Live Show Review Moore Theater Rodriguez

Photo Essay: Rodriguez + Arum Rae at The Moore

Arum Rae opened the night with subdued solo acoustic versions of her jazzy pop tunes. She was absolutely flattered to be on tour with one of her favorite musicians, and shone brightly on stage, nearly blocking out the sound of pre-funkers in the lobby.

Arum Rae

As Rodriguez was introduced, the entire audience stood up to give him a standing ovation before he’d even played a note. Clearly, Seattle has a great admiration for this remarkably talented and often overlooked songwriter, now in his 75th year. He needed some assistance getting to his place on stage, but once he’d arrived, he immediately thanked the crowd with a grateful wave, and began singing “Happy Birthday” to a fan. After we’d all had a chuckle there was a long reverent silence while he adjusted to his seat. Something wasn’t quite right. He needed his sunglasses, and a hat! Once he’d donned his on stage persona, all frailty seemingly melted away, and he led his band through the set, spotlighting his ingenious songwriting and heartfelt lyrics.

His finger picking may not have been up to its previous top form, but Rodriguez is still a phenomenal performer, and thoroughly appreciative to share his songs with others, frequently chatting amicably with the audience in between songs. When he finished “I Wonder,” he quipped, “I wonder, but I don’t really wanna know.” After ending the haunting “Sugarman,” he remarked, “Get your hugs, stay off of drugs!” That’s some sound advice right there.

The night was also sprinkled with stunning covers from the ’60s including “Light My Fire,” “Your Song,” and “Don’t You Want Somebody to Love,” with a surprising addition of “On the Street Where You Live,” from My Fair Lady. Though he’s subdued in nature, Rodriguez was definitely having a blast. Especially when responding to the oddly overtly drunk and at times embarrassing peanut gallery that seemed to encompass a large portion of the audience. “We LOVEE YOUUUUUUUUUUUU,” they continually squealed in between songs. Rodriguez took it in stride and eventually they quieted down, settling on clapping “along” to his songs and sporadically wooing.

Near the end of the night, the band launched into the endearingly sweet “I Think of You.” It was effortlessly full of nostalgia and genuinely sung, bringing a few salty tears into several people’s eyes. We were truly in the presence of greatness. I’m so thankful I got to see him again, as who knows if he has another tour in him. The crowd leapt to their feet at the end of the night, hooting, hollering and thanking this formerly hidden gem from Detroit who left the stage with a huge smile on his face.


Imaginary Scoop Moore Theater Rodriguez


American folk legend Rodriguez is heading our way in a couple weeks, and it’s sure to be a memorable performance you don’t want to miss.

In the early ’70s, Sixto Diaz Rodriguez was a struggling musician in Detroit, creating two records of rock n’ roll tinged, genuine folk music that just didn’t seem to catch on. Decades later, after giving up on music altogether, he discovered he’d become a musical voice to the masses of South Africa. His counterculture ideas had hit home there in a big way during apartheid and he was something of a cult icon. Rumors had circulated of his death years before, and several fans set out to find him and bring him to South Africa for a massive tour, documented in the film Searching for Sugarman. Since then, listeners in the U.S. have FINALLY caught on thanks to re-releases of records Cold Fact and Coming from Reality by Light in the Attic Records.

His visceral recordings feel as though you’re already old friends, and he might even be playing right there in your living room. It’s sure to be an exceptional set, and one you’ll want to catch while you still can.

Header image courtesy Facebook

Gorge Amphitheater La Luz Live Show Review Major Lazer Queens of the Stone Age Rodriguez TacocaT Tune-Yards

Sasquatch 2014, Day 3

I have to admit, I kind of like the new Sasquatch schedule of Friday-Sunday instead of the old late Friday-Monday. It’s a little less tiring, and you still get the free travel day on Monday so you can stay out late at the party stages guilt free. With that said, onto the final day of Sasquatch 2014!

