Nerdy Heartbeat

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Nerdy Heartbeat’s 09 Recap – Best Music From 2009 December 15, 2009

Top 30 Albums of 2009

30. Every Time I Die – New Junk Aesthetic

29. Japandroids – Post-Nothing

28. The Dear Hunter – Act III Life & Death

27. Plushgun – Pins and Panzers

26. Mansions – New Best Friends

25. Portugal. The Man – The Satanic Satanist

24. All Time Low – Nothing Personal

23. This Time Next Year – Road Maps & Heart Attacks

22. Noah and the Whale – The First Day of Spring

21. Paramore – brand new eyes

20. Mastodon – Crack The Skye

19. Polar Bear Club – Chasing Hamburg

18. The Motorcycle Industry – Electric Education

17. O Pioneers – Neon Creeps

16. Fireworks – All I Have Is My Own Confusion

15. Passion Pit – Manners

14. P.O.S. – Never Better

13. Jay-Z – The Blueprint 3

12. WHY? – Eskimo Snow

11. Kevin Devine – Brother’s Blood

10. Set Your Goals – This Will Be the Death of Us

9. Chuck Ragan – Gold Country

8. Fake Problems – It’s Great to Be Alive

7. A Day To Remember – Homesick

6. Brand New – Daisy

5. Say Anything – Say Anything

4. The Dangerous Summer – Reach for The Sun

3. Kiss Kiss – The Meek Shall Inherit What’s Left

2. Fun. – Aim and Ignite

1. Manchester Orchestra – Mean Everything to Nothing

It was hard for me to pick just 30 but when I went to the top 5, it was even harder to distinguish which one was the best. Mean Everything to Nothing was a flat out great rock album dealing with God and religion with fantastic stand out moments on almost every track. Aim and Ignite was baroque pop at its finest proving that the glory of The Format is far from dead. Reach for the Sun revitalized pop-punk in a scene dominated by catering to teeny boppers with extremely profound, honest and personal lyrics with beautiful echoing guitar lines. Say Anything took the traditional sound we all know and love and meshed it with insight on religion while combining elements of doo-wop, synth-pop and spoken word, all with masterful production. Daisy took the aggression of previous albums and amplified it to the maximum proving that Brand New is not afraid to make the record they want. And The Meek Shall Inherit What’s Left was just well absolutely eccentric and musically insane (in a very good way). Ultimately, I gave the honor to Mean Everything to Nothing for it’s initial “wow” factor. However, all of the albums on this list are absolutely fantastic and I suggest you check them out. It was a damn good year for music.

Honorable Mentions

These are the albums that, while not up to snuff with the top 25, are still great records.

Enter Shikari – Common Dreads

Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon

mewithoutyou – it’s all crazy! it’s all false! it’s all a dream! it’s alright

The Audition – Self-Titled Album

Weatherbox – The Cosmic Drama

Dethklok – Dethalbum II

Top EPs of 2009

1. Bon Iver – Blood Bank

2. Straylight Run – About Time

3. VersaEmerge – VersaEmerge

4. Polar Bear Club – The Summer of George

5. MC Chris – Part Six Part One

Most Disappointing Albums

These are the albums that, while I didn’t hate at all, I just expected to be so much better. Whether it be the hype surrounding it, or hearing an amazing song from the album only to discover that the rest of the record isn’t on par. These are the records that turned out, in one way or another, to be a disappointment.

1. Two Tongues – Two Tongues

2. The Swell Season – Strict Joy

3. New Found Glory – Not Without A Fight

4. Dashboard Confessional – Alter the Ending

5. Animal Collective – Merriwether Post Pavillion

 

Nerdy Heartbeat’s 2009 Recap – The Top 10 Music Videos of 2009 December 1, 2009

Thanks to youtube, music videos may no longer have a place on television but they have been more accessible (and arguably more popular) on the internet. For the past year, artists have further experimented with this unique art form in plenty of effective ways. These are the top 10 Music Videos of 2009.

10. Every Time I Die – Wanderlust

For about four minutes, Keith Buckley walks in on some seriously grotesque yet psychedelic imagery while the rest of the bands rocks out like crazy. Not only was the video pretty cool, but it showed off some of the unbelievable album artwork before it was in stores.

9. Matt and Kim – Lessons Learned

Remember the hilarious shock value of Blink-182’s video of “What’s My Age Again”? Yeah, multiply that by 100. Matt and Kim streak in the middle of Times Square and right at the very last moment, Kim gets hit by a bus. It’s funny as all hell. I just want to know how they were able to get away with this.

8. Manchester Orchestra – I’ve Got Friends

The intentionally aged look gives the video a unique style many don’t see in the music video format. Plus the hilariously bizarre concept starring a guy in a bear suit and haunting apparitions of the band members makes it stand out even more.

7. Animal Collective- My Girls

Freak-folk pioneers, Animal Collective, blew up like crazy this past year thanks to a breakout album and the fantastic indie hit, “My Girls”. The video features grooving silhouettes of the band mixed with a slew of crazy psychedelic visuals. The result is something that feels both retro and slightly futuristic with a slam of hip eye candy. Hipsters love this band for a reason and this video shows why.

6. fun. – All The Pretty Girls

fun. (the side project featuring members of The Format, Anathallo, Steel Train) is arguably the best new band of 2009 and they’ve got a great video to prove it. This hilarious homage to The Beatles that closes with a trio of singing piniatas makes it one music video that’s nothing short of… well… fun.

