Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Rest of the Best (of 2011)

So this is lame BUT...
I had a baby before I could finish this list! I will be posting more about her soon, but in the spirit of "clearing the deck" (this is what I call it when I justify doing little, unimportant things first, before the big ones - usually for work/school projects) I am finishing the list with very little commentary... because I am busy now - for real. All those other times I said that, I had no idea.

Without further ado
#5
Ryan Adams - Ashes and Fire

#4
Megafaun - Self-Titled Full Length

#3
Head and the Heart - Self-Titled Full Length

#2
Blitzen Trapper - American Goldwing

#1 (BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR!)
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
I love me a concept album! Especially a concept that resonates so well for me (and I suspect would for all young Gen Xers and old Gen Yers). The album is a soul search...
Starts with:
So now I am older,
Than my mother and father,
When they had their daughter,
Now what does that say about me.
Oh how could I dream of,
Such a selfless and true love,
Could I wash my hands of?
Just lookin out for me...

The rest of the songs continue on this third-life crisis tone, Helplessness Blues... the reaction to being a kid who is told you can do anything you want to in life. You are the best. Follow your passion! etc. Great.... but what do I want to do? What is my passion?....
but this concluding sound just KILLS it. I love that it ends on such an uplifting and postive/hopeful note.
I think I shared this video before but I don't care.

In that dream I could hardly contain it
All my life I will wait to attain it

Should I become a mommy blogger now? Just kidding! Maren has her own blog! Email me for the password (cause she's just a baby you all). www.marenrocks.wordpress.com!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

So Much Good in Every Word: 2011 Best Album(s) #8,7,6

Ah! I get one more post in during the first month of 2012!
I think I'll take us down, down, down to #5....
#8
Starfucker - Reptilians
The band the FCC loves to hate! 
The band that is responsible for me being *thisclose* to losing my radio show on more than one occasion! It just rolls off the tongue...

Reptilians is a treasure of dancy goodness. Semi-locals (from Portland). Again, not a typical pick for me, it's ok folks who are waiting for the folky, alty singer songwriter stuff - it's coming it's just closer to the top of the list.
 I'm giving it a second award as well... #1 Best Album Art of 2011.
The vinyl came with a black and white poster of this image as well. Rad!
Sidenote: I heard someone really dorky say "rad" the other day. Whaaa? You gotta be RAD to use the word rad, right?
I may have mentioned on this blog before that I love colored vinyl. What a lovely surprise when you open that sleeve, right? Well, Reptilians is one of two CLEAR records that I now own. Really awesome looking - until you are in a dark radio studio trying to cue up a specific track - sorry to all the listeners who heard the second half of the song before the one I meant to play first... who cares, right? It's not like we're getting paid.


#7
Cotton Jones - Sit Beside Your Vegetables EP
 If you read my last blog, you know that Cotton Jones was one of my very very favorite live acts of 2011. The show was so good we saw them two nights in a row. The only reason this isn't even higher is because there are only 4 four songs, and even though they are all excellent, it felt like a tease. The EP really gives Whitney a chance to shine as well, Egg on the Sea is a tasty (ewww eggs) track that reminds you that Michael isn't the only stellar vocalist in the band.

This isn't the absolute best video, but it's from the show we were at (Portland's Doug Fir) and this tune brought a tear to my eye. The lyrics omg (see post title). The wife was about as pregnant as I am now (which is REALLY pregnant) and so adorable. They are the (second) cutest couple ever. I passed Michael Nau in the hall before the show and (not recognizing him) thought his sweater was dorky.  And it was pretty hot in there for a sweater... anyway. I changed my mind because he is the coolest.
Most of the show there were a lot more folks on stage (accordion! hello! The accordion player told me afterwards that he really liked Sam Bond's in Eugene because it smelled like his grandmothers' house. True story).
I SUPER HEART COTTON JONES. Seriously. If you don't know this band, do yourself a favor and please, please check it out.


#6
Tom Waits - Bad As Me
You know what your gonna get. And the getting is GOOD. It's really hard to go wrong with Tom Waits IMO. I just keep loving him more and more. And the more I listen to Bad as Me, the more I love it. Which means if I had postponed this post even longer, it probably would have moved up my chart even higher. Bone Machine is my favorite Waits album, but this one is creepin....
Congrats to Mr. Waits for his 2011 induction to the R n R Hall of Fame.





I love a renaissance man. One of my favorite quotes about Tom Waits, read on my film teacher's office door on a poster explaining the difference between a "movie" and a "film":


 Tom Hanks will never star in a film. Tom Waits will never star in a movie.

