Thursday, December 30, 2010

Quick Spins

Exit Calm
This is a band that we all must learn to embrace, why is this? Because with a debut like this, they are about to be everyone’s new favorite band andif you do not get a hold of them first you will be insanely jealous of your peers who were in on them before you. The band, which was our December Rising Artist, have a sound, as I have said before, that if the atmosphere had a soundtrack, it would be Exit Calm. A debut record that you must here from a band that you will love.

Beth Ditto feat. Simian Mobile Disco EP
Though the Gossip front woman and the British DJ’s and producers have teamed up before, this time it is a full on collaboration for Ditto on her first solo EP. It is exactly what you would expect from these two juggernauts of sound, a seductive, yet extreamly fun four song EP that you can move your ass to.

Duran DuranAll You Need is Now
Before I begin this review, I must start it by saying – THANK YOU MARK RONSON! The superstar DJ and producer got behind the decks of 80’s favorite new wave sons and made them sound as if Rio was not just an album that came out over 20 years ago and crafted Duran Duran’s finest record in two decades. The theory behind this album was, why shouldn’t Duran Duran sound like they did back in their heyday. All You Need is Now is exactly what the band and their fans needed. As interesting and as good as their 2007 Timbaland / Justin Timberlake produced effort, Red Carpet Massacre, may have been, it is nothing compared to this. What a ride back to 80’s and beyond. This maybe the record that puts Duran Duran back on top.

GlassjawOur Color Green EP
The mysterious Long Island post-core screamo band has been very cryptic about new material over the last eight years. The band’s last full release was 2002’s magnificent, Worship and Tribute, yet through the years, various EPs have shown up either on Itunes or 7” vinyl. Now, Our Color Green is a compilation of those songs that have been played in concert and been released over the years. It is a hint and prayer that more new material, hopefully in the form of a full length, will arrive sometime soon.

Gorillaz The Fall
The first album recorded solely on an iPad delivers. Damon Albarn and his animated band recorded this while on their North American tour this past fall, hence the title. Inspired by America and the road itself, The Fall is an interesting listen, especially given the medium in which it is recored but do not expect a typical Gorillaz record from it.

Tahiti 80The Past, The Present and The Possible
Though Phoenix, Daft Punk, Air and Ed Banger Records may have tossed France’s music scene on the indie map, the lads in Tahiti 80 have been cranking out tunes since the early 90’s and now they want your undivided attention. The band has been very popular in Europe through the years and now are looking to claim America as it may have fallen already to their comrades, it must be known that this band is no Phoenix rip-off, they are the real deal and this band is the originators of that funky-electro sound Phoenix has made so popular through the years. With The Past, The Present and The Possible, the stakes are high for these Franco’s and it will deliver.

Ghostface KillahApollo Kids
The ninth album from one of Wu Tang’s finest shows off his skills yet again as a master solo artist. The follow up to 2009’s Ghostdini, Apollo Kids picks up right where that and Wu Massacre left off. With moments of the vicious rap that have made Wu Tang so loved over the years and mixed with soul, Apollo Kids is a hip-hop record that fans of early 90’s rap have been waiting for.

Wheels on FireCherry Bomb
60’s garage rock meets 70’s funk and soul, Wheels on Fire deliver both in a stirred up funky and fun debut. Cherry Bomb explodes with classic rock sound for the modern era, this Ohio band is one that will gain attention from the kids in the indie scene and their parents as well.

La FemmeLe Podium#1 EP
A beautiful and well-crafted debut EP from France’s next breakout band. La Femme are a lo-fi surf rock band that incorporates psychedelic rhythms and seductive sounds. This band is going to ride high on France’s new wave of music and they fit into the category of surf rock bands we have come to love in 2010.

The Morning After Girls– Alone
After five years together as a band, Australia’s Morning After Girls are ready to make their grand entrance into America. Much like La Femme, the band incorporates lo-fi surf and psychedelic but swirls it into the perfect pop song. Worth a listen and worth investing time into, over age, this band will grow on you and you will not be able to stop listening.

KlaxonsLandmarks of Lunacy EP
After releasing this year’s praised, Surfing the Void, one of England’s modern favorites return with a free EP for fans of material that was scrapped early on from the Surfing the Void sessions. Landmarks of Lunacy is a psychedelic trip worth taking and it is a shame their label would not let them release this as an album prior to Void.

Corinne Baily RaeThe LOVE EP
One of music’s finest voices gives us a nice little soul EP to hold us over in between full albums. This five song EP gets a bit sappy but stills adds a bit of sweet measure due to Rae’s elligant and soothing voice.

The TweesThese Girls EP
This is a band we introduced you to at the end of the summer in a Rising Artist Exclusive. Now, after much hard work and touring Long Island via New York City garage – surf rockers, The Twees are releasing their latest EP, These Girls. These Girls is everything we have come to love about rock and roll through the years, it is fun and vibrant and something that can really get a party started. The Twees are a band that you should stop sleeping on and get into, they are one of New York’s most entertaining live shows and their EP explains why.

The Welsh bombshell returns to follow up her successful debut, Rockferry and finds great company working with her – none other than Albert Hammond Sr., yes, that is right kids Albert Hammond Jr of The Strokes dad is Duffy’s producer and songwriter partnert as well as electro producer Stuart Price. Endlessly is a solid effort but it lacks some of the enthusiasm that Rockferry had. It is worth a listen if you are a fan of her soulful yet scratchy voice.

Daft Punk Tron Legacy Soundtrack
After much wait and anticipation, the French duo come out of hiding for their first album in years and…well, it is a soundtrack. Less a Daft Punk record and more a movie score with a pulsating beat, the songs work well in the move but fail to stand on their own with the exception of “Derazzled.” For a Daft Punk fan, it is a must listen as for casual listeners, you can skip it.

Michael JacksonMichael
No surprise that music will be released posthumously from The King of Pop, however, the Jackson family and Sony music need to pay attention as to what they are delivering. This is a record of some overproduced material to compensate for lack of source material and in some cases under produced material just to rush it’s release for Christmas sales. This is not a Michael Jackson record, it maybe his voice and it maybe his friends on it, but this is not the imprint he would have given us.

