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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Best of 2008 - Album of the Year

At long last, here is The Sky Report's favorite 50 albums of 2008. Sorry this is so late, but the holidays really swept me up. Better late than never!

In general, I felt 2008 was not the strongest year for solid, original albums. But after much agony, I've mustered up the Top 50. And if you wonder how acts like MGMT and The Raveonettes didn’t make the list, see the Best of 2007. Bands like Coldplay, The Raconteurs, Gnarls Barkley, Death Cab For Cutie, and Vampire Weekend really overshot my radar and I really can’t stand hearing them anymore, so while their albums may have been worthy, I didn’t care to investigate them very closely. And can I just get this off my chest? Fuck Metallica, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Oasis and AC/DC. I just don’t care anymore. Sorry if that sounds negative - I'm actually in a great mood lately.

On the contrary, I was pleasantly surprised by the resurrections of The B-52’s and Grace Jones. Their return albums were both admirable and I found myself giving them many repeat listens.

Top 50 Albums of 2008

50. GRACE JONES - Hurricane
49. BLUE SKY BLACK DEATH - Slow Burning Lights
48. FUJIYA & MIYAGI - Lightbulbs
46. THE DUKE SPIRIT - Neptune
45. BLACK MOUNTAIN - In the Future
44. SIGUR ROS - Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
43. GANG GANG DANCE - Saint Dymphna
42. DIPLO & SANTOGOLD - Top Ranking
41. PONYTAIL- Ice Cream Spiritual

39. HIGH PLACES - s/t
38. OF MONTREAL - Skeletal Lamping
37. CUT COPY - In Ghost Colours
36. HEADLIGHTS - Some Racing, Some Stopping
35. VIVIAN GIRLS - s/t
34. RA RA RIOT - The Rhumb Diary
33. QUIET VILLAGE - Silent Movie
32. M83 - Saturdays = Youth
31. CRYSTAL STILTS - Alight of Night

30. DAVID BYRNE & BRIAN ENO - Everything That Happens...
29. MENAHAN STREET BAND - Make the Road By Walking
28. GROUPER - Dragging A Dead Deer Up a Hill
27. THE DODOS - Visiter
26. THE MAGNETIC FIELDS - Distortion
25. LYKKE LI - Youth Novels
24. LOVE IS ALL - A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night
23. THE B-52'S - Funplex
22. LITTLE JOY - s/t
21. HOT CHIP - Made in the Dark

20. DJ/RUPTURE - Uproot
19. NO AGE - Nouns
17. WHITE DENIM - Workout Holiday
16. GOLDFRAPP - Seventh Tree
15. FLEET FOXES - s/t
14. BEACH HOUSE - Devotion
13. ERYKAH BADU - New Amerykah Part One (4th world War)
12. GIRL TALK - Feed the Animals

10. EL GUINCHO - Alegranza!

9. TOBACCO - Fucked Up Friends

8. FUCK BUTTONS - Street Horrrsing

7. LIL WAYNE - Tha Carter III

6. THEE OH SEES - The Master's Bedroom...

5. DEERHUNTER - Microcastle/Weird Era Cont.


3. TV ON THE RADIO - Dear Science

2. ATLAS SOUND - Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel

1. SANTOGOLD - self-titled

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from The Sky Report

Have a happy holiday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Slow Burning Days

It's been very slow around here lately, I realize. I guess the holidays (and the weather) have gotten the best of me. But good things are on the way! In the next few days I'll unfold The Sky Report's Best of 2008, as well as an interview with Yes Alexander of Blue Sky Black Death, a complete review of Wavves' new LP (due in February), and a spotlight on bands to watch in 09. As well, Coachella rumors are swirling...

Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


The Sound of Arrows are a duo from Stockholm, Sweden who make technicolor craft-pop, utilizing the varying sounds of analog synths, harps, strings, guitars, samples and children's choirs. The new single "M.A.G.I.C." may have more than a thing or two in common with a certain Justice track, but the fact remains that the song is irresistibly sugar-coated and fun.

The Sound of Arrows - M.A.G.I.C. (mp3)

The single will be released officially by Labrador on January 28th, with the full-length debut to follow on March 25th. Check out this "magical" teaser video for the single...

The Sound of Arrows - M.A.G.I.C. (Mini-video) from The Sound of Arrows on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

NEKO CASE - Middle Cyclone

What an album cover, huh? I think someone has been watching Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. Campy or clever, I love it.

Neko Case has announced the details of the follow-up to her acclaimed 2006 release Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. The new disc, titled Middle Cyclone, hits stores March 3rd via Anti. The album will feature collaborations with M.Ward, as well as members of New Pornographers, The Sadies, Los Lobos, and Calexico.

The record label has just released a "making of the album" video, which offers a really interesting insight into Neko Case's creative process. Watch it below...

Middle Cyclone Track List:

01. This Tornado Loves You
02. The Next Time You Say Forever
03. People Got A Lotta Nerve
04. Polar Nettles
05. Vengeance Is Sleeping
06. Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth
07. Middle Cyclone
08. Fever
09. Magpie To The Morning
10. I'm An Animal
11. Prison Girls
12. Don't Forget Me
13. The Pharaohs
14. Red Tide
15. Marais La Nuit

Monday, December 15, 2008


I've been absolutely hooked on Little Joy's debut LP lately. The side project of Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti, Little Joy has an easy going tropical folk-rock sound, with Rodrigo Amarante and Binki Shapiro rounding out the trio. The self-titled LP is a great album full of catchy tracks and vocal melodies that sometimes really sound like...The Strokes. Fortunately though, that similarity doesn't dominate Little Joy's music, but rather helps the overall nostalgic tone to really sink in.

