Thursday, January 08, 2009

--Or-- I Did The First Five The Other Day Because As You Already Know I Have A Full-Time Job

Why?, also known as Yoni Wolf, can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. His third solo album is perfectly weird and weirdly perfect. I've taken every opportunity possible to interview Wolf and cover his art for various outlets and every time, he is an accommodating and consummate gentleman.

This is a recent interview I did with him at self-titled. Spend some time in Why?'s company and you'll assuredly be rewarded by his disarming self-awareness.

-- Listen here
TV On The Radio
Dear Science

Really, this selection isn't all that original and there's something about that that bothers me. Maybe it's my contrariness bursting forth fighting my tastes ("hey. jerkface, everyone picked this album. Haven't ya' heard anything else worthwhile this past year?") or maybe it's that I feel compelled to include it because everyone else thinks its the cow's nightgown. Whatever the reason, TV On The Radio's third full-length is their most accessible yet and for that I give them the BBS nod. Welcome, Brooklyn experimentalists. Enjoy your entry.
(Cherry Tree)

Why do the antics of pop stars always have to outshadow their music? For instance, Madonna released a competent dance album this year but most can only recall her man troubles with Guy Ritchie and A-Rod. And then there’s the fact that more is being made of Britney’s comeback than her actual comeback record.One guilty pleasure that’s skirted this trend is Sweden’s Robyn, who finally released her self-titled record a whole three years after its import-only pressing. It’s a damn shame the critically-acclaimed, but commercially flat, album took so long to get here. The coolly self-assured singer delivers a sexy, uncompromising listen, featuring collaborations with the Teddybears, Kleerup, and the Knife. Euro-trashed tracks like “Handle Me,” “Bum Like You,” and “Who’s That Girl” could easily play alongside Leona Lewis and Natasha Bedingfield, but the production value of these songs are infinitely more sophisticated and bizarre. Robyn expertly combines real instrumentation (the crisp violin on “Be Mine”) alongside the creepy blips ‘edgy’ Swedes are known for, and “With Every Heartbeat” may be the best evocative club track of the year.

- Listen here
Plants & Animals
Plants & Animals
(Secret City Records)
I've never ever been a huge Neil Young fan. I like his stuff here and there but there's never been a real gravity pull to the old Canuck. Strangely, I love all the stuff that he influences. 'Splain that! P&A's debut is a lovely, rustic record and an homage to classic rock. Frankly, they're natural heirs to the Young throne.

--Listen here

Herman Dune
Next Year In Zion, 1-2-3/Apple Tree, I Wish I Could See You Soon
I love Herman Dune and the sheer unpretentiousness of this project. Go forth to the Heeb website to read more about this worthy French anti-folk band. I wrote it. So there's that.

--Listen here


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