Quick News

Could another Jay-Z / Chris Martin collaboration be on the way? According to HOV, the answer is yes! The hip-hop legend and the Coldplay frontman have teamed up in the past with the Jay-Z track "Beach Chair," off Jigga's 2006 album Kingdom Come (in fact, the name of that album was inspired by the Coldplay secret song "Till Kingdom Come" from X&Y) and of course on the "Lost +" remix from Coldplay's Prospekt's March EP. Now, Jay-Z tells BBC that ''He's [Martin's] a brother from another mother, I see him morethan my own brother. Actually, I do." He then went on to say about Martin, "[He's] one of the geniuses of our generation. Any time you can collaborate with that sort of genius, you jump at the chance, I don't care who you are." Jay-Z and Coldplay are co-heading a New Year's Eve bash in Vegas this weekend at the brand new Cosmopolitan Casino and Resort, maybe a track or two will come of it.

Queens of the Stone Age are set to enter the studio in January to work on the follow up to 2007's Era Vulgaris. Keyboardist Dean Fertita told Billboard "Everybody seems excited and ready to go. We've got so many ideas started already; I guess we'll see what turns out to be everybody's favorite."

Rare Instrumentals, demos and B-Sides from The Smiths surfaced online on a Morrissey fansite recently. The original vinyl bootleg, The Smiths - Unreleased Demos & Instrumentals, has been transferred to high quality mp3's. No word as to how old this vinyl bootleg was, but it seemed to have been made after the band split in 1987. Here is the link to grab the bootleg.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Bloc Party have given fans the biggest Christmas enigma in music history. The band, who have been on hiatus since the end of 2008, shared this photo on the band's twitter account @thisisblocparty on Christmas Day:

Could it mean a new tour? A new record? No one knows for sure and the band are not saying anything as of yet....we will keep you posted as soon as news filters in.

Mona on Jools Holland!

Take a look at the Best British Band in America, Nashville's Mona made their TV debut last month on BBC's Later...with Jools Holland. This band may very well take the reigns that Kings of Leon dropped off as one of the soon to be biggest bands in the UK before they crack big here. Take a look as the band plays "Lines in the Sand," "Teenager" and "Listen to Your Love."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

EXCLUSIVE! Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin INTV!

When you think Missouri, indie rock does not exactly become the first thing that comes to mind. However, Springfield's Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin are changing that. They are taking their catchy name, catchy sound and bringing it to the masses. The band has been together for almost 12 years and yet, in the past four they have really been making a name for themselves around the world and are now hometown hero's. The infectious rock the band plays has fans always going back for more. Just before the band head out for a European tour this December, we sat down and spoke with member Phil Dickey as we discussed the band's new record, Let it Sway, Missouri and if someone still really loves Mr. Yeltsin. Take a look at our interview below:

I am sure you get this all the time, but please tell us how the name of the band came about?

We came up with the band name when we were teenagers. I just seemed like a good idea to have a really long band name.

Where you fans of Yeltsin’s political strategies? Or enjoyed of the idea that communism is gone in Russia?

No, we're not fans of Boris Yeltsin. At the same time, I don't think any single leader could have handled Russia's transition and all the corruption. I like the idea of the Cold War being over, but that obviously didn't solve all our problems. I'm not doing a good job here. Next question, please.

How did sessions for Let it Sway turn out? Are you pleased with the result?

The sessions were really fun. We loved the cities we recorded in (Madison, Wisconsin and Portland,Oregon). It was like being on a vacation. We're really happy with the results. Sometimes I imagine being a little kid again and hearing the album. The production is so good that it's hard to believe it's us.

What is the feeling about releasing this record?

Relief! We're just so ready for people to hear it.

What was it like working with Chris Walla of Death Cab who produced the record?

It was like recording an album with a nice friend who knows way more about music and microphones than you.

What was your mindset like going into recording this new record? Did you feel like you had to change things up a bit?

Well, I had a few panic attacks before we recorded because I didn't think we were ready. But everything turned out fine. We actually had too many songs.

About changing things up: We wanted to try new things in the studio. We wanted to get different sounds that we couldn't get with our cheap recording equipment. We wanted the guitars to be louder and we wanted the mixes to be fuzzy and dirtier. So that's how we changed it up.

Being a band from Missouri, was it difficult getting noticed?

Not really. The internet really levels the playing field.

After being around for a few years, is Springfield still home or have you relocated elsewhere?

Yep, we're still here. I just bought a house in Springfield, so I'm here to stay.

Your success has been based on the cult like fan base that has centered around your live shows. How do you feel about this? What is it that you do live that has everyone’s head spinning?

It's nice. I mean we still have our insecurities about our live set. We're still trying to get better. If someone's head is spinning it's probably because they got drunk before our show.

BURNING QUESTION: Who still loves Boris Yeltsin?

Maybe his sister and his grandkids. I have no idea.

Another Look at 2010

The greatest thing about music is not only how it is the universal language, it is also how subjective it is. I posted the annual Top 10, Honorable Mentions & League of Their Own lists, yet as much as I loved those albums and believe they are what best defines the year, my staff of great writers have to disagree. Most came up with their own Top 10 and in some cases, Honorable Mentions. Take a look at some of my writers views on the best music of 2010!

To start things off we go to premiere NYC DJ and great friend, Rich D Smoov. Richie has gone to photograph Atoms for Peace, Atari Teenage Riot, Siren Fest and Lollapalooza. Take a look at his eclectic list:

1.Lloyd Miller and the Heliocentrics: OST
2.Arcade Fire:The Suburbs
3 MGMT : Congratulations
4. Flying Lotus : Cosmogramma
5. Girl Talk : All Day
6.Crystal Castles
7. Strong Arm Steady : In Search of Stoney Jackson
8. Dillinger Escape Plan : Opinion Paralysis
9. Gonjasufi : A Sufi and a Killer
10: Eminem : Recovery

honorable mentions:
1. Salem
2.Madlib - medicine show series
3.Wu Massacre
4.The Roots - How I got Over
5.Mulato Astake
7.Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot : The Legend of Chico Dusty
8.Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
9.Areil Pink- Haunted Graffiti
10. Ghostface Killah
11. Metal Swim comp
12.Codeine Velvet Club

The next list comes from contributing writer and editor of sports website, Take Over The Game, Jared Ziedman. As much of a sports buff Jared is, he is just as big of a music fan.

10. Beach House: Teen Dream
9. Gil Scott Heron: I’m new here
8. The Roots: How I Got Over
7. Menomena: Mines
6. Big Boi: Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
5. A Million Years: Mischief Maker
4. The Dig: Electric Toys
3. Jon Legend and The Roots: Wake Up!
2. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
1. Janelle Monae: Metropolis Suites II and III- The Archandroid

The next list comes from fellow blogger, manager of The Royal Chains and coordinator for Merrifield Records, Leah Marchesano. Leah has one of my favorite tastes in music and her list shows why.

