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December 30, 2011

{Favorite Albums of 2011}

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These are my picks for top 25 albums of the year. I put them loosely in order of albums that got the most play in my ipod. I managed to find links to stream most of 'em, so knock yourself out!

Bon Iver - S/T

Ryan Adams - Ashes & Fire

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

Adele - 21

The Weeknd - House of Balloons

Noah & The Whale - Last Night on Earth

Yuck - S/T

SBTRKT - S/T

Bright Eyes - The People's Key

Blue Scholars - Cinemetropolis

The Black Keys - El Camino

Drake - Take Care

Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones

Owen - Ghost Town

Francisca Valenzuela- Buen Soldado

The Roots - Undun

Washed Out - Within and Without

Low Anthem- Smart Flesh

Coldplay- Mylo Xyloto

The Decemberists- King is Dead

Zola Jesus - Conatus

Common -The Dreamer, The Believer

Radiohead - King of Limbs

John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves

Gira Peonza - Las Estaciones

And here's 25 more that are not to be missed...

Wilco - The Whole Love

Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo

ASAP Rocky - LiveLoveA$AP

Beirut - The Rip Tide

Big Troubles - Romantic Comedy

Little Dragon - Ritual Union

Telekinesis - 12 Desperate Straight Lines

Metronomy - The English Riviera

Naturalesa Salvatge - Una llum infinita

Teddy Thompson - Bella

Dolorean - The Unfazed

Youth Lagoon - The Year of Hibernation

The Horrors - Skying

Joseph Arthur - The Graduation Ceremony

Lisa Hannigan - Passenger

The Pains of Being Pure At heart - Belong

Cut Copy - Zonoscope

Kathleen Edwards - Voyageur

The Rapture - In the Grace of Your Love

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - S/T

Jay Sean - The Mistress

WU LYF - Go Tell Fire To The Mountain

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - S/T

M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

Benjamin Francis Leftwich - Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm

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December 29, 2011

{Helado Negro}

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Latin electro-folk project is the one man band of Roberto Carlos Lange, who is going under the alias Helado Negro ('Black Ice Cream'). Asthmatic Kitty just released his album Canta Lechuza.

Stream the album...



Here's the video for the infectious single "2º Dia"...



Order the album right here

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{Common}

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Rapper Common is set to release his latest album The Dreamer, The Believer on December 20th.

My favorite tune features a Curtis Mayfield falsetto in the backround...



Stream the album...



Pre-order the album right here

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{Canon Blue}

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Nashville natives Canon Blue released their indie pop album Rumspringa a couple month's back, but I am just getting now acquainted.

Here's a couple of my favs...


Canon Blue "Honeysuckle (Milwaukee)" by SmilingEars


Canon Blue - Indian Summer (Des Moines) by littlestsounds

Stream the album...



Order the album right here

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{All Dust/All Stars: A Winter Mix}

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Here's my winter mix, not really sure what makes it wintery, but I know that I wanted plenty of strings and horns. I guess strings and horns remind of winter somehow, or not. I'm not really sure how this works, but it does, trust me. More mixes to come next year, enjoy!

Have a listen...

"All Dust/All Stars"

Here's the track listing:
Jonsi - "Gathering Stories"
Jane Monheit - "Never Let Me Go"
Sean Hayes - "Here We Are..."
Ornella Vanoni - "L'Apuntamento"
Nujabees + Fat Jon - "Aruarian Dance"
Chet Baker - "Look For The Silver Lining"
Ron Sexsmith - "On A Whim"
Chavela Vargas - "Tu Me Acostumbraste"
Beirut - "Vagabond"
Patrick Wolf - "This Time of Year"


(Cover art by No Moda)

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{Please Please Please}

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On December 13, American Laundromat will release Please, Please, Please: A Tribute to The Smiths. The double CD featuring covers by the Wedding Present, Built to Spill's Doug Martsch, Vivian Girls/La Sera's Katy Goodman, Tanya Donelly, Telekinesis, and many more.

Here's a few of my favs...

"Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before"

Sara Lov - "Well I Wonder"...


