Thursday, December 31, 2009

From the Desk of Rusty - Best Albums of 2009

A very young and reckless part of me leapt for joy (ha!) when this was first released. Phish is back, bitches! Backwards Down The Number Line will forever be one of my favorite and most respected Birthday anthems. Which is significant if you consider that it replaced that other time honored, if not also a bit over-tired classic "Happy Birthday." That's like substituting "Cheesecake!" for an applause by hand clapping (non-Phish fans, you may not get this reference. Don't worry about it).

But more seriously, 2009 saw a lot of my favorite bands release new material. Dave Matthews and Ben Harper made a really strong showing with Groogrux and White Lies. Likewise, Pearl Jam reminded the forgetful with Backspacer that they wrote the book on alternative rock. I'm sure Cold War Kids will deliver.

Phish, though, was probably the BIGGEST surprise of 2009. Not that Round Room and Undermind were completely awful. But it was almost painful to see the Funky Four stumble on what was supposed to be their fabled Second (and Third) Coming. Compared to Lawn Boy, Rift and Billy Breathes, Round Room and Undermind were certainly weak sauce. Since Phish has released Joy, however, I'm willing to forget those other two albums ever happened. Welcome back to my CD player, guys. Happy happy oh my friend.

For those of you who've been living under a rock the past year, 2009 was a fairly important year in Copyright (v. Copyleft). Quite plainly, it is almost too easy to just take music (technically speaking of course. I'm sure at least a few Shanty folk find such a practice morally prohibitive). The Pirate Bay trials over in Sweden perhaps served as the climax of the Recording Industry's effort to squash P2P service providers globally. The the Industry got their judgment, but the Pirate Bay continues to operate (maybe more successfully then before) through a series of sleeper cell-like operations. Quite dramatic. Meanwhile, the poor Tenenbaum kid here at home, one of only a few file-sharers that decided to actually defend themselves against a suit measuring in the $100k's, tragically demonstrated that an all out indictment of the Industry still doesn't work. Still, practical solutions have emerged.

However, the Copyleft did score a major victory with the release of Feed the Animals. Composed almost entirely of unlicensed samples from other recording artists, the album functions as an expression of 21st century music consumption; we the listener also give meaning to the madness. Greg Gillis is the new Andy Warhol. It's that old school crap in that new school hit. Makes me wanna party.

Did anybody else pick up on the irony in My Girls? "I don't care for fancy things, or to take part in the freshest wave." It's exactly that type of disengaged commitment to the art that separates the greats. Rare talent meets with technological circumstance. Keep it real, keep it real shout out. Enough said.

I don't think this one really blipped on many radars, though it was on CONSTANT rotation in my car, my stereo and my earbuds. Raph Saadiq does big band like Buble can't. With soul. When it comes to Blues, R & B, Jazz and Soul, very few can top The Way I See It. Also, I'm nearly convinced that any reference to Sinatra made by the title isn't merely imagined. The Way I See It is an instant classic. Light me a smoke so I can sing some jazz.

This may of been the year of pop. Discussing this year's Billboard Top 25 Singles, DJ Earworm points out that "so many of the pop songs...seem to tell the same story: Yea, we've been through a lot, but right now we're gonna celebrate with music and dance, and it's gonna be OK." I can buy into that. Passion Pit certainly did (at least their debut album, though perhaps the same can't be said for their live performances). As a cultural indicator, Manners bottoms out my list of My Favorite Albums in 2009.

And though they didn't make the top 5, I wanted to at least mention a few of the runners up. Blakroc maybe arrived a bit too late to take a spot on the list, though I'm going to go ahead and say it.


Also, Monsters of Folk at least deserves mention, though for some unexplainable reason, I've yet to actually listen to it. OH! and let's not forget The Electric Dream Machine...

I mean, they perform better than Passion Pit, right?

Monday, December 28, 2009


You may remember from earlier:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mark Your Calendars . . .

Got the latest "Upcoming Shows" email from 1% today. Here are the highlights:

Tuesday, February 2nd @ Slowdown - Umphrey's McGee
Monday, February 8th @ Slowdown - North Mississippi Allstars
Monday, February 8th @ The Waiting Room - Dr. Dog
Wednesday, March 31st @ Slowdown - Bassnectar
Sunday, April 18th @ Slowdown Ani DiFranco
Sunday, April 25th @ The Waiting Room - Yeasayer

Looks like the North Mississippi Allstars and Dr. Dog shows are on the same night. Now I enjoy the Beatles as much as the next guy, but I think I'm going to have to go with the NMA on this one.

