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Top 5 Albums Of 2009:

1. Rooftops – A Forest Of Polarity
The debut album from Bellingham based Math Rock band Rooftops came out of left field. It’s style and complexity were enough to make fans of the genre happy and yet accessible enough for most anyone to enjoy the music.

2. Lady Gaga – The Fame Monster
After crafting possibly the most solid pop album of the decade, the Lady reissued, repackaged and renamed the album with an additional eight tracks that were not some throw away b-sides but another round of singles.


3. Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid
The solo debut of the Black Keys guitarist showed that Auerbach can step away from his songwriting companion and hold his own. Although very reminiscent of a would be Keys album, there are some fun surprises and solid songwriting.


4. Franz Ferdinand – Tonight
The boys from Glasgow got over their sophomore slump in 2009. With a fist full of poppy singles, some new recording techniques and help from vintage synths the album they brought forth a solid effort in their junior release.


5. NASA – The Spirit Of Apollo
It’s hard to go wrong when you bring together two great producers like Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon, but when you add in artists like MIA, David Byrne, RZA, Tom Waits and George Clinton, it would take some effort to mess it up.

Top 5 Tracks Of 2009:

1: Supernova – Mr Hudson
2: Night By Night – Chromeo
3: Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
4: Run This Town – Jay Z feat. Kanye West & Rihanna
5: I Want Some More – Dan Auerbach

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Here’s a quick run down of all the good things going on with the artists I work with:

Rooftops – Not only is their new album selling very well, a new teaser video is available for your viewing pleasure.

They will be featured on the New Album Spotlight page in the January edition of Electronic Musician so look for that when it comes out. You can also now request tracks from their new album “A Forest Of Polarity” on Pacific Northwest Radio Stations KUGS Bellingham and KEXP / 107.7 The End KNDD / Hollow Earth Radio / KCPR Seattle. You can stream songs from the album on the Rooftops Myspace Page, Last.fm or Lala and download the album on Itunes, Amazon or buy a copy from the Clickpop Records Store.

Pan Pan – Coming off her performance opening for The Books, Sarah and company have officially released the album “New Arms” digitally on Emusic, Itunes and Amazon (Follow The Links To Download The Album) And continues to get praise from local publications. Look for a studio full length sometime in 2010 as well as their apperiance in the 2010 EMP Sound Off! in Seattle on Feb. 20th! Check out the Pan Pan Myspace and don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook!

The Mission Orange – The duo gained some nice praise from Don Project of SunBreak for their show at The Rogue Hero last month, saying that that while “Sporting a huge sound for a duo” they “wove wonderful melodies around powerful rhythms.” And although younger  “they bring a swagger and a complexity to the stage that rivals their legally adult compatriots.” This show also got them the December Rock And Roll Moment of The Month in What’s Up! Magazine. They are working on finishing their new full length album that will probably see the light of day in Early Spring 2010. Check out the Mission Orange Myspace and become a fan on Facebook.

Michael Jackson’s This Is It: Review

Last night I was able to catch an Advance Screening of the new Michael Jackson concert documentary This Is It. The film chronicles the dress rehearsals and sound checks of what was to be Jackson’s come back, as well as his final curtain call. Running almost completed performances of hits like Billie Jean, They Don’t Really Care About Us, Beat It and Man In The Mirror, Jackson and his crew of producers, directors, dancers and musicians brought together what could possibly have been one of the best and most successful career comebacks of all time.

Jackson was in his element, his singing was dead on and all of his vocals were done live with no backing tracks which prove that he possesed a level of professionalism and pure ability that is almost unheard of today in the Pop world. At some points he did look a little rusty as far as dance moves are concerned, but taking into account the fact that the man was 50 years old at the time and hadn’t performed live in almost 10 years makes sense. But all of the skepticism about his dancing abilities were put to rest during his dance sequence for Billie Jean.

The Thriller portion of the film saw the addition of new footage in the style of the original music video filmed in 3D  for use on the digital backdrop during the concerts. This was also done for other songs including a scene with Jackson and Humphrey Bogart for Smooth Criminal and a digital army for They Don’t Really Care About Us among others, but most elaborately for Thriller. The new visual  technology that was used made for some great looking effects and surreal backdrops.

Aside from the music, the film showed some rare behind the scenes footage of just how a production of that magnitude comes together. Along side the show (and film) director Kenny Ortega, Jackson crafted a great work and was hands on in every aspect of the concert from musical direction and filming to set and costume design. His work with the musicians and his vast and complete knowledge of his entire catalog was striking and showed that he was not just a talented performer but also an amazing songwriter and arranger.

The only problem that I have with this film is that I will never get to see the finished product live and in person. This Is It is a great look at the interworkings and passions of a man who still had it, could still do what everyone remembered him and would no doubt have been back on top of the Pop world, the tragedy being that he would never able to bring it to his fans in person.

Hey everyone,

Long time no updates. I need to get back into blogging on a regular basis. It starts today.

