Monday, December 31, 2007

The Radio Cure's Top Tracks of 2007

Here's the shakedown:

10. Andrew Bird - Heretics
All the way back in February, we got Andrew Bird's Armchair Apocrypha at the station and I couldn't have been more pleased. From first listen, this song grabbed me and didn't let go. It's reminiscent of older Bird track "Sovay", but with a more driving pulse. With Bird's terrific lyricism and the steady drumming of Martin Dosh, the soaring violin only helps to keep this song in your head for days.

9. Feist - 1234
Now I know this was Apple's biggest song of the year, but before that, it was the most catchy for me. Awesome music video aside, you can't help but tap your feet "1234." Feist showed her knack for catchy tunes with "Mushaboom," but I think this definitely outshines her other pop songs.

8. Band of Horses - Cigarettes Wedding Bands
This song is epic. There's really no other way to describe it. The song starts with a bang and doesn't let up. Even the verses sound restless, just waiting to blow. It also features one of my favorite lines of 2007: "If my body goes then to hell with my soul"

7. The National - Apartment Story
Though there were an awful lot of tracks to choose from on "Boxer," this one remained my favorite. Maybe it's the theme of locking yourself in your apartment on a cold winter's day or the driving drum line that keeps you bopping along, this song stayed on repeat for a better part of the year for me.

6. Wilco - Impossible Germany
I first heard this track at Lollapalooza 2006 and it stopped me dead in my tracks. Unlike the distorted, depressing songs of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot or the rock jams of A Ghost is Born, "Impossible Germany" is a slow, beautiful, laid back track filled with interwoven guitar lines and a terrific solo by Nels Cline. Favorite Line: "This is what love is for, to be out of place"

5. Spoon - You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
If "1234" was the catchiest song of 2007, this was a close second. I easily identify this as my summer anthem for this year. Regardless of the lyrics, the song just sounds like people having hot fun in the summertime. Even this winter, it warms me up a bit inside.

4. Okkervil River - A Girl in Port
Will Sheff is easily one of my favorite songwriters, and this song totally blew me away. Even four months after buying The Stage Names, I still hear this song like it was brand new. I'm a sucker for a good slide guitar line, but that's not even the best of it. The narrative weaves through this sad story, but bursts open in the end to reveal a beautiful horn section. It's a hard for me to put in to words this cathartic feeling, so listen to this track if you haven't already.

3. Radiohead - Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
I heard this song during the band's epic Bonnaroo set back in 2006, but the album version is absolutely stellar. Back in October, I wrote, "This is not only my favorite track on the album, but also the most layered. With dueling guitar lines over Phil Selway's steady drumming and under Yorke's echoing voice, this song builds to a crescendo of escapism before rolling to a halt. This song parallels some of the best total songwriting of the last 20 years, with each member of the band distinctly heard." I'd say all of that holds true many more listens later. Favorite Line: "Everybody leaves if they get the chance, and this is my chance"

2. Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running
Did Bruce Springsteen join the Arcade Fire? The answer is probably no, but the best band in Canada definitely channels the Boss on this amazingly good track. One day while walking to class, I had this song on the iPod and was literally slapping my leg to the beat. This song very easily will get into you head and stay there forever. So much energy is packed into the recorded version, you can't even think live there will be more, but let me assure you there is. I almost put this at #1, but I just couldn't put anything there but...

1. LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends
I read a review from a guy at Rolling Stone who said that when he thought about 2007, he would think about this song. I also had our tech guy at the radio station tell me that they should play the song to prisoners at Guantanamo to drive them crazy. Either way, the pulsing beautiful song has entered the prestigious list of my favorite songs of all time. With the repetitive piano line and James Murphy's lyrics about getting old, "All My Friends" became the one song I played to people when they asked me what music I was into. Both times I saw the band live this year, it was the best song to dance to, despite other danceable tracks like "Daft Punk is Playing in My House" or "North American Scum." Also worth checking out are the John Cale and Franz Ferdinand covers. Favorite Line: "I wouldn't trade one stupid decision for another five years of life."


There you have it. I'll hopefully have my favorite albums up by the end of the day...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Some Albums You May Enjoy That Were First Made Available Through Capitalism in the Year 2007 (In alphabetical order of course)

So while everyone else is doing a top ten list some where, I thought that I would do something a bit different. I decided that I would try and find some albums that are amazing, and should be in those top ten lists, but just didn't get all that attention. So without further ado here's the list:

Elvis Perkins – Ash Wednesday
What can I say about this album? I remember first listening to the opening track "While You Were Sleeping" and just being completely entrapped in the music. I now wake up everyday to "While You Were Sleeping" and it always provides a great start to the day. The album has a great flow of ups and downs throughout, and is perfect for any mood. I would definitely recommend this album to anyone who likes fuzz-folk, although this is more on the folk side then the fuzz. One sad fact about this album is that it was written after both of Perkins' parents died. His father died of AIDS when Perkins was young, and his mother died in one of the September 11th planes. This definitely shows up on the album, but it's more of a sad overtone then a sad direction that the album takes on. This is album definitely is one of my favorites of the year, and it's a debut album to boot.

The Rakes – Ten New Messages
I can't remember where I heard this, but I remember hearing someone call The Rakes "the real Arctic Monkeys." Well this is their second album, and it's a good one. As the title suggests, it's ten new tracks in that post-punk/art-rock British style that The Rakes are good at. With a nice consistent sound throughout the whole album, it flows really well all the way from "The World Was a Mess But His Hair Was Perfect" to "Leave The City And Come Home." Really a decent album. And when you have a track called "When Tom Cruise Cries" how can you go wrong?

