Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Au Revoir, 2010: The Songs!

Because it's December

While my EP and 7" lists are on the backburner—as they are proving to be rather difficult to finalize—I decided I would attempt to get everything together for my super-bonkers-crazy 60-song, double-volume 'favorite songs of the year' mix. Now, the amount of time I've spent whittling this down from well over 100 songs is close to embarrassing, so for my sake, let's all just assume that I threw the whole thing together this evening in one quick and painless jiff. I do wish I had the time to sit and explain how much I love each and every one of these songs and how much they all meant to me this year, but no such luck. Should you have something to ask or tell about anything you hear here, please do leave a comment and we can talk about songs there! Together!

As I've already mentioned, this was a beyond great year for musics. The simple fact that I started with over 100 hundred songs should speak volumes to that. Speaking of volumes, here are Volumes One and Two of Au Revoir: Skatterbrain's Favorite Songs of 2010. The point of this is to share, so I hope you can find something new to love in these mixes! Again, your comments are very welcome.

Volume One:
01. Las Robertas // In Between Buses
02. For Ex-Lovers Only // Coffin
03. Grass Widow // Fried Egg
04. Tiger Tape // Let's Work Things Out
05. La Sera // Never Come Around
06. Beach Fossils // Face It
07. Chalk And Numbers // I Really Wanna Work This Out
08. Leaving Mornington Crescent // Corners
09. The Hairs // Duh! x 12
10. Weed Hounds // Hard Drivin'
11. Veronica Falls // Starry Eyes
12. The Liminanas // I'm Dead
13. Dum Dum Girls // Blank Girl
14. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart // Lost Saint
15. Sky Larkin // Still Windmills
16. The Specific Heats // End Of An Error
17. Big Troubles // Freudian Slips
18. Seapony // Go Away
19. Sourpatch // Sky Is Falling
20. Dude Japan // If I Were A Posie
21. Crocodiles // Hearts Of Love
22. Panda Riot // When You Said, When I Said
23. Ceremony // Marianne
24. World Atlas // Girl On A Boy's Bike
25. Neverever // Coconut Shampoo
26. Sweater Girls // Fingers Crossed
27. Cuffs // You Can Come True (Demo)
28. Belle And Sebastian // I Didn't See It Coming
29. Le Futur Pompiste // My Trophy
30. Weekend // End Times

Volume Two:
01. Club 8 // Shape Up!
02. Wild Nothing // Chinatown
03. Sweet Bulbs // Kissing Clouds
04. Lê Almeida // Transporpirações
05. The Radio Dept. // Heaven's On Fire
06. Spectrals // Chip A Tooth (Spoil A Smile)
07. Reading Rainbow // Wasting Time
08. Cinema Red And Blue // Melanie Down
09. Mighty Clouds // Spell It Out
10. Shimmering Stars // Sun's Going Down
11. Whirl // Leave
12. Catwalk // (Please) Don't Break Me
13. Frankie Rose And The Outs // Girlfriend Island
14. Still Corners // Don't Fall In Love
15. Best Coast // When The Sun Don't Shine
16. Swimsuit // Evaporation
17. Serena-Maneesh // I Just Want To See Your Face
18. Post Post // Drafts
19. Ringo Deathstarr // Imagine Hearts
20. The Blanche Hudson Weekend // Let Me Go
21. The Soft City // Take Me To The Cinema
22. Shrag // Rabbit Kids
23. Pet Milk // Cherry Outline
24. Gigi // The Marquee (with Katie Eastburn)
25. Brilliant Colors // Walk Into The World
26. Crystal Stilts // Shake The Shackles
27. The Procedure Club // Dead Bird
28. Gold-Bears // Tally
29. Sambassadeur // Small Parade
30. Versus // Cicada

Labels: ,

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reading Rainbow: "Always On My Mind"

I love this new song/video from Philly's Reading Rainbow!

