Category Archives: Atlas Sound

*SHOW ALERT* ATLAS SOUND @ PARADISE!

That’s right folks, the one and only Bradford Cox aka Atlas Sound is making a stop at Boston’s Paradise Rock Club on Thursday March 8! Just like Smith Westerns, who I will be seeing this Sunday, Atlas Sound is one of the top current artists that I am dying to see live. Pitchfork just released the tour information today:

02-04 Binghamton, NY – Underground Coffeehouse at Binghamton University
02-19 Tokyo, Japan – Hostess Club Weekender
02-24 Los Angeles, CA – Eagle Rock Centre for the Arts
02-25 San Francisco, CA – Bimbo’s 365 Club
02-28 Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
02-29 Vancouver, British Columbia – Biltmore Cabaret
03-02 Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center
03-04 Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop
03-06 Toronto, Ontario – Lee’s Palace
03-07 Montreal, Quebec – Cabaret
03-08 Boston, MA – Paradise Great way to end the tour!

http://pitchfork.com/news/45251-atlas-sound-announces-tour/

Here’s a live video I recently viewed of my favorite Atlas Sound song, “Artificial Snow.”  I know I’m a little behind and I’m sure Christmas is the last thing on everyone’s mind, but nonetheless this is a great performance from Bradford.

 

Best of 2011- Chris’s Favorite Albums

10) GirlsFather, Son, Holy Ghost (True Panther Sounds): This is undeniably the most ambitious album on this list, probably one of the most ambitious pop records of the year, and I would say definitely the most ambitious sophomore effort I have heard in a long time. Album (2009) was/is one of my favorite records and this LP definitely shares a similar sense of outstanding pop features. With that being said, I do not love this album and in fact I think it is a bit too epic, too diverse, too much. At least for my taste, I am sure there are plenty of people out there that will love every second of it. I really enjoyed this record, but more imporantly I have a lot of respect for the band for making it. Girls really pushed themselves, exploring all sorts of areas of the music world; it really feels like a gigantic, classic rock record, especially with tracks like “Vomit.” If you have heard this, you know what I mean, when it explodes into the “looking for loveee” part(s) of the song. Good stuff. I would have prefered shorter songs, but that’s alright, this list is supposed to be devoted to praise anyway, so nevermind me. “Honey Bunny” is an essential, fucking amazing pop ballad.

9) Fat History MonthFucking Despair (Sophomore Lounge): Fat History Month is representing Boston (KLYAM’s hometown) and the Boston underground on this list, and if you don’t know anything about any bands from this area, then Fat History Month is an excellent place to start. I myself only know some bands, but FHM is the cream of the crop and Fucking Despair showcases everything that is awesome about this duo. It is often hard to describe their music and it seems like everyone comes up with their own little, weird interpretations, so I’ll leave it up to you, because I have faith in you. “Old Lady Smokers” and “Things I Enjoy” are constantly racing around my psyche, seriously these suckers are having fun being stuck in my head. They are short, but sweet, you just want them to never end, kind of like an orgasm. So, yeah it’s a musical orgasm.

8) Atlas SoundParallax (4AD): Bradford Cox is the best songwriter of our generation, at least in my book. Parallax is a great pop record, not the best from Bradford, but that is like asking Scorcese why one of his films is not as good as Taxi Driver; they cannot all be amongst the greatest records of all time, but that does not take away from the fact that this an above average album. “The Shakes,” is my favorite song. I know it sounds extremely cheesy, but I literally am shaking when I hear this song. It is so damn powerful as with nearly all of Bradford’s material. His songs just have that emotional effect that a lot of other artists lack. He can make things sentinmental witout making them come off as lame. Rock and Roll is alive and well.

7) Natural Child1971 (Infinity Cat): I just mentioned about rock and roll being alive and well, Natural Child is a further testament to this. Another artist, I cannot promote more. Seriously, if you dig this “garage” revival kind of stuff like the Black Lips, Ty Segall, Nobunny, etc, then Natural Child is up your alley. But, even if you do not dig those artists and you are one of those bastards that only listens to rock and roll that was created at least twenty-thirty years before you were born and you scoff at others that drink PBR, while you yourself are only drinking Bud Light, well then Natti Child can and will serve a dish you cannot refuse. The name of the record is 1971, just think of it that way. If you really love the Stones, I do not see why these Nashville boys deserve any less of your attention. It’s only rock and roll.

