Shows of the year? Sure - I can count that down:

  • JANUARY: Mark Eitzel played a one-off show in Boston with nothing to promote that was pretty discardable. However Drew O'DOHERTY opened up and I became a pretty big fan of his record this year.
  • FEBRUARY: Grizzly Bear played at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Seeing them live turned me into a huge fan, seeing Dirty Projectors open turned me off to them for good.
  • MARCH: Under Byen headlined an unofficial Swedish invasion tour at the Boston MFA. El Perro Del Mar killed the opening slot, Frida Hyvonen not so much and Under Byen brought it home by flashing a strobe light at the audience for close to an hour.
  • APRIL: Low played the Somerville Theater, again. Loney, Dear did a good opening set and Low schooled me that there really were songs behind Drums and Guns's electronic blipping and bleeping, and they were bleeping good songs.
  • MAY: LCD Soundsystem at Avalon. This was the best show I saw this year. For the first time in a long time I danced and bounced around in a pit of people getting all kinds of sweaty.
  • JUNE: Psychic TV played to a nearly empty house at the Paradise, so it was across a fairly empty room was where I first laid eyes on my boyfriend Rob. Oh, Psychic TV weren't very good, so I'm glad I at least got a great guy out of the show.
  • JULY: Eric told me I would regret it if I didn't see The Polyphonic Spree at Avalon, and he was right. How amazing are they!
  • AUGUST: Lollapalooza in Chicago. What a great festival - it lacks the beauty and pilgrimage vibe of Coachella, but makes up for it in convenience.
  • SEPTEMBER: Animal Collective played what would be the last show I would see at Avalon, RIP. And they were fucking brilliant.
  • OCTOBER: The reunion of Scarce at TT the Bear's Place.
  • NOVEMBER: Spiritualized Acoustic Mainlines, on my birthday at the Boston MFA. In hindsight, I definitely prefer the electric lineup. In hindsight, wild horses would not have kept me from seeing them in an acoustic lineup, so cross that off of life's To Do list.
  • DECEMBER: All I saw in December that was good was Cold War Kids opening for Spoon. It's also all I saw in December, but that doesn't diminish from their being the best thing I saw all month.


Our bodies break
And the blood just spills and spills
But here we sit debating math
It's just a shame
My hand just kills and kills
There's gotta be an end to that
There's gotta be an end to that
Breaker (Dub Plate).


This was definitely a tracking error - I remember the week when it like quadrupled the plays on this record. It's thrown off my charts all year.

Don't get me wrong, it's good and all - just not all that. Bjorkish singer fronting industrial post-rock drones.

SlÄ Sorte Hjerte was what I seemed to listen to the most from it.


What an amazing sleepytime record. I listen to this and dream of Alaska.

Ebb's Folly features Palace boy Will Oldham on vocals. The rest of the record is instrumental or dialogue samples.


There's so much I could write about this record.

Julie put it on one morning when I was working at Newbury Comics, and by track two I could have just died. Another amazing addition to the California Sadcore scene in the 90's [American Music Club, Idaho, Red House Painters], I've just worn this CD out over the years.

After a pretty long hiatus, Swell are planning a return in 2008. Well, now actually, with some self released records available. The website also tells their story through 2003 pretty well.

"Forget About Dean" is a remix of "Forget About Jesus" that wound up on the Bastards and Rarities compilation.


The last few times Boards of Canada released records, the internet [a series of tubes] went insane with praise. I jumped on board probably about a year ago when I picked up Music Has the Right to Children. It falls into the above-average techno jandra, along with IDM [intelligent dance music].

You know what's really sweet about my relationship with Boards of Canada? I've only heard this record. If and when I ever get tired of it, there are many others I can immediately pick up for a new fix. Usually, if I'm all obsessed with an artist I have their entire discography so when I want something new by them, I'm out of luck. I think there's enough BoC backlog to carry me for years.

As with most instrumental records, my brain's not so good with linking songs with titles, so I link Roygbiv just because it's got the highest playcount.


Here's the second record on the countdown without an Amazon link: "The Line Between Myth And Reality Has Always Been In Finland" by Antennas to Heaven.

