It's all too much... to many records, too many bands, too many hours spent staying up late and downloading music, too many records to buy, too many shows to see, too many things i want to play for you... have you heard these? you haven't? why the hell not?

1.Handsome Furs – Face Control
amazing songwriting, minimal arrangements, guitars, keys, drum machine beats and probably the best voice in rawk these days. i listened to this CD so much this year that it now skips like crazy in my car. must be replaced on vinyl. why do i even buy CDs anymore?

2.Earthmen and Strangers – Earthmen and Strangers
not re-inventing the wheel here, but why would they? this really is one of the best punk pop records i have heard in a long long time. another great songwriter, don't really know much about these guys but i expect them to be getting more attention in the next year.

3.The Fresh & Onlys - Grey-Eyed Girls
of all the records that got tagged with the "lo-fi garage pop" sticker this year (when will this end?), this one really is the best. it's so much more than garage or whatever. smart pop tunes, selective guitar freakouts, vocals that remind me of all the great baritone singers of the past, and this is only one of three full lengths that they released this year.

4.Royal Bangs - Let It Beep
i'm not sure how to describe this band. drunk nerd rock from a not-too-distant-future when everyone interacts with too many machines in their daily lives? such a fun band to see live, especially when they put a snare drum out in the audience to bang along with them. i didn't miss a beat.

5.Memory Tapes - Seek Magic
so i guess this guy lives in New Jersey with his wife and kid and makes these songs in his basement. it will exercise your memory of pop music's past. loops, synths, reverb, androgynous vocals, murky production... really the best of this so called "glo-fi" movement of the last year. man, i hate genre nicknames as much as the next guy, but this one is perfect for this record.

6.Mountains – Choral
music for airports 2009... one big slab of slow burn ambient beauty. this record actually makes you feel like you are enriching your mind/body/soul when you hear it, like Bach or John Fahey

7.Sonic Youth – The Eternal
what can i say about this band? they get better with each new record they make and pretty much put bands 30 years younger than them to shame... they are aging so gracefully i can't imagine what they might sound like in another 20 years

8.Disappears – Live Over The Rainbo
first i bought this on cassette, then a CDr version, and finally on vinyl. Chicago's best kept secret as far as i'm concerned. this is a band that knows if you stumble onto the right riff or groove there really is no need to change it up much. this is a live recording of their stuff, expect a studio version of these tunes early next year

9.Fever Ray - Fever Ray
this record scares the hell out of me.... spooky synth pop recordings from the chick in The Knife. can't believe i missed this show at Metro

10.Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
i used to hate this band and Karen O specifically... then i saw them live and everything changed. they are the real deal. Karen O is doing exactly what she was put on this planet to do. such a beautiful record, mixing in beats and synth tones into their own ragged trash punk was a brilliant choice... so many hits-that-never-were on this record.

11.Hush Arbors- Yankee Reality
Keith Wood is Hush Arbors. Keith Wood sounds like the forest. this guy channels all of my favorite types of American music into one record... sometimes folky and soft, sometimes noisy and drunk, it's all fractured Americana with what sounds like a ghost singing over the top.

12.Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
one of the weirder and most beautiful records around. they are making a new kind of pop... one that has no rules, no canon to worship or revere, just pure and honest music that thumps, bumps, and sounds like no other band on the planet

13.Future Of The Left – Travels With Myself and Another
wanna feel good after being angry? wanna listen to something that makes your own lips into a snarl? wanna punch someone? know any sick and twisted jokes? play this record.

14.Dutchess and the Duke - Sunrise / Sunset
there's just something really timeless about this record and this band

15.Julie Doiron - I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day
my early 90's indie rock crush princess from Eric's Trip makes a record that let's go of her more recent folk tendencies and gets noisy again.

16.Jay Reatard – Watch Me Fall
Memphis punk pop wunderkind asshole genius wishes he was in New Zealand in the late 80's early 90's recording for the Flying Nun label. GOD BLESS JAY REATARD

17.Bear In Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth
this record really snuck up on me last month or so and i can't stop spinning it... not easy to categorize with regard to genre. pounding psych with dramatic singing one minute, skittering electro another minute... i don't know. i just know on my speakers in my living room, this thing really sounds amazing. throbbing, pulsating, and tribal new wave drum-circle music for people who hate drum circles.

