Vimeo.




If you are in the midwest please check these jams out:
Jul 22 2009 Midwest Fest 09 Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Jul 28 2009 The Pike Room w/ CURSIVE Pontiac, Michigan
Aug 14 2009 F*cking Awesome Fest @ The Majestic Detroit, Michigan
Aug 16 2009 Gold Music Festival Rochester, Michigan

Friday, July 17, 2009

Music at the Library: Part One



In the last year my life has kind of flipped upside down and I have found myself in the state where my drivers license told me where I reside. Which means I am in suburbia for just a little while longer. Which means I now have a library where I can actually check out books (for awhile there I lived in different states, never long enough to change my address, hence no library card.

This new library has an amazing collection of music. One that makes my jaw drop a little and wish that their 'alternative' section was my own personal library. So I am going to go back in time a bit. Listen to records that I always wanted to hear but there were many moments I couldn't afford. ahhhhh....the beauty of the library!!

First installment:


Love is All: A Hundred Things that Keep Me Up All Night
Most favorite record that I will probably go and purchase soon. It was so fun. So delightful. The record was released late November 2008 so it slipped through the radar as I obsessed over best of the year lists, which the unfortunate November release gets stuck in between the cracks. Dancerockpop jams! Love it. Have to have it and I hope you do as well.






The Silent Years: The Globe. This is a local Detroit band with band members of bands of my past that I just loved. Since I have been home I have seen them a few times and have really enjoyed myself. This record defintely didn't disappoint. Fun, beautiful questions, slow though not boring. Here's a little taste.



Liam Finn: I'll Be Lightening. This Record was released in 2007 and I have had a couple of tracks floating in my itunes. The whole record is lovely and I was lucky to give it a whirl but it's not something I have missed since returning to the library. It was nice but forgettable.



Black Mountain: In the Future.
Let's Just say this was my least favorite of the bunch. Known as retro-psych the record was released early 2008. It was guitar solos without much substance. I didn't finish it. I returned it without thinking twice. I kind of forgot about it until I went through my list and remembered what i was up to!

So there are the four reviews of records newer and older. I have another large stack that I am slowly wading through. Enjoy!

Wolfgang Amedeus Phoenix



Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix has been a delightful addition to my music catalog. It's fun, energetic, and powerful. It's one of the few records that when the record is over you swiftly start it over again.

There are some great songs that are easily put into a mix tape with fun summer jams. It's a fantastically fun record with wonderfully crafted pop songs that are easy to shake your shoulders to. The lyrics are crafted to engage the loner or the lonely and I have fallen for its sweetness.

I had heard quite a lot of buzz around this band and with the record. I was skeptical at first but it's a delightful record that gets played often when i am working or if i am driving in my car. I highly suggest that you put this record on, clear your furniture, and dance the night away.

You can check them out on tour:
SEPTEMBER

September 13 : Monolith Festival – Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO, USA
September 16 : Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, USA
September 19 : Urban, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
September 21 : Slowdown, Omaha, NE, USA
September 22 : First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, USA
September 25 : Rumsey Playfield – Central Park, NYC, USA – SOLD OUT
September 26 : Rumsey Playfield – Central Park, NYC, USA

OCTOBER

October 1 : Tipitinas, New Orleans, LA, USA
October 2 : Austin City Limits Festival, Austin, Texas, USA

If you can't see them on tour you can still follow them on twitter:Wearephoenix

Wilco (my thoughts)



There are few bands that really shake me to the core. Anyone that has hung out with me a few times will eventually understand that the love of this band runs deep. Wilco put out a really fantastic follow-up to the 2006 rock record Sky Blue Sky with this new record Wilco (the album). This record shares some really fantastic new songs; the fun and lite wilco (the song), a duo with the lovely Feist on You and I, and the chilling Bull Black Nova.

I have read somewhere that this is a record of confidence, and I couldn't agree more. These five gentleman have brought their confidence, experience, and ability to craft great songs onto one of the most stripped down Wilco records to date. It continues to amaze (and delight) that this band keeps getting better with time. The record is not Yankee Hotel Foxtrot or a Ghost is Born. It's this stripped down great rock sound. At first I thought these jams could be B-sides from Sky Blue Sky but I couldn't be more wrong. There is a beautiful rich tone to this record. It's calm, unassuming, and straight up great!

and hearing it live is even better!!

on Monday I had the opportunity to see Wilco live on Coney Island. The night began with Wilco (the song). So fun, so exciting, and with a smile on my face some friends new and some who have loved Wilco forever with me sang-a-long for two and half hours of fantastic Wilco songs. They played my favorites (Hummingbird, Impossible Germany, Shot in the Arm, At Least That's What She Said). The energy they bring to a show is like nothing else I have seen or have encountered.



