Links


  • Record Stores


  • Academy Records, LPs and Annex
    The Academy Annex in Williamsburg is my favorite place to buy used records.

  • Amoeba Music
    San Francisco, Berkeley and LA. Best in the West.

  • Boomkat
    UK based site specializing in Electronic, Ambient, Post-Folk, IDM and more

  • Generation Records
    This Greenwich Village staple has attitude. Great for punk, hardcore and much more.

  • Insound
    Top online independent retailer. Great deals and selection.

  • Other Music
    Among the best independent record stores in New York City.

  • Permanent Records
    Greenpoint, Brooklyn. My favorite store to browse.

  • Sonic Boom Records
    Along with KEXP, the reason that I could survive a move to Seattle

  • SoundFix
    Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They've developed a great website and have online ordering as well.



Favorite Albums of 2006 (#6-10)

previously:
Favorite Albums of 2006 #11-15
Favorite Albums of 2006 #16-30

#6 Casey Dienel – Wind-Up Canary

At this year’s CMJ I saw many bands and had many choices to make. Hands down, the absolute best decision I made all week was to walk out of the overrated The Knife show and head down to The Living Room to catch Casey Dienel’s set. Anyone who enjoys Regina Spektor, Ben Folds or any other pop-music playing pianist would do well to check out the quirky and catchy music of Casey Dienel. Her album, while centered around her piano and voice, employs a wide variety of instruments and musical styles. Casey writes, “I make songs, almost out of habit, about things dear to me.” This fact is instantly apparent when listening to her music which is as earnest and unpretentious as it gets.

The production on this album is rough, unpolished and works perfectly. It feels like you’ve stumbled in on a bunch of friends hanging out in rural Massachusetts with no intention on releasing the material (which is precisely what you’re hearing on this album). All the million-dollar studios and “artist development” budgets out there could learn a thing or two from this endearing album. Go listen to Doctor Monroe at her myspace page and just try to forget the chorus. It’s not possible.

#7 Oppenheimer – Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer were one of my favorite discoveries of 2006. Many people in New York became familiar with the duo from Belfast after they opened for Hot Chip at the South Street Seaport. I missed their set and though I heard that they put on a great show, I didn’t realize how up-my-alley they really were until hearing them for the first time during the CMJ festival.

You’ve probably noticed by now that I love bands who can combine traditional instruments with new technology. In the live setting Shaun plays a drumset and performs lead vocals while Rocky triggers samples and plays synthesizers and guitars. While Shaun’s vocals are soft and poppy, Rocky usually sings through a vocoder or uses lots of effects, adding to the acoustic/electric dichotomy. Listen to Saturday Looks Bad To Me on their myspace page for a great example.

Oppenheimer’s songs are catchy, fun, upbeat and in short, they know how to rock. With all the sampled percussion, they could relax and let the computers do most of the rhythmic work, but Shaun plays his drumset with a terrific energy that can be witnessed live and felt on the album. The synth sounds that Oppenheimer create are punchy, driving and crisp and their songs are perfectly crafted to make perfect use of the fat bass lines, biting leads and twinkling samples.

#8 The Submarines – Declare A New State

This album reminds me in many ways of one of my favorite albums of 2005, “Set Yourself On Fire” by Stars. The Submarines instrumentation is not as varied and the personnel are fewer in number, but the overall feel of the album and the subject matter are closely related. “Declare A New State” is an album that celebrates broken hearts.

Brighter Discontent makes no apologies for being a sappy break-up song, with lines like “all these things should make me happy to be alone again” or “a breaking heart in an empty apartment was the loudest sound I never heard”, yet the song is still full of hope and the music itself is uplifting. In one of the more interesting television/music pairings I’ve heard of, the song was used in the season finale of Nip/Tuck in which the cast spoke no dialogue but rather lip synched to the entire song – a true testament to a powerful song with well composed lyrics.

The Submarines are from Los Angeles and consist of only two members, John and Blake which makes them a sort of Mates of State meets Stars. They recently released an iTunes session and a very cool remix EP which are both available digitally.

#9 Asobi Seksu – Citrus

The only problem with this album is that tracks 3 and 4 threatened to render the rest of the record useless. I listened to “New Years” and “Thursday” so many times this year it’s a wonder I ever made it to the end of the album. Yet now, when iTunes is on random and a track from the second half of Citrus comes on it reminds me how strong the album truly is. Every song on here could be a favorite if those other two weren’t so incredible.

