Hey guys, gonna be taking a break until the new year - going to NYC for vacation. Here's some major releases we are looking forward to in the new year. Happy new year, everyone!
The Shins - Phantom Limb from Wincing The Night Away (01-23-07)
I've heard some people are disappointed with the new Shins songs they've heard. Hogwash! Give it a few listens, it'll grow on you. The worst thing is when you go into a new CD expecting to hear more of the same. Bands and people evolve. I think this song is great, and so is the rest of the advance cd I've heard.
Bloc Party - Song For Clay (Demo) from A Weekend In The City (02-08-07)
Yes, a crappy quality rip of the CD has leaked onto the internet, but the sound quality is terrible. Also seems like it was pushed too hard during the mastering phase. Stick to this demo for the meantime.
Radiohead - Arpeggi (Live) from Untitled Radiohead CD (2007)
I pray to god this song makes it onto the CD and we don't get another "Man-O-War" incident. It's a beautiful, hypnotic build song, and definitely one of the standouts of the new batch of songs we've heard.
Went down for several hours there cause of a hosting problem, but we're back again!
Here's a prototype live version of "Intervention" by the Arcade Fire for our lost time. This was recorded back in 2005 on KCRW, so it's got a slightly different arrangement of instruments.
Arcade Fire - Intervention (KCRW Live)
Arcade Fire official site
Arcade Fire on MySpace
Ok, I said we were taking a break, but I lied. Maybe another short post or two this week. If you feel like it, add the following to your family xmas music. Quality's not so good cause it's a youtube rip, and it's not as funny without samberg and timberlake hamming it up, but hey, it is a catchy song.
Andy Samberg + Justin Timberlake - Dick In A Box
Ok guys, without further ado, Let's Sexy Fighting's top ten albums of the year! Not any major over-arching trends this year aside from (yet again) broadening the definition of the term "indie". It's been a long week for me, and the holidays are rapidly approaching. We'll be taking a short break between xmas and new years, but look back here for us starting January!
Top 10 LPs:
10. Girl Talk - Night Ripper
This was Greg Gillis' break out year. His use of samples goes above and beyond the term mashup. Samples hang around long enough to help develop the song, and that's it! Did you know you could cram 20 songs in 3 minutes? Well now you do!
Girl Talk - Hold Up
Girl Talk - Bounce That
09. Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Am Dreaming
Spencer Krug has had a busy year. Between Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, and Swan Lake, this guy is a prolific son of a bitch! Sunset Rubdown isn't as immediately accessible as Wolf Parade, but I think If you give it an honest listen, you'll appreciate it more.
Sunset Rubdown - Stadiums And Shrines II
Sunset Rubdown - They Took A Vote And Said No
08. TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
I remember when there was a leak of this album back in February. I can say without a doubt the final version is way superior. Adding David Bowie on Province, David Sitek dropping in more texture (and horns), this CD is an experimental, yet accessible album from top to bottom.
TV On The Radio - Wolf Like Me
TV On The Radio - Dirtywhirl
07. Tapes 'n Tapes - The Loon
When it came to year end wrapup time, I had nearly forgotten about this album. A quick listen the other day affirmed why we were all so nuts about these guys back in March. It's a solid cd from top to bottom - strong and creative songwriting, catchy songs, nods to old references. Pretty much all we want in a best of year album!
Tapes 'n Tapes - Insistor
Tapes 'n Tapes - Omaha
06. Oxford Collapse - Remember The Night Parties
These guys have really grown from when I first saw them 2 years ago at the Khyber in Philly. It's amazing how dense their sound is, considering it only comes from 3 people. They graduated to Sub Pop this year with their release of this album. Their stage presence is incredible also. Please see these guys live! Slight nod from me to the second song that's posted below.
Oxford Collapse - Pleas Visit Your National Parks
Oxford Collapse - Lady Lawyers
05. Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
It was a really hard choice between "On A Neck, On A Spit" and "Knife" for my favorite Grizzly Bear song of the year. It's a little outside what I normally listen to, but the more I listened to the album, the more I got into its experimental folk vibe.
Grizzly Bear - On A Neck, On A Spit
Grizzly Bear - Knife
04. The Knife - Silent Shout
This album is almost unilaterally up for one of the top albums of the year. You can't avoid how good this album is. Experimental electronic-influences music, but with pop sensibilites. Also, some there were some amazing remixes of "We Share Our Mother's Health" by Ratatat and Trentemoller this year.
