Mini-Beats – February 2010

Los Campesinos!Romance Is Boring (2010, Arts & Crafts) ♥♥♥
-doesn’t stray too far from previous efforts though this had fewer memorable moments than usual-
Here HereA Boy With An Orange (2007, self-released) ♥♥♥♥
-superbly executed indie-pop with gang vocals, banjos and hooks galore that reminds me a great deal of the first Arcade Fire EP-
Tiny Masters Of TodayBang Bang Boom Cake (2007, Great Society) ♥♥
-couple of young bucks bang on instruments, sing politically-charged punk-influenced rock songs; perhaps a little too kitschy for its own good-
The Magnetic FieldsRealism (2010, Nonesuch) ♥♥
-Stephin bounces around all over the place on this release; felt like a collection of disposable b-sides-
MaloryPearl Diver (2010, Club AC30) ♥♥♥
-capable it not completely immemorable shoegaze pop from Germany-
Broken BellsBroken Bells (2010, Columbia) ♥♥♥½
-most notable output from Mercer since the debut Shins record; a few of these songs put me in a really great place…like fields of daisies and shit-
The Dirty SleevesPretend My Hand Is A Vector (2006, Wizard Rock) ♥♥½
-mellow folk-type rock; lyrics can get a little corny and cliche-
The RecitalThe Succulent Leftovers EP (2009, Suburban Sprawl) ♥♥½
-the band has called it quits and left behind this EP of so-so b-sides and alt takes-
Basia BulatHeart Of My Own (2010, Rough Trade) ♥♥♥½
-Bulat and crew put on a great live show and this release finds Basia ‘growing up’ as a songwriter-
EelsEnd Times (2010, V2) ♥♥♥
-it’s hard to not to like E’s self-deprecating efforts but lately its been hard to love them-
Juana MolinaSegundo (2000, Domino) ♥♥♥½
-a rather unique take on folktronica though some would argue Juana was one of the earliest torchbearers of said genre-
Avey Tare & Panda BearSpirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished (2000, Animal) ♥♥½
-some great drumming, a few horrificly unlistenable moments (not unlike your favorite mid-period Flaming Lips albums) and you have the beginning stages of one of the 00’s most influential groups-
GalleriesGalleries EP (2010, Slow Receiver) ♥♥♥½
-well executed dream-pop from Scotland and it’s free….; RIYL Appleseed Cast, There Will Be Fireworks
PhoenixUnited (2000, Astralwerks) ♥♥♥½
-if you think Phoenix began with Wolfgang you’re pretty damn wrong; this is pleasing aside from a few jock-rock missteps-
ShearwaterThe Golden Archipelago (2010, Matador) ♥♥♥½
-these guys have been quite consistent throughout their catalog; this is no exception-
PostdataPostdata (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-the brothers Wintersleep create a quiet, introspective album in memoriam to their deceased grandparents; I expected more but this will get better on repeated listens-
The Legendary Pink DotsA Perfect Mystery (2000, Caciocavallo) ♥♥½
-my first experience with an entire LPD album left me wanting more music and less vocals-
Xiu XiuDear God, I Hate Myself (2010, Kill Rock Stars) ♥♥½
-I think the Xiu Xiu schtick might be getting a little tiresome….-
Bevis FrondValedictory Songs (2000, Rubric) ♥♥♥
-Nick’s 17th(!) album is my virgin experience with BF; you can expect sloppy, but melodic college rock that reminded me of The Lemonheads and Buffalo Tom; 71 minutes was a bit long though….-
The Album LeafA Chorus Of Storytellers (2010, Sub Pop) ♥♥♥
-pretty/dreamy post-rock but not enough so to leave a lasting impression; you’ll dig it if you liked earlier albums-
Local NativesGorilla Manor (2010, FrenchKiss) ♥♥♥½
-mild-mannered but catchy indie-rock; another fine FrenchKiss release-
Field MusicMeasure (2010, Memphis Industries) ♥♥♥½
-psyche-pop powered by classic-rock guitar riffs; unique sounds in the vein of Dungen
Land Of TalkFun and Laughter EP (2009, Saddle Creek) ♥♥½
-a mellowed down shell of their past; there are a few shoegazey moments here but nothing to write home about-
The Soft PackThe Soft Pack (2010, Kemado) ♥♥♥
-tuneful, modern-style post-punk that gets a little better with each spin-
Rocky VotolatoTrue Devotion (2010, Barsuk) ♥♥½
-aside from the opening track this falls into the endless abyss of Elliott Smith’s sensitive folk-core but without the conviction-
Dark MeanMusic Box (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-not as immediately pleasing as their debut EP but worth a few listens-
Robert PollardWe All Got Out Of The Army (2010, Guided By Voices) ♥♥♥
-as is the case with most of Bob’s recent solo efforts – 2 killer opening tracks and the rest merely ‘ok’-
The Go FindEverybody Knows Its Gonna Happen Only Not Tonight (2010, Morr) ♥♥½
-perfectly alright indie-electronic; a few nice melodies but mostly bland-
MidlakeThe Courage Of Others (2010, Bella Union) ♥♥½
-I really wanted to like this more but the only thing that kept popping into my head was the M.A.S.H. theme song…-
Frightened RabbitThe Winter Of Mixed Drinks (2010, FatCat) ♥♥♥½
-more epic and full-sounding than MOF but this type of maturation elicited welcome results; will get even better upon repeated listening-
First Aid KitThe Big Black and The Blue (2010, Wichita) ♥♥½
-these girls got great country-mountain-soul voices but the songs on this did much less for me than their previous EP-
Ghost BuffaloGhost Buffalo (2006, Suburban Home) ♥♥
-sappy female-fronted emo type stuff that appealed to me like 9-10 years ago-
CitayDream Get Together (2010, Dead Oceans) ♥½
-is that Trey Anastasio on guitar?-
Race HorsesGoodbye Falkenberg (2010, Fantastic Plastic) ♥½
-this is what happens when Lucksmiths-style indie-pop derails-
Low Low Low La La La Love Love LoveLow Low Low La La La Love Love Love (2005, Other Electricites) ♥♥♥½
-endearing indie-pop with harmonies galore RIYL Fruit Bats
Ol’ Snakey’s BlueJass RamblersSnakey’s Rant (2007, self-released) ♥♥♥
-warm and cozy ol’ timey music; mostly (if not all) traditional songs covered-
Deyarmond EdisonDeyarmond Edison (2004, self-released) ♥♥♥½
Joe Cocker-inspired Americana that I wanted to hate but the vocals and heartache within them are quite genuine sounding; Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon’s old band-
The AmpsPacer (1995, 4AD) ♥♥♥½
-the first 3 songs are some of Kelley’s best workbut the rest of the album is patchy at best-
A Sunny Day In GlasgowNitetime Rainbows EP (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-a couple new tracks and 3 remixed versions of the title track; not essential-
Serge GainsbourgHistoire De Melody Nelson (1971, Mercury) ♥♥♥
-I can see how this appeals to some but as it stands it’s got a few psyche freakout moments but the kitsch is tough to get over-
Half LightSleep More, Take More Drugs, Do Whatever We Want (2008, self-released) ♥♥
-dream-pop that tried a little too hard to fit in this genre; not a fan of Danya Smith’s vocals-
Rogue WavePermalight (2010, Brushfire) ♥♥♥♥
-yep, its a new angle for Zach and its not original in the least bit but damn if this isn’t catchy; this is basically the pompless Of Montreal album I’ve been waiting for-

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