Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Saturday Evening Post-up (11/22/08)

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, so have a hearty helping of new reviews:

Religious Knives - "The Door"

Alternates between organ-accentuated, tom-heavy prog and abrasive, looped psychedelia. Pretty far out shit, definitely on the experimental side - produced by Thurston Moore, if that's any indication. Lots of female vocals that sound just a bit off key. All pretty downbeat. If this all sounds good to you, play it.

Play: 1 (bass heavy, brooding prog), 4 (monotonous vocals, organs, plodding drums), 5 (abrasive... everything. dark), 6 (quickest number here tempo-wise, female + male vocals overlaid, looped abrasiveness)

RIYD: Goblins, The Doors, no wave

Thursday/Envy - "Split EP"

Interesting move for both bands - Thursday (of emo-core fame) has more experimental, ethereal passages with their tight, clean guitar work, and long-running Japanese hardcore group Envy gives us a brighter, more accessibly-structured sound. PLAY!!

Play: 3 (fast), 5 (accessible screaming), 7 (ballad-like, awesome)

Fox Japan - "Hell"

The instrumentals aren't bad, basic garage rock stuff - but the vocals are painful. Amateurish, sad, and angry. I don't know what else to say - I can't think of anything that sounds like this because I have no idea how this got recorded.

The Tough Alliance - "A New Chance"

Made up of childhood friends Henning Furst and Eric Bergland from Gothenburg, Sweden. Their live shows have been given much media attention in Sweden due to their "unique" onstage performances that include bat-swinging. They got thrown off the stage once for doing so. Critics claim that TTA glorify violence in general and hooliganism in particular, something the duo denies.

Play: 7, 1, 3

RIYD: upbeat Panda Bear, Air France, High Places

with a side of charts:

Rank Artist Recording Label User
1 OF MONTREAL Skeletal Lamping Polyvinyl
2 BAND MARINO The Sea And The Beast Street Parade
3 FINAL FANTASY Spectrum 14th Century [EP] Blocks
4 TOBACCO Fucked Up Friends Anticon
5 PARTS AND LABOR Receivers Jagjaguwar
6 LOVE IS ALL A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night What's Your Rupture?
7 VIVIAN GIRLS Vivian Girls In The Red
8 SAM CHAMPION Heavenly Bender North Street
9 WOMEN Women Jagjaguwar
10 KINGS OF LEON Only By The Night RCA
11 RAINE MAIDA The Hunter's Lullaby King Noise
12 GANG GANG DANCE Saint Dymphna The Social Registry
13 AIDS WOLF Cities Of Glass Skin Graft
14 RA RA RIOT The Rhumb Line Barsuk
15 FRENCH MIAMI French Miami Self-Released
17 XX TEENS Welcome To Goon Island Mute
18 SUBMARINES Honeysuckle Weeks Nettwerk
19 GRAMPALL JOOKABOX Ropechain Asthmatic Kitty
20 HER SPACE HOLIDAY XOXO Panda, And The New Kid Revival Mush
21 STREETS Everything Is Borrowed Vice
22 JENNY LEWIS Acid Tongue Warner Bros.
23 ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS Another World [EP] Secretly Canadian
24 EAGLES OF DEATH METAL Heart On Downtown
25 SLEEPING IN THE AVIARY Expensive Vomit In A Cheap Hotel Science Of Sound
26 NOAH AND THE WHALE Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down Cherry Tree-Interscope
27 BAD HAND In This Line Wish You Happiness Daly City
28 JAY REATARD Matador Singles '08 Matador
29 SLEEPING STATES There The Open Spaces
30 MINIATURE TIGERS Tell It To The Volcano Modern Art

And last but not least, a slice of Neutral Milk Hotel interview pie:

Sample: So who are some of the other bands that are included in [Elephant Six] besides Olivia Tremor Control?

Jeff: There aren't really any specific bands. It's weird because now that it's something people recognize and ask for a definition, I don't really have one.

Sample: Well, it's not as fun when people know what it is. So everyone's going to be able to find you in a farmhouse and hound you.

Julian: Scott wanted to set up a tent in Vic Chestnutt's house.