Remember when Myspace was cool? ANYWAY, when I first signed up I think this was probably the first band that wanted to be my friend! I felt pretty special that a band would look me up and ask to be friends.

Of course, hundreds of other bands followed. And they were all crappy. Except Antennas to Heaven, who are pretty amazing. Shoegaze, Mogwai-ish and of course, they've taken their name from a Godspeed You! Black Emperor record title. I've bought both their records on iTunes - and thank you iTunes. Really - so much easier to get indie music. Sometimes.

However my copy is thusly DRMed and I don't feel like unDRMing it, so Myspace is streaming tracks to give you an idea of what I found dreamy this year.

You like that? The boyfriend sent that to me last night after we got back from the screening of Heima at the Kendall Square cinema.

How was it? I think it was a solid five. The first fifteen minutes and the last fifteen minutes were really amazing. The middle hour? Not as much. I mean, it was real pretty and mellow, but concert films can be tough. I'm real glad I saw it in a theater - I wouldn't have had the attention span to watch it at home. Plus, it looked and sounded pretty great there, way better than in my living room.

The whole concept of the film was about how they decided to play a bunch of free shows in remote areas of Iceland where people don't get out much. In like fields, caves, and abandoned factories. So now you know what I mean when I say it looked and sounded amazing.

Would I go see the movie again? Sure! A++! Would I buy the DVD? THE ANSWER IS NO, I DON'T OWN A HOME THEATER!!!


This morning I was thinking about the normalizer, a tool that converts your charts from track count to play time. For example, if I listen to a Godspeed You! Black Emperor record every day for a week, that will probably rack up 21 tracks. If I listen to this His Name Is Alive record once, that racks up 28 tracks. In real time, I spent 7 hours listening to GY!BE and barely an hour listening to HNIA, so which chart is right?

ANYWAY, this is pretty far from my favorite HNIA album [that would be Mouth by Mouth], and each of their records is pretty radically different from the next. This one? Oh, it only falls into GothPop, if there is such a thing.


Sigur Ros's second entry into the chart. Here's the acoustic version of Staralfur from their new double EP Hvarf/Heim.


More sleepytime music. I'm pretty sure this made the cut last year too, or maybe the year before that. All I know is I remember describing it as the exact point where techno meets shoegaze and that still holds up.

I could pretty much post any track from the record - it's all good. The sixth track is untitled, or "Track 6", or simply *.


Top ten records I listened to this year. Please don't hate me, but this really is my favorite DB record.


It's a nice overview. I started listening to The Beatles again a bit this year - filling out my collection with the records I was missing.

What's nice about 1 is that in the space of one disc you go from early pop through the psychedelia to the 70's.


Lord, is this the year that Issac Brock went sane? There were a few reports early in the year, but everytime I saw him [May, August] the shows went off without a hitch. They were good shows, too. I skipped their Lollapalooza set in favor of TV on the Radio and I think that was a pretty good trade.

The Lonesome Crowded West is my favorite Modest Mouse record. Cowboy Dan, Styrofoam Boots, and I think my all time favorite, well for this week at least, Out of Gas.
Out of gas
Out of road
Out of car
I don't know how I'm going to go and
I did not run out of gas in yesterdays northeast gridlock, I read the news, I got lucky.


So I'm sitting at work in New England, waiting for the snow to fall so I can go home and watch it while listening to Sigur Ros.

No, really.

Anyway, I only recently learned that the songs on () actually have titles. My favorite song on the record is no longer "Untitled 3", but "Samskeyti". Coincidentally, a live acoustic version of Samskeyti was just released on their double EP set Hvarf/Heim. And also coincidentally, their concert film Heima is screening next week at the Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge [I already got my tickets]. It truly is a week of Sigur Ros.


Look - an album released in 2007 that I actually listened to!

Pretty much everyone I know wrote off Sky Blue Sky as shitty Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, and the fact that they licensed half the record to Volkswagen for commercials didn't really help that argument. I assure you there's something more there. I'm certainly a fan of noise, and love a good old fashioned "Wilco Freakout"[tm], and there was none of that to be found on this record - and that's OK.

I have to give props to the Wilco summer tour to helping me out with this one too. I don't think I would have given this record the chance I did if I hadn't seen the material live. I saw them twice [Northampton, Boston] in one week back in June, and spent a good chunk of that week listening to the record over and over again.

