Friday, January 11, 2013

Top Albums: 2012

Inspired by @drgrist's always fantastic annual Realish mix, I was motivated to finish up my last few selections for 2012 top albums. As mentioned in the aforementioned list, 2012 was a great year for new music and discoveries. In many ways, I feel like there are a handful "no brainers" and then things get difficult due to the number of choices. I could have a pretty length honorable mentions list, but we have to draw a line somewhere.

So here's my list:
  1. Damian Jurado – Maraqopa
  2. First Aid Kit – The Lion's Roar
  3. Grizzly Bear – Shields
  4. Lemolo – The Kaleidoscope
  5. Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
  6. Japandroid – Celebration Rock
  7. Deep Sea Diver – History Speaks
  8. Tanlines – Mixed Emotions
  9. Shearwater – Animal Joy
  10. Cat Power – Sun
Honorable Mentions:
  • David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
  • Grimes – Visions
  • Animal Collective – Centipede Hz
  • How to destroy angels_ – An omen EP_ (Partially omitted for being an EP)
I'm already looking forward to 2013 in which I predict a Josh Ritter. Just a hunch.

Update: And I almost forgot. I nominate "Come Back Little Star" from Patterson Hood's "Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance" as my song of the year.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top Albums: 2011 version

Hot on the heels of the 2010 version, here's a list of my favorites for 2011:
  1. Destroyer – Kaputt
  2. Wye Oak – Civilian
  3. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
  4. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
  5. James Blake – James Blake
  6. M83 – Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
  7. Braids – Native Speaker
  8. Cass McCombs – Wit's End
  9. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  10. The Cave Singers – No Witch
Honorable Mentions
  • Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean
  • Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital
  • Wilco – The Whole Love
Maybe more than in other years, there are a number of albums I'd still like to have had time (and $) for closer inspection, but that certainly doesn't diminish my enthusiasm for what's here.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Top Albums: 2010 version

Last week, Pastor Matt promised to read my 2010 top albums list if I posted it. Looking back, I actually only had listed 9, so with the benefit of an extra year of perspective, I'm added the final choice and am pretty pleased with my selections:

Top 10:
  1. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
  2. The National – High Violet
  3. Mimicking Birds – Mimicking Birds
  4. The Head and the Heart – The Head and the Heart (Sure, it's on lots of the lists for 2011, but this is for the self-release which actually landed last year.)
  5. The Black Keys – Brothers
  6. Yeasayer – ODD BLOOD
  7. Janelle MonĂ¡e – The ArchAndroid
  8. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – The Social Network
  9. Wolf Parade – Expo 86
  10. Frightened Rabbit – The Winder of Mixed Drinks
Honorable mentions:
  • Siskiyou – Siskiyou
  • Holy F&*% – Latin
And now that it's almost 2012, maybe I can get this year's version out in a more timely fashion.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Some Shows — Another Latest Installment

A definite goal in the first half of 2011 for me has been to see a large number of live shows. The big news is likely to make it a bit more logistically challenging in the future and one might proclaim I've been less discerning (in fact I would have gone to more, but sold out performances have been an issue) about what I buy tickets for . That would be incorrect though, as the options in Seattle are amazing and everything of late has been wonderful.

