Monday, July 26, 2010

The Best Albums of the '90s

Before we take off for a few weeks of much needed vacations, we are going to sign off with the list of our 200 favorite albums of the '90s. At the end of last summer we posted the list of our Top 200 Albums of the '80s at Cool Music Database after completing the presentation of our favorite albums from each year of that decade. Now that the '90s project is also completed, we have compiled the list of the Top 200 Albums of the '90s which you can check out in its entirety here. Below you can see just the best of the best, the crème de la crème of the '90s in our humble opinion, and a few related videos. Turn it up! 

Top 25 Albums of the '90s
  1. Nevermind - NIRVANA
  2. Rid of me - P.J. HARVEY
  3. Live through this - HOLE
  4. Extricate - THE FALL
  5. Goo - SONIC YOUTH
  6. Siamese dream - SMASHING PUMPKINS
  7. Fear of a black planet - PUBLIC ENEMY
  8. The hot rock - SLEATER-KINNEY   
  10. Fontanelle - BABES IN TOYLAND
  11. Dirty - SONIC YOUTH
  12. Swift-work - THE FALL
  13. Slanted and enchanted - PAVEMENT
  14. Celebrity skin - HOLE
  15. 1965 - THE AFGHAN WHIGS
  16. Sweet oblivion - SCREAMING TREES
  17. Too high to die - MEAT PUPPETS
  18. Trompe le monde - PIXIES
  19. Every good boy deserves fudge - MUDHONEY
  20. The real Ramona - THROWING MUSES
  21. Copper blue - SUGAR
  22. In utero - NIRVANA
  23. Dry - P.J. HARVEY
  24. Henry’s dream - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
  25. At Action Park - SHELLAC

Nirvana - Lithium

P.J. Harvey - Man-Size

Hole - Violet

Cool Music Central is now officially on summer vacations. Normal service will resume mid-August, although you never know what you might find here in the meantime...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ejekt Festival '10: UNKLE, Faith No More, Bad Religion (Athens, July 13th, 2010)

The recent economic crisis is not only hurting our pockets but our live entertainment as well. A side effect of the recession is the cancellation of several concerts planned for this summer, while some of the festivals that did take place were scaled down. This was the case for this year’s Ejekt Festival which took place last Tuesday at the Olympic Tae-Kwon-Do Stadium of Athens. Last year’s two day event featured Pixies, Jarvis Cocker, Echo & The Bunnymen, Editors, Klaxons, White Lies, The Subways, Starsailor, Royksopp (review here) - this summer it was down to just one day with Faith No More and Bad Religion being the main attractions and UNKLE, the only band with a worthwhile recent record to promote, playing the closing set in the after-midnight slot. Did I mention that the new site of the festival was an indoor arena with poor acoustics? Slimmed down lineup and a far from ideal setting for a summer festival - the International Monetary Fund strikes again!

UNKLE (live @ Ejekt Festival '10, Athens, July 13th, 2010)

Bad Religion played a 90-minute "best-of" set, not too far away from what I remember from their very first appearance in Greece 14 years ago (July 13th, 1996, when they played alongside The Jesus And Mary Chain and Violent Femmes among others). The legendary ‘80s hardcore punk era is well behind us but Bad Religion stick religiously to their guns and given that there are thousands of kids out there that never got to experience it firsthand, they continue to play the same material that brought them fame in the early ‘90s. So we got to hear once again the likes of "Do What You Want", "We're Only Gonna Die", "Recipe For Hate", "A Walk", "Atomic Garden", "Infected", "American Jesus", "Generator", "21st Century Digital Boy", the kids got to mosh and feel rebellious and I was grateful that at least we got Bad Religion in the festival’s lineup and not some of their many lamentable latter day imitators.

 Bad Religion (live @ Ejekt Festival '10, Athens, July 13th, 2010)

The late ‘80s-early ‘90s nostalgia trip continued with the reunited Faith No More who attracted the largest crowd of the day. Given that I’ve never been particularly fond of their music, I took a back seat for the duration of their 90-minute set which included "From Out Of Nowhere", "Caffeine", "Evidence", "Surprise You Are Dead", "Easy", "King For A Day", "Midlife Crisis", "Epic" and an interesting version of Vangelis’ "Chariots of Fire". Unfortunately they didn’t include my only favorite F.N.M. track which happens to be "Be Aggressive". At least they got to break many plates during the final encore, honoring the local entertainment customs.

Faith No More (live @ Ejekt Festival '10, Athens, July 13th, 2010)

And finally, about half an hour after midnight and while the crowd had thinned out considerably, we left the past and returned to the present with UNKLE. James Lavelle’s collaborative project has taken a heavier rock direction in recent years working with the likes of Chris Goss, Josh Homme, Ian Astbury and Mark Lanegan, so the band’s appearance in a rock festival didn’t feel out of place. Understandably, none of the stars of the UNKLE musical universe were present on this night, but that didn’t stop the band from delivering an enjoyable, guitar-driven, 70-minute set that included tracks from all of its records, from the late ‘90s classic "Psyence Fiction" ("Lonely Soul", even without Richard Ashcroft, sounded great) to the recent "Where Did the Night Fall" ("The Answer", "Natural Selection", "Follow Me Down" and "Ablivion" with the last two being among the highlights of their performance). Although we didn’t have the pleasure to see "Restless" performed with Josh Homme on stage or "Reign" with Ian Brown, at least we got an electrifying performance from the band while the absent singers were present in spirit on the video walls. UNKLE delivered a remarkable set accompanied by impressive visuals and lighting show and was the band that reminded us that we were present in a festival that was taking place in 2010 and not in 1990.

