Tag Archives: Kaiser Chiefs

2014 Year In Review

Hey, we haven’t updated this blog in over a year!  It was a busy year.  A good year.  Especially for the ears.

Without further ado, here’s my year in review.  Let’s see if the other ILTSOI dudes can step up too…

Nothing can stop us now.

FAVORITE 14 OF ’14

1. Tove Lo Queen of the Clouds

An absolutely perfect album from start to finish.  Catchy, melodic Swedish pop at its finest.

2. Sam Smith In The Lonely Hour

The lush soundtrack to heartbreak and unrequited love, with a voice so smooth you want to wrap yourself up on the sofa and pass out with a smile on your face (and tears drying on your cheeks).

3. Tori AmosUnrepentant Geraldines

Return to form (groan) for my favorite singer of all time.

4. Taylor Swift1989

Can’t deny the pop perfection.  The love might wane with time, but there’s no denying this beast of an album.

5. Alt-J This Is All Yours

You thought their debut was funky and mind-blowing?  Add a million more layers and a tighter control on the soundcraft.  A lush journey into funky town.

6. InterpolEl Pintor

The second “return to form” (repeated groan) on this list.  Tight, melodic, groovy.  Everything that self-titled shitfest was not.

7. Run The JewelsRTJ2

Very rarely do I hear a song and exclaim, “Fuuuuuuuuuck!!!”  This is an entire album of that.  The lyrics wow, the melodies are delicious, and everything is just hard as fuck.  And Zach de la Rocha.

8. RoyksoppThe Inevitable End

A perfect way for them to go out: darkness, groove and a continued roster of perfectly curated guest singers.

9. Lana Del ReyUltraviolence

Not as good as her debut, but the throwback lushness saves this from sophomore slump status.  A time machine.

10. War On DrugsLost In The Dream

This is #1 on most of the year end lists, and with good reason.  It’s a propulsive, immediate and absolutely dreamy journey through soundscapes.  Dylan, Springsteen, Arcade Fire.  It’s all here.

11. Kaiser ChiefsEducation, Education, Education, War

One of my favorite bands.  They’ve only disappointed me once in 4 albums.  They won’t win any awards, but consistently releasing start-to-finish pogo-pop-rock perfect albums contribute to their long-lasting place in my heart.

12. Coldplay Ghost Stories

Their worst, hands down. But it’s not that bad.  I’ve grown to enjoy this more than when they released it in the summer.  Because it’s NOT a summer album.  It’s cold, sad, lonely, introspective.  Casual fans will love the Parachutesness of it all.  I appreciate that it’s a peek into Chris Martin’s ruined heart.  Take this break, come back with another life-affirming opus.  *hugz*

13. Pharrell WilliamsG I R L

Skateboard P is actually pretty underrated: he’s been producing amazing bangers for over a decade, and yet he’s just blown up in these past 2 years (thank you Daft Punk and The Voice).  This is just another release of Pharrell gems.  Get the throwback party started.

14. Crosses – †††

Deftones will never release anything “classic” now that Chi Cheng passed away (just like — less morbidly — Interpol will never release anything of top caliber without Carlos D), but this Chino side project comes close.  It’s sexy, groovy, relatively calm.  Chino’s voice can still send shivers down a spine like no other.

Albums I listened to to-death that weren’t released this year: Bastille, Clutch, Katy Perry, Avicii, Avatar, Fitz and the Tantrums

Albums that kinda let me down: U2, Beck, Black Keys

 

FAVORITE SONGS OF 2014

As always, this is based purely on play count on my iTunes.  I may have listened to them in other places (see: ipod, burned CD) but this is a fair indicator of my earworms of the year.

1. Lorde – “Yellow Flicker Beat”

2. Coldplay – “Magic”

3. Pharrell and Daft Punk – “Gust of Wind”

4. Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora – “Black Widow”

5. Goldroom – “Embrace”

6. Ariana Grande and Zedd – “Break Free”

7. BANKS – “This Is What It Feels Like”

8. Interpol – “Tidal Wave”

9. Royksopp and Robyn – “Monument (The Inevitable End Version)”

10. Tori Amos – “Trouble’s Lament”

 

GIGS OF 2014

1. Avicii – TD Garden – June 25
An absolute party from start to finish.

2. Tori Amos – Boston Opera House – August 15
First full Toriphile experience for me: waited all day with a group of fans/new friends for a glimpse of Tori, then drinks, then a perfect setlist.  If we actually got to talk to her, it would have been the most perfect day of 2014.

3. Arcade Fire – Xfinity Center – August 19
Nice to see them in a huge amphitheater.  Their sound and presence needs all that space.

4. Clutch – Lupo’s – September 5
Rocked. The. Fuck. Out.

5. Lady Gaga – TD Garden – June 30
Finally.  Happy birthday to me.

6. OneRepublic – Blue Hills Bank Pavilion – June 24
All hits, all the time.

7. Nine Inch Nails (with Soundgarden) – Red Rocks – July 21
My all-time bucket list venue.  My all-time favorite band.  Maybe I’ve seen Trent too much lately.  Maybe my mind wasn’t in the right place.  An otherworldly experience.

