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Matthew Berlyant: April 23, 2006

  1. TV on the Radio – Bowery Ballroom (New York) – April 18, 2006
    The new songs were the highlight of their super-intense set.
  2. Terrastock Festival
    My girlfriend Anne and I will be heading up to Providence tomorrow until Sunday for the 7th Terrastock festival and the first since 2002. This will be my first time attending, so you can count on a full report. Admittedly, I’m only familiar with about a quarter of the bands who will be playing, but I’m really looking forward to seeing DAMON AND NAOMI along with GHOST, KINSKI, LIGHTNING BOLT, MAJOR STARS, WINDY AND CARL and others as well.
  3. The Beach Boys – Today!/Summer Days and Summer Nights (Capitol)
    Today! is today (no pun intended) widely acknowledged as the classic 1965 album that eventually led up to their masterpiece, 1966’s Pet Sounds. This is for the most part true, but somewhat inaccurate. While Today! was an astonishing record for its time period in terms of its musicality and is generally consistent from start to finish, many of its themes still stuck to the adolescent teen fantasies of their early years. On the other hand, “When I Grow Up”, the sublime “Help Me Rhonda” and the DENNIS WILSON-sung opener “Do You Wanna Dance”, among others, are all Beach Boys classics. As for Summer Days and Summer Nights, it was a bit of a retreat into older lyrical territory like that on All Summer Long with songs about amusement parks and what not, but any album containing “California Girls,” “Help Me Rhonda” (this time appearing in the single version) and overlooked classics like “Then I Kissed Her,” “Let Him Run Wild” and the absolutely jaw-dropping “Girl Don’t Tell Me” shouldn’t be overlooked.
  4. Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure (EG)
    This is my favorite Roxy album by a mile. “Do the Strand” and the incredible “Editions of You” are 2 of their greatest almost “pop” songs while “In Every Dream Home a Heartache” is notable for being the best song ever about a plastic blow-up doll other than THE POLCE’s awesome “Be My Girl/Sally’ or DINOSAUR JR’s sad lament “Severed Lips” from their great, self-titled first album. “The Bogus Man” is a 9-minute plus gem and “Beauty Queen” personifies the Roxy ethic with the line “what we share is an ideal of beauty.” The production on this record is exquisite and so far ahead of its time that you can hear them lay the groundwork for punk, new wave, post-punk and the New Romantics all on one disc, yet no one’s ever quite sounded like them since. Absolutely essential.
  5. Mission of Burma – The Obliterati (Matador)
    Mission of Burma continue their winning streak with an album that, at least to my ears so far, bests their 2004 comeback OnOffOn, a very good and engaging but not always consistent record which fell slightly short of their early ‘80s heyday. Despite no anthems along the lines of “Academy Fight Song,” “That’s When I Reach for My Revolver” or “That’s When I Escaped My Certain Fate”, this is just pure brilliance from start to finish. Highlights include the new single “2wice,” “Donna Sumeria (a song which as the title indicates, references disco diva DONNA SUMMER’s 1976 classic “I Need Love”),” “1001 Pleasant Dreams” and the excellently titled “Nancy Reagan’s Head”. With titles like that, how can you go wrong?
  6. Band of Horses – Everything All the Time (Sub Pop)
    Do you like ROGUE WAVE and THE SHINS? If so, you need to hear this right away. It’s fitting that they’re on Sub Pop because they sound so much like the aforementioned bands, though with their own individual twist. Included in that twist is the “echo” effect used on the vocals, which to some is reminscent of MY MORNING JACKET, though I don’t really hear their influence otherwise. Anyway, this is just a great indie-pop record with terrific songs like “The Funeral” and “The Great Salt Lake”. I highly recommend it.
  7. Voxtrot – “Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Wives” EP
    Have I mentioned how good this is? Oh just about every week these days. Well you know what, I can’t stop playing it, so it goes here on my Top 10 list again.
  8. The Kinks – Something Else by The Kinks (Castle/Sanctuary)
    Although not a personal favorite, I revisited this ‘67 predecessor The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society a few days ago and I have to say that it’s a much better album than I remember it being. Aside from the immortal “Waterloo Sunset” and the Kinks klassics “David Watts” and “Death of a Clown”, DAVE DAVIES’ underrated “Love Me Til the Sun Shines” and his brother RAY DAVIES’ “Situation Vacant” are two of the best Kinks songs ever.
  9. Kid Creole and the Coconuts – Off the Coast of Me (Ze)
    This is the first album by AUGUST DARNELL’s and his excellent backing band. It’s excellent from start-to-finish as it hops genres from r’n’b to Latin jazz to light funk and calypso to just about everything in-between. All of it is highlighted by Darnell’s unique vocals and persona and the highlights include “Darrio,” “Yolanda,” “Melodie D’Amour” and the album opener “Mr. Softee”, which the band performed in a now long-defunct Manhattan nighclub in the movie Downtown 81.
    I think this site is pretty self-explanatory. It’s how I’ve been able to keep up with all of my favorite shows even when I’m not home.