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Artist of The Week: March 23rd, 2010
03/24/10 at 01:21 AM by Keagan Ilvonen

Since Sigur Ros is on a break we will have to wait for the glorious Icelandic rockers to grace our ears, but luckily for us their eccentric front man is hard at work creating music. While it may not have the complete atmospheric feel of his band's, his solo work is still worth of your attention for various reasons. Go is Jonsi's first solo release although he isn't the only one to work on the album. His boyfriend Alex helped out too as various others. Although this album has a distinct sound that differs from Jonsi and Alex's album that was released last year. The spirit and body that runs through every song on this album is phenomenal. If a smile doesn't come to your face while listening to Go I'm worried for your emotional state. As for Jonsi, the man has proved that as long as he is in music he can do no wrong. Slow, fast, depressing, uplifting, the man can do it all. Some day when we look back at the music of our generation Sigur Ros and Jonsi will be celebrated, but will also be remembered as criminally underrated at the same time. This is special and it [strikeout]deserves[/strikeout] NEEDS to be heard.

Additional LinksOfficial Site - Myspace - Vimeo

Tour Dates
04-06 Vancouver, British Columbia - Vogue Theatre
04-07 Vancouver, British Columbia - Vogue Theatre
04-09 Seattle, WA - The ShowBox SoDo
04-10 Seattle, WA - The ShowBox SoDo
04-13 Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre
04-15 Berkeley, CA - Zellerbach Auditorium
04-16 San Francisco, CA - Palace of Fine Arts
04-18 Indio, CA - Coachella Festival
04-21 Denver, CO - Paramount Theatre
04-22 Lawrence, KS - Liberty Hall
04-24 Minneapolis, MN - Pantages Theatre
04-25 Minneapolis, MN - Pantages Theatre
04-26 Milwaukee, WI - The Pabst Theatre
04-27 Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
04-28 Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
04-30 Toronto, Ontario - Sound Academy
05-01 Toronto, Ontario - Sound Academy
05-02 Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis
05-03 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
05-05 Boston, MA - House of Blues
05-06 Boston, MA - House of Blues
05-08 New York, NY - Terminal 5
05-09 New York, NY - Terminal 5
05-26 London, England - London Forum
05-29 Brussels, Belgium - AB
05-30 Luxembourg, Luxembourg - Den Atelier
05-31 Cologne, Germany - Live Music Hall
06-02 Amsterdam, Holland - Paradiso
06-05 Berlin, Germany - Columbiahalle
06-07 Paris, France - Bataclan
06-08 Zurich, Switzerland - Kaufleuten
06-09 Milan, Italy - Alcatraz
06-19 Barcelona, Spain - Sonar Festival
08-12 Oslo, Norway - Oya Festival
08-13 Gothenburg, Sweden - Way Out West
Tags: Artist of the week, jonsi, go
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Look What Came In The Mail Today
03/16/10 at 02:01 PM by Keagan Ilvonen

So pretty.
Tags: Taking Back Sunday, Tell All Your Friends, Vinyl
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Artist of The Week: March 16th, 2010
03/16/10 at 10:31 AM by Keagan Ilvonen
Titus Andronicus

I'm in class so I will try and make it brief. Titus Andronicus are one of the best punk bands out today. I feel terrible that we don't cover them more than we should. But I feel as if we did post about them they would get 10 responses where as a a shitty pop punk band will get 100 responses. Any who, Their latest album The Monitor is a modern punk classic based off of the U.S. Civil War. If that isn't enough to gain your attention I don't know what will. Sophomore slump doesn't exist for these Jersey boys. They have yet to default in the music world and continue to make a name for themselves. If I could recommend one album for this week, it would be The Monitor. Why listen to a bunch of imitators when you have a pioneer right in front of you?

Additional LinksWebsite - Myspace - Pitchfork Review - Amazon - iTunes - Insound

The Making of The Monitor can be seen on Pitchfork.tv.

Tour Dates

03-16 Dallas, TX - Good Records (in-store)
03-20 Austin, TX - Red 7 Patio (SXSW) $
03-21 El Paso, TX - Black Market
03-22 Phoenix, AZ - Chryo Arts
03-23 Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theater
03-24 Santa Barbara, CA - Club Mercy *
03-25 San Luis Obispo, CA - SLO Art Center
03-26 Visalia, CA - Cellar Door
03-27 Sacramento, CA - Luigi's Fungarden
03-28 San Francisco, CA - Slim's
03-30 Seattle, WA - Vera Project
03-31 Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
04-01 Vancouver, British Columbia - 917 Main
04-02 Missoula, MT - The Palace
04-04 Fargo, ND - The Aquarium
04-05 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
04-06 Madison, WI - Project Lodge
04-07 Chicago, IL - The Bottom Lounge
04-08 Detroit, MI - Majestic Cafe
04-09 Toronto, Ontario - Sneaky Dee's
04-10 Montreal, Quebec - Green Room
04-06 Madison, WI - Project Lodge
04-11 Red Hook, NY - Red Hook High School (early show)
04-11 New Haven, CT - Lily's Pad-Toad's Upstairs (late show)
04-13 Rodrigues Coffee House (Fordham University)#
04-14 Purchase, NY - SUNY Purchase Student Center
04-15 Philadelphia, PA - The Barbary
04-16 Washington, DC - Positive Force DC (St. Stephen's Church)
04-17 Charlottesville, VA - Random Row
04-18 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
04-19 Atlanta, GA - 529
04-20 Indianapolis, IN - Radio Radio
04-21 Louisville, KY - Skull Alley
04-22 Columbus, OH - Summit
04-23 Harrisburg, PA - Abbey Bar
04-24 Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's

