Tuesday, December 28, 2010

favorite records of the year

this is by no means a best of. there was too much that i didn't listen to that i wish i had. with that in mind, these were my favorite records of 2010.

1. titus andronicus - the monitor
2. ceremony - rohnert park review here
3. big kids - hoop dreams review here
4. paul baribeau - unbearable review here
5. radars to the sky - supra/infra review here
6. nana grizol - ruth
7. cold war kids - behave yourself e.p.
8. the deadly syndrome - nolans volans
9. the splinters - kick review here
10. the henry clay people - somewhere on the golden coast review here

honorable mentions:
i thought the moses campbell album was great. i loved the tiny lungs e.p's. the joyce manor/summer vacation split was awesome. and joyce manor's constant headache was incredible.

fuck me:
i still need to buy no age's and abe vigoda's new albums. if i had listened to them i'm sure they would have made my top ten. i also didn't listen to the new wavves, best coast, arcade fire, le switch and nails albums - i'm sure i would have loved them all. i'll get to it.

here's a list of 2008.
here's a list of 2009.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

top shows of 2010

here's a list of the best sets of music i've seen this year.

1. hello shark @ the carpentry, berkeley ca. review here
2. ceremony @ chain reaction., anaheim ca. review here.
3. big freida @ fyf fest, los angeles, ca review here.
4. the mayyors @ the new parish, oakland, ca review here.
5. 7 seconds @ 924 gilman st. berkeley ca. review here.
6. ty segall @ the hangart, tucson, az.
7. big kids @ the yellow room, oakland, ca. review here.
8. the bananas @ the new parish, oakland, ca review here.
9. the mountain goats @ fyf fest, los angeles, ca review here.
10. titus andronicus @ fyf fest, los angeles, ca review here.

honorable mentions:
cold war kids @ uc berkeley. review here
the thermals @ uc berkeley. review here.
the henry clay people @ the fillmore, san fran, ca review here.

radars to the sky - supra infra

radars to the sky debut album supra/infra is one of the years best. it will undoubtably be one of the most unappreciated. it will go unnoticed by most. this album sounds like the neglected lovechild of achers of loaf and the arcade fire - if that said love child found out he was the seed of billy corgan circa siamese dream. this album once again proves why l.a. unlike anywhere else is the best place to live for new music. the album's 50 minutes which is long but worth the time - good for road trips and rainy days. full of horns, keys, and banjo, radars keep the rock in indie rock. andrew spitser's vocal delivery give the band its character. 'sergeant' is my jam.

Monday, December 20, 2010

your heart breaks, dave end, pablo das, & kimya dawson @ 924 gilman st. 12/19/10

i returned to 924 gilman st. a second night in a row. on sundays, gilman has matinee shows that start at 5 which is really nice because they're over by 10. i was just going to go for kimya's set, but i wasn't really doing anything, and figured i might as well see some of the opening bands, and i'm glad i did because this was not simply a series of people performing a set of their own songs. no it was infact a show where everyone played on everyone else's songs and people danced on stage and wore costumes and entertained. it was perfect.

i showed up in the middle of your heart breaks set. all the fold out chairs were set up, and the couches were closer to the stage, and people were sitting on the floor. i think the best way to describe the show is by calling it a queercore show. your heart break played acoustic/electric songs with a loop pedal, and a drum machine. clyde took also took us to outer space and back. it was really great. i recommend checking out their music. of course kimya and others were brought up on stage to help sing and dance. it was really nice. the show felt like a real community of friends that i wanted to be apart of. i wish more shows were like this.

