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article by: Michael Canter

17 April 2012

Top 25 Spins For March 2012


This is a Listener's Poll based upon user ratings from Jivewired Radio and at Jivewired.com for the period of March 1, 2011 through March 31, 2011 inclusive. Listeners can rate songs through an application on our radio player. A minimum of 100 Total Listens for the month is required to qualify.

Total Listens is defined as the number of times a song is played times the number of listeners online when the song is aired with the number of drops (listeners who log off) subtracted.  
(Total Plays x Total Listeners) - Total Drops = Total Listens

  • You can listen to the monthly Top 25 Spins each Wednesday evening on Jivewired Radio beginning at 8 PM EST.

Our mission at Jivewired Radio: Promote indie artists and their music. The music we play on Jivewired Radio (powered by Live365) is made available to you by artists and labels. If there's a particular artist or band you really dig on, show some love; click a link, buy a LP, go to a show and spread the word.

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Songs and/or albums can be purchased by clicking on any album artwork and you can use the mini-reviews as a guideline. We've notated outside sources for content, and we hope those writers are cool with that. If not, going forward, we'll write up something for each artist.

***** PROGRAMING DISCLAIMER: Our first option is to purchase music directly from the bands included in this list and for all music played on Jivewired Radio. Jivewired buys secondarily from iTunes and Amazon where albums are not available on a band's home website or designated choice for purchase.

All linkage redirects to Amazon and iTunes because we grab album art form their websites. Where you purchase your music is your choice. We encourage you to visit each band's website to purchase music from their designated online storefront.

Listener's Poll Top 25 Spins For March 2012

01. The Sun Ain't Shining No More by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
from the album Fruit

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Combining '60s lounge-pop, commercial hip-hop and Bj√∂rk-esque vocals, Fruit is the adventurous debut album from Mette Lindberg and Lars Iversen (aka the Asteroids Galaxy Tour). Produced by the Danish duo themselves, it includes the title track single from their The Sun Ain't Shining No More EP,  The Golden Age, and Around the Bend,  which was later made famous in a TV commercial for the Apple iPod Touch.  
~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

02. Parted Ways by Heartless Bastards
from the album Arrow

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Heartless Bastards' lead singer Erika Wennerstorm has always had the type of voice that can stop traffic and mesmerize the listener, but on Arrow, the band's fourth studio release, she displays a burning intensity that wasn't quite there on previous efforts. There’s plenty of breathing room in these arrangements – acoustic guitars, solitary bass lines, ebb and flow dynamics – but it is the key addition of new members Mark Nathan, Jesse Ebaugh and Dave Colvin, plus amazing production by the band and producer Jim Eno that puts the album over the top and makes Arrow the best release of 2012 thus far.  
~ Michael Canter, Jivewired
~ Read The Review

03. Cloak And Dagger by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
from the album Out Of Frequency

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Aggressive, hip-swinging numbers like Dollars in the Night, Major, and Mafia are packed with an embarrassment of pop hooks, driven home by blistering horns and relentless beats. Cloak and Dagger wraps itself in spooky spy-movie garb, while Heart Attack achieves the bratty bounce of a vintage new wave single. Through all the sonic costume changes, Lindberg commands the spotlight, whether she’s embracing phantom lovers (Ghost in My Head) or swatting at soul-sucking aliens (Suburban Space Invader). Out of Frequency transcends mere camp by revving up its engines with dynamic production (courtesy of Lars Iverson).
~ iTunes Reviews

04. Sunglasses by Crown Imperial
from the album Crown Imperial EP

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

This EP is not only a taste of the band's Velvet Underground/Cure infused potential but also it's a tease of what could be an incredible full-length album.
~ Nathan Poppe, Look At OKC

05. The Kids Were Wrong by Memoryhouse
from the album The Slideshow Effect

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Upon first listen of The Slideshow Effect by Memoryhouse you will immediately take notice of two not-so-subtle generalizations:

  • They have an incredible knack for making each instrument sound like a heartbeat.
  • Every chord on this album resembles life's initial breath.
Having listened in full, if you walk away with that same feeling, consider yourself in the majority. For proof, the last 90-seconds of the song Heirloom is all you need. If there is indeed a mystical breath of life, then in the diffused, ambient world of chill wave, Heirloom is it.
~ Michael Canter, Jivewired
~ Read The Review