# with Parts and Labor, the Babies
$ with Fucked Up, J Mascis
* with Ted Leo
Tags: artist of the week, titus andronicus, the monitor
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Minus The Bear - Omni
03/03/10 at 12:40 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
Let me just say that this is the bands strongest work to this day. Album is ridiculously good. Get stoked.
Tags: Minus the bear, omni
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John Mayer 2/24/2010
02/25/10 at 12:57 AM by Keagan Ilvonen
Let me just say that John Mayer is a living legend. No matter what the man does he will always be relevant in music. I'm also fairly sure that the man can conquer anything that is thrown at him. After attending various concerts I can honestly say I think I witnessed the best tonight. Better than Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, anything. There is just something about John that stands out. This is what he was made to do and he is the best at what he does. Playing his guitar and making timeless music. Note for note the man was on fire and played his heart out until the end. It doesn't get much better in music, and more people should appreciate the raw talent that is John Mayer.
Tags: John Mayer, Live, TD Banknorth
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02/23/10 at 11:04 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
Tags: Joanna Newsom, Have one on me
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So happy
02/14/10 at 12:43 AM by Keagan Ilvonen
I bought my ticket to see Brand New in NH in April. Couldn't be any more satisfied right now.
Tags: brand new, new Hampshire, ticket
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The Felix Culpa - Sever Your Roots Review
01/19/10 at 09:28 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
The Felix Culpa - Sever Your Roots

Why some bands blow up and others don’t is something I will never understand. Of course, you will always have the people that are willing to sell out to make it big, such as Cobra Starship, and people who spend their whole career struggling to make music they believe in, The Felix Culpa. But, while selling yourself to the industry has its benefit, the struggle that everyone else goes through is worth it. The emotion, passion, pride, and love that is in their craft means so much more to not only them, but their listeners, too. This is why The Felix Culpa has become a local favorite around Chicago. They have been building a steady fan base in the Chicago underground scene for about a decade now but with no real exposure. As the years have passed, the band has progressed into a indie/post-hardcore machine that runs on raw emotion. In the same vein as Brand New or As Cities Burn, The Felix Culpa make dark grasping music that pulls you in and never lets go. If comparisons to those two bands isn’t enough for you, they made Alternative Press’s list of 100 bands you need to know. They also made their list of top 10 songs over 10 minutes. On top of that, their last full length Commitment was dubbed a post-hardcore masterpiece, so it’s understandable to see where all this excitement is coming from. The question is, why aren’t you more excited for Sever Your Roots?

For starters, the album tracks in at over an hour long, which is more than most artists even think of putting out now. Nine out of the fourteen tracks are over four minutes long, which shows how much substance is on this record. You're probably thinking, “Just because a record is long doesn’t mean it’s good,” and while you’re right, that isn’t the case for Sever Your Roots. Every second on this album is carefully thought out and has been crafted to your liking. Trust me when I say this album competes with releases from the bands mentioned earlier.

Sever Your Roots starts out with “New Home Life,” a slow opener that makes you feel like you’re listening to a live broadcast and then comes full force to slap you in the face. But don’t worry, it’s only for a short stint. As the song pushes forward, the storm calms down and comes back with horns and reverbed guitars that caress you until you feel at home once again, just to be slammed again as “Our Holy Ghosts” comes crashing into you. A rumbling bass line, finger snaps, cymbal crashes, and chanting chorus of, “To be in love/With love, is not enough, this time” proves to be infectious and chilling, simultaneously. One song just rolls into another without any chance for air as “The Constant” comes roaring in next. This song sounds like it could have been pulled right from The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, with some fast guitar work and in-your-face scowls. Marky Hladish belts out lines so reminiscent to Jesse Lacey it’s scary. “Roots” being one of the “interludes” if you will, keeps the constant flow going right into “Escape To The Mountain,” which showcases some of the most fancy guitar work on the whole album. With crunchy riffs layered underneath the distinct lead played by Dustin Currier, this song stands out as one of the more impressive numbers on this masterpiece. Oddly enough, the next song, “First One To The Scene of The Accident,” starts off with the words, “Breathe now, If you have the chance” but before you get the chance, the band drowns you in sound, coming at you full force topped with mandolin and violin. “Unwriting Our Songs” is the musical equivalent to a chaser, as it washes down the burning sensation that “First One To The Scene of The Accident” left in your mouth. Slow and smooth, the song passes along like a cold winter breeze transitioning into “Mutiny." Hladish’s croons bleed emotion in every verse, almost Geoff Rickly-like, which goes unseen in the age of pitch perfect performances thanks to auto tune.

