Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Stinkweeds, Best of 2008

Stinkweeds released their 'Best of 2008' booklet last week before Christmas. It’s always a good view of what Phoenix people are listening to. The reviewers are fairly diverse and everyone should be able to find a couple of lists they can relate to.
So ride the light rail down to stinkweeds tonight, tomorrow or this weekend and pick up a copy. I think they will have it available on PDF before too long and once it is I will let everyone know.
Here's to 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Video, Video, Video : Dr. Dog / Bon Iver

I came across this video via When You Awake, they posted it as their video of the day. Its a decent take on a Dr. Dog show. The great thing is that it is long...

I have kind of discovered posting videos on here, so you'll probably be seeing more of them.

Here is a great video I found on We All Want Some One To Shout For, a brilliant blog that is farely new but doing some great things.

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Years Eve Show / Stephen Steinbrink @ Boo Berry

Stephen Steinbrink (CD Release) @ Boo Berry
December 31st (NEW YEARS EVE)
: Hell-Kite

If you haven't been to a show at Boo Berry, make sure you check out this one! 1441 Bonarden Tempe. You can also get Stephen's new CD, which I have already mentioned alot about. Teague (Foot Ox) will be there on his birthday with one of his old projects, Tradwinds. This should be an all around great show!

Here is a video of Tradewinds last show in Tempe:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Discoveries 2008

This is a list of a very special variety. If you read my previous post, you may have seen that out of the 500-some albums I got in 2008, only 200 were released in 2008. That leaves 300 other albums from various times and places. That leads me to this: my favorite discoveries of 2008:

Cat Stevens - Teaser and the Firecat (1971)
Colin Meloy - Sings Morrissey (2005)
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu (1970)
Datarock - Datarock Datarock (2005)
The Dismemberment Plan - Emergency & I (1999)
Eek-A-Mouse - Skidip (1982)
King Khan & The Shrines - What Is (2007)
The Kinks - Something Else by the Kinks (1967)
Lou Reed - Berlin (1973)
Love - Forever Changes (1967)
Luna - Bewitched (1994)
Mazzy Star - So Tonight That I Might See (1993)
Scott Walker - Tilt (1995)
Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardut - Bonnie & Clyde (1968)
Sigur Ros & Steindor Anderson - Rimur EP
Tom Waits - Big Time (1988)
X-Ray Spex - Germ-Free Adolescents (1978)

Runners Up 2008

Blog friends, it's been far too long. I have been using this holiday season that has been upon us as an excuse to post nothing. There are a few things I've wanted to post before the year is out. Here is one, watch for more.

This year, I have gotten somewhere in the range of 500 albums (Not an exaggeration). Out of the 500-something, 200 were released this year. So, how do I narrow that to 50 great albums? It was difficult, took a lot of time and deliberation. There were some albums that I feel deserve some recognition, but either I hadn't got around to listening to them in time for the cut or they were barely not good enough. So, without further ado, here are my runners up of 2008:

V/A - Stereogum presents: Enjoyed-A Tribute to Bjork's Post (Free Download here)
Antony & The Johnsons - Another World EP
Beach House - Devotion
Black Mountain - In The Future
Cadence Weapon - Afterparty Babies
Crystal stilts - Alight of Night
Delta Spirit - Ode To Sunshine
Earth - The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull
F*cked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life
Hot Chip - Made in the Dark
Lykke Li - Youth Novels
Okkervil River - The Stand-Ins
Oxford Collapse - Bits
Roots Manuva - Slime & Reason
Sanotgold - S/T
Subtle - Exiting Arm
Wale - The Mixtape About Nothing

There you have it. Pull out your headphones, cuddle up next to the fire, and let these tunes warm your soul for the rest of the cold winter.

Splinter Cake @ The Manor (Tempe), Dec 28th

Splinter Cake @ The Manor
/ Melted Cassettes
// Land Before Time

The Manor in Tempe, 8pm FREE

Splinter Cake is back in town for a couple of shows... or one rather. Should be alot of fun seeing him back in town...

