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TOP MUSIC OF 2010

9 Dec

I think I’ve got it figured out. It took me a long time to put these in the correct order, because I kept switching them around.

I originally wanted to just make this a “top albums” post, but because I went to so many damn shows this year, I realized that I should add that in as well.

Top Albums of 2010.

20. Beach House – Teen Dream

19. Sleigh Bells – Treats

18. Broken Bells – Broken Bells

17. Matt and Kim – Sidewalks

16. Lightspeed Champion – Life is Sweet! Nice to Meet You

15. Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More

14. The National – High Violet

13. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest

12. Stars – The Five Ghosts

11. Cee-Lo Green – The Lady killer

10. Frightened Rabbit – A Winter of Mixed Drinks

9. Black Keys – Brothers

8. Vampire Weekend – Contra

7. Spoon – Transference

6. Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History

5. Morning Benders – Big Echo

4. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

3. We Are Scientists – Barbara

2. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor

1. Menomena – Mines

Top Live Shows of 2010
Honorable mention: Weezer at Bumbershoot. I think if I’d have been able to shoot this, it would have been in the top ten.
10. Builders and the Butchers at Berbati’s Pan
9. Florence + the Machine at the Showbox at the Market
8. Arcade Fire at Key Arena
7. Panda Bear at the Crystal Ballroom
6. Phoenix at the Showbox SoDo
5. Frightened Rabbit at the Showbox at the Market
4. Editors at the Showbox at the Market
3. Spoon at the Moore Theater
2. Menomena at the Crystal Ballroom
1. EVERY SINGLE WE ARE SCIENTISTS SHOW I ATTENDED ON THE WEST COAST INCLUDING ALL OF AARON PFENNING BECAUSE HE’S AN HONORARY MEMBER OF WAS.

Here’s hoping for a wonderful 2011!

❤ Abby

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Top 20 Albums of 2009

18 Dec

I’ve been waiting for months to post this, but I couldn’t very well make my list in October, because it wouldn’t give a fair chance to any albums released in November or December. But now that I look at this list, it wouldn’t have changed much if I’d posted it two months ago.

But here it is: MY list of the top twenty albums of 2009 (mind you, I may have a slight musical taste bias, but I tried to include a variety of genres in this list. But sadly enough, Sasha Fierce was released in Nov. 2008. So Beyonce will not be on this list. And neither will Gaga.

1. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

Listening to Animal Collective is like getting an orgasm in your mind. Seriously. Nothing could knock Animal Collective out of the number 1 spot for me. I saw them live in May at Sasquatch, and after that, Merriweather Post Pavilion was the soundtrack to my summer. And not only did I love this album but it was fucking ridiculously critically acclaimed, so I think I know what I’m talking about. And what’s even better – MPP was released in the FIRST WEEK OF THE YEAR. January 6, that’s right bitches. Way to start off the year right.

2. Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Another of the discoveries I made this year made many of the “best of” lists this year, but you cannot deny the overall catchiness, cleverness, danceability, and sheer awesomeness of Phoenix’s first album on their new label V2 Records. And seeing them live this week at Deck the Hall Ball heightened the love I have for Phoenix. “1901” should seriously win record of the year. It’s THAT good.

3. The Decemberists – Hazards of Love

I want this album to be made into a musical. Seriously. Like with actors who sing and dance and perform this WHOLE album. It was amazing at the Gorge, and it was a completely new direction for the band. But it worked. Some people didn’t like the big guitars and overwhelming storyline of the album, but I freaking loved it. Sure, you can’t really put any songs on a mix individually except “The Rake’s Song,” but within the full context of the album it’s amazing.

4. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

Thank god I caught their live show when I did, because I never would have discovered how amazing they actually are. When I saw them back in October, I hadn’t listened to them much. Mostly I was just going for the Morning Benders, but yet I wimped out on meeting them. Oh well,
Veckatimest is awesome just the same with all the fantastic harmonies and multilayered instruments. This album was my second foray into “freak folk,” and I dig it. So freaking cool.

5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!

