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2013 SOTO Staff Picks

December 18, 2013

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It wouldn’t be fun if only I just rambled along about what I liked this year, so I reached out to my very diverse staff for their Top 5 Albums of 2013.  I think you’ll see that the SOTO clan like a lot of different things.  Enjoy.

You know what can, sometimes, kind of blow? Getting old. Yup, watching the old life clock tick on by, the responsibilities of life pile around your ears, those precious moments when you could just wile away an hour or five listening to a handful of new records. Well kiddies, those days are dead. Nowadays I’m happy if I can listen to the new Lil’ Wayne single more than a few times when I’m driving to the gym to work my gut out with my trainer Francis. What I’m getting at here is that though I wish my list was full of a shocking selection of diverse and mind-expanding music, well, it’s not. I stand by each and all of these picks but I can’t say I did the extra work this year to blow any minds.

Forgive me, and enjoy.

5. The National – If I Stay Here, Trouble Will Find Me
4. Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold
3. Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin
2. Fuzz – S/T
1. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City

In keeping with my column, I fully intended to select nothing but chick-fronted albums in 2013. Laura Marling was one of my most-streamed, and my girl Neko’s latest was an insta-fave. But once I got back to looking at things, I realized my list was a little more eclectic than anticipated. Vampire Weekend never ceases to be the catchiest around, and Local Natives continue to lyrically break my heart with everything they put out. And there’s nothing like a little Washed Out to soundtrack a Sunday afternoon. Notable mention? Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds stopped by KCRW, resulting in a record store day release that I haven’t stopped listening (and crying) to since purchasing.

Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle
Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
Washed Out – Paracosm
Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City
Local Natives – Hummingbird

I see it this way … 2010 was the first date, 2011 was the good times, 2012 was the breakup, and 2013 was when music took some “me” time. That does not mean this year did not generate some great or even classic records, it does mean that there was some experimentation that may or may not have worked out so well; see Drumgasm. That being said, there was still plenty of illuminations happening all over the musical cosmos in 2013. Labels like Chapter Music and Paradise of Bachelors killed it this year, as did Bedroom Suck and Fire Records. Though some more successful than others, 2013 saw artists and bands the world over restate time honored sounds and genres.

5. Fat History Month – Bad History Month (Exploding In Sound)
4. The Stevens – A History Of Hygiene (Chapter Music)
3. Purling Hiss – Water On Mars (Drag City)
2. Dick Diver – Calendar Days (Chapter Music)
1. Steve Gunn – Time Off (Paradise of Bachelors)

When I received my assignment to pick my Top 5 albums for the year, I thought that It would be a piece of cake: “5 albums? No problem.” But then I started to recall the various new releases from this year and felt twinges of panic and regret: “Who do I choose ? Who do I leave off the list ?”. I don’t have a complicated system for deciding on favorites; it usually comes down to what I listened to the most.  The focus for my 2013 Top 5 are all Austin-based artists, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy records from bands from other places. This year was also a fantastic year for some outstanding releases from some of my favorite local bands. They all share a common love for melodies, harmonies, and top notch songwriting.

Royal Forest – Spillway
Black Books – Black Books
Wiretree – Get Up
The Zoltars – Walking Through The Dark
Yum – Take My Blue / Santiago Dietche – Waxing And Roaring (tie)

This year there have been some amazing metal releases, I am not even giving lip service about my genre, it has been incredible the caliber of albums coming out, and to narrow it down to five, I had to switch a few things around from other lists I have made. Excluding Dillinger Escape Plan, Cult of Luna, Arsis, Black Dahlia Murder and All Pigs Must Die is heart wrenching, but these five bands have created some of the best music metal has heard in two decades. From noisy extremes like Nails, to groove laden jams on the new Clutch album, and the rebirth of the dormant Carcass to win the top spot on every list I have done.  So let it be written, so let it be done, the best metal albums of the year are:

5. Nails – Abandon All Life (Southern Lord)
4. Kvelertak – Meir (Roadrunner)
3. Clutch – Earth Rocker (Weathermaker)
2. Protest The Hero – Volition (Razor And Tie)
1. Carcass – Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast)

Hey, everybody! It may surprise you that here in my natural habitat of the music blog, I am supremely uncomfortable making lists.  Yes, I listen to a lot of music, and yes, there is stuff I like more than other stuff, but really when it comes down to taking my favorite albums from an entire year and ranking them on such a fine gradient, I just get miserable and ambivalent.  There was a lot of great hip hop produced this year and these are all great albums, and these are only in an order because John Laird forced me to do it.