06. Contraption/Soul Desert by Thee Oh Sees
from the album Carrion Crawler

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

If you think you might skip a release by San Francisco psych-kings Thee Oh Sees now and again (they’re astoundingly prolific), you’ll reconsider when you fall into the chomping rock ’n’ roll maw of Contraption/Soul Desert. One of their finest tunes, the song exemplifies all that’s right and perfect about John Dwyer and his band of musical thugs. It careens between tense windups and arms-in-the-air freefall with furiously clamoring guitars. Menacing bass lines and double-duty drums race to the finish line (Lars Finberg of the mighty Intelligence is a second drummer on Carrion Crawler).
~ iTunes Reviews

07.  In The Dead Of Summer by Desi and Cody
from the album In The Dead Of Summer

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The duo are based out of Tulsa, OK and they are simply magnificent.  They play off each other perfectly, which on the surface isn't as easy as it seems.  Everything flows naturally without force or coerced suggestion, which is to say that the two are more of a, you know, duet, than a cheesy nightclub performing act.  They're just two artists who dig on each other personally and musically and it shows throughout their performances.  Their music does the talking and their stage interaction underscores their talent as musicians.  And the music is amazing.
~ Michael Canter, Jivewired

08.  Whirring by The Joy Formidable
from the album The Big Roar

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

This tiny trio makes music befitting the release’s title, with walls of guitars and sweeping crescendos that sound like a band twice as large. Singer/guitarist Ritzy Bryan might be small in stature but her voice delivers beautifully; reverb swathes Bryan’s guitar notes, but her brawny, unadorned vocals are well suited to tunes like the billowing The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie and the muscular Magnifying Glass.  Elsewhere, Bryan’s slightly sweeter approach adds the right touch on tracks like the shoegazy I Don’t Want to See You Like This and the irresistibly frothy Cradle, one of the highlights from Balloon. (Other tracks from that release include Austere, Whirring and The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade.)
~ iTunes Review

09.  Lonely Boy by The Black Keys
from the album El Camino
Label: Nonesuch Records

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Consider El Camino the aural equivalent of one of those Chrysler "Imported from Detroit" ads where a $47,000 car slowly rolls through one of the most devastated cities in America, a sign for 8 Mile Road glimpsed through tinted windows: the finest in luxury grit. Seedy, escapist camp, crass but expert, so expert. That they're the true victors of the 2000s garage explosion is no shock at all. Rock came back. Commerce never left.
~ Rob Harvilla, Pitchfork

10.  Balance by Future Islands
from the album On The Water

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

This Baltimore trio is as capable of ratcheting up the noise quotient as it is easing into delicate, intimate moments, and On the Water (recorded at the ocean’s edge in North Carolina) springs from the band’s gentler side. It’s a beautiful collection of songs that start and end with sounds of water and wind; in between, Sam Herring’s emotional outpourings are more heartwrenching than ever. Serving a large dose of misery spiked with a dash of hope, it may be best summed up by an interview quote from Herring: “I want you to cry.” Well, then. Mission accomplished, for many of us, anyway.
~ iTunes Review

11.  86 Me by The Wanton Looks
from the album The Wanton Looks

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

"Bad-girl harmonies (think Shangri-La’s) meet fuzzed-up guitar and relentless tempos. Sure it’s been done countless times before, but when it’s done well – with fizzy hooks and towering sing-along choruses – who can complain? Electromagnetic Force is aptly named, Demons stomps like Motorhead, the first chord on Worst Side of Me sounds like a bomb detonating."
~ Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune

And 86 Me? It's an absolute gem.  Standing on their own merits, The Wanton Looks belong.  They're worth checking out and you should go buy the song 86 Me based on this recommendation alone.  As I've said, I am so certain you'll love this song I'll Pay Pal you the purchase price if you aren't 100% satisfied.  Guaranteed.
~ Michael Canter, Jivewired

12. Hold On by Alabama Shakes
from the album Boys & Girls

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The Shakes’ musical approach is laid back — simple riffs that sway and build laid down over fertile grooves. There’s nothing elaborate and no need to be because within a few bars, Brittany Howard comes in with a voice that rattles the room and shakes the soul. Already visually arresting — it’s not often you see a bespectacled, full-figured black woman with red electric guitar strapped over her shoulder fronting a rock ‘n’ roll band — when Howard opens her mouth and sings, it’s like completing a circuit.
~ Associated Press via The Washington Journal

