Pete Rock, Lykke Li, Be Your Own Pet and Jamie Lidell

Pete Rock – NY’s Finest

Jeph: Obviously this Pete Rock album is good. You can tell from the title (if you interpret it literally). The only thing that would have made it better is if the song which features Lords of the Underground was featuring Lords of Acid instead.

Meg: You interpreted the album title literally? I actually interpreted it figuratively. I just thought it was a figure of speech. Weird.

Jeph: There’s always the chance that he’s using the term ironically, like the way the New York Police Department uses it. Maybe Pete Rock is implying that he’s a racist thug that tries to push poor people out of the city.

Meg: You’re probably right.

Lykke Li – Youth Novels

It’s always nice to listen to foreigners sing for a little while because they pronounce stuff funny. Eventually that wears out and you just have to ask yourself if you would listen to this music if it wasn’t from some weird foreigner. The answer is always the same: of course you wouldn’t. What do you think we are? Some hippy?

Be Your Own Pet – Get Awkward

Only interviewed these guys years ago when they were young kids. Theoretically, they are now older. There is not really much to say about them, or this album. They sound fine. You probably like them. Meg and Jeph probably don’t. They sound really sincere, so all the power to them. Keep up the good work, kids.

Jamie Lidell – Jim

Meg: Possessing the ability to sing like Wayne Brady would make anyone a cool person. Possessing the ability to sing like Wayne Brady while being signed to the same label as Vincent Gallo makes you a super hero.

Jeph: Yeah. This guy would have a way different career path if he had just gone on American Idol to become famous like most people. If he had taken that path, then right now he’d be giving Simon Fuller a rim-job for permission to put out another album. Allegedly.

Meg: Oh dear.

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Animal Collective, Santogold, Madonna and No Age

Animal Collective – Water Curses
True, this EP is only fours songs long, and we probably should have at least tried to listen to it before we wrote this. But we kept putting off listening to it, and then Lost was on for the first time in weeks when we actually sat down to write it, and when we listened to the first few seconds of the first two songs, we just realized that listening to four full songs was not an option for us. Maybe you could just ask someone from SFU’s film program what they think of this album. Better yet, maybe shut the fuck up.

Santogold – Santogold
Meg: I’m glad we actually listened to this album before reviewing it.

Jeph: Yeah. It is always tempting to just write a hilarious review and not actually listen to the album. But this album is actually different than I expected. I’m not really sure what I expected though. “Santogold’ isn’t a really contrived band name or anything. It’s not like we were reviewing something called “Hollywood Bear Attack” or something.

Meg: Enough with the “Hollywood Bear Attack” references. You’re totally just mentioning it again because you think that printing it here serves to copyright it as your new band name.

Jeph: No. I have no use for that name. It’s ridiculous. As a matter of fact, I would love it if some stupid bunch of 14 year old Tokyo Police Club fans adopted it as their band name. I’d love it. Santogold reminds me of Cyndi Lauper, by the way.

Madonna – Hard Candy
All things considered, this album is absolutely TERRIBLE. In fact, it’s hard not to picture the whole thing as a high-concept SNL sketch featuring Amy Poehler writhing around in one of Madonna’s ridiculous, flesh-toned bodysuit get-ups. Listening to Madonna try to tempt you with some of her “Turkish Delight” on Candy Shop is about as appealing as having your own grandmother slip you the tongue. No wonder she doesn’t let her own kids watch TV. Would you really want your impressionable, young, adopted and non-adopted offspring watching you flaunt your fifty-year old ass in front of an embarrassingly indifferent Justin Timberlake on television?

No Age – Nouns
Meg: Good night.

Jeph: Does this mean that you’re going to sleep and I have to finish this review myself?

Meg (asleep): Zzzzzzz…

Jeph: Aw man. But it’s hard reviewing semi-experimental rock albums that aren’t particularly bad, because there’s nothing to say about them. OK, whatever. Hey everyone, go out and buy this album. Sub Pop Records needs your money. Or don’t buy this album. It’s not any better than any local semi-experimental rock duos, and you can probably get any album from any local band that sounds like this for free.

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Flight of the Conchords, Mariah Carey, Portishead and Duchess Says

Flight of the Conchords – Flight of the Conchords

OK. We know you’ve already heard all of these songs. We’ve heard them too. If anything, this album basically serves as a reminder that music by novelty acts is really the best music of all time. Be honest with yourselves. If you are going to listen to some music, would you rather that music be funny or not funny? We don’t watch TV shows or movies, or read books that aren’t funny, so why should we listen to songs that aren’t funny? We shouldn’t, obviously. And this is probably off topic, but last year when we first started watching the Flight of the Conchords television program on HBO, Meg tried to play some of these songs for her parents. They were like, “We don’t get it. We don’t understand their reference points.” Then they watched all the episodes, and now they totally get it. In fact her dad even phones her up in a New Zealander accent and asks for “Brit”. It is kind of embarrassing. But that is probably beside the point.