So here's a recent run through for those that are looking for new artist ideas:
  • The Books — Actually, a pretty hard to describe band. They're minimalist in terms of what music they play on stage and it's augmented by obscure and really interesting audio and video clips. Their playing style seems pretty classically inspired. They're awesome and here's a clip of a favorite, We Bought the Flood.
  • The Head & the Heart — They're exploding right now, so they probably need less of an intro. They had just been signed to Sub Pop shortly before the sold-out show and the rumor was that the $14 tickets were going for a pretty penny outside. One of the bands that just makes me happy to listen to and I was really glad to have seen them before they're too big for the club in Seattle.
  • The Mountain Goats — This was a solo show from a recent Mr. Galore obsession. They put out a fantastic new album on Tuesday, March 29th. If they come back to Seattle as a full band, I will be going. Despite the solo performance, I was glad that a long-standing tradition of John Darnielle introducing himself as "We're the Mountain Goats" was on display. Here's more.
  • Josh Ritter — An all-time favorite probably covered on this very blog before since this was pushing the 10th live performance taken in by the Galores.
  • Damian Jurado — A local legend playing with band before a sellout. Seattle is great. I really like Arkansas from his latest.
  • Drive-By Truckers — I have seen Patterson Hood before, but if you don't count that, I would say that this was my current choice for the band I most wanted to, but had never seen live. Incredibly versatile and loud with their dirty three guitar sound. Go-go Boots is their latest album and here's a favorite, Used to Be A Cop.
  • Destroyer — Thanks to a co-worker's recommendation, my favorite discovery of 2011. Of course, they're not at all new — just new to me. Everyone asks if they're death metal and with a name like Destroyer, it's understandable. According to KEXP though, they're an "ironically titled theatrical post-disco revival ensemble." Speaking of which, here's their latest in studio there.

Oh hey, baby. And it's a he...

Hmm, it appears that we never officially announced to our blog-only following (it was on various other social networking websites), that we're having a Baby Galore! Sorry about that...

And hot on the heels of that news, we learned this past week it's gonna be a boy. We're currently calling him Hans, though that's just the code name.

Here's a picture from latest ultra sound:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Some Shows — Latest Installment

For those of you that are interested in the music we've been going to see lately, we've had a chance to see some good stuff you might be interested in checking out:

  • Janelle Monae opening for Of Montreal – Great show all around. I was equally excited about both, but left with much more enthusiasm for the opener and would love to see Monae do her full set. If you don't yet know Janelle Monae, you will soon. She'll be annoyingly popular, which she completely deserves. In the meantime, I think the Galores would do well and could afford to add her to the next installment of our music festival.

  • Pomegranates — Really enjoying their latest album, One of Us. The crowd was sadly small, but it was fun to be two rows back from a band with some good songwriting talent. Here's some audio from their latest KEXP visit.
  • Dawes – Fantastic live. Mrs. Galore made a rare late night showing.

  • Built to Spill – If it wasn't already, it's starting to become a character flaw to not like BtS. It's true. Only complaint was that they didn't play You Were Right.

  • Over the Rhine — Mrs. Galore went to get her menno-folk-singer-songwriter on, so you'll have to ask her for the recap. As an aside, Poughkeepsie is a great song, but what about the name?


Some qoocs for you:

From friend Danny: "At least your coworkers wear pants!"

Mrs. Galore to Mr. Galore: "I just noticed your face."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

MLS Expansion Draft or Ugh, who will we protect?

So, like many in Sounder nation, I've been agonizing over who we'll lose in the upcoming expansion draft. To make the whole thing a little less painful, I thought it would be fun to make a contest.

As I understand it, though I'm not a lawyer, the rules are basically:
  • if the player is a designated player, we have to protect them
  • we can protect up to 11 players
  • if one of our players is taken, we can protect a 12th player
  • we can only lose at most 2 players (we could also only lose 1 or 0)
So, either comment or email me if you want to participate. I think the following should work well:
  • 1 point for each player you correctly identify as one we'll protect
  • 3 points for each taken player you correctly guess (no player taken is a valid choice for each slot, Portland chooses first; Vancouver second)
  • 2 points for correctly naming the 12th protected player
(That means there is a total of 19 possible points.)

So, here's how I think it will play out:
  1. Keller
  2. Fernandez
  3. Nkufo
  4. Alonso
  5. Montero
  6. Zakuani
  7. Parke
  8. Ianni
  9. Sturgis
  10. Hurtado
  11. Riley
Jacqua will get taken by Portland.
We'll then protect Nyassi.
Then I think Evans will be taken by Vancouver.