The show was a beautiful night and with a double encore my heart was happy. (Leslie) Feist came out to sing the duet "You and I" and I thought my jaw would fall off my face. Then Edward Droste from Grizzly Bear came out and jangled the tambourine and sang California Stars with Feist and band. Adding beauty to beauty Yo La Tango arrives to finish the encore with Spiders (Kidsmoke).





I think my favorite Wilco moment happened when Nels Cline, Jeff Tweedy, and the dude from Yo La Tango came together and created some beautiful harmonies with progressive scales creating both tension and harmony. Holy crap. Amazing.



A second encore included what my friend Ryan liked to call a shred off between multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone and the fabulous Nels Cline on the jam Hoodoo Voodoo. Moments of great rock and roll are no longer televised but I had the amazing opportunity to see it happen! Lucky for me I get to see them again next week!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

magic is in the air.



These are my feelings as of late:
Iron and Wine covering SteroLab
Peng! 33



Curiosity was far greater than our fear
It felt so simple, so prodigious at the same time

Incredible things are happening in the world
Magical things are happening in this world

Across the river there are all kinds of magical instruments
While we really keep on living like monkeys

Incredible things are happening in the world
Magical things are happening in this world, yeah

Monday, June 22, 2009

beauty upon beauty.


I spent the morning being tired. I was tired because of the beauty of community, friendship, true love, and laughter. I can only say that I know some of the most amazing people in the world. These people are kind, loving, gracious, beautiful, free spirited, and connected to a beautiful God who is never limited.

I stood up in the Sparks-Graeser wedding that ultimately so beautiful with a blue sky, cool shade, green grass, and love that is tireless.

I am grateful for the people who challenge me.
Who push me endlessly.
Who love without having to try.
Who are good. Who fail and pick themselves back up.
They fight with their voices rather than their fists.
They inspire me to be better.

They inspire me to continue to be honest and open.
They inspire me to create. To think of new ideas and to approach life with vigor and always with a smile.

I can never give up
I can never give in

when i have friends like these.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Deastro: Moondagger

I have been absent from life the last couple of weeks....I have been listening to good jams as I have been a busy worker bee.


I have been lucky to come back to Detroit (I used to live in LA) and stumble upon music (and people) that shake you. Deastro is the brain child of Randolph Chabot. This record is my favorite summer jam already. I have played some of these jams at a party and the dancing automatically happens. (I also had a little girl throw a little rock fist in the air!)

The record is a smart blend of 80s new-wave, hints of classical influence, and smart beats that makes you wonder how one guy could put this all together. Record label Ghostly International has put out such a good record with little guy. The lyrics are so personal. They seem to touch on love, loss, and the quest to understand a God that almost seems unknowable. It is smart combination of live drums, guitar, and synth blending.

I absolutely LOVE this record. It's so smart both musically and lyrically. Please check out the songs: Kurgan Wave Number One, Daniel Johnston Was Stabbed In The Heart With The Moondagger By The King Of Darkness And His Ghost Is Writing This Song As A Warning To All Of Us, and The Shaded Forest. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Deastro is also heading on tour:
06/10 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
06/12 Brooklyn, NY - Studio B
06/13 Montreal, QC - Le Divan Orange
06/15 Cleveland, OH - Bside Liquor Lounge
06/17 Chicago, IL - Double Door
06/18 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Avenue Entry
06/21 Vancouver, BC - Media Club
06/22 Seattle, WA - TBA
06/23 Portland, OR - Holocene
06/24 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
06/25 L.A., CA - Spaceland

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Wooden Birds: Magnolia



A new record out for Iron and Wine fans who can't wait for the month before their new record to come out can be excited for Magnolia, the new record from the new band The Wooden Birds.

These birds constructed of wood is from the brain of Andrew Kenny, better known for his work in American Analog Set. This mellow record sets up to be a record you want to listen to when it rains or when the fall comes and you want to wrap yourself in a sweater.

To be honest the first couple of listens made me roll my eyes and run to my Iron and Wine records but I dug in my heels and thought well I think I will give it another shot. The lyrics are smart, funny, and some that make you ponder and wonder what might be going through to want to someone to choke. Slow guitars mixed with shakers, drum sweeps, and interspersed beautiful female harmonies.

The way the music is set it reminds me of riding on a train. The tracks moving underneath you taking you someplace you have been before. The beat throughout the record is repetivitive but you know you are getting somewhere rather than nowhere.

Tracks that are a must have: "Sugar" and "Hailey"

There is a great interview with Andrew Kenny found HERE.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Six Albums that Have Caught my Ear in 2009




2009 started with a bang! Five STRONG records that are fabulous and amazing. Each record has a different flavor a different beauty that attaches itself to each song and to each melody.

