Archive for 2008

Hello 2009

Posted in Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, January 1, 2009 by Erik Burg

Their live show in '08 was my high point, an their new album is shaping up to be my '09 highlight too
Their live show in ’08 was my high point, and their new album is shaping up to be my ’09 highlight too

It’s that time of year again, for a new year. And good thing too, I personally am beyond ready to put 2008 behind me, but what should I be looking forward too? Not sure really, resolutions? a “fresh” start? Obama? All of the above I suppose, but let’s face it, nobody sticks to their resolution (let me be the first to admit that I already ruined mine) and that whole “fresh” start thing is just lame.
2009 has started off pretty well for me (minus the whole resolution thing). I mean, the first two hours of the year was spent dancing to Hercules and Love Affair and then having a drink with the man himself. So maybe I should look forward to the new musical horizons. Yeah…there we go, music. And what better way to celebrate the first New Music Tuesday than with a stellar release from musical geniuses Animal Collective, their new release Merriweather Post Pavillion, which recently leaked, is shaping up to be one of their strongest releases to date.
So how about that, great music to jump start 2009 and hopefully pave the way for a year that’s much better, to me at leas,t than last year was. I’ll have a full review of Merriweather up as soon it hits shelves officially on the 6th, until then enjoy this new track. Happy New Year!


Erik B’s Year in Review ’08

Posted in Year in Review with tags , , , on Monday, November 24, 2008 by Erik Burg

In a year that brought us the Olympics (Michael Phelps is just starting to dry off I think), a new President Elect (please get rid of the BCS like promised), and endless amounts of slightly above average rap music (yes little wayne, that means you), I present to you the most definitive end of the year list, EVER!

TOP TEN ALBUMZ!!!!!!!!!!!!


Cut Copy “In Ghost Colours”. In a year littered with disappointing releases from formerly impressive acts (see Cold War Kids and Kings of Leon), Cut Copy managed to resurrect their careers with the stellar release of In Ghost Colours. Not that the act was dead, it is just that Cut Copy hadn’t released an LP in years and seemed destined to fall off the map, but they’ve managed to do just the opposite in 2008. Touring around the globe and making people of all ages dance with their 80’s styled synth pop music, Cut Copy is here to stay. Highlighted by booming tracks like “Lights and Music” “Unforgettable Season” and “Hearts On Fire” In Ghost Colours makes a lasting and overwhelming impression on the listener. It’s hard to say enough good things about an album this polished; all that’s really left to note is that if you have not yet heard In Ghost Colours you are either 1) foolish or 2) in denial for not admitting to option one.


Vampire Weekend “Vampire Weekend”. Can Vampire Weekend save American Music? Well it’s hard to say if it actually needs saving, but the boys from out East do a mighty fine job of making sure we have some great music to listen to. From first track to last, the debut effort is the easiest to sing-along to, easiest to bob your head to, easiest to love album of 2008. Accessible and appreciated by people who don’t usually cross into the “indie” genre, this album was probably the most listened to of any on the list. A perfectly tight live performance and some enjoyable b-sides floating around the internet, Vampire Weekend made more headlines than most acts this year…and for good reason.


Hercules & Love Affair “Hercules & Love Affair”. It’s hard to write a summary about an album that just so weird, well, as far as genre goes. This, let’s call is disco-pop, album surprised many fans of their two track ep released a long year before this self-titled debut. Adding vocals, minimal yet effective samples, and an overall tempo much higher than that of the 45, Hercules & Love Affair delivered a delightful and exotic mix of dance and minimalism. Singles like “Blind” and “You Belong” are immersive tracks that repeat while at the same time build and end up exploding in the listeners ears. The opposite of Vampire Weekend, Hercules & Love Affair may be the hardest to love, but it’s certainly worth the trouble of getting use to this fine wine.


Of Montreal “Skeletal Lamping”. I’m not gonna mention the album here, okay I lie. The album is great, go listen, yadda yadda. Praise needs to be given; however, to the work that Kevin Barnes has put in surrounding the album. As I write this I’m wearing an Of Montreal t-shirt, no big deal, except for the fact that this was my Skeletal Lamping album too. The insane packaging offers that Of Montreal did for this release was a fun and different take on the usual four page booklet and otherwise boring cd case. As Barnes suggested, the listener can “wear” the album around, and I’m doing just that. Along with an Album release comes touring, and the Skeletal Lamping tour is nothing short of absolute madness. From faux-gallows to giant nerd rope looking characters, the show is a non-stop romp though the new album, old favorites, and tones of covers (I never live “Smells Like Teen Spirit until the played it for an encore). So yes, Skeletal Lamping is an amazing album that again adds to OM’s expansive and impressive catalogue, but this time around it’s everything else around the release that impressed this listener.


