20. El-P – I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: This album gets deep into the darkside within.

Download: El-PTasmanian Pain Coaster

19. Starta – Strata Presents the End of the World: Eons past their 1st record. However, some of the songs are a bit sappy and whiney for my taste. That did not stop me from loving this record though. Songs like Poughkeepsie, NY and Hot/Cold (Darling Don’t) are a sure sign that this band is a force to be reckoned with.

Download: StrataPoughkeepsie, NY

18. theSTART – Ciao Baby: This band has come a long way to get the recognition they deserve. Ciao is not the record that will launch them into superstardom, it will however satisfy old fans, like me!

Download: theSTART Runaway

17. Pharoahe Monch – Desire: I have yet to fully absorb this album, but so far I am having the most fun listening to it while I’m driving. This is hip-hop at its best.

Download: Pharoahe MonchFree

16. Explosions in the Sky – All of A Sudden, I Miss Everyone: This band always delivers wonderful and beautiful records and this album; they capture that delightful sound once again

Download: Explosions in the SkyWelcome, Ghosts (Live)

15. Caspian – The Four Trees: This band is quickly becoming one of my favorite instrumental bands and this record reinforces that.

Download: CaspianAsa

14. Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha: In his most recent album, Bird drops to practically neo-classical, and the results are flat-out gorgeous.

Download: Andrew BirdDark Matter

13. Battles – Mirrored: I love bands that do something so different it freaks people out. Battles are that band and Mirrored is that album.

Download: BattlesAtlas

12. Kanye West – Graduation:  Definitely his best. No more silly skits or midget samples. 

Download: Kanye WestFlashing Lights

11. Maritime – Hersey and the Hotel Choir: Maritime's sound on this album evokes from indie-pop to a kind of indie rock that feels both more mature and naive.

Download: Maritime Guns of Navarone

10. Circa Survive – On Letting Go: This album teeters on epic. A balance between the subdued, yet meticulously crafted (Kicking Your Crosses Down / The Greatest Lie) to the punch in the face, no holds barred unexpected (Semi Constructive Criticism / Mandala). With a lineup as adaptable as talented, mediocrity and monotony is simply unheard of - this is the type of combination that guarantees an album that just delivers - especially at a consistent level.

Download: Circa Survive The Difference Between Medicine and Poison Is in the Dose

9. Saul Williams – The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust: This album is still growing on me. So it’s only a matter of time before it gets higher on the list. The songs, however, have so many layers of language that the core message is a bit tough to grasp. Yet making the listener work doesn't necessarily make for a bad record, just a challenging one. Which is why I believe it may be ahead of it’s time.

Download: Saul WilliamsSunday Bloody Sunday

8. Sean Hayes – Flowering Spade: While not as relaxing as Alabama Chicken and not as danceable as Big Black Hole and The Little Baby Star; Flowering Spade still delivers with the soul and passion that makes Sean Hayes a great listen.

Download: Sean Hayes Elizabeth Sways

7. Iron & Wine – Sheppard’s Dog: Compositionally, it is Iron and Wine's most ambitious and accomplished recording to date. It's also the most satisfying.

Download: Iron and Wine The Devil Never Sleeps

6. The One AM Radio – In The Time That We’ve Got: I can’t even begin telling you how much I love this band. The embody everything I love about mellow coffee house music. Hrishikesh Hirway has not disappointed with his newest masterpiece. Every song flows perfectly with soothing lyrics and a rich tapestry of electronic beats that allow the listener to escape into a tranquil world.

Download: The One AM RadioIn The Time We’ve Got

5. Minus the Bear – Planet of Ice: When the first couple songs leaked from the new album, I had a goofy-ass smile on my face. I was thinking, if these are the early songs, what the hell is the rest of the album going to sound like? Well, it sounds like an icy landscape of sound that finds the band not so much transforming their sound as transcending it.
Download: Minus the Bear Dr. L’Ling

4. Björk– Volta: This may surprise people that her record is #4. While this record is absolutely brilliant and much better than Medulla, Volta does not have the magic of Vespertine or the replay value of Post or Homogenic. This album, as Björk herself explained, is meant to hear live. The songs almost explode with so much creativity that it is difficult for the listener to pick up what this CD is all about. Regardless of its faults, Volta rocks.