Animal Collective: Holy crap! The most accessible record of their catalog is Merriweather Post Pavillion. Electronic masterpiece in 11 songs. My favorites are of course, "My Girls" and "Summertime Clothes". Perfect record to drive with the windows down. The video of My Girls can be found HERE. There Letterman appearance HERE.

Antony and the Johnsons yet again gives us a brilliant heartbreaking longful record. For about two weeks I couldn't stop listening to "Epilepsy is Dancing". The last minute is breath-taking, swirling and gorgeous. The rest of the record is quite thought provoking and repeat-worthy.

M. Ward: Hold Time is a pretty simple record. Features the vocals of his She and Him co-singer Zooey Deschanel. I love this record because there are some fantastic lyrics layred with simple folk chords and melodies.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: was a surprise for me this year. In a collection of artists that have shown that they already can make a good record this one popped it's head up and said an 80s-esche hello. I grew up listening to pop radio in the 80s and at that time nu-wave was cooler than Paris Hilton wishes she could be. I feel in love with this self-titled record instantly. My Molly Ringwald dance boots are on and I love that it creates a new twist on something I hold so near and dear. This video is awesome. Watch. Hug. Dance. Fall in love.

Beirut: This new record is a lot like the old record. Bright trumpets, rhythmic accordions, smooth drumming is always a fun record to read to or have on in the background. In some ways it felt like a B-sides to The Flying Club Cup but that seems to be okay with me.

Andrew Bird: Oh Andrew Bird thank you for making another great record. Some of the record was in the Wilco loft...LOVE! Other than that unrelated though so fantastic tid bit of info this record is a fantastic (not so much) follow up to Magical Production of Eggs. There are slow thought parts mixed with fantastic lyrics with bright piano and a myriad of smart instrumentation. Noble Beast is a must have of 09. The video for track "Fitz and and Dizzyspells" is right HERE.

If you have any of these records and you have some thoughts share them with me. I don't like to listen in a vacuum.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mogwai@ the Crofoot (Pontiac)


Mogwai @ Crofot May 6, 2009

Beautifully elegant and peaceful was the set and the tone from Mogwai at Detroit'sCrofoot. I think when you listen to instrumental music you can only come with yourself and your ideas how to interpret a song. So many of my own nerosises played out last night as I listened to brilliantly crafted, emotionally driven songs.

I guess I can say they are emotional only for the shere fact that I am an emotional person and I sort through life under the umbrella of beautiful slow jams. They played a slew of songs from a slew of records and to everyones joy ended night with a 20 minute encore of "My Father My King." The 20 minute EP of same name.

When I listen to Mogwai it always sounds a bit darker, than say, Explosions in the Sky. Darker tonely only in the sense that there are moments that there are songs that sound like a ticking clock...time moving on...life moving on. There are no lows and no highs just a movement and that movement has to be forward. There driving parts are what moves me. Holy Crap so beautiful. So ballsy. Moments almost remind me of metal they are so tough. What makes this band so phenomenal is that moments of when it's so tough, fist in hand, the next moments are tender and gentle.

I won last night.

Fellow Scots, The Twilight Sad opened the evening. Incredible as well. Vovally reminds me of Billy Bragg. Instrumentally a good indie swooping sound. There was a moment when the singer was no longer singing in the microphone and just stood there. I don't know why that really affected me so much. The absense of movement. He stood there and just listened. Struck a chord in me. Check out their myspace. Beautiful.

Favorite Mogwai song of the evening:

Mogwai - Mogwai Fear Satan from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mastodon....


Mastodon : Live at the Crofoot.

Friday I had the privilege to see Mastodon with Kylesa at the Crofoot. I have been to a lot of shows in my age (27) anywhere from my first (Dave Matthews Band) to some great metal and hardcore, Wilco, TV on the Radio, and Radiohead nights of genius and wonder.

I can honestly say that Mastodon put on one of the greatest shows I have seen in quite some time and maybe almost ever. I am not a typical Metal-head. I love slow jams, pop jams, rock jams, etc. I don't know the guitar player who originally played for Ozzy Osbourne on a tour in 1984 or obscure bands with some amazing riffs but I do know that I love music that is heavy and smart. That's where Mastodon comes in.

Mastodon is smart, heavy, technically brilliant, and continually aware of other musical concepts that influence their musical....dare I say...genius. They started the evening with playing the newest record Crack the Skye from beginning to end. A seven song epic record that swoops and swells. It reminds me of a mid-90s grunge, heavy, rock record. The recording to be completely honest is okay but seeing them live it really came alive. The brightness of the guitar tones mixed with the heaviness of the double kick drum really came alive that evening

After finishing the record they took what one may consider a break and came back and played for another hour and a half. It only got better, playing songs that were off old records...my favorite "Blood and Thunder" and "Iron Tusks" from Leviathian.

