Friday, January 29, 2010


Without spending too much time on this, I wanted to lay down, in no particular order, my favorite/most-listened to 25 albums of the 2009 season.  You may have been following our countdown of the Top Songs of 2009, but here we get a chance to recognize more than just stand-out tracks.  Listed below aren't just the best 30-second samples on iTunes, we give you 25 albums that play as a cohesive unit.

(Click 'READ MORE' below to check 'em out)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Surfer Blood Release First Video

Building their momentum at the end of 2009, like a wave crashing into the beach, was Surfer Blood.  With Astro Coast the Floridian band gives mouth-to-mouth to the shark-ravaged genre of Surf Rock. This isn't your father's Beach Boys though. This album is a modern update with some seriously rich guitar work and a deep queue of original tracks.

(Click READ MORE to check out the band's first video)

BEST SONGS OF 2009: 50 - 26

The Top 50 of 2009 is here!  You can catch up by checking out our lists for 125-101 , 100-76 and 75-51 . We've been having some issues embedding MP3s on the site (perhaps in relation to Apple's buyout of the company?), which is why you'll see a variety of players embedded below. Otherwise, we shall plunge right into 50-26 after the jump.

(Click below to see our Top 50)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


What does DJ Dangermouse do when he's not mashing Jay-Z and the Beatles together?  How does he spend his time when he's not laying down beats for Cee-Lo's raspy-crooning in Gnarls Barkley?  This time around, Dangermouse joins musical forces with The Shins frontman James Mercer to form Broken Bells and both entities bring the best of their talents to the project.

We can expect the full-length album March 9th, but until then enjoy the bizarre video in which Mercer and Dangermouse wander down a dark highway with flashlights and vague strangeness ensues:

The High Road

Broken Bells | MySpace Music Videos


Zeus is certainly a name you'll be hearing in 2010.  Not just because he's a Greek God... in fact, the God of Gods, but because they're an indie-rock band whose debut album gets released in February of this year.

As is always fun, we can play the Six-Degrees-Of-Broken-Social-Scene game, and connect band members Mike O'Brien and Carlin Nicholson to BSS's Jason Collett.  The two did back-up vocals for the singer's solo stuff.  Now, they've formed a band of their own, and Zeus is a really fun, light-hearted rock outfit.

The video also does the band great service.  Director Adam Makarenko lends some incredible stop-motion visuals to the band's song, 'Marching Through Your Head':

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


We were pretty partial to the YYY's last video 'Heads will Roll' which prominently features a seemingly Michael Jackson-inspired dancing werewolf.   Not to mention, it's an incredible song.  Today, the Yeah Yeah Yeah's continued to push all the right buttons as they revealed a video for another favorite: their latest single, 'Skeletons'.

Check out the black and white video for 'Skeletons':

Monday, January 25, 2010


On January 19th, Spoon released their latest album.  Be it intended or not, Transference seems the fitting name for Spoon’s recording.  Their follow-up to Ga Ga Ga is a cohesive unit of 11-tracks that exposes all the nuts and bolts of the process.  Spoon assembles all the simple, raw elements of the record and then leaves the hood up for you to admire their handiwork.

(Read More about Spoon's new album after the jump)

Friday, January 22, 2010


The Freelance Whales have only begun selling out shows as headliners this week.  Last night they played at The Black Cat in DC to a capacity crowd on the same night that local favorites Thievery Corporation played The 9:30 Club a few blocks away and We Are Scientists were playing just upstairs.

(Read more on the Brooklyn band's performance after the jump)

Thursday, January 21, 2010


N.A.S.A. dropped Spirit of Apollo on the world in 2009, an album filled with guest stars that spanned genres and generations.  The sound was fresh too- 17 tracks worth of independent hip-hop that embraces everything from world beats to 70's funk.

(Check out more about N.A.S.A. including the NEW VIDEO after the jump)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Music Video: The XX - VCR

We've already gotten videos for 'Crystalised' and 'Basic Space'.  Today The Xx released a video for 'VCR'- a beautifully shot, black & white video that features young love, pyromantic behavior and some sort of little, furry animal looking oh-so-adorable in a sink.

Check out the video courtesy Pitchfork :


Things are heating up for the Cold War Kids.  Teaming up with the release of their new EP Behave Yourself, the LBC's soulful-punk act just dropped a new video for their song 'Audience'.  This is great cause for excitement as the track rekindles some fantastic vibes from their first album Robbers and Cowards.