Labels: ,

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Chalk And Numbers

Chalk And Numbers

Chalk And Numbers are brand new duo from Brooklyn, NY that I've quickly fallen for—head over heels. They play some pretty charming and spot-on Spectoresque pop with gorgeous female vocals and hooks galore! They've put the entirety of their fantastic debut EP, He Knew, up to stream or download for FREE on bandcamp. If you like this song, I would highly suggest you grab the whole EP on the immediate. Fans of classic girl-group pop songs take note! He Knew does not disappoint!

[MP3]: Chalk And Numbers "I Really Wanna Work This Out" (Highly Recommended!)

Labels: , , ,

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Au Revoir, 2010!

Despite the things I could say about it in other arenas, 2010 was a pretty fantastic year for music. It's no surprise that I was absent from blogging more this year than ever before, but that hardly means I wasn't listening. My intake of new records this year wasn't all that terribly steep and so I expected to have a fairly easy time getting my favorites together in some semblance of an order—certainly not the case. That is why I decided to forgo a numbering system this year. These are my favorite records of 2010. Most of these should not come as any kind of shock if you even have the slightest of ideas of how things tend to go around here. Should you happen to be unfamiliar with any of them you can only assume that I VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND them! Onward! Onward!

Art Fag Recordings

[MP3]: Las Robertas "In Between Buses"

It was probably about halfway through the Summer that I realized Las Robertas' as-catchy-as-it-is-fuzzy debut record just had to be the greatest thing I had been feeding my ears all year. Cry Out Loud is a full 30 minutes of no-skip fuzzpop gems. The guitars fuzz and buzz to what literally sounds like amp-blowing levels while the drums explode all over everything else, leaving just enough sonic real estate to take in the girls' beautifully crafted vocal melodies. Watch the gorgeous video for slow-burning fuzzfest "V For You" here.

Labrador Records

[MP3]: The Radio Dept. "The Video Dept."

Clinging To A Scheme was one of my most eagerly awaited releases this year. My expectations were beyond high and somehow this record still managed to exceed them. There are too many total jams on here to name and each one served me a different purpose. As a whole you can really sink into it, but you can also pull out songs like "The Video Dept." or "Heaven's On Fire" and take those right on down to the dancefloor—and that's the special thing about The Radio Dept. Oh, also, thumbs up on that production, guys.

Fortuna Pop! Records

[MP3]: Allo Darlin' "If Loneliness Was Art"

The best purely, fantastically, charming indiepop record made in years. Indiepop, as a genre (especially in a hyper-contemporary sense), has a well-known knack for being quick and dirty. The songs show up or are dug up in a wide array of forms and qualities—the internets being first and foremost responsible—and we suck them down as fast as we can, running off that jangly, saccharine rush until, ultimately, we spit it out and pop another. It is, then, an increasingly rare occurrence, especially personally, that something sticks in the way that Allo Darlin' have. Whatever it is, and I am truly not sure what it is, they've got it, probably in spades. This record will (and certainly should) likely be remembered alongside some of the greatest indiepop records of the 90s that we all treasure so dearly. They just don't make em, except occasionally, like they used to.

What's Your Rupture?

[MP3]: Cinema Red and Blue "Melanie Down"

Super groups, while, you know, seemingly super, almost always tend to end up being quite the miserable situation; a bit masturbatory, kind of like an inside joke that a few friends tell right in front of you—they're having a blast, but you're a bit less than amused. Sometimes, though, they're actually pretty damn great. Every time I listened to Cinema Red and Blue, which features members of Comet Gain and Crystal Stilts, as well as occasional appearances from Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor), Hamish Kilgour (The Clean), and Linton(The Aislers Set), I would hear something new that would stick to me. It's the endless supply of unofrtunately-relevant lines like this one that kept this album on my mind: "Listening to records that nobody wants, dreaming of moments that nobody's had..." Thanks, Feck, why don't you twist it a bit more while you're in there? No, really.

