NPR's list for The Best Music Of 2009 (So Far)

NPR's results of their listener's poll for the best music for mid-2009 were just released...

They acclaimed bands like Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, The Decemberists and Neko Case. At the same time, they see 2009 as one of the strongest years for new music in recent memory...I would have to agree mostly for the wide range and diversity of what we have heard so far...

Take a peek and see how your selections correlate to those from NPR's listeners (which could be good or bad!).

Best Albums of 2009 (so far)

1. Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective
2. The Hazards of Love by The Decemberists
3. Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear
4. Middle Cyclone by Neko Case
5. Wilco (The Album) by Wilco
6. Noble Beast by Andrew Bird
7. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix by Phoenix
8. It's Blitz! by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
9. Dark Was The Night by Various Artists
10. Bitte Orca by Dirty Projectors
11. Far by Regina Spektor
12. Actor by St. Vincent
13. Manners by Passion Pit
14. Hold Time by M. Ward
15. Reservoir by Fanfarlo
16. Fever Ray by Fever Ray
17. Fantasies by Metric
18. Two Suns by Bat for Lashes
19. My Maudlin Career by Camera Obscura
20. Dark Night of the Soul by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse
21. The Crying Light by Antony & The Johnsons
22. The Eternal by Sonic Youth
23. The Ecstatic by Mos Def
24. Outer South by Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
25. Swoon by Silversun Pickups
26. Together Through Life by Bob Dylan
27. No Line on the Horizon by U2
28. March of the Zapotec by Beirut
29. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
30. The Mountain by Heartless Bastards

Full podcast can be found HERE, where you can also listen to some songs...



Set times Ready for All Points West

APW is only a week away and finally the SET TIMES are ready along with an updated line-up. Take a look at the Friday SET TIMEs, which is the one MUSICAL SOULMATE's team will be attending.

The Beastie Boys sadly announced their cancellation to the festival due to cancer recently detected in the throat of MCA. It appears to be treatable and surgery is in the schedule. JAY-Z has been added to the Friday lineup, which I am sure will add a lot of hip-hop crowd of the NOrtheast.

A video explaining the decision from the Beastie Boys is attached below.

I am really looking forward to this concert, and I will keep you guys posted on how things develop



Jim James is Yim Yames

Jim James, frontman of My Morning Jacket has made an effort to put aside the band and has recently started a couple of projects under the name Yim Yames. His projects include the production of an album to support appalachian voices and help stop the removal of mountaintops in the US. This album will be recorded by Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore. In addition, Yim yames has recently recorded a live record in New Orleans along with the legendary preservation hall jazz band, This album will be released in the fall.

On top of that, Yim has re-joined the so-called "The Monsters Of Folk" along with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, and singer-guitarist M. Ward. This folk-rock dream team has put together a new album produced by Mike Mogis. The single is called "Say Please". And can be listened to for free at NPR, or downloaded for free at "The Monsters Of Folk" website...you only need to say PLEASE.

Also, Yim Yames has recently recorded a tribute album to George Harrison. The album entitled "Tribute to" comprises of 6 songs, covering some of the dark and mellow tunes of the late musician. If you like Harrison's music and enjoy the amazing voice of James this is the album to listen to...on a rainy night, in the fall, with a glass of your favorite wine and that special person by your side...




Blind Pilot, 3 Rounds and A Sound, should've been on my list.

Blind Pilot, the band from Portland, Oregon has recently released their debut album “3 Rounds and A Sound”, definitely one of my favorites this year…not sure what happened, but even though I spent so much time listening to their amazing show at the SXSW festival, when it came to making the list, I totally forgot about them.

Israel Nebeker, leads the band along with his long-time collaborator Ryan Dobrowski who also plays the drums. Blind Pilot’s music includes always a delicate and harmonic touch that seems to take you by the hand and carefully guides you to places where everything seems fresh, everything is in place and where all that commotion of our day-to-day is simply behind. At the same time, when you are least expecting it, they free themselves and both the strings and lyrics grab you by the heart, press firmly until that first tear is close to come out…that is when they let go…that is when you hear again the whisper of Nebeker’s voice bringing you back to the same place, where everything is melody, sweet melody…

Below, see a link to their recent show at Daytrotter (4 downloadable songs) and the lyrics to “3 Rounds and A Sound”, their title song, a majestic piece with which they ironically decide to end their album.

