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Matthew Berlyant: March 19, 2006

  1. Metric – Starlight Ballroom (Philadelphia, PA) – March 11, 2006
    One of the best sets of music I’ve seen all year thus far, Metric really turned it up a notch live and their energy was just contagious.
  2. Voxtrot – Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Wives” EP (Cult Hero)
    This is perhaps even better than their self-titled EP. The songs are shorter, heavier, better-produced and there’s a bit of orchestration on a few songs as well. Look for big things from these guys. I can’t wait for the full-length.
  3. Voxtrot – Voxtrot EP(Cult Hero)
    This is the 2nd week in a row that I’ve had this EP on my list. I simply love this band.
  4. The Go! Team – Thunder, Lightning, Strike (Columbia)
    I just hope their live show next Wednesday at NorthSix will be as satisfying as this stellar debut. This is a great party, good-time record and an absolute joy to listen to.
  5. Captain Beefheart- Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (Warner Brothers)
    This is Captain Beefheart’s comeback album after his universally derided commercial attempts Unconditionally Guaranteed and Bluejeans and Moonbeams. I think it’s one of his best albums as it captures the best aspects of his more experimental as well as accessible sides. It contains one of his best love songs (“Love Lies”) along with oddities like “When I See Mommy I Feel Like a Mummy”. This is also one of the few Beefheart albums that grabs listeners on 1st listen.
  6. The Tomorrow Show DVD collection
    This is an excellent 2 DVD set highlighting the most memorable moments on The Tomorrow Show, which was a late-night talk show hosted by TOM SNYDER from 1973 to 1982. Although Snyder was notoriously clueless about the artists that were on the show, he nevertheless provided a platform for artists such as ELVIS COSTELLO, IGGY POP, THE PLASMATICS and others to perform on national television at a time when punk and less accessible new wave was feared and loathed across most of the U.S. If you’re interested in the late ‘70s punk explosion, this is a must. It’s priceless almost 30 years later to see legendary concert promoter BILL GRAHAM, KIM FOWLEY (in bizarro makeup), a very young JOAN JETT and an 18 year-old PAUL WELLER talk about the pros and cons of the then burgeoning punk movement in 1977.
  7. The Beach Boys – 20/20 (Capitol)
    The last Beach Boys album on Capitol, this stellar album is really more of a mishmash of covers, reworked songs from previous projects and other odds and ends. Despite that caveat, most of the music on here is excellent. I espcially like the AL JARDINE-sung cover of LEADBELLY’s “Cottonfields”, the Born Innocent album).
  8. Editors – The Back Room (Kitchenware)
    As it’s coming out in the U.S. on Tuesday on the Fader label and since they’re playing here soon, I revisited this excellent album a few days ago and I must say that it’s even better than I remember it being since I hadn’t listed to it in a few months. I think they’re the best UK post-punk band going now, at least among the current crop. I can’t wait to see them live at Webster Hall in a few weeks.
  9. Morrissey – Ringleader of the Tormentors (Attack/Sanctuary)
    The resilient Morrissey is back with a terrific follow-up to 2004 comeback album of the year You are the Quarry (his best since 1992’s Your Arsenal). With song titles like the hilariously-titled “Life is a Pigsty”, old fans may feel like they know what they’re getting, but think again. “At Last I Am Born” is perhaps the most overtly joyous song he’s ever song and the overt sexual references in “Dear God Please Help Me” will make you do a double-take. This is clearly a Morrissey who is happier, more content and less dour than before, but who’s still more than happy to surprise and challenge his fanbase even after so many years.
  10. The Bats – Knitting Factory (New York) – March 15, 2006
    22 years, one lineup and one killer indie-pop nugget after another all in front of a small but faithful and adoring audience. What a great time!