Date Archives December 2007

Happy New Year!

It’s 3 hours till 2008 here in LA, and I wanted to wish everyone a happy new year! This year has been pretty amazing, especially concerning Kitsune Noir. I want to thank you all for reading and supporting this, I never thought it would turn out like this.

Next year I have several surprises up my sleeves, one which should pop up around February or March that should make everyone pretty happy! I’m sooooo excited for it and I can’t wait to unveil it!

Everyone be safe, and here’s to another great year!


Kitsune Noir’s 7 Favorite Albums of 2007

The year is almost over, so I thought I’d share my absolute favorite albums of the year with everybody. Over the course of the year I think I’ve listened to nearly 100 albums, and with such a huge selection of music to choose from, it was pretty difficult to come up with a list of my favorite 7 albums.

This was definitely one of the best years for music that I’ve ever experienced, and I’m sure that I could have easily made a list of my favorite 25 or 50 albums. I can only hope that 2008 is just as amazing, but that might not be possible. So many bands released an album this year, that there may not be any good new albums next year. Hopefully I’m wrong, or hopefully a slew of new bands will come around and surprise me.

Anyhow, here are my 7 favorite albums of 2007:

7) Jens Lekman / Night Falls Over Kortedala

The first time I heard Jens Lekmans’ Night Falls Over Kortedala, I immediately knew that this was going to be one of my favorite albums of the year. Overall, the album is extremely cohesive, and I absolutely adore every song on it. His song writing is still filled with longing, melancholy, and the problems with love, but his songs are cheerier than previous albums and you feel genuinely happy listening to them.

My favorite songs on the album are Sipping on the Sweet Nectar, A Postcard to Nina, Your Arms Around Me, Shirin (lyrics from this song gave the idea to the cover of the album), and the last song, Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo. This album definitely brings Jens Lekman into the forefront of indie pop music, and I can’t wait to get a chance to see him live.

6) Panda Bear / Person Pitch

If there was one album on this list that summed up the summer of 2007, it would definitely be Person Pitch by Panda Bear. Person Pitch mixed the weird randomness of Lennox’s main project, Animal Collective, with the laid back vibrations of the Beach Boys. The album ended up being a brilliant fusion of the two, creating a truly amazing album filled with hypnotic, droning vocals, and 70’s sounding drums and jangly guitars.

My favorite tracks on this album are definitely Bros and Good Girls/Carrots. Bros seems a bit redundant and repeating, but I don’t get sick of it no matter how many times I hear it. This will be a classic for years and years to come.

5) Beirut / The Flying Club Cup

Number 5 on the list falls to Beirut who in that last two years has come out with two albums and an EP, all of which got better and better as they came. This year he released The Flying Club Cup, expanding upon his Balkan/European sounds and making a happier, less morose sounding album compared to his first release, Gulag Orkestar. On this album he was also joined by Owen Pallet, who musically goes by the name of Final Fantasy. Pallet contributed not only string arrangements to the album, but also vocals to the song Cliquot, one of the best on the album.

I was able to see Beirut live a few months back, and impressively, they sounded even better live. It seems to me like it would be pretty hard to replicate the sounds of their albums live, but they ended up playing incredibly. Listening to this album makes me even more excited for their next, whenever that maybe coming out. My favorite songs on the album are Nantes, Cliquot (as I said before), Forks and Knives, and Cherbourg.

4) Voxtrot / Voxtrot

I’d been a fan of Voxtrot’s for a while and I enjoyed their EPs, but they were definitely due for a formal album. When the self-titled release came out I popped it in and listened to the first song, aptly titled Introduction. I can’t remember the last time I heard such a strong opening song on an album. Ramesh Srivastava’s vocals are almost perfect, and the build-up of the song is amazing, getting you ready for near-perfect album. There are a couple of songs I’m not completely in love with, but overall it’s really easy to listen to the album all the way through.

My favorite songs on the album are Introduction, Stephen, and the last song, Blood Red Blood. However amazingly the album starts, Blood Red Blood is an even better way to end the album. Take all of the energy and emotion from the entire album and put it into one song and you get Blood Red Blood. Like I said about Beirut, I can’t wait for Voxtrot’s next album, although they must avoid the dreaded sophmore slump.

3) The Thrills / Teenager

The Thrills newest album, Teenager, was one that really surprised me. Their last two albums have had a couple of stellar songs on it, but overall they lacked a punch. But somehow they pulled themselves together and came out with an amazingly cohesive album that doesn’t have a song on it that I don’t like. I’m slightly in love with Conor Deasy’s vocals, which are kind of raspy and sexy, though he doesn’t sound Irish at all. Most of the songs on the album are about youth and love, but I could definitely relate to everything, even at the ripe old age of 25.

My favorite songs on the album are Nothing Changes Round Here, Restaurant (which gets me a little emotional, haha…), and Teenager. To me, this album has very few flaws in it, though some of the songs can sound a little repetitive. But obviously this doesn’t bother me, as it’s my third favorite album of the year. Also of note, the cover of the album is really amazing, especially the multi-colored title of the album. I’d totally hang the record on my wall.

2) Radiohead / In Rainbows

This album by far was the biggest question mark on the musical landscape this year. It’s been four years since Radiohead’s less-than-thrilling release of Hail to the Thief, I wasn’t really sure how this album was going to turn out. But things started to get exciting when the band stated that the album was coming out in 10 days, and it would be released online for whatever price you wanted to pay. This perked the ears and opened the eyes of pretty much everyone, though it didn’t give any hint as to how the album would be.

