February 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
Is this headed towards the worst. festival. ever?
To most American music fans, Glastonbury is looked at as the mecca of music festivals. I’ve always said I will need to train a few months before attending Glastonbury. It’s held on a massive farm and is a numerous day festival…sounds a lot like Bonnaroo right? Until you learn it’s for 5+ days vs. Roos’ technically 3 day campaign. Something else sounding more like Roo is NME reports there have been rumors that the headliners of 2011’s Glastonbury Festival consist of Coldplay (for sure) and now possibly U2 and Beyonce. Not an expert on the festival, but having those three as headliners can only mean it’s headed for death.
O well, here’s what got Coldplay started
January 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
Dark pop video embraces time and the digital revolution
Metronomy’s last album Nights Out made the #6 spot on NME’s Best Albums of 2008 and now they’re gearing up for their 2011 follow-up. This new single ‘She Wants’ is an electronically charged pop-tune that hints at an evolved version of The Cure with its strange and eerie morphing background sounds and driving bass line.
What’s more, the video to accompany this gem is very artful in itself. Directed by Jul & Mat, it features scenes that were filmed in reverse, a method widely used by filmmakers, but when juxtaposed against ‘normal time’ it creates quite a dizzying effect. Also, personally, this is the first video I’ve seen to take advantage of QR codes. If you can scan it at the right time, you’ll get a treat.
December 10, 2010 § Leave a comment
Raking through all the opinions and picks for the best albums of 2010.
So the year is winding down and it’s that time again when the lists all come out and I’m not talking about Christmas lists — all the major music mags, blogs and sites are putting out their top picks for the albums of 2010 and they all have one thing in common, reply comments of disappointment. With every list from Rolling Stone to Stereogum, every Dick, Tom and Harry has their two cents to add about what crucial indie album was left out or which mixtape is not getting represented so GypsySphere decided to delve into a handful of these lists to see who’s really getting recognition this year. So instead of heading to the forums with a list of complaints, maybe the answer is just finding an outlet that speaks your language. The following is our take on the lists out there as of now.
Rolling Stone is all about the lists: Top Record Stores, Top Beatles Songs, Top Guitarists, most of which are disappointing, especially when they rank Jack White twenty spots higher than Eddie Van Halen. Rolling Stone gave a dignified nod to the indie scene with The National’s High Violet (#15) and Vampire Weekend’s Contra (#6) with a spattering of some still-kicking rock legends including Robert Plant’s Band of Joy (#8) and Neil Young’s Le Noise (#20). Rolling Stone usually represents the classic-rock generation as seen in last year’s list too which included Bruce Springsteen and U2. What didn’t surprise me about Rolling Stone’s list was their placement of Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy at #1. They always seem to go for the blockbuster or the household name. It’s a letdown when a veteran musician gets a good review or top recognition just because they’ve been doing it longer or because they’re the most famous. Shouldn’t it be about the music? “Runaway” is good, but #1 good? Rolling Stone seems to have lost touch with the music biz in general by always going with the safe, hit factory artists, but then we looked at other lists and there’s Kanye, sittin’ pretty at the top of the heap.
SPIN’s list had him at #1 as well, with a commanding majority of indie-rock bands right behind him in the top twenty. But SPIN also had Drake, Kid Cudi and MIA (who sort of fills the gap between hip-hop and indie-rock) in their top twenty so there’s a little more continuity of genre in their list, whereas Rolling Stone seems to be trying to please too many people. SPIN’s is also pretty consistent with their 2009 list which featured Animal Collective at #1 along with Drake and Mos Def in the top ten.
NME took a stand and dropped Kanye down to #34. Their list was the most eclectic and spanned the most amount of genres including Mathcore (Dillinger Escape Plan’s Option Paralysis at #67) and Diva Pop (Kelis’ Flesh Tone at #53) and featured a lesser-known band at #1, These New Puritans with Hidden.
I was most impressed by Stereogum’s list. They featured The Morning Benders’ Big Echo at #36 which I thought was a great album and I didn’t see it anywhere else. And, what I really liked, was that Stereogum included an intro to their list that explained their ranking system:
our Top 5 consists of a handful of sturdy veterans. The Top 10 expands to include a couple newcomers, newbies amid, again,
three established crews.
They also explained that a bunch of the writers over there got together with their top lists and collaborated on one for the blog. I can appreciate that process and it feels way more authentic than other outlets who just throw out a list as if to say, “this is the only list worth reading” when clearly there are so many opinions and genres to take into account.
Hopefully this gives you all some insight into the great albums that were released this year and reminded you of any that you forgot to give a listen.
Here’s some last minute thought to leave you with.
- Some lists include Mumford & Sons’ album Sigh No More which came out October 2009 in the UK but February 2010 in the US. There does not seem to be a general consensus on whether to count the album as a 2010 release or not.
- Pitchfork is currently compiling a Reader’s Choice List of top albums in 2010
- We’re really shocked about the vast absence of Gorillaz – Plastic Beach on this year’s lists
- Here’s what the top albums seem to be for 2010 based on all the lists (not in order)
Kanye – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
The National – High Violet
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Sleigh Bells – Treats
Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
Jonsi – Go
LCD – This Is Happening
Vampire Weekend – Contra
MGMT – Congratulations
Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
I am personally going to check out Jonsi, Sleigh Bells, Janelle Monae and These New Puritans