7. Mazzy Star “So Tonight That I Might See”

I’ve always been a fan of “Fade Into You” a song most if not all of you have heard via movies, or radio in the early to mid ninetees. A great slow ballad that brings about thoughts of being holed up in your room on a cold wintry night. Possibly with the rain pouring and wind howling. You have been recently dumped… its slow… brooding, and very good. So when did I decide to listen to this album? On the warmest day of 2010, to date. When “operation get in shape” kicks off. So for my walk/run – it was more walk than run, if you’re keeping score at home – and I listened to this record. Very good, haunting vocals and arrangements that make this album sound like it was recorded in a vast abandoned church in the pacific northwest, during a rainy rainy late winter. Great “chill” music… even greater “mope” music.

8. Broken Bells “Broken Bells”

You put the front man of popular Indie band “the Shins” with Danger Mouse (of Gnarls Barkley and the Jay Z/Beatles mash up that got him on the map) – and this is what you get. And I’m loving it. I bought this CD on Saturday, March 13, and by tuesday had listened to it 4 times. Mercer’s voice and song writing with acoustic guitar and piano… and then Danger Mouses beats, and arrangements end up bringing a great lively feel to the music. You hear the great song writing and add in the electronic elements and even the drum arrangements work for me, and I’m someone who abhors drum machines, for the most part. This is a very high recommend for me. Songs that start off like a Shins song, leap into something different and fresh.

9. The White Stripes “Under Great White Northern Lights” (Live)

A live White Stripes record struck me as a must have. They have not played Philly in forever… and maybe NEVER. I don’t know if Jack has something against the city of brotherly love, or what. But with Meg’s issues, and Jack’s side projects I don’t know if/when the Stripes may actually tour and get anywhere near here again, but after listening to this record I will go out of my fucking way to see them. It opens with bagpipes which is a sound that always makes my irish ass smile. And no sooner do the pipes stop but they launch into the opening track “Lets Shake Hands”. For a two piece they do a great job sounding “big”. Jack’s guitar playing and vocals are amazing and frantic. Sometimes it sounds like he’s somewhere between torturing and pleasuring his guitar. So at the ends of songs its like the guitar sighs. A good mix of songs you recognize and deeper cuts. A different and only 3 minute version of Ball and a Biscuit was very cool. Very happy with this purchase.

10. The Flobots “Survival Story”

The band that jumped into prominence with their hit “Handlebars” (I can ride my bike with no handle bars… with no handle bars.. with no handle bars) releases another politically charged record with very good instrumentation. I think the big difference between this and fight with tools is just that. The music is heavier, louder, and faster. So much so that it at times becomes hard to hear the MCs of the group. Usually I don’t mind buried vocals, but in hip hop, which is centered around lyrics? Probably my only negative on the album, and its not every song, just a few where they had the instruments up and the vocals down. I love a live band, especially live drums with rap. A good album that builds on and improves what they started with “Fights with Tools”. Just a forewarning if you’re looking to check them out. They are politically active. So a lot of their songs include political overtones, lyrically.

11. Yeasayer “Odd Blood”

Thanks to the constant “putting over” of the band Yeasayer I decided to buy their latest, “Odd Blood”. Their opening track was an interesting listen. Brought about thoughts of Radiohead circa Kid A/Amnesiac or TV on the Radio with its slow thumping bass drum. Second track, their most popular on Itunes, is very good. Accessible indie electro pop/rock. Definitely teh song I’d have you listen to. Its called “Ambling Alp” – the itunes download came with a video for this song if you enjoy videos. (to be honest? I’ll be deleting this as it takes up precious space other songs can other wise reside (for ipod reasons). Overall the album is good. I was getting more into it with each passing track.. It isn’t my favorite thing I’ve bought recently, but I liked it enough that it will get repeat listens, which could slowly make its way to being one of my favorite things. There are hints of 80s electronica sprinkled in, and the lead singers voice reminds me of some 80’s frontman… but I can’t put my finger on who.

Anyway this record strikes me as something that will grow on me over a few listens. But there are enough good songs and some cool instrumentation blended with their more electronic elements that make this a good record. So, thanks Mason, your incessant badgering has made me a Yeasayer fan… at least of this album, but not sure I’d classify this a record that’s “for everyone”. There are elements and full songs that aren’t that accessible.

12. Against Me! “Reinventing Axl Rose”

Florida band’s 2002 debut. Against Me! became more commonly know on the back of 2007’s New Wave. I have been working my way backwards through their catalog. Its an interesting way to chart a band’s progression. “New Wave” was polished, Tom Gabel’s vocals were half sung half screamed. “Reinventing Axl Rose” was almost entirely screamed. Dude’s vocal chords must have taken a beating during the recording process. But very good songs. A little rough around the edges musically, and vocally. If you’re unfamiliar with Against Me!? I’d suggest you start with New Wave as its more accessible, especially on a first listen. But this record is solid. Has some great song titles, as you can clearly see by the title of the album. But songs like “Pints of Guiness make You Strong”? That’s great shit right there!

This brings a buzzed finish to a second six pack. Here’s a preview of what I have purchased recently or older CD’s I haven’t sat down to listen to, that you can see in the future.

Spoon’s “Transference”, Beatles “Sgt Pepper”/”White Album/”Abbey Road, an Iggy Pop and hte STooges record or 2, Manchester Orchestra’s 1st. Bat for Lashes latest… and more!

Finally a little help from the readers out there… if there are any.

I want to do 3 pop records and 3 country records. One of said Country records WILL be the new Johnny Cash… I’m open to suggestions for the 3 pop records(though I’m leaning towards something from Pink/Katy Perry/Lady Gaga… not sure what else I’d willingly subject myself to. thoughts?

Buy Music. Listen to Music. Make Music. Uh… and stuff!

As always, the albums in the “30 New To Me in 2010” list can be found on the GuysNation.com storefront on Amazon.com, and through the Amazon “Widget” below.

Till Next time,

Hayes XIV