Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sam's Top 50 Songs of 2009

50. I Was A King - Norman Bleik

49. Violens - Already Oslo (Lilys vs. Rod Coles Remix)

48. Slim Thug - Thug

47. Friendly Fires - I'm Good I'm Gone (Lykke Li cover)

46. Black Lips - The Drop I Hold feat. GZA

45. Crystal Antlers - Andrew

44. Lady Gaga - Paparazzi

43. Passion Pit - Sleepyhead

42. Jamie Foxx - Blame It

Richie Cunningham in yet another music video.

41. Phoenix - Fences (Friendly Fires Remix)

40. Make The Girl Dance - Baby Baby Baby

39. Young Money - Every Girl

38. U2 - Magnificent (Fred Falke Remix)

37. Annie - Anthonio (Berlin Breakdown Version)

36. Coldplay - Lost+ (with Jay-Z) (Live At the 51st Grammy Awards)

Purely for what has to be the first golf clap reception Jay-Z has ever received.

35. Crocodiles - Summer Of Hate

34. Regina Spektor - Blue Lips

33. Priors - What You Need (Extended)

32. VEGA - No Reasons

31. Clipse - I'm Good (Remix Feat. Rick Ross)

30. Voxtrot - Trepanation Party

29. LeToya - Regret (Feat. Ludacris)

28. Florence And The Machine - Cosmic Love

27. Sally Shapiro - Miracle

26. The-Dream – Rockin’ That Shit

25. Little Boots - New In Town

24. U.S.E. - All The World

23. St. Vincent – Marrow

I enjoy watching Annie Clark play guitar.

22. Modernaire - Faites Vos Jeux

21. Lily Allen - The Fear

20. Taylor Swift - You Belong With Me

19. The Cribs - We Were Aborted

18. Au Revoir Simone - All Or Nothing

17. Dirty Projectors + David Byrne - Knotty Pine

16. Drake – Best I Ever Had

15. Kid Cudi - Make Her Say (Feat. Kanye West & Common)

Visually my favorite music video this year.

14. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll

13. St. Vincent - The Party

12. Maxwell - Pretty Wings

11. Gossip - Heavy Cross (Fred Falke Remix)

10. Phoenix - Lisztomania

A song about the difficulties of writing a hit song, which became a hit song that sounds so effortless.

9. The Cribs - We Share The Same Skies

8. Annie - I Don't Like Your Band

7. Jay-Z - Empire State Of Mind (Feat. Alicia Keys)

6. The Streets - Trust Me

The best UK garage hit released for free via twitter.

5. Raekwon - New Wu (Ft. Ghostface Killah & Method Man)

New Wu. Not in the sense that it's any different than the Wu-Tang of old we all know and love, rather it's the joy of experiencing the Wu-Tang Clan for the first time, all over again.

4. Annie - Songs Remind Me Of You

3. Girls - Lust For Life

2. St. Vincent - The Strangers

1. Phoenix - 1901

All the fundamental elements of my favorite songs this year jammed into electro/power-pop perfection.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sam's 9 Albums of 2009

#9. Au Revoir Simone - Still Night, Still Light

#8. Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II

#7. Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You

#6. The Cribs - Ignore The Ignorant

#5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!

#4. Girls - Album
#3. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

#2. St. Vincent - Actor

#1. Annie - Don't Stop / All Night EP

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Favorite Albums of the Decade

My friend Peter asked me to make this list so I thought I might as well do it up right and put it on charz2k since I haven't posted here in forevs.

This is weird. The "oughties" are ending. It's been a weird little decade for me. I guess I'm a child of the nineties. But the thing is, I'm an adult of the years 2000-2009. For the most part God's made it easy on me (if God actually controls any of this shit). But I've dealt with my fair share of adversity. I was a teenage punk rocker and that certainly doesn't make high school any easier. I've lost touch with many friends. I've given and received a broken heart. But I don't fucking care. If I could do it all over again I would. I'm a better, more mature person for it...I've learned a lot about myself...about my nature and the natures of others. And I've loved music all the while.

I've got good music memories of this decade. I've fallen in love to this music, I've fallen out of love to this music. I guess some of those memories are painful too...

Full disclosure: actually even through this decade I've mostly listened to music that was made before I was born!

Another actually: I always say things like this: "Yeah X is okay, but why wouldn't you listen to Y?" So, yeah this decade's music was okay...but I'd rather listen to things from 1979.

Before I continue let's get this out of the way (lots of caveats here, I know) - I don't think these are the best albums of the decade. Notice the lack of Kid A. These are my favorite albums of the decade. These are the albums that mean the most to me. Well, they're the albums that mean the most to me... that I could think of last night...I'm probably missing some and some probably don't deserve to be on here and this list is subject to change and I could put some more obscure things on here butyouwouldn'tknowthoseanyway so yes!

Heeeeeere we go! from last to first

15. Black Lips - Let It Bloom

Nothing too poignant about this thing for's just really good and slimy. It's just some dudes from the South making 60's type garage punk. They bleed on stage, they make out with each other, they get naked. I listened to this album a bunch and it was a cool, little revelation to me. It's like a new Nugget. It's fun. Derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I think I wanna' get fffffudged up tonight because I just finished my finals......I have to be at work early tomorrow but...maybe we'll get Thai food for lunch...I think I get paid tomorrow...tomorrow could be a good day.

14. Nobunny - Love Visions

This was a recommendation from Eloy. His girlfriend is the drummer in Vivian Girls. He and I talked for hours after the Vivian Girls show down here in Houston. I remember the band that went on before Vivian Girls was like this goofy sub-Yoko Ono avant-garde from Houston. It was like No Wave Industrial noise but it was pretentious and uninteresting. The vocalist would say things like "Godddd! Fuuuuck!" into the microphone. I understand and appreciate shock value and dissonance as well as the next guy but give me a damn break.

