Don't let the Alternative Press 2010 Artist of the Year award to Nevershoutnever give you the impression that this year was THAT awful for music. It was actually pretty damn awesome. Unfortunately some misguided people & media outlets just prefer to give the highest praise & attention to the lowest common denominator. And we all have to suffer through it.
"We are not in the least bit afraid of ruins. We are going to inherit the earth. The bourgeoisie may blast and ruin their world before they leave the stage of history. Bit we carry a new world here in our hearts."
Today in the mail I got what will be probably the last package from No Idea for this year - time flies!
One of the things it contained was a CD by The Usuals (poppunk/ska with female vox!) and it sounds ultra-sweet, but I think the most neat thing about it was the little mini mailorder catalog that was inside the jewel case that dates back to, like, 1998!
Hot Water Music's Alachua 7" for 2 bucks!? HWM/Tomorrow split 11" for 6 bucks!? split w/ Clairmel on 8.5" vinyl for 4 dollars!? a double LP label comp for 3 bucks!? And the list goes on and on. God, if only I had a time machine...
It's amazing looking back at things like that, before the scene became super reliant on the 'net, when mailordering actually involved mailordering - ya' know, flipping through a label's catalog, filling out an order form of what you want, calculating the shipping costs manually, writing out a check/money order/writing in card info, mailing all that off and waiting by the mailbox for the label to receive the payment, process it, then send off what you paid for. And it wasn't even that long ago that this was the common thing!
For the most part, that was all before my time. But I remember flipping through the catalogs labels would include in their releases (Kung Fu Records, Asian Man, No Idea, etc), curious to try it out for myself, filling out the order form, but never getting around to mailing it off and ending up spending the money elsewhere. Haha. The closest I came to mailordering was taking my meager highschool-kid-in-minumum-wage-job paycheck, placing an order online, printing out the invoice, getting a money order (or sometimes - though very rarely - sending well-concealed cash!) and mailing all that off. Then anxiously wait by the mailbox.
Nowadays I do it all online, shamelessly. But seeing those old label catalogs stuffed into albums and records reminds me of something I never really got to experience. Yeah, I'm sure it was a pain-in-the-ass long wait, especially compared to now, but there was a nicer intimacy involved there, I guess. Something that's kinda missing in this digital, iwantthatshitasfastaspossiblenow day and age.
So I guess the point of this whole rambling is ... I wish I could find those Hot Water Music records for around 2 to 6 bucks still. Bullocks.
Top 60 Albums:
1) The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang
2) Eli Paperboy Reed - Come & Get It
3) Leatherface - The Stormy Petrel
4) Superchunk - Majesty Shredding
5) Jesse Malin & the St. Marks Social - Love it to Life
6) Sundowner - We Chase the Waves
7) Sara Bareilles - Kaleidoscope Heart
8) Fake Problems - Real Ghosts Caught on Tape
9) Dessa - A Badly Broken Code
10) None More Black - Icons
11) Chumbawamba - ABCDEFG
12) The Dead Weather - Sea of Cowards
13) Jimmy Eat World - Invented
14) Alkaline Trio - This Addiction
15) Bad Religion - The Dissent of Man
16) End Of A Year - You Are Beneath Me
17) The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever
18) The Measure [SA] - Notes
19) Off With Their Heads - In Desolation
20) Titus Andronicus - The Monitor
21) Crime In Stereo - I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone
22) Two Cow Garage - Sweet Saint Me
23) Stars - The Five Ghosts
24) Defiance Ohio - Midwestern Minutes
25) Someone Still Loves You Boris Yelstin - Let It Sway
26) Ryan Bingham - Junky Star
27) John Legend & The Roots - Wake Up
28) America Aquarium - Small Town Hymns
29) RVIVR - RVIVR
30) Iron Chic - Not Like This
31) The Riot Before - Rebellion
32) The Menzingers - Chamberlain Waits
33) River City Extension - ...And the Unmistakable Man
34) Tim Barry - 28th & Stonewall
35) Matt & Kim - Sidewalks
36) Look Mexico - To Bed To Battle
37) The Roots - How I Got Over
38) Brendan Kelly/Joe McMahon - Wasted Potential
39) Candy Hearts - Ripped Up Jeans & Silly Dreams