UNKLE's setlist: "The Answer", "Burn My Shadow", "Chemistry", "Natural Selection", "Reign", "Restless", "Glow", "Follow Me Down", "Keys To The Kingdom", "Ablivion", "Eye For An Eye". Encore: "Heaven", "Lonely Soul", "In A State".


UNKLE (live @ Ejekt Festival '10, Athens, July 13th, 2010)

Faith No More (live @ Ejekt Festival '10, Athens, July 13th, 2010)

Bad Religion (live @ Ejekt Festival '10, Athens, July 13th, 2010)

Ejekt Festival 2010: Restless - UNKLE, Epic - Faith No More, Los Angeles is Burning (live in Athens)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Releases: June 2010

Round up of the most interesting albums and singles released in June 2010 plus links to videos and free & legit mp3s:


STARS - The Five Ghosts (mp3)
TOKYO POLICE CLUB - Champ (video)
THE DRUMS - The Drums (video)
RAEKWON - Cocainism, Vol. 2 (mp3)
THE ROOTS - How I Got Over (video)
HEALTH - Disco2 (mp3)
UFFIE - Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans
HOT HOT HEAT - Future Breeds (video)
THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM - American Slang (video)
WOVENHAND - The Threshingfloor
PERNICE BROTHERS - Goodbye, Killer (video)
WILD NOTHING - Gemini (mp3)
BLITZEN TRAPPER - Destroyer of the Void (mp3)
NINA NASTASIA - Outlaster (video)
ELK CITY - House Of Tongues
PEGGY SUE - Fossils And Other Phantoms
RATATAT - LP4 (mp3)
KELE - The Boxer
DELAYS - Star Tiger, Star Ariel
MELVINS - The Bride Screamed Murder
DEVO - Something For Everybody


THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART - Say No To Love / Lost Saint (video)
THE NATIONAL - Anyone's Ghost
VAMPIRE WEEKEND - Holiday (video)
CROCODILES - Sleep Forever (mp3)
MAXIMUM BALLOON - Tiger (video)
COLD CAVE - Life Magazine Remixes EP (mp3)
UNDERWORLD - Scribble (video)
ORBITAL - Don't Stop Me / The Gun Is Good (video)
KELE - Tenderoni (video)
MICAH P HINSON - Take Off That Dress For Me
PAUL WELLER - Find The Torch Burn The Plans (video)
RICHARD HAWLEY - False Lights From the Land EP
DELAYS - Unsung (video)
CHIEF - Breaking Walls
DELPHIC - Counterpoint (video)

Just say no, kids:
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Say No To Love

More summertime fun:
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Bright Lit Blue Skies

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Best of 2010 so far (part 2): Top 40 Albums

In the second part of our presentation of the best music from the first half of 2010, we are unveiling today the list of our 40 favorite albums. There’s certainly plenty of good stuff out there that we didn’t have the chance to listen to just yet (feel free to pinpoint our omissions), but based on what we’ve actually had the time to lend a careful ear to in the past six months, here’s our Top 40 albums presented in a not entirely random order:

Top 40 Albums (Jan.-June 2010)

  • Your future our clutter - THE FALL
  • I will be - DUM DUM GIRLS
  • High Places Vs Mankind - HIGH PLACES
  • Transference - SPOON
  • Teen dream - BEACH HOUSE
  • High violet - THE NATIONAL
  • Forgiveness rock record - BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
  • Sisterworld - LIARS
  • Treats - SLEIGH BELLS
  • Crystal Castles (II) - CRYSTAL CASTLES
  • Nerve up - LONELADY
  • The flexible entertainer - PIT ER PAT
  • Cosmogramma - FLYING LOTUS
  • Sea of cowards - THE DEAD WEATHER
  • The Soft Pack - THE SOFT PACK
  • Total life forever - FOALS
  • Congratulations - MGMT
  • The monitor - TITUS ANDRONICUS
  • Fire like this - BLOOD RED SHOES
  • Avi Buffalo - AVI BUFFALO
  • There is love in you - FOUR TET
  • This is happening - LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
  • Amsterdam throwdown King Street showdown! - SOLEX VS. CRISTINA MARTINEZ + JON SPENCER
  • No 2: Abyss in B minor - SERENA MANEESH
  • Heaven is whenever - THE HOLD STEADY
  • Beat the devil's tattoo - BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB
  • The golden archipelago - SHEARWATER
  • Grey oceans - COCOROSIE
  • Odd blood - YEASAYER
  • Plastic beach - GORILLAZ
  • The optimist - NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB
  • Romance is boring - LOS CAMPESINOS!
  • Broken Bells - BROKEN BELLS
  • The courage of others - MIDLAKE
  • Have one on me - JOANNA NEWSOM

And here’s a small sample of the albums waiting in the queue of our media player for a more thorough listen in the coming weeks:  Latin - HOLY FUCK, Expo 86 - WOLF PARADE, Possession sound - GUN OUTFIT, The Drums - THE DRUMS, The five ghosts - STARS, Totaled - INDIAN JEWELRY, Nothing hurts - MALE BONDING, XXXX - YOU SAY PARTY! WE SAY DIE!, Brothers - THE BLACK KEYS, Before today - ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI, Swim - CARIBOU, Champ - TOKYO POLICE CLUB

Video playlist: The Top 10 Albums of 2010 so far

Click here for the Top 50 Singles of the first half of 2010.