Monday, November 29, 2010

Ataris 7"

Check out two tracks from the Ataris 7" streaming on To quickly sum it up: both tracks are awesome, and are a huge departure from their last album (which I didn't find very good). As for the era, I'd put it somewhere between End is Forever and So Long, Astoria. "All Soul's Day" is...awesome. This album has definitely moved into my most anticipated of next year. I hope the rest doesn't disappoint, but from the word on the street, Kris Roe and Co. are taking it back to their punkier roots.

In other news, expect the top-10 list of 2010 to come out soon-ish. Hope everyone that celebrates it had a great Thanksgiving. I spent mine in Hong any HK fans, your city is a healthy mix of class and debauchery. Both HK and the new Ataris get the sickalbums Seal of Approval.

The Ataris link:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Coleman Hawkins - Body & Soul

While I have my favorite genres of music, I will admit (and maybe you can tell) that I am a fan of ALL music. Well, most all music. This album is a break from the norm, but brilliant nonetheless. I'll be straight with you up-front: It's a jazz album. But it's classic jazz from a brilliant saxophonist, Coleman Hawkins. There's an old-school, airy feel to the entire album; an upbeat tempo with a horns section that fills in for lyrics. If you're in the mood to expand your musical horizons with some class, please go get this album on vinyl. It truly is easy listening, and because I don't know too much about jazz, there's not much I can say other than, "I've listened to jazz before, and this is definitely awesome stuff." It's great as background music, but to be really appreciated, you have to sit and actually listen to it, because the instruments do the singing, vice a...singer...Coleman Hawkins is one of the great musicians that the more well-known "greats" learned from (he influenced Louis Armstrong among others). He's brilliant, and although jazz (to me at least) seems oftentimes random and disorganized, the Hawk brings it all together with his sax. One of the few musicians that I've heard that speaks through his instrument (Clapton is another, but even he relies on lyrics). Get it.

1. Meet Doctor Foo
2. Fine Dinner
3. She's Funny That Way
4. Body and Soul
5. When Day Is Done
6. The Sheik of Araby
7. My Blue Heaven
8. Bouncing with Bean
9. Say It Isn't So
10. Spotlite
11. April in Paris
12. How Strange
13. Half Step Down, Please
14. Angel Face
15. There Will Never Be Another You
16. The Bean Stalks Again
17. Body and Soul
18. I Love Paris
19. Under Paris Skies


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More

This album comes courtesy of my good friend Jordan, who knew I enjoyed a good folk-rock ensemble. Before I got the album, one reviewer had said the quartet was "gutsy," and I couldn't agree more. Think of the Avett Brothers, but with a Brit accent and more layered instrumentation. Muted acoustics play back and forth with the mandolins and banjos, alternating between verse and chorus. Those that are regular readers of my blog know that I'm not a huge fan of multiple layers on a track, but this is the exception, because I've seen their live performances (online), and they're good. Lyrically, the usual topics are encompassed throughout the album: love, relationships, etc. But what really sets this band apart is their use of the instrumental off-set between the chorus and the verse. Listen and you'll hear it...the verses set up the rest of the band so sweetly for loud, crashing choruses. "White Blank Page" probably describes this the best. All-around, just a great, great folk-rock album. Variation is heavy throughout, which will keep your attention and leave you wanting more. FYI, "Little Lion Man" is a fantastic song, and if you really want to see their talent, listen to the song, and then watch them live. Barely a difference between the two...

1. Sigh No More
2. The Cave
3. Winter Winds
4. Roll Away Your Stone
5. White Blank Page
6. I Gave You All
7. Little Lion Man
8. Timshel
9. Thistle and Weeds
10. Awake My Soul
11. Dustbowl Dance
12. After the Storm