Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yuzo Kayama

Hows about a little Japanese surf music for this fine summer day? This is a great guitar instrumental track from one of Japan's biggest stars in the 60's

Download via Meiafire
Black Sand Beach

Friday, June 25, 2010

So Far...

Can you believe it? Half a year has already gone by! All year long I keep a short list of my favorite albums and movies that come out. So let's just see where we're at so far, and check what it would be like if the year ended today. You may notice that many of the bands on this list are heavy-hitters in the indie rock world. Quite simply, they've delivered. Usually, bands reach a point in their careers where they can't meet expectations. However this year, many great groups are proving that is just not so. There are a lot of great albums left off the list, and that is done intentionally because I only wanted to list top ten. Wait for the full list in December.
Before we start, I have to say I've been paying attention to indie rock for close to a decade now, and I can honestly say that if the rumors are true, and all of these great artists release records this year, 2010 is going to be the new 1969. Anyways, let's get started counting down.

10. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

Gorillaz return to form with the follow-up to their groundbreaking Demon Days record. This record has really grown on me over the past few months. I used to think that this record was a letdown, but now in ways it may be their best record to date. As far as singles go, this is an absolutely terrible record. No song on here will ever match "Feel Good Inc." "Clint Eastwood" or "Dare." However, as a whole this album flows together better than any of their previous records. This also happens to feature an array of different styles, all the while maintaining that club-banger dance atmosphere. Just try walking around your apartment in a bathrobe while listening to "Welcome To The World Of The Plastic Beach" and not feel like a boss.

9. Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record

Broken Social Scene come roaring back to life with Forgiveness Rock Record. I have to admit, before this album I was only a casual fan of BSS, but it is not shocking that this is the album that turned me on to them. Forgiveness happens to be the most cohesive and committed album of this band's career. It kicks off with the epic single, "World Sick" and just takes off from there. This record has something for everyone from the rip-roaring "Forced to Love" to the bittersweet "Sentimental X's" Quite simply, this album is a career hilight for the band, and a delight for the fans and newcomers.

8. The Black Keys - Brothers

I was not a fan of Attack & Release, they were branching out, and no longer the blues-rock duo that I had fallen in love with. As time passed however, I learned that my problem was not with the band but with its producer Danger Mouse, whom I believe kills everything he touches. The guy needs to stick with mash-ups and Gnarls Barkley and keep his hands off artists like The Black Keys and Beck. Attack & Release could be seen as a prelude to Brothers though. Because on Brothers the band gets it right, and create a masterpiece that deserves to be held up high next to Rubber Factory and Magic Potion. This album starts off on a high note with "Everlasting Light" and keeps rolling on through. I also believe that Brothers was heavily influenced by their previous rap-rock project Blakroc, because while this record isn't afraid to bring out the rock, it is also very comfortable with itself. One of my theories about The Black Keys is they are best when they beef up the sex. On this album "Next Girl" drips with as much sex as previous epic "Your Touch" does. If you're a rock fan, and you have not at least checked this album out, you are really missing out.

7. Drive-By Truckers - The Big To-Do

The world's greatest bar band returns with their satisfying record The Big To-Do. I've talked about this band enough on this blog. If you're familiar with this band then to me this is their 3rd best record. Somewhere between The Dirty South and Southern Rock Opera. If you don't know who this band is and you enjoy Neil Young and Maker's Mark, then you need to buy all of their albums. Drive-By Truckers quite simply keep proving to be the saviors of southern rock. 

6. Local Natives - Gorilla Manor

Los Angeles band Local Natives are having a hell of a breakout year, and it's no surprise why. Gorilla Manor sounds like a culmination of everything good about indie rock from the past three years. A healthy blend of Fleet Foxes, Dodos, and Grizzly Bear with their own unique twist to it. What is most shocking to me is that this is only the bands first major release! If they keep this quality up they could become a major player here in the next few years. 

 5. Tame Impala - Innerspeaker

Woah! Where the hell did this band come from? All the way from the U.K. comes Tame Impala destined to take Psych Rock to new places. I could point out the influences of this band all day, mainly Pink Floyd, but I wont. Why? because this band sounds like one thing, Tame Impala. They have achieved their own unique sound. That is why Innerspeaker is so exciting for me to hear. 

4. Free Energy - Stuck On Nothing


Yet another band in this string of "Where did they come from?" artists. Free Energy sounds just like their name describes it. Free. Energy. This album is cover to cover the happiest most blissful pop-rock record I have heard in ages. Free Energy is made up of members from the now defucnt Hockey Night band, and with help from LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy as producer they are armed with a fresh and crisp new sound. Free Energy sound like what I wished Weezer sounded like today. I honestly believe Weezer could have put out this record if they weren't obsessed with the MTV crowd. However their influence also reaches out to 70's glam rock like Cheap Trick. What's amazing about this record is that there is absolutely nothing new on here. Every hook, every song is by the book. However, this band executes it so well, and with such confidence that it comes off as something incredible. 

3. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

They say punk is dead. I say nay. Why? Because Titus Andronicus just released one of the most convincing records in years. This band is re-defining what it means to be a Jersey rocker. Start to finish, this album is brutal. It keeps you on your toes by its frequent key changes and left turns. It all kicks off with the album's thesis "A More Perfect Union" and from there it does what many albums try to do but fail, it takes the listener on a journey. By the time this record concludes with the ungodly epic fourteen minute bagpipe bashing "Battle of Hampton Roads" this album has taken you through a full spectrum of emotions. Another unique fact about this album is how it is loosely based on The Civil War and is layered with historical information. Not only do these guys know how to rock, they are quite well educated.

2. Hot Chip - One Life Stand

For a good few months, I was dead set this was going to be #1 on my list. I am still amazed as to how a band is able to make their most melodic record also their most danceable record. This is the tightest record by far this year, and there are no bad songs on it. Even the slow-jams are highly entertaining. Normally I am strictly a rock fan, but every once in awhile a couple dance bands will have me completely addicted. 

 1. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
Every now and then a record is released that speaks to a generation. If I had to put money on it, I would bet This Is Happening is one of those records. I know that bet carries a lot of weight to it. But let time pass, and we shall see. Of course there will be people arguing that This Is Happening is overrated and not as good as Sound of Silver, and quite frankly, it's all bullshit. If this really turns out to be their last album then I believe it is more fitting to view each of their three albums as an act in the play that is LCD Soundsystem. James Murphy has an uncanny ability to be sarcastic and completely earnest at the same time. He deals with being an aging hipster, losing his edge, love, loss, and anger all while laying down some of the most infectious dance music, ever. If this truly is LCD Soundsystem's last album I will be depressed, but at the same time I will be relieved that they ended their tenure before they had a chance to make a bad record. I only hope that Mr. Murphy stays in the indie limelight, because we really do need a genius like him to stick around. 
Albums that just missed the cut:
The National - High Violet
Dr. Dog - Shame Shame
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Genuine Negro Jig
The New Pornographers - Together
Caribou - Swim 

Well there it is, the list so far. We still have half a year to go, so it's going to be interesting to see what changes on it. After all there are still some incredible albums to be released from bands like Arcade Fire, Panda Bear and even (possibly) Radiohead. It's been an incredible year for music, and it's just getting warmed up.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tim Fite

I love it when a song comes on the radio that I had completely forgotten about, yet the moment it's heard  all of the memories of the song suddenly come rushing back in an instant. That happened to me the other day with this song "Big Mistake" by Tim Fite. Though only released a few years ago, this song earned heavy rotation on my Itunes for quite some time. It's a simple song, but a great one at that.

Download via Mediafire:
Big Mistake

Monday, June 21, 2010

Possessed by Paul James

From the hills of Texas comes a man who goes by Possessed by Paul James. A one-man-band who fuses pain, punk, bluegrass, and old-timey folk together in one concoction. He's the kind of act that you would find busking along the side of an alley, not touring all over Europe and the U.S. like he has. What's appealing about his sound is he is able to take this ancient sound and give it meaning in today's world.

Download via Mediafire:
Vodka and a Fight

Thursday, June 17, 2010

White Hinterland

White Hinterland returns with 2010's Kairos. This album is a bit more mysterious than the previous jazzy Phylactery Factory album. Check out the lead off song, "Icarus" it is best heard under a quiet moonlight.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Radio Radio

From my guest slot at KXLU 88.9FM Los Angeles.

The Rolling Stones - Title 5
Chrome - Electric Chair
Screaming Lord Sutch - Flashing Light
Heron - Smiling Ladies
Townes Van Zandt - Where I Lead Me
McGuinness Flint - When I'm Dead and Gone
Bob Martin - Captain Jesus
Os Mutantes - Bat Macumba
Le Orme - Ad Glorium
Real Estate - Fake Blues
White Antelope - Wild Mountain Thyme
Mountain Man - Animal Tracks
The Bicycles - B-B-B-Bicycles
The Sandwitches - Back to the Sea
Jacuzzi Boys - Island Ave. 
Atlas Sound - Doctor
Dirt Dress - An Introduction
Ganglians - Valiant Brave
Tune-Yards - Sunlight
Moon Duo - Stumbling 22nd St. 
Joseph Childress - Leaving The Barren Ground
Caroline Herring - The Dozens
Jennie C. Riley - The Back Side of Dallas
Barbara Lynn - You Can't Buy My Love
"Mississippi" Charles Bevel - Don't Lie To Me
The Windbreakers - So Much
The Clique - Superman
Andre Williams - Cadillac Jack
Linda Martell - Color Him Father
Patrick Sky - Reuben
Elton & Betty White - A Jelly Behind Woman Blows My Mind
Gil Scott-Heron - Shut 'Em Down
The Mysterious Asthmatic Avenger - Atomic Power in Nagazaki 
Tony McKay - The Island Hog Pt. 1+2
Tame Impala - Expectation
Julian Lynch - Just Enough
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends - Lonesome and a Long Way From Home
Terry Callier - You Goin' To Miss Your Candy Man
Gene Parsons - Monument
Quatermass - Up On The Ground
The Silver Seas - Catch Yer Own Train
Gun Club - For The Love of Ivy
Van Dyke Parks - John Jones
Juana Molina - Dar (Que Dificil)
Jaime Alem & Nar De Candia - Passara
Novos Baianos - Trinindo Trincando
Metro - Mono Messiah
Ian Thomas - A Young Man's Blues
Phil Ochs - The World Began In Eden and Ended in Los Angeles
Flo & Eddie - Keep It Warm
Mama Cass Elliot - California Earthquake
Jackie DeShannon - L.A. 
John Cale - Gun
Talking Heads - Found a Job
Foreign Born - Can't Keep Time
Here We Go Magic - Collector
Avi Buffalo - One Last
Megafaun - Lazy Suicide
Clarance "Gatemouth' Brown - Amos Moses
Hawkwind - Hurry On Sundown

