Sunday, December 7, 2008

JRAW's 2008 Albums

As a good friend of Brandon Krutzky, I've learned the importance of lists. Especially those of the year-end sort. Not to mention the fact that if I had not spent the time to make this list, he may have decided I was no longer worthy of his friendship! Now, it is not exactly the most detailed thing in the world, nor am I going to take the time to post one album at a time. No fuckin' around, surprising posts, no anticipation...So, without further ado... here it is folks.

JRAW's 2008 Albums

31. Emmylou Harris- All I Intended to Be
30. The Killers - Day and Age
29. Kaki King - Dreaming Of Revenge
28. Portugal.The Man- Censored Colors
27. Keane-Perfect Symmetry
26.Kate Nash - Made Of Bricks
25. Anberlin- New Surrender
24. Gregory & The Hawk - Moenie And Kitchi
23. Max Richter- 24 Postcards in Full Colour
22. James Yorkston- When the Harr Rolls In
21. Anberlin- New Surrender
20. Horse Feathers- House With No Home
19.Death Cab for Cutie- Narrow Stairs
18. Ra Ra Riot- The Rhumb Line
17. Conor Oberst- Self Titled
16. She and Him- Volume One
15.Portishead- Third
14. Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard- The Dark Knight Soundtrack
13. Beck- Modern Guilt
12.The Notwist- The Devil, You + Me
11. Coldplay- Viva La Vida
10. Peter Broderick- Float
9. Ben Folds- Way to Normal
8. Rachael Yamagata- Elephants… Teeth Sinking Into Heart
7. Josh Radin- Simple Times
6. Ray LaMontagne- Gossip In the Grain
5. Thrice- The Alchemy Index’s
4. Copeland- You are my Sunshine
3. Radiohead- In Rainbows
2. Jenny Lewis- Acid Tongue
1. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals- Cardinology
Maybe I'll take the time to go into more detail on my favorite albums and tracks later when I'm not feeling so lazy. But for now, I'm hungry and have finals to study for, so you should go listen to Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, and maybe consider seeing them live like I just did!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Quick Question.

I dont have any readers really, but justin and whoever else may look at do you feel about the idea of moving this blog over to this site....
i like the features a whole lot more and its kinda prettier. and look at the bear picture i made for the top!

opinions please.

Friday, January 18, 2008

From My Ears To Your Eyes

Oh boy, it's the second installment! That must mean I'm dedicated to doing this every week!
Let's get right to it, shall we?

Once Nothing - 'First Came The Law'
Solid State Records

Released Jan 15, 2008

Ah, good ol' Solid State, you never really disappoint me. This label really only does one thing (...metalcore, dummy) and they tend to do it pretty well. The unfortunate thing is that as a genre, things have pretty much hit a brick wall. Nothing is original anymore, everything sounds like something else so as with a few of those cds last week, it's just a matter of finding bands who do the same old thing better than their peers. If you're down with the whole southern rock infused/breakdown metal thing, this cd is for you. It sounds like the Showdown lots of the time, it sounds like Norma Jean sometimes, it sounds like August Burns Red sometimes, it sounds like He Is Legend sometimes, it sounds like Every Time I Die sometimes, it sounds like As I Lay Dying sometimes..sooo that's what you're getting into here. Personally, I think it's a good cd, there aren't really any stupid singy parts (aside from an oddly placed and thusly questionable acoustic song in the middle of the cd), the guitar work is pretty cool and there are some really radtastic breakdowns. I've only had a few days to listen to this, but it's become a cd I've actually made a point to go find on my ipod when I wanted metal, so take that for what you will. Cool cover art too. I think at least. SOO it's definitely something I'd suggest checking out, obviously they don't reinvent the wheel, but they do help add a little more air to the tires.
Does that line make any sense? Ha.

Year End List Potential: 3.2/5

Jon Foreman - 'Fall & Winter' Credential Records Released Jan 15, 2008

Hooray for acoustic singer/songwriter music! Here's the deal, these are the first two themed EPs in a series of four that are released to coincide with each season of the year. The fall one was originally just released online, but when the dude released the winter cd this week in stores, he packaged the fall one with it sooo that's that. You may not know who this Jon Foreman guy is, but I have a feeling you know of the band he sings for...Switchfoot! Ok so maybe that don't impress you much (yes, I'm singing Shania now too) and it doesn't really do much for me either because I only really like 2 or 3 of their songs, and those are the radio singles that I'm supposed to like. But here's what's up. This is a really great collection of songs. As I mentioned a minute ago, the songs are technically themed to go with the season they are supposed to represent and with him being the singer of Switchfoot, there's the obvious religious influence on the lyrics, which I do tend to enjoy from time to time. That aside though, the songwriting is pretty darn impressive, and really everything else about this cd is as well. I don't think you can go wrong with acoustic guitars and cellos (and when harmonicas and other strings are thrown in the mix too, pfft fuhgetaboutit). I've listened to this cd so many times in the past week, and it makes me happy. Can't ask for more than that.