The biggest (pleasant) surprise for me this weekend was seeing Seattle four-piece Tacocat. Not that I wasn’t’t aware of them before, but mostly that I hadn’t’t experienced them and all their fun pop-punk glory until this afternoon. Joined onstage by a “bubble queen” who kept their bubbles flowing throughout the show via a side stage bubble machine, Tacocat kept things fun and lively on stage. Singer and tambourine extraordinaire Emily Nokes energetically danced and sang her way through songs about getting to second base and the frustrations of being horny while having a UTI. It was actually quit fun and liberating to watch 20+ guys excitedly dance along with the band to the super-catchy “Crimson Wave”, which you may have guessed by the title is about periods. As their set closed, they had the sound person put on the Miley Cyrus hit “Party in the U.S.A..” as they danced along while simultaneously putting their gear away. Drummer Lelah Maupin was having such a good time she had to be pulled off stage by her band members. Basically, Tacocat is just a ton of infectious fun and if you don’t enjoy their show then I don’t want you at my party.

La Luz
Seattle four-piece La Luz followed Tacocat on the small Yeti stage and let their surf-rock sunshine vibes chill the crowd. Towards the end of their set they split their audience down the middle and formed a walkway where they encouraged people to show off their best dance moves “Soul Train” style down the walkway. It worked for a little bit, then about half the crowd tried to join in and it turned back into a mosh of people again. Fans were having a good time regardless of how the short lived soul-train line worked out.

One of my most anticipated shows from Sunday was for Tune-Yards who played the main stage touring in support of their recently released third album Nikki Nack. Front woman and founder Merrill Garbus was joined on stage by bassist Nate Brenner, as well as a woman who played a multitude of percussive instruments, and two backup singers and dancers. Tune-Yards live shows are always impressive, as it’s quite a feat to watch Garbus loop together individual drum hits and vocal melodies on top of each other until she has a solid foundation. Tune-Yards songs are a lot about percussion. Pretty much everyone on stage had drumsticks in their hands at some point. The set leaned heavily on the new material, but the biggest crowd reactions seemed to come for W h o k i l l tracks “Gangsta” and “Bizness.” They closed their set with the first single from Nikki Nack “Water Fountain.” All show the beats hit hard, the bass lines were tight, and the dancing was plentiful.

Hannibal Buress
This year’s festival had some great comedian talent, which I just had to check out at some point in-between all the great music. Hannibal Buress has been working the comedy circuits for years now, and it’s really starting to pay off as this set shows he’s working his way up to the upper echelon of top comedians working today. He worked with a DJ behind a turntable who occasionally played some sound bites to augment his stand up. He ended the show with a half dozen ballerinas spinning behind him as he sang his all-too-familiar sounding rap song “gibberish rap”, which is basically him mumbling verses then saying words at the end of each line. I won’t bother trying to retell any of his jokes because we all know that never quite as funny as it sounds. Just go see him or look him up on YouTube if you get the chance.

Pretty much every adult over the age of 30 seemed to be at this show, but so did a lot of young people, which speaks to the power and reach of Rodriguez’ music, as well as the popularity of the recent Oscar winning documentary chronicling the musician, “Searching for Sugarman.” Although Rodriguez made all of his music when he was in his early 20’s, he’s 71 now, and his age shows when he slowly walks on stage and places himself in front of the MIC. It almost felt like you were watching a sort of living legend, except for the fact that the biggest storyline about Rodriguez is how he essentially missed out on what many fans would say should have been a legendary career. Although Rodriguez has two albums worth of fantastic material to pull from, he filled his set with a number of delightful cover songs. Backed by a full band he played the traditional standard “Love me or leave me”, the Flamingos’ classic “I only have eyes for you”, the Elvis-popularized rocker “Blue suede shoes”, and Frank Sinatra’s “Live till I die.” It was pretty cool hearing some of these classic re-imagined and played with Rodriguez’ smooth voice and gentle guitar strumming. The song the crowd seemed to be waiting for though was “Sugarman”, and he threw it in the middle of his set to much delight.

Parquet Courts
Even though Parquet Courts are a relatively new band, they sounds a bit like a throwback this evening, as their 4 chord extended garage-band jams were reminiscent of the boom of similar bands in the early 2000’s. They played a number of tracks off of their soon to be released sophomore full length Sunbathing Animals. Fans also took the opportunity to start little mosh pits of front to a few of the rowdier tracks.

Queens of the Stone Age
Headlining the final day of Sasquatch 2014 were the rock veterans Queens of the Stone Age. They drifted through classics like “Go with the flow” and “No one knows” while mixing in some of the quality new material off of last year’s release …Like Clockwork. Frontman Josh Homme oozed a certain kind of cool, smoking cigarettes in the middle of songs and crushing guitar solos.