Little Joy is available now on Rough Trade Records. Enjoy the new video for "No One's Better Sake"...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Introducing New Contributors!

Let me introduce Matthew Dunehoo (formerly of Kansas City, now based in Brooklyn) and Amos Mac (San Francisco). Both are now contributors for The Sky Report. Amos has long been a contributing photographer, but will now send in occasional pieces from the west coast. The first will be an interview with Yes Alexander, the amazing voice featured on Blue Sky Black Death's latest effort Slow Burning Lights. Matthew will help me cover stuff here in Brooklyn. First, he reports on tomorrow night's Dan Deacon gig in the following post.

with 15-piece ensemble

by Matthew Dunehoo
Nikola Tesla’s landmark chorale recital at Royal Albert Hall in March of 1933 may serve as precursor to what might be experienced tomorrow at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple.

In anticipation of the March 24th release of his new album BROMST on Carpark Records, Dan Deacon has assembled a 15-piece live ensemble that will tackle the interpretation and ani(mania)tion of his new works. The debut of the material has left Deacon feeling “both excited and really nervous.”  

“Nervous,” would be one of the last adjectives to come to mind when describing a man whose live performances have a keen ability to incite a near-Pentecostal experience in the audiences that swarm to encircle his traditional multi-colored-steel setup of playback and manipulation devices.

For tomorrow night’s gig, Dirty Projectors and So Percussion round out the bill. So Percussion will serve in full as part of Deacon’s ensemble, leading one to believe that the show will possess at least a trace of the more reverent, recital-hall air of the quartet’s performances, as opposed to the more Deaconian “collective flail.”  However high or low Thursday’s performance will aim, it’s likely to hit with jubilance. Testify.

FUJIYA & MIYAGI - "Sore Thumb"

Fujiya & Miyagi may not have been my favorite live band of the year, but their latest record Lightbulbs is undoubtedly infectious. The new single also comes with a new video. Enjoy "Sore Thumb".

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Sky Report in Manhattan

I'll be playing some of my favorite tracks at Satsko's (Eldridge) on the Lower East Side Saturday night, starting at around 10:00 pm.  The venue recently hosted an art installation by Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and her work will still be on display, so I'm like hella excited! Yes, I said hella! Satsko's also features an amazing sake menu, admission is free and the gig is conveniently located at the corner of Houston and Eldridge. If you can brave the cold I'd love to see you!

Best of 2009?
WAVVES - Wavvves

Wavves is:

-22 year-old Nathan Daniel William from San Diego.

-about to release his second LP, titled Wavvves.

-almost guaranteed to hit big in 2009.

Touted as "the sound of today's american youth", William has gone from music blogger to blog sensation seemingly overnight. But it's not at all without merit. Within the last year, his collection of bedroom recordings has spawned itself into two highly addictive, lo-fi beach punk LPs that really get under your skin. His prolific output alone should certainly grab your attention.

Wavves, the first LP, is available now via Woodsist/Fuckittapes, while Wavvves, the second LP, is released February 3 on De Stijl Records.  Check out the first official mp3 for the track "So Bored" at the bottom of the post.

Wavves - So Bored (mp3)

Underground Alert - RYAN POWER

Burlington, Vermont's Ryan Power recently captivated the Northeast Kingdom in Bushwick with his unique and bizarre one-man electro opera. With several Vermont celebrities on hand - most notably, Heloise of Heloise & the Savoir Faire - Power delivered an entrancing vocal performance, singing beautifully over meticulous and multi-dimensional electro tracks. Power recently made waves when he opened for buzz band Women in Manhattan.

The latest LP,Is It Happening? was released in 2007.

Ryan Power - Shodi and Dotty (mp3)

Listen to more Ryan Power here.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

DJ /RUPTURE - Uproot

Uproot is a new mix from turntablist DJ /Rupture, who after spending seven years in Spain, returned to Brooklyn and released this, his first 2004's critically acclaimed Special Gunpowder. The first video is for the track "Reef" and it is definitely one of the best clips of the year. Check it out...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

FAN DEATH - "Veronica's Veil"

Nu-disco refuses to die. Following a series of artists who have redefined the genre (Glass Candy, Chromatics, Hercules & Love Affair), now comes Fan Death, a female duo who have recently taken the blog world by storm with their bouncy, string-laden single "Veronica's Veil".

Veronicas Veil - Fan Death

Not much is known about these girls yet, but they also just remixed this new track by Ladyhawke...

My Delirium (Fan Death Remix) - Ladyhawke

You can also get Erol Alkan's fantastic remix of "Veronica's Veil" here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


The Pains of Being Pure at Heart will release their self-titled debut LP on February 3rd via Slumberland Records. The Brooklyn fourtet have been on my radar for the last year. From the nostalgic pop of "This Love is Fucking Right" to the noisy romance of new single "Everything With You", the LP is shaping up to be a solid noise-pop gem. Check out the new video for "Everything With You", as well as the mp3 at the bottom of the post.


2.Come Saturday
3.Young Adult Friction
4.This Love is Fucking Right
5.The Tenure Itch
6.Stay Alive
7.Everything With You
8.A Teenager in Love
9.Hey Paul
10.Gentle Sons

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Everything With You (mp3)