BOTR vol 14

At long last another installment of Best of the Remix.  As before this is a random collection of remixes that I personally find enjoyable.  Some are, by default, better than others.  Enjoy the music and if you’re looking for the rest of the series click here.

mp3 : 2pac vs TV on the Radio – Me Against The World (Dave Wrangler Remix)
For some reason I have been absolutely in love with a recent string of mashups that combine classic hip hop rhymes with indie/modern rock.  This mix is almost flawless.

mp3 : Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling (Tom Molloy Remix)
I somewhat loathe this song on a regular basis.  This remix succeeds in that it makes the Black Eyed Peas almost bearable.

mp3 : Britney Spears – 3 (T-Minus 321 Remix)
A fairly straightforward, mostly club ready, remix of Britney.  When, exactly, did Brit make the transition from pop princess into crazy town?  And do you care as long as remixes continue to flow?

mp3 : Crookers (feat Soulwax & Mixhell) – We Love Animals (The Love Supreme Remix)
I was looking through a scrapbook my mum made the other day and she wrote down that my first spoken word was “dog.”  Apparently I love animals.  Enough said.

mp3 : Crystal Castles – Celestica (Professor Purple Remix)
I love this remix.  It’s smooth, it’s hallucinogenic, and it has a great beat.  It also builds over time and if you’ve ever read a single post here on TWF you know that I love when songs do that.

mp3 : Cullen – Easily Impressed (Calling In Sick Remix)
This remix reminds me of playing stupid video games when I was a wee lad.  The repeated synth background gives me visions of entering the final stage.

mp3 : Ghostland Observatory – Sad Sad City (Pretty Girls & Lasers Remix)
This might by my favorite remix in volume 14 of BOTR.  It’s fully of standard 80’s sound effects which fits nicely with the kids’ current obsession with bringing the 80’s back.

mp3 : Jay Z vs Red Hot Chili Peppers vs Queen – 99 Problems Can’t Stop (I Love Brand X Remix)
Yep, it’s official; I love hip hop vocals over rock (or pop or indie) anthems.  Give me more.

mp3 : Kid CuDi – Pursuit of Happiness (Benny Benassi Remix)
Minimalistic at times, bass heavy at others, this remix adds a nice twist to CuDi.

mp3 : Kid CuDi – Pursuit of Happiness (Steve Aoki Dance Remix)
The start of this remix will have you thinking it’s a cookie cutter remix.  Spoiler alert; it is not.

mp3 : Kid CuDi – Pursuit of Happiness (Them Jeans Remix)
I once lived on the beaches of Thailand for two months of my life (a brilliant two months I might add).  This is the type of remix that would blast across the sand every night (and that’s a good thing).

mp3 : Mariana and the Diamonds – I am Not A Robot (Doorly Remix)
A clever reworking of a very Feist-like popcorn pop song.  And who wouldn’t love the line “and I am not a robot!” ?

mp3 : Plushgun – Mixtapes (Buffetlibre Remix)
You’ll need to give this remix a good thirty seconds to really catch on.  Be ready though, because at about thirty five seconds into the remix you’ll find it suddenly impossible to sit still.

And there you have.  Now someone go and use a remix as background music to a highlight reel from the first week of the World Cup.  Cheers.

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The Best Albums of 2008

If for some reason I thought it was hard last year to decide the top ten albums then this year has been a nightmare compared to that walk in the park.  Quite honestly this year has produced a veritable slew of brilliant albums.  From up and coming acts to bands on their forth or fifth album 2008 has seen some incredible music released.  Here is my personal list of the top ten albums of this past year.  If you’re still looking for a gift for someone special I suggest snagging few of these albums and stuffing their stockings with the best of what came this year.

All the tracks in one zip file : here {zshare = left click}

01 : Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (amazon) (itunes)

I’ve long been a supporter of all things that Sigur Ros has done.  From the first time I heard their music when I was in university there has been something special about these boys from Iceland.  This year they released their most easily accessible album to date and they’ve literally stolen the show.  There are a great many artists who have put their best foot forward this year, but although many came close, none of them quite live up to this masterpiece.

mp3 : Sigur Ros – Gobbledigook
mp3 : Sigur Ros – Inní mér syngur vitleysingur
mp3 : Sigur Ros – Fljótavík

02 : Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight (amazon) (itunes)

This album is a perfect combination of melancholy and clever lyrics.  The music sets the mood perfectly on this trip through lost love and a true feeling of being sad.  Although a bit of a downer emotionally it never strays too far into the realm of depression to leave you wallowing in your own self pity.  If this is what Frightened Rabbit will sound like in the future you can be sure to see them appear on best of lists for years to come.

mp3 : Frightened Rabbit – The Modern Leper
mp3 : Frightened Rabbit – Fast Blood
mp3 : Frightened Rabbit – Poke

