Saturday, August 30, 2008

Summertime Blues ’08

Summertime is almost over and it’s time to present the albums and tunes that kept us cool in this hot season. One of the most anticipated releases this year, The Hold Steady's fourth LP "Stay Positive", delivers the goods and claims the top of our summer list. The Brooklyn band keeps up the frantic momentum of the excellent “Boys and Girls in America” and continues to spread its rock 'n' roll gospel with “Stay Positive”, managing to write another classic, anthemic album. CSS, one of the most fun live bands, release a more rocking but still very danceable second album, our choice for party album of the season along with the remarkable debut of the fast rising Black Kids from Florida (read more about it here). Primal Scream keep the party jumping with “Beautiful Future”, their proclaimed pop album. The band’s undisputed expertise in mixing dance with rock is put in good use here and their collaboration with CSS’s Lovefoxxx in “I love to hurt (you love to be hurt)” produces one of the anthems of this summer. To complete our Top 5 Albums of Summer 2008 we have some alt-country with plenty of rock twists, Silver Jews’ “Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea”. David Berman’s stories are guaranteed to keep you amused and bemused, while “My pillow is the threshold”, one of the many highlights on the album, boasts one of the best lyric lines I've heard this (or any) year: “I throw my thoughts like tomahawks into this world which I disown”. Party on Dave!

Top 15 Albums

1. Stay Positive - THE HOLD STEADY
2. Donkey - CSS
3. Partie Traumatic - BLACK KIDS
4. Beautiful Future - PRIMAL SCREAM
5. Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea - SILVER JEWS
6. Object 47 - WIRE
7. Velocifero - LADYTRON
8. At Mount Zoomer - WOLF PARADE
9. The Lucky Ones - MUDHONEY
10. Directions To See A Ghost - THE BLACK ANGELS
11. This Is Not The World - THE FUTUREHEADS
12. Inherit - FREE KITTEN
13. Lie Down In The Light - BONNIE 'PRINCE' BILLY
14. Crossing Dragon Bridge - STEVE WYNN
15. The Evangelist - ROBERT FORSTER

Top 20 Tracks

1. I love to hurt (you love to be hurt) - PRIMAL SCREAM
2. Left behind - CSS
3. Hurricane Jane - BLACK KIDS
4. Aloysius, bluegrass drummer - SILVER JEWS
5. Language city - WOLF PARADE
6. Constructive summer - THE HOLD STEADY
7. I gotta fire - SPIRITUALIZED
8. Hard currency - WIRE
9. New meaning - MUDHONEY
10. Seasick - FREE KITTEN
11. Hit the wall - BRENDAN CANNING
12. 88 - THE COOL KIDS
13. Predict the day - LADYTRON
14. God doesn’t like it - STEVE WYNN
15. Touch me I’m going to scream pt.2 - MY MORNING JACKET
16. Half in love with Elizabeth - MYSTERY JETS
17. Sale of the century - THE FUTUREHEADS
18. You on the run - THE BLACK ANGELS
19. You remind me of something (the glory goes) - BONNIE 'PRINCE' BILLY
20. Let your light in, babe - ROBERT FORSTER

The Hold Steady - Constructive Summer

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Killer Tracks: I'm not gonna teach your boyfriend how to dance with you

Black Kids - I'm not gonna teach your boyfriend how to dance with you

...And we're back! Back from the relaxing part of our summer vacation that is. And to kick off the new blogging season, let's start with a glorious POP song. And when I say pop, I mean the sort of uplifting, instantly hummable pop music that they used to make in the '60s and not the mass-produced, mind-numbingly dull plastic byproduct that flourished in the '80s and keeps dominating the charts today. Black Kids use this exuberant '60s pop blueprint and mix it with Motown soul and indie rock. The result is one of the most accomplished debuts of 2008, the exhilarating Partie Traumatic, one of the best albums of this summer (more on this subject soon). "I'm not gonna teach your boyfriend how to dance with you" was the track that introduced us to the Black Kids last year, as part of their "Wizard of Ahhhs" debut EP (it was among our Top 100 Tracks of 2007) and is one of the many highlights on their Bernard Butler produced LP ("Hurricane Jane" and "Hit the Heartbrakes" also possess similar Killer Track qualities).