Scott: Yeah, I never got around to it.

Jeff: I don't want to leave the house. I just want to stay in. Well, maybe I'll walk around the yard. I want to have a dog. A little dog.

Julian: ...and a cat.

Sample: You don't think you would get bored?

Julian: Who cares? Well, we'll record stuff.

Jeff: The plan is to be near New York City.

Julian: One of us will always be making a record and everyone else can play on it. And one of us will always be going on tour and so anybody who wants to go can go.

Sample: What's the worst show on your tour that you've played?

Jeff: There was this one member of the band, and he got killed...

Julian: I would vote for Portland or Jabberjaw [general consent].

Jeff: The Jabberjaw was pretty terrible because our amps are typically pretty quiet and we didn't have a PA...

Julian: No one could hear us.

Jeff: And then we played with the Supreme Dicks in Portland and this guy jumped on the stage.

Scott: This wacked-out, new-nazi looking guy.

Julian: It was really terrible... really gross.

Scott: Just to have something to talk about, and it had nothing to do with the Supreme Dicks, but somebody that was there at the show thought they could involve themselves for no apparent reason and tried to shit in a glass.

Sample: Did he actually pull down his pants?

Julian: He showed his genitalia...

Jeff: And he was throwing fireworks and stuff.

Scott: But the Supreme Dicks show still rocked. They're great.

Jeff: We did six or seven shows with them... it was really a lot of fun.

Sample: Are you an honorary member now?

Scott: I've been an honorary member since 1994.

Sample: Do you have a card?

Scott: No, but if I go to a show, I can get up and play. That's what honorary membership means. I played slide & whistle.

Julian: I played space echo and blew bubbles into the crowd.

::final installment in two weeks!::

Friday, November 21, 2008

Album Review: I'm From Barcelona, "Who Killed Harry Houdini?"

A lot of people are surprised by this album, but actually, the almost emo-like minor notes struck here are the natural reverse of the irrational pop exuberance of the first album. Same everything-but-the-kitchen-sink attitude towards songwriting/instrumentation: big choruses, strings, horns, massive, poppy swells and dips. Overall, OK, not great. RIFYLOP: Arcade Fire

Play: 1+++(pathos, catchy), 2+, 3, 6, 8++

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Saturday Evening Post-up (11/15/08)

In honor of Hustle Week, there'll be a new addition to the Saturday Evening Post-up this week: an interview with a band that KWUR holds near and dear to its heart. First up, though, new music reviews:

Desolation Wilderness - "White Light Strobing"

This album takes cues from both the folksy guitar of MMJ and the down-tempo ambient drone of MBV, combining them into a quiet, mostly sparse soundscape. This certainly might not be everyone's cup of tea - derivative, boring, whatever - but if you're looking for something warm, complex and mellow, give it a spin. (Also, dig up some records by Low and Galaxie 500 if you like this).

RIYD: My Morning Jacket, My Bloody Valentine, Low
Play: 1 (downbeat, twangy), 2 (hypnotic, folksy beat and dreamy vocals), 3 (more droney, excellent), 7 (shorter, instrumental), 8 (beautiful little electro flourishes)

Manchester Orchestra - "Let My Pride Be What's Left Behind" EP

Andy Hull (vocals, guitar) originally wanted MO to be a solo project. He was listening to a lot Morrissey and The Smiths so the city of Manchester fascinated him. Then he also liked the idea of being a leader of an orchestra and have his friends guest. Hence, Manchester Orchestra. Sounds like alt rock with Ben Gibbard vocals.

RIYD: Silversun Pickups, The Weakerthans
Play: 1, 3 (live, acoustic)

Noah And The Whale - "Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down"

Laura Marling & Emny The Great used to be a part of this London band before they went solo. But they still perform with the band here and there - backing female vocals here are Marling's. The band name is a combination of the movie title "The Squid and The Whale" and the director of the movie, Noah Baumbach. The band often sign emails and myspace posts with "Sic Transit Gloria," a phrase frequently used in Wes Anderson's "Rushmore."