Bon Iver - Blood Bank (EP) / Video

Bon Iver - Blood Bank EP

I guess Bon Iver is no secret any more... but honestly, I am glad. Though we have to wonder about the music... since For Emma, Forever Ago was written in a secluded cabin after the melt down and break up of his band Mount Vernon, weather the quality of his music will be adversly affected by success. Well, we have our first chance to see: Blood Bank will be out on Jagjagurar on January 20th... already giving us great things to look forward to! Below is a video from Montreal of the new title track.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Trunk Space Family Cookout / Lightrail Opening Party! Dec. 27th

Trunk Space Family Cookout @ Trunk Space
December 27th, 7pm...

This is the first day of the light rail and in true ginny-pig style they are letting everyone ride it for free... and to celebrate Trunk Space is putting on this fun little cookout. AND the greatest part is all the local talent and not so local.
Stephen Steinbrink
: Uggamugga
: : Zach Burba (iji)
: : : The Rigbee Martin Choir
: : : : Stellaluna
: : : : : Swordfish
: : : : : : Pamela Gallagher

Make sure you head out to this show, it should be really good. Stephen will be heading out on the road soon, so make sure you see him... Zach Burba (iji) is a lot of fun, in from Seattle. I've posted a video of his below. The whole night should just be fun.


Remember even though gas prices are low doesn't mean you can't make your cabon foot print smaller buy riding the lightrail!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Stephen Steinbrink - Ugly Unknown / Album Art / Pre Order

Stephen Steinbrink has posted a pre-order for his new album, Ugly Unknown, coming out in January. The pre-order comes with a bunch of extra cool stuff. The record will be released on James Fella's Gilgongo Records and will hit stores on late February early March, but pre-orders will be shipped out in January. Please, Please, Please buy this album... from the sound of what his has put out so far it is going to be a beautiful album.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Dutchess and The Duke - Mary (Video)

One of my favorite discoveries this last year is The Dutchess And The Duke. A brilliant duo from the Seattle area. I was happy to see them pop up here and there are on a couple of end of year lists (Seattle Subsonic, Austin Town Hall, When You Awake).

They have a lovely little video out now, lovely might be the wrong word... it might be a little disturbing at times, but is done in true DIY style.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Best Concerts of 2008

I've mentioned it a couple of people and it may be evident on my top 25 list, that I have taken a turn in my music taste to a more organic side of music. Natural sounds and songs. I say this becuase it might be in a large part associated to the live concerts I go to and the shows I find enjoyable. The list of shows I have been to over the last year is daunting even for a music man like myself. Categorizing them is even more daunting, so being in the list mood I have decided to make a list of the top 10. And it goes as follows:

Top 10 Concerts 2008

10. Frightened Rabbits (Rhythm Room)
9. Black Keys (Marquee)
8. Tokyo Police Club (The Clubhouse)
7. Born Ruffians / Plants and Animals (Modified Art)
6. Nodzzz (The Manor)
5. Dr. Dog / Delta Spirit - (Club Congress)
4. Fionn Regan - Ireland
3. The Avett Brothers - (Rhythm Room)
2. The Octopus Project (Rhythm Room)
1. Mount Eerie / Stephen Steinbrink (Modified Art)

Honorable Mentions:
Best Fwends (The Trunk Space)
Best Friends Forever (The Trunk Space)
Okkervil River (The Clubhouse)
Ra Ra Riot (Modified Art)
Titus Andronicus (Modified Art)
Alas Alak Alaska (The Trunk Space)

Top Three Acts @ Street Scene
The National
Man Man
Cold War Kids

Three Worst Acts @ Street Scene
Cat Power
Chester French

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Top 25 of 2008

I tried hard to make my own top 25 list before a lot of the major lists came out... I didn't want to be influenced by them, while at the same time understanding that some credit must be given to outside sources, such as my counter part Jeffrey. So I finished my top 25 with little help from the outside and upon conclusion and further research I discovered that I had some similarities but even more differences from other lists.

The more and more I make these lists, the more I believe much of them are based on opinion and popular view. If one album gets a low review by a popular blog/website, a lot of times it doesn't see the light of day. While on the other hand, if an album begins to be championed by a certain popular blog/website, suddenly it is all the rage. Much of this is connected to the big money machine on the internet and the desire for everyone to get a piece of the action.