13.  Serpents by Sharon Van Etten
from the album Tramp

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Tramp is a study in controlled power. Soft yet muscular, vulnerable yet tough, the music moves at a languid pace while also conveying urgency and unresolved tension. Sharon Van Etten’s striking voice is the album's central feature. Her vocals are commanding throughout, resonating when surrounded by ample space (Give Out, In Line), in the midst of precise arrangements using strings, keyboards, and artful drumming (Leonard, We Are Fine), or backed by a squall of electric guitar (Serpents). Van Etten closely doubles her vocals on many tracks; by hitting two closely related notes at once, this gives her voice a haunting, ethereal quality.
~ iTunes Reviews

14.  Lost Weekend by Tiny Victories
from the album Those Of Us Still Alive

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Tiny by name but certainly not by nature. Greg Walters and Cason Kelly have produced a larger than life sound with their debut EP Those Of Us Still Alive. Combining a diverse collection of sounds, the duo collectively known as Tiny Victories created a five track project that sounds as though it’s powered by the sun. From soaring vocals and high powered hooks to sci-fi centric synth riffs and digitized beats, it’s quite hard to peg what exactly their sound is. Whatever label you want to apply to it, though, there’s no escaping the fact it’s good.  Really good.
~ The Wild Honeypie

15.  Friends Of Friends by Hospitality
from the album Hospitality

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

With its eponymous debut album, the Brooklyn, N.Y., trio Hospitality succeeds in building a new sound from templates laid down in the '90s. The sprightly rhythms and guitar strumming of Eighth Avenue recall indie bands like Heavenly, Camera Obscura, and Tiger Trap, but singer Amber Papini’s sophisticated phrasing and unique vocal timbre keep the song sounding fresh. The standout tune Friends of Friends reworks twee pop by forging slightly harder seams around the edges while flirting with proggy arrangements and New York–flavored sax lines.
~ iTunes Reviews

16. The Walk by Mayer Hawthorne
from the album  How Do You Do

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Overall, How Do You Do does not deviate from its predecessor, as its maker crafts a mostly upbeat recording that vacillates between high- and mid-tempo speeds, saturated in nostalgic allure and full of comprehensive tales of romantic struggle and perseverance. It moves quickly and travels comfortably, gliding safely along the rails as it moves through sonic space. Hawthorne’s voice also sounds richer here, even if that’s tough to appreciate due to the album’s hurried tempo – the singer is at his best when the pace is slowed and the backdrop is subtle. Still, How Do You Do is another solid step in the right direction for Hawthorne, who shows that soul music is universal and devoid of colour, as we all can relate to difficulties and heartbreak.
~ Marcus J. Moore, BBC

17. La Grande by Laura Gibson
from the album La Grande

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Oregon-based folk singer Laura Gibson captures both a sweeping southwest-U.S. loneliness (courtesy of Calexico's Joey Burns, among the culprits) and a beguiling seductive nightclub romance with tunes that linger on the borders of jazz pop.
~ iTunes Review

18.  Simple Song by The Shins
from the album Point Of Morrow

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Despite all the hullabaloo about band members getting "fired," the fact is that James Mercer isn't a member of the Shins-- he is the Shins, and he always has been. In a recent interview, he expressed his frustration over how to represent that specificity: "Bands I really loved were these auteurs who presented themselves as bands-- Neutral Milk Hotel, the Lilys-- and I just felt, 'Why am I not allowed to do that?'" Consider Port of Morrow, then, the results of an auteur's accepting that role while having a load of fun with his friends in order to realize it. Comeback stories don't get much better than that.
~ Larry Fitzmaurice, Pitchfork

19.  One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane's Boyfriend) by Wilco
from the album The Whole Love

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Amiably skronky, seven-minute kitchen-sink opener Art of Almost aside, there is a concerted effort to mothball the experimental tangents of recent years in favor of laconic twang, organ-driven garage pop, and tempered balladry. This is not to say there aren't moments of dissonance -- 
"I kill my memories with a cheap disease," goes the psych-lite lament Sunloathe -- but now Tweedy's showing off his journal, not his record collection. Dad's never cooler than when he's not trying to be.
 ~ Spin Magazine