If this band comes into your town. Please go. Please do yourself this favor and go. It was so good. Technically brilliant. Musically a dream. It's been a few days since I went and I am still feeling the effects of just how great of a band they were. So good. So tight. So together as a band. Go....Go now.

Tour dates that are left:
May 4 Le National Montreal, QC
May 5 Opera House Toronto, ON
May 7 House of Blues Boston, MA
May 8 TLA Philadelphia, PA
May 9 Fillmore @ Irving Plaza New York, NY
May 10 Music Hall of Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY
May 12 9:30 Club Washington DC
May 13 Cat’s Cradle Carbarro, NC
May 14 Orange Peel Ashville, NC
May 15 Center Stage Atlanta, GA

Sunday, April 26, 2009

iconoclasts thought...



If I could have a blanket that covered me with love
the strands that kept me warm
were notes and tunes infused with Wilco
notes out of tune
notes with neutral milk hotel, REM, radiohead, and Miles Davis

I would blanket myself and I would never feel alone
I would feel absolutely embraced by the questions
the loneliness, the joy, the questions, and the peace

I would know that the warmth that I felt
is something that I have put together
and yet I have never made myself

The music embraces me with thoughts that I could never get
from turning on just the radio
but hearing how this music has impacted others
as they have bee stretched to see the world
with new eyes, perspectives, beauty

and so i will lay myself down to hear the silence
but always keeping my ears open to someones
interpretation of how they hear the world.

why should the devil have all the good music?



I haven't been going to church lately.
I don't go because I think it's almost to real
or many times I think it's so far from my reality
and the reality of those that I love that I
just don't go.

This morning I watched the documentary "Why Should the Devil Have all the Good Music?" where the directors of the film went to Cornerstone Music Festival and talked to bands and fans about why Christian music is where it is musically and theologically in this point in history.

There were great questions posted of validity and strength of the message of Jesus. It helped me remember my question of what is Christian and what is 'secular'? I use the secular in quotes because I no longer see the need to separate the two. There is clearly a separation when all i can do is say the word Jesus and I believe in sacred spaces but at the end of the day there is clearly not a difference when the word love is used and when love is in action.

You could tell the differences in interviews of the kids who really thought about the infusion of art with their faith and those who regurgitated what someone else told them to think and infused it with their art.

I don't think I know what the right spirituality is for someone and I don't know if I know for myself. All I know is that the desire for spiritual safety or some sort of safe place to ask questions sounds like a place I desire to be.

Watching the DVD reminded me where I came from the great safe places that Cornerstone music fest allowed me to ask, allowed amazing people and friendships to come into my life, and allowed me to ask questions that challenged me spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Nothing is perfect. Christianity and it's practice is far from perfect as well.

I hope that good questions continue to be asked where we allow beauty and truth to be reintegrated with our faith practices.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

a pretty song for you.

I am sipping on a cup of coffee
listening to another day by the album leaf



it is supposed to rain
and i have my favorite sweater on
my dog by my feet
attempting to find a good book to read

there is something about this simplicity that breathes new life
into the lungs that are old and tired
i think some of it has to do with the fact that i am
growing

older
up
wiser
dumber
softer
feminine
sanguine
(I like that word)

and the stacks of books in the corners of my room
are calling my name
now that I put aside the remote control
for the option of controlling the input of my own brain

thinking through the beauty of the words from Gloria Steinem
hope for equality
and peace
and desire
to have knowledge about our land
and our space
and making a difference

whatever that can mean for you....

Friday, April 10, 2009

life as it begins to bloom.


My spring mix for 2009...
Silly to think it took me about a month to make but it's damn good.

1. Hot 'N Cold--Katie Perry
2. Just Dance--Lady Gaga (it's a guilty pleasure)
3. Gobbledigoook--Sigur Ros
4. Untrust Us--Crystal Castles
5. This Package is Wrapped--Marnie Stern
6. My Girls- Animal Collective
7. What Ever Happened?--The Strokes
8. Graveyard Girl-M83
9. Kids--MGMT
10. Any Way You Want It--Journey
11. Happy As Can Be--Cut Off Your Hands
12. Halfway Home--TV on the Radio
13. A Magazine Called Sunset--Wilco
14. Magick--Ryan Adams
15. Summertime Clothes--Animal Collective
16. For Your Love-Marching Band
17. Parallelogram--Deastro
18. Wouldn't It Be Nice--The Beach Boys
19. Get It On--T. Rex

Get print here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

100 records 100 days challenge: Day One...#18 Postal Service: Give Up

DISCLAIMER**As I have pondered my challenge (and been told there are better records) and to that I agree. I am going to still do the challenge but some of the records might change. I recognize that it is supposed to be 'indie' records but what I am realizing is most of these are the first releases of records before they got picked up by a bigger label. Okay cool I get it but there are better records to talk about so I might pick them.

