Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Unknown & Unheard Show 262! Best of 2011!

Black Lips – Modern Art – Arabia Mountain (2011)
Black Lips – Mad Dog – Arabia Mountain (2011)
-          6th album.
-          Best Band/Album of the U & U 2011!!!
-          One of the most fun bands to listen to and see live.
-          Sloppy garage rock.

Ezra Furman & The Harpoons - Don't Turn Your Back On Love - Mysterious Power (2011)
-          3rd album
-          One of the most talented and refreshing artists going.
-          Huge Pixies sound here more than ever before.
-          Played SXSW

Withered Hand - Hard On - Good News (2011)
-          Debut full length, but has two previously released EPs
-          Neil Young-heavy sound.
-          Played SXSW

Frightened Rabbit - Fuck This Place - A Frightened Rabbit EP (2011)
-          This was a tour-only EP.
-          This track features Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura.
-          This is one of their greatest tracks, in my opinion. Why hide it away on a tour-only release?
-          4 albums out.
-          Organ Fight is their best to date.
-          Scottish accent stands out, but there seems to be something more than that to his vocals and make them truly unique.

Bill Callahan - Riding For the Feeling- Apocalypse (2011)
-          3rd album
-          Folk singer/songwriter type
-          The voice gets me here more than anything
-          Former leader of Smog.

Turf War – Cheers To the Years – Years of Living Dangerously (2011)
-          Debut album
-          Produced by Ian St. Pe’ of the Black Lips.
-          Atlanta band.

Middle Brother – Middle Brother – Middle Brother (2011)
-          Debut from this folk super group.
-          Due out in March
-          Features members of Deer Tick, Delta Spirit and Dawes.

PAPA - I Am The Lion King - A Good Woman Is Hard To Find EP (2011)
-          Debut EP
-          Led by the drummer for the band Girls.
-          Upbeat, a touch beachy and sun-drenched pop and a perfect fit for the end of summer.
-          There is something triumphant in their tracks that really draws me in.

tUnE-yArDs - Gangsta - w h o k i l l (2011)
-          2nd album.
-          Debut full length, ‘BiRd-BrAiNs’ was a huge critical success.
-          Eclectic, spastic indie pop sound.
-          Merrill Garbus is the main brains behind this act.
-          This is the best song I’ve heard from her so far.

Tom Waits – Pay Me – Bad As Me (2011)
-          17th album and 1st since 2004. Album teaser video
-          One of the most prolific, innovative and talented songwriters ever.
-          First new music since 2006’s triple album release.
-          Also an actor.
-          Give me his first three albums and a desert island.

Emperor X – Compressor Repair – Western Teleport (2011)
-          5th album.
-          Former HS science teacher.
-          RIYL: Mountain Goats & Death Cab for Cutie

The Mountain Goats – Damn These Vampires – All Eternals Deck (2011)
-          Latest full length
-          Their last, The Life of the World to Come, was out in October 2009.
-          Led by John Darnielle and his unmistakable passionate  and powerful vocals.

J Mascis - Circle - Several Shades of Why (2011)
-          Latest solo album.
-          Dinosaur Jr. leader.
-          Eddie Vedder-esque vocals.
-          Played SXSW and was a major surprise.
-          This is from the DayTrotter Session he just recorded.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – Nothing But Our Love - It's A Corporate World (2011)
-          Debut full length.
-          Their 2010 debut EP garnered them a lot of good reviews.
-          Playing the White Rabbit Cabaret Friday, June 17th

Twilight Singers – She Was Stolen – Dynamite Steps (2011)
-          3rd full length
-          Led by Greg Dulli.
-          Dulli has also collaborated with Mark Lanegan to release a couple albums as the Gutter Twins.
-          The build through out this song is worth the price of the album.
-          Whether it’s here or in the Gutter Twins, Dulli is capable of creating deep powerful moods and feelings.

We Are Augustines - Book of James - Rise Ye Sunken Ships (2011)
-          Debut full length.
-          Consists of two remaining members of the band Pela, Billy McCarthy & Eric Sanderson.
-          Pela disbanded after McCarthy’s brother committed suicide.

