Tag Archives: boys & girls

(31) Days of Good: 12.6.12

2012 had more than a handful of impressive debut full-lengths, including Alabama Shakes’ Boys & Girls, Porcelain Raft’s Strange Weekend, and Jack White’s Blunderbuss.  The tracks below don’t even begin to scratch the surface of debuts this year, but these are a few of my favorites.


The buzz band of 2011 did not disappoint.  If you have yet to give this record a chance, you’re only hurting yourself.  It’s more than just “Southern rock”.  It’s rock and soul at it’s best, due in large part to Brittany Howard’s incredible voice.

Alabama Shakes – Heavy Chevy [from Boys & Girls]


Chilean indie-pop at it’s best.  I have no idea what they are singing about, but I love it.  This particular track sounds like M83 in Spanish.

Astro – Panda [from Astro]


Bright Moments is the brain child of multi-instrumentalist Kelly Pratt (best known for his work with Beirut and Arcade Fire).  Natives is a very uplifting record (i’ve heard it described as “sunny-pop”).  Whenever I listen, I feel like going on adventures.  With tracks like “Tourists”, “Travelers”, and “Drifters”, maybe adventures is exactly what Pratt had in mind.

Bright Moments – Travelers [from Natives]


Critics shat all over Clock Opera’s debut full-length, but I enjoyed it immensely.  Was it perfect?  No, but how many perfect albums are there?  Ways To Forget has a handful of fantastic tracks, including “Let Go The Lifeboats”, “11th Hour”, “Belongings”, “Move To The Mountain”, and best of all, the lead-off track “Once And For All”.

Clock Opera – Once And For All [from Ways To Forget]


Exitmusic’s (Brooklyn husband-wife duo Devon Church and Aleksa Palladino) Passage was one of my top 10 albums of 2012.  An amazing and emotionally charged record that I seem to enjoy more with every listen.  If Beach House were to team up with Sigur Rós, I imagine it would sound like this.

Exitmusic – White Noise [from Passage]


J. Tillman (former drummer for Fleet Foxes) released his debut solo album as Father John Misty this year.  I’m still a bit surprised with how much I like Fear Fun.  I’m generally not a fan of freak-folk/jam-band music, but there’s something about Father John Misty’s sound that I like.  I should also add that this was one of my highlights at this year’s Outside Lands.  One of the best set’s I caught and it was totally on accident.

Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings [from Fear Fun]


Jack White is one of God’s gifts to rock music.  Easily one of the most prolific rock musicians of my generation.  Now, after music slutting it up in so many great bands over the years, White released his first solo record this year, Blunderbuss.  If you’re not hooked on this record after you listen to “Sixteen Saltines”, there’s something wrong with you.  Robin Hilton (NPR: All Songs Considered) puts it best — “White writes better about youth and the teen years, the school years, better than anybody.”  Mr. White totally blew me away at this year’s Outside Lands.  If you get the chance, you MUST see him live.

Jack White – Sixteen Saltines [from Blunderbuss] [stream]


The Lumineers debut is folk-rock at it’s best — gritty, raw, and heartfelt.  I’m very interested to see what’s next for this Denver trio.

The Lumineers – Stubborn Love [from The Lumineers]


Porcelain Raft is the brain child of Italian born Mauro Remiddi.  Over the last couple of years, Remiddi has teased us with some impressive EPs and singles and toured extensively, with the likes of The Antlers, Youth Lagoon, and M83.  His debut LP, Strange Weekend, is one of my favorites.  Definitely in my top 10 of the year.  With so many great tracks to pull from, i’ll make it easy on myself and go with the first track I ever heard.

Porcelain Raft – Drifting In And Out [from Strange Weekend]


Purity Ring is an indie-electronic duo from Canada.  I’ve heard them compared to The Knife, which is a bit of a stretch in my opinion.  If I were to compare them to anybody, you could find some production similarities with Crystal Castles.  With that said, they have a really cool, very synth heavy, sound that they’ve made their own.

Purity Ring – Fineshrine [from Shrines]


Tanlines are an electronic, indie-pop duo from Brooklyn.  Mixed Emotions was a strong debut and an undeniably fun record.  Bummed I missed them out Outside Lands this year.

Tanlines – All Of Me [from Mixed Emotions]


When I listen to the experimental and up-beat sounds on Vacationer’s debut album, Gone, I go on adventures in my memories.  I can’t help but picture myself as a carefree kid at the lake every summer, crushing on girls i’ll never see again.  Gone is childhood memories and chill-wave music wrapped into one and I love it.

Vacationer – Be With You [from Gone]


Favorite Albums of 2012 (so far): Part 1

I hadn’t really thought this post would have multiple parts, but it seems my intentions became much more ambitious as I sat down to finally write this.  In my defense, 2012 has been another fantastic year of music.  We’ve had new releases from the likes of Sigur Rós, Beach House, Air, and Sleigh Bells, as well as some really exciting debuts, including those from Alabama Shakes, Porcelain Raft, Clock Opera, and Kishi Bashi.  On top of all that, we still have new stuff from The xx, Passion Pit, Yeasayer, and Animal Collective on the horizon.  Needless to say, I’m in love with a lot of music right now and it’s gonna be super hard for me to narrow down my favorites come December.

So as we wait for the “best of” season, I’m gonna showcase my 40 favorite albums of the year so far.  To make things a bit easier on my end, they’ll be in alphabetical order.  Like I said earlier, narrowing this list down and picking favorites among favorites will be no easy task and I only want to do it once this year.  So without further ado, I present my Favorite Albums of 2012 (so far): Part I.  Enjoy.


Air//Le voyage dans la lune



Alabama Shakes//Boys & Girls



Beach House//Bloom



Bright Moments//Natives



Chiddy Bang//Breakfast



Clock Opera//Ways To Forget



Cloud Nothings//Attack On Memory



Craft Spells//Gallery



Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros//Here






Part 2 coming soon.  Stay tuned.

[new music roundup] 4.10.12

A few of my favorite new releases this week, including the latest from M. Ward and Amadou & Mariam, some standup from the very funny Donald Glover, and the highly anticipated debut LPs from Alabama Shakes and Kishi Bashi (my personal favorite this week).  As always, be sure to check out Largehearted Boy, Amoeba Music, and KEXP for a whole lot more of this week’s musical offerings.


Alabama Shakes//Boys & Girls
You Ain’t Alone



Amadou & Mariam//Folila



Alex Winston//King Con
Choice Notes



Bassnectar //Vava Voom
Vava Voom (ft. Lupe Fiasco) [via soundcloud]



Donald Glover//Weirdo




Emily Wells//Mama



Hoodie Allen//All American
No Interruption [via soundcloud]



Kishi Bashi//151a
Bright Whites



M. Ward//A Wasteland Companion
Primitive Girl [via soundcloud]


What are your favorite new releases this week?

[on the road] Alabama Shakes

The Alabama Shakes will be the road this Spring in support of their upcoming LP — Boys & Girls (out April 9th, pre-order).

After generating quite the buzz with their live performances and the fantastic EP they put out in 2011, the band is set for a big 2012.  The tour kicks off this March in Chicago and wraps at Bonnaroo this June.  They’ve got quite the tour schedule, with plenty of North American stops, a handful of European shows, plus some some festival stops along the way, including SXSW and Sasquatch.

I highly recommend catching a show if you can.  As I said earlier, I expect them to have a huge year and it’s only going to get harder (and more expensive) to catch ’em live in the future.  So don’t miss out if you have the chance, I guarantee you’ll regret it.

Alabama Shakes 2012 Tour Dates
03/09 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
03/10 – Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theater
03/13 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits TV (SXSW)
03/14 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s (SXSW)
03/23 – Tuscaloosa, AL @ Alabama Theatre
03/29 – Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry’s
03/30 – Huntsville, AL @ Crossroads
03/31 – Birmingham, AL @ Workplay Theatre
04/05 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre *
04/06 – Carrboro, CN @ Cat’s Cradle *
04/07 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live *
04/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live *
04/11 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
04/12 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
04/14 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground *
04/15 – Boston, MA @ Paradise *
04/17 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace *
04/25 – Cologne, DE @ Gebaude 9
04/26 – Hamburg, DE @ Molotow
04/27 – Berlin, DE @ Comet
04/29 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet
04/30 – Brussels, BE @ AB
05/02 – Paris, FR @ La Fleche D’Or
05/03 – London, UK @ Brixton Electric
05/05 – Dublin, IE @ Academy 2
05/06 – Kikenny, IE @ Kikenny Festival
05/09 – Glasgow, UK @ King Tut’s
05/10 – Manchester, UK @ Deaf Institute
05/11 – Birmingham, UK @ Rainbow
05/12 – Brighton, UK @ The Great Escape
05/18-20 – Gulf Shores, AL @ Hangout Music Fest
05/25-27 – George, WA @ Sasquatch!
06/07-10 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo

You Ain’t Alone (from Alabama Shakes EP)