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Archive for December, 2010

He Is We Live

Read more to watch He Is We perform “Forever and Ever” and “Happily Ever After” live.

The Wonder Years Finish Writing

According to this tweet by The Wonder Years‘s Nicholas Steinborn, the band has finished writing their new album. The new record will be the band’s third full-length and first with Hopeless Records.

You can also watch The Wonder Years’s recent AltPress sessions here.

End of the Year Coverage: 2010

Ah, 2010. What a great year it has been. (Unfortunately, I’m a poet and I don’t even know it. There I go again…) The following lists, written by our staff writers and beloved guests, serve as a mere glimpse into what we have enjoyed this past year. They are, in no way, shape or form, a complete image of what we have listened to, but hopefully, they guide you towards albums that you may have missed throughout the year. The following lists are also not a list of the “best” albums of the year, but our favorites.

So without further ado, bring on the awards and the lists!

Frank Wu

Featured Stream: Angus & Julia Stone – “Draw Your Swords”

Staff Album of the Year:

Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Whether you believe it’s over-produced, over-excessive, over-reliant on guests or just over-the-top Kanye, there is no doubt in our minds that Kanye West, the man with his ego in a Luis Vutton bag, has released the Album of the Year with his album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. From the obscure but incredibly fitting sampling in “Dark Fantasy”, Kanye’s blaring self-image in “Power”, Nicki Minaj’s biting verse in “Monster”, Chris Rock’s comedic “Yeezy Taught Me” skit in “Blame Game”, to Gil Scott-Heron’s preaching in “Who Will Survive In America”, there really isn’t anything left to be said about this album that hasn’t been said already. Kanye has not only crafted his own masterpiece but has probably created an album to be remembered for decades to come. (Pardon the melodrama.)

Tait Gu

Biggest Thank You:

Drake – Thank Me Later

Thanks Drake! You didn’t even have to ask.

Best Album Art:

Caribou – Swim

This Is An Award To The Most Direct Album Art.

The Black Keys – Brothers

Frank Wu

Albums of the Year

1. Angus & Julia Stone – Down The Way

2. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

3. Jimmy Eat World – Invented

4. The Gaslight Anthem – American Slang

5. Kid Cudi – Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager

6. The National – High Violet

7. Shad – TSOL

8. Yeasayer – Odd Blood

9. HoneyChild – Nearer The Earth

10. Steel Train – Steel Train

11. Drake – Thank Me Later

12. The Roots – How I Got Over

13. Hellogoodbye – Would It Kill You?

14. Vampire Weekend – Contra

15. 65daysofstatic – We Were Exploding Anyway

16. Valencia – Dancing With A Ghost

17. Jónsi – Go

18. Anberlin – Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place

19. Broken Bells – Broken Bells

20. Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History

Honorable Mentions

Aziz Ansari – Intimate Moments For A Sensual Evening

B.o.B – B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray

Beach House – Teen Dream

Best Coast – Crazy For You

Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot The Son Of Chico Dusty

The Black Keys – Brothers

Caribou – Swim

Curren$y – Pilot Talk

Curren$y – Pilot Talk II

Das Racist – Shut Up, Dude

Das Racist – Sit Down, Man

Dessa – A Badly Broken Code

Eminem – Recovery

Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

House of Heroes – Suburba

Julia Stone – The Memory Machine

Minus The Bear – OMNI

Motion City Soundtrack – My Dinosaur Life

Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More

Neon Trees – Habits

Portugal. The Man – American Ghetto

Rooney – Eureka

Sage Francis – L(i)fe

The Tallest Man On Earth – The Wild Hunt

Wakey!Wakey! – Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You…

The Wonder Years – The Upsides

Xiu Xiu – Dear God, I Hate Myself

You, Me, and Everyone We Know – Some Things Don’t Wash Out

EPs of the Year

1. Lydia – Assailants

2. Atmosphere – To All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy: The Atmosphere EP’s

3. Looking For Alaska – Everything We All Wish We Could Be EP

4. Heinali and Matt Finney – Conjoined EP

Mixtapes of the Year

1. Wale – More About Nothing

2. J. Cole – Friday Night Lights

3. Kid Cudi – Cudder Is Back

4. XV – Vizzy Zone

Hardest-Working Artist of 2010

Kanye West

Top Songs of the Year

Angus & Julia Stone – “Draw Your Swords”

B.o.B – “Airplanes (feat. Hayley Williams)”

The Dangerous Summer – “Good Things”

HoneyChild – “The Father”

Jimmy Eat World – “Invented”

Kanye West – “Runaway (feat. Pusha T)”

Kanye West – “Gorgeous”

