Quips and summaries from experiencing and appreciating music in a city that is as foreign and familiar as they come - New York. So here is to music anywhere and everywhere. Starting from concert one on week one after the move in 2009.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

This is the last thing I will say about the end of 2009, with all the 'best of' lists of the year and decade - by song, by album, by artist, etc. That is because I found the coolest one, a perfect combination of art and music.
Check out what Hype Machine put together:
What is Hype Machine you ask?
"To put it simply, the Hype Machine keeps track of what music bloggers write about. We handpick a set of kickass music blogs and then present what they discuss for easy analysis, consumption and discovery. This way, your odds of stumbling into awesome music or awesome blogs are high. Click here to read more about how we select blogs."
Hype Machine does a great job of consolidating music blogs and making sense of the hype and what the world of music lovers are saying, yours included. So for their 2009 'best of list' they ranked the top 50 artists according to how often they were blogged about and then asked 50 visual artists to create something 'inspired by and including the band name'. The results are very cool and original as you can see. For the top albums of 2009 they also did something cool, they selected a quote from a blog that explained the album, how they experienced the album, made comparisons, etc. As a result the list feels much more personal while still being informative.
Click on the names of the artists below and all 50 on the site, you can view their portfolios, some of them are really fucking cool.
Fanfarlo artwork by Calvin Muse
#2 - Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest
“This is not rocking out music. This is listening music. This is art. This is stop you in your headspace and make you be quiet rock.” — Complicated Game

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

NPR Song of the Day

Subscribe to NPR 'Song of the Day'. It will be the little sunshine burst amidst the crap e-mails, Facebook evites and of course the never ending e-mail chains at work arguing over minutiae.
Here is the link to subscribe (for free). Start receiving your 'smart' song of the day from the knowledge wealthy NPR folks:
The songs they pick are old and new, across genres and across the globe. They also always feature a nice little blurb explaining the artist and the specific song they picked. The last four days have rendered songs that have all ended up on the newest playlist I am building and led me to further investigation and downloading:
1. Nova Onda, Nova Onda Do Pelo
A Swedish drummer that collaborates with Seu Gorge, the Brazilian singer from the Wes Anderson film Life Aquatic, where he sang David Bowie songs in Portuguese. Fique vibrante!
2. Beachcomber, Real Estate
Mark my words, this New Jersey band is going to be a band to watch in 2010, they are already drawing substantial crowds in New York and Brooklyn, which is the new epicenter of cool, you didn't get the memo? Well the Avett Brothers tell you clearly, listen to their song I And Love And You the next time it is playing on the radio which is in 4,3,2,1...
3. Man On the Moon, Cloud Cult
A Minnesota band that has been around since the early '00s but just reissued their most popular two albums. The more you listen to them the more you realize where a lot of these new indie darlings learned their tricks.
4. My Wife, Lost in the Wild, Beirut/Realpeople
"In "My Wife, Lost in the Wild," Condon (lead singer) constructs, bit by bit, a remarkable sonic structure, built around whirling synths and swirling beats. He layers one of his strongest assets — his clear, gorgeous crooner's voice — on top of itself, piling on in a round robin with himself to dizzying effect, culminating in an a cappella ending in which Condon serenades, "You'll send your heart to me" over and over as he harmonizes with himself. The result melds a bedroom singer-songwriter's humility with an artist's desire to top his own beautiful best work." - NPR
An added bonus is their 'Best of 2009' lists. They are only ten songs long, each song based on the overall quality of the album, and fucking spot on. They also feature diverse lists like: 'Best British Bands of 2009', '10 Albums You're Too Cool To Like', and 'Judging By the Cover: The Best Cover Songs of 2009'.