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Tag Archives: The Gaslight Anthem
Well, 2010 was quite the year! Everyone got a little older but ladies, you don’t look it! In spite of continued political divide, the yet to rebound economy, and little oil spill in the Gulf, 2010 was a pretty great year in music. Not for the industry as a whole (canceled tours, decline in both digital and CD sales, etc…), but in terms of the output from various artists it was a pretty fine year. Hell, the Beatles finally capitulated to the masses and released their catalog on iTunes! Back the Brinks truck up boys, we are cashing in!
Here is my annual review of what I thought, and thereby, was good in the world of music in 2010. If it did not make the list, it means I did not get a chance to listen to it, or it sucked. It is entirely possible that some music got by me this year. It is more likely that the music I did not listen to was not listenable and therefore sucked.
In all seriousness, this is a compilation of 50 albums that were released in 2010 that got a lot of play in the many places where I listen to music. All of these albums I own and were in heavy rotation throughout the year. These are by no means the only albums released or that I purchased in 2010 but the ones I found myself digging a little more than some of the others.
The albums listed below are in no particular order of greatness but are all great in their own unique musical way! See, look at that, I’m being mindful of the feelings of the artists that will never read this blog and perpetuating the “everyone is a winner”, feel good schlock that has helped raise and create a whole generation of entitled whiners and, I digress.
So sit back and peruse the gentle musing of what made my musical pants go crazy this year.
|The Black Keys||Brother||This album and all of their other albums rock. This band consists of 2 white dudes from Ohio who sound like a symphony of veteran bluesman that caught wind of some funk. Pure greatness!|
|Arcade Fire||The Suburbs||Nice way to come back from a 3 year break! This album and this band is what is right with music today. Sprawling music, musicians that actually play instruments, and have something meaningful to say!|
|Jamey Johnson||The Guitar Songs||Jamey tried the clean cut “new” country way and realized that it was not going to work for him. So, he followed the Johnny Cash 101 course and gave in to vice and temptation, grew a crazy beard and wrote about his life. This double disc is pretty aggressive for this relative newcomer but he pulls it off and we are better for it.|
|Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers||Mojo||Great new disc from the Heartbreakers and another great album from start –finish for Tommy Boy. After 30 years I am amazed that he can still bring it like he does. Petty has a way of always taking me back to the halcyon days of high school. Props to the folks from 75115!|
|Drive-By Truckers||The Big To-Do||I love DBT and this album is no exception. While Jason Isbell is missed, they are able to carry one and make some damn fine music. The stories that they create are usually good for a laugh or two until you realize that most of them come from real life events.|
|Fistful of Mercy||Fistful of Mercy||The musical triumvirate of Ben Harper, Joseph Arthur, and Dhani Harrison. Great harmonies and acoustic instrumentation.|
|Bruce Springsteen||The Promise||This 2 disc set is the lost tracks to the Darkness on the Edge of Town session. That period was pretty prolific for the Boss and it is funny how 30+ years later the music is still relevant. Hats off to you Bruce and the E Street Boys.|
|Eminem||Recovery||Dropped off the face of musical earth and did a death spiral and realized that he had more music to make. While not as aggressive and misogynistic as his earlier work, Recovery shows that he still has skills.|
|The Dead Weather||Sea of Cowards||Jack White is pure greatness and this sophomore effort from one of his many side projects does not disappoint.|
|The National||High Violet||Not exactly a “pick me up” kind of band but the drama and melancholy is balanced by the somber vocals and tight instrumentation.|
|Band of Horses||Infinite Arms||Indie music darlings come back with a full group for their third album. Their sound is familiar but they do explore some new lyrical territory.|
|Neil Young||Le Noise||Neil Young and his eclectic ways paired + Daniel Lanois production expertise = genius.|
|Kings of Leon||Come Around Sundown||These guys make consistently good music. It is unfortunate that their previous release was embraced by the masses and oversaturated the airwaves.|
|Kid Rock||Born Free||Say what you will about the Kid, but when he stays close to the classic rock of our youth, he makes entertaining music.|
|Joe Purdy||4th of July||The best indie act out there today. Releases all of his material on his own with no major label support, gets little or no radio play, and tours in places that hold 200-300 people. He is amazing.|
|Joe Purdy||This American||See above|
|The Gaslight Anthem||American Slang||New Jersey band channeling the musical spirit of Springsteen with a little punk rock spin. Further proof that good things come from the Garden State!|
