Thursday, June 20, 2024 
--archival-captured-cinematronic-continuity error-daily report-datastream-depth of field--
--drama-44.1 khz-gramophone-inquisitive-needle drops-picture book-twinklepop--
Neumu = Art + Music + Words
Search Neumu:  

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Jim Connelly's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Monday, January 15, 2007
Jesse Steichen's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Friday, January 12, 2007
Bill Bentley's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Tom Ridge's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Thursday, January 4, 2007
Lee Templeton's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Anthony Carew's 13 Fave Albums Of 2006

Monday, March 27, 2006
SXSW 2006: Finding Some Hope In Austin

Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Letter From New Orleans

Saturday, February 18, 2006
Jennifer Przybylski's Fave Albums of 2005

Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Music For Dwindling Days: Max Schaefer's Fave Recordings Of 2005

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Sean Fennessey's 'Best-Of' 2005

Thursday, January 12, 2006
Lori Miller Barrett's Fave Albums Of 2005

Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Lee Templeton's Favorite Recordings of 2005

Thursday, January 5, 2006
Michael Lach - Old Soul Songs For A New World Order

Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Found In Translation Emme Stone's Year In Music 2005

Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Dave Allen's 'Best-Of' 2005

Monday, January 2, 2006
Steve Gozdecki's Favorite Albums Of 2005

Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Johnny Walker Black's Top 10 Of 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005
Neal Block's Favorite Recordings Of 2005

Thursday, December 15, 2005
Jenny Tatone's Year In Review

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Dave Renard's Fave Recordings Of 2005

Monday, December 12, 2005
Jennifer Kelly's Fave Recordings Of 2005

Thursday, December 8, 2005
Tom Ridge's Favorite Recordings Of 2005

Tuesday, December 6, 2005
Ben Gook's Beloved Albums Of 2005

Monday, December 5, 2005
Anthony Carew's Fave Albums Of 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005
Prince, Spoon And The Magic Of The Dead Stop

Monday, September 12, 2005
The Truth About America

Monday, September 5, 2005
Tryin' To Wash Us Away

Monday, August 1, 2005
A Psyche-Folk Heat Wave In Western Massachusetts

Monday, July 18, 2005
Soggy But Happy At Glastonbury 2005

Monday, April 4, 2005
The SXSW Experience, Part 3: All Together Now

Friday, April 1, 2005
The SXSW Experience, Part 2: Dr. Dog's Happy Chords

Thursday, March 31, 2005
The SXSW Experience, Part 1: Waiting, Waiting And More Waiting

Friday, March 25, 2005
Final Day At SXSW's Charnel House

Monday, March 21, 2005
Day Three At SXSW

Saturday, March 19, 2005
Day Two In SXSW's Hall Of Mirrors

Thursday, March 17, 2005
Report #1: SXSW 2005 And Its Hall Of Mirrors

Monday, February 14, 2005
Matt Landry's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Wednesday, February 2, 2005
David Howie's 'Moments' From The Year 2004

Thursday, January 27, 2005
Lori Miller Barrett's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Thursday, January 20, 2005
Noah Bonaparte's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Kevin John's Fave Albums Of 2004

Friday, January 14, 2005
Music For Those Nights: Max Schaefer's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Thursday, January 13, 2005
Dave Renard's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Neal Block's Top Ten Of 2004

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Jenny Tatone's Fave Albums Of 2004

Monday, January 10, 2005
Wayne Robins' Top Ten Of 2004

Friday, January 7, 2005
Brian Orloff's Fave Albums Of 2004

Thursday, January 6, 2005
Johnny Walker (Black)'s Top 10 Of 2004

Wednesday, January 5, 2005
Jennifer Przybylski's Fave Albums (And Book) Of 2004

Tuesday, January 4, 2005
Mark Mordue's Fave Albums Of 2004

Monday, January 3, 2005
Lee Templeton's Fave Recordings Of 2004

peruse archival


the insider one daily report

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Neal Block's Top Ten Of 2004

1. The Hold Steady, Almost Killed Me (Frenchkiss): Carefully excising the best parts of his previous band, Lifter Puller — the proselytizing vocal delivery, the incisive observations about young people dedicating the majority of their time and money to liquor and substance abuse — Craig Finn's new band rockets right from the AM dial into the vein of contemporary rock music and highlights all that it's lacking. Snarled-lipped chords, wordplay worthy of Dorothy Parker, a tight, explosive rhythm section, all wrapped around stories and characters colorful enough to seem penned from real experience (and they probably are). Live, the Hold Steady are ferociously charismatic; on record, they're bringing the best of long-dormant classic rock tropes to new, vibrant life.

