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

Show: Arctic Monkeys/Black Keys @ TD Garden – 3/7/12

Making their way to the top of the venue chain are the Black Keys. They last played Boston in 2010 at a sold-out Bank of America Pavilion. The Arctic Monkeys themselves have climbed through the ranks and will play their first Boston arena show as the opening act. Is this a must see event for a pretty big Arctics fan? I’ve never seen a concert at the Garden and, in fact, have just one arena show to my credit — Bob Dylan & Elvis Costello at the Ryan Center in Rhode Island. It could very well be a first.

CD Review: Suck It and See [2011]


Band:
 Arctic Monkeys
Release: 6/2011
Label: Domino Records

1. “She’s Thunderstorms” – A
2. “Black Treacle” – A
3. “Brick By Brick” – B+
4. “The Hellcat Spangled Shalala” – A-
5. “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” – B+
6. “Library Pictures” – A-
7. “All My Own Stunts” – B
8. “Reckless Serenade” – A+
9. “Piledriver Waltz” – A-
10. “Love Is A Laserquest” – A-
11. “Suck It and See” – A-
12. “That’s Where You’re Wrong” – A

Comments: The Arctic Monkeys emerged out of nowhere in 2006 with the release of their debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. Shortly thereafter the band became international sensations of sorts. This isn’t to say that they didn’t have to cover a shit load of ground in their native UK before attaining such a status. Somewhere along the line, they got recognized and quite deservingly so. It’s not so often a group of 20 year olds can so finely construct rock n roll gems. I remember checking them out for the first time on YouTube, a relatively new website at the time. I wasn’t blown away, but I liked what I heard. Five years and three records later, the band, led by principal songwriter Alex Turner, still has ‘it’. Turner’s voice is distinctive and aside from his signature vocals, the band ain’t all that different stacked next to their pop sensible “post”-punk revival contemporaries. The Arctics flirt with many a styling on Suck It and See: the soft verse/extremely catchy chorus Humbug-esque “She’s Thunderstorms,” the slow and thoughtful on “Piledriver” and “Love Is,” top notch power pop on “Black Treacle,”the guitar-driven psychedelic “Brick By Brick” and “Don’t Sit Down,” and so on and so forth. “The Hellcat” is reverb drenched with a fitting bass line included. We’ve heard about dancing shoes and the like before from these folks and we hear about ’em again on “All My Own Stunts.” That’s a good song, perhaps one of the only to not stick out too much. That’s all right, because what follows — “Reckless Serenade” — is Arctic Monkeys at their best. The bass, rhythm, and lead are all outstanding. Sometimes Alex is quite fancy with his lyrical content, but this one is fairly easy to comprehend. Humorous from the start, “Topless models…” There might be some Side A people, some Side B people. Side A people want to rock and roll. Side B just want to sit down and have some light music playing. Or maybe after rocking and rolling to Side A you’ll get tired and just toss on B as a way to rest. Either way, this is a truly enjoyable record, with a load of memorable songs. Great summer record player listening.

Grade: A- (91)


 

SHOW: Arctic Monkeys @ HOB [May 19]

New LP coming SOON from Arctic Monkeys. More importantly, though, they are playing at the House of Blues on May 19. You know time flies when it feels like you just saw a band, when in actuality it’s been 16 months or so. I was just thinking about the Monkeys the other day and how I got to see ’em e at the Paradise then a few months later at the HoB. They seem to like touring in America, which is nice for us fans.

So it’s May 19. Tickets on sale March 12.

Concert Review: Arctic Monkeys & Screaming Females @ House Of Blues (12/13/09)

Artist(s): Arctic Monkeys, Screaming Females
Location: House Of Blues, Boston, MA
Date: Sunday, December 13, 2009

Part I: Pre-Show Activities:
As soon as we arrived, it was pouring, so we raced through puddle after puddle. Along the way, we witness the most depressing thing to a concertgoer: lines and lines of people ahead of you. All bodies closer to the front then you. Fuck…
After some waiting outside, we made it in and at least we weren’t as far back as we were at Animal Collective. To pass the time we chatted with some fine lads (one of which bared strong resemblance to a notable Wakefield High student) about everything from college acceptances to the harsh reality of 18 + shows; this one was All Ages, which of course unleashed some fine talent. I bet that’s the one, the FBI I will nail me for lol.

