2011 – The Naked and Famous – Passive Me Aggessive You

It’s already made the rounds, but giving the entire album another listen I really like the fun loving sounds of The Naked and Famous. For those who haven’t heard them, yet, they will immediately make you think of bands like Air France or MGMT. However, this album doesn’t ever seem to send you on quite the same mind trip.

Passive Me, Aggressive You stays grounded in it’s musicality the entire time. The talent comes through and the and songs never seem to get lost in the mushroom-trip experience that other albums of this emerging indie genre seem to think is necessary. In fact, their songs become downright folksy, at times!

In the last couple of weeks, they have been busy adding several new videos to their website, which you can check out @ thenakedandfamous.com.

2010–Villagers–Becoming a Jackal


It’s time for another Music Monday!


When I first heard about Villagers last year, I pretty much immediately fell in love.  Villagers are an indie folk band the likes of which you should expect to see on tour with Mumford and Sons in the near future.  Then again, it might be an overload.  We might have to use the Villagers to finally make the Avett Brothers famous among more than stoners.


Villagers were brought back o the forefront of my attention over the weekend when they released a new live album in Europe.  I’ve been listening to that, which mostly contains the same tracks you see on this album, except for two tracks and adding two new songs (On a Sunlit Stage and In a New Found Land you are Free).


It made me go back and listen to this album just one more time.  It starts out with a complete slap in the face to pop music: a track that lasts five minutes.  Several songs aren’t afraid to use a little bit of quiet space between them before jumping right in to the next song.  The pacing is fantastic.  While the songs are all quite relaxing, you’ll find yourself tapping your foot with a track or two along the way.


For me, the album really reaches its peak during the song The Pact (I’ll be your Fever).  It’s the type of song I keep expecting to at least hear on indie radio stations, but around here I get no such joy.  It’s one of the more upbeat songs on the album, using quaintly romantic lines like “do what you did yesterday / go on repeat it. / ‘cause my heart is only on fire / when you are the teacher. / So you take the torch and I’ll / Follow the leader / you be my master / and I’ll be your fever.”


If you want the kind of album that will just play on the in the background and never get in the way, except for the occasional friend of yours asking “what is this wonderful music?” then this is the album for you.  It doesn’t jump out as exactly one of the best albums I’ve ever heard – but I wanted to bring Villagers to your attention, because I only expect them to grown in popularity, much the way Mumford & Sons has over the last year.

1997–The Offspring–Ixnay on the Hombre

By no means a new album, or even an underrated album that I wanted to help people discover, I found myself listening to this one again just last week and I had to share it with everyone.  Ixnay on the Hombre (mp3 download or on CD ) is one of those hallmark albums by a band.  It had some of the biggest hits, and the long time fans all agree it’s one of the best: just before The Offspring “sold out” with songs like Pretty Fly for a White Guy & Original Prankster.



This was the album where, I feel, The Offspring really began to show they were more than just punk rockers with power chords.  They had songs like Amazed that seemed to have been influenced by the likes of Nirvana, Way Down the Line, which almost had some kind of karmic message, and Mota, which at first seems to glorify the use of marijuana, but actually goes to great lengths to stress how it’s ruined the life of the song’s protagonist.  This album also holds what for many is the pinnacle song of The Offspring’s maturity: Gone Away.  What people consider the last great song before the “sellout era” (which, I must admit, at the time I started to turn a little against the band, but I couldn’t get enough of songs like Staring at the Sun).


Gone Away is one of those songs that really gets at the core of why we listen to music in minor chords.  To know that other people have been in the same dark places we are.  This album takes you there and back out, with songs that make you smile, laugh, and even some that make you want to riot in the streets.  Some may consider this the album where The Offspring lost their edge, but just before they really sold out.  I consider this the album where The Offspring showed they had the ability to mix up their playing style and really showcase some previously untapped talent.

Music Monday– 2009 – One eskimO self titled



Available in vanilla and deluxe, the 2009 album from band One eskimO only showed up on my radar this year.  But I’m guessing by the end of this summer it will be on more people’s radar.  Want proof?  My money says you’ll recognize the song Kandi if you give it a listen, and if your can’t stop yourself from singing along, then I suggest you check out the entire album.  Several very strong tracks offer catchy hooks, but with a very rare lyrical substance.


The songs really strike at your core, and there is a reason the band has been placing the track Kandi on every sampler and demo they’ve put out since 2004.  The oldest things I’ve been able to get ahold of are all from right around the same time, but they may be different recording sessions or just different mixes of the same recordings.  Still, the band sounds consistent. They have a style that they don’t want to step away from, no matter what the record labels want them to do.  Enjoy the genuine sound while it exists, and here’s hoping the get the recognition they deserve before their next album where they have to make something radio-friendly and poppy.  If it does happen?  We’ll always have their self-titled “debut” album.