40) The Saint Catherines - Fire Works
41) Smoke or Fire - The Speakeasy
42) Young Livers - Of Misery & Toil
43) Against Me! - White Crosses
44) Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Mojo
45) Jeff Rowe - Barstool Conversations
46) hellogoodbye - Would It Kill You
47) Greg MacPherson - Mr. Invitation
48) She & Him - Volume 2
49) The Graduate - Only Every Time
50) Chase McBride - The Good Fight
51) Dr. Dog - Shame, Shame
52) Mixtapes - Maps
53) Paul Baribeau - Unbearable
54) Audra Mae - The Happiest Lamb
55) Dum Dum Girls - I Will Be
56) Far - At Night We Live
57) Motion City Soundtrack - My Dinosaur Life
58) Whiskey & Co. - Rust Colors
59) Jenny & Johnny - I'm Having Fun Now
60) Josh Ritter - So Runs the World Away
Azure Ray - Drowning Down the Moon
Tim Kasher - The Game of Monogamy
Justin Townes Earle - Harlem River Blues
Ryan Adams - Orion
The Goo Goo Dolls - Something for the Rest of Us
Lazerbeak - Legend Recognize Legend
Gamits - Parts
Black Wine - Black Wine
Tony Sly - 12 Song Program
Taylor Swift - Speak Now
The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up
Umm ... It Was Ok:
Automatic Loveletter - Truth or Dare
P.S. Eliot - Living in Squalor
John K. Samson - City Route 85
Bridge & Tunnel - Indoor Voices
The Gaslight Anthem - She Loves You/Tumblin' Dice
Chamberlain - Raise It High
Bomb the Music Industry! - Adults!!!
Hot Water Music - Live in Chicago
Banquets - Nothing Is Fucked Here/This Is Our Concern, Dude
Tallest Man on Earth - Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird
Bruce Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge of Town/The Promise Boxset
The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street
Bob Dylan - Witmark Demos
Laura Stevenson & the Cans - A Record
Banner Pilot - Resignation Day
Screeching Weasel - Television City Dream
Micah Schnabel - When the Stage Lights Go Dim
The Bouncing Souls - Ghosts on the Boardwalk
Bands to keep an eye on in 2011:
Laura Stevenson & the Cans
Red City Radio
River City Extension
That's it. Lotssss of stuff on there and I'm pretty sure there's still a bit left off - ohwell. That's what happens with a year full of solid releases. Woop woop. Hope next year is good like that again. And not just music-wise, but everywhere-else-wise too. Fingers crossed!
I've built up quite a stack of little pieces of paper with download codes on 'em from records I've purchased throughout the year and instead of just letting 'em collect more and more dust, I decided to give 'em away to whoever wants free music. Free GOOD music! So knock yourself out - first come, first serve. And maybe let me and others know what codes you've used up already in the comments section.
Does it bug anyone else when the "oooo"'s and "ahhhh"'s (or "whoa"s) are included in song lyrics? Always looks silly to me when I come across that. A little unnecessary. Especially when next to some really nice lyrics.
Go listen to P.S. Eliot asap if you're not already - one of the best poppunk bands around; way too underappreciated/underrated!
Their most recent release is an EP titled Living in Squalor, which you can download for free here. And if you like records, you can grab a physical copy of it here. I also recommend picking up their LP, Introverted Romance. Solid stuff!
One of the highlights about the band is singer Katie Crutchfield's lyrics - she's also a pretty damn great singer too bytheway! From "Broken Record" to "A Bear Named Otis", Living in Squalor is a tasty music sandwich full of catchy melodic hooks carried by tight musicianship and pretty lyrics carried by awesome singing.
They have a new album coming out later this year on Salinas Records - get stoked for it.
RIYL: Discount, Lemuria, The Ergs!, Full of Fancy - you get the picture
My personal favorite is ďI just donít like womenís voices.Ē Have you ever heard, in the history of time, anyone declare that they just donít like menís voices? No? Thatís because there are so many different kinds of menís voices, guys! Duh! Guys screaming, and guys shouting, tenors and baritones and bass, guys yodeling, guys crooning, guys singing slightly-out-of-tune, guys rapping, guys singing in that weird Pearl Jam voice and I know you know what Iím talking about. But women? Womenís voices. I donít like them. They are high and whiny. I put them in the box of things I automatically donít like.