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2000s: A Devin M Joint

January 6, 2010

Okay, so sure, it’s a little late, but that’s just me. I’m Devin. I don’t live by your rules, Internet. I where flip flops in the winter, I eat chili dog soup, and I POST DECADE RECAPS ON JANUARY 6th. Anyway, enjoy.

Thee Oh Sees – The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In (2008)

This band is loud. This band is out of control. This band is DEFINITELY worth seeing live. Thee Oh Sees’ front-man, John Dwyer was active before making this album, but to me it has a certain quality that makes it outshine all of his other work. The songs are manic, crunchy, and appear hastily thrown together yet remain catchy. Most of the album is rather haunting, but I still find it really inviting.

The Mae Shi – HLLLYH (2008)

The Mae Shi is an interesting band. They went through many line-up changes and thus many different sounds. Toward the end of the band’s days the line up seemed to become harmonious. Sadly, this would be the only album that was put out with this distinct sound.

The vocals are obnoxious and intensely biblical and the instrumentation is a blend of manic drums and confused, distorted electronics. There’s a lot of spirit in this album. Maybe more than the band could express.

Marnie Stern – This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That (2008)

Marnie, Marnie, Marnie. I love this woman.

If you haven’t noticed by now, I tend to enjoy really manic music and perhaps this album typifies this. The drumming, provided by the prodigal Zach Hill, is so, so great. The way Marnie creates a whirling ambience with her guitar finger tapping is incredible. ALSO, she proves that you can start recording at any age. It’s never too late to get started!!

Tugboat – Man of the Year (2008)

For several years now I’ve had an infatuation with chiptune. There’s always been the problem where chiptune seems, at least in my mind, to get segregated into separate categories (Dancey, Noisey, Jazzy etc.). I really love the idea of combining these elements and just generally making a great composition. Jesse Novak, in my very honest opinion, turned bleep bloops into a masterpiece. Check it out (it’s free).

Anamanaguchi – Power Supply (2006)

Anamanaguchi was always one of those bands that was at the back of my mind. I knew them from their PAX performances and various contributions to chiptune compilations, but it wasn’t until Mario really turned me onto them that I fell in love with this album. This one was their debut realeased for free on 8bitpeoples. They successfully blend live instrumentation with 8-bit magic. Each song is a great example of pop music that seems really driven.

Kiiiiiii – Al & Bum (2007)

This is a hard album to put into words. Quite frankly, it’s ridiculous. Rather than relating this album through descriptive sentences, I’m just going to list different aspects that make it what it is. Screaming girls, funky bass lines, nonsensical yet adorable lyrics, danceable beats, and the line “I’m pregnant, Hugh Grant” (at least I think). If you like really, really odd dancey pop music, you’ll probably love this album.

The Mountain Goats – The Sunset Tree (2005)

I found out about the Mountain Goats when I was fifteen and just starting to become an obnoxious indie kid. I lived in a strange, Midwestern town, feeling rather alienated from my family. It’s no surprise that I found something relatable in this record. The rhythms and chord progressions are just catchy enough to get me to listen to the very moving and personal lyrics. If you happen to know a sensitive, strange teenager that is feeling lonely, do them a favor and get them this album. I have a feeling that this album may be like Catcher in the Rye in that you have to experience it at a certain age to really appreciate it. I may be wrong, though. Why don’t you try listening and tell me what you think?

Regina Spektor – 11:11 (2001)

My girlfriend worships her. I appreciate her. This album is really good. The songs are odd and jazzy, and not too girly. That throws me off sometimes. Some of her later stuff was just a little to estrogen infused for me to really get behind it. THIS album, however, has the right attitude about it. It recognizes and embraces its imperfections. It also doesn’t hurt that I can’t find a single bad song on it.

Bonde do Rolê – With Lasers (2007)

Okay, if we’re going to talk about attitude, then I have to give it to this next one. Attitude out the ass. It’s danceable, it’s raunchy, and it doesn’t ever stop.

I found out about this band when I was a senior in high school. I’d frequently skip class, drive around town, and listen to this album. It gave me a brief, yet intense, fascination with both Brazil and Baile Funk. If you need some hard dance music to play, but something that doesn’t take itself too seriously, pick this one up.

The Exploding Hearts – Guitar Romantic (2003)

I’m sorry to say I found out about this album far too late. This band was taken before their time, certainly. The music is powerful pop rock, compressed and distorted to my heart’s content. The lyrics tell stories of the teenager I never was. The solos have a refined quality that seems to hold back just enough to make you want to hear more. I have to say, it’s a bit whiney, but I think I like that.

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