Friday, December 31, 2010

Born to Run

A quick post to share a video of Matt Jones and the Reconstruction covering Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run". The sound kind of sucks...I'm still getting the hang of my new video camera, but I think it's worth looking at! More Mittenfest updates as the weekend goes on.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Time is Here Again

Well folks, it's almost here. If you're anything like me, the lead-up to Christmas has been stressful and busy. So why not use your time off (if you have some) to see some live music. The first show I'd suggest is Sounds & Spirits at the Magic Stick. The proceeds benefit C.O.T.S. which helps alleviate homelessness in the Detroit area. Interesting things always happen when you mix holiday music and rock bands, so come out for a fun time!

Mittenfest has always been a source for fun, photos, reunions and exhaustion for me. Now in its fifth year, this event is becoming a go-to for great music from the Ypsi/Ann Arbor scene and beyond. The four-day extravaganza of music, booze and friends benefits 826 Michigan which supports students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and helps teachers inspire their students to write.

So, will I see you at either of these shows?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Five Three Dial Tone Double 7" Release Party

Last Friday, I broke my vow of hermitude and went out to the Belmont to buy an armload of records. Five Three Dial Tone put out not one, but TWO lovely, 7 inch records. The Satin Peaches' "Red" and Illy Mack's "Squirrels". You can buy your own HERE

Enjoy some pictures of the first two bands (throwing off the cloak of a shut-in takes some time).

The Kodaks

Lightning Love

Monday, December 6, 2010

I've got Good News and Bad News

This will probably not be news to most of you, but the Ferndale Public Library will be closed for awhile. Well, awhile doesn't really cover it. Ten weeks is the current estimate. This means a lot of things, including the cancellation of all programming for the duration of the closure. So First Stop Fridays are on hiatus. The good news (little of it that there is) is that the collection (books, movies, music, periodicals and audiobooks) remains undamaged. This means that when we see your smiling faces at the library again, we'll have everything you expect from us, and probably more. To keep updated on the flood recovery situation please visit: Here's a good article that details what happened.

I'm now going to attempt to assemble my favorite albums of the year. This is always hard for me, as it's difficult for me to track what excited me 12 minutes ago let alone 12 months ago. But here's the list, such as it is.

Kelly's 780.00s Best of the Year List in no particular order

1. Glasser - Ring
I'm certainly not the only one who would put this at the top of their list, but I did love it before NPR's All Songs Considered got to it. Cameron Mesirow's powerful voice yelps and croons equally well on this album. The electronic, but not robotic music is so beautifully orchestrated that you'll definitely want headphones for this one. "Apply" is my favorite, with its dark tribal feel and otherworldly vocals.
Glasser :: Apply by eatomoro

2. Emeralds - Does it Look Like I'm Here?

This is perfect work music for me. Spacey, lyric-less, hypnotic. It keeps you engaged just enough to let your mind go places it wouldn't ordinarily. Listening to "Candy Shoppe" while otherwise occupied and then again when giving it your full attention are two vastly different experiences. A large part of the appeal for me is that this sounds an awful lot like Final Fantasy music.
Emeralds - Candy Shoppe by guesslist

3. The Title Tracks - It Was Easy

In a lot of ways, this album is the opposite of the first two on this list. Power pop. Guitars. Male vocalist. This stuff is seriously fun, and well done. Ringing guitars and ooooh ooooh ooooh harmonies. I played the crap out of this album in February and March when it was released. "Found Out" feels like your favorite '60s song.  Listen Here

4. Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record

Embarrassing as it is to admit, I really had never heard any Broken Social Scene before this record. That's why Forgiveness Rock Record was such a lovely surprise for me. And it gave me another reason to be thankful for being the music selector at the FPL. It creates these amazing moods, and my favorite, "Meet Me In the Basement," makes me well up with joy every time I hear it.

broken social scene - meet me in the basement by leftyletty

5. Drunken Barn Dance - Grey Buried

Though I'm not the oldest DBD fan around, I know enough to feel weird calling this their debut album. I've heard these songs so many times, and in so many different states of mind (and, appropriately, drunkenness) that it seems strange for this to be the first time hearing some of them properly recorded. But it is a wonderful thing. Nothing compares to screaming the lyrics of "The Last Desperate Stand of the Last Fair Man" back at Scott and company while your arms are draped over your best friends' shoulders, but having a recorded version of it ready for reminiscing purposes is a lovely thing.
Visit Drunken Barn Dance Here

6. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening

James Murphy came back with a vengeance this year with This Is Happening.  There's lots to love on this album. "Drunk Girls" is clearly the hit, with its hyperactively delivered truths about the titular group of ladies. My favorite is "One Touch" which is kind of spooky; building intensity till Murphy starts in with robotic vocals. Even the kids screaming "One Touch" are creepy.

Listen to the track here

7. Sleigh Bells - Treats
This group is a study in contrast. Heavy guitars, crunchy sounds, and lightning bolts set the stage for a high-pitched, autotuned female voice. It works, though, and it feels like some sort of anthem. I can picture kids of some post-apocalyptic future riding around in tricked-out tanks blaring "Tell 'Em" out the window.

"Tell 'Em" by Sleigh Bells by Future Phonograph

8. Vampire Weekend - Contra

I debated including this in my list, because there are some things I don't like about this record. However, there's a lot I do like. The calypso rhythms, clever, quickly delivered lyrics, the drums. And one could do worse than be constantly compared to Paul Simon. My favorite track is "White Sky" for that burst of joy I like to talk about. Those falsetto "aaaaooooh"s never fail to make me smile, and God help me, sing along.

vampire weekend - white sky by myshoestravel

9.  Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Jr. - Horse Power

I positively swelled with pride when I heard these guys played on All Songs Considered earlier this year, even if Bob Boilen recommended they ditch their name. When you see two guys take the stage in racing jumpsuits and straw hats, you really have no idea what kind of music you're going to hear. I certainly didn't expect the sweet, electronic backed, harmony filled tunes they turned out, but I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone seems to be digging on "Vocal Chords" but I think my favorite is their cover of the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows".

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - God Only Knows by TILLS

10. My Chemical Romance - Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

Am I a little embarrassed? Yeah. Does it keep me from being excited about seeing them live. No. My Chemical Romance, though a favorite of sunken-chested teens everywhere, knows how to create fun, emotional music. Most of all, they know how to make an album. Danger Days is another themed LP, but this time they run screaming from emo toward something that sounds a lot more like punk, and I like it. This is supposed to be the group's last, so, if you jump on the bandwagon now, the trip will be short.

Vampire Money by user477162