"Graduation" by Kanye West "Curtis" by 50 Cent
9/11 is sort of a ridiculous street date. There is so much coming out today. I really didn't even know where to start. This week will be the battle between two giants of hip hop, Kanye West and 50 Cent. I have not heard either album yet but I am really betting on Kanye coming ahead of 50. I love the artwork for his new album and the song "Stronger" is fantastic. I was a bit confused about Kanye collaborating with Daft Punk, but it works out so perfectly. I was also sort of sick of 50 Cent after "In Da Club." I would be fine with never having to hear him or that song again. But I know a lot of people still love him. So I am a bit biased in my pick for Kanye. But he was awesome at the VMA's if not a bit over dramatic. He has claimed he will never have anything to do with the VMA's again after not winning again. I don't think he really needs to worry. He was all over the show and I don't think the fact that he didn't win a VMA is going to effect the sales of his album one bit.
Animal Collective is finally unleashing their new album for us today. "Strawberry Jam" seems to be their eighth album. They have been putting out albums since 2000 and I have been hearing about them for about just as long. But I didn't really ever give them the time they deserved. I always sort of thought it would take a big investment of time to devout the kind of time they needed. I couldn't just pick up their album and immediately get into it. They seemed to be one of those bands that you needed to ease yourself into. Or maybe I needed to see them live first before I could fully understand them. So I finally made the effort to listen to them in 2005 when "Feels" came out, their second album for Fat Cat. I don't know if I would have been really ready for them back in 2000. I still sort of feel like I am not always ready for these guys. But I was actually excited for this new album to come out. I wanted to see what else they could do. Animal Collective is made up of Panda Bear, Avey Tare, Deakin, and Geologist. It is really hard not to hear the Beach Boys when I listen to these guys. It is a really messed up and weird version of them. I never really liked the Beach Boys. I just can't get the vision of them performing "Kokomo" with John Stamos (Uncle Jesse from Full House) whenever I think of the Beach Boys. But a band like Animal Collective sort of makes me appreciate Brian Wilson a little bit more.
Strawberry Jam does not sound drastically different from Feels. Same sort of little cute mixed up harmonies with lots of different music styles going on in the background. His vocals are not really that different than some of the more popular bands right now like The Shins, Bright Eyes, or Arcade Fire. This band is nothing really like them. But imagine a vocalist for one of those bands playing with a band like Primus who is heavily influenced by the Beach Boys. That description sort of sounds horrible. But they really make it all sound good. The songs are actually kind of addictive and catchy. I didn't really expect this from them. The artwork is also sort of fantastic. The opening song on the new album "Peacebone" is brilliant. It sounds like the music is some arcade game being played backwards while someone is possibly getting whipped in the background. But it still is totally addictive and catchy. "Chores" could really easily be off of some Beach Boys album. Animal Collective is seriously making me have to go check out some Beach Boys albums now. I have resisted Beach Boys much longer than Animal Collective. But I am going to risk it. I can always go back to listening to the new Animal Collective if I don't like what I find in the world of the Beach Boys. Animal Collective seems a bit more safe and friendly for some reason. But things could change. Bob Saget might just end up playing drums in the next Animal Collective video. Stranger things have happened.
Here is the video for "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys w/ John Stamos...
and here is an Animal Collective video for "Fireworks" from the new album to heal yourself with after that Beach Boys video...
Also out today is the new album from the Shout Out Louds. They come from the land of Sweden. They had an album called "Howl Howl Gaff Gaff" come out in 2005. But it is really all about this new album "OUR ILL WILLS" which comes out today. I really am in love with this album. They are sort of all the bands I love mixed up all together. The music could easily be Belle & Sebastian or Arcade Fire mixed up with the songwriting of Bright Eyes. I didn't realize how catchy it was until I listened to it a couple of times. It now has me hooked and I can't stop listening to it. The album has been out since April as an import. They are a bit intertwined with Peter, Bjorn, & John. One of their members directed the video for "Young Folks." Another member sang live on the song during Coachella. And one of the members of Peter, Bjorn, & John produced the Shout Out Louds album.
This band could have easily been the kind of band I was obsessed with years ago. But it makes me happy every time there is some new band that can make me feel that same way. There is nothing really like that feeling when you first start listening to a new album. You sort of like it and know you are going to like it even more the next time you listen to it. But then after you keep listening to it, you end up liking it more than you even thought you could. It just makes me happy. And it is nice to have those albums around you every once in a while.
Here is a cute little video for "Impossible" by the Shout Out Louds. A Scooter and a carnival. What could be better....
also out today...
"Good Bad Not Evil" by The Black Lips
"Hideout" by Film School
"Proof of Youth" by The Go! Team
"Help Wanted Nights" by The Good Life
"Happiness LTD" by Hot Hot Heat
"Isle Of" by Jenny Hoyston
"Kurt Cobain About A Son" Soundtrack
"Gone" by Mono
"Autumn of the Seraphs" by Pinback
"Attack Decay Sustain Release" by Simian Mobile Disco
"Hope & Glory" by Ann Wilson