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- Chris’s Favorite Shows

I saw 30 or so shows this year, slightly more than usual. It was quite a year. Like Glen, I saw more basment/DIY esque shows than ever. I saw more Black Lips shows than any other year (3). It was hard making this list and it should be known that this list includes the greatest shows I have ever seen. Many, many are not included here, but are not forgotten at all.

1) Black Lips and Vivian Girls @ Paradise Rock Club
2) Black Lips, Davila 666, and X Ray Eyeballs @ Webster Hall, NYC
3) Best Coast, Wavves, and No Joy @ Paradise Rock Club
4) Black Lips and Night Beats @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC
5) Fucked Up and Wavves @ Royale

AND I can’t forget this one

6) Nobunny, Triple Thick, The Tampoffs, and The Party Pigs @ The Church

Best of 2011- Chris’s Favorite Songs

I like what Glen did for his end of the year song list, so I am following in this new direction.

Atlas Sound– “The Shakes,” “My Angel Is Broken,” and “Parallax”
The Beets– “I Think I Might Have Built A Horse”
Big Mess– “The Hook,” “No Good Time,” and “Gueule de Bois,”
Black Lips– “Family Tree,” “Spidey’s Curse,” and “Don’t Mess Up My Baby,”
Colleen Green– “Dance the Night Away”
Fat History Month– “Old Lady Smokers,” “Things I Enjoy,” and “Free As A Cat”
Girls– “Honey Bunny,” “Magic,” and “Saying I Love You,”
Hunx & His Punx– “Lovers’ Lane,” “Too Young to Be In Love,” and “Keep Away From Johnny”
Mark Sultan– “Just For a Moment,” “Axis Abraxas,” and “Song In Grey”
Natural Child– “Easy Street,” “Hard Workin’ Man,” and “White People”
The Orwells– “Halloween All Year”
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart– “Belong,” “Heart In Your Heartbreak”
Peach Kelli Pop “Eeenie Meenie Minie Moe,” “Do the Eggroll,” and “Doo Wah Diddy”
Shannon and the Clams– “The Cult Song,” “You Will Always Bring Me Flowers,” and “Sleep Talk”
Saralee– “Circle of Hands,” “Ceiling,”
Silhouette Rising– “Don’t You Hear Me Calling”
Smith Westerns– “Smile,” “All Die Young,” and “Weekend”
Those Darlins– “Screws Get Loose,” “Be Your Bro”
Ty Segall– “Comfortable Home,” “Goodbye Bread,” and “California Commercial”
Wavves– “Nodding Off (Featuring Best Coast),” “Bug,” and “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl”

Concert Review: Wavves & Fucked Up @ Royale (9/23/11)