I'm guessing Yeasayer got your attention. Hopefully their show won't suck as bad as their latest album. Seriously, what the fuck is the story behind "Ambling Alp"?

Finally, Ani is coming at the end of April. Who knows, if you play your cards right maybe you could be the next dude to frantically drive her to Planned Parenthood.

"Boom. Roasted." - Michael Scott

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Weeks - Buttons

Credit goes out to a better part of me for this one.

The Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition

This song keeps popping into my life. It'd be wrong for me not to share it.

80's to the maxx!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Topical things are funny

This just in via email from Brendan up in Oregon. The subject line reads "You can almost hear the Manderchuckle."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Middle East

The name is highly suspect, but the music is pretty good.

Friday, December 11, 2009

top 10

Hey wodes,

So- I think it's difficult to identify the "best" albums, but here's a list of to 10 albums that impacted me the most in 2009. I'm surprised Monsters of Folk wasn't on your list, Scotty. If I would have gotten my hands on that album I'm sure it would be on this list. Some of the bands posted below have been around for a very long time: Dave, Pearl Jam have been around for a while. But Dave and Pearl Jam put out some really brilliant stuff this year. Bon Iver came out with an EP, not a full length. But that guy could bang a pot and pan and sing over it and I would buy it--so I think he deserves to be on this list.

The first 5 are in no particular order, but are better than the second 5.

1. Pearl Jam- Backspacer
2. Animal Collective- MPP
3. Iron and Wine- Around the Well
4. Dave Matthews- Gru Grux King
5. Bon Iver- Blood Bank

6. Andrew Bird- Noble Beast
7. Grizzly Bear- Veckatimest
8. Pink Mountaintops- Outside Love
9. Passion Pit- Manners
10. Ben Harper- White Lies for Dark Times

Honorable mentions include Phoenix and Akron/Family

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My top 5 so far...I still have to edit.

Lets do final submissions by december 20th. I am just putting this up here now to get the ball rolling. This is going to be posted with very little thought so please give me the chance to make edits. Anyway, here I go.

P.S. I am NOT going to put myself through the stress right now of having to number these. In short, these are listed in no particular order.

Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
Akron Family - Set 'Em Wild/Set 'Em Free
Port O'Brien - Threadbare
Animal Collective - MPP (?)
Antony and the Johnson's - The Crying Light (?)

I was thinking 5 points for number one, 4 for number 2, a point for number 5.
We can add 'em up later and go from there.

Let's hear some more wodes.

Live Passion Pit (Yawn)

The latest electro-pop sensation that is sweeping the nation played on Jimmy Kimmel this week. Hey, I'm not judging . . .

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thought it was time to start spreading some holiday cheer. I submit a few quotes from one of the best christmas movies ever.

Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark?
Clark: No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights

Todd: Hey Griswold. Where do you think you're gonna put a tree that big?
Clark: Bend over and I'll show you.
Todd: You've got a lot of nerve talking to me like that Griswold.
Clark: I wasn't talking to you.

Ellen: What are you looking at?
Clark: Oh, the silent majesty of a winter's morn... the clean, cool chill of the holiday air... an asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer...
[Eddie, in the driveway, is draining the RV's toilet]
Eddie: Shitter was full.
Clark: Ah, yeah. You checked our shitters, honey?
Ellen: Clark, please. He doesn't know any better.
Clark: He oughta know it's illegal. That's a storm sewer. If it fills with gas, I pity the person who lights a match within ten yards of it.

Todd: Well, something had to come through the window! Something had to break the stereo!
Margo: And why is the carpet all wet, *Todd*?
Todd: I don't *know*, Margo!

Clark: Oh, I was just smelling - smiling. I was just blouse - browsing. I, uh, heh heh. Well, I guess it just wouldn't... Oh hee hee, it wouldn't be the Christmas shopping season if the stores were any less hooter than they - HOTTER than they are. Whew. It is warm in here, isn't it?
Mary: You have your coat on.
Clark: Yes, oh do I? Yeah, it is a bit nipply out. I mean nippy. What am I saying, nipple?

