Yes, I am a Tornado Chaser

Yes, I am a Tornado Chaser

Whoa…sorry I’m late. I have no explanation.

The Homework keeps on a-comin’.
Five Awesome Albums from the Last Five Years No One has ever Heard of.

Volcano! Beautiful Seizure – Mike Modene’s favorite record of the century. I’m not sure how this one got by everybody…Volcano! is by far one of the most intensely beautiful bands of the last 20 years. The Chicago trio dances around the noise-rock genre, but where contemporaries would be satisfied with angular, feedback driven guitar parts and stop-start drumming, Volcano! pile on field recordings, inane psychobabble, children’s toys, and about a dozen other odds and ends. The cherry on this 31 flavored sundae is Aaron With’s vocals, which resemble Thom Yorke if he were trained in classic Italian opera.

Jack Rose Kensington Blues – Avant guitarist Jack Rose strips down to the bone…just an old Dobro guitar. The songs lean heavily on early blues riffs and open tunings but never get cliché. Over the course of eight tracks, Rose actually makes his dexterous finger work sound easy. He doesn’t need a rhythm section, amps, or even vocals…the awesomeness of his songwriting (and that swamp fever) carry the entire record.

Isotope 217 The Unstable Molecule – Members of Tortoise and Chicago Underground playing music that sounds strangely like Tortoise and Chicago Underground. Need I say more?

The Foreign Exchange Connected – A hip-hop record that channels soul instead of just sampling it. The songs and samples loosely revolve around a budding relationship, but the verses cover all topics hip-hop, from chicks and the rap game to how dope the MCs are. My girlfriend once said it sounded like the music she listened to in middle school. Whatever. Ken Starr’s verse in “The Answer” alone is better than 10 middle schools.

Juana Molina Tres Cosas – This album is pretty. Really pretty. The songs have a slight lullaby feel built on loops of acoustic guitar and electronic beats. Molina’s voice is thick and soothing and it sounds inexplicably amazing when harmonized with itself. Add to that the fact that all the lyrics are in Spanish and you basically have the Penelope Cruz of indie records.