The Knife - We Share Our Mother's Health
The Knife - Forest Families
03. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
You gotta say, how is Zack Condon only 19 and write such heartfelt songs? "Postcards From Italy" is one of the songs of the year, and the recently release Lon Gisland only shows his songwriting getting stronger!
Beirut - Postcards From Italy
Beirut - Mount Wroclai (Idle Days)
02. Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
A solid, melancholy cd. Hit singles aside, this was a very cohesive cd, perfect for setting the mood. I know people told me they got sad listening to this cd, but it always makes be feel optimistic. These aren't depressing, or hopeless songs. These are sentimental songs with a touch of optimism.
Band Of Horses - The Great Salt Lake
Band Of Horses - The Funeral
01. Hot Chip - The Warning
Hot Chip's sound of downbeat, heartfelt electronica really resonated with a lot of people this year. Paired with a few towering singles, this was bound to be album of the year over here!
Hot Chip - Boys From School
Hot Chip - Over And Over
Ok guys and gals, part 2 of our top 40 songs of 2006! Stay tuned tomorrow for our top albums of the year!
20. Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton - The Lottery
Ah Emily, you sound so vulnerable. I love it!
19. Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds
Put out the fire boys, don't stop don't stop
18. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Cursed Sleep
This is a beautiful song, and I'm not usually into this kind of stuff!
17. Barbara Morgenstern - The Operator
Best german electro-pop song of the year
16. Frida Hyvönen - I Drive My Friend
Best Swedish piano driven singer song of the year
15. Annuals - Brother
Cathartic as hell
14. The Rapture - Don Gon Do It
This song makes me sing along every time
13. The Pipettes - Pull Shapes
Irresistable cuteness, and catchy as hell
12. Phoenix - Long Distance Call
Lite-FM Strokes really hit a groove
11. 120 Days - Come Out (Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone)
Seriously, check this 9 minute song out. It's worth it.
10. The Strokes - You Only Live Once
Album was sort of a letdown, but this is one of the best Strokes songs ever!
09. Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment
Short rocker, but pretty instrumental sections
08. Whitest Boy Alive - Burning
Erlend, you keep this up. You are the whitest boy alive.
07. Beirut - Postcards From Italy
Go Zach Condon! Lovely sentimental song a 19 year old could not have possibly written, but somehow did.
06. Midlake - Roscoe
Fleetwood Mac has been reincarnated!
05. TV On The Radio - Wolf Like Me
The second most rocking thing behind "New Health Rock"
04. Hot Chip - Boys From School
Sentimental, downtempo, awesome.
03. Grizzly Bear - On A Neck, On A Spit
Tough call between this and "Knife" but this one wins out of sheer ingenuity
02. Band Of Horses - The Great Salt Lake
One of the prettiest songs of the year
01. Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow
I'll always be there for you my future love
I wish I had the kind of editorial staff to have more detailed write-ups for each of these songs, but I simply don't have enough time! It's been a competitive year for singles - I originally wanted to have only a Top 20, but found myself unable to whittle down the list. So, we're stuck with 40! Check back tomorrow for part 2 (songs #20 - #1) of our feature, followed by Let's Sexy Fighting's top albums of the year on Friday!
Top 40 Singles:
40. Film School - On & On
Starts slow and moody, soars to a crescendo
39. Get Him Eat Him - Exposure
Pitchfork editor Matt LeMay's band. Their best song yet!
38. Islands - Rough Gem
When it's late you'll see the hole is empty
37. Lily Allen - Everything's Just Wonderful
I like this song better than mega-hit "Smile"
36. Turbulence - Notorious
A curveball for me, but give this chanting a chance
35. Xiu Xiu - Boy Soprano
Also, creepy 8-bit video
34. Tap Tap - Way To Go Boy
Drunky time at the carnival
33. Lupe Fiasco - Kick Push
Sorry son there's no skating here
32. The Futureheads - Skip To The End
Post punk + 4 part harmonies
31. Fujiya & Miyagi - Collarbone
the thigh bone's connected to what?
