Friday, August 17, 2012

Brent's Slightly More Than Half-Year Music Revue

Sometimes listening to music is hard.  Making time for it.  Remembering to pay attention when it's on.  Accidentally listening to the same album over and over again for several weeks.  Forgetting that you have the new Damien Jurado album because it's in the Damien Jurado folder on your computer and you didn't think to look there when it was time to add your new music to iTunes.  So June and July fly by, and suddenly you realize you haven't written shit about music all year.  Next thing you know, you're writing your half-year story in late August.  And you're a piece of shit.  And everyone knows it.

For the purpose of this list, I listed the band and a favorite single from the album.


  1. I don't like anything enough to take this spot.  Which may be part of the reason this list is so late.
  2. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes - No one was prepared to hate this album more than me.  But more than once, I found myself checking who sang a certain song on my "Need to Listen" playlist, and it would turn out to be this band. I'm just going to fess up that I like many of these songs, and prepare to be beaten by anyone with relatively good taste in music. 
  3. Sleigh Bells - it's just like their first album, but with two songs that sound like my favorite song from that album.  Zero points for ingenuity.  10 point for giving Brent what he wants.  
  4. First Aid Kit - What I like about this album is that people many different corners of my life all agree it's pretty good.  It's hard to put up a fight. Charming little songs, and a nice cameo from Conor Oberst near the end. 
  5. Sharon Van Etten - This was the first album of 2012 that caught my attention.  It's sad and deliberate. Two things I always like in an album.  But not a high flier. I don't have a favorite song on this album.
  6. Best Coast - I accidentally listened to this album a gazillion times. And it won me over.  It's really simple stuff.  Simple melodies.  Simple lyrics.  But there's something charming about them.  And they stopped with the crappy lo-fi recordings.  
  7. Cloud Nothings - This band has all the charm of the early 1990's.  "Stay Useless" may still be my favorite song of the year.
  8. Japandroids - Chuck dragged me to this band's show the last time they came to Omaha.  I think I would willingly go if they ever come back.  There's some really great tracks on here.  Mixed in with some not-so-good ones, but the high points are loud and make you want to pump your fist. 
  9. Dr. Dog - I will always love Dr. Dog.  I know they are boring.  But they harmonize well, and they like to try new things, even if they don't go that great.  And even though I know that many of their songs sound the same, I don't care.
  10. Three way tie - Kelly Hogan/Christeene/Moonface - First of all, I didn't have a number one, so I feel like a three-way tie for 10 is okay.  Now then Kelly Hogan is Neko Case's traveling backup singer.  She sings retro-y songs and looks exactly like Chelsey's friend Alea.  Chirsteene is my friend Paul, and while it's not for everyone, I really like the album.  More than I ever would have expected.  It's really well done. I always get excited when it comes on my iPod.  And lastly we have Moonface.  Moonface is the last living remnant of Wolf Parade.  All the other side projects are dead. So I think maybe I like it for that reason.  I loved Wolf Parade. Dammit.    

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