Artists: Wavves & Fucked Up
Venue: Royale, Boston, MA
Date: Friday, September 23, 2011
Comments:
Act I: Wavves– Anyone that has shared a room with me for at least a few days can name at least one or two Wavves songs. If you’re Chris’s roommate you will be inundated with a plethora of Wavves and other Punk Slimers. So yeah for KLYAM, seeing Wavves is like Opening Day of the Baseball Season (seeing Black Lips is our Super Bowl X 100), big stuff, big stuff. The boys, with new addition, Alex Gates (Boston Chinks, Barbaras, Magic Kids), bring their best game yet.  The set begins with the Wavves (2009) classic “Beach Demon,” a terrific choice for opener, but sadly the crowd seems unenthusiastic.  The band sounded great and with BD being one of my top Wavves tunes, I was quite excited, but my awe apparently was not shared with the other attendees, until the next song…  “Idiot,” one of King of the Beach’s (2010)  strongest tracks . Perhaps, the kiddies did not recognize  BD? but when Idiot kicked in the crowd exploded per usual, and everything was right again in the KLYAM- Wavves universe.  Idiot truly is one of the quintessential Wavves songs. Just perfect Wavves, in every sense. I often think of what song I would use to introduce the unconverted, and definitely Idiot is in the top three. In general, the group is probably the biggest youthful anthem oriented band of our generation, like Nirvana, The Replacements, Cheap Trick, The Who, and Chuck Berry in generations past. Now, I know to most reading this you must have a look on your face like I interrupted your birthday party, hopped up on the table, and in front of you and all your disgusted friends and family members, I took a massive dump right on your precious cake. Well, that may be so, but if you look at Wavves, not just their music, but their fans, it is like a mirror of this generation, good or bad.  That is what I noticed at the Royale, the few times I was able to stand on my two feet.  The sweaty crowd enjoyed all of the various Wavves numbers on display for the evening. And that is certainly one of the greatest treats of seeing Wavves live: hit after hit. They play all the classic songs a die hard fan (or even casual fan for that matter) would want them to play.  Songs from the first Wave (insert the obnoxious laughter that appears before the track “Idiot”) a la “So Bored,” Kingdabeech era, and lastly 4/6 of the new EP Life Sux.  Can you dig it? It is dug, son.  Honestly, one of the few bands that have consistently satsified that element of a great concert for me. Actually the only band really.  The second major aspect of what makes Wavves stand out is the nice little touches, they, particularly, singer/guitarist, Nathan Williams, sprinkle into the songs.  One of my favorite moments was when they started playing “To the Dregs,”- a song that makes me hard on a regular basis, and Nathan is just calmly strummin’ the guitar and softly singing the “wooooooooooo” vocals, indicating that it is in fact Dregs and seriously pumping me up for the song. “In the Sand,” was another major stand out, and when Nathan sings the lines “Say what you wanted to sayyyy…” you can see in his eyes that he even he knows he is the shit.  Alright, well I’ve sucked his dong long enough now, and that’s not my job, that job is for another Bratty B.

Set List (from album to album):

Wavves (2008):
“Wavves”

Wavvves (2009):
“Beach Demon”
“To the Dregs”
“So Bored”
“No Hope Kids”

“Friends Were Gone”

King of the Beach (2010):
“King of the Beach”
“Super Soaker”
“Idiot”
“Post Acid”
“Take On the World”
“Green Eyes”
“Linus Spacehead”

Life Sux (2011):
“Bug”
“I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl”
“Nodding Off”
“In the Sand”

Act II: Fucked Up– I have to admit I came for Wavves; I often come for Wavves, but Fucked Up has been on the KLYAM back burner for a couple of years. I am at best a casual FU fan, but nontheless I do dabble in their work and I appreciate it. Seeing them live enhances that appreciation for sure. They sounded great and while I cannot say I recognized any of the songs, I was massively entertained by the showmanship of frontman Damian Abraham aka Pink Eyes. This dude serioulsy appreciates his fans; interacting with the audience the whole time, even going so far as to hop off stage into the sea of fans and literally, with mic in hand, strolling all the way to the very back of the club to sing along and “bro down” with anyone in sight. Everyone was having a gay olde time, until there was some unexpected commotion that briefly dettered the evening’s momentum.  Long story short, an enraged stage diver got into a physical altercation with a body guard- he swung his fist at the guard, the guard swung back and his cronies joined in, a field day ensued, leading to his excommunication.  Damian settled the score, explaining how he saw the confrontation go down. He affirmed that despite this little disturbance, everyone else can still have fun. And we did. We all lived happily ever after. The End.

Grade: 9/10- Wavves always kicks ass and Fucked Up was pretty sick too!

** THIS WAS THE MOST HOMOEROTIC REVIEW SINCE HUNX!**

EP Review: Wavves- Life Sux (2011)

Artist: Wavves
Full Title: Life Sux EP
Year: 2011
Label: Ghost Ramp
Tracks:
1) Bug- 9
2) I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl- 9
3) Nodding off (featuring Best Coast)- 8
4) Poor Lenore- 8
5) Destroy (featuring Fucked Up)- 6/7
6- In the Sand (live)- 9

