Tag Archive for 'St. Vincent'

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Coachella 2012 Saturdays

As I continue to go through the Coachella lineup, I get even more stoked. The Saturday lineup is particularly intense and exciting, and I cannot wait. I touched on it a little in looking at the Friday lineup, but Saturday is an even more British day! I’ll have an accent by the end of the day. There’s literally no way I’ll be able to see everyone I like on the Saturday, conflicts will abound. This mix is a little long, my 23 favorites from the day.

UK: Radiohead, Laura Marling, SBTRKT, Buzzcocks, Kasabian, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Squeeze*, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds*, Kaiser Chiefs*, Sub Focus*, Jacques Lu Cont*, The Big Pink*, The Vaccines*

Canada!: Feist, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Dragonette, Destroyer*, Zeds Dead*,

I’m particularly excited for the women artists this day: St. Vincent, Laura Marling, Feist, Azealia Banks, tUnE-YaRdS, Grace Potter, Keep Shelly In Athens, Dragonette

Reasons I’m even going to Coachella this year: Radiohead, Bon Iver

Artists everyone else is a little more exicted to see than I: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Jeff Mangum, tUnE-YaRdS, Childish Gambino*

Old bands/Coachella reunions: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Buzzcocks, fIREHOSE, Squeeze*

Artists I now dig who I just learned about from doing this: Azealia Banks, Gary Clark Jr., tUnE-YaRdS, fIREHOSE, We Were Promised Jetpacks

* not on this mix

Coachella 2012 Saturdays from almostaghost on 8tracks.

- almostaghost

2011 – Wrap-up and Mix

^ first, a mix. It’s not ALL songs from my top 20 albums either. I do like other things too. 🙂

And had a couple of requests for an extended list, so here it is. A few that narrowly missed the top-20 just came out, and if I’d had them longer and given them more of a chance, they could’ve climbed up. Artists, next time, release your albums before November, kthxbye!

1. Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest
2. The Antlers – Burst Apart
3. Radiohead – The King Of Limbs
4. The Kills – Blood Pressures
5. Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow
6. The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
7. Lia Ices – Grown Unknown
8. Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver
9. The Black Keys – El Camino
10. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
11. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
12. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
13. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
14. Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts
15. Eleanor Friedberger – Last Summer
16. Cut Copy – Zonoscope
17. Disappears – Guider
18. Youth Lagoon – The Year Of Hibernation
19. Vetiver – The Errant Charm
20. Bjork – Biophilia
21. Death Cab For Cutie – Codes And Keys
22. Sophie Zelmani – Soul
23. Little Dragon – Ritual Union
24. Gudrid Handottir – Beyond The Grey
25. My Morning Jacket – Circuital
26. Radical Face – The Family Tree: The Roots
27. Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean
28. Tom Waits – Bad As Me
29. Feist – Metals
30. Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
31. Anna Ternheim – The Night Visitor
32. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Hysterical
33. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
34. R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now
35. Rachel Goodrich – Rachel Goodrich
36. Bell X1 – Bloodless Coup
37. Dum Dum Girls – Only In Dreams
38. Wilco – The Whole Love
39. Wire – Red Barked Tree
40. Marketa Irglova – Anar
41. Marissa Nadler – Marissa Nadler
42. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne
43. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Mirror Traffic
44. Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam
45. Release The Sunbird – Come Back To Us
46. CANT – Dreams Come True
47. Babette Hayward – You Might Be Somebody
48. The Roots – Undun
49. Wild Flag – Wild Flag
50. Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What
51. Thea Gilmore – John Wesley Harding
52. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
53. Blood Orange – Coastal Grooves
54. The Black Belles – The Black Belles
55. Alela Diane – Alela Diane & Wild Divine
56. Snoop Dogg – Doggumentary
57. Washed Out – Within And Without
58. Ringo DeathStarr – Colour Trip
59. Pterodactyl Plains – In The Air
60. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials

that’s enough; all 60 of these I do like! You can listen to my 20 favorites on my Spotify playlist. Add me on there!

Thanks for reading. Thanks for following along. Thanks for talking about music, making recommendations, and sharing stuff with me. On to 2012!

- almostaghost

cyanide breathmint’s best of 2011

This seems to be getting more difficult every year! 2011 was filled with so much great music and I feel like I had such little time to appreciate that. This year’s rankings were truly the hardest ever to compile. Looking past the sheer volume of great new (and “newish”) acts which have emerged, old favorites returned with new offerings, there’s also the fact that my tastes have been diverging in two distinct directions.

My love for shoegaze has has come into the forefront this year, somewhat shattering the usual suspects for top 25 positions. Nevertheless, all those beautiful walls of noise simultaneously crashing down upon my ears couldn’t ever make up for good song writing and talented vocalists. I think that’s reflected in the mix of albums in this year’s Top 25.