8. Jimmy Eat World – Lupo’s – October 18
Futures isn’t my favorite Jimmy album (see: Bleed American) but hearing it start to finish was something else.  Finally got “Nothingwrong” and life is good.

9. Katy Perry – TD Garden – August 1
Much like OneRepublic, this was just an unfair barrage of hits that would make any artist blush.  What a party.

10. Cibo Matto – The Sinclair – February 8
A comeback tour, a new album, old friends.  But when you don’t play “Sci-Fi Wasabi” as you originally wrote it, this nagging fan loses a little interest.

11. Iggy Azalea (and Austin Mahone) – Gillette Stadium – June 15
Free.  Yeah nothing beats that.

 

It was a good year.  Hopefully another year doesn’t pass without an update…  Make it a good one!

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2012: Year In Concerts

Stray observations concerning this year’s gigs: Coldplay.  Coldplay Coldplay Coldplay.  Saw both American Idol and X-Factor, making me an official reality TV singing contest super fan.  I saw Phillip Phillips twice this year.  I can’t believe it either.  Also saw Fuel, for free, at a local festival full of drunken white trash.  You take what you can.  I’m so happy to be back in the US.

  1. ColdplayJuly 29, TD Garden, Boston, MA
    There’s nothing I could write to convey the absolutely ineffable surge of pure joy and happiness that this concert provided.  If you went to one of the shows, you know what I’m talking about.  If you didn’t get a chance to, this video recorded in Paris gives a nice glimpse.  Xylobands, man.  Fucking Xylobands.  It was the most interactive concert experience I’ve ever had in my lifetime of 300+ concerts.  I laughed, I cried, I screamed, and I nearly fainted at one point.  It’s concerts like this that make me pass on upcoming shows that I know won’t be as worth it.  If for some strange reason I could only go to one concert again and again for the rest of my life (Groundhog Day-style), it would be this one.

    Best of the year and, quite frankly, one of the best of all time.

    Best of the year and, quite frankly, one of the best of all time.

  2. The Killers, December 17, Agganis Arena, Boston, MA
    Wow.  Just wow.  I was scared…no, terrified… that this would be a monumental letdown brought upon by years and years of wishing and waiting and hoping (ahem, Oasis…).  I had been waiting since 2004.  I lived through a cancelled Beijing gig.  And now finally I could see The Killers.  First of all, they put on a fucking rock show.  Pyro.  Fireworks.  Confetti.  And they are no pussies either, killing it on guitar and Rock God stances.  Brandon Flowers has grown into one of the most charismatic frontmen of our time and I’m happy to have seen him chipper, charming and upbeat.  Touring behind my album of the year also didn’t hurt.  Hit after hit after hit, the singalongs just kept coming.  Simply exhausting.  In the happiest of ways.

    Battle born.

    Battle born.

  3. Kaiser Chiefs, March 6, Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA
    Crammed into a tiny club with an odd assortment of Kaiser’s fans, I proceeded to experience one of the best singalong concerts of my career.  I forgot how much I love KC (and how well I remembered every single song lyric).  I lost my voice, was sore for days, but age be damned, it was worth it.

    Ricky messing around on the club's bar.  Very intimate performance...

    Ricky messing around on the club’s bar. Very intimate performance…

  4. Florence and the Machine, September 14, Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA
    I wanted a moment.  And I knew precisely which moment I wanted.  “During ‘No Light, No Light‘, I want a gusty breeze to blow through the crowd, awash in purple or blue light, flowing through Flo’s hair.”  And lo and behold, maybe I was a good boy that week, but that happened.  I couldn’t believe it.  For that “moment” (see #2 above), the sky was still, the stars were shining and the moon was bright, a cool steady breeze streamed through the amphitheater, we were bathed in dim purple light, and Flo let that sustained note rip through the night air.  Magically majestic.

    Pure majesty.

    Pure majesty.

  5. Keane, June 12, House of Blues, Boston, MA
    Much like the Kaisers gig, the Keane show was all about the singalong.  Although they were touring behind the relatively (even for Keane) boring album, Strangeland, it was still a great show.  The live setting improved those boring new album tracks and their old hits were just ripe for audience ecstasy.  Bafflingly, there were a bunch of rapey-looking douchebags there.  The ones next to us were scamming on girls.  Annoying jerks aside, it was nice to finally hear “Bedshaped” live.

    Not a bunch of pussies, as you'd expect...

    Not a bunch of pussies, as you’d expect…

  6. Of Monsters and Men, April 7, House of Blues, Boston, MA
    Seriously, getting in on a band’s big break is something special.  This was their first US tour and we were one of the first stops.  The HoB was PACKED to the top sections of the highest balcony and each song had a singalong progressively cheerier and more uplifting than the last.  It felt like a party with a band that had been around for decades.  Here’s hoping they stick around.

