Category: Albums of 2011

‘Johnny Boy Would Love This … A Tribute to John Martyn’

Posted 28 Feb 2013 in Albums of 2011, Albums of the 10s

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#842 in the Series) is Johnny Boy Would Love This…A Tribute to John Martyn There are some artists who open their hearts to us. They are the jewels, the ones that never fail you when you go back to their music. And their songs are the ones that live on, because the beauty of the truth they tell does not die, even when the artist does. A tribute album is a tricky thing. It always sounds like a good idea, but we all know cases where the end result leaves you wishing the material had been left alone. Bringing too few new ideas to the arrangements can leave us wishing for the original....

Farewell Fighter “The Way We Learn”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#743 in the Series) is Farewell Fighter, The Way We Learn The sun was setting on Milwaukee’s ’11 Warped Tour, and crowds of pierced and tattooed youth were making their way out of the fairgrounds, exhausted from a long day of dancing, jumping, and moshing. I was among them, glad to have seen my top bands and was ready for the cold bottles of water I had stored in my car. But as I moved into the parking lot, I was a lone figure with a sign and a box of EP’s. It was a common sight – a lot of bands follow the Warped Tour without buying entry, trying to sell...

Stereo Skyline “The Good Life”

  Today’s Cool album of the Day (#712 in the Series) is Stereo Skyline, The Good Life Stereo Skyline has evolved a lot over the past couple years – from synth-tapping electro-boppers to sickly sweet pop-rockers, they’ve mutated a little with every new release. After their bassist and guitarist departed last year, remaining members Kevin Bard and Rob Michelson went full speed ahead on releasing another full-length album. They dropped their first single last August, and The Good Life hit stores in full in November. The Good Life is surprisingly similar to their last album, Stuck on Repeat, in that it still has the cutesy lyrics (especially evident in “Man I Think I Love Her” and “My Girl”) and...

Tristen “Charlatans At the Garden Gate”

Posted 01 Jun 2012 in Albums of 2011, Albums of the 10s, Indie, Indie Pop

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#708 in the Series) is Tristen, Charlatans At The Garden Gate I thought I was familiar with the name Tristen when I saw she was going to be the support act for a large chunk of the 2012 Justin Townes Earle tour.  I was actually surprised to see it listed on the schedule because for some reason I believed that she was one of those packaged, possibly even one of those Disney or Idol produced tweener acts. Maybe it was the single name that steered me in that direction. I was going to be seeing one of the Justin Townes Earle shows that she was going to be part of so I...

Elvis Costello & The Imposters “The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#699 in the Series) is Elvis Costello & The Imposters, The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook There isn’t any way I could be looked to to provide an unbiased review of an Elvis Costello album, that’s impossible for me to do. A fellow who can have a career such as his for so long, reinventing (or rather exploring) his genres and styles, combining those with phenomenal lyricism and musicianship, and topping it all off with a charming personality like Elvis has….well, there just isn’t much not for me to like. But thankfully this isn’t technically a “review” site, rather a place to get to know an album and hear one person’s opinion...

Kick The Cat “Scramble”

    Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#695 in the Series) is Kick the Cat, Scramble This was a new find for me when I saw them live at Reggie’s Rock Bar on the near south side of Chicago (where they have one of the coolest record stores around with tons of rare vinyl), They were opening up for a band called District 97 who was having a guest appearance by singer John Wetton, ex of King Crimson, Asia, etc. who was in town for the UK reunion show (I saw it, great). So I did not know what to expect from the opening act and it was an extremely pleasant surprise and they turned out to be...

Kurt Vile “Smoke Ring For My Halo”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#656 in the Series) is Kurt Vile, Smoke Ring For My Halo Isn’t it fantastic when you can watch and listen to an artist grow, mature, and improve with each new album release? It’s as if we were all present at the birth, first day of school, graduation, and wedding, looking on with tearful pride as if they were our own offspring. Kurt Vile’s fourth release Smoke Ring For My Halo sees the Philadelphia native move further away from his lo-fi beginnings, include a generous sprinkling of folk-tinged dissatisfaction, and dive head-first into no-holds-barred self-reflection. Touring band the Violators continue to lend welcome support on this reflective and melancholy album, adding body...

The Bottle Rockets “Not So Loud: An Acoustic Evening with The Bottle Rockets”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#597 in the Series) is The Bottle Rockets – Not So Loud: An Acoustic Evening with The Bottle Rockets (Bloodshot Records) As a life-long music fan, one of the things that truly excites me is discovering an act that while they may be very new to my sometimes ignorant ears, they have in reality been around quite a long time and have a body of work sometimes spanning a decade or more for me to devour.  Now don’t get me wrong I had Heard of The Bottle Rockets before and was fully aware that many people considered them to be one of the forefathers of the Americana and Alternative Country movements, but...

Album Sales up 3% in 2011. Industry Shows First Increase Since 2004.

Posted 04 Jan 2012 in Albums of 2011, Music + TV News

  For the first time since 2004, album sales showed an increase in 2011 according to a report by Yahoo.com. This is great news to whatever is left of the music industry. The numbers were up 3%. Last year, 458 million albums were sold, this according to the piece. How did they help land on that number?  Besides the Nielson SoundScan numbers, they are also using a formula where ten downloaded singles from providers such as iTunes and Amazon music now are considered as one sold album. The leader of the pack was Adele’s “21” which rang up 5.8 million units. It also spawned interest in her previous album “19” which added 868,000 sales to the yearly total. Michael...

“Cool Album of the Day” Favorite Albums of 2011

  One of the things that many music websites do this time of year is publish what they call “The Best Albums of year..blah blah blah.” All I have to say is, if you claim your list is a best of, then you better have heard every album that was released. I read a ton of these lists and I know for sure, these people are deciding on what is a best of and they haven’t come close to doing enough homework. Yes, we’re putting out a list as well. But we’re calling it our “Favorite Albums of 2011. I know darn well that I didn’t hear nearly enough to think that I what I have to say is...

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