Music of 2009: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz

yeah-yeah-yeahs_its-blitzIt’s Blitz   was promoted as a more electronic sound, but while I hear that influence – it still sounds like the same Yeah Yeah Yeahs to me – and that’s a good thing. I think their image makes people dismiss them, but YYY has quietly become one of the best indie bands around, and while people want to talk about acts like Grizzly Bear or Andrew Bird this year, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are doing their own thing and doing it well.

Definitely get the deluxe version – the acoustic versions are better in most cases than the original.

My Favorites: Soft Shock, Hysteric


Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz (iTunes)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz! (Amazon MP3)

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Music of 2009: Metric Fantasies

metric_fantasiesI was late on my Best of 2008, but I’m catching up on my mid-year report. This will be an ongoing feature, so come back – subscribe to my RSS feed – and share your comments.

Maybe my favorite this year – Metric is a Canadian band that is associated with Broken Social Scene, along with artists like Feist and Jason Collett among others.   Sometimes they come off as a more indie sounding Elastica.   Excellent grooves – catchy melodies. Fantasies goes well with Yeah Yeah Yeah’s It’s Blitz of for a good party mix.

My Favorite tracks: Help Me I’m Alive, Sick Muse, Satellite Mind, Gold Gun Girls

Metric – Fantasies (iTunes)

Metric- Fantasies (Amazon MP3)

Other Metric bloggers:

TiFaux: Music: the new Metric

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Better Late than never – Best albums of 2008

There’s a good reason why I didn’t do this earlier. Last year I lost my commute via public transportation. I didn’t give all the albums I got the same listen I used to. So I didn’t feel right judging them. After being laid off, I’ve had more time to ruminate. I know you’ve been waiting. The lack of A Rubber Door’s official recommendation is the one thing I can point to hurting the music industry this year.

I promise to make it up – the best of 2009 is coming within the week.


rarariotRa Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line

While everyone was talking about Vampire Weekend, Ra Ra Riot beat them at their own game.   Well layered, catchy without being light.

My Favorites: Dying is Fine, Can You Tell


how-to-walk-awayJuliana Hatfield – How to Walk Away

So bummed that I missed Ms. Hatfield when she came to Philly in September.   I didn’t realize how amazing this album was.

My Favorites: The Fact Remains, Such a Beautiful Girl


vampire_weekend_-_vampire_weekendVampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

So amazingly catchy.   Perfect album for the summer with a couple of beers and burgers on the grill.

My Favorites: Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, A-Punk


kathleen-edwards-asking-for-flowersKathleen Edwards – Asking For Flowers

I’ve said this many times – look back 20 years from now and Edward’s career will be the stuff of legend.   This album sneaks up on you.

My Favorites: Buffalo, Goodnight California


11977-modern-guiltBeck – Modern Guilt

I didn’t realize how much I liked this album until I sat down to write this list.   Best Beck album since Midnight Vultures.

My Favorites: Gamma Ray, Modern Guilt


cover_the-raconteurs_consolers-of-the-lonelyThe Raconteurs –Consolers of the Lonely

I love Brendan Benson and Jack White together.   Jack White and Alicia Keys on the other hand…

My Favorites: Consoler of the Lonely, You Don’t Understand Me


santogold-coverSantigold – Santigold

Santogold?   Santigold?   Whatever – it’s good.   Last year’s Gnarls Barkley.   Fun album mixing alternative, pop, and dance.

My Favorites: L.E.S Artistes, I’m a Lady


frightened-rabbit-the-midnight-orga-431681Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight

I think this deserved much more attention last year than it got.   Gorgeous album.

My Favorites: Good Arms vs. Bad Arms, Old Fashion


12522-army-navyArmy Navy – Army Navy

Another album where every song is great.   Put this in a mix with Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot.

My favorites: Saints, Slight of Hand


cddeathcabDeath Cab for Cutie – Narrow Stairs

More of the same from Death Cab – but that’s not a bad thing.

My Favorites: Cath, Grapevine Fires


album-adele-19Adele – 19

Well deserved best new artist.   The new British soul’s best import – yeah, better than Amy Winehouse.

My Favorites: Chasing Pavements, Cold Shoulder


bon_iver-for_emma_forever_ago-newBon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

Haunting.   You probably heard Iver on many a TV show soundtrack last year.   Used in the series finale of Life.

My Favorite: Flume, The Wolves (Act I and II)


seldomseenkid_coverElbow – The Seldom Seen Kid

I’m really sorry this is as low as 13.   I didn’t give it as much time as it deserved.   Still – it’s a great album, and I’ve been devoting more and more time to it.