18.James Blackshaw - The Glass Bead Game
new age acoustic instrumental drone... done and done. listen to this with the lights out and the windows open. turn it up louder than you should.

19.Califone - All My Friends are Funeral Singers
another band that is aging as gracefully as can be... their sound and tunes never get tired or boring. Tim Rutili is from the past and the future all at once.

20.Baroness- Blue Album
if you've ever liked metal AND Built To Spill, then i don't see why you wouldn't love this record the way i do.

21.Deerhunter – Rainwater Cassette Exchange EP
22.Micachu and The Shapes – Jewelery
23.Mannequin Men - Lose Your Illusion, Too
24.The Fresh & Onlys - The Fresh & Onlys
25.Silversun Pickups – Swoon
26.Jack Rose and The Black Twig Pickers
27.Sir Richard Bishop – Freak of Araby
28.Kylesa - Static Tensions
29.The Field - Yesterday and Today
30.Surfer Blood - Astro Coast

31.Roofwalkers – Roofwalkers
32.Carnivores - All Night Dead U.S.A.
33.The Low Anthem – Oh My God Charlie Darwin
34.Pajo – Scream With Me
35.Dan Deacon – Bromst
36.Real Estate – Real Estate
37.Bill Frisell - Disfarmer
38.We Were Promised Jetpacks – These Four Walls
39.Curtis Harvey – Box Of Stones
40.Kurt Vile - Childish Prodigy

41.Tape Deck Mountain – Ghost
42.These Are Powers - All Aboard Future
43.Dragon Turtle – Almanac
44.Thee Oh Sees – Help
45.Tortoise - Beacons Of Ancestorship
46.Do Make Say Think - Other Truths
47.Peter Broderick – Home
48.Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures
49.Norberto Lobo - Pata Lenta
50.Let's Wrestle - In the Court of the Wrestling Lets

51.M Ward – Hold Time
52.Puerto Muerto – Drumming For Pistols
53.Built to Spill- There Is No Enemy
54.Wooden Birds – Magnolia
55.Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
56.Meth Teeth – Everything Went Wrong
57.Amusement Parks On Fire – Young Fight EP
58.Years – Years
59.Twilight Sad - Forget the Night Ahead
60.The Woods – Songs of Shame

61.Land Of Talk - Fun and Laughter EP
62.BLK JKS – After Robots
63.Douglas McCombs & David Daniell – Sycamore
64.The Fresh & Onlys - Bomb Wombs
65.Wilco - Wilco (the album)
66.Box Elders - Alice & Friends
67.Implodes – Implodes
68.Purling Hiss – Purling Hiss
69.Smith Westerns- Smith Westerns
70.Cymbals Eat Guitars - Why Are There Mountains?

71.Telekinesis! - Telekinesis!
72.The Strange Boys - The Strange Boys and Girls Club
73.Marked Men - Ghosts
74.A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Ashes Grammar
75.Metric – Fantasies
76.David Bazan – Curse Your Branches
77.Crystal Antlers – Tentacles
78.Other Girls – Perfect Cities
79.3 Inches of Blood – Here Waits Thy Doom
80.The Fucking Eagles - Midnight Sour

81.Red River School Of Taxidermy
82.Hunx and His Punx – The Gay Singles
83.King Khan & BBQ Show - Invisible Girl
84.Atlas Sound - Logos
85.Emeralds - Emeralds
86.The Mantles - The Mantles
87.Jim O'Rourke – The Visitor
88.Atom™ - Liedgut
89.Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer
90.Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs

91.Bird Names – Recession Vacation
92.The Big Pink - A Brief History Of Love
93.Black Math – Black Math
94.Washed Out- Life of Leisure
95.Wavves - Wavvves
96.Converge- Axe To Fall
97.Akron/Family - Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free
98.Antlers - Hospice
99.The Flaming Lips - Embryonic


