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Posts Tagged ‘Ratatat’

Written for The Yellow Bird Project:
December 26th, 2008 by themiddledistancerunner

Seasons Greetings My Merry Music Lovers,

The time is here, for my albums of the year. Sorry, Christmas makes me feel like rhyming. Anyways, I have finished my schooling and can once again indulge in the things I love (music, books other than textbooks etc). After much deliberation I have come up with a list of my top albums of the year. Like my list of my favourite songs of the year, the list is simply all my listens added up to see what I listened to the most throughout the year. I’m not saying these are the “best” albums, just my favourite. I think it’s pretty obvious what my album of the year is judging by my previous two lists (EPs and songs) and the picture at the top of this post which depicts a pretty fleet looking fox, but if you haven’t already figured it out, take a look:

20. Noah & The Whale – Peaceful The World Lays Me Down

To start us off is the debut album by a talented little group of music makers from England, Noah & The Whale. I love pretty much every song on the album, and Laura Marling’s beautiful voice sparkles here and there throughout the album, making it shine ever brighter. A promising start for these guys and I hope to hear a lot more from them in the future. I had the privilege of seeing them play live in New York City and wow what a show.

19. Tyler Ramsey – A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea

Next is an album that I listen to every time I have had the need to just take a step back and calm down a little while. It is by guitar extraordinaire Tyler Ramsey. Ramsey also serves as one of Band of Horses’ guitarist. A truly talented musician and a great debut album by him.

18. Laura Marling – Alas I Cannot Swim

If you don’t know who Laura Marling is by now you must be living under a rock. Her debut album is just pure beauty, and she is only 18 years old. I can’t wait to see what she will have for us next. In her spare time she has been making guest appearances on the albums of some pretty awesome bands. Mystery Jets, Noah & The Whale and Mumford & Sons have all collaborated with Marling and it seems as if everything she touches turns to gold.

17. Plants & Animals – Parc Avenue

This one is the debut album from my fellow Montrealers, Plants & Animals. I fell in love with this album over the summer while I was interning in New York City. I remember strolling down 3rd avenue on bright sunny days listening to Parc Avenue. Good times. Ok I’ll stop being cheesy now. Seriously, this album is pretty incredible and if you haven’t already, you should give it a listen.

Plants & Animals – Feedback In The Field

16. Department of Eagles – In Ear Park

Number 16 on my list is by a band called Department of Eagles. If you are a fan of Grizzly Bear, then Department of Eagles is right up your alley. You see, the bands share the same lead singer, Daniel Rossen, and because of this have a similar sound. There are obviously differences between the two bands but I was really impressed with this album. “No One Does It Like You” is among my absolute favourite songs of the year.

Department of Eagles – No One Does It Like You

15. Horse Feathers – House With No Home

Number 15 is just a beautiful album that I listened to to death this year by a band called Horse Feathers.

Horse Feathers – This is What

14. Vampire Weekend – Self Titled

Vampire Weekend was another one of my bands of the summer. It’s funny, when I first listened to this album I wasn’t that impressed. Maybe I just felt like it didn’t live up to the hype. Then one day I just got it and it quickly became one of my favourites of the year.

13. The Dears – Missiles

The Dears are back and better than ever on their newest LP, MISSILES. The band has been completely rebuilt from the ground up, while keeping the foundation of Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak and adding an array of talented musicians from all different places. What we are left with is a group of seriously talented musicians who have created a really great album. This may in fact be my favourite Dears record to date.

12. Ratatat – LP3

I waited for this album to come out for so long that when it did come out I was so excited that I listened to it non-stop for weeks. That being said, it is quite the album. I don’t know how it ranks among the other two Ratatat albums but it is definately a fresh new sound for them that makes this album stand apart from the other two.

11. Blitzen Trapper – Furr

This was an album that I was reluctant to listen to at first, because I wasn’t crazy about Blitzen Trapper’s first release. But after hearing a couple of songs on satellite radio I decided to give it a try. I was happy I did because this album is pretty amazing. I had the chance to see them play when I went to see Fleet Foxes opening for them awhile ago, but I left after Fleet Foxes’ performance. Looks like that was a bad decision on my part.

Blitzen Trapper – Furr

10. Dr. Dog – Fate

Number 10 on my list is Dr. Dog’s album Fate. This is just an amazing album from start to finish. The highlights on it for me would have to be “The Old Days” and “The Breeze”, but every song on this album is worth a listen. Just an all around solid album.

9. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

You won’t find too many top album lists without this album on it. Bon Iver exploded onto the scene this year. Songs like “Flume” and “Skinny Love” have been permanently on my mind as I often find myself singing or humming them to myself. You can see how much bigger they got within the year. The first time I saw them play was at a small venue in Montreal called The Cabaret. A few weeks ago I saw them play in New York City at the prestigious City Hall, one of two sold out back to back shows at the same venue. By the way, have you seen the awesome design they did for YBP?

