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!!!



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!


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.


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.


What can I say? See these posts of mine:

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:


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

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



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!!!!!


Surrealistic Lyrics For The Unwritten Song


uncontrollable urge
to de-evolve
ten years after
i wanted to change
the world
throwing cream
in a white room

keeping it healthy
with warpaint
on the west coast
it’s too true
under these hands
this screen shot
of swans
i just don’t understand
the spoons

what color is the blood
of a sunbathing animal?
a soft morning phase
don’t let it go
beneath a hundred waters
down from the rafters
time for a last call
during the midnight sun
cuz it ain’t all flowers
who’s producing you?

the circle is wide
making my head sing
pure stuff
love my body to death
lost in a reverse dream
guilty of everything i love
in a transparent world

all is clear
in my forest
throw my clothes
on the floor
and scream

so……who gets the references????


Dum Dum Girls “filled” me with joy at the Empty Bottle


The Empty Bottle is simply a dive bar and a surprisingly relaxing and fun music venue located in Chicago, Illinois. This is one of the coolest venues for Chicago’s alternative music scene. The place hosts several kinds of music. There is plenty of indie-rock, punk, metal, rock’n’roll, hip-hop, electronic, experimental, ambience and jazz. This club/bar opened in 1992 and was originally a regular neighborhood bar. There’s plenty of CHEAP beer too! It’s like being in a large basement with brick walls and little coves that sneak around corners.

Pinball games, Ms Pac-Man arcade for only a quarter, a pool table and several water jugs strategically place all around the place with plastic cups stacked near them too. Its a nice gesture to offer free water to someone low on cash but just plain thirsty. They also just have a really nice space that’s conducive to having a lot of different experiences. It is hard to have a bad view of the stage where artists perform, whether you are early or late to the show. I definitely need to return.

Now let me cut right to the chase. My wife and I celebrated a special anniversary on this day of March 31st. We met on a train 7 years ago and celebrated by attending a Dum Dum Girls show. Who are they you ask? Dum Dum Girls are an American rock band, formed about six years ago. In the beginning, it was a bedroom recording project of lead singer and songwriter Dee Dee Penny in Los Angeles. She is currently living in New York City. I try to keep up with today’s music. These four talented females have very nice glossy melodies that you don’t hear from today’s bands. It rocks, it waves, it pounds through awesome songwriting!

This music they play is slick and focused. Post punk, garage punk, dreamy and pouty 80’s pop. That’s essentially how I would describe their music. Fuzzy guitar riffs, eyeliner distortion and 1960s girl-group sensibilities.Too True, their newest album, toggles between ethereal and punk, gothic and 80s dance party, and provides a strong and welcomed addition to the Dum Dum Girls catalog. The name pays homage to The Vaselines’ album Dum Dum and an Iggy Pop song called “Dum Dum Boys”. Dee Dee Penny’s stage name was not inspired by Dee Dee Ramone. It’s a coincidence.

Appearance-wise onstage they are quite a sight. Short skirts and long legs. Leather outfits. I am reminded of those imfamous Robert Palmer ADDICTED TO LOVE videos. You know? The ones with the sexy girls pretending to play guitars? Only these girls are most definitely playing vintage Silvertone guitars through glorious RAT amps. The stage is smokey blue with christmas lights dangling from the ceiling. A large BLUE lit up cut-out heart is draped in the background. Their microphones are donned with fiberoptic roses and spare red picks arranged all pretty-like. The whole thing was mesmorizing and a real nice trip back in time to that underground gothic-like and dreamy-like club.

Songs like “Too True To Be Good,” “Rimbaud Eyes,” “Lost Boys & Girls Club” and “Are you Ok” were intense highlights! DEE DEE and the ladies are obviously a big fan of the cooler music that came out of 80s/early 90s and it comes through in their music. Sometimes I am reminded of Chrissie Hynde (of the Pretenders) vocals. Penny’s voice is quite stellar. She opens up her sound on large and gorgeous ballads like “Coming Down.” The show hypnotized me and then I had to drive home at 1:00 a.m.

But I was left with incredible memories and hard rocking chicks! Here’s a video that gives you a better idea of their awesome sounds going down:


Indie rocks more with less bubblegum


I dig a loose category of music known as Indie Rock more so these days. WHY? Because it is different. Plain and simple. I can get easily tired of all that overplayed music. So many bands sound the same now days and you don’t find that as often in Indie Rock Music.

I also have a tiny issue. I’ll introduce a song to a friend and they’re like “Man, that song sucks.” Then their main stream popular radio station plays it like a year later and they’re like “Have you heard this song, it rocks.”

Now, there’s nothing wrong with Major Label music. There’s an enormous amount of it. However, I hear a lot of cookie cutter songs all the time. Sure I can choose to not hear it. And that’s what I actually do, in fact.

Indie music is done on independent labels or aren’t even attached to one at all. A “do it yourself” mentality. Just like when someone publishes a book by themself. Rather than going through the process of hiring someone to do it for them. The grassroots process is something to be respected. To make it on your own steam is an achievment.

For people like me, i guess it’s because it offers diverse, new and interesting music for people who grow weary of hearing the same thing over and over again. It gets kind of boring to listen to the radio all the time because you hear the same old stuff. Not the case with indie.