|Spoon||Transference||Spoon continues to make moody not quite pop music. This is their 7th album and is a great showcase of their formidable musical chops.|
|Gorillaz||Plastic Beach||Cartoon characters that get the likes of DeLa Soul, Snoop Dogg, and Lou Reed to guest on their album. What more can I say?|
|MGMT||Congratulations||The sophomore album from the trippy, somewhat psychedelic duo. As good as their stellar debut and clearly shows that these boys have some skills.|
|Kanye West||My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy||Despite the petulant attitude, knack for opening mouth and inserting foot, Kanye knows how to mix and mingle the tracks, samples and artists. Not sure I like liking him but hard to ignore.|
|Robert Plant||Band of Joy||Golden Rock god pays go pre-Zeppelin days and does some pretty sweet covers of American music such as Townes Van Zandt, Low, and Los Lobos.|
|John Mellencamp||No Better Than This||This live mono recording of his latest was done in various parts of the country such as a Georgia church, San Antonio hotel room, and a Memphis recording studio. Mr. Happy Go Lucky strikes again!|
|Broken Bells||Broken Bells||James Mercer (The Shins) and super producer Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley) team up for an awesome debut album. Hopefully they will find time to make more music.|
|Black Rebel Motorcycle Club||Beat the Devil’s Tattoo||Cool, scary band name with cool scary album name. I’ve been a fan for years and like how they have evolved.|
|Marc Cohn||Listening Booth:1970||Great covers of 70’s song. Nice to see him back in the booth.|
|Josh Ritter||So Runs The World Away||Quite the word smith. Sparse musical compositions are the foundation for the subterranean concepts of the album.|
|Flobots||Survival Story||Rock-Rap with the instrumentation of a viola! Politically charged lyrics with deft delivery and did I mention the viola?|
|The Rescues||Let Loose The Horses||Four part harmonies that flawlessly flow throughout the album. Lingering, soothing lyrics that are both exploratory and meaningful. Great debut album.|
|Jack Johnson||To The Sea||Feel good music in the laid back Jack Johnson style. Not breaking new ground which is not necessarily a bad thing.|
|Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs||God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise||4th studio album for the whiskey soaked and smoky voiced troubadour and this time he is backed by a true, professional band. This album, like all the rest is best when his dulcet tone has room to breathe.|
|Mumford & Sons||Sigh No More||Further proof that harmonies were all the rage in 2010. This London quartet’s debut album is closer to folk than just about anything on this list. Not sure how the English captured Americana but more power to them.|
|The New Pornographers||Together||The large Canadian bands 5th album is a nice blend of vocals and instrumentation. Will Sheff of Okervil River, Zach Condon of Beirut, and some Dap Kings (the horn players) all make appearances on the album.|
|The Black Crowes||Croweology||The Crowes version of “Best of” with 2 discs worth of tracks. Nice acoustic versions of their catalog. This is the last release before their next breakup/hiatus. Damn sibling rivalries!|
|LCD Soundsystem||This Is Happening||The 3rd and reportedly final album from the dance/rock kings.|
|Of Montreal||False Priests||An eclectic blend of funk, synth, and sing along chorus. Lyrically odd at times, the songs seem to be better crafted then some of their other work.|
|Sleigh Bells||Treats||Drums, guitars, and a little hip hop are hard to beat. This band is not easy to define but certainly fun.|
|Big Boi||Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Song of Chico Dusty||One half of the rap duo OutKast, Big Boi shows his considerable skills on his solo album. Solo album is a loose term considering that T.I., Gucci Mane, George Clinton, Jamie Foxx, B.o.B, and Too Short are just a few of the folks that appear on the album.|
|The Hold Steady||Heaven Is Whenever||Not as commercially known as some of the other bands on this list but just as good, if not better than some. Think heartland rock with Brooklyn attitude.|
|Eels||Tomorrow Morning||The 2nd of their albums to be released in 2010, this one is a little more upbeat. The addition of keyboards and strings is a nice touch. It seems that E might have just a glimmer of happiness in his life.|
|Weezer||Hurley||With co-writers like Ryan Adams, Mac Davis, and Linda Perry, this album twists and turns in many musical directions. All of them good!|
|Vampire Weekend||Contra||Sophomore album for the Paul Simon channeling group is not a drastic departure from their first. The formula works.|
|Ozomatli||Fire Away||As diverse as band as there is, these LA boys mix in the rap, Spanish horns, and a bit of Ska to completely blow you away.|
|Street Sweeper Social Club||The Ghetto Blaster EP||Tom Morello of Rage fame and Boot Riley release this angry, politically driven EP. Not so angry that they can’t cover LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out and MIA’s Paper Planes.|
