Friday, February 12, 2010


Desaparecidos - Read Music. Speak Spanish (2002)

So, you're kind of interested in Bright Eyes, but can't get past when Conor Oberst is a little whiny sometimes, yeah? Okay, fair.

But did you know that he had another, noisier, punk band in the early 2000's? Desaparecidos is made up of Mr. Oberst on guitar and vocals, and a band of other Saddle Creek musicians (Landon Hedges of The Good Life, Denver Dalley who primarily wrote the music on this record with Oberst on lyrics, Matt Baum, and Ian McElroy), many of whom appear on other Bright Eyes albums.

The music on the album is pretty hard; almost a complete 180 from the normal approach on Bright Eyes' records. The lyrics tackle the issues of poverty in the nation, usually in the form of vignettes surrounding the lives of men and women dealing with each other and their financial struggles. Here's a song, to give you an idea of what I mean:

Recommended Tracks: Man And Wife (The Former), Survival Of The Fittest (It's A Jungle Out There), Hole In One
Genres: Punk

Thursday, January 7, 2010

So Proud!

The Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride (2008)

It's no secret that The Mountain Goats are not only one of my favorite bands, but one of the best bands making music these days. Led by John Darnielle, the prolific, nasally singer-songwriter of the band, the Goats write albums that sweep across huge arid Texas plains, in volatile homes owned by warring lovers, and just about anything else.

Heretic Pride, however, is entirely non-linear. As a matter of fact, the songs don't connect at all. They're all just songs. Beautiful songs. Folky in their meanings and intentions (songs about kung fu movies, love, horror story writers, serial killers, desperation, etc), full on rock in their delivery (awww yeah), these songs are just fantastic. One of their best albums, one of my favorites from the past few years.

Here's a song to give you an idea of what I'm talking about:

Recommended Tracks: Sax Rohmer #1, Heretic Pride, Lovecraft In Brooklyn, Marduk T-Shirt Men's Room Incident
Genres: Rock, Indie, Folk

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wow, Okay, Let's Take This Easy Now...

Hey, so it's been a long time... I apologize.

I will be updating this more often starting... Now. I promise. At least for the next month or so, I'll be putting an album up every few days.

I'm going to open up this list with my top albums of 2009! I'll be putting (most) of these up! Woo!

15. Analog Moog - Endless Air
14. Cymbals Eat Guitars - Why There Are Mountains
13. The Avett Brothers - I And Love And You
12. Brand New - Daisy
11. Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra - Take Off!
10. Double Dagger - More
9. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
8. Bomb The Music Industry! - Scrambles
7. Andrew Jackson Jihad - Can't Maintain
6. Cursive - Mama, I'm Swollen
5. Pianos Become The Teeth - Old Pride
4. St. Vincent - Actor
3. Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything To Nothing
2. Future Of The Left - Travels With Myself And Another
1. The Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns

And we will kick off this newfound inspiration to blog with my #4 album, St. Vincent's Actor (2009)!

Annie Clark (featured on the album cover), the guitarist, lyricist, composer, and sweet-voiced mad scientist behind St. Vincent, had me so intrigued when I first listened to her new album, Actor. It was a mixture of beautiful woodwinds fluttering, haunting lyrics with dark, dark (dark) overtones, and ugly, gnarly guitar solos. Badass, right? I really recommend checking out this album: she has toured with Sufjan Stevens and was once a member of The Polyphonic Spree.

Her album was first composed on garageband (extra credit from me!), then redone using real people. Basically, it's indie pop mixed with old Disney songs making up a sprawling beautiful lake, but underneath, in the murky depths, there lie guitars that have been awoken and they swell up and out like monsters before falling back into their cold, muddy lakebeds.

Okay, sorry. Here, just listen, okay?

Pretty awesome, right?

Recommended Tracks: Actor Out Of Work, Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood, Marrow
Genres: Indie

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Little Something Most Of You Are Already Aware Of

Tonight, I do not have an album for you. Most of you are already aware of this link, as I've been posting it practically everywhere I can, but I just love showing this off to you people.

My band and I recorded our first song last week and I'm posting it here for you guys to check out. I'd really appreciate it if this could be used as a feedback center, but I understand that most of you don't really like posting comments on things, so whatever. If you find time, let me know what you think, because I'd really appreciate it.

Either way, I've got to recommend watching the Flowers visualizer with this because it is SO badass.

Anyways, here it is!

Fireworks For Luna - It's Happening (2009)

Downloads available on the site. Again, gimme a little feedback! There should be a second song up soon, but until then, I'd just like to know what everyone thinks about what we're doing.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Future Is Glorious!

One year ago, I went to see Against Me! with Ted Leo And The Pharmacists (what a sweet bill, right?). The opener was a band called The Future Of The Left, and I was uninterested in them. I had never heard them, never heard of them. Whatever. We got to the show late, and caught the end of their set, and that's when I realized.

Holy shit! That's Andy Falkous, the singer from McLusky, on stage right now.

Holy shit! I didn't even realize he was in a new band, nonetheless that they're arguably even better than McLusky!

