First and Final Friday: Beirut “The Rip Tide”

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We have always been huge fans of Beirut, but it wasn’t until we saw them live at Outside Lands, playing their new album The Rip Tide, that we have become mega supporters. Opening with “A Candle’s Fire” and closing with “Port Of Call”, Beirut have shown they can continue to explore pop and classical European music without sounding stale or tired.

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First and Final Friday: The Clientele “Strange Geometry”

The clientele strange geometry First and Final Friday: The Clientele Strange Geometry the clientele strange geometry first and final friday

One of the most underrated bands of the past decade, The Clientele continually put out solid records with plenty of reverb and 60s influence, and 2005′s Strange Geometry was the album that began their foray into more pop songs. The British band opens with “Since K Got Over Me,” and closes with the great “Six of Spades.” Magical stuff. Fall has begun.

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First and Final Friday: Wild Nothing “Gemini”

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When you are in your early 20s, with this kind of command for nostalgic pop, you have talent. Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum is a talent. We don’t know much about his Wild Nothing project, except that his album, Gemini, has been a constant on our record player over the past two weeks. It opens with “Live In Dreams,” and closes with the title track, “Gemini.” Enjoy.

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First and Final Friday: Grandaddy “The Sophtware Slump”

tumblr First and Final Friday: Grandaddy The Sophtware Slump Grandaddy first and final friday

One of the great albums of the 1990s with one of the great album covers of all-time, Grandaddy’s The Sophtware Slump has built somewhat of a cult-following over the years. As the band slowly faded in the 2000s with CEO Jason Lytle going under his given name, this remained their pinnacle, where the music press began to hail their experimentation, and the fanbase grew.

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First and Final Friday: Women “Women”

womenwomen First and Final Friday: Women Women women flashlights first and final friday cameras

One of our favorite “new bands” to emerge over the past 5 years is Canadian band Women. They play guitar rock with a twist, and that twist is hard to explain except for saying they are Canadian and great. Their debut, Women, came out in 2008, and has some subliminally catchy tunes. First “Cameras,” and last, “Flashlights.”

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First and Final Friday: Sufjan Stevens “Illinoise”

Sufjan Illinoise First and Final Friday: Sufjan Stevens Illinoise Sufjan Stevens illinoise first and final friday

It doesn’t really matter if you think Sufjan Stevens is ridiculous, over-the-top, or just a tad too of the indie-ilk, his visionary, triumphant, and continually rewarding 2005 album, Illinoise, remains one of the greatest albums in any genre over the past 10 years.

Opening with the intimate “Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois” and closing with “Out of Egypt . . .”, this remains our favorite Sufjan body of work.

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First and Final Friday: TV On the Radio “Return to Cookie Mountain”

Cookiemtn First and Final Friday: TV On the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain  TV on the Radio return to cookie mountain first and final friday

We didn’t ever really want to love TV On the Radio, but all it took was 2006′s “Return to Cookie Mountain,” and the opening notes to “I Was A Lover” that convinced us that this was one of the most special bands of our generation. And here are the opening and closing tracks of this album.

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First and Final Friday: Vampire Weekend “Self-Titled”

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Any band from Columbia University who opens their debut album with the lyrics “I see a Mansard roof through the trees,” is going to get “that” label. But when you write really solid, interesting songs, including “Mansard Roof” and “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance,” all the backlash sort of doesn’t make sense anymore.

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First and Final Friday: MF Doom “Operation: Doomsday”

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There isn’t much to say about MF Doom other than the fact that he is one of the most talented cats in all of music, not just hip-hop. And through all the albums and projects he has worked on in the past 10+ years, his debut, Operation: Doomsday remains our all-time favorite. Music wise, it opens with “Doomsday,” and closes with the ’80′s cartoon ode, “I Hear Voices, Pt 1.” Enjoy.

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First and Final Fridays: Clues “ClUeS”

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The Unicorns were a great band that disbanded and led to other so-so bands, but the best was Clues, and their debut, “ClUeS” has some major indie, pop-rock highlights to it, including lead track ‘Haarp’ and last track ‘Let’s Get Strong.’ Enjoy.

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