Again, I saw them live at Bumbershoot, and it was an unforgettable experience. After their lackluster 2006 release,
Show Your Bones, Karen, Nick and Brian came back with a vengeance, producing possibly their most well-rounded album to date. Everything from the the jammy “Dull Life” to the dreamy ballad “Skeletons,” you hit both ends of the spectrum while keeping Karen O’s amazing shrieking vocals. This is how a rock band ages gracefully.

6. Franz Ferdinand – Tonight

I love this album. “Bite Hard” is my jam, and seeing Franz live for the second time truly reconfirmed how charismatic the four of them are together. Alex is so sexy with his seductive vibrato and Nick keeps the rhythm and Bob is adorable and Paul brings the beats. Slightly dancier than the previous albums, “Tonight” could be played at a dance club or a rock show – it’s perfect.

7. La Roux – La Roux

Elly Jackson, I pretty much love you. Androgyny and synthesizers and earnestness. All put together you get La Roux’s eponymous debut. I own four different remixes of “Bulletproof,” and they all rock. It’s like you can’t ruin that song. It’s just that good. And as much of an 80s throwback this was, it was so damn refreshing.

8. Mos Def – The Ecstatic

I don’t listen to a lot of hip hop. So you know this one’s legit if I put it in the top ten. If I can listen to a hip-hop album, it has to be good, right? Dynamic and introspective and catchy and awesome – those are the words I can use to describe this album. I can’t remember where I heard “Quiet Dog Bite Hard,” it may have been at Sasquatch, but that song is the shit. As is the rest of this album.

9. Passion Pit – Manners

Yet another Sasquatch find – although it took them way too long to start their set and my sister and I left halfway through to see Maria Bamford. But listening to this album all the way through just makes you feel happy. And want to dance. A lot. “The Reeling” and “Sleepyhead” are amazing. Listen to them now, with large headphones.

10. Tegan & Sara – Sainthood

Produced by Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, Tegan & Sara’s 6th studio album was mature in the best ways. Heavier licks, but similar themes made this album fit perfectly into their repertoire. The first single “Hell” has just enough energy paired with Tegan & Sara’s perfect harmonies. And as they get older, you can really tell the difference between their voices, which weren’t as distinct on the earlier albums.

11. Matt & Kim – Grand

One of the coolest married couples in rock and roll, Matt & Kim brings such a simplistic production to undeniably catchy territory that it’s a fantastic mixture. It was hard not to hear “Good ol’ fashioned nightmare” on TV for awhile before fall premieres in the preview for “Community,” but that was fine with me. And seeing them live at Bumbershoot this year just contributed to the fun quality of their music. I’ve never seen a band smile so much. And with Grand, they surely had something to smile about.

12. Muse – The Resistance

Okay, so I considered putting this album up higher on the list, but when I thought about Muse’s previous efforts, I had to take that into account.
The Resistance is awesome, but Absolution and Black Holes and Revelations are awesom-er. “Unnatural Selection” is my favorite of the album, and when they played it live at Deck the Hall Ball the other night, I squealed with delight. I’m just wondering what Matt, Chris and Dom will do next.

13. Florence + the Machine – Lungs

Would they please tour in the States? I mean, really. This album was a late addition to the list, as before last week, I’d only heard “Dog Days Are Over,” but when I heard all of
Lungs, I had to add it. It has all you want in an album – upbeat jams like “Kiss with a fist,” and bluesy emotional ones like “Drumming song.” And it’s so nice to hear a rocker chick with a great low voice – in fact, this year was a year of deep-voiced gals. Similar to the next best album.

14. Bat for Lashes – Two Suns

Like the Annie Lennox of ’09, Bat For Lashes (Natasha Khan) manages to weave sci-fi folk with indie rock in the most interesting way imaginable. Like the British hybrid of Bjork, Imogen Heap and Kate Havnevik – this album is amazing, no matter how you classify it. So peaceful, yet so dynamic. “Two Planets” and “Daniel” are two of my favorites off the album.

15. The Cribs – Ignore the Ignorant

The Cribs are my new fav Brit-rockers of the year, even though this album was their second release. I’d very much enjoy seeing them live next month, but I’m still not sure I’ll be able to. The Cribs have the dirty appeal of today’s Brit rockers but also a hint of the real lo-fi imports of the 80s. One of my favorite parts of this album is the very beginning of each song, as you can hear the very rudimentary elements of the music starting up.

