Best Music From 2010

          I know I'm far past due on this list, but who the cuss made the rules anyway? I'm well over five months late on keeping up with this blog, so really, our track record can't get much worse. And what could be a better way of breaking this sabbatical then lining up a wondrous year end list? Probably a lot of things. But I promise, my new years resolution had a lot to do with less procrastination, and I plan to get started on that sometime before January 1st 2012.

       While there were an abundance of musicians that put out phenomenal albums in 2010, these chosen 22 are the ones that really resonated with me individually. I have included a music compilation for download below providing a sample of each of the artists mentioned. Check it out if you feel so inclined. Forewarning before you get too invested in what lies ahead, Kanye did not make the cut. Nor did The National or Vampire Weekend. Get over it.

1. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening

2. Mavis Staples - You Are Not Alone

3. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

4. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More

5. Jamie Lidell - Compass

6. Blitzen Trapper - Destroyer Of The Void

7. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The VS. EP

8. Janelle Monáe - The ArchAndroid

9. Justin Townes Earle - Harlem River Blues

10. Carolina Chocolate Drops - Genuine Negro Jig

11. The Black Keys - Brothers
12. The Dead Weather - Sea Of Cowards

13. Mad Rad - The Youth Die Young

14. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

15. Tame Impala - Innerspeaker

16. Buddy Guy - Living Proof

17. The Morning Benders - Big Echo

18. Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can

19. White Denim - Last Day Of Summer

20. She & Him - Volume Two

21. Victoire - Cathedral City

22. Esperanza Spalding - Chamber Music Society

Serious Delirium

Mavis Staples & Jeff Tweedy - You Are Not Alone

I want to give a long and awkward borderline call-security type hug to all those involved in bringing Mavis Staples and Wilco front man, Jeff Tweedy together to make this remarkable album. Tweedy's guitar work backing Staple's authoritative soulful voice work together to create a harmonious brilliance in damn near every song. Produced with Anti Records, the album features  covers of reprised gospel songs, originals by Pops Staples, and a pleasant take on CCR's 'Song For Everyone'. Two Tweedy originals made their way on to the record as well, including the album's title song You Are Not Alone. In short, this collaborative album between a gospel queen and an alt-country rocker is filled with a guarantee for satisfaction.


State Of The Artist

State Of The Artist have been making some serious waves in the Seattle hip hop scene this year

They released their debut album,
rocked the capitol hill block party,

dropped a new music video,

and are now headlining their first major gig.

So go see a show, buy a cd, or at least check out the dope new music video.

while you're at it learn about the Members Only Crew

These guys are behind a lot of great events going on in our region.


The Half Bees - Look On The Bright Side

Coming together in our lovely city of Bellingham, The Half Bees have been steady on their way up playing gigs all about town and taking center stage in the local spotlight. These Gentlemen are well deserving of the attention, having just released their debut EP Look On The Bright Side. Within minutes of a first listen they prove a hunger for excellence, coming with an uninhibited sound fully equipped for drizzling their sweet nectar all over you. Yeah. You heard me.

Breaking through the whirlwind of trendy music supplied by a variety of indie pop groups and bearded men playing folk music, The Half Bees have managed to take me back to a time when the grunge music scene was thriving and the Northwest was it's primary breeding grounds. Even with such a small amuse-bouche sized taste of their capabilities, they have put me on the verge of excitement at a time when most everything was beginning to sound hopelessly alike.

Now I'll be the first to admit I may have somewhat a biased opinion, as I fully engage the fact that I love the NW and any music that comes out of it. Truth is, I'm damn near elated on having so many talented and like-minded individuals residing in this region, The Half Bees proving to be no exception. With Mike Lamb on lead guitar, Tony Massarelli on bass, Sean Dalgarn on drums, and Nathan Stephens on lead vocals, they collectively manage to catch the essence of an era.

The EP is five tracks long, starting off proper with a throbbing bass line provided by Tony Mas on the track Take Me There. Moving forward into Pterodactyl, they establish yet another catchy jump off as Nate quickly let's out a heavy wail, preparing you to move dangerously close to sweaty mosh pit material by the third track in, a fast paced, punk rock reminiscent joint titled Know Better. On Let's Pretend, a clear attempt is made to slow it down and keep a warm vibe, seamlessly leading you into the final track, Can We Be Friends in which they let you know that they not only like your shoes, but would also like to see you again. This might have been the best first date ever.

