Sunday, January 24, 2010

2 toned and smoothed out


This mix is a nod to one of my favorite genres...

Ska over the years has introduced me to some amazing people, brought me out of my shell on the dance floor, and change my life by bringing some of my closest friends together to attend local shows on a monthly basis.

Now most of this mix is more of a 2-Tone kind of feel with bands like The Slackers (the best ska band you'll ever see live and they are still together after almost 30 years of being a group), Toots and Maytals, Hepcat (one of my favorites), and the one and only Skatalites. Actually some of these songs are singles from the classic record label 2-Tone Records. I luckily came across the The 2 Tone Collection: A Checkered Past while I was searching through the unorganized punk section my local record store. This really assisted me with piecing this mix together.

A lot of "Ska Standards" show up on the mix that the majority of ska fans will recognize through artists covering or referencing them. Including the classic "Al Capone" and "One Step Beyond" by Prince Buster. Two classics that anyone that has been to more than a few ska shows will recognize. Ranking Full Stop (English Beat) is a great song that Choking Victim takes and arranges into their own anthem with "Crack Rock Steady".

One band on the list might not be recognized by most. This band would be The Duppies. I don't know how long these guys have been together, but they all seem fairly young. I had the privilege of finally seeing these guys since they happened to open up for the Slackers for a few dates in Florida including the show I attended recently. I actually purposely tried to miss them by showing up to the show about an hour and a half after doors opened. Luckily I didn't miss out.. They played for a little over an hour every song was infectiously good. Everyone was moving along to every beat that was produced by them. I couldn't help by joining the crowd and dancing. A treat for all ska lovers. (

Enough rambling. Everyone enjoy 2 toned and smoothed out.


1. The Real Ska - Christ Murray & The Slackers
2. Ranking Full Stop - The English Beat
3. One Step Beyond - Prince Buster
4. Push 'n Shove - Hepcat
5. On my Radio - The Selecter
6. Watch This - The Slackers (LIVE IN JAPAN)
7. Eastern Standard Time - Skatalites
8. Monkey Man - Toots and the Maytals
9. The Ronnie - Hepcat
10. Walking On - The Slackers
11. Guns of Navarone - Special AKA
12. Big Guns Down - Easy Big Fella
13. Sea Cruise - Rico
14. Push to Shove - The Duppies
15. Thick Ass Stout
16. Too Experienced - Bodysnatchers
17. Musical Storeroom - Skatalites
18. Al Capone - Prince Buster
19. Jungle Music - Special AKA
20. Switchblade to Soul - Chris Murray


Thursday, January 21, 2010

GUEST LIST: Franz Nicolay!

Franz Nicolay is a master of mustaches. Seriously, his facial hair is truly epic. That could be the only thing he accomplishes in his career and I'd still consider him a pretty remarkable person.

But thankfully this isn't all Franz is known for. He's known for his accordion and piano playing in the World/Inferno Friendship Society and his awesome keyboards in The Hold Steady (Sadly, just after posting this Franz announced he is parting ways with the band. I'm sure they will miss him!) He's also a member of New York gypsy-punk band Guignol. More importantly he released his first solo LP in 2009, Major General. Franz is also releasing a short story collection titled Complicated Gardening Techniques in February.

I recently asked Franz to be our first GUEST LIST contributor. He went above and beyond provided us with this delightful mix.

AMERICAN WHEEZE: 30 + 1 Great Accordion Tracks

1. "I Can Look Down At Your Woman" - Clifton Chenier
2. "Moon Over Marin" - Duckmandu
3. "In Heaven There Is No Beer" - Frank Yankovic w/ Eddie Blazonczyk
4. "Polka Dots And Laser Beams" - Guy Klucevsek
5. "Hutsulka starovitska" - Pankiv
6. "Forro Praieiro - improviso" - Sivuca
7. "American Wheeze" - 16 Horsepower
8. "Pepee(valse)" - Tony Murena - P. Fontaine
9. "Milonga del Angel" - Astor Piazzolla
10. "Forro Praieiro - improviso" - Sivuca
11. "Paraiba" - Luiz Gonzaga
12. "Lollipop" - Corn Mo
13. "Tarantella Di Montemarano" - Mario Salvi
14. "The Beauty Of Sorrow (Excerpt)" - Pauline Oliveros
15. "Cuando Mi Muera" - Siano Arias
16. "Yahliw (You Little Beauty) (Excerpt)" - Hassam Ramzy
17. "Huanle De Miaojia" - Yang Zhangping & Wan Jingui
18. "Vesoul" - Jacques Brel
19. "Varnenski Tantz (Dance From Varna)" - Ibro Lolov
20. "Tziganska Ballada (Romanian Gypsy)" - Ivo Papasov
21. "Eighty Punks and an Old P.A." - Mutiny
22. "Hartman Pick Up Your Accordion And Play" - New Orleans Klezmer All Stars
23. "We Close Our Eyes" - Oingo Boingo
24. "Rustem" - Taraf de Haïdouks
25. "Sally MacLennane" - The Pogues
26. "Send In The Clowns" - The Tiger Lillies
27. "The Longest Night" - Tin Hat Trio
28. "Cold Cold Ground" - Tom Waits
29. "Bwamba's Rambles" - Zydepunks
30. "Asa Branca" - Dominguinhos, Sivuca & Oswaldinho
31. "Amsterdam" - Scott Walker
Buy Major General
More about Complicated Gardening Techniques
Buy Guignol & Mischief Brew' Get Dirty
Buy Franz's >St. Sebastian of the Short Stage 10" EP

-Brett Albers

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Our forecast predicts a Wintry Mix..."--A dozen ways to celebrate your cabin fever.