What makes me mad about Wilco? I sold my copy of SBS after burning it, and you need the disc to get bonus tracks they keep releasing online. Plus, they are playing five nights in Chicago with the intent of playing every song they ever recorded, and they should be doing that in Boston instead.

The Thanks I Get is one of those bonus tracks - this is the solo version from Jeff Tweedy's Sunken Treasure DVD.

So you've seen the strange - stranger than strange - Dick Cavett video? What I love best is that after watching it three times - I still don't get it. I'm honestly not sure if he's looking for money or offering to pay.

No I don't like this plan

Today's buzz was all about the Google Street View : Boston Style.

This is where I live. It's the same as every other cookie cutter triple decker in Boston. I'm on the third floor. The air conditioner in the window? That's where I sleep and do other stuff. It was all exciting to see it there on Google Maps for about 5 minutes. Then I realized that basically, the point of Google Street View is to help web-loggers like me who are too lazy to take a picture of their own apartment.

I got slightly luckier, in that my car was parked right out front when they drove by. Now, I don't need to take a picture of it to show you it is only the plainest car in the world.

This is where I work. I assure you in real life, it's a plain old office building, not some kind of fascinating Gehry structure, as the sun distortion makes it out to be.

Where I had lunch today. Google Street View : Boston is pretty boring, actually.

The pornography store next to the Ramrod OK THIS IS JUST SILLY NOW. GET BACK TO WORK MISTER!


More sleepytime music rolls in at number 15. Out of the ashes of Godspeed You! Black Emperor came A Silver Mt. Zion. Actually, I think the biggest difference between the two are the the way the tracks are cut. GYBE tended to one 30 minute track, and ASMZ will cut the same 30 minute piece into 8-10 minute tracks.

Take These Hands and Throw Them in the River seems to be my A++ track - but they're all nice and droney/stringy/creepy.


Just a few weeks ago I ran into my friend Perri on Facebook after years and years without contact. Do you know what I wrote to her?
Do you know what's awesome? You're burned into my memory right next to The Cure's 'Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me'. I can't think of one without the other.
So apparently I thought of Perri a lot this past year. Isn't it funny how some records just etch into your brain?

I thought about linking a song, but really - it's The Cure, it's not like you don't know what they sound like. However, if you feel the need to revisit a Cure record this season, I do suggest Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. It always reminds me of April 1988, I was 17, it was a good time.


Another record that I'm not sure how it got into my top played for the year. OK, Nick the Stripper is pretty classic. But the rest of it actually kind of gives me a headache, I much prefer Nick Cave's later stuff.


Person Pitch by Panda Bear is simply amazing. Take Pills just kills me.


I'm not sure how this wound up on the countdown, I'm claiming a technical glitch in

Pansy Division are great in theory, but in practice it's just never done it for me. I've bought the records, I've seen the live show, and all I come away with is a big old feeling of "This is why they hate us".

OK, Pile Up actually is their best CD - a collection of b-sides and covers, including a pretty straight forward rendition of Husker Du's "The Biggest Lie", which even I was able to figure out was about boys.


I've just been having PC issues everywhere, man.

I'm real from from being the worlds biggest Neil Young fan - I'm pretty far from being a fan at all. But boy do I love a sleepytime soundtrack. Ambient guitar with William Blake poetry read by Johnny Depp? I am so all over it.

Organ Solo, however, is the one track that has none of that. It was the song that made me fall completely in love with this record many years ago, the first time I heard it.

Goddamn! Would you like to take a fall?

So last night was the big ALTERNATIVE ROCK [TM] show down at the Orpheum Theater - MIRACLE ON TREMONT STREET it was called, brought to you by the good folks at WFNX.

Can I back this up a bit? About two months ago Cold War Kids announced a headlining show at The Roxy, both Rob and I were pretty excited about it. Tickets never went on sale, and the gig wound up being lumped into this ALTERNATIVE RADIO event. I didn't really want to go, but we got tickets anyway, figuring how painful could it be.