Thankfully, In Rainbows ended up being amazing. The sound of it was all over the place, taking from jazz, punk, even a song that sounds vaguely like Broken Social Scene. Even the second disc, which was included with the limited edition box set, turned out to be great as well. My favorite songs on the album are Nude, Jigsaw Falling Into Place, and Videotape. Radiohead is supposed to tour in 2008, which is extremely exciting to think about. I’ve seen them twice so far, first around the time Kid A came out, and then after Hail to the Thief came out. The first time was amazing, the second time was disappointing. The third time will hopefully be amazing yet again.

1) The Clientele / God Save The Clientele

After much internal struggle, I decided that my favorite album of the entire year of 2007 was… God Save The Clientele by The Clientele. It feels like kind of a weird choice, but I feel like it was the catchiest, best produced, most diverse, easiest to listen to record of the year. I can honestly say that every song on the album is amazing, ranging from upbeat, to really mellow. The album feels like it fits any season, or anytime, no matter what your mood may be. It’s filled with melodies that sound like they came from the 60’s and Alasdair MacLean’s vocals have never sounded dreamier.

It’s hard to narrow down which songs on the album are my favorites, because honestly every song on the album has something really amazing about it. But if I had to narrow it down, I’d say I Hope I Know, From Brighton Beach to Santa Monica, Winter on Victoria Street, The Queen of Seville, No Dreams Last Night, and Bookshop Cassanova. Like I said, this song is filled with such great music it’s hard to say what’s best.

Definitely buy this album. I can’t imagine that anyone could hate this album, unless their favorite band is Slipknot, then maybe.


Where The Wild Things Are Teaser Image

Happy holidays to everyone! Sorry posting has been basically nil, but family and friends have taken a priority over the blog for now. I hope everyone has been having a good holiday so far!

This morning I was able to go through my links for the first time in a while and noticed over on Friend & Stranger that there was a new teaser image for Spike Jonze’s Where The Wild Things Are! IMDB says it’s not going to come out until October of 2008, which makes me pretty bummed out. But seeing the photo above, with the actors in 9 foot tall costumes, makes me absolutely giddy. This should (hopefully) be one of the best movies to come out next year.


Astonishing X-Men Covers by John Cassady

I was cleaning up last night and came across a big stack of comic books and I thought I’d post these. These are four alternate covers from Astonishing X-men, and I absolutely love them. The artwork is by John Cassaday, whom I’ve already ooo’ed and aww’ed over, but these covers are like comic book pop art. It would be so cool if Marvel made prints of these, I would certainly buy them.


Photos of Branch Co-Founder Paul Donald’s Home

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how small my apartment is (we’re talking 200 sq. ft.), and even though it’s just me, I would really like to find a new place to move. Then I was looking over at Design•Sponge, and came across these photos of Paul Donald’s apartment in San Francisco. Paul is one of the co-founders of Branch Home, a really cute online store filled with really awesome stuff.

I became insanely jealous of how beautiful his place is. It’s simple, modern and warm looking. It’s completely inspired me to move out of my present apartment and to find a new place in the new year. Plus it’s always nice to have a change of scenery, though the background will definitely still be Los Angeles.


David Byrne Interviews Thom Yorke

Wired posted a really great interview last night between Radiohead frontman Thom York and ex-Talking Heads guru David Byrne. The interview is conducted by Byrne who asks Thom Yorke some really great questions about the new record and all of the ins and outs about it. My favorite part was when they talked about how much many In Rainbows had actually made, which certainly surprised me:

Byrne: Are you making money on the download of In Rainbows?

Yorke: In terms of digital income, we’ve made more money out of this record than out of all the other Radiohead albums put together, forever — in terms of anything on the Net. And that’s nuts.

I still think it’s funny that people tried to naysay that their little experiment wouldn’t work, or that they wouldn’t really make any money off it. But reportedly they made $3 million on this album, which is all their’s. No record label to take any portion of it.
Be sure to read the article, and there are also audio clips of the interview, as well as the weird live performance they did with cameras strapped to bicycle helmets.


Baggu Reusable Bags

On my way into work this morning I stopped by Trader Joe’s to buy some food for breakfast and lunch. On my way out, for some reason, I got kind of a guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach, as I walked to my car with a paper bag filled only with bananas, a quart of milk, and a mini pizza. I realized that I didn’t really need this paper bag, I only had three things, it was kind of a waste. I remembered Jean over at Notcot featuring a bunch of really cool reusable bags, as she went slightly crazy finding all of the coolest bags in the world. I skimmed through them all, and I decided that my favorite are definitely the ones made by Baggu.

Baggu was created by a mother and daughter team who were looking for an alternative to disposable bags, that would work for either a city or suburban lifestyle. The bags themselves are made of nylon, and can support 25 lbs. each. What I like about them is that they aren’t girly, they come in 13 different colors, and are only $8 a piece, though you get discounts the larger the quantity you order. I think I’m going to get the 3 pack and try them out, so I’ll let everyone know how they do.


‘Astral Body Church’ by Pleix

Pleix is at it again with their new video installation, Astral Body Church, which involves bodybuilders with the faces of old people, who seem to be miming psuedo-religious imagery. The slide show of images played at the Saint-Eustache church in Paris, which definitely makes the whole project a bit more interesting. I have to say the idea is pretty weird and random, but seeing the images blow up like that on the windows of the church is pretty spectacular.

Be sure to visit Pleix’s site to some really amazing images from the event.

Found through Computerlove