30. Girl Talk - Hold Up
Any song that uses pixies and weezer samples is ok in my book
29. Outkast - Morris Brown
I still have yet to see this movie
28. Cansei De Ser Sexy - This Month, Day 10
My non-indie rocker brazilian friend can pick out their accents
27. Colour Revolt - A New Family
Several solid songs on this EP, I went mellow
26. The Knife - Forest Families
25. Shout Out Out Out Out - Dude You Feel Electrical
Man, that vocoder is really making the rounds
24. Professor Murder - Free Stress Test
23. The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy!
We finished six lengths ahead
22. Junior Boys - In The Morning
So cold, yet sexy
21. Oxford Collapse - Please Visit Your National Parks
You should be standing next to me!
Let's face it, remixes of the indie rock have gotten huge within the last couple years. I've come across enough of them to justify having a "best of" list just for remixes. You've got indie headed into electronic music, and you've got BBC Essential Mix quality DJs mixing indie rock into their sets. It's high time.
Top 10 Remixes:
10. Lily Allen - Smile (Mark Ronson Revisit)
Mark Ronson's "revisit" of Lily Allen's "Smile" turns a breezy summer song into a wintery, 60's girl pop song. A fine example of a remix that doesn't have to turn it into a dance track. That being said...
09. Gorillaz - Dare (DFA Remix)
The fact that numerous people were running to this 12 minute remix proved to James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem and DFA fame) that long, organic, dance tracks could provide the proper motivation for a workout. Armed with this knowledge (and a paycheck from Nike), he created 45:33.
08. Grizzly Bear - La Duchess Anne (Safety Scissors Remix)
The original version of this song is a slow, acoustic dirge. The remix treatment retains the feel by converting it to a moody, claustrophobic, downtempo electronica song (which would be later stylistically popularized this year by Hot Chip).
07. Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars (The Hey Team Remix)
The Hey Team Remix finds Snow Patrol's latest arena-lighter-anthem exploring more atmospheric, Postal Service-esque areas. All is normal until about halfway through the song - then video game bleeps randomly come in and out. What is that all about? I don't know, but it's cool!
06. The Bird And The Bee - Fucking Boyfriend (Peaches Remix)
Peaches does an amazing remix with this song. While the original song had a creepy electro-samba feel to it, the Peaches Remix really explores the more menacing side of the song. Add in a crisp beat, the occasional power chord, some flittery 808s, and you got a goth rave masterpiece in the making.
05. Snowden - Black eyes (Le Castle Vania Remix)
Le Castle Vania has quickly come up in the ranks of remixers guaranteed to strike gold every time. Here they run Jordan Jefferes' voice through the Daft Punk vocoder, then electro-fy the whole song, while maintaining the downtrodden dance-punk vibe that's going on. Maybe I need to listen to less depressing music!
04. The Knife - We Share Our Mother's Health (Ratatat Remix)
Already a contender for song of the year on many other lists, "We Share Our Mother's Health" gets the "white crunk" treatment by Ratatat. If you like Ratatat, or The Knife, you will love this. Everybody wins.
03. Hot Chip - Over and Over (Diplo Remix)
Again, "Over and Over" is a strong enough song in its own right. How does one improve something that's already good? Not sure, but Diplo does it - he injects the song with some rapid fire hustle-flow to keep up the energy!
02. Ratatat - Wildcat (E*vax Remix)
So I already used Kayne's term to describe Ratatat earlier in this article - white crunk. Anyway, I would say "Wildcat" is already pretty "crunky". But also I'm going to tell you this remix is even crunkier!
01. Metric - Monster Hospital (Mstrkrft Remix)
Who knew that Jesse from Death From Above 1979 had aspirations of being an electro-dance DJ? His (now fulltime) gig as one half of MSTRKRFT involves cranking out remixes for popular acts. And they have not misfired on a single one yet! Emily - sure, I'll hold your hands down...
Beck - Ghettochip Malfunction (Hell Yes) (8-bit)
Beck asks an unsigned nerd-rap group that uses nintendo synthesizers to remix his song. Band thinks he is kidding and tells him to fuck off. This is what happens after the confusion clears.
Thom Yorke - The Clock (Surgeon Remix)
Late addition for this year, but it's quality. Yes, Thom, you might actually get played in a club with this one. Quick, someone do a remix of "Dick In A Box" so I can put it up here...
Wolfmother - Woman (MSTRKRFT Remix)
Like I said earlier, MSTRKRFT (pronounced masterkraft - yes, they've been hanging out with Motorola too much) could do no wrong this year. I don't expect anyone to be able to get me to dance to young-ozzy-fronting-led-zeppelin, but these guys do it. Gotta love that arpeggiator!