16. Brandi Carlile – Give Up the Ghost

I freaking love this album. I was disappointed by
The Story, but Brandi Carlile went back to her raw bluesy, folksy roots with Give up the Ghost. “Before it Breaks” is the only song that sounds remotely like it belonged on her previous album, but it’s better than even those songs. My favorite track is “Dreams,” which sounds almost like they all recorded it together in one take, because it catches all the nuances of Brandi Carlile’s great voice, as well as the synergy between her band. Another great release from one of Seattle’s finest.

17. The xx – xx

Isn’t that the simplest album cover ever? Surely compared to some of this year’s album covers. But it’s a reflection of The xx, the 3-piece electro rock band from the UK. Both vocalists Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim provide such a subtle seductive feel to the simple beats, which create as Rolling Stone said “booty call music for the indie rock set.” Pretty much. Dreamy and dark and sexy, The xx would be the perfect music to get some to. I think.

18. Girls – Album

One of the break-outs of the year, Girls created a disc that feels both old and new at the same time. And it sounds so much like Elvis Costello it’s kind of crazy. Not in a bad way. And if you manage to sound like an updated Elvis without sucking, you’ve managed a feat. “Darling” is my favorite track off this album, and I recommend you listen to it soon after reading this.

19. Wilco – Wilco

Wilco can do no wrong. Exactly. It’s like the very nature of Wilco is to be awesome. Really, do I need any more explanation?

20. Paramore – Brand New Eyes

As much as Paramore got all the buzz this year because of “Twilight,” Hayley and co. came back with a great third album. Like I said, it’s the year of the chick rockers. And I feel like all their MTV love has almost reduced how good they really are. But honestly, without Hayley Williams, Paramore would be just as mundane as their lesser peers. Because they started so young, fans really get to grow up with Paramore. And I’d honestly like to see where they go next.

I’m done now. That was really difficult. I had to leave out a few good ones. Yell at me if you feel need be. But don’t be too harsh. I worked really hard on it.

And in fact, I’m going to explain a couple of those omissions.

The Fame Monster had some wicked songs on it, “Speechless” and “Bad Romance” are amazing, but as a whole, they didn’t fit together as well as The Fame did. I still love you Gaga.

And as a self-proclaimed indie kid, I’m not going to necessarily conform to all the other lists that I’ve seen and include Bitte Orca just because SPIN and Time and Stereogum and Pitchfork did. Dave Longstreth’s voice annoys me, and some of the songs on this Dirty Projectors’ album is kind of grating to me. I dunno. Punch me. I don’t care. Although “Stillness is the move” is a pretty great jam, as is Solange Knowles’ cover of it.

❤ Abby

It was an honor and a pleasure.

6 Dec

After Mapquest took my friend and I on the most illogical route to El Corazon in Seattle, we arrived just in time as the doors opened to see Rooney, Tally Hall and Crash Kings on the Wild One tour on Wednesday. Thankfully, we only had to wait outside for about ten minutes, because it was pretty darn close to freezing.

El Corazon is a small, but fairly intimate venue, with a great view from all vantage points. That night, the teenybopper crowd filling El Corazon differed starkly from those who worked there, covered in piercings and tattoos, dark hoodies and unkempt facial hair. I liked the odd juxtaposition, as it fit the contrasting lineup. The Crash Kings were up first, with their three-piece of Tony Beliveau on vocals and keyboard, brother Mike Beliveau on bass, and Jason Morris on drums. Tony was quite the showman, rocking out with a clavinet, a customized keyboard with guitar strings and a large whammy bar. Bassist and brother Mike played with multiple amps, making music both full and raw without a guitar, leading to rather a unique sound.

The three-piece Crash Kings played a short, but strong set, including first single “Mountain Man,” as well as other crowd-pleasers “1985,” “Raincoat,” “You Got Me,” and “It’s Only Wednesday,” which was recently featured in the film “Zombieland.” I hadn’t heard much of their music before the show, but I was thoroughly impressed with their stage presence, matching the intimacy of the venue with their brotherly synergy.

After their half-hour, Tally Hall came up on stage to set up their instruments, clad in suit shirts and vests, as well as fake mustaches to match their hair color. It fit Tally Hall’s persona perfectly, as they’re pretty much the nerdiest band I’ve heard since They Might Be Giants. Seriously, they referred to their own music as “wonky rock.”