Knowing this, we are left basically to opinion... and I have found it comforting that I have been able to find people with similar opinions and have been able to share music with them and them with me.

Preston's Top 25 2008

25. High Places - S/T

24. Jay Reatard - Matador Singles '08

23. Blitzen Trappen - Furr

22. Shearwater - Rook

21. The Mumler - Thickets and Stitches

20. El Guincho - Allegranza!

19. Erykah Badu - New Amerykah pt. One (4th World War)

18. So So Glos - Tourism/Terrorism

17. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive

16. Vampire Weekend - S/T

15. Foot Ox - It’s Like Our Little Machine

14. Super Furry Animals - Hey Venus!

13. Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant EP

12. Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs

11. Dodos - Visiter

10. Horse Feathers - House With No Home

9. Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride

8. Frightened Rabbits - Midnight Organ Fight

7. Mount Eerie - Lost Wisdom

6. The Tallest Man on Earth - Shallow Graves

5. Delta Spirit - Ode to Sunshine

4. The Dutchess AND The Duke - She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke

3. French Quarter - S/T

2. Sigur Ros - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

1. Dr Dog - Fate

Aaron Neber / Foot Ox // Bri White // James Fella /// B @ The Manor, December 16th

Aaron Neber / Foot Ox // Bri White // James Fella /// B @ The Manor
December 16th, 8p FREE

If it feels like I am really promoting shows for the local distant colony scene, your right, becuase I love their music and I think they are wonderful people. I'm not sure who Aaron Neber is... but this really should be a fun show at the Manor in Tempe. Sorry, I didn't get this out sooner but these shows are very last minute and so promotion of them is always a few days before... if not day of.

1st Annual Phoenix Winter Folk Festival @ The Modified

Folk Festival in Pheonix, FANTASTIC!
December 20th, 4pm $6

Honestly, it will be fun to see how this event unfolds... I feel like Phoenix has always been a little resitant to the folk scene. So this is a chance to really open our arms and let the FOLK in! There is one group that I am a little dissapointed isn't on the list: Try Me Bicyle is probably one of the more dynamic folk duos on the valley and they aren't on the list... I am sure there is a good reason. Here is a bit of the line up... I would image there will be more announced as the event approaches:

Sam the Boy
Asher Deaver
Courtney Maria Andrews
Owl & Penny
In Symmetry
Christopher Kevin
Zachery James Dobbs
Bradley and the Materials

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Alas Alak Alaska @ The Trunk Space (PHX) & The Hangar (TUC)


Alas Alak Alaska / Fancie / Adrian Orange @ The Trunk Space
Thursday, December 18th, 7p

This is one of my favorite band names... it just kind of roles off the tongue like Rocco pastry. This is going to be a brilliant show, there is a whole host of people, local and national, playing at this show. Here is a quick run down:
/ Foot Ox
// James Fella (its been a while since we have seen him)
/// Stephen Steinbrink
//// Khalid Melkchurch


Alas Alak Alaska / Fancie // Adrian Orange /// Stephen Steinbrink @ The Trunk Space
You can read the poster...

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Top 50 Albums of 2008

This has been a long time coming. I finished this list about a week ago and have been making slight tweaks all week, this is as good as it's going to get. Before I get to the list, I want to discuss a few things about these lists.
First, I acknowledge, and anyone reading this should also acknowledge, that these lists really come down, at some level, to arbitrary decisions. Sure there are some factors that I take in to account, but especially with a list this long, how do you decide the difference between position 36 and 37.
Now, why a list so large, when this large of a list is hard to widdle down from 170 albums (My long list) to 50 favorites. It's frankly because I believe there are some albums that deserve some amount of notoriety in a year of great music.
That being said, I do have some criteria for my list. The largest one is how often I find myself wanting to listen to the album. Foes it make it's way on to my headphones often? The next and almost as important criteria is if the artist is doing something original or creative within their genre. those are the 2 main criteria that I base my decisions on.
Now, the list:

