Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SITKOT is quiet.

Other local rockblogs are not.  Read them all here:


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

JR's Best Albums in the First Half of 2010

Well - it's been awhile since I last posted due to a number of things keeping me busy, but I wanted to share a list of my favorite albums that arrived in the first half of 2010. Last year, there was a single standout album that stuck for me immediately and was never superseded at any point after it came out. In fact, if it came out this year, it would also be the best album in the first half of 2010. And that album would be............Bitte Orca by Dirty Projectors. But I digress. This post is about new music, not year-old music that still blows my mind over a year later. Here is my top 10 in order from best to 10th best:

1. Teen Dream by Beach House

What an amazing album by Beach House. I can honestly say that I like every single track. Definitely my favorite so far this year, and very cool DVD that accompanies the vinyl copy of this album containing a different music video for each song. I also *saw* them in concert earlier this year and they sounded awesome live. I use the term "saw" loosely since the concert was at Diesel and the stage is only viewable for approximately 25 people after they renovated the place to make it awful for concert viewing. I was not one of the 25.

2. Brothers by The Black Keys

But for Teen Dream, this would be my favorite album by a long shot. There is a significant gap between my first and second choices and the remaining eight. I feel like this is potentially the Keys' masterpiece. Everything is really working for them on this album and I love the fact that they stuffed the album with 15 tracks, none of which are filler in my opinion even though some "professional" critics have said that the album is too long. Sometimes people feel like they need to say something negative for credibility purposes, but I have nothing negative to say here. The riffs are sweet and the use of falsetto on several of the tracks adds a new dimension to the Keys sound that works really well. A five star effort in every respect. Great music videos too, especially the one for "Tighten Up".

3. Expo '86 by Wolf Parade

A great effort by Wolf Parade after At Mount Zoomer, which was a bit of a letdown.

4. Forgiveness Rock Record by Broken Social Scene

I've been coming back to this album a lot lately. It's definitely an improvement over their last self-titled album and over Brendan Canning's lead effort. I would still rank it a notch below Kevin Drew's album and it's not nearly as good as You Forgot It in People, but not much is from the last 10 years!

5. Treats by Sleigh Bells

6. Astro Coast by Surfer Blood

7. Gorilla Manor by Local Natives

8. Fang Island by Fang Island

Just saw Fang Island with The Flaming Lips and they were a great opening act. Awesome energy and incredible guitar work. Anytime you have three dudes dueling on the guitar and it doesn't come across as cheesy, you're doing something right. Very nice debut album. "Life Coach" is one of my favorite tracks of the year, even if it sounds a little like "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates (as my fellow blogger Roberto so astutely pointed out before the show - Fang Island, not Hall & Oates).

9. Heartland by Owen Pallett

10. King of the Beach by Wavves

I also have one honorable mention that is growing on me and might be a lot higher on my end of year list: Mines by Menomena. Also, it hurt me not to put This is Happening by LCD Soundsystem on the list, but it really lost some steam for me as of late. I like three tracks a lot, but the rest of the album just doesn't do it for me.

Rock on!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Has SITKOT gone dark?

We shall see.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

An open plea to Diesel

Dear Diesel,

Beach House was pretty good last night. They sounded really good, actually. Problem is, I couldn't see a thing for most of the show.

I skipped the opener, so the place was already packed when I arrived. The floor was so crowded there was really nowhere good to stand without blocking someone else. My own fault, I admit, for arriving late. So I tried upstairs, which I'm sure you're aware suffers from even worse visibility problems than it previously did, thanks to the recent renovations (which I know the clubbers--who surely account for a bigger portion of your revenues--love, so I can't fault you that).

I was able to get into a corner by the door for a little while where I could sort of see the drummer from behind, but then someone told me I couldn't stand there. I got a beer and found a spot on the back wall and gave up on trying to see anything. I listened to the music, and I enjoyed it.

All of this is just precursor; I knew what I was getting into when I bought a ticket to a Diesel show. You guys have a great soundsystem, terrible visibility issues, and Joker's been booking some solid acts there lately. But let's get to the point, to the puzzle: I counted six TVs that weren't turned on and were easily visible to the 30% or so of the crowd who could not see the stage.

So, why not set up a closed circuit, aim a fixed camera on the stage, and display concerts on those fancy hi-def screens in the future, a la Thunderbird?

Very truly yours,

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Current Favorite Songs As I Journey South

As I am preparing for a short vacation at the end of this week, I thought that I would pass along my list of current favorite tracks for all inclined to follow along with my musical tastes:

Pa Pa Power by Dead Man's Bones - Can't get this song out of my head. It is so catchy it should come with a warning.

Chase Scene by Broken Social Scene - Awesome track for driving fast. I feel like I'm in a Steve McQueen movie whenever I listen to it.

Life Coach by Fang Island - Another song that is amazingly catchy and is constantly on my rotation.

Dance Yourself Clean by LCD Soundsystem - Great track by Mr. Murphy. No one builds a better electro-track than this guy. The song just grows and grows until it erupts in all of its electronic splendor.

Tell 'Em by Sleigh Bells - This track explodes from my speakers every time I hear it. Heavy fuzz at its absolute finest.

Tighten Up by The Black Keys - When they break it down at the 2:35 mark, I just can't help but smile at the genius of it all. I wish that I could write gritty blues licks like these two guys.

Bonus track from the archives - Let It Loose by The Rolling Stones - very underrated song from Exile on Main Street. Very bluesy and soulful. Great vocals by Mick on this one and one of my all time favorite Stones songs.


Friday, May 28, 2010

SITKOT goes on holiday

In case you haven't noticed, we've taken a bit of a siesta. Expect it to last through mid-June or so as we all do a little traveling. Someone may surprise me and sneak a post in here toward the end of Arts Fest, but I doubt it.