Author Archives: andy

2008: A Year in Review – Andy’s List

13) Kings of Leon – Only by the Night [RCA] Release Date 9/23/2008

I really felt that this 13th spot on my list could go to a lot of artists; however, after much thought I decided to give it to the quartet from Tennessee’s record “Only by the Night.”  KOL’s fourth studio album is by far not their best effort, but Caleb’s vocals are outstanding and make the record.  

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12) Adele – 19 [XL] Release Date 1/28/2008

This might come as a surprise to some, as it was to me.  I recently starting listening to Adele’s debut album, and I love it.  The 20 year old British newcomer has an amazing, soulful voice that ceases to amaze my ears.  A great debut, and one can only hope she can follow it up in the future.

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11) Be Your Own Pet – Get Awkward [XL] Release Date 3/18/2008

The only punk rock record album on my list comes from the kids from Tennessee, Be Your Own Pet.  Fast guitars and loud vocals define this album.  One aspect I really enjoyed was Jemina Pearl’s lyrics which range from getting back at your ex-best friend, starting food fights, and zombies!

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10) Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes [Sup Pop] Release Date 6/3/2008

Fleet Foxes debut album is outstanding work.  It’s a beautiful folk record with impressive vocal harmonies.  The Foxes have an older sound and have been compared to the likes of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.  Not bad company at all.

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9) The Black Keys – Attack & Release [Nonesuch] Release Date 4/1/2008

The Ohio-based blues rock duo’s fifth LP is the #9 record on the list.  Dan and Patrick really expanded their sound on Attack & Release featuring instruments such as the banjo, flute, and some synth parts.  However, they haven’t strayed away from their usual soulful blues rock sound that they do so well.

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8)  Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago [Jagjaguwar] Release Date 2/19/2008

Vernon’s debut album under the name Bon Iver is a noteworthy record.  The record has a very organic and minimalistic sound in my opinion.  It is very easy to relax to and enjoy, as Vernon’s impressive vocal range carries you through the album.

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7) Ratatat – LP3 [XL] Release Date 7/8/2008

With their 3rd LP, the NYC electro duo has proved once again why they are on top of the electronic scene in my opinion.  The opening track “Shiller” is a spine-chilling piece that builds up to one of the best tracks on the album, “Falcon Jab.”  A personal favorite on the album is the disco rocker, “Shempi.”

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6) Girl Talk – Feed the Animals [Illegal Art] Release Date 6/19/2008

Greg Gillis 4th record to date is his best yet.  “Play Your Part Pt. 1” begins the nonstop party that Feed the Animals is.  For the next 50 minutes Gillis does what he does best; mix unlikely samples together to create a melting pot of pleasure for everyone’s ears.  GT includes samples from Kelly Clarkson, Metallica, and many more.

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5) of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping [Polyvinyl] Release Date 10/21/2008

Barnes and company had large shoes to fill after Hissing Fauna.  It is difficult to tell if they succeeded, but one thing is for sure is that KBarnes has taken it to a whole new level lyrically.  He has left nothing to the imagination anymore.   All in all, Skeletal Lamping is one of the most fun albums I’ve heard in a long while and I cannot stop listening to it.

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4)  The Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely [Warner Bros] Release Date 3/25/2008

The Raconteurs is not just Jack White’s side-project anymore.  Consolers has solidified them as a force to reckon with on their own.  The rock never stops on this record and Jack really shines on guitar and sharing vocals with Brendon Benson.

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3) MGMT – Oracular Spectacular [Sony] Release Date 1/22/2008

Whether or not MGMT’s debut effort should be counted as an 07 or 08 release seems to be a controversial topic, but I decided that it should be on this list.    Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser channel the psychedelic gods throughout the whole record and managed to release one of the top albums of the year.

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2)  Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust [XL] Release Date 6/24/2008

Sigur Rós’ 5th studio release has the group evolving from their original sound that has attracted so many fans.  They have received some criticism from fans for “selling out,” however, I feel they have made yet another beautiful album that flows easily from beginning to end.

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1) My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges [ATO] Release Date 6/10/2008

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that MMJ’s 5th studio album has made the top my Best of 08 list.  I really can’t say enough about this album.  Jim James and co. has evolved once again and added a more R&B flavor to their southern rock sound.  Although it has been hit hard by some critics, I feel this may be MMJ’s strongest effort to date and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for the Kentucky quintet.  I really recommend everyone listen to this album.

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Marathon Runners at ACL – Andy

I figure now is a good time to review my experience at the Austin City Limits Festival.  This was my first ACL and I was expecting a great weekend full of fun and friends.  Well, it definitely delivered.  I had a blast and was so glad to be back in that carefree atmosphere that festivals bring.  I’ll follow suit with my comrade Hizzo and list my top ten performances of the weekend.

10. Vampire Weekend – These preppy kids from NYC were good, but not great.  They were the first full act I saw of the festival and were a great way to start off the weekend.  They’re sort of a guilty pleasure for me, and I really enjoyed it when they brought the string quartet on stage for a song or two.