Download: Björk - Innocence

3. Jonah Matranga – And: This album took a little while to appreciate. At first I thought it was kind of sappy and basic, very much like the Gratitude record and unlike his past solo releases. But after a few more listens I found this record to one of his best. This is a side of him that was meant to be released to his listeners. It just flows with emotion that can not be matched by any singer-songwriter right now.

Download: Jonah Matranga I Can’t Read Yr Mind

2. Radiohead – In Rainbows: Marketing technique aside, Radiohead has constructed their best album since OK Computer. The long overdue return of one the UK's most fascinating bands finds them on mellow, accessible form.

Download: RadioheadWeird Fishies/Arpeggi

1. M.I.A. – Kala: This is the best album of 2007. With her infectious beats and constant cut-and-paste style sampling, M.I.A has made a record that is both innovative and catchy. If I like every single song of a record, it’s my #1; Kala is that record.

Download: M.I.A. - Hussel


Like I said earlier this month; this will be a concert year to remember. Here’s 5 – 1 of the best concerts I’ve been to this year.

5 - TIE. Woven / Finn Riggins at Milly’s Tavern, Manchester, NH – This show was really something special. I have been searching for records of this band for years and I eventually found their full length and older E.P. this past year. When I found out they were playing up here (in a bar in Manchester too) I was stunned and very excited. I had to drive almost an hour up to New Hampshire to see this band play at midnight, when I had to get up for work at 4am. So add in the hour drive and you’ll get a recipe for disaster. Well show wasn’t, they have such an amazing live presence. And the new E.P. is far beyond anything they’ve ever done. Simply remarkable all around.

Download: WovenCosmonaut from the E.P., Aftermath

5 - TIE. Interpol / Liars at the Agganis Arena in Boston, MA – Katie was able to score some fucking awesome seats (3rd row) at this enormous stadium to see Interpol. They were just incredible. Whether it was the lights or the perfect sound they had that night…I don’t know…they were just on point.

Download: InterpolMammoth (Erol Alkan Rework) originally from the album, Our Love to Admire

4. Division Day / iLIKETRAINS / Dylan in the Movies / Lady of Spain at the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge, MA – Seeing that Division Day was coming to Boston made me scream out loud, “Holy Shhhhhit!” I’ve been a fan of Division Day since ’03 and this was an opportunity I was not going to miss, especially with their new record in heavy rotation in my car stereo. This show was absolutely perfect. Katie and I got to hear pretty much every song we wanted to hear from them. Also I got their old self-titled E.P. signed by the whole band.

Download: Division DayThe Water Fails from the E.P., Division Day

3. M.I.A. / Big Digits at the Palladium in Worcester, MA – There isn’t much to say other than, wow. She is truly an artist to be reckoned with. The show involved your average crowd interaction as well as some the coolest imagery in the background on the big screen behind her. She played pretty much everything off her latest album as well as favorites off Arular. The whole show was full out energy in it’s truest form.

Download: M.I.A.Paper Planes (RyeRye and Afrikan Boy Remix) originallyfrom the album, Kala

2. Jonah Matranga at the Paradise Lounge and the house show in Boston, MA – What it is it, the 20th time seeing him live?  This time though was very special to me. One of Katie’s friends and my best friend was finally able to attend what I consider one the best live shows on earth (I mean that by the way). I like to believe we all became better people after that night.

Download: Jonah MatrangaI Want You to Be My Witness from the album, And

1. Björk / Konono No.1 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY – This show is number one for a multiple of reasons. First off this was my brother’s first concert ever. For what I could tell, he was having the time of his life. Second, this was just such an awe-inspiring show of epic proportions. She had everyone from her recent record show up and do their guest performances. Antony Hegarty on The Dull Flame of Desire, Konono No.1 on Earth Intruders (with flames on stage), and even Min Xiao-Fen on I See Who You Are. This show was one to remember and one of the best I’ve ever been to. There was even a guy on the train on the way back who said my brother had already peaked in his concert experiences. Maybe, at least until the next Björk concert.

This Björk mp3 will not be from the new album though, but from her finest work and the best album for winter, Vespertine.

