I didn’t realize how good music was in 2011 until I started making my year-end lists. Though I had trouble deciding just what would make the awards podium, the wealth of remarkable material is, well, remarkable. You’ll probably notice, when it’s all said and done, there are a number of high profile omissions, that says more about the quality of music this year than what may have been “lacking” in those releases–also, I didn’t want to have 30 or 40 honorable mentions in addition to a top 20. Without further ado, let’s open the flood gates with a list of EPs, splits, and LPs that were great but didn’t quite fit in my top 20. In other words, I really enjoyed these and got tired of trying to assign numbers, but felt these in need of a spotlight. (Don’t read anything into the order, it’s all alphabetical, folks.) (more…)


(screenshot from Alex Body’s “Blood Orange” video)

Alex Body is poised to stake a claim as the most consistent and prolific songwriter in Iowa City–a title currently held by Samuel Locke Ward. On Thursday, Body announced a Kanye-esque roll-out for his latest album, Cutting Down Camelot. Friday he declared that he’d release “one track every day or so” leading up to the album’s release, which “will be available on 12″ [LP] by the time [he goes] on tour.” (more…)

2010 has been a busy year for Alex Body. Back in January, he offered up his self-released, solo debut, Just Say Yes. The album, which I loved, was a major departure from the work which Body had been involved with prior. As one half of The Twelve Canon’s macabre folk sound and a regular contributor of keyboard/organ parts to Miracles of God and various Samuel Locke Ward projects, Body had shown he wasn’t treading down the normal pop music path, but Say Yes‘ dark, gothy swaths of layered synths, layered vocals and Casio-programmed drums was out of left field, even for Body.
Alex has quickly built up an impressive catalog since his January debut. I’m giving you the skinny on the three projects which followed Just Say Yes: an EP for the, sadly defunct, Des Moines label, Moist Tapes called Little Hazey [sic]; a new cassette, Chief of Time and Frequency, from Iowa City’s Night-People Records; and a self-released EP, Culture of Closed Doors. (more…)

I’m in the midst of composing a massive overview/review of Alex Body’s output (three different releases) since his solo debut, Just Say Yes, was released back in January of this year, and he went ahead and tacked one more track on the heap: “Blood Orange.”
Since he just done gone and broke us off with one more cut, I’m not going to include it in my massive 1000-word review (coming later this week), I’m just going to point you in the direction of the new track and introduce my new segment: Fresh Jamz.
“Blood Orange” chugs along more than the trippy, glitchy rhythms Body has largely embraced. The track also finds Body’s triple-tracked voice creating a unified choir rather than the crazy, dischordant structures he often featured in prior songs. Body channels some Animal Collective, tribal freak-folk with this one.

Alex Body’s been super generous of late, hooking up almost all of his tuneage for $FREE.99 on his bandcamp site. You can score “Blood Orange,” download the entirety of Just Say Yes and Little Hazey, stream his latest, Culture of Closed Doors, and cop select tracks from his recently released Night-People Records cassette, Chief of Time and Frequency at the link above. That’s a boat-load of free music to help you get into the fall mood.