Major Lazer
Diplo’s dance hall project Major Lazer closed out the festival with a giant dance party. On record, Major Lazer is a patchwork mix of reggae, dub, dance hall, techno, and a multitude of party starting dance music. The live show however seems to be significantly different. This show was mostly mash-ups of popular rap and top 40 songs with electro and dance hall beats laid over top of them. Thankfully, they did take a moment to play a verse from the fantastic single “Get Free” off of their most recent album Free The Universe. Those moments of playing music they’ve released on record seemed to account for maybe 20% of the show, the rest of making sure the entire place was dancing and partying as hard as they could. When you have a field full of young 20-somethings on the last night of Sasquatch, you’ve got a good shot as success with that mission.

It’s hard not to look back over the schedule and hear stories from friends who saw other bands and wonder about what you might have missed. I definitely regret not at least checking out Maya Rudolph’s Prince cover band Princess. I missed a lot of Fly Moon Royalty’s set watching Rodriguez across the same field. I missed Mogwai to watch Damien Jurado and Raz Simone. These things happen though, and you can’t dwell on the past. Another Sasquatch in the books, and this year was as good as any. 

Big Freedia Bob Mould Damien Jurado Elbow First Aid Kit Gorge Amphitheater Imaginary Scoop Jonathan Wilson Neko Case Phantogram Phosphorescent Queens of the Stone Age Rhett Miller Rodriguez Shelby Earl The National The Violent Femmes Tune-Yards We Are Augustines

A very imaginary 2014 Sasquatch! schedule

Another year, and another weekend at the Gorge is upon us! That's right — this weekend brings with it our favorite northwest festival season opener, Sasquatch!. Running this year from Friday through Sunday (and thus avoiding the whole, "I really should have taken Tuesday off from work!" mess), the 2014 lineup is no slouch, with a little something each day for everyone. So, without further ado, here are our cream-of-the-crop picks for each day of the fest:

Friday, May 23rd

The day starts off with a bang from the barrier in front of the Yeti Stage, where you can catch Old 97s frontman Rhett Miller noodle through classic favorites and hopefully a spin through the new record the band is touring behind. (KEXP has been spinning "Most Messed Up," the title track from the most recent Old 97s album, and We. Are. Loving. It.) After a dip by the mainstage and a few comedy acts, the night runs back-to-back with killer sets from Phosphorescent, Foals, Phantogram, and Damien Jurado — and that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Check out the day's schedule here, and our recommended stops below:

1:00pm // Yeti Stage: Modern Kin
2:00pm // Yeti Stage: Rhett Miller
3:10pm // Sasquatch Stage: De La Soul
4:45pm // El Chupacabra Stage: Eugene Mirman
6:00pm // El Chupacabra Stage: Princess feat. Maya Rudolph
6:35pm // Bigfoot Stage: Phosphorescent
7:15pm // Sasquatch Stage: Foals
8:00pm // Bigfoot Stage: Phantogram
9:15pm // Yeti Stage: Damien Jurado
10:40pm // Sasquatch Stage: Outkast

Saturday, May 24th

Day two out at the Gorge gets rolling with one of our favorite east-coast-turned-Seattle bands, Pela We are Augustines Augustines down on the mainstage. They'll bleed nicely into vibes from First Aid Kit to warm up the afternoon, followed by what we're sure will be the sleeper hit of the weekend, Jonathan Wilson (who is up the hill on the Yeti Stage at 4:10pm). Wilson's "Can We Really Party Today" has been a mixtape staple since Fanfare's release last year, and we can't wait to get a taste of what depths he can go to live! We'll be spending most of the rest of the night on the genre-rollercoaster down on the mainstage, with sets from Violent Femmes, Neko Case, and the National, among others.

