December 31, 2009

On the Beat: Top 20 Albums of '09

Peter Bjorn & John live at The Theatre of Living Arts. It was a big year for the Swedish bunch, as their "Living Things" CD was among the top records of the year.
It was a good year for music. No new trends - just piggy backs off the fresh musical habits made to be popular last year. Still, solid records all around. Hip-hop made a return to my year-end wrap-up. Electronic had a strong year. So did just-about-pop indie rock.
Here's On the Beat's Top 20 albums of the year in no particular order:
The Juan MacLean - The Future Will Come
Silversun Pickups - Swoon
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
La Roux - La Roux
Felt - Felt 2: A Tribute to Rosie Perez
Boys Noize - Power
Doom - Born Like This
Esoteric - Saving Seamus Ryan
N.A.S.A. - Spirit of Apollo
Dr. Doom 2 - Dr. Doom (Kool Keith)
Franz Ferdinand - Tonight
Peaches - I Feel Cream
Passion Pit - Manners
Peter Bjorn & John - Living Things
Simian Mobile Disco - Temporary Pleasure
The Sounds - Crossing the Rubicon
The Very Best - Warm Heart of Africa
Major Lazer - Guns Don't Kill People ... Lazers Do!
Maserati - Passages
TigerCity - LP1

On the Beat: Top 30 Songs of '09

Lissy Trullie
Wow ... 30 good songs in one year? Not bad for the end of the decade.
What I tried to do was list my favorite songs of the year - not necessarily the most popular - but the tracks that got me going. If you want any, let me know (, I'll shoot you some free mp3s.
Here it is in no particular order:
Hold The Line - Major Lazer
Just a Friend - Lissy Trullie
Bulletproof - La Roux
God of Rap - Dr. Doom
Governmentalist - Joss Stone feat. Nas
Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
She Wolf - Shakira
Baltic Pine - Boy 8-Bit
Audacity of Huge - Simian Mobile Disco
Raindrops - Basement Jaxx
No You Girls - Franz Ferdinand
Dollaz & Sense - Blakroc
Heartbreaker - MSTRKRFT
Too Many Rappers - Beastie Boys feat. Nas
There's No Secret This Year - Silversun Pickups
Gazillion Ear - Doom
So Human - Lady Sovereign
Bang - Rye Rye
One Day - The Juan MacLean
Creeping Out Sara - NoFX
Bad Moon Rising - Wolfmother
Heads Will Roll - The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
BanGer - AC Slater
Love the Night Away - DJ Kaos
Fake Gold - TigerCity
No One Sleeps When I'm Awake - The Sounds
It Don't Move Me - Peter Bjorn & John
Might Like You Better - Amanda Blank
The Reeling - Passion Pit
Warm Heart of Africa - The Very Best

On the Beat Dec. 31-Jan. 6

Kelly Carvin

“Mistletoe,” the award-winning area singer-songwriter’s just released holiday warmer, belongs on one of those Christmas coffeehouse collection CDs. According to Carvin, who’s headlining the free New Year’s Eve party at Hamilton Lanes (1200 Kuser Road, Hamilton) tonight, the song is “about how life changes like the seasons do and we need to flow with it like how you would just kiss someone under the mistletoe.” “It just happens,” Carvin says, “why think about it or try to explain it?” The perfect sitting-by-fire-sipping-coco-with-a-special-someone-tune, “Mistletoe” features holiday bells, girlie harmonies and a lyrical map that shows off Carvin’s sweet and spiritual side. Show starts at 10. 18-plus.


The beat selector spins in the next decade at Championships Sports Bar and Grill (931 Chambers St., Trenton) tonight at 8. The “Good Riddance” party runs till 5 a.m. Tickets cost $5 and that includes a bunch of New Year’s Eve discounts and goodies. 21-plus.

Paul Green School of Rock

Get jealous of these kid-rockers-in-training. At the start of its all-star team’s Holiday Tour ’09, Yes’ Jon Anderson greeted the teens backstage during sound check. The British prog-God was brought in as a “guest professor” in preparation for their Philly show at the Trocadero – instructing a couple of Paul Green’s prodigies to not be so “noisy” when passing between rhythm and lead guitars. The tour - which ran up and down the east coast throughout December - concludes with a New Year’s Eve bash tonight at Asbury Lanes (209 4th Ave., Asbury Park). Show starts at 8. Tickets cost $10. All-ages.

