Best Albums first half of 2010

Thursday, 24 June, 2010

Like last year I’d like to list the best records I’ve heard so far (alphabetically). I haven’t really heard that much music as last year, which might affect my list.

Caribou ‘Swim’, City Slang. “Odessa” is a monster track. And album is not bad, not bad at all.

Joanna Newsom ‘Hav one on me’, Drag City. Newsom tops her beautiful ‘Ys’ with 200 minutes of incredible song writing and singing.

LCD Soundsystem ‘This is happening’, EMI roecords. Dance music with hang over? Sounds like a party at 6 in the morning.

Shearwater ‘The Golden Archipelago’, Matador. Pompous pop music, much like the record ‘Rook’.

The Besnard Lakes ‘Are The Roaring Night’, Jagjaguwar. Vocal based post rocking little gem. Heard them first via Chromewaves.

The National ‘High Violet’, 4AD. Great sound, good and bad lyrics but all in all on heavy rotation at home and at work.

Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra ‘Kollaps Tradixionales’, Constellation. Read my review.

Battles and Wolf Parade still to be release later this year. This can become a pretty good year, but I probably need to step up and explore the unexplored a bit more. Else I could get disappointed about 2010.

I would like to mention some good records that I bought, but that are not from 2010:

Ben Frost ‘By the throat’, Bedroom Community Record. Mistake not buying it last year.

Eels ‘blinking lights and other reevlations’, Vagant Records. Emotional and strong.

Interpol ‘Turn n the Bright Lights’, Matador. I’m late. But when I heard “Hands away” I knew I had missed the record and went straight out and erased my mistake.

Prog is not a four letter word’ compiled by Andy Votel, Delay 68 Records. Heard ‘Sun Ui Lim’ at Moteldemoka.com and has not been disappointed about the compilation on obscure prog.

Best album in the decade 2000-2009

Wednesday, 19 May, 2010

Maybe I mistake most important album with most important band.
Maybe the album isn’t even their major masterpiece, that one was released in the 90ies.
Maybe half of you who read this disagree, but my choice is far that controversial as the release of the album.
To me it is a “safe choice”. Maybe many of us are wrong, when we pick an album of the last decade so close after leaving the former decade.
But this album is a landmark. Their so-called masterpiece from ’97 promised an inheritor to U2. Not extrovert, rather introvert and sneering. And while Ok Computer is facing backwards, Kid A is forward-looking into the new decade, maybe even century.

I met with a couple of guys, just the same from the previous “Night before New Years Eve”, and we played two songs from albums within three categories:

  • Most important album from a musical perspective.
  • Most important album from a personal perspective.
  • And most important album from Denmark.
  • As introduced above I chose Radiohead “Kid A” from a musical perspective. My friends chose the following albums:

      Scott Walker – The Drift
      Elbow – Asleep in the Back
      Modest Mouse – Moon & Antarctica
      Eels – Blinking Lights and other Revelations
      The National – Alligator
      Battles – Mirrored
      Kevin Drumm – Sheer Mellish Miasma

    From the personal perspective I have been very fond of Thee Silver Mt Zion. But if I should bring out an album that has meant the most to me I’d say Man’sbestfriend “New Human is Illegal”. The poetry, the aggression, the samples, the humor, everything is just a perfect ‘unit’. My friends chose:

      Ilyas Ahmed – Between Two Skies / Towards the Night
      Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights
      Sigur Ros – ()
      Christian Kjellvander – Songs from a two-room chapel
      Beirut – Gulag Orkestar
      The National – Alligator
      Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – More Revery

    In the last category I and one other chose Efterklang “Tripper” to be the best album from Denmark in the same decade. Other picks were:

      Manual – Azure Vista
      Moi Caprice – The Art of Kissing Properly
      Tiger Tunes – Absolutely Worthless Compared To Important Books
      Decorate Decorate – Normandie
      Speaker Bite Me – If Love is Missin It must be Imposed
      Mikael Simpson – Bsider, udtag og meget triste radiomix

    Oh my a lot of albums have not even been mentioned above. But if you like some of the choices above, do check out Pitchfork > P2K. Maybe you find your own favourite there.

    The (new?) flagship of Constellation Records has once again released a beautiful, epic album. With all the greatness, desperation and poetry we know them doing the best.

    Thee Silver Mt. Zion still have the well-known large, saturate sound of electric guitar, violin, drums and singing on “Kollaps Tradixionales”. The compositions have somehow moved back to “Horses in the sky” but with the rawness and somewhat rock tunes of “13 Blues for Thirteen Moons” integrated. But there is a larger diversity in the soundscape than before.

    Nick Southgates ends his review in the Wire [313, March 2010] with the words “and perhaps best enjoyed one slice at a time”. If so, I recommend listening to all tracks by Thee Silver Mt. one slice at a time. The intensity of emotions, the big sound (loud or quite) and the poetic lyrics are the main ingredients in the works of Thee Silver Mt. Zion works. They have their ethics, aesthetics, ideals and “political” stance. And this probably attracts the audience as well as it rejects other.

    Favorite track is ‘I built myself a metal bird’ and is the closest they ever got to a popular (punk) rock song. Efrim singing “Dance Motherfuckers” as the beat of the machines making the world go around. An effective anthem and probably wonderful track LIVE.

    Since “13 Blues…” the lyrics has been a part of the physical release. It helps somewhat to understand the creative nature of the songwriting, when being able to read the lyrics. From ‘There is a light’:

    “But there ain’t no truth but the no truth but the no truth, Yeah! Ain’t no thing but the nothing but the nothing”

    The lyrics still have “trumpets in heaven” and “the olde dirty flag”. It’s both a personal pledge as it is a global inquiry. I like the always returning repetition that musical as lyrical gives the text some edge, intimacy and introverted character.

    ‘ ’piphany rambler’ is another great song. The closing track has builds up as many other Thee Silver Mt. Zion tracks, but it never gets to the final crescendo. And that actually – to me today – makes the song a little more outstanding, a little more painful and pushes the sadness without ending in an expected desperation.

    Thee Silver Mount Zion Memorial Bandwhy? sanddollars

    It was another fantastic year exploring new music and widening the musical horizon. I was both getting back to my metal roots and had a breakthrough regarding folk slash alternative country.

    Before mentioning my top 5, I would like to make a small introduction to the crew of “Night before New Years Eve”. We are not experts nor more competent because we have listened to more new music than some other guys out there. We have a great interest in music and although there are similarities between each other, there is also a huge difference. Along the respect of each other, this makes this happening to something very special. Maybe the other guys have a different approach, this is mine.

    Mikkel: One of my best friends since 2000. A great inspiration in life and did a lot to make me like the Cure, The Smiths and new music from Sweden and Britain (NME bands). He’s a former freelance DJ, who played both in Copenhagen and Aarhus.
    Christian (or .chrz): Never standing back on a challenge and exploring the corners of music history and future. Long time friend through poetry.
    Asbjørn: Singer in Decorate.Decorate. As DJ Land a former DJ at Indie Night and now freelance DJ having played at acknowledged night clubs in both Copenhagen and Berlin. Also a friend whom I first met through digte.dk.
    Houmøller: Know him through Mikkel. A freelance music journalist writing for Jyllands Posten and some other magazines. DJing freelance as “DJ Dada”. Born in 1967 the eldest around.
    Lasse: Guitarist and singer in Salli Lunn. Know him through Mikkel and lived with him at Holtegade in most of the year 2005.
    Jonas: Met him at the same time as Mikkel. Is peaking when listening to David Bowie and folk/ country. Maybe also classical music.
    DJ Caine: Founder and host of Indie Night at Stengade 30.

    In my opinion the best five songs this year were

    Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band – God bless our dead marines (Constellation)
    Why? – 500 Fingernails (Anticon)
    Deerhoof – Green Cosmos (ATP Recordings)
    Sunn o)) – CandleGoat (Southern Lord)
    Electrelane – Eight steps (Too Pure)

    A Silver Mt Zion is still the most interesting band from constellation and with Efrim singing, wailing, chanting and continuing evolving the sound of the band. God Bless our dead marines is outstanding.
    500 fingernails is a one hit wonder that never got enough attention. Although the melancholy and sadness this songs always makes me want to dance.
    The EP “Green Cosmos” was not my first encounter with Deerhoof (I think it was “My pal foot foot”). But is were the only one, where I was completely turned on. There are several tracks I like, but this stood out for me.
    At The Rock I had an amazing concert experience with Sunn o)). Black one is a dark masterpiece and although only .chrz appreciated me playing CandleGoat, I’m very pleased to have in my top 5. Actually I had the promo of “ØØ Void” for many years, but this concert was the breakthrough and a new start for me to explore the genres of metal. Again.
    I love (my perception of) Mia Clark. And “Axes” was the best release from Electrelane so far.

    Among these fantastic songs one did stood out at the “Night before New Years Eve”. The joker this year was “most unthinkable to like”, which means the best song you couldn’t have imagined you would like. For example this could result in playing songs from artists or genres you normally dislike. And it did for me. Normally my view of country was that is boring and singer songwriters didn’t really catch me. But the collaboration “Calexico | Iron & Wine” did. And this was not for this night only. My view on folk and country had changed since being inspired by .chrz and others. I started – slowly – to accept the genre and find joy listening to different tunes. But there is still a lot of crap – as in many other genres.