6) Ty SegallGoodbye Bread (Drag City): Need I say more? Okay fine. Ty Segall expands upon the reputation he has built up thus far as a fun, frat rockin’, psychedelic artist. Per usual, the record is sonically amazing, and just engulfs the listener. Strong pop hooks ensue.

5) Smith WesternsDye It Blonde (Fat Possum): Here is a band I really started getting into this year and rightfully so; Dye It Blonde is fantastic pop record, an ode to pop music. Each song is a carefully constructed, melodramatic ballad. Listening to this album is like shooting up pop music, you get that instantaneous pop sensation rumbling through your body from the first few moments of “Weekend.” I can picture Smith Westerns lyrics being plastered all over the facebook walls of bratty, depressed teenagers all across America. “I should’ve realized life is such a joke, it makes me wanna choke,(“Smile”). Mmmm gotta love them at that age!

4) Mark SultanWhatever I Want (In The Red):
I am big fan of Mark Sultan’s past two LPs, The Sultantic Verses (2007) and $ (2010), but I think this LP is even greater, exemplifying Mark’s strengths as a songwriter. The hooks are stronger than ever especially on tracks like “Axis Abraxas,” “Just For a Moment,” and “Song In Grey.” “Axis Abraxas” is an incredible opener and just gets the listener pumped for the whole record. I wish more opening tracks were like this. Definitely one of the year’s finest and one of the most underated.

3) Shannon and the ClamsSleep Talk (1-2-3-4 Go!): One of my new favorites from twenty eleven. Another truly kick ass rock and roll band that is totally underated. I remember hearing this about six months back and thinking this would probably end up on my list and I was right, not much can top it. First and foremost, Shannon Shaw is a fabulous singer, one of the best living today. Secondly, the band are masters at creating (or recreating) early 60s esque rock and roll both in songwriting and in sound quality with really nice, clean, analog. They also add an extra umpph to several of their songs, giving them an old school punk sound as well. All in all, there is not much you can hate about this band/album, they just represent what is great about the music I enjoy. Alas, you will not see this record on any of the major magazines’s or web sites’s end of the year lists like several other underappreciated records on this list.

2) Hunx and His PunxToo Young to Be In Love (Hardly Art): If Sleep Talk has a companion twenty eleven LP then it is Too Young to Be In Love. Shannon Shaw provides vocals in both bands and just like on Sleep Talk, she sings with incredible force and control. In general, all of the girls shine more on this album than the band’s debut, Gay Singles. That is probably the best part of this record, the fact that the band sounds fuller and more complete. Admittedly, I am a bigger fan of the first record, but I adored and still cotinue to greatly adore this record. In many ways, it is completely different: slower, more serious, and more 60s based. If you dig 60s girl groups, I highly recommend this album as it is quite reminiscent of that era. “Lovers Lane,” the opening track is a great example of this and my favorite from the whole record. Hunx’s lead vocals are better than ever and the girls’ backng vocals nicely complement his. Hunx and His Punx are doing something truly unique and unlike anyone else today.

1) Black LipsArabia Mountain (Vice):
What do you expect? Of course, Arabia is number one. Of course, Black Lips are number one, they always are! I have to say though I am not a robotic fan or anything like that, they are not an automatic number one for me by any means. This year they simply released their greatest studio album in my eyes. Like Glen and other punk slimers, I greatly anticipated this release, probably more than any other album in my life. When I heard Mark Ronson was on board, I was not sure what to make of it, but knowing the Lips, I felt we were in good hands. They stayed true to themselves and simply used Ronson’s skill to enhance what already made them great. I see this record as a salute to what makes the Black lips a kickass band: Cole’s weird, raspy vocals (sounding better and clearer and more effective than ever) on “Family Tree,” the band’s simple committment to fun in “Go Out and Get It,” indeed an incredibly simple, but catchy tune, and overall a striking personality that no other band can match. Personality is what makes bands memorable and the Lips have mythologized themselves into the greatest rock and roll band currently in existance.

Best EP of 2011?


Still never going stop him… and his band from appearing on my lists!

WavvesLife Sux EP (Ghost Ramp)

Yep, there should be no surprises here. We spend the whole year yapping about our favorite artists, so when it comes to these year end lists, it should all look familar.