Check out 'Audience':


Who is ready for some new Gorillaz?

Today the internet provided us with this little treat.  A brand new track from the Gorillaz called 'Stylo' that features Mos Def and Bobby Womack.  It sounds like the group has a lot more in store for us in the near future.  We'll have our collective ears to the ground.  Until then you can check out 'Stylo' over here (courtesy of the Couch Sessions.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

BEST SONGS OF 2009: 75 - 51

We've already taken a look at 125-101 and 100-76 .  Now we're getting to the good stuff.  But not THAT good... we still haven't cracked into the top 50.  We're almost to the Best 50 Songs of 2000, but before we uncork that bottle, let's roll through 75 - 51.

(Click READ MORE below to check out Songs 75 - 51!)

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Very Best Debut New Video Featuring Ezra Koenig

The Very Best hold claim to one of our very best songs of 2009.  With a little help from Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig (no stranger to afro-beat music), Very Best's very best track on their recent album is unquestionably 'Warm Heart of Africa'.  Today, they released a music video that features Ezra Koenig doing his best white-boy-dance alongside Esau Mwamwaya and has a lot of fun with a green-screen.

Check it out:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dirty Projectors Release New Single

This week the Dirty Projectors put out a pair of singles- more of a companion to their 2009 release Bitte Orca than as any preparation for an upcoming album.  This has been a common occurrence of late as the mere concept of 'album' has changed and begun to erode in the digital age.  Having fun with the very idea of releasing a physical album, the Dirty Projectors called this a digital 7" release.

(Click below to read more on their mini-release after the jump!)

'Alice in Wonderland' Soundtrack

It strikes me as odd that the recent movie 'New Moon'- mindless, teeny-bopper, drivel- featured music from many obscure and notably independent artists.  How is a movie aimed at the masses and- more specifically teenage girls- able to nominate the likes of Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver or Thom Yorke to score their film?

This week, the answer became so utterly transparent.

The star-studded soundtracks of 'New Moon' and 'Alice in Wonderland' were obviously switched.  This week, details were announced for the Johnny Depp-starring 3-D film's soundtrack.  And Tim Burton, who has directed cult-hits like 'Edward Scissorhands' and 'Pee-Wee's Big Adventure', has seemingly misplaced the real soundtrack of his upcoming film with the playlist of a 14-year-old girl.

Or, maybe he's grown completely out of touch...

(Check out the soundtrack details after the jump.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jay Reatard Dead at Age 29

Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., better known as Jay Reatard, was found dead in his bed at his Memphis home at 3:30 AM.  While the cause of death has not yet been released, friends noted that the singer had recently complained of flu-like symptoms.

Jay Reatard's single, 'It Ain't Gonna Save Me'':

BEST SONGS OF 2009: 100 - 76

The countdown towards Best Song of 2009 continues!  Today, we'll be taking a look at Songs 100 down to 76.  If you haven't yet seen our write-up for songs 125-101 you can start the countdown from the top by clicking here...

(Otherwise, click READ MORE below to see songs 100-76 after the jump.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tour Announcements: Spoon, Passion Pit

What a day for exciting tour announcements!   Both Spoon and Passion Pit will be working their way across North America this March and April.

(Click below to READ MORE tour details after the jump.)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

BEST SONGS OF 2009: 125-101

100 songs just wasn't enough.  Essentially, the 25 songs listed below are the spill-over resulting from my indecisiveness.  The TOP 100 songs of 2009 are coming, but until then, we offer a small sampling of some tracks that just missed the year-end cut.

(Click Below for Songs 125-101 of The Best Songs of 2009:)

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Animal Collective had a big year in 2009 with the release of their acclaimed masterpiece 'Merriweather Post Pavilion'.  While we've already seen an equally tripped-out video for 'My Girls', the Baltimore-based trio now hits us with a video for 'Brother Sport' that features farm animals and dancing, masked children, dressed to look like Cave-People.

We couldn't be more excited.  'Brother Sport' is a song that figures heavily in our upcoming 'Best of 2009' list.  Enjoy the video:

Tour Announcements: Of Montreal, Fanfarlo

Led by frontman Kevin Barnes, the indie-collective Of Montreal is actually an American band that calls Athens, GA home.  The off-the-wall, self-deprecating and ever-changing sound of Of Montreal will be hitting the road this January, kicking off their small, eastern US tour January 25th at Ram's Head in Baltimore.

