2009 Top 50 Albums

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Creating a Top 50 Albums list is never easy.  You have to battle with what you think the world believes, and what you truly believe in your heart, to be solid jams.  We have even more trouble because we have to three writers, all who have different ideas, and we have to make those ideas fit into a neat box.  Well, we got it done, and honestly, our criteria was based on two things: how great we thought the album was, artistically speaking, and how long we listened to it without getting bored.  That’s it. It’s fool proof; you might not like it, but it’s our list, so here it is… Read more

FT50: Songs of 2009

bestof2009cover_songsWe have to start this list off with a disclaimer.  We have three writers, all with different tastes, so the list should reflect that a little bit.  Also, these are our opinions, and by no means, are they meant to be seen as an “end all be all” to the question of what were the best songs of 2009.  That being said, we like our list quite a bit.  Sure, it’s got some expected numbers at the top, but the rest of the list is genius.  We’ve got some of the songs streaming for you, and the rest take you straight to youtube.  Follow the jump for full list.

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Why? – Eskimo Snow

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Rating: ★★½ · ·

Following their critically acclaimed third LP, Alopecia, Berkeley, California’s Why? return with Eskimo Snow, a new collection of hip hop infused indie rock.

The word “new” may be misleading because the tracks on Eskimo Snow were recorded during the same sessions as 2008’s Alopecia.  One might think that songs recorded in the same session would carry familiar ties between them, and sure there are similarities, most notably singer/MC Jonathan “Yoni” Wolf’s distinct voice, but, for the most part the bulk of the similarities end there.  I guess the clearest example would be explained like this: Eskimo Snow : Amnesiac :: Alopecia : Kid ARadiohead, on Kid A, was focused with a clear vision and while Alopecia isn’t a high concept album it shares the same focus.  Yoni Wolf spits self-deprecating, acid tongued rhymes that tell tales of loneliness and depravity.

On Eskimo Snow, like Radiohead on Amnesiac, Why? offer up a much looser collection of songs, and while these songs aren’t bad they also don’t make up a very cohesive release. Wolf mostly abandons the rhymes for traditionally sung vocals.  In an interview with Pitchfork, Wolf noted that his work on Eskimo Snow was “the least hip-hop out of anything I’ve ever been involved with”.

There are several tracks, such as ‘Against Me’, ‘These Hands’, and ‘The Blackest Purse’ that are reminiscent of the bands earlier work.  I would have much preferred a tight EP, rather than this meandering album.  I am looking forward to their next release with a truly new batch of songs.

Why? will be performing Sunday, November 8th at Fun Fun Fun Fest. They take the Orange Stage at 3:50 p.m.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/03-Against-Me-1.mp3]

Download: Why? – Against Me [MP3]

New Tunes from AU

auAU will be hitting the road soon with Why?, and as they are about head out, they’re offering up a sweet new tune to go with their upcoming Versions EP slated for release on October 8th.  This track, “Ida Walk Away” is layered with sound, and it seemingly swirls in a condensed format before rising, and then falling again.  Try this on for size.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/ida-walked-away-promo-1.mp3]

Download: AU – Ida Walk Away [MP3]

New Tunes from Desolation Wilderness

desolation-wildernessDesolation Wilderness is prepping for their tour this fall, and as most bands do, they’re releasing an album to promote themselves.  This record will be titled New Universe and is going to be released by our friends over at K Records this week. We’ve got a little sample to throw at you right now!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/desolation-wilderness-boardwalk-theme.mp3]

Download: Desolation Wilderness – Boardwalk Theme [MP3]

New Music From Why?

whyShortly after the release of their critically acclaimed LP Alopecia, WHY? are back with new material and a brand new LP.  Upcoming album Eskimo Show will hit stores September 22nd via Anticon and features this single “The Blackest Purse”.  Have a listen and let us know what you think.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/09-this-blackest-purse-1.mp3]

Download: WHY? – This Blackest Purse [MP3]

Why? & Mt. Eerie Tonight @ Mohawk

Tonight you will get a chance to hear Why?, and perhaps determine why there is a lot of hype about this band at the moment.  Personally, I’m thinking that the opening act, Mt. Eerie, should be enough of a reason to head that way this evening.  I mean how can you not like the experimental folk of Phil Elvrum?  Tell me Why?

The show starts at 8 PM at the Mohawk.  You can still get tickets at the door for this one.  Enjoy your night.