I found this to be an extremely exciting year in music.
Quite a variety of sounds have gotten to me. I’ll run through what’s still at the top of my head. . .
311 – Universal Pulse
I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that my favorite teenage band can still rock when four of the five members have cracked 40 (makes my 30 seem not so bad). 311 went back to their roots with this one. It is a short album and half the songs sound like they could be outtakes from the blue album or Transistor sessions. I haven’t been this excited about a 311 record since 2003’s Evolver. See: “Time Bomb” (sounds like “Creatures..”), “Weightless” (the mellower side).
Grouplove – Never Trust a Happy Song (their self-titled E.P. is pretty good, too)
Yes – now they’re the band from the iPod commercials (“..take me to your best friend’s house..” la la la). This band’s story is insane: artist Hannah Hooper attends the show of solo musician Christian Zucconi, falls in love – one week later she is offered a residency in Greece – she asks him along and.. he accepts. They meet the rest of the vagabonds in the band there. And the music sounds like that – youthful, passionate and thoughtful. Check out some of their stuff at the player on their webpage: GrouploveMusic.com. See: “Colours,” “Naked Kids.”
What the hell, James Murphy?!? How do you put out the best music of your life, growing stronger each album with Sound of Silver, 45:33 and This is Happening. . . AND THEN RETIRE. Not terribly happy about that. But I keep hearing new things in the lyrics to “Drunk Girls,” so that has me entertained for now. (And hell – Jordan came back, right?)
This band is Vampire Weekend with a little more jangle and feel. An extremely strong first album.
He finally put out a blues album. That’s all G. Love fans need to know.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Don’t need to tell you about these guys.
Radiohead put out some more good stuff (“Lotus Flower” is a good example), as did the Beastie Boys (if you haven’t seen the full-length vid for “Make Some Noise,” find it), REM retired (much love), Papadosio and STS9 made their way into my head and Foster the People became ubiquitous. Good year. Good times…..
That’s what has me buzzing right now. Please leave your thoughts and suggestions.
Rock and/or roll.