5. Lady Gaga – Bad Romance

Okay. So she’s weird… really weird. But let’s face it she’s probably the most unique artist in the mainstream music scene. Compared to the other pop princesses, she’s pretty damn good. Her video for her latest single is well, indescribable at times with outrageous outfits, even more outrageous but mind-boggling choreography, a plot that doesn’t really make any sense and a conclusion featuring a pyrotechnic bra and skeletal corpse. Uh…. sure? Yeah it’s out there… really out there, but it’s so weird that in a way, it’s absolutely genius. Not to mention, the visuals are just plain unbelievable at times. It’s been a while since a mainstream artist has freaked anyone out through music video and isn’t that why we like this format in the first place?

4. WHY? – These Hands/January Twenty Something

Jonathan “Yoni” Wolf (aka WHY?) makes some of the most emotionally compelling hip-hop and folk rock around. The video deals with the scenes of a car accident juxtaposed with Wolf’s soothingly evocative voice. The image of the old man with arrows shot all over his back surrounded by fog carrying the boy will forever be ingrained in my mind. Powerful stuff.

3. Mastodon – Oblivion

Mastodon’s latest concept record deals with elements of space and time so what better way to introduce the album than having a music video that takes place in space. The visuals are nothing short of gorgeous with some of the best visual effects I’ve seen in a music video in a long long time and the video deals with the terror, mystery and suspense of being alone in outer space. They say in space no one can hear you scream, but shred? That’s a completely different story.

2. Fall Out Boy – What A Catch, Donnie

Folie A Deux is arguably FOB’s best release since Take This To Your Grave and “What a Catch, Donnie” was one of the best tracks off of their recent (and probably last) album. So when we heard there was going to be a video for this song, we all knew it would be sweep us off our feet. On the surface, its a tale about a ship’s captain (Patrick Stump) befriending and eventually bidding farewell to a seagull. It’s only until the captain sees a boat sinking on the distance when we see what the video is really about.   Ultimately, the video is a huge metaphor for the band’s unfortunate hiatus, but by george they went out with a bang. We’ll miss you guys but maybe you can ditch Wentz come the reunion.

1. All Time Low – Weightless



Vodpod videos no longer available.

Let’s face it. A lot of people don’t like All Time Low these days. Some people consider them sell-outs for being covered by MTV. Some people are turned off by the abundance of screaming teenage girls that swoon over Alex Gaskarth. Or frankly, some people just don’t like the punk-pop/powerpop scene. Well, ATL manages to get back at all the haters in the funniest way possible. In their video for their first single for Nothing Personal, the bands makes fun of pretty much everyone and everything from Twitter, to crazed teeny bopper fans and even themselves through bitterly frank statements followed by the ever-so appropriate phrase “Nothing Personal”. Top it off with a ridiculous over-the-top style and hilarious cameos by FOB’s Pete Wentz and Blink’s Mark Hoppus and you have one of the funniest vids in a while. Even if you hate ATL for whatever reasons you have, you can’t help but laugh at their complete mockery of the scene.

 

Best Songs of 2009 (so far) September 8, 2009

FakeProblems-ItsGreatToBeAliveCover

1. Fake Problems – Heart BPM

A bitter yet beautiful folk-punk ballad that builds and builds until the final chorus gives you its all with gang vocals, aggressive lead vocals, soulful guitars and soothing trumpet leads. It’s a perfect finish to one of the best album of the year.

2. The Dangerous Summer – Where I Want To Be

Easily one the of the best lyrics this year with a beat that makes you forget about the past few months mourning over The Starting Line breakup.

3. Manchester Orchestra – Shake It Out

Ear-bleeding rock anthem that’s only further improved with Andy Hull’s voice. Not to mention, the breakdown during the bridge is simply to die for.

4. Fun. – Be Calm

After The Format, fans never thought they’d get a sound as exhilarating as what was heard on the masterpiece, Dog Problems.That was before we got our hands on Aim and Ignite, the first album from Fun. (the first side project after The Format’s hiatus), and we are introduced to an 11 track manifesto of baroque pop brilliance. The album’s first track is anything but “calm”, it’s unpredictable and eccentric blessed with the band’s own mini-orchestra and plently of theatrical, Broadway-esque attitude.

5. A Day to Remember – The Downfall Of Us All

Words can’t describe it. Just press play.

6. Set Your Goals – The Few That Remain

Set Your Goals is, hands down, one of the best punk bands making music right now. The Few That Remain is a mosh-pit ready piece of aggression that’s just as good as anything else they have released. Then, literally out of nowhere, Paramore’s Hayley Williams joins in the fun and the song goes from great to fantastic. The song is like a 3 minute riot that you’d be daft to not be a part of.

7. Brand New – Sink

Brand New in itself is a sound that is nothing short of genius. Make that sound bluesy, soulful and give it a post-hardcore edge, then have something really really brilliant.

8. Passion Pit – Moth’s Wings

Gorgeous synth lines combined with even more beautiful strings makes this the ultimate “chill-out” song of the summer. It’s also refreshing to hear the lead singer of Passion Pit sing without his signature falsetto voice.

9. MeWithoutYou – The Fox, The Crow And the Cookie

Catchy folk rock with intriguing lyrics about the kind of morality tales usually delivered by renowned Christian rock band. Poetic storytelling and fantastic musicianship work together perfectly in this piece.

10. VersaEmerge – Whisperer

The dreamy he said, she said verses between Sierra and Blake are great and all but its when the chorus erupts with the awesome violin line that makes this song unforgettable pop-punk hit.