8. The Dodos – Visiter

Even though The Dodos album cover looks like it was created by a child, the album itself is as far from childish as it gets. These songs are rife with emotion, lead by the incredible guitar playing of Meric Long and Logan Kroeber’s tribal drumming. And as good as they sound on the album, you have to see them live to fully appreciate them. I was lucky enough to do so and all I have to say is…”The Season”.

7. Born Ruffians – Red, Yellow & Blue

I’m not sure how popular this album was because I don’t know that many people who listen to Born Ruffians but I was in love with this album the second I heard it and I am still in love with it today. “Little Garcon” is probably my favourite, but the rest of the album is great as well.

Born Ruffians – Barnacle Goose

5. Man Man – Rabbit Habits

What could possibly be bad about a new Man Man album? It seems as if these guys just get better and better with time. Their first album was okay, their second was great and their newest album, Rabbit Habits is stellar. What I love about Man Man is that they always keep you guessing. For example, who expected that amazing xylaphone action in “The ballad of Butterbeans”? This is another example of a band that is great on the album and even more amazing live. If you have a chance to see these guys live you must do so.

Man Man – The Ballad of Butter Beans

4. Pinback – Autumn of the Seraphs

This was arguably my most anticipated albums of the year. Pinback has been one of my all-time favourite bands for a long time now and the idea of a new Pinback album just gets my hyped. I don’t know if this album will go down as one of my favourite Pinback albums, but it is definitely worth a whole bunch of listens.

Pinback – Bouquet

3. Pete & The Pirates – Little Death

Number 3 on my list is a wonderful little album by some awesome Brits that go by the name of Pete & The Pirates. I really became obsessed with the album for a good while this year. I’m not sure what makes these guys so likable. Their music is just exciting. They might be my favourite British band of the year. They also have two new songs on their myspace page called “Blood Gets Thin” and “Jenny” that are worth a listen, check it out.

2. The Hush Sound – Goodbye Blues

The Hush Sound at number 2. Who would have thought. Their first two albums reminded me too much of Panic at the Disco, but on their newest album, Goodbye Blues, lead singer Greta Salpeter takes the reins and is featured much more prominently then the band’s other male singer. They may be too poppy for some, but I love it and think they are well deserving of my number 2 slot.

The Hush Sound – Break The Sky

1. Fleet Foxes – Self Titled

Fleet Who? Ya right. This has been the year of the Foxes. Throughout the year we have been treated to one of the best EPs of the year, in the Sun Giant EP, as well as an amazing debut self-titled LP by Fleet Foxes. Songs like “Mykonos”, “White Winter Hymnal”, “Your Protector” and “Oliver James” have been on continuous repeat throughout the year and I was lucky enough to see them play live twice in Montreal. I’m so excited about this band and what will come from them in the future.

Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal

Fleet Foxes – He Doesn’t Know Why

So there you have it. Fleet Foxes sweep the series. They have produced my favourite EP, LP and song of the year. I’m so happy for these guys. Now I would like to pay tribute to a few more albums that either just missed the top 20 or were released too soon to be a part of this year’s list. Here are some albums that deserve honorable mention…

Yeasayer – All Hour Symbols

Girl Talk – Feed The Animals

Santogold – Santogold

The Tallest Man on Earth – Shallow Graves

Alaska in Winter – Holidays

The Welcome Wagon – Welcome to the Welcome Wagon

Tv On The Radio – Dear Science

Radiohead – In Rainbows

Now that you know pretty much everything that I listened to throughout the year it’s your turn! What are your top albums of the year? I’m sure there’s plenty I’ve forgotten.

Until next week…

The Middle Distance Runner

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Ratatat – Club Soda – 03/10/08 (Pop Montreal)

I saw Ratatat play last night at Club Soda in Montreal as a part of the Pop Montreal Festival. I’d first like to say that Club Soda is a piece of shit. Secondly, Ratatat was incredible. I was expecting it to be one of those shows that you say to yourself, “I could have just listened to the record”. But it was way more than that. They seriously rocked the house. The crowd went insane for every song, and the band seemed to feed off of them, getting really into the music themselves. They didn’t really say anything to the crowd, besides a few thank you’s, but words weren’t really necessary. They let the music speak for itself, and it did just that. They had some pretty psychotic videos going on in the background, including the great Abba mash-up they created for the song “Shempi”. The highlight for me was probably when they played my all-time favourite Ratatat song, “Montanita”, in the encore. I was a little thrown off by the crowd surfers, but whatever makes you happy I guess.

Where in the world is Laura Marling?