|The Avett Brothers||Live Volume 3||This album was recorded in 2009 shortly after the major label debut. It covers several great tracks from their previous indie label albums. This is a band best served live. Might make my Top 10 Live Album List.|
|Joe Pug||The Messenger||Great acoustic folk music. Lyrically sound and great from start to finish. He is one of the great finds of 2010 for me.|
|Jakob Dylan||Woman + Country||The still Wallflowerless Dylan’s 2nd solo album is as solid as anything he has ever done. Neko Case also appears on the album.|
|Matt Costa||Mobile Chateau||Jack Johnson’s protégé’s third release is a mixed bag of upbeat tempos and California pop with a helping of soulful piano and surprising depth.|
|Elton John and Leon Russell||The Union||Clash of the aging titans! Hard to believe that after 40 years of divergent paths, these two make an album that leaves you wondering why it did not happen sooner.|
|Reckless Kelly||Somewhere In Time||This album is a 12 track homage to the band’s early mentor and Americana singer/songwriter Pinto Bennett.|
1 Comment | tags: 4th of July, American Slang, Arcade Fire, Avett Brothers, Band of Horses, Band of Joy, Beat the Devil's Tatoo, Big Boi, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Born Free, Broken Bells, Brother, Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Come Around Soundown, Congratulations, Contra, Croweology, Drive-By Truckers, Eels, Eminem, False Priests, Fire Away, Fistful of Mercy, Flobots, God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise, Gorillaz, Heaven Is Whenever, High Violet, Hurley, Infinte Arms, Jack Johnson, Jakob Dylan, Jamey Johnson, Joe Purdy, John Mellencamp, Josh Ritter, Kid Rock, Kings of Leon, LCD Soundsystem, Le Noise, Leon Russell, Let Loose the Horses, Listening Booth:1970, Live Volume 3, Marc Cohn, Matt Costa, Mobile Chateau, Mojo, Mumford & Sons, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Neil Young, No Better Than This, Of Montreal, Ozomatli, Plastic Beach, Ray Lamontagne, Reckless Kelly, Recovery, Robert Plan, Sea of Cowards, Sigh No More, Sir Lucious Left Foot:The Song of Chico Dusty, So Runs the World Away, Somewhere in Time, Spoon, Street Sweeper Social Club, Survival Story, The Big To-Do, The Black Crowes, The Black Keys, The Dead Weather, The Gaslight Anthem, The Ghetto Blaster EP, The Guitar Songs, The Hold Steady, The Messenger, The National, The New Pornographers, The Promise, The Rescues, The Suburbs, The Union, This American, This Is Happening, To the Sea, Together, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Tomorrow Morning, Tomp Petty, Transference, Treats, Vampire Weekend, Weezer, Woman + Country | posted in Alt/Country Music, Alternative Music, Austin Music, Country Music, Folk Music, Heavy Metal Music, Indie Music, Live Music, Music, Pop Music, Rock Music, Southern Rock, Texas Music
Well, here we are, six months in to 2010. Musically it has been a pretty solid half a year. Today I will list a few of the albums that you should have picked up thus far this year.
The albums are listed in no particular order.
2010 Mid-Year Review: Albums You Should Have Bought
|The Black Keys||Brothers|
|Gary Allan||Get Off On the Pain|
|John Butler Trio||April Uprising|
|She & Him||Volume Two|
|Drive-By Truckers||The Big To-Do|
|Black Rebel Motorcycle Club||Beat the Devil’s Tattoo|
|The New Pornographers||Together|
|Jack Johnson||To The Sea|
|The Gaslight Anthem||American Slang|
|Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers||Mojo|
|Band of Horses||Infinite Arms|
|The Dead Weather||Sea of Cowards|
|The National||High Violet|
|Minus the Bear||Omni|
Great music awaits!
Leave a comment | tags: American Slang, April Uprising, Band of Horses, Beat the Devil's Tattoo, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Brothers, Contra, Drive-By Truckers, Flobots, Gary Allan, get Off On the Pain, Heligoland, High Violet, Infinite Arms, Jack Johnson, John Butler Trio, Massive Attack, Minus the Bear, Mojo, Music you should be listening to!, Omni, Sea of Cowards, She & Him, Spoon, Survival Story, The Big To-Do, The Black Keys, The Dead Weather, The Gaslight Anthem, The National, The New Pornographers, To the Sea, Together, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Transference, Vampire Weekend, Volume Two | posted in Alternative Music, Country Music, Folk Music, Indie Music, Music, Pop Music, Rock Music, Southern Rock, Texas Music
Welcome back to another installment of Tune In Tuesday. Today’s six albums are pretty diverse in regards to musical genre and over all style but have the commonality of not sucking at all.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
This is Mr. Petty’s first studio album in eight and is well worth the wait. The tunes are refreshingly reflective of the bands thirty plus years in the business. The songs have an air of fun and a cohesive quality that have always been a trademark of the Heartbreakers. Heavy on the sweet southern rock sound, the songs have a classic vibe that sounds fresh yet familiar. Petty’s voice is in fine form with the light, nasally, southern drawl, Campbell’s guitar playing is as tight as ever, and Trench’s ability to tickle the ivory brings it all together. The album reminds you why Petty is so great and why he can take eight years off and come back just as relevant to the music scene.
