Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Let these two videos stoke you out for your New Year party. I am going to the Vermont House for our (TPF!) label's, Modern Sleeze, record release party for Halloween Swim Team. Should be a blast.
3. Thunderheist: “Jerk It” (Something about the cute blonde, super hi-def camera, slow-mo body wiggles, and a chicken had me watching this video over and over again. Not to mention that the song is pretty slammin too.)
2. Kanye West: "Flashing Lights” (Are you kidding me? WHOA!! This voluptuous babe on, what looks like somewhere near Mulholland Drive, fucking shit up. My god. It's short but damn, it's good.)
OH, just got back from The Night Marchers show. NO ONE does good old fashion Rock-n-Roll like they do. They killlllled it!
Monday, December 29, 2008
5. Sigur Ros: “Gobbledigook” (Naked people and a great song = good video. Naked and splashing shit on people has been big in videos this year. Keep em coming in 09!)
4. Flying Lotus: “Parisian Goldfish” (Wow. My naked and more weird. Lovely, truly lovely.)
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I am stoked to be able to bring these videos to you dudes this past year. I put on my first 'blog' show and I have seen the number of viewers per day grow steadily. I will keep doing this as long as it is still fun. I love new music and looking for neat videos so this has been a great year for me to showcase what I usually do on the internet anyways. I hope that some of these videos have inspired you or made you stoked in one way or another. I know I have had a blast with it this year and hope to make it bigger in 09'. My brother, Kyle, should be a regular here in 09' with his input from Manhattan, NYC. The bi-coastal brothers bringing you new music content, shows, videos, and reviews of new music. Without further adieu, my top 10.
10. Evangelicals: "Midnight Vignette" (Most underrated band and video of the year. These guys are even really good live. This video is super well done and different than anything else. Well done chaps, well done.)
9. Pivot: "In The Blood” (Creativity flows out of this one. Low budget but done neatly and there is an over-usage of blood which I like. It's like a video I would have done with my buddies and spent a bunch of time on back in college. Watch all the way to the end. I know you always do right:)?
8. Justice vs. Simian: "We Are Your Friends" (Good friends let 'passed out pranks' happen.)
7. Santogold: “L.E.S. Artistes” (It's on everybody's top video of 08' list. It's also on mine. Tt has the gruesome factor, shit splashing on people, blowing up stuff, add Santogold on that horse, and you have an instant classic.)
6. No Age: “Eraser” (This is kind of the second part of two video. The precursor is Keechie. That dude who fishes the shirt out of the water is at the beginning on this video. Again, this video has shit splashing on people in slow motion. That happened a lot in videos this year, I like it. No Age are locals and I have chatted with them at shows a bunch of times. Good dudes, and good energy. They make me happy to be in the LA music scene.)
Numbers 5 and 4 tomorrow. I know, but with the top five I want you to be able to soak the videos up. Really watch them and not worry about getting to the others as much. Wooooo!!!!!!!!! I bet you can't wait. If you have followed the blog this year you probably can figure out at least some of them. See ya tomorrow.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
15. Sigur Ros: “Gong” (Again, I like story line videos. This has a creative story.)
14. Simian Mobile Disco: "Hustler" (Hot and Super Disturbing. So good.)
13. YATCH: "Summer Song" (Love videos that start out with some dialog, it's so 80's. This is some "SPEC" shit indeed.)
11. MGMT: "Time to Pretend" (Primal wierdness. These guys get hated on but hell, good video and a good song, fuck it.) (Edited MTV version, it's the clearest I could find to embed.)
11. Goldfrapp: “Happiness” (If your happy and you know it jump around!)
Friday, December 26, 2008
20. MAN MAN: “Mister Jung Stuffed” (Ha ha ha, sucka's girlfriend making out with a shirtless mullet man!)
19. Tapes 'n Tapes: "Hang Them All" (I always like story line videos. This is a funny story.)
18. Bjork: "Wanderlust" (Well, duh, it's only one of the most talked about videos of the year.)
17. The BPA: “Toe Jam” (David Byrne and boobies!)
16. Chad VanGaalen: “Molten Light” (It's his song and he made the video. Fantastic on both accounts.)
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Here we go with some videos. 25-21 of some bad ass videoage.
25. Fleet Foxes: “White Winter Hymnal” (Claymation, what else do I have to say?)
24. CSS: "Move" (Really fun stuff. I like these Brazilian peeps, fun is where it's at. This is so kitschy but a novel idea.)
23. Naive New Beaters: "Live good" (Not the best song, but the video is creative.)
22. Lykke Li [ft. Bon Iver]: "Dance Dance Dance" (Man, acoutic and so rad. I watched this over and over. It's filmed in LA somewhere but not sure where?)