Kid Cudi – “MANIAC (feat. Cage & St. Vincent)”

The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio”

Wale – “The Eyes of the Tiger”

Yeasayer – “Madder Red”

You, Me, and Everyone We Know – “Shock and Awe”

Most Anticipated for 2011

Angus & Julia Stone

The Dangerous Summer

Death Cab For Cutie

Foo Fighters

Kanye West and Jay-Z


Manchester Orchestra

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Patrick Stump

The Strokes


Tait Gu

Albums of the Year

1. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

2. Beach House – Teen Dream

3. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening

4. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

5. Sleigh Bells – Treats

6. No Age – Everything In Between

7. Vampire Weekend – Contra

8. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles II

9. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

10. MGMT – Congratulations

11. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz

12. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest

13. Avey Tare – Down There

14. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today

15. Caribou – Swim

16. Curren$y – Pilot Talk

17. Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma

18. Wavves – King of the Beach

19. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot The Son Of Chico Dusty

20. Girl Talk – All Day

Songs of the Year

Arcade Fire – “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”

LCD Soundsystem – “Dance Yrslf Clean”

Gorillaz – “Empire Ants”

Flying Lotus – “Do the Astral Plane”

Avey Tare – “Laughing Hieroglyphic”

Beach House – “Walk in the Park”

Crystal Casltes – “Celestica”

Deerhunter – “Desire Lines”

Kanye West – “POWER”

No Age – “Chem Trails”

Vampire Weekend – “White Sky”

Sleigh Bells – “Rill Rill”

MGMT – “Congratulations”

Cee-Lo Green – “Fuck You”

Big Boi – “Daddy Fat Sax”

Most Anticipated for 2011

Panda Bear


The Strokes


Cut Copy

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

Kevin Miao

Albums of the Year

1. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

2. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

3. MGMT – Congratulations

4. The Radio Dept. – Clinging to a Scheme

5. Kid CuDi – Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager

6. The National – High Violet

7. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz

8. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest

9. Free Energy – Stuck on Nothing

10. Sleigh Bells – Treats

11. A Great Big Pile of Leaves – Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex?

12. Freelance Whales – Weathervanes

13. Tokyo Police Club – Champ

14. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

15. Titus Andronicus – The Monitor

16. Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History

17. LCD Sound System – This Is Happening

18. Beach House – Teen Dream

19. The Wonder Years – The Upsides

20. Deadmau5 – 4×4=12

Mark Johnson

Albums of the Year

(In no particular order)

1. Letlive – Fake History

2. Proceed – Curious Electric

3. Underoath – Disambiguation

4. Tides of Man – Dreamhouse

5. Chiodos – Illuminaudio

6. E.S. Posthumus – Makara

7. Pierce the Veil – Selfish Machines

8. Brightwood – Elementals

9. Lights – Acoustic EP

10. Funeral for a Friend – Young and Defenceless

11. Trophy Scars – Darkness, Oh Hell

12. Emarosa – Emarosa

13. Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise

14. Conditions – Fluorescent Youth

15. The Bled – Heat Fetish

16. Deftones – Diamond Eyes

17. The Great American Beast – Domestic Blood

Christian Corless (Louellen)

Albums of the Year

(In no particular order)

1. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

2. The Walkmen – Lisbon

3. M.I.A. – // / Y /

4. Ryan Adams and The Cardinals – III/IV

5. Bob Dylan – The Witmark Demos

6. The National – High Violet

7. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest

8. Interpol – Interpol

9. Sufjan Stevens – The Age Of Adz

10. She & Him – Volume Two

Most Anticipated for 2011

The Strokes

Richard Picot (Louellen)

Albums of the Year

1. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz

2. Interpol – Interpol

3. The National – High Violet

4. The Walkmen – Lisbon

5. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest

6. The Tallest Man On Earth – The Wild Hunt

7. Frightened Rabbit – The Winter Of Mixed Drinks

8. Blonde Redhead – Penny Sparkle

9. No Age – Everything In Between

10. Four Tet – There Is Love In You

Kyle Huntington (7Ravens and AbsolutePunk.net)