After another “interlude” track, “Rum and Cigarettes,” the guys come back into full swing with one of the most fluent tracks on the album, “Because This is How We Speak,” which fades out with yet another haunting piano and violin composition. “Indian Wells,” and “What You Call Thought Control,” pick you up just to slam you down. With the combination of thundering drumming, in your face riffs, and bass lines that shake the room more than when Rush Limbaugh opens his mouth, there isn’t much to complain about here. “An Instrument” is the climax of the album, and is a pinnacle as great as this is, it is rarely seen in music today. A seven minute epic, it starts with spine chilling vocal melodies, guitar work, and chimes of piano sprinkled throughout as it comes to a head and bursts into overpowering rhythms and layers. It smashes your head back and forth until you can barely stand, but pulls you back up just in time to see everything come to a close. “Apologies 1” could possibly be the most well crafted song on the whole album, as it exemplifies everything this record is about; the push and pull of emotions and the overall rollercoaster ride that is Sever Your Roots. The slow number serves almost as an epilogue. There is impressive guitar work that any post-rock band would be proud of and Hladish’s defined vocals cementing the end of a masterpiece. When everything is all said and done, you have a feeling of accomplishment after hearing this album, and that isn’t normal in the age of digital singles.

The Felix Culpa have done it again, and if this isn’t enough to push them into the limelight, I’m not sure what will be. Call them stunning, call them amazing, call them refreshing, but at the end of the day, The Felix Culpa are something original. If Sever Your Roots isn’t your kind of music, you can hopefully at least respect these men for creating something so passionate and moving. In these desperate times, we music fans need to support artists that create things aside from the neon outburst that has taken over the scene, and Sever Your Roots is the perfect storm.
Tags: The Felix Culpa, Sever Your Roots, Review
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Artist of The Week: January 12th, 2010
01/12/10 at 05:47 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
So I'm back I think? With my weekly write-ups if I can stay somewhat not busy and keep this a priority haha. But anyways, I can't think of a better way to start off the new year with this band so things are good.

Vampire Weekend

Say what you will about Vampire Weekend, but they have become one of the frontier bands of "mainstream indie." They do it without sacrificing any of their merit, too. While some rappers can go and spout off about lifestyles they haven't lived and get praised for it, Vampire Weekend does the same thing and they get bashed for being Ivy League boys whose fame was bought. They write about what they know, and that's all that matters to me, and obviously to them. Their debut album Vampire Weekend made a big splash in the media with the backing of sites like Pitchfork and media networks like MTV. The album contained many different influences that ranged from Paul Simon to African and world music. While their S/T album contained a lot of stand out tracks like "A-Punk" and "Oxford Comma," the album failed to have a flow; it just seemed to jump around from song to song. Not to be mistaken that the bands sound was significantly defined, just not perfected, but as of today and the release of their second album Contra, they have reached that point.

After two years since the release of the last album the guys have been able to do extensive touring and various other things such as electronic side projects (Discovery). But, if anything, you can see how far the band has progressed from the music they initially released way back when. Contra is the final product of a band that has been learning as they wade their way through this ever changing music industry and it's a reassuring thing at that. The album starts off with "Horchata" the first song that was released back last year for free on their website. The song demonstrates a more melodic style from the band, and showcases Ezra Koenig's improved vocal range and control. But while the new is there, the same signature drumming of the last album is still there. "White Sky," and "California English," are perfect examples of how side projects can slowly become a piece of another band. Rostam Batmanglij's excursion Discovery shows its electronic side in multiple places throughout Contra. In most scenarios this would be bad, but here it just adds another dimension and layer to Vampire Weekends melodic joyride. In the latter, Koenig's vocals even have auto tune, which everyone in music usually would frown upon, but here it seems necessary and appropriate. "Holiday" will stand out as a fast paced warm weather jam when the time comes around. Wait until this spring when the sun starts to come out, and this song will be played in everyones car as the rays of light reflect off their tinted shades.

