Sunday, April 28, 2013

It's nice to finally be back- Top 40 albums of 2012

So, it's been over a year since I have wrote anything on here, it doesn't mean I have stopped listening to great music, or seeing some great shows. Life got in the way, or should I say bad luck at life got in the way, but as a good friend told me "it is what it is". So moving on, and getting to what I started this thing for and that is writing about music, and I have a lot to catch up on in the past year and a half. I guess first up is my very long and delayed top albums of 2012. Then some of the shows I have caught this past year. So the long and overdue top 2012 albums (only number one and two are the top albums, all the rest are in no particular order): 1. Alabama Shakes- Boys and Girls 2. Jack White- Blunderbuss 3. Japandroids- Celebration Rock 4. Kendrick Lamar- good kid, m.A.A.d. city 5. Sleigh Bells- Reign of Terror 6. Frank Ocean- Channel Orange 7. Grizzly Bear- Sheilds 8. Beach House- Bloom 9. The Lumineers- Self Titled 10. Metz- Metz 11. Tame Impala- Lonerism 12. Wintersleep- Hello Hum 13. Minus the Bear- Infinity Overhead 14. Alt-J- An Awsome Wave 15. Killer Mike- R.A.P. Music 16. Passion Pit- Gossamer 17. The Shins- Port of Morrow 18. NAS- Life is Good 19. Wild Nothing- Nocturne 20. Of Monsters and Men- My Head Is an Animal 21. The Gaslight Anthem- Handwritten 22. Beach House- Bloom 23. Sanitgold- Master of My Make-Believe 24. Cat Power- Sun 25. Divine Fits- A Thing Called Divine Fits 26. Men- Open Your Heart 27. Bob Dylan- Tempest 28. Flying Lotus- Until the Quiet Comes 29. Tramp- Sharon Van Etten 30. Jake Bugg- Self titled 31. Django Django- Self titled 32. Titus Andronicus- Local Business 33. Cloud Nothings- Attack on Memory 34. The XX- Coexist 35. G.O.O.D. Music- Cruel Summer 36. Action Bronson & Party Supplies- Blue Chips 37. Grimes- Visions 38. Fiona Apple- The Idler Wheel 39. The Tallest Man on Earth- There’s No Leaving 40. Lucero- Women & Work I will update some new albums I have got the past few months, and some of the shows I have seen this past year, but I will leave you with some pictures of Wintersleep and Frightened Rabbit I saw a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The first Spin the Black Circle column

Well for those of you that aren't in the Waco area, I have been asked to start writing reviews for the City Review. The City Review is a free paper here in town about local artist, shops, etc. If you are in Waco, I suggest picking one up to see what is going on around town. With that said here is my first review for the paper that is coming out in a few weeks. Just a quick side note, I got to see the Kills and JEFF the Brotherhood this week in Dallas. They were both amazing live, and not to mention I got to see my rock crush Alison Mosshart of the Kills perform. She is amazing on stage, she is very sultry, sexy, and seems like she just takes up the whole stage when she performs. Oh yeah, I almost forgot..............I GOT TO MEET HER AFTER THE SHOW!!!Yes it was an amazing night, and she is very nice and very cool to meet. If you are wondering, yes I am still acting like a little fan boy two days later.

Well, I am back again to give you a few albums to take a look at. Hopefully they are new to you as they were to me when I first bought them. I did however have a nice day off the past week and went to Austin and hit up a few record stores that I think if you have a chance you should get check out. For vintage and new music take a trip to End of an Ear at 2209 S. 1st or check them out online at The best little find I had of the day was Friends of Sound Records located in the alley behind 1704 S. Congress or check them out at , and they had a bunch of hard to find vinyl that any music lover would want, let’s just say I got Pink Floyd the Wall and Led Zeppelin #4 and both of which were the original vinyl in great condition from the 70’s. If you buy music, support the independent record stores when you can, these places make sure to keep good music playing and in their stores. Now on to the reviews for this edition.

