This one's a little overdue, as it's been almost three months since my last Frequent Spins. In fact, a few of these are no longer in heavy rotation, but they still deserve my recognition, despite the fact I've slacked off in this department of late.
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
This Montreal-based indie rock band's debut, Funeral, was all the rage, and I was ready to embrace them as the second coming of Neutral Milk Hotel...or something like that. Instead, I found the album to be a bit disappointing, but they've improved with subsequent releases, and The Suburbs, their third full-length is easily their best. It has been suggested to me that I give Funeral another chance, and after hearing the brilliance of their most recent work, it may be time to do just that.
Eels - Tomorrow Morning
2010 appears to be the year of Mark Oliver Everett. His band has been around for a long time, dating back to 1996's alternative radio hit "Novocaine for the Soul," but this year Eels have finally appeared on my radar with not one, but two good albums. This one is much more positively themed, but nowhere near as good, in comparison to End Times, but it's been a frequent listen of mine nonetheless.
Alejandro Escovedo - Street Songs of Love
Alejandro E. used to be a frequent inhabitant of my yearly top ten. Not anymore, but he continues to churn out good, if not great, albums, and Street Songs of Love is no exception.
Mark Olson - Many Colored Kite
The former Jayhawks co-frontman's second proper solo album is another solid effort. Norwegian vocalist Ingunn Ringvold replaces Olson's ex-wife and former Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers sidekick, Victoria Williams, in more ways than one.
Pernice Brothers - Goodbye, Killer
I don't buy nearly as many CDs as I used to—I mostly just purchase mp3s through my eMusic account—but I paid a few extra dollars to add this to my Joe Pernice compleatist collection. If you can imagine the Pernice Brothers covering the Scud Mountain Boys, this is kind of what this album sounds like to me. If you're a Pernice fan, that statement isn't much of a stretch. If not, you're probably scratching your head and wondering what the hell I'm talking about.
Ra Ra Riot - The Orchard
Easily the best band I'm aware of to come out of Syracuse, New York—although that's not saying much—Ra Ra Riot showed up on my radar when lead singer Wes Miles collaborated with Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij on the side project Discovery last year. This album doesn't blow me away, but it's a nice little orchestral pop effort from a group that has the potential to get even better.
Stars - The Five Ghosts
The second of three Canadian bands to appear in this edition of Frequent Spins, Stars consistently straddles that fine line between entirely too wussy and beautifully elegant indie pop. A great example of their penchant for over-dramatization that—for some reason—I can't get enough of, is the album's standout track, "I Died So I Could Haunt You."
Wolf Parade - Expo 86
Expo 86 is the Wolf Parade album that really proves that, while I'm a huge Spencer Krug fan, I could really take or leave Dan Boeckner. This one is not quite as strong throughout as its predecessors, with the Krug-penned material standing out the most, of course, particularly "What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had to Go This Way)," which may very well be my choice for song of the year.
MVP Elections – 2006 AL
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