I will start here....


I don't know anyone who doesn't really like this record. The side project to Death Cab for Cuties Chris Walla and program smartie Jimmy Tamborello. I think we all know the songs from countless commercials...Apple and Ipods just to say a few off the top of my head. Intel using the idea of the video or the video itself for it's commercial.

The band's name was chosen due to the way in which they produced its songs. Tamborello wrote and performed instrumental tracks and then sent the DATs to Gibbard, who edited the song as he saw fit (adding his vocals along the way), sending them back to Tamborello via the United States Postal Service.


I have so many memories attached to this record. Driving on tour with Anah Aevia singing loud with my friend Lukey-T. Dancing on rooftops. Driving around in that convertible with the top down. Most of this music I love evokes many memories and this album evokes so many.

The record is fun and one of those records that is accessible without being heady and at the same time not so over produced that there are no fresh thoughts or ideas. It was good to hear it again. I close my eyes and see a time that no longer exists with people that are wonderful and fun.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Amazons Top 100 Challenge

Amazon.com posted their top 100 'indie rock records.' I went through the list and I thought I don't have some of these and or never heard of a couple. So my goal in the next 100 days is to find, listen, and talk about these records. I don't think I can go in order but it will give me something to do at work every day and something to think about at night. Who knows...I don't think I can do it in exactly a hundred days but we will give it a shot. Maybe this is will be the push I need to get excited about writing about music...giving me a chance to read, research, and acknowledge what Amazon has concluded great records.


100 Dangerous Magical Noise - The Dirtbombs
99 Passover - The Black Angels
98 To Survive - Joan As Police Woman
97 Ultimate Alternative Wavers - Built To Spill
96 Trans Am - Trans Am
95 The Discovery Of A World Inside... - The Apples In Stereo
94 Waiter: 'You Vultures!' - Portugal The Man
93 Alligator - The National
92 Horses In The Sky - Silver Mt. Zion
91 Gallowsbird's Bark - The Fiery Furnaces
90 Louden Up Now - (!!! Chk Chik Chick)
89 The Milk-Eyed Mender - Joanna Newsom
88 The Power Out - Electrelane
87 Cure For Pain - Morphine
86 Worn Copy - Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
85 Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls
84 Hearts Of Oak - Ted Leo/Pharmacists
83 Save Yourself - Make Up
82 The Last Match - The Aislers Set
81 The Sea and the Bells - Rachel's
80 The Ugly Organ - Cursive
79 De Stijl - The White Stripes
78 Nothing Feels Good - The Promise Ring
77 The Smell Of Our Own - The Hidden Cameras
76 Jane From Occupied Europe - Swell Maps
75 Furnace Room Lullaby - Neko Case
74 The Curtain Hits The Cast - Low
73 The R&B Of Membership - The Delta 72
72 II & III - Camper Van Beethoven
71 Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating... - Spiritualized
70 The Fawn - The Sea And Cake
69 Feast of Wire - Calexico
68 Oh, Inverted World - The Shins
67 Will You Find Me - Ida
66 Milk Man - Deerhoof
65 Coquelicot Asleep In The Poppies... - Of Montreal
64 Rejoicing in The Hands - Devendra Banhart
63 Destroyer's Rubies - Destroyer
62 TNT - Tortoise
61 Neon Golden - The Notwist
60 Daddy's Highway - The Bats
59 Set Yourself On Fire - Stars
58 Fabulous Muscles - Xiu Xiu
57 Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes - TV On The Radio
56 The Decline And Fall Of Heavenly - Heavenly
55 The Mysterious Production of Eggs - Andrew Bird
54 Pussy-Whipped - Bikini Kill
53 Sing No Evil - Half Japanese
52 Liberty Belle And The Black Diamond Express - The Go Betweens
51 Emperor Tomato Ketchup - Stereolab
50 And Don't The Kids Just Love It - Television Personalities
49 Wild Love - Smog
48 Agaetis Byrjun - Sigur Ros
47 Red House Painters I - Red House Painters
46 Advisory Committee - Mirah
45 How Memory Works - Joan Of Arc
44 On Fire - Galaxie 500
43 On - Imperial Teen
42 Mass Romantic [Remastered] - The New Pornographers
41 Gulag Orkestar - Beirut
40 This Nation's Saving Grace - The Fall
39 You Forgot It In People - Broken Social Scene
38 I Am A Bird Now - Antony & The Johnsons
37 When Your Heartstrings Break - Beulah
36 Our Endless Numbered Days - Iron & Wine
35 Person Pitch - Panda Bear
34 Let's Get Out of This Country - Camera Obscura
33 Merriweather Post Pavilion - Animal Collective
32 Let It Be [Expanded Edition] - The Replacements
31 Repeater + 3 Songs - Fugazi
30 Zen Arcade - Hüsker Dü
29 24 Hour Revenge Therapy - Jawbreaker
28 Lift Your Skinny Fists... - godspeed you black emperor!
27 Yellow House - Grizzly Bear
26 The Glow Pt. 2 - The Microphones
25 Black Candy - Beat Happening
24 Funeral - Arcade Fire
23 Moon Pix - Cat Power
22 Diary - Sunny Day Real Estate
21 Lifted Or The Story Is In The Soil... - Bright Eyes
20 I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One - Yo La Tengo
19 Kill the Moonlight - Spoon
18 Give Up - The Postal Service
17 Dig Me Out - Sleater-Kinney
16 No Pocky for Kitty - Superchunk
15 I See A Darkness - Bonnie "Prince" Billy
14 We Have The Facts and We're Voting Yes - Death Cab For Cutie
13 Michigan - Sufjan Stevens
12 Daydream Nation - Sonic Youth
11 69 Love Songs Volume 1 - The Magnetic Fields
10 Bakesale - Sebadoh
09 Either/Or - Elliott Smith
08 Surfer Rosa - Pixies
07 If You're Feeling Sinister - Belle & Sebastian
06 Slanted & Enchanted - Pavement
05 Imperial f.f.r.r. (Deluxe Edition) - Unrest
04 Exile In Guyville - Liz Phair
03 Spiderland - Slint
02 In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
01 Bee Thousand - Guided by Voices