Best Of 2011 – Glen’s Favorite Albums


1. Black Lips
Arabia Mountain – My excitement for this album grew steadily once the news came out that they were working on one in early 2010. The original release date set for “when school gets back in” was pushed back once Ronson joined as co-producer. As we all know by now, the band had a delightful time working with him. So it’s no coincidence that Arabia is filled with some of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in a while. The sound production is not as muddy and psychedelic as the band’s previous effort 200 Million Thousand; instead, it’s clean and clear. The songs themselves cross the kind of rock and roll terrain that the Lips have always found themselves in, including but not limited to: clangy, jangly, country, punk. This stuff is addicting (for people with an ear for it like me) and tough to remove from the record player. I guess that’s a quality that the best album of the year should possess. 


2. Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread – This is another one that I was counting the days until release. Ty’s last record Melted received an ‘honorable mention’ in my Best of 2010, but would have comfortably cracked the Top 5 if I redid my list a few months later. Goodbye Bread was a quintessential summer listen and still holds the test of time as this part of the country is freezing over. The thing that Ty does so well (and has always done so well) is arranging his songs. There’s optimal fuzz, hard-pounding drums, and a lingering bass line in nearly every song at some point and a lot of it is unexpected and fresh. I love the opening of “You Make the Sun Fry,” and the ever so crunchy chorus in “My Head Explodes,” in particular. Goodbye Bread affirms Ty’s status as one of the most talented song writers in modern rock and roll. At the least, it goes to show that noisy relatively straight-forward garage isn’t all the dude is about. 


3. Atlas Sound
Parallax – Last year (as I just said above) I made the folly of overlooking some records. Another one of them was Halcyon Digest. Sure, it was among my Top 10, but I didn’t really appreciate as much in 2010 as I should have. With Parallax, I gave it several listens before reviewing it and over the course of listening the real beauty of it really came out. It’s mainly a light affair with several streaks of brilliance that some could dub ‘experimental’ or ‘odd’, but to me is just as pop as anything typically labeled that. Bradford knows catchy better than most. The by product of this is a mass of songs that are inspirational and healing. 


4. The Beets
 – Let The Poison Out – The Beets are one of those bands that I regret not getting more into earlier on in my KLYAM career. After seeing them open for No Age at Wellesley College back in April 2009, I failed to do significant follow up research. Well, now I’d say I’m fairly well versed on the Beets; all the credit to them for infectious releases and superb live performances. Let The Poison Out works so well because it’s just so hard to not be hooked on the Beets raw rock, pop, n’ roll . It makes me want to start pounding on some drums while blasting it loudly. “Doing As I Do” and “I Think I Might Have Built A Horse” are sing-alongs like none other. 


5. Mikal Cronin
 – Mikal Cronin – You can tell this guy has spent some quality time hanging around Ty Segall. Not to say he hasn’t spent quality time with other musicians. The Moonhearts are nice. Well anyway, this album really captivated me as it fits in perfectly on a scale of Ty and Thee Oh Sees. Like those folks’ records, Mikal Cronin is quite instantaneously hooky (with like two exceptions, but those are still real good). Picking favorites is a challenge. I love “Situation” a great deal, because right from the get-go it is extremely fun. The San Fran rock ‘n roll region had quite a 2011.

Honorable Mentions

Shannon and the Clams – Sleep Talk
The Orwells – Remember When
Thee Oh Sees – Castlemania
Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Natural Child 1971
Mark Sultan Whatever I Want
The Hussy Cement Tomb Mind Control
Davila 666 Tan Bajo

Best Of 2011: Glen’s Favorite Songs

Rather than release a countdown or a numbered list, I’ve decided to try something different!!!!! Band and song. Keepin’ it simple. 