Check out 'Oslo in the Summertime' from their 2005 album The Sunlandic Twins here:

And if you live in the northeast, you can check out the eccentric band live:

Jan 25 - Baltimore, MD - Ram's Head
Jan 26 - New York, NY - TBA
Jan 27 - Boston, MA - Paradise
Jan 28 - Washingon, DC - 9:30 Club
Jan 29 - Norfolk, VA - Norva
Jan 30 - Richmond, VA - The National
Feb 04 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt

Don't live East of the Mississippi?  No worries, Fanfarlo has you covered.  The London-based indie-rock outfit who've turned some heads with their 2009 debut Reservoirs, have set up an American tour up the west coast.

It's hard not to make The Arcade Fire comparisons as you listen to 'I'm a Pilot:

West-coasters can check them out this February:

Feb 20 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
Feb 22 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
Feb 23 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
Feb 24 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile Cafe
Feb 25 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory
Feb 27 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
Feb 28 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge

Friday, January 8, 2010

Worst Artist/Album/Song of 2009

In the spirit of the year-end ritual of 'Best of' lists, I decided to flip the convention of annual kudos on it's head.  Today, rather than celebrate 2009's brightest, (Don't worry, the Best of 2009 is in the works... I know it's getting late, but it's a bear of a piece) let's take a look at the piss-poor.  There are no need for lists.  Today, we recognize THE VERY WORST-OF-THE-WORST.  2009's most atrocious, pungent, pile of...

(READ MORE after the jump:)

The Scanners Release New Video

London-based, dark wave act, The Scanners came to the scene with their 2006 debut, Violence is Golden.  Their long-awaited second release, Submarine, is due February, 16, 2010 from their Dim Mak label.   Their first single 'Salvation' is a beautiful, haunting melody that marches forward with thunderous contention.

Check out 'Salvation'.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Review: Vampire Weekend - Contra

Vampire Weekend’s second album, Contra, comes as one of 2010’s most anticipated releases and only misses a few notes on the harpsichord.  The band hardly departs from their noted Reggae and Afro-Beat 'roots' (um, ya know... from growing up on the streets of suburban New England or from enduring the rough and tumble bedlam of Ivy League dorm-life) as Contra successfully continues the quartet’s unique style of academic-rock fused with world rhythms in a way that is more mature, layered and complex than their original, genre-defining release.  Yet, the band remains true to their initial mission statement: to create music you hadn’t already heard a thousand times- or even once- before.

(Vampire Weekend's new album Contra review after the jump.  Click below to READ MORE.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rymdreglage's 8-Bit Trip

Probably the coolest thing you'll see this week.  This is a self-made music video for the Swedish electronic-band Rymdreglage.

This thing is brimming with more than 1,500 hours of Nintendo-inspired Lego stop-motion and filled with an equal dose of nostalgia for any child of the 80's.

"8-Bit Trip":

The Temper Trap Release New Video, 'Fader'

Australian rockers, The Temper Trap, released a music video on Monday for their newest single, 'Fader'.  Most people might recognize them from their hit 'Sweet Disposition' which not only appears in multiple commercials but also in the soundtrack to 2009's indie-comedy '(500) Days of Summer'.

Check out 'Fader':

New RJD2 Album To Feature Kenna

Kenna's an artist I've been closely following since the 2003 emergence of his slightly off-centered pop album, New Sacred Cow.  Always a critical success, the Ethiopian-born singer has never enjoyed the break-out commercial success he richly deserves. 

 (Read more on Kenna's career as it builds up to his upcoming collaboration with RJD2 after the jump):

RJD2's Newest Video Is Like A Bull In A China Shop

RJD2's The Colossus is dropping soon.  The Philadelphia-based DJ's fourth album is set for release on January 19th.  Today pitchfork released a video, featuring a down-on-his-luck bull to kick it all off.

"Let There Be Horns"

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Michael Cera Takes Drugs From A Guy He Don't Know

The Islands released their latest album, Vapours, in late September, 2009. Yet it may take a few extra months, spanning into 2010 before The Islands really see the album take off virally. That's where Michael Cera comes in. Today they released the official video for 'No You Don't' in which a bewildered Michael Cera takes some bum drugs and has a misadventure in a parking lot. We hope Michael Cera's involvement brings some new fans to The Islands' deserving table. More so, we hope the anti-drug message really hits home for the kids.

Check out Michael Cera in The Islands' 'No You Don't':