12/2/2012, 8:17pm

Matt on Music: Top 5 songs of 2012 from disappointing albums

This year, I was more fascinated with singles and individual songs than I ever have been before. Thankfully, I did this without losing my love of albums as full pieces. But, there is a certain charm to great singles and hidden gems resting in albums that aren’t good as a whole. So, these are the year’s five best choice cuts.

12/2/2012, 8:13pm

Weekend jamming creates Congress

It was approximately 10:45 on a gray Saturday morning in January 2011 when Jim Cherewick, Eric Gallippo, Ed Golembiewski and Aaron Quillen met at Ypsilanti’s Hen House and wrote six songs. This was the day that Congress was officially born.

11/28/2012, 10:46pm

Matt on Music: Donald Fagen's 'Sunken Condos'

Of all the “greatest bands of all time,” Steely Dan has always been one of the more bizarre ones. Featuring two core members, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, and backed by studio musicians, Steely Dan is a jazz-rock band that formed in the ’70s. What differentiates them from most jazz-rock bands is Fagen and Becker’s keen understanding of both jazz and rock, as well as their perfectionist recording style (my favorite Steely Dan album, “Katy Lied,” is famously hated by the two due to its supposedly poor sound quality).

11/25/2012, 7:25pm

Matt on Music: Rhett Miller's 'The Dreamer'

Since this has been such a disappointing year for music, it figures that country music would suffer. There are normally only three or four very good country albums in a good year so, in a year like 2012, it’s practically hopeless.

11/25/2012, 6:42pm

The Vagrant Symphony celebrates 9th anniversary with show at Blind Pig

It’s been nine years since the idea for local outfit The Vagrant Symphony was formed on Eastern Michigan University’s campus in 2003. Chris “Chewy” Anderson, the founder, Joe O’Dell, the 12th member, Alexis King, the 13th member and Bennie Phinisee, the 14th member, are the backbone of the giant psychedelic folk band that’ll be celebrating its ninth anniversary in December.

11/18/2012, 8:05pm

Go Radio to promote latest release in Detroit Nov. 25

Crafting a song with both a catchy melody and meaning involves a great deal of skill. While many of the artists currently topping the charts seem to specialize in pumping out hit after soulless hit, Florida-based band Go Radio has mastered the art of creating music that is as meaningful as it is singable.

11/18/2012, 8:02pm

Matt on Music: Thanksgiving playlist

It’s Thanksgiving, a time to be thankful for and appreciate all the people and things you love. As a music fan, I am probably going to spend Thanksgiving the way I spend most of my free time: listening to records.

11/14/2012, 8:26pm

Matt on Music: Imperial Teen's 'Feel the Sound'

As somebody who loves indie music as pop, I appreciate tunesmith bands like Vampire Weekend, Spoon and The Hold Steady more than supposed musical innovators like Animal Collective and Sigur Ros. By this measure, Imperial Teen is one of the purest indie bands around, and also one of the best.

11/7/2012, 10:30pm

Matt on Music: Kendrick Lamar's 'good kid, m.A.A.d city'

Every year, regardless of how flaky the music industry seems, it has a key album or two for every music fan. Since 2008, every year has brought at least one album I consider nearly perfect. In 2008, it was Vampire Weekend’s debut, in 2009 it was the self-titled “The Pains of Being Pure at Heart,” 2010 brought both Robyn’s “Body Talk” and Avi Buffalo’s self-titled album and 2011’s was Wussy’s “Strawberry.”

11/4/2012, 10:03pm

Eagle Radio takes requests this week

The great thing about radio is that, depending on the station, it can play new music or a favorite genre of music. Unlike an iPod, where you end up hearing the same songs over and over again (don’t kid yourself—you may claim you’re always updating your music, but you’re still skipping the same songs), radio has the potential to play music you would have otherwise not listened to.

11/4/2012, 10:01pm

Matt on Music: Divine Fits

There’s a charm to side-projects, but that doesn’t mean they’re generally more than just something for musicians to do before their main attraction releases something new. That’s why it’s so impressive when one turns out really well. Divine Fits is one such case.

10/31/2012, 11:15pm

Matt on Music: Saint Etienne

This year has been hard on the guitar. If Decca Records had said, “Guitar groups are on their way out” in 2012 rather than 1962, it would have seemed a lot more reasonable.

10/24/2012, 9:57pm

Matt on Music: P!nk's 'The Truth About Love'

Things have been going well for P!nk since “Funhouse.” Things improved with her husband, she had a baby girl, and she decided that she wanted P!nk, previously just a stylization, to be her official name.

10/21/2012, 6:59pm

Matt on Music: Top 007 James Bond theme songs

I was a James Bond fan before I was a music fan. A lot of the first songs I remember liking are from the James Bond movies. From the John Barry scores to the title songs, almost every track from these films is ingrained in my mind. However, they just don’t seem quite as awesome as they did when I was a kid.

10/17/2012, 10:19pm

Matt on Music: Corin Tucker Band

In the ‘90s, the music world evolved. Indie and alternative were becoming more mainstream, and feminism was making its way into rock ‘n’ roll.

10/10/2012, 11:43pm

Matt on Music: Azealia Banks

Many musical artists broke into the industry last year. Adele became the biggest artist on the radio, while Frank Ocean’s “Nostalgia, Ultra” mix tape made him the biggest hit with critics.

10/10/2012, 11:35pm

EMU wind symphony to host concert Sunday

Can they sing with all the voices of the mountain, or paint with all the colors of the wind? Well, no, Eastern Michigan University’s Music and Dance Department does not have the ability to mimic Disney’s “Pocahontas.” But EMU’s Wind Symphony can create music using only wind instruments and a piano, and they will be doing so Oct. 14 at 4 p.m. in Pease Auditorium.