    Don't listen to a word I say... HEY!  Mumford x Bjork...

    Don’t listen to a word I say… HEY! Mumford x Bjork…

  7. Ours, June 28, Johnny D’s, Somerville, MA
    You don’t often get to stand face-to-face with one of your favorite singers of all time…while they’re performing, almost screaming directly into your face.  But what if you’re in a crappy dive, a local restaurant with a dance floor and booths?  It was sad, a bit pathetic and yet nothing to be ashamed of.  Ours is severely underrated.  They have shit luck.  But their debut album is one of my favorites of all time, one of my top 5 desert island discs.  So I’m glad they’re still trying, fighting to stick around.  It was hard to absorb all of the energy when half the crowd was munching on dinner, but I’m just happy they’re still here for their fans.

    He can see into your SOUL.

    He can see into your SOUL.

  8. Neon Trees, December 7, Lansdowne Pub, Boston, MA
    Yeah, I can’t believe it either.  This performance kicked ass.  We were there for a free radio show.  Tristan Prettyman and Phillip Phillips opened.  The crowd was full of mom-age women and girls in their late 20s.  An odd mix of an audience for this flamboyant band who has toured with The Killers and 30 Seconds to Mars.  But hot damn, as soon as they came on, I was a fan.  They have one of the best frontmen I’ve seen and they exuded such determined energy for such a lame audience that I was quite impressed.  I would have never, ever ever, in a bajillion years expected Neon Trees to put on such a great show.

    Hey, sexy lady~

    Hey, sexy lady~

  9. Joshua Ledet – American Idol Live!, August 26, Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, RI
    You remember moment #1 from the previous section?  Yeah.  I got to experience it live.  In person.  It knocked me on my ass.  Sure it was nice to see Phillip Phillips sing “Home” with Deandre and Colton on harmony.  But Joshua took us all to church.

    Sorry Joshua, no pix of you, only Phillip Phillips.  I can't believe I saw this dude twice this year...

    Sorry Joshua, no pix of you, only Phillip Phillips. I can’t believe I saw this dude twice this year…

  10. Ingrid Michaelson and Greg Laswell, July 27, Lupo’s, Providence, RI
    What a double-billing: husband and wife, on tour together.  It’s like if Gwen and Gavin brought No Doubt and Bush back on the road together, except for the quiet, contemplative indie-folk crowd.  Greg underwhelmed us with an acoustic session (Bah!) but Ingrid gave us a satisfying mix of awesome musical talent and hilarious between-song banter.  If she had a show, I’d watch it.  Like New Girl, but less annoying than Zooey D.

    It's adorable because they're married IRL.

    It’s adorable because they’re married IRL.

  11. Fiona Apple, March 27, The Royale, Boston, MA
    In all fairness, it’s not her fault I was so underwhelmed.  After all, I had waited over a decade to see her, one of my favorite artists, and she was finally back for a tiny club comeback tour.  Holy shit, this was going to be orgasmic!  Incorrect.  Paying nearly $1 per minute of this dismally short set (less than a fucking hour!), I wanted more.  Not only more songs in general, but more older songs.  She played mostly new stuff, which is okay, but argh, she showed little love to Tidal and Extraordinary Machine.  WTF.  Thank god for good company.

    IMG_0329

    Fiona Apple, not making my $60 worthwhile.

  12. Tenacious D, July 2, Bank of America Pavilion, Boston, MA
    Hilarious.  Seeing those two tubby motherfuckers perform all their classics in front of a giant inflatable Cock-Phoenix (complete with giant testes, confetti cum AND a combo vagina/anus doorway) was something I had looked forward to for almost ten years.   Yeah, they’ve been around that long.  But what I didn’t realize was that, in the 10 years since “Wonder Boy,” I grew up.  Cock and ball jokes don’t crack me up as much as before.  Giggling about marijuana intake, anal sex and rocking out are also in the past.  I still love a good fart joke, but still, we were brought to the Altar of the D on a wave of nostalgia.  Unfortunately for me, it was more of a Goodbye than a Welcome Back.

    Oh look, it's a phoenix made of cock 'n balls!  I'm 13 years old!  This rules!  (Actually, it was kinda cool ;P)

    Oh look, it’s a phoenix made of cock ‘n balls! I’m 13 years old! This rules! (Actually, it was kinda cool ;P)

  13. Fuel, August 2, Mediera Festival, New Bedford, MA
    Lord on high, this was a fucking hot mess.  Even though we were literally a 5 minute walk away from the sofa to the “venue,” the crowd just ruined it.  Even though it was free.  Even though I’d been waiting a very long time to hear “Hemorrhage.”  Even though, like I said, we were a  5 minute walk away.  The combination of white and ghetto trash — all drunk, mind you — crammed together in a great awful slushie of August humidity just ruined it.  We heard “Shimmer” and got the fuck out.  No amount of “free” was worth it.

    White trash meltdown.

    White trash meltdown.

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