RIYD: Pete and the Pirates, Laura Marling
Play: 7, 3, 2

Love Is All - "A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night"

Spaztastic avant-pop from Sweden - nice contrast between snarling female vocal delivery and dancey pop guitar lines/drumming. Sometimes anthemic, sometimes saxophone-fueled dance freakout, always a lot of fun.

RIYD: Shout Out Louds, CSS, Arctic Monkeys
Play: 1 (upbeat, dig the horns. spazzy), 2 (more sax, more spaz), 3 (rippin' guitar line), 5 (standout track, fucking rocks but watch the disclaim), 9 (another standout, catchy and anthemic), 10 (folk-ish, awesome female/male call-response)


Rank Artist Recording Label User Supplied Version
1 OF MONTREAL Skeletal Lamping Polyvinyl
2 CRYSTAL STILTS Alight Of Night Slumberland
3 VIVIAN GIRLS Vivian Girls In The Red
4 WOMEN Women Jagjaguwar
5 PARTS AND LABOR Receivers Jagjaguwar
6 ETTES Look At Life Again Soon Take Root
8 RA RA RIOT The Rhumb Line Barsuk
9 SUBMARINES Honeysuckle Weeks Nettwerk
10 BEN FOLDS Way To Normal Epic
11 LOVE IS ALL A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night What's Your Rupture?
12 LENKA Lenka Epic
13 GANG GANG DANCE Saint Dymphna The Social Registry
15 SLEEPING IN THE AVIARY Expensive Vomit In A Cheap Hotel Science Of Sound
16 ARMY NAVY Army Navy The Fever Zone
17 NOAH AND THE WHALE Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down Cherry Tree-Interscope
18 BOO AND BOO TOO No Tempo Ironpaw
19 MENAHAN STREET BAND Make The Road By Walking Daptone-Dunham
20 JAY REATARD Matador Singles '08 Matador
22 PINK SPIDERS Sweat It Out Mean Buzz
24 TOBACCO Fucked Up Friends Anticon
25 GRAMPALL JOOKABOX Ropechain Asthmatic Kitty
26 ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS Another World [EP] Secretly Canadian
27 BEARS Simple Machinery Self-Released
28 BROKEN WEST Now Or Heaven Merge
29 WIRE Object 47 Pink Flag
30 UPCHUCK Gone But Not Forgiven Dadastic

And, as promised, (part of) the Sample 1996 interview with Neutral Milk Hotel:

Sample: How did you get together for the tour?

Jeff Mangum: Julian called me in New York and said, "Well, if you want to do a tour for the record, I can do it."

Julian Koster: [to Jeff] Why don't you start with Scott and how you guys grew up together and stuff?

Jeff: Well, you started the whole mess.

Julian: I said start with you two... chronologically.

Scott Spillane: I wasn't included in the band until the day before he left.

Julian: I thought she was more interested in where you came from... they used to be in a band called The Clay Bears together.

Jeff: I wasn't really planning on touring at all. I mean I hadn't really thought about it. It just seemed like getting a band together would be hard. I'm not really good at taking responsibility for everybody and calling up a bunch of people and saying "Hey, come on, come fuck up your life for me." But Julian sort of gave me the incentive to have the guts to do that. I knew Scott for six years in Louisiana. So I was on my way from Denver to New York, because his grandmother lives out there, and we were going to practice in her basement. Scott was living in his van in Austin, TX. He was sleeping in front of Gumby's Pizza Parlor, where he worked. And the night before I left it dawned on me that...

Scott: The night before he left he came in and it was 2:00 in the morning and he said "I just stopped by to say goodbye." Then we got hit by this big rush and I asked him to come help me make pizzas and he said "I don't know what to do." So he was slinging pizza juice around and then right before he left he said "Hey man, I just realized something. This job really sucks. So why don't you come with us," and I said okay.

Jeff: Yeah that would be it. And all he had was...

Scott: All I had was my guitar and my amp.

Jeff: I didn't even know that he could play horn or anything.

Sample: What exactly is the Elephant Six Recording Collective?

Jeff: It started out as a label and then now it's sort of a symbol for our friendship. I don't really have a definition for it. Everybody has their own little definition.

Julian: A family crest for a group of friends.

Sample: Does it involve other projects outside of music?

Julian: It does.

