Posts Tagged ‘dinosaur jr’

Record Geek Heaven’s Top 20 of 2011

December 10, 2011


2011 turned out to be a pretty great year for music. Though it started off a bit slow, an impressive amount of new talent as well as seasoned songwriting vets emerged with stellar releases this year. In some cases, bands and artists returned with their strongest material in years. In others, emerging artists have given us some amazing things to look forward to for the future. And in others still, bands who have been kicking ass for a few years now are, well, still kicking ass. Here are Record Geek Heaven’s Top 20 Albums of 2011: (more…)


2011 Thus Far In Rock

February 5, 2011

Overall assessment: This year is getting off to a slower start than last year. In 2010, we already had a classic by January (Owen Pallett’s Heartland), and I don’t see anything of that caliber as we near the middle of February. Still, there’s a good number of new records worth checking out, amongst them a pretty good representation of the sweet crop of budding new songwriters abound.

Merge Records

Apex ManorThe Year of Magical Drinking

Merge is certainly on a roll so far in 2011 – they have already put out one of the year’s most acclaimed albums (Destroyer’s Kaputt, which is pretty good, I guess, if you like Destroyer), and this Apex Manor record has become very well-played on my iPod’s 2011 playlist. (more…)

Sebadoh “Weed Forestin'”

January 12, 2011

Homestead 1990

Sebadoh is currently on tour in support of the reissue and remaster of their classic album Bakesale, making them the next in a long line of 90’s bands to reunite and revisit their halcyon days in front of a new generation of audiences. (It also makes the second one of these to feature neurotic indie icon Lou Barlow, also the original bassist of Dinosaur Jr.) But that’s not really why I’m writing about Sebadoh at the moment. I’m writing about Sebadoh because currently, I can’t stop listening to Lou Barlow’s first recording issued under the Sentridoh name, Weed Forestin’, which was reissued as a Sebadoh album following their debut, The Freed Man. (more…)

Joint Review: Superchunk “Majesty Shredding” and The Posies “Blood/Candy”

November 11, 2010

Merge 2010

So far, 2010 has been a pretty stellar year for rock and roll. It started off a little hairy, with slews of cover albums and a tapering off of 2009’s polished mediocrity. But in its wake, 2010 should be remembered as the year of the comebacks that mattered. In recent years, it seems every band from Dinosaur Jr to Mission of Burma to Superdrag to Killing Joke has reunited to give things another go-round, and in most cases, the resulting new albums are a little underwhelming.

Rykodisc 2010

Fortunately, some people still understand what a comeback is supposed to mean. Ideally, a comeback should come from a band that has been around for a long time and seen a hiatus. But, it’s only a truly successful comeback album if the record is as good as or better than anything previously released in the band’s discography. Judging from these parameters, it seems that two of my favorite bands from back in my high school days—Superchunk and The Posies—have released the best comeback albums of the last decade. (more…)

The Top 20 Albums of 2009

January 4, 2010

Honorable mentions: Noisettes “Wild Young Hearts”, Grizzly Bear “Veckatimest”, The Horrors “Primary Colours”, The Flaming Lips “Embryonic”, Atlas Sound “Logos”, Arctic Monkeys “Humbug”, M. Ward “Hold Time”, Yeah Yeah Yeahs “It’s Blitz!”, The Maccabees “Wall of Arms”, Fruit Bats “The Ruminant Band”, Tegan & Sara “Sainthood”, A.C. Newman “Get Guilty”, Passion Pit “Manners”, Regina Spektor “Far”, Sonic Youth “The Eternal”, Mastodon “Crack the Skye”, Circulatory System “Signal Morning”, Japandroids “Post-Nothing”, Lake “Let’s Build a Roof”, Manic Street Preachers “Journal for Plague Lovers”.