Arctic Monkeys- “Black Treacle
Atlas Sound – “Lightworks,” “Mona Lisa
Babies – “Meet Me In The City
Bass Drum of Death – “Get Found
Beets – “I Think I Might Have Built A Horse
Black Keys – “Lonely Boy
Black Lips – “Family Tree,” “Modern Art,” “Mr. Driver
Colleen Green – “Rabid Love
Diarrhea Planet – “Fauser
Dum Dum Girls – “Coming Down
Fat History Month – “Old Lady Smokers
Gaye Blades
 – “Don’t Get Married
Girls
– “Magic
Handsome Furs – “Repatriated
The Hussy – “Sexi Ladi
Mark Sultan – “Song In Grey,” “Graveyard Eyes
Mind Spiders – “Don’t Let Her Go
M-Tank – “Don’t Miss You
Natural Child – “Hard Workin’ Man
Night Beats – “Ain’t Dumbo
Orwells – “Lays At Rest,” “Halloween All Year
Panda Bear – “Last Night At The Jetty
Peach Kelli Pop – “Girls of Summer,” “Eenie Meenie Minie Moe
Shannon and the Clams – “Baby Don’t Do It
The Strokes – “Under Cover of Darkness
Thee Oh Sees – “I Need Seed,” “If I Stay Too Long
Those Darlins – “Be Your Bro
Ty Segall – “My Head Explodes,” “You Make The Sun Fry

CD Review: Atlas Sound – “Parallax” [2011]


Release:
 11/2011
Label: 4AD

1. “The Shakes”- A
2. “Amplifiers” – A
3. “Te Amo” – A 
4. “Parallax” – A
5. “Modern Aquatic Nights” – A
6. “Mona Lisa” – A++
7. “Praying Man” – A
8. “Doldrums” –A
9. “Angel Is Broken” – A+
10. “Terra Incognita” –
11. “Flagstaff” – A-
12. “Lightworks” – A++

Comments: Bradford Cox shall go down in the musical history books as not only a top shelf musician, but as a trusted source of inspiration, musically and not. When I listen to Bradford (as Atlas Sound, as Deerhunter, as Ghetto Cross), I often can’t quite get a grip on what he is conveying, but I know it’s surely meaningful to him. His music creates distinct settings that bring back childhood memories and perhaps other fictitious and dream-like settings. This is particularly true for Parallax, which to date might by the man’s most grandiose work. There’s simplicity in the guise of complexity. Wait, well let me explain. Every song is layered with instrumentation that you might not realize upon first or twentieth listen. This isn’t too important. What’s important is that Parallax is affectionate. It’s not as heavy or ambient as some of Bradford’s earlier work. It’s right there in the middle. The tracks that really stand out to me on Parallax slant towards heavy. These are some of the finest songs that I’ve heard in the past couple of years. “Walkabout” from Logos was my favorite song of 2009. Naturally, I’m interested in finding an Atlas Sound successor to that sort of brilliance. I’ve found multiple successors on Parallax. The first is “Mona Lisa,” which was previously recorded as part of the Bedroom Databank. The version on this record features Andrew Vanwyngarden of MGMT (piano/vocals). There’s such a cozy vibe to this song. Perfect for autumn. A glass of bourbon and walk through Boston Common/Central Park/equivalent to your area. Next is “Angel Is Broken,” which sounds a bit like The Best of Bradford, if there was such a thing. I am particularly fond of the transitions from the verses to the chorus, the “aahhhh-ahhhhh” and the line “you’ll be a lot like…me!” The final song that I’m going to discuss is the final song. This is “Nightworks”. I love the clangy guitar and the Left-Right percussion. The harmonica. The bass line. The build-up to the finale. The song is way affirming and exudes positiveness. “Everywhere I look there is a light and it will guide the way.” The other nine songs that I’ve neglected to mention each have outstanding attributes and will surely have you coming back for more. I’ve listened to this album several times in the past two days and I’m sure I’ll keep going at a similar pace. Parallax will be remembered as one of the most engaging albums of this year, decade, and whatever else.

Grade: A (95)

Chill Sheeet


This is one of the best playlists/mixes I have ever made, or at least one of my favorites.  It consists, for the most part, of old 50s-60s doo wop, rock and roll ballads and Atlas Sound covers of such songs. All of the songs are very chill and have a dream-like quality to them, perfect for the wee hours of the morning, when the sun is risin’.