Jeff: We're probably going to end up living in a farmhouse somewhere.

Sample: Like a commune?

Jeff: Sort of, yeah. We all kind of want to just disappear.

::check back in the following weeks for further installments of the interview::

Friday, November 14, 2008


From 12 AM to 6 AM, yours truly will be working the board, with special guests EVERYONE. If you're in the city, come by and give us cash and I will put you on the radio probably. If you're not, listen in, for I will play hilarious oddities from our stacks and it will be a party in the pants. Also, call in a pledge at (314) 935-5952, then send a check made out to KWUR to:

KWUR 90.3 FM
Campus Box 1205
One Brookings Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63130

Groovy! On y va, citoyens!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


If you are in the general vicinity of KWUR Base Alpha (Washington University in St. Louis), come by and buy baked treats and random CD packages and t-shirts and perchance a totebag. If not, you can still donate to us by calling in a pledge at (314) 935-5952 during a show and sending a check made out to KWUR and your gift request to:

KWUR 90.3 FM
Campus Box 1205
One Brookings Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63130

Thank you! I love you!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sub Pop Singles Club: October

Everyone's favorite Seattle institution, Sub Pop records, re-established their well known singles club to celebrate their 20 anniversary. For $75, 1500 lucky subscribers will receive a special 7inch 45rpm record every month for one year. I'll review them all right here on the KWUR Blog.
The October 7inch was, in fact, not orange, but "McDonald's yellow." The single was by hip L.A. all-girl punk band, Mika Miko.

"Sex Jazz (extended)" b/w "Bastard in Love"

This single is definitely my favorite of the three issued thus far. I liked it so much that I went and got 666, the band's single/live compilation.

The band is from the all-ages DIY scene revolving around The Smell, the same venue pictured on the cover of No Age's Weirdo Rippers.

The result is some raw lo-fi girl punk, and in my book, that can't be beat. "Sex Jazz" is a dancy punk song from the outset. It starts with some pounding bass drum, thick bass, and some saxophone. Throw in some Gang of Four guitarwork and dry female vocals and you have a party.

"Bastard in Love" is not nearly as good, mostly a forgettable not-nearly-as-danceable song. However, this isn't necessarily typical of the band, and 666 is certainly worth checking out for a full dose of hip L.A. all-girl noise-punk.

What will Sub Pop have in store for November?



Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Saturday Evening Post-up (11/8/08)

Hot damn, I nearly forgot - it's Saturday, and I am required by law to post reviews and charts. So here, have some new release reviews in celebration of our newly elected President:

Upchuck - "Gone But Not Forgotten"

Compilation of work by Seattle punk and glam rocker Charles Gerra, whose projects with the most attention were The Fags and Such in NYC. The first three tracks are from his early Seattle glam outfits, the others are almost exclusively Such. Chuck died of AIDS in 1990, but has been cited as a major influence on the Pacific Northwest's music scene that would explode in the late 80's/early 90's.

Play: 4 (industrial, dark), 7 (like some Roxy Music), 1 (late 70's upbeat punkish glam)

Sebastien Grainger - "Sebastien Grainger and the Mountains"

A super-sexy first release for the lone stallion Mr. Grainger. All the seduction of DFA 1979 is poured like chocolate sauce on this album. Good music for a long drive home or a hipster dance party - only, with dancing. Beat-heavy tracks like 1, 2, 3, or 12 are grounded by rock n roll sweetness in tracks 8 and 11 to create a balance that is just right. I really enjoy this album - but I think deep down inside, Grainger misses DFA 1979. I know I do, and it shows in this CD. 9/10

RIYL: Death From Above 1979, The Killers
Play: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12

Grampall Jookabox - "Ropechain"

With "Ropechain," Grampall Jookabox leads us into a world of taut paranoia, guiding the way with anxious growls and yelps, far-out lyrics and bizarre, everything-including-the-kitchen-sink instrumentation. Primal drum beats pound behind honest-to-God freaked-out experimental sound collision. Yet, for as weird as it is, the album is equally funny and substantive - and even accessible.