03 : Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes) (amazon) (itunes)

Last year Cloud Cult topped my list for the best album of the year.  To think that less than one year later they went out and made an album that is literally better than their last is simply mind numbing.  What other band puts out this high quality an effort in back to back years?  Literally no other band is producing at such consistently high a level.  If there was one band on this years list that everyone should immediately start listening to I would recommend Cloud Cult.

mp3 : Cloud Cult – Journey of the Featherless
mp3 : Cloud Cult – The Ghost Inside Our House
mp3 : Cloud Cult – Love You All

04 : Coldplay – Viva la Vida (amazon) (itunes)

I’ve been a fan of Coldplay since the first awkward steps Chris Martin made to the microphone and it’s been a delight to watch them move from behind the U2 and Radiohead curtain out into their own worldwide acclaim.  And rightly so I might add.  Viva La Vida found this foursome out of England reaching a new height and a cohesion of sound that was only alluded to on their previous albums.  It’s great to hear a band really starting to use their full potential.

mp3 : Coldplay – Lost!
mp3 : Coldplay – Death And All His Friends

05 : Greg Laswell – Three Flights from Alto Nido (amazon) (itunes)

Greg Laswell has a streak of brilliance not often found in the overflowing singer/songwriter set.  He has a mind for clever arrangements built upon relatively simple, but elegant, melodies and in this regard he reminds me a bit of Sufjan Stevens {they definitely have very different musical tastes, but their gift for arrangements is the parallel I see here}.  Regardless of who or what this album reminds you of one thing is certain; this is the best Greg Laswell has done and it’s easily one of the best albums of the year.

mp3 : Greg Laswell – Comes And Goes (In Waves)
mp3 : Greg Laswell – I’d Be Lying

06 : The Dodos – Visiter (amazon) (itunes)

When you pare down a musical group until it contains a simple guitar and a simple drum kit you either get garage based disaster or you find that within a minimalistic setting true brilliance shines through.  In the case of this duo it’s easy to hear the talent that lies behind this album.  From track to track Visiter flips through well written stories with a sense of quiet urgency that never leaves your mind, and yet never becomes a frustrating distraction.  There is a fragile and perfect balance to be heard.

mp3 : The Dodos – Fools
mp3 : The Dodos – Ashley

07 : Mates of State – Re-Arrange Us (amazon) (itunes)

This year the top ten seems to be filled with established acts who just now are releasing their best album to date.  This is the case of Mates of State.  Their previous albums have largely been forgettable with a few random acts of brilliance sprinkled throughout.  This album, on the contrary, is solid from start to finish and it’s refreshing to see an older act pull their formidable talent together and focus it on a full album.

mp3 : Mates of State – The Re-Arranger
mp3 : Mates of State – Blue and Gold Print

08 : MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (amazon) (itunes)

MGMT found a way to make space rock and classic rock throwback into an insanely enjoyable acid trip of mashed up tracks.  There’s no simple or easy way to quantify this album as it caterwauls from proggy futuristic beat heavy pop to songs that remind me of a mythical pairing of The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.  Whatever words you find to describe this album I’m sure they’ll be of a positive nature.

mp3 : MGMT – Weekend Wars

09 : TV On The Radio – Dear Science (amazon) (itunes)

Their previous effort, Return to Cookie Mountain, began to hint that this eclectic gathering of talented musicians just might be onto something.  With Dear Science the boys that make up TV On The Radio proudly display their particular brand of music.  I’m willing to put money on the idea that twenty years from now this album will be listed as one of the most influential albums of this decade.

mp3 : TV On The Radio – Lover’s Day

10 : Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns (itunes) (amazon)

Somehow Snow Patrol’s latest album found a way to sneak into the top ten.  This is probably largely due to the fact that the final sixteen minute mega-track is insanely well constructed I kept listening to this album over and over again.  Snow Patrol has found a way to consistently make solid albums.  They might not be as attention grabbing or as trendy as their counterparts but the find a way to impress with each album they release.

mp3 : Snow Patrol – If There’s A Rocket Tie Me To It

All the tracks in one zip file : here {zshare = left click}

And that’s it.  That’s the top ten albums of 2008 in my humble and rather correct opinion.  I’m sure you’ll find a way to disagree with me {even going so far as to claim you’ll delete me from your feed reader}, but in the end you’ll see the wisdom of my discretion.  Granted there are two other bands that I really wanted to include on this list, The Walkmen and Nada Surf, and for their effort they easily deserve an honorable mention.  Amongst the letdowns of the year were the fact that both Sufjan Stevens and The Postal Service failed to make good on rumours that new albums would drop this year, Weezer put out a really great half of an album and then mucked it up with three or four tracks that are just terrible, and Death Cab, Ben Folds, The Killers, and Phantom Planet put out decent albums but not really the quality that deserves a spot on the top ten.