Contra really picks up with the second half of the album with the soothing number, "Taxi Cab," which exemplifies how well Koenig's voice has matured in its lower range. With samples, piano keys dabbled throughout, and the backing of a full string section, "Taxi Cab" really stands out as one of the more calm and mildly relaxing tacks. Following "Taxi Cab" is "Run," one of the stronger tracks on the album. Picked up by some fancy drum work by Christopher Tomson and tied together with one tight bass line, played by Chris Biao, the band plays off each other in an amazing fashion. As Tomson and Biao do their part building a stage, Koenig and Batmanglij both shine as they play off each other throughout the whole track. For every note Koenig hits, Batmanglij has some kind of response with his synthesizer, whether it be a sampled orchestra or just some plain old low end synth notes. The two compete for the limelight but only for the betterment of the song. Next is "Cousins," the first single off the album. While this doesn't have the instant gratification hook of "A-Punk," this is by far the fastest and most marketable track from a mainstream point of view, on the album. Quick, and in your face is what you get here, no synthesizers or string arrangements, Batmanglij picked up the guitar for some fast California surf style guitar work. "Giving Up The Gun" happens to be the best song on the whole album, displaying everything the band has done in the past and perfected in the present. Vampire Weekend's signature guitar work is layered throughout the whole song, with samples, strings, bells, and a sing-along chorus. This is one of the best songs, if not the best song the band has ever written. As a whole, "Giving Up The Gun" shows why this band stands alone about everyone else in the endless pit of musicians and bands.

The album wraps up with the one two punch of "Diplomat's Son," and "I Think Ur a Contra." "Diplomat's Son" uses an M.I.A. sample but takes all of the focus away from the fact that it's actually in the song. The bouncy piano line backed by the electronic bass line and Ezra's soothing vocal delivery makes the sample seem obsolete. Finishing out the album is the ballad, "I Think Ur a Contra" which is the slowest and softest Vampire Weekend song to this day. This is a bittersweet love song about a failed romance that features some of the best songwriting and song composition work that the band has ever done that ends on a quiet, but promising note.

There is no way a band like Vampire Weekend is going to win in the end. With the Vampire phase that is thriving through America they will be bashed for adding to the craze. Hipsters will dismiss them for having too much mainstream appeal, the mainstream kids will say it's not catchy enough to be in their rotation. But for us that can appreciate true and honest music they will thrive because in the end that's what matters, and Contra is just that-- true and honest music.

If you would like a better review of the album check Blakes review here, or if you're too cool for that check out Pitchfork's here.

Additional LinksOfficial Site - Myspace - AP.Net Profile - last.fm - MTV Profile - Buy Contra - Amazon - iTunes

Tour Dates

01-12 Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater
01-17 New York, NY - United Palace Theater
01-18 New York, NY - Webster Hall
01-19 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
02-05 Bexhill, England - De La Warr
02-07 Cambridge, England - Corn Exchange
02-08 Manchester, England - Manchester Apollo
02-09 Leeds, England - Leeds O2 Academy
02-10 Birmingham, England - Birmingham O2 Academy
02-12 Newcastle, England - Newcastle O2 Academy
02-13 Glasgow, Scotland - Barrowlands
02-14 Edinburgh, Scotland - Edinburgh Picture House
02-16 London, England - Brixton O2 Academy
02-17 London, England - Brixton O2 Academy
02-19 Berlin, Germany - Astra
02-20 Cologne, Germany - Gloria
02-21 Hamburg, Germany - Uebel or Gefaehrlich
02-22 Brussels, Belgium - AB
02-24 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
02-25 Paris, France - Olympia
02-26 Toulouse, France - Le Bikini
02-27 Barcelona, Spain - Penelope
02-28 Madrid, Spain - Teatro Circo Price
03-14 Edmonton, Alberta - Edmonton Event Centre
03-15 Calgary, Alberta - MacEwan Hall
03-16 Missoula, MT - Wilma Theatre
03-18 Salt Lake City, UT - In the Venue
03-19 Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
03-20 Aspen, CO - Spring Jam Core Party
03-22 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
03-23 Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theatre
03-25 Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre
03-27 Knoxville, TN - Tennessee Theatre
03-29 Columbus, OH - The LC Pavilion
03-30 Toronto, Ontario - The Sound Academy
04-01 Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre
04-02 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
04-03 Washington, DC - DAR Constitution Hall
04-05 Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
04-06 Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
04-08 Atlanta, GA - The Tabernacle
04-09 New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
04-10 Austin, TX - Stubb's BBQ
04-11 Dallas, TX - House of Blues
04-13 Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre
04-14 Pomona, CA - Fox Theater
04-19 Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
Tags: Artist of the week, Vampire Weekend, Contra, Review, Tour Dates
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John Nolan and Gabriel The Marine 1/08/2010 Show Review
01/10/10 at 01:13 AM by Keagan Ilvonen
Well to start off the night I missed the up and coming local favorite Pinsky. Caught the tail end of their last song of the set which sounded great. I'm sure they put on a great show because those boys never ever disappoint in any of the times that I have seen them. Much love to them and hopefully I will get to see them again soon. Next up was Ocean is Theory out of Atlanta, Georgia. They put on a fantastic set mixing post hardcore with indie elements. I really dug their sound as I hadn't really listened to much of them in the past. Surprised that they aren't signed yet, I see a lot of potential in them to make a really solid record in the future.

