Archive for the 'Music' Category

My Favorite Albums of 2010

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Hi Blog! Remember me? Yeah I got kinda busy there for a while… maybe I’ll start updating more often, but I’m not making any promises. For now, I will commit to stepping in really quick and sharing my list of favorite albums of 2010. Now I’m not a professional music magazine or site, simply a fan. So let me reiterate (as I do every year) that these are the albums that I liked the best that came out this past year. If I was going by what I personally enjoyed the most, I’m sure the list would look different. Anyhow, whatever. Doesn’t matter. Enough of my babbling. Here’s my list already, starting at 11. Why? Because it’s now 2011, and that’s completely logical.


11. Midlake – The Courage of Others

This album always puts me in a mellow mood. My first thought when I heard it was that it sounded like it should have been on the soundtrack of the old animated Rankin & Bass “The Hobbit” or “Lord of the Rings” soundtrack… I still kinda hold by that, so I guess that means it reminds me of America? Whatever… I just like this record a lot, okay? Leave me alone. Check out this fan-made video to my favorite track “Acts of Man”


10. Brandon Flowers – Flamingo
Brandon Flowers "Flamingo"

Now, I don’t like every track on this record, and I think it loses steam towards the end, but the strong tracks are REALLY strong. I really admire that he wanted to keep writing and recording music while the rest of the band decided to take a well-deserved hiatus. The lead single “Crossfire” is definitely my favorite song on here, followed by “Hard Enough”, “Magdaelena”, and “Only The Young”. Great job, Brandon!


9. She & Him – Vol 2

She & Him "Vol. 2"

I actually liked this album better than their first, which is saying a lot. My kids know the lyrics to most of these songs – which I guess also goes for most of the other records on this list – but it’s really cute seeing Cricket singing “Driving in My Car”. Thank you Zooey for more sweetness!


8. Yeasayer – Odd Blood
Yeasayer "Odd Blood"

This was also on my list last year (thanks internet leaks!), but I still love this record so much it deserves a spot. Once you get past the first track, the album is admittedly a bit front-loaded, with such great singles as “Ambling Alp”, “O.N.E.” and “Madder Red”. The rest holds up pretty well, but those are definitely the best ones. I was sad to miss their set at Coachella, but I got to meet their singer, Chris and he was a really cool guy. So, thanks, Yeasayer!!


7. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
LCD Soundsystem "This Is Happening"

Speaking of really cool guys at Coachella, James Murphy is a friggin’ prince. What a guy. I chatted with him for about 5-10 minutes and he was totally approachable and friendly. Name dropping aside, this album is really really good. “I Can Change” and “All I Want” are my favorite tracks by far, but the rest of the record is really solid. “Dance Yrself Clean” kinda makes my break go crazy after the music breaks in. My friend Chris didn’t like them based on their set at Coachella saying he was just ranting in all of his songs… But most of their songs are really like that and they’re kinda fun that way. Oh yeah, and this video blew my mind.


6. The Arcade Fire – Suburbs
Arcade Fire "The Suburbs"

Well, they did it again. The Arcade Fire are still as awesome as ever. “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains” is my favorite track, but they’re all great. Especially when listened to in order. It paints a great picture of the joys and boredoms of growing up in the suburbs. It’s awesome. I really like the new directions they experimented with, from Neil Young style folk to 80′s synth.. Really cool. Can’t wait to see them in April!


5. Vampire Weekend – Contra
Vampire Weekend "Contra"

Haters can keep on hatin’, but I still think Vampire Weekend is a great band. Sure they may be spoiled ivy-leage brats who haven’t worked a day in their lives. Sure their sound is derivative of greater bands like Bow Wow Wow, The Police, and Paul Simon (who themselves were derivative of African pop music). Sure they weren’t the warmest people I met at Coachella last year. But I’m willing to overlook all of that because when it comes down to the music none of that matters. It’s like a pitchfork review where they take in account everything except for the actual music. Well, I love this record up and down. Played it a lot in the car with the family, and the kids like it. Now if they’d just stop playing that car commercial with “Holiday” on it every five minutes…


4. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor

This is a great debut from this local (har har) band that really took off nationally. I wouldn’t say this album breaks new ground creatively, as I’d describe it as basically “indie rock” but man it’s freaking great indie rock. So many great songs on here that really stuck with me. “Airplanes” can move me to tears if I let it. “Cubism Dream” is another favorite of mine. Great underrated album.


3. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
Gorillaz "Plastic Beach"

I had really high expectations for this record, being the big Gorillaz fan that I am, and I’m glad I wasn’t disappointed. It was a bit more difficult to swallow at first, and I must admit it took time to grow on me, especially the second half. But after a while I really REALLY got into it. And sorry to mention Coachella yet again, but yeah, they blew me away and played almost this entire record. “On Melancholy Hill” “Super Fast Jelly Fish” “Stylo” “Empire Ants”.. the hits just keep on coming!


2. Future Islands – In Evening Air
Future Islands "Wave Like Home"

I am really, REALLY surprised this record didn’t make it on to any other year-end lists. This album has so much replay value for me, it’s crazy. For having one of the most dramatic vocalists out there, I was really surprised at how subdued a lot of this record is, as opposed to some of their faster, more intense work in the past. Sam’s vocals really make it, but musically, it’s just fantastic as well. If you’ve never heard them, I implore you to check them out.


1. Mark Ronson & The Business INTL – Record Collection
Mark Ronson "Record Collection"

Speaking of underrated albums, I just don’t get how this amazing album flew so far under the radar. Maybe it was huge in Europe? I dunno. I first saw the video for “Bang Bang Bang” in July at my buddy Quang’s place and it blew me away – both the music and the video. Oh my gosh. Amazing. I couldn’t wait until it came out in September, and I was not disappointed at all. Following a similar formula as Gorillaz, chock full of guest appearance (Simon Le Bon, The Pipettes, Ghostface Killa, Q-Tip, Boy George and lots more), it mixes electronic pop, hip hop and synthy 80′s new wave pop. I’m really glad he progressed from his 60′s Dap King cover-fest style of his last record. Not that that was bad at all, but this one just kills it. All the songs are great and I’ve played the heck out of it with the kids on the way to school. Number one for a reason.


Honorable mentions:

MGMT – Congratulations

Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles (2010)

Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid

Devo – Something For Everybody

Fang Island – Fang Island

Broken Bells – Broken Bells

Band of Horses – Infinite Arms

Favorite non-2010 album this year

Sufjan Stevens – Illinoise

More Yo Gabba Coachella!

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Here’s all five of the character videos at Coachella! I got to go and co-direct this with my brother Christian and watch magic happen as my buddy Jason cut it all together. Great work, everyone!

Yo Gabba Gabba at Coachella!

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Here’s what I did a couple weekends ago.

I’ll add more details if I ever feel like it.

GOGO13 – “Down In A Barrel”

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Current Mood:Esctatic emoticon Esctatic

Hey look! It’s finally done!

I Directed a Music Video!

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Current Mood:Esctatic emoticon Esctatic

So last week (Thursday and Friday), I got to direct my first music video for my brother Parker’s famous band, GOGO13. It’s for a new song called “Down in a Barrel” and it’s going to be a whole lot of fun. I’ll edit it over the next couple of days and I’ll post it as soon as I’m done. woo woo!

Huge thanks to my buddy Will for helping me out with so much stuff!

Top Albums of 2009

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Is it too late for my year-end lists for 2009? I don’t care. It was a tough year for music for me. My iPod broke back in April right before I left Jersey, so I didn’t consume nearly as much music as I did in ’08. But whatever. Here you go – my favorite albums that were released last year.

10. Yeasayer – Odd Blood
So right out of the gates, I’m breaking my own rules. This album really came out early 2010 (is it even out yet?) but I listened to it solid through the month of December. If this were really an ’09 album, it would probably be in my top two. And yes, I reserve the right to keep this album in the running for next year’s list. In any case, “Odd Blood” totally melted my brain. Here’s a weird video:

9. Beirut – March of the Zapotec / Holland Real People
This is a double EP album (is that a thing?) with the first disc being more traditional sounding Beirut (european or mexican traditional folk music with tubas and violins and whatnot). But the second disc is what I really like. It sounds like head the old “Real People” demos – which is basically Zach crooning over his own digital beats. “No Dice” and “My Night With a Prostitute from Merseilles” are my favorites.

8. The Very Best – The Warm Heart of Africa
This is a great fun record with a lot of fun African beats. I wish I knew more about it, but I don’t. They did a song with Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend which is fantastic. Check it out and see if it doesn’t make you just a bit happier.

7. Discovery – LP
Did someone say Vampire Weekend? This is an experimental electronic type of project with one guy from VW and another guy from Ra Ra Riot (sorry, I’m too lazy to look up the names.). Similar to Postal Service I guess if Postal Service cheered up a bit and wasn’t afraid to get silly. Sorry no video, but you can listen to a song:

6. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Great album from a great Frenchy band. You’ve probably heard this song on a car commercial, and I have too. It’s an amazing tune and the whole record is equally good. Buster gets all happy when I play this in the car and says “Hey! I know this song!” When you’re done with the video for 1901 below, check out this amazing fan video for “Listzomania” featuring Brat Pack kids rocking out. so fun.

5. Moneybrother – Real Control
I’m really glad Moneybrother came back with this record after being disappointed with their last one. “Real Control” is catchy all the way through. If you’re not in the loop Moneybrother the unkown (at least in the US) solo project of Anders Wendin (ex-Monster). I’m a major geek for this guys’ music. He’s awesome. A lot of classic soul, rock, whatever. This song below has a bit more of a late 70′s reggae / ska vibe (which is about as Jamaican as I got all year).

4. New Moon Soundtrack
Ok, before you judge me as a 13 year old girl (or 20-something housewife) for this, hear me out. I’m not a Twilight fan. I don’t feel like that’s even necessary to state. But, this album is amazing. If this soundtrack were a compilation under a different name, it would receive a lot more credibility. Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, Lykke Li, Death Cab, etc. Great all the way through and not a track I don’t like. Don’t judge me.

3. Fever Ray – Fever Ray
Karin from the Knife’s solo project that is even darker and creepier. I totally love this record. And I gotta say, seeing her live was probably one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

2. Passion Pit – Manners
I love this record all over the place. At first I thought it was electro-dancey then I thought it was more indie-rocky, then I stopped worrying and just loved it for what it was. Lots of layers going on here. Great lyrics, great melodies… Sure you could say it’s over-produced, but that doesn’t bother me at all. It sounds fantastic. I was disappointed watching some live clips of them, as the vocals are so stacked on the album, it just didn’t hold up live. Well, I’ll find out at Coachella. :)

1. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
A favorite of many is also a favorite of mine. Lots of moods and textures and stuff. Definitely not the most accessible album of the year (nor the least accessible for that matter), but it sure grew on me pretty quick. You know it. You love it. I don’t need to say anything else. Here it is.

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

I saw this a while ago, yet I felt that it’s needed now more than ever.

“Freshcut” – I’m Gonna Write!

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

So as I was expressing concern to Marylynn today about what I’m going to write about for my blog-a-day commitment and she (being my voice of reason in my life that she is) suggested that I stretch my writing muscles and post up a story, chapter by chapter. This struck me as a great idea, and after some thought, we agreed I should post up a story that I’ve already started.

While contemplating my career choices and my future a few weeks ago, I decided to revisit one of my old passions, writing. I haven’t really written anything since I was in High School, but I really loved it. While my long-term dreams still involve filmmaking, I came to realize that it all starts with writing. And that’s something I can do in the here and now.

Tentatively entitled “Freshcut”, it’s my autobiographical account of my adventures as a teenaged anti-racist skinhead in the Utah ska scene. It will document four years of my life (from 15 to 19) and the stuff that happened during that time.

Two years ago, I was able to consult documentary filmmaker, Brandon Smith’s on his awesome documentary, “The Upbeat”. It focused on the Utah ska in the 90′s and I was able to point him to a lot of good people to talk to and share stories and whatnot. Unfortunately, do to geographical circumstances, I never got my chance to sit down in front of the camera and tell some of my stories. When I finally saw the finished product, I was really really impressed with how well it turned out and how throrough it was. Then I started to picture how a dramatic narrative of the same story would look on screen (much like “Lords of Dogtown” was adapted from documentary “Dogtown and Z-Boys”). Then I started thinking about my own stories between going to shows and my life at home, I realized there was a lot of good material there.

I started by writing my story and the more and more I wrote the more I realized it could be a solid book on its own. And if it turns out to be quality, I’d love to see it adapted for the screen (either big or little. Whatever.) So at this point, I have a few pages written and a rough outline sketched out of stories I think are noteworthy. My goal is to get the story published on this here blog chapter by chapter over the next year or so (or however long it takes). If people read it and like it, cool. If not, I don’t mind. I just want to get it written and out. I would love to get feedback and questions down in the comments section.

So with my commitment to blog every day this month, it gives me that much more motivation. But don’t worry, I’ll mix it up. I won’t get stuck on this for the next 27 posts. :)

You can expect the first chapter up early next week.

Blow Update!

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Hey there Blow fans! We’ve got some updates for you and man, is it a doozy! All sorts of rumors are swirling ever since Blow’s meet and greet at the White House on Friday, June 12. The event invitation is as follows:

President Barack Obama and his administration will be enjoying the musical stylings of Blow at this black-tie dinner tonight attended by a mix of politicians, celebrities and journalists.

Among those attending will be Eva Longoria Parker, Ashton Kutcher, Christian Slater, Natalie Portman, Buster Jacobs, Sting, Mariska Hargitay, Steven Spielberg, Leslie Hall and Jon Bon Jovi. Also Richard Phillips, who was held hostage by Somali pirates after his cargo ship was attacked.

Will Cricket get a butt? Will Lily get an eye? Show up tonight to find out!

$200 a plate, RSVP

This high profile event featured a guest appearance by singer / activist for something, Irishman Bono.

(Cricket says Bono was a bit of a diva backstage, and borrowed all their hair care products, but they put up with him.)

Then later that week, the following image surfaced on the internets, suggesting the girls are doing a some studio work with acclaimed producer, Pharrell Williams.

This is very exciting news.

As the world is still reeling in shock and disbelief from the sudden passing of the King of Pop, the singer / dancer / memorabilia collector, Michael Jackson, (RIP, MJ!), the dates of his upcoming world tour dates have been left vacant. What does this have to do with Blow? Our sources tell us that they are slated to fill those dates ending in a final 3 year residency at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Hotel Casino.

And just as everything is looking like it’s on the up and up for our girls, Cricket and Lily dropped a bombshell on us. Today at an unbirthday party performance, they are officially changing their name to “Fuzzy Wuzzy”. They claimed to be “very very sorry” but felt “good” about the new direction. When asked the reason for the name change, Cricket explained “It’s a cute name. I think it’s cool” She continued to explain that “Sometimes it can be a pet name” and Lily was quick to add “…or a stuffed animal bear name.”

See our exclusive footage of the shocking announcement below before TMZ gets their filthy hands on it:

So will Fuzzy Wuzzy stick? When will the Pharrell material surface? Will Bono ever return the brush he borrowed from Lily? Only time will tell… Stay tuned for more updates! In the meantime, make sure you become a fan of Blow on Facebook!

The Day Farrah Fawcett Died

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Current Mood:Sad emoticon Sad

This really sucks. The woman was an inspiration and fought long and hard with cancer. Marylynn even served her once as a waitress at Ruby’s. I don’t want to be disrespectful, but I’ve been thinking about this day for 18 years because of this song:

The Day Farrah Fawcett Died
by The Vandals

Birds In The Air
Never Chirped The Same
Slobs In Bowling Alleys Know
They’d Never Burp The Same
They Came To Cry
Shocked With Disbelief
Broken Masses Of Millions
All Drowning In Their Grief

“She Was Just An Innocent
How Could You, God?”
They Cried, The Day
That Farrah Fawcett Died

Throughout The Globe
Every Chinese Man And Turk
Their Unifying Symbol
They Really Liked Her Work
But Who’s To Blame?
No One Made A Move
Until I Find Out Who Did This
Nobody Leaves The Room

“She Was Just An Innocent
How Could You, God?”
They Cried, The Day
That Farrah Fawcett Died

They Say The Road Was Icy
But That Just Don’t Add Up
A Bushy-Haired Intruder
Another Government Cover Up
A Drug-Related Overdose
A Hunting Accident,
Death At The Hands Of Another;
I Will Bet!

First JFK
And Then We Lost The King
Thank God It Must Be Over Now
They Say They Come In Threes
But Still I Ache
The World Has Lost A Friend
I Will Trade All
Of My ViewMaster Reels
To See Her Once Again

“She Was Just An Innocent
How Could You, God?”
They Cried, The Day
That Farrah Fawcett Died

…It Was The Day
I Heard My Momma Cry
It Was The Day
The Day I Hoped You Lied
It Was the Day
I Prayed to God You Lied

“She Was Just An Innocent
How Could You, God?”
They Cried, The Day
That Farrah Fawcett Died

Click Here to Download the MP3

Thanks, Farrah, you will be missed. RIP.