RIYL: Captain Beefhart, Animal Collective, TV on the Radio (on acid)
Play: 2 (weird but catchy as hell - play if yr feeling hyper and angsty), 3 (vocals on whippits, weird as shit), 4 (chanty vocals, shanty beats, hypnotic), 5 (funky? funny lyrics, gritty), 6 (love the lyrics, tense, good bass line), 11 (title says it all - "I'm Absolutely Freaked Out")

The Streets - "everything is borrowed"

Fourth album by the British hip-hopper. Good, rich beats on most songs, but a few are just fucking annoying. Avoid the annoying ones and you'll be fine. Not the greatest rap I've ever heard, but it's got some moments. 6.5/10

Play 1, 3, 4 (faster rapping), 6, 7, 9

Juana Molina - "Un Dia"

Sounds like folktronica, loopy acoustic stuff. Used to be a comedic actress in South America (from Argentina). Following a military coup in Argentina in 1976, Molina's family fled to Paris and lived in exile there for 6 years.

RIYL: Mia Doi Todd, Hanne Hukkelberg
Play 1, 5, 6

and charts in celebration of us playing music:

Rank Artist Recording Label User Supplied Version
1 JAY REATARD Matador Singles '08 Matador
2 KINGS OF LEON Only By The Night RCA
3 CRYSTAL STILTS Alight Of Night Slumberland
4 NIGHTWATCHMAN The Fabled City Epic
5 SLEEPING IN THE AVIARY Expensive Vomit In A Cheap Hotel Science Of Sound
6 GANG GANG DANCE Saint Dympha The Social Registry
7 ZYDEPUNKS Finisterre Nine Mile
8 MENAHAN STREET BAND Make The Road By Walking Daptone-Dunham
9 ANE BRUN Changing Of The Seasons Cheap Lullaby
10 LITTLE ONES Morning Tide Chop Shop
11 PARTS AND LABOR Receivers Jagjaguwar
12 NOAH AND THE WHALE Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down Cherry Tree-Interscope
13 RA RA RIOT The Rhumb Line Barsuk
14 JENNY LEWIS Acid Tongue Warner Bros.
15 TV ON THE RADIO Dear Science Interscope
16 THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES Tail Swallower And Dove Suicide Squeeze
17 PARENTHETICAL GIRLS Entanglements Tomlab
18 XX TEENS Welcome To Goon Island Mute
19 WOMEN Women Jagjaguwar
20 LEOPOLD AND HIS FICTION Ain't No Surprise Self-Released
21 BRIAN WILSON That Lucky Old Sun Capitol
22 BROKEN WEST Now Or Heaven Merge
23 ARMY NAVY Army Navy The Fever Zone
24 HAWNAY TROOF Islands Of Ayle Retard Disco
25 LYKKE LI Youth Novels LL
26 RACHAEL YAMAGATA Elephants... Teeth Sinking Into Heart Warner Bros.
27 LITTLE TEETH Child Bearing Man Absolutely Kosher
29 PROUD SIMON Night Of Criminals Self-Released
30 SUBMARINES Honeysuckle Weeks Nettwerk

Friday, November 07, 2008


(image courtesy of
Hey folks,

From November 11th to the 18th, KWUR is conducting its fundraising drive, Hustle Week. KWUR is run on a shoestring budget that has been dramatically cut twice by Student Union in the past two years, and there is no guarantee that the budget will not be cut again in the future. In the past, fundraising dollars have been spent on essentials like shelves for the 45s and promotional schedule posters. If enough money is raised, it can be used to help pay for an improved KWUR Week, a website redesign, or even music acquisitions. If you care about KWUR and appreciate the quality alternative programming KWUR provides every day and you've got five or ten dollars to spare, we'd really appreciate any help you can give us.

If you'd like to donate, you can:

1) Stop by the station whenever there's a show and donate directly to a DJ

2) Call in a pledge at (314) 935-5952 and mail a check made out to KWUR and your gift preference to:

KWUR 90.3 FM

Campus Box 1205

One Brookings Dr.

