Album of the Week: Celebration Rock by Japandroids

Albums like this come few and far between. If you’ve never heard the Japandroids, you’re already missing out.

Celebration Rock, the Canadian duo’s sophomore album, is one that needs to be played; and it needs to be played loud.

A sing-along album that hits you with an emotional and nostalgic presence, they did everything right. My only complaint is that it is too short. Clocking in at just over 35 minutes and eight tracks, it is following the trend of shorter albums here in 2012. The fact that each song on the album delivers allows me to quickly forget its length.

With standout tracks such as “Younger Us”, carrying lines like “gimme that night you were already in bed, said f**k it got up to drink with me instead,” and connecting with each and every one of us on at least some memory growing up. Or the ever-increasingly popular anthemic "The House that Heaven Built" with its chanting "Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh oh oh, oh’s.”

Like I said, this album is only a half hour long. You’re likely to spend that much time on Facebook today anyway. Might as well have a great soundtrack to listen to while doing so.

Celebration Rock, not an album I’m going to forget any time soon. And one that will definitely surface again later in the year when I begin piecing together my best of 2012 lists.

Purchase Celebration Rock in locations as follows:

Amazon (cd)   |   iTunes (digital)   |   Insound (vinyl)

(Source: Spotify)


VIDEO
Jun 5
11:17 am
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Album of the Week: The Winter of Mixed Drinks - Frightened Rabbit

The third studio release from Scottish Indie rockers Frightened Rabbit is a must. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
What has earned nothing but exceptional reviews, this album has jumped to the top of my list of albums of 2010. Released March 1, this is an album that, come December, you will see on many year end lists, including mine.
The way in which the four members work together on this album shows how they’ve matured as a band. Improving from their last album, they created something memorable here. The use of strings on this album are something else, along with the addition of occasional brass and woodwind instruments, the sound on this album is nothing but pleasing to the ears.
From the very first track Things you gain an understanding of what the album is about. Front-man and lead vocalist Scott Hutchison explained in an interview that the band wanted this album to tell more of a story than their previous two. Hutchison says it is

"about an escape and maybe even a slight breakdown. I have to say, it’s semi-fictional. There’s a protagonist who is possibly male but it doesn’t really describe my life because if I did that it wouldn’t make for an interesting album this time around as I’ve been quite solid and content, thankfully."

On the title of the album,

"I think we’ve all had odd, lonely, fallow periods in life, where you find yourself detached from everything, drifting and lost. That’s what The Winter of Mixed Drinks means to me, but most importantly, it’s the moments of joy afterwards, during recovery, that defines the dark period.”

However you interpret this album, however you follow the story, however you take the message being told… I hope you love this album. I am not saying it will be your favorite of the year. But I have a feeling it will be one that you continue listening to for quite some time. And who knows, maybe it will be at the top of your lists too.

iTunes  |  Amazon

Album of the Week: The Winter of Mixed Drinks - Frightened Rabbit

The third studio release from Scottish Indie rockers Frightened Rabbit is a must. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

What has earned nothing but exceptional reviews, this album has jumped to the top of my list of albums of 2010. Released March 1, this is an album that, come December, you will see on many year end lists, including mine.

The way in which the four members work together on this album shows how they’ve matured as a band. Improving from their last album, they created something memorable here. The use of strings on this album are something else, along with the addition of occasional brass and woodwind instruments, the sound on this album is nothing but pleasing to the ears.

From the very first track Things you gain an understanding of what the album is about. Front-man and lead vocalist Scott Hutchison explained in an interview that the band wanted this album to tell more of a story than their previous two. Hutchison says it is

"about an escape and maybe even a slight breakdown. I have to say, it’s semi-fictional. There’s a protagonist who is possibly male but it doesn’t really describe my life because if I did that it wouldn’t make for an interesting album this time around as I’ve been quite solid and content, thankfully."

On the title of the album,

"I think we’ve all had odd, lonely, fallow periods in life, where you find yourself detached from everything, drifting and lost. That’s what The Winter of Mixed Drinks means to me, but most importantly, it’s the moments of joy afterwards, during recovery, that defines the dark period.”

However you interpret this album, however you follow the story, however you take the message being told… I hope you love this album. I am not saying it will be your favorite of the year. But I have a feeling it will be one that you continue listening to for quite some time. And who knows, maybe it will be at the top of your lists too.

iTunes  |  Amazon

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PHOTO
Sep 7
4:40 pm

Song of the Day Album of the Week: Blindsided by Bon Iver off the Album For Emma, Forever Ago

If you don’t know Bon Iver, I hope this song makes you want to hear more.