Comments: I often hear younglings shout and scream that OUR generation sucks [sux], our music, our culture, our society SUX. Well, this is Wavves, this a Wavves review, so I am going to stick with number one and tackle thee other two another time. Sure, I will agree that the mainstream music is putrid, but dig a little bit deeper (as if in this modern age it is a hard task) and there are plenty of true rock and rollers, true ganstas. In mine eyes, Wavves is chief amongst these proud, few folk and in the past few years they have demonstrated their quality and skill. Now, in Twenty Eleven we have Life Sux. Wavves does it again. I have always said with Wavves that if it was anyone else, they would have fucked it up. LS is a further testament to Wavves’s prowse as great pop songwriters- in fact I hate the very idea that to some people they are just a hip, indie trend. As a massive, obsessive fan of Wavves that just seems grotesque. Of course, it does not take a Steve Jobs to realize that with this new EP Wavves have moved into a poppier direction or maintained the pop punk angle they have grounded and become known for. Well, I say amen brother. As long as it works, I am all for it. And with this EP it definitely works. So, let’s take a look at it finally! “Bug,” is the the first track and it is certainly a catchy motherfucker. With this first track we do get the sense tht Wavves are capturing what they perfected with their last LP King of the Beach (2010), in both a sonic and lyrical sense. Sonically, the guitars are very thick and loud and overall the song hits you hard and demands your attention, it is hard to ignore- I couldn’t, if I wanted to. Lyrically, the song is classic Wavves; downer, angst ridden lyrics (to upbeat music)-“you’re NO FUN, you’re JUST DUMBBBB!” It’s a fun sad song. The negative aspect of this record is definitely more apparent than ever before in the Wavves universe. Ever since day one, their music has been filled with anxiety, insecurity, and self-hatred, but they take it to the extreme on this release, as if the title was not an indicator… No sunny beach, no super soakers, and no convertible balloons. At the same time, the music is just as ascending. Anywho, next up is “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl,” maybe the strongest track on this EP. I reviewed Grohl’ in a previous post about a month back- https://klyam.com/2011/08/29/wavves-i-wanna-meet-dave-grohl/. Another strong, heavy hiting cut, and despite it’s length (surpassing the five minute mark, a rarity for a Wavves tune) it never drags on you. Nathan Williams’s vocals are top notch here and after hearing this number a zillion times, I am still so wrapped up in its sentiment. At times, I forget that this is a song “about” Dave Grohl. I feel like this could be retarded novelty song, almost Nickelbeck esque-AHHHH!, essentially a song about being a rich and famous, and cool rock star, but it is nothing like that. Instead, it is about personal problems like any other Wavves song and so when Nathan sings “I Wanna Be Dave Grohl” it feels all the more powerful. “Nodding Off,” features Best Coast’s Bethany Consentino on guest vocals and here she is used mainly to complement the overall sound of the song and also Nathan’s vocals, not standing out as just a “guest voice” or letting her personality flood the song. This definitely works out and makes it a stronger track as opposed to “Destroy,” which features Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham. This track unfortunately is more typical, in the sense that while Damian’s vocals are cool and well done, they call too much attention to him instead of the song itself. It’s more akin to saying “HEY EVERYBODY, IT’S THE DUDE FROM FUCKED UP!” If it was more subtle like Bethany’s appearance then it would be more effective, at least for my money. I suppose if this was some special single release it would be more acceptable, but it takes the EP down a notch, not too bad though. Don’t get me wrong, “Destroy” is not a bad song and it maintains the catchiness of the rest of the record; not to mention solid, simple drumming from Jacob Cooper. The final track, “In the Sand, (live)” is definitely one of the finest from the EP. And indeed, it feels like a song intended to be heard live (as I gloriously experienced at the Royale in Boston a couple of weeks back). The lines, “Say…. What you wanted Sayyyyy” are great live and easy to sing along to; a stellar closer to a stellar record. All in all, a fantastic EP from Wavves, all fast, driving, loud, youthful anthems. This is not a throw away, forgettable item, that is never the case with Wavves. True Gangsta.