Key Tracks: Running Man’s Bible, Something Good Coming, Takin’ My Time
The Gaslight Anthem
This is the third album for the New Jersey band and a pretty dramatic departure for the heartland punk rockers. It seems that the urgency and tension of the first two albums has dissipated and allowed them to grow as a band. Obviously influenced by Springsteen, American Slang is a more mature sound for the band and allows them to better connect to their audience as well as bring new folks into the fold. Don’t get me wrong, the band still rocks and a few songs have the speed and antagonism of their previous two albums.
Key Tracks: Bring It On, American Slang, Orphans
Fly Between Falls
Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO)
Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO) is the hippie, trippy, California band that brings the good time vibe to everything they play. The band was formed by high school buddies Zach Gill, Steve Adams, Dan Lebowitz. They all share vocal responsibilities and play a variety of instruments.
Their debut album “Fly Between Falls” was originally released in 2004 and rereleased when ALO signed to Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records in 2006.
This album is just plain fun. Each song is up tempo and quirky yet sucks you in a little deeper each time you listen.
Key Tracks: Girl I Wanna Lay You Down, Wasting Time (Isla Vista Song), Barbeque
I and Love and You
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”?
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.
Key Tracks: Ten Thousand Words, Kick Drum Heart, January Wedding
One Fast Move Or I’m Gone
Jay Farrar & Ben Gibbard
Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo) and Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service) teamed up to write and record an album for the documentary “One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s “Big Sur”.
With Kerouac’s connection to jazz, both Farrar and Gibbard seem to be an odd choice to write and represent the spirit of Jack. However, given the tragic nature of the book and Kerouac’s immersion into the depths of alcoholism and debilitating depression, Farrar with his naturally dour vocal styling and proclivity to writing deep emotionally damaged lyrics was a competent selection, while Gibbard seemed an awkward fit with his more melodic voice and previous synth heavy work with The Postal Service.
Given the inspiration for the album it is no surprise that musically, the album is steeped in Americana with acoustic, electric, & steel guitar, lap & pedal steel, harmonica, piano, and percussions. A majority of the lyrics were taken from Kerouac’s 1962 novel “Big Sur” and Jack gets writing credit on all of the songs except Gibbard’s lyrical contribution on the title track.
The irony of this project is that as dark and damaged as Kerouac was; the album is hopeful with a vulnerable beauty etched in the music and lyrics.
Key Tracks: California Zephyr, One Fast Move or I’m Gone, Big Sur, San Francisco
One Day as a Lion
One Day as a Lion
One Day as a Lion is the musical collaboration and eponymous debut EP of acid tongue, fire and brimstone, anti politico Zack de la Rocha (Rage Against the Machine) and drummer Jon Theodore (Mars Volta).
The overall vibe on the EP is not an exodus sonically or lyrically for either musician. The lyrics are politically and emotionally charged, the music is in your face antagonistic, and the overall delivery is the equivalent of a sledgehammer. Bombastic drums and hypnotic keyboards bolster the fiery vocal release of de la Rocha. The album has urgency to it in both the spirit of the music and the delivery of the lyrics.
While the five songs seem to play quickly, what the album lacks in length, it more than makes up for with the strength of each song. It also brings the realization the potency of de la Rocha’s delivery and the void that has existed musically since the disbanding of Rage Against the Machine.
Key Tracks: All 5 Songs!
Great music awaits!
Leave a comment | tags: ALO, American Slang, Animal Liberation Orchestra, Ben Gibbard, Bring It On, Brushfire Records, Death Cab for Cutie, Fly Between Falls, Girl I wanna Lay You Down, I and Love and You, Jack Johnson, January Wedding, Jay Farrar, Jon Theodore, Kick Drum Heart, Mars Volta, Mike Campbell, Mojo, One Day as a Lion, One Fast Move or I'm Gone, Orphans, Postal Service, Rage Against the Machine, Rick Rubin, Running Man's Bible, Something Good Coming, Son Volt, Takin' My Time, Ten Thousand Words, The Avett Brothers, The Gaslight Anthem, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Uncle Tupelo, Wasting Time (Isla Vista Song), Zach Gill, Zack de la Rocha | posted in Alt/Country Music, Alternative Music, Heavy Metal Music, Indie Music, Music, Rock Music
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