5. Shad – Flying Colours
4. Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady
3. Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
2. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels
1. Danny Brown – Old

2013 was a big year for pop music. Miley’s tongue was inescapable, British teens ran rampant, and through it all I reveled in the weirdness. The latter half of this year found me really embracing my not-so-guilty pleasure of pure female fronted pop, so I thought I should theme my Top 5 to mainstream pop with female vocalists. Specific enough for ya? But after all, there’s so much of it, sometimes you need a spirit guide. Like Katy Perry–those of you who wrote her off for bubblegum pop need to check out Prism, where her dark side shines and emotions run rampant. And Ariana Grande–the next in line for a breakout from the Disney dynasty actually has the pipes to back it up, and I can’t stop spinning her tracks. Meanwhile, singles shine for Lady Gaga’s Artpop, where any track could be a hit–and Do What U Want is climbing charts for a reason. None of the Lana Del Rey songs on 2013′s Tropico are new–all taken from last year’s Paradise–but these three songs might be her best so far and provide an excellent primer for burgeoning Lana fans. Number one couldn’t go to anyone but Lorde–sure, brush her off as a one hit wonder, but I’d take Tennis and Ribs over Royals any day–it’s an incredible album.

5. Katy Perry – Prism
4. Lady Gaga – Artpop
3. Ariana Grande – Yours Truly
2. Lana Del Rey – Tropico
1. Lorde – Heroine

So 2013 was pretty good year for music, yes? My thirst for catchy punk rock and fuzzy garage rock was quenched throughout the year. There were a bunch of albums I loved that did not make the very top of my list. I’m looking at you Ty Segall, Bad Sports, Mind Spiders, A Giant Dog, and Thee Oh Sees. I love you all but there can only be five:

5. Radioactivity – Radioactivity
4. Vaadat Charigim – The World Is Well Lost
3. Sweet Talk – Pickup Lines
2. Mikal Cronin – MCII
1. Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold

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Top 25 Albums Of 2013: Part 2

December 12, 2013

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Here’s another 10 of my favorite albums of 2013.  Jump back tomorrow for the top five on my list!  Enjoy.

15) Polica – Shulamith

If you’re pessimistic and happen to remember how high my expectations were for Polica’s Shulamith, then you might look at this “middle of the pack” placement and call the album a disappointment.  Believe me though, that would be silly.  Lots of great tracks to be had on this one.

:Polica – Chain My Name:

14) The Mantles – Long Enough To Leave

If I had things my way, everyone would start including the Mantles in the first wave of bands that roll out of their mouth whenever the Bay Area comes up in conversation.  Long Enough To Leave is loaded with very catchy retro pop tunes.

:The Mantles – Hello:

13) The Octopus Project – Fever Forms

The Octopus Project have long been a solid act, but I think Fever Forms is proof that they’re actually a great one.  I’m excited to see where they go from here.

:The Octopus Project – Whitby:

12) Diarrhea Planet – I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

Only one album in 2013 actually made me want to throw up rock horns in a non-ironic way, and it was Diarrhea Planet’s I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams.  Listen loud.

:Diarrhea Planet – Separations:

11) Haim – Days Are Gone

The girls in Haim have been making music for most of their lives, so of course Days Are Gone is packed with some of 2013′s better crafted pop songs.  On another note, this album is a sing-a-long lovers dream.

:Haim – The Wire:

10) A Giant Dog – Bone

Pop punk is fun stuff, but I usually wear the albums out and then promptly shuffle on to something else.  This didn’t happen with A Giant Dog’s Bone though, the songs are too good to just let go of.

:A Giant Dog – All I Wanted:

09) Kanye West – Yeezus

Kanye West’s Yeezus is such an intense album that I can’t listen to it on a regular basis.  With that being said, I think it’s a stellar piece of work from one of the biggest, most interesting pop stars on the planet.

:Kanye West – New Slaves:

08) Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin

Thee Oh Sees release so much music that I always move on to whatever new thing they’re doing instead of allowing the “old” effort to settle.  Floating Coffin managed to hook me though, and I plan on jamming the gloriously kinetic album for years to come.

:Thee Oh Sees – Maze Francier:

07) FIDLAR – Self Titled

FIDLAR seem like an act that could fizzle out at any moment, so I’ve been loving them while I can.  Their self titled debut is as catchy and loud as I hoped it would be when the band first popped up on my radar last year.

