Sunday, January 3, 2016

Cugerock Top 10 Albums of 2015

Music helped me get through a lot of tough stuff personally this year. Old and new artists alike. Here are the top new albums from 2015. Most were on heavy rotation throughout the year while others debuted late in the game.

Thanks to all of the friends and relatives that recommended some of the below.

2016 is going to be a great year for tunes. Lots of new albums and a few reunions on tap.

"Rock and/or Roll"


1. The Dodos - Individ





2. Sleater Kinney - No Cities to Love





















3. Blur - The Magic Whip





















4. Hop Along - Painted Shut






















5. Baroness - Purple





















6. Tame Impala - Currents





















7. Martin Courtney - Many Moons





















8. Swervedriver - I Wasn't Born to Lose You





















9. Beach House - Depression Cherry





















10. Metz - II





















Honorable Mention (Pacific-Northwest Edition)

Modest Mouse - Strangers to Ourselves




Built to Spill - Untethered Moon

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Belle & Sebastian + Real Estate @ Radio City Music Hall (6/10/15)



Credit goes to Brooklyn Vegan for capturing some great shots of the show last night.

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2015/06/belle_sebastian_17.html

Our seats were in the mezzanine but there really wasn't a bad seat in the house. Its freaking Radio City people. Here are some of my pics. 






The set list spanned the catalog which was awesome. 

Nobody's Empire
I'm a Cuckoo
The Party Line
The State That I Am In

Dirty Dream Number Two
Perfect Couples
Piazza, New York Catcher
Allie
The Cat With the Cream
If You're Feeling Sinister
The Wrong Girl
Dear Catastrophe Waitress
If You Find Yourself Caught In Love
The Boy with the Arab Strap
I Didn't See it Coming
Sleep the Clock Around

Encore:
Lazy Line Painter Jane
Judy and the Dream of Horses


The State I Am In, If You're Feeling Sinister and Boy with the Arab Strap were the tops in my mind. I was also surprised and delighted they played If You Find Yourself Caught in Love. The big screen background was like nothing I've even seen, I have never seen Real Estate but they were so good.  

I haven't been to Radio City since the Beck Midnite Vultures tour and B&S at the Hammerstein Ballroom in the early 2000s. Real Estate actually mentioned that same show as the last time they saw them...which was cool and didn't make me feel old.

Speaking of, I was introduced to B&S in college. I heard the Boy with the Arab Strap album and was hooked. Real Estate came to me more recently in life but I'm equally hooked. Both have such distinct vocals and signature sounds. Place them both in Radio City...fuggettaboutit.

Couldn't ask for a more "Perfect Couple" 

BONUS: 

Check out an older Cugerock post which features a an Pitchfork documentary on If You're Feeling Sinister

http://www.cugerock.com/2013/02/belle-sebastian-if-youre-feeling.html



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cugerock Top 14 of 2014: Best Albums of The Year

I think the theme of 2014 (for me at least) is "still got it" with stellar releases from long running indie favs like The New Pornographers, Spoon and Interpol coupled with the long awaited return from veterans like DFA 1979, Unwound and Braid. A few more contemporary bands like Tennis, Cloud Nothings and Real Estate came forth with solid records as well to round out the list. Enjoy!

1. Spoon - They Want My Soul



















2. New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers

















3. Braid - No Coast



















4. Real Estate - Atlas



















5. Interpol - El Pintor



















6. Unwound - No Energy



















7. Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World



















8. Tennis - Ritual in Repeat

















9. Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else



















10. Fucked Up - Year of the Dragon EP



















11. Peter Matthew Bauer - Liberation!



















12. Strand of Oaks - Heal

















13. The Men - Tomorrows Hits



















14. Tokyo Police Club - Forcefield 




















Honorable (aka had to) Mention

Fugazi - First Demo
















Not new music but a new release showcasing rough drafts of some legendary tracks.

Encore...

Great year for music indeed. Looking forward to the highly anticipated cuts from Sleater Kinney, Modest Mouse, Belle & Sebastian and others in early 2015...oh and Star Wars :)

Happy New Year!!

Friday, June 6, 2014

American Football Reissue Their Self-Titled Album

(regarding the recent American Football reunion shows) Holmes said, "Obviously, we knew the time was ripe for three middle aged dudes to play some old songs about teenage feelings, and stand around tuning guitars for a long time."



http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/19352-american-football-american-football/

They also just released a video for Never Meant...15 years late.



Like other bands in the mid-late 90s/early aughts (Hum, The Anniversary, Sunny Day Real Estate etc) these guys made amazing music and moved to other ventures as quickly as they came in.

PLEASE pick up this record. It'll make your day/year/life.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day - From De La Soul

Holy crap this is awesome. De La Soul has released their entire catalog for FREE for Valentines Day. Check the link below.

http://www.wearedelasoul.com/

"Keep the love spinning"

Extra Cugerock Treat:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

CUGEROCK TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2013

2013 has been a swell year for tunes my friends. Some old favorites...some new on the scene. Check these out. You wont be disappointed. If you are, you can call me to complain at 555-5785.

Happy New Year!!!