Saturday's full schedule is here, and our can't-miss sets of the day are as follows:

2:05pm // Sasquatch Stage: Augustines
3:10pm // Sasquatch Stage: First Aid Kit
4:10pm // Yeti Stage: Jonathan Wilson
5:50pm // Sasquatch Stage: Violent Femmes
6:55pm // Bigfoot Stage: Washed Out
7:15pm // Sasquatch Stage: Neko Case
8:45pm // Sasquatch Stage: M.I.A.
10:50pm // Sasquatch Stage: The National

{Tune-Yards / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Sunday, May 25th

Finally, Sasquatch! goes out with a bang on day three, with strong performances start-to-finish. Make sure you get up early to take in our new favorite Barsuk band, Big Scary, at 1pm on the Bigfoot Stage, and follow the closing-day vibes up and down the hill with Shelby Earl, Tune-Yards, Elbow (!!!), Bob Mould (!!!!), Rodriguez (!!!!!), Big Freedia (!!!!!!) and the perfect cap to three days in the dust and (hopefully) sun, Queens of the Stone Age. If that lineup doesn't melt your face off, honestly, we don't know what will.

Follow our stops (below), or, build your own Sunday schedule here.

1:00pm // Bigfoot Stage: Big Scary; Narwhal Stage: Pollens
2:00pm // Yeti Stage: La Luz
3:00pm // Narwhal Stage: Shelby Earl
3:05pm // Bigfoot Stage: The Lonely Forest
3:10pm // Sasquatch Stage: Tune-Yards
4:30pm // Sasquatch Stage: Cold War Kids
5:50pm // Sasquatch Stage: Elbow
6:55pm // Bigfoot Stage: Bob Mould
8:20pm // Bigfoot Stage: Rodriguez
8:30pm // El Chupacabra Stage: Big Freedia
9:15pm // Yeti Stage: Parquet Courts
11:00pm // Sasquatch Stage: Queens of the Stone Age

We'll see you out at the Gorge!

{Photo of Damien Jurado's band by our very own Imaginary Victoria.}

Easy Street Records Imaginary Scoop Rodriguez Showbox at the Market

Celebrate ten years of Light in the Attic with Rodriguez at the Showbox {10/12}

If you haven't gotten tickets already, well. We're sorry to inform you that you're plum out of luck. Rodriguez is playing the Showbox tomorrow night with Michael Chapman and Donnie and Joe Emerson, as part of a pair of shows celebrating the tenth anniversary of Light in the Attic Records. On the odd chance you're not familiar, head on over here to get a taste of the literal gems that the LitAR folks have unearthed and brought back to life. From their site:

In the ten years since its inception, Light In The Attic has launched The Black Angels to the world and released rare treasures from funk-rock maverick Betty Davis, proto-punk band The Monks, folk singers Karen Dalton, Jim Sullivan, and Michael Chapman, larger-than-life troubadours Serge Gainsbourg and Lee Hazlewood, Korean rock hero Shin Joong Hyun, and Memphis soul heavyweights Wendy Rene and Charles “Packy” Axton.

Over the years, we also delved deep in to the history of our home town with vintage Seattle soul via the series Wheedle’s Groove, reissued classics from country stalwarts Kris Kristofferson and the Louvin Brothers, brought rock-n-roll farmers Donnie & Joe Emerson to the public, expanded minds with the deeply vibrant Jamaica to Toronto series, and played a key role in the rediscovery of legendary singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, recently celebrated in the Sony Pictures Classics critical smash film, Searching For Sugar Man. The list is long.

Fitting, then, to host a hell of a party to celebrate. And if you're not heading to the Showbox show, may we suggest this alternate: pop down to Easy Street Records tonight {yep, Thursday, October 11th} to catch Michael Chapman's in-store at 7pm — and since you're going to be at the record store anyway, it'd behoove you to grab a few albums and get to know the bliss that these fine, fine people make a business of turning the world on to. For instance: Cold Fact {Rodriguez}, U.F.O. {Jim Sullivan} and Histoire de Melody Nelson {Serge Gainsbourg} would be key pieces to add to your record collection, if you don't own them already.

We'll see you there!

Imaginary Scoop Rodriguez Sundance Cinemas Seattle The Harvard Exit

Searching for Sugar Man: An Imaginary Interview with Rodriguez

{Searching for Sugar Man opens in Seattle on Friday, 8/24 and is screening at the Landmark Harvard Exit}

I’m in a meeting room at the W and it takes me more than a few minutes to process the fact that I am sitting across from an. actual. legend. A guy who was at one time as big as Elvis and the Stones. A guy who fans say is “better than Bob Dylan”.

A guy who, depending on who you ask, either burned himself to death on stage during his last public appearance, or shot himself in the head. 

But the guy—Rodriguez—is less than 5 feet in front of me, alive and well. And learned in 1998 that virtually all of South Africa thought of him as one of the greatest singer/songwriters ever.