Next came Gabriel The Marine, probably one of the most up and coming talented bands to grace this scene. Mixing tons of sounds and creating something truly original these guys go unmatched by all. Their sound is like a mix of a pop orientated Manchester Orchestra meets As Tall As Lions meets Anthony Green who also plays violin while he howls. For being so young this band is extremely tight live and played each and every song note for note, even better than studio quality at times. Michael, the singer shows incredible range for someone who is only a year out of high school, something reminiscent of old school Anthony Green. It seems like they have been doing this for years but in all reality they are still learning the ropes but prove to be one band you need to keep your finger on. If you ever get the chance to see these boys any where near you do not think about it twice, they will prove you wrong time and time again. This is one of New Yorks next big bands to break with The Republic of Wolves. Here are some pictures my friend took.

Finally John Nolan played. One of my personal heroes who has wrote music that has been influential to me since I was a young angsty teenager up until now a growing and confused college kid. Let's just get this out of the way and say that Taking Back Sunday died when John Nolan left the band. This man was the reason they released a classic record, and it shows when he plays live. His voice just contains so much raw emotion and passion that it's chilling. I'm glad that he left to pursue the music he wanted to make because it is honestly a 1000 steps up from what he use to do. Even though it was just him on stage with his acoustic guitar he controlled the stage and serenaded a small crowd of about 30 but in a fashion that the number witnessing wasn't important at all. After playing some solo songs, some Straylight Run songs, and an Elliot Smith cover John finished up his set with his first single off of Height with Gabriel The Marine as his backing band and a phenomenal one at that. Everything was spot on and they completely killed it. After the show I talked with John and he was such a nice and humble musician, a true class act. Same to be said for Gabriel The Marine, these kids with the right connections will be on their way to the top. Mark my words and jump on the bandwagon now before it's too late.

Michael, Myself, and John.

All pictures are courtesy of Emma Lichtman, everyone check out her other pictures. She's majoring in photography and would love the support.

Thanks for reading and much love.

Tags: John Nolan, Gabriel The Marine, Concert, Review
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Vampire Weekend MTV Unplugged
01/09/10 at 01:20 AM by Keagan Ilvonen
God damn this band is great. New album is ridiculously good and has been on repeat since it leaked. Can't wait to pick it up on vinyl next week. This unplugged session is awesome.

Tags: Vampire Weekend, MTV Unplugged, Contra
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John Nolan and Gabriel The Marine Tomorrow.
01/07/10 at 11:58 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
Excited to say the least. Hopefully pictures/setlist/thoughts will follow.
Tags: John Nolan, Gabriel The Marine, Concert
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You Me At Six - Hold Me Down
01/07/10 at 01:20 AM by Keagan Ilvonen
Never gave these guys a serious shot before tonight. I'm actually liking this album. Nothing groundbreaking by any means but a solid pop rock album. With a few more releases under their belt I feel like these guys could make one hell of an album.
Tags: You Me At Six, Hold Me Down, Random
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Year End Lists For 2009
01/01/10 at 09:32 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
Finally finished, Hopefully people like it.

Top Albums of 2009

1. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

Look no further for 2009’s album of the year. Grizzly Bear have captivated fans since their 2006 release Yellow House and have had everyone hanging on the edge of their seat for a follow up. That follow up finally came and what a follow up they created. Veckatimest is everything you could ever want out of this band. Grizzly Bear have created an album that not only reaches out to the hardcore indie elite, but also the mainstream kids who feel like they need to fit in. This album is a huge grower as it wasn’t what I was expecting or wanted after listening to Yellow House for so long. But as time went by I began appreciating and dissecting the music with every listen, and finding the simple and complex beauties within. With pop sensibilities and vocal arrangements fit for the grandest of occasions, Grizzly Bear has reached all star status without your typical charades. This New York four piece are the new kings of everything. Indie rock, pop, psychedelic, you name it and Grizzly Bear can perfect it. Just don’t dare them to try because all hope would be lost for everyone else.

2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

Titling a record the “Album of the year” and “Album of the decade” is quite a statement for something to be released the first week of a new year. But somehow Animal Collective lived up to the hype in an undermining fashion. After dabbling in various different forms of music Animal Collective have final found their niche, psychedelic pop music. Sure they have basically done that from the beginning but Merriweather Post Pavilion is their masterpiece. No matter how great this album is people are going to hate on it because that’s human nature. But if you put all biases aside this is one awesome piece of work and will be looked back upon as one of the defining albums of this decade..

3. Fun. - Aim and Ignite

Nate Reuss should be regarded as one of the new kings of pop. The man just gets melody and harmony. First he won fans over with one of my personal favorite bands, The Format. Then when that journey came to an end another started in the shape of Fun. Aim and Ignite has everything that a pop masterpiece needs. The song structures and compositions on this record are beyond basically every other pop act out there. Then you throw Nate’s distinct vocal style on top of that and you have one hell of a time.

4. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca

This was one album I didn’t expect to land in my top ten upon the initial listen but over time it slowly became one of my favorites. Led by Dave Longstreth, Dirty Projectors take you on a spastic artsy ride that many expected. From the extremely talented set of pipes by the female supporting cast to Longstreth’s avant-garde guitar work, there is something everyone can appreciate. When everything is said and done, you still can’t pin point the Dirty Projectors sound, but you’re okay with it.

5. The Antlers - Hospice

Again. Another album came out of left field for me. I bought The Antlers Hospice on a whim and ended up falling in love with a masterpiece. The Antlers tell a story of man finding a woman at his cancer ward in which he falls in love with. The album switches from first to second person narrative as it tells the heartbreaking story of the man falling in love with the woman and watching her die. This is probably one of the most emotional albums I have ever experienced and is a must listen for anyone with a heart.

6. St.Vincent - Actor

While St. Vincent’s debut album Marry Me was solid in it’s own right, nobody was ready for the album she had cooking over the past two years. Actor improves on everything Marry Me wasn’t. The indie pop quirks are still there, just in a more abrasive form. With time this album continues to grow on you, showcasing multiple highlights that are never expected. If the year had been any longer this could have possibly been a contender for the album of the year, but at the end of the day it still holds it’s own.

7. The xx - xx

All kinds of hype had been surrounding this English pop group for awhile before the release of their debut album xx, but needless to say they lived up to the hype. The xx delivered one of the most relaxing yet upbeat albums of the year. Whether you feel like zoning out in your room, or driving around town this album fits all needs. The band makes a perfect mix of indie/trip hop/and dream pop that anyone can enjoy.

8. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic

Not that there aren’t artists out there doing it, but Wayne wanted to create an album that you can’t just pick out songs. He wanted to create an album in the traditional sense that it’s made to be listened to front to back. Embryonic is that album. Two discs of straight up Flaming Lips quirkiness that may be the bands best work yet. Pushing the limits of the indie psychedelic rock, Embryonic dares listeners to dig through its complex layers and find new meaning behind every note. Right now this album is just considered great, but down the road this will be considered a classic in the historic legacy of The Flaming Lips.

9. The Dear Hunter - Act III

So what is there to say about Casey and the crew that hasn’t been said? Casey continues to be one of the best musicians out today. Whether it be creating masterpieces known as Between The Heart and The Synapse, or drawing out a multiple album concept story that involves wars, prostitutes, and love, Casey continues to prove his worth in the ever changing music scene. Act III is the follow up to the other masterpiece Act II which left listeners wanting more. Well Casey didn’t fail yet again. Act III delves into more luscious instrumentation and an overall greater production feel as the story starts to come into focus. It’s safe to say as time goes Casey just gains fans because when you make music like him it’s pretty damn hard to lose them.

10. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

It’s weird that out of all places for me to fall in love with an album, I fell in love with this one at work. I was working before the store opened and decided that I would give it a shot based on all the praise it had been getting and I was hooked instantly. The Smiths being on of my favorite bands I’m always looking for something to compare, and while no one ever does, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are pretty damn close. Think of The Smiths from America, mixed with My Bloody Valentine and you have The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

11. Girls - Album

12. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

13. Passion Pit - Manners

14. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone

15. Cymbals Eat Guitar - Why There Are Mountains

16. Mos Def - The Ecstatic

17. Japandroids - Post-Nothing

18. Dinosaur Jr. - Farm

19. Raekwon - Cuban Linx Part. II

20. Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport

21. Portugal. The Man - The Satanic Satanist

22. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career

23. Bat For Lashes - Two Suns

24. Caspian - Tertia

25. Wavves - Wavvves

26. Atlas Sound - Logos

27. Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms

28. The Avett Brothers - I and Love and You

29. Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything To Nothing

30. Why? - Eskimo Snow

31. Miike Snow - Miike Snow

32. Thrice - Beggars

33. Thursday - Common Existence

34. The Swell Season - Strict Joy

35. Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs

36. Mastodon - Crack The Skye

37. Volcano Choir - Unmap

38. Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

39. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It’s Blitz!

40. John Mayer - Battle Studies

41. Jj - jjn2

42. Dan Deacon - Bromst

43. A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Ashes Grammar

44. Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels

45. The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love

46. Wale - Attention Deficit

47. All The Day Holiday - The Things We’ve Grown To Love

48. As Tall As Lions - You Can’t Take It With You

49. RX Bandits - Mandala

50. Nurses - Apples Acres

51. Metric - Fantasies

52. The Cambiata - The Cambiata

53. P.O.S. - Never Better

54. Built To Spill - There Is No Enemy

55. Set Your Goals This Will Be The Death of Us All

56. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)