So I figured I could get two shows in last night, but it wasn’t meant to be. The schedule for the Johnny Flynn, Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons show on the Pop Montreal website was this:

  • 21:00 Mumford and Sons
  • 22:00 Laura Marling
  • 23:00 Johnny Flynn

So after seeing an excellent performance by Mumford and Sons, who I haden’t heard of until last night, I was ready to see Laura Marling’s performance and then head over to Club Soda to catch Ratatat’s 11:30 PM shceduled performance. It became apparent to me that the band that was setting up to play second wasn’t Laura Marling. I asked the girl next to me if she played already and she said that she was playing last. This left me very upset, because I knew I had to leave if I wanted to catch the Ratatat show. If I haden’t already seen Marling perform once before, and if I didn’t already have my Ratatat ticket I probably would have stayed, but alas, my choice was made and I grugingly left the interesting Temple Maçonnique, and headed over to Club Soda. Hopefully I will get another chance to see Marling play again soon. And I hope to see Mumford & Sons play again too. They really impressed me.

Here is a video of Laura Marling and the lead singer of Mumford & Sons peforming a song called “Blackberry Stone”:

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I just got Sirius satellite radio, and while there are a lot of pretty useless channels I have found one that I have been listening to pretty frequently. It is called Left of Center and they pretty much play everything that I listen to on a daily basis while introducing me to some cool new stuff as well. So far I have heard them play Pinback, The Shins, Islands, Sonic Youth, Vampire Weekend, Radiohead, Bon Iver, The Arcade Fire, Interpol and Ratatat. Not only do they play a lot of great music, but they have some amazing special performances and programs. All of next week, Kings of Leon will co-host the afternoon show, and on Friday, Beck will play his entire new album, Modern Guilt, while throwing in a couple of other songs here and there. Pretty awesome stuff.

Does anyone know of any other Sirius sations worth listening to?

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Sorry for my lack of blogging lately. School and laziness have taken over for the time being. But fear not, the flood gates will open soon and you will hear lots and lots of glorious music. For the time being here are some new videos from some great artists that I think you may enjoy:

Fleet Foxes – He Doesn’t Know Why (from Fleet Foxes):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Ratatat – Shempi (from LP3):

Radiohead – The Reckoner (from In Rainbows):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Final Fantasy – The Butcher (from upcoming This Spectrum, 14th Century EP):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Antony and the Johnsons – Another World (from upcoming Another World EP):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

New Pornographers – Mutiny, I Promise You (from Challengers):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Well hello there kind fellows. I have finally found a few seconds to take a few of the songs that I have been listening to a lot this past month and putting together a monthly mixtape for your listening pleasure. So here it is. I hope you like it. I think it’s got some very nice songs if I do say so myself.

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1. Dr. Dog – The Old Days
This is the perfect song to kick off my July mix. It is off of Dr. Dog’s brand new album, Fate. It sort of has a reggae vibe to it. Really nice song that I’ve been listening to on repeat.

2. Elliott Brood – Write it all Down For You
I came across this band while I was perusing the July edition of Exclaim Magazine. I decided to check them out, and again my instincts were correct. I have been listening to their excellent new album, Mountain Meadows, a lot lately.

3. Middle Distance Runner – The Sun and Earth
Well guys, you made it! Haha, just kidding. I just feel stupid for not knowing about you sooner. I’ve been listening to this band’s Self Titled EP and first full length album, entitled Plane in Flames, a lot lately. This song is my immediate favourite, but check out the song “Naturally”, which you can hear on the bands Myspace Page.

4. Bowerbirds – In Our Talons
I just saw these guys open for Bon Iver last week and was really impressed! They have a nice sound to them.

5. Crystal Castles – Untrust Us
Sometimes it takes me a while to listen to bands that have a lot of hype. I’ve been hearing about Crystal Castles everywhere lately so I just had to check them out. And I am very glad I did because they are pretty friggin awesome. If you like electronicky stuff, this song is for you.

6. Caribou – After Hours
I could have picked any song off of Caribou’s new album. But I was listening to this song last night so I chose it for my mix. There is a good chance that his new album, Andorra, will win this year’s Polaris Music Prize.

7. Ratatat – Montanita
Probably one of my favourite songs ever. Don’t know why.

8. Au – rr vs. d
They kind of have that off the wall, Animal Collective kind of feel. Except they don’t really sound anything like Animal Collective. I dunno, I’m just always looking for stuff that’s new and exciting and that’s exactly what Au give us.

9. Kathleen Edwards – Buffalo
Pretty song. Her new album, Asking For Flowers, is also among the final 10 nominees for this year’s Polaris Music Prize

10. Fleet Foxes – Mykonos
No secret here. Saw Fleet Foxes Live this month. Obsessed with Mykonos. Nothing I can do about it. Perfect song to close out my second monthly mixtape.

Hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you think.

Also, I am leaving for London tomorrow. I will be there for a week. Hopefully I will have internet access there and I will be able to update my blog. But if you don’t hear from me, don’t send out a search party okay?

Take care of yourselves!

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