Anyway, after talking to the Vivian Girls for a while I told Eloy I thought the opening band was terrible. "And I like DNA and Swans!" I added. He agreed and he expressed his love for DNA and Swans too. From that point we discovered we liked the exact same music. Oh man it was nerdy...we shared music recommendations all night! He also recommended a bunch of good punk bands I had (somehow) never heard before...oooohh and Hunx and His Punx who also just fucking kill it.

We said we'd keep in touch via Myspace but now I don't remember my password! Anyway, thanks Eloy!

Also one of the dudes in Ariel Pink asked me if I had any Fentanyl (I didn't because I'm not an 80-year-old lady with a broken hip and I will do a lot of shit but I'd rather stay away from heroin for fuck's sake so I'm not going to have recreational-use Fentanyl) ; this marked the second time some band guy had asked me for drugs.

13. Girls - Album

I know this is an album from this year. Maybe it won't have staying power, but as of now, I don't care. It's so emotionally raw and well-written. Are those journalist cliches? You should check out the songwriter's biography's ffffucked up! My favorite album of 2009 by miles. Worthy of the hype.

12. William Basinski - The Disintegration Loops

This guy is from Houston, I think. He makes loops and, as the story goes, he was converting old loops to an updated format when the tapes started to disintegrate. Did I mention he was doing this from atop his NYC apartment's roof as the World Trade Center collapsed. If you listen to the loops you can hear elements slowly fade out almost imperceptibly. There's a metaphor here, huh? RIP World Trade were the Qatsiest buildings I've ever seen.

11. J Dilla - Donuts

This shit is just ill. Jay killed himself later so there's a bunch of beautiful subtext to these tracks.

10. Electrelane - The Power Out

Awesome all-girl modern post-punk sound. Every song is immensely interesting and the collection of songs works wonderfully as an album. Eric and I always note that you can almost hear the guitar solos plucked out note by calculated note. This, we decided, is the result of a girl playing guitar. I'd rather hear these guitar things than Eric Fucking Crapton I'll tell you that! Eric Clapton, eat a bowl of dicks.

9. Super Furry Animals - Rings Around the World

I wish I had a gold tooth. Maybe when I'm 47 I can get one. Then when I die my skull will look like it's the skull of a bad ass. I mean it will be the skull of a bad ass...but without the gold toof how can you tell?

8. Belle and Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress

My introduction to this band. I listened to it when I was going through a bad breakup. For that reason it still plucks my heart straaangs. Damn that girl on the she hot or what?! Someone find her name for me. Don't let those stupid customers get you down, girl!

Mike Piazza is gay. There, I answered it for you. My dad used to love him (Piazza) but he's a big Dodgers fan and we're Italian and we Italians automatically love all famous Italians.

7. The Libertines - Up The Bracket

Punk fucking energy. It's got some artsy intelligence to it also which immediately bumps it up to post-punk status. They play the songs like they're falling down the stairs...Mark E. Smith's stairs. They're falling down Fall stairs.

6. Jim Noir - Tower of Love

Awesome songs on an awesome album composed by one man and a computer. It's not all faggy like other albums recorded by those methods. It's lush, poppy, self-deprecating and amazing. His other album, the eponymous one, is also straight up awesome. I remember watching the World Cup and they played "Eanie Meanie" from this album on a commercial. My brother and I were like "OK, Jim Noir's rich now!"

5. Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury

"You can tell me 'bout your day/ I'll pretend I'm listenin'/ And you ain't gotta' love me just be convincin'"

"I philosophize about glocks and keys/ niggas call me young, black Socrates"

"The news called it crack/ I called it Diet Coke"

This shit is like angry but it's reigned-in anger. It's all done through clenched teeth. It's intelligent rap about selling coke. Look at those lines...they're clever...about selling coke!

4. Adam Green - Friends of Mine

Sometimes I think I'm the only person in the world who likes this album. What's wrong with you bitches? Every song is catchy. All the lyrics are like randomly-compiled poetry. It's like "found art" in audio form with lyrics just cobbled together. Each song has a strong, yet obscured emotion at its heart.

3. Superdrag - In The Valley of Dying Stars

Honestly, this could easily be my number one. It probably means more to me than any of these other albums. This was the musical love of my life for a while. This is the album I bought when I saw them for the first time. I was expecting to be underwhelmed as I listened to old punk almost exclusively at that point, but I was blown away. I used to drop my high school girlfriend off at her house at like 3am and then I'd just drive around for an extra thirty minutes before going home so I could listen to this album.

2. The Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantic

Derivative, yeah. But it's just punk you pussy. It's supposed to sound like that. I could never communicate how much I love this album. I'm sure I could employ some subitaneous reasoning and produce some sort of almost rational statement (inasmuch as an emotion statement can be considered rational) explaining my feelings for this album. But, I don't want to think about this too much. It's not an album that invites you to think. Just enjoy it! It's just everything you could ever want in a punk album. There, I said something! Happy now?! Why did this band die? Why is fucking Nickelback not dead yet? Why do I have an antagonistic relationship with the reader of this article?

1. The Strokes - Is This It?

I can't believe I'm choosing the same #1 as NME. Their list is terrible. In hindsight, I simply enjoyed this album more than I enjoyed any other album of the decade. I listened to this all the time back in the day. I chose the UK album art because it has a butt on it.

Let's try harder next decade!

with much much love,