Captured Tracks

[MP3]: Wild Nothing "Chinatown"

I'm glad I got over myself and decided that this record was irresistible, because it would have been a real shame if I thought I was too cool for what turned out to be one of the most endlessly enjoyable records of the year for me. Gemini, in addition to the equally great Golden Haze EP, have been absolute staples in my daily listening ever since the temperatures began to drop back in mid-September. Mr. Tatum's got all this Summer imagery floating around, but I refuse to buy it. This, for me, is cold weather music through and through. Even "Summer Holiday" sounds better with the windows open and the heat on. P.S. It should also be noted that despite this record being a solo effort, Jack Tatum and his merry band of players put on quite the impressive live show and should most certainly not be missed.

Cosy Recordings/Lo and Behold Recordings

[MP3]: Tiger Tape "Let's Work Things Out"

In which a band called Moofish Catfish gets a much, much better name and then truly makes one of the best records of the year. I Woke Up In Hökarängen's guitars sparkle and snarl and it's rhythms seem turn corners on a dime, but Agnes' vocals—the backbone of the record, for certain—remain beautiful and soaring, always commanding, yet never overarching.

Happy Happy Birthday To Me

[MP3]: Sourpatch "Same Street"

Sourpatch are a band I've been following pretty ardently for a few years now, so the arrival of their debut LP was a joyous occasion, indeed. They are, techinically, my ideal band. Fast, punky pop songs played with loads of energy and loads of fun. Leads and harmonies fly in from every angle and every song offers a new opportunity to dance like a fool. I've loved Sourpatch's songs since I very first heard them, but it was on Crushin' that they finally got the production they needed. The reverbed vocals call from the back of the room while the instruments fight for the spotlight up front and that's exactly how I wanted to hear them.

Killer Pimp Records

[MP3]: Ceremony "Marianne"

Rocket Fire is a tremendous record. Tremendously dark, tremendously loud, and tremendously grooving. Yes, grooving. The majority of it's running time ranges from noisy to noisy as hell, but amidst all the fuzz, feedback, and crashing of digital drums are some some seriously smart melodies and that’s exactly why this record shines so much brighter than so many like it. If you’re gonna make a shoegaze record you’d better make damn sure you have the pop-chops to keep up with all that noise.

Shelflife Records

[MP3]: Le Futur Pompiste "Five Hundred Heartbeats"

This, Le Futur Pompiste's first new record since 2004's Your Stories and Your Thoughts, is as a fine a testament as any to why it's always best to do these sorts of lists as late in the year as possible. I could have waited even longer, but Unless something amazing flies in out of nowhere, at this point I think I'm okay. Those of you unfamiliar may be quite pleased to find out that the Le Futur Pompiste stars the lovely voice of Jessika Rapo, whom you will likely recognize from her other band, Burning Hearts. Throughout the entirety of what basically sounds like a brilliant picnic in outer space, Jessika reveals line after beautiful line of some of the finest vocal melodies to hit my ears this year. Look no further than the stunning chorus of "My Trophy" and you'll begin to fall in love.

Slumberland Records

[MP3]: Weekend "End Times"

Weekend's extremely confident, extremely good—and extremely difficult to google—debut Sports was another that I had been eagerly anticipating for quite some time this year. It's post-punk songwriting with shoegaze pedal boards, but then it's not. It's The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa with Andy McCluskey on bass, but then it's not. It's a lot of different things at once, but still, somehow, it manages to behave like an unbelievably cohesive record, one that is even greater than the sum of it's parts (which do function pretty fucking well on their own, see "End Times"). The ridiculous amount of times I've sat through the almost six minutes of "Veil", just for that ever-rewarding, never-as-long-as-I-wish-it-was coda, should be pretty telling of Sports' excellence.

That's all she wrote, folks. Since I would hate to not mention a handful of other fantastic records that for one reason or another didn't end up in my top ten, here are the albums that would fill out my hypothetical 11 to 20 slots:


Coming up in the next couple days: Favorite EPs/Singles of 2010!
Coming up after that: Two-volume 'Favorite songs of 2010' mix!

Labels: , ,

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!