Mariah Carey – E=MC2

Jeph: You know, I was excited when I saw that the first track was with T-Pain. Sure enough, I loved it, but it was a strange decision to start an album with a dog-whistle solo. Mariah Carey is strange. What kind of gimmick is that to always put out albums with higher pitched noises than everyone else?

Meg: Woah. I totally didn’t even hear that dog-whistle solo. I am pretty sure you are a dog. You know when Snoop Dogg sometimes morphs into dog-form and he is in the in-between stages of dog and man? Sometimes you look a little bit like that.

Jeph: I’m glad you said that. I like to think of myself as looking a little like Snoop Dogg. Other than the T-Pain track, I also like the one that features Young Jeezy. But the song that features Damian Marley is just embarrassing. I guess most songs that feature Damian Marley are.

Meg: Yeah. “Side Effects” with Young Jeezy was definitely my favourite. Tommy Motolla is such a creep. And you’re right about Damian Marley, but you have to admit, his dad was pretty cool.

Jeph: Who’s his dad?

Portishead – Third

Remember Portishead?

Duchess Says – Anthologie Des 3 Perchoirs

Jeph: I don’t mind this too much for a dance-punk band from Montreal. Could be worse. Could be a lot worse.

Meg: Yeah. And if it was worse, I would play it for a bully.

Jeph: That doesn’t even make any sense. Anyway, some of these songs are a little bit good. I don’t ever like to hear good stuff coming out of Montreal. I always get a little bit happier when Vancouver’s worst jerks move to Montreal, and it upsets me when I find out anything might make them enjoy themselves over there.

Meg: Yeah, you’re right. Except for the part about me not making sense. I made perfect sense. I’m talking about those kinds of bullies we saw in Autism the Musical. Those bullies were terrible.

Jeph: We didn’t see any bullies in that movie. We just saw people with autism reenact encounters with so-called bullies. But I will now acknowledge that what you said might have at least made some sense to you while you were writing it.

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Foals, Yip-Yip, Man Man and Thee Oh Sees

Foals – Antidotes

Meg: When you read a bio on a band that describes it as being started by a couple of boyhood chums who formerly played in a “cult math rock band” that broke up after becoming too serious, it is pretty hard for me not to hate it. But then again, I would probably hate this band anyway.

Jeph: Yeah, I think it’s fair to say you would have. I could tell that I would hate them just from the fact that they’re a British indie band signed to Sub Pop. That’s not a good combo. But yet again, even without the horrible external facts about the band, I would hate them for their revolting music in a second. Yuck!

Meg: And furthermore, foals are baby ponies and horses. They are not British assholes signed to Sub Pop. These guys give foals a bad name.

Yip-Yip – Two Kings of the Same Kingdom

Jeph was going to dis this band because of how all the songs he heard sounded like they just took a couple loops on their sequencer and then altered them just slightly enough to make different songs. Then he went on their MySpace page and realized that although he was completely right, they also had a cover of “Very Ape”. For those of you who are unsure of what we are getting at, this means that all their songs sound the same, except for the one that sounds like a Nirvana cover. And that one isn’t on this album, so it shouldn’t affect this review, but we still don’t want to be too mean to someone that did a good cover of “Very Ape”. That’s why we are inviting Yip-Yip to our birthday this year.

Man Man – Rabbit Habbits

Jeph: I like every Man Man album. They are one of the only rock bands to come out after the year 2000 that I like. And this album sounds like their other two, but with more doo-wop influence and more Moby Dick references. Can’t complain about that.

Meg: No. You’re right. You can’t complain about that — unless of course you’re bored of white people making music influenced by doo-wop.

Jeph: I’m not bored of that.

Thee Oh Sees – The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In

The song “Adult Acid” is right on the money about these guys. Most of this album sounds like what would happen if your parents dropped acid for the first time in thirty years. And sure, if they actually dropped acid and then recorded this, you’d be proud of your parents for what they did. But this band isn’t your parents, so does that make you prouder or disappointed? It just makes us want to do acid.