50. Evangelicals - The Evening Descends
49. Snowman - The Horse, The Rat & The Swan
48. Abe Vigoda - Skeleton
47. Bun B - II Trill
46. The Long Blondes - "Singles"
45. Amadou & Mariam – Welcome To Mali
44. High Places - S/T & 03/07-09/07
43. The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of Understatement
42. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Dig Lazarus, Dig!
41. Plants & Animals - Parc Avenue
40. Love Is All - A Hundred Things to Keep Me Up At Night
39. Los Campesinos! - We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed/Hold On Now, Youngster!
38. The Cool Kids - Bake Sale
37. Deerhoof - Offend Maggie
36. Blitzen Trapper - Furr
35. Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping
34. Air France - No Way Down
33. Deerhunter - Microcastle & Weird Era Cont.
32. Lil’ Wayne – The Carter III
31. Times New Viking - Rip It Off
30. Shugo Tokumaru - Exit
29. Marnie Stern - This is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And This is It And That Is That
28. Spiritualized - Songs in A&E
27. Shearwater - Rook
26. F*ck Buttons - Street Horrrsing
25. Gentleman Jesse & His Men - Introducing...
24. Mount Eerie/Julie Dorian/Fred Squire - Lost Wisdom
23. Erykah Badu - New Amerykah pt. One (4th World War)
22. The Magnetic Fields - Distortion
21. The Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride
20. M83 - Saturdays=Youth
19. Vampire Weekend - S/T
18. Conor Oberst – S/T
17. TV On The Radio - Dear Science,
16. Girl Talk – Feed The Animals
15. The Tallest Man On Earth - Shallow Graves
14. The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
13. Jay Reatard - Matador Singles '08
12. The Walkmen - You & Me
11. So So Glos - Tourism/Terrorism
10. El Guincho - Allegranza!
9. Samamidon - All Is Well
8. The Dutchess & The Duke – She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke
7. Dodos - Visiter
6. Sigur Ros - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
5. Fleet Foxes - S/T & Sun Giant EP
4. Department of Eagles – In Ear Park
3. Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight
2. Why? – Alopecia
1. Titus Andronicus - The Airing of Grievances

I decided not to write blurbs about each album, but I realized what I had to say was useless. If anyone really needs me to defend my choices ask me in the comments, I'd be more than happy to.


Delta Sprirt @ Solar Culture (Tucson)

Delta Spirit @ Solar Culture (Tucson)
December 16th, 8p

If you happened to see these guys open for Dr. Dog last september you know this isn't a show you want to miss... This group has amazing energy and emotion.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Buy Local Week - December 8 - 14th, 2008

In celebration of Buy Local Week, I thought I would post about some of my favorite local bands, venues and cool places to shop for music. If this were a regular blog I would also post about all the wonderful little places to by things locally in Phoenix, but its a music blog so I will stick to the music side. However, there are some wonderful little locally owned places to buy everything you would ever need to give anyone for Christmas... so where ever you are, Phoenix or other wise... DON'T GO TO WALMART FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING. My grandparents ran a hardware store for basically their entire lives... and did very well until the great bastard Wal-Mart came to the area and sucked the community dry. Aw... I feel better, that is my daily vent!

Local Bands:

Distant Colony (record label)
Foot Ox
Stephen Steinbrink (French Quarter)
Bri White
Andrew Jackson Jihad
James Fella

Local Venues:

The Trunk Space
The Modified
The Rythem Room
Ruby Room

Local Places to get Music:

Revolver Records
East Coast Records

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sikhara / Clew of Theseus // James Fella /// Adam Mokan @ The Trunk Space

December 10th 7pm

This is a very experimental group of individuals... but worth pushing out. None of them get enough credit. Go the show, support local music in anyway possible! Slash, James Fella is a genius!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Stephen Steinbrink New Album / "Ugly Unknown" Out in January

Stephen Steinbrink announced last week that his new album, Ugly Unknown is going to be out in January 2009. I'm not sure if it will be released though Gilgongo Records, Distant Colony or just by Stephen himself. Really, I am just exited to see another album put out by Stephen... In September I reviewed the last album he put out under the name French Quarter, it is really a beautiful album from a talented artist. You can listen to some of the new stuff as well as some of the old stuff on his Myspace.