1. The National @ Chicago Theater (4/18/14)

    Last night was my sixth time seeing The National and somehow they get better each time. This being their third night at the gorgeous Chicago Theater, the band took the opportunity, much to my delight, to throw a bunch of fantastic rarely-played older tracks in their setlist.  "Lit Up", "Geese of Beverly Road", "Secret Meeting" and "Available / Cardinal Song" were mixed in with excellent selections from their recent LP, Trouble Will Find Me and plenty of live staples.

    The more I see The National, the more Matt Berninger solidifies himself as one of the great rock frontmen. I’m blown away by how much intensity and emotion he delivers in his performance night after night and his rapport with the crowd was magnificent, culminating as usual with powerful encore performances of “Mr. November” and “Terrible Love” while wandering through audience.

    Matt’s stabs at self-deprecating humor are always appreciated creating a moment where he referenced the George Zimmer bit from his Comedy Bang Bang episode while trying to do a drunken impression of Frank Sinatra. It’s moments like that and the beautiful acoustic “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” singalong to close that make The National a must-see show for me everytime they come around.

    View all my photos from the show here.

  2. Lykke Li "Gunshot"




    Everything we’ve heard from Lykke Li's new album I Never Learn so far has been quite bleak and dreary (though not without its merits) and while the new single “Gunshot” continues the somber lyrical trend, it’s balanced by an anthemic, pounding chorus that makes it pack a major emotional punch.

    I Never Learn is out 5/5 on LL/Atlantic

  3. X-Men: Days of Future Past (dir. Bryan Singer)

    This might make me kinda lame, but I’d put the new X-men movie near, if not at, the top of my most anticipated films of the year list. This trailer is the best yet, with some clearer plot hints, a better look at the extensive cast (trailer 2 was basically the J-Law show) and some crazy cool looking action pieces. My expectations are sky high, and I’m hoping Bryan Singer and co. will deliver. 

    X-Men: Days of Future Past (dir. Bryan Singer)

    This might make me kinda lame, but I’d put the new X-men movie near, if not at, the top of my most anticipated films of the year list. This trailer is the best yet, with some clearer plot hints, a better look at the extensive cast (trailer 2 was basically the J-Law show) and some crazy cool looking action pieces. My expectations are sky high, and I’m hoping Bryan Singer and co. will deliver. 

  4. Alpines "No Other Lover"




    The UK electronica scene continues to be a hub of creativity and South London duo, Alpines are one of the latest emerging bands with a debut album out next month and this new house-influenced dance pop single.

    Oasis is out 5/26 via Untrue Records 

  5. Now Playing: Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion #vinylsunday

    Now Playing: Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion #vinylsunday

  6. An Album And A Song: 1969

    An Album and a Song is a series where I pick a favorite album and song from a year (working up from 1960) for your listening pleasure. One rule: The year’s album and song can not both come from the same artist.

    image

    Strangely enough, the Abbey Road got mixed reviews on it’s initial release, but retrospectively it’s rightfully considered The Beatles' last and perhaps greatest masterpiece. The album contains some of the finest songwriting of the band's careers whether it was Lennon's “Come Together”, Harrison’s “Something" (his greatest Beatles contribution), or McCartney’s masterful Side 2 medley, which sees the most legendary band of all time going out in the most grand fashion possible.


    image

    Michael Jackson obviously had an incredible, groundbreaking solo career but if singing lead on the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" was his only achievement, he’d still be a legend in my book.  The song has one of the most infectious melodies in pop music history and a vocal performance from MJ that’s pure exuberance.

    Listen to Abbey Road on Youtube and “I Want You Back" on Spotify.

    Previous: '60, '61, '62, '63, '64, '65, '66, 67'68

  7. tUnE-yArDs “Wait For A Minute”

    I’ll be seeing tUnE-yArDs twice in the upcoming months (opening for Arcade Fire + Pitchfork Festival) and having experienced her marvelous live show once before I’m quite elated. Adding to the excitement level is her latest track “Wait For A Minute”, which proves she can do straightforward R&B/pop just as well as afrobeat freak-folk jams.

    Nikki Nack is out 5/6 on 4AD

    tUnE-yArDs “Wait For A Minute”

    I’ll be seeing tUnE-yArDs twice in the upcoming months (opening for Arcade Fire + Pitchfork Festival) and having experienced her marvelous live show once before I’m quite elated. Adding to the excitement level is her latest track “Wait For A Minute”, which proves she can do straightforward R&B/pop just as well as afrobeat freak-folk jams.

    Nikki Nack is out 5/6 on 4AD

  8. Woman's Hour "Conversations"




    Woman’s Hour are a rising dream-pop band that combine xx-esque minimalism with 80’s synths and dreamy harmonies. The London quartet recently signed to Secretly Canadian and will release their debut LP, Conversations this summer. Listen to their elegiac title track above.

    Conversations is out 7/14 on Secretly Canadian