Posts Tagged ‘Truck North’

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…

Download Truck North’s excellent new mixtape

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Truck North

I don’t get to dive into new hip-hop as often as I’d like to. I watch a few of the genre’s leading blogs, but find it hard to keep up with the endless parade of mixtapes, features, remixes, etc., etc.

Still, this one caught my eye: Philly MC (and Roots Crew affiliate) Truck North dropped his new mixtape “Truck Jewels” today, and the good folks over at the essential hip-hop site Okayplayer have been serving up teases for a while now.

My taste in hip-hop seems to prefer not only solid mic skills and lyrics, but — perhaps even more importantly — memorable tracks. (This is not surprising. In rock music, I hear guitars and melodies first and lyrics last.) “Truck Jewels” delivers on all counts. Truck North handles his business, for sure, but the production on this thing is dazzling. It’s co-hosted by DJ Bear-One, who produced several of the tracks, so kudos to him and whoever else had a hand in the warm, hooky sounds that power this mix from front to back.

Anyway, that’s all just a long-winded way of saying you should get yourself a heaping dose of dopeness by downloading “Truck Jewels” right here.

(Photo courtesy Rachel Crick.)