So while we all sit here anxiously by the phone, waiting to get asked out on that second date (fuck a 3-day rule, you are such a tease). You can always Look On The Bright Side for now and visit their bandcamp to download the entire EP for free. That's right, legitimately hooked up free for the people, not just Sarah made it free for you.

<a href="http://thehalfbees.bandcamp.com/album/look-on-the-bright-side">Take Me There by The Half Bees</a>


At this point it's no secret that I have had a long-standing love affair with the blues. From a very young age, something about that raw, riveting sound of the heart throbbing blues, along with its prominent use rooted in rock & roll, moved me in a way no other form of expression has or ever will have the capacity to do. So it was only natural that my 2nd installment of mixtapes be blues related. This is not by any means a definitive collection, rather an assemble of my personal favorites, what I consider to be some of the best in blues derived music. It's a mash up of old & new. Starting with the classics and then moving into a few modern players in the blues-rock scene. I'm not going to lie, it took a good chunk of time to cut this bitch down to a reasonable size (by reasonable I mean it's still about 2.5 hours in length)...Enjoy!

Tracklist: 1. Champagne & Reefer - Muddy Waters // 2. Do I Move You - Nina Simone // 3. Most Things Haven't Worked Out - Junior Kimbrough // 4. Sittin' On Top Of The World - Howlin' Wolf // 5. Baby What You Want Me To Do - Jimmy Reed // 6. Walking Blues - Son House // 7. The Sky Is Crying - Elmore James // 8. May I Have A Talk With You - Stevie Ray Vaughan // 9. Good To Me As I Am To You - Aretha Franklin // 10. In The Heart Of The Blues - Magic Slim & The Teardrops // 11. Trying So Hard To Forget - Peter Green // 12. I Asked Her For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline) - Howlin' Wolf // 13. Backlash Blues - Nina Simone // 14. Red House - Jimi Hendrix // 15. How Long Blues - Jimmy Reed // 16. Lenny - Stevie Ray Vaughan // 17. Jumping At Shadows - Peter Green // 18. Rub Me Baby - Cedell Davis // 19. I Can't Stand The Rain - Ann Peebles // 20. It Aint Fair - Aretha Franklin

(Pt.2) 21. Nothin' But The Blues - Lightnin' Hopkins // 22. I Can't Be Satisfied - Muddy Waters // 23. Three O'Clock Blues - Bobby Blue Bland // 24. That's Alright - Lightnin' Slim // 25. It's Not My Cross To Bear - The Allman Brothers Band // 26. Brooklyn Bound - The Black Keys // 27. Town To Town - G. Love & Special Sauce // 28. In My Heart - Heavy Trash // 29. Rollin' Blues - Deadstring Brothers // 30. Bitch, I Love You - Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears // 31. Keep It Hid - Dan Auerbach // 32. Gospel According To John - Soledad Brothers // 33. Work Me - The Black Keys // 34. Sao Paulo - Deadstring Brothers // 35. Ball & Biscuit - The White Stripes // 36. Clap Your Hands - The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band // 37. Keep Me - The Black Keys // 38. Big Momma - Left Lane Cruiser // 39. Salem Blues - Seasick Steve // 40. Will There Be Enough Water - The Dead Weather

Serious Delirium Gives You The Blues: Part 1 | Part 2

The Staxx Brothers - 1992 (Phone Booth Trilogy Part II)

Part II of The Phone Booth Graveyard Trilogy aka '1992'. These guys (and gals) without a doubt know how to have a silly good time, and that fun-loving attitude really shines through flawlessly in their performances. I have to wonder how exactly they collected that many god damn phone booths and where they found the robot children who put my dancing skills to shame, but above all else they give me the general feeling of wanting to throw a house party and possibly wear a fireman's helmet in case shit starts to get heavy. All jokes aside, The Staxx Brothers are extremely talented musicians who know how to lay down some real funky soulful vibes and volunteer in their spare time contributing to the online world of beard enthusiasts. What more could you possibly ask for.