Yellow Ostrich - Hate Me Soon - The Mistress (2011)
-          Debut full length
-          Sounds a bit like the Beatles and the White Stripes and even at times Menomena.
-          Played SXSW

Young Circles - 2012 - Jungle Habits (2011)
-          Debut full length. Also 1 EP out.
-          Extremely interesting blend of styles. Freak folk, harder alt-rock, electronic and beat driven.
-          I think they are at their best on heavier, more aggressive tracks like this.

Handsome Furs – Repatriated – Sound Kapital (2011)
-          3rd album from Wolf Parade's Dan Boeckner and his wife.
-          Out June 28th.
-          I was late to the party here, but glad I didn’t miss it!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Festivus Miracles!

Festivus is today and I'm celebrating with the one band that shares my religious views... the authors of 2010's best album... the band tied with the Hold Steady as the best band I've ever seen... the band with one album entitled The Airing of Grievances and another entitled Feats of Strength... Titus Andronicus!

Titus Andronicus - Titus Andronicus - The Airing of Grievances

Titus Andronicus - Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ - The Airing of Grievances

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Unknown & Unheard Show 261! Christmas Show!

Tom Waits – Step Right Up – Small Change (1976)
-          4th album from one of music’s most prolific artists
-          This is my annual sarcastic tribute to the American Christmas… there is not a song more fitting.

Guadalupe Plata - Serpiente Negra - Guadalupe Plata (2011)
-          Debut album.
-          Spanish band.
-          Incredibly enjoyable Black Keys/White Stripes feel here.

Hanni El Khatib - Loved One - When the Guns Come Out (2011)
-          If you love the old Black Keys you will get into this guy for sure!
-          Hard, dirty garage blue rock.

Turf War – Stay Running – Years of Living Dangerously (2011)
-          Debut album
-          Produced by Ian St. Pe’ of the Black Lips.
-          Atlanta band.

You Won't - Television - Skeptic Goodbye (2011)
-          Debut album
-          M. Ward and T. Rex feel to this track.

Country Mice - Worn Hearts - Twister (2011)
-          Debut album
-          Folk rock outfit that formerly went by We Are Country Mice.

Tony Castles - Dream Job - No Service (2010)
-          Debut EP out.
-          Download for free at RCRDLBL!
-          Brooklyn band.

Thee Oh Sees - The Dream - Carrion Crawler/The Dream (2011)
-          12th album.
-          San Fran garage psych band.

Dead Luke – Paranoia Is A Flower Of The Mind – Meanwhile… In the Midwest (2011)
-          4th album
-          Luke Gasper.
-          RIYL: Wet Hair and any other heavy, muddy, pulsing psych rock.

Anna Calvi - Wolf Like Me (TV On the Radio cover) - Jezebel single (French Version) (2011)
-          Drastically different version of one of TVOTR's most popular songs.
-          Debut was out this year and she was nominated for the UK’s Mercury Prize for best artist of the year.

Blithe Field - Crushing - Two Hearted (2011)
-          2nd full length
-          19 year old from Ohio.
-          Ambient/electronic/looping/sample-heavy arrangements.

Christopher Owens – Cold Again (Live) (2011)
-          This is the leader of the band Girls (they are better known on the U & U for their drummer’s side project, PAPA)
-          He recorded these brilliant, spare tracks this past year.
-          Girls 2011 album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, is getting tremendous acclaim, but for some reason they’ve never struck a chord with me.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – Nothing But Our Love (Live) (2011)
-          Original is on their debut full length, It’s A Corporate World.
-          This is a really gorgeous, seasonally appropriate, mellower version played only on a piano and organ.
-          Their 2010 debut EP garnered them a lot of good reviews.
-          One of the my top of the top favorite live bands of the year.
-          Check out the Video!

Sufjan Stevens –Sister Winter– Songs For Christmas
-          Sufjan is a unique artist and without many people knowing has produced roughly fifty great… not the same old… Christmas songs
-          My personal favorite Sufjan Christmas original.
-          You will not hear a Christmas song like this in Macy’s… and that’s a good thing!

EMA - California - Past Life Martyred Saints (2011)
-          Debut full length.
-          This is the current from nowhere-to-everywhere band in the indie music world.
-          Erika M. Anderson