Thursday, December 27, 2007

Top 10 Albums of 2000 - #1: Simple Kid - 2

It's rare that an album comes completely out of nowhere to impress me this much, but it happened twice this year, Panda Bear being one, this being the other. I first came across this before he opened for BRMC a few months ago, and I wanted to know whether I should get there in time for the opening act. It sounded good, I went, and was blown away. I immediately (legally) downloaded the album and couldn't stop listening to it for the next two weeks.

Virtually all self-recorded, he walks the line between traditional (Ballad of Elton John) and experimental (You); Bluegrass (Little King Kong), and metal (Mommy and Daddy); Folk (Old Domestic Cat), and Indie (Serotonin). Yet somehow, this has generated almost no buzz whatsoever. Not a single mention on Pitchfork. The new album doesn't even have an Amazon review. It's like I'm in some alternate universe where I'm the only person that's heard of this guy.

Start to finish, this album is a masterpiece. Some tracks stand out more than others, but they're nicely placed so that the album doesn't really reach a crescendo until the penultimate track, Mommy and Daddy, where Ciarn McFeely shows off his metal chops, no small feat for a one man act. Within the first week of owning this, I knew it was the best album of the year. It's simply fantastic.

Here's Serotonin, Ballad of Elton John, and Self Help Book.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Top 10 Albums of 2000 - #2: Panda Bear - Person Pitch

Another 2007 revelation, inspired by a Song of the Day post back in April, this was one I listened to a few times and thought was good. Then I got the urge to listen to it again sometime around October and was blown away. The opening triumvirate of Comfy in Nautica, Take Pills, and Bros are probably the three best opening tracks on any album I've ever heard, rivaling even OK Computer.

These songs are sounds, but not noise. They sound both carefully crafted and pulled from the ether at the same time. It's pure sonic bliss for the first 20 minutes. It gets a little goofy/experimental from there on, but closes nicely with Ponytail. It's hard to write too much about this one. It's unlike almost anything I've ever heard, but still quite familiar. It's just basically fantastic.

Here's Comfy in Nautica, Bros, and someone's video for Take Pills:

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Section 20; Row 67; Seats 101 & 102

Just got my Rose Bowl tickets today. Casually asked the owner of a local Mexican food restaurant that my parents frequent, and he hooked me up. Should somewhere between the 25 and 40 yard lines, about ten rows under the press box, which are actually excellent seats at the Rose Bowl. Could stand to be a little lower, but these will be good. Paid face value. Only downside is that they're in the U$C section, but I'll survive. It's the alumni section, so they're all rich and docile.

This will be like the fifth or sixth Rose Bowl game I've been to, but the first where I've had decent seats.