Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Vaccines

I had been planning to do a quickie post about 8-10 new bands that I have been checking out but then figured I have the time to do individual posts bout them, so why not take the time and do right be each of them.

I'll start with The Vaccines. yet another victim in the UK crush of immediate hype, the resulting backlash and the inevitable stateside launch. The funny thing is that for these guys, it's all happened in a matter of about 4 months. I won't go into the merits of the hype, or the reasons (or merits) of the backlash. Instead, I'll just give you my take as I caught them live last week here at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC.

The songs are pretty well-crafted, and they excel when they stick to the 2 and a half minute pop song. They are capable enough players, with the drummer really standing out oftentimes, which is always nice to hear. It's good to see basic simple rock songs being played quickly with a sense of urgency, and with little to no noodling and spells of introspection.

The problem comes in the other areas of rock that they (admittedly) are just not interested in. They have no look, there is no sense of danger in the band's persona, and are overall just nice boys. (Check out this quick interview with them from Live4Ever for more on this). Now I am not asking that they be Oasis or the Sex Pistols, but with the energy and songwriting chops, I just wish they'd spend a month or so locked in a studio with Graham Coxon to figure out how to be a proper nice boy, yet dangerous, rock and roller.

Check out the video for the single that won me over in the first place:

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Jamie XX + Adele & Gil Scott-Heron

As I mentioned before, I found 2010 to be a pretty miserable year in music. Luckily, it seems like 2011 might have a chance at blowing last year away in just the first few months. Coming very soon will be new records from the following:

Arctic Monkeys
The Duke Spirit
The Streets
Sons and Daughters
Beady Eye
The Strokes

Now, that is just an amazing line up with some fabulous pedigree and a very good chance at some great music. In fact, this gem has already made its way to the stores/charts:

Adele- Rolling In The Deep (Jamie XX Shuffle)

In one fell swoop, Adele and jamie of the XX have beaten almost all of 2010's releases. Bodes well for the next 12 months, methinks.

But that also got me thinking about another Jamie XX release coming in the next month. Gil Scott-Heron's 2010 record is getting a full remix treatment by the UK's latest most sought after producer. And from what I have heard, it seems destined to cement 2011 as Jamie's year.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Top 10 for 2010 +1

2010 was not a great year for music. I freely admit that I have slacked in listening to as much music as I should have, and admit that my daily listening shifted from music to more podcasts. But when going through other people's top 10 lists, I just do not see much that I missed out on. In fact, whereas I usually have trouble cutting my list down to 10, this year I struggled to even think of 10 records that I felt were worthy. Really this should be a top 5-15 instead of a top 10, but it's a yearly tradition so here we go:

1. The Crocodiles- Sleep Forever
2. Paul Weller- Wake Up the Nation
3. Tame Impala- Innerspeaker
4. Karen Elson- The Ghost Who Walks
5. Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster- Blood and Fire
6. Scissor Sisters- Night Work
7. Thee Oh Sees- Warm Slime
8. Delphic- Acolyte
9. Hurts- Happiness
10. Junip- Fields

And as a +1, if The Black Belles had a full release and not just a single, they probably could have taken the top spot. Just a guess, but I just love them so much that I am willing to go out on a limb on this one. Thank you, Jack White, for the Black Belles, my favorite band of 2010.

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