Meek is Murder – Everything is Awesome Nothing Matters : Well holy hell, so I was hanging out in Brooklyn at my friends’ studio (Spaceman Sound) where I met the dudes from Meek is Murder. They just so happened to be opening for my favorite band of all time that evening (Converge at Saint Vitus Bar) so obviously I went to check it all out. Meek is Murder put on an amazing show and in speaking with the boys, it turned out they recorded their album with producer and guitarist of Converge; Kurt Ballou (Godcity Studio). At that point the album wasn’t out, but the day it was released I picked it up and haven’t stopped listening to it since! It’s so heavy, raw, full of disgusting feedback and I love it.
Hudson Hank – DayBreak : Former band mate (bassist of Kiss Kiss) and current founder of his own project Hudson Hank; Sammy Oatts always amazes me with his capabilities. This man has done extensive amounts of touring w/ indie acts as well as Broadway acts and now being the singer and multi-instrumentalist of Hudson Hank, he really took it to the next level. His record “Day Break” was produced by Guy Berryman of Coldplay, released on vinyl and recently performed at The Bowery Ballroom, NYC. He is one of the most talented, sincere, down to earth musicians in the business and I truly see him and his band going far! Lastly Dan Muhlenburg (drummer) is the best dude ever.
Tidal Arms – Tidal Arms : These boys truly know how to craft a sound from the ground up. From the moment this album takes off you can hear the precision and detail work put into each tone layering within each other to make this record. Impressive work by great friends Tom Tierney (vocalist/guitarist/producer/mixing) and Alex Mead-Fox (producer) on the recording front (Spaceman Sound) along with the performance and song writing of Tom Tierney, Patrick Southern (bassist formerly of Kiss Kiss also) and Francis Mark (drummer formerly of From Autumn to Ashes). Love you boys.
Twenty One Pilots – Vessel : I saw flyers for these guys all across the country, I was told they were amazing, I heard some of their music which I thought was pretty good, but it wasn’t until I witnessed their live performance at SXSW 13’ until it really sank in and understood what they were all about.
Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience : Umm do I really need to go further? Have you seen the Grammy Awards 13’ or the VMAs? That boy can do it all. His songs are catchy, structured perfectly, his voice is phenomenal not to mention he’s handsome, charming and can dance. (no homo, well maybe a little)
The Dear Hunter – Migrant : Although I haven’t been completely onboard with the way some of theseboys portray themselves/conduct their business, there is still no overlooking their undeniable talent shown in each and every one of their albums. Migrant obviously included. Casey’s ability to sing extremely light and pretty to full and harsh in addition to the catchy melodic theatrical music backing him makes for an extremely unique yet completely digestible album.
The Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us Is the Killer : I’ve been hooked on these guys since I heard their track ‘43% burnt’ on an Initial Records compilation CD back in 99’ (I know I’m old as fuck). I later played in a pop/rock band (A World Away) back in 2004 with drummer Billy Rymer who is now the current drummer of The Dillinger Escape Plan. Seeing him and them grow as people and a band has been quite a trip and I’m proud to say this record is one of my favorite DEP records to date. Cheers boys!
Kanye West – Yeezus : When I first put this record on I thought “there goes my love for Kanye”. The album is bazaar, it almost sounded incomplete and thrown together in a shitty Frankenstein esc manner having slim to no flow. As time went on I found myself waiting for those stupid choppy moments and now I can’t get enough of it. Despite the ridiculous contradictory type person that Kanye may be, I really enjoy what he does. To top it all off, my former college roommate (Kevin Dennis) does sound for him and mentioned his immense attention to detail that goes into the production of his shows. I really appreciate artists that truly take pride in what they do.
Letlive. – The Blackest Beautiful : My first memory of Letlive was sharing a stage with them at a venue called Fubar in St. Louis, MO (March 14th 2011 w/ The Gay Blades) . Despite the fact that there were about 15 people there, those boys went completely nuts, and if any of you know me, you know my appreciation for insane live performances. All within their set, Jason went behind the bar, served a drink, paid for and punched the bar boxing bag and proceeded to dump an industrial sized garbage pail onto his head. That said, I wasn’t thoroughly impressed with their music at the time, but really enjoyed their company as people so we stayed in touch. Prior to the release of The Blackest Beautiful there was a full album stream via YouTube. I listened to that stream from start to finish literally 10 times within two or three days. I can still listen to that album from start to finish at any given place or time. Being that I love recording artists, I was also very impressed Jeff’s (guitarist of Letlive) production work on the album.
Lorde – The Love Club E.P. : I think this was released in 12’ but re-released March 13’. I know it’s way the fuck played out, in fact I don’t think I can get from point A to point B without hearing “Royals” however, there’s a good chance if I don’t hear it that I will be sure to put it on! This whole E.P. although short, cycles through various unique styles from hints of hip hop to stripped down singer/songwriter vibes. Some how this E.P. is layered and polished with electronics and sampling yet still holds a very sincere and organic aura to it, which is difficult to explain w/ words, so listen for yourself.
These are 25 albums I’ve been meaning to check out and hopefully will soon, but being that there are so many I’d really love your assistance. Can you guys please give some advice on what I should and should not bother with?
1) Tim Casher – Adult Fil
2) Ra Ra Riot – Beta Love
3) Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob
4) My Bloody Valentine – m b v
5) Lil’ Wayne – I Am Not a Human Being II
6) The Flaming Lips – Terror
7) Cold War Kids – Dear Miss Lonelyhearts
8) Phoenix – Bankrupt!
9) Streetlight Manifesto – The Hands That Thieve
10) Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
11) Portugal. The Man – Evil Friends
12) Sigur Ros – Kveikur
13) Transplants – In a Warzone
14) Jay-Z – Magna Carta Holy Grail
15) The Used – The Ocean of the Sky
16) Gogol Bordello – Pua Vida Conspiracy
17) Man Man – On Oni Pond
18) Moving Mountains – Moving Mountains
19) MGMT – MGMT
20) Dr. Dog – B-Room
21) Of Montreal – Lousy with Sylvianbriar
22) Polar Bear Club – Death Chorus
23) Transit – Futures and Sutures EP
24) Beyonce – Beyonce
25) Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
These are 10 of my personal issues with 2013. I’d love to hear yours as well!
1) Buckethead released too many things and no one cares
2) Ian Watkins of Lostprophets is a monster
3) The Mars Volta broke up
4) The Venetia Fair didn’t blow up
5) I didn’t have enough time to check out all the new albums listed above
6) I heard the new Foxy Shazam, it’s not out yet and I can’t wait
7) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ ‘The Heist’ came out in 12’ so it couldn’t be in my top ten
8) I record bands and had to turn down far too many artists due to lack of time and space restraint
9) Issues between members of Korn were/are still being publicized
10) Justin Bieber is still a real thing and not just a nightmare
Here’s to a happy and healthy holidays and amazing things to come in 2014. Thanks to everyone, we couldn’t have done anything without you. Get those glasses up, CHEERS!
Mike Abiuso and everyone at