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Previous Podcasts
American Analog Set
The Baptist Generals
Catfish Haven
Clem Snide
The Czars
David Bazan
David Dondero
The Decemberists
Explosions in the Sky
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Sound Team
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We Are Scientists
The Wrens

Andrew Bird
& The Mysterious Production of Eggs

MP3: A Nervous Tic... | NPR Story

Lyrically, one of the most impressive records I have ever heard. Bird's allusions and metaphors have scattered this record with gems of literary and auditory beauty. His layering of whistles, raw electric guitar and his technical violin parts work into one of the year's most unique and skilled releases. These songs all start by escalating in way that you've swallowed the lure whole before you know otherwise. & The Mysterious Production of Eggs leads you on an irresistible journey of Thai butterflies, calcium, GPS, monsters and more.

Bloc Party
Silent Alarm

MP3: Banquet | Full D.C. Concert (NPR)

The promotion for this record was so ambitious it was nearly a turn off. The quote from Uncut or NME referred to the record, as early as February, as one of the year's best records. From the first notes of "Like Eating Glass", the energy of the record is overwhelming. The record's less successful tracks are surrounded by single suited songs. The consistent layers of guitars and vocals makes listening to the record soothing and yet energizing.

Rogue Wave
Descended Like Vultures

MP3: Publish My Love | 10:1

After loving Out Of The Shadows over the last two years, I had massive expectations for the band and the record. The 10:1 EP worked to wet the appetite. "10:1" is one of Rogue Wave's strongest songs: the recording zips, squeals and creaks established a ripened character for the band's sophomore attempt. The charm of is the record's pacing and order. The acoustic numbers shows a clarity of a singer/songwriter and quickly is followed by elaborate full pop songs showcasing the tight entity that Rogue Wave has become.

The Heartless Bastards
Stairs and Elevators

MP3: Onions | New Resolution

This band opened for Drive-By Truckers November 2004. The band was signed by Fat Possum based on a strong suggestion from The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carneyand. The Heartless Bastards joined the label and released Stairs and Elevators in February 2005. The recording's raw quality catches you off-guard. After a few listens, you realize it more accurately reflects the band's efforts than a glossy recording. The blues community has had many female powerhouses. However at 5'2" and blonde, Erika Wennerstrom has created her own chapter. Stairs and Elevators has more attitude than you expect of any band's debut.

J. Tillman
I Will Return

MP3: Lilac Hem | Cecille, My Love

Richard Buckner, Damien Jurado and Dolorean played a sold out show in Austin in a nontraditional venue. The night was amazing. Dolorean opened and established a smooth foundation for the night. After Dolorean finished their short set, a thin, tall, scruffy man entered the stage wielding a guitar and said "Damien asked me to come out and play you a song." He didn't say his name or the title of the song. He stayed on stage playing guitar with Damien Jurado. After the show, the man was guarding the merch booth. I asked what his name was and if he had any music available. At that point in time, he handed me a copy of a burned disc. The record got picked up by KEEP Records and was released very limitedly. Look forward to a future release from this amazing songwriter.

Ryan Adams
Jacksonville City Nights

MP3: The Hardest Part | Pitchfork Review

People aren't making records with the way Adams does it. The urgency of the record is felt with each additional listen. The masks Ryan puts on and shares with the listener are an anthology of pain and loss. This is the most Whiskeytown-like record that Ryan has recorded since going solo. Everyone says it's Heartbreaker. Which no doubt is a compliment but it also puts Jacksonville City Nights in a shadow that isn't necessary or accurate. If Cold Roses could have been limited to a single disc and allowed to stew for 8 months, it would be Jacksonville City Nights.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

MP3: This Tidal Wave of Young Blood | IndieInterviews Podcast

The jovial nature of this release carries the dozen cuts through the blurs of words and swamp of keyboards. Cheated by the dozens of comparisons and celebrity namechecks the band receives, CYHSY! have double the duties to establish a sound and image of their own. Luckily, the band's debut CYHSY! captures the carnival atmosphere and fused it into a well paced rock record. The future for this group is blindingly bright.

The Octopus Project
One Ten Hundred Thousand Million

MP3: Music Is Happiness | IndieInterviews Podcast

Great records must have many human characteristics: body (substance through instruments), emotion (lyrical or tonal feelings), thought (efficiency) and a heartbeat (the record's soul). This record, in all the variety of songs, always accentuates the record's heartbeat. This element unifies the eleven tracks. The use of samples defines the brilliance of The Octopus Project: subtle, clever and with intent. The accuracy and precision in this record astonishes me. The fine tuning of One Then Hundred Thousand Million is the crux of it's beauty.

Sufjan Stevens

MP3: Chicago | The Lord God Bird (NPR Story)

I often wonder if Sufjan predicts the joy listeners experience as we trek through these states along his side. I've visited Illinois. I have stories of Chicago and Urbana. However, it takes the genius of Stevens to illustrate these cities and towns as done on Illinoise. Sufjan's stint at the New School has never been so present; as through these lovely short fictions (disguised as songs), Stevens shares the histories, thoughts and emotions of this interesting state. Although Seven Swans received heavy rotation, I was cautiously anticipating the continued religious subtleties. However on this record, Sufjan shines more light into the struggles of piety and the disappointment which results. Illinoise's 74 minutes make for a lush, descriptive, and yet, beautifully authentic glimpse at the Land of Lincoln.

The Decemberists

MP3: The Engine Driver | IndieInterviews Podcast

After Castaways and Cutouts and last year's Her Majesty, the momentum was building for a powerful record. This record layered with adjectives and characters so thick that Meloy's idols alive and dead must be rejoicing. The vocals are placed perfectly ahead of everything else. As the band's stage show has grown into something of it's own, as have the records. This record persuade the listener to want to see it live. This factor is surely a massive success from any musician's perspective. Decemberists multi-instrumentalist Chris Funk correctly defined Picaresque as a truly quintessential Decemberists record.

In addition, Michael Bravata of the Dallas area Rockwall Herald-Banner shared his list with

Top 10 Records of 2005:
10. Sigur Ros - Takk
9. Boards of Canada - The Campfire Headphase
8. Xiu Xiu - La Foret
7. Rogue Wave - Descended Like Vultures
6. Broken Social Scene - S/T
5. Deerhoof - The Runners Four
4. Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise
3. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
2. Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary
1. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
Category:General -- posted at: 5:30am CDT