1. Plastic Beach-Gorillaz
2. Surfing The Void-Klaxons
3. Teen Dream- Beach House
4. Brothers- The Black Keys
5. Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys- My Chemical Romance
6. Astro Coast- Surfer Blood
7. Take A Vacation!- The Young Veins
8. Congratulations- MGMT
9. Big Echo- The Morning Benders
10. The Age Of ADZ- Sufjan Stevens

This list comes from out main contributor and satirist Bill Reese. Bill has been with us since the beginning and his articles include the famed "101 Most Indisputable Rock Facts" and "From the Muddy Banks of the Gowanas: How Brooklyn in the new Seattle."

10. Vampire Weekend "Contra"
9. Spoon "Transference"
8. Kanye West "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy"
7. The Tallest Man on Earth "The Wild Hunt"
6. Sufjan Stevens "The Age of Adz"
5. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor
4. Dr. Dog "Shame Shame"
3. Broken Social Scene "Forgiveness Rock Record"
2. The National "High Violet"
1. The Minus 5 "Killingsworth"

This next list comes from all the way across the pond and directly from London, England. It is brought to us by Simon Mason, writer and editor for UK's Touching from a Distance Blog in The Spectator. Simon has a master ear and this shows why.

Gil Scott – Heron I’m Still Here
The Flaming Lips w/ The White Dwarves, Peaches & Henry Rollins – Dark Side of the Moon
Zola Jesus - Stridulum 11
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
Fools Gold
These New Puritans – Hidden
Caitlin Rose – Own Side Now
Dark Star – North
Matthew Dear – Black City
Holy Fuck – Latin
Afro-Beat Airways: West African Shock Waves 1972 – 1979
David Rodigan FABRLICLIVE 54
Roots Manuva meets Wrongtom – Duppy Writer

This next list is from a comedic gem and new contributor, Jessica Rionero. Jessica is a member of the Pink Axe comedy troop in NYC. Take a look at her list:

1. LCD Soundsystem - This is happening
2. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
3. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
4. Best Coast- Crazy For You
5. Crystal Castles- Crystal Castles
6. Sleigh Bells- Treats
7. Nicki Minja- Pink Friday
8. Kid Cudi- The Man On The Moon II: Legend of Mr. Rager
9. Interpol- Interpol
10. Vampire Weekend- Contra

The final list comes from our unofficial hip-hop writer, Ramone Pesante. Take a look at his list below:

1- Drake- Thank Me Later
2- The Roots- How I Got Over
3- Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
4- Gorillaz-Plastic Beach
5- Big Boi- Sir Lucious Left
6- The Black Keys - Brothers
7- Cee Lo Green - The Lady Killer
8- Eminem- Recovery
9- Trey Songz- Passion, Pain, & Pleasure
10- Usher- Raymond V Raymond

20 Best Gigs of 2010

This is a new list for the site and after much consideration and reflection, we feel it is only appropriate that we countdown what we feel were the 20 best gigs of the year. We attended a great amount, 47 gigs in total and three festivals (Lollapalooza, Siren Fest and Lilith Fair). In simple terms, we saw a lot this year and will do the same amount, if not more in 2011! So here they are, the 2o best gigs of 2011!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


On February 15 the brand new and much anticipated Bright Eyes record, The People's Key will be released. Take a look at the cover (above) to The People's Key and download the band's latest single, "Shell Games" here for FREE.

Quick News

To start things off, there is no better way than this - Blur are hinting they will be recording in 2011! Some annoymous source has told NME that "The lads will be getting into the studio early next year. There’s no concrete plans regarding what they will do with the material, but if they’re all agreed it could become the first full Blur album to feature all four members in over a decade." This could just be gossip however, Damon Albarn has hinted earlier this year that the band will do "something small" in the New Year, hopefully this is it.

Underworld are set to score Danny Boyle's West End production of Frankenstein. Boyle, who is directing the production has tipped his friends Underworld to record the score to the Mary Shelly adaptation. Underworld achieved massive success worldwide due to Boyle from their contributions to his films Trainspotting and Sunshine. Frankenstein is set to open in London's West End in the spring of 2011.

Henry Rollins has admitted that he produced a record for notorious cult leader and murderer Charles Manson in the 80's but was never completed. Rollins, who was living at SST record's in the 80's while fronting Black Flag told a crowd at an event this weekend for LA radio station KCRW that a lawyer representing Manson went to SST and needed a producer for an album of acoustic pop songs Manson wrote while in jail. Rollins worked on it but the album never surfaced. In a 2008 interview with NME Rollins revealed that he and the notorious criminal were pen-pals, he said "At the time I was very young and having him write me letters made me feel intense and heavy. I'd always know I'd have a letter in my PO Box from him because the woman behind the counter at the post office would give you this awful look. His letters would always have swastikas on them so they were easy to spot."

The Subways are poised for a big comeback after enlisting legendary Smiths and Blur producer Stephen Street to produce their third record. The album will be out sometime in 2011.

The Klaxons are giving away a FREE EP on Christmas! The EP, Landmarks of Lunacy are the songs that were scrapped from their initial Surfing the Void sessions.

The Beatles are icons and now so is Abbey Road. The famous zebra stripped cross walk used for the band's iconic cover is now a historical landmark stated by the British government.

Elbow have unleashed the track listing and title to their latest album. The band's fifth record, Build a Rocket Boys! will be out March 7. Take a look at the track listing below:
'Lippy Kids'
'The Birds'
'With Love'
'Neat Little Rows'
'Jesus Is A Rochdale Girl'
'The Night Will Always Win'
'High Ideals'
'The River'
'Open Arms'
'The Birds (Reprise)'
'Dear Friends'

The Futureheads Christmas!

Take a listen to The Futureheads new holiday track as they say "Christmas was better in the 80's."