Whew! That's a ton of music for one early morning radio broadcast! I would post all of those tracks on here, but that would be too much. Fear not, they're all bound to eventually appear on here. I will post the song I closed the show with, space-rockers' Hawkwind with their harmonica-infused acid jam, "Hurry On Sundown"

Download via Mediafire:
Hawkwind - Hurry On Sundown

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Heads up, this Wednesday morning I will be filling in at KXLU from 2-6AM PST. If you live in a more sutible timezone or if you're up all night on a crack binge and want to quell the screams of the deamons in your head please, tune in. You can listen live online by clicking here. I will be playing a giant mix-bag of things you have heard from this blog as well as other golden nuggets. There will also be witty banter with myself in between songs, mainly me complaining about having to be up this early. Check back tomorrow for a full setlist and a free song from the show!

Monday, June 14, 2010


We're back and ready to rock! Today's featured band is Hacienda. This Tex-Mex band made a splash with Loud Is The Night a few years back. They are one of the few bands that is able to layer their music with 70's fuzzed out tones yet not sounding like they're a throwback. They return with their 2010 release, Big Red & Barbacoa.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Moon Duo

Going out of town for awhile so it's going to be pretty quiet on here for the rest of the week, I'm headed up to Colorado so expect woodsy earth-toned music when I come back. My musical preference is highly influenced by my surroundings, and right now in L.A. we're experiencing June Gloom, an endless stretch of damp cloudy mornings and nights. Thus, I present to you Moon Duo, gloomy music for those shaded days.

Download via Mediafire:
Stumbling 22nd St.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Julian Lynch

I stumbled upon this track the other day from artist Julian Lynch. This song is sort of an acoustic trance. Very lo-fi, ambient and natural sounding, I even detect some far eastern influences in it as well. I also love how the vocals take a back seat on this track as well.

Download via Mediafire:
Just Enough

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Blitzen Trapper - Destroyer of the Void

What is so surprising about this year in music is that there have been very little letdowns. Pretty much every new release from a band that I like has met or exceeded my expectations.  So it is with heavy heart that I am here to blog about the first disappointing album I have heard this year, Blitzen Trapper's Destroyer of the Void. When their previous album Furr was released, I was hooked into the vivid lyrics meshed with crisp song craft. That deadly combination made for one of my favorite albums of the past decade.
Now, two years later they have recorded a follow-up and after multiple listens I just can't pass it off as a good album. Sure, there are some keepers on Destroyer like the ELO-fused prog-rock of "Destroyer of the Void" "Heaven and Earth" is a pretty piano song, and "Dragon's Song" has some interesting elements to it, but that's about it. Where Destroyer of the Void fails is in it's song craft. The lyrics are there, and as vivid as ever. But a lot of these songs lack a good hook to take the lyrics and make them into a great song. This album needed a "Wild Mountain Nation" or a "Gold For Bread" but instead it wobbles and feels all over the place.
I still love this group, and still believe they could pull off another great album, but unfortunately we're going to have to wait a little while longer.

Download via Mediafire:
Heaven and Earth

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tame Impala

What a find this band is! Out of left field this album was dropped a week ago, and has subsequently gained a great deal of buzz since. Tame Impala are a British group, and for fans of that "classic rock" or psychedelic sound this is definitely up your alley. This band is beautifully able to maintain that classic element while adding a new spin to it. The vocals remain echoed throughout the album while the instruments bang away resulting in a chill-rock vibe. To me these guys sound like a mix of Pink Floyd and MGMT (and have been opening shows for MGMT as well). Though I must say do not judge this band without listening to the entire album first, because it is the consistency of the record that is really impressive.  I will be seeing these guys perform on June 29th at The Silverlake Lounge.

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Solitude Is Bliss