Tag Archives: Rolling Stone Magazine

You should be listening to The Strokes!

The Strokes are the hip, happening New York band that careened on to the music scene in 2001 with their garage rock debut Is This It.  They packed the one, two punch of critical acclaim; their debut recently was listed as one of the top 50 Albums of the Decade by Rolling Stone Magazine, and commercial success. 

In addition to playing a variety of festivals, they had some sweet opening slots for bands such as the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Weezer, and The White Stripes.  In 2003 they released Room On Fire, which was also well received by critics and achieved Gold status.  This was followed by the release of First Impressions of Earth.  The album was seen as a bit of a musical retreat for the band and did not receive the commercial or critical success of their previous two efforts. 

The Strokes Discography:

  • Is This It
  • Room On Fire
  • First Impression of Earth

The Strokes Top 5 Songs:

  1. Last Night (Is This It)
  2. Is This It (Is This It)
  3. 12:51 (Room On Fire)
  4. You Only Live Once (First Impressions of Earth)
  5. Reptilia (Room On Fire)

Their music is daring with a slight pop edge and exploding with an early raw punk sound.  Reminiscent of the 70’s New York scene, think Stooges and Velvet Underground, yet, they manage to sound fresh and original while not hiding their influences. 

Check out The Stokes at www.thestrokes.com.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlYsDNilKDQ

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSieZdwxxuk&feature=PlayList&p=CE5BEB60627F516D&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=4

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to The Avett Brothers!

The Avett Brothers are the folksy, rocking, alt/country with a tinge of bluegrass band from North Carolina.  With such a diverse pedigree, is it any wonder the Rick Rubin took notice, signed them to his label, and produced their major label debut “I and Love and You”?

As mentioned, I and Love and You is the major label debut but actually finds The Avett Brothers in the double digits for their release total. They have released numerous albums as well as EP’s and live albums.

Loosely formed in 2000 just prior to be the end of Seth and Scott Avett’s rock band Nemo, the brothers are joined by Bob Crawford on stand up bass.  Their self titled debut was release in 2000 and in 2002 released their first album “Country Was” as a full band.

In 2007 the Avett Brothers won the Americana Music Association Duo/Group of the Year award and 2007 Emerging Artist of the Year.  In 2009 they opened for the Dave Matthews Band’s spring tour across the southern United States as well as an opening spot for Wide Spread Panic.  And, to add to an already great year, Rolling Stone Magazine named The Avett Brothers “The Artist to Watch in 2009”. 

While their major label is not a dramatic musical departure from their previous work, however, there is less reliance on banjo, with the exception of “January Wedding” while the piano plays a prominent role on this ballad heavy album.  The album is sonically rich with harmonies provided by Scott and Seth.  The melodies are tight and the musical arrangement has a certain level of complication but not in an overly dramatic fashion.

The Avett Brothers Discography:

  • The Avett Bros.
  • Country Was
  • Live at the Double Door Inn
  • A Carolina Jubilee
  • Swept Away (EP)
  • Mignonette
  • Live, Vol. 2
  • Four Thieves Gone: The Robbinsville Sessions
  • The Gleam
  • Emotionalism
  • The Second Gleam
  • I and Love and You

 Key tracks form I and Love and You:

  • Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise
  • Ten Thousand Words
  • I and Love and You
  • Ill With Want
  • Kick Drum Heart

Check out The Avett Brothers @ www.theavettbrothers.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgnZ0wEi2JU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqZZlL0l5Uk&feature=channel

The Avett Brothers’ music is available at iTunes, record stores, and www.theavettbrothers.com

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Wilco!

And from the ashes of Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy and Wilco rose like a phoenix!  Created in 1994 after the demise of the oft contentious Uncle Tupelo, the original line up of Wilco consisted of the entire band of Uncle Tupelo minus Jay Farrar.  Wilco was named after the voice procedure idiom “wilco” meaning “Will Comply” which Tweedy found to be an ironic choice for a rock band.