Don't even get me started on my love of Christopher Plummer. Or my love hate of Terry Gilliam. That's for another day.

Stay tuned for the top 5!

Monday, January 30, 2012

So Much Good in Every Word: 2011 Best Album(s) #9

Desperately trying to get this list out before people don't care about 2011 music anymore! (too late?)

#9
The Stepkids - Self-Titled Full Length Debut! 
For your listening pleasure:



One reason I think that I love this album so much is that I don't listen to anything else like it. Most bands I can describe like - they are kind of like ______ but add a little ______ and a little less ______. Maybe I can't do that with Stepkids because I don't really know R & B (And I only know this music is considered R & B because it made Spin's Best of R & B list.... who would have thought? Sidenote: I have never heard of any other musicians on their list other than the aforementioned Charles Bradley). But, maybe it's because they are a really original group of dudes putting out some ubercool music. I also like a little funny in my music - and they got it. Check em out!

Our vinyl just arrived special order the other day = heavy rotation over here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

So Much Good in Every Word: 2011 Best Album(s) #10

Here is the heart of the matter.

I decided to do one/or a few at a time.... keep coming back!
I  '  m     g  o  i  n  g     t  o   s  t  r  e  t  c  h i  t   o  u  t.

Much like "encouraging" my man to take down the Christmas lights, this post had to happen before it is February. Please see last week's post to see some of my other top contenders.
If you haven't seen it - do. swoon. He even raises pigeons.
Sidenote: One time I was buying a postcard of Marlon from Street Car Named Desire and the girl at the register was all "swoon" and I was like "yeah - no kidding." Then she said she was in love with Marlon and qualified it with "Well - back then, not now. Wait, I mean, I know he is dead now, but you know, before.... when he was... well you know..." and I was like, "no, I don't know" because I was messing with her, I totally knew! And she was just like "nevermind." 
I'm pretty sure she was referring to this:
Poor guy - sometimes it's better to burn out than to fade away. And, yes, I am making a sarcastic reference here as well, because I don't like Neil Young. There, I said it. 
 Hmmm
 ~And~
~Without further ado~
My pics of the BEST of 2011 Album releases:
#10 (TIE)
Wilco - The Whole Love 
It's kind of hard for me to not get excited about Wilco. We went to the "release" party at our local record store for this album and dropped the $20+ on the vinyl. It's a quality album. I like it better than Wilco the Album, but not as much as, oh say, all the other Wilco albums. But here's something I do like:


AND, I won the signed Wilco poster! Here is what Tweedy's sig looks like.
But it was still exciting. Plus they were giving out free Pabst!
We are going to see Wilco in one week. The first Wilco show I saw they ran out of beer. I hope that happens again! Because, I can't drink it, see?
What do you think my chances are of an A.M. tune? Slim to none? oh well, I would settle for some YHF - and I know that I'll get it! Actually, She's a Jar would be a dream come true. 
How about making a request in my honor? She's a Jar She's a Jar She's a Jar
Seriously, how cool is this - click me! - the band takes requests..... you could even mention that this could be my LAST show before the baby bird arrives. And look what they tell you after you submit: Thanks, Wilco loves YOU! 
White Denim is opening (and I have to say... D was another contender for a spot on this list... great album).

#10 (TIE)
The Alabama Shakes - Self-Titled EP 
I hope there are no sticklers who have problems with EPs being on this list. I did it last year, so, what you gonna do? The full length comes out in April, so maybe they'll be back here again next year.
So I first heard of this band from Paste, but it was reconfirmed when David Byrne recommended it to me. Personally. Do you think that he found Lissie's Pursuit of Happiness through this blog? I sure like to think so.
This isn't my absolute favorite song on the EP, but seeing as there are only 4 to pick from it's right up there. I wanted to include this one because the filming is great. I can't wait to hear about 8 more on the full length.
I went to high school in Chattanooga which means that I know a sizable number of people in their early 30's who are starting to run things around there. The club (?) where this was filmed owners are about a 1/2 degree separation from me... or is it a degree and 1/2? Anyway, the place is called Track29.

If you can't wait til April, you can download the EP on their facebook. It's throwback and Motown feel (obvs) but there is some real soul in there IMO (see Hold On: "Bless my heart, bless my soul, didn't think I'd make it to 22 years old - Saying come on Brittany - ya got ta come on UP!"). These guys are pretty awesome and seem to totally be enjoying their rapid success... They sold out the Doug Fir!
Mark my words, they gonna be big! 