St. Louis, MO 63130

For a ten dollar donation, you can get five random CDs, lovingly wrapped and decorated by KWUR D.J.s. For a twenty dollar donation, you can get a t-shirt, while supplies last. For a thirty dollar donation, you can get a KWUR totebag. For a hundred dollars, you can get part of the station (any part you'd like, while supplies last) named after you for a year. For two hundred dollars, you can get your own sycophantic this-is-your-life tribute show. All gifts are tax-deductible.

For those of you in the St. Louis area, we're having a couple of special events:

Wednesday the 12th, 12pm - 6pm: Live broadcast from the Danforth University Center!

Thursday the 13th, 12pm - 3pm: Merch/bake sale at the Danforth University Center!

Friday the 14th, 5pm: KWUR DOES KLASSICAL! Meet at the station to head over to Powell Symphony Hall and hear the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra perform Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring!

Saturday the 15th (really Friday night), 12am - 6am: All night marathon broadcast! We'll be playing some weird and wacky shit, KWUR's greatest hits. Stop by the station and say hey, and heck, maybe we'll put you on the air!

KWUR Hustle Week. Wait till we get our money right.

Women-- Women


Really great early-90s style lo-fi, with lots of psychelic 60s pop influence on some tracks

1-- Mostly just an intro segue into 2, very short.
2--good spaced-out feel, i like the layered guitar parts
4--******PLAY PLAY PLAY******** bells, guitars, fantastic vocal melody, very 60s, play play play!
5--beautiful instrumental, "Sag Harbor Bridge," arpeggiated guitar, very evocative
6--great pop song, very Zombies/Kinks/60s melody and chord progression, i like it a lot. pretty short though.
7--The start of the noisy part of the album. almost post-hardcore. tense guitar, punky bass.
8-- mellow pop interlude, nothing special
9-- dissonant guitars and chanting, ebbs and flows, builds and releases
10-- very noisy jam.

Play it, please. It is wonderful, it has so many different styles while remaining coherent and recognizable as one piece. CZECH IT OUT!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Broadcast Law on Election Day

Today, as Americans head to the polls to vote, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in FCC vs. Fox Television Stations. Up for review is whether or not the FCC can fine broadcasters for "fleeting expletives," the non-repeated use of words deemed indecent or basically dropping a few of George Carlin's Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television. In the past few years, the FCC has been increasingly capricious in its regulation of fleeting expletives, suddenly deciding to step up to the plate and dole out some fines while in other cases not fining by claiming that the expletive use has artistic merit. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the FCC because of this arbitrariness.

Are we likely to see a sweeping decision today from the Roberts Court, greatly expanding what we can say over the air without getting in trouble with the FCC? I wouldn't be surprised if it went either way. Several former FCC chairs have submitted amicus briefs on behalf of the broadcasters, and the recent policy shift on fleeting expletives has been quite puritanical. Yet ideologically, the Court has shifted to the right. So who knows?

Please keep in mind, as you go to the polls today, that our next President will be appointing several Justices to the Court, unless a Ponce de Leon emerges and discovers the Fountain of Youth, and our highest court could very likely be hearing several more broadcast law cases of interest to KWUR and our audience.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Album Review: School Of Seven Bells, "Alpinisms"

Lush vocal harmonies over glitchy, fuzzy electronic rhythms. Spacey, atmospheric stuff: think Air, Psapp, M83 or a more harmonious Bjork. When the vocal harmonies build, this record goes to some special places. Really fantastic!

Play all, esp: 1+++(stacatto), 3+++(pretty vocals), 5, 9, 10++

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Saturday Evening Post-up (11/1/08)

Hope everyone had a spOoOoOoky Halloween. DJ reviews of what we're spinning:

These Arms Are Snakes - "Tail Swallower And Dove"

Intriguing post-hardcore that fulfills expectations set by their previous releases - but full of surprises in every track. Intense and moody, but not over-the-top, cliche, or monotonous in any way. Solid drums establish dance-y beats that are fun yet not pop-happy or sugary. This CD is like a ten course meal - so good, you want to eat it over and over. Track 2 is awesome, despite disclaim. Makes me wish my arms were snakes.

RIYL: The Blood Brothers, Frodus, Minus The Bears
Play: 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9

Kings Of Leon - "Only By The Night"

"Only By The Night" starts off as a fairly solid album, with some nice and slow but catchy songs. Sounds like mellow bluesy rock, starts off good but fails to hold my attention after the first few songs. The vocals can get a little too whiny.