My favorites: Mirrorball, Grounds for Divorce


Airborne Toxic EventThe Airborne Toxic Event – The Airborne Toxic Event

My Favorites: Wishing Well, Sometime Around Midnight


britishseapowerBritish Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?

My Favorites: No Lucifer, Atom


accelerateR.E.M. – Accelerate

Blistering set of songs.   No wasted movement – it’s like they decided not to suck anymore.

My Favorites: Living Well is the Best Revenge, Supernatural Superserious


sam_philllips-dont-do-anythingSam Phillips – Don’t Do Anything

She really can’t do wrong by me.   Not sweet – brooding.

My Favorites: Can’t Come Down, Under the Night


pe-she_and_him-volume_oneShe & Him – Volume One

Honestly without M. Ward – this may not make the list.   More Him, less She (Zoey Deschanel).   And he listened – a new M. Ward album this year.   (OK – I just relistened to You Really Got a Hold On Me –   maybe it was the right amount of She)

My Favorites: Why Do You Let Me Stay Here, You Really Got a Hold On Me


thewhigs-album1The Whigs – Mission Control

My Favorites: Like A Vibration, I Got Ideas

Here’s an iTunes iMix of My Favorites songs from the albums above:

icon Best Albums of 2008


A Rubber Door’s Top albums of 2007

Here’s my top 18 albums from 2007. Why 18? Well I keep listing albums until I feel there are no more that deserve to be mentioned. I’d love to hear your comments – and if you have your own list, put it in the comments section and I’ll keep a running list of best of 2007 around the blogosphere. For the most part links will link you to iTunes (except for Jay-z and Radiohead).


spoon_gagagagaga.jpgSpoon – Ga ga ga ga ga – For some reason this album got middling reviews. For me every time I heard a song from it I couldn’t believe how good it was. Easily the most accessible of their releases.

My Favorites: Don’t Make Me a Target, The Underdog


fooechos.jpgFoo Fighters – Echoes, Patience, Silence, and Patience – I love Foo Fighters but hadn’t liked anything they’d done recently. This album is the best they’ve had since The Color and the Shape.

My Favorites: The Pretender, Home


bird_cover300x300.jpgAndrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha – This album is truly amazing. I’ve described it as a more tuneful Sufjan Stevens album. And it holds together better than a Stevens piece.

My Favorites: Fiery Crash, Darkmatter


radiohead-in_rainbows_front.jpgRadiohead – In Rainbows – This album will be remembered for the unique, name your own price, distribution method. It should be remembered as classic Radiohead.

My Favorites: Bodysnatchers, Falling into Place


peter-bjorn-and-john-writers-block.jpgPeter Bjorn and John – Writer’s Block – I couldn’t get the whistling song (Young Folks) out of my head all summer – which was like torture since I can’t whistle. Get past that and this some kick ass jangle rock.

My Favorites: Objects of My Affection, Young Folks


newmagnetic.jpgThe Apples in Stereo – New Magnetic Wonder – I waited to get this because it’s a double album and took a lot of my eMusic downloads. Stupid. Some people won’t like it because of it’s experimental takes, but it includes a ton of great songs.

My Favorites: Energy, 7 Stars


theboywithnoname.jpgTravis – The Boy With No Name – Travis hasn’t been the same since 12 Memories but they still kick Coldplay’s whiny ass.

My Favorites: 3 Times and You Lose, Closer


markronson_version.jpgMark Ronson – Version – All I have to say is Ol’ Dirty Bastard redoing Britney Spears’ Toxic. Just one of an album full of great covers – done so differently you forget the original.

My Favorites: Toxic, Oh My God


feistreminder.jpgFeist – The Reminder – Thanks to Apple’s ubiquitous nano ad I bought this album. 1234 is the catchiest song of the year – but the rest of the album holds its own.

My favorites: 1234, I Feel it All


amy_winehouse_back_to_black_island.jpgAmy Winehouse – Back to Black – Listening to this album, you should have been able to see the train wreck coming. That doesn’t make this into a novelty act – Winehouse (and producer Mark Ronson) update the 60’s girl sound – without making it trivial.

My favorites: Back to Black, Love is a Losing game


jag110fullnew.jpgOkkervil River – The Stage Names – This one will surprise you, demanding repeat listen after repeat listen.

My favorites: Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe, John Allyn Smith Sails


a-year-in-the-wilderness.jpgJohn Doe – A Year In the Wilderness – John Doe does what I would want to as a singer/songwriter – work with unique voices such as Kristen Hersh or Kathleen Edwards. His song The Golden State (with Edwards) is one of the best examples of songwriting I’ve heard this year.