9. MGMT – I’m as surprised as you are how high on the list these guys are.  I was expecting them to be one of the top 5 highlights of the fest, but I was a bit let down.  The psychedelic atmosphere these guys brought with them at Bonnaroo was simply not there at ACL.  A lot had to do with it being in the afternoon so there was no light show, but I still felt their performance was lacking compared to Roo.

8.  Fleet Foxes – This was one of the earliest shows I attended at the festival and I got exactly what I expected.  These guys put on such a chill show that I enjoyed a lot.  Probably the highlight of the show was when fellow Marathon Runner Austin held a sign up stating his love for the lead singer’s cousin and talked to him about it in the middle of the set!

7.  Tegan and Sara – I love these Canadian twin sisters soooo much!  They always put on the most relaxed, happy show I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait to see them again.  It was nice to enjoy their show after the exhausting set put on by The Raconteurs.  Like the last time I saw them, their playful banter had the crowd laughing the entire time.  They even threw in a plea to us to vote for Barack Obama!

6. David Byrne – I wasn’t sure quite what to expect from the former Talking Heads frontman.  The backup singers and dancers were a nice touch which I enjoyed.  The highlight of the show was definitely when he played my favorite Heads song “Once in a Lifetime.”  It had the whole crowd singing along.

5. Against Me! – This was the second time seeing them, and the time before they were very disappointing.  I had heard a lot about their live shows and I was let down.  However, their ACL performance was a redeemer.  Although, the crowd was extremely weak during their show, I had a blast.  Also, what I was hoping for all along, Miss Tegan Quinn, came on stage and helped sing my favorite song off of New Wave, “Born on the FM Waves of the Heart.”  It was unbelievable and one of my favorite moments of the weekend.

4. The Fratellis – These lads from Scotland were the surprise of the festival for me!  I had heard a lot of praise from my friends about his band, but I mainly saw them because I wanted to get close for CSS.  It ended up being one of my favorite  shows of the festival.  This band is great and I have become quite the fan.  Their performance was full of energy, and had me enjoying every minute!

3. CSS – These Brazillians know how to rock!  Lovefoxxx is one of the strangest, yet coolest people I’ve ever seen.  They opened with my favorite song by them, “Jager Yoga”, and the rest was history.  Everyone around me was dancing their faces off (if that’s possible…) and having a blast.  And yeah, like Heather, I had the privilege of touching Lovefoxxx when she crowdsurfed.

2. The Raconteurs – Jack White.  That’s all I have to say.  I have been a HUGE fan of his for a while now and never gotten to see him.  I admit, I was completely starstruck.  They rocked so hard!  However, it was a bit disappointing that they did not play Carolina Drama or Salute Your Solution, but still a spectacular show and I really want to see them again soon.

1. Gogol Bordello – START WEARING PURPLE!!!!  I 100% agree with Heather on this one.  Dear god, one of the craziest shows I’ve ever been to!  I completely lost it during their set, and have never danced so hard in my life.  Eugene Hutz is hands down my favorite person of all time!  My only complaint is that they didn’t play for the rest of the weekend.  Here is what there setlist included: Ultimate, Sally, Not a Crime, Supertheory of Supereverything, Wonderlust King, Mishto, Tribal Connection, 60 Revolutions, American Wedding, Start Wearing Purple, and Think Locally, Fuck Globally.  I was expecting Gogol to be the best of ACL and they did not disappoint.  These guys can do no wrong in my eyes and I absolutely cannot wait to see them again!

There you have it, my top ten performances of ACL.  Overall, the weekend was a complete success.  I got to see a lot of friends I haven’t seen in a while which was great, and I can’t wait for next year!

Marathon Runners at Bonnaroo – Andy

So Bonnaroo 08 was my first Roo and I had high expectations for the 4-day festival.  Not only were they met, but my experience was leaps and bounds past what I had expected.  I had the time of my life and I cannot wait until 09.  Instead of reviewing each band I saw each day like my friend Cal, I’m going to list my Top 10 performances of the festival.  I’ll start out with #10.

10. Against Me! – Going into Roo 08 I was expecting Against Me! to be one the main highlights of the entire festival.  However, I was a little disappointed in their performance for a few reasons.  The main one being they did not play nearly long enough ending their show about 30 minutes early.  Also, they left out songs like “Baby, I’m an Anarchist” and “Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Angry Ballad Fists” which I was really looking forward to hearing live.  Finally, the rumored appearance of Tegan Quinn, which Cal discusses in his blog, did not happen.  Other than those three reasons, Against Me! played a high energy show that was a lot of fun.

9. !!! – Up until the last minute, I was having trouble deciding whether to see !!! or The Raconteurs.  I am so glad I chose !!! because their performance was one of the most fun shows I saw all weekend.  Nic Offer was full of crazy dance moves and excited the entire crowd.