Live Review - As Tall As Lions @ Highline

When a band that you love and have seen grow since the beginning decide to call it quits, it is almost as if you are witnessing a divorce from your favorite couple. It conquers up certain feelings and thoughts and the question “why are you doing this?” is the only thing in mind. Long Island band As Tall As Lions, who have made a name for themselves over the past eight years, are saying goodbye to their fans and friends after releasing three records and two E.P.’s. The band made their final bows last night to a sold out crowd at New York City’s Highline Ballroom, the final stop after a mini-farewell tour that started in LA and ended in the band’s backyard of New York City. As Tall As Lions are a band that I have seen evolve through the years, interviewed and met various times and have seen more times than one can imagine. They were a stellar band that mixed jazz, funk, rock, soul and ambient noise and fused it to perfection, think Bitches Brew – era Miles Davis recording with Radiohead but Jeff Buckley is on vocals instead of Thom Yorke, pretty wild and eclectic mix of sound. While most band’s that come from Long Island attempt to be the next Billy Joel or play a various style of the fading “screamo” sub-genre, As Tall As Lions stood above and beyond the band’s from their native island. In fact, they have been the best band to ever hail from Long Island and their live shows, records and work ethic proved that. Last night at Highline Ballroom, it was the perfect icing on the cake to display that they will hold that title for quite sometime.

Opening with the bombastic “Circles,” the lead track from what would be their last record, 2009’s You Can’t Take It With You, the pounding drums and rhythms set the tone and style as to what would come. Hardly speaking to the audience for the first hour of the gig, As Tall As Lions just let the music do the talking and crammed as much in for their near two hour set. Singer Daniel Nigro never sounded better, while bassist Julio Tavarez was just a monster full of soul and grooves on his bass while drummer Cliff Sarcona played his heart out on his kit, guitarist Saen Fitzgerald showed off that he is on the same level as those like Johnny Greenwood and Bernard Sumner for turning his axe into an effects machine. With the Lions two long time backing musicians Rob Parr and Duncan Tootill, the six men on stage we playing such beautiful music that the crowd would just loose themselves in the sound. With highlights that included “Milk and Honey,” “Stab City,” “Ghost of York,” “Sixes and Sevens,” “Maybe I’m Just Tired,” and the soft and beautiful “Duermete,” As Tall As Lions just seemed unstoppable and the gig felt less like a farewell but just a regular show, in fact each December the band has played a homecoming holiday gig and this seemed more like that.

As the first set ended and they arrived back for their first encore, the idea that this was just a regular gig quickly vanished as Nigro and Tavarez just thanked the crowd profusely for their support through the years. “This is all because of you, thank you, without you we would probably be bums or something, so thank you for this,” Tavarez said to the audience and it was then and there that the reality was setting in, this is going to be the last time they will see them. Yet, in typical Lions fashion, they could not go out quietly and broke into an old number from their 2004 debut, Lafcadio and a song that is hardly played live, the electric “Break Blossom.” After their small encore the band retreated to the wings but the audience would not take that as an ending, after a short wait, the Lions came back one final time to perform “Love Love Love (Love, Love),” a song that gained them much attention in 2006 and landed them on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2007. As the ballad came to a close, that was it, the case was closed on As Tall As Lions, the band took their final bows to thunderous applause and acclaim and leave behind a legacy unmatched for where they come from.

While Dan Nigro, who has just moved to California, has already started his new musical project – Blocks and the remaining members of ATAL including Parr and Toothill have formed the experimental instrumental outfit – Kilamanjaro, they have shown that they will have a long and successful musical career in front of them. Should they decide to ever play again, we as their fans will be there, yet until that moment, all we can do is remember and thank them for some of the most beautiful and touching music we will ever come to hear.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Boston has always been a city of punks, historically it will even show that those that founded the city were rebelling against a system of unjust causes. Therefore it is no surprise that some of the best punk bands have been birthed in Beantown. Street Dogs are one of those bands, founded in 2002 by former Dropkick Murphy's singer and Boston Firefighter Mike McColgan, Street Dogs have been cranking out loud, fast and furious punk for nearly a decade. This past fall the band released their self-titled fifth record and have been working non-stop to get it to the masses. The band's road dog DIY - punk ethic has been a strong foundation for them and their fans. As the band's tour calmed down a bit, I had the opportunity to speak with founding member and singer, Mike McColgan as we discussed the band's new record, the city of Boston, Firefighting and his former band - Dropkick Murphy's. Take a look at my interview with Mike below.

Your latest record is your fifth full length in eight years and it is a monster of an album. What was it like recording this album?

Recording this album was different than any other before it. Usually there are freak outs,punch ups or band members going on benders but this time we recorded in Fort Collins,CO at the famed Blasting Room and things went smooth. I love Fort Collins and I love the Blasting Room and Dazbog coffee!

You opted to self-title the record, is this a declaration as to who Street Dogs are as a band and musicians?

I think we self titled our record because we did want to declare this is who we are and we believe this to be our best. All five band members feel this record is our best and that has never happened before. Getting our five guys to agree on anything is virtually impossible. So we knew something great was afoot with this record.

How does this record compare and contrast to previous albums?

I feel like our previous efforts all had an overriding concept or theme where this new and self titled record is us keeping it raw, simple and well rounded. This is us firing on all cylinders.

This is your biggest record to date, in both number of songs and sound. Going in, did you want this album to be so large?

Going in we didn't anticipate making an 18 song record. We just tracked more songs than ever before in the studio and got bold and said lets give people there money's worth and load it up.

Being the former singer for Dropkick Murphy’s and hailing from Boston, does the city still play an important role in your music and in Street Dogs?

Yes this city of Boston is still the official home of the Street Dogs even though the lot of us have moved away from her. We started our group there. We made our first two records there and I was born and raised there. Our music bleeds Boston and always will.

In 1998 you left Dropkick Murphy’s to become a member of Boston’s bravest. Yet still went back to music and formed Street Dogs. Do you still do volunteer work for BFD when you get a chance?

No I don't do volunteer firefighting with BFD as it is a full time fire department. When I left the job in 2004 it was to take Street Dogs to the world and have it be a one hundred percent endeavor and in that we have suceeded ten fold.

How would you describe punk rock today?

I would describe punk rock today in two categories. The first category is bigger punk bands with a record label with traditional release, touring etc and the second is underground upstart bands who are playing in basements, backyards and garages. It is above ground and underground and it will never fucking die. I also think punk takes pride in being the bastard child of music genres as well.

In 2008 you signed with Hellcat records and that relationship seems to be going very strong. How has the label been to you through the years and will this be your home?

The label has been great to us and one hundred percent supportive. It is our home and we do not want to go anywhere else.

One of my favorite things about the band and you has always been activism. You are a proud and outspoken member of Oxfam America. Why is this charity so important to you?

