Posts Tagged ‘Team Genius’

MM's BEST OF 2012 Nos 60-41

Today we reach the halfway mark of our favourite 100 songs of 2012. Here are numbers 60 – 41 for your listening pleasure. You can check out numbers 100 – 81 here and yesterday’s post of 80 – 61 here.

And on we go…

60 JAMES LEVY & THE BLOOD RED ROSE – YOU SNEAK INTO MY ROOM
A real mellow chill out tune. Reminds me of laid back version of the Divine Comedy. (SB)

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59 ANGEL SNOW – LIE AWAKE
This was a late arrival into my best of the year list and I am thrilled to have it here. Those beautiful haunting vocals stay with you long after listening – its a sad story perfectly told and I love it. Not the happiest song, but certainly one of the most beautiful. (PP)

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58 THE LUMINEERS – FLAPPER GIRL
Piano-led tune that is rather understated yet really gets under your skin, particularly when the guitar comes in to answer the piano. Lovely, undulating melody, the power of this song lies in its simplicity as lead singer and guitarist, Wesley Schultz, lays his heart on his sleeve. Ho Hey, their star is deservedly in the ascendant. (Mrs M)

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57 TEAM GENIUS – SEVEN YEARS
Although flirting dangerously close to novelty Seven Years certainly helped put a smile on my face with its blatantly narcissistic lyrics and thumping beat. This may be a bit of an indulgence on my part, but I have to be true to what I like. And boy I like this song – anything that begins with the line “I’m half drunk again, full of words, full of piss and wind’ was bound to become one of my favourite songs of the year. (CP)

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56 WAVES OF FURY – BUSINESSMAN’S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT
If there was a more tribal drumbeat this year then we didn’t hear it. The genius came in mixing this primal menace with Stax horns and a hoarse, scorched vocal – the musical equivalent of Marvin Gaye smashing Gary Glitter’s face into a wall. (MM)

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55 WE ARE AUGUSTINES – HEADLONG INTO THE ABYSS
One of the best songs from a great album which deals with lots of heavy subjects like depression and suicide and turns them into triumphant and emotional tunes like this with singer Billy McCarthy screaming out lyrics like “call the police, call your shrink, call whoever you want cos I ain’t gonna wait around for some pill to kick in”. It grabs you by the ear right from the start and marches you all the way to the front of the class. (TS)

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54 RICHARD HAWLEY – SEEK IT
A really beautiful love song with a simple melody like a nursery rhyme and darkly comic lyrics. It sounds like an old classic that you’ve known all your life and just goes to show, sometimes less is more and the simplest things are often the best. Perfect with a brew and a biscuit at any time of the day or night. (TS)

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53 THE RAPTURE – CHILDREN
Just love the sort of electro pop bass-line running through this and for me a good sing and dance along song. (SB)

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52 THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH – WIND AND WALLS
Why this song? I guess it just makes me happy. When Kristian Matsson starts to sing, its hard not to smile, such a powerful voice. There is no place to hide with this tune – just a guitar, some words and a man telling a story. Nothing wrong with that combination in my mind. (PP)

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51 KING KRULE – ROCK BOTTOM
Smitten with this song right from the get go. A Johnny Marr-esque guitar riff is the lead in, then from nowhere comes this fantastical delivery of words half sung half spoken, that leave you in no doubt that King Krule has been Rock Bottom. Despite looking like the kid you would steal lunch money from, the lyrics are delivered with passion and a sense of a life lived. The drums in this song are off-kilter and almost sound out of place when first heard. This off beat style works perfectly when the song comes together and leaves the head nodding and the feet tapping. Perfect. (DR)

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50 EUGENE MCGUINESS – SHOTGUN
What a great song over the top of Duane Eddy’s Peter Gunn, with the catchiest chorus of the year:  “Every time I dance, every time I dance with you, I”ll stagger out the night club black and blue, battered and bruised…”(MS)

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49 THE LOLLIPOPS – BLACK TAR CARPET RIDE
“We’ll shoot some heroin, and take to the skies”. Told over a simple acoustic strum, this is an unapologetic, woozy, hypnotically brilliant paean to the delights of chasing the dragon. The best addition to the Sex and Drugs and Rock’n’Roll mantra we’ve heard all year. Their only apology? For “the times we almost died”…(MM)

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48 THE PINES – CRY CRY CROW
I love this song’s eerie feeling, with the tune being played on guitar in the background, and the singer’s voice, they all blend together really well to make a great song. (MS)

