Tuesday, January 31, 2006

And so on...

Yep, still here, let's get some stuff out of the way.
The rest of the year's best here at the Review:
1. Sleater-Kinney--The Woods
2. The New Pornographers--Twin Cinema
3. Broken Social Scene--Broken Social Scene
4. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah--Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
5. Low--The Great Destroyer
6. M.I.A.--Arular
For anybody who follows the show, pretty predictable, but still, what a great year for music. Speaking of #3 above, if the show I saw at the Kool Haus on Jan. 21 was actually in 2005, they might have moved up to almost (not quite) tie with my number one spot. BSS played what was one of the finest, most generous shows I've had a chance to see in years. I can't remember enjoying a concert on so many levels. Even my hard-to-please wife was duly impressed (though admittedly, the nearly-three-hour playing time left her understandably drained). For more detail and links to pix, why not go troll the wonderful Broken Telephone board?

A quick look at some stuff for next week and upcoming:
2/6: Arctic Monkeys, Beth Orton, Controller Controller (again)
2/13: Final Fantasy, Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
and ahead: Pretty Girls Make Graves, Richard Hawley, Clientele, Mendoza Line, Hem, Amy Rigby, Magneta Lane (hopefully) and a whole slew of stuff from last year and still pouring in.

I was going to link to a song from Neko Case's forthcoming album until it started appearing in every blog out there as well as cover-mounted CDs, so I'll simply sit back and gloat and say that I have actually heard my most awaited album of 2006 a month early as of last weekend. Do I even have to tell you what I think of it? Definitely more to come...

Meantime, how about a link to some cool mixes, courtesy of the fine folks at DFA Records.

It's been pretty busy in general, what with my boss at the library out on medical leave and me trying to get thru a backlog of books, music, comics, and housework, but life is still good. Hope everybody is feeling the same. More to come...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

One more thing...

Knew I would leave something out...
How cool is this?

Back and running

Well, I thought maintaining a blog would be easy, but real life has a way of intruding (happily, may I add). Anyway, a touch of an update as we start to head into the new year and next week's Spotlight Review Best of 2005.

First off, for the select few who did vote for me in the WBER poll for specialty shows, thanks, because it's always nice to know that a few do indeed listen and get something from the music as I do. Frankly, I think Jennifer should have won.

Next, treat yourself to some free music for the new year right Here.

I don't have a link for it, but the enterprising souls among you might want to seek out the trailer for the next Sofia Coppola movie, "Marie Antoinette" making the rounds and out in October, I believe. I won't spoil the surprise but it is very cool indeed.

As for our countdown, a quick look at numbers 9-7 and our inevitable #1:

9. Arcade Fire--various singles and online tracks, as well as referred by every break-out new band as the indie success story for 2005 as "the new Arcade Fire". I have to agree, even though their album proper came out in 2004, the Fire made themselves known with some very cool and collectible singles, help from Byrne to Bowie to U2 (find the video with them doing "Love Will Tear Us Apart") and a great live EP that is available thru the online outlets. If they don't screw it up like the Strokes did (aside: the third album is better than the second, but not near as good as the original), they should be unbeatable in 2006. They can do wrong: I felt their performance on Letterman was surprisingly weak, and do avoid that Xmas EP making the rounds (admittedly an early effort). But hats off to 'em all the same.

8. LCD Soundsystem--s/t: A hard-to-ignore debut full of good songs, but the big surprise is that the best of this double disc set is the one that contains the already-released tracks. And the best of the first disc are the ones that became singles. Making James Murphy a quintessential singles "band". Still, lots of fun.

7. Kate Bush--Aerial: So good to hear her after 12 years, it sounds like she never left, which of course is a tribute to the timelessness of her music. Much better than the last two CDs she did, but they weren't bad by any stretch either. Still think "Hounds of Love" is unassailable, and better for car listening than this one, but why quibble. Good to see the media push her into the spotlight as well.

And because it was inevitable....1. Sleater-Kinney--The Woods: I mean did you expect me to say anything else? One of the best albums I've heard in the last few years, for my money.

A bit of a schedule for the Review for the next few:
1/9: Best of the Year 2005, Part 2: #2-6
1/16: the first great album of 2006, the (possibly) first great band of 2006, and an overlooked good one from 2005.
1/23: Low special (in honor of their Toronto concert on 1/31)

I was hoping to squeeze the new Destroyer album in there too (Rubies, out 2/21) but I'm having a hard time trying to find a radio-friendly track (namely, one without a swear word). Maybe I'll just have to keep the finger at the volume trigger and be extra-careful. Mini-review: Bejar's best yet by far.

Oh and we've got a MySpace thingy now as well but I don't update that very much either. Nice pic of me and Deana Z. at the Trash Can Sinatras though. Gonna try and get a pic of my lovely wife up there soon too.

Much more to come, stay tuned.