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Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Jonathan Richman, The Breeders and Tapes 'n Tapes

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – Dig Lazarus Dig

Jeph: I’m too much of a Nick Cave geek to review this. The fact that I own a CD of Nick Cave doing readings from his novel makes me think I might be biased. The fact that I have a book of Nick Cave’s lyrics (published by Henry Rollins!) makes me think that I shouldn’t necessarily be trusted when I say that this album is great.

Meg: Yeah, you’re right. You are completely incapable of reviewing this album. As usual, our many readers will have to completely disregard anything you have to say and only listen to me. So yeah, this album is great.

Jonathan Richman – Because Her Beauty is Raw and Wild

We can still remember almost 10 years ago, when we saw Jonathan Richman live and our friend Travis asked us what our “favourite era of Jonathan Richman” was. This girl Gina said that her favourite era was the “Greatest Hits” era. Now that we think about it, she had a pretty good point. One thing’s for sure, his greatest era is not his Spanish era. Sometimes our fingers get tired from skipping past Spanish Jonathan Richman songs on our iPods. Only one Spanish song on this album, so we’d definitely recommend the rest of the album.

The Breeders – Mountain Battles

Jeph: If the music previews section in Vancouver’s free 24 Hours “paper” is any indication of what’s on the mind of music journalists everywhere (as I’m sure it always is), then when reviewers listen to this album they will think of it in terms of The Pixies’ failure to put out a new album. Not me. I hate Frank Black. Kim Deal is the only good part of The Pixies and she’s at her best in The Breeders. And this album is classic Breeders. Not as good as Pod, but still really good.

Meg: You’re right. 24 Hours always portrays an accurate reflection of what music journalists are thinking. Always. And even though this is not my favourite Breeders album, there are some songs on here that I think I like as much as any of my favourite Breeders songs.

Jeph: Wow. Two reviews in one week where you tell me I’m right and then paraphrase me. Still, can’t complain. You know I love when people agree with me.

Meg: I can’t help it. I’m really sleepy.

Tapes ‘n Tapes – Walk It Off

We both had a tough time listening to this. It sounds like music and that’s all we can really say about it. As far as we can tell, Tapes ‘n Tapes is the name of a literal song-writing machine. And a boring song-writing machine at that. A boring song-writing machine that writes songs about George Michael.

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AZ, Elf Power, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, and The Sword

AZ – Undeniable
If you’ve read our reviews before, then you already know how this goes. We are going to give AZ’s Undeniable a good review because it is rap. Because all the other non-rap albums we had to review this week were particularly questionable, we’re going to give it an even better review then we normally would. And regardless of whether or not it is legitimately good, we recommend that you go out and buy this now; Or iTunes it, or whatever people do these days. We guarantee you are going to love “Parking Lot Pimpin‘”. Either way, did you think we would write anything negative about an album that quotes Spike Lee and Sean Combs?

Elf Power – In A Cave
Meg: I wish I was in a cave.

Jeph: Deep.

Meg: Yeah, I know. In grade nine, an older boy once asked me if I ever had deep thought, ‘cos of how he had a deep thoughts club in Port Moody that he wanted me to join.

Jeph: That’s weird that you mentioned grade nine, because this band formed when I was in grade nine. Which was apparently fourteen years ago. I didn’t know that they formed then from experience. Fourteen years ago I’m pretty sure I was just into Green Day’s Dookie and Moxy Früvous’ Bargainville.

Meg: Wow. You’re so old. I’m pretty sure that I was just into trying to get to second.

Does It Offend You, Yeah? – You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into
Before you get all accusatory, and assume that Does It Offend You, Yeah? was going for some lame shock-value thing with their band name, we’ll have you know that their name actually comes from a Ricky Gervais quote from The Office… Nothing lame about that (except that it’s a bad name for a band). But speaking of this album, with the incredibly long album title, it’s 50% Daft Punk B-sides and 50% horrible.

The Sword – Gods of the Earth
Jeph: I really like the stuff that metal bands like this one write about: Giants and ancient Hyperborian races and stuff (not that those particular subjects are covered on this album), but I think people are just kidding themselves when they say they actually like listening to metal. I wish people would write awesome metal lyrics about mystical warriors and stuff for modern folk and rap songs. That would be a lot better.

Meg: I grew up in Maple Ridge and I can honestly say that people that like metal are not kidding. In fact, they’re usually very serious.

Jeph: Like those Scandinavian black metal guys that burn down churches and stuff? Serious stuff. Serious stuff. Definitely. I more meant the sorts of people that have decent taste in music but then say they like a few metal bands too. Those guys have gotta be joking.

Meg: Yeah, probably.