1) Atlas Sound– “Blue Moon” (The Marcels) (2009)

2) Atlas Sound– “Ativan” (2008)

3) Bobby Vinton– “Mr. Lonely” (1962)

4) The Righteous Brothers– “Unchained Melody” (1965)

5) Lotus Plaza– “Rain Down” (2009)

6) Atlas Sound– “I’ll Be Your Mirror” (Velvet Underground) (2008)

7) Pixies– “Wave of Mutilation” (UK Surf) (1989)

8) Roy Orbison– “In Dreams” (1963)

9) The Everly Brothers– “All I Have to Do Is Dream” (1958)

10) The Platters– “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (1958)

11) Best Coast– “Sun Was High (So Was I)” (2009)

12) Best Coast– “So Gone” (2009)

13) Beach Boys– “In My Room” (1963)

14) The Duprees- “You Belong to Me” (1964)

15) Atlas Sound– “You Belong to Me” (The Duprees) (2007)

16) Bright Eyes– “Silver Bells” (2002)

17) Atlas Sound– Unchained Melody (Righteous Brothers) (2007)

Who Did It Better?: Blue Moon

The Marcels- Blue Moon (1961)- THE ORIGINAL

Vs.

Atlas Sound- Blue Moon (2009)

I’m going with my boy Bradford. The orginal is certainly a classic, but this song is even further augmented in Atlas’s slow, chill state. Seriously, one of the best covers I have ever heard. What do you guys think?

Chris’s Top 30 Current Favorite Artists

In honor of KLYAM’s two year Birthday (June 27) I decided to make a list of my 30 favorite bands at the moment with the criteria being that they had to have released material since the inception of KLYAM that I enjoy very, very much. I don’t plan on writing about all of them, especially when it is so obvious to anyone that frequently visits this site why I love some of these bands. Okay, here we go!

30) Those Darlins: You think Country music is dead?! You clearly haven’t heard Those Darlins. This four piece band rocks like a Punk band but with the sweetness of an old school Country act. A great example of a modern band incorporating traditional styles of music into their own unique sound.

29) The Strange Boys

28) Smith Westerns: I had heard the name Smith Westerns tossed around like a hot child in the city and they just seemed like another hype band, and for some reason (at least to me) they kind of have that look to them. Eventually, I sat down and gave them some eartime and realized I had been missing out on one of the finer pop bands around today. When you listen to SW you can tell these guys want their music to just consume you and rest deep in your psyche for as long as possible. Their songs are epic, perhaps even over the top, but in that nice way, you know where you fear they are coming too close to pretentious, but then all of that evaporates when you realize just how catchy, emotional, and ultimately memorable the music is. Definitely, one of my new favorite bands, all hype bullshit aside.

27) Atlas Sound: If you asked most music fans what they look for in artists I’m sure sincerity is pretty damn high on the list. Bradford “Atlas Sound” Cox is one of the most sincere artists in the whole world. Instead of making his music a premeditated script, Bradford lets the music flow as he is recording it; he does not write lyrics ahead of time and this really shines through in his songs. There is an uncany vulnerability in his music. For example, in “Holiday,” when he moans “I’m desperate, don’t try to get away” you really believe him. He offers the genuine emotion and conviction a “proper” musician would simply fuck up. Not to mention the vast amount of music he makes freely available for everyone!

26) Arctic Monkeys

25) Peach Kelli Pop: A notable trend on this list is the vintage, “garage,” if you will studio production sound in most or many of these artists, and I think PKP is no exception to that. I love the sound of their self-titled record and how simple it is (or at least appears to be); thee simplicity is key to these tunes. Also the exuberence and joy placed in every song is enough to make even the grouchiest killjoy start shakin’. PKP is like bubblegummy, teeny bopper music for Punkers. “Eeenie Meenie Minie Moe” is my top jam; I could blast that forever.

24) Gentlemen Jesse and His Men: I’m often shocked that some of the music I love is not as big as I would expect it to be. But, as Hunx says to the nay sayers of Rock and Roll: “What the fuck is wrong with you?!” Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with a world that doesn’t enjoy or worse has never came close to hearing the pleasant power pop of Gentlemen Jesse. These Atlanta rockers represent more of the sweet side of Rock and Roll, but they ain’t pussies! and whenever I see them live I’m thinking this is ALL I NEED TONIGHT!

23) Arcade Fire

22) Shannon and the Clams: I think Shannon and the Clams are the youngest (in terms of my excessive fandom for their music) band on this list. In the past month, the clams have been in heavy rotation on my ipod and it’s not hard to see why; if you love balls out, no fucking around, sometimes soft, sometimes crazy Rock and Roll, then this band demands your attention. Shannon Shaw has a gorgeous voice filled with variety- she can belt out loud, Punk inspired vocals or send your ears to musical heaven in the form of more sensitive singing. A lot of great ballads, straight up rock songs, and everything in between. One of the funnest bands I’ve come across as of late.