What I love so much about Tally Hall is how funny they are, but they are genuinely good musicians, and they harmonize wonderfully, with guitarists Joe Hawley, Rob Cantor, keyboardist Andrew Horowitz and bassist Zubin Sedghi all bringing their own vocal style. To my delight, Tally Hall played some new songs, meaning a new record coming possibly soon, as it’s been a good 3 years since Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum. But they did play a few of the hits from MMMM, “Welcome to Tally Hall,” “The Bidding,” “Ruler of Everything,” and “Good Day.” My favorite song was actually during Horowitz’s one singing part, “The Whole World and You,” and they got the whole crowd clapping with Horowitz’s adorable subtle lisp. The crowd surely loved the dapper crew, as the youngins surrounding me sang along to all of the words.

Cantor and Hawley had the most charm, saying that it was “an honor and a pleasure to be playing with Rooney and Crash Kings,” causing everyone to cheer loudly, so then they’d say it randomly throughout the half-hour set. I would have preferred longer than half an hour, and it would have been plausible, as we hit the road just after 11. An hour would have given them more time to banter, showing off their unique personas. But I was happy just the same.

Rooney was up next.

Following a long intro of the “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly” theme music, building the palpable anticipation, it was obvious that most people there came to see Rooney. They were met with screaming girls, reminiscent of the reaction that the Jonas Brother might get, but with a few token drunk guys.

The foursome came out cool and casual, and started off with “Stay Away” off their eponymous debut back in 2003. It gave me a weird flashback to a little film that you may have seen at one point – “The Princess Diaries,” yeah, cause front man Robert Schwartzman was in that movie as Michael Moscovitz, Anne Hathaway’s love interest. As was the rest of Rooney, as Michael’s band. Sure, the movie was eight years ago, but I just can’t seem to get it out of my head.

That soon left my mind, as I moved from the one side of the stage where bassist Matthew Winter seemed to not be having any fun, to the other side of the stage where guitarist Taylor Locke captivated the crowd with his sweet riffs and undeniably flowy hair. Schwartzman did most of the talking, leading the room through a set list of oldies but goodies like “Blueside,” “Daisy Duke,” “Popstars,” which Schwartzman said they hadn’t played in a while, and brand new songs, one titled “Wild One” that drummer Ned Brower actually got to sing. And he was quite good.

Around 10:40, Schwartzman thanked Seattle profusely for being so great, and it caught me off guard, but made everyone laugh and cheer when Locke started playing random opening riffs from classic Seattle rock songs from Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden.

“Ned’s from here, so we can do that,” Schwartzman said, “Well, born in Chapel Hill, and raised in Seattle.”

It made me smile. But nothing made anyone smile quite as much as the guy standing behind me who kept shouting “I Should Have Been After You” all night. He finally got his wish during the encore.

“Who wants “Simply Because?” Schwartzman asked the crowd.

People cheered.

“Tell Me Soon?”

People cheered.

“How about “I Should Have Been After You?”

And people went nuts.

“Okay, we’ll do it for that guy this one time.”

I was fine with that, as “I Should Have Been After You” was one of my favorite Rooney songs.

At the end of the night, my friend had a completely different experience watching Rooney on the opposite side of the stage as I did. So I guess it’s based on your vantage point. Robert’s the conversationalist, Ned’s got the charm, and Taylor’s got the charisma.

And Rooney’s surely got the light and bouncy pop rock to get you dancing, even on a Wednesday night before finals week.

They’re Ridiculously Awesome.

28 Nov

(This was posted on PopWreckoning this morning.)

As the first part to a tribute to Northwest music, the Showbox lit up Pike Place Friday night with local favorites The Lonely Forest of Anacortes, and Telekinesis and The Globes of Seattle. Just to say how much Seattle loves their locals – even before the doors opened up, the line curled around the block as horse-drawn carriages rode by on the rare rain-free night.