Films when you can't move




With my back being sore, hurt, and for a day and half not really able to move I had quite a lot of time to watch some movies. Most of them fantastic a couple glad I watched but not worth mentioning. I won't go into huge diatribes but I thought some of these had a few sentences worth of a high five.

Rachel Getting Married
Fantastic film about addiction, recovery, and family dynamics. I think Anne Hathaway is fantastic and I think it's a great film to discuss personal dynamics as they link with our family and coping choices. Good. Great.

Persopolis
Illustrated story about the civil war of Taran, Iran and a young girls development alongside this tragedy. It's a search for freedom and self. It's a beautiful story with even more beautiful artwork. It was good film to understand the national identity of a country I didn't really know much about.

King Corn
FANTASTIC documentary about the use of Iowa corn. Did you know that you can't eat the corn that 95% of Iowa farmers grow? I had no clue. Did you know that most of what we eat is corn? Fabulous film showing the movement of nutritional to feed corn/high fructose corn syrup. I think it was a smart story to share how our culture and way of life is changing.

I Like Killing Flies
MY FAVORITE from the day. It is a crazy story of the owner of a dive restaurant in New York. He asks the most fantastic questions about the meaning of life as well as living it within a community like space. You have to watch it to believe it!! Fabulous.

Conversation(s) With Other Women
Another interesting conversation on love and loss. Shot and edited with a split story...connecting together the past with the present AND what could have been with what actually has. It is smart, funny, and breathtakingly simple. I could watch this one a few times and think I could still find something new.

The King of Kong
Amazingly geeky film. I loved it for that reason. I love when people get passionate and psyched on something that has meaning to a very small group of people. Fantastic. This small business man seeks to break the record of the 1985 world champion of Donkey Kong. When you are good you are good. No questions asked. Awesome.

I had a great movie watching experience. You should let me know if you have seen any of these and some thoughts!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cohen.


Leonard Cohen the great song writer of beloved "Hallelujah" as well as so many others has a live double disk streaming on NPR.

I think this is what I will be doing today is listening to his sweet raspy voice challenge me on life and love!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

creativity and a salad shooter



My friend Sean linked me to THIS article in the New York Times.

It is interesting to talk about the financial and ecological impact. This article reveals my thoughts and feelings of the last few years and my thoughts to the continual future. Do we really need these things or this stuff to give us meaning, pleasure, or hope? I can't imagine that our stuff can do that.

So in this recession/depression where and how will we (I) be creative in thinking of new ways to help the economy without it being a plastic salad shooter or a new pair of shoes. I hope that we can find new ways to deal with our country and our lifestyle that doesn't include having 'stuff' to make our country be the 'best around.'

Life is interesting....I just want to be creative.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happiness is.....

When movie trailer like this exist...