Stay tuned for #9 coming soon....
HINT:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

So Much Good in Every Word: Part I

Because I am still a *little* bit bitter about last year's Best Albums of 2010 blog post's lack of accolades, new fans and excitement, I was hesitant to do this years... but.. I couldn't resist!
I'd love to know if you like the list, discovered something new, or just listened to any of the tunes! Please communicate with me - that's what the comments are for - or do it over on the old social network whichever.
First of all, I tried to think about the shows we went to this year to name a Best Live act, and I think that we may have topped our record for last year.  My mantra since, oh, about August, has been
"Babe, this could be the last chance we have to see (FILL IN THE BLANK WITH RANDOM BAND)!"
Ween (x2)
Head and the Heart (x2)
Iron and Wine
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
Cold War Kids (wait, was that this year?)
Ryan Bingham and Dead Horse (with Silent Comedy who were awesome)
We Were Promised Jetpacks
Bear Hands
Bon Iver
Megafaun
Blitzen Trapper (with Dawes)
Warpaint
Langhorne Slim (I just told you about that one!)
Ryan Adams
Cotton Jones (x2)
Devil Makes Three

Lest this just seems like bragging, I am sharing that my top live act of 2011 was...
A tie between Cotton Jones and Megafaun! Does this have to do with that both were at Doug Fir? Perhaps! But the Cotton Jones show at Sam Bonds was pretty special too.
And Ween wins for biggest BLAST (both). Probably part of that is that I wasn't pregnant yet then.

Now for the major releases
Drumroll please.

Honorable mentions:
If I had twelve spots I would have given the last two to Yacht and Bon Iver.


Love these two.
Bon Iver, Bon Iver, Bon Iver. Now, I know I am going to get some serious pushback here. But I really liked the album LESS after the show we went to at Edgefield. Super venue though by the way. I think maybe my hopes were too high? People were telling me it was going to BLOW MY MIND. And it didn't. It may have had something to do with the fact that right before he walked off stage at the very end of the show, he said, and I quote, "Thanks for the support and shit." AND SHIT. Just. no.
But the album still is a piece of quality work. Since it's been all over everyone's lists like a CHEAP FUNNY SUIT (get the Can't Buy Me Love ref there?), I'm not going to bother posting a video. Just watch the Grammys.

Late comers - meaning that if I had more time with them, they would be creepin up the list, I'm pretty sure.
Destroyer - Kaputt. Even though this came out in January, I didn't listen to it until December. I have no idea how this happened. I love New Pornographers and I love Myriad Harbor the most of all, which means I (unknowingly until the other day) love Dan Bejar, who I have very briefly met, incidentally. If you like SAX SOLOs (and who doesn't) you need to hear this album!
 Charles Bradley: No Time For Dreaming. The "Screaming Eagle of Soul"? I heard Heartaches and Pain on KWVA the other day and just like a good little listener I went right to Spinitron and discovered a new love.

Sidenote: Charles is having a contest where he will call the winner's sweetheart on Valentine's Day and "serenade" them. My man is VERY emphatic that I should NOT enter. At first he thought Charles was going to make a housecall. I really hope F enters though - how cool would that be? It would be even better than that time 50 Cent called me and told me to drink more Vitamin Water!
Black Keys: El Camino. Haven't listened to the whole album yet. This is due to the fact that it is languishing un-reviewed in the KWVA mgmt office, I'm too cheap to buy the MP3 and the vinyl is "sold out." I am on the list, but seeing as my local store got a measly 12 copies that sold the first day, I may be waiting awhile.
The opening riff on Lonely Boy (not to mention the dancing) is enough to be sure it earned a spot on this list, I am just not sure where....
 


My man just got home from work and I am going to do the REAL list later.

Stay tuned.......... for the main event!

Friday, January 6, 2012

All I Wanted Was a Good Song and a Fair Friend

Happy New Year Friends.
I really hope everyone had a wonderful celebration and end/beginning.
Here's what me and my man where up to
I can only say I love Portland. I love Hawthorne. And I love Langhorne. 
The show was exuberant. My man deemed it "one of" the best of the year for him. 
For your opinion...


While nosing around at the merch table in between the opener and the main act, I had the pleasure of literally bumping into my new, close friend Langhorne. What a nice and genuine guy. He says they'd like to come back to Eugene soon - I told him we'd promote it on the show, so guys, pressure's on.

