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

An Inside Joke You Don’t Get (Segment Two)

The following is the second segment of An Inside Joke You Don’t Get, which has me asking a complete outsider for his/her opinion on songs, music videos, and other such entertainment that you might find while browsing KLYAM. The outsider’s opinion could, at times, be harsh, derogatory, and inappropriate. Such is life so I haven’t censored any commentary. It’s interesting and humorous to witness reactions to stuff that we all know and love; it is truly obscure and random to the greater majority. 

How was the video for “Vomit”?
It was excellent. I’m afraid to call it the best, as some have called it.
How about the song itself?
It was done by who?
Girls.
You know to me, it sounded like two songs. I didn’t see the first part connected to the second part. Although it works. The first part is “I’m looking for you” and the second part is “Come in to my heart.” He’s looking for somebody in the first half!
Did you think it sounded like a classic rock song?
No. Classic rock songs usually suck. This was actually good. Well, actually, that’s unfair. There are some good classic rock songs.
How about Honey Bunny?
Good tune. It has something memorable. “Da da da girl that I love” (Humming to himself)
What about the video? Did you notice any re-occuring themes amongst the videos (“Vomit” and “Honey Bunny”)?
Gay men like nice cars.
Care to elaborate?
He wasn’t rubbing himself all over the seat. He was just doing cool guy stuff. Sitting up in the convertible.
But how do you know he’s gay, wasn’t he with a girl?
Isn’t the name of the band Girls? And there are all guys in it. Either it’s something they like or something they are… and they haven’t figured it out yet. I’m going with the are. They have to be careful to not overproduce the video. They have to watch out for the Brady Bunch tile-o-rama. Corny video tricks. But they didn’t go too far, but they could have.
So what’d you think of Girls live [on Jimmy Fallon]?
An appropriate song for the Fallon show. “Oh God, I’m tired. What time is this show on?”
What’d you think of the back-up singers?
Under-utilized. I felt they didn’t have a big enough role. But that’s not up for me to say. Sometimes all you need is a pinch instead of a spoonful.  Oh yeah what is it? My ma, ma ma, or mommy?
My Ma
He’s looking for his mother. Like much of Jimmy Fallon’s audience. “Can I have a drink of water?” “No Fallon’s on, shut up.”
What about Nobunny’s “Blow Dumb” video?
Mercifully short. It would help if I got the reference, “Blow Dumb'”. What does this mean? Am I showing my age or my intelligence?
Okay, Nobunny live.
They’re a musical group, right? There was no music in this video. There was one good guitar playing and bad cymbals. Everything else was visual. I could’ve turned on the blender and it would be fine.
I’m sure the song had vocals and a tune. The video didn’t do it justice. Or maybe it did?

How was “Bug”?
I actually liked it. The only thing that bugged me: is that an upside down Oreo symbol on their album cover? On the right, sticking out of his back. Is that off an Oreo cookie? Does that mean infinite oreo cookies? They should get together with Girls and sing “I wish I had an oreo and a oreo and a glass of milk.”
What are you thinking about their live performance?
Two stoner pedophiles and their twelve year old lead singer. Did you see the two old guys and the kid singing? What, do they pay him in candy?
Who comes up with the songs?
I don’t think there’s a brain cell between the three of them. Probably the quiet one on guitar.
[Interrupts song…]
Why, you tell me who’s the retard in the back, boppin’ away? The manager or the parole officer?
(The song “No Hope Kids” ends)
I probably have to apologize for the last comment because they’re a very good band. Just keep the kids away from them. See that’s a second impression.
If they zoom into his (Billy Hayes) courdoroys any more I’d say the video was payed for by Levi’s.

So what about “Lovers Lane?”
How did his boyfriend die? AIDs related car crash? That’s how they died in the ’50s.

NOBUNNY Opening For Girls!/Meet NOBUNNY

@ Paramount In Boston On Sat. Sept. 24and…the rest:

September
14 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse*
13 Asheville, NC Orange Peel*
16 Nashville, TN Mercy Lounge*
17 Chapel Hill, NC Cat’s Cradle*
19 DC 9:30 Club*
20 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts*
22 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom*
23 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom*
24 Boston, MA Paramount Theatre*
25 Montreal, QUE Corona Cabaret*
27 Toronto, ONT Mod Club Theatre*
29 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall*
30 Madison, WI Majestic Theatre*
October
01 Minneapolis, MN First Ave Nightclub*

Also, check out a feature on NOBUNNY (which I guess has been online for a while I just have never seen it…) HERE: http://www.noisey.com/#!/feature/meet-nobunny

EP Review: Broken Dreams Club [2010]

Band: Girls
Release: 11/10
Label: True Panther Sounds

1. “Thee Oh So Protective One” – A
2. “Heartbreaker” – A
3. “Broken Dreams Club” – A+
4. “Alright” – A-
5. “Substance” – A
6. “Carolina” – B

Comments: “Thee Oh So Protective One” is Girls first major composition. There are an array of horns, shakers, and other instrumentation that Girls have not historically taken a crack at. Another thing is the outwardly Latin American feel. “Heartbreaker” continues in the same spirit, though with far less instrumental explosiveness. I must say the lead and rhythm guitars on “Heartbreaker” are up there with the best of what we heard on Album. Typical Owens lyricism from the get-go, but most especially apparent on the slower “Broken Dreams Club.” It’s not just that Owens is lonely. It’s more macrocosmic than that. The world “keeps going nowhere” with wars, poverty, and broken dreams abound. “Substance” reminds me of the scene in Nice Dreams where the dude asks the other dude for the “key” to get him out of the nut house. Timothy Leary puts the “key to the universe” — LSD — in the dudes’ mouths and they go for a “simple ride.” “Carolina” doesn’t really pick up until the song is six minutes deep. Even then, it hardly picks up. Don’t worry though — the first four tracks are pretty spectacular. This is a really good record.

Grade: A- (92)

Song Review: “Heartbreaker”

Band: Girls
Release: 11/2010
Featured On: Broken Dreams Club EP

Comments: Listen to this song and you won’t confuse it for anybody other than Girls. Girls are Girls. They’ve got the suave bass lines, the jangly acoustic guitars, and even a little bit of piano thrown in the mix. This song is good stuff. “When I said that I loved you, honey, I knew that’d you break my heart” is typical Christopher Owens fare. Add a strong guitar solo at the 3/4 mark and you’ve got a real song in your ears. It’s not as amazing or heavy as “Lust for Life” or “Morning Light.” It’s more of a “Lauren Marie” type of tune.

Grade: A-

Free Download: http://www.truepanther.com/#/blog/girls-broken-dreams-club-ep-mp3
Acoustic Version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZGkq47iqB4&feature=related