Until next year so long.  I’ll keep posting as long as you all continue to listen to good music.  If you’d like to see my 2007 list you can click here.

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BOTM vol 11

The end of the month draws nigh, and I have sought only to serve the blogosphere what meager offerings I could find.  In my endless search of great music there are, on occasion, songs that fall through the cracks.  Sometimes they’re brand new tracks, in other instances they are old and almost forgotten.  It is for this reason that each month I present to you my Best of the Month series.  Enjoy the tracks below, I’ve done all I could to bring you only that which is worthy of your precious time.  If you’d like to peruse all the other BOTM volumes click this link.

All the tracks in one zip file : here {zshare = left click}

mp3 : Arcade Fire – Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs Cover)
It’s almost a sure bet that when one of my favorite bands covers one of my favorite songs it’ll be worth listening to.  This cover comes from the wonderful year 2005 and it’s still hot.

mp3 : Coldplay – Death Will Never Conquer
The four boys from England gave this track away for free on their website.  I’m not sure if it would qualify as a b-side, as a hidden track, or whatnot.  Regardless of nomenclature it’s a nice slice of Coldplay.

mp3 : Enur (feat Natasja) – Calabria 2008
Yes, this is that song, from the Target commercial featuring two undergrads setting up their dorm room {with an appropriate amount of dance off panache}.  It’s good, trust me.

mp3 : Jack White and Alicia Keys – Another Way To Die
Could the upcoming bond be as good as this summer’s Batman movie?  A large part of me thinks it will be impossible, but I can always hope.  This is for certain, Jack White makes amazing songs.

mp3 : Kanye West – Love Lockdown
It’s been remixed to shreds, already, and to be honest I hope Kanye realizes his albums sell because of his rhymes, not his vocals {however computer aided/distorted they are}.  As a single song this track is nice, I would cringe if it filled out an entire album.

mp3 : Katy Perry – Electric Feel (MGMT Cover)
Katy Perry ranks right down about the same level as Rhianna or Amy Winehouse on my list of those who shouldn’t have a recording career.  But even broken clocks are right twice a day.  Or in Katy’s case, once.  This cover proves yet again that anyone can sound decent when they’re playing someone else’s song.

mp3 : Mystery Jets – Bleeding Love (Leona Lewis Cover)
While my mind is as of yet undecided about whether Leona Lewis is talented or not, one thing is for certain.  Mystery Jets have yet to do something that disappoints me.  This track is superb.

mp3 : Phoenix – If I Ever Feel Better
I’ve often thought of Phoenix as the much much more talented version of Maroon 5.  See Maroon 5 is terrible {always}.  Phoenix, on the other hand, seems to be getting better and better with each and every album they produce.

mp3 : Snow Patrol – Take Back The City
It’s officially a toss up whether or not the upcoming Snow Patrol album will be amazing or terrible.  I like the progress they’ve made with their latest two albums, although I know some fans would vehemently disagree.  This song shows promise.

mp3 : The Kooks – Kids (MGMT Cover)
If you skipped over the Katy Perry cover of MGMT {which you rightly could do, she’s not that talented} then this is definitely a track you should hear.  One word comes to mind when I listen to this track, and that word is love.

mp3 : The Postal Service – Grow Old With Me
Will they ever release another album?  Not likely.  If they do somehow get the tracks together and release an album will it be epic?  Probably not.  Probably not even close.  It’ll probably disappoint as much as the second half of Weezer’s latest disc {and I really wanted to love that one}.

mp3 : TV On The Radio – Family Tree
Their latest album is solidly in the running for best album of the year.  Honestly, every track is brilliant off this album, and Family Tree is one of those tracks.

mp3 : Yannis Kamarinos – Money Shot
Yes, this is that song from the AT&T techno twins commercial.  I had to search high and low for this little slice of danceable goodness.  You are welcome.  The next volume in the Best of the Remix series should hit tomorrow.

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TV On The Radio

Today is a great day for the music world.  Why you ask?  Today is the day that the latest TV On The Radio album, Dear Science (amazon) (itunes), is finally available for purchase or download.  If you’re into physical copies make sure you stop somewhere on your way home from work today to pick it up.  Yes, it is that good.  It’s good enough that for the next month you won’t take the album out of your car.  It’s good enough that you just might forget that you own any other albums at all.  No matter how many more albums TV On The Radio release this is one that will always be remembered as a masterpiece.

mp3 : TV On The Radio – Halfway Home
mp3 : TV On The Radio – Dancing Choose

This was one of the hardest albums to pick just two songs to post here on TWF.  With all integrity I can honestly say that I love each and every track that appears on this album.  I chose these two because I felt they show a good contrast, both sides of the TV On The Radio coin, if you will.  Luckily for me {and for you} they’ve put their entire album up on their myspace page.  Head over there and you can listen to the entire disc from start to finish.  Simply brilliant.

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