We Are Augustines- Rise Ye Sunken Ships I first ran across We Are Augustines at the Austin City Limits Music Festival this past fall. I was actually seeing Gomez and all I heard was the band coming from the smaller stage so I had to walk over and check them out. The two piece band from Brooklyn was great live. They had a great presence on stage and it came across in their music. I finally had a chance to get to listen to their debut album off of Oxcart Records called Rise Ye Sunken Ships. The interesting part of this album is the fact that the songs actually originated from their first band, which broke up before they could record their second album. If you are looking for guitar driven, well written lyrics, and emotion behind their music, you need to pick up this album. Over the two years of recording this album they had to deal with a band that broke up, a brother lost to drug addiction, and having to start a new band. This raw emotion comes out in their music, and especially in the song Book of James, about guitarist Billy McCarthy’s brother that died from drugs. Another great song on the album is Chapel Song that another emotional song on this album. The one thing that I take away from We Are Augustines is the fact they pour out every emotion they have into their music. (8 out of 10 stars)

Gomez- Whatever’s On Your Mind I have been listening to Gomez for a while now, and this is their 7th studio album from the band from Southport, England. Yes, you did read that correctly, they are a band named Gomez from England. The funny way they got their band name was due to a sign in front of their first gig stating “Gomez in here” to let their friend Gomez where the gig was. Of course the name stuck and they have kept it ever since. What I love about this band is the dynamic they have, they actually have three different lead singers, and four of them are song writers in the band as well. So over much of all of their albums you can hear a different lead singer or a different style to their music. Whatever’s On Your Mind keeps with the rest of Gomez’s albums they have released and they have continued to keep their style. This is another strong album from a band that is starting to reach veteran status in music. I have to say nothing stands out on this album, but it is a strong and very listenable album. (4 ½ out of 10 stars)

Los Campesinos!- Hello Sadness Los Campesinos! is a indie pop band from Cardiff, Wales and this is their 4th full studio album. Sometimes LC can be an acquired taste musically, especially if you aren’t into this whole Indie Pop scene that is sprouting up. I actually enjoy their music and this would be my second favorite album of theirs next to We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed. LC! Has always wanted to shake their “indie pop” label and this has got to be their darkest album they have had lyrically. Although listening to the music you wouldn’t think it was that dark. Most of their music are romantically driven lyrically, and this album doesn’t stray from that formula. This is their fourth straight album that is great musically and lyrically, and this is coming from a young band. Some of the shine has worn off them since coming out, but being a young band I feel they can continue to grow and get better. (5 out of 10 stars)

JEFF the Brotherhood- We Are The Champions JEFF the Brotherhood is a two piece rock band of brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall, from Nashville. This is their 6th studio album. They have been getting a lot of exposure as of late, they were named Spin’s must hear acts at 2011’s SXSW, best spring tours of 2011, and Paste Magazines “best of what’s next”. I got to see JEFF the Brotherhood open up for The Kills this past week, and they were awesome. If you want a record that rocks from beginning to end, you need to pick this album up. From the first song Hey Friend to the last song Wastoid Girl, the brothers decided to make sure everyone knows they can play with the big boys. (7 out 10 stars)

For some new and older reviews check out my blog at or follow me on twitter @kevinhuffine for mostly random stuff and random music thoughts. Shop local and buy vinyl when you can.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Top 50 albums of 2011

Well, I feel I start off my blogs like this everytime I FINALLY get around and write one, but sorry it's been months since I have wrote a blog. A lot has been going on with my wife getting a promotion, my daughter starting 3rd grade, and well my always busy job.

I have seen a ton of great shows over the past year, and recently saw Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and the Watch The Throne tour as well. On Top of that I did take my daughter to her first concert and we went to see Death Cab for Cutie, and they were great. Plus finally taking Kristen to Austin City Limits Festival for the first time which was awesome. I do have to say, once again this year has flown by.

With that said here is my list of my top 50 albums of 2011. I do have about 20 albums that I have to mention, that will make up my honorable mention list. So to start off my list of 2011 albums that I have enjoyed, here is my honorable mention list.