Julie Doiron gets noisy again

Julie Doiron - I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day

there used to be an amazing band called Eric's Trip. i happened to be living in Ontario at just the right time to see them live in tiny little bars across southwestern Ontario on more than a few nites. Julie Doiron played bass in that band and since Eric's Trip broke up, she has probably put out like five or six solo records, all of them lovely and mostly pretty delicate and acoustic.

here is a new song i played maybe 15 times in a row when i first heard it:
"Consolation Prize"

this record is a return to form in my mind. she recorded it with Rick White, her partner in crime in Eric's Trip (as well as romantically for a time) and the sounds on this record really remind me of the skewed and noisy beauty of their old records that they made together. utilizing stereo separation, super low-end guitar fuzz, white noise room static, and little bits of ear candy percussion that only Rick White knows how to get on tape, this record is fast becoming one of my favorite of the year.

the songs on this one are her strongest in years too. whether she is singing about domesticity, love in a small town, or just how much she loves strumming her guitar, she has an amazing ability to sing about simple every day details and infuse it with this romantic meaning that i can't quite describe. plus, her voice melts my butter.


she played in town last week and i missed the show...

she makes you wonder


Another Perfect EP

DEERHUNTER - Rainwater Cassette Exchange EP
(Kranky Records)
1. "Rainwater Cassette Exchange"
2. "Disappearing Ink"
3. "Famous Last Words"
4. "Game of Diamonds"
5. "Circulation"

here's a tune called "Disappearing Ink"

see? now this is what i want in my rock music. EP releases are my favorite, get in there and do the job and get out real quick. maybe i will only start posting EPs from now on... anyway, i just got back from a quick trip to the Dominican Republic and this EP was pretty much on repeat as i sipped my silly colored drinks by the pool/ocean.

i wasn't too big on Deerhunter initially. i actually saw them twice early on when the first record started making waves everywhere, once on a trip to New York at Bowery Ballroom and another time here in Chicago. never was that impressed with them live and ditto on the first couple records... no big whoop. but this EP and the last record, Microcastle, have really turned things around. they are definitely getting better with each new release.

i'll bet i go back and listen to the first few records now and probably love them. it's a fickle and fleeting thing being a rock fan these days.

also, want to point out that this EP will not only be released on CD and vinyl, but cassette as well. i'm all over that. dig it, brothers and sisters... and then go buy it.

see if it fits


History of The Right

holy shit... kinda freaking out here on this new Future Of The Left record... just leaves me speechless. super aggressive, super melodic, super angry, super snotty, super guitar tones, and super songwriting.

here's maybe one of the best RAWK songs i have heard in ages... the lead track “Arming Eritrea”

for those that don't know, this band has two members who used to be in Mclusky, a band that was very very special.

blasting this new record today with the windows open while driving south down the lake was quite a pleasure... dig this shit now, people!

Future Of The Left - Travels with Myself and Another

1. “Arming Eritrea”
2. “Chin Music”
3. “The Hope That House Built”
4. “Throwing Bricks At Trains”
5. “I Am Civil Service”
6. “Land Of My Formers”
7. “You Need Satan More Than He Needs You”
8. “That Damned Fly”
9. “Stand By Your Manatee”
10. “Yin/Post Yin”
11. “Drink Nike”
12. “Lapsed Catholics”

try this and then buy this

here's the new video:


There's One Born Every Minute


01. Beach Queen
02. Afterthoughts & TV
03. Easy Chairs
04. It Gets Your Body Movin'

try it out

Welcome to the sounds of Suckers. This is Quinn Walker's band with some other guys named Pan, Austin, and Brian. I was just crazy about his double album release from last year, which had some of the best cover art i have seen in a long while.

The guy is simply one of the most creative and most prolific songwriters out there. I keep finding new records of his all over the place. This new band EP makes me feel funny inside. Remember when Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev used to be dangerous and sublime sounding? Remember that time you took too much? Remember?

This will be my summer soundtrack.