I had originally planned doing “reviews” for the top 10. However, I only had enough patience and focus to get the top spot for you. I have included a sample mp3 for each of the top 25 albums. If you would like to grab all of these at once (plus a few bonus tracks), click here.

[UPDATE DEC 26 2011] The honorable mentions have been updated after reading my colleague betweenthesound’s amazing 2011 write up. If you haven’t seen that, you should go read it now (or perhaps right after you finish this post). She managed to (once again) slam me with a gang load of records that were way beneath my radar, but that would definitely have put huge dents in my Top 25 list as it stands.

Without further ado, here they are…

Top 25 Albums:

25) Asobi Seksu – Fluorescence

Asobi Seksu – Counterglow

24) The Mountain Goats – All Eternals Deck

The Mountain Goats – High Hawk Season

23) The Dodos – No Color

The Dodos – Companions

22) Radiohead The King Of Limbs

Radiohead – Morning Mr Magpie

21) Brute Heart – Lonely Hunter

Brute Heart – Hunter

20) Future Islands – On The Water

Future Islands – Give Us The Wind

19) Dearling Physique – Deadeye Dealer

Dearling Physique – Oh This Currency

18) Neon Indian – Era Extraña

Neon Indian – Polish Girl



16) Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts

Thurston Moore – Orchard Street

15) Screen Vinyl Image – Strange Behavior

Screen Vinyl Image – My Confession

14) The Vera Violets – In Between Fires

The Vera Violets – Down Tonight

13) The Horrors – Skying

The Horrors – Endless Blue

12) Ladytron – Gravity The Seducer

Ladytron – Moon Palace

11) The Antlers – Burst Apart

The Antlers – Every Night My Teeth Are Failing Out

10) Active Child – You Are All I See

Active Child – Shield & Sword

09) I Break Horses – Hearts

I Break Horses – Winter Beats

08) Atlas Sound – Parallax

Atlas Sound – My Angel is Broken

07) Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know

Laura Marling – All My Rage

06) Zola Jesus – Conatus

Zola Jesus – Hikikomori

05) PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

PJ Harvey – In The Dark Places

04) M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

M83 – Raconte-Moi Une Histoire

03) Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi – Love Won’t Be Leaving

02) Brief Candles – Fractured Days


Brief Candles – The Sentiment

01) Ringo DeathStarr – Colour Trip

In nearly every review, interview, blurb, or blog post post you’ll read about Ringo Deathstarr, you’ll find three common elements.

1. Trio from Austin

They’ve actually gone through a couple lineup changes over the past 5 years, but have mostly stuck to this formula. The creative element is lead vocalist/guitarist Elliott Frazier. After bassist Alex found her way into the band (2007) by apparently just showing up for practice, things have mostly settled down, just finding the right drummer (as of this writing / hopefully “final” – that’s Daniel Coborn).

2. These guys sound like My Bloody Valentine

Drownedinsound put it this way ” If in the meantime you’ve lost your copy of Loveless, you could do far worse than listen to Colour Trip.” Yeah, it’s true. Too bad Loveless

3. The bassist (Alex Gehring) (now going by “galexy”) is so hot

So there, that’s out of the way. If it’s a more recent post you might read about how these kids just toured the UK/Europe with The Smashing Pumpkins. I have to admit kind of hate those dudes, but ultimately it means more exposure for Ringo Deathstarr and so I guess it’s not a bad thing. Moving beyond those tidbits, you get into a the music.

In case you haven’t noticed I don’t do traditional reviews. I leave it to others to finely dissect the record. Instead of telling you how it sounds (just listen for yourself), I offer you how the record felt. Colour Trip hit hard for me. This was probably my favorite record Fever Ray’s 2009 debut, and going back further it would have to be Snowden’s Anti-Anti (2006). Before I totaled my car, this record could very often be heard at extremely high decibels pulsing through the streets of Baltimore weekday evenings. Dark  reverberation and the haunting fuzz draped chanting of Alex form the basis of my song of the year – Two Girls (stream/download below). For the life of me I can’t tell you what the fuck she is saying, but she is saying it just right. Besides being the single most addicting track of 2011, there’s an equally worthy video directed by Alex, which you can also find below. Be forewarned: One might say it’s NSFW.