We got there in time for Mute Math, who apparently have some kind of crossover hit - and by crossover I mean from ALTERNATIVE ROCK RADIO to like contemporary Christian. And to be truthful, their first three songs sucked. I mean sucked real hard. But you know - the last two songs they did were damn good, actually. Real noisy, post-rock...MUTE MATH! YOU HAVE RECEIVED A "C" GRADE FOR YOUR PERFORMANCE!!!

Against Me! played next, and it was the most generic punk rock you ever heard. Actually, I've heard better in pretty much any bar basement on a Friday night. However to keep myself entertained, I thought about how it would be so much better if they played naked. And had butt sex on stage with each other instead of playing music at all.

I'd totally tap it.

When Cold War Kids started up, out of nowhere these two really skanky girls appeared right in front of us and started dancing and hitting on everyone around them. These were some real "girls with low self esteem". And you know? Cold War Kids really isn't the soundtrack for that kind of behavior. Cold War Kids is actually much sleazier - and they totally brought it last night. The whole blue eyed white boy soul? Worked it fierce. The two new songs were great, almost spaghetti-westernish. Once the distracting skanks moved on, the show was great. Thirty five minutes was not nearly enough.

Spoon? Meh. I was SO tired and SO hungry and SO cranky by then [it was 9:45 and I hadn't eaten since lunch] I just wanted to leave. Rob convinced me to check out a few songs, and after 4 or so we just left. The songs were good, but Spoon had zero stage presence. If I was into their records, I'm sure I would have thought it was a great show, but not knowing any of the songs, seeing them live wasn't the best introduction. Will I check out a Spoon record though? THE ANSWER IS YES, IF IT IS REALLY CHEAP USED OR SOMEONE JUST GIVES IT TO ME!!

So the point of the story is I really wish Cold War Kids had just kept their headlining date instead of getting thrown into this corporate radio mash of mostly crap. Also, I need to remember to eat dinner - it might make me feel better about these things.

Twenty One

I first heard Lupe Fiasco around this time last year. I was watching America's Next Top Model and didn't change the channel or leave the room, and One Tree Hill came on, and it was kind of shitty, however there was a party scene and Lupe was performing "Kick, Push" and I was fucking hooked. I sat at his Myspace streaming the track repeatedly until I bought the whole record late one night on iTunes when I just couldn't stand it anymore.

He was the best thing I saw all weekend at Lollapalooza this summer.

If you don't like rap, this isn't going to win you over. If you can tolerate rap and like trip-hoppy kind of stuff this will blow you away. I'd post an .mp3, but again, that whole iTunes DRM is preventing that from being a simple FTP process. Check out his Myspace for upcoming tracks from The Cool, which comes out December 18th, and yes I will be buying it that day.

Cold War Kids

I promised to my wife and children/That I would never drink again

Twenty Two

I like Joy Division and all, Control was great, but it just feels like somehow my iPod is weighted to play them when it's random - like once or twice a week - and I get a little tired of them. Disc 3 of Heart and Soul is what ranked in for them. And really, I only need the box set at this point - it was a pretty complete overview. Since it's release in 1998 live and radio keep getting discovered and reissued, and somehow I still find myself buying them. As of today however, I'm pretty clean - I've pretty much dumped all that extra crap.

Disc 3 closes with some of their final recordings - rehearsals of what would be New Order's first two recordings, In a Lonely Place and Ceremony.

Twenty Three

Nova Mob's The Last Days of Pompeii has been out of print for years - I remember Stacey recommending it to me when a whole bunch came in cutout when I worked at Newbury Comics. It's probably the best thing Grant Hart's done since Husker Du.

Lavender and Grey was always my favorite track. The whole thing was pretty good though and worth picking up cheaply used if you're a Husker Du fan.

Twenty Four

There's no Amazon link or images for number twenty four, because Hippocamp Ruins Pet Sounds was one of those bootleg-mashups traded around the internet a few years ago.

It's not my favorite thing in the world or anything, but I certainly don't turn it off whenever it comes on. God Only Knows is such a perfect song, it would be really difficult to make it better. It would be really difficult to poorly remix it.

Twenty Five

Most of what got tracked last year was 'sleepytime' music, and the countdown of the 25 LP's I listened to most begins with the post-rock goodness of Rachel's. Released in 2003, this one was new to me this year.

Water From the Same Source is some classic Rachel's - simple, building repetition.