Top 5 Albums of 2018

5) Beach House – 7

Beach House has really grown into the sound over the years. Earlier albums seem to lack identity – filtering in and out of dream pop and psychedelia. This album is the perfect mix of both but added in a haunting feel to it. The key to the entire record is the added deep percussion. It’s really just about a band that has hit their groove at an exact time. This is also a masterfully edited album. It isn’t often where you’ll notice the sounds working perfectly together that are not always a standard instrument. The deep heavy keyboards create the haunting sound that perfectly sets the mood of “7”.  Top song of this record is “Black Car”.

 

4) Ryley Walker – Deafman Glance

This dude can pump out music. With a mix of acid jazz, rock, and a Cornell style voice. It’s a weird mix but works extremely well on this record. Walker seems to be some type of musical madman with the types of sounds he makes. Not afraid to test the boundaries of any type of instrument. There is flute, saxophone, tall bass, and recorder on top of the standard drums and guitar. It’s poetry in motion as his voice finds the niche of the sound. When asked to describe his sound I can’t do it. It doesn’t sound like anything I’ve heard. There are points where I feel like I’m in a car chase and then others where I’m having a hot chocolate around a campfire. This is the draw of Ryley Walker. The top song on the album is “Telluride Speed”. (couldn’t find a good live feed of this tune – this concert is solid though)

 

3) Kurt Vile – Bottle It In

My boy has done it again. This album took a solid 5 or 6 listens before I really got into it. It’s really a mashup between his previous two albums with a bit of Courtney Barnett mixed in there. At the end of the day, Vile is trying to get you to have the feel of a long hair dude wearing a leather jacket with headphones in, head bobbing in a downtown area. The entire record has a coolness to it. It never really steps on the gas at any point, but you feel accomplished once through it. Of course, Vile’s guitar skills are on center stage as always. His sound comes so naturally out of him that would be impossible for another artist to attempt it. The top song on the record is “Check Baby”.

 

2) Wild Pink – Yolk In The Fur

Opened up Pitchfork on a random day in June and read a review on this album. Seemed to be right up my alley in regards to sound. Slow burn rock with an unassuming lead singer that had a bit of a Built to Spill vibe. One of the best parts of this record is how it flows from one song into another. In the days of Spotify, this is a rarity. This is supposed to be listened to from start to finish. Wild Pink does a phenomenal job of taking you to one part of your senses and then turning on a dime to another part. Soft vocals with a mild guitar straight to a solo. This is a bit of a throwback album to the early 2000s. They have minimal use of keyboards and mixers. This is an album that tells a rock story. Soft Grandaddy to hard Built to Spill. It mixes everything in. “The Séance on St. Augustine St.” is the tune to check out.

1) Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo

I’m sure you’ve heard me speak about this band. One of the coolest fu**ing bands that I’ve seen/heard over the past decade. The guitarist is a wonderfully talented musician – one of the best currently. Underrated is the supporting instruments. The drums and bass all revolve around the lead guitar. Creating a nest to support any unique sound that comes out of his mind. From top to bottom this album will make you feel fantastic. It’s meant to be thrown on while sitting on the dock at the water of your cottage. It’s nearly impossible to not be in a good mood or be put at ease when Khruangbin has been thrown onto the stereo. This record has been on my heavy rotation for the entire year. Best album of the year with a bullet. Song to check out is “Maria Tambien”.

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Spirit of the West Bobbleheads Available Out-West

Went to something extremely unique last night.  The National, Hayden, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), and members from the Arkells played in a local church in Hamilton.  All proceeds went to helping Syrian refugees.  Not only was it one of the most intimate shows, but extremely emotional.  Hayden playing an acoustic version of Ahead by a Century almost brought the house down.  Seeing a big band in a small venue is the reason that you see live music.

Radiohead – Moon Shaped Pool – 8.9/10

Any music lover knows that Radiohead is adored by the masses in the indie rock world.  But, I put it similarly to Wes Anderson.  When you knock every single God damn thing that you do out of the park you should be worshipped by everybody that’s cool.

There is only one job that I am capable of handling while wearing a construction outfit – sign twirler.  Unless you count that summer that I want on tour with a YMCA tribute band.  That was rough times.  Playing retirement homes for Swedish mints, and candy that is all stuck together.

Blue Jays are playing some great baseball right now.  Anybody want to still sign Price instead of Happ and Estrada for 5 million dollars more a season, and for 4 more years?  Bueller, Bueller, White, Antholopous.