Download The Pines – Cry Cry Crow mp3

47 THE LOST BROTHERS – NOT NOW WARDEN
Sounding like the long lost ghost of the Louvin Brothers, Not Now Warden is a perfect companion piece to The Knoxville Girl. A gently insistent guitar refrain anchors aching lyrics of regret and despair. Classic Nashville all the way from…Liverpool. (MM)

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46 SAVAGES – HUSBANDS
With a great beat and an awesome chorus of “My house/ my bed/ my husbands/ husbands…”, this song always has me dancing (badly) and singing along. Husbands is punk rock. Full stop. (MS)

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45 MOUNTAIN GOATS – CRY FOR JUDAS
Such a great feel to this. A truly outrageous pop arrangement acts as a perfect optimistic backdrop to a song about surviving the worst and adding that experience to your armoury. These opposites work in perfect harmony. Mountain Goats have long been a favourite of mine their output is prolific and never diluted, and lyrically sharp as a tack. (DR)

Download The Mountain Goats – Cry For Judas mp3 (from Transcendental Youth)

44 SPECTOR – CHEVY THUNDER
Like Howler, Spector barrelled their way into the New Year with a classic indie anthem full of girls, cars, and teenage rebellion whilst boasting a chorus so classically simple that it defies you not to sing along within seconds. (MS)

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43 RAY WYLIE HUBBARD – DRUNKEN POET’S DREAM (DAYTROTTER SESSION)
Originally a 2011 track, but this version is from a 2012 Daytrotter Session and it’s just too good a song to overlook for a second year running. A brilliant tune perfectly matched with simple lyrics and Ray Wylie Hubbards’ ‘gargling-with-gravel’ voice. The story is told from the perspective of the drunken poet who introduces his girlfriend (who sounds like she’s quite a character) and tells us of his Bohemian lifestyle. And of course, he provides some brilliant drunken poetry as a chorus. Simple, contemporary country from the man who brought us Choctaw Bingo. (BSF)

Download Ray Wylie Hubbard – Drunken Poet’s Dream mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

42 THE WALKMEN – LOVE IS LUCK
My favourite track from the sublime Heaven album. I never really know exactly what The Walkmen are singing about but, truth be told, I couldn’t care less. Their music makes me feel good about life and that’s enough. (BSF)

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41 JANICE GRAHAM BAND – MURDER
The Specials got the Arctic monkeys drunk one night and roofied them. The child that came from this unholy union is The Janice Graham Band. It has a knowledgeable lived in feel to it. As we step over the half way mark it breaks, not becoming faster just fuller with some great sounding horns giving these boys a swagger all of their own. (DR)

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Remember…check back for numbers 40 – 21 tomorrow…

Thanks to Mrs Mackerel (Mrs M), Chris T Popper (CP), Barry-Sean (BSF), Polly Pocket (PP), Dr Roddy (DR), Starbie (SB) Middle Sprat (MS) and Toy Steve (TS) for their contributions.

More From Team Genius

Posted: October 26, 2012 in Alternative, Indie, Music, Pop, Rock
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More From Team Genius. Somehow we missed this in the ongoing deluge of e-mails into our in-box, and having posted about Team Genius and their effervescent indie rock back in August of last year, we still wanted to get this up in a typical blogger’s case of ‘better late than never’.

They have just simultaneously released three EPs Pop Songs, Loud Songs and Whiskey Songs (which in Seven Years features one of the best heavy drinking songs we’ve ever heard), all in advance of forthcoming album New York Songs.

Confused? Don’t be, just listen to a track from each of the EPs and one from the imminent long player or head over here to Bandcamp to get all the EPs in full.

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Mad Mackerel's Best of 2011.Scottish Kate is a great friend of this blog and has often offered her (sometimes pithy) opinions on the world of music – and very good taste she has too.

She also runs the always excellent (sometimes pithy), and often provocative blog A Burdz Eye View for all things Scottish (of course), political and musical. Here are her aural selections for 2011.

The Burd’s Best Songs of 2011

Well it doesn’t get any easier.  Though given that all my old schticks are in here aplenty – drums, noise, shoegaze, jingly jangly guitars, quirkiness, blues and reverb – it really should be a doddle.  This girl is forever stuck in her groove and that’s just the way I like it.

10. Cashier No9  – When Jackie Shone

Gosh, why do I like this?  It’s just got that whole throbbing bass line thing I like.  Layers of sound.  Odd vocals.  And drums.  Of course. Like it? Love it.  The louder the better.

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9. Other Lives – For 12

Nearly my choon of the year.  Deceptively simple, soaring, swooping and positively swoonsome.