57. Bibio - Ambivalance Avenue

58. Lily Allen - It’s Not Me, It’s You

59. Antony and the Johnsons - The Crying Light

60. Morrissey - Years of Refusal

61. Kevin Devine - Brothers Blood

62. The Mercury Program - Chez Viking

63. Tegan and Sara - Sainthood

64. The Thermals - Now We Can See

65. Cassino - Kingprince

66. Clipse - Till The Casket Drops

67. Brand New - Daisy

68. Converge - Axe To Fall

69. The Dodos - Time To Die

70. Mute Math - Armistice

71. Paramore - brand new eyes

72. La Roux - La Roux

73. The Mountain Goats - The Life of the World To Come

74. As Cities Burn - Hell or High Water

75. Kid Cudi - Man On The Moon

76. Real Estate - Real Estate

77. Every Time I Die - New Junk Aesthetic

78. Regina Spektor - Far

79. Say Anything - Say Anything

80. The Damnwells - One Last Century

81. Gavin Degraw - Free

82. Bear in Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth

83. DOOM - Born Like This

84. Mayer Hawthorne - A Strange Arrangement

85. The Artic Monkeys - Humbug

86. We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls

87. Third Eye Blind - Ursa Major

88. Minature Tigers - Tell It To the Volcano

89. Between the Buried and Me - The Great Misdirect

90. Basement Jaxx - Scars

91. The Dead Weather - Horehound

92. Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3

93. Julian Casablancas - Phrazes for the Young

94. Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures

95. Noah and The Whale - First Days of Spring

96. The Sounds - Crossing The Rubican

97. Native - Wrestling Moves

98. Grammatics - Grammatics

99. Discovery - LP

100. A Fine Frenzy - Bomb in a Birdcage

Honorable Mentions
… And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - The Century of Self
A.A. Bondy - When the Devil’s Loose
A Day To Remember - Homesick
A Loss For Words - The Kids Can’t Lose
A Place To Bury Strangers - Exploding Head
Akron/Family - Set Em’ Wild, Set Em’ Free
Alexander the Great - Face Change
Alexisonfire - Old Crows/Young Cardinals
All Time Low - Nothing Personal
Amanda Blank - I Love You
Anchor & Braille - Felt
Andrew Bird - Noble Beast
Andrew Dost - Columbus
Appleseed Cast, The - Sagarmatha
Audrye Sessions - Audrye Sessions
Barcelona - Absolutes
Baroness - Blue Record
Big Pink, The - A Brief History of Love
Bird and The Bee, The - Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future
Black Dice - Repo
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Eating Us
Blakroc - Blakroc
Blessthefall - Witness
BLK JKS - Mystery
Brendan Rivera - Body of Land
Broadway Calls - Good Views, Bad News
Brobecks, The - Violent Things
Bowerbirds - Upper Air
Brother Ali - Us
Califone - All My Friends Are Funeral Singers
Cartel - Cycles
Chariot, The - Wars and Rumors of Wars
Chase Pagan - Bells and Whistles
Clientele, The - Bonfires on the Heath
Closure In Moscow - First Temple
Coconut Records - Davy
Condo Fucks - Fuckbook
Consider The Thief - Signs and Wonders
Cribs, The - Ignore The Ignorant
Crystal Antlers - Tentacles
Cursive - Mama, I’m Swollen
Dance Gavin Dance - Happiness
Dangerous Summer, The - Reach For The Sun
Dashboard Confessional - Alter The Ending
Dave Mathews Band - Big Whiskey and The Groo Grux King
David Bazan - Curse Your Branches
Dead Man’s Bones - Dead Mans Bones
Deas Vail - Bird and Cages
Deer Tick - Born On Flag Day
Derek Webb - Stockholm Syndrome
Destry - It Goes On
Devendra Banhart - What Will We Be
Devil Wears Prada, The - With Roots Above and Branches Below
Do Make Say Think - Do Make Say Think
Doves - Kingdom of Rust
Dr. Manhattan - Jam Dreams
Dredg - The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion
Editors - In This Light and On This Evening
Emeralds - What Happened
Emery - …In Shallow Seas We Sail
Empire! Empire (I Was A Lonely Estate) - What It Takes To Move Forward
Eye Alaska - Genesis Underground
Fake Problems - It’s Great To Be Alive
Fireworks - All I Have To Offer is My Own Confusion
Felt - Felt 3:
Fever Ray - Fever Ray
Flight of The Conchords - I Told You I Was Freaky
Florence and The Machine - Lungs
Fool’s Gold - Fool’s Gold
Frank Turner - Poetry of The Deed
Franz Ferdinand - Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
Fray, The- The Fray
Freelance Whales - Weathervanes
Four Year Strong - Explains It All
Future of The Left - Travels With Myself and Another
Ghostface Killah - Ghostidni: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City
Harvard - The Inevitable and I
Health - Get Color
Here We Go Magic - Here We Go Magic
Horse The Band - Desperate Living
Husband & wife - Dark Dark Woods
Ida Maria - Fortress Round My Heart
Ingrid Michaelson - Everybody
Islands - Vapors
Ivory - Goodnight, Goodbye
Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard - One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Keruac’s Big Sur
Jay Reatard - Watch Me Fall
Jeremy Enigk - OK Bear
John Nolan - Height
Johnny Foreigner - Grace and The Bigger Picture
Jonsi and Alex - Rice Boy Sleeps
Karen O and The Kids - Where The Wild Things Are Soundtrack
Little Boots - Hands
Lucero - 1372 Overton Park
M. Ward - Hold Time
Major Lazer - Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do
Mars Volta, The - Octahedron
Matt and Kim - Grand
Meg & Dia - Here, Here and Here
Metavari - Be One of Us and Hear No Noise
mewithoutYou - It’s Crazy, It’s False, It’s All a Dream, It’s Alright!
Modern Electric, The - The Modern Electric
Moneen - The World I Want To Leave Behind
Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
Muse - The Resistance
New Found Glory - Not Without A Fight
NOFX - Coaster
Norah Jones - The Fall
Number Twelve Looks Like You, The - Worse Than Alone
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Xenophanes
Owen - New Leaves
Paolo Nutuni - Sunny Side Up
Paper Route - Absence
Pearl Jam - Backspacer
Person L - The Positives
Peter Bjorn & John - Living Thing
Phish - Joy
Polar Bear Club - Chasing Hamburg
Poison The Well - The Tropic Rot
Propagandhi - Supporting Caste
Rain Machine - Rain Machine
Relient K - Forget and Don’t Slow Down
Rocketboys, The - 20,000 Ghosts
Rodrigo y Gabriella - 11:11
Royksopp - Junior
Russian Circles - Geneva
Seabird - Rocks Into Rivers
Sea Wolf - White Water, White Bloom
Sherwood - QU
Silversun Pickups - Swoon
Sleeping At Last - Storyboards
So Long Forgotten - Things We Can See and Things We Cannot
So Many Dynamos - The Loud Wars
Sonic Youth - The Eternal
Stars of Track and Field - A Time For Lions
Swellers, The - Ups and Downisizing
The-Dream - Love vs. Money
Therefore I Am - The Sounds of Human Lives
Throw Me The Statue - Creatuesque
Tim Williams - Careful Love
Tortoise - Beacons of Ancestorship
Touche Amore - …To Beat A Dead Horse
Trophy Scars - Bad Luck
Twilight Sad, The - Forget The Night Ahead
Weezer - Raditude
We Shot The Moon - A Silver Lining
White Rabbits - It’s Frightening
Winston Audio - Winston Audio
Woods - Songs of Shame
Working Title, The - Bone Island
World’s End Girlfriend - Air Doll
YACHT - See Mystery Lights
Zechs Marquise - Our Delicate Stranded Nightmare