Grade : 8/10

* A review of Wavves’s performance w/ Fucked Up @ the Royale will be up shortly. Keep your panties on.**

** Scratch that.

*

New Wavves “Nodding Off” Indecisive On YouTube

Wavves seems to cause phases, physics pun non-withstanding, in fans and non-fans. The first phase was the reaction to cramped shack garage band boy making LO-FI. The second phase was the reaction to the studio surfer equipped with Reatard’s old backing band (the super indie switcharoo). The third phase was the reaction to Billy Hayes departure from the drums. This was big news at KLYAM then Pitchfork then every other blog. The fourth phase seems to be in process. With news that Nathan is composing music for an MTV show and making songs about meeting Dave Grohl and guys not being enough, there has been quite a bit of backlash as expected. Just go watch the video and view the comments.

The song itself is, in my opinion, a lil bit of old old, a lil new new. There’s that constant noise in the background and the reoccurring oohhhhhhs, but now with precision recording and the voice of girlfriend Beth.

Wavves- “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl” Review

Yeee kid Wavves! “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl” is the latest release from honorary KLYAMers, Wavves. This is a sneak peek at the the forthcoming EP Life Sux. I am definitely digging this tune, very catchy, very sincere. I’d say Wavves fans will probably enjoy this, but it’s not a carbon copy of anything they have done in the past and that’s a really good thing. That’s something I think everyone forgets about Wavves, how much they switch up their sound from record to record whilst still maintaining an incredible pop sensibility that destroys nearly every other current band in the universe. This track is absolutely likeable and I plan on listening to this over and over again, but I wouldn’t say this is top tier Wavves material. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a really solid track, but we’re talking Wavves here, I don’t need to enumerate the classics, y’all should know em! So, naturally my standards are higher. I guess I’m just looking for something else that isn’t quite there, I don’t know, but this one isn’t of the same caliber as their best. With that being said, it is an otherwise terrific song and also a great “End of Summer” tune to nicely transition from the beach to the classroom. Sonically, Wavves is on top of their game, not too foreign for them, but it works. It’s not King of the Beach, but sounds just as nice. You’re hooked from the first few seonds, the guitar riff is certainly memorable. At the end of the day, I get the impression that meeting Dave Grohl means something more to him than just an autograph. To me, Wavves has always been more than meets the eye. On the surface it looks like your typical hipster fare. Typical emo, whiny, teeny bopper stuff. But, what that really is, is honesty. Instead of trying to be something they’re not, they vulnerably are themselves, and in this way they can take on the world.

Grade: Light 7 to strong 8, this track is seriously growing on me, excitement is brewing in the air!

Wavves Scoring New MTV Series/Playing @ Royale W/ F’ED UP

http://www.billboard.com/news/wavves-nathan-williams-to-score-mtv-hipster-1005329132.story#/news/wavves-nathan-williams-to-score-mtv-hipster-1005329132.story

This is quite interesting, brah. Whether you like MTV or not (which, I don’t) if you’re a fan of Wavves then you will at least give Nathan his due and check it out or keep your mouth shut. Nathan and Wavves have never steered us wrong, so I look forward to hearing some sweet tunes. We’ll see how this goes. Can’t wait to hear the new Life Sux EP.

P.S. as much as I hate corporations- and as a sidebar I do feel uncofortable about the fact that they label Wavves as “hipster music” and that’s why they are using it for their show. Sure, a lot of hipsters listen to Wavves, but hip or not, has nothing to do with the quality of their music. Anyway, as much as I like to bash corporate music, I’m not going to hold it against Nathan or the band for soundtracking (is that a word?) an MTV series.

————————

Wavves is playing (opening) the ROYALE on Friday, September 23 with Fucked Up, abbreviated F’ED UP here because Fucked Up is just too long of a name.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! On top of all the other exciting Wavves news, here is a video from The Daily Habit of Wavves performing one of my favorite rap/hip hop songs (“Liquid Swords”) with one of my favorite rap/hip hop artists, GZA. GZA just loves jamming with Honorary KLYAMers: Black Lips, King Khan, and now Wavves. Yeeeeee.

http://www.fuel.tv/thedailyhabit?bcpid=1065729084001&bckey=AQ~~,AAAAACH-rHw~,j8yR5XKqsw4e-eydy2gZmeLPldJTuQVv&bclid=1064083716001&bctid=1129168480001