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Why?, She & Him, Gnarls Barkley, and Flo Rida

Why? – Alopecia

In one of the songs on here (we can’t be bothered to find out which one), the lyrics are all about how some gypsy tricked the singer out of some money in Berlin. Apparently the singer’s homies then have to convince him not to go after the gypsy because the gypsies probably have knives. Sorry to break it to you, Why?, but we saw you guys live and we’ve been to Berlin and seen a few gypsies in our day as well, and we can safely say that a gypsy could take you all on without any knives. But really, if you’re going to be making gypsies mad, that is the least of your worries. For those of you that read Stephen King’s Thinner, you already know that gypsies are also capable of casting a spell on you where you literally waste away to nothing. For those of you that haven’t read it, you might want to. It just might save your life.

She & Him – Volume One

Jeph: As a person that hates Cat Power and Jenny Lewis (musically, not as people), I’d have to say that this project is a lot better than a lot of the stuff that I would lump into this category. That’s not saying much, but I do find this pleasant to listen to.

Meg: Hmmm… At first I was just listening to this and thinking about how I probably wouldn’t want to listen to it much more, but that I really wanted to be friends with the singer, which is a great compliment because I don’t have very many friends. Then I started thinking, why would I want to be friends with some nobody-singer, when I could be friends with Lesley Arfin or Sarah Silverman? Then I found out that you used trickery and didn’t tell me that this was Zooey Deschanel’s album, even though you know I love her. She is probably not going to be friends with me, and neither are the other two. But now I love this album!

Gnarls Barkley – The Odd Couple

What can we say? Cee-lo Green has an otherworldly quality to his voice that is beautiful to listen to. Does that mean that we want to listen to it in combination with just anything? Like, for instance, another Danger Mouse project mostly consisting of songs your mom will play in the car? You have a gift, Cee-lo. Use it carefully. On the plus side, there was a big backlash against their last album because their first hit got way too big and over-hyped the whole project. There are no songs on this album that sound like hits, so they are not likely to have that problem again.

Flo Rida – Mail on Sunday

Jeph: The first song on this is called “Ack Like You Know.” It makes me wonder if Flo Rida will ever give up rapping, as many artists do, for a career in acking. Seriously folks, are we supposed to believe that he can spell the word “know,” but has trouble with the word “act?” “Know” has that tough silent “k!”

Meg: I thought “Money Right” with Rick Ross and Brisco was crazy, ‘cos it was like everything I’ve been going through lately was put into song form. “I got the money right…That’s what the bitches like.” Seriously. I work in a bank now. Nobody gets me like Flo Rida, Rick Ross, and Brisco.

Jeph: That’s true. That song is you in a nutshell.

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Rick Ross, Fuck Buttons, Crystal Castles and Del the Funky Homosapien

Rick Ross – Trilla

Jeph: In ten years, I wonder how many albums there are going to be where my favourite track is the one with T-Pain on it? I can’t help it. I love that guy. The rest of the album is so-so, but you can’t fail with T-Pain. It is possible to make a bad song with T-Pain (Chris Brown did it), but T-Pain’s part of any song is always shining.

Meg: That is so weird. I was just thinking the exact same thing about Nelly. It’s like how many albums will there be in the next century where the tracks he contributes to are the best? I can tell you one thing, however many there are, it won’t be enough.

Jeph: Yeah, there’s a lot of collaborations on here. I was expecting more from the R. Kelly track. They should have put Kels on the T-Pain track and made an “I’m a Flirt Part II”.

Meg: Whoah. You actually call R. Kelly, Kels? That is so cool. I love you so much right now.

Fuck Buttons – Street Horrrsing

Can you imagine how it would be if you were actually cool enough to have your own band with the f-word right in the name? It’s like you wouldn’t even care what your parents thought, or whether you lived or died. Fuck, that would be cool. It would be kind of like being in that other band with the f-word in their name. Fuck.

Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles

Meg: Initially, I had really liked this album and my favourite part was the fact that it was only two songs long. Then I realized that you had only loaded two of the songs onto my iPod and that the whole thing was actually a lot longer. Now I’m kind of on the fence about the whole thing.

Jeph: The other songs are kinda like those first ones. The album sounds nice, but it’s all video-game electronic music. It’s all well done, and kinda original at times. But one album of video-game electronic music is really all any one person needs. So if you already have one, ignore this. Or better, yet, just download some video-game synth/sequencer emulator and make your own.

Meg: Or better yet, only listen to two of the songs.