It's cold. Very cold. Even in North Carolina we can't shake this cold weather. A few weeks ago we had what amounts to a blizzard in this part of the country. Covered in a half-dozen inches of snow and ice. The city was paralyzed and has been in an icy cold snap ever since. Normally I hate winter. The lack of sunlight and endless cold traps me in a bubble of depression. I'll normally break from my cocoon sometime in March as things warm up. This year has been different. A pleasant holiday with great family and friends have let me enjoy the winter months. Let's just see if I can make it through the bitter cold of January/February.

But, I"m not here to rant. I'm here to share great music. Below are a dozen tracks that remind me of winter. Being buried in the snow, the hurt of hard breathing in the cold air, the warm feeling of sitting by a roaring fire, etc. etc. You may be locked in your house cozied up in your Snuggie, but at least you can enjoy some great music during these bleak winter months. Here's to spring coming sooner rather than later.

"Our forecast predicts a Wintry Mix..."--A dozen ways to celebrate your cabin fever.
1. "Neighbordhood #1 (Tunnels)" - Arcade Fire
2. "Valley Winter Song" - Fountains of Wayne
3. "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" - Frank Zappa
4. "Soft as Snow (But Warm Inside)" - My Bloody Valentine
5. "It Covers the Hillsides" - Midlake
6. "Cold as Ice" - Atlas Sound
7. "14 Cheerleader Coldfront" - Guided by Voices
8. "Winter in the Hamptons" - Josh Rouse
9. "Skip Tracer" - Sonic Youth
10."The Pull" - The Microphones
11."How to Fight Loneliness" - Wilco
12."Winter Wonder Land" - Animal Collective.

--Brett Albers

PS--thanks to nicholascaywood for some much needed suggestions.

2010 - a sneak peak

Most would agree that 2009 was more than a weak year for music releases. 11 days into 2010 and I must say that it's already been a better year than the last by taking a quick listen the albums that have already leaked. I offer you a sneak preview at 2010 with a special mix of a few tracks of leaked albums for this year.

A couple of indie debuts make it on to the mix including Surfer Blood. A lot of people are really digging these guys currently and I have only met a hand full of people not enjoying what these guys are doing (on tour now with a few dates with Monotonix and Turbo Fruits I believe). That will be a show not to miss in my opinion. On the contrary some big names pop up. Spoon's fifth release on Merge 'Transference' hits stores next Tuesday. Also Vampire Weekend's single "Cousins" made the list. I can't help but love this poppy little ditty from a band that had a big year in 2008 with there debut S/T release.

One of my favorite artist appears. Formally known as Final Fantasy, Owen Pallett finally releases the long awaited 'Heartland' tomorrow. One album that I will no doubt go out and pick up immediately. If you ever get a chance to catch Owen live please do so. You will not regret supporting this amazing musician. I had the chance to see and meet him in 2006 in a small punk venue in Charlotte, North Carolina called the Milestone. One of the nicest guys I've ever met and one musician who truly appreciates his fan base.

A track off Beach House's 'Teen Dream' makes the cut. This band seems to never disappoint me. It's one band that puts out album after album (Teen Dream being the third) very similar to one another and I don't mind this at all. They have found there dream pop sound and have stuck to it. Sub Pop has the pleasure of releasing this album on the 26th of this month.

In conclusion: It's not much but it is defiantly a treat and gives us all something to look forward to in the new year.


1. Stranger Things - Local Natives
2. I Built Myself A Metal Bird - Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra
3. Lissoms - Toro Y Moi
4. Cousins - Vampire Weekend
5. Apple For A Brain - Xiu Xiu
6. Harmonix - Surfer Blood
7. I Saw The Light - Spoon
8. Swim Until You Can't See Land - Frightened Rabbit
9. We Are - The Album Leaf
10. Walk In The Park - Beach House
11. Lewis Takes Off His Shirt - Owen Pallett
12. Abe Lincoln Envy - Puerto Rican Dinner Music



This is my first Fishbowl post and I'm happy to be a part of the group! Anyway, here's the obligatory introduction: I'm Liz, and I feel that I have found beauty in the mixtape. There are dynamics and beauty to the tape, having a cohesive and understandable plot and also have a flowing, album-like presence that makes you want to listen to the mix in order. With MP3s and CDs, it's so easy to skip around tracks...but there is nothing better than a mix of songs that flow so perfectly that you can hear the next track begin before the one before it finishes.

