Porchlight Records


Hey everyone, I just wanted to get in a little self-promotion, and formally announce that I will be joining Zach Bolotin in co-running Porchlight Records. We specialize in helping bands and musicians release their art on vinyl. This June, we will be releasing Grand Hallway’s latest, “Winter Creatures”

Pre-order the vinyl LP ( purchase includes MP3 download code ) HERE!

Listen to “Fourths” a favorite of mine from the new album:

My favorite albums of 2010

Here are my favorite albums of 2010. In all cases, these are the albums I spent the most time with. Sure most of these are on other lists as well, and many of you are hip to how good the Kanye, Big Boi and Deerhunter albums are, but go ahead and spend a little time with the White Denim album. The White Denim album is hosted on their website and fans can download and contribute an amount of their choice. It is a great, great record that should not be overlooked. The No Age and Abe Vigoda albums both feature two bands transitioning from their punk roots to more of a shoegazey, layered sound. In both cases, they absolutely nailed it and have released the best records of each band’s career.

Without further adieu, here is my list. Enjoy, and have a safe and fun holiday season.

No Age : Everything in Between


No Age | Dusted

Deer Hunter : Halcyon Digest


Deer Hunter | He Would Have Laughed

Abe Vigoda : Crush


Abe Vigoda | November

Fang Island : Fang Island


Fang Island | Davey Crockett

Kanye West : My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


Kanye West | So Appalled

Big Boi : Sir Lucious Left Foot The Son of Chico Dusty


Big Boi | Follow Us

White Denim : Last Day of Summer


White Denim | If You’re Changing

Roots Manuva Meets Wrongtom : Duppy Writer


Roots Manuva Meets Wrongtom | Lick Up Ya Foot

Broken Social Scene : Forgiveness Rock Record


Broken Social Scene | Texico Bitches

The National : High Violet


The National | Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

Fang Island & Matt and Kim Show Review

Waiting for Fang Island to take the stage Monday night was like waiting to open a new present. As a newly minted Fang Island fan, I paid my $25 and showed up at the Paramount on September 28th specifically to see Fang Island, the opener, with the idea that I would hang around to take in the headliner, Matt and Kim.
This was my second show of the month of September; the first was seeing Pavement at the Paramount on September 6th which for me, makes this an exceptionally action packed month.

Fang Island rocked so hard I thought my head would explode. It is no understatement to say that they blew me away. Loud, melodic, hopeful and triumphant. Grinning from ear to ear throughout the set I was sure I looked a fool, or at the very least creepily happy. I suddenly realized I had become that creepy old guy bouncing alone at the concert in a sea of twenty something fans. As it was a school night, I can’t attribute the smile to any debauchery or Bacchanalia, just a deep appreciation for the music and the lift of the melody.

Fang Island

Little did I know that Matt and Kim would be co-conspirators in a mission to permanently disfigure my face into a shit eating feline grin.
From the moment Matt and Kim took the stage, I couldn’t take my eyes off them. They had me. As sickeningly saccharine as this sounds, Matt and Kim are CUTE, all caps. Sidenote, I think they are married. To each other. How cute is that? Kim plays drums and Matt plays everything else. They position themselves at the front of the stage allowing everyone a great view of their handsome selves. Kim, who by the way is the only person in attendance that had a bigger smile than me, played with fearless and reckless abandon. The joy was contagious. Occasionally, Matt and Kim would punctuate the end of a song by standing on their respective stools or seats with a fist in the air! RAWK!

Matt and Kim
Their songs are spirited, upbeat and anthemic. You can’t help but be drawn in. Being at their show leaves you with the feeling that you are part of something bigger than just seeing a band perform live. Matt and Kim are certainly not the only band to have this connection with their fans, but for me it felt visceral and real.

Bottom line. If you want to have fun, go see Fang Island or Matt and Kim. A warning though, your face may hurt as a result of the permasmile.

