Three days ago, I was at work. Sure, I was there yesterday, but that’s besides the point. I was teaching children how to introduce themselves, for about two hours. So, as I practiced with them, I will exhibit unto you.
Hello! I’m Nicholas J., the newest addition to All Things Go. That’s right, now our treasured readers will have another reason to keep coming back for the goods. More posts, more opinions, and less wondering, “When will it be updated again?” Of course, we don’t have any schedules and such, but the odds are moreso in your favor.
So anyway, I hail from Syracuse, NY. Yep. I moved back here about a month ago. Before that, I was living in Alaska, Costa Rica, and the bustling college town of Cortland, NY (only for the purpose of getting my degree last May).
But it’s not all bad. While trying to make the most out of upstate NY, I write music here and there, I have a fun job with kids, I make sure to keep a busy social schedule, and above all, I nerd out to good tunes.
Which brings me to the reason for this post (besides saying hello): My Top of the Pops
1. The Promise Ring – Red & Blue Jeans
Anyone who knows me knows I love the Promise Ring, and everything that has come from them (Maritime, Decibully, Pele, Cap’n Jazz). This song is one of simplicity, pop, and guitar-evoking emotion. I have a soft spot for “doot doos”.
2. Broken Social Scene – 7/4 (Shoreline)
I never really thought of this song as a favorite, but the number of times iTunes says I’ve played it seriously dwarfs all others. But I’ll tell ya, this song is solid. There’s a great swing with the polyrhythmic timing, and magnificent anthemic choruses and bridges. An instant classic.
3. The Velvet Teen – A Captive Audience
Off their record entitled Elysium, TVT dropped the guitars and picked up the keys. They also included some violins and whatnot, and decided to sing with an ethereal smoothness. Listen to this song before bed tonite.
4. Minus The Bear – Absinthe Party at The Fly Honey Warehouse
Not gonna lie. Minus the Bear has it all – guitar noodling, groovy bass, dancy drums, and lyrics about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. This band is just amazing, whether it’s live, at a party, in the car, or in your room.
5. Denali – Everybody Knows
Right after high school, I went on my first national tour with my band. One night after playing in St. Louis, the guy who put us up for the night gave me Denali’s debut album, and told me to listen to it tomorrow. The next day, I heard a completely flawless song. I adore female singers (as my band is lucky to have one), and Maura Davis of Denali has the perfect voice. It’s bold and delicate. The music itself is even strong enough to praise this band.
6. Cursive – Shallow Means, Deep Ends
A lot of people like Cursive, I know. However, not a lot of people give much credit to Domestica, the precursor to The Ugly Organ. I think this song sums up the album in a tirade of emotion, time changes, and a barrage of guitar tones.
7. Iron & Wine – Lion’s Mane
Off of The Creek Drank the Candle, Sam Beam’s gentle voice and vivid lyrics are enough to make me shiver, albeit being December.
8. The Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
Come now, we can’t just lay accolades to music exclusively of the past ten years, let alone this century. Who can deny the whimsical and melancholy dynamic of Morrissey? You can’t. Listen to this song if you haven’t already.
9. From Monument to Masses – To Z (Repeat)
I got my degree in Political Science. At the height of a Civil Liberties course, I came upon From Monument to Masses. The following summer, I went on tour again, and much to my satisfaction, we had booked a 10-day string of dates together. Their use of political soundbites and speeches, layered with multiple keyboard and guitar loops, and tied in with spectacular drumming (i.e. the ever-present ghost notes on the snare) make for a great listen.
10. Owen – I’m Not Going Anywhere Tonight
Mike Kinsella is a way better whiner than Chris Carabba. Better musically and lyrically, and has a lot more credibility.