Bill Frisell: Enigmatic, Unshakable
(via Jimmy Katz) This contribution from Will Roane marks Tracknife’s first venture outside the realm of reviews. We hope you enjoy it, in light of Mr. Frisell’s 60th birthday. Bill Frisell is an enigma. A guitarist by trade, Stereophile has called him “the most unique voice to come along in jazz guitar since Wes Montgomery.” And sure, he plays the guitar. But he plays it like a...
Radiohead - The King of Limbs
(via Essentially Eclectic) Special contribution from Eli Goshorn In the year AD 2026, humanity achieved the singularity. The consciousness of a person was successfully transferred into a machine. In the following decades, leading video game designers crafted sublime worlds for these for this posthuman consciousnesses to colonize. It is in these virtual worlds that we find Radiohead in the...
Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
(via Stereophile) Special contribution from Will Roane No Iron & Wine LP has ever sounded like its predecessor. In 2004, Our Endless Numbered Days distinguished itself from lo-fi The Creek Drank the Cradle (2002) by utilizing a studio, and adding instrumentation besides Sam Beam’s distinctive whispered vocals and acoustic guitar — even if it was mostly just some mandolin and banjo. Then,...
James Blake - James Blake
(via Clash Music) Special contribution from Sam Phillips I don’t listen to dub-step, but if James Blake’s eponymous debut is any indication, I should. Over the last year, James Blake has gained a lot of high-profile exposure from the BBC Sound of 2011 poll and countless other members of the blogosphere. At the beginning of 2010, he released a series of impressive tracks under the alias...
Bright Eyes - The People's Key
(via Some Kind of Awesome!) Special contribution from Eli Goshorn Like a few of their past albums, Bright Eyes’ The People’s Key spends its first few minutes trying to dissuade you from listening. Vaguely Rastafarian psychobabble is the order of the day here, and at once it manages to be both pretentious and obnoxious. Like a snarky slogan-emblazoned t-shirt, openers like these will impress...
Mariah Carey - Merry Christmas II You
(via Bring Da Beat Back) Releasing a Christmas album is a fundamentally bizarre activity. Each holiday season, many artists release albums mixing new versions of Christmas classics with newly penned Christmas songs. Year after year, these albums are largely ignored, as families choose to soundtrack their hall-decking and tree-trimming with Perry Como and Dean Martin, rather than Train, Jessica...
Jessica Simpson - Happy Christmas
(via ConrongCodon) Special contribution from Will Roane If the holiday season is a time for checking things off of your list — presents to give, presents to receive, papers to write — Jessica Simpson has checked five or six genres off her “To Sing” list with Happy Christmas, her second Christmas album. Released on Ellen DeGeneres’s new record label Eleveneleven and produced by The-Dream...
Brian Eno - Small Craft on a Milk Sea
(via Very Telling) Special contribution from Eli Goshorn Small Craft on a Milk Sea is not a revelation. This may seem like an unfair expectation for anything but the most highly hyped album, but this is Brian Eno we’re talking about – father of ambient music, acclaimed producer, and composer of the Windows 95 startup jingle. Resumés don’t get much more impressive in the music business. ...
Girl Talk - All Day
(Courtesy of Illegal Art) Girl Talk didn’t create the mash-up, but without his influence on the genre, there is a pretty good chance we would have never heard gems like this. He brought the mash-up to party playlists across the nation. After tearing down the house with Night Ripper in 2006, then rebuilding the house and tearing it down twice as fast with Feed the Animals in 2008, Girl Talk is...
Matt & Kim - Sidewalks
(via Daydream Station) Special contribution from Eli Goshorn Since 2004, Matt & Kim have been putting out cute electronic pop for sunny day listening. Their third LP, Sidewalks, finds the Brooklyn duo experimenting with a fuller version of their signature light ’n blippy sound. Trumpets, flutes, and sleigh bells all make appearances in this considerably more produced album. It’s always...
of Montreal - "Sleeping in the Beetle Bug"
(via Yellow Bird Project) If you’ve only listened to music that of Montreal has put out in the last 6 years, you’d probably never recognize “Sleeping in the Beetle Bug” as a song by the same band. Although, calling them the same band is a bit of a stretch. The song was released on of Montreal’s first album, Cherry Peel, which featured only Kevin Barnes, B.P., and...