Girl Talk “Feed The Animals”. Any passerby may mistake a Gregg Gillis ran concert for plenty of other shows. I’m willing to bet Kelly Clarkson never had as many people screaming “BUT SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE” at one of her own shows as this summer when Girl Talk took the stage of various music festivals. But If that same person gets stuck on the corner of a street waiting for a light to change he might also note the immediate change in tune, the obvious draw for this mash-up masterpiece. Feed The Animals is more of a lesson in musical history than it is anything new persay, but that doesn’t mean it deserves any less credit. I have been waiting all my life to hear “I wish that I had Jesse’s girl” and “but I’d rather get some head” plastered together, and the day has finally arrived. Sure, a bit unconventional and what many people consider a complete sham of what real music is, Girl Talk delivers one thing that no other band on the list can: pure, and often (thank god) excessive fun.


Department of Eagles “In Ear Park”. Never a fan of any Grizzly Bear effort, I was skeptic before I first played Department of Eagle’s In Ear Park. The Second the album ended however, I immediately opened my MacBook, opened iTunes and easy and conveniently accessed the iTunes Store (pay me Apple, you owe me big) to try and find more material from this group. The first four tracks off of this album are the most carefully sounding songs I’ve heard in along time. Perfectly hollow and echoing music is accompanied with a scratchy vocal lead that makes for a song that could seemingly transcend time. “Teenagers” is the perfect example of this, with the slow strings, mellow piano, and vocals that can easily be confused with a sample from any early twentieth century song. The perfect record for this time of year, In Ear Park is like carefully knitted scarf around your neck- warm and immersive.


Fleet Foxes “Fleet Foxes“. High hopes from the Sun Giant ep, Fleet Foxes did not disappoint on their first full length album. Fleet Foxes features the sounds of four perfectly harmonized, beard adorning, flannel loving Seattle natives. The record can go by fast if you don’t pay attention, especially in the early-going when album highlight “White Winter Hymnal” builds more a mere 2:27 before faintly turning into the expansive five minute “Ragged Wood.” More surprising than the achievement of this great album may be the live sound these guys create. Seeing them this summer at Pitchfork Music Festival I was weary of the terrible acoustics of an outdoor show on a rainy day dragging down their beautiful sound, but Fleet Foxes still delivered and amazing performance, showing the truly unending potential this group has.


Dr. Dog “Fate”. Fate may be the forgotten, or rather the undiscovered, great album of 2008. Taking from the play book of many sixties and early seventies era rock bands, Dr. Dog put together a sound that’s not too Rock and not too Indie but is instead a perfect blend of music and vocals. “The Breeze” barely missed by top tracks of the year list thanks to the layered music, clever vocals, and effective use of those wooden block instruments you always use to use in grade school and thought were probably pointless. That aside, the Fate of this album has already been decided (terrible pun, my bad), people who don’t know about these guys already didn’t seem to hear much of this album in 2008. I hope to see Dr. Dog on plenty of year end lists, gaining exposure for this excellent record.


The Walkmen “You & Me”. Styled much like the already mentioned Department of Eagles album, the Walkmen’s “You & Me” is an empty and yet beautiful lp. When used effectively, You & Me is dominated by guitars that sound miles away, and drums that come to the foreground and paint a picture of fall evenings done by. Look no further than “On the Water” and you will hear exactly what I mean, the guitar draw out and the music all slows while the listener is engulfed by the echoing cymbals. This formula is used on most every track for this album, not necessarily a bad thing for how well it is executed.


MGMT “Oracular Spectacular”. The Justice of 2008, MGMT have been remixed, edited, and covered by more acts than anybody else this year. Not a big surprise though for any listener of Oracular Spectacular. Tracks like “Electric Feel” and “Time To Pretend” just beg to be chopped up, and praised by all patrons of the dance floor. Plenty has already been said about this duo, but I’ll just have to reiterate what the world has already agreed upon- MGMT pretty much rocks, on tons of levels. Oracular Spectacular never lets up from the first synth hit to the last drop, and the countless number of re-works won’t allow for this album to be forgotten anytime soon.

Top Five Tracks Of This Glorious 2008

“No One Does It” by Department of Eagles off of In Ear Park

“Lights and Music” by Cut Copy off of In Ghost Colours

“Everywhere (Fleetwood Mac Cover)” By Vampire Weekend off of any blog you can find

“Electric Feel” By MGMT off of Oracular Spectacular

“You Belong” by Hercules & Love Affair off of Hercules & Love Affair

Biggest (good) Surprise of 2008

Peter, Bjorn, and John – “Seaside Rock”


Favorite New Band Not Featuring Kids From Cape Cod

Friendly Fires


Great album of 2007 I Finally Loved In 2008

Panda Bear- “Person Pitch”


Lifetime Achievement Award

Beck – “Modern Guilt”


Best Live Performance I Saw In 2008

(tie) Girl Talk and Animal Collective. share the honor guys.