:FIDLAR – Cheap Beer:

06) Sigur Ros – Kveikur

I didn’t think Sigur Ros had a bombastic post rock album in them at this point, but Kveikur is just that.  If their last few efforts were too far out in left field for you, then this one should win you back.

:Sigur Ros – Kveikur:

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Stream This

November 22, 2013

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Gap Dream – Shine Your Light
Beachwood Sparks – Desert Skies
Teengirl Fantasy – Nun
Beedeegee – Sum/One
Thee Oh Sees – Singles Collection: Volume Three
I Need You Bad – Compilation
Kevin Morby – Harlem River
The Entrance Band – Beyond Beyond Is Beyond
Milosh – Jetlag

VIDEOS

Broken Bells will release After The Disco on January 14 via Columbia.

Kanye West’s Yeezus is out now on Def Jam.

Shannon And The Clams’ Dreams In The Rathouse is available now via Hardly Art.

Damien Jurado will release Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son on January 21 via Secretly Canadian.

Dinosaur Bones put out Shaky Dream earlier this year on Dine Alone Records.  They play Empire Control Room on December 12.

Wampire’s Curiosity is out now on Polyvinyl.

Vaadat Charigim recently released The World Is Well Lost via Burger Records.

Arcade Fire recently released Reflektor.  They play the Austin 360 Amphitheater on April 10.

The Callas’ Am I Vertical? is out now on Inner Ear.

Bent Shapes’ Feels Weird is out now on Father/Daughter Records.

Matt Pond’s The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand is out now.

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Quickdraw: Thee Oh Sees, Radical Dads, Those Howlings, Dum Dum Girls, Mogwai

November 4, 2013

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Today’s music totally agrees with you.

:Thee Oh Sees – What You Need:  Only Thee Oh Sees can put out nine albums a year and then still need a separate release for their various one-off tracks, split contributions, and more.  The band will release Singles Collection: Volume 3 on November 26 via Castle Face.  Catch them at Fun Fun Fun Fest this weekend.

:Radical Dads – Creature Out:  My favorite thing about Radical Dads is that they seem incapable of making something that’s not filled with enthusiasm.  I find it infectious.  Be sure to grab the band’s new 7″ single when it gets released on November 5 via EAU Records.  In case you missed it, they also put out a full length, Rapid Reality, earlier this year.

:Those Howlings – Paid For You:  Here’s a catchy little number from Those Howlings, who are an Austin act that I’ve been meaning to show some love for a while now.  It’s an endearing piece of retro pop.  You can get the band’s new 7″ single now over at their Bandcamp page.

:Dum Dum Girls – Lost Boys And Girls Club:  I know the Dum Dum Girls are already pretty well known, but I think this track’s particularly polished alt-rock sound will probably attract a slew of new listeners.  Good for them.  The band will put out Too True on January 28 via Sub Pop.

:Mogwai – Remurdered:  First of all, Remurdered is probably the best song title this year.  Secondly, this atmospheric beast of a single means we all get to start 2014 with a new Mogwai full length, and that’s fantastic.  Rave Tapes is due out January 21 via Sub Pop.

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Stream This

April 26, 2013

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Akron/Family – Sub Verses
!!! – Thriller
Beacon – The Ways We Separate
Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light
Iggy Pop And The Stooges – Ready To Die
Deerhunter – Monomania
Secret Circuits – Tactile Galactics
Hands – Synesthesia
Coliseum – Sister Faith
Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle – Perils From The Sea
Rollin Hunt – The Phoney
Legs – Pass The Ringo
Sharks – Selfhood
Andy Cato – Times & Places
Annuals – Time Stamp

VIDEOS

Austin’s The Couch released their self titled album last year.

Jonny Fritz just released Dad Country on ATO Records.  He’ll play Antone’s on May 4.

CocoRosie will put out Tales Of A GrassWidow on May 28.

Thee Oh Sees just released Floating Coffin.

Wild Nothing will release the Empty Estate EP on May 14 via Captured Tracks/Bella Union.

Yellowbirds will release Songs From The Vanished Frontier on May 28 via Royal Potato Family.

Bosnian Rainbows will put out its self titled debut on June 25 via Sargent House.

Taken By Trees will release Other Worlds on October 2 through Secretly Canadian.

Young Galaxy’s Ultramarine is out now on Paper Bag Records.

Fitz And The Tantrums will release More Than Just A Dream on May 7.