Year End List Potential: 4.5/5

The Mars Volta - 'The Bedlam In Goliath' Universal Released Jan 29, 2008

I haven't even listened to this stupid cd the whole way through yet, but I've listened enough to formulate an early opinion. That opinion is as follows:
What the fuck is this stupid shit? You pretentious bastards, I don't care how long you can make your songs or how fast you can play your little guitar or how many cRaZy effects you can add to your vocals. There was a time when a new release from this band was exciting, because you knew it meant something pretty cool was coming. Those times though, I'm afraid, are long gone for me. Now it's just 'man do I even wanna bother listening to this? I know i'm just gonna get annoyed 3 songs in'. Annnnnnd surprise surprise, the trend continues. The cd is way more upbeat and more *funky* than anything I can recall this band doing, but that doesn't really equal out to more interesting for me. Some of this stuff is so far out there and so far away from anything that resembles music you can actually LISTEN to..maybe I just don't get it. Everything they do now seems like they just stuck a mic in the middle of a room they were jamming in and they just play and play and play and do whatever and then chop that up into smaller sections, add some vocals, and boom it's done. They seem to try so hard to avoid structure and it's gotten pretty obnoxious. There are a few songs I dig a little bit (the song 'Goliath' comes to mind), but in all it just kinda gives me a headache. If you don't bother, you aren't really missing out on much.

Year End List Potential: .7/5

Jonny Greenwood- 'There Will Be Blood/Original Score'
Released Dec 18, 2007

Alright, so this wasn't released in 2008, so it somewhat defeats the purpose, but this is good and I wanted to share it. Obviously, this is the score to the movie film There Will Be Blood which, by all accounts, is apparently a really good movie..but what you may not be aware of is that the guitarist of Radiohead composed this stuff. And he does a damn fine job. Comprised mostly of strings and pianos, I can only assume the film is as dramatic as the music seems to be. Honestly, this cd really sounds a lot more important than it actually sounds like something you'd hear on NPR when they were doing classical music blocks and the dj comes back on and talks in his best theater voice about how that was so and so's third movement from his fifth symphony that was recorded in 1924 with the doobliedoo philharmonic orchestra. Check it out, it's solid..brah.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Great Song, Sub-Par Video

Thrice - Digital Sea

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This is the video for Digital Sea from Thrice's latest Alchemy cd. I love love love the song but while this video is somewhat interesting and cool, its no where near as cool as the song is. Basically what I'm trying to say is that I could have made a better video for this song. It involves the sea, and while yes, the video does have a oceanic type vibe in the chorus's of the song, it doesn't seem to capture what the artist may have felt while writing/playing the song.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Band Of Horses - 'Cease To Exist'

Band of Horses - 'Cease To Exist'
Sub Pop Records
Released October 9, 2007

This is why I started making a reinterpretation of my previous year's favorite albums list last year. I've always been a very casual fan of Band of Horses, but I'll admit I never really cared all that much about them. Recently though, this record has gotten a ton of play at my place of employment, Urban Outfitters (where all the hippest kids work), and I have taken a ridiculous liking to it. This record is awesome in the same way last year's Shins record was. It's catchy, sometimes-bouncy indie-pop that I really just want to listen to over and over again. In the middle of winter, this is exactly the kind of music I want to listen to sometimes. For example..tonight, it snowed here in Atlanta for the first time in ages it seems and this is what I was in the mood to listen to. So let me recreate the moment for you guys..ok get this..I spread open my blinds, exposing a beautiful view of the city through amazing twelve foot windows. I proceeded to make some hot chocolate, complete with giant marshmallows and a friendly helping of whipped cream and I turned this record on. The moments folliwed were some of the most relaxing in recent memory. I simply sat and watched the city as it bathed in those wonderful white flakes falling from the heavens. Okay so the city really didn't bathe in anything and none of the snow really stuck on the ground, but you get the idea.

Standout Songs: 'Is There A Ghost' and 'Detlef Schrempf'