The My Bloody Valentine comparison surrounds shoegaze bands incessantly and is almost as lame as the Beatles comparison for a pop band or the Radiohead comparison for any band combining electronics and guitars. Many bands do in fact sound like a watered down version of MBV and I don’t think anyone will ever truly build on their sound, but Asobi Seksu doesn’t deserve to be grouped in with those hack bands. Yuki’s vocals are unique and memorable and Asobi Seksu’s sound is truly their own. The band is so close to escaping the shoegazer label and creating something new that it’s not hard to imagine some day soon any band with a lush sound and a female vocalist may be compared to Asobi Seksu.

#10 The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America

When my buddy and I went to see The Hold Steady at Warsaw way back in April they played a couple of songs that would be on the new album and we knew back then that it would be huge. The songs sounded great the very first time we ever heard them and this whole album reveals itself in the same way. This would probably top a “Best” Albums of 2006 list if that’s what this was. The album does a great job of capturing all of the energy of a Hold Steady show and is well produced. Out of all those highly acclaimed albums like Beirut, The Knife, TV On The Radio and Joanna Newsom – The Hold Steady album is easily my favorite and I believe it deserves all the praise that’s been heaped upon it. However…

I can’t freaking stand “Chillout Tent”. It practically ruins the album for me. I mean, that girl’s voice… if I were the dude in that story and I came to my senses only to hear that piercing noise, I’d O.D. again as soon as possible. It’s especially bad when she sings in unison with herself. And then the guy sings in harmony with himself… Good thing “Southtown Girls” is there to save the album.

I’m still a bigger fan of Separation Sunday, though it’s easy to see why the new album is so popular. In fact, it’s obvious and that’s part of the reason why I like the last album a little more. Separation Sunday took a little more effort to enjoy, but it is still a treat to listen to a year and a half later. This time around, Craig’s quotables just aren’t as creative, there aren’t a lot of awesome alliterations and the memorable lines are creeping closer and closer to cliché. The characters from Separation Sunday were unique and well-developed while the characters from Boys and Girls in America are just that, representative of Craig Finn’s vision of boys and girls in America. Or at least boys and girls in Minnesota. Who suck helium.

Still, this album is fantastic overall and The Hold Steady will go down as my second favorite live act of 2006 just behind ¡Forward, Russia!


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The Hype Machine

Recent Shows


2011

I finally saw The Dismemberment Plan and my life is complete. Enjoy the archives.

Past Shows


2010

8/28 The National Rifle [KFN]

8/15 !!! [East River Park, NY]

7/24 Cap'n Jazz [Starlight Ballroom]

7/2 Busses [Johnny Brenda's]

6/24 Wakey! Wakey! [North Star Bar]

6/25 - 6/26 Northside Festival (Marie Stella, The Grates, Dinosaur Feathers...) [Brooklyn]

6/22 Villagers [FUC - Chapel]

6/16 The Most Serene Republic, Annuals [North Star Bar]

6/2 The Futureheads, The Like [FUC - Basement]

5/2 The Album Leaf [FUC - Sanctuary]

5/5 Bear Hands [World Cafe Live]

4/10 Pilam Human BBQ (Algernon Cadwallader, These United States)

4/9 Freezepop, Cannon Logic [North Star Bar]

4/2 Band of Skulls, The Whigs [North Star Bar]

3/16 - 3/21 SXSW (Octopus Project, The Megaphonic Thrift, Local Natives, We Were Promised Jetpacks...) [Austin, TX]

2/19 Memory Tapes, Neon Indian [Making Time - Voyeur]

1/22 Freelance Whales, Animal Tropical [KFN]

1/21 Savior Adore, Circadian Rhythms [KFN]

1/14 River City Extension [North Star Bar]

2009

12/4 The Wrens [Maxwell's]

12/2 Jaguar Love [Mercury]

11/29 Zero 7 [TLA]

11/17 J TIllman [FUC - Chapel]

10/20 - 10/24 CMJ [New York]

9/12-9/13 Monolith [Denver, CO]

8/28-8/30 After The Jump Fest [Littlefield]

8/14 Starlight Mints [North Star Bar]

8/8 A Crimson Grail for 200 Guitars [Lincoln Center]

7/18 Siren Fest [Coney Island]

7/16 Rit Mo Collective [Chris' Jazz Cafe]

6/26 The Most Serene Republic [North Star Bar]

6/11 - 6/14 Northside Festival

6/5 White Rabbits [Johnny Brenda's]

5/30 Jodienda [The Glass Door]

5/29 Pet Ghost Project, Dinosaur Feathers, Quiet Loudly [Fontana's]

