Jan 26, 2011

Best of 2010: The Canada Connection

Last year, Spoon and Joanna Newsom (among others) received heaps of praise for albums that—at least when compared to their previous work—were pedestrian, uninspiring, and, well, boring. Meanwhile, Broken Social Scene released yet another masterpiece, Forgiveness Rock Record. How this band isn't on the tip of everyone's tongue, I'll never understand.

Perhaps I could write their lack of overwhelming success of to being Canadian, but who isn't (or doesn't want to be) these days. SS is, however, convinced that the under-appreciation of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World was partially due to it's "tragically Canadian sensibility." Not only did an older BSS track appear on the soundtrack, but members Kevin Drew and Emily Haines also contributed original songs to the movie.

Scott Pilgrim has birthed no fewer than 3 albums at this point: the film's OST, the videogame's score (by Anamanaguchi), and the film's score, primarily composed by famed producer Nigel Godrich. Every minute of SP-related music is worth your time, but "Threshhold" and "Garbage Truck," written by Godrich and Beck, and performed on the soundtrack by the cast (as Sex Bob-omb), are two of SS's favorites.

Beck also collaborated with Black Moth Super Rainbow's Tom Fec on one of his TOBACCO releases, Maniac Meat. On a few songs, Beck adds his "It's in the Becktionary" hip-hoppish lyrics to Fec's fuzzy beats and mosquito vocals. SS is a sucker for fuzz . . .
But we think you should give it a shot anyway.

Watch videos from Forgiveness Rock Record on Broken Social Scene's site. (And say that 5 times fast.)

Tobacco - Grape Aerosmith (feat. Beck) Official Video from Allen Cordell on Vimeo.

As always, if you like something: buy it!

Jan 25, 2011

Best of 2010: A Perfect Pair

Seems like we only pop up when it's time to look back at some unit of time. Well, let's jump into it regardless. To start off our look back at the year, taste these succulent appetizers.

"USA Boys" by Health

When Health released "Die Slow" before their second album, the reaction was instant adoration, but when the rest of Get Color was less poppy overall, the feedback was mixed. In one interview, the band reported that fans had asked them to do more like "Die Slow." Enter their second remix album and the opening track, the brand-new single, "USA Boys." Although it's the most upbeat track of their originals, it still contains the band's trademark delayed ring modulation, subdued vocals, and beats driven by the Boss Slicer pedal.

"Lights" by Interpol

Music media: So Interpol's got a new album coming out. You like those dudes, right?
Stoplight Sleep: Yeah, they're great.
MM: You don't think they're too derivative of Joy Division.
SS: Oh, stop it. Pop music is an evolution. Do you have a point?
MM: So are you excited?
SS: Meh, they keep getting more produced and less dynamic. The lyrics are always acrobatic, though. We'll see.
MM: Well, maybe you should watch this video before you decide:

SS: Wow. The slow build, the driving riff, the moody vocals, now that's the dynamic Interpol we've missed.