2. Wilco, A Ghost Is Born (Nonesuch): Wilco's tender, brutal treatise about death is the first time the band has sounded completely comfortable with itself. Free of Jay Bennett's pop-oriented influence, Jeff Tweedy's music is more akin to the elliptical lyrics he writes. The album, unlike Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, never sounds like it's trying too hard. It takes from Wilco's previous albums at the same time as it completely diverges from anything they've done before. Challenging, engaging, and beautiful.

3. Bonnie Prince Billy, Sings Greatest Palace Music (Drag City): Bonnie Billy, covering his former self, employs Music City specialists to put a country-Western sheen to some of his most lasting songs. The fresh arrangements confirm the timelessness of Palace's best work; quite often, the new versions sound better than the originals.

4. Destroyer, Your Blues (Merge): A synthetic/acoustic minor-key symphony from solitary Destroyer Dan Bejar. Each of his albums is different and usually better than the one before, and "Your Blues," with its bagpipe solos, Elvis references, and high-school drama-club sense of theatricality is no exception. The surprise here is the album's considerable emotional strengths — they're never hidden behind Bejar's liberal use of cleverness or intellect.

5. Water School, Break Up With Water School (self-released — www.waterschoolband.com): A clean, powerful debut from this Baltimore band led by two singers who couldn't have more disparate voices (which they use to great harmonic effect). Taking cues equally from Randy Newman, Rivers Cuomo and Brian Wilson, Water School carefully construct pop songs replete with memorable melodies, accomplished guitar playing, and a small, effective amount of country color.

6. The Mountain Goats, We Shall All Be Healed (4AD): John Darnielle's first foray into semi-autobiographical territory sounds pretty much like his fictional songs — detailed, well-drawn, humorous, and wise. This loose collection of stories about a group of meth addicts finds Darnielle returning to a real recording studio for a second time (after last year's Tallahassee), and sounding more comfortable with the results.

7. Brian Wilson, Smile (Nonesuch): Though his voice isn't as resonant as it was in 1968, and though the harmonies of Dennis, Carl, Mike and Al are noticeably absent, and though the version of "Good Vibrations" isn't the 15-minute extravaganza from my bootleg, and though there should be more crunching on "Vegetables," and though part of Brian Wilson's mystery is now pretty much extinguished, it's still Smile for chrissakes. Who am I to complain?

8. Fiery Furnaces, Blueberry Boat (Rough Trade/ Sanctuary): Matthew Friedberger's very big, very long, very erratic and very good album crams around 40 or 50 songs into its 13 tracks. Like a child with ADHD, Blueberry Boat, abruptly shifts from melody to melody, rarely pausing for breath. The result is a big jumble that is surprisingly consistent at maintaining its identity. Friedberger wisely lets his sister Eleanor sing most of the songs.

9. Shearwater, Winged Life (Misra): The two principal members of Okkervil River have used their band Shearwater for years as a depository for songs that weren't quite strong enough to make the cut for Okkervil records. This time, the band has established a quiet vision for itself, fleshing out acoustic tunes into full songs with thoughtful arrangements. Soon enough, they'll have to start a third project for all the songs that aren't good enough for their Shearwater albums.

10. Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News (Epic): So the NFL plays "Float On" during their broadcasts — Isaac Brock has been hawking his music for years. Ain't no thang. The Mighty Mouse return from a tension-fraught four-year hiatus with an album that's not nearly as aggro as you'd think a tension-fraught four-year hiatus would produce. While not revolutionary, the album still stands as one of their best.

The InsiderOne Daily Report appears on occasion.

-snippetcontactsnippetcontributorssnippetvisionsnippethelpsnippetcopyrightsnippetlegalsnippetterms of usesnippetThis site is Copyright © 2003 Insider One LLC