Well I Wonder by sara lov

Elk City - "I Know It's Over...



Pre-order the album right here

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December 08, 2011

{The National}

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Two great new tunes from The National are streaming over on CBC Radio. The band performed o Q Live in Toronto and played these unreleased songs: "Rylan" and "I Need My Girl".

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December 07, 2011

{Roman Candle}

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Just got this great xmas tune in my inbox! Roman Candle released a free download of their new holiday song "It's Christmas. Go On and Say Hello". Written with and featuring Keegan DeWitt.

Have a listen (and download)...



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{Jiro Dreams of Sushi}

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This is the story of 85 year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3 star Michelin review, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar.

For most of his life, Jiro has been mastering the art of making sushi, but even at his age he sees himself still striving for perfection, working from sunrise to well beyond sunset to taste every piece of fish; meticulously train his employees; and carefully mold and finesse the impeccable presentation of each sushi creation. At the heart of this story is Jiro’s relationship with his eldest son Yoshikazu, the worthy heir to Jiro’s legacy, who is unable to live up to his full potential in his father’s shadow.

Look for the film in select theaters March 9th.

View the trailer here or right here...



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{The Lady}

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The Lady is a biopic about political dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi (Michelle Yeoh) of Myanmar.

The film is currently screening at film festivals.

View the trailer here or right here...



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{Footsteps}

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This is a story about a young woman (Sybil Temtchine) that wakes up on Hollywood Boulevard at dawn on the handprints and footprints of the famed Grauman's Chinese Theatre with no idea who she or how she got there.

Look for the film in select theaters December 16th.

View the trailer here or right here...



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December 06, 2011

{Albatross}

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Niall MacCormick's debut feature pitches wild-child Emelia (Jessica Brown Findlay) into the Fischer family, where her influence on daughter (Felicity Jones) and dad (Sebastian Koch) threatens to tip their peaceful, but dysfunctional life.

Look for the film in select theaters January 2nd.

View the trailer here or right here...



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December 05, 2011

{Patrick Wolf}

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London electro singer-songwriter Patrick Wolfis set to release his Brumalia EP on December 4th.

Here's a few of my favs...

"Bitten"

Pre-order the EP right here

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{Nacho Umbert & La Compania}

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I've been digging Barcelona pop act Nacho Umbert & La Compania's new album No Os Creáis Ni La Mitad. The title track and "El Mort I El Degollat" are a couple of my favs.

Have a listen...



Order the album right here

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{Perfume Genius}

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Singer/songwriter Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas) will return early next year with his sophomore LP Put Your Back N 2 It (February 21st via Matador).

Have a listen...

"All Waters"

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{L'Orange}

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North Carolina based beatsmith L'Orange's latest project is a free album titled Old Soul, an audio tribute to jazz legend Billie Holiday.

Have a listen...



Download the album right here

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December 01, 2011

{The Do}

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The Dø are a moody French pop duo with a new album Both Ways Open Jaws. I got a link to stream the album, but I haven't really gotten past "Too Insistent" because I keep listening to it over and over.

Have a listen...

"Too Insistent"

Here's the video...



Stream the album right here

Order the album here

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{Sean Hayes}

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Sean Hayes has been one of my favorite singer/songwriters for years. He's just released Outtakes & Alternatives, a collection of songs recorded from 2005 to 2011. One of my favorites ("My Lady") has got to be a leftover track from the Big Black Hole & the Little Baby Star session (without a doubt my favorite Sean Hayes album). Another standout is the short and sweet song that he usually plays live called "Looped Inside". The last line of the song always gets a laugh from the audience... 'You don't buy my music tonight/ You will surely die'. The last three tracks are alternate versions of songs that have been released on previous albums.

Here's a few of my favs...

"My Lady"

"Looped Inside"

"When We Fall In" (Featuring Frazey Ford)

Order the album right here

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{Declaration of War}

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France's Official Entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards is based on extraordinary real-life events experienced by filmmaker Valerie Donzelli and co-star/writer Jeremie Elkaim. The film tells the story of a young couple suddenly dragged from their carefree existence by an unexpected twist of fate.

