I don’t traditionally do “best of” music lists, but this was a banner fucking year at the old
Bender Simon/Speights family, in which I managed to cull together a pile o’ great stuff from music sent to me, and CDs I picked up at Sonic Boom after hearing a few tunes at the listening stations.
Thus, I share with you (in no particular order) music that makes me happy — and might make you happy too.
The Pauses – A Cautionary Tale
First off, the cover of this is SIMPLY BRILLIANT. Secondly, and I cannot stress this enough, I love every single goddamn thing about this album. I don’t hand out 9 out of 10 ratings lightly, my friends. I would have probably even given this a 10 — if my imaginary cohorts would have let me. :) But I digress! This Orlando, FL band’s debut album makes me wanna dance, cry, scream, and do some handstands. Really, it’s THAT good. Trust me.
The Drums – Portamento
I didn’t think I could love anything more than The Drums self-titled first album, but I think I might love Portamento even more. It has the same joyful, poppy beats at the first, with a tinge more grown-uppedness — and it still makes me want to dance my pants right off. In fact, why even start with pants? This is clearly underwear-dancing music.
Blue Skies for Black Hearts – Embracing the Modern Age
I saw these guys open for Tennis Pro last summer and OMFG they are tight. Seriously, one of the best live bands I have ever, ever seen. And hooray! The CD is just as good. Somehow I missed knowing who this Portland band was before then, because they apparently have quite a few CDS out — but this one is good stuff. Love the retro-pop sound (especially on “Caroline Make Up Your Mind”) and the heart-tugging vocals on this as much as I loved seeing them perform. Good times.