1. Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo (Sub Pop)
2. Helen Stellar - If The Stars Could Speak, They Would Have Your Voice... (self release)
3. Whispering Pines - Family Tree (self release)
4. Broken Bells - Broken Bells (Columbia Records)
5. Rogue Wave - Permalight (Brush Fire Records)
6. Dr. Dog - Shame, Shame (Anti)
7. Various Artists - Let's Independent! 4/18/10 w/ The Californian, WALK and Big Whup (self release)
8. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night (Jagjaguar)
9. Dead Meadow - Three Kings (Xemu Records)
10. Helen Stellar - Prayer To Myself (self release)
The Avi Buffalo album is everything someone who is a fanatical follower of this band could have hoped for. Every element is in it's perfect place and the live versions they performed at The Troubadour the other night were spectacular. I have to admit they got hearty competition from Helen Stellar, who are a new band passion at the moment based on two CD's and a remarkable set at Spaceland last Monday (4/26). Their new CD, If The Stars Could Speak, They Would Have Your Voice... is really stunning and "Hyper -aware (Eyes Wide Open" is my favorite song in the world right now. I picked up their earlier CD, Prayer To Myself at the show and it's got a spot on the list, too.
Whispering Pines and Broken Bells figure prominently as I prepare to see them in concert. Whispering Pines this Wednesday (5/5) at Hotel Cafe and the Bells at The Fonda on May 19. Last week's shows with Dr. Dog and Rogue Wave put them on the list and the rest, The Besnard Lakes and Dead Meadow have been around long enough, you should know about them, and their albums are among the best of the year.