Download Other Lives – For 12 mp3 (from Tamer Animals)

8. Josh Schroeder and Meredith Adelaide – Where Are You

It could so easily have been So it Goes, for both choons have been on a near constant loop at various times this year.  But seeing as I have to choose – and I must, I cannot have the ignominy of a twelve instead of a ten two years in a row – then this one wins out.  Not for nothing my Twitter bio suggests I’m not nearly as scary as I pretend to be.

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7. Secret Colours – Faust

A late contender but a worthy one.  This choon is the musical equivalent of a three course meal and therefore ticks all my bluesy-rock boxes.  So long as you like your meat and potatoes with no veg.

Download Secret Colours – Faust mp3 (from EP3)

6. The Rural Alberta Advantage – Barnes’ Yard

See?  Stomping, strummy, just a little shoogly and I’m sold.

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5. We were promised Jetpacks – Medicine

Ye cannae beat a wee jangly Scottish band, especially one that throws everything but the kitchen sink into their music.  It should be a mess but it so isn’t.  After a difficult year out, with this track they exploded back onto the music scene and it was like they’d never been away.

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4. Slow Club – Beginners

A knickerbocker glory offering of shoegaze.  With a big dollop of retro on the side and some reverb sprinklings up top for good measure.  Dreamy.

Download Slow Club – Beginners mp3 (from Paradise)

3. Team Genius – Home

Boy Wonder’s favourite moshing/air guitar choon of the year.  We have pogo-ed round the sitting room to this.  Oh yes.  For those who don’t know, he’s the eight year old, supposedly I’m the responsible adult.

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2. William Elliott Whitmore – Field Song

The man with the voice that sends shivers down my spine is at the peak of his powers.  Occasionally I have to lie in a darkened room to listen to this album – all the better to wallow y’see.  The title track is truly a thing of beauty.

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1. The Low Anthem – Matter of Time

They made it into 2009 and 2010’s list and here they are again.  The grandmasters of less is more, of making a symphony out of a three minute track.

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Favourite cover of the year

Barry-Sean and I share some bizarre commonalities.  There are Killie fans in his family too, and it would appear, the influence of Buddy Holly on our musical heritage. The standout cover version for me this year? Patti Smith doing Words of Love and making it all her own.

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Favourite discoveries of the year

Actually, this was a rediscovery.  In reprising the career of the late, great Jackie Leven, I found myself falling in love with Doll by Doll all over again.  Gypsy Blood is a great album, and only recently recognised as a modern rock masterpiece.  Aye but it’s the punkish tendencies that make it so.

Guilty pleasure

Diddy – Dirty Money Coming Home

Yes really.  The year I discovered what makes the young folk tick.  This far though and no further.

Close but no Cigar

O’Death – Bugs

This is a beautifully meaningful song on so many levels.  Especially when you know the back story.

Download O’Death – Bugs mp3 (from Outside)

FOUND – Anti Climb Paint

Just about my favourite track off one of my favourite albums of the year.

The Barettas – Touche

This is the kind of band I always wanted to be in.  Still do.

Download The Barettas – Touche mp3 (from Touche 7″)

Peggy Sue – Dumbo

Two albums in two years, both of them corkers.  Quirky and winsome.

A Classic Education – Forever Boy

It’s the drums innit?

Download A Classic Education – Forever Boy mp3 (from Call It Blazing)

Coke Weed – Not My Old Man

Or maybe it’s just the all-round oddness…

Download Coke Weed – Not My Old Man mp3 (from Volume 1)

The Kills – Future Starts Slow

Did I mention I like a bit of down and dirty?  And no one does like it Jamie and Alison. Should have married her, mate.

Lykke Li – Sadness is a Blessing

More shoegaze, quirkiness and downright pop genius.  Oh, and the best video of the year.

Butcher Boy – Helping Hands

The line that sold it to me was “on yellow grass and dirty pebble dash”.  Seemingly whimsical, masking a dark heart.

The Shivers – Kisses

There’s an acoustic and a blues version of this song.  Sometimes I play them one after the other.

Download The Shivers – Kisses mp3 (from Rob Da Bank Session)

Introducing…Team Genius

Posted: August 20, 2011 in Indie, Music, Pop, Rock
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Introducing...Team Genius. Team Genius are from New York and formed back in 2007, releasing an EP and LP the following year and (as far as we can tell) this four song EP titled Pop Songs is their first release since then.

They make catchy indie pop that fizzes with irreverence and good humour and is, we think, pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Don’t believe us? Check out Ronald Reagan’s Cousin below and then take a look in the mirror!

You can get the EP at their Bandcamp page here.

Download Team Genius – Ronald Reagan’s Cousin mp3 (from Pop Songs)