21. Vitalic: "U and I" (Neat story line.)
My Top Videos Number 20-1 will resume the day after x-mas. Just one day off. Gotta go to Grandma's house.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Now these videos are getting really good. These five are all worthy of an award, a cLAy TV award. Maybe next year I will send the bands and the video directors a trophy or something. Mmmmmm, good idea. Or make it a big deal and get a red carpet and have gift bags, maybe of weed or something. Yeah...and the winner is...
30. Efterklang: "Cutting Ice To Snow” (This guy is rad. I want to go there.)
29. The Mae Shi “Run to Your Grave” (Local dudes are so fun.)
28. M83; “Kim and Jessie” (M83 with another sweet video.)
27. Marnie Stern: "Ruler" (This is so playful, I always love silly videos that show the bands or performers true personality.)
26. MGMT: "The Youth" (These kids are nutty.)
Sunday, December 21, 2008
35. kap10kurt: "Dangerseekers" (i like robots.)
34. Dragonforce: “Heroes of Our Time” (It's just soooo...crazy. Really fun to watch and smile at its pure metal moments.)
33. Classix (Any music video with skateboarding in it works for me.)
32. Hauschka: "Eltern" (i like thier little dude.)
31. Fiasco: “Oh You Horny Monster” (Shot well, and blood is good.)
Saturday, December 20, 2008
40. Kate Micucci: "Dear Deer" (She is a, don't mind the pun, "dear" friend of mine and I think her video is so cute, so I put it at number 40.)
39. Genghis Tron: "Things Don't Look Good" (Metal goodness, if you can find better quality looking than this you should because it's really neat.)
38. RJD2: "1976" (He had one on my list last year too, it's loooooks good.)
37. Muscles: "The Lake" (Ha! Busted by an old man who eats fish whole, I love it!)
36. M83: “Graveyard Girl” (These guys videos are so neat, they throw you back with their film quality and juvenile themes. Good stuff and good song!)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Hot Chip: "Ready For The Floor"
The Ting Tings: "Shut Up and Let Me Go"
Okkervil River: "Lost Coastlines"
Noah and the Whale: "The Shape of my Heart"
Radiohead: "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi"
Architecture in Helsinki: "That Beep"
Passion Pit: "Sleepyhead"
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Here is is:
Hello Boys and Girls! Greetings from Minneapolis! How's the weather up there, you ask? Well, it's colder than a motherfucker here, right now. 4 degrees below zero, the last I checked.
So, I've decided that since Clay and Kyle spent all that time listing off their favorite albums, I wouldn't even try to compete. Instead, I'm gonna offer up a list of good books that I've read in the past year or so. I WILL go on the record and say that MOST of my favorite albums from this year are on one or both of their lists. I would argue, however, that The Tallest Man on Earth deserves a higher ranking (c'mon, Kyle!) and urge you to give a listen to Phosphorescent's album Pride and Hymns for a Dark Horse by Bowerbirds. Both are on the Dead Oceans label, methinks. And both are pretty fantastic. And as long as we're here, I thought John Vanderslice's latest was pretty alright, too. (If you're into that sorta thing.)
So, I run a book store here in Minneapolis, which affords me the same access to good books that ClayTV provides to awesome vids. Here's a quick list of books I can whole-heartedly recommend to readers of all stripes. Normally, I don't like to play favorites, but in the spirit of listmaking, I've gone ahead and assembled a top 10. If you wanna buy one, do me a solid and buy it here: magersandquinn.com.
1. Gilead - Marilynne Robinson
2. The End - Salvatore Scibona
3. Home - Marilynne Robinson
4. Book Thief - Marcus Zusak
5. Dud Avocado - Elaine Dundy
6. Netherland - Joseph O'Neill
7. The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick
8. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
9. Vermeer in Bosnia - Lawrence Weschler
10. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing - M.T. Anderson
And a small assortment of other fine books I read in '08.
The Boat- by Nam Le
Housekeeping - by Marilynne Robinson
Sorrows of an American - Siri Hustvedt
Proust was a Neuroscientist - Jonah Lehrer
Maps & Legends - Michael Chabon
Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz
Heat - Bill Buford
Driftless - David Rhodes
Proust and the Squid - MaryAnne Wolf
Thanks Jay! and now here is video with most of the lowest common denominators!
MSTRKRFT: "Bounce" feat. N.O.R.E & Isis
ps. cLAy TV's top videos of 08' are coming soon!!!
