Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sonnymoon - "Soular"

Sonnymoon is an electronic duo based out of Boston who recently signed to Plug Research, the Los Angeles label responsible for the latest releases by Bilal and Quadron. They self-released their debut album, Golden Age on Christmas last year, way after I made my year-end list, which pretty much ensures that they'll make it this year. The album is excellent all around but "Soular" for me is one of the standouts. It's a subdued but rubbery track that showcases the group's more playful side amidst an album that's heavy on atmospheric, experimental hip hop sounds mixed with hazy melodies. "Soular" is more immediate but no less enjoyable. It also serves as a proper introduction to how Sonnymoon perceive themselves, which is as artists who specialize in making music meant for another solar system. Listening to this track, it certainly feels like it could have come from outer space, or at least something Esthero would have created after landing on Mars.

Download the album here, which the group offered up for free or if that link doesn't work any more, you can also listen to the rest of the album streaming here and also pay $5 for it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Best TV Shows of 2009-2010 Season

On the eve of the new television season and a full summer under my belt to catch up on some shows, why not take a look at the best TV shows from 2009-10. I mention it every year I do this list, but I never understand why critics do a best of television list at the end of year in December when a lot of the shows have not completed their seasons. I take into account shows that premiered from June 2009 and wrapped up by May 2010.

10. Archer (FX)

Animation is the perfect medium for pushing the boundaries that live-action television shows are usually confined to. Years after the heyday of Beavis and Butthead and South Park, it's nice to know that it's still finding ways to appall and offend while still making you roar with laughter. Archer, FX's first serious venture into animation, is centered around the title character who is an immature yet seemingly capable secret agent and the rest of the employees at the agency, which includes his overbearing mother, who also happens to be his boss. The retro visuals give the show a flashy old-school feel and the scripts are filled with raunchiness and sharp one-liners, but the main appeal to the show is the excellent voice cast they have, which includes H. Jon Benjamin, Jessica Walter, Chris Parnell and Judy Greer. It's some of the best comedic talent currently gathered on basic cable today.