The Future Of The Left - Travels With Myself And Another (2009)

The newer release is similar to the McLusky album I posted before, but, perhaps, a little less raw and a little bit better. It's got all the things you loved: having your face bit off by fuzzy guitar lines, getting kicked in the balls by unfairly awesome bass, and getting mechanically separated by the drums. This time, though, you've got a (somewhat) more mature outing, complete with (somewhat) political leanings (Hint: they're in the future) and (significantly) more interesting songwriting.

So yeah, the guitars are loud, the basses are loud, the drums are loud, and Falco's vocals are utterly bile-filled (if not as screamed as they were in mclusky). Everything comes together beautifully to make a truly great, true rock album. And in 2009! Who would've thought this to be possible?

Anyways, this is up in my top 10 list for the year. Here's a song off of it to give you an idea of what the record sounds like (plus a picture of the three strapping young members of FotL!):

Recommended Tracks: Arming Eritrea, You Need Satan More Than He Needs You, Stand By Your Manatee
Genres: Rock, Experimental

Sunday, September 27, 2009

GUEST POAST: Heatmiser's Mic City Sons

Alec has been very patient. He sent me this review aboouuutttt 2 months ago and I forgot to put it up. So here it is, in all of its awesome pseudo-depressing-but-with-some-real-joy-and-a-great-album-cover glory! Sorry it's so late, everybody, but I hope you enjoy it just the same <3

Heatmiser - Mic City Sons (1996)

Heatmiser was sort of a congregation of big Indie names. While I won't detail each member and their credits, you may recognize Elliot Smith as the main vocalist. And while you may recognize his hand in a few of the songs, this is definitely not an Elliot Smith cd with another band name tagged to it. Lyrics depicting sorrow and helplessness span throughout the album, yet some are accompanied by songs with a catchy guitar, very creative writing for all of instruments, and in some songs, you may just forget there's anything else behind the vocals. Musically there's hardly any lyrical connection from song to song, yet it flows very, very well. Mic City Sons was the third and final CD by this "supergroup," and really stood out from the first two because you could tell the members were finally starting to click as an actual band, mixing their individual creative styles in such a way that produced a great, coherent album. It would have been nice to see them continue on, however most, if not all, of the members enjoyed some success individually. In my opinion, however, this transcends any of their solo songs and is really a masterful piece to sum up a few different approaches to a moody, emotional, soft indie-style album.

Recommended Tracks: Plainclothes Man
Genres: Indie, Rock

Monday, September 21, 2009


Yeah, I just confirmed with Brooks: We will be broadcasting from 4-6 PM and NOT 4-6 AM! This is great news for people in this time zone! Hurray!!


Hey all! I have some BIG NEWS for all Hallelujah! Hallelujah! readers!!

Starting THIS Saturday, we will be going LIVE!! Yes, that's right! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! will be available on the radio, which is available on the intertubes!

My good friend, bandmate, and guest reviewer, Brooks, and I will be chatting it up while kicking out the jams every Saturday from... well, 4AM-6AM. But it's gonna be awesome!!


Ugly Is Beautiful

I've waited so long to put this album up! It's one of the best I've ever heard and it's seriously fucking awesome! So check it out!!

Cursive - The Ugly Organ (2003)

Cursive's music sounds like it was soaked in some kind of developing fluid; like they recorded the music on tape, brought it into a darkroom and produced it into photographs. Every song sounds like it was drenched in every single color of red and black until the photo came out looking like the negative.

Tim Kasher's vocals are full of fire and intensity; his songs about his messy divorce mimic his every emotion: the guitars squeal through a punk-like-but-mostly-indie emo record, the cellos... Oh the cellos are beautiful, and the rhythms start and stop through every heartbeat. Every song makes up a part of this album, definitely one of my oldest favorites, definitely one of the bands that got me into the entire indie genre. Listening to the album from front to back gives me such a tremendous feeling; the last song's gradual rise and fall is absolutely stunning, when matched with the other songs.

Recommended songs: Red-Handed Sleight Of Hand, Art Is Hard, The Recluse, A Gentleman Caller
Genres: Indie, Emo, Punk

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

An Idea For A Fireworks Display

A young woman named Valerie messaged me the other day letting me know that she was really into Amanda Palmer and Nick Cave, so I'm going to upload an album by my all-time favorite musician, who I think sounds kind of similar to both of those artists! Awesome!

Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones (1983)

Yes, yes, we all know I have a raging love for Tom Waits that will extinguish only after I die. This album is no exception. Written just before Rain Dogs and a few years after Small Change, this album is in the direct center of Tom Waits' jazzy years and his experimental ones. This can sometimes make Swordfishtrombones seem a little schizophrenic, but more often than not, it strengthens the album by solidifying Waits' stranger ideas within conventional ones.

Overall, this is a great place to START with Tom Waits because it hits both of his worlds, but it also has a few of his absolute best pieces, and listening to it always transports me back to the first time I ever heard it, so I know that it has a special place in my heart. Also, Johnsburg, Illinois is one of the single most heartwarming pieces of music ever. Just Tom Waits, a piano, and a bassist. Conversely, Franks Wild Years is one of the creepiest and funniest pieces of music I've ever heard. Waits speaks over a funky organ track about... um, well, burning down your house to kill your wife's dog. Or something. This album is awesome, just try it out! See you next week!

Recommended Tracks: Shore Leave, Johnsburg Illinois, In The Neighborhood, Frank's Wild Years, Swordfishtrombone
Genres: Rock, Experimental