Monday, December 31, 2007

My top 10 songs of the year 2007

10. Bruce Hornsby -"Questions and Answers"- On his first true jazz record, Hornsby and friends are masterful throughout, but this song just continues to reveal Bruce's versatility as a pianist.
9. Black Kids- "Hit the Heartbrakes"- "The Wizard of Ahhs" might only have had 4 tracks, but together they were my favorite EP and album of the year. Separately, each track is still strong, encompassing so many different melodies, tempos, ans vocal styles.
8. Robert Pollard- "Our Gaze"- One of our highest charting albums of the semester gave fruition to this song. It's nostalgic, yet upbeat at the same time. It transports you to a bygone era while still looking forward.
7. Bruce Springsteen- "Radio Nowhere"- Best song from the Boss in well over a decade.
6. Okkervil River- "Our Life is Not A Movie or Maybe"- Macalester's own does it again. And to think that I only learned about this group earlier this year. So many different musical themes come together on this track.
5.Radiohead- "All I Need"- This track really summarized "In Rainbows" very well, a great comeback effort, and one of the best songs by Radiohead yet.
4.Band of Horses- "No One's Gonna Love You"- The beautiful distortions on this piece transport you to a certain place as only Band of Horses has a knack for doing.
3. The Shins- "Phantom Limb"- It's the track everyone talked about in 2007.
2. Idlewild- "No Emotion"- Funny thing is, I didn't even know this album was out until the morning of one of my shows, and then the album was there in the studio. Shows the risks Idlewild took on the whole album, and as if it weren't good enough as is, the music video makes it all worth it.
1. Maritime- "Pearl"- How risky was this track? Davey von Boehlen and co. based the whole thing around an '80s guitar riff. And it worked. Coupled with the pensive lyrics, it defined Maritime's sound progression on their latest record.

Have a great start to 2008!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Some albums I thought were pretty neat:
Pole - Steingarten
Fennesz/Sakamoto - Cendre
Von Südenfed - Tromatic Reflexxions
The Tuss - Rushup Edge
Caribou - Andorra
Ace of the Clubs - Benefist

Friday, December 28, 2007

aaron's favorites, 2007

[1] dinosaur jr "beyond"
my favorite album, not just of 2007, but of recent years. j mascis accidentally explores what’s in his heart and, upon discovering what’s there, tries (unsuccessfully) to obliterate it with noise of his own guitar

[2] low "drums and guns"
low just keeps getting better as they get older. the songs on this album are so pretty that they’re scary (or is it the other way around?)

[3] the arcade fire "neon bible"
what a force of nature this album is. geoff's thoughts are pretty on-point

[4] pj harvey "white chalk"
in which the ghost of p.j. harvey stalks the english countryside terrifying dead and undead alike with the creepy beauty of this record. her second best album, and that’s saying something

[5] radiohead "in rainbows"
radiohead ditch portentousness—about time, right? surprisingly subtle and direct; thom yorke sings like a man possessed

[6] grinderman "grinderman"
my introduction to the sordid world of nicholas cave. a better stooges album than “the weirdness”…who knew sexual frustration could be so much fun?!?

[7] wilco "sky blue sky"
m.o.r maybe, but sometimes maturity and a lack of ambition make for really good music

[8] the white stripes "icky thump"
in my book jack white has never ever done wrong, but this strikes me as a particularly awesome collection of modern day classic rock, bagpipe tunes aside

[9] brother ali "the undisputed truth"
i only heard about 4, but this struck me as easily the best hip-hop album of 2007. the brother’s flow is so intense he sounds like he’s about to have a heart attack on every song

[10] dungen "tio bitar"
if psychedelic music is about imagination—and i like to think it is—dungen’s maestro gustav ejstes must have a pretty powerful one. trippy doesn’t even begin to describe this

i can't wait to see yours...and check out this article about record stores in mpls

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


As promised, my favorite albums of the year. We encourage all our blog contributors to post their reflections on the year 2007 in any way they see fit. Check back for mp3 or YouTube links, coming as soon as my internet works better!