It was a great show, but there is nothing like being dead sober on the (second?) biggest drinking holiday of the year. It's been more years than I care to declare in the name of self-incrimination that I haven't done some boozing myself on this eve. 
I have to say, I felt like maybe I am ready to do this parenting thing, because I started to feel very concerned about the well being of those drunken slobs around me. "How is she going to get home?" I kept asking my man. "Does he even know that girl?!" and the best was the girl who was literally HEADBANGING as well as the circular hair twirl during the first song. At a show for a band whose music can legitimately be defined as "folk." It was shocking to me that she maintained for at least 30 minutes after that which enabled her to throw multiple drinks into the crowd of people dancing. She was escorted out. I hope she got home ok.

I'm only being nice because no drinks got on me so it was kind of funny.
Here's what it looked like to everyone but me.
ps - thanks to momma bird for the replacement lens. Who knew how critical auto-focus is?


Speaking of being grownups now, we put up some lights on the house for the first time ever!
And when I say "we," I really mean "he."
All I could think about was Clark Griswald and the staples and the sleeves and the falls... (same method "we" used... is there a better way? Is it ok to base your knowledge of how to do stuff from Chevy Chase vacation movies? Anyway. )

What do you think? Did we go overboard?

I'm just kidding of course. But this is a real place here in Eug. 
(BTW that rhymes with Huge).
Ah, that's more like it. I can't tell you the joy those lights brought me. I am going seriously soft over here. I even listened to Christmas music. For the WHOLE month.
and, yeah. Phil Spector was always a freak. Why didn't we see it coming?

Aw. Xmas is fun. 

Even Fdog got a homemade gift.

In the spirit of working backwards, and not totally abandoning my month old promise for a thanksgiving post.
The dog likes to look his best for what he considers Dog Show Day (also known as Thanksgiving). 

I'll skip the obligatory tofurky pictures, but I WILL say that it was delicious. My parents even claim to have enjoyed it on Christmas Eve. Having it twice in a couple weeks was divine. I have another one in the fridge now!

That about wraps up the holidays, readers. Hope 2012 brings you everything your little heart desires. And, remember, be excellent to each other.
Stay tuned... I WILL be attempting a Best of 2011 music post. But it is so time consuming... give me a couple more days. And a couple more listens to Kaputt.
Love, pigeon xo

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Furr Has Turned to Skin [percolator]

...but I still dream of running careless through the snow...
In honor of a fantastic show in Eugene last weekend. Thank you Blitzen Trapper.



And in the animal spirit of a vegan Thanksgiving. Can't wait for our Tofurky. Green bean casserole and chocolate banana cake! Mashed potatoes..... Did I tell you guys that my man asked for Tofurky last year for his birthday dinner? Laugh all you want. It's that good.
Oh, and mom and dad - laugh even harder, but you will be enjoying a Tofurky at our Christmas visit!
I am starting a new "feature" on this blog.
Pigeon's Percolator - my "i'm kind of obsessed with" column was getting long and I was afraid that no one was reading it - oh the shame.
I really want to post one every Tuesday, so it's just going to be something that I came across that I wanted to share (movies, music, products...). And short. For the inaugural percolator, I must highly recommend:
THE LAST CIRCUS 
(Or, as I prefer to translate it: The Ballad of the Sad Clown)
Warning - MOM - don't watch this trailer, but everyone else - check it out! Actually, watching the trailer again just now, it really tones it down compared to the full movie (you have been warned).

I have a friend who for some reason thinks that I like this type of movie... probably because I usually do. Past selections have included Hobo with a Shotgun (just...no),

The Oregonian (meh... kind of a POOR man's David Lynch rip) 
This picture kind of makes it look more interesting than the movie actually is.
Save yourself the 90 minutes. Don't bother.
and next on the agenda is Rubber (will let you know. And yes, it is about a killer tire).
Anyway - I suggested this one and I wish it was still at the Bijou so all you Eugenians could go see it. We saw the last showing.
I decided not to tell my man it was going to be subtitled... mean trick, or just a forgivable slip? After the first 5 minutes and the intro credits he whispered "Is the whole thing going to be in Spanish?"
"Um, I think so..."
"EHRGH" whispered emphatically.
But it was totally worth it. Beautiful cinematography (made for the big screen), love triangles, human hunting dogs, Spanish history and vengeful clowns.
I mean - if you only see one circus movie this year, don't let it be Water For Elephants.
Call to action - I loved The Last Circus. It's streaming on Netflix RIGHT NOW.

Feast post to come.