5/23 United Nations [Delancey]

5/21 White Rabbits, Cymbals Eat Guitars, The Antlers [Bowery]

5/20 St. Vincent, Pattern Is Movement [Webster]

5/15 Marie Stella, Coyote Eyes [Portland, ME]

5/9 The Lisps [Joe's Pub]

5/8 Mono [Society for Ethical Culture]

5/3 No Doubt [Bamboozle]

5/2 The Get Up Kids [Bamboozle]

5/1 The Beets, pow wow! [Red Star Bar]

4/22 Into The Presence [Pianos]

4/18 The Life and Times [Webster Studio]

4/16 Middle Distance Runner [The Annex]

4/15 Nada Surf [Bell House]

4/10 The Wrens [Bell House]

4/2 Asobi Seksu [Bowery Ballroom]

3/17 SXSW

3/13 The Wrens / Titus Andronicus [Bowery]

3/6 The Bird and The Bee [Bell House]

3/5 Antlers / The Physics of Meaning [Union Hall]

2/28 ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead [Bowery]

2/27 Uninhabitable Mansions / Spacecamp [Union Hall]

2/26 Bell Orchestre / Clogs / Brooklyn Phil [BAM]

2/26 Tally Hall / Oppenheimer [Union Hall]

2/25 Ben Kweller [Town Hall]

2/23 Jimmy Eat World [Terminal 5]

2/18 Sam Roberts Band [Bowery Ballroom]

2/17 Fugiya & Miyagi / School of Seven Bells [LPR]

2/2 Frightened Rabbit [LPR]

1/26 Beirut [Coco66]

1/3 Holy Moly [Pete's Candy Store]

2008

10/8 Barbara Morgenstern [Galapagos]

9/20 My Bloody Valentine [Roseland]

9/11 Land Of Talk [Mercury]

8/25 Lykke Li [LPR]

8/22 Lykke Li [Amoeba - Hollywood]

8/22 Radiohead [Hollywood Bowl]

8/20 Broken Social Scene, Menomena [Sunset Junction]

8/15 Manuel Göttsching [Lincoln Center]

7/31 The Long Winters [Castle Clinton]

7/24 Ambulance LTD [Bowery]

7/18 Deerhoof, Metropolis Ensemble [Prospect Park]

7/17 Ted Leo [Castle Clinton]

6/26 Devo [McCarren Pool]

6/21 After The Jump Fest [Williamsburg]

6/19 Man In Grey's farewell show [Delancey]

6/4 M83 [Bowery]

5/29 Hello Eden [Rebel]

5/28 Birdmonster [Mercury]

5/2 Stars of the Lid [Good Shepherd Church]

4/17 Gelsey Bell [Goodbye Blue Monday]

4/3 Helio Sequence [Bowery]

3/21 Jens Lekman [Hollywood, CA]

3/18 The Lisps [Los Angeles, CA]

3/12-16 SXSW [Austin, TX]

1/27 Laura Veirs [Union Hall]

1/16-17 Wordless Music Orchestra (Adams, Bryars, Greenwood) [St. Paul the Apostle]

2007

12/20 Wakey! Wakey!, Jason Joseph [Arlene's]

12/14 The Most Serene Republic [Mercury]

12/13 Cake, Brazillian Girls, Oakley Hall [Terminal 5]

12/12 Wakey! Wakey!, Jukebox the Ghost [Mercury]

11/28 Max Richter, Cepia, Assaff Weisman [Good-Shepherd Faith Church]

11/10 Mum, Hauschka, Bing and Ruth [Society for Ethical Culture]

11/9 Mum, Torngat [St. Paul the Apostle]

11/3 Grizzly Bear, Michael Harrison [Society for Ethical Culture]

10/16-20 CMJ (Spoon, The Octopus Project, The Most Serene Republic, Saturday Looks Good To Me,1900's, Biffy Clyro, Freezepop...)