Footage of a Yeti

The Queens death-metalers get the head-banging going with neck-snapping breakdowns and creature-conjuring devil screams. Sounds like a hell-ride through “The Devil’s Rejects” if the movie took place in Jigsaw’s basement of barbed wire. Featured on the MINOtour with Hallow Ties, the foursome shakes the walls of Championships Sports Bar and Grill (931 Chambers St., Trenton) on Saturday afternoon. Show starts at 2. A Dream Worth Dying For, The Crowning, I Am Forever and The Goodnight Armada open. Tickets cost $10. All-ages.


The pulsating instrumental dementia delivered by these Trenton/Philly metal mentalists explores an infatuation with doom-driven grinds constructed to bite you in the ass with hammering guitar and drums just as you get lassoed in by the dreamy jazz elements found in the opening minutes of their songs. The thunder clappers - who place elements of Isis, Russian Circles and Neurosis in its sonic projectiles – play their first show since May at Championships Sports Bar and Grill (931 Chambers St., Trenton) on Saturday night. They’re will be new songs to digest, too. Show starts at 9. Prog rockers Holluck Rex and Entelechy open. Tickets cost $8. 21-plus.

Driver Side Impact

The Cleveland emo rockers – think Taking Back Sunday or Jimmy Eat World – leave no frown upside down at The Court Tavern (124 Church St., New Brunswick) Saturday night. Victory Records. Show starts at 8. American Living, Further North and Kickdown Kickdown round out the bill. Tickets cost $8. 21-plus.

Montagna & the Mouth to Mouth

Indie-folk space distortion a la vintage Flaming Lips, Sebedoh and Pavement, and breathy song structuring in a Band of Horses sort-of-way make this Asbury Park group a band to keep your eye on. Also sounds like Bright Eyes, but heavier on percussion, weirdo sound additives and go-go boots. The eight-piece open for .448 at Asbury Lanes (209 4th Ave., Asbury Park) on Saturday. Show starts at 8 p.m. Chemtrail and The Obvious round out the bill. Tickets cost $8. 18-plus.

The Loved Ones

Pop-punk royalty in Philly through its associations with Kid Dynamite and Paint It Black, Dave Hause and company “find the will to survive” by playing a few shows during the holidays – including Wednesday night at Asbury Lanes (209 4th Ave., Asbury Park) - as each member works on their quieter solo recordings. Hause did his dusty-country acoustic thing when opening for AFI twice in November and last week with the Bouncing Souls at the Stone Pony, and is expected to drop a solo record sometime in 2010. Show starts at 8. Trenton’s The Great Explainer (The Roskoes) and New Brunswick’s Let Me Run open. Tickets cost $10 in advance, $12 at the door. All-ages.

Scott Frost’s On The Beat concert listing appears in The Trentonian every Thursday. If your band is playing around town, email the On the Beat web line at

December 30, 2009

Hey Ladies: The Top Girls of the '09

People know I love girls – a lot. And the only thing I find more appealing than the beauty of the female race, is when woman take control. And 2009 brought plenty of that.

- Scott Frost “On The Beat”


Just by the way she crawled across the monitor on Saturday Night Live a few months back showed me just how talented the Columbian bombshell is. And with the electronic production on "She Wolf" - and the slinky lead single - I could no longer press the mute button when her videos appear. Growl!

Rye Rye

Still waiting for a proper release - “Go! Pop! Bang!” was set to drop in March – the reigning queen of B-More still got dance floors around the world gyrating with “Bang.” She appeared at Coachella with MIA, but was dropped from the All Points West lineup and a tour with A-Trak presumably because she was pregnant. Guessing we’ll see her on this list next year, too.


Ms. Nisker retracted the claws in dropping a solid electro-centric record for the ’09, “I Feel Cream.” The ranch remained while the hyper-clash approach – and production from Simian Mobile Disco and Soulwax – smoothed-up her usual grime. Peaches’ synchronized rhyme flow on the record was also a welcome attraction.

Lea Michele

The raven-haired half-Jew and her bratty, over-anxious, ultra competitive, villainous, stuck-up-on-speed portrayal of Rachel is easily the most appealing part of “Glee” – the biggest guilty pleasure on TV nowadays. But she’s pretty hot, too, and way more attractive then those bimbo Cheerios. And somehow I was hoping she’d end up bed with that football douche, Terry. Yes, I watch. God knows I feel dirty about it. But I watch with one eye on my school work – promise.

Nikki Monninger

She plays bass in Silversun Pickups – and sings a little back up – but that’s about it.

