Posts Tagged ‘Fleet Foxes’

By Carrie Waite

Growing up as a little one in the 1970s, my father ALWAYS had a beard. Always, in some form, in some various stage of growth, he was hairy and scary. I had this photograph of him that I was slightly obsessed with because you could actually see his bare face in it. It was either a mugshot or one of those photo booth pics. Let’s go with mugshot.  And I really hated his beard. Every time he’d pick me up for one of those “Dad Weekends”, he would insist on kissing my delicate little face and it felt like sandpaper ripping my skin off. But now, I seem to surround myself with the very thing that frightened me as a little girl. Hairy scary men.

So, tonight we started talking about how all the bands that are popping up in my iPod mix freaking have beards (maybe we’ll cover the ironic mustache trend in a future post, but don’t get me started on that right now). Half the magazine covers at Borders sport a beard (either a beard or Obama this week).

Death Cab For Cutie on The Big Takeover, Fleet Foxes on Under The Radar and even Zach Braff was all sorts of fuzzy on the cover of Geek Monthly. I heard your band must have at least one bearded member to get signed to Sup Pop nowadays and the New World Brewery is like a gang, no make that a secret club for boys with beards most nights. It makes me jealous that I can’t grow one.  

I admit it.  I think beards are pretty sexy, now. Even the scraggly, unkempt ones can have a certain Grizzly Adams charm to them. What is it about the beard? Is it simply a fashion accessory? A resurgent cultural phenomenon? Just plain laziness (this one gets my vote)? Damn manly though, if you ask me.  

Perhaps it’s a sign that my beloved indie-rock has become a “mature” genre. God forbid, are we getting old? Why do all my favorite men look homeless?

Carrie’s favorite hairy bands

The Dirtbombs
Lucero
Drag the River and Cory Branan
Band of Horses
TV On The Radio
Fleet Foxes
Turbonegro
Jeff Tweedy has had some adorable ones
and some really scary ones.
Most iconic beard goes to Lemmy
Sexiest beard has to be Dave Grohl’s

Some Blogs about beards:
John McNicholas even participated in a beard contest a few years back. He still has the stinkin’ thing. It’s adorable, John. 
And I hear jojoba oil is great for when you’re finally ready to rid yourself of the hairy beast on your face and shave it off.

But don’t.

Advertisements

By Carrie Waite

Best Albums:

Beck, Odelay (Re-issue w/ Bonus Disc)
The Black Keys, Attack & Release
Calexico, Carried To Dust
The Dirtbombs, We Have You Surrounded
Dr.Dog, Fate
Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
Flight of the Concords, Flight of the Concords
Have Gun Will Travel, Casting Shadows Tall As Giants
The Magnetic Fields, Distortion
Rebekah Pulley, Back to Boogaloo
Will Quinlan & the Diviners, Navasota
Sun Kil Moon, April
Lucinda Williams, Little Honey
Wye Oak, If Children

By JG

Best Albums:

1. The Dodos, Visiter
If this decade were good for anything, it was for inspiring musicians to strip down and make much of little. Here’s a duo and a half (well, third member, Joe Haener, just became official) that create hypnotic and passionate pop with finger-picking guitar, fast tribal-like beats and ingenious twists, such as the tambourine taped to drummer Logan Kroeber’s foot. What’s more, Meric Long’s singing sounds timelessly great, I mean really great – a signature appeal also for band No.’s 2 and 3 on my list – hopefully signaling the demise of the mumbling indie rocker. San Francisco’s the Dodos, around since 2005, make folky rock and create an old-meets-new vibe that not only get your toes tapping, but they reach into your guts and heart and give them a long, hard tug too. “Primitive” and “visceral” get tossed around a lot, but if you take these qualities and combine them with the melodic sweep of Paul Simon or the Finn brothers, you’ll find yourself saddled with the unique and underrated genius of the Dodos.

2. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
Sparklingly catchy and timeless pop, vocals you can sing along to. Every song sounds like a radio hit. That doesn’t happen often.

3. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
Not since the Beach Boys has a band harmonized so wondrously.

4. Throw Me the Statue, Moonbeams
I might be the only writer putting this plucky young band from Seattle on my list, but like Bobby Brown says, “That’s my prerogative.” TMTS combines the eccentric charm of early new wave, especially Talking Heads, and gloms on keyboards and strummy acoustics. The result is dark, light and swirly – a stunning contrast of moods and sounds.