Honorable Mention top albums for 2011:
1. Yuck- Yuck, 2. Kendrick Lamar-Section.80, 3. Holy Ghost-Holy Ghost, 3. TuNe-YaRdS- Who kill, 4. Smith Westerns-Dye it Blonde, 5. Kate Bush-50 Words for Snow, 6. STS-The Illustrious, 7. EMA-Past Life Martyred Saints, 8. Iceage-New Brigade, 9. Washed Out-Within and Without, 10. The Vaccines-What did you expect from the Vaccines, 11. Kasabian-Velociraptor!, 12. Toro Y Moi-Underneath the Pine, 13. St. Vincent-Strange Mercy, 14. Noah and the Whale-Last Night on Earth, 15. Childish Gambino-Camp, 16. Tyler the Creator-Goblin, 17. Bombay Bicycle Club-A Different Kind of Fix, 18. Battles-Glass Drop, 19. Girls-Father, Son, Holy Ghost, 20. Wiz Khalifa-Rolling Papers, 21. Manchester orchestra-Simple Math, and 22. The Head and the Heart-Self Titled

Now it’s time for my top 50 albums for 2011. As you can tell by my 22 honorable mention albums, it was hard for me to come up with 50 albums that made my list. Of course when buying these albums, splurge….buy a record player and buy vinyl!

50. Foster the People-Torches
49. Frank Turner-England Keep My Bones
48. The War on Drugs-Slave Ambient
47. Drake-Take Care
46. Real Estate-Days
45. Mister Heavenly-Out of Love
44. Cut Copy-Zonoscope
43. Ryan Adams- Ashes and Fire
42. Lykke Li- Wounded Rhymes
41. The Low Anthem- Smart Flesh
40. The Antlers- Burst Apart
39. The Cool Kids- When Fish Ride Bicycles
38. Cults- Cults
37. The Civil Wars- Barton Hollow
36. Danger Mouse-Rome
35. The Roots- undone
34. Explosions in the sky-Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
33. M83- Hurry up, we’re dreaming
32. Destroyer- Kaputt
31. Red Hot Chili Peppers-I’m With You
30. Gary Clark Jr. – The Bright Lights EP
29. Portugal. The Man- In the mountain, in the cloud
28. Panda Bear- Tomboy
27. Frank Ocean- Nostalgia, Ultra
26. Elbow- Build a Rocket Boys!
25. The Kills- Blood Pressures
24. The Joy Formidable- The Big Roar
23. TV on the Radio- Nine types of light
22. Radiohead- The King of limbs
21. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks- Mirror Traffic
20. Florence + the Machine- Ceremonials
19. Kurt Vile- Smoke Rings for my Halo
18. Fleet Foxes- Helplessness Blues
17. Das Racists- Relax
16. Big K.R.I.T. - Return of 4eva
15. Death Cab for Cutie- Codes and Keys
14. Adele-21
13. Wilco- The Whole Love
12. The Decembrists- The King is Dead
11. Iron and Wine- Kiss Each Other Clean
10. Beirut- The Rip Tide
9. The Black Keys- El Camino
8. Kanye West and Jay-Z- Watch The Throne
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - It’s a corporate World
6. Foo Fighters- Wasting Light
5. Arctic Monkeys- Suck it and See
4. The Beastie Boys- Hot Sauce Committee part 2
3. The Strokes- Angles
2. My Morning Jacket- Circuital
1. Bon Iver- Bon Iver

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yes I am alive.

Well, I have fallen out of the loop as far as blogs go for a very long time, so I decided today that I should write a blog. The most exciting concert event for me of the year has came and went and I am still wishing I was in my lawn chair in Austin watching some great bands play. Austin City Limits Festival was once again a great time, I even got to bring Kristen this year and that added to the experience. We both got to knock off Kanye West on our bucket list of people to see perform. All I can say it people can call him an A-hole all they want, but I have always loved Kanye and after seeing him live, he is an amazing performer. I got to see a lot of hip hop over the weekend, and I got to see one of my favorite rappers of all time Big Boi perform on Friday and the fact that he did a lot of Outkast songs made me very happy. Friday was probably the best day of ACL for the whole weekend.