So how does she make this list, you ask? Well, “Swoon” is an awesome album that should be revered forever – and at least one indie-rock nerd babe should make this list every year. And Jenny Lewis has done nothing this year. So there you have it.

Natalie White

Hot and a million dollars richer. Nice, right? Actually it was the way she won “Survivor: Samoa” that was so memorable. Based solely on his game play, manipulation and his ability to find numerous hidden immunity idols with few clues, the hated Russell Hantz seemed like the obvious winner. But even though it looked like White was using the millionaire oil tycoon as a shield, it was White who pulled off the biggest move in the game. With her Foa Foa down in numbers heading into the merge, White befriended Hantz’s heated revival, Laura, and was able to convince her Galu tribe to vote out Eric (who nobody knew was holding a hidden immunity idol). It was the shift in the game Foa Foa needed to send three on that tribe to the finals. In the meantime, White looked super sexy the whole time and was easy to like with that southern charm. Even when she bashed that rat in the head and ate it. Yum, indeed.

Nattie “Natalya” Neidhart

Ok, so she’s built like a midget linebacker. And yes her dad is Jim “The Anvil,” so the WWE diva will probably grow out the Billy-goat beard in her old age. But of all the ladies in Vince Mac’s corner, Natalya is quite the performer in the ring. That, and she’s part of the Hart bloodline, so it’s easy to cheer for anyone related to my favorite performer of the ’90s, Uncle Bret. Not a Bella Twin by any means, her womanly curves is still neatly positioned on her muscular 5-5 frame. So I’m ready for my camel clutch any day now, my lady.

Megan Fox

The Hollywood starlet is too hot for David Silver - period! Didn’t see “Transformers 2” or “Jennifer’s Body” and didn’t need to, to see she’s the most babelious chick in Boner City.

Elly Jackson

The girl lead in Brit synth-pop duo La Roux became one of the most recognized faces in the blog universe in 2009 because - simply put – all their songs are perfect. Sure they’re throwbacks to ’80s new wave, but Jackson’s songs are powerful and pretty at the same time. Finally a short-haired indie diva for use music nerds that’s we’re not afraid to dance to.

Lissy Truille

Maybe you’ll hear more from this New York ex-model in 2010, but her debut, “Self-Taught Learner,” is a super record. Could have been the darling covers of Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend” and Hot Chip’s “Ready On the Floor” that got me hooked. But that’s OK for this list.

Karen O

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs leading lady’s art-house chic went diva in 2009. Actually, she stayed weird and continued to dress awkward, but turned up the volume to arena levels on “It’s Blitz!” – the New York trio’s best and most disco danceable record yet – as the world’s regulars started to take notice. Still no top 10 hit, but a festival headliner. And that’s the way Karen – who also penned the lead track to “Where the Wild Things Are” - tends to like it.

Lady Sovereign

“Jigsaw,” the self-proclaimed biggest midget in the galaxy’s sophomore CD, was not the best record of 2009. But it did spit a few parting shots at her adversaries while proving the Brit rap tomboy never needed to hide those vocal harmonies behind a knickers and that infamous snarl.

Caroline Martial

Another model-turned-lead-squealer, the French fly girl in electro-clash outfit Kap Bambino could snatch the queen of sleaze title from Peaches. The music is more intense and in-your-face, and Martial’s wild live shows have been considered legendary in Europe.

Kaley Cuoco
The perfect girl-next-door for the geeks in “The Big Bang Theory,” Cuoco – in her thir
d season playing Penny – features the sexiest blank look on TV. The glue to the show, Cuoco is so good at her ditsy, blonde, struggling actress with horrible taste for mindless muscle men role that it’s actual believable that after so many bad relationships such a babe would fall for the hopelessly-but-brilliant nerd-next-door, Leonard. Score one for the good guys. Sucks that it’s still just a TV show.
Emma Stone

No one looked so good killing the living dead than this 21-year-old “Zombieland” star.

Jules (as in the dream girl from “Superbad”) has grown up before our eyes – and the redhead looked mighty fine armed in those stiletto boots and sexy pout. Another actress in the “could-be-my-girlfriend” label. Then I woke up.

Joss Stone

The Brit soul revivalist canned her record label, went indie and released a solid fourth album, “Colour Me Free!” for 2009. Vintage on the jazz and R&B front, Ms. Stone finally shook that gimmick label that’s haunted her for years.

Amanda Blank

The Philly spank rocker dropped some of the more vulgar lyrics heard from a female emcee in 2009 on “I Love You” – further proving gutter music was invented to destroy dance floors and male egos.