With their debut album A.M., released in 1995, Wilco was still well-established in the Alt/Country sound, however, their musical evolution has found them experimenting with alternative rock and pop.  The band considered the album a failure due to the modest reception by critics and fans alike and the fact that Jay Farrar’s new band Son Volt had released their debut album Trace and it fared better both critically and commercially. 

Being There was the overly ambitious (19 songs) sophomore effort that was released as a double album but sold for a single album price.  This was accomplished by Tweedy agreeing to give the label (Reprise) Wilco’s share of album royalties.  It is estimated that the band lost more than half a million dollars.  The album was a hit with critics and reached 73 on the Billboard album chart. 

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was released in 2001, after much turmoil and confusion, and eventual dismissal from their previous label. It became their best selling album and to date has sold almost 600,000 copies.  In addition to the commercial success, critics raved and Billboard ranked it 13 on its charts and Rolling Stone Magazine listed as one of the 50 best albums of the decade.  With the follow up release of A Ghost is Born Wilco received a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album and became the bands first top ten album. 

Wilco discography:

  • A.M.
  • Being There
  • Summerteeth
  • Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
  • A Ghost is Born
  • Kicking Television (Live in Chicago)
  • Sky Blue Sky
  • Wilco (The Album)

Top 5 Wilco Songs:

  1. Either Way (Sky Blue Sky)
  2. Box Full of Letters (A.M.)
  3. Sunken Treasure (Being There)
  4. Jesus, Etc. (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)
  5. Theologians (A Ghost is Born)

Wilco, in the face of their career long major label affiliation, is seen more as an indie band and have been categorized as alt/country, alternative rock, pop, and roots-rock.  Critics have even referred to them as an Americanized adaptation of Radiohead; this is in large part to the diversity of their sound and catalog.  The diversity has certainly been enabled by the rotating members of the band.  Since their inception, Jeff Tweedy and bassist John Stirratt are the only original members. 

Whatever the comparison or classification, they simple truth is that Wilco is a great band that has maintained their integrity while staying relevant.  As fickle as critics and consumes are, this band has persevered and in many ways influenced countless bands along the way.

Check out Wilco at www.wilcoweb.com.

Wilco’s music is available at iTunes, record stores, and www.wilcoweb.com.

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Fleet Foxes!

Fleet Foxes are a five piece Seattle band that came to light in 2008 with the release of “Sun Giant (EP), which was released on famed Seattle indie label Sub-Pop, and their self titled debut album.  Both releases received critical acclaim.  Despite great reviews in Rolling Stone magazine and other musical press, they were moderately received in the United States but did well in Europe.  With great festival performances in 2008 at SXSW and the Sasquatch Festival, Fleet Foxes gained some national exposure and positive press.  They opened for Wilco shortly after the release of their debut album.

Fleet Foxes combine the retro feel of early pop (The Beach Boys) with the ethereal harmonies of folk.  Their sound is bathed in reverb, multi layered harmonies, and brilliant melodies.  While enjoyable to listen to, it takes a few spins to fully appreciate the dense harmony and the varied acoustic instrumentation that define their sound.  Four part harmony is not uncommon in their songs. 

 Their youth, Robin Peckold, lead singer is 23, belies their sound, in this age of sampled tracks and autotune, it is rich, textured music with lush harmonies and revealing lyrics.

Fleet Foxes Discography

  • Sun Giant (EP)
  • Fleet Foxes

Top 5 Fleet Foxes Songs according to Butler (Albums listed to right of song):

  1. White Winter Hymnal (Fleet Foxes)
  2. Mykonos (Sun Giant EP)
  3. Your Protector (Fleet Foxes)
  4. English House (Sun Giant EP)
  5. He Doesn’t Know Why (Fleet Foxes) 

Check out Fleet Foxes and let me know what you think.

Fleet Foxes’ music is available is available on iTunes and record stores.

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 Great music awaits!