We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls

We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls
(FatCat Records June 2009)

1. It's Thunder And It's Lightning
2. Ships With Holes Will Sink
3. Roll Up Your Sleeves
4. Conductor
5. A Half Built House
6. This Is My House, This Is My Home
7. Quiet Little Voices
8. Moving Clocks Run Slow
9. Short Bursts
10. Keeping Warm
11. An Almighty Thud

i heard about this lovely little Edinburgh/Glasgow group from the guys in Frightened Rabbit. We Were Promised Jetpacks seem like a little sibling band to the Rabbits and i just can't get enough. they are another young band, maybe 21 years old or so if they are lucky. again, more little pricks doing it right.

here's the lead track "It's Thunder and It's Lightening"

the first single "Quiet Little Voices"

i had their 3 track demo in my top 20 two years back (maybe last year?) and they finally have a proper record coming out in June. if you dig Frightened Rabbit, LOUD QUIET LOUD songwriting, Scottish eggs, guitar pop, heart-on-sleeve vocals, you'll like this band... i even hear a little Archers of Loaf in there at times. there are more than a few delicate and quieter moments on this record as well for all of you sappy saps like me out there. it's really good stuff, i am only on my 3rd spin of this and i'm just crazy about it.


No Coke... Pepsi! No Fries... Chips!

i don't know much about Cola Freaks, go google them yourself, you lazy bastards... i do know they are from Denmark, only have a few singles released, and i bet they are young enough to be born after i lost my virginity (feel free to guess what year that was in the comments below).

i first read about them on Jay Reatard's blog and have since been trying to track down their 7 inch releases, with little luck. all i have for you here is a random collection of songs, but man oh man, what a fucking amazing EP this could be. there is a bit of a Blood Visions vibe to these tunes or maybe some Wipers riffs here and there... just listen to it, okay?

Cola Freaks "Gi Mig Piller"

plus, who doesn't love listening to rock music sung in a foreign tongue? little euro pricks, i love 'em. apparently they have been through town here a few times now and i still haven't had the pleasure of seeing them.

grab my homemade EP here (sorry about the 96k mp3s, i know i know...)

UPDATE: my friend just sent me links for their official EP and a single:

Ingenting Set single

(here's a funny video i just found of some drunk woman taking her top off while Cola Freaks were playing the Mexican Cultural Center in Santa Ana)


Staring At The Rude Boys

so the BLK JKS record has me digging out some stuff i haven't spun in a while... one of them is this compilation. it's the first disc from a four disc set my little brother bought in '93 called Tougher Than Tough: The Story Of Jamaican Music.

Forward March 1958 - 1967, has always been one of my favorites. it is by no means a definitive ska and rocksteady comp, but a pretty damn good one if you ask me, a solid listen all the way through. this stuff has always been my favorite Jamaican music.

Forward March 1958 - 1967
1. Oh Carolina - The Folkes Brothers
2. Boogie in My Bones - Laurel Aitken
3. Midnight Track - Owen Gray
4. Easy Snappin' - Theophilus Beckford
5. Housewives Choice - Derrick Morgan, Patsy Todd
6. Forward March - Derrick Morgan
7. Miss Jamaica - Jimmy Cliff
8. My Boy Lollipop - Millie Small
9. Six and Seven Books of Moses - The Maytals
10. Simmer Down - The Wailers
11. Man in the Street - Don Drummond
12. Carry Go Bring Come - Justin Hinds & Dominoes
13. Guns of Navarone - The Skatalites
14. Al Capone - Prince Buster
15. Hard Man Fe Dead - Prince Buster
16. Tougher Than Tough - Derrick Morgan
17. Girl I've Got a Date - Alton Ellis
18. Happy Go Lucky Girl - The Paragons
19. Dancing Mood - Delroy Wilson
20. Train Is Coming - Ken Boothe
21. Take It Easy - Hopeton Lewis
22. Ba Ba Boom - The Jamaicans
23. 007 (Shanty Town) - Desmond Dekker
24. I've Got to Go Back Home - Bob Andy, Bob Andy
25. Queen Majesty - The Techniques
26. Loving Pauper - Dobby Dobson
27. Don't Stay Away - Phyllis Dillon


BLK JKS Mystery EP (Secretly Canadian)
01 Lakeside
02 Mystery
03 Summertime
04 It's In Everything You See

BLK JKS are from South Africa and play rock music with traces of dub, post-punk dance, and afro-pop (imagine that!). they've been written up in just about every blog that exists on the internet and i just like adding to the pile of hype/buzz/drool/etc. i think i like this because it sounds so completely different than all the stupid garage rock and indie pop i have been obsessed with lately. give it a chance, you will dig it.

here is an alternate (and better) version of the song "Lakeside"

download the EP here


Have you heard American Princes?