10/5 Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurdsson, Sandro Perri [Good-Shepherd Faith Church]

9/24 Beirut, Colleen [Society for Ethical Culture]

9/21 The Most Serene Republic [Union Hall]

9/20 Beirut, Fifth Veil [Brooklyn Masonic Temple]

9/15 Do Make Say Think [The Middle East, Boston]

9/14 Do Make Say Think, Electric Kompany [Society for Ethical Culture]

8/29 Feist [McCarren]

8/25 After The Jump Festival [Studio B]

8/23 The Rentals [Nokia]

8/21 The New Pornographers [Bowery]

8/19 Wolf Parade [Warsaw]

8/12 Junior Senior [Soundfix]

8/12 Ted Leo/Pharmacists, The Thermals [McCarren]

8/9 Daft Punk [Keyspan]

7/28 Benni Hemm Hemm [Union Hall]

7/23 Eastern Conference Champions [Pianos]

7/4 The New Pornographers [Battery Park]

6/11 Feist [Town Hall]

6/2 Man In Grey [Union Hall]

5/12 LCD Soundsystem [Studio B]

5/8 The Shondes, Beat Radio [Delancey]

5/5 Arcade Fire, The National [Tower Theater]

4/30 The Books [Society for Ethical Culture - Wordless Music Series]

4/24 Pela [Mercury]
Wakey Wakey, Casey Shea [Pianos]

4/14 Cloud Cult, Young Galaxy [Mercury]

4/12 Eastern Conference Champions [Union Hall]

4/2 Amiina, Eluvium, Gilles Vonsattel [Good Shepherd Faith Church - Wordless Music Series]

3/31 The Long Winters, The Broken West [Mercury]

3/28 Menomena [Bowery]

3/23 Toca Loca, Polmo Polpo, Social Music Work Group [Good Shepherd Faith Church]

3/14-3/18 SXSW

3/9 Matt & Kim, Professor Murder [Bowery]

3/7 Mirah, The Blow [NYU]

3/1 Thunderbirds Are Now!, Tigercity [Knitting Factory]

2/20 Explosions In The Sky [Society for Ethical Culture]

2/19 Explosions In The Sky [Warsaw]

2/18 Malajube, Rock Plaza Central [Mercury]

2/17 The Muggabears, Please Dept [The Delancey]
Gelsey Bell [Vivaldi Cafe]

2/16 The Arcade Fire [Judson Memorial Church]
Pela [Mercury]

2/11 Steven Malkmus and the Jicks [Maxwell's]

2/10 Sure Juror [Pianos]

1/30 Peter, Bjorn and John [Bowery]

1/27 Liam & Me, The GoStation, White Rabbits, Seth Kallen + The Reaction [Sin-e]

1/19 The Wrens [Knitting Factory]

1/18 The Hold Steady [Northsix]

1/13 Gil Mantera's Party Dream, Free Blood [Knitting Factory]

1/6 Matt & Kim, Meneguar, Aa [Studio B]

2006

12/20 Bridges & Powerlines [Pianos]

12/16 Rainer Maria, Pela, Daylight For The Birds [Bowery]

12/15 Bell, Lismore, Theives Like Us, The Ballet [Delancey]

12/13 Bound Stems, Ra Ra Riot, The Muggabears [Sin-e]

12/09 Oxford Collapse [Northsix]

11/28 ¡Forward, Russia! [Bowery]

11/22 The Hold Steady [Warsaw]

11/20 The Little Ones, Small Sins [Mercury Lounge]

11/15 A Hawk and A Hacksaw, Andrew Bird [GSF Church]

11/14 Bad Viens [Knitting Factory]

11/13 Modest Mouse [Nokia]

11/10 The Shondes [Brooklyn Lyceum]

11/6 Voxtrot [Bowery]
Cloud Cult [Knitting Factory]

10/31 - 11/4 CMJ [Everywhere]

10/21 Maritime, Bound Stems [Mercury]

10/17 TV On The Radio, Grizzly Bear [Irving]

10/15 Okkervil River, Sam Champion [Bowery]

10/14 Okkervil River, Elvis Perkins [Bowery]

9/30 Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond [Town Hall]

9/29 Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond [Town Hall]
The Long Winters [Bowery]

9/27 The Big Sleep, The Rogers Sisters, The Occasion (Movable Hype 9.0) [Spiegeltent]

9/26 O'Death, DraculaZombieUSA (Beg Yr Pardon #9) [Delancey]

9/18 Wordless Music Series (Glenn Kotche & Nels Cline, Jenny Lin, Elliot Sharp) [GSF Church]

9/15,16,17 Austin City Limits Festival (Explosions In The Sky, Okkervil River, The Long Winters, Nada Surf, Ben Kweller, Ted Leo, Stars, The New Pornographers, Husky Rescue, What Made Milwaukee Famous...)