The Globes were up first. Lacking a record deal, but with nothing lacking in the talent department, The Globes were a great way to start the show – bringing in a mixture of shoegazing guitar rock and raw indie pop. Guitarist Kyle Musselwhite provided almost Thom Yorke-like vocals next to lead vocalist Erik Walters’ high-energy wails, bassist Sean McCotter’s low-key vibe and drummer Marcus Ourada’s excellent beats. They were just experienced enough to have the charisma to hold the room, but with just a little more stage time, they’d be just as charming as the two bands that followed. And with their first LP coming out soon, The Globes are one of Seattle’s emerging indie acts that show the promise of what our region has to offer the next few years.

After The Globes’ short half-hour set, Telekinesis came to set up their equipment, with one rare addition. My friends and I were standing right off to the left of center by the stage, and I swore Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie was tuning his Rickenbacker. I turned to my friend and asked, “Is that Chris Walla?”

“No, it can’t be. It’s gotta be some guy that looks totally like him.”

“That’s Chris Walla. I’m not kidding. Look.”

And I must tell you; my friend is a diehard Death Cab for Cutie fan, so she of all people should know who and who isn’t Chris Walla. But this time, I was right. Chris joined Michael Lerner (a.k.a. Telekinesis) and his touring band for this one-night Seattle engagement. Just because. Lerner later mentioned Chris as one of the people who was responsible for his record being released. He said that, “he made me write this record.” Signed to Merge Records in early 2009, Lerner has been touring for most of the year with David and Jodie Broecker and Chris Staples as his live band, and the unconventional stage lineup threw me off a bit, but made the night more interesting. Lerner sat at the drumkit as he sang on most of the songs, and the unexpected cameo by Walla excited the crowd like they should be on a Friday night at 10 p.m.

I would have liked to have heard “Awkward Kisser,” just cause it’s such a damn cute song, but Lerner played the lot of the songs off his eponymous debut released in April – a few highlights being “Tokyo,” “Coast of Carolina,” and “Foreign Room.” My sister especially liked “Calling All Doctors,” with its distinctive hook of a repeated “twitchin, twitchin.” There were a couple songs where Lerner got up off the drums and stood with his acoustic guitar by himself while the rest of the band lounged on the floor. “I Saw Lightning” was a perfect example of a Seattle ballad – heartfelt and not overdone. Like one of those songs you can sing to your girlfriend at an open mic and not sound too amateurish.

And I must say how epic David Broecker’s mustache was. It truly was amazing.

Right on schedule, headliners the Lonely Forest graced the stage at just after 11 p.m., right as my feet started to ache. The Showbox had become even more crowded than when we first arrived, which again shows how much buzz this band has gotten with the locals. Lead guitarist and vocalist John Van Deusen actually started off the set with “can I get a shout out to Anacortes!” and the room threw up their arms and cheered with pride.

The Lonely Forest manages to bring together emotional piano pop with heavy, complex indie rock, without sounding generic in the slightest. Their newest album We Sing the Body Electric, released on Burning Building Records earlier this year, is easily one of the most dynamic and, dare I say, best of the year. Van Deusen, along with guitarist Tony Ruland, bassist Eric Sturgeon and drummer Bradyn Krueger started off the holidays just how they should be – full of vigor. By halfway through their set the Lonely Forest had the whole room jumping to the sound of Ruland’s badass guitar licks and Van Deusen’s weathered voice with tracks from We Sing the Body Electric, “Two Pink Pills,” and “Tomato Soup.” They also played “Soil Silt and Clay,” from their first LP, 2007’s Nuclear Winter, a concept album about the world ending and the protagonist’s escape from destruction through space travel.

One of my favorite songs of the night was “They’re On To Something,” a fast and guitar-heavy track with a shy piano line and the perfect beat for the lively crowd to dance around to. But it wasn’t until towards the end of the night where most of the people surrounding me on the teeming floor sang along to “We Sing In Time,” the undeniably catchy pop song with a killer building hook. Once the band stepped off stage, people immediately started shouting for an encore, and as it’s become standard practice, The Lonely Forest walked back out for not one – but two – songs for an encore.

You’d never think that Van Deusen spent time in rehab and Ruland almost died after a stint in the hospital two years ago. But then again, with how much passion The Lonely Forest has both on their record and in a live setting, one has to wonder where they get their fire.

The Swell Season “Strict Joy” Album Review.

12 Nov

(This has already been posted on PopWreckoning, but I thought I’d post it here anyway to spread it around as much as possible.)