Prissy Clerks released Bruise Or Be Bruised last year.

Portugal, The Man will put out Evil Friends on June 4.

Club 8′s Above The City will be out May 21 via Labrador.

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Thee Oh Sees (Noah)

April 24, 2013

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Okay, I know, being a San Francisco music writer and choosing Thee Oh Sees as one of your two bi-weekly musical choices is like being a Seattle music writer in the early 90s and choosing Nirvana. Duh, Thee Oh Sees are great, fantastic even, continuing to evolve slowly and surely and prolifically in to this amalgamated monster of all things good and gritty, but you can open up any website with any sort of hip-credentials and this, if that website is worth its salt, will have a new Thee Oh Sees video blaring somewhere on their front page, or maybe a two-minute sound nugget of Thee Oh Sees’ lead singer John Dwyer waxing poetically about music.

What I’m trying to get at here is that slotting Thee Oh Sees and their new absolutely fantastic album Floating Coffin as my selection this week isn’t my most creative choice, but I could, and I excuse my French, give a fuck. Thee Oh Sees are so consistently quality in both their sound output and their progression in terms of musicians, that I could, probably should write a blurb about every album they ever potato-gun in to the sonic-o-sphere. This is the type of band that three times a year (or more if they’re feeling creative) release an album that torpedoes in to the masses and everyone’s like, “Oh shit Thee Oh Sees are so good, they’re albums are so great” and all of this praise is duly deserved. Each time, more and more people are saying this, more and more people are crowding the fronts of their shows to get sweaty and knock each other about, more and more people are already turning their noses up because, eh, “Thee Oh Sees are so popular now.”

Thus, I know I’m shooting this rocketship in to a inky black space of praise already floating about out in the ether, and I do so happily. Thee Oh Sees are one of the few bands that continue to progress and expand grow musically under the guiding torch of the aforementioned John Dwyer, but somehow manage to always sound like a distilled version of Thee Oh Sees and always sound like a new version of Thee Oh Sees. Each and every record is a step forward and step inwards for this band, and when we look back on their discography in twenty years (Lord knows how many albums they’ll have released by then) we’ll see a band that slowly, smartly grew and changed in to not only one of the iconic band’s in San Francisco’s history, but one of the best bands operating today.

Call me boring, I’m going to call you lucky that you have another reason to listen to Thee Oh Sees.

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Stream This

April 12, 2013

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Charlie XCX – True Romance
The Thermals – Desperate Ground
Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin
White Fence – Cyclops Reap
The Shouting Match – Grownass Man
Iron And Wine – Ghost On Ghost
The Flaming Lips – The Terror
Jonny Fritz – Dad Country
Born Ruffians – Birthmarks
Tera Melos – X’ed Out

VIDEOS

Radical Dads will release Rapid Reality on May 21 via Uninhabitable Mansions.

Fol Chen’s The False Alarms is out now on Asthmatic Kitty.

STRFKR’s Miracle Mile is out now on Polyvinyl.

JJUUJJUU are all set to play Austin Psych Fest.

Gliss have an album out on Modern Outsider titled Langsom Dans.

Cold War Kids recently released Dear Miss Lonelyhearts.

Kids On A Crime Spree’s Creep The Creeps 7″ is out now on Slumberland.

Doldrums’ Lesser Evil is out now.  They will play Austin Music Hall on April 21 with Crystal Castles.

Cloud Cult’s Love is out now.

Matthew Squires And The Learning Disorders have an album out now called How To Combust Your Life.

Akron/Family will release Sub Verses on April 30 via Dead Oceans.

The Treetop Flyers will release The Mountain Moves on June 25 via Partisan.

Palma Violets have an album out now on Rough Trade titled 180.

Eleanor Friedberger will release Personal Record on June 4.

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Stream This

March 29, 2013

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Charles Bradley – Victim Of Love
Cold War Kids – Dear Miss Lonelyhearts
Generationals – Heza
Olafur Arnalds – For Now I Am Winter
IO ECHO – Ministry Of Love
Luxury Liners – They’re Flowers
Vondelpark – Seabed
Dutch Uncles – Out Of Touch In The Wild
The Black Angels – Indigo Meadow
Chvrches – Recover EP
Wax Idols – Discipline And Desire
Mudhoney – Vanishing Point
Wire – Change Becomes Us
Warm Soda – Someone For You
Niagara – Otto
Tartufi – These Factory Days

VIDEOS

Yeah Yeah Yeahs are all set to release Mosquito on April 16 through Interscope.

