June 23, 2010

2010 musical picks.

So let's talk.
More specifically, let's talk about this year so far and them music that has made it so great.

This is more so aimed for my taste and my own general opinion.
Also it contains music that was out before 2010, but just seeped into my eardrums after the turn of the new year or at least made a different impression on me in 2010. I think the sea of artists that have come through Chicago in the past 6 months has been amazing. There have been so many concerts that I've had to miss out on but I think that I held the tickets to the best shows that came around. Again, in my opinion. I feel so lucky to have seen some of these artists. Every show is a different experience and a new group of people. A show is something I can really lose myself in. I have so much fun and love live music.

I compiled eight different songs on...well, 8tracks.

HERE is the link. This way you can actually listen to them. These are really in no particular order.

1) Howl by Florence + The Machine: I saw Ms. Florence Welch herself along with her band back in April at the House of Blues in Chicago. If you look-up the shows reviews you might read that "she didn't perform her best". I don't know what her "best" is, but I thought she was fucking phenomenal. I was front row for that show (I blogged about it at length below a few posts so I won't go on about it here). Anywho, she opened with the song "Howl". I was actually able to see the setlist from where I was standing in the crowd. When I first saw it I wasn't thrilled. I liked the song a lot, but it wasn't one of my favourites. I wanted her to play 'Between Two Lungs' or 'Dog Days Are Over' as an intro (they just sound like opening songs, you know?). The way it was performed and how good it was made all the difference. It was so powerful that after the concert it became one of my favourites and I felt sheepish for glossing it over so quickly before the fact. It is one of my top 8 for those reasons, however it was released in the summer of 2009.

2)Got Nuffin By Spoon: I love this song AND it actually came out in 2010 AND I saw it live. All wins. Also it reminds me of something you might hear on "Gimme Fiction" which is a great album. I love seeing Spoon live. I'm happy, but more importantly, ERIC is happy. We have a great time at their shows and I hope we see them at least 5 more times in our lifetime. We have seen them at the Aragon Ballroom and at The Riverside Theater in Milwaukee. I love the lead singer, Britt Daniel, and his stage presence and voice. I love that he always sounds like he's got a cigarette in his hand but he has control over his voice and can carry tune. All in all, this song was a great one on their Album released in January of this year called "Transference".

3) & 4) Your Hands (Together) & Crash Years By The New Pornographers: Another bonus because these two songs both came out this year and make an appearance on their latest called "Together". These are two of my favourites on this album. It reminds me of our vacation we just took because we always had it in the car with us so we heard it on constant loop. I love having specific memories to an album. It makes it that much more significant. Another good artist that came out with an album this year. I really like The New Pornographers. Their last album 'Challengers' was something I really enjoyed but I feel that I didn't delve into it well enough. It deserves some playing. Perhaps I'll throwback and give their old album a listen today.

5)Feeling Good By My Brightest Diamond: I LOVE her voice and by her I mean Shara Wordon. It's jazzy and blues-y and I adore it. I really like it when new music sounds like older music. Older music was good. She has got a style to her music and a depth to her voice. Check this song out for sure. It appears on the album 'Dark Was The Night'. I haven't heard enough to rave about the album, just the song at this point.

6)Like Spinning Plates (LIVE) by Radiohead: Yes. This song came out in 2001. No I did NOT just here it a near decade later for the first time. But I did hear it come out of Thom Yorke's mouth earlier this year in April over at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. I was so stoked that I got to hear 'Eraser' in its entirety live (and the fact that Flying Lotus opened for him) but of course when you see Thom Yorke you just want to hear some classic Radiohead. He delivered with 'Like Spinning Plates' & 'Airbag'. Quite fantastic. When he came back and broke out the intro on piano I couldn't believe it. I was thinking "Holy shit, Thom Yorke is fucking IN THIS ROOM playing piano and singing. The room was pretty much quiet except for the familiar chords and his voice adding lyric over melody. It gave the song new life and new importance. What a show.

7)Leaf House By Animal Collective: This song is so funky. That is the exact reason why I like this song and many other songs by this group. This is one of those that you might skip over the first few times, but once you hear it through you have to keep hearing it. This song also came out way before 2010...but on the album 'Sung Tongs' in 2004. This band has been around a long time, but just started gaining more recognition with their songs 'My Girls' & 'Summertime Clothes'. I can't say that I like every song that Animal Collective puts out, but the majority of them capture me because they are so unique. I find myself putting a lot of their stuff on people's mix CD.

8)Sleepyhead By Passion Pit: This has to be one of my favourite songs. Eric says that this song reminds him exclusively of me. It makes me feel so happy. I also secretly (well not so much anymore!) want to do the little voice at the beginning and throughout. I saw this song performed live April 22 at the Congress Theater in Chicago. This was the song I went there hoping to hear. The show was short. This was due to the lead singer, Michael Angelakos, having a sinus infection. For the problem being present, he performed and sounded SO good. So of course they close out the show. They come back out and start the crowd back up with 'Sleepyhead'. I was ecstatic. I tend to lose my shit at shows. Meaning I get into the music with every fiber of my being. I love to jump around, dance, and just have a good time. This show was a perfect example of just that. We weren't concerned with being front row for this one. I just loved being there and dancing to this bands music. It was so fun!

Wow. What good artists that have made their way through here. I feel most lucky to live by a big city when it comes to the choices of shows. I think I saw 5 shows in just over a month. It had to be that way unless there would have been some major disappointments. 3 of them were birthday presents, but that made it easy on him. He knows some of those shows were must see, so it was easy to slap a happy birthday on that (who wouldn't!). Natalie Fucking Merchant. I still cannot believe that I get to see her. I don't care if I go and she performs the Alphabet. I am so amped. Thom Yorke and Natalie Merchant in my golden year. ON TOP OF THAT amazing happening, we also have some new information from Pitchfork that Radiohead might be dropping their new album later this year. What a treat! That would be so so so so great. You know who else needs to come through here? DAVID BYRNE! A TALKING HEADS REUNION? sorry. It just seems like everything I've wished for musically has come true this year.

I would REALLY like to see a few other bands and hopefully I'll get the chance. I would love to see The Decemberists perform 'Hazards of Love'. I love that the two girls that Colin Meloy chose to play roles in the album were from two different bands with similar names, Shara Wordon My Brightest Diamond and Becky Stark from Lavender Diamond. The Temper Trap and The New Pornographers would be be nice to see as well. The XX just announced a fall tour all through the US and Europe, but since they will be at LOLLA most likely I will not be seeing them. Interpol just announced North American tour

It seems like every time I flip through Twitter, Pitchfork is announcing the release of a new album. Arcade Fire and Zero 7 have new albums and Arcade Fire is having 8 different album covers for their new one. Dirty Projectors & Bjork recently worked together and are releasing the collaboration efforts. Again, I am just so thrilled to hear that Radiohead is working together. They are so close to being done with their new album and their guitarist Ed O'Brien talks so enthusiastically about it happening this year. We shall see.

Check out: http://pitchfork.com/

Shows I've seen this year so far:
Spoon (12/31), Spoon (4/1/10), Thom Yorke (4/10), Florence & The Machine (4/10), Passion Pit (4/10), Metric (5/10), Phish (5/10). And I hold tickets to Modest Mouse at the Pitchfork Festival and Natalie Merchant at the Chicago Theater.

Get your hands on some tickets AND NEW ALBUMS!


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