Oxfam is important because it assists the impoverished and empowers them as well. They feed the hungry and then show the hungry and poor how to fend for themselves. They assist with natural disaster aid and with emergency management aid as well. Basically Oxfam is about helping others and that appeals to me.

In relation to the last question, do you think it is an important part of you job as a singer, vocalist and songwriter to draw attention to certain issues?

It isn't formally my job to draw attention to charity relief agencies or my political dispositions. People can take it or leave it and that applies to whatever we say and do.

How do you feel about our current state of our union?

I feel like we need to once again manufacture things in America and create more middle class jobs. We need to address the widening wealth disparity between the top, the middle and the bottom and we need to forcefully root out the greedy bastards on wall street who wrecked our country with ponzie schemes and inside trading. I am not feeling too positive about our union these days and I am not alone.

What is next for Street Dogs?

What is next for The Street Dogs? This is what is next for SD. We will tour relentlessly and slam our songs into the barricade and the circle pit when we play live. Nuff ced....

Robert Plant on Fallon!

The voice of Led Zeppelin, Mr. Robert Plant brought his Band of Joy to Jimmy Fallon this week, take a look at Plant does what he does best...Make everyone wish they were him.

Florence & The Machine Full Letterman Set!

Florence and the Machine came to Ed Sullivan Theater this week and gave Letterman's audience a nice Christmas treat...a FULL concert. Take a look at the 45 minute set!

Quick News

Could it be? Brand New RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE in 2011?! In a recent interview with South America's La Tercera RATM front man Zach De La Rocha says that the band will play a four hour concert in Chile with some new songs. Zach also hinted that a new RATM album could be out by the summer, which will mark the first new material from Rage in 12 years and the first new material since their 2007 reunion.

Libertines and Babyshambles singer and guitarist and former Kate Moss flame, Pete Doherty is set to make his acting debut in Charlotte Gainsbourg's latest French film, Confession d'un Enfant du Siècle. The film will be released sometime next year.

Chapel Club have shown off what the cover of their debut, Palace will look like. Take a look:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Joanna Newson on Letterman

Joanna Newsom and a hell of a harp, came to Letterman and took the crowd by storm. Take a look!

Quick News

Chris Martin has come out and given some info on the new Coldplay record (finally). The follow-up to 2008's mega successful Viva La Vida or Death and All of His Friends still does not have a title or release date but Martin tells BBC "a concept album but it's supposed to be very personal within a big framework." He then added, "It's from the point of view of two people who are a bit lost. Two like-minded outsiders who meet in a very difficult environment and therefore have a journey together." Like Viva La Vida, the album is being produced by Brian Eno and the band are working at their London studio - The Bakery.

File Under - Fuck Yes! - Pearl Jam are to host their very own festival next summer! The band's long time manager Kelly Curtis told SiriusXM radio that the festival will take place "somewhere in the middle of the U.S." No further details have been given at press time.

Gossip front woman Beth Ditto and British electro icons Simian Mobile Disco are releasing an EP together. Simian Mobile Disco are producing and working on the music to Ditto's solo EP which will be released in January.

As reported before, Gorillaz are releasing a FREE ALBUM on CHRISTMAS DAY! The animated band have released the title of the record, The Fall and it is the first album to be recorded completely on an iPad.

Beck is producing Sonic Youth front man Thurston Moore's latest solo album, Benediction. Speaking to Philadelphia Weekly, Moore says the album was "recorded in Southern California at Beck's home studio." The album is due sometime next year.

After not speaking much to the press after founding member and drummer Caroline McKay's departure earlier this year, Glasvegas front man James Allen spoke to NME about the band's new line-up and Caroline leaving. He says "It was probably me saying, 'Hit this drum, hit that drum. Doing a demo, getting gigs, doing a demo, doing another demo then a record in New York then it's playing at Wembley with U2, Glastonbury… she never asked for any of that. Everybody's cool with each other. Caroline could have stayed and taken the money but she left." After Caroline left, James' cousin and Glasvegas bassist Rab Allen suggested that the band get another female drummer. The band has recruited Swedish drummer Jonna Löfgren and have finished recording their sophomore release. The album is expected to come out in the first half of 2011 and was produced by Flood in London and LA.

Trent Reznor has been nominated for a Golden Globe for his work scoring The Social Network. Congrats to Trent and Atticus Ross on their nom!

Broken Bells on Conan

Broken Bells hit up Conan this week to perform "The Ghost Inside," take a look!

Robyn at Nobel Peace Prize Concert

Just one more way for Robyn to plot her well deserved global domination. Over the weekend, the Swedish pop sensation performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert. Take a look as she does "Jag vet en dejlig rosa," "Dancing on my Own," and "Indestructible."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

2010 The Albums - Top 10

What a year for music in 2010! An abundance of sound and styles from all genres flourished across the board. One of the more interesting years of music with so many great records arriving, picking a Top 10 list, Honorable Mention List and League of Their Own was difficult and probably the most difficult it has been in a while. Yet, after much contemplating and discussion, here is our list of Top 10 Albums of 2010. This list is truly a display that music is our universal language, with albums hailing from America, England, Canada, Sweden and Iceland. There is something for everyone here and if there are albums you have not heard, we suggest taking a listen.

In Short Form:

10 - The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever
9 - Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More
8 - The Roots - How I Got Over
7 - Gaslight Anthem - American Slang
6 - Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
5 - Robyn - Body Talk
4 - The National - High Violet
3 - Jonsi - Go
2 - Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
1 - Portugal. The Man - American Ghetto

Now in Long Form:

10 - The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever

The best band to come from New York City since The Ramones goes a bit soft and much more romantic on their fifth album. Heaven is Whenever is an intimate portrait of a band coping with fame and rock stardom and still trying to be guys from the neighborhood. Though it is not filled with the rock anthems they are known for and take more of a ballad approach that does not mean it should be discounted or over looked. Craig Finn is still a master lyricist and his fingerprints are all over these songs.

Key Tracks: The Weekenders, We Can Get Together

9 - Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More

If the Appalachian Trail had a soundtrack it would be Mumford and Sons stunning debut. Released last year independently by the band in their native England, Sigh No More finally was brought to the masses earlier this year and has taken listeners by storm. A highlight of the year at Lollapalooza was seeing the band play to their largest crowd and seeing people walk away hysterically crying and full of emotion, it was a beautiful display of the power of music. This is a must listen and a must own.