dave end played second. he came up in a dress he made. this picture doesn't do it justice at all, but it was really awesome. he performed f.a.g.g.o.t. the musical, which was funny and sad and honest and great all at the same time. dave is a true performer and entertainer. he played acoustic guitar, accordion, and keyboard with a drumtrack. his set was really great, and he too had everyone come up for different songs.
pablo das played acoustic guitar and a little ukulele. when he played guitar it was usually really fast folk/punk stuff. i really liked his songs. the were really honest. they were about his mom dying. him coming out of the closet, and writing letters to his brother, sister and father letting them no. they were about never talking to his father again after he found out. they were about drinking, and being sober for seven years. pablo thanked us for listening and told us that playing these songs is really healing for him. 'big mama' aka kimya was requested to come on stage and sing a song with him that was really good.
kimya dawson played some songs i recognized and some songs i didn't. she had people up on stage for almost every other song. the highlight of the night for me was when she played a song called walk like thunder and aesop rock came up and rapped over it. it was the coolest thing ever. kimya said they are going to record an album together, which i'm sure will be amazing. one of the songs that she brought pablo up for was about gobbling farts, which was pretty funny. then pablo ended the show with his rendition of 'all that jazz.' everyone stood in all of gilman stood up and started and dancing and singing to 'all that jazz,' it was pretty awesome. then kimya said the show over and that she wanted everyone to get into a big circle and hold and hands and sing. at this point i had been there for about five hours, and decided it was a good time to leave, but i had a blast. it was a really really perfect show. i loved everything about it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

big kids @ gilman st. 12/18/10

i went to go see big kids at gilman st. last night, i was pretty tired so i only wound up staying for them. they played on the stage, and i kind of wished they had played on floor. they opened with '3,000 hi-fives' before they had technical difficulties. jason's amp broke which was a bummer. they borrowed a head from someone, and then played a new song which sounded really good. i couldn't hear the drummer's vocals at all so when they played 'our team' it was almost instrumental. their set was pretty short, but it was still a lot of fun. i'm looking forward to their tour with algernon cadwallader where big kids should have their split 7"s with koalacaust.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

royal monsters, street eaters, jason white, judgement day & andrew jackson jihad @ 924 gilman st. 12/12/10

there was a matinee show at gilman today. royal monsters played first. they were on tour with andrew jackson jihad from arizona. they were cool and sounded really good. they had three guitar players. solid hardcore with long instrumental parts. they were really well practiced. their stops and starts were pretty solid.
street eaters played second. they are a drum and bass duo. they were really fun to watch. they played pop punk and handed out lyrics sheets for everyone before they started which was pretty funny. i really like them, and would totally recommend checking them out.
as soon as jason white started playing about six or seven middle aged women rushed to the front of the stage and started dancing for them. it was honestly the funniest thing i have ever seen. musically they were really solid rock 'n' roll. i would have loved them if i hadn't been laughing at their demographic the whole time.
judgement day played fourth. they were the best band of the night. they really stole the show. they were a three piece that played cello, violin and drums. their drummer had a double bass pedal. i guess they are traditionally a metal band, but have recently gone acoustic. it was amazing. at one point in their set they said the next song is a cover and if anyone can guess what video game it's from we'll give you a free e.p. pretty much as soon as it started my friend manny screamed PUNCH OUT, and sure enough he got a free e.p. it was one of the funniest things i've ever witnessed.
andrew jackson jihad played the hits. they did not disappoint. i really miss them. i wish i could see them more. they opened with truckers are the blood and then went into brave as a noun, survival song, bad bad things, before taking a breather. they played a lot of 'people' and a lot of 'can't maintain'. they ended with a neil young cover. all in all it was a pretty amazing set.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

calculator - these roots grow deep

calculator is a five piece emo/screamo/hardcore (i'm not sure what to call it- you be the judge) band from southern california. this is their first full length which is comprised of a few different recording sessions. the vinyl's got twelve songs on it. it comes with a poster and 16 page booklet complete with lyrics sheet and band pictures. it also comes with a cd with 17 songs on it. that's five bonus songs folks! parts of the album are super instrumental. parts of the album have full gang vocals. other parts are thrashy, and still other parts are super poppy. bottom of the line it's d.i.y. and it's awesome. it transcends genres and builds upon all of their influences. there's a donnie darko sample on the song 'paradise' which i like. the albums closer 'memorial' is my favorite. i need to see them live so i can sing along, "explosions in the sky/i don't want to go back to 1945/without it i wouldn't be alive." released on melotov records and limited to 250. pick one up here.