And last but not least...

Clark: Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?


Rolling Stone - 100 Best Albums of the Decade

As the 00's head to a close, Rolling Stone takes a look at the past decade and attempts to identify the "most important music" as chosen by artists, critics and industry insiders. The number one most important album of the decade?

Other notable winners include:

3. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
4. Jay-Z - The Blueprint (haters)
8. Bob Dylan - Modern Times
11. Bob Dylan - Love and Theft
15. Bruce Springsteen - The Rising
17. Beck - Sea Change
18. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
19. Bruce Springsteen - Magic
27. The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (their shows still suck)
29. Sigur Ros - Ageatis Byrjun
30. Radiohead - In Rainbows
31. My Morning Jacket - Z
33. Daft Punk - Discovery (as performed by Kanye West)
38. Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker
39. Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak
40. Elliot Smith - Figure 8
47. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (not bad for a debut album)
48. TV On the Radio - Dear Science
50. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake It's Morning (don't hate, Paul)
53. Kings of Leon - Only By the Night
55. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Raising Sand (still not groundbreaking)
56. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
57. Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism
62. Johnny Cash - American III: Solitary Man
64. Gillian Welch - Time the Revelator
66. Antony and the Johnsons - I Am a Bird Now
71. Bright Eyes - Lifted or the Story is in the Soil, Keep your Ear to the Ground (maybe hate a little bit)
75. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
76. Sigur Ros - ()
77. Yo La Tango - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
78. Sufjan Stevens - Come On, Feel the Illinoise
80. Kings of Leon - Youth and Young Manhood
81. Ryan Adams - Gold
83. The Black Keys - Attack and Release
87. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere (for Scott)
89. Radiohead - Hail to the Thief
92. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (again, not bad for a debut album)
93. Johnny Cash - Unearthed
97. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
98. TV On the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
100. Leonard Cohen - 10 New Songs

Also, bands like U2 and Coldplay were way over represented. And what the fuck happened to Phish? And I know that Sigur Ros was represented, but what about their critically acclaimed best album ever, Takk?

Read the feature for more information, including a take on each album to make the top 100.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

96.5 The Buzz

No cigar.

You guys remember when all those kids were getting sued because of stuff they downloaded from networks like Napster? One of the kids ended up pushing back with the help of a supposedly crack legal team, including Charles Nesson from Harvard Law. After several missteps from the defense, the Massachusetts District Court finally issued an opinion in favor the of Recording Industry Association of America (the RIAA, p/k/a The Dark Side). However, the opinion appears to offer some advice to those file sharers looking forward to their bite at the Apple (ha!). One of those "Good News, Bad News" moments for Tenenbaum, I'm sure.

As it made clear previously, the Court was prepared to consider a more expansive fair use argument than other courts have credited -- perhaps one supported by facts specific to this individual and this unique period of rapid technological change. For example, file sharing for the purposes of sampling music prior to purchase or space-shifting to store purchased music more efficiently might offer a compelling case for fair use. Likewise, a defendant who used the new file-sharing networks in the technological interregnum before digital media could be purchased legally, but who later shifted to paid outlets, might also be able to rely on the defense."

Tenenbaum's defense would have none of that and instead went for the more radical, "Aw, come on. Come on! It's not like he was selling it or anything!" defense.

So, good news for folks in the future (but still within that "unique period"). Bad news for Tenenbaum. Meltdown for Tenenbaum.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Death Cab / Postal Service Wanna-Be Played Partially Through i-nudge

Per Mr. Hepatitis: Shanty Shout Out, who can play this song on i-nudge? I will personally buy you a beer of your choice next time we meet. Swear it.

NEW ALBUM! Cold War Kids - Behave Yourself EP

Should be in stores by Dec. 21st, if not the 19th. They've already released a single, and of course I have an opinion.

I fucking loved Robbers and Cowards. One of the best CDs I have in my collection. I especially loved the first few songs on the album (like "Hang Me Up To Dry" and "We Used To Vacation"). Plugging in some of the slower ones at the end even seemed like an appropriate balance (like "Pregnant" and the beginning of "God, Make Up Your Mind"). After a tireless review of the album, over and over again in my car, room and inner head space, I knew I had fallen on something really great.

