Posts Tagged ‘Animal Collective’
December 26th, 2009 • Commentary, Op-Ed
Tags: Against Me!, Animal Collective, Bill Callahan, Black Eyes, Bright Eyes, Dan Deacon, Deerhunter, Destroyer, Dinosaur Jr., Elliot Smith, Fugazi, Modest Mouse, Mountain Goats, Of Montreal, Q and not U, Rage Against the Machine, Re-Up Gang, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
I’ve seen a lot of ‘Best Of..’ lists, and Doug has already done a pretty good job of providing a musical overview to the past decade, but I feel these albums were super-crucial for my musical development and enjoyment, and I had to say something.
The following 18 albums, sometimes missed or overlooked on retrospective lists, but deserve some mention of worth.
1. Fugazi — The Argument/Furniture Ep
The last simultaneous releases from Fugazi also happen to be their best. Fugazi has been such an important band for the independent music scene, and these two recordings truly display the band’s ability to convey their ethos and message into a powerful musical form. The band’s impressive 15 year span culminates in these two final masterpieces.
2. Animal Collective — Water Curses
It was hard for me to pick between Water Curses or Feels, so I decided to go by my play count in iTunes. I think Water Curses is Animal Collective’s most dynamic, complex, and innovative recording to date. While their current pop direction is great, I do long for their freaky folk days. Additionally, the lyrical quality is much, much better than their latest releases. Street Flash and Cobwebs are standouts. If it wasn’t for Feels, then I would say that this is the best Animal Collective album by far.
3. Q and not U — Different Damage
Dance punk from DC. This album is much more subtle than their previous release, benefiting their sound to a huge extent. The energy is still there, but in a less frantic form. It has direction, velocity, and as a result, more force and power, exemplified in These Are Flashes. Another innovative punk album from our nation’s capital, but this one reigns above the rest.
4. Modest Mouse — Moon and Antarctica
One of my favorite Modest Mouse albums and their last great recording before they lost the air in their tires. Shows what a great band can do when backed by high production values on a major label. Too bad they blew it afterwards. This album, though, continues to blow my mind. Read more »
December 24th, 2009 • 1 comment Commentary, Electronic, Folk, Hip Hop, Op-Ed, Rock
Tags: Amadou & Mariam, Animal Collective, Bjork, Bon Iver, Brian Wilson, Bruce Springsteen, David Sanford & The Pittsburgh Collective, DJ Danger Mouse, Fleet Foxes, Gregory and the Hawk, Gui Boratto, Jens Lekman, Jonsi and Alex, Lil Wayne, M83, Noah and the Whale, Phoenix, Radiohead, Ryan Adams, seabear, Sigur Ros, Sin Fang Bous, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens, The Arcade Fire, The Hold Steady, The Shins, TV on the Radio, Yeasayer, Yelle
With the impending end of the first decade of the century looming in the distance, all one can do is take a look back at the last 10 years in music and create another list, this one ranking the best 30 albums of the last decade (With a sentence of explanation for each).
1. The Arcade Fire – Funeral
This album made baroque pop cool again, something that seemed unachievable after the Beach Boys fell apart.
2. Ryan Adams – Gold
Gold is alternative country at its very best, chocked full of sublime instrumentation and sentimental lyrics.
3. Bruce Springsteen – We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
The Boss sings Pete Seeger and brilliance results; there is something fantastic about the combination of Springsteen’s voice and Seeger’s lyrics.
4. Yeasayer – All Hours Cymbals
All Hours Cymbals is an album for the decade lyrically, thematically, and instrumentally.
5. Jonsi and Alex – Riceboy Sleeps
Jonsi and Alex’s post-rock/ambient masterpiece is an album to listen to all the way through (8+ times) to really catch it’s flavor. Read more »
December 21st, 2009 • Commentary, Electronic, Folk, Op-Ed, Rock, Top Ten
Tags: 2009, Animal Collective, au revoir simone, best albums, Fuck Buttons, Grizzly Bear, Jonsi and Alex, Karen O and the Kids, Noah and the Whale, Phish, Phoenix, The Avett Brothers, Top Ten
Now, just 10 days remain in the decade, and as such, another top ten list is in order. This time, I am looking at what I think are the ten best albums of the past year.
1. Jonsi and Alex – Riceboy Sleeps
This is one of the finest ambient albums ever made. This album is both enigmatic and idiocyncratic; it really grows on the listener such that it may be true that each time one listens to it, Riceboy Sleeps feels like a whole new album. Despite being produced by Sigur Ros lead singer Jón Þór Birgisson and his boyfriend Alex Somers, this album has a unique quality to it that fans of post-rock should hope continues in the future with Jonsi’s upcoming solo release, Go, which is due out early in 2010
2. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
It’s light and poppy; it’s deep and lyrical; it’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. This album is about contradictions and while that might not normally make for a stellar album concept, French rockers Phoenix have really produced a piece on indie-pop gold in this, their fourth full-length studio album.
3. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
Delightfully weird, as one should come to expect from the Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavillion is a tour-de-force of the dream-pop scene, which is developing in and around Baltimore of all places. Read more »