Tag Archives: yo la tengo

25 Favorite Albums of 2009 (Chris)

The placement of the top 5 is absolute.  Everything else shifts around a bit. There were others, but these were the ones that left the biggest hole in my brain.  My apologies to Animal Collective.  I still love you (that new EP is great!), but I guess “MPP” didn’t stick with me like it did every other person in the world.  No EPs or singles (which leaves out a bunch of awesome dance and dubstep records, unfortunately).  I’m bummed that I STILL haven’t heard the new Fuck Buttons or Califone.  This was honed from a list of about 60, so if it’s on here, it’s worth your time (maybe).  Like Nas said, you can hate me now.

25. A Place to Bury Strangers – Exploding Head

24. Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs

23. Pan American – White Bird Release

22. The Phantom Band – Checkmate Savage

21. Junior Boys – Begone Dull Care

20. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca

19. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz

18. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Part II

17. Fever Ray – Fever Ray

16. The Juan Maclean – The Future Will Come

15. Khanate – Clean Hands Go Foul

14. Girls – Album

13. Atlas Sound – Logos

12. Dinosaur Jr. – Farm

11. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

10. Kylesa – Static Tensions

9. Future of the Left – Travels With Myself and Another

8. Wolves in the Throne Room – Black Cascade

7. Bat for Lashes – Two Suns

6. The Flaming Lips – Embryonic

5. William Basinski – 92982

4. Tim Hecker – An Imaginary Country

3. Mount Eerie – Wind’s Poem

2. Sunn O))) – Monoliths & Dimensions

1. Clark – Totems Flare

New Releases: Raekwon, Yo La Tengo, and Jay-Z

Dear Wizard Readers, we’re going to start a new format this week.

Well, we’re going to try it out for a while, and if you guys like it, we’ll keep it. But if I start getting flaming bags of dog poo or naked pictures of Ron Paul in my inbox….I’m shuttin’ it down, real quick!

Anyway, so instead of the standard reviews, we’re going to post the note-worthy releases for the week, and open it all for discussion. And if you guys want us to expand a blurb into a review, I’d be happy to oblige.

So, chime in and let us know! (Links included)

September 8, 2009

Finally, it’s here! This is long awaited follow-up to Rae’s superb 1995 cut. Drug-dealing, ripping off dealers, scratchin’ and survivin’, and a heart-felt tribute to ODB makes this a hip-hop record worth talking about. Everyone is on their game on the mic (Rae, Method Man, Ghostface Killah) and on the boards (RZA, J Dilla). Feel like hip-hop has been in the gutter for the past few years? Well, grab your gat and your stash (vicariously of course) and let Raekwon restore your faith.

The indie paragons return with their latest LP. “Popular Songs” flexes the bands creative muscles, following up their excellent 2006 release, “I’m Not Afraid Of You, And I Will Beat Your Ass.” The trio keep things fresh for the albums 12 tracks, that closes with on epic note. Though at 15 minutes, you may not listen to it all that often. It’s an album that’s a perfect to ring in the fall.

The international rap mogul continues his un-retirement with another strong cut. The HOVA spends most of this record rapping about current music trends, haters, money, and…well, whatever the fuck he wants. Kanye runs the boards for most of the record, so his synth-heavy beats sets the tone for the album. “The Blueprint 3” features some really strong cuts, but it may leave fans hoping for a true “The Blueprint” old-school hip-hop grind passing on most of it. (It drops on the 9th now, in order to combat an internet leak)

Well, that wraps up a busy week and ends the August music drought (save the excellent electo-R&B debut album by UK’s The XX)

Please contribute below and let us know what you think!


Review: Condo Fucks “Fuckbook”


This band sux.  They are stealing all of their ideas from other bands and stuff.  And bro, it sounds like shit.  Are they using K-Mart amplifiers or something?  Ever heard of Pro Tools?  I think this band is trying to be No Age, which is this totally ill band that my friend Joe Rushmore loves.  Nice try, but the Condo Fucks look so old I bet they have a legitimate prescription to Viagra.  And their clothes aren’t very cool.  I bet they aren’t even vegans.


So, everyone knows that the Condo Fucks are really Yo La Tengo in their just-fer-kicks civvies (despite the intricate false backstory).  This brief LP is stuffed with a package of ace covers (including Richard Hell, The Electric Eels, and The Flamin’ Groovies) with all the sonic detail of a beer-bonged basement act.  Beneath this sub-Neon Boys fuzz, it’s still clear this is a band completely in control of their rock and roll.  Rarely has this stellar trio sounded like they were having so much fun, and they attack each track with a Raw Power energy that conveys their genuine love of this music.

It goes without saying that this is a minor addition to their already killer proper discography, but it’s a completely worthwhile record.  Crank this at your next bar-b-que and your guests may temporarily forget that they won’t be able to retire until ten years after their deaths.

“Straight Outta Connecticut” Mini-Documentary:

[Fuckbook is out now on Matador.]

Buy here.


Friendly Lists: Jezy Gray

Today’s list comes from our Dentonian friend, Jezy Gray. 

Favorite Songs of the Past Year: “Reckoner” by Radiohead blew me away the first time I heard it, and I still get chills every time it gets to that one part. You know the part I’m talking about — with the crash cymbals. Also, the title track from The Field’s “From Here We Go to Sublime” is equally stellar.

Favorite Older Songs of the Moment: “Everybody Plays the Fool” by Marvin Gaye, and basically anything from the ELO catalog.

Favorite New Band or Older Band You Recently Discovered: There’s this really wild pseudo-Japanese concept album called “Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki” by The Yamasuki Singers that came out in ’71. Definitely my favorite discovery of last year, hands down. It’s these two French guys, Jean Kluger and Daniel Vangarde, and they make these really great pop songs based on some traditional Japanese dance called the Yamasuki. It’s awesome.

Favorite Song Ever: “The Girl from Ipanema” by Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto.

Best Recent Concert: The Flaming Lips New Year’s Extravaganza!

Last Great Film I Saw: Breathless. I can’t really argue with anyone who calls it French New Wave wankery, but it’s really pretty and fun.

Last Great Book I Read: Ficciones, a collection of stories by Jorge Luis Borges. “The Circular Ruins,” in particular, completely blew my mind.

First Album You Remember Buying: “Thriller” was the first album I remember hearing, but I’m not too sure about the first one I ever bought. I’m sure it was some middle-of-the-road alt-rock band I heard on The Edge.

Favorite Band to Hate On That All Your Friends Heart: No particular band comes immediately to mind. I never got into Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Best Purchase of the Last Year: I broke down and bought a DVD player that costs more than $30. It hasn’t malfunctioned yet.

Best Thing I Did This Year: Saved Darfur by purchasing a ‘Save Darfur’ t-shirt. That was a close one.

Favorite Recent Drunk Moment: I’ve really been kind of a boring drunk since I moved to Texas. It’s usually just my girlfriend and me drinking beer and watching Curb Your Enthusiasm until we get sleepy.

Favorite TV Show at the Moment: I need to start watching a new show. I just re-watch all my Curb and Seinfeld DVDs, or I watch CNN. I hear really good things about The Wire.

Favorite Video Game at the Moment: My boss and I play Scrabble on her Mac at work sometimes. That’s probably the closest I’ve come to playing a video game in a long time.

Most Commonly Eaten Food Product: Frozen pizza, or something else equally bad for me/easy to make.

My Ringtone: “Mr. Tough” by Yo La Tengo, but it’s usually on vibrate.