Best Albums of the last 12 months or so… Neon Neon

April 26, 2009

Hey.  It’s almost April May.  Can I slack any more?  I figure, since the year is nearly half over, I’ll just post 12 or so albums I liked over the last 12 or some months…

The Eternal Question

In talking to my friends, the year 2008 was felt to be an underwhelming year for individual artist accomplishment. When I sit down and think of the albums I was obsessed with these last 12 or so  months, it was very hard to pick 10 out of the bunch, and then decide who gets a #1 over a #10. While there were not any monumental KILLER albums, 2008 saw the emergence of a few very interesting trends that continue to mature as we close out this first decade of the 200o’s.

The trend I find most exciting is the burgeoning globalism of pop music. Perhaps it’s the Internet, perhaps it’s the slow death of mainstream radio and, or pre-fab rock stars, perhaps it’s even American awareness of global conflict that has inspired them to search outside the typical boundaries of inspiration. Whatever caused it, it’s making pop music a LOT more interesting. There was an explosion of Aussie electro, Scandinavian pop, Icelandic atmospherics, backwoods midwest soul-searching, 80’s obsessed French synths, and, of course, the much-ballyhooed return of Afro-pop….

Here’s one I liked:

Neon Neon – Stainless Steel

(#1 of 12 in no particular order)

Gruff Rhys, aside from his full-time gig as part of  Super Furry Animals, is half the double-whammy of  Neon Neon — teamed with hip-hop producer Boom Bip and a slew of hiphop collabos.  The resulting product is an amalgam of glossy late-80s rock and synthy hip hop that tells the story of coke-and-tit fueled carmaker John Delorean (d. March 2005).

Stainless Style finally dropped mid 2008, amid little hype and a mess of other 80’s-informed electro crossovers.  What’s remarkable is that the project was nearly complete 3 years ago.  Heaven knows how much of a splash it would have made if it released around the time they played SXSW in 2006.

Theoretically, this LP could have been hot on the heels of The Rapture, Radio 4, Hot Chip, Junior Boys and LCD Soundsystem’s nostalgic disco revamps.  Viewing it in the time frame that, quite frankly, they just plain missed, Stainless Style could have been an  genre-defining/defying album.  The fact that it still sounds relevant years later among other like-minded 80s rock/Electro-rap clones is a testament to this clairvoyant one-off.

Mp3: Neon Neon – “Trick For Treat” (c/o The Daily Growl)

Video For “I Told Her on Alderaan / Trick for Treat”:

Roccoforte Nightly

January 7, 2009

RSVP before Thursday and check out a DJ set by The Rapture’s drummer Vito Roccoforte at Sonotheque  (the best sounding venue in town), all for free ninety-nine.

yrrrrrrrrr welcome.

FREE entry for this event BUT YOU HAVE TO RSVP TO

Curious what you might hear? A while ago Artist Direct asked him to put together a “crate diving” playlist form them, and this is what got Vitoed (song clips available on their site):

1. Chicago – “Street Player”
A classic track with a great hook.

2. Boz Scaggs – “Lowdown”
When I was in Australia there was an infomercial for a Time Life music series called Soft Rock’s Greatest Hits or something like that. This track came on, it rules. Here’s a link to a clip of a live version of the song with the legendary Jeff Porcaro on drums.

3. Map of Africa – “Black Skin, Blue Eyed Boys”
Really awesome cover of a great track by the Equals.

4. The Imperials – “Can You Imagine”
When I’m feeling down, this Daft Punk-sampled song makes me feel good.

5. Chicken Lips – “He Not In (DJ Greg Wilson Edit)”
One of my favorite Greg Wilson edits of one of my favorite Chicken Lips tracks.

6. Hot Butter – “Popcorn”
A great track. Amazing moog line.

7. Frankie Valli – “Beggin’ (Pilooski Edit)”
A truly beautiful song, one of my favorites right now.

8. Scorpions – “Sails of Charon”
One of the best metal songs or songs in any genre ever.

9. The Incredible Bongo Band – “Bongo Rock”
A classic. Just found it on 7″ again—total awesomeness!

10. Timbaland – “Oh Timbaland”
I can’t stop listening to this first track off his new album.