1.  Savages - Silence Yourself























2.  Tennis - Small Sound EP




3.  Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold (thanks for the reco Budz)





















4.  Washed Out - Paracosm (good call Dominic)























5.  Tegan & Sara - Heartthrob























6.  The Appleseed Cast - Illumination Ritual (I think I converted Mr. Faust on this one)
























7.  Superchunk - I Hate Music


8. The London Suede - Bloodsports























9.  Surfer Blood - Pythons























10. The Thermals - Desperate Ground (made the cut Danny...its a "grower")

























Saturday, December 21, 2013

ECT 2013 Review & F**ked Up "Year of the Dragon" Premiere @ LPR NYC (Video)



So earlier this year my good buddy and fellow rock enthusiast Chris informed me of the 3-Day "East Coast Tsunami" hardcore festival in Reading, PA taking place in late September. Some of the usual suspects were playing over the course of the weekend (Cro-Mags, Hatebreed etc) but the Friday night show had a bill featuring The Bouncing Souls (headlining) and Fucked Up...same night.

Now the Souls were and still are one of my favorite punk bands. I was introduced to them in high-school and went to many shows then and through college. I hadn't seen them since but had always wanted to. I would always miss them when they came through town or they were playing some event like the Vans Warped Tour in which I just couldn't deal (#oldman).



Fucked-Up is one of my favorite bands currently who Ive seen recently many times. The live FU show is amazing and I've posted about it before (Middle East - Boston 2010). That said I jumped at the chance to see the Bouncing Souls and FU together. Staying with the new and rekindling the old.

So I drove down to Philly, picked up Chris and headed out to Reading. The town is pretty blue-collar and the venue (Reverb) looks more like a windowless sports bar from the outside...perfect setting for the festival. The Agnostic Front tattoos were many and the Chain of Strength-esque hoodies were donned by pretty much everyone. The male/female split was the typical 90%/10% for these types of shows. 

While we waited for the Bouncing Souls and FU to come on we checked out Street Dogs (former Dropkick Murphy's members) and Menzingers who were awesome. We heard a few more bands with great names like "Stoked on Being Pumped"...I probably got that wrong. 

Fucked Up came on and they were amazing as usual. The crowd was kind of sparse that early in the evening but Damian still got down off stage and sung face to face with anyone in arms length. He is such a solid front man. They played a good set with songs across the catalog...but no Black Hats which I desperately wait to hear at every show (my shouting unheard).


After the show I got to talk to Damian, explaining how seeing FU and the Souls together on stage was such huge deal. He had said something similar on-stage as I guess the Souls had an impact on his band growing up as well. Very cool.

Here is a pic of me an Damian. Man, I look like such a dork.



While I was at the FU merch table two of the band members were working I asked "When are you coming back to NYC?" They replied "Tomorrow at Le Poison Rouge". Crap...I was in PA all weekend. I was bummed but even more so when I found out they played a new and unreleased track from the Zodiac series "Year of the Dragon". Here is the video. So freakin good. I think it comes out in the April and a full-length album later in 2014. Fingers crossed.



The Bouncing Souls closed the night and played literally every song I had wanted to hear from Green Ball to Argyle to present.



Show was solid. Greg and crew definitely look a little older but they sounded like I just showed up at the Trocadero 1993.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Album Reviews: Cheers, Ho-Hum & Jeers


Ok. So I've purchased a heroic amount of music this summer thus far. Ran across some real gems but the majority of bands I was pretty stoked for...really let me down. Here is a quick rundown of highlighted Cheers, Ho-Hums & Jeers.


CHEERS

Savages - Silence Yourself


The music is tight. The vocals are solid. They sound like a mix of Suede, Autolux and Fugazi. The sound is fresh and the hooks are quick and loud. Refreshing (see also Jeers)


Appleseed Cast - Illumination Ritual


Just recently fell in love with their older albums. This new release it right up there with the old favorites. You need to put these guys on and kick back for a bit...really absorb this one.



HO-HUM

The Thermals - Desperate Ground


I like this album cause I love their sound but there is absolutely nothing new here. No real departures across any of the tracks. One of the best live shows still though.


Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito


I don't know why with every release I always they will ever go back to the Fever To Tell, Is Is EP or even Show Your Bones sound. There is a few stellar tracks on here but for the mostly part its the same progressive snooze.



JEERS

Phoenix - Bankrupt!


Such a disappointment. The last two albums were phenoms. On Bankrupt there is absolutely zero emphasis on guitars. I cant really find any tracks that I thoroughly enjoy. Entertainment...maybe. Its all electro fuzz and boring. What happened fellas?


Cold War Kids - Dear Miss Lonleyhearts


Speechless. So boring. They have some explaining to do. It was a few years ago but Loyalty to Loyalty was such a rocking album. Not understanding why the new tracks are so mellow. 


Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City



I think out of all of the releases this summer I was looking forward to this one the most. From the album title to the iconography of the cover etc. I really dug the first two albums. They were smart, punchy guitar ridden easy listeners. The new one is incredibly boring. Maybe I need a few listens but none of the songs grabbed me like the other albums. Goes back to the absence of guitar which I've seen with a few other artists. I get it...you want to expand your art...but there needs to be a core element that you hold onto. I should have known what was coming when the performed on SNL with a voice modulator.


HONORABLE MENTION

Just wanted to note that the new Suede (Bloodsports) and Bob Mould (Silver Age) albums are really good. Now if Suede would ever come to the states...