Posts Tagged ‘Japandroids’

I love the Internet

Thursday, August 6th, 2009


Dunno if you’ve noticed or not, but a torrent of great new music is coming out right now. On CD and vinyl. That you can purchase. In record stores. They will give you CDs and vinyl in exchange for your money. That’s how it works.

I know what you’re thinking: “But why on earth would I spend cash money on a CD or record?” It’s a fair question. Rather than answer it, let me assure you that you can test-drive some of this stuff on the Internet to make sure you like it. And if you like it, you should buy it, either direct from the band or its record label, or at your local, independently owned record store.

Here’s a quick list of some recent (and upcoming) releases with links to where you can hear them:


The best music of 2009 (so far)

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Well folks, it’s early July, and that means one thing to obsessive music geeks everywhere: Time to make a list!

The first six months of 2009 have come and gone, and they were a bit of a roller-coaster for me, music-wise. For the first few months of the year, I didn’t hear much that I loved and was convinced this would be the weakest year of new music in quite some time. (I’m talking non-local here. Locally, it’s been a stellar year for recorded music. Click here or grab a copy of today’s GO! Magazine for more on that.)

In the last few months, though, things have picked up considerably. Truth is, I think running this blog has helped a lot. It has forced me to pay closer attention to new music, and to check out more stuff than I think I normally would’ve. As a result, there are a lot of names on the list below that I wasn’t necessarily familiar with on New Year’s Day.

And that, really, is what I love about music. I’m constantly on the lookout for what’s new. I love the thrill of discovering a new band, even if they’re not necessarily making a new sound. I like looking forward, not back. (Never mind the fact that I’ve listened to Kathleen Edwards’ 2008 album “Asking For Flowers” more over the past six months than any of the albums listed below.)

With that in mind, let’s look back (haha) at the records that really grabbed me in the first half of 2009. I’m not going to clutter this post up with CD covers or YouTube videos. Just click on the artist names to find out more.

The Best of the Best
Crocodiles, “Crocodiles” (slacker shoegaze)
Japandroids, “Post-Nothing” (noisy garage rock … read more here)
School of Seven Bells, “Alpinisms” (icy electro-pop … read more here)
Shabazz Palaces, “CD1″/”CD2″ (brainy Seattle hip-hop … read more here)
Weinland, “Breaks In The Sun” (graceful folk-pop … read more here and watch video of their live show in Bend here)

The Best of the Rest
Brakes, “Touchdown” (pure, perfect pop-rock)
Dinosaur Jr, “Farm” (guitars on blast)
Truck North, “Truck Jewels” (Philly hip-hop … read more here)

More Good Stuff
Animal Collective, “Merriweather Post Pavilion” (psychedelic Afro-electro-pop)
Arbouretum, “Song of the Pearl” (stoner blues)
Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound, “When Sweet Sleep Returned” (psych-pop)
Black Moth Super Rainbow, “Eating Us” (analog weirdness … read more here)
Gui Boratto, “Take My Breath Away” (twinkling electronica)
Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and David Lynch, “Dark Night of the Soul” (creepy pop … read more here)
The Decemberists, “The Hazards of Love” (indie-prog)
John Doe & The Sadies, “Country Club” (country)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, “The Pains of Being Pure at Heart” (throwback twee)
Sonic Youth, “The Eternal” (noise-rock)
Telekinesis, “Telekinesis!” (indie-pop)
Various artists, “Dark Was the Night” (indie-rock Mt. Rushmore)
Wale, “Back to the Feature” (D.C. hip-hop)

OK. Hopefully I didn’t forget something. If I did, remind me in the comments. Think I should’ve included your favorite album? Tell me in the comments. Think one of those albums stinks? Let me know in the comments! I love nothing more than talking about music…

Is this the best album of 2009?

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Japandroids, "Post-Nothing"

One of my favorite albums of 2009 so far is “Post-Nothing” by the Vancouver, B.C. punk/garage/noise duo Japandroids. It’s a heaving slab of rock ‘n’ roll, heavy with insistent, crashing drums, jet-engine guitar riffs, wonderfully simple vocals and lyrics about girls. It sounds like Superchunk meets Sonic Youth, and it is awesome.

Only one problem: It’s really, really hard to find a physical copy of “Post-Nothing” for purchase. The album was released digitally and on vinyl — not on CD — in Canada in April. Then Pitchfork wrote a glowing review, and it became very difficult to find the vinyl version.

Lucky for all of us, the good people at Polyvinyl Records are going to swoop in and make it all better. The Champaign, Ill.-based label has signed Japandroids and will release “Post-Nothing” worldwide on both CD and vinyl on Aug. 4. You can pre-order it here and get MP3s as soon as you complete your order. You should totally do that.

If you need any more convincing, here’s a download of “Young Hearts Spark Fire” from the album. You may need to right-click and choose “Save As”:

Japandroids, “Young Hearts Spark Fire”

Tune in Friday, when I’ll have a post here on the blog about my favorite albums of the first half of the year, plus a column in GO! Magazine recapping what a great year 2009 has been so far for local music.