Look for the film in select theaters January 27th.

View the trailer here or right here...



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{Roadie}

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Canned from a 20-year job as roadie for Blue Oyster Cult, Jimmy is broke and desperate. With nowhere else to go, he returns home to Forest Hills, Queens to visit his aging mother, where a wild night with some hard-partying high school friends shows him that some things never change. From director Michael Cuesta, Roadie features powerful performances from Ron Eldard, Bobby Cannavale, Jill Hennessy and a 70s hard rock soundtrack.

Look for the film in select theaters January 6th.

View the trailer here or right here...



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{Mike G}

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Mike G (of the Odd Future crew) has just released a free 26-minute rap tape called Award Tour.

Download the mixtape right here

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{The Leftovers}

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I Just finished reading Tom Perrotta's novel The Leftovers and I remembered why this guy is one of my favorite authors. He writes another story about suburban struggles, only this time the novel opens with the people who've been 'left behind' after a rapture-like phenomenon.

Read an excerpt right here

Order the novel here

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{Hotel Lights}

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Hotel Lights is an indie rock band that features singer-songwriter and former Ben Folds Five drummer Darren Jessee (vocals, guitars, piano, keyboards), guitarist/engineer Alan Weatherhead (Sparklehorse, A Camp), Jay Brown (bass) and Zeke Hutchins (drums), both of Tift Merritt's band.

Have a listen to "Dave Sharkey To The Dance Floor", "Super 8MM", "Headboards and Aspirin", and "Through the Crowd" from their Soundcloud

Listen to the title track...


Hotel Lights-Falling Down by BarNoneRecords



Order the album right here

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{Alex Turner}

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So I'm very late on this one, but I recently watched Richard Ayoade’s coming-of-age film Submarine. The film is excellent and the soundtrack is provided by Alex Turner (of Arctic Monkeys) and it finds him in a nice folk groove.

Have a listen...

"Glass in the Park"

Hiding Tonight"

Watch the trailer for the film right here

Order the album here

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{The Roots}

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NPR is streaming The Roots forthcoming album Undun. The album is an existential re-telling of the short life of one Redford Stephens. Through a reverse narrative arc, the album begins as the listener finds Redford disoriented -postmortem- and attempting to make sense of his former life.

Have a listen right here

If you only listen to one tune, groove to this...

"Kool On"

Order the album here

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{Frank Turner}

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British folk punk artist Frank Turner has just released a rarities collection titled Second Three Years.

Here's a few of my favs...

"The Next Round"

"Wanderlust"...



"Rock & Roll Romance"...



"Thunder Road" (Bruce Springsteen cover)...



Previously mentioned...
Frank Turner released his album England Keep My Bones earlier this year. Again this was one that will likely end up somewhere on my favorite albums of the year list.

Have a listen...

"Redemption"

Here's another...


Frank Turner - I Am Disappeared by Epitaph Records

Order the album right here

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{Jay Sean}

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UK R&B singer Jay Sean released a free mixtape titled The Mistress earlier this year. I'm re-posting this because it might just crack my top twenty five favorite albums of the year. The mixtape features guest spots from Lupe Fiasco, Birdman and Tyga.

Stream the mixtape below...



Or download the mixtape right here

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{Black Magik}

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I was asked to put a mix together for my buddies over at Robotepec. Like the designs that they do, I wanted it to be real eclectic. I think I hit the mark and I liked it so much that I had to throw the link out on my own site. Enjoy!

Have a listen...

"Black Magik"

Here's the track listing:
Naturalesa Salvatge - "Ancestros"
Sonny & The Sunsets - "Too Young To Burn"
Orange Juice - "Rip It Up"
Violeta Castillo - "Mi Carcel"
Blue Scholars - "Seijun Suzuki"
Raphael - "Cierro Mis Ojos"
Surfer Blood - "Drinking Problem"
Richard Hell & The Voidoids - "Blank Generation"
Gira Peonza - "El Camino Hasta Tu Casa"
Les Miserables - "Miserablement"
Nite Jewel - "It Goes To Your Head" (Remix)
Kim Weston - "Love Me All The Way"

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