My favorites: The Golden State, Unforgiven


alberthammondjr_yrstokeep.jpgAlbert Hammond Jr. – Yours to Keep – Maybe The Strokes should let this guy write because this is better than any of their albums.

My favorites: In Transit, 101


crowdedhouse_timeonearth.jpgCrowded House – Time on Earth – I didn’t expect to like this album as much as I did. It’s been 14 years since their last release and this sounds like an older Crowded House – but I’m an older me, so it works.

My favorites: Silent House, Nobody Wants To


american-ganster-jay.jpgJay-Z – American Gangster – So much better than his last album. This one is fierce and sounds like it has a purpose.

My favorites: Roc Boys (And The Winner Is…..), American Dreamin’


b000jjrxgg01_aa_scmzzzzzzz_.jpgKristin Hersh – Learn to Sing Like a Star – Kristin keeps on cranking them out, and she keeps getting better.

My Favorites: In Shock, Day Glow


xoxox_cover.jpgTrances Arc – XOXOX – I have a sneaking suspicion this album will keep rising and rising the more I listen to it. I didn’t get it until recently and it’s already made an impression as one of the best pop rock releases this year.

My favorites: Peace of Mind, New Style


salvationblues.jpgMark Olson – The Salvation Blues – The former Jayhawks lead singer sounds like he hasn’t skipped a beat. This could have followed up Tomorrow the Green Grass. Some might call that nostalgic; I’ll call it timeless.

My favorites: Clifton Bridge, Tears from Above

Here’s an iTunes iMix of My Favorites songs from the albums above


Best Songs of 2006

Following up my best albums of last year – here are my favorite songs of 2006:

  1. Crazy – Gnarls Barkley (So good – artists from Shawn Colvin to Alanis Morissette have covered it)
  2. Steady as She Goes – The Raconteurs (Jack White and Brendan Benson – pop perfection)
  3. Wolf Like Me – TV on Radio (Catchy as all get out)
  4. Just – Mark Ronson featuring Alex Green (Might be better than the Radiohead original)
  5. Girl in the War – Josh Ritter (Most beautiful of the year)
  6. Poison Cup – M. Ward (Veronica Mars classic)
  7. How We Operate – Gomez
  8. Fidelity – Regina Spektor
  9. Hey Chicken – Loose Fur (Classic rock classic)
  10. Rise Up With Fists! – Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
  11. 9 Crimes – Damien Rice (Creepy but beautiful at the same time)
  12. Oceans – The Format (Destined to be in a Zach Braff movie)
  13. This is Us – Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris
  14. Fill Me Up – Shawn Colvin
  15. Insistor – Tapes ‘N Tapes
  16. Black Swan – Thom Yorke
  17. Christmas Tree On Fire – Holly Golightly (Catchiest Christmas song of the year)

Mix available on iTunes


Best Albums of 2006

Procrastinated enough. Not really procrastination as much as indecision. There were some great releases in November and December that I wanted to consider fully.

All links open in Amazon

1) Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere


2) Easy Star All-Stars – Radiodread


3) Heartless Bastards – All This Time


4) The Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers


5) Thom Yorke – The Eraser


6) Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones


7) Film School – Film School


8) Shawn Colvin – These Four Walls


9) Tim Easton – Ammunition


10) The Killers – Sam’s Town


11) Loose Fur – Born Again in the USA

12) Snow Patrol – Eyes Open

13) Ellery – Lying Awake

14) Josh Ritter – Animal Years

15) Regina Spektor – Begin to Hope

16) The Format – Dog Problems

17) M. Ward – Post-War

18) Manchester Orchestra – I’m Like A Virgin Losing A Child

19) Cat Power – The Greatest

20) Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat

Check out my Best of 2006 Store

Best of 2006: Loose Fur – Born Again in the USA

loose-fur.jpgJeff Tweedy is one busy bastard. His best known band is Wilco – simply one of the most important bands currently recording. For most people that would be enough, but Tweedy in addition to Wilco and solo work also performs with three other acts: Golden Smog, The Minus 5, and Loose Fur. While all are firmly in the alt-country arena, it’s Loose Fur that should most appeal to Wilco fans. Their sophomore release Born Again in The U.S.A. deftly mixes poppier sounds, incredible instrumental work and the wonderful lyrics of Tweedy and Glenn Kotche. Unlike your average Wilco CD, Loose Fur’s songs are short and to the point.

Little musical wandering with most songs at around 3 minutes long and the CD at a shade under 38 minutes short (this includes Wreckroom which is over 8 minutes long).

A great way to span the time between Wilco releases.
Songs to check out:

  • Hey Chicken
  • Answers to Your Questions
  • An Ecumenical Matter

All Best of 2006 CDs are available in A Rubber Store.