Download: Björk – Harm of Will from the wonderful and flawless album, Vespertine

Runner-ups –
Strata at the Living Room in Providence, RI
Do Make Say Think / The Berg Sans Nipple at the SPACE in Portland, ME
3 / The Distraction at the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge, MA
Jenny Owen Youngs / Sean Hayes at the SPACE in Portland, ME


I am done with all Christmas shopping. Wow, that is just great to say out loud. Now all I need to do is wrap all this shit, which I suck at. Most of my presents end up having more tape on them than wrapping paper. Oh well, here’s more Christmas songs that I didn’t have to wrap up.


Also, an eight-alarm fire broke out just before midnight last night at a four-story apartment building at 80 Middle St. in Gloucester, MA, forcing the evacuation of residents and threatening nearby buildings, including a church and synagogue. One passed away. If you want to donate to the fund that is supporting these families that lost their homes this Christmas season, feel free to send a check to this address.

Gloucester Fund
45 Middle Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

Download: Billy Idol – Yellin’ at the Christmas Tree

Download: Death Cab for Cutie – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Download: Tenacious D – Things I Want

Download: Bright Eyes – Little Drummer Boy


This year was by far the best concert year I’ve ever had. I cannot remember the last time I saw so many great shows in one full year like this. Despite last year’s dredg concert and Glassjaw reunion show, this year was a concert year that was full of opportunities that were not missed. Whether it was seeing Wu-Tang reunite or seeing Incubus after 8 years or seeing bands (Woven, Division Day, etc) from the west coast that seldom tour in the east coast, this year freakin’ rocked. Here are 5 out of 10 of my favorite concerts of this year.

10. Incubus / Satellite Party / Black Rebel Motorcycle Club / The Bravery / Township at the Fleet Boston Pavilion, Boston, MA – I was fortunate enough to catch my beloved Incubus 8 years ago at their prime in Poughkeepsie, NY; this time around was completely different. First off I wasn’t a 16 year brat living for the moment and the band I was seeing did not playing all my favorites. However, someone else was; Perry Motha-F%#in’ Ferrell. Mr. Ferrell’s Satellite Party played all my favorite gems from Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros and completely blew me away. After that set I expected the entire album of S.C.I.E.N.C.E. to by played from Incubus. Unfortunately, I was left with only Summer Romance.

Download: IncubusSummer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song) from the album, S.C.I.E.N.C.E.

Download: Porno for Pyros - Tahitian Moon from the album, Good God’s Urge

9. The One AM Radio / Animal Hospital at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Cambridge, MA – If you’ve ever heard One AM Radio, you know that you can not exactly stand-up while listening to their music. So what better place to see them than a small movie theater setting? The atmosphere was, for lack of a better word, perfect.

Download: The One AM RadioFlicker from the album, The Hum of the Electric Air!

8. Minus the Bear / Subtle / ELA at the Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, MA – I’ve already seen the Bear twice and I wasn’t expecting much. It wasn’t that I was sick of them; it was just that the new album, Planet of Ice, had not struck me as a “live” album. I was pleasantly proved wrong.

P.S. – Subtle was brilliant and bizarre. It’s been 4 months and I am yet to form an opinion on them.

Download: Minus the BearMonkey!!!Knife!!!Fight!!! from the album, Highly Refined Pirates

7. Rock the Bells featuring Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and Cypress Hill at the TweeterCenter in Mansfield, MA – I know there were more artists, but since my ticket said the show started at 4:30pm when it really started at like 10am, all my brother and I were able to catch was those 3 artists. Nevertheless, this show was unbelievable. Wu-Tang in particular was full of energy and made the entire venue feel as if they were in the best seats. Plus Nas was smart to play nearly everything off Illmatic.

Download: Wu-Tang Clan - Wu Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta Fuck Wit from the album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

Download: NasN.Y. State of Mind from the album, Illmatic

6. Wintersleep / The Slip / Phonograph at the SPACE in Portland, ME – I really didn’t find Phonograph or The Slip that entertaining nor did the crowd. Plus, It seemed that no one having a good time. But once Wintersleep took the stage, this kind of magic seemed to hit everyone the venue that night. Everyone knew that what they were experiencing and listening was something to remember. It's very rare that Wintersleep tours outside of Canada, so be on the look out; Wintersleep is not a band you need to ignore.