Monday, December 15, 2008
08' Stream Of Consciousness:
The general sentiment of the year is that there are no real standouts. There have been plenty of good albums but nothing really really obvious. I wonder if it has to do with the accessibility of music and the ease of hearing new bands. The good albums have so many other good albums to be compared to. I wonder if this is a trend and that each year the running for standout albums will get more and more diluted. I am not saying it is a bad thing. I love hearing new albums and new bands, it's exciting. As far as a music listener I have become more ADHD, constantly looking for the next band that rules. Now that sounds like it's my own fault, but is it? No matter where you look in the media and on-line there is another band to hear and see. It can be exausting at times but in another way, it's nice to have so many to choose from. You can nurse your favorite little band that you found on MySpace and love it like your own. You can go to their show and expect a huge crowd because you think they are sooooo good and when you get there it's only half full, you are surprised but your little baby band still kill it for you and you know now that you like them even more than before. But these "problems" may just be centered around people like me that are nuts about finding new music. I just wonder if there will be another band that 'everybody' digs. It still happens I guess, like in M.I.A. or Vampire Weekend but they are nothing to like a Nirvana or Styx:) When even you parents have heard of them and you like them then you know it's big, doesn't happen.
PS Two noteworthy albums I left off by accident are Mount Eerie's album Lost Wisdom and Fuck Buttons' album Street Horrrsing (Kyle how did we both forget this? I guess we are brothers and shit like that happens, whoaaa) Both really strong 08' releases.
Oh, and just to clarify these are albums that crossed my radar. They are not "The Best" by all means. They are the ones that stuck with me. I listened to at least 500 bands this year just searching for videos and looking through MySpace and stuff. Some just "stick" to you. Looking at all the lists this year is fun. It's kind of difficult to come up with a list when you are looking at others lists and finding bands that you haven't even heard yet and like them, I guess they get mentioned next year. I almost don't like peoples' top 10 or so albums because they are usually pretty predictable. Furthermore, I enjoy looking at the picks that are toward the ends of lists. That is the place where a persons real musical personality shines most bright. I guess in my case it's Katy Perry, damn.
Here it is:
(If you haven't heard em' them click on their names to get to their MySpace)
20. Midori Hirano: Kio Yuri (Japanese via Berlin. She is a seriously trained musician man, she plays everything on the album very well. The songs are mostly instrumental and very dreamy with layers of electronics, piano, strings and occasionally her soft voice. Good for naps.)
19. Passion Pit: Chunk of Change (These dudes from MA put out a nice little EP that is hard to deny. Electronic pop.)
18. Neon Neon: Stainless Style (This is a dude from Supper Furry Animals and produced by Boom Bip. Every song on this is totally different. There is even some straight up hip-hop on it. I listened to this a bunch, it just never got boring.)
17. Titus Andronicus: The Airing of Grievances (These Jersey boys came out with one of the best catchy lo-fi indie punk albums that are all the rage this year. It has been on my current list all year and never grew tired of their energy.)
16. Santogold/Diplo: Mix Tape (This is better than Santogold's actual album from this year by far. Diplo spices up the beats and even he got her to do a dirty punk song. There are also many guests on the album, from M.I.A. to the B-52s.)
15. Plants and Animals: Parc Avenue (I had this one right when it came out and listened to a bit but then I saw them live I was blown away by their tightness and harmonies. Since then I have played it again and again. This is a keeper.) (Live @ Natural History Museum 1/9)
14. Friendly Fires: Friendly Fires (These dudes from the UK and super good live. Again, I liked the album prior to seeing them live but after I was able to capture the energy they were going for. My lady and I have been grooving to it ever since.)
13. Meho Plaza: Meho Plaza (Local. My band, TPF!, opened for these guys a couple times this year. They also put out a erally unique album that has these crazy distorted drums and eerie guitar lines but never gets slow. It keeps it's energy and has great hooks. Reminds me some early 90's alternative stuff, like Pavement or something. Really good.) (Live @ The Airliner 1/12)
12. Deerhoof: Offend Maggie (Their last album was near the top of my 07' albums and this on e doesn't disappoint either. It still has Satomi's unique voice and the dudes behind her killin it with serious talent. This one is maybe their most accessible album yet, but Deerhoof will never be everyone's cup of tea.)
11. Marnie Stern: This is it... (She was also on my list last year. I like this one even more. She is a ripper and writes catchy tunes. "Defenders get on to your knees.")
10. Port O'Brien: All We Could Do Was Sing (Hippies! This album has one of my most favorite songs of the year on it and the others are pretty damn good too. When I saw them live this year they handed out pots and pans for everyone to bang on. Good hippie/folky fun.)
9. The Night Marchers: See You In Magic (John Reis from RFTC, Hot Snakes and Drive Like Jehu has yet another project that I like. He could poop on a stick and I would have it on my list. It's good.) (Live in Redondo Beach at Brixton)
8. The Very Best: The Very Best Mixtape (Wow, the second mix tape on the list. This year in music was heavily influenced by world beats and rhythms. This takes the best of indie songs we like, like Vampire Weekend or M.I.A. and puts an African dude to sing over their beats. It's is by far the most catchy shit you will ever here and it makes you feel well traveled.)