This band will be for sure in my final 2009 list…that is, assuming that I am unable to make the same mistake once again…


Blind Pilot – Daytrotter Session – July 15, 2009

3 Rounds and A Sound
Blind Pilot

They're playing our song
They're playing our song
Can you see the lights?
Can you hear the hum?

Of our song
I hope they get it right
I hope we dance tonight
Before we, get it wrong

And the seasons
Will change us new
But you’re the best I've known
and you know me
I could not be stuck on you
If that weren’t true

I was swimming
My eyes were dark
Till you woke me
And told me that opening
is just the start
it was

Now I see you, till kingdom come
You're the one I want
To see me for all the stupid shit I've done

Soiled and six feet under
Killed just like we were
Before you knew you'd know me
And you know me

Blooming up from the ground
3 rounds and a sound
Like whispering you know me
And you know me

So this was our song
This was our song
I still see the lights
I can see them

And the criss-cross
Of what is true, won't get to us
Cause you know me
I could not give up on you
(It wouldn’t feel true)

And the fog of what is right
Won't cover us cause you know me
I could not give up a fight
(Wouldn’t feel right)


Fanfarlo at The Bowery Ballroom in NYC - Sep 21, 2009

So far, all the lists for mid-2009 include Fanfarlo and even though we might have extra posts on this (and 6 more months to go), it appears that this band and their Reservoir might top our music preferences for this year.

Just released, a few days ago Fanfarlo decided to include a NYC show in the middle of their UK tour. Apparently, they originally booked The Mercury Lounge (217 East Houston St., New York, NY) but due to the immense response from the Yankee crowd they decided to move their show to the much larger Bowery Ballroom (6 Delancey St. New York, NY).

It took me about 33 seconds between I finished reading the note and clicking on the BUY TICKETS button. As I felt last year before the Bon Iver's concert, this could be the one show you would not want to miss in 2009...


PS. Just in case, I purchased an extra ticket...and besides my multiple personality disorder most likely I only need one to enter the show...


Amigos, Tiba, colaborador externo de Musical Soulmate amablemente nos ha enviado sus comentarios y lista sobre lo más destacado para él en este mitad de año, aquí se las dejo, saludos a todos!

"Amigos aquí les va mi lista y como todos sabemos es donde empiezo a romper el esquema mencionando cosas que tal vez me dirán pinche Tiba blablalbla, pero de eso se trata de la diversidad y aportar lo mas que podamos a esto y enriquecernos de lo que los demás tienen para nosotros.

1. Pale Young Gentlemen – Black Forest (tra la la) – Se que salió a finales del año pasado pero estábamos tan emocionados yendo desde el Flume hasta el Skinny Love sin dejar de pasar For Emma que se nos fue y la neta a mi me tienen encantados este año

2. Fanfarlo Reservoir – La primera vez que lo escuche gusto, la segunda le entendí mas, la tercera me prendió mas y así me puedo seguir y veré hasta donde más le puedo sacar a este disco.

3. Kasabian - The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum – Esperaba más del disco pero los sencillos y un par de rolas mas de verdad son de apreciarse lo chignon que penden los muchachos

4. Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse Dark Night Of The Soul – Muy buen disco por todo lo que lo envuelve e hicieron por el, además de que tiene amplias diferencias entre cada una de las rolas sin dejar de hacernos sentir el cuidado que le metieron a la edición y producción.