Key Tracks: Sigh No More, Thistle and Weeds

8 - The Roots - How I Got Over

The hardest working band in music released two great records this year, one being a collection of soul covers of the 50's through 70's with John Legend and How I Got Over, the finest Roots album from since 2004's The Tipping Point. This is classic Roots and a record that really reflects our modern age and society, an album we will look back on in years to come for a time capsule to the age we live in.

Key Tracks - Dear God 2.0 (feat. Monsters of Folk), Right on (feat. Joanna Newsom)

7 - Gaslight Anthem - American Slang

New Jersey's new favorite sons return after the massive success of their 2008 sophomore breakthrough, The '59 Sound and bring a new found sense of maturity to their music. A polished effort and like The Hold Steady's Heaven is Whenever, it maybe a not so anthematic rock sound, but still packs a punch. Brian Fallon is quickly becoming one of rock and rolls great songwriters and his passion for punk and folk explodes on American Slang.

Key Tracks: Queen of Lower Chelsea, Orphans

6 - Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Canada's favorite exports and the benchmark of indie music gave us their much anticipated third album this year. Arcade Fire's The Suburbs is an introspective look at growing up in Suburbia and wanting more, yet returning to your roots maybe the only thing that is good for you. It is an ambitious album full of various styles and sounds and proves that are one of the most interesting acts on the planet (as well as one of the best live acts). Funeral gave them a name, Neon Bible gave them a new dialogue but its The Suburbs that will make Arcade Fire much more glorified than they already are. Just look at this years Grammy nominations.

Key Tracks: City with No Children, Sprawl II (Mountains Behind Mountains)

5 - Robyn - Body Talk

It has been said before by us and it will be said again, every other pop act right now needs to sit down and reevaluate themselves and bow down to Robyn. The NEW Queen of pop has crafted the greatest record from that genre since Madonna's Ray of Light. Sweden's princess has been making music since the 90's and in this new millennium she has found her own footing and Body Talk she finds her voice. Body Talk is a lesson in dance music and packs a punch with production by Diplo, Royksaap and guest appearances by Snoop Dogg, Robyn is not messing around and Body Talk is proof that she is poised to take over the world.

Key Tracks: Dancing on my Own, Call Your Girlfriend

4 - The National - High Violet

Moody Brooklyn rockers polish up their sound and style and bring forth one of their greatest achievements. The fifth album from The National sounds like a progress in therapy than in does in music, but for this acclaimed band it is what has finally gotten more eyes and ears on them. Driven by pounding drums and static guitars and Matt Berninger's baritone vocals, High Violet is The National at their best.

Key Tracks: Bloodbuzz Ohio, England

3 - Jonsi - Go

The solo debut from Sigur Ros' singer, Jonsi is not just stunning it is awe inspiring. A concept record that parallels nature and friendship. An interesting idea but so well done, it is beautiful, stunning and simply captivating. With the record mostly in English, he still sings in his native Icelandic language and manages to hit every octave range in the process. This is a record that is simply bursting with musical creativity. Jonsi proves that no matter what he does in the music world it is simply pure and genius.

Key Tracks: Go Do, Kolnidor

2 - Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

The most anticipated album of the year delivers in big ways. Kanye West has given the world his musical masterpiece and hip-hop a new direction to go in. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is as beautiful as it haunting in a lush piece of music that transcends genres and style. It is an intimate portrait of a conflicted artist trying to prove his worth to the world. While he has already done so in four other albums of solo material, all of the things Kanye has done off the mic have made him a publicist’s worst nightmare. Dark Twisted Fantasy exposes his duality as Kanye the rapper and West the person and his way to cope with both. Can he be a good person or a better one while being one of the greatest rappers of all time in a genre that is all about what you got and not who you are? This maybe verbal therapy for the rapper, but he is getting to where he needs to be as a person. In the meantime, what he has proven is that he cannot make a bad record.

Key Tracks: Power, Lost in the World (feat. Bon Iver)

1 - Portugal. The Man - American Ghetto

This is an album that is going to shock people, not just in how it is presented but the fact that it is indeed the best album of the year is as surprising because, there are still many who have no idea who Portugal. The Man are. The only band to ever appear on our Top 10 two years in a row, says something and as they contiue to prove and show who they are, American Ghetto is a reason to get started on what they are. What an achievement, just less than a year after releasing Satanic Satanist, Wasilla via Portland art rockers delivered their best album to date. American Ghetto is a record that shows why they sell out every show, gain more fans with each song and prove that if you are not listening to these guys…well, you are seriously missing something pretty incredible. This is psychedelic art rock at its finest and a record not to be missed!

Key Tracks: The Dead Dog, Just a Fool

This is how we listened to the music world this year, now in the new year we begin our lists for 2011.

Take a look at the other lists we had for 2011 -

2010 The Year Surf Rock Swelled

When trends seem to come on in this day and age, they seem to come fast and intense and then wither away, especially musical trends. One of those trends has been the rapid growing genre of surf rock. Not the surf rock that your parents and grandparents are accustomed to. This is not The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, The Surfaries or Dick Dale and His Deltones, this is surf rock done indie style. Just like the classic acts they are inspired by the summer and everything that makes for fun in the sun. However, the surf rock bands of today go a bit deeper and show more emotion. They take that vibe of the classic acts and mix it with inspiration from bands like The Smiths, Stone Roses, Weezer and The Strokes.

Where and when did this neo style originate? Or resurrect itself in this new way? Though, no one really knows for sure, one can say it could be due to the massive success Vampire Weekend received after their 2008 debut. Vampire Weekend came in and brought in a new style of preppy rock, singing about Cape Cod in the summertime. Since then, an abundance of bands have come through bending the style and entering the door that Vampire Weekend opened. Though the bands may not sound like Vampire Weekend, they certainly carry the same vibe. Bands such as The Drums, Surfer Blood, Wavves, Best Coast, Soft Pack, The Postelles and Tennis to name a few. The genre has even spread across the Atlantic and into the UK with bands like Male Bonding, The Vaccines, The Heartbreaks, Doll and the Kicks and even in France with rising lo-fi surf rockers Le Femme.

For some of these bands it all has to be location that inspires them. Singer Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend would spend his summers in Cape Cod as a kid, Surfer Blood hail from Florida, The Drums originated in Florida and are now based in Brooklyn. Bands like Best Coast, Wavves and The Soft Pack are from California, yet Soft Pack guitarist Matty McLoughlin would never admit to it, as he told me about being inspired by California “I guess it has by living there. We are not really conscious of it though.” The husband and wife duo of Tennis lived on a boat for almost a year and were inspired by their journey.