7. Evangelicals: The Evening Descends (Wow, did this miss the radar or what? Nobody talked about this one except for my friend Chad from work and I. Great live too. I don't get why, but that's fine, I treat it like my little gimp that I keep in my crawlspace, very well.)
6. Why?: Alopecia (I like this album a whole bunch. There is no denying their sound. They have such interesting arrangements and insane lyrics. They all play a ton of instruments too. There is a bit of nostalgia for me in this in that it sounds like, maybe...They Might Be Giants or something like that from the 90s. Give it a bunch of listens, it grows on you.)
5. No Age: Nouns (Locals. This hit most lists this year. They are the lo-fi kings of the year. The Smell bands put out so many great records this year. Seen them a bunch too this year, that's always pretty good too. The got the hype machine going for sure but they deserve because they are modest, nice dudes.)
4. The Mae Shi: Hlllyh (What can I say? This is the best album that "Smell" bands put out this year. It has one hook after another. There is one song in the middle that get a little old but overall it's sweet. I like the way they sound electronic and "indie" on the album but live, they are totally punks. Goodness.) (Live @ The Echoplex 1/21)
3. Ponytail: Ice Cream Spiritual (I waited a long time for this to come out after hearing their songs on their myspace months before they put this out. I was not disappointed. I think the reason I put this so high is because of it's technical prowess. It seems like fun, light hearted jams but the dudes are playing their asses off on these tracks and she is yelping like a female donkey getting hit in the tits. I saw them play one song from the "sold out" door at The Smell. Come back!!!)
2. Sigur Ros: Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (Man, I really wore this one out this year. Like Kyle said, the first two tracks make it all worth it, and there are some other real diamonds in there too. The venture into more poppy tunes is well welcomed. Keep em coming dudes.)
1. Fucked Up: The Chemistry of Common Life (YAY!!!! Thank the musical gods for this release. Just when we thought that hardcore/punk/post-rock wasn't hip anymore here they came and told us to get back on that horse, act like a man, mosh a little, and get Fucked Up!! It's good and smart and has all the right stuff for me. Live is something to behold!!. Thanks guys!!!) (Live @ Echo 2/6)
Watch for my top videos of 08' soon!!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
SO, here we go with 40-21 of my favorite albums. You know, these lists are super arbitrary to the point that I thought I would just list them without order. Maybe just alphabetically. BUT, no, I made a numerical list. I had to. The best thing about these lists is the anticipation to see the top spot(s), "numero uno" if you will.. "Ooooo, I can't wait to see what number one is!!!" Yeah, that's why I did a list. Check these out and if you have not heard of or want to hear more click their name. It goes to their MySpace.
40. Trash Talk: Plagues…Walking Disease (Hardcore shit. Just crank it and have fun with it, short songs that are loaded with energy. It grows hair on you chest)
39. Los Campesinos!: Hold on Now, Youngster… (You can’t go wrong with this one. It keeps you listening and puts a smile on your face.)
38. Foals: Antidotes (Yet another
37. Marching Band: Spark Large (This is so catchy and poppy. It’s not on any list that I have seen but it kept me listening. I guess they are pretty popular in their home country,
36. Abe Vigoda: Skeleton (Locals. Again my list is full of them.
35. Frightened Rabbit: The Midnight Organ Fight (As Scott and Kyle said, “I put this on when I'm too shy to listen to Counting Crows in front of company.”)
34. Cut Copy: In Ghost Colours (This album was really popular this year. It reminds me of The Rapture if they got a little gayer and were from Australia.) (At the Fonda 3/10 and 3/11)
33. The Death Set: World Wide (I love some of the albums on this. Fun Fun Fun. They are Aussies too. I have seen them a live a couple times and that got me really into them. They have punk souls and they are not afraid of getting a little ghetto fabulous too.)
29. The Muslims: The Muslims (Locals, now called The Soft Pack. Their surfy punk epitomize SoCal. Seen them a bunch of times too, really good live. ) (They have a bunch of shows in L.A. coming up, go see them.)
28. Jay Reatard: Singles 08’ (His last album from 07’ Blood Visions is one of favorite albums of the 2000s so far. Seen him live too and it’s gooood. These are just songs that he hadn’t released but there are some true jems.) (At Echoplex 1/23)
27. Gang Gang Dance: Saint Dymphna (I don’t know, but for some reason when I listen to this I feel “cooler”. We all know that may be near possible to do but it doesJ)
26. Love is All: A Hundred Things That Keep Me Up At Night (Lo-fi Sweden fun. I had their last one and liked it, this is even better. I got it just recently though for some reason and it has made the list easily)
22. MGMT: Oracular Spectacular (This album was huge this year. I saw them live too and they sounded great. The singes on this are undeniable.)