Hot Chip - Just Like We (Breakdown) (DFA Remix)
The DFA's just got an ear for these sprawling club mixes.
Labels: 8-BIT, BECK, DFA, DIPLO, E*VAX, HOT CHIP, LE CASTLE VANIA, MARK RONSON, METRIC, MSTRKRFT, PEACHES, RATATAT, REMIX, SAFETY SCISSORS, SURGEON, THE HEY TEAM, THOM YORKE, WOLFMOTHER, YEAR IN REVIEW
I've been putting off doing these year end wrap-ups simply because I knew it was going to be tough. I've probably listened to more new artists this year than any other year in my life. In hopes of keeping the lists concise, I've opted to shorten the length as to just reflect the best of each category. Unfortunately, with such short lists, there will be debate as to why things didn't make certain lists...but that's what discussion is for! I'll roll out a new list each day this week with applicable mp3s, so check back often!
Top 5 EPs:
05. Cold War Kids - Up In Rags EP
Jangly guitars and dissonant piano paired with Nathan Willett's expressive voice make for a great breakthough EP.
Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds
Cold War Kids - Hang Me Up To Dry
04. Professor Murder - Professor Murder Rides The Subway
Thank you, Professor Murder, for bringing the fun back to indie rock. More cowbell!
Professor Murder - Free Stress Test
Professor Murder - Champion
03. Colour Revolt - Colour Revolt EP
Smart, tortured songwriting and lush instrumentation make this one of the year's best! Trail of Dead, this could be you.
Colour Revolt - Our Homes And Graves
Colour Revolt - A New Family
02. Tokyo Police Club - A Lesson In Crime
These short 2 minute songs kick the crap out of any other high energy songs out there. I'm excited for the full length!
Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment
Tokyo Police Club - If It Works
01. Klaxons - Xan Valleys EP
Klaxons win #1 cause it's fresh and it rocks. Bring on more of the indie rock/electro/rave!
Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow
Klaxons - Atlantis To Interzone
The Twilight Sad - EP
The Twilight Sad - And She Would Darken The Memory
The Twilight Sad - 3 Seconds Of Dead Air
The Morning Benders - Loose Change EP
The Morning Benders- Grain Of Salt
The Morning Benders - Heavy Hearts
Port O'Brien - Nowhere To Run
Port O'Brien - I Woke Up Today
Port O'Brien - Tree Bones
Ok, so the blogosphere pretty much blew up last night when a new Arcade Fire track showed up. It's not a great quality rip, since it's ripped from the BBC stream of it. But it's a good excuse to buy the album when it comes out! It's lush, it's epic, and it's cathartic. Pretty much all we've come to expect from the Arcade Fire. Next year has the return of many traditionally favorite artists. It's going to be a great year!
Arcade Fire - Intervention
Arcade Fire official site
Arcade Fire on MySpace
Forgive me guys, if this is old news to you, but I just ran across this video again just now. It makes me smile everytime I see it. It is just awesome how well these guys can harmonize. It's going to be tough to get my songs of the year list together!
Grizzly Bear official site
Grizzly Bear on MySpace
Almost that time of year for me to round up my year end lists. But, I have a few more posts to squeeze out while I stall for time. Got a hold of some fun Lily Allen and Mark Ronson collaborations. You know how "Smile" was a great summertime song? This version casts it in more of a 50's pop, wintery light. I think it would go great in an xmas party playlist, let me tell you. The cover of the Kaiser Chiefs is fun. Takes the brit-pop jangle of the original and injects it with a little more attitude!
Lily Allen - Smile (Mark Ronson Revisit)
Lily Allen & Mark Ronson - Oh My God (Kaiser Chiefs Cover)
Lily Allen on MySpace
Mark Ronson on MySpace
Ok, ok, time was right for me to get into the Christmas mood. I'm in the depths of holiday party season. Mostly fun bits with the occasional awkward encounters.
In any case, down here we have a Sufjan xmas song (who would have guessed) whose title was inspired by The White Stripes, Richard Cheese's xmas-y take on "Personal Jesus", a sort of creepy xmas song by The Knife, and Max Raabe's flapper take on the now xmas staple, "Last Christmas". Enjoy, guys!
Sufjan Stevens - Get Behind Me, Santa!