[1] The Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
Arena rock meets post-punk for headphones. How grand.

[2] A Sunny Day in Glasgow, Scribble Mural Comic Journal
Not the first band to push toward the edges of shoegazing and dream pop, but there's something very new about this album. All the more beautiful for being corrupted by moments of ugliness.

[3] Idlewild, Make Another World
Aiming for a bigger, fuller sound and pulling it off masterfully. It may seem initially bombastic and all on the surface, but they're still this generation's R.E.M. and there's so much to unravel in these songs.

[4] Radiohead, In Rainbows
Doesn't so much expand the boundaries of rock music as simply remind how great they are as a band, which only makes sense two decades in.

[5] Bill Callahan, Woke on a Whaleheart
Gone is the Smog moniker, resulting in Callahan's most clear-eyed expression of his wayward pop sensibility: just a good old-fashioned singer songwriter album that comfortably inhabits any dark room.

[6] Patrick Wolf, The Magic Position
Wolf is equal parts Bowie, Jarvis, Bryan Ferry and Matt Johnson, and his Magic Position is an elegant, sophisticated pop album in the style of The Lexicon of Love and Different Class.

[7] Marnie Stern, In Advance of the Broken Arm
I haven't heard such beautifully controlled chaos since...well, ever.

[8] The Twilight Sad, Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters
Hitting those same big moments of heartbreak a la U2, but unlike U2, they're not pompous and overblown, and unlike fellow Scots with big guitars Idlewild, these guys are truly humble and sad.

[9] Emma Pollock, Watch the Fireworks
Just a good, solid album that rocks real hard and is super catchy, and with as many good tunes as Pollock ever contributed to her wonderful former band The Delgados.

[10] Kristin Hersh, Learn to Sing Like a Star
Decades after the heyday of Throwing Muses, Hersh is still a walking definition of college rock, and this would almost be a normal singer songwriter album if not for all the raspy vocals and unsettling arrangements.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

doing some academic research for a recent gift to self (still one left!!) i stumbled across a pretty cool archival site that has ads, newsletters and horrorscopes from pre-'91 sub pop. very cool from what i've seen so far.

also in relation to the self-gift, i found a cool blog post from what seems to be a very cool blog with .rar files of both the dinosaur jr 7" single "the wagon" and a mark arm single where he covers dylan's "masters of war" (we have a copy of this at the station, i believe). the sub pop version of "the wagon" is somewhat different from the one that kicks off "green mind"--i'd venture to say better, as, kind of like "freak scene", it finds the sweet spot between noise and melody. the one on "green mind", while pretty excellent not to mention very similar, sounds polished in comparison.

anyways there will probably be some sort of list-having post in the near future from yours truly; g.m. stueven promised me a similar post we have yet to see...

edit: i seem to have used the word "cool" 4 times in a mere 3 sentences. perhaps i was inadvertently trying to capture the spirit of the 90s?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

R.I.P. Ike...bad man as he was.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

New Liner Notes, final issue of the spectacular year 2007 (paper copies out Monday). It's been far too long since I've published. Didn't feel like I had enough material until this point, but next semester hopefully I'll get my act together and return this publication to being the glorious bi-weekly newsletter that it once was.

Until then, throw your feet up during your study break and read about Ian Curtis yet one more time, along with the reviews and the "Transatlantic" DJs of the "Bi-Week". Seriously, enjoy the issue, you guys have waited long enough.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I don't know how we've become so popular overseas...I am getting about 3-5 emails a week from eager South Africans (no, I don't know them since I studied abroad there last summer) wanting me or us to play music by this singer/songwriter who goes by the name The Busking Trail.

Interesting bio and more songs here

What do you think? I've already played one of his songs on the air, and I still get more and more requests? Should we be entitled to play 1 Busking Trail song a day?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Schweigert Concert Promotions, in association with WMCN, presents...

METRODOME (experimental noise rock)

WHITEJAZZ (indie pop)


Dupre 10K, Macalester College
Saturday, December 15
9 pm

Monday, December 03, 2007

Good Morning, Juno

how adorbs is this song??