Phosphorescent just put out Muchacho on Dead Oceans.

Marnie Stern’s The Chronicles Of Marnia is out now on Kill Rock Stars.

Big Deal is set to release June Gloom on June 18 via Mute.

Wavves recently put out Afraid Of Heights on Mom + Pop.

Tricky will release False Idols on May 28 via his own label.

Shellshag will put out Shellshag Forever on April 20 through Don Giovanni.

Barbarossa’s The Load 7″ is out now on Memphis Industries.

Team Spirit will release a self titled EP on April 9 via Vice Records.

Toro Y Moi’s Anything In Return is out now on Carpark Records.

The Coathangers are about to head out on a tour in Europe with And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead.

Inc. recently put out No World on 4AD.

Thee Oh Sees will release Floating Coffins on April 16 via Castle Face.

Cold Cave put out this song in September of last year, but the video is new.

Passion Pit’s Gossamer is out now.

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An Extended Quickdraw For Those Of You Not At SXSW

March 11, 2013

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SXSW began on Friday, and my original plan was to just put the site on break until it came to an end.   Over the weekend, though, I realized this idea was no fun for those of you not attending the festival, so here’s 10 tracks to listen to while we’re away.  Enjoy.

:The Appleseed Cast – Great Lake Derelict:  The Appleseed Cast are responsible for Low Level Owl, one of my favorite albums of all time, and because of that I’ll always be in their corner.  With that being said, I do legitimately dig this track.  The band will release Illumination Ritual on April 23 via Graveface Records.

:The Laughing – Disappear:  Here’s an Austin act that I’ve really started to pay attention to over the last six months or so.  They’ve got a big, layered pop sound that’s just hooky enough.  The Laughing are set to self release Oscillation at some point during the summer.

:She And Him  – Never Wanted Your Love:  Is anyone else surprised that this duo will be releasing their third full length?  I really thought it was just a “side” thing for the two of them.  In any case, this is another pleasant retro pop tune on their already high pile of pleasant retro pop tunes.  Volume 3 is due May 3 via Merge.

:Fol Chen – IOU:  The first song to be released off of Fol Chen’s new album was a fairly experimental effort that was far from being easily accessible, so I’m happy that this second track is a lot lighter.  You’re going to like it.  The False Alarms is due out March 19 via Asthmatic Kitty.

:Action Bronson – Morey Boogie Boards:  Producer Harry Fraud recently assembled a new mixtape, and this classy Action Bronson track is meant to convince us all to check it out.  I’m certainly in.  Join me, friends.  You can rumble around online and get Adrift now.

:Big Deal – In Your Car:  I really love that this duo continue to show that their next album isn’t going to have the sort of sound that makes you want to sit in a dark room by yourself.  Keep it loud, Big Deal.  June Gloom is expected out June 4 via Mute.

:Thee Oh Sees – Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster:  A week without a new track from Thee Oh Sees would be weird, so here it is.  Personally, I think it’s one of their more playful efforts.  I recommend a high volume.  Floating Coffin is due out April 16 via Castle Face Records.

:Wax Idols – When It Happens:  Can you believe this band is from Oakland?  Listening to this pop tune (that carries a far from sunny sound), I would have certainly guessed the UK.  How odd.  The mighty Slumberland Records will release Discipline & Desire on March 26.

:St Lucia – Before The Dive (Chvrches Remix):  I think we’re almost at that point where anything to do with Chvrches is a guaranteed win.  I mean, just listen to how they really make this electro-pop number bounce.

:Austra – Home:  A number of weeks back I saw this electronic-enthused band open for the XX, and I thought their set had some great moments.  I’m definitely looking forward to their sophomore LP.  Olympia is due June 18 via Domino.

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Quickdraw: Mikal Cronin, Elephant, Mogwai, Polly Scattergood, Thee Oh Sees

February 11, 2013

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Today’s music wants you to be its Valentine.  Enjoy.

:Mikal Cronin – Shout It Out:  You know what I can’t wait for?  Mikal Cronin’s new album.  This first single is a shimmering anthem, and I hope the whole LP is packed with more of the same.  MCII is due out May 7 via Merge.

:Elephant – Skyscraper:  The press release for this duo had a lot of information about their early success and the subsequent drama that followed it, but that stuff’s no fun.  All you need to know is that this is a beautiful pop track.  The Skyscraper 7″ is due out March 26 via Memphis Industries.