Anyways, I have joined a new band since the last time this was updated. It is the side project of Idiot Pilot’s Daniel Anderson, links and the video for our second single “How Far You Go” are below.

We are The Ghost And The Grace.

TGATG:
www.theghostandthegrace.com
www.myspace.com/theghostandthegrace

Hey everyone,

Sitting down for a few minutes, thought I would throw an update at you. I’m back in London after spending a couple of days up north. Had a great time in Liverpool at Sound City, it was a pretty decent show and got a little bit of press. The band and I stayed with Chris Travis and his fiancee in their amazing flat, they were great hosts. While I was there I made a pilgrimage down to Matthew Street and had a Pint at the Cavern Club.

Since getting back into London I’ve stayed at a handful of spots and met quite a  few interesting characters. Tomorrow I get to fulfill a lifelong dream, more information about that later.

I’ll be back in the States Friday night, see you then.

Cheers,
Ian

Hey everyone,

So I’m in the UK for a couple of weeks doing a little Clickpop work. Currently Black Eyes & Neckties are on a two-week UK tour, and I’m here having a little fun and doing a little business. Currently I’m sitting in a Pub in Oxford, just got in from London and waiting for the BENt show this evening. I’ve been carrying around a box of 100 BENt CD’s since this morning in London. I’ve been stressed out most of the trip, things over the last couple of days didn’t go well but they are looking up, except for the fact that I’m probably going to be sleeping in the Train Station tonight.

Tomorrow I’m off to Liverpool, home of the Beatles, for another BENt show. While I’m there I’m going to make sure to have a drink or two at The Cavern Club (birthplace of The Beatles) and then go to a great showcase. Not only do I get to see a few cool sites and a good show but I also get to see “Mr. Local Music” Chris Travis, hurrah!

Speaking of The Beatles, I went to Abby Road yesterday. It was the closest thing to a religious experiance I’ll ever have.

After Liverpool i’m heading back to London for the second half of my trip. I was going to follow the band to Scotland but due to unforseen circumstances I won’t be able to make it up there. But I am going to be hanging out in a couple of really cool places in London so thats alright I guess. And i’ll be staying put for a while, the most stressed I get is when I’m supose to be getting on trains and planes.

Things I Like In The UK:
– Cha Cha Moon (Resturant in SoHo)
– The Girls
– The Beer
– Free Museums

Things I Dislike In The UK:
– Pay As You Go Wi-Fi
– People who don’t move out of the way
– The Weather
– Teeth

nam-logo-1-copy

Yesterday I formally submitted paperwork to the State to form my new company: Northern Alliance Management.

About Us:
Started in Early 2009, Northern Alliance Management works with emerging talent from the Pacific Northwest. NAM’s goal is to help assist artists in the development and management of a long-term career in the music industry. Our priority is to deal with, and meet, the needs of our artists, be they business or other wise related, so they can have the room to create and perform. Some of the services offered are World-Wide Representation, Direct Artist Management, Tour Management, and Publicity and Promotion.
Currently I’m in talks with local and regional talent about representation and I am also actively scouting for talent to add to my roster. More information will be coming shortly as well as a website where you will be able to get everything you need to know as well as be able to submit materials for consideration.

Hey all,

Sorry I’ve been absent as of late (the last four months). But I am now back and ready to write. So here’s a quick update for what has been going on and what you should expect. The last while has been hectic, I went back to school for a quarter and did alright but was much too busy this quarter to go back. Since getting done with school I’ve been refocusing on music. The last few Conquest shows have done well, we just finished up a Bellingham date for Tech N9ne. Clickpop is well: currently a Rooftops album is being recorded, the new Kristin Allen-Zito album is coming along and Black Eyes & Neckties are headed to the UK in less than two weeks for a short tour. I will be joining them for part of it. Expect updates from the road.

Today I submitted my paperwork to form Northern Alliance Management. NAM is going to be a management company specializing in Music, preliminary talks are already underway with new artists. A website will go live hopefully sometime in June. More information is to come.

Until next time, stay fly like a pair of Air Yezzy’s.

These are my picks for the top non-local/major release, albums of the year. The albums appear in no particular order:

Kanye West- 808’s and Heartbreak
Eagles Of Death Metal- Heart On
Sebastian Grainger and The Mountains- Self Titled
Justice- A Cross The Universe (Live Album/DVD)
Lupe Fiasco- The Cool
N.E.R.D.- Seeing Sounds
The Black Keys- Attack And Release
MGMT- Oracular Spectacular
Beck- Modern Guilt

The following are my picks for the top local albums of the year. They are in no particular order:

The Love Lights- Young Lions
The Mission Orange- Seasick
The Oregon Donor- Somethings
Black Eyes & Neckties- Apparition!
Wallpaper- On The Chewing Gum Ground
The Nextdoor Neighbors- Magic Vs. The Machine
Wooden Wings- Swan Songs
Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band- Weepy EP
PWRFL Power- PWRFL POWER