Play: 1, 2

Jay Reatard - "Matador Singles '08"

Garage-synth-punk done right. Goes from exciting and upbeat (1-6) to dark 'n moody (7-9) to chill and cool (11, 12); but manages to stay awesome and fit together. Reatard is a freakin' genius. You're weird if you don't like the loopy beats and the DIY/garage echo of this album. It's so awesome. A perfect mix of everything synth-punk should be.

RIYL: Fucked Up, The Ponys
Play: all, but especially 3, 7, 8, 9

Gang Gang Dance - "Saint Dymphna"

NYC sample-pounders traipse their way through labrynthine synth layers on an adventure through eclectic rhythms of the world. Glimpses of reggaeton, West African, and Indian (tabla) appear, but all under one dancey, dreamy hot tin roof. This group has definitely made a move toward appeal & accessibility, in tune with Black Dice or Animal Collective. "Noise" is rare here, but catchy, audible guitar lines guide delay-drenched femme vox that fluctuate between XXY and 2nd grade squeals.

Play: 4 (slower, thickest), 6 (RIYL Tortoise + amphetamines), 8 (dancey, but sequencing is deliberately off = dreamy), 10 (standout, heavy on vocals, rock sensibility)

Crystal Stilts - "Alight Of Night"

This album is a fascinating combo of surf rock, western and no-wave, filtered through a fuzzy psychedelic filter. That is to say, the vocals are detached and remote, the guitars at once choppy and lilting, and the drumming muted. Think a Joy Division approach (circa Unknown Pleasures) to garage-surf, and you're getting there. Yet, not once does it sound derivative - everything clicks beautifully. Strange and wonderful, dreamy and detached - play the hell out of this.

RIYL: early Jesus + Mary Chain, Velvet Underground, Raveonettes, Sunset Rubdown
Play: 1 (folksy but tense, great bass line), 2 (muted surf-y guitar), 3 (western-esque), 5 (a little peppier), 6 (reminds me of a lost Joy Division single, standout), 10 (ambling psychedelia)

Charty goodness:

Rank Artist Recording Label User
1 KINGS OF LEON Only By The Night RCA
2 SHY CHILD Noise Won't Stop Kill Rock Stars
3 BEN FOLDS Way To Normal Epic
4 ANE BRUN Changing Of The Seasons Cheap Lullaby
5 RA RA RIOT The Rhumb Line Barsuk
6 THESE UNITED STATES Crimes United Interests
7 MENAHAN STREET BAND Make The Road By Walking Dunham-Daptone
8 TOBACCO Fucked Up Friends Anticon
9 BLACK KEYS Attack And Release Nonesuch
10 SUBMARINES Honeysuckle Weeks Nettwerk
11 PORTUGAL. THE MAN Censored Colors Approaching AIRballoons-Equal Vision
12 PROCLIVITIES Handguns And Dancing Shoes Self-Released
13 HOSPITAL SHIPS Oh, Ramona Graveface
14 AVETT BROTHERS The Second Gleam Ramseur
15 LEOPOLD AND HIS FICTION Ain't No Surprise Self-Released
16 RACHAEL YAMAGATA Elephants... Teeth Sinking Into Heart Warner Bros.
17 OASIS Dig Out Your Soul Big Brother-Reprise
18 WOMEN Women Jagjaguwar
20 XX TEENS Welcome To Goon Island Mute
21 STARFUCKER Starfucker Badman
22 HOTEL LIGHTS Firecracker People Bar/None
23 NEW YEAR The New Year Touch And Go
24 BROKEN WEST Now Or Heaven Merge
25 LENKA Lenka Epic
26 MINIATURE TIGERS Tell It To The Volcano Modern Art
27 JEALOUS GIRLFRIENDS Jealous Girlfriends Good Fences-Last Gang
28 ETTES Look At Life Again Soon Take Root
29 JENNY LEWIS Acid Tongue Warner Bros.
30 OF MONTREAL Skeletal Lamping Polyvinyl