Categories
Album Reviews

My year end review

I cannot decide what my favorite record of the year is!

Not an easy choice.

There is so much music that I listen to.

From Jazz to Rock to Classical Orchestra to Heavy Metal.

My tastes are quite eclectic!

So how do I figure this out?

Well some of the criteria is the following:

1) Number of times played? Am I obsessed?

2) Did I see this artist/band live in concert?

3) Does it stir up a lot of emotions each time?

Ultimately, I have broken it down to 7 specific albums and 1 favorite song!!!

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Number 7 is BECK – MORNING PHASE

He’s moved beyond his slacker-hipster days of Loser. I have embraced the soft side of Beck with this soft, mellow and acoustic vibe. These songs SOUND like the morning in the winter while drinking a cup of hot coffee. Way to step out of your comfort zone!

Number 6 is THE WAR ON DRUGS – LOST IN A DREAM

I hear the Dylan, Petty, Pink Floyd and Dire Straights influences here. Really dreamy music for sure. I am transported to another time and place every time I pop this record into my ears.

Number 5 is A SUNNY DAY IN GLASGOW – SEA WHEN ABSENT

This became a more recent obsession of mine. It has a real addictive sound. Shoe gaze, trippy, mellow, synth pop is some magical stuff for the brain! It reminds me of the band My Bloody Valentine with that Cocteau Twins vibe from the 80’s. Amazing vocals and mind blowing digital effects mixed with grungy guitars.

Number 4 is ST VINCENT – ST VINCENT

What can I say? See these posts of mine:

https://themusicbard.wordpress.com/2014/12/05/she-sure-can-shred/

https://themusicbard.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/i-was-stabbed-with-emotions-at-a-pitchfork-festival/

Miss Annie Clark is a Rock Goddess!!!!

Number 3 is DUM DUM GIRLS – TOO TRUE (These ladies are so AMAZING!!!)

Read this article of mine:

https://themusicbard.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/dum-dum-girls-filled-me-with-joy-at-the-empty-bottle/

Number 2 is WARPAINT – WARPAINT

(I hate to be lazy but….read this previous article of mine too)

https://themusicbard.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/a-dreamy-night-at-the-vic/

But the truth is….this really was my favorite album of the year because of how rich, potent, spine tingling it is!!! Until……

THIS ALBUM CAME OUT!!!

Number 1 is PINK FLOYD – THE ENDLESS RIVER

Holy Cow!!! This was the surprise release of the year! Only my favorite band of all time suddenly came to life after 20 years in absence!!!! Here’s a long spiel:

Firstly if you’re a hard core fan of the Roger Waters era then this probably isn’t for you. Their aren’t many bands who have lost their main writer and reinvent themselves. But David, Rick and Nick did just that. Roger thought he was bigger than the FLOYD! That was a big mistake and firing Rick Wright was also a bad idea.

I’ve always been a fan of Rick and I recommend you take a listen to his solo project Broken China, for me it was sheer brilliance from Rick. For me it’s about paying respect to a Great musician and the quiet man of the Floyd. Yes you could say this is a collection of pieces that where put aside from The Division Bell but does it matter??…. Nope!

This album is a fitting tribute to Rick. David and Nick have given a lot of thought producing a highly pleasurable listening experience, listen hard enough and it will transform you back to your youth. To the band: it’s been a great journey. You will in years to come be regarded as one of the Greatest Rock bands of all time.

Richard Wright RIP

But now I wish to make mention of my favorite song this year…….

FAVORITE SONG…….Jenny Lewis – Just One of the Guys

Once in a band called Rilo Kiley as their singer, she walks away from the all night parties with the boys. Now in this deep, layered, tonic rock tune things get real! Lewis’ addictive melodies and smart, heartbreaking lyrics about aging, loneliness and being without a child certainly make a huge mark in her career! This is a welcome back moment for this indie Rock queen!!!

2014 has been an awesome year! Believe me, I had so many favorites but these were calculated precisely and are logically my biggest ones! See you next year!!!!!

Categories
Concerts

She sure can shred!

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I’ve seen a lot of concerts in my life and a few nights ago I saw one of the most amazing shows this year in fact this particular show was the BEST performance of the year 2014. It was a double feature at the historic Chicago Theater. The two bands were Future Islands and St. Vincent. I was quite pleased with the opening act, that being Future Islands. It was very energetic and any of those songs performed could’ve been pop singles. They had kind of an 80s pop, bluesy but yet fast paced moving performances. The lead singer liked to do a very unusual dance where he was kind of gyrating and doing this pelvic twists almost moving around like an animal.

St. Vincent was a completely different experience yet also interesting and strange. St. Vincent is the name of the band created by a woman named Annie Clark who comes from New York. She is a singer songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and beautiful singer. Her voice is angelic yet her brilliant guitar playing is raw and vibrant. In fact quite honestly I will say that Annie Clark (St. Vincent) is the most amazing female guitar player that I have ever witnessed in front of a stage audience in my entire life. She certainly is more avant-garde bazaar strange. Also she’s a recent pupil of David Byrne who is best known for his work with the Talking Heads. But she brings something new to this generation of music. She brings back the arts, the intensity, the performance that makes you stand up and cheer, that it breaks the mold. It’s not your everyday rock performance, it’s a dramatic show on stage. She moves and acts like a robot on stage on purpose but once that guitar is strapped to her body and her hands move around the strings plucking and sliding up and down the neck it’s like something monstrous has been unleashed and she just explodes all over the place as if you wonder “is this the same person who was just singing a sweet ballad only moments earlier?”

She is young, she is beautiful, her engagement with the crowd at a few times was very real and down-to-earth and then suddenly the lights go out and the strobe lights come on and the drums start pounding and it’s like she just goes right back into character. What kind of character? It’s hard to describe. Like an alien robot one minute and then the next minute just a normal New Yorker gal. Its more than a rock show, it’s art. She went so crazy at one point that she tumbled off the stage, climbed onto an audience members’ back and started to roam around the crowd while still jamming on her guitar. I snapped a photo of that moment. (see above) Go see her live! In the meantime, I have included a video that really demonstrates her awesomeness!!!