Ringo Deathstarr- Two Girls

Honorable Mentions [Highly Recommended]

Austra – Feel It Break
Girls – Father Son Holy Ghost
Hunx & His Punx – Too Young To Be In Love
Metronomy – The English Riviera
Radical Face – The Family Tree – The Roots
Shad[]wb[]x – Lady Doome [EP]
St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
Washed Out – Within & Without

Honorable Mentions [Enjoyed]

Arc In Round – II [EP]
Apparat – The Devil’s Walk
Battles – Gloss Drop
Bj̦rk РBiophilia
Big Black Delta – BBDLP1
Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind Of Fix
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Brazzaville – Jetlag Poetry
Chad VanGaalen – Diaper Island
Class Actress – Rapprocher
Com Truise – Galactic Melt
Computers Want Me Dead – Computers Want Me Dead
Cut Copy – Zonoscope
Destroyer – Kaputt
Dolorean – The Unfazed
Ducktails III – Arcade Dynamics
East River Pipe – We Live in Rented Rooms
Echo Orbiter – More Batteries
Feist – Metals
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Grimes & d’Eon – Darkbloom [split ep]
Haley Bonar – Golder
Haujobb – New World March
Hercules & Love Affair – Blue Songs
High Places – Original Colors
IAMX – Volatile Times
Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean
Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow
LAKE Râ–²DIO – Delta
Little Insects – Brighter Than Darkness
Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – On Welfare
Lumerians – Transmalinnia
Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
Malajube – La Caverne
Morpheme – Infection
Niva – Feverish Dreams [EP]
Mogwai – Earth Division [EP]
Music for Headphones – Life.in.Mono
Niva – Feverish Dreams [EP]
ohGr – Undeveloped
Passwords – Passwords
Phantogram – Nightlife [EP]
Pipes You See, Pipes You Don’t – Lost in the Pancakes
Prefuse 73 – The Only She Chapters
Rachel Goodrich – Rachel Goodrich
Seapony – Go With Me
Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde
Starfucker – Reptilians
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Mirror Traffic
Stevie Nicks – In Your Dreams
Stumbleine – All for your smile
Taken By Cars – Dualist
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Belong
The Rosebuds – Loud Planes Fly Low
The Sea and Cake – The Moonlight Butterfly
Tropic of Cancer – The End of All Things
TV On The Radio – Nine Types Of Light
Tycho – Dive
Ume – Phantoms
Vondelpark – nyc stuff and nyc bags [EP]
Wagon Christ – Toomorrow
Warm Ghost – Uncut Diamond EP
Wooden Shjips – West
Woodsman – Mystic Places
Wire – Red Barked Tree
Young Galaxy – Shapeshifting
Yuck – Yuck
††† – † EP

- breathmint

AlmostAGhost’s Best Albums Of 2011 – #13. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

a champagne year full of sober months

My favorite songwriters, if not clear from these reviews, are, above all, thoughtful. They think about life and society and love and people and whatever. They do not just write to write, but write to figure things out. Annie Clark (St. Vincent) is one of those songwriters and Strange Mercy showcases this. Her songs use abstract stories and various characters as a way to reflect. Because of this, different people may get different things out of it — it is that rare adaptable record, fitting each listener in their own way.

There are stories of an affair (“Chloe In The Afternoon”), a man in prison (“Strange Mercy”), successful businessperson (“Year Of The Tiger”), Marilyn Monroe (“Surgeon”). “Dilettante” sees her comparing someone to a “party I heard through a wall / I’m always watching you through the keyhole.” Of course she is, that’s how she writes about all these things — Clark is clearly watching the world.

“They could take you or leave you / So they took you and they left you / How could they be casually cruel?” Clark wonders on “Cruel.” This leads directly into “Cheerleader,” where she sings from the point-of-view of the cruel, “I’ve told whole lies with a half smile / I’ve thrown rocks then hid both my arms.” Clark takes all these different angles, and leave you feeling like you’ve just been told of her personal discoveries about life. “It’s not a perfect plan / but it’s the one we’ve got,” she sings on “Champagne Year.”

St. Vincent, however, goes in the opposite direction with her music. The unbridled and unrestrained music act as a counterpoint to the thoughtful stories. Clark has become a pretty great guitarist, and she drops guitar spasms all over “Chloe In The Afternoon” and “Cruel,” a bizarre little solo on “Surgeon,” a rapturous build on “Northern Lights.” The joy of her music is absolutely evident, and her breathless vocals bring even more passion.

Strange Mercy consistently fits these two sides — Apollonian reason and Dionysian instinct — together perfectly. It makes a huge impression, one of the best records of 2011.

St. Vincent “Northern Lights”

St. Vincent “Surgeon”

- almostaghost

Life In Mixtape Form #31

In case you’re new here by reading end-of-the-year reviews (next one shortly), we also, as you can see, like to make mixes. Breathmint makes some, I have a couple of regular series going on. This one is where every night I pick a sort of “song of the day,” and after eight days, I have enough to share it on 8tracks.com. It ends up like my whole life gets filtered into a mixtape. Play them all in order! Psychoanalyze my choices if you’d like! 😀

- almostaghost

September 2011 mix

My monthly mix of all new music from 2011 is up. This one ended up a kind of odd mix of songs, but I like it. Stephen Malkmus to Snoop Dogg and everything in between. 🙂

- almostaghost

Life In Mixtape Form #19

What, 8 days already? End of the month too, so the new music mix will also be posted in an hour or two. 🙂

- almostaghost