“Why the hell should I like… ?” is an experiment of sorts between Popblerd and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. What we’re going to attempt to do is to pick 10 songs from our favorite artists — one for which the other has professed dislike or disinterest — and show them why they’re wrong. Well, I have to admit. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit got me this time. For our latest "Why the Hell Should I Like?" column, he didn't pick an artist or band I didn't like or wasn't interested in -- he picked a band I'd never even heard of! What the hell? After perusing the primer that Gray Flannel Suit had so thoughtfully prepared for me and after doing a little bit of my own research, I picked up a little more knowledge. The band's core consists of brothers David and Peter Brewis, along wit
For fans of Sunderland's indie pop masters Field Music, the two-plus years since their announced hiatus felt like anything but. Scarcely a year after the January 2007 release of Tones of Town, co-founder David Brewis released an album under the School of Language banner. That was followed up in August '08 by the self-titled debut of brother Peter's project, The Week That Was. To confuse matters even further both albums were only nominally solo efforts, as each brother contributed to the other one's disc. So while I greeted the news of Field Music's official resurrection as a musical concern with enthusiasm, it was hardly a shock. I'll just chalk the whole hiatus thing up to artists needing to be artists, and leave it at that. All of which brings us to the first proper Field Musi
Dear reader, in my travels to bring you reports of local performances by various musical acts, I have encountered some strange people. But over the weekend I encountered one of the strangest yet - the Brooklyn Hipster. For those not from the New York area, it's important to note that Brooklyn is to Hipsters as Mecca is to Muslims or Wal-Mart is to rednecks. It's the source of their strength and identity, which in this case means lots of bad haircuts, wool caps, and faux vintage clothing. They're harmless for the most part, but damn are they annoying in large groups. (more…)
A few months into this year I couldn't shake the feeling that 2008 just wasn't going to be the great year for new music that 2007 was. And so here I am, about a week away from 2009, and I still feel the same way. It wasn't a total wash mind you, as there was definitely some quality to be enjoyed. So here's my take on the 2008 music year - good, bad, and ugly. The Best of the Best (Albums) Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop) Yeah, this seems like an obvious choice, but it's also a damn good one. I'm always up for listening to good vocal harmonies, and this band has them in spades. The music is gorgeous to boot, and is a highly engaging blend of folk titans like CSNY, America, and early '70s Fleetwood Mac. The vocal round of "White Winter Hymnal" is worth the price of admission
A pair of new albums from both sides of the Atlantic have found their way into my rotation this week. From the good ol' U.S. of A comes Backyard Tire Fire's The Places We Lived (Hyena Records), the followup to last year's excellent Vagabonds and Hooligans. Stylistically, this album shares many traits with its predecessor but is definitely not a rehash. Checking in at just over the half-hour mark, frontman and guitarist Ed Anderson and company (brother Matt on bass, Tim Kramp on drums) get right down to business with the deceptively simple title track. It didn't make a strong impression on me when I first listened to it, but days later the main guitar riff was still rattling around my head, a tribute to Anderson's songwriting. The integration of synths and chimes (not to mention a br
From Idolator via the AV Club comes a pretty cool music meme - compile a list of your favorite albums, with one for each year you've been alive. Sounds easy enough, but some years are positively stacked with music I love. Forcing me to choose among my musical children is just so...cruel. For me the most bountiful years were 1975-1978, 1980, 1982-1984, 1990, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2006, and 2007. 1975 - Kiss, Alive! 1976 - Led Zeppelin, Presence 1977 - Rush, A Farewell to Kings 1978 - Ace Frehley/Kiss, Ace Frehley 1979 - Pink Floyd, The Wall 1980 - Genesis, Duke 1981 - Rush, Moving Pictures 1982 - Rush, Signals 1983 - Iron Maiden, Piece of Mind 1984 - Iron Maiden, Powerslave 1985 - Kiss, Asylum 1986 - Queensrÿche, Rage for Order 1987 - Anthrax, Among the Living 1988 - Queensr
When Sunderland-based indie rock/pop outfit Field Music announced an indefinite hiatus early last year, it appeared that their brilliant sophomore release Tones of Town would mark the end of something great. But as it turns out, it was just the end of the first phase of Field Music. According to the band, they opted to walk away from Field Music "the band" in order to concentrate on honing their creative skills without worrying about the confines of being in an "indie band." They declared their intention to retain Field Music as a company, and to release new music under different monikers. The first result of this new arrangement is School of Language's Sea from Shore. It is an almost entirely solo effort, recorded by Field Music singer/guitarist David Brewis. Most importantly, it is...