21. Torche: Meanderthal (Metal albums didn’t hit many radars this year, but this one did for me. It really rocks and I saw them live too. This got many plays this year!!)
Surf City: "Records of a Flagpole Dancer"
The Muslims: "Parasites" Live
Saturday, December 13, 2008
My 1st show was last night!! AND cLAy TV's 55-41 most favorite albums of 08' + Bloc Party and Metronomy Videos
Here are 55-41 of my favorite albums. I will post 40-21 then 20-1 in the next couple days. I will also have the best videos up soon too!!
55. Katy Perry: One of the Boys. (Come on, you know it’s fun. A total guilty
pleasure this past summer.)
54. Bloc Party: Intimacy (Not nearly as good as I hoped it would be but it still has
some really strong tracks) (In Anaheim on 12/15)
53. Wolf Parade: At Mount Zoomer (Again, not as good as their last one but still
pretty good. It grew on me over time.)
52. Girl Talk: Feed the Animals (The follow-up is just as good as the last
one but it seizes to capture my attention. I guess it’s just a lot of the same.)
51. Jaguar Love/Past Lives: Take me to the Sea/Strange Symmetry (The halves of
The Blood Brothers are not as good as their whole but there are some killer tracks
on both of these. I had a hard time splitting them up, so they are both 51.)
50. El Guincho: Alegranza (World beats that were fun to listen to this past summer)
49. Animal Collective: Water Curses EP (It’s just an EP but I think it has a couple
of their finer songs) (In LA on 1/23 at The Fonda)
48. M83: Saturday = Youth (They are just plain good, can’t deny them a spot on the list)
47. Bad Dudes: Eat Drugs (Local prog. I have many locals on the list this year. I have been to many shows this year and seeing these bands multiple times gets me more hyped on their albums)
46. CSS: Donkey (I love their spunky dancey funness. I just saw them the other night and it was fun. My lady loves them, so that influences me too)
45. Ceremony: Still Nothing Moves You (Northbay Hardcore, it just kicks you in the face and leaves you done for)
44. Be Your Own Pet: Get Awkward (Silly, energetic, punk songs that got me moving)
43. TV on the Radio: Dear Science (Everyone loves this, it’s on most top album lists, even Rolling Stone and Spin put it at #1. It’s just too much for me, production is too high but it is pretty damn good anyway!)
42. Metronomy: Nights Out (This is some electronic UK pop at it’s finest, is had a
couple jammy jams that I played over and over.) (1/21 at the El Rey and 1/19 DJ set at the Standard)
41. Crystal Castles: Crystal Castles (I really like their EPs before the album and the
LP didn’t disappoint)
Bloc Party - One Month Off
Metronomy - Holiday
Friday, December 12, 2008
Here is an album that I didn't expect to like. Twee-folk with a dude who sings pretty much like a lady. I wonder if it helps that I have never seen what the dude who calls himself, Death Vessel, looks like, but his voice never really bothered me. In fact, I think I wouldn't like the album as much if there were a different voice emoting out over those plucked strings. Good stuff, massively under appreciated. This is my folk album of the year (if you don't count Megafaun - more on that later).
19. Bound Stems - The Family Afloat
This Chicago five-piece has had my attention for a couple years now. Their first album, Appreciation Night was one of my favorite albums from 2006. The Family Afloat picks up where that album left off with another 10 tracks of quirky, poignant Indie (note the capital I) pop. This is a much more polished and confident album than Appreciation Night. The in-song transitions are smoother, the hooks bigger, the small moments more touching. That being said, Appreciation Night's rawness is what, I think, appealed to me. This is still a great record. In what will probably be a theme of this list, these guys are massively underrated. They will hit some radars eventually and I'll be there singing along.
18. Dr. Dog - Fate
These guys are derivative to the max...Pitchfork hates them...The one guy who tries to sound like a soul singer is trying way too hard...Yadda Yadda Yadda. STFU! This album rules and you're stupid idiot. Say what you will about originality - Dr. Dog executes their influences very, very well. They sound like the Beatles and the Beach Boys got together and made a motown record. How could that possibly be bad!? Great album for a sunny drive to wherever. Pitchfork be damned. (I love you, don't hit me.)
17. Love is All - A Hundred Things Keep Me Up All Night
Something strange is going on. Typically, when an album gets a good review from the almighty 'Fork, that band will go on to sell (or have stolen) a ton of albums, sell out every venue in the land, etc. So what's going on here? Nine Times That Same Song was a phenomenal album that got a great review from the 'Fork and then was 16 on their Best of 2005. This time around, A Hundred Things Keep Me Up All Night gets a recommended tag from the 'Fork and this record just disappeared. I have seen it on only a few Best of 2008 lists and any buzz swirling around these guys seems to have dissipated. Well whatever is going on - I've got their back. While this might be Nine Times That Same Song, Volume II, the formula is still working for me. For those who don't know - spazzed out swedish indie rock with a cute as buttons singer who has a quaint little accent when she sings.
16. Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line
I hate the phrase Chamber Pop. Can't we just call it indie rock with string instruments? Too long? How about orchindie rock? Not doing it for you? Fine. We'll stick with chamber pop (or baroque pop which is what wikipedia calls it - that's even worse). At any rate, this is the first album from this Syracuse, NY band who wrote this album after the death of their drummer who drowned in Buzzards Bay, off the coast of Massachusetts. Maybe it's because I lived in dreary Syracuse for a year, but I connected with this album in a way that I didn't think I would. I dismissed it on first listen, but it has kept calling me back. I first heard "Ghosts Under Rocks" on influential Seattle radio station KEXP while I was driving through a foggy forest on Bainbridge Island across the Puget Sound from Seattle. That's a good place to hear that song for the first time. You should set up a similar scenario for the best effect. Or not.
15. Ponytail - Ice Cream Spiritual
Listen to this at a very high volume or don't listen to it at all. Description: Frenetic indie rock with no singing. Not really anyway. There is definitely some yelping and yelling of random words and phrases ("FAJITA!"). Lead "singer" Molly Seigel sounds like Satomi from Deerhoof. Like Satomi with epilepsy...mid-seizure. If that doesn't sound like your thing - you should try this anyway. It's just a flat out good time. Their live show? Forget about it. This album would be amazing if they captured half of the energy of their live show - but they did and then some.
14. Department of Eagles - In Ear Park
I realize this is essentially Grizzly Bear with someone other than Ed Droste singing the songs that Daniel doesn't...So what if the live incarnation is Grizzly Bear minus Ed and plus Fred? First of all, I love me some Grizzly Bear and second, you're wrong anyway. It's got more of a pop bent than Grizzly Bear (for now - GB's new album is going to be like a doowop album with more fuzzy bass). It's more traditionally structured than Grizzly Bear. [Other arguments one could make should be inserted here (in your head - don't embarrass me)]. At any rate, I've been waiting for this for a long time. I heard "No One Does It Like You" in demo form a few years ago and have been foaming at the mouth for this ever since. Daniel's voice just makes me feel so...calm. He somehow also makes me feel taller too. Strange.
13. Megafaun - Bury the Square
Have you heard of this bearded dude, Bon Iver? Whatevs. Sounds like a fruit to me.* So this bearded fellow knew these guys and they were in some band together and then they moved to North Carolina and then they broke up and then bearded fellow releases For Emma, Forever Ago and the rest is, as they say, history. Well the dudes who were not the bearded fellow (who may or may not have beards themselves (hint: they do)) also released a record this year under the name, Megafaun, and you know what? It's really good. Remember "freak folk?" Well it's like that, but less "freak" and more "folk." Gorgeous harmonies, some tape looping, some dissonance. It came out early in the year but it managed to hang on to my interest throughout the year and it now it's here...in my all-important list. Good work fellas.
*Bon Iver, while not eligible for my list due to his presence (#5) last year, is my vote for Band/Artist of the Year (in a hypothetical award ceremony will call "The Kylies"). I saw him three times this year with the new band and they are pretty f'n captivating. Do you like goose bumps? Watch their Take Away Show. Good lord.)
12. Titus Andronicus - The Airing of Grievances
Have you guys ever been to New Jersey? I have and I can't recommend it. Titus Andronicus is from New Jersey and I think I understand why they create music that could be unoriginally described as "raucous." The first time I listened to this album was on a plane to the Land O' Lakes and there was this incessant squealing sound coming from who-knows-where. To drown out the sound, I put on some Titus Andronicus. They succeeded admirably. Living in NY, I sometimes like to imagine the music I'm listening to is suddenly blasted over some loudspeakers and everyone around me is shocked and horrified at the noise I'm broadcasting. Well on that plane, I'm glad I have some good headphones because I have a good feeling they would have drowned out the squealing for everyone else too.
11. Sigur Rós - Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
The first two songs on this album are two of my favorite songs of the year. Frankly, the rest of the album could have been "Jesus is My Friend" (look it up) over and over again and this still would have cracked my top 20. That being said, the rest of the album is pretty damn good too. Had they made a full album of the new Sigur Ros pop goodness, this would have been my album of the year easily. Maybe the next one?