Justin Vernon started the band back in 2007 and started working on what is one of my favorite albums out there, For Emma, Forever Ago.

This 2008 release is easily on of the best albums of the year. Landing atop many best of the year lists, For Emma is an album that tells all of the difficult emotions that every one of us has experienced. 

What is basically a break up album (from both a relationship as well as his former band), Vernon wrote this album over a span of three months, after secluding himself in a small cabin in the forest during a winter in Wisconsin. 

The fact that Vernon just locked himself in such a desolate, foreign place to write this album (which he never intended to do), really helps his pure passion for music come through. What he wrote, what he plays, what he sings… it’s straight from the heart.

It’s beautiful. It’s pure.

Bon Iver is a band that everyone needs to hear. And For Emma, Forever Ago is an album everyone needs to own.

iTunes  |  Amazon

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AUDIO
Aug 26
5:08 pm

Song Album of the Day: Suburban War - Arcade Fire. Off their new album The Suburbs, out today.

Now, I must lead by saying that this is not my favorite song off this album. I would have to give that (as of right now) to Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains), but that file was too big to post on here. But, this is without a doubt one of my favorite albums of the year.

Really though, there isn’t too much I can say about this album that will do it justice.

Buy this album.

It really is that simple. If you pass on this one, you’re a fool. Amazon has put the digital version up for sale today for only $4. http://amzn.to/daR06A If you decide not to get this, you really are missing out.

I don’t want to talk about it like I do everything else, because I just can’t explain fully how incredible this album is.

Give it a listen. Tell me what you think. I would really love to hear how everyone feels about it.

iTunes  |  Amazon

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AUDIO
Aug 3
3:45 pm
Album of the Week: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
Truly one of the most incredible albums I have ever listened to, Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” is something of pure brilliance. Fronted by Jeff Magnum, NMH was a band that became no more at a time which hurt music lovers around the world. While On Avery Island was a good album at best, their sophomore album is one that has been critically acclaimed, as well as refereed to as one of the best albums of the 90’s (competing with albums such as Radiohead’s “OK Computer”, “The Soft Bulletin” from The Flaming Lips, “Nevermind” from Nirvana, and multiple albums from Pavement, who is one of the greatest bands of that decade).
With tracks from “Oh Comely”, “Two-Headed Boy” and the fantastic title-track, this album goes far beyond simple singles, and radio friendly tunes. Magnum and company created a raw, passionate sound with these eleven tracks. The beauty in the recordings is that something that is missing in all music you hear today. From those small imperfections, to that random accordion that comes in when you’d least expect it. The lo-fi sound and the emotive vocals/lyrics combine, giving this album the unity that has given it a reputation of one of the best albums ever written.
Right now, go through your iTunes and find five albums that you cannot go without. You’re going to find four easily. Then you’re going to try and decided between a couple for that last spot. Do yourself a favor, and choose “In the Aeroplane…”, you won’t regret it. 
If you have ever considered yourself a fan of music, and you have either never heard, or don’t own this album, do yourself and your ears a favor, and get it right now.
iTunes.

Album of the Week: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel

Truly one of the most incredible albums I have ever listened to, Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” is something of pure brilliance. Fronted by Jeff Magnum, NMH was a band that became no more at a time which hurt music lovers around the world. While On Avery Island was a good album at best, their sophomore album is one that has been critically acclaimed, as well as refereed to as one of the best albums of the 90’s (competing with albums such as Radiohead’s “OK Computer”, “The Soft Bulletin” from The Flaming Lips, “Nevermind” from Nirvana, and multiple albums from Pavement, who is one of the greatest bands of that decade).

With tracks from “Oh Comely”, “Two-Headed Boy” and the fantastic title-track, this album goes far beyond simple singles, and radio friendly tunes. Magnum and company created a raw, passionate sound with these eleven tracks. The beauty in the recordings is that something that is missing in all music you hear today. From those small imperfections, to that random accordion that comes in when you’d least expect it. The lo-fi sound and the emotive vocals/lyrics combine, giving this album the unity that has given it a reputation of one of the best albums ever written.

Right now, go through your iTunes and find five albums that you cannot go without. You’re going to find four easily. Then you’re going to try and decided between a couple for that last spot. Do yourself a favor, and choose “In the Aeroplane…”, you won’t regret it. 

If you have ever considered yourself a fan of music, and you have either never heard, or don’t own this album, do yourself and your ears a favor, and get it right now.

iTunes.

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PHOTO
Jul 19
1:39 am

untitled procrastination

As a designer, I find myself flooded with ideas, thoughts, and inspiration.

This is my place to document those findings. From work I've come across, to current personal projects.

All the other odds and ends are found on my other blog.

Submit if you want.