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – 100 Days, 100 Nights
I found this album at the recommendation of KWUR's GM, and what an album it is. The record sounds like it's vintage, but it only came out this year. A great album, with a great sound that Sharon Jones says she's been doing for years now. I was just thinking, this album would make New Years Eve soundtrack; because what better way of welcoming in the new year then with some new music that sounds a little bit old.

Tullycraft – Every Scene Needs A Center



What more could you want from an album? With themes like punks, and goths and Dracula, UFOs all crushed up, put into a big old blender and then doused in pure essence of happiness, I don't know what could go wrong. It's not often that you find such an enjoyable 7+ min. pop song, but Tullycraft did it with Dracula Screams of Tiger Style (Parts One and Two). This is one of the only albums this year that I've listened to twice in a row. One of the happiest bands I know of, yes even happier then I'm From Barcelona, Tullycraft is also one of the funniest. The review at KWUR says something along the lines of "Great music, and witty lyrics that Pitchfork writers wish they could have written." Reason enough to go and listen to Every Scene Needs A Center right away.


White Flight – White Flight

I could rehash what I said, or I could point you to a few posts below.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

2007 Year in Pictures

Kicking off our best of 2007 posts, here's some of the best pictures from the best shows of 2007.

John Roderick of the Long Winters

Sufjan Stevens

Sparklehorse

LCD Soundsystem

Cold War Kids

Apostle of Hustle

The Arcade Fire

Ted Leo

The Hold Steady

Dear Rockers...

In the midst of taking a break from studying for my last exam, I came across this interesting new site that makes the music industry a little bit more fun and enjoyable. The site I'm talking about is Dear Rockers. It's a simple concept really, one suggested by others, but elegantly done here. It's basically paying back artists for the music you love but somehow stole. But Dear Rockers makes it fun. So here's what you do, first find an artist you illegally downloaded music from, write a letter to this artist, making it as creative and fun as you want, send a picture of the letter to Dear Rockers, use Dear Rockers to find the address of the artist, and then send the artist at least $5 paying your respect for the music you love. And while you could easily just do this on your own, what makes Dear Rockers so fun is that it's like a post secret for stealing music. People get to be creative, musicians get their money, it's a win-win for everyone. Check it out, maybe get some guilt off your chest, just have fun with it. Site's like Dear Rockers are what makes the internet a great place for music.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

White Flight - White Flight

Oceanographer's Choice? Yes - A+

Most people haven't heard of White Flight. What they're missing is the solo project of Justin Roelofs, who you may know as a member of the now defunct ban The Anniversary. And let me tell you, it's a terrific album. The album is a complete, beautiful work of art. The best way I can describe it is as a collage of poppy sounds and hooks. Sometimes it's electronic, sometimes acoustic, but it all flows so well together. And over all of this you have some great lyrics and vocals. It really creates this complete experience that just sucks you in for the length of the album. I've heard a rumor that the album was inspired by Roelofs trip to South America where he experimented with a lot of local psychedelics. This would definitely explain quite a bit, as the album is really a strange album. And not everyone will like it because it's so strange. But if you give it a listen, you might come it enjoy it as much as I have. Bellow I have one of the songs so you can give it a listen and see for yourself.

If you really like what you hear, the album's out on Range Life Records, a label that supports local musicians in Lawrence, Kansas. Again, check out the album, even though it can be weird, you just might enjoy it as much as I do. And Remember we here at Oceanographer's Choice love supporting local and regional musicians, and would love it if you did too. Peace.

White Flight - The Condition

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In Rainbows Discbox

So yesterday I received my In Rainbows Discbox, and I must say I got my moneys worth. Not only is the package beautiful, everything else is too. The lyrics sheet is cool, it's center justified so it looks interesting. The picture booklet is a bunch of paint splatters and is kind of interesting. The cover art is just like the website, and while not a surprise is nicely done. The high quality tracks from the album are great to have. And who wouldn't want the second disc of music? I must say that my only complaints are that the two cds are kept in place by those foam circle things, which I can't stand because it's nearly impossible to get CDs back on them. All in all, great box, was worth the money. So if you like Radiohead and have the cash, get one. But make sure you get it fast, they're done making new ones, and they aren't making new ones.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Happy Birthday

Both Michael and I would like to wish our father a happy birthday. Thanks for helping us become who we are today both musically and personally. I don't think we could have asked for a better father. We both love you and hope you have a wonderful birthday.

Michael & Andrew

Opps

I slept through my alarm today, so I didn't get up until a little bit ago. That's why there wasn't the special show, sorry.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Boys and Girls in Granville 2008

Tune in Monday from 7:30-9:30 to hear a prime-time best of 2007 special hosted by myself and fellow WDUB DJ Jon G. We struggled through a list of the best albums of the year, so be sure to tune in and find out what's #1! To listen, go to www.wdub.org!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Super Special Show!

I sadly have a final during my show on the 12th. Because of this I will be moving my show to the 11th at 10 a.m. for a grand send off of the semester and year. Hope to see you there.

Radio Cure's Best of 2007 Show

Be sure to tune into The Radio Cure tomorrow for the very special "Best of 2007 Show." I'll be playing the top songs from my favorite albums of the year, so be sure to listen so that you can argue with me about them. In the next week I'll also post a list of my Top 10 with a review. So don't forget, 1:30-3:30 EST, www.wdub.org!