10. Plants and Animals - Parc Avenue
In my best Casey Kasem voice: "Welcome Back. We're up to our Long Distance Dedication. This one comes from a man from New York, NY. He writes: Dear Casey, My brother and I live on opposite coasts of the United States and we only get to see each other about twice a year. Recently, my brother started this blog as a sort of resurrection of the old MTV (the one with videos). At any rate, I was wondering if you'd play some Plants & Animals for my brother as a sign of thanks for all the hard work he's put in to hunting down all the best videos the indie world has to offer. I know that he really likes this Montreal three piece and, man, so do I. Sincerely, Kyle from Minnesota. Well Kyle, I hope Clay is listening. Here is Plants & Aminal...awww fuck! I fucked it up! Can we do that again? Fuck!"
9. The Dodos - Vister
Crazy acoustic guitar/percussion duo from San Francisco craft an incredibly confident and energetic album that quietly sneaks into my top 10 of the year. This came out in March and I didn't realize until about 3 weeks ago that I had listened to this album at least a couple times a week for the entire year. I can't wait to see these guys live. Like Daniel Rossen (see above) Meric Long's voice is incredibly easy on the ears. On the other hand, Logan Kroeber's drumming is quietly frenetic throughout the album but remains nicely mixed and never overwhelms.
8. TV on the Radio - Dear, Science
When I put together my lists, I generally start with a pool of albums that I've liked that year (around 75-80 albums). Little by little, I cut away albums based on, admittedly, pretty arbitrary reasons. It's amazing to me that this album made it this far along in the game. You see, there are a couple songs on this album that I actively dislike. I can't say that about any other album in this top 20. Sure, there are songs that I will skip over out of boredom or for the sake of time, but this is the only album where there are songs (I'll leave the identity of those songs a mystery so as not to offend) where I cringe when these particular songs come on. That being said, the majority of this album is a solid TVOTR album (which is to say a very, very good album). It's not as good as Return to Cookie Mountain, but I also didn't burn out on it like I did with RTCM (probably due to the fact that I listened to RTCM about 100 times). In summary, there is no good reason this isn't lower - but this is where it landed.
7. Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
I'll be honest - I wanted this to be Apologies to the Queen Mary 2. I think a lot of people did. When it turned out not to be ATTQM 2, I felt betrayed.* I felt like a dog (Kramer) who was coaxed into going for a car ride and then brought to the vet (Doctor). Out of resentment, I put this album aside (read: it's in the W's on my ipod and therefore pretty easy to avoid). It took me a while, but I came back to it and while it still frustrated me that there weren't the tight little rock songs from the first album, it was growing on me. It all gelled when I saw them live later in the year. Seeing the new stuff live helped me understand the buildups that are present on the album, but just seem to take too long to get there. It's a grower of an album in every sense of the word. Be patient with each listen, be patient with each song. It'll click.
*"Soldier's Grin" was the exception. I loved that song from the first listen.
6. Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight
This is my guilty pleasure of the year. Like Scotty said, I put this on when I'm too shy to listen to Counting Crows in front of company (August and Everything After though? Seriously? That shit is so good.) I think I listened to this more than anything else this year if only becomes it's so highly digestible. There is rarely a situation in which this wasn't going to be a nice soundtrack to what I was doing. "It takes more than fucking someone you don't know to keep warm." Whoa.
1. Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life/The Walkmen - You & Me/Los Campesinos! - Hold on Now, Youngster.../Shearwater - Rook/Okkervil River - The Stand Ins
*Sorry about the pictures - I tried teaching myself HTML - but it obviously didn't work.
2008 was a strange year for me musically. I felt it coming all along. This ever increasing notion that there was not a single album that stood out from the pack. I've been making year-end lists for 4 years now and there has always been at least one album, if not two, that stood out as my far and away favorite albums of a given year. That never happened for me this year. That's not to say that there wasn't good music this year. To the contrary, it was an incredibly deep year with any number of albums rising to the top of year end lists (although Fleet Foxes and TVOTR seem to be staking their claims for the "IT" album of 2008). These five albums represent my somewhat bewildered state. Yes, this is a cop out. But isn't ranking albums an arbitrary and entirely subjective practice as it is? So I choose not to rank these albums.
Musically, they couldn't be further apart. The best punk album I've heard since my hay day. A matured output from one of the now elder statesmen of indie rock. A clever, energetic debut from some of the most prolific Welsh kids this side of the Supper Furry Animals. A gorgeous, haunting collection of songs from an ex-Okkervil River guy/Ornithologist. Another classic from Will Sheff and friends. These albums are all worth your time in one form or another.
Thanks for your time, you guys! Happy Holidays! Happy New Year! I'll be posting more on ClayTV in the future!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
ps My best of albums and videos of 08' is near done. Kyle's top 20 is good too, watch for it!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
It's beginning to look a lot like ...list season. Boooring. Hey you guys. Here is my addition to the shit pile of lists out there on the interwebs. I don't claim that these are the "best" albums of the year - just the albums that had the most impact on me this year. I'll give you 50-21 today and the rest will follow later this week. I'm still tweaking my top 20.