This may be one of my all time favorite childrens books. I love when you watch something new and it sends shivers up your arms and back. I think this will be fantastic!! The only thing that made me sad was when I saw that it is coming up in October...it's better not be pushed to the next summer like the Harry Potter movie...

New Wilco Record


I am SO SO SO excited!!!

A new Wilco record is set to be released in the end of June. Oh I am a happy lady!!
From Wilcoworld.net this is being said:


The forthcoming and still-untitled next Wilco album is nearing completion. Jim Scott and the band spent the last few weeks mixing in Jim's studio in Valencia, California and here's a list of song titles spied on the reels -- note this is not necessarily complete and not in sequence.

Deeper Down
Conscript (aka I'll Fight)
One Wing
Solitaire
Wilco (the song)
Country Disappeared
Everlasting
Bull Black Nova
Sonny Feeling
You and I


Rolling Stone blogger has heard the record and said they were hoping for a little more Yankee Hotel Foxtrot sonic dissonance but rumors have it that it will take yet another route. I just hope there are some great riffs like in Impossible Germany....

New Wilco=Happy Amy!!

you change you change you change your mind...




A fantastic album that was out last year was Marnie Stern's This Is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And It Is It And That Is That. I LOVE this record!! It's sassy. It's tough. It's raw and at the same time it's lyrics dig into me just like her superb finger tapping skills.

To be honest I know this record isn't for everyone but that's the beauty of music and desiring a bit deeper and a but longer to find something that grabs you and makes you say....really? this can be done? And done well it is.

THIS is a realy great interview regarding Marnie and falling into the music world. If you are friends of Hella you will be friends with Marnie...Zach Hill the drummer for the fabo band is playing drums on this little guy as well.

VIDEO for Transformer...Check it before you wreck it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bon Iver is heaven...

...and it is even sweeter when covering the 80s jam "I Don't Want to Lose Your Love" by the Outfield.

Music worth being read


I loved this magazine called Harp that went under last year. As I was searching for a birthday present I came across a magazine entitled BLURT that caught my eye. It looked as similiar to the layout of Harp and as I perused the issue and noticed that it was the same as Harp but a new name. I LOVE the thoughts of the people who write for the magazine. It's smart. Funny. Witty and it digs deeper into the topics than most music journalists allow themselves to dig.

It's not shallow or trite. It doesn't seem to be caught up in just the latest trends but continues to talk about those who came before and how the continue to influence the sounds that come today. It was worth the five dollars.

In a Sex and the City episode Carrie is talking to a fashion photographer about the photos he has taken. She makes mention that she would have to choose food or Vogue and she would choose Vogue because she thought it would feed her more. I feel this way about this magazine. I think reading about music and those who do it feeds me in a way that much else does. I know that I get quite passionate about certain aspects of life and I am okay to be passionate about this.

Something sparked when I found the magazine. I remembered what I loved and though I am far away from what I have considered normal I know that you can't walk away from what you love. For me it's late nights in a smokey space with people who love exposing themselves to art, music, and something bigger than yourself.

cobwebs.


It has been quite some time that I blogged or had the urge to blog.
I think that was a good thing. A good idea indeed.

I have new thoughts again.
When the snow was falling so was my heart.
It needed to hybernate and keep warm.
It was studying, reading, seeing with eyes that were broken and tired.

Resting and hiding seemed like the best idea.
Change is imperative.

I would like to start with writing about the cultural adventures I have taken.
Some in sound and some in film
Some about the heart
and others about art.

Life is for the taking and ready to reach my hand out and work for it.
and so i begin.

taking the cobwebs from the corners...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

sigh.

When I left LA I left this blog behind.
I was so inspired when i was laying in my bed with blue walls
la cucaracha playing in my neighborhood
the fans hum
the noise
the slamming of the door
the cringe

i got home tonight and i sat on the couch
i have lost my stride
my original thought

i feel blank
i feel bored
i feel uninspired

yet i don't feel alone

i just want to find my path
i just want to find a home
to call my own
to not want to put on my feathered wings
and fly away

i just want something to feel normal
to pay my bills on time
to maybe save some money
to feel connected to the community
and have a place where i know is my home.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

jobby mcjobberison


I am job searching today.
I think I may have mentioned this before
but it may be one of the most taxing endeavors.