9/13 The Grates [Pianos]

9/12 The Dears, The Grates [Bowery]

9/3 Mono, Fridge [Bowery]

9/2 Explosions In The Sky [Bowery]

8/31 Asobi Seksu, Say Hi To Your Mom, Cassettes Won't Listen [Maxwell's]

8/29 Casey Dienel, Inlets [Union Hall]

8/25 Ted Leo (free) [South Street Seaport]
Beirut [Mercury]

8/24 My Brightest Diamond [Speigeltent]

8/23 826NYC benefit w/David Byrne, Sufjan Stevens, John Roderick [Beacon Theater]

8/21 The Diggs, Slowlands [CBGB]

8/18 The Mugs, The Isles [Union Hall]

8/17 Takka Takka, Slowlands [Union Hall]

8/12 Sleater-Kinney, The Thermals [Portland, OR]

8/8 The Long Winters [Mercury Lounge]

8/7 Silversun Pickups [Union Hall]

8/4 Hot Chip [South Street Seaport]

8/3 The New Pornographers [Summerstage]

7/23 Pretty Girls Make Graves [McCarren Park Pool]

7/21 Jens Lekman, Beirut [Bowery]

7/19 Jens Lekman [Mercury]

7/15 Casey Shea [Knitting Factory]
Siren Fest [Coney Island]

7/14 My Brightest Diamond [Joe's Pub]

7/13 Okkervil River [Castle Clinton]
Oh No! Oh My!, The Big Sleep [Supreme Trading]

7/11 Movable Hype 8.0 [Knitting Factory] w/ Takka Takka, Femme Generation, Goes Cube

7/9 Cursive [Mercury]
Les Savy Fav [McCarren Park Pool]

7/7 The Undisputed Heavyweights [Rockwood]

7/6 Broken Social Scene [Prospect Park]
Mates of State [Castle Clinton]

7/4 Belle & Sebastian [Battery Park]

6/30 Birdmonster, Tally Hall, The Talk [Sin-e]
Matt Pond PA, Voxtrot [Prospect Park]

6/29 Land of Talk, Tokyo Police Club, The Ballet [Syrup Room]

6/28 Gil Mantera's Party Dream [Knitting Factory]

6/27 The Grates [Mercury]

6/25 The Undisputed Heavywights [Rockwood]

6/22 Asobi Seksu [Mercury]

6/17 Beirut [SoundFix]

6/15 Saturday Looks Good To Me [Northsix]

6/14 !Forward, Russia! [Mercury]

6/13 Eels, Smoosh [World Financial Center]
The Boy Least Likely To [Knitting Factory]

6/11 !!! [Northsix]

6/6 Nada Surf, stellastar* [Starlight Ballroom]

6/2 Radiohead [Tower Theater, Philly]

5/27 & 5/28 Sasquatch Music Festival [The Gorge, WA]

5/22 Art Brut [Soundfix]

5/20 Pela [brooklyn rooftop]

5/19 Land of Talk, Slowlands [Mercury Lounge]
Land of Talk, Dr. Dog (KEXP in NYC) [Gigantic Studios]

5/17 Art Brut, Art Brut 47 (We Are Scientists) [Knitting Factory]

5/12 White Rose Movement [Bowery Ballroom]

5/10 Nada Surf (acoustic) [Mercury Lounge]

4/25 Jamie Lidell [Bowery Ballroom]

4/21 The Undisputed Heavyweights, Cloud Cult [Arlene's Grocery]

4/17 Cloud Cult [Knitting Factory]

4/11 Art Brut, The Rogers Sisters [Southpaw]

4/10 Wolf Parade [Webster Hall]

4/9 Voxtrot, Irving [Mercury Lounge]

4/7 The Hold Steady [Warsaw]

4/5 Art Brut, Gil Mantera's Party Dream [Bowery Ballroom]

4/4 Art Brut, The Ponys [Bowery Ballroom]

4/1 Dream Theater [Radio City Music Hall]

3/31 Nine Black Alps [Bowery Ballroom]

3/30 Editors, The Big Sleep [Webster Hall]

3/28 Editors, stellastarr* [Warsaw]

3/22 The Go! Team [NorthSix]

3/21 Magnet [Living Room]

3/11 Belle & Sebastian, New Pornographers [Riverside Theater, Milwaukee]

3/8 The Wedding Present [Bowery]

3/2 Ted Leo/Rx [The Hook]

2/11 Gelsey Bell [Cafe Vivaldi]

2/10 Feist, Mates of State, Jason Collett [Webster]

2/9 Jason Collett [Mercury]

1/27 Broken Social Scene [Webster]

1/16 Nine Black Alps [Mercury]

1/14 Sufjan Stevens [Lincoln Center/Allen Room]

1/12 Tapes 'N Tapes, Sam Champion [Rothko]

1/11 Imogen Heap [Avalon]

3K2 theme by Hakan Aydin


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