Bobblehead day at the Jays game was nearly disastrous.  Showed up at around the 10am time frame.  Waited in line for about an hour to receive the bobblehead.  Take it out of the packaging to take a picture with it (just want to make sure that everybody knows all of the awesome things that I am doing 24/7.  Even sleeping soundly I set up my phone to take a picture when I am in my deepest of sleep.  Look how awesome I am sleeping is the hashtag) Bautista and company fall to the floor and smash in 4 separate pieces.  I react very slowly.  Then Sara comes up with a brilliant plan.  It came out of the packaging like that.  As I tell the staff person my story, she gives me the “I know what you did” look and hands me another bobblehead.

Pet peeve #29.  Going through the drive-thru with somebody to grab breakfast, and they don’t know what they want to drink by the time the microphone person speaks up.  Drive-thru isn’t the himming and hawing area.  Go stand with Gord and Rose to talk about the shrubs inside of the restaurant if you are going to pull this nonsense.

The Path is a decent show.  It stars Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad and is about a cult.  Starts great, then lulls, but then hits hard near the end again.

I know that British Columbia is a beautiful place, but I find it funny that Canadians are so in love with the idea of “out-west”.  It’s the California of Canada.  Everything is just going to come together out-west.  Sitting on the edge of those Rockies – I will understand the meaning of life, but only out-west.  What should really be said? Everything is going to come together up-north.  You realize who you are when it’s been dark outside for 20 consecutive hours.

Top 3 things that happen at buck and doe’s (also known as stag and doe’s to people in the city) that people don’t know about

3 – Spirit of the West is only appreciated at exactly 12:59am.  If you play any-time before this you will be mocked.

2 – Flirting with the DJ while attempting to get your song played will not work.  You have “woooooood” 3 times, accidentally spit while you were talking twice, and nearly tripped on cables once.  Also, you requested a song that you don’t know the name to, and only know that the person’s name starts with “T”.

1 – Bringing the DJ drinks works every single fu**ing time

Speaking Dothraki with a Dyson Vacuum

Cleaning the bathroom is exactly what you want to do on a 30 degree beautiful Saturday morning.  Maybe my afternoon will be just as exciting.  Start off by doing my taxes, and end it with learning to speak Dothraki.

“You always win if you have dragons.”  These were Hitler’s last words.

Some of my favourite people in the world are the ones that can’t wait to get to the end of the joke, and just spit out the punch line mid-joke.  Women find these men much less desirable.

Complete and utter respect for the Raptors and their fan base.  Most of us are Raptor fans, but the people that are chanting “Let’s go Raptors” at the end of the decisive game 6 get huge props.  Hearing the chant in the background while LeBron’s giving his interview gave me chills.  This is one of the most underrated things about the love for sports.

My victory lap in high-school is one for the ages.  First semester:  Children’s Literature at 10am, and that was all.  Second semester:  Gym at 10am, and that was all.  All priorities went out the window.  It’s known in some circles as the year of the Budweiser.

One of the best teachers that I have ever had is retiring.  Mr. K was my drama teacher for a couple of semesters.  He is the one that got me out of my shell, big thanks to him.  And if you would like somebody to blame for my lack of filter when I speak you can blame him.

You always think that keeping score at a ball game will be a relaxing activity.  You see old men getting such joy out of writing down F-7 in the box score.  I guarantee that you don’t last 2 innings keeping score if you attempt this.  It takes a certain person to have this much attention to detail, and enjoy it.

Went deep into the internet matrix recently.  Found myself looking at cats sleeping in bowls for about 7 minutes.  My brain clicked in, and asked politely, but firmly.  “what the fu** are you doing?”

Heading to a new brewery in Cambridge today.  Barncat has opened up, and it’s about to get a fistful of dollars and a friendly (depending on the beer) hello from Kitchenerites.

Top 3 things that made me realize that I had to go to bed.

3  – Drinking out of the beer bottle that had cigarette butts in it.  Everybody from Letterkenny has done this so don’t say gross to me.

2 – Singing into a Heineken bottle instead of a microphone during a song on Rock Band.  The crowd began to boo, and I was just thinking.  “I sound so beautiful though, how am I losing?”

1 – Having my pants thrown off of a roof at a house party.  No explanation needed.

The man that invented Dyson that sounds so insightful on the commercials could sell me nearly anything.  You’re right I do need a holder for plastic bags.  They are just all over the place right now.  $30.00 – sure.  Where do I sign up?