Part II: Screaming Females
Chris: Well, not quite… Singing for the most part, but occasionally screaming female (the other two members were of the opposite sex) would be more apropos. They were ok, nothing special. They rocked out for a while with sledegehammer drums, powerhouse guitars, and a caterwoul sceam from the lead singer. Most of the time her vocals were high and reminded me of the voice of some Disney villian haha, no offense. I appreciated the individual parts of the songs, but overall they weren’t memorable or “stand out” numbers. They played far longer than I wanted them to.

Glen: Chris basically said what I was going to say. I’m sure if I look up more of their songs (“damn, I should have YouTube’d them”, I’ll probably develop an affinity for a few of them. That’s because I did really like a few, but in an overall picture they were kind of forgettable. At times they seemed too hard rock — which is a turn off for me.

Part III: Arctic Monkeys!
Chris: Ok, so if you’ve been to the House of Blues, at least in my experience, then you have withstood the shoving back and forth deal, resulting in enormous perspiration and lack of air to the point of leaving some attendees unconscious, and at points loss of the ability to see the show itself, at least for us 5’3 and below. Ok, well it got in the way of the music at times, but I just want to throw this out now, so I can properly critique the performance for the remainder of the review. So, in terms of music, the band was excellent. Unfortunately, they did no play that much from their debut as I hoped, but that was to be expected. They opened with a chill and mellow song, I believe it was “The Jewller’s Hands,” from their latest release, please correct me, if I am wrong. Then they exploded into “Brianstorm,” and like thunder as the song proclaims, the audience roared and entered a frenetic state of sorts for quite some time. The group went on to unleash such old and new classics as “Still Take You Home,” “My Propeller,” “Crying Lightning,” “Pretty Visiters,” “The View From the Afternoon,” and “I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor,” which rightfully garnered fantastic crowd response; I was pogoing my ass off! It was one of the best sing alongs that night. They slowed down for a “gentle” song in the form of “Cornerstone,” one of my new favorite monkeys’ offerings. It gave most of us a chance to breathe, relax and hear a slow, little, love song, whilst boyfriends held girlfriends and the rest of us envied them and held on to the dude beside them… kidding. The evening would end on a happy note with the beloved, fan favorite, “Fluorescent Adolescent,” this received a similar response as ‘dancefloor,’ but not as much excitement/dancing, because the song itself was slower and softer than I expected, but almost everybody in the house knew the words. Fans were greeted with a neat treat when the song suddenly transitioned into “Last Christmas,” as drummer Matt Helders took over vocal duties with black shades over his eyes, a glass of wine in his hand, he belt out the sappy lyrics to that sappy song. This digression left as quickly as it came; Helders returned to his drum set and the band smoothly transitioned back into ‘Fluorescent.’ They said goodnight and left the stage. Of course, we shouted, “Monkeys! Monkeys! Monkeys!” and naturally they returned for an encore. They started with “Secret Door,” a new favorite of mine and one of the best tracks of ’09 and finished with “505.”

Glen: I had a smashing time. Yes, at some points I couldn’t  really concentrate on the music. And that’s annoying. But for the greater part of the show, I could see the band and didn’t have to worry  about certain externalities (girl yelling that they she couldn’t breathe, another girl yelling because she lost her cell phone, etc). A big big fan of Humbug, I was quite pleased that they played quite a bit from that LP. Obviously, “Fluorescent” and “I Bet” got everyone going like Chris said. The slower jams were pretty awesome in their own right. So yeah, great shit. This was a great show, but there were some things that prevented it from being among the best. Also, fuck the Boston Herald. They called the Arctics performance “lukewarm.” Huh?

Set-List

    1. Dance Little Liar
    2. Brianstorm
    3. This House Is A Circus
    4. Still Take You Home
    5. Potion Approaching
    6. Red Right Hand [Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Cover]
    7. My Propeller
    8. Crying Lightning
    9. Catapult
    10. The View From The Afternoon
    11. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
    12. Cornerstone
    13. If You Were There, Beware
    14. Pretty Visitors 
    15. Do Me A Favour
    16. Fluorescent Adolescent / Last Christmas
      Encore:
    17. Secret Door
    18. 505

Glen’s comments, which should be highly valued, will be arriving shortly…

Chris