#17 on the 2010 Musical Bacon Calendar
Expo 86 by Wolf Parade
There was a time not so long ago when Wolf Parade annoyed the shit out of me. They came through Seattle prior to the release of their debut album, 2005’s Apologies to the Queen Mary, opening for Arcade Fire. Even though the album hadn’t come out yet, the newly-signed band had already started to create buzz thanks to the apparent strength of their eponymous EP that had been released earlier that year. I’d heard one or two songs from the EP leading into their opening gig that fateful night at the Paramount, and was anxious to see what else they could do.
They were crap. Just horrible. I’m not sure if it was my untrained ears, or if the performance was truly awful, but that’s how I remember it. From that point, no matter how many critics heaped praise on the band, I had real trouble enjoying anything they did. But slowly they’ve worked their way back into my favor, and their latest album, Expo 86 sealed the deal — they’re now a band I can officially recommend.
The band has an interesting dynamic. Two lead singers, who each write separate songs for the band to perform, each with a different aesthetic. Dan Boeckner is the more poppy of the two, writing songs with upbeat hooks that appeal to a greater audience. Spencer Krug, (my favorite and lead singer for another fave band of mine, Sunset Rubdown), is decidedly more eccentric in his song construction. They both have their moments, and it’s this duality that really makes the band something special. You can probably guess that “Yulia,” above, was penned by Boeckner.
I’m also happy to report that the band’s live show has improved dramatically. When I saw them come through Seattle this last July, the sold-out Showbox Market was giddy with excitement. Read my review here to get a better picture of what it was like, and then pick up Expo 86. It’s the good shit.
18. One Life Stand by Hot Chip
19. Big Echo by The Morning Benders
20. Here’s To Taking It Easy by Phosphorescent
21. This is Happening by LCD Soundsystem
22. The Mistress by Yellow Ostrich
23. Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter
24. Been Listening by Johnny Flynn
25. The Wild Hunt by The Tallest Man on Earth
26. Lisbon by The Walkmen
27. Scratch My Back by Peter Gabriel
28. All Day by Girl Talk
29. A Storm – A Tree – My Mother’s Head by Bobby Bare Jr.
30. 03 to TEN by Knathan Ryan
31. In This Light On This Evening by Editors