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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BAM! Dinosawrs

At the turn of the 17th century, in London England, an untameable young playwright by the name of William Shakespeare was busy writing plays such as Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet; works that would later be universally recognized as some of the greatest pieces of literature ever put to paper. Two hundred years later, at the dawn of the 19th century in Vienna, Ludwig von Beethoven, a disciple of the great Hayden and admired by the iconic W.A. Mozart, had the ability to write symphonies so beautiful that emotion itself was given a physical manifestation; so monumentally brilliant that both Love and Hate became tangible – and they danced with each other across starlight into your now blessed ears.

Then for a long time nothing happened.

But now… as the conquered sun of the 21st century rises like the celestial ascendance of man into the great, black ocean… we are deemed worthy to behold another artist of such caliber and magnitude that, were Jesus Christ with us today, he would fall to his knees and attest eternal allegiance to the wonder and beauty of her art, NAY, to her work of Beauty incarnate.

I speak of course… about Becky Bam.

Being witness to Becky Bam’s art is like seeing an angel make love to a unicorn. It’s like an anti-kick to the balls. It’s like receiving oral sex… for your soul!

But my words are only a cheap, blundering attempt to explain the glory of her creations. They cannot do justice to that which makes The Mona Lisa look as bad as it tastes. On first looking at her work I grabbed a book of Romantic Era fine art and tore it asunder, crying “YOU FALSE GODS OF OLD! RETREAT TO THE RIVER LETHE! FOR NO ART HAS EXISTED BEFORE THIS DATE!” I implore you, the only way you can understand is to see for yourself, so that you may become enlightened, and briefly see the face of your Lord.


Becky Bam has been a friend and contemporary of mine for a long time, and I’m excited to feature her and her unbelievably cute, occasionally disturbing, and always funny web comic BAM! Dinosawrs on Grub Street.

Marry, Screw, Kill

If you’re anything like me, you’re assuredly going to hell. That said, hopefully you’ve heard of this mostly innocuous game where you and a few friends choose three random people, preferably NOT people you know in real life so as to avoid dickishness (yes, computer, I’ll have you know dickishness IS a word), and in as much detail as you can conjure on the subject, inform everyone as to which of those three you would marry, who you would screw, and who you would kill.

NOW, this might come off to you as one of those lingering “middle-school” games, where pre-and-young-teens use the blanket term of “game” to hide the fact that they’re gossiping and bitching about their friends. WELL I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW, SIR that this game is more commonly played by men than women, and is basically that Girl/Farm Animal thing you’ll all know from the online diaries of Mark Zuckerberg. Just without the farm animal (well, depending on who you choose, I guess).

So in the spirit of good will, good times, and a passable article to get the old man off my back (hi Raihan!) I’d like to stir some intelligent debate between our devoted and naturally enlightened readership. That in mind, here are some example choices of Marry, Screw, Kill that I’d be just riveted to hear all of your opinions on. Enjoy:

(Btw, Mary Screwkill is a great name for a gothic heroine.) Continue reading

Ke$ha Let’s Us Know What She’s Really Like (Part 2)

[Part 1 here] [Original interview here]

DIEHL: So, changing the subject slightly, you recently challenged Susan Boyle to a mud-wrestling match. Has she responded?

KE$HA: No. I totally would do it, though. She looks like she would be a good mud-wrestling partner.

Why would you do that? What was the point in challenging an incredibly uninteresting 15-minute star from Scotland to a mud wrestling match? Publicity? Image? Do you fancy her? Is that what you’re getting at here, Ke$ha? It’s just that doing something like that is such a “there hasn’t been a story about me on in three hours, what can I do to get them to talk about me again?” thing to do. I mean, did you think she was actually going to accept? Come on, people must realize that this is all just…contrived eccentricity to appear unique or off-beat. Continue reading

Ke$ha Lets Us Know What She’s Really Like (Part 1)

So singer/songwriter and international clock interpreter Ke$ha gave an interview to the grossly misnamed “interview” website in order to shed some light on who she really is as a person. I took it upon myself, in a completely unbiased fashion, to look into the interview and see if any true revelation came about that can help us understand this recent wave of her music we’ve all been subjected to recently, songs such as “Tik Tok” and “Blah Blah Blah” becoming smash hits across the world. Here is the interview in full, detailing how Ke$ha tells us about herself, along with my comments dealing with what Ke$ha really reveals about who she is.

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I’d Rather Be In Africa

I’d rather be in Africa, arms swinging ‘gainst a crescent midnight sun, singing drenched in fearless freedom, Walt Whitman on my tongue, a beautiful woman on my mind, needless of either but excited from both, stripped to bare, bearing no weight beyond the words of my brothers and the actions of the immediate future, skin-kissed softness, espousing the earth and all its families, familiarity with anything willing to do like-wise, fertility fresh between my limbs, lying lengthwise on open-plain hills like lambs with happy, lethargic intentions, then without advance, running, sprinting, galloping, hurdling, charging, flying through the welcome landscape, trying to take a bite out of the backdrop, strands of purity erupting from my marrow, tomorrow never willing to show its face, tonight triumphant everlasting, boundless and infinite, fathomless  to the leaves of grass who watch and wonder as the wind through a pan-flute calms the ocean sky and I, child and lover to my contemporaries of the jungle, finding my place in the world, through all dimensions arriving there …  as a natural.

My 10 Favorite Mash-Ups of Beatles Songs

1. Get Back Gets Funkier

Artists: The Beatles / The Kinks / LCD Soundsystem

You can kind of see it in the song, can’t you? “Get Back” is pretty simple, easy chord progression, unremarkable feel, just kinda catchy. This is exactly what it needed; some DJ to groove it up a little bit by filling in those missing pieces with extra, fun-sounding instruments and backing vocals from some of The Beatles’ contemporaries. A simple remix for a simple song. Continue reading