Fang Island – Fang Island Album Review


Fang Island are 5 piece out of New York, by way of Rhode Island. Zack Bolotin turned me on to them, and I can’t thank him enough.

Fang Island describes their sound as “a bunch of friends high-fiving each other”. I have also heard it described as “triumphant rock”. Both labels are certainly appropriate. This is an album of fun, accessible, inclusive ROCK anthems. Great Styx-like harmony vocals, fantastic riffs, and scorching guitar solos.

I played it for my wife and her friend this morning, and they were not into it. At all. Me, I can’t get enough. It’s far and away my favorite album of 2010. My only complaint is that it is not long enough!

If you live in Seattle, they are playing at the Showbox on 9/28. I can’t wait.

Daisy

Sideswiper

Bad Dreams


When was the last time you had a bad dream? For me it’s been years. Probably not since I was a youth, have I had one. I still remember some of the worst ones, and those dreams can still give me the chills as they wrap me in a blanket of loneliness and fear.

As an adult, I tend to dwell, grind and ruminate on things while I lie in bed, before I drift off to sleep. It’s true, that these thoughts aren’t bad dreams (or dreams at all), but they do prohibit me from getting to sleep. As a kid, getting to sleep isn’t the problem. It’s the bad dreams that creep into ones mind that disturb our slumber that cause the problem. Later in life, as an adult, the bad dreams about “bad people” have left me, but the thoughts about the reality of life and the suffering of humanity stay with me and are very real.

Being the father of young children, I am at times awoken by my kid or kids crying in the middle of the night.

Earlier this week, my oldest daughter, Cecelia (Cece) who is 6, came into our room at 3:45 AM and woke me up crying. She could barely talk, she was so scared.

Me : “ What is it honey”
Cece : Crying. Barely audible. “Daddy, I had a bad dream”
Me : “Come in to bed, and I will hold you”

As she lay in my arms with tears slowly streaming down her face, she tried to gather herself and explain her nightmare to me.

Cece : “Daddy, I dreamed about a robber.”
Me : “It’s okay honey, you’re safe now”.
Cece (choking back tears, getting a little hysterical): “It’s just that once the dream comes into my mind, I can’t get it out”

Three days later, I can’t stop thinking about Cece’s comment of not being able to “get the dream out”. I feel sad and empathize with her because I can relate to what she was going through. I have been there. I think we all have. To have the desire, the absolute need to get a thought or dream out of your head, because it is affecting you so negatively.

I also felt a sense of pride at her ability to convey her thoughts and feelings so succinctly, at 3:45 AM, no less.
For kids its bad dreams about a robber, or a monster. For adults, its worries about money, relationships, family and work. Is that the human condition? Our thoughts, dreams, desires and worries come to us most vividly during our slumber?

Here’s hoping that everyone sleeps well tonight.

Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot The Son of Chico Dusty Album Review


Ahhh Yes. A hip-hop album that captures the listener and keeps them engaged for the entire album. Yup, that’s right. Just throw this on and listen to the end, then repeat.

Big Boi’s first solo release is catchy, arty and most of all fun. Great snappy beats with an emphasis on the low end married with Big Boi’s funny, witty and smart verses make this album a must-have summer fun fest from start to finish.

Singles “Shutterbug” and “Tangerine” are infectious bangers that will have you reaching for the repeat button.

Have a listen.

Shutterbug

Tangerine

Nas and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley – Distant Relatives Album Review


Nas and Damian have put together a fantastic, collaborative, concept album about Africa -the continent that both artists point to as their ancestral and cultural homeland. “Distant Relatives” is a great album, which blends elements of reggae and hip-hop to create a polished, foot-tapping, hybrid sound. Proceeds from album sales will help fund schools that Nasir and Damian plan to construct in Africa.

The first single, “As We Enter” is super-catchy, and is backed by a groovy, Mulatu Atske sample. This song is pure fire, and bound to be a favorite. Also check out “Leaders” and “Friends”. Great message, great tunes. Enjoy.

As We Enter

Leaders

Friends