21) Cumstain: Wow, what a fucking band right here. Cumstain is the kinda band where your not sure if it’s just a joke or if you’re going to write your college thesis on their work and life philosophy. Well, it’s neither, but something has to be special if one were to make this contemplation. Seriously though, I can’t promote this band enough, it really dissapoints me that so few people know of their music. In terms of the songs, they are quite strong, stronger than most of their “garage” peers, but really that’s just the beginning. I have often described them as an unintentionally conceptual band. Their eponymous deubt record feels like an odd, off kilter concept album. A loose, dirty story of what it is like to be a young, sexually frusturated and confused male in this world. Overall, the music is fun and rocks, not to be taken too seriously, but honestly I rarely ever hear anything so visceral. Cumstain’s lyrics are often vulgar and licentious (who would have guessed?!) but beneath the unsavory language there’s a lot of truth. It’s a truth most pop songwriters would save for a private conversation with their buddies instead of documenting their thoughts and emotions via music. The classic ballad (it’s a ballad to me anyway) and final track “Cum Stain” really wraps things up and sums up the album as a whole. Countless bands have written about wanting to fuck girls and do naughty things to them, but few have ever taken the time to explain why, in an astonshingly direct manner, they feel this way. And as stated in the song, the relationship between men and women- the most discussed subject matter in just about all of art, is humorously and accurately reduced to being just another cum stain on a girl’s floor. I couldn’t think of a better way to put it myself, I can imagine Bill Shakespeare would be proud. With that being said, you could eschew all that philisophical analysis as utter nonsense and that would be perfectly fine because at the end of the day these songs are really great rockers to toss on while you get drunk and rowdy and dance/mosh around to or however you like to spend the time in your bachelor’s life.

20) The Almigthy Defenders: Man oh man, if I attended the show on the above flyer it would be salvation for sure! There are a lot of side projects in Rock and Roll especially when it comes to my faves, but without a doubt The Almighty Defenders brought a whole new meaning to the words side project and supergroup. Honestly, I don’t know if I could have dreamed up a more heavenly super group. If anyone reading this is a fan of The Black Lips, The King Khan & BBQ Show or just good old fashioned, analog sounding, early roots, gospel inspired- pre-popular, mass machine based music and you haven’t listened to defenders, do yourself a massive favor check them out ASAP.

19) Harlem: The word “garage” gets tossed around way too much and admittedly we are part of that over usage; Harlem has often been categorized as a garage band and certainly they have elements of said genre, but as far as KLYAM tastebuds go, they have totally surpassed 95% or more of the bands that fall under that label. Despite their Matador Records deal and other widespread acclaim, alas it seems Harlem does not gain the recognition they deserve. Who knows maybe the “indie” music “scene” just wanted to build Harlem up and look for the next Black Lips or Jay Reatard and didn’t find them. Well, fuck that Harlem is Harlem! And you know what Harlem probably doesn’t care anyway. They have that Maine Coonsy-Beetsy “I don’t give a fuck” kinda attitude to them. Even live this persona was completely intact- though they were also on shrooms when I saw them… But there’s really sentiment and heart to this trio’s music- a character lacking in their fellow “garage” comrades. They remind me of that guy that acts all nonshalant about getting laid (“yeah, I fucked her..”) but deep down that’s all that’s on his mind.

18) Mark Sultan

17) Girls

16) The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: It seems pretty obvious just with a few quick glances of this list that there are virtually no original artists in the truest sense of the word. Most of them wear their influences on their sleeves and you know what that is more than fine by me. Most bands aren’t close to original to begin with, so I’d rather hear a band mimic an existing style and add their own flavor to it. Pains are a great modern example of this- they sound like they belong on an 80s teen flick soundtrack with a little bit of the distortion and harsh noise of The Jesus and Mary Chain spinrkled in the mix. Easily one of the strongest debut LPs I have had the pleasure of hearing.