Albums of the Year

1. Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can

2. The National – High Violet

3. Bombay Bicycle Club – Flaws

4. Warpaint – The Fool

5. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

6. Theophilus London – I Want You

7. Four Tet – There Is Love In You

8. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles

9. Sleigh Bells – Treats

10. Crocodiles – Sleep Forever

Most Anticipated for 2011

The Maccabees – TBA

Bombay Bicycle Club – TBA

Laura Marling – TBA

The Vaccines – TBA

louellen – Union EP

The Strokes – TBA

The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar

Feist – TBA

Yuck – Yuck

Chapel Club – Palace

Death Cab For Cutie – TBA

Heinali and Matt Finney

Albums of the Year

1. The National – High Violet

2. The Gaslight Anthem – American Slang

3. Whirl – Distressor

4. Superman Revenge Squad – Dead Crow Blues

5. Yawning – Noah

6. Bad Books – Bad Books

7. Black Swan – In 8 Movements

8. Murmuure – Murmuure

Most Anticipated for 2011

1. This Will Destroy You – Tunnel Blanket

2. Sleepmakeswaves’ New Album

New Zac and Josh Song Days After Leaving Paramore

Just days after Zac and Josh Farro were officially left Paramore, a track has surfaced on Soundcloud that is supposedly from Zac and Josh’s new project. Listen to the song here.

Beach House Holiday Song

Do you care for the winter sun? Beach House doesn’t. Grab their new holiday song titled “I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun” for free here.

Review: HoneyChild – Nearer The Earth

HoneyChild – Nearer The Earth

Released: August 31, 2010
Label: Self-released

I may sound clichéd here, but HoneyChild is probably one of the best bands you’ve never heard. The band, currently comprised of Tobias Jesso (Guitars & Vocals), Noah Gersh (Guitars, Banjo, Mandolin, & Vocals), Erik Donley (Vocals & Guitar), Jamie Schefman (Bass & Vocals), Lance Piebenga (Keys), and Rheese Detrow (Drums), hails from Los Angeles, California. Gersh describes, “We’re all very different, and all have incredibly unique things to bring to the table.”

The band’s self-released debut Nearer The Earth was recorded with just two microphones and a laptop, but the eight-track release contains a bright, sunny sound that is filled with brilliant moments of layered melodies and instrumentals.

Opener “The Father” begins the album with a mellow, passionate sound that is both gripping and inspiring. The soft crooning is emphasized by the twinkling guitar in the background and rhythmic clashing of the drums, creating a powerful mix of emotions and passion that is both didactic and contemplative: “I couldn’t leave my land by the deep doors, my eldest son…”

The pace of the album picks up with “Tijuana”, an uplifting anthem that feels suitable for a stadium. The aptly titled “Driving Song” is warm and inviting, with a catchy chorus that begs for a sing-a-long on a long road trip: “Soldier standing with head fake high / What could have been of your life / The fields have grown / We won’t live that long / I got home I got / Take me home.”

“Lonesome Tiger” and “The Owl” are slotted in the middle of the record, with both songs containing metaphoric tales of nature and life: the lonesome tiger finding love and the sage owl calmly watching over the world. “Joker’s Wild” sounds like a clever blend between a natural, folk-roots sound and the indie rock-infused sounds of Portugal. The Man, something the band must have picked up during their shows with P.TM, Alberta CrossOneEskimoWhite Denim and more.

My main gripe with the record is the relative brevity of the songs. The eight track of the album last only about twenty-six and a half minutes, with the longest track (“The Owl”) lasting 3:51. Most of the songs begin by launching the listener directly into the song, which works superbly on “Driving Song” and “Tijuana”, but the more subtle build-ups in “The Father” and “The Owl” are layered perfectly, creating a dreamy, powerful atmosphere. While the head-on approach works well for the band, the slower songs are more engrossing listens overall and, personally, my favorite songs from the album.


Standout Tracks: “The Father”, “Driving Song”, and “The Owl”

The Dangerous Summer UK Tour

In February of 2011, The Dangerous Summer will be heading to the UK to support Francesga. Read more to see the tour dates.

Tour Dates:

11 – Norwich Arts Centre
12 – High Wycombe Bucks University
13 – Wolverhampton Slade Rooms
15 – Nottingham Rock City Basement
16 – Newcastle O2 Academy 2
17 – Glasgow King Tuts
18 – Derry Nerve Centre
19 – Belfast Speakeasy
20 – Dublin Academy 2
22 – Leeds Cockpit
23 – Manchester Roadhouse
24 – London Borderline
25 – Oxford O2 Academy 2
26 – Southampton Joiners
27 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach

Merry Christmas From Ace Enders

You can purchase Ace Enders/I Can Make A Mess Like Anybody’s Business Christmas songs here.

Bamboozle Lineup Announced

The lineup for Bamboozle 2011 has been released. Lil Wayne, Taking Back Sunday, Motley Crue, The Gaslight Anthem, and Wiz Khalifa will be headlining the two-day festival.

You can check out the full poster with the lineup here.

A Kanye Christmas

Kanye West has released a new Christmas song titled “Christmas In Harlem”. Download the new track here.