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Steve’s Tops of 2012

Posted in LISTS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2013 by Steve

So, even though (or especially because?) it will piss Ryan off, I’m doing my list a little differently. This is the list of my top things in, or tangentially related to, music from the year 2012. Let’s begin, shall we?

Top Album of 2012
This is a no-brainer, it’s Synthetica by Metric. definitely check out Ryan’s review of it if you haven’t listened yet. It’s spectacular.

Most Predictable Album of 2012
Babel from Mumford & Sons gets the nod here. It sounds pretty much exactly the same as Sigh No More, which is both good and bad.

Most Annoying Song of 2012
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me MaybeContinue reading

Good News For People Who Love Bad News – Modest Mouse

Posted in modest mouse with tags , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2012 by Steve

Good News For People Who Love Bad News

Modest Mouse

2004

Epic Records

Modest Mouse are a curious indie rock band. Sure, they might sound like your typical four-piece with spacey, effect-covered vocals, exemplifying all the traits generally found in cut-yourself-and-bleed-all-0ver-your-black-hoodie-and-black-skin-tight-jeans-combo emo music. However, when you look deeper, they actually have more depth, especially lyrically.  They feature six members in the studio (five, technically for this album), and more when on tour. Now, you might be thinking “Hey, that sounds a lot like Arcade Fire,” but you’d be wrong. Modest Mouse doesn’t have sixty-two people banging a drum the size of your mother with one hand, while furiously masturbating to Sarah Michelle Gellar with the other. These guys actually play instruments. Anyways, today we’ll be taking a look into arguably their most accessible record, Good News For People Who Love Bad News. Continue reading

Steve’s Mystery Song Reviews

Posted in LISTS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2012 by Steve

Fellow Stereo Control writer Michael offered me up these ten songs for our Mystery review week.  Let’s hope they don’t suck, like I assume they will.

1. Mystery Song 1 – (Electric Light Orchestra – “Do Ya”) It’s “Do Ya” by ELO.  Awesome song.  Michael, it’s supposed to be mystery songs, not “guess the song by the second chord.”

2. Mystery Song 2 – (fun. – “Take Your Time (Coming Home)”) This song starts off with some nonsense syllables being repeated.  Oh wait, I recognize that voice.  It’s either The Format or fun.  Sounds like a typical song of his [Nate Ruess], with the instruments fading out, then coming back in the middle of the song.  It’s not bad.

Continue reading

Steve’s Ten Song Shuffle

Posted in LISTS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2012 by Steve

So I had to do this a little differently than everyone else, due to the fact that I didn’t have my music library with me. Instead, I used Pandora’s QuickMix station.

1. “Fight the Future” – Four Year Strong

For this album, FYS parted ways with their keyboardist and became a traditional four-piece. That doesn’t really change their lyrical stylings much, and the song is about keeping your head up and staying positive in a negative world.

2. “I Won’t Hold You Back” – Toto

So this isn’t as good as another Toto song with “Hold” in the title, but it’s still awesome. It’s Toto, that should say enough. Continue reading

Navy Blues – Sloan

Posted in Sloan with tags , , , , on July 25, 2012 by Steve

Navy Blues

Sloan

1998

Murderecords

Introductions are things that are found in various places.  Stories have introductions and social settings do as well, just to name a few.  Navy Blues was my introduction to the music of Halifax, Nova Scotia’s indie rock outfit Sloan.  Actually, maybe indie rock isn’t the best way to describe the music of Sloan.  Their sound has evolved over their twenty-year career, but it’s a blend of alternative rock, indie rock, and classic rock.  This mix mainly comes from the fact that the whole band shares songwriting duties, as well as switching off on different instruments based on who wrote each song.  Also interesting is that the band’s lineup has remained unchanged, other than the unofficial fifth member covering keyboard duties for live shows.  Anyways, back on topic, perhaps it’s fitting, then, that introductions are a common theme of the album. Continue reading

Funeral – Arcade Fire

Posted in Arcade Fire with tags , , , , , , on July 20, 2012 by Steve

Funeral

Arcade Fire

2004

Merge / Rough Trade

“Definitive” has an ironically diverse meaning when referring to art forms, especially music.  An album can define a time period, an artist’s style, or it can mean something more personal to each of us.  However, Funeral by Arcade Fire can easily be applied to all of these meanings as the “definitive” record by the band.  First, it is critically acclaimed as one of the best albums from the first decade of the current millennium.  I would absolutely agree on that point.  Secondly, many claim that this is the definitive Arcade Fire album, much like Good News for People Who Love Bad News by Modest Mouse.  This is where I disagree.  I feel that Neon Bible and The Suburbs are more indicative of Arcade Fire’s style.  Finally, the whole personal bit is summed up neatly by saying that Funeral was one of my gateway albums into the band and even the world of indie music.

In short, the album completely deserves the accolades bestowed upon it (save for one song in my opinion, but we’ll get to that waffling on my part later).  The first half of the album is a roller coaster  of sound containing the “Neighborhood” saga, split in half by “Une Année Sans Lumière.”  We’re treated to a back-and-forth of slow and fast, calm and dramatic, and mellow and tense.  The juxtaposition of English and French on “Une,”  and later “Haiti,” is woven together beautifully by Régine Chassagne and Win Butler.  Their vocal harmonies flow together in a similarly fluid manner. Continue reading

Go – Motion City Soundtrack

Posted in Motion City Soundtrack with tags , , , , , on June 26, 2012 by Steve

Go

Motion City Soundtrack

2012

Epitaph Records

Hype can be a dangerous thing. When I bought this album, it was the day after I got Metric’s Synthetica, which I think is one of the best albums of the year so far. You understand, then, that I went into this album with high hopes. So, of course you’re all wondering “Did it deliver?”

Well, in a word, no. At least not at first. I was hoping that this album would continue with the energy and pace of My Dinosaur Life. The first track was actually cut from that album, and is really good. I was then disappointed with the rest of the album, though. Continue reading