My Top Five Albums of 2010 – Connor

Nothing glamorous today, folks! I just thought I’d give you a long overdue (read: belated cause I’m a lazy fuck) list of some of my favourite things that came into existence over the last year. THAT’S RIGHT! A 2010 “Best Of” list from Grub Street! You feel that? That ‘s what it feels like… when dreams come true…

So here you are, just some humble and innocuous opinions on the year that was. Enjoy, and please, feel free to share your opinions as well.

Top Five Albums of 2010 (With respects to Rob from High Fidelity)

Odd Blood – Yeasayer

Click to view on iTunes

This was a bold new direction for me; coming from strict indie-rock backgrounds and having certain, chaotic psych-rock expectations from their first album. But I was absolutely blown away by the relatable pop-influenced rhythms and serious, impressive lyricism. Honestly, the album embodies everything I’ve ever want from pop music: I can finally talk about the amazing addiction of certain hooks without being down-trodden about the terrible lyrics therein. It reminds me of the sound that Radiohead used for In Rainbows, but more up-tempo, and with many of the same themes. It was a wonderfully mature follow-up to their first album; it seems they were able to focus each track to produce the highest quality pop-rock they could.

Download These: Ambling Alp \ O.N.E. \ Madder Red

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What We’re Listening To: Vancouver 2010 – Week 1

[A quick rundown of the acts we saw last week and our thoughts on each. There’s plenty of great music to discover in here, so be sure to give everything a fair shake. Who knows? You may come across your next favourite band.]

Image courtesy of Ryan Rose. Click the image to check out the rest of his amazing work.

The Olympics come but once a year…
No, that’s not right. Let’s start again.

The Olympics, America’s favorite pastime…
Ok, cut. Take three.

The Olympics, cause The Stanley Cup is still months away…

As you’ve probably heard from your TV, the Winter Olympics have been taking place in Vancouver the past week and, depending on where you live, that may very well mean you’ve been rocking your socks off since the opening ceremony. As Vancouverites born and raised (except Raihan, who was born in England, the dirty foreigner) we here at Grub Street have taken it upon ourselves to go to as many free events as we possibly could… you know… for you, the readers, so that if you can’t be in Vancouver for the biggest snow-based athletic event of the… year(?) … you can live it vicariously through our words.

That in mind, here are the best live shows we’ve seen since the Olympics started last week. If you were there too, good on ya, let me know and we’ll be “OMG now ways!” buddies. If you weren’t… then how have you not killed yourself yet? Continue reading

What We’re Listening To: Roy Orbison

Orbison innovated the Ray-Ban Wayfarer look

Artist: Roy Orbison

Genre: Rock, Pop, Rockabilly

For Fans Of: Fifties Rock, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly,

Where You Might Know Him: Your dad’s record collection, the films Blue Velvet and Pretty Woman, The Travelling Wilburies

Fun Fact: Just read this:

When he arrived in England, however, he saw the amount of advertising devoted to the quartet and realized he was not the main draw. He had never heard of them, and annoyed, asked hypothetically, “What’s a Beatle anyway?” to which John Lennon replied after tapping his shoulder, “I am.” On opening night, Orbison opted to go onstage first although he was the more established act. Known for having raucous shows expressing an extraordinary amount of energy, Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr stood dumbfounded backstage as Orbison performed completely still and simply sang through fourteen encores. Finally, when the audience began chanting “We want Roy!” again, Lennon and McCartney forbade Orbison from going on again by physically holding him back. Starr later said, “In Glasgow, we were all backstage listening to the tremendous applause he was getting. He was just standing there, not moving or anything.” Continue reading

Bob Dylan – Poet, Legend, Exceedingly Old Dude

In July of 1966, Bob Dylan, the world’s foremost authority on awesomeness, got on his motorcycle and rode off into the sunset to clear his head. Somewhere along the way he crashed and died, forever immortalizing himself, in the minds of his fans, as the portrait of a young idealist that was not long for a world that couldn’t fully comprehend his genius.

