Archive for Album of the year

tUnE-yArDs-The Real Thing; Nikki Nack: Album of the Year

Posted in Album Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 by Terry Scott Niebeling

I have just acquired Nikki Nack, I will go on record and say this is the best album of the year.  Real Thing has to be one of my favorite songs, as it is stuck in my head.  I liken Nikki Nack to an earlier Streets album, ironic and real; experimental, aggressive, unique, empathetic, and full of passionate, rich sound.  The melodies are enormous, and obscure, as are the lyrics.  A few listens through proves you will most likely be singing along.

On such albums I typically hit repeat and wear a song out, which I have done, but unlike other albums, I have been playing Nikki Nack from start to finish.  On the first listen I was blown away, on the second and third I was surprised at the unprecedented sound.

Dan and Hannah gave me the album, but it is worth a purchase.  Support this wonderful artist and her music.  This album is top-tier 2014 material, musically.

 

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Grammys: Excited or Disappointed?

Posted in Music News, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Sunday, January 15, 2012 by Eric Gilardi

With this year’s Grammy Awards coming up in less than a month I am unsure if indie rock and electronic music fans should be excited or disappointed in the recent popularity gains in the past few years. Just last year Arcade Fire won Album of the Year for The Suburbs. This was one of the first signs that other forms of music were gaining a mass popularity.

Now this year, you have Skrillex breaking through with the music genre and in your face sound of dubstep. The electronic artist is up for 5 Grammy’s this year, an unprecedented number for any artist in the electronic music industry. Bon Iver  the popular indie rock group fronted by Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s own Justin Vernon is up for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist to name a few. The Grammy community must think that he is a new artist because they just discovered his music or his music has gained enough popularity that we will now acknowledge you. Bon Iver’s music has been making sweet love to my ears since 2008 so it really isn’t new to me or anyone else who has had their ears violated by Bon Iver’s music. The song “Holocene” is one of my favorites from 2011 so I can see why it has elevated them to Grammy status.

What are the contributing factors to why these artists are gaining popularity? In my opinion, technology happened. As many people leave their normal avenues to discover new music this trend is going to continue. The addition of Sirius XM into many people’s homes, workplaces and automobiles has helped spread new musical knowledge. Also, music sites such as Pandora, Last.fm, Spotify and Rdio(just to name a few) have also helped in the discovery of these artists and bands. The only thing I can see good out of all this is that I might actually tune in on February 12. Will you be watching?

Album Review: Dirty Projectors – “Bitte Orca”

Posted in Audio, Downloads, Music News, Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on Friday, June 12, 2009 by Erik Burg

bittee orca

Move over Veckatimist, there’s a new sheriff in town for second best album of the year (yes, of course Merriweather is first). It’s an album that’s slightly underrated, never hyped like the beasts that Veckatimist or Merriweather are, and often times dismissed because of The Dirty Projectors former albums. 

But Bitte Orca is so far from the solo David Longstreth era Dirty Projectors is nearly unrecognizable. Though Longstreth’s amazing guitar work remains, Bitte Orca is a more original, more polished, more enjoyable Rise Above. The album’s cover features two of the most talented women in the music business, Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian, vaunting the importance of the two on this album compared to former works. The pair make the album what it is, their vocals, used exclusively on certain tracks like the first single “Stillness is the Move” or used perfectly in conjunction with Longstreth on “Cannibal Resource” to create a sound that’s uniquely Dirty Projectors. And that’s why it rivals some of the best material out there, just like Animal Collective or Grizzly Bear define their genres or in essence create their own genres, The Dirty Projectors define what art-pop, or whatever you choose to call, is. 

Tracks like “Useful Chamber” exemplify exactly why The Dirty Projectors are in a class of their own. It starts with a slightly electro-infused bass line, something uncharacteristic yet still well placed. Longstreth’s undulating voice comes in, calm and whisper like. Deradoorian and Coffman follow, adding a melody that echos and swirls. The Dirty Projector’s constuct a song like it’s a painting. One thing builds onto another, parts overlap, it becomes a mess, but yet the goal remains clear, the meaning is clear. The song slows, it gathers itself for the album’s title, “Bitte Orca, Orca Bitte.” Longstreth absolutely whales on the guitar, plucking string after string in his own unique sound. It’s classic Dirty Projectors, and as Deradoorian and Coffman sing as loud as ever, the song comes to its crescendo. “Useful Chamber” continues on. There’s a small guitar solo, there’s more drums at the end of the track than on any other song. It’s masterful… and probably only the fifth best song on the album. 

MP3: The Dirty Projectors – “Useful Chamber”

Many of the songs on the album follow that same formula, the following track, “No Intention” is nearly the same way. Using Coffman and Deradoorian as compliments to Longstreth’s powerful vocals. “No Intention” shines thanks to the guitar once again, the way Longstreth plays the guitar, it sounds nothing like anything else out there. It’s perfection, it’s precision, it’s just plain fun to listen to. Each string has it’s own individual sound, and as he plays up and down the guitar, Longstreth is crafting the album of the year. whoo whoo whooo, if you read this far, and if you know how much I lOVED Merriweather you’re wondering what’s going on. Well readers (all 5 of you), after seeing The Dirty Projectors live earlier this year at the Walker Arts Center, playing nearly the entire album live before it’s release, and after listening to the album countless times already, I think it’s safe to say that Bitte Orca is THE album of the year so far. 

It just does everything so well, and so uniquely. Maybe it’s the timing, teaming the summer-ish feeling album with the summer, and maybe I’m just in a really good mood today, who knows, but as Bitte Orca plays in my ears yet again, it’s as enjoyable and as jaw-dropping as the first second I heard “Stillness is the Move” live months ago. The Dirty Projector’s have put themselves on the map as a band, not Longstreth making weird half-instrumental albums or re-creating Black Flag songs, but as a full-fledged force. Bitte Orca is a beautiful work of art. Exemplifying some of the best vocalization and guitar work on album in a long time, it’s time for Merriweather and Vecaktimist to move over, because Bitte Orca is only beginning to gain momentum. 

MP3: The Dirty Projectors – “Stillness is the Move” (A Cappella Version)

9.5/10  This album simply has to be heard, get it at one one of two places: Amie Street mp3s or Domino Records