Del the Funky Homosapien – Eleventh Hour

We are Del experts. We have seen him live and listened to everything that he has ever recorded. As such, you can trust us when we tell you that this is a fine album. Nothing wrong with it. On the other hand, nothing really stands out. The beats are the same bouncy 8-bit funk that we heard back on Both Sides of the Brain, and the rest is just Del rapping. And if anyone out there considers themselves to be a Del purist or any fool thing, do not try calling us out. Remember, we are Del experts and we will school you. Especially don’t call us out on using the term “8-bit funk”. We used it and that’s that.

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Destroyer, Cadence Weapon, Fleet Foxes, and The D'Urbervilles

Destroyer – Trouble in Dreams

Jeph: I think this album sounds great. It’s always nice to see some good music coming out of this city. But I couldn’t help laughing at the the title to the first song “Blue Flower/Blue Flame”. Because the song is all about romantic type stuff and he mentions a blue flower in the song, I was curious about the second half of the title. It kind of put an image in my head of Dan Bejar lighting his farts on fire at the end of a nice date.

Meg: I can’t even believe you.

Cadence Weapon – Afterparty Babies

Afterparty Babies is one of the most fitting album titles we’ve seen in a long time, simply because you would have to be an actual baby to be impressed by this album. And trust us, impressing you was definitely what Rollie Pemberton had in mind with this record. The references to Tina Fey, The Wire and dating a flight attendant only left us about 24% impressed. But then again, maybe we’re just jealous ‘cos of how back when we were this guy’s age, we were probably just hanging out at the Douglas College cafeteria with Cameron Reed and some jock that was 7 feet tall. By the way, if you have a killer name like Rollie Pemberton, why on earth would you ever adopt some lame alias like Cadence Weapon?

Fleet Foxes – Sun Giant

On their MySpace page, these guys actually describe their music as “baroque harmonic pop jams”. We don’t know what they were listening to, because this EP sounds like the soundtrack to the George Clooney wank-fest, O Brother, Where art Thou?. OK, maybe not exactly, but it has the same nostalgic quality. Which works nice for a period piece soundtrack, but is lame on a new album of self-proclaimed pop music. Oh wait, we mean pop jams.

The D’Urbervilles – We Are The Hunters

Jeph: There’s not much to say about this. The songs are musically clever. A lot of drum-contest drumming going on. It sounds like someone has been watching some “How to Drum Fancy” DVDs. Maybe some Terry Bozzio or something. The music changes up a lot of times. Usually in a surprising way. When I think about it though, I can’t imagine I will ever listen to this again once this review is emailed in. The singing is embarrassing for everyone and the music is just cleverness and talent. There’s nothing to latch onto and enjoy.

Meg: You’re right, there is not much to say about this. Mostly ‘cos I only listened to one song from this album. I’m sorry. I really should have listened to the whole thing, I guess.

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Beach House, Autechre, Born Ruffians, and Hercules & Love Affair

Beach House – Devotion

We remember a movie about a Beach House. Sandra Bullock bought it in the future and she used it’s mailbox as a time machine to send magical letters back and forth to Keanu Reeves in the past. Seriously, if you had access to a real time machine, would you really be able to think of some better use for it than being pen pals with Keanu Reeves? We didn’t think so. But now that we think about it, that movie didn’t have a beach house at all. It was actually a Lake House. And by the way, if anyone is wondering, this album gets a score of 45.

Autechre – Quaristice

When we first heard Autechre on the soundtrack to Pi, we were both ravers and the music sounded pretty original and inventive compared to the progressive trance music that we heard at every party we went to. Ten years later, and Autechre is still playing the same song. Too bad Aranofsky is too busy making scenically-beautiful, sentimental garbage movies that star his girlfriend. Otherwise, this album would be totally useful for another one of his soundtracks. Maybe for Pi II.

Born Ruffians – Red Yellow & Blue

One of the songs on here is called “Kurt Vonnegut”. In the book Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut (and the movie with the same name, starring Nick Nolte), it is said and shown that ultimately you are what you pretend to be. These “Born Ruffians” guys are pretending to be about five or six really annoying things on this album, so if Vonnegut is right, they best watch their back.

Hercules & Love Affair – Hercules & Love Affair

Wow, listen to Mr. Fancy Voice with all of his fancy-person singing. Hercules & Love Affair think they are so royal. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Most music is, and always has been, boring and predictable with little style or fanciness. So, all the power to Mr. Fancy Voice (AKA. Andy Butler) for rising above the usual garbage. We wish this album reminded us of a movie, because then this review would be more consistent with the other three.

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