Rodriguez released 2 albums in the 1970s in the U.S. on Sussex Records, both of which flopped miserably, even though everyone making them was sure they were amazing. Whether it was due to poor marketing or just the fact that music listeners in the states didn’t like what they heard, no one knows. And when they flopped, he disappeared from the public eye. 

But unknown to Rodriguez and Sussex, his albums made their way to South Africa in 1976 and became a huge and important part of the Apartheid movement. And record-store owner Stephen “Sugar” Segerman was determined to track down the man behind the albums.

When he heard about the story while visiting South Africa, Director Malik Bendjelloul got caught up in the mystery, and decided to make a film about it. Searching for Sugar Man blends interviews with stunning views of South Africa and beautiful drawn sequences animated by Bendejlloul himself. It’s a really compelling portrait of a man searching for his idol, and of a man completely unaware of his musical success.

So while I’m being greeted warmly by this man, as he takes his hands in mine and smiles at me, I’m trying to stay grounded and not get lost in the “WOW” of all of that. And also, I can’t wait to hear what he has to say. Bendjelloul also joined us to talk a little bit about making the film.

TIG: I’m sure you’ve probably heard the same questions all day, every day. So I read all the material and everything, I’m wondering how you felt when you learned that your music had such a huge influence on all those people.

Rodriguez: Oh the actual political thing. Well – how that’d go? Well, it’s indescribable in a sense. To try and think about the music itself, but also meeting the people as well. Who were listeners. I mean crowds are one thing, but I got a chance to meet them individually as well since I’m touring. The soldiers, the musicians, the artists, and you know, the audience.

TIG: It is overwhelming?

R: It is…but it’s – and there we are, and everybody. But it’s not Hollywood. It’s not Broadway. It’s not … it’s live music. And it’s a performance. That’s rock and roll. That’s a living art.

TIG: Have you continued to tour?

R: Oh yes, since ’98. The movie climaxes in ’98, and I’ve been touring since then. But I did do it previously. Toured in '79 and '81, even up to Australia.

TIG: Why do you think there were all these rumors about you disappearing?

R: Why? I don't know. I didn’t really know about that until Sugar came to the United States.

TIG: I read that you [the Director, Malik Bendjelloul] had heard the story and were excited about it, but you were apprehensive about listening to the music because you weren’t sure how you like it. If it would live up to the myth.

Malik: Yes, because they had talked about how it was as good as [Bob] Dylan! And I thought, well that’s ridiculous. Comparing him to the greatest artist that ever was. So I thought there are fans for everything – and then I listened to the record and realized they were RIGHT. The comparison is adequate, I think. I mean it is one of my favorite albums, and I think it would be one of my favorite albums even if I wasn’t in any way involved in the film. It’s just a great, great, great album. I mean, both albums. So great.

TIG: I also read that you used your iPhone for parts of the movie…

M: Yeah! Because we ran out of money. And Super 8 is expensive. I mean, it’s not very expensive, but it’s enough that I couldn’t afford it. So – I used the Super 8 app on the iPhone.

R: Malik is a self-made Director. It took him 4 years to put this thing together. I mean, he did the research, the journalism, the editing, the animation. And he asked the hard journalist questions, and the research! He did that too.

TIG: So were there other people who had approached you about making a documentary?

R: At one point, yeah. We received a few offers.

TIG: What made you choose Malik?

R: I had a personal, private life too. Like everyone, you know. And he was respectful of that. He came over to the Detroit in the winter and the summer and the heat of July, and the cold of February. He was filming in the snow … these crazy Swedes, you know? And then they showed his film and he won an award. Out of 10,000 entries, his film was picked for Sundance. The awards are ALL his doing. He picked who he was going to interview, and did all the research.

TIG: Well I think it’s an amazing documentary. It’s beautifully put together, visually pleasing, but also very respectful of Rodriguez’s life.

R: Yeah, I mean, I’m only really in the film for about 8 minutes. He’s amazing. He creates a suspense in the film. I thought, where’s he taking me in this story?

TIG: Yeah, even though I knew you were still alive. I was still asking myself what was going to happen in the course of it.