20. Future of the LeftTravels with Myself and Another

The most exciting punk rock band to emerge for quite some time, Future of the Left take the heavy, sludgy rhythm section assault of bands like The Jesus Lizard and combine it with their completely original, conversational lyrical delivery. (more…)

Top 100 Albums of the Decade (part 6)

December 3, 2009

Dinosaur Jr—Farm
Jagjaguwar, 2009

Maybe Dinosaur Jr are simply repeating their own history. Since reforming, they have released one pretty good record (2007’s Beyond), one stellar record (this one), and there are already rumors floating around about tensions resurfacing within the band on tour. (more…)

Capsule Reviews 7/30/09

July 30, 2009

Before attempting to read this, I would like music critics to take note: I’m having a hard time with you.

Not all of you, by any means—there are still a good number out there who emulate a true love of music in their reviews. But recently, I feel there has been more train-jumping, more jadedness, and more high-falutin’ smugness than actual music-listening. Granted, if you are a music critic by profession, there is a ton of music you have to listen to in a short amount of time, and sometimes it’s hard to take it all in. I understand this.

However, this has been my experience—the records that really stick with me for long amounts of time are the ones I have to give several spins before they really start to hit me. Inversely, the albums that wow me right off the bat usually lose their punch over time, and eventually become novelties. So critics, do you know what this means? It’s not that complicated of a revelation, but it’s the truth—you need to TRY HARDER. Listen to an album a few times before you review it, or you may end up regretting those words you wrote at some point.

“It takes courage to enjoy it.” –Bjork

Children—Hard Times Hanging at the End of the World

Kemado Records

Kemado Records

I have been wondering for some time when I was really going to love a new metal band again, and here they are. NYC’s Children don’t necessarily stray too far from the metal formula of constant hot guitar licks, precise and invigorating drumming, and head-spinning, non-cyclical songwriting; they just happen to do all of this shit better than 99% of metal bands out there. The really frustrating thing is, after seeing all this boring, same-old-same-old, cliché-ridden black metal hyped to unreachable heights by nearly every music critic imaginable, no one seems to care about Children. Aside from a Myspace page and the very little amount of info one can find on the web, they are hanging in obscurity. But, just as the gods of rock have said before, the kids are alright. In this case, they are flat-out stellar.

It Hugs Back—Inside Your Guitar

4AD Records

4AD Records

This album has the odd quality of seeming like something I played over and over again back in high school. However, rather than the album sounding familiar, it simply feels familiar. It seems the furthest thing from It Hugs Back’s agenda is to be innovative or groundbreaking, but they have definitely put their own stamp on their brand of mope-rock—a subtle, whispery stamp, but a stamp nonetheless. At first listen, I thought of the majority of the songs as boring and, to be frank, lacking testicles. But after repeated listens, most of them have worked their way into my heart. Tiny Mix Tapes referred to It Hugs Back as a “faceless and generic indie band you [would] hear at Starbucks”. Seeing as I had similar feelings initially, I can only assume the writer listened to the album only once, then reviewed it. This is what is wrong with music journalism.

Dinosaur Jr.—Farm

Jagjaguwar Records

Jagjaguwar Records

I can say more about Dinosaur Jr. than most of the plethora of 80’s/90’s rock bands that have since reformed in the Naughts. While 2007’s “Beyond” was fun yet not entirely fulfilling, “Farm” ups the ante substantially. At just over an hour long, and requisitely chock full of sweet-ass guitar solos, it’s a bona-fide beast. It’s not perfect, but who was expecting that anyway? Don’t be disappointed or start talking shit when the two or three dull tunes on the record pop up on your I-pod shuffle. Pod-heads probably don’t do this very often, but I would recommend listening to this one all the way through. It may seem like a task at first, but pretty soon, all those licks are going to be swimming around in your body like heroin, and you’ll need to hear it again and again. I will also add this: music critics, please stop referring to Lou Barlow as if you are surprised he wrote a couple awesome songs for this record. Remember Sebadoh?

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