8.  Tegan and Sara – Twin sisters Tegan and Sara was definitely one of the most enjoyable shows of the weekend.  Their entire performance had a very chill and happy environment mainly because of their catchy songs and playful banter between one another.  Listening to Tegan talk about growing up poor and Sara telling her mother to “Fuck off!” was as enjoyable as dancing to their music.

7.  Pearl Jam – This was the first show I caught on the Main Stage and it was a killer set.  I used to be a pretty big Pearl Jam fan in Junior High, but sort of fell out of interest in them as I grew up and hearing them play was a very nostalgic experience.  I started out sitting in the back only listening to them, but when they played “Even Flow” I couldn’t help but push my way to the front to get a closer view.  The highlight of their show was definitely when they played “Better Man.”

6. Ben Folds – “Bitches Aint Shit” for the last time ever.  That’s all I’m going to say about his AMAZING performance.

5.  Broken Social Scene – They were the last band I saw at the festival and I couldn’t of picked a better ending to an awesome weekend.  They played all my favorite songs and even wrote a song for Democratic Candidate Barack Obama.

4.  MGMT – Hands down the best performance on Thursday.  Andrew Vanwyngarden might be the coolest person I’ve ever seen decked out like a rocker straight out of the 70’s.  They are definitely on my favorite artists right now.

3. Kanye West – I know I’m going to get some shit for putting Kanye’s show so high up, but I don’t care.  The show was delayed about 1 hour and 45 minutes so he didn’t end up hitting the stage until 4:15 or so, but I think that only helped his performance.  Watching Kanye’s “Glow in the Dark Show” as the run began to rise was epic as fuck!  I admit I was pissed waiting so long for the show to start, but it was directed towards the shitty Bonnaroo Road Crew, which took around 3 hours getting Pearl Jam’s gear of the stage and Kanye’s on.  The show probably would have been on time if more than 3 out of the 20 people on stage were actually working.  Anyways, definitely my highlight Sunday and one the my favorite shows of the entire weekend.

2.  M.I.A. – Holy shit what an awesome show!  I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun at a concert than I did during her set.  It was an all out dance party including people storming the stage to dance with M.I.A. herself.  Also, it doesn’t hurt that it was her last show for who knows how long.  I loved it.

1. My Morning Jacket – The best show I’ve ever seen EVER.  Four hours in front of strobe lights in the pouring down rain was the most epic thing I’ve ever witnessed.  They sounded great and played everything I wanted to hear including most of their new album, “Evil Urges.”  Also, a special appearance from Metallica’s Kirk Hammett for “One Big Holiday,” and some funky covers including Kool and the Gang’s “Get Down On It” and a song by Erykah Badu.  No other band could come close to matching their set and I cannot wait to see them in Austin in August.

Well there you have it.  Those my Top 10 performances of Bonnaroo 2008.  The weekend was a complete success and I will see you in Manchester in 2009.

Andy’s List

1. Against Me! – Born on the FM Waves of the Heart

2. Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution – The Paint For The Picture Perfect Masterpiece That You Will Paint On The Insides Of Your Eyelids

3. Cake (Going to see them tomorrow!) – Frank Sinatra

4. Death from Above 1979 – Little Girl

5. ELO – Mr. Blue Sky

6. Five Iron Frenzy – Where 0 Meets 15

7. Glenn Danzig – Mother

8. House of Fools – Kiss the Haze

9. Iron & Wine – Boy with a Coin

10. Jamiroquai – Virtual Insanity

11. Keller Williams – Victory Song

12. Lucero – Anjalee

13. The Misfits – I Turned Into a Martian

14. NWA – Fuck Tha Police

15. The Offspring – The Kids Aren’t Alright

16. Phil Collins – In the Air Tonight

17. Queens of the Stone Age – Little Sister

18. The Raconteurs – Salute Your Solution

19. Streetlight Manifesto – Down, Down, Down to Mephisto’s Cafe

20. Tegan and Sara – The Con

21. Unwritten Law – Seein’ Red

22. The Vines – Get Free

23. The Willowz – Beware

24. Screw the letter X

25. Yonder Mountain String Band – There’s Still Ramblin’ in the Rambler

26. The Zombies – She’s Not There

There, I did this for you Caleb.  It was tough finding a song for the letter X and Z, but yeah here it is.

Who should open for Zeppelin??

I’ve recently read from UltimateGuitar.com that as of right now, Velvet Revolver is the #1 choice to open for Led Zeppelin if they do in fact go on a world tour. In a interview with VR bassist Duff McKagan said, “I understand that we have it (the gig), although I imagine there will be plenty of bands prepared to kick and punch us out of the way for the privilege.”

I for one think that Velvet Revolver opening for Zeppelin is a crime against humanity. I don’t understand why people think they are any good at all to be honest.

However, this recent announcement has raised a question to mind. Who would be a good opening act for arguably the greatest rock band of all time?

I don’t think anyone should open for them. It should only be Zeppelin and they should play a 3-4 hour set every show, but I want to know if anybody else has an idea of a worthy opening act.