...You should also check out Part I of the Phone Booth Graveyard Trilogy aka 'Oh Carolina' right HEEEEEEEERE


Sunshine Music.

It's mid-July and I am finally starting to fill up on those feel good summer vibes in the fresh NW. Feeling all sorts of excited to take on some brilliant adventures that are sure to be accompanied by a variety of short dresses, strong beverages, and long nights I might forget. As music is an essential part to any summer time festivity, I have selected for you some proper sunshine get down anthems. So go ahead and get some folks together, step outside, and try to catch some magic.


1. Surprise Hotel - Fool's Gold // 2. Wondaland - Janelle Monáe // 3. Home - LCD Soundsystem // 4. Solitude Is Bliss - Tame Impala // 5. Everlasting Light - The Black Keys // 6. Hang Me Up To Dry - Cold War Kids // 7. Lions - The Features // 8. Florida - Starfucker // 9. Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros // 10. Dance Yrself Clean - LCD Soundsystem // 11. White Knuckles - OK Go // 12. Baby - Phenomenal Handclap Band // 13. Your Sweet Boom - Jamie Lidell // 14. As Far As I Can See - Phantogram // 15. Abigail Silk - Ugly Duckling // 16. Sagaba Remix - Blue Scholars // 17. Bluebird - One Self // 18. You Know Girls - State Of The Artist // 19. Cult Logic - Miike Snow // 20. Baby - Devendra Banhart // 21. Drive On - Tyler Clarke // 22. Get Together Now Today - Buffalo Killers // 23. Early In The Morning - Harry Nilsson


Been on some kind of sabbatical... Stay up. Be magic. Love your people. Over.

- Sarah Kate


Blues-Punk fusion might be the filthiest, sexiest, rawest genre of music I have ever listened to. Bringing nonsense to a new extreme, this slide guitar, bass drum kicking duo known as Left Lane Cruiser blends traditional country blues along side southern rock & roll like its nobody's business. LLC is made up of  Freddy J. Evans IV (guitar/lead) & Brenn 'Sausage Paw' Beck (drums). The September 2009 release All You Can Eat is LLC's 2nd studio recording since signing with Alive Records (follow up to the 2008 release Bring Yo' Ass To The Table). I have fallen in love with both of these albums, and with production by the renowned Jim Diamond, who could possibly object? Though the 2006 self released Gettin' Down On It holds its own with some real heavy grimy goodness in a way the others don't compare. When it comes to Left Lane Cruiser one thing is for sure, a catastrophic amount of intoxicating rawness is headed your way, so line up the shots of whiskey and get your stomping boots on because this shit is about to get rowdy.



It has come to my attention that some of you may not be familiar with the brilliant work of The Strokes guitarist and occasional lead, Albert Hammond Jr...Hammond has put out some remarkable solo records in the past few years, 2007's Yours To Keep and 2008's ¿Cómo Te Llama? that deserve some proper recognition!
YOURS TO KEEP (2007)                   ¿COMO TE LLAMA? (2008)



Indeed, the Gorillaz are back and doing it big with the March 2010 release of Plastic Beach. Bringing together quite the list of guest appearances on this record, including Mos Def, De La Soul, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Lou Reed, Bobby Womack, and an SD favorite Little Dragon. The album is filled with all the expected eccentricity Gorillaz fans have come to know and love, really testing the minds ability to grasp their complex creative process. 

Devendra Banhart is best known for his psychedelic tendencies and South American jazz undertone. His most recent work, 'What Will We Be' is his 6th studio recording, and arguably his best to date. 2009's What Will We Be is filled with smooth summertime melodies found on the fun upbeat hits 'Baby', '16th & Valencia Roxy Music', and 'Foolin', as well as a more mellow folk influenced sound on 'Angelika', 'Goin' Back', and 'Can't Help But Smiling'. A noticeable Latin presence, provided by his Venezuelan upbringing can be heard on the tracks 'Maria Lionza', 'Walilamdzi', and 'Brindo'. Banhart has spend the last few months touring the US and is currently making his way down the West Coast throughout the next week. In case you missed his recent stop in the NW, Devendra can also be seen performing with the group Vetiver whom will be rocking the stage at Sasquatch! Festival 2010.