The other top act I got to knock off the bucket list was My Morning Jacket and Iron and Wine. I love both of these bands and they didn't disappoint seeing them live on Saturday. Kristen and I also got to see Ray LaMontange on Friday and he was great. I have to give it up to Kristen, she should get some sort of wife of the year honor for going to ACL and having a bum foot the whole time. She also stuck with me on some of the bands I wanted to see that she could careless about. Of course that is why I love her, I got to races on the weekend with her, and she will go to a music festival with me. Somehow I feel she gets the better end of the deal, for the simple fact that while we are cheering for a band we don't know you can atleast drink alcohol, not the same at races cheering for people running completely sober on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

Now I am plotting my next concert of the year, and on the horizon in December the two of us can knock someone else off the bucket list and that would be one rapper named Jay-Z. I think that this will probably be one of Kristen's Christmas presents that I am sure she will enjoy very much. Speaking of my bucket list of bands/musicians I want to see I feel this is an appropriate time to put this list down so everyone can see. Of course some of these bands I have seen, and will run at the chance to see them again.

  1. Pearl Jam (seen them twice now and I will see them as long as I am alive, pardon the pun)
  2. Arcade Fire
  3. Arctic Monkeys
  4. The Rolling Stones (seen them once and will see them again before they are gone.)
  5. Kanye West
  6. My Morning Jacket
  7. Iron and Wine
  8. Ray LaMontange
  9. Jay-z
  10. Phish (seen them twice now)
  11. The Avett Brothers
  12. Band of Horses
  13. The Flaming Lips (best experience ever, got to be on stage with them)
  14. Beastie Boys
  15. Beck (saw him in college, would see him again)
  16. The Roots (saw them with Beck, want to see them again)
  17. Beirut
  18. Ben Harper (have seen him way too many times, but amazing live)
  19. Big Boi (now I just need to see him with Outkast)
  20. The Black Crowes
  21. The Black Keys (Have to see them again)
  22. Bob Dylan
  23. Bon Iver
  24. Bruce Springsteen
  25. Cake
  26. Cold War Kids
  27. Death Cab for Cutie
  28. The Decemberists
  29. Dinosaur Jr.
  30. Eminem
  31. Fleet Foxes
  32. Foo Fighters (have seen them once, but have to see them again)
  33. Red Hot Chili Peppers (seen them once, but have to see them again)
  34. Frightened Rabbit
  35. The Gaslight Anthem (seen them once, love to see them again)
  36. Girltalk (seen him twice, go if you can)
  37. Green Day
  38. The Hold Steady (see them, will go again)
  39. Ice Cube (saw him when he was still gangsta)
  40. Jane's Addiction
  41. Soundgarden
  42. John Butler Trio
  43. John Mayer (seen him, amazing on guitar)
  44. The Strokes
  45. The Killers
  46. The Kills
  47. Kings of Leon
  48. Kiss
  49. LCD Soundsystem (thank god I got to see them)
  50. Lil Wayne
  51. Lou Reed
  52. Metallica
  53. Metric
  54. Mumford and Sons
  55. Muse (amazing live, will go again)
  56. The National (seen them, will go again)
  57. Neil Young
  58. Phoenix
  59. Portugal. The Man (seen them, will go again)
  60. Queens of the Stone Age
  61. Radiohead
  62. Smashing Pumpkins (seen them twice, broke up on stage last time I saw them)
  63. Sonic Youth (saw the legends rip it up in Austin)
  64. Spoon (seen them, will go again)
  65. Tom Petty (seen him twice)
  66. Weezer (saw them and I love them)
  67. Wilco
  68. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  69. 50 Cent
  70. U2

Well, this is a still growing list as I find new bands every day. I have a lot of new music to write about next week, but I thought I would let the few of you that check this (1 person last time I looked at the tracker) know that I am alive and well.

Site Meter