Download: WintersleepJaws of Life from the album, Untitled


It's nice to hear music you haven't heard in a year. But when it’s the same song you’ve heard since childhood, it’s kind of like, “C’mon, can we change things up a bit?” That’s why I get kind of excited when I hear other artists and bands do renditions of older Christmas songs or make up their own. However, some people just aren’t too crazy about Christmas songs. Whatever their reason, I don’t completely understand why. Christmas songs always seemed to bring an apprehension for seeing family and friends. Also, it’s just great to listen to the Vince Guaraldi Trio while driving in the snow or to Sufjan Stevens’ X-Mas Box Set while decorating your house. Sometimes the sound of Christmas music can make any Scrooge turn festive. I’ll be posting more X-Mas music throughout the month. Here’s this weeks healthy dose of holiday tunes.

Download: LowstarLast Christmas

Download: Far feat. Deftones and Will HavenFeed the World (Do They Know It’s Christmas?)

Download: Elliot SmithAngel in the Snow

Download: Badly Drawn BoyDonna and Blitzen

Download: Amanda RogersI’ll Be Home for Christmas

edit: I hear there is is an error coming up after people post a comment. Ignore it, your comment is showing up. However, it is funny to see how persistent people are. ;)


Holy crap, it's beyond cold outside! Well it's winter in New England and I guess I can't be surprised that it's below zero up here. Plus we're supposed to get over a foot of snow where I live. It's kind of exciting actually; in fact it always is. The first snow fall has always been something I've looked forward to. After all it is December; you know what that means...Best of the Year Top 10 Lists! Oh yeah and the holidays. Don't worry; there are no top 10 lists or holiday songs today. I'm saving those for the next couple posts. This is a tribute to the bands that haven’t quite made it outside, say…their hometown. Actually, scratch that. Most of these bands have made an appearance on some great tours and are on their way to getting the recognition they so rightfully deserve.

Get Back Loretta

Get Back Loretta is from San Diego. That’s really that needs to be said about this band. Most great bands these days are coming from that area so it is no surprise that the indie soul-rock band is doing just fine opening for bands like Brand New and Weatherbox. Imagine a young Ben Folds with less theatrics and goofiness. Quite enjoyable to say the least. 


Download: Get Back LorettaKetamine from the album, Over the Wall

Seeded Skies

When I was out in Northern California for four months, I came across a CD that was titled “Clockwise” from a band called Seeded Skies. I faintly remember hearing about a local Santa Rosa instrumental band touring with the likes of dredg and The Velvet Teen, so I decided to cough up the $10 and have myself a listen. I was not disappointed. It almost sounds like a mix between instrumental Primus and your favorite movie soundtrack. Put simply, you won’t be disappointed. 


Download: Seeded SkiesDub Mona from the album, Clockwise

The Drift

Another instrumental band from Northern California? Yup, but this time it’s a little more jazz influenced. If you’ve ever heard of Do Make Say Think, you’ll find The Drift very friendly to your ears. Even artists like Four Tet and Sybarite have taken interest to the point where they even made a few remixes. The mighty Explosions in the Sky have also taken these guys out on tour. If you’re interested, check out their site and listen to a few tracks. This kind of band should not be ignored.


Download: The DriftInvisible Cities from the album, Noumena

Big Digits

Its party time bitches! Big Digits are two guys that resemble Tenacious D as a techno-core band. As funny and bizarre as that sounds, it’s actually quite fun. I first encountered Big Digits at the recent M.I.A. show where they hyped up the crowd for a good 45 minutes. At first I was dissatisfied by the fact that Cool Kids did not show up, after about 15 minutes into the set, I found myself bobbing my head and raising my hand with the rest of the crowd. The Cambridge, MA group has been rocking house parties since 2003 and isn’t showing signs of letting up. Warning to listeners though; this isn’t for everyone…it’s bizarre. 


Download: Big DigitsWhy Did You Reject My Steve Perry Fan Fiction? from the album, Smoke Machines in Lazer Vision

    Who is kata rokkar?

    kata rokkar is not here..





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