It’s quite simple. I enjoy the lyrics, the type of singing, the beats, the melody, etc etc. All people will listen to what they enjoy.
Channel 35 XMU is one of my favorite stations on Sirius XM radio. It is essentially known as THE UNIVERSAL INDIE ROCK STATION that plays bands that I listen to more today. Bands like Arcade Fire, Broken Bells, Radiohead, Dum Dum Girls and Palma Violets. A lot of great talented bands that put their heart and soul into their work.

I like this kind of music and experiencing this categroy of sounds because they are precious gems and even hard to find their t shirts. Like a scavenger hunt discovering these talents. It’s unique. When I hear this music in the morning, I wake up! Remember back in the day when songs would wake you up? A beat kicks in, the guitars strum, the keyboards fire up, then a voice (unfamiliar) sings and then I get curious because I am now hearing something new. I like fresh sounds.

And Indie rocks more with less bublegum (plus I never liked chewing that stuff because….well everyone was doing it back when I was a kid)

I prefer to be different.


2012….MUSIC….A Year in Review Before the Grammy’s Ruin It


A lot of great music was released this year and I got exposed to a bunch of new bands, cool new songs, albums and reunions. The end of the world is coming soon, so I better post my favorite songs, artists and records right now before we meet our demise.

The Grammy nominations are in. I can’t say I agree with any of them honestly. Sorry. I have my own personal tastes. I have picked my own list of artists/songs/records that are most definitely NOT on the Grammy list. Why oh why does this award show annoy me practically every year? Thank God I am entitled to like whatever I want to listen to. I need this soap box and it’s where I will voice my opinion.

Grammy Award Shows only care about the Top 40 artists. The lesser known ones deserve more attention too. Mainstream music is fine and all but I get frustrated with artists like Taylor Swift, Miley Cirus and Kanye West. People adore them and I don’t know why. They’re a bunch of phonies and drama queens.

Talent is important. Song writing skills are important. Being able to play an instrument of some sort would also be of help. What about singing talent? Singing from your heart man! Seems like a lot of the songs coming out nowadays have singers employing voice synthesizers. What is with those stupid things? I hate those! Sing like you have a pair or just stop!

Anyway, I want to focus on the artists this year that made a difference for me. Those catchy songs that really made me pay attention (NO it was NOT that song, “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jespen? Whatever…..bubble gum pop music that’s only purpose is to “sell out” and just sound hip, fun and catchy. That’s just not what I am into.

So…..I have it kind of split into 2 categories here:

One are my favorite songs and the other are my favorite records to come out this year.

Let me begin with the tunes!


So here are my 5 favorite tunes from 2012 (and why)

Gotye…..Easy Way Out
(This Australian artist was new to my ears this year and I found myself really digging this tune. It reminds me of a Beck-style tune that packs a punch in like 2 minutes)
Now, Now…..Prehistoric
(grungy, pretty and rocking like I haven’t heard from a band in awhile. Also they’re a great trio from Minneapolis. I like it when girls play lead guitar and vocals and actually have a strong presence)
(They’re a British band and they’re pretty unique. This track is a single that’s not a part of an album. It packs quite a punch! 90’s style garage punk in a Smashing Pumpkins meets Dinosaur Jr fashion)
Neil Young and Crazy Horse…..Walk Like A Giant
(When these veteran musicians jam together, amazing guitar riffs and magic noise happens, and this is quite an earthquake of a song from Psychedelic Pill and I think that it can stand the test of time. Go Neil!
Dinosaur Jr…..Watch The Corners (This is an amazing song. A chugging metal crunch. J Mascis comes up with massive guitar riffs that rattle your teeth but can still fill it in with a great melody and an almost folk kinda feeling despite your throbbing eardrums. Always unique. Love it)



5…..Twins by Ty Segall
(Great melodies, grungy, edgy, 60’s elements, excellent with headphones. I happened to stumble upon this a few months ago and was just blown away)

4…..Synthetica by Metric
(An Indie, electro, pop band. Great lead singer named Emily and a fun kind of 70’s and new wave sound. It’s pretty original, experimental and all the songs are catchy and don’t all sound the same like some bands (Muse….ahem!) Plus as a bonus, Lou Reed appears on one of the tracks called Wanderlust! Explosive fun for sure!


3…..Koi No Yokan by Deftones
( I first heard these guys about 7 years ago with a record called White Pony. It was good and had a Tool kind of sound but faster and more of an Alice in Chains sound. But this new one is wonderful. Type O Negative has an album called October Rust that has this eternal Autumn sound to it. The Deftones make this album a “mixed trip hop with thrash, melodic vocals with crushing reverb, and yes, pretty with ugly.” But for them it evokes a sense of eternal darkness.)

2…..End of Daze by Dum Dum Girls
(I am so addicted to this EP. Soooo much happens in this awesome 18 minutes. Pure joy. Almost makes me cry. These ladies just rock it out. However, it’s so soft and pretty. I keep listening to this one over and over and over again. It’s so dreamy and it shines like a dirty penny held up to the sun)

1…..Celebration Rock by Japandroids
(My favorite record of the year 2012. I don’t care what anyone says about this but it friggin rules! 2 guys only. A drummer and a guitarist. They just kill it! Drinking anthems mixed with the Husker Du type of melodies and patterns. The album begins and ends with the sound of fireworks. I listen to them when I go for a jog in the morning. It makes me feel alive. It’s a garage band that sounds BIG and proof that 2 twenty something guys from Canada can perform shock therapy on your mood!)

Well that’s it….have a nice day!