:Mogwai – Wizard Motor:  These guys spent a bit of time doing some soundtrack work for the French zombie-show Les Revenants, and now you’ll be able to get their contributions on one disc.  This brooding number should convince you to pick up the effort.  Sub Pop will release the LP on February 26.

:Polly Scattergood – Wanderlust:  The last time I heard something from Polly I thought it sounded like Bjork-light.  This is different.  It’s more ambitious, and she seems to have found her own sound.  Arrows is expected out at some point this summer via Mute.

:Thee Oh Sees – Minotaur:  I’m not sure how many times I checked to make sure this was actually Thee Oh Sees.  I was expecting their usual blast of noise, but this track is so breezy and relaxed.  I like it.  The band will release Floating Coffin on April 16 via Castle Face.

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Top 25 Albums Of 2012: Part 2

December 4, 2012

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And just like that, we’ve arrived at the second part of my Top 25 Albums of 2012.  As I’ve said, I easily could have listed 50 releases, but I realized that half of those would have been albums that I only listen to when I’m in a particular mood.  In other words, they’re not immediately accessible, and that to me knocks them down a notch.  So, if you’re looking for 25 releases that you can immediately dive into and love, this is the place to be.  Enjoy.

20) Why? – Mumps, etc

There are few things better than listening to Yoni Wolf as he unloads a lyrical collage of images right onto your brain.  Oh, you don’t want to pay attention?  That’s OK.  There’s also plenty to sing-a-long with.

:Why? – White English:

19) Thee Oh Sees – Putrifiers II

Whenever I hear anything off this album, I immediately want to be in a sweaty club somewhere watching Thee Oh Sees play.  Putrifiers II is a fantastically fuzzed-out blast.

:Thee Oh Sees – Flood’s New Light:

18) Dinosaur Jr. – I Bet On Sky

I love that Dinosaur Jr. are still cranking out quality albums.  Those guys definitely have the right to just sit on a couch somewhere, and yet they’re out and about rocking harder than most of us ever will.

:Dinosaur Jr. – Pierce The Morning Rain:

17) Yellow Ostrich – Strange Land

Strange Land didn’t hit me like last year’s The Mistress did, but it does feature a nice step forward sound-wise for the band, and there are some really fantastic tracks on it.

:Yellow Ostrich – The Shakedown:

16) The Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan

I’m not sure the Dirty Projectors will ever really be easily accessible, but I do think that Swing Lo Magellan is them actually giving it a shot.  The album is loud, oddly hooky, and just so very interesting to listen to.

:The Dirty Projectors – Offspring Are Blank:

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Quickdraw: Thee Oh Sees, Wild Nothing, Moon Duo, Wavves, The xx

August 13, 2012

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We finally launched a redesign!  And today’s music is in celebration of it.  Hope you guys dig the new SOTO.  Enjoy.

:Thee Oh Sees – Flood’s New Light:  The heat in Texas has finally reached that point (as it does every year) where I’m just done with it.  So, when I say that this track makes we want to get out and have some fun in the summer blaze, then you know it’s a good one.  Putrifiers II will be released on September 11 via In The Red Records, and then four days later the band will play in Austin at La Zona Rosa with Ty Segall.

:Wild Nothing – Paradise:  I tried to make sense of Wild Nothing’s new lunar-centric website, but once my brain started hurting I just had to give up.  Guess I’m no scientist.  Anyhow, I like this song.  It has a nice, simplistic 80s sound that’s easy to get lost in.  The band is all set to release Nocturne on August 28 via Captured Tracks and Bella Union.

:Moon Duo – Sleepwalker:  In case you don’t remember, this band was started by Ripley Johnson (Wooden Shijps) and Sanae Yamada.  I didn’t find their debut full length, Mazes, to be as great as most people made it out to be, but I’m still looking forward to the new album.  Mostly because I think this psychedelic track sounds pretty cool.  Circles is expected out at some point this fall on Sacred Bones.

:Wavves – Hippies Is Punks:  For a while now these guys have been moving away from the all-garbled sound that they debuted with, and I consider this to be a very good thing.  Here’s hoping we get more fuzzy pop songs out of Wavves.  Less noise looks nice on them.  This track was made for the Adult Swim Singles Program.

:The xx – Chained:  I get why so many people dig this act, but I have to admit that I’ve never felt much of an attachment to them.  With that being said, I do think this is a pretty cool track.  You should throw on some headphones for it.  Coexist is due out September 11 via Young Turks.

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