Meaning we'll hang onto (among others):
  • Fucito
  • Seamon
  • Gonzalez
  • Vegenas
  • Boss
  • Wahl
  • Graham
  • Montano
  • Estrada
What do you think?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

i have a new blog

(and it's updated more consistently than this one)

Sunday, November 7, 2010


"Are you crying?"
"No, you just spit on me."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Some shows

We've had the chance to see some great shows lately. In no particular order, here's a nice taste including random videos of the performers we've seen this summer:
  • Cloud Cult - One of Mr. and Mrs. Galore's favorite live performers. Here's some great stuff live at KEXP:
  • Frightened Rabbit - Only Mr. Galore for this. According to a Grist colleague, Mrs. Galore is waiting until she's 60 to see more shows. Old, but great live audio performance on KEXP and some newer video.
  • The National - For my money, it is, and will maintain its status, as the finest new album released in 2010. Opener was Okkervil River. Can't complain when you get a 2-for-1 of artists from the favorite list. No video for these bands because you should already know them.
  • Holy *$%^ - Video not posted inline due to unfriendly language. Now that you've been warned, here's some live material from Bumbershoot should you be interested.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Who would you invite to your very own concert?

Many things have happened since our last blog entry. For one, we both joined bookface and do much less blogging. (At least Mrs. Galore does less blogging – Mr. Galore was always a bit spotty with that sort of thing anyway).

One thing I've been wanting to blog about is our idea for our very own, tailored to us, summer concert festival. Last summer while taking a brief road trip to Leavenworth, we got onto a discussion about who we would invite if we could coordinate our very own music festival. Because I like these sort of things, since last summer it's taken on a life of it's own and we've thought of it often. We love discussing it with others to get their perspectives.

The rules are simple:
  • 10 artists
  • Artists must still be alive
  • If artists are living, you can dictate the band structure (the reunited original lineup, etc.).
  • You must have a format (one day with all bands performing for 1 hour, a full weekend, sequential weekend shoes, etc.)
  • You must name a headliner (no one will come if you don't have a headliner)
  • Optional: create the list with a friend or significant other. Does it change?
So, without further ado, Mr. and Mrs. Galore's Summer Concert Series (2 bands per night; 5 straight Saturdays) for 2009 was:
  • Bon Iver
  • Cloud Cult
  • Gillian Welch
  • Iron & Wine
  • Josh Ritter
  • The National
  • Ryan Adams
  • Okkervil River
  • Wilco (headliner)
Creating this and discussing it was super fun and informative for a number of reasons. The liner notes:
  • Because it was being planned together, we had to compromise on the artists we both really love. You'll notice, we still have one slot open and have yet to decide how to fill it. I lobbied hard for bands like Wolf Parade and Built to Spill to no success. Mrs. Galore wanted the Dixie Chicks, but I used the lamest stop motion tactic: "they're out of our budget!"
  • You have to decide on a strategy. Do you invite people you've never heard? Your all time favorites? Artists you're really into at the time, but may be embarrassed about later? Our list contains only one artist we've never seen live (Bon Iver). It's a favorites list and a good sign that we actually get to the shows we want to see and it probably builds upon our appreciation for certain bands.
  • We realized, unfortunately, how male-centric the whole music industry is. The only female that cracked our list is Gillian Welch. I even spent some time looking at lists of successful/influential female artists that we might add.
  • It's not intentional, but we really realize how you and others we've asked are cautious to make this sort of list because its one way that someone can portray or represent themselves. If you tell us your list, we promise not to make fun unless it contains a band like Creed on it. (There, I just proved my point.)
  • I realized how much better I thought a series of summer concerts would be than just to slam everyone in on one individual festival day or weekend.
So, we'd like to invite you to email, comment, whatever your list. We have a few others from our friends that I'll post soon and we're working on our 2010 list, which will hopefully be quite different.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

band names

You know ... in the course of conversation sometimes phrases come up that really should be band names. Like:

Manatee Freelancer
Subtleties of the Bean
Knit Uterus
Wooed With Pickles
The Emergency Onion
Awkward Triangle
Beer Hat

Can't remember the conversations within which these particular phrases came up -- but I just found the paper on which I wrote them down. So there you have it.