I put hope in the idea that there is something out there for me
i am bright
talented
full of energy
life
love
faith

I know that the path is out there
and i know eventually it will be
clear momentarily

Sunday, January 25, 2009

salt stained upon my windows


oh soul
there is something within you
waiting earnestly to break forth
to be set free

to find your match
to be connected
to another's fire
what eyes do you see?
what ears do you hear?

as i see it winding up
to move forward
to be used and reused
washed, cleansed

saeglopur pours from the speakers
and instantly my soul is
speaking a language
even i don't understand
and my eyes pour forth
with a mixture made with salt
that soul speaks on behalf

reminding me that beauty exists
that breathing is imperative
that being sweapt away in the moment
is as beautiful as holding your breath
and closing your eyes

and as the eyes re-engage with life
the surroundings look the same
but i have changed.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

a question posed



If i could imagine a life where something made sense
would i have to be dead?

are things now supposed to be this way?
will questions always persist?
in satisfaction not guaranteed?

what keeps my feet from moving forward?
what keeps my hands so still?
as i question the answers seem trivial
as more questions continue to pile up

something has to stop for something new to begin.
ok
then stop. start. open.



close.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

a moment

I made my coffee very dark this morning
it was a good mistake
the phone did not ring this morning
and that provided the opportunity to
relax my shoulders
ease my thoughts

it's so cold you don't want to step outside
but the sun bounces off the snow
and the birds decided to come out and play.
which i didn't realize
when i stood in front of the window
and i realized i could see the gold flecks on their
feathers

and i remembered the beauty
when you stop running so fast
and you remember what it means to breathe
and let in the possabilities

Monday, January 12, 2009

My fiction exploration


I started reading again. It was funny after I graduated that I didn't want to read anymore and slowly I started to pick up books again. I even got myself a library card. Which is sweet because I get to read these books for free. I know that's the point of the library card but after being in school where buying books was an 'investment', the new novelty of getting books, reading them, and getting more without money being exchanged. Novel. Yet exhilarating.

I went and started reading Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. I tried to read it but i just couldn't get into it. Then I realized that there were no book reports to write, discussion groups to join, connections to be made with the classes I was taking and i went and returned the book. It was an exciting moment because it gave me the freedom to make new choices.

My favorite book has been Franny and Zooey (Salinger). It was such a beautiful conversation about life, faith, decisions, and the burden of knowledge. I think with all that has gone in my life the last six months this was just what I needed to read. It has been awhile since I had read a book of nonfiction that really drew me in and captured my attention. I don't know what I had originally thought the book would be about but whatever I thought was way off. A not so simple conversation between siblings.

That's all I really have to say at this moment in time but I am sure there will be more thoughts later. Being in a quiet home is so different and I am still trying to adjust. I am going to try to write more. I need to. I feel a bit rusty....

Friday, January 2, 2009

mumbles


I am working on reading
the reading is to help my writing
something I seem to be doing less
because I have been reading more
to tighten my sentences
and produce a better sound
but the writing now seems to me a jumble
and the reading seems
to be taking me two steps back
rather than a baby step forward

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Animal names...

I love looking through the best of the year lists. This year I am noting a pattern though. The rest of this post is just a thought...I am not saying that these bands are bad or these bands are unoriginal. The following is a continued thought:

In 2004 Brian Wilson released "Smile" that fantastic collection that uses materials from The Beach Boys "Pet Sounds." The characterization of the record is unique. The fantastic album uses vocal harmonies, multi-layers, abstract noises and movements. I really enjoy this record and many like it. So much so that since that record it has sparked the interest of indie rock basement dwellers for years to come. The conversation of Pet Sounds and it's follow up of Smile has captured the admiration and interest of the hipster type.

Since the release of the beloved "Smile" some newly defined classics have emerged. In 2004 and in 2005 Animal Collective released "Sung Tongs" and "Feels." The records are great but they reminded me of something...it reminded me of the beloved pet sounds. 2006 released Grizzly Bears "Yellow House". Another beautiful record with beautiful melodies and vocal part harmonies that are earthy...tribal at moments. Nothing sparked or clicked in my head. What makes these records so good? 2007 has Panda Bear (with members of Animal Collective) releasing "Person Pitch." Another great record with fantastic layers and transfixing vocal harmonies. 2008 Fleet Foxes seem to have taken the Indie World by storm and placing their record in the category with the rest of these bands.

So I guess all this to say. What is our infatuation with the vocal harmonies and the animal names. Something happened with "Pet Sounds" some have written to say it was a magical record (or maybe those are my words). Many records you can put in once and you have the feel for it, a few more times and you got it. But the records I have mentioned fold and unfold telling new stories. I can understand why they would be in a top ten but is there going to be something sooner than later that isn't an offshoot of our beloved Pet Sounds?

Creating is never easy. I don't make music. I LOVE it and can't go a day without listening, ingesting, and finding some new thought about some record, some band, or some new song. Some days I want to dance and some days I want one song and one song that helps my heart. Some days I wonder how the same record year after year gets put on number one lists time after time?

So there are my thoughts....Any one want to start a band? We could call it Bears of Vocal Harmonies....