Archive for October, 2009


Friday, October 16th, 2009


Album Review: Thao Nguyen with The Get Down Stay Down, "Know Better Learn Faster"

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Photo by Tarina Westlund
Lilith Fair inspired acoustic pop fronted by Ms. N’s breathy, distinctive voice. RIYL: Sufjan Stevens, or a folky Cat Power. She mixes in some Rilo Kiley-type pop hooks here, not sure if it’s effective. Positively warm, intimate, vulnerable, sexy even.

Play: 1++(short, but she should have an entire album like this), 2++(The single, fun!), 3+ (boner jam, or, er, sexy), 5, 8

Review Roundup!

Friday, October 9th, 2009

No Age– Losing Feeling EP:
more no-agery from these two LA dudes without age. All Good!
1. real good, long buildup to rocking conclusion
2. slower and quietery, pretty, acoustic guitar!?
3. instrumental, drifty, slow
***4. typical awesome no age song. loud, distorted, fun, yeah! Play it!
All Clean

Jay Reatard– Watch Me Fall
more dumb but catchy punky garage from mr. Reatard. Plenty of good tracks, but doesn’t particularly grab me. Play!
**1. Really Catchy!
4. acoustic but fast
**5. herky jerky, really good
6. less frenetic
**7. sweetheart guitar and backing vocals
12. slower, pretty, nice
FCC Warning: 8, 9


Monsters of Folk:
A supergroup! Jim James (my morning jacket), Conor Oberst and Mike Magis of Bright Eyes, M. Ward. Recommended if you like any of those groups. This ain’t just folk– this is just about everything and most of it works. Electro-pop (1), rock (2.11), country, folk, etc.
Try Anything, but:
1– awesome, poppy
4– great MMJ-ish folk
7–upbeat, almost bluegrass, great
10- slide guitar, pretty

The Fresh and Onlys– Grey Eyed Girls
Recommended if you like: thee oh sees, crystal stilts
another awesome act from S.F, these guys play chilly, distorted garage rock (a la crystal stilts) galloping rhythms and melodies, along with strained vocals, dominate the record. There are some excellent tracks here:
**1– tongue in cheek lyrics
*2– okay
****3– noisy, good
**4– slower pop
****5– GREAT
***6– creepy
***7– organ, yeah!
**8– good
***9– excellent!
*10- good
**11– galloping rock
****12— epic build

More to Come!

Avett Brothers– I and Love and You

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Well,for a band that sings so much about breaking hearts, they sure waited long enough to break mine. No more of that raucous energy I loved about them… downplaying banjo and guitar in favor of piano. No more of those harmonies that make you feel like crying and laughing at the same time. Well-produced and some tracks are very pretty. I wish them luck wooing a wider audience, I just wish it didn’t come at the cost of what made me love them… that intimate feel, a little edginess, the sense of being on the edge of falling apart (a la the better Replacements albums). An album of very pretty and well-crafted PIANO MUSIC.
Thanks, Rick Rubin. Goodbye, North Carolina, Hello Brooklyn.

Harmonies have gotten broader and poppier, less high-off-lonesome (IE, less bluegrass).
All pretty Midtempo.

Track Rundown:

1. Pretty piano ballad. Title track.
2. great! banjo and longing and sweet melody. what they do best! tender love.
3. piano, bruce springsteen
4, 6. a little looser, guitar, a little bit of scott avett yelling
5. rolling stone says this song is “mature.” Really good part in the middle where…
no, wait, this is MTV pop-rock.
7. yeah! Fun and goofy, still piano though.
10. UGH! CMT crap.
11. good! goofy stop-and-start

All Clean

Breaks my damn heart.

Album Review: The Almighty Defenders, "The Almighty Defenders"

Friday, October 9th, 2009

(image from

WOAH!! Best thing I’ve heard all year. The Almighty Defenders is a supergroup of King Khan, The Black Lips and Mark Sultan (as if they all didn’t play together anyway). In ten days, they recorded this jangly, lo-fi, whiskey soaked garage soul record. Remin. of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Northern Soul stompers. This takes the King Khan/Black Lips project to the next level. What No Wave did to funk, this does to soul.

Seriously, play all, no filler. 1+++(walking bass, handclaps), 2++(shalalala), 3+++(ballad), 4++(so good, sam cooke-ish), 5+(ballad), 6+ and 7+(muahaha), 8++ (great cover of a great song), 9+, 10++(vocal riffs [ah-ooh]), 11++ (Screamin Jay, anyone?)

Track 5 is definitely likely to offen most listeners.