But when they followed up with Loyalty to Loyalty, I dismissed the entire band as quickly as a kid tosses the other half of a worm infested apple. All that really great stuff they achieved with Robbers and Cowards had been replaced by all that slow and borderline questionable material at the end of the album (like "Against Privacy" and "Avalanche in B"). Granted some songs were a respectable exercise in the Kids more jazzy and soulful stylings (like "Golden Gate Jumpers").

All in all, though, it didn't want to make me party. That was a big problem.

Which is why I'm excited for Behave Yourself. After checking out the single "Audience," I'm confident that the Kids dumped that Loyalty nonsense and got back in touch with their head space in Robbers.

You can also check it out on their MySpace page and official web site. BONUS! The track's available for free download at RCRD LBL.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday bluegrass in honor of the 14 degrees outside

Not sure if any of you got into these guys (maybe rusty or mander?), but they have made the playlist as of late. Good ol' mn bluegrass!! Throw on a pot of yerba with this and hopefully this warms you up a bit...

Ladies and gentlemen....Trampled by Turtles!

If you like, may I recommend this free show on the archive. Some good foot stomping fun. Rusty and paul, you know what I am talking about!

Dennis Leary - Coffee

Thank you!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This Is Most Definitely America

Mander, would you agree?

I'm venturing a guess that those husker hounds hopped in their big ole ford pickup truck, with playmate mudflaps, and calvin pissing on colorado stickers and immediately turned on their favorite song:

What's in a Fuck-ing Name?

Lately I've noticed a sudden increase in the number of bands using profanity in their names. This is a concept that intrigues me.

At first glance, it's a great way of getting your band both noticed and remembered. The shock value of the name is a real attention grabber. After hearing "Holy Fuck" the first time it stuck with me. Not necessarily for the music, which is still good (see below), but for the name.

On the other hand, you are also limiting yourself. Your music will not be played on the radio, and even if is, they will not be able to tell people what you're called. You'll never see a caption at the bottom of an IPOD commercial with your name. You have placed a limit on your ability to reach a broad mainstream market. An example of this is "Starfucker" which recently changed their name to "Pyramiddd" so their somewhat poppy brand of music could reach its target audience.

Or maybe that is the whole point. Maybe you are purposefully bannishing yourself to a life underground. Maybe you're like the "Fuck Buttons" and you recognize that your music will only be recieved by a small group of young adults, and as a result, you're comfortable with the limited exposure your band gets.

Or maybe you recognize that there is a growing force beneath the surface of pop culture with the freedom to disperse your vulgar brand, warts and all, without having to deal with the FCC, parental controls, and the Christian right. Enter The Shanty Blog.

I don't know - whatcha think, Shantiers?

To rusty...

What would you think about having our own little best albums of 2009. Kind of like how pitchfork does, but shanty style. Everyone puts in their top five and someone can tally up the results to have our winners. I think it would be kinda fun. The question is, however, do you think it will be fun?

Shanty-off 2009!!!

"Behind every hot woman is a guy tired of fucking it" haha I love it! Way to go Tiger!

On another note, I think Mr. Wode (brendan) has a good idea having a nudge off, aka shanty-off. Submissions due at the end of the year and we hold a poll to see who has the best tune! Winner gets a prize of some with mander, a stick, pack of nicotine gum, beer, etc... whatever we pick. Thoughts?

The Shanty's Bar

There's this bar. Not a hero, cause what's a hero, anyway? But there's this bar that just seems to fit right in there.

It's known as The Shanti Bar. We will be visiting it in two weekends.

My first contribution

The "Blakroc Project"

Blakroc Project from Myrhax on Vimeo.

In stores now.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Alright, so after dicking around with Scott's 3 minute effort, I thought I'd give myself a fresh start. For those of you that haven't yet checked this out, might just be the next best time-sink.

Do I hear "nudge-off"???

This is the remix

This Is Most Definitely America

Alright, wodies. This pic comes with a story. And, unfortunately, I am not the Shantier most suited to tell it. All I can say is This Is America, goddamnit. Now on with the commentary, Mander!

I vant vone!!