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It’s almost not fair that the U.S. never got to experience Glen Hansard before 2007’s “Once,” because as of 2009, he has a 15-year history of making great bluesy-folk Irish rock with his band The Frames. And his experience mixed with 21-year-old Czech songwriter Marketa Irglova’s unsullied piano and vocals, the two once again creative a dynamic and poignant album, Strict Joy, following their 2007 Oscar win for “Falling Slowly” from the film “Once.” On their second record together, The Swell Season has expanded their musical and emotional repertoire without going too far out of their original intention.

Strict Joy opens on a bluesy Van Morrison-like tune, “Low Rising,” which was an odd choice to open the album, as its somewhat repetitive melody doesn’t hit me with a strong sense of what the album is going to encompass. And to be honest, the rest of the album doesn’t sound a whole lot like “Low Rising.” It’s a cool instance of showing the breadth of Hansard and Irglova’s songwriting, but I would have embedded it in the record as a nice change up, and started the record on track number two, “Feeling the Pull,” as it sounds to me like a sunrise. Like waking up to a sunny day with frost on the windowsill. That shows more what the album is – joyful, but still with those cold moments.

“The Rain,” “Feeling the Pull,” “High Horses” and “The Verb” provide the upbeat core of Strict Joy, which is what makes it different than The Swell Season’s first effort in 2006. This album isn’t nearly as melancholy, although it does have its moments. Stand out-tracks include the choir-laden acoustic ballad “In These Arms,” “Fantasy Man” led by Irglova’s slow lilt, and the Frames-esque throwback “Paper Cup,” which features a great guitar solo that almost sounds like Spanish finger-picking and Hansard’s soulful rasp.

Strict Joy also features a diversity of instruments and mixing, with more strings, harmonica, and even some more high-tech mixing on “Two Tongues,” and an almost Celtic-folk vibe on “I Have Loved You Wrong.” Strict Joy shows how an unlikely pairing can come together in such a way that makes perfect sense. Hansard and Irglova don’t sound like a couple of people who just got together to make music, they sound like they’ve been making music together for much longer than you’d expect because of Irglova’s age. But that may be just a sign of the group’s musicianship and undeniable chemistry. Strict Joy isn’t quite as fresh as the Swell Season’s first effort back in 2006, which people forget preceded “Once,” but just as beautiful. I’d like to see where they go next, now that the songs aren’t as strongly engrained in our minds as the story of “Once,” whether it is fact or fiction.

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❤ Abby

This is a post about Weezer

6 Nov

Take a look at the evolution of Weezer. See how simple, yet perfect they were in the mid-90s? It was the pop answer to grunge that society so needed in the 90s. After Kurt offed himself, he kind of offed grunge in the mainstream after that.







But Weezer was our savior. It was the “emo” of the time. Not that I’m at all comparing Weezer to the shitty-ass mass produced anthems of the black-haired pussies of the mid-00s. But Weezer WAS the youth culture. Who didn’t connect with the Blue Album? And who didn’t think that Pinkerton didn’t get the praise it deserved when it first came out? I mean, Rolling Stone readers fucking voted Pinkerton the second worst album of 1996. Were they all smoking crack? This was before Whitney Houston came out and said “crack is whack!”

What makes old-school Weezer better than new school Weezer is that even though the Blue Album and Pinkerton were released when I was still so freaking enamored with Ren & Stimpy and Nickelodeon slime, those songs never get old. They’re still relevant. People still feel the same. Youth culture never really changed all that much. And I can’t tell you how many times I hear “Buddy Holly” on 107.7 The End during the week. It’s a lot.

So what’s the point of this post exactly? Well, Raditude just came out, and I have mixed feelings. Based on its Weezer-ness, it sucks, but based on its all-around musical merit, it’s adequate. I wouldn’t say great, but not bad. It’s confusing me, hearing Rivers singing about partying and being all “I’m your daddy,” like maybe Rivers is having a mid-life crisis. Maybe he’s getting so close to 40 that he had to write all these songs that would resonate with the hip youths of today’s MTV crowd. Like another review said, not sure where, but I’ll put it in quotes anyway – “It’s like all Rivers is doing to trying to make songs that would sound kickass on Rock Band.”

In a way, I’m hoping that this is a weird mid-life crisis, like my aunt’s crazy dolphin tattoo on her ankle and my dad’s sudden urge to listen to indie rock and wear jeans with flaps over the pockets. Maybe Lil Wayne was Rivers’ key to those who go apeshit over Lauren Conrad instead of Carson Daly how it’s supposed to be.

Seriously, take a listen to Can’t Stop Partying. It’s hella catchy and danceable, but not the same band that once rocked out with the Muppets and wrote a song about a damn sweater.

I liked Weezer’s quarterlife crisis. Their mid-life crisis is getting kinda old. Make Believe was when it all started, and the Red Album was a small redemption from it, cause it was so damn catchy, but now Raditude is going in a whole new direction (crossing my fingers that its an ironic one). Maybe I need to see Weezer live to “get” the whole idea behind Raditude. Because I’ve heard from MULTIPLE sources that Weezer is fucking AMAZING live.

I want to be critical, because that’s technically what I am, but I don’t want to be so critical that I come off as a Pitchfork groupie. Seriously, Pitchfork has gotten ridiculous. Sure when it comes to good albums, they mostly get it right, like with a 9.6 they gave Merriweather Post Pavilion (still reminds me, I have to make my list of the best albums of the DECADE!), but when it comes to albums that are so-so, Pitchfork surely judges mainstream albums much harsher than indie ones. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I’m pretty sure Pitchfork is just a bunch of self-righteous hipsters sitting in their office on their Macs trying to find ways to make the album reviews all about their own flowery prose (it takes one to know one, I know.) And I’ve been reading some other reviews to get a feel of how people are reacting to it, and I don’t wanna hear any, “bands change all the time, they can do whatever they want,” because as much as that’s true – we all truly love the mid-90s era Weezer. I’m not against bands evolving – but all-around change is another thing (All-American Rejects is another example. Their new album makes me really sad, and Tyson needs to get rid of the glitter and put the damn bass back over his shoulder, damnit!).

I’ve had such a weird couple weeks that I felt like I needed to sit down late at night and write about something that I truly know about, and that I don’t have to recollect anything to write a comprehensive blog post. And music is that thing. I just hope – PRAYING TO AN IMPERVIOUS GOD – that I can get myself a pass to Deck the Hall Ball (oh right, The End hasn’t “officially” released any information about it yet, but I just saw a few days ago on Right Arm Entertainment that Muse, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, Metric, and 30 Seconds to Mars will be playing. Oh, and guess what? They just changed it to “acts TBA.” Someone must have dropped the ball. OOPS. And it’s also a clue that Red, the morning DJ has been hinting at. Just the other day she said right as “1901” started playing, “I wonder when Phoenix is coming to Seattle. I hope it’s soon.” Don’t even, Red. Don’t even.)

Wow, I went off on a longer tangent than I thought right there.

Weezer.

You take a listen for yourself – most of the songs are on HypeMachine. Do you approve of Weezer’s possibly desperate, possibly ironic want for hip-ness?

I’m still split myself. But I do have Pinkerton to keep me happy. And of course River’s “Alone” home recordings. Those are splendid.

❤ Abby

Totally just realized something.

18 Oct

Not only will January 1st be the start of a new year this year, but the start of the new DECADE!

Holy crap. I’ve lived through two DECADES. That’s weird. Because I watch all those “I Love the (INSERT DECADE HERE)” on VH1, and it’s weird to think that I lived through two of those. Well, not the 70s or 80s, but after that.

That got me thinking. I need to make a list of the top albums of the decade along with the top albums of the year. Holy crap that will be hard. I’ll have to start planning for that. I was listening to Funeral by Arcade Fire earlier, and I wanted to hit myself because I just got it yesterday for some god-awful reason. Five years after it was first released. I mean, it’s Arcade Fire. How did I not own this album before now? So confused with myself right now. But if you have any major suggestions of what albums I absolutely can’t leave out, let me know. I wouldn’t want to upset anyone. And these will be strictly on a critical basis, and I’ll keep my bias out.

Well, I’ll try.

Right now so far I’m thinking:

Fuck Pitchfork, I’m gonna make my own list.

❤ Abby