For the UK bands, Male Bonding live in Dalton “near the canal and we hang out there on the tow path under the bridges. John [Webb] sleeps there sometimes for inspiration and to feel real” as singer Kevin Hendrick told me when I spoke to them earlier this year. Doll and The Kicks hail from a vacation town Brighton, England. As they say, write what you know and for these bands, seaside towns and fun in the sun maybe it. It is the case with The Heartbreaks, who hail from the small town of Morecambe just outside Manchester, England. Drummer Joseph Kondras told me “We love Morecambe; it's beautiful, it's hilarious and it's heartbreaking. There is an unbeatable sadness to old English seaside towns, it's there in our music. People say it's a dead end town, my views vary on the place depending on what mood I'm in. It's not an especially hard place to grow up, more frustrating, especially being who we are. There were few people in Morecambe with the same passions as us, we felt isolated but from that isolation came The Heartbreaks.” Yet, what explains for the bands that do not come from seaside towns? The Vaccines are from dark London, The Postelles are from New York City and after all The Drums relocated to New York. For some it is just simple influence, David Dargah of The Postelles said to me in 2009 “I think our sound comes as a result of the music all the band members really love. We don't really try to specifically write songs to sound retro it just happens naturally. We love the Motown era of music as well as NYC Rock like The Velvet Underground and Ramones.”

With fuzzy guitars, intimate lyrics and raucous live shows, these new surf rockers are riding the wave of indie success, but are not taking it too seriously. What Kevin Hendrick says “To be honest I think those bands vary in styles way too much to be tied to one particular movement, and this is a good thing.” The same goes for Drums guitarist Jacob Graham “Maybe people feel restricted by all the conveniences of the modern world. I know I sure do. I think the trend is almost over though” as he told me. Whether the trend is almost over or not, one thing is for sure and that is the genre will not die, as we have seen in the past, someone has to be inspired by this and will bring it back.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sir Paul McCartney on Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon our hats are off to you, after Springsteen's appearance last month you topped yourself with Macca. Take a look at Sir Paul for the first time ever, plays the original version of "Yesterday," which was entitled "Scrambled Eggs" and gives a touching tribute to his late friend John Lennon.

Quick News

Sad news to report, the legendary Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin has been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. The singer, who was supposed to tour this winter in North America, canceled her shows to undergo an undisclosed operation. It has now been revealed she was being treated for the disease. Our thoughts are with Aretha.

This is a supergroup for the post-Britpop ages! Carl Barat of The Libertines, Matt Helders of Arctic Monkeys, Drew McConnell of Babyshambles and Gruff Rhys of Super Fury Animals are recording and releasing an album under the name - The Battletop Band. The band's debut, Dream Service is set for an April release.

Former Joy Division and New Order drummer Stephen Morris has hinted about a possible New Order reunion in the future. Speaking at London's Rough Trade Shops this week to promote the brand new Joy Division box set, +/-, Morris explained "New Order Could Play Again, it would bring a lot of joy a lot of people."

Thrashing and bashing British hardcore punks Throats are calling it quits, but really a "fuck off." After a four years together, the band announced via their website "We have decided to call it a day. We are thinking about a last show but it's not 100 per cent certain yet. Some leftover merch will be going cheap on the big cartel in a few days. Goodbye."

Crystal Castles on Kimmel

The crazy and insane Crystal Castles hit up Jimmy Kimmel Live this week to perform "Baptism," take a look!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

30 Years Later, He Still Shines On...

30 years ago Mark David Chapman may have silenced a man, but he could never silence an icon....

Bjork Pays Tribute to Alexander McQueen

Iconic Fashion Designer Alexander McQueen took his own life earlier this year. To remember the icon and his work, his friends, Bjork and Nick Knight have released this video for "To Lee, With Love, Nick."

Quick News

Merry Christmas from GORILLAZ! The band has posted an Advent Calender on their website giving away cool things to fans each day like screen savers, photos, videos and all that fun stuff. However, artist Jamie Hewlett just spilled the beans that the band's latest album will be given for FREE on Christmas Day. This is the record that Hewlett and Damon Albarn recorded solely on an Ipad. This is the first album ever to be done on this format. Thank you Gorillaz for topping off an amazing year with a great gift! We just named Gorillaz Plastic Beach as the recipient of the 2010 League of Their Own Album, take a look HERE.

On Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem's blog, the band will be heading into the studio at the top of the year to already begin working on the follow up to this years American Slang.

Eddie Argos of Art Brut announced the title of the band's latest album via Twitter, the album is called Wam! Bang! Pow! No word as to when it will be out, be we assume next year. We spoke to Eddie earlier this year, take a look at our interview HERE.

Kim Thayil of Soundgarden spoke to Canadian radio station CFNY-FM last week and say that Soundgarden could possibly release a new record soon. Thayil says, "When we get together to rehearse it's natural for us... to start jamming and inventing. We've come up with instrumental, and certainly on occasion, lyrical ideas. I'm not confirming anything, but it's impossible for us to get in a room and not come up with ideas." The band headlined Lollapalooza this past summer to a loud and stunning performance. Take a look at our review HERE.

Peter Bjorn and John will release the follow up to last years Living Things on March 29. No word as to what the title will be.

Mike Skinner aka The Streets will release his final album, Computers and Blues early next year. Take a look at the cover below:


It is hard to believe that after 30 years as a band Social Distortion have never been on TV. Yeah, that is right, Mike Ness and the legendary SoCal punkers have NEVER EVER been on TV...until now. Jimmy Kimmel gracefully welcomed the punk legends with open arms as they played their latest "Machine Gun Blues," off their forthcoming album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes as well as the Social D classic, "Story of My Life." Take a look!