15) Magic Kids

14) The Maine Coons: If you react to music the way I do, then when you hear a band described as “cum punk” then it is a MUST that you hear them. Definitely the most obscure band on this list- which just like another “cum punk,” band, if you will, Cumstain deepely saddens me. These guys need to be acknowledged because they have the creepy, but catchy, freaky, but funny song dynamic down to a tee. Seriously their music is in the same league as Nobunny and Mark Sultan. I will constantly promote these guys any chance I get. Perhaps some of the greatest song titles ever- “Pull the Plug On Grandma,” “Hey Dickhead,” “Ghetto Queen,” “I Am a Motherfucker,” and the uplifting, missonary anthem, “How Long Is It Going to Take For You to Find God.” Maine Coons for life! You won’t find pussy this good anywhere else, I assure you.

13) King Khan & the Shrines

12) Ty Segall: Yeah yeah, I know that’s not a pic of Ty, but rather Steven Segal. But, if Ty and Steven got into a brawl, the former would totally win because Ty Segall is thee definition of badass. He’s a badass in that cool, laid back kind of way- not the I’m a tough guy and I have to prove it to everyone including myself kinda way; real gangsta ass niggas don’t start fights. And to top it off, Ty’s music is the sexiest music created in decades. Think about it, next time you want to get it on with a lady friend, play some Ty Segall. You can thank me in the form of KLYAM promotion!

11) Nobunny: Nobunny is for the children. Nobunny is for the geezers. A great man once told me that Nobunny is everything and at the same time Nobunny is nothing.

10) Best Coast

9) Animal Collective: I mentioned earlier that the artists on this list lack orginality (not as a flaw, but as a basic observation), well Animal Collective is an exception to that. I have always argued that they are the greatest and most groundbreaking band of the past decade and even if you don’t agree with that high praise you can at least admire them for their vast experimentation which is juxtaposed with their ability to break into a more accessible sound without totally abandoning those chaotic tendencies. AC was the first modern band that really struck me and got me into listening to other modern artists. Before them, I listened to only older artists for the most part. In other words, they destroyed the musical time barrier for me.

8) No Age: Whenever people ask me about noise music I typicall drop two names: Lightning Bolt and No Age. I don’t consider myself a noise aficionado by any means and I don’t consier NA a pure noise band, but one cannot help but notice the direct link between the cacophany, energy, and volume of LB and other noise bands and Dean and Randy’s ever growing project. The only difference is that this duo has an extreme devotion to pop music. From the beginning, NA has made it clear (not so much verbally) that they are pop songwriters and great ones at that! Their catchy tunes and overall light hearted, positive demanor offer a sense of inclusion, which is very much apparent in their recordings, but all the more alive during their awe inspiring live shows. No Age can be appreciated by old school punkers (or fans of old school Punk/Hardcore) but at the same time their music feels welcoming to all.

7) Box Elders: When one of your favorite bands break up it’s like when your parents divorce.* “It’s just going to end like that! Did you even consider how this would affect me?!” Even though it saddens you, you have to be a bigger person and realize its probably for the best and they need to work things out for themselves. A book on teaching music fans how to cope with their favorite bands’s splits will be available in bookstores shortly… Plain and simple, the Box Elders were one of the greatest- live, in the studio, and everywhere else. When I heard that they were through it was a dark day for KLYAM. At least, we have the music! Alice and Friends (2009) is one of the finest LPs from the past decade and probably my favorite Goner release. It’s funny with a lot of small bands you have to pay close attention to truly appreciate the pop song sunk beneath the sea of noise with the BE it was the exact opposite: you had to look for that home recording “lower” quality sound because (at least for me) their pop hooks and musical excellence dominated each and every song.

* This is just a joke, for I have never had to deal with a divorce in any way whatsoever.

6) Wavves: King of the Beach (2010) was KLYAM’s #1 album of the year brah, a title we don’t take lightly around here haha. Thanks (along with Best Coast) for bringing back good teenage angst music- at least for my tastes.

5) Hunx an His Punx

4) The King Khan & BBQ Show: I’d like to think of King Khan & BBQ as a little microcosm for my entire taste in music and more significantly my personality as a whole. Sexy, but sweet. In your face and crazy at times, but usually just ready to party and Rock and Roll. Complete soul, sentiment, and integrity, but don’t take shit too, too seriously or else it tastes bad. No bullshit, keep it as real as real can get and keep an eye on all the hunnies. Mark Sultan’s definitely my favorite singer right now- pumping up various vocalists of the 50s, 60s, and 70s with steroids and BBQ, a neat combo.