American Princes might be one of the most unsung bands out there right now. these guys actually moved out of Brooklyn to live in Little Rock, Arkansas. that might help you figure out how careerist they are. what i love about this band is that they aren't part of any scene or riding any wave of hype like most bands we read about every day, they seem to exist only for me... don't laugh!

whenever i play these records for people in my car, they comment on how they think they have heard it before, which means that of course they have never heard it before, it's just really really good.

anyway, these two records are up there with my favorites released the last few years. the main reason is that this band knows how to write songs, not just sounds, but songs that are there in your head when you wake up in the morning. i don't see why anyone who is a fan of The Replacements, Pixies, and antiquated genre tags like "college rock" would not like this band. that's the thing here, they have this sound, this strange and romantic sound that reminds me of growing up safe and sound in the south suburbs and watching 120 Minutes on a Sunday nite in the basement when you should have been studying. but this isn't some new nostalgia show for today's 30 something crowd, believe me, they still manage to sound contemporary and new.

listen to these records, they go deep for me, great listens all the way through... especially Less and Less.

American Princes - Other People (Yep Roc 2008)

"watch as they go"

"don't ever promise"

Other People is their 80's record and they will fully admit it. the band decided to build on the edgy guitar drama of Less and Less and hired hip-hop producer Chuck Brody to accentuate the pop hooks written into these tunes, plus the low end sounds amazing. i hear The Cure, Paul Westerberg, and even a little Wall Of Voodoo on this album. ha. not sure i've ever typed out "Wall Of Voodoo" before...

grab it here

American Princes - Less And Less (Yep Roc 2006)

"never grow old"

"stolen blues"

this is my favorite of the two records i'm posting. it has higher highs and lower lows, at times noisier and more aggressive than Other People, but also has a few Westerberg style acoustic ballads thrown in for balance. they have three guitar players and i love the layers of guitar lines running throughout these songs. this one reminds me of all those Fort Appache bands in the early 90's and early good Soul Asylum.

grab it here


Somewhere Over The Rainbo

Disappears - Live Over The Rainbo (self-released)

1. (crowd noise)
7. LUX

want the whole thing?

i cannot stop listening to these guys. you can download their 2 singles at their blog for free... finally got to see them at the Hideout and man were they solid. Lanterns were amazing too. people are calling Disappears a Chicago super-group and i just think that is silly. i bought this on cassette (2nd cassette purchased during the last year!) and grabbed a CD-R version, now you can hear it too.

it's kind of a fake live album, recorded live but without an audience. they have two 7 inches and this record, which has different versions of the 7 inch tunes (plus others). i'm not gonna list the bands they remind me of, but believe me they are all good bands. here is a song called "Old Friend" and it's serious business. this is the 7 inch version.


(I'm gonna kill) Surf City

Surf City EP (Morr Music)

1. Headin' Inside
2. Records of a Flagpole Skater
3. Dickshakers Union
4. Canned Food
5. Mt. Kill
6. Free the City

try it on

Surf City are from New Zealand. they sound like all your favorite indie pop bands from the 80's and 90's but their drummer does not suck... Mr. Bish turned me on to these guys and i immediately bought it on vinyl upon hearing 2 of their songs. it's full of down-stroke distorted fuzz guitar (my favorite), single string guitar lines, lots of oh's and ah's, i'm-22-and-i-think-i-have-the-whole-world-figured-out lyrical content, and it's an EP. just perfect in length... the whole affair is over in 20 minutes. go and buy this record.

here's my favorite track "Free The City"

Is This Thing On? Hello?