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‘March, April & May’ No. 2


The second issue of the February Records zine, “March, April & May,” is now officially available to order through our Bandcamp page. Inside are band interviews, essays and even a little bit of humor. Interviews include: Duglas T Stewart of BMX Bandits, The Arctic Flow, Tiny Fireflies, Jigsaw Records, Lost Tapes, Big Quiet, The Very Most and Cozy Catastrophes.

The zine is limited to 50 copies and is only $2. Order here.

End of 2010: Top 20

Below are 20 albums that either dominated my stereo this year or made such an impression that they had to be included as favorites.
This is pretty much an arbitrary list based only on what I had a chance to hear this year. There are more albums that I’m sure would have made this list if I’d have gotten a chance to give them a listen. February Records releases were purposely left off the list. For the most part I’ll let the music do the talking.

20. Love Is All – Two Thousand & Ten Injuries (Polyvinyl)
19. Teenage Fanclub – Shadows (Merge)
18. Belle and Sebastian – Write About Love (Matador)
17. Best Coast – Crazy For You (Mexican Summer)
16. One Happy Island – s/t (Oddbox)

15. Transmittens – We Disappear (WeePOP!)
14. The Salteens – Grey Eyes (Boompa)
13. Very Truly Yours – Things You Used To Say (Skywriting)
12. Milky Wimpshake – My Funny Social Crime (Fortuna POP!)
11. Eux Autres – Broken Bow (WIAIWYA)

10. The School – Loveless Unbeliever (Elefant)
9. Sourpatch – Crushin’ (HHBTM)
8. Antarctica Takes It – Constellations (HDIF?)
7. Boy Genius – Staggering (Greenpop)
6. The Secret History – The World That Never Was (Le Grand Magistery)

5. Sambassadeur – European (Labrador)

4. Betty and The Werewolves – Tea Time Favorites (Damaged Goods)

3. SHRAG – Life! Death! Prizes! (WIAIWYA)

2. Allo Darlin’ – s/t (Fortuna POP!)

1. Standard Fare – The Noyelle Beat (Thee SPC)
The debut album from Standard Fare hasn’t left my car or my ipod from the moment Emma put it in my hands. This is just a superb pop album that also knows how to rock. My favorite track is probably “I Know It’s Hard,” but check out the video for “Dancing” below.

PopFest shirts for sale!

Jef Wilson from East Rock Recording Studio made up some great shirts for ECPF … there are a bunch left over. Better scoop one up now. Only $6 $3 plus whatever shipping, etc.

East Rock Recording Studio logo on the front. Elm City PopFest logo on the back. Click shirts for larger image.

Note size (s. m, l) under “Special instructions to merchant.”

Onward, Chariots!

Chariots of Tuna have changed their name. No longer should you picture a wagon of fish when you hear the sweet pop tunes penned by Ben Morss and company. From here on out they will be known as Onward, Chariots.

I’m a fan of the new name … it looks to the future and apparently, the future is looking bright for our friends from the big city. Onward, Chariots have been asked to play in two pop festivals this summer — Athens (GA) PopFest and the Indietracks pop festival in England. Both are quite well known in the pop world and it’s a feather in the cap of the band to be playing these gigs. It’s also somewhat of a feather in Tweefort’s cap to have this band on the roster.

Here’s what Ben says on Onward, Chariots’ MySpace blog:

“Chariots of Tuna” is now “Onward, Chariots” — As this band has quickly grown from a little project into a group that people care about and listen to, it’s become evident that we needed a less whimsical name. And so we have become “Onward, Chariots.” It’s not easy… knowing how it will confuse internet search engines for a while… and then trying to find another name that contained the word “Chariots.”

You can still download both EPs from Chariots of Tuna Onward, Chariots over on our releases page.

Best of 2009

Here’s my list for Best Albums of 2009 … obviously I didn’t listen to every pop album, so there’s some great music left off this list. There are also some much-hyped records intentionally left off this list. Ok … here goes:

Top 10:
1. The Mary Onettes – “Islands”
2. Afternoon Naps – “Parade”
3. Cheap Red – “Cheap Red”
4. Burning Hearts – “Aboa Sleeping”
5. The Besties – “Home Free”
6. A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Ashes Grammar”
7. Camera Obscura – “My Maudlin Career”
8. Dream Date – “Patience”
9. The Drums – “The Drums EP”
10. Summer Cats – “Songs For Tuesdays”

Honorable Mention:
11. The Lovely Eggs – “If You Were Fruit”
12. Bricolage – “Bricolage”
13. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – “The Pains of Being Pure at Heart”
14. Let’s Wrestle – “In The Court of The Wrestling Let’s”
15. Hiawata! – “These Boys and This Band is All I Know”
16. Brilliant Colors – “Introducing”
17. Cats On Fire – “Our Temperance Movement”
18. The Raveonettes – “In and Out of Control”
19. The Legends – “Over and Over”
20. Very Truly Yours – “Reminders” EP

Worth a listen:
21. Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – #4 EP
22. Bad Lieutenant – “Never Cry Another Tear”
23. Dum Dum Girls – “Dum Dum Girls”
24. The Pastels & Tenniscoats – “Two Sunsets”
25. God Help The Girl – “God Help The Girl”


Albums I’m sure would have made the list if I’d gotten a chance to hear them:
Pants Yell! – “Received Pronunciation”
Fanfarlo – “Reservoir”
Brown Recluse – “Soft Skin”
The Ballet – “Bear Life”
Colin Clary – “Every little thing counts”
So Cow – “So Cow”


Best local albums:
1. Steven Deal – “Radio Twelve”
2. The Cavemen Go – “New Lives”
3. The Inclined Plane – “I Am Pants”
4. Shark – “Shark”
5. Werewolf Police – “Ruin My Night”


Band I have completely written off this year:
For the last few years I’ve been adding a little part to my end-of-year list where I show my public disappointment in a band I used to like. These are bands that I feel have lost their way, released multiple disappointing albums in a row, “jumped the shark” or just failed to live up to the bar that their past music has set for them. Past bands I have completely written off have been Wilco and The Decemberists. I’ll admit, this year’s choice is pretty “safe.” I suppose I’ve already written them off subconsciously … but let’s make it official:

Death Cab For Cutie

Remember how good DCFC used to be? Remember “We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes”? Remember “Something About Airplanes”? I don’t care how hip and obscure you are now, don’t tell me you didn’t love these albums in 2000 and 2001. Now, I know that pretty much everything after “The Photo Album” has been a major disappointment, but when did Ben Gibbard turn into a creepster? I mean, there’s a big difference between releasing sub-par pop music and just being shady. 2008’s “The Narrow Stairs” and this year’s “The Open Door” EP are just really, really bad. I mean, “I Will Possess Your Heart” alone is reason enough to write off DCFC.


So what do you think? Let me know what I forgot or what you think should be No. 1. Please remember that Top 10 lists are ultimately just for fun/entertainment. If you think my list is completely horrible or are upset that I didn’t rank an album where you think it should be, don’t hesitate to tell me about it. But, remember, it’s just a Top 10 list, it’s just a record album, it’s just music … really. I hope everyone had a great year in pop music. I’m looking forward to what 2010 has to offer.