Top EP’s of 2009
1. Animal Collective - Fall Be Kind
2. Drake - So Far Gone EP
3. The Republic of Wolves - His Old Branches
4. Bon Iver - Blood Bank
5. Delorean - Aryton Senna EP
6. Man Overboard - Dahlia
7. Modest Mouse - No One’s First and You’re Next
8. No Age - Losing Feeling
9. Sleigh Bells - Sleigh Bells
10. Death Cab For Cutie - Open Door EP
11. Kinch - Collars and Sleeves EP
12. Transit - Stay Home

Worst Albums of 2009
Brokencyde - I’m Not a Fan But The Kids Like It
Cobra Starship - Hot Mess
Breathe Carolina - Hello Fascination
Jeffree Star - Beauty Killer
Dot Dot Curve - Your Ears Will Bleeping Bleed

Biggest Letdowns of 2009
Taking Back Sunday - New Again
The Fall of Troy - In the Unlikely Event
Nightmare of You - Infomaniac

Best Mixtape of 2009
Lil’ Wayne - No Ceilings

Best Live Show of 2009
Brand New

Band to Blow Up in 2010
Los Campesinos!

Most Anticipated Records of 2010
Los Campesinos! - Romance is Boring
Spoon - Transference
Motion City Soundtrack - My Dinosaur Life
Vampire Weekend - Contra
Broken Bells - Broken Bells
The Shins - TBA
Yeasayer - Odd Blood
Rocky Votolato - True Devotion
Seabear - We Built A Fire
Jonsi - Go

And much much more.
Tags: End of the year list, albums of the year 2009, 2009 recap, ep's of the year, live
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Late Nights With John Mayer
12/27/09 at 01:43 AM by Keagan Ilvonen
In the same vein as my last blog post I'm still amped about getting to see John Mayer so I have been watching him live all night. So for anyone else who is up drinking kombucha green tea, baking my mom a birthday cake, and finishing up my year end list.

Albums of the year tomorrow probably. I hope people actually like it, I took quite some time with this.
Tags: John Mayer, Live, Full Concert, Albums of The year, ramblings
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