5. The Mars Volta – Octahedron – Un poco lo que le paso a los Yeahs, hicieron un disco superdigerible, muy bien pensado y producido, abandonan un poco el pedo experimental y locochon para traernos este discos con mucha guitarra semiacustica muy bien manejada sin los laaaaaaaaaaargos solos y rolas de 8 minutos

6. Yeah Yeah Yeah´s It´s Blitz – Extraño lo sucio que podían llegar a sonar en sus primeros pininos pero se agradece la producción y evolución en donde están ahora

7. Green Day 21st Century Breakdown – Siguen levantando la mano con buen rock, estilizado, madurando como los Buenos vinos

8. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix – Fieles a su estilo con nuevos lyrics y algunos riffs, para escuchar el disco completo sin pedos

9. Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career – Damn me siento tan gay al ponerlo pero ni pex hay que estar en contacto con nuestro lado femenino, solo puedo decir “qué bonito disco”

10. I.M.S. – Soy Sauce – Lo más rico bailable y disfrutable en lo que va del año, además es home made.



Mis favoritos (1/2 2009) (Amarillo)

Amigos, siguiendo la idea que propuso MM en su post anterior, les dejo mi lista de los 10 discos que más me han gustado en esta mitad del año. Esperemos que la segunda mitad de este 2009 nos traiga mucha música más para disfrutar y compartir.

Con respecto al análisis de mi lista, creo que muchos seguimos esperando que llegue el Bon Iver o los Fleet Foxes del 2009, desgraciadamente fenómenos así no ocurren año tras año. Mis 10 favoritos son:

1. Fanfarlo, definitivo lo que más me ha emocionado en este 2009, una mezcla entre Beirut-Arcade Fire que resulta bastante agradable, -Reservoir-, el primer LP de esta banda resultó un gran disco como obra completa.
2. The horrors, con todo y su búsqueda de sonido tipo Portishead creo que con el -Primary Colours- lograron su mejor disco.
3. Yeah Yeah Yeah's, que a todos nos emocionaron con su sonido más refinado en el -It´s Blitz!-.
4. Camera Obscura, con su dulcísimo -My Maudlin Career- no me empalagó a pesar de ser tan cursi, y con French Navy nos dejaron uno de los sencillos del año hasta el momento.
5. Kasabian, que me emocionaron tanto con sus sencillos y que su disco -The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum- finalmente no terminó por enamorarme.
6. Animal Collective, que el -Merriweather Post Pavillion- me gustó definitivo pero que considero que no he terminado de entenderlo.
7. Grizzly Bear, de quienes no soy el super fan pero el -Veckatimest- es el disco de esta banda que más he logrado apreciar.
8. Passion Pit, con -Manners-, su album debut, nos mostraron un sonido más común pero melódicamente destacado y con sencillos muy buenos.
9. The Felice Brothers con su -Yonder is the clock-, que con este disco realmente me hicieron entrarle a la onda de la música "Americana".
10. The Maccabees, su -Wall of Arms- no tiene sencillos tan fuertes como su disco anterior pero si un sonido ya más trabajado y refinado, muy recomendable.

Obvio hay ausencias importantes, ya que discos como el Missiles de los dears o el Black Forest (tra-la-la) de Pale Young Gentlemen me encantaron durante esta primera mitad, pero fueron editados en el 2008. Poco a poco iré poniendo los links a los albums por si a alguien le falta alguno. Saludos a todos amigos! Si alguien tiene una lista de 5 0 10, mándela para postearla.


Mid-year review for 2009...

Six months have passed...six more to go...great year in music so far, and I expect it to get better as we approach the end of 2009...

As a periodic contributor to MUSICAL SOULMATE, I would like to see what you guys have thought about this year, its new music and what have you guys been listening to. Unlike last year, 2009 has been extremely busy for me and for one reason or the other I have not been in Mexico at all...so, I am sure my so-called picks for 2009 are going to be completely different than yours...and I am sure, I will discover great things by looking at your choices...

So, I propose sending your choices (at least 10) before July 15 to any of the contributors to MUSICAL SOULMATE, we'll put the lists together and publish them by the end of the month...what do you think?

Here is mine, ...and looking at it, I think I am getting too mellow...

1. Fanfarlo - Reservoir
2. The Felice Brothers - Yonder is the clock
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Its blitz
4. Metric - Fantasies
5. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
6. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
7. The Church - Untitled #23
8. The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
9. Great Northern -Remember where the light is
10. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
11. St. Vincent - Actor
12. Grizzly Bear-Veckatimest
13. Death Cab for Cutie - The Open Door

Special mention to the Dark Was The Night Compilation.