He never became country.

He never became Christian.

He never released a fucking Christmas album!

Much like many fans simply ignore the Star Wars prequel trilogy, or how countless conservatives just gloss over the Bush Presidency, it is common for Dylan’s listeners to stop paying attention to anything Dylan has done since the album Blonde on Blonde, which marked the artist’s last effort into electric rock. At the time of his motorcycle incident he was being torn apart by constant touring, drugged up 24/7, going through a rocky relationship and, worst of all, was considered the best. His previous six albums (of seven that he had released at the time) were all heralded as masterpieces. Each and every one. He conquered the folk world, only to flip it off and conquer the rock world, all of this before The Beatles even released Sergeant Pepper’s. A lot of people thought Dylan was simply incapable of error.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ahaha, aha, ahhhhhhhh…

They were wrong. Continue reading

What We’re Listening To: Sublime

[WWLT is back with a vengeance! This week we move away from rock and roll and return to the beautiful state of California for a little Ska action. So, they’re just like the Beach Boys…if Brian Wilson endorsed anarchy and ever wrote a song about date rape]

Sublime

Band: Sublime

Genre: Ska Punk (Yeah, it exists) Also: Hip-hop, Reggae and Acoustic Rock

For Fans Of: Citizen King, Gorillaz, The Clash, Beck

Fun Fact: In their very first appearance as a band, Sublime reportedly caused the “Peninsula Riot,” resulting in several arrests.

Congratulations, if you’re reading this, it means you’ve got a lot of good music coming your way. Sublime is one of those rare bands that you’ve likely heard the name of once or twice, mentioned by a musically-inclined friend or shouted out as a request at a party; there’s a reason for that, they’re freakin’ awesome. Like, look into my eyes blog, and listen to read me very carefully; you know that THE SHIT you’ve been hearing about? Yea, they’re that. Like if every great rapper from the 90’s got together with all the off-beat Reggae acts of the 80’s and proceeded to have a music-a-trois with Punk Rockers from the 70’s. With so much talent and metaphorical fornicating (Metaphornicating) you just know that what results is going to be either an abomination unto the lord, a hideous sort of Musical Frankenstein, or something so mind-boggling kick-ass that it’s just got to be considered an illegal substance. When you turn these guys on be sure to blast the speakers, and clear a 5 by 5 foot area on the floor so you can proceed to properly bust a move without fear of breaking anything. What’s to be expected is a lot jamming, some nifty guitar riffs, and the occasional incentive to go out onto the streets and murder a dude. BUT! Its ok, ‘cause sometimes they’ve got a message in their lyrics…or something… whatever, who cares? They kick ass.

Featured Songs:

What We’re Listening To: The Beach Boys

[Hey, what do ya know? It’s back! What we’re listening to, round two! This week, we get a little “diggy” with it. My apologies in advance.]

Brian Wilson is the handsome one in the middle... oh wait that's a goat

Brian Wilson is the handsome one in the middle... oh wait that's a goat

Band: The Beach Boys

Genre: California Rock

For Fans Of: The Beatles’ early work, Barenaked Ladies, The Flaming Lips (follow me here…)

Ever since music became a big thing in my life I’ve fought this; I’ve valiantly struggled against the Beach Boys and their “friendly” rock anthems. My dad likes them, almost to a fault, which I could understand if there was nothing to compare them to. But After the release of albums like London Calling, Doolittle and Nevermind… how could any legitimate rock fan even tolerate the sappy crap of this California quintet? Well, goddamnit, I’ve finally found enough songs to tolerate and yes, even love The Beach Boys. I figured it would be a crime to make anyone else dig through seemingly endless collections of songs about cars and surfing (always cars and surfing), so here are some that can be appreciated purely on their merit. These are four good, somewhat brilliant songs.

Well, three… and then Barbra Ann.

Featured Songs: