The beginning of live Audioasis broadcasts at the High Dive. We’re able to get out into the community, raise money for charities in our commnity and spotlight local bands. I don’t think it gets much better than that! It’s been so much fun and I’m looking forward to making it even better in 2007.
KEXP Triple Door events. Every single show I see at the Triple Door is incredible. I’m always so stoked that the artists want to do this for our members, it’s invaluable. The setting in there is absolutely gorgeous and these shows are always a highlight. Did you hear the one with Billy Bragg? If not, you need to go to listen to it - (WMA, Real). Awesome.
Bumbershoot! It was a crazy busy year, with KEXP on more stages than ever. I found myself running from one stage to the next, there were so many great artists! Sharon Jones, Zero 7, Rogue Wave, Tribe Called Quest, Atmosphere, 3 Inches of Blood, Blue Scholars, The Hollowpoints, Spoon, the list goes on. It’s always one of my favorite weekends and being able to be there and represent KEXP is awesome. Sia, by the way, is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met! She exudes goodness!
I moved to Portland! I’m very grateful that I still get to come up to host at KEXP. I’m really excited to get more involved in the Portland music scene and hopefully bridge the 2 cities together even more.
As for top albums....It’s really hard to choose 10 albums from a whole year, but I managed to come up with a list. I choose albums that I enjoy from beginning to end and that I found myself listening to over and over.
There’s a ton of honorable mentions, but if I make another list, what’s the point of a top 10? Ha.
So here they are with commentary:
Silversun Pickups - Carnavas (Dangerbird): I love love love the singing on this record. I can hear his voice anywhere and instantly know it’s him. The songs are so well crafted, really dynamic and different than a lot of what’s out there right now. I dig it.
Skullbot - Skullbot (Self-Released): Anybody this young that rocks this hard deserves big props. These kids are still in high school and sound like they’re channeling Sabbath in their guitars. A solid album for those of us who will always have that hard rock/metal itch. I can’t wait to hear what happens when they’ve been at it 10 years.
The Black Angels - Passover (Light in the Attic): What can I say about these guys that hasn’t been said? I love my rock with some blues and these guys nail it. Heavy guitars behind well written lyrics, delivered by one of the coolest voices I’ve heard in a while. (The First Vietnamese War - MP3)
Common Market - Common Market (SCIONtific): Seattle hip hop continues to blaze a trail through the Northwest and this album is killer. RA Scion comes with a passion and a fire for what he’s saying that inspires me every time I listen to it. Covered in sweet melodies laid down by DJ Sabzi, there’s an urgency for change, yet they remain hopeful and positive and I love that.
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere (Downtown): I love Cee-Lo Green’s voice. On this album he pairs up with one of the most notorioius DJs, Danger Mouse, who prior to this was known for the grey album (never officially released). We get an album of fun, yet simplistic beats that are perfectly complemented by the melodies and soul that Cee-Lo brings. Whoever put these 2 together deserves a pat on the back.
Tapes ‘n Tapes - The Loon (Self-Released): This is more of a “ones to watch” band for me. For a self-released EP of a band I’d never heard before, I was really impressed with Tapes and Tapes. I’m excited to see what they put out next, “Insistor” was one of the best songs I heard this year.
Lily Allen - Alright Still (Regal): Lilly Allen is so incredibly adorable, yet absolutely hilarious and filthy when you pay close attention to her lyrics. My kinda girl. Saucy, mouthy and still in her teens, this is a really fun record. LDN will make you smile, no matter what your mood.
Wolfmother - Wolfmother (Interscope): This year I’ve heard a lot of people bash on Wolfmother saying that it’s unoriginal or a rip off of some older band. Come on, it’s rock and most all rock is a derivative of some other rock that’s already been done. Does that mean it’s automatically written off? Not in my book. No, Wolfmother is not a new sound, but they’ve taken pieces great bands past, written some anthemicly huge rock songs and made a kick ass record that I thoroughly enjoy.
Built To Spill - You in Reverse (Warner Bros): One of their best, I think. Not afraid to put out a record with 7 and 8 minute songs on it, this is a great return for BTS and well worth the 5 year wait. The songs don’t drag on at all, they’re solid and carry my attention the whole way...that’s hard to do with songs that long (at least for me, but maybe that’s my attention span). Love it.
Mr. Lif - Mo Mega (Definitive Jux): I like my hip hop thoughtful and conscious. A favorite MC of mine, this is another one I’ve been waiting on a while. It’s been 4 years since Lif’s last album. Mo Mega’s theme is one of culture and politics that Lif says is a statement of how low class is affected in an increasingly modern world. He does it well, with music and beats that create a solid album front to back.
Hope you all have great holidays, share music with people and have a Happy New Year!