Beady Eye Cover & Track Listing

Beady Eye are set to release their debut, with the ultra cleaver title of Different Gear, Still Speeding on February 28. The former Oasis members recorded the record with famed producer Steve Lillywhite in London. Take a look at the track listing below,

1.'Four Letter Word'
2. 'Millionaire'
3. 'The Roller'
4. 'Beatles and Stones'
5. 'Wind Up Dream'
6. 'Bring the Light'
7. 'For Anyone'
8. 'Kill for a Dream'
9. 'Standing on the Edge of the Noise'
10. 'Wigwam'
11. 'Three Ring Circus'
12. 'The Beat Goes on'
13. 'The Morning Son'

Ra Ra Riot on Letterman

Ra Ra Riot hit up Letterman last night to play "Boy," take a look!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


December 6, 1969 will be a date that live on in Rock and Roll infamy. It is the day that the Rolling Stones put on a free concert outside San Fransico at the Altamont Speedway. What was supposed to be the "Woodstock of the West," turned into a full out nightmare between concert goers and festival bodyguards - The Hell's Angels. After a day of heavy drug use from fans and many conflicts between the Angles and spectators through the day, The Stones took the stage and what would happen would change the music world and concert world forever. A fan, by the name of Meredith Hunter had a gun and charged the stage, while the Hell's Angles subdued him, they also stabbed him to death. Hunter's death became a turning point for not just the industry but for the Stones in America. The blame game was played that the Stones incited the riot, it was the Hell's Angels that acted on it because Hunter was black, even rumors that local government gave bad acid to spectators so they would act crazy surfaced. What ever happened, the whole story is documented to every last detail from one of the organizers, the Rolling Stones former tour manager, Sam Cutler. Culter's autobiography "You Can't Always Get What You Want," is about Cutler growing up in England after the war, discovering rock and roll, befriending people like Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Jimi Hendrix and becoming the tour manager for The Rolling Stones on their first major tour of the US and dealing with the problems before, during and after Altamont and eventually linking up and working with The Greatful Dead. Nearly 40 years after Altamont, the tragedy of that free concert echo's through festivals today and forever. In our exclusive interview with Sam Cutler, we discuss the happenings in his book.

Why after all these years did you decide to write the book and tell your story?
It seemed like the right time to 're-visit' the sixties and tell the truth.

Do you feel your book help bring closure to an important era in your life?

Closure ??? I don't think there will EVER be closure as such, it's just something that had to be addressed so that "the historical record" is corrected.

What was it like recounting all of these story’s for “You Can’t Always Get What You Want?”

I enjoy being a writer so it was fun

At any point when you first started off working with the Stones did you realize “I can’t believe this is my gig!?”

It was always a "dream come true" even when it got to be a nightmare

When you were starting off in London, you became friends with various people, one of them was Syd Barrett. What was it like knowing Syd and the guys in Floyd?

Syd was a dreamy kind of guy who wafer around in his own space so it was difficult to know him in a conventional sense - mind you in the 60's in London no-one knew anyone in a conventional sense !!!

Once you linked up with the Stones, you arrived in US and things got interesting. What was America like in the late 60’s for a group of British musicians and crew coming here to work and perform?

ALL the British bands wanted to "conquer" America with their music so it was exhilarating to be there

Many people had their hands in what the Stones were doing, did anyone, aside from yourself, question why so many people wanted involvement in handling The Rolling Stones?

Not that I know of!

All of your work in America calumniated with Altamont. Did you ever expect one day would change your life completely?

Altamont didn't change my life completely - though it did have a certain kind of an effect. It got me into working with the Grateful Dead and for that it was a real blessing. It also gave me nightmares for a while !!!!

You give such an open and flawless eyewitness account of the event of that tragic day. Was it painful to revisit it?

It wasn't 'pleasant' to remember the events of that day but it was necessary.

Could the finger ever be pointed at anyone for that day or was it just too big of a project and situation to pass blame?

The blame game is a dumb game

How often do you think of Meredith Hunter?

Every time I drink a cup of Hemlock !!!!!! Truth? Very rarely - he was a dumb victim of black speed and guns culture in the late 60's

After Altamont The Stones left you in the US and pretty much left you with nothing and yet you do not blame them nor ridicule them in the book. Why?

Why???? The Rolling Stones are the Rolling Stones, that's who they ARE! Why should I criticize them? What possible benefit would come from THAT ?

Once stranded in the US after Atlamont, you linked up with Grateful Dead. It seems as if in some ways you had to look over the Dead as a parental figure rather than a manger, whereas for The Stones it was just keep them happy and let them do their thing and they will be fine. How different was it between the two acts?

The GD were cooperative, the Rolling Stones were competitive - the difference between sharks and dolphins

BURNING QUESTION: Which was the better live act – Dead or Stones?

Neither one of them were "acts" - an act is a seal balancing a balloon on its nose !!!!!

You met some great people along the way that helped changed music forever that are no longer with us. From Syd Barret, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones and others, how did their deaths impact your life? Was it ever a point after they passed when you felt that you had to kick drugs yourself?

Their deaths made me feel VERY sad, BUT I have always looked forward and NOT back so I don’t dwell on such things

When you were working alongside these great bands and befriending them, did you ever realize their importance then or would it be years later you would understand their significance?

No - I just did the work that was in front of my nose without a thought for its long-term significance

When you look back on your life, do you ever stop and think what an incredible experience you had doing what you loved?

When I look back on my life it amazes me that's why I write about it, in order to better understand it and to come to terms with it.

2010 The Albums - League of Their Own

This is probably our favorite superlative to give out at the end of each year. It is given to the artist who is the most forward thinking, open minded, revolutionary musician out there today. Their accomplishments in the past 12 months have either resurrected a sound, broke down walls and created new frontiers or have totally reinvented a genre all together. In the past winners have included:

2000- Radiohead - Kid A
2001- The Strokes - Is This It?
2002- NERD - In Search of...
2003- The White Stripes - Elephant
2004- The Killers - Hot Fuss
2005- The Mars Volta - Francis the Mute
2006- TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
2007- Kanye West - Graduation
2008- Santogold
2009 - Mastodon - Crack the Skye

....and now to add to the growing list of revolutionary acts, is a band who has bent the rules before and continues to bend them without breaking. A supergroup of sorts but in no means a gimmick, they happen to be the world's first animated band and even after being around for nearly a decade, they are still the world's only animated band. With their latest effort they have taken us on a musical odyssey to a world called, Plastic Beach. The recipient of the 2010 League of Their Own is:

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

A record that not only takes the listener on a journey but knows how to have fun in the process. Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett recruited some of the best in the business to guest on their latest, a slew of stars from all genres: The Fall's Mark E Smith, The Clash's Paul Siminon and Mick Jones, Bobby Womack, Snoop Dog, Mos Def, Lou Reed, Little Dragon and more. A beautifully crafted record of various styles, sounds and culture. This is by far the greatest achievement Gorillaz have ever done. Not to mention backed by a mind-blowing World Tour, Gorillaz owned 2010 and we are forever indebted to them for it.
Key Tracks: Empire Ants (feat. Little Dragon), Cloud of Unknowing (feat. Bobby Womack)