So, I present to you "I KNOW WHAT GIRLS LIKE, VOL. 1" - A fishbowl of sorts, an assortment of songs that revolve around love, bubblegum pop, psychedelic sweet melodies, just growing up. Some of the songs you put on your makeup to, and others for when you are at peace with your surroundings.

01. Broadcast - Michael A Grammar
02. Bibio - Mr. & Mrs. Compost
03. King Crimson - I Talk to the Wind
04. Abe Vigoda - Wild Heart
05. New Order - Age of Consent
06. Women - Shaking Hands
07. Wire - Used To
08. Talking Heads - This Must be the Place (Naive Melody)
09. Chromatics - Mask
10. Black Moth Super Rainbow - Sun Lips
11. The xx - Heart Skipped A Beat
12. Ariel Pink - Are You Gonna Look After My Boys?
13. Washed Out - Feel it All Around
14. ADULT. - Skinlike (Equation Mix)
15. Geneva Jacuzzi - Love Caboose
16. The Knife - Heartbeats
17. Air - New Star in the Sky
18. The Velvet Underground - Candy Says
19. Smashing Pumpkins - Obscured


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nick's Pick

Okay my close friend Liz and new contributor to 'The Fishbowl' was drilling me about what my 'favorite' album of 2009 was on the way up to Asheville on Tuesday. 2009 was a weak year one for album releases so I had to think about it for a few days and I finally picked:

Bowerbirds - Upper Air.

Folk trio out of Raliegh, NC. I listened to this album only a few select times over the year, but it definately made an extreme impact each and every listen. My opinion is extremely swayed by the fact that I've basically only been listening to acoustic folk and bluegrass music for the majority of this year, but here is the track "Nothern Lights".

In 2010 they kick off a tour with Julie Doiron at The Grey Eagle on the 12th of January. They hit Kentucky, a few dates on the west coast moving on through Texas and Florida. Then close the one month tour at the Earl in Atlanta, GA.

For all the dates for the tour check The Bowerbirds myspace:


Saturday, December 19, 2009

"What's your resolution?"--25 songs I couldn't get out of my mind in 2009.

OK, let me be honest. For all the talk of great music this decade and talks of which bands and which albums dominated the 'Noughts, 2009 was a relatively tame year for music. Take Merriweather Post Pavilion for instance. Animal Collective released this album in JANUARY and it still remains at the top of almost every year end list. I don't agree with that placement personally but it is a good album and has been generally regarded as the year's best. It seems that from the beginning of 2009, albums were picked as the year's best months before they were actually released. Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest contained new tracks played live by the band on television months prior, plus album itself leaked early. Dirty Projectors' Bitte Orca was refreshing but an expected progression for such a talented outfit. There was little to nothing to surprise us this year.

Besides Album by Girls (my choice for debut of the year, hands down) and Dragonslayer by Sunset Rubdown, there really wasn't much that I'm willing to say will stand up against some of the past great albums from this decade.

So, in lieu of my usual countdown of the best albums of the year, I'm providing this mix. 25 songs that knocked my socks off. Some come from my favorite albums, some are the only good tracks released by that band this year. All of them were played on repeat almost immediately after I first heard them. While 2009 may not have been a deep year for LP releases, it sure did provide us with some great tunes.

1. "Lust for Life" by Girls -- from Album
2. "Stillness is the Move" by Dirty Projectors -- from Bitte Orca
3. "While You Wait for the Others" by Grizzly Bear -- from Veckatimest
4. "Home" by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros -- from Up from Below
5. "Idiot Heart" by Sunset Rubdown -- from Dragonslayer
6. "Actor Out of Work" by St. Vincent -- from Actor
7. "I Am Goodbye" by Bonnie "Prince" Billy -- from Beware
8. "VCR" by The XX -- from XX
9. "Ledmonton" by Clues -- from Clues
10. "Young Adult Friction" by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart -- from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
11. "Genesis 30:3" by The Mountain Goats -- from The Life of the World to Come
12. "Walkabout" by Atlas Sound feat. Panda Bear -- from Logos
13. "Hey Dad!" by Franz Nicolay -- from Major General
14. "Say Please" by Monsters of Folk -- from Monsters of Folk
15. "Rain On" by Woods -- from Songs of Shame
16. "Now We Can See" by The Thermals -- from Now We Can See
17. "Here to Fall" by Yo La Tengo -- from Popular Songs
18. "Daylight" by Matt & Kim -- from Grand
19. "The Sound" by Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson -- from Summer of Fear
20. "No Hope Kids" by Wavves -- from Wavvves
21. "Indiana" by Cymbals Eat Guitars -- from Why There Are Mountains
22. "Wilco (The Song)" by Wilco -- from Wilco (The Album)
23. "Lisztomania" by Phoenix -- from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
24. "Hunchback" by Kurt Vile -- from Childish Prodigy
25. "This Blackest Purse" by Why? -- from Eskimo Snow