The Strange Boys
This disc sounds like a garage-rock version of Tom Petty with some of the wildness of The Black Lips—and that, my friends is a good f—king combination. I can almost feel the looseness and good-time vibe this band plays with through my speakers. The band's previous efforts had more of a lo-fi feel, but thankfully, they've cleaned up just enough to understand and appreciate the greatness that lies within every song.—C.C.
Teahupo'o: Tahiti's Mythic Wave
By Tim McKenna
Tahiