I sat in my bed last night, dying at the dual act of going through every one of my Facebook photos and iTunes shuffling a perfect mix for said occasion. I’m kind of psyching myself up to delete my Facebook and saving all my (horrifically awkward) photogenic moments seemed like a good way to start. I really forgot how horrific I was at being in any sort of picture, but it’s weirdly amazing to know a chunk of my teenage years were documented via a website.
But honestly, who wants the shithead things they said at 16 lingering on the internet, free to be looked by a click of the timeline? So yeah…so long, Facebook. And Mark Zuckerberg. I imagine you had a lot of mean names created out of your last name in elementary school and I know that feel (Gagnon…yes, I recognize that’s my last name) Still, I want to rid myself of your social networks and the way you treated Andrew Garfield was disgraceful. He’s Spiderman now. You fucked that one up.
Also, this is my 500th post on here. This post is my gift to you all. Verbal vomit. Yuck.
Someone from work today tried to convince me Wiz Khalifa is a better all-around artist than Kanye.
I hate to be the guy that uses gifs to explain himself, but…dear lord, my face…
I like wanted to ask him if he needed help or something. Maybe a hug, I dunno. Kid just seemed really lost.
Walk The Moon is such a solid band, it’s not even funny. This week’s been crazy fun birthday concert times and the other night topped it off perfectly.
Young Statues - “Athens”
I can’t stay away from that smiling little girl,
She hears music in her head and she’s alive again.
It’s true; look west and it’s you.
For those who missed the reviews over the past few days, here is a playlist of selections from my six favorite records of 2012 so far. If you want to read the reviews on Sucre, fun., Chairlift, Beach House, Perfume Genius, Sigur Ros, or any of my other dumb thoughts on music, each name should link to the review when posted.
Also, check out the following bands/albums that just missed the list:
- Neon Trees’ Picture Show (Fuck guilty pleasures, this album would proudly be the #7 on the list. Six felt right though. Sorry, Neon Trees)
- The Neighbourhood’s I’m Sorry… EP (mark my words; this band will be huge very soon)
- Vacationer’s Gone (This album answers the question, “What would happen if all my summer adventures had a sweet indie soundtrack written by the guy that sang “Best Of Me”? And it’s a damn good answer too)
- Oberhofer’s Time Capsules II (Spazzy, electronic-inspired surf rock that sounds a bit like Los Campesinos! and has a lead singer that looks like Ted during his college years in How I Met Your Mother. Best listened to in a car, windows rolled down, with friends that can’t sing in pitch)
- Bad Bad Hats’ Grow Up EP (your face will be fixed in a grin hours after listening to this band’s 16 minutes of goodness. Please make more music, guy and gal of Bad Bad Hats!)
- Polica’s Give You The Ghost (making Autotune not only kinda cool, but beautiful)
- Japandroids’ Celebration Rock (haven’t gotten enough time to listen to this one, but sounds like awesome meets awesome and becomes a pinata full of awesome treats and legendary riffs)
Also, this 2012 mix and my friend Christian’s Mellow mix featuring a lot of solid music from the past few years.
The Best Albums of 2012…So Far :: Part 6 of 6 (in no specific order, by the way)
Beach House - Bloom
Pros: Beach House, as their name suggests, is a band that’s just set in my mind as the ideal dreamy soundtrack to an American teenager’s summer, wasting away on lazy bike rides, sweating the July and August months out in a deckchair beside a pool, and the pursuit of happiness if it comes without a sunburn. Bloom, however, is duo Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally’s grandest, darkest, and most cinematic record to date, swinging for a brooding teen drama’s soundtrack while not coloring too far outside the lines of their dreamy poppy image. “Myth” kicks the record off swooning over surrendering love…or something like that. “Help me to make it”, Legrand begs after declaring ”you say just what you need and, in between, it’s never as it seems”. Clarity never seems to come as the track fades into “Wild”, the closest thing Beach House has come to an anthem for escape and not ending up like one’s parents. Then, out of nowhere, “Lazuli”. After a brief keyboard-heavy intro, the song bursts open with “ahh ahh’s” chanting and immediately secures its place as an essential song for summer mixes as well as an essential song in Beach House’s career. The first half of the album in general is some of the best music I’ve heard from the band and the album is an easy fit for essential listening this summer for the emotionally charged, ‘hopeless romantic’ types out there.
Cons: As is what occasionally happens on Beach House albums, the songs begin to bleed together in the second half of the record. It happens much, much less on Bloom than any of their other three records, but the effect is certainly there on first listen. Beyond those initial listens though is an album that is truly remarkable start to finish and already a shoe-in for best indie release of the year. Also, I’m really bad at writing “cons” section. These albums featured are all fantastic. Listen to them.
Recommended Tracks: “Lazuli” (playing above), “Other People”, and “Myth”.
The Best Albums of 2012…So Far :: Part 5 of 6 (in no specific order, by the way)
Chairlift - Something
Pros: It began somewhere in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I was young and impressionable with a bag full of cassettes, a couple of boy band CDs, and a new CD walkman. In our house, the 1980s seemed to have enjoyed their stay an extra decade with my dad’s dedication to the gods Styx, Journey, and Peter Cetera and the synth rock seed was planted in me very quickly. I didn’t discover synth rock; synth-rock discovered, kidnapped, and forced its love onto me.
Flash forward roughly ten years and the devotion to all things drum machine and keyboard related have come back in full force. m83’s double album last year is a continued ode to the 1980s, resulting in international chart success for the first time in his career. Gotye sounds almost dead on like Sting and you can’t deny it. And Chairlift have concocted the year’s most over the top tribute to the decade with the aptly-titled Something. Case in point: “I Belong In Your Arms”. I’ve reblogged it about five times without shame, posted it on too many friends’ walls, blared it from my car to drown out my karaoke-on-a-good-day voice, and have allowed it to take over my life. It’s a would-be perfect single for 1982 and now 2012 and it’s everything I love about this album: stunning vocals by lead singer Caroline Polachek (who, on an unrelated note, absolutely fills my girl-in-a-band crush after Alexandra Lawn left Ra Ra Riot this past Spring), complete commitment to sounding as much as an ’80s pop band as possible, and the overwhelming amount of fun apparent in the music. Unlike so many other artists following this throwback craze, Chairlift concoct a mostly sincere effort at honoring their keytaring forefathers (more on that in the “Cons” section though) “Met Before” is the embodiment of getting lost in a city swarming with people, the double shot of “Ghost Tonight” and “Cool As A Fire” are both easy entries for your next brooding mixtape’s slow song, and the song and video for “Amanaemonesia” are such an even mix of what-the-fuckery, sexy, and awesome, it seems only logical to bust out some Bruce Springsteen circa “Dancing In The Dark”-era moves and fall in love.
Cons: To be quite honest, this album was on the line for me even though I enjoy it so much. The band is obviously talented, Polachek’s vocals alone are some of the best I’ve heard all year, and it’s a fun album for the summer. But where does genuine ’80s worship end and throwbacks for the sake of being trendy begin? The album only has some spots of going into the deep end with cheesiness (“Take It Out On Me”), but the stylistic choices (it plays a very small role in my liking of the album, but the album artwork is cringe-inducingly bad), the videos, and the overall feel of the album is so set on honoring the 1980s, it becomes a little unclear at times whether the admiration is true or on some level of sarcastic irony. This one’s definitely an odd pop record that will either be absolutely loved or hated, but undoubtedly has breakout potential in this new world of bands like Gotye succeeding and the ’80s rising once more.
Recommended Tracks: “Sidewalk Safari” (playing above), “I Belong In Your Arms”, “Cool As A Fire”.
The Best Albums of 2012…So Far :: Part 4 of 6 (in no specific order, by the way)
Sigur Ros - Valtari
Pros: It’s Sigur Ros. If you honestly need any coercing beyond that, Valtari takes the band’s trademark formula of otherworldly ambience, string sections on top of already-beautiful instrumentation, and Jonsi’s magnificent falsetto fluttering in between Icelandic mumblings and the language of aliens…and somehow makes it better. Case in point: “Varúð” is the meeting of the band’s louder, more straightforward material with pure ecstasy at the hands of Jonsi and a children’s choir. Then there’s the triple shot of “Rembihnútur” (playing above), “Dauðalogn”, and “Varðeldur”, which is easily three of Sigur Ros’ finest works and the best listening experience I’ve had so far this year. Jonsi’s vocals soar into new levels of “how is that falsetto even possible?”, the band’s careful attention to atmosphere and making cacophony sound gorgeous is at its strongest, and it’s all the indication I need to know this is one of the hardest working and most game-changing bands in the popular music world today.
Cons: After a two year break, Valtari is a much more subdued affair than the band’s previous album, the upbeat Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust. Some will call this album out for Sigur Ros doing what they do best without evolving their formula too much. To me, I really have no issue with that because this band’s sound is refreshingly different from most post-rock/ambient music, never mind popular music in general. For old Sigur Ros fans, this album feels like an old friend coming home again, albeit one that leaves almost too soon regardless of the album’s plenty-lengthy 55 minutes. For new fans though, this is a perfect example of the sound of Sigur Ros and one of the best post-rock/ambient albums that will come out this year. If you like what Sigur Ros has done in the past, you’ll likely enjoy this album. If you’ve never found the band to be all that accessible, this album won’t do you any favors. It’s Sigur Ros though…you really have to try and hate this band.
Recommended Tracks:If I have to pick, the aforementioned “Rembihnútur”, “Dauðalogn”, and “Varðeldur”. If I have to be honest, find a free hour and listen to this album in full as it deserves to be heard.
It’s Time - Imagine Dragons
heard this in perks too! <3
Well jeez, Perks of Being A Wallflower teaser trailer, way to go. Thanks for getting this cheeriness stuck all up in my brain.