Richard Cheese - Personal Jesus
The Knife - Christmas Reindeer
Das Palast Orchester & Max Raabe - Last Christmas
Pitchfork has the Optimo BBC Essential Mix for download at their site. Go get it quickly before their server crashes again. It'll make a great holiday party playlist. Especially since it runs for 2 hours. Some nice selections in there, like the latest signing to DFA (Prinzhorn Dance School), parts of LCD Soundsystem's workout opus (45:33), Hot Chip, The Rapture, and Bumblebee Unlimited.
Jesse Jackson: "Intro"
The Jellies: "Jive Baby on a Saturday Night" (Marathon)
Prinzhorn Dance School: "You Are the Space Invader" (DFA)
The Bar Kays: "Holy Ghost" (Stax)
The Staple Singers: "Slippery People" (Epic)
Chic: "Good Times" (Atlantic Records)
Troublefunk: "Drop the Bomb" (Sugarhill Records)
Prince: "Sign 'O' the Times" (WEA/Paisley Park)
LCD Soundsytem: "45.33 part 1" (DFA)
Altz: "Max Motion" (Zi-Koo)
UnknownmiX: "The Siren (Lo Soul's Hot Edit)" (Playhouse)
Dondolo: "Dragon (Shit Robot Firebreathing Remix)" (Tiny Sticks Records)
The Gossip: "Standing In The Way of Control (Playgroup Dub)" (Back Yard)
Depeche Mode: "The Sinner in Me (Ricardo Villalobos Conclace Remix)" (Mute)
Ricardo Villalobos: "Fizheuer Zieheuer" (Playhouse)
Hansepferd: "BismarkE" (Nobistor)
Saint Ibot: "White Night" (Tendenzen Freier Entfaltung)
Marc Houle: "Bay of Figs" (M-nus)
Paul Johnson: "Rubber Band" (Dust Traxx)
Sparks: "Beat the Clock" (12 Inch Stars)
Kenlou: "Sensational Beats" (MAW)
Bumblebee Unlimited: "Lady Bug" (Red Greg/Unidisc)
Lindstrom: "The Contemporary Fix" (Feedelity)
Hot Chip: "No Fit State" (DFA/EMI)
The Rapture: "Get Myself Into It" (Vertigo)
X Vectors: "Your Love"
Love Is All: "Busy Doing Nothing (An Optimo (Espacio) Remix)" (Parlophone)
Divine: "Shake It Up" (Break Records)
Bobby O: "She Has a Way (Glimmers Edit)" (O Records)
Yello: "Bostich (Reese Uptempo Mix)" (Mercury)
Mala: "Left Leg Out" (DMZ)
Neu!: "Hallogallo (Mary Hill Rework)" (Brain)
Grauzone: "Eisbar" (Welt-Rekord)
Crass: "Bloody Revolutions" (Crass Records)
The Celestial Choir: "Stand on the Word" (Larry)
Optimo - BBC Essential Mix
Optimo official site
Optimo on MySpace
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's new album, Some Loud Thunder is coming out on January 30, 2007. They've graciously uploaded 2 new mp3s to whet our appetites in the meantime. I don't think I need to say anymore. Grab 'em while they're hot!
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Love Song No. 7
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Underwater
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah official site
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on MySpace
PS. Anyone else think "Love Song No. 7" sounds somewhat Supertramp-ish?
Last chance to win the Annuals/Pleaseeasaur/Goblin Cock tickets for the 12/7 show at Bottom Of The Hill in SF! Email me at letssexyfighting [at] gmail dot com before the clock strikes midnight on 12/5 to enter a random drawing for 2 tickets!
You guys are in for an awesome lineup - I have to give this show the rock hand, but across two hands since it's too much rock for one hand.
Pleaseeasaur - No Prob Limo
Pleaseeasaur - Bowl Noodle Hot
Pleaseeasaur official site
Pleaseeasaur on MySpace
Hey guys, just wanted to remind you to enter the Annuals/Pleaseeasaur/Goblin Cock concert giveaway! I have 2 tickets for the show at Bottom of the Hill on December 7th! All you have to do is email me at letssexyfighting [at] gmail dot com and I'll randomly select a winner. Enter before December 5 to be included!
Just in case you needed some more amusement...
Arnold Schwarzenegger - Don't Stop Believin'
Arnold Schwarzenegger - 867-5309