Without further adieu...
50. Tallest Man on Earth - Shallow Grave
49. Sebastien Grainger - And the Mountains
48. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista
47. Born Ruffians - Red, Yellow, & Blue
46. Destroyer - Trouble in Dreams
45. Blitzen Trapper - Furr
44. Mount Eerie - Lost Wisdom
43. Grouper - Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill
42. Jay Reatard - Matador Singles '08
41. Hauschka - Ferndorf
40. French Quarter - S/T
39. Disfear - Live the Storm
38. Why? - Alopecia
37. Black Mountain - In the Future
36. The Mae Shee - Hillyh
35. Horse Feathers - House with No Name
34. Mates of States - Re-Arrange Us
33. Deerhunter - Microcastle
32. Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down - We Brave Bee Stings and All
31. Deerhoof - Offend Maggie
30. Beach House - Devotion
29. The Music Tapes - For Clouds and Tornadoes
28. Marnie Stern - This is it...
27. White Denim - Explosion
26. Times New Viking - Rip it Off
25. Centro-Matic - Dual Hawks
24. Sam Amidon - All is Well
23. No Age - Nouns
22. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
21. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
Kyle, don't forget the show! This Friday!!! We will do a show sometime in NYC too!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
1. My buddy Micah did this contest for a MN brewed beer called Grain Belt. If you never experienced it before, it's a good ass light beer. Please vote for his video here. It's the third one down. BUT, check out the others too, there are some really funny ones. Us Minnesotans are so creative. There is one called, "I Like it Better Here". It totally reminds me of when I first moved here from MN. Ha ha ha!!!
2. Artist extraordinaire and my extra good buddy Scott Yeskel made a list of top albums of the year. Check it!
"My picks are not too original and a direct reflection of the cLAy Tv's constant influence. What can I say, Clay your musical guidance is appreciated.
1. Port O'brien " All we can do is Sing". my favorite record start to finish. listened to it the most on my five day trip form N.Y to L.A.
2. Jenny Lewis "Acid Tongue". Not her best work, but I love her. My wife hates this record.
3. No Age "Nouns". The track Eraser makes me feel like an inspired kid, running through the world, eyes wide opened. I want the song to go on forever.
4. Katy Perry "One of the Boys". This album sucks but she is so hot and awesome.
5. Frightened Rabbit "The Midnight Organ Fight". When I am too shy to listen to the Counting Crows in front of company.
6. Radiohead. " In Rainbows" . This techniquely came out in 2008. My favorite Radiohead album ever?!
7. Fleet Foxes. "Fleet Foxes". Just when I was getting tired of Beirut, these guys saved the genre for me.
8. Girl Talk. "Feed the Animals" I used to watch DJ Ted Shred in S.F. do this shit with actual records. Z-Trip too. but its awesome, makes me wanna shake it.
9. Foals " Antidotes". anidotically good.
10. Ok Go w/ Bonerama- soulfull horns, awesome tracks. not an album, but great.
3. UK's Lovvers are on tour with LA locals Mika Miko and Abe Vigoda right now. Here is a video by them. Watch out for bands with extra letter in their name...Wavves....Sheeep.....morrre....>>>
Lovvers: "No Romantics"
THIS FRIDAY ALL YA ALLLLLL!!! LA people come out and celebrate cLAy's TV first show!!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Went to see Friendly Fires at Spaceland last night. They are huge over seas, from the UK, so seeing them in a small place was neat. The place was sold out and they were pretty fucking good man. They put on one hell of a pro show. The crowd was the loudest I have ever heard at Spaceland. The singer is dreamy and dances like Beck, even looks like him a bit and the girls scream and shit when he moves about the stage. They will be pretty huge in the US too soon I bet. They are a bit of a guilty pleasure I guess but hell, I am a sucker from dancey pop from the UK. I know I have posted these guys 3 times on cLAy TV lately, sorry about that, they just keep coming up.
Plants & Animals: "Feedback In The Field"
Friendly Fires: "Paris" (same song, new video)
Here is my buddy Neil's list for 08'! It's good and short. More from other buddies soon!!
"This one's hard for me, since I am not the most up to date on contemporary music. I could only come up with 5. (6 counting both Fleet Foxes releases)
1. Fleet Foxes - "Sun Giant Ep" and "Fleet Foxes (self titled)"
2. Bon Iver - "For Emma, Forever Ago" (I know it was self-released in 2007,
but the Jagjaguwar release is 08)
3. Port O'Brien - "All We Could Do Was Sing"
4. Dr. Dog - "Fate"
5. The Walkmen - "You and Me"
You are free to post my opinions, but I doubt these selections will be very earth-shattering or surprising to anyone."
It is very solid my friend!!
THIS FRIDAY EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!