Cloud Nothings - Turning On
(Courtesy of Carpark Records) The past few years have seen an overload of bands who hide poor songwriting skills behind layers and layers of lo-fi scuzz (Ex: Wavves). When first listening to the earliest Cloud Nothings demos, it is easy to group them in this category. The instrumentation is simplistic. Most of the words are indiscernible. Everything seems to have been recorded in one take, for...
Kings of Leon - Come Around Sundown
(via ExploreMusic) Special contribution from Eli Goshorn Caleb Followill, frontman of Kings of Leon, is here to tell you a story about a man down on his luck. He’s a simple man from the heart of America — perhaps a little old fashioned in his ways — but dammit, he’s a good man. It’s a story we’ve all heard before, but Mr. Followill wants to tell it to you another thirteen times. Welcome to...
Lil' Wayne - With You
(via Kalamu) Lil’ Wayne remains imprisoned, but a couple of weeks ago he released an EP of songs he recorded before his stint. The EP is called I Am Not A Human Being, and features some of Wayne’s lewdest — the lead single is called “Ghonorrhea” — to date. While the album as a whole is rather poor, ranging from Rebirth style rap-rock to the aforementioned disgusting sex...
Organ Yank - We Are Organ Yank
(Courtesy of Organ Yank) Special contribution from Will Roane Organ Yank’s music doesn’t apologize. Since its humble beginnings in 2007, the band has shaken halls and houses in and outside of Oberlin with its special brew of unadulterated jazz-rock. Now, its debut album We Are Organ Yank collects some of the group’s most popular songs in one endlessly repeatable package, allowing fans to...
Gucci Mane - "Gucci Time"
(via OnSMASH) Gucci Mane is about to release his first album since being released from prison (again). I am always excited to hear what Gucci has to say, as he is pretty dependable as one of the most fun rappers in the game right now. His new single “Gucci Time” does not disappoint. “Gucci Time” features some trademark Gucci-isms. Firstly, he uses rhymes like...
Teengirl Fantasy - 7AM
(Courtesy of True Panther Sounds/Merok Records) The kind of rise to stardom that Teengirl Fantasy has experienced has seemed to many Oberlin students, myself included, like something out of an idle dream. The band started here at Oberlin, began to catch blog attention and then began touring the country. Before long, even the mainstream press took notice, with mentions in The New York Times...
Chromeo - Business Casual
(via 514blog) Chromeo’s new album, Business Casual, opens with the kind of ’80s-soaked synth beat we’ve come to expect from the band. The first words we hear come from a female voice telling Dave-1 that he is a “hot mess” just before he begins to chime in with his side of the story, mainly that his woman is too demanding. Within the first minute of the song, Chromeo are back to all of...
Katy Perry - Last Friday Night
(via eWorldPost) Towards the end of the summer, I spent a lot of time listening to Katy Perry. She had the obvious anthem of the summer, “California Gurls,” then followed that with an even better single, “Teenage Dream.” Despite these two songs domination of the radio waves, they are not the best songs on her newest album, Teenage Dream. That honor falls to “Last Friday Night.” While...
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
(Courtesy of Merge Records) Listening to Arcade Fire is a visceral experience. The listener can close his or her eyes and feel the emotion behind the words and sounds reverberating through his or her mind. After breaking into the indie consciousness in 2004 with hits from the stunning Funeral and following up in 2007 with the nearly-as-good Neon Bible, Arcade Fire has returned this year with...
Kanye West - Runaway
(via GIANTlife) A couple of weeks ago, Kanye West revealed yet another amazing track off of his upcoming album. The song is called “Runaway,” and it features Pusha T of Clipse/Re-Up Gang. I don’t think there is any doubt that his new album will be on my Top 5 of 2010 list. 2010 MTV Video Music Awards - More VMA Video After listening to it about 20 times, I feel like this...