20.  Old Friend by Caveman
from the album Coco Beware

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Much in the tradition of the greatly reverbed Arcade Fire, Brooklyn's Cavemen wander into the studio with what would be folk-rock in a less technologically enhanced era. The keyboards beg for the apocalypse of new wave and post-punk (check the instrumental Vampirer) at the deep end. Yet the melodies dream of rock 'n' roll radio, back when it was still on the AM band. There's a yearning jangle to Old Friend that would slot it comfortably onto a George Harrison solo album.
~ iTunes Review

21. Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye (feat. Kimbra)
from the album Making Mirrors

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Gotye's fans are a patient bunch. The Belgium-born (and Melbourne-raised) musician also known as Wally de Backer took a lengthy five years between 2006’s Like Drawing Blood and 2011’s Making Mirrors. During this half-decade, Gotye was making music with Aussie indie-pop trio The Basics.   Somebody That I Used To Know is a dazzling standout single; Gotye duets with New Zealand R&B singer Kimbra, who lends her velvety voice on this quirky, catchy breakup song.
~ iTunes Review

22.  Some Nights by fun.
from the album Some Nights

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Whether or not you like Some Nights, there is no doubt that fun. is about to leave their mark upon the mainstream. It’s the bold, adventurous and grandiose album that the Top 40 charts needs right now. With the radio vomiting out songs that sound like remixes of remixes, it’ll be refreshing to hear Nate Ruess’ voice pour out of those speakers. Don’t be surprised if we see Ruess, Dost and Antonoff on the Staples Center stage accepting the “Best New Artist” Grammy award a year from now. And if that happens to be the case, I’m calling dibs on whothefuckisfun.tumblr.com right now.
~ Drew Beringer, Absolute Punk

23.  Lonesome by Dr. Dog
from the album Be The Void

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

There’s an energetic, first-take feel to Dr. Dog’s seventh release, Be the Void. Starting with the jangly roots-pop of “Lonesome,” the band careens with joyous abandon across a sprawling rock ‘n’ roll landscape. The delivery may be loose, but the songs are tightly crafted, filled with effortless hooks, warm vocal harmonies, and enough absurdist wordplay to leave Beck scratching his head.
~ iTunes Review

24.  Dead Sea by The Lumineers
from the album The Lumineers

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The debut from this Colorado crew basically argues that a bunch of Americans can lead slowly-accelerating lovelorn singalongs just as well as UK yankophile Marcus Mumford, bringing fiddle scratching, marching-band snare rolls, parlor-room piano chords, and Kingston Trio guitar strumming to an album that’s long on nostalgic reverie.  But the central concern is present-tense lust and heartache, which this spirited band translates into a fine drunk-clogging soundtrack.
~ Rolling Stone Magazine 

25. QueenS by THEEsatisfaction
from the album awE naturalE

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Splicing Hip Hop polemics into cool Lounge (with a roaring fire and cocktails) fodder, awE naturalE has the earmarks of progressive two a.m. musings. Its seamless integration of jazzy lounge with hip-hop and sexy strands is spiked by variety (Juiced is completely instrumental; several tracks feature male vocals). It’s not easy to pack so much intelligence and ingenuity into music that initially comes across as “easy listening.” That Irons and Harris-White seem to be on a path to international stardom (especially, and not surprisingly, via Europe; their April tour destination) seems… natural. THEEsatisfaction is knitting a new Afro-feminist template that’s colored by the rich threads of activism from the ‘70s-forward.
~ My Old Kentucky Blog

Fifteen That Just Missed:

26. Emmylou by First Aid Kit
27. Inside Jokes by Wally Dogger
28. Roll Like A Big Wheel by Joan Osborne
29. Eighth Street by Hospitality
30. Simple Feeling by Heartless Bastards
31. I Belong In Your Arms by Chairlift
32. Soft by Washed Out
33. Say Goodbye by Amos Lee
34. Too Far Gone by Jared Lekites (feat. KC Clifford)
35. Home by Whitney Mann
36. Gettin' Tired by Shannon Labrie
37. Easy Come Easy Go by Great Lake Swimmers
38. Look The Other Way by Justin Townes Earle
39. Gift Of Gab by Protocol
40. Bear by Grace Woodroofe

See Also: Mike's Picks For 2011

*Note: Listening statistics are provided by Live365 as part of our contractual agreement as a Pro Station Broadcaster. Jivewired currently has a total of 23,541 songs in our library that are played randomly at any given time, with about 2,500 songs programmed for airplay in any given month.

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