3) Deerhunter: Tru Gangsta. Tru Gangsta. If I ever saw any they would be the four gentlemen that comprise Deerhunter. Deerhunter in many ways are the group that links many of these bands together. The experimental pop aspect of their music can be associated with Animal Collective and No Age and their fun loving, Rock and Roll, “Garage” esque- simple music aesthetic and background connects them with the like of their hometown boys, The Black Lips, Jay Reatard, and The King Khan & BBQ Show, amongst others. I was discussing music with a friend and I pointed out what makes Deerhunter special and separates them from most artists is the fact that their music is extremely emotional and they deal with love in their songs, but they don’t write “love songs” or songs about sexual relationships between people. This allows the band to tap into an entirely different universe, often much greater, deeper emotions other artists never enter; they create a different kind of love song. I constantly use the word emotional to describe their music and obviously any good music has to be emotional in one way or another, but I feel like people give Deerhunter a bad name when they say they are “depressing.” Their music perhaps takes people to a place in themselves that they would rather not face, but that’s precisely what I love about them. I credit this band with helping me out a lot when I was depressed; in many ways they were the soundtrack to my evolution to happiness- that’s the only way I can describe it. My favorite song is the Microcastle (2008) closer “Twilight At Carbon Lake.” I love how it starts off sort of “sad,” and then just explodes into this wall of noise till the very end of the record. To me that song is like going through personal hell, going from totally hating yourself to totally loving yourself. As if that massive increase in volume is akin to a nervous breakdown and the end of the song is a sign that you made it out alive, stronger than ever, like the noise was just you destroying everything you hated about yourself and everything that brought you down in the first place. I’m not saying that’s what the song is about or what I think the song is about, but rather what it means to me. It’s not so much about thoughts, it’s about emotions.

2) Jay Reatard: First and foremost, with The Ramones as a possible exception, Jay wrote the catchiest songs ever. The man could sit down with a guitar and his voice alone and unleash a mini pop symphony that the most sophisticated musicians alive could never create. I can imagine one of his legacies will be the fact that he serves as a model for how much one can do with how little they have- giving hope to many a young guy and girl alone in their bedroom making music seemingly no one wants to hear. In both his music and lyrics, Jay eschewed the tough guy image a lot of people placed on him, instead cutting open his heart and sharing his blood visions for you and me, and for all to see. If you look at his songs, he really doesn’t shield himself from the rest of the world like most people do. For a guy with as much balls and strength in him, he wasn’t shy to reveal his feelings through his music in a non gay reatard way, i.e. “I look in to your eyes and try not to cry,” from his classic “Oh, It’s Such a Shame.” And indeed it is a shame, but it would be an even greater shame if we let his music fade all away into obscurity. RIP.

1) Black Lips!: Most of this site is why I love the Black Lips and why they are my favorite band, so this explanation, if you will, will be as brief as possible. In fact, the namesake for this site, for you newbies, descends from the lyrics to the lips’ anthem and their most popular song, “Bad Kids.” It’s funny, I don’t remember how this all came about, but from what I’m told a friend of ours, actually KLYAMer, Ben Tan, came up with the title knowing Glen and I were such massive fans of their music. Honestly, what a perfect title- it works on many different levels and makes sense, even if you can’t catch the reference. I think had it been Glen or me that came up with the title we probably would have called it something stupid like “Everybody Loves a Cocksucker” to prove we’re die hard Black Lips fans. Which we are- the hardest working fans in show business, but we are certainly not OG and never claimed to be. We stumbled upon the Lips in April of ’08 and slowly we became psychotic devotees, grabbing everything we could listen to, read, or watch on the band. I don’t know about Glen, but for me perhaps the greatest characteristic of the Black Lips is the fact that they satisfy the classic image and idea of what Rock and Roll band should be. That heroic, do whatever the fuck you want, Rock and Roll all night and party every day, image that I honestly thought was dead before the Lips came into my life. I thought it died with popular Rock and Roll music. But, it is alive and well and has been for a long time, just nestled in the underground. Will the Lips be the band that brings this music above ground again? Who knows? I hope the best for them, but I honestly don’t care, I will be satisfied as long as they keep it simple, stupid.