R: It’s like, we all know what’s going to happen to the Titanic, but it’s still a good story. [laughing]

TIG: And then it led to a lot more interest in your music in the states. Light in the Attic Records re-released your albums in Seattle…

R: Exactly. A small label. And the medium of vinyl coming back. And of course the Internet, the technology, that makes everything, the research easier. It’s your world. The young bloods. It’s amazing that it’s all there.

TIG: It is completely amazing to think that Internet being there is the reason this all happened. That people in America might not ever know about your music if Sugar hadn’t put together that web site and asked for information about you.

M: If it was printed, it never would have made it that far.

R: Yeah, Sugar is the hero in this film. And he’s such a natural in the film. It’s great. I also want to mention: Brian Currin, Craig Bartholomew, and Sugar – Stephen “Sugar” Segerman. Because those are the three strangers who decided to do this. My daughters in the film are a highlight for me, also. I’ve seen it over 30 times, and I see something new every time.

And he weaved the music into it so well. I didn’t have any say in that, and he did a wonderful job. Because it was produced so well by Steve Rowland, the quality of the music, too has really lasted all of these years.

TIG: Are you writing new music now? And do you think that you’ll release another album?

R: Yes, I write. I’m a musician, guitar player. I describe myself as a “musical politco”—and so I do chords and changes and write down an idea for a song and a lyric. I always write. I think that’s how we do as musicians. What I’m doing right now is just going to the screenings of the movie, doing gigs on the side.

At this point, Rodriguez motions both Malik and over to the windows in the W to look at the fantastic view, pointing out the mountains and the water.

R: Look at this. No, seriously, come over here and look at this view! This is really something. Top of the world. This is beautiful.

And then I knew it was time to leave … but not without a few more friendly embraces from a legend who definitely lives up to his legacy. I can't wait to actually see him on stage. 

You can see Rodriguez play live at Light in the Attic’s Ten Year Anniversary Show on Friday, October 12 at The Showbox at the Market, with Michael Chapman and Donnie & Joe Emerson.

Andre Ethier Cause Co-Motion Chico Magnetic Band Demon's Claws Dr. Dog Fennesz Imaginary Scoop Jacuzzi Boys Jay Reatard John Baker Kanye West Natural Snow Buildings Ponytail Porter Wagoner Rodriguez Scott Walker Sexy Kids Spiritualized Tallest Man on Earth The Barbaras The Born Ruffians The Crocodile the Dirtbombs The Dutchess and the Duke The Race Mixers The Shop Assistants The Strange Boys Thee Oh Sees Throw Me the Statue Times New Viking Vivian Girls Wavves Wounded Lion Young Rival

Best of 2008: Best of Lists from Eli Anderson of the Crocodile

When I asked the very intelligent and capable talent buyer Eli Anderson of the soon-to-be-reopened Crocodile Cafe, I was expecting a list of ten records he liked. Instead, he had sent me several well-written lists and deserves countless bonus points because he even showed his work.

Now, I need to find a copy of The Shop Assistants' record immediately.

Here's Eli's best of 2008 lists:


1. Tallest Man on Earth – “Shallow Grave”
The best description I can come up with for this record makes it sound terrible, but here it goes anyway: Swedish, Dylan-esque singer-songwriter. But, seriously, totally amazing record that I couldn’t get enough of this year. A really neat recording too. You can hear birds chirping and cars driving by on some of the tracks.

2. Born Ruffians – “Red, Yellow and Blue”
Super compact, spazzy, Canadian pop. Insanely infectious.

3. Dr. Dog – “Fate”
The most American band making music today. They manage to take everything great about 60’s and 70’s pop and boil it down into something that is simultaneously new and classic sounding. God that was a lame sentence. Sorry.

4. Dutchess & The Duke – “She’s The Dutchess, He’s The Duke”
The runout groove on their latest 7” says “CAMPFIRE PUNK” and that is fairly accurate. Sounds like demos for a Rolling Stones record that should have come out in 1963.

5. Vivian Girls – “Vivian Girls”
According to my iTunes, this was my most listened to album of the year. That probably has something to do with the fact that its 22 minutes long. But it’s fucking good too so there.

6. Kanye West – “808’s & Heartbreak”
Total genius who can’t take no for answer. I love how he 100% flaunts the fact that he can’t sing AT ALL by slathering the vocals in auto tune. And then he has the balls to write 10 of the catchiest songs of the year and they are all about Bright Eyes –level shit like walking around in the snow and crying.

