Sometimes bands send me things via Tumblr. Sometimes that stuff is pretty good.
Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel - “Lie”
I just got home from the third straight day of basking in the fog of Golden Gate Park for the Outside Lands music festival. This yeah I saw partial or full sets by (highlights in bold):
It was a special weekend, featuring four of my top ten (top 5?) indie rock bands: The National, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, and Grizzly Bear. I’ve now seen The National and Vampire Weekend 3 times each, but it was my first time seeing Phoenix and The Grizzly Bears (as Jay Z would say).
I’ve been loving Rhye’s early 2013 debut album, “Woman,” so I was jazzed to see them in the park. They did not disappoint, and they looked like they were enjoying themselves just about as much as possible (ok, Matt & Kim were clearly enjoying themselves but it was part of their act in a way that Rhye’s was just honest-to-goodness excitement to be singing love songs to thousands of attentive ears… and Paul McCartney was enjoying himself in a very “Hey, damn, I’m Paul McCartney” kind of way). I’m hoping that Rhye return to the Bay Area soon- I’d love to see them in a small club.
And speaking of Paul McCartney, he played a mind-blowingly good two and half hour long set. That man has still got it. I went through my own personal Beatlemania four summers ago, and I felt myself propelled back into that mode of just loving every word of every song. His set was well balanced between newer McCartney and Beatles favorites. He closed the set with the Abbey Road medley, which is about as much as I could have asked for. Blackbird, Hey Jude, Yesterday, and Helter Skelter were other highlights, but his uke-first rendition of Something (which I believe they played for the first time during the Concert For George)… well, I’ll remember that forever.
Even though Miguel’s “Kaleidoscope Dream” was released last September, I think it’s a near perfect summer album.
Miguel - “Adorn”
I’d never heard of Jens before listening to this, but I dig his kooky-The-Smiths slash Magnetic Fields vibe. I found the opening track, “And I Remember Every Kiss” surprisingly affecting as I was walking to the BART station this morning.
And so it ends. The 200th album out of 200. Expect a debriefing post or two (or three) in the near future.
I distinctly remember the first time I listened to this album, because before that I actively disliked Drake. I talked smack about him whenever I got the chance. I had a Drake rap impression that, while probably not funny, eerily accurate. Take Care changed all of that. And it changed the way I listened to his earlier stuff too. I suspect this album isn’t higher on the list because (1) rap hasn’t gotten much love on the list in general, aside from Kanye and (2) a lot of hipsters (I mean, Pitchfork readers) are hesitant to listen to and admit they like Drake. I get it. But listen to “Lord Knows” and tell me how you were wrong about him in your reblogs.
Drake - “Lord Knows”
This album, and Pains (POBPAH!) in general, are seriously underrated. Yes, their two albums received great critical praise, but I’m still going with underrated. HEY INTERNET, listen to Pains more! Peggy Wang, co-founding editor of Buzzfeed, is a keyboardist and backup vocalist in Pains. YOU LOVE BUZZFEED, INTERNET!
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - “Stay Alive”
I tend to write off Belle and Sebastian as overly twee, but this album really kicks on all cylinders. I prefer it to If You’re Feeling Sinister, which rampaged up the charts to number 21 on the People’s List.
The song I posted is great, but it may only be my second favorite song about sleepyheads (see: Passion Pit).
Belle and Sebastian - “We Are the Sleepyheads”
Oh man. This is the album that I have 100% committed to memory that I would least like to have 100% committed to memory. That’s all I have to say about that.
Girl Talk - “Play Your Part (Pt. 2)”
It’s interesting to listen to this older M83 album because they were working in much more atmospheric sound space than in Hurry Up, We’re Dream with its indie rock hits. There are shades of Outro here (which happens to be my favorite song on HUWD) so I’ll chalk this album up as a success. This album would make a better movie soundtrack than did the actual movie soundtrack that Anthony Gonzalez penned for “Oblivion.”
M83 - “Noise”
As I’ve mentioned before, Spoon’s albums are consistently good. Does that mean they deserve to take up 4 of the 200 slots? I’m not sure. Girls Can Tell is a strong album, but it’s not distinct enough to replace a non-Spoon album on the list.
Spoon - “The Fitted Shirt”
I’ve grown a little weary of psych-rock (it requires a certain mood) but after just one listen, I think Cryptograms is my favorite Deerhunter album. It was very Beatles-esque in its vibe, which I can always get behind.
190 down, 10 to go! This is exciting.
Deerhunter - “Heatherwood”
Holy verbose band name and album title, Batman! But on the other hand, it’s a perfectly fitting title for the long-form, epic music that they make. If you have the time to sit down and listen to a 90 minute album, you’re not in the mood for lyrics, and you want to fell all the feelings, you could do worse than this GSY!BE album.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - “Life Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven…”