5. She and Him, Vol. 1
My favorite male vocalist of nowadays, M. Ward, teams up with Hollywood sweetheart Zooey Deschanel for a duet masterpiece. I especially like their cover of the Beatles’ “Should Have Known Better.”

6. N.E.R.D., Seeing Sounds
This is way beyond the conventions of hip-hop and R&B. Pharrell and Co. give us a fun and funky amalgamation that doesn’t lose its soul and integrity in the translation.

7. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
The all-out rock, balladeer charm and glam luster of early ’70s Bowie on a high-tech 21st century platform – Robo Ziggy!

8. The Breeders, Mountain Battles
I love how Kim Deal’s voice has gotten rougher and raspier. It just adds to the raw mystique of the Breeders, a band that’s always had a knowing attitude while not taking itself too seriously to be weird. Theirs is a righteously cool evolution, and this album is proof.

9. TV on the Radio, Dear Science
Soulful, bizarre, topical, danceable. A super record from one of this decade’s supergroups.

10. Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer
Wolf Parade seemed like another fancy, esoteric Canadian band at one time but has won me over with its soulful, gutsy rock, sweetened by indelible melodies and intelligent lyrics.

11. The Delta Spirit, Ode to Sunshine
12. The Helio Sequence, Keep Your Eyes Ahead
13. The Old 97s, Blame it On Gravity
14. Lykke Li, Youth Novels
15. Dr. Dog, Fate
16. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
17. Centro-matic/South San Gabriel, Dual Hawks
18. Flight of the Conchords, Flight of the Conchords
19. R.E.M., Accelerate
20. Duffy, Rockferry

On my list to check out further:

I’m thinking that if I had more time with these, the results could possibly skew a bit:
Common: Universal Mind Control; Q-Tip: The Renaissance; Thurston Moore: Sensitive/Lethal; The Rosebuds: Life Like; Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago; Beach House: Devotion; Langhorne Slim: Langhorne Slim; and Okkervil River: The Stand-Ins.

10 favorite singles:

The Dodos “Fools”
Flo-Rida “Low”
Fonzworth Bentley feat. Kanye and Andre “Everybody (Don’t Stop)”
Lykke Li “I’m Good, I’m Gone”
Throw Me the Statue “Lolita”
Common feat. Pharrell “Universal Mind Control”
People C’mon “The Delta Spirit”
The Breeders “Bang On”
M83 “Kim and Jessie”
Pictures and Sound “It’s You”

By Carla DeSantis

It’s December and thanks to bloggers and the free subscription my mother has somehow ended up getting from Rolling Stone, I’ve been looking over what I’ve missed this year on the annual “best of the year” lists.

Since ROCKRGRL’s demise at the end of ’05, I work at home and have musically become a bit of a hermit. I thought that maybe perusing these “best of” lists from friends and colleagues in-the-know would introduce me to music I might have missed and enlighten me to what’s going on outside the wheels in my head.

Anyhow, I’m looking at all these lists from all these people with very eclectic tastes and can’t help thinking: What happened to the rock? You know, the stuff that has been horrifying parents for generations.

Duffy and Fleet Foxes and Coldplay are fine, I guess, but their music has all the angst of a lullaby. Did angst go out of style when I wasn’t looking? How can this qualify as rock?

The current crop of buzz bands sound like rejects from the Lilith Fair tour. And I’m talking about the guys. Everything sounds like Jewel circa 1994. (And I hate Jewel.)

I know I risk sounding like one of those doddering elderly people waxing nostalgic about the good old days. Fair enough. But what I’ve always loved about rock is the raw power and emotion behind it. I need edge. And I don’t mean the guy from U2.

I just can’t believe that with the internet offering a world of variety, the baby-voiced singers on iPod commercials and television processed American Cheese Idols are the best we’ve got.

All I want is one artist, one song, that will make me excited about listening to music again. Despite her demons, Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black is the last album that really did it for me. And I love Adele’s “Cold Shoulder” (produced by Winehouse’s producer, Mark Ronson) but the rest of the album is just sort of…eh.

So please, tastemakers, just find me the one artist that I will still love ten years from now. That’s all I ask. In the meantime, I think I’ll go back to my regularly scheduled hibernation until it’s safe to scare my parents again. Especially since Rolling Stone is after my mom to subscribe.

Carla Desantis is the former editor of ROCKRGRL.