Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wrapping up the year

As seems to happen every year, my holiday vacation has given me time to catch up on critcially acclaimed 2007 albums I didn't get the chance to hear during the year. These past few days I've picked up Yeasayer All Hour Cymbals, Burial Untrue, Bat for Lashes Fur and Gold, Low Drums and Guns, Holy Fuck LP, and Phosphorescent Pride. Burial and Yeasayer especially have stuck out to me as albums that possibly would have made my list had I heard them earlier (much like El Perro Del Mar snuck up on me late last year). As far as Burial goes, I don't know what I thought "dubstep" was exactly, but I wasn't expecting this low-key, atmospheric ambiant music- it's nice. And Yeasayer is just quality weird folk in the vein of Akron/Family and Castanets. I can dig it.

I'm giving myself a couple more days to catch up on any missed gems, and then it's time to look forward to what's coming out in 2008.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ultimate Reality

For those of you Dan Deacon fans who didn't get tickets to the now sold out shows w/ Girl Talk at the Metro January 26 (due to laziness, a distaste for Girl Talk, a fear Dan's show won't translate to the Metro, etc.), you can check him out in a different form the night before at the Lakeshore Theater, where he and Jimmy Roche will showcase their Ultimate Reality DVD accompanied by live music from Deacon, Roche, and drummers Kevin O'Meare of Video Hippos and Jeremy Hyman of Ponytail, all members of Baltimore's Wham City collective. Get a (very) brief preview here, and buy tickets here- for $8.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Presenting . . . Best of 2007

The Tinymixtapes 2007 year-end extravaganza is up now, so check it out and all the fun things that come along with it. I wrote a couple of blurbs on my #1 song and #1 album of the year, so look for those there.

Meanwhile, here's the goods:

Nicole's Top 25 of 2007
25. Battles – Mirrored
24. Beirut - The Flying Club Cup
23. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
22. Secret Mommy – Plays
21. Eluvium - Copia
20. M.I.A. – Kala
19. Deerhunter- Cryptograms
18. Junior Boys – The Dead Horse EP
17. Simian Mobile Disco – Attack Decay Sustain Release
16. !!! – Myth Takes
15. Dan Deacon - Spiderman of the Rings
14. Les Savy Fav – Let’s Stay Friends
13. Okkervil River – The Stage Names
12. Sunset Rubdown- Random Spirit Lover
11. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
10. Besnard Lakes – Are the Dark Horse
09. Fujiya and Miyagi - Transparent Things
08. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
07. Handsome Furs – Plague Park
06. Panda Bear – Person Pitch
05. Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
04. Matthew Dear – Asa Breed
03. The National – Boxer
02. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
01. Menomena – Friend and Foe

Honorable mention:

Jose Gonzalez – In Our Nature
Nina Nastasia and Jim White – You Follow Me
The Dirty Projectors - Rise Above
Feist - The Reminder
Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Caribou - Andorra
Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
The New Pornographers – Challengers
Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Radiohead – In Rainbows

Song of the year: "Unless It's Kicks", by Okkervil River, just edging out Bon Iver's "Skinny Love" and LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends" (which I realize was everyone else's song of the year). "Unless It's Kicks" was my personal anthem of 2007 and sits along nicely with my 2006 and 2005 songs of the year ("In the Morning" by the Junior Boys and "I'll Believe in Anything" by Wolf Parade, respectively).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

When you're done perusing Pitchfork's best albums of 2007, be sure to take the "reader poll" and tell P4k which of their favorites were your favorites! Though it looks like there's space to write in one album that's not on their list . . .

Monday, December 17, 2007

Long-Forgotten Christmas Music

This is a fun holiday-themed article in tinymixtapes where the writer goes to a thrift store and buys random holiday albums for 10 cents each, then listens to them.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I saw Juno yesterday, and of course loved it. My semi-inappropriate crush on Michael Cera continues. The majority of the soundtrack came from Kimya Dawson, and though I was never a big Moldy Peaches fan (I like things quirky, but not overkill), her music was a great fit for the movie. There was even a song with a line about driving up to Madison but taking a wrong turn and ending up in Michigan.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


The Onion's top 25. Not a whole lot of overlap with mine, surprisingly.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday Fun

More holiday events on the way:

CHIRP and WLUW are working with the Metro and the Greater Chicago Food Depository on a holiday food drive during the Metro's Home for the Holidays concerts on Friday, Dec. 21 and Saturday, Dec. 22 (which is also a benefit for Show info:

12/21: Office / The 1900s / The Narrator / Mannequin Men, 18+, doors @ 8pm / show @ 9pm

12/22: Skybox / Company of Thieves / The Young Sea / Sars Flannery / DJ LA*Jesus, AA, doors @ 6pm / show @ 6:30pm

Anyone bringing a can donation will be allowed to use that as a discount ticket
12/21 full price: $10, discount: $7
12/22 full price: $9, discount: $6

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wilco shows

If I was a bigger Wilco fan I'd probably be pretty excited about this- alas, I am not. What band would I want to see do a five-night stand covering their entire catalogue? Modest Mouse and Radiohead are two bands that tend to leave out significant parts of their back catalogue in favor of general live favorites- dare to dream!
The Renegade Craft Fair this weekend was a lot of fun; I got a lot of good feedback on the music, including one astute shopper who stopped by to confirm the underrated awesomeness of Blur's Think Tank upon hearing "Ambulance." Underrated, indeed.

Tonight is my last radio show of the year before I go on holiday hiatus through January; check in to hear all my favorite songs of 2007. Listen up!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Chuck, on Shuffle

Chuck Klosterman on the small-talk question: "What kind of music do you like?"

Upcoming CHIRP events

CHIRP is involved in a couple of events coming up this weekend that will be worth checking out.

*Renegade Holiday Craft Fair, December 8-9 at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse. CHIRP DJs will be supplying the music throughout the fieldhouse; you can find me DJing in "Gym 1" from 2-4pm on Saturday afternoon and hanging out at the CHIRP table beforehand. Stop by and say hi!

*Danny's "Peace Party", Monday, December 10 at Danny's in Bucktown. More info courtesy of CHIRP here:

Come out and dance with CHIRP, the Chicago Independent Radio Project at Danny's THIS MONDAY 12/10! We're known to be party-goers and party-starters, so come by and help us rock Danny's! Be sure to visit the bar, as 50% of drink sales will help bring community radio to Chicago. Tunes will be provided by CHIRP DJ's Mary Nisi and Michael Ardaiolo.

Peace Party is a monthly party hosted at Danny's for a worthy cause, to which it heavily tips the bar till. This month, your extra beer bucks go to the Chicago Independent Radio Project, an organization working to lobby congress, raise money and awareness to bring diverse, independent and community radio to Chicago's media landscape. Danny's is located at 1951 W. Dickens in Bucktown.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Best of

My top 25 is finished and is actually a top 35- apparently I listened to more good music this year than I thought, and I couldn't stop at just 25. That being said, after reviewing all the music I've picked up over the past year, I think I heard a lot of good stuff that was worth noting, but not as much that really blew me away; I feel like in past years I had more albums I truly loved but fewer vying for the 15-25 range. Anyhoo, suspense will be maintained a bit longer, with some of it being revealed on my best of 2007 show next Monday, and the final list coming out the same day we do our year-end extravaganza at Tinymixtapes. Holla!