7. Jay Reatard – “Matador Singles ‘08”
Supergrass, high on speed, in a closet, writing commercial jingles. Can’t get enough.

8. Spiritualized – “Songs in A & E”
J. Spaceman has written the same song more times than Marc Bolan. But, unlike Marc Bolan, it’s great every time.

9 . Throw Me The Statue – “Moonbeams”
Fucking, pop music man! Who can get enough of this stuff? This is bury your mind catchy too.

10. Young Rival – “Tour EP”
The best new band of the year for me. I expect big things from these boys in 2009. Especially if I get my way and put out a record by them myself.


1. Thee Oh Sees “The Master’s Bedroom is Worth Spending a Night In”
2. Ponytail “Ice Cream Spiritual”
3. Andre Ethier “Born on Blue Fog”

The “HEY LOOK, WEIRD/OLD STUFF” Top Ten of 2008 List:

1. John Baker “The John Baker Tapes Vol. 1 & 2”
If you don’t know what “radiophonics” are, this is a great way to discover one of my favorite styles of music/composition. Dude was a serious serious genius. Some nice piano jazz on here as well

2. Rodriguez – “Cold Fact”
Groovy, soul, protest singer stuff with tons of sweeping string and weird burbly keyboards.

3. Natural Snow Buildings – “The Snow Bringer Cult”
BUUUUUUUUUUUUUZZZZZZZZZ OOOOOoooOOooOOOOOooOooooO DDDDDDRRRRRRRRROOOOOOoooooOOOoOoONNNNNNNNE. I swear this “band” put out like, 7 records this year. And they are all super good.

4. Fennesz – “The Black Sea”
Guitar-based electronic compositions from pretty much the only guy from whom I’ll put up with this sort of ponderous garbage. I mean that in a nice way.

5. The Shop Assistants – “Will Anything Happen”
This is that Vivian Girls record but about 15 years earlier.

6. Porter Wagoner – ‘The Cold Hard Facts Of Life/Soul Of A Convict”
Hey look, Eli likes a comically depressing songwriter with and amazingly low voice! SHOCKA!

7. Chico Magnetic Band – “s/t”
A real face-melter this one. French band fronted by some Algerian super freak who ate his metric weight in pills and apparently took a bath on stage while doing his head-scratching Jimi Hendrix vocal impersonation. I don’t pretend to understand this one at all. I just love it.

8. All Those LPs I Bought on Mississippi Records esp. “Fight On Your Time Ain’t Long”
This label can do no wrong.

9. Scott Walker “’’Til The Band Comes In”
The sort of kinda lost piece of the Walker puzzle for me. And it’s good! Lots of standards-style jazz backed right up against the traditional Walker doom n’ gloom.

10. Wavves “Wavves”
This easily could have fit on the indie rock list, but I heard it too late in the year and that list was full, so here it is! Mad noisy pop music with a slightly goth, skater edge and insane, blown out drumming. They (or is it just a he?) already have another record coming out in Feb ’09 so be on the look out for that.

The “BEST FORMAT IS THE 7”” Top Ten of 2008 List:

1. The Barbaras – “Summertime Road” b/w ”Day At The Shrine” & “Flow”
2. Wounded Lion – “Carol Cloud” b/w “Pony People”
3. The Strange Boys – “Woe Is You & Me” b/w “Baby Please Don’t Go”
4. The Race Mixers – “Jackson” b/w “Let The Good Times Roll”
5. Times New Viking “Stay Awake EP”
6. Sexy Kids – “Sisters Are Forever” b/w “Drown Me”
7. Jacuzzi Boys – “Island Ave.” b/w “Dream Lion” & You Should Know”
8. caUSE Co-MOTION – “I Lie Awake” b/w “You Don’t Care” & “Cry For Attention”
9. Demon’s Claws – “Fucked on Ketamine” b/w “Always Be My Friend”
10. Dirtbombs “Sherlock Holmes” b/w “Nothing To Do”

The “REALLY REAL” Top Ten of 2008 List:
1. Girls
2. Beers
3. Records
4. Friends
5. Voting
6. Sleeping
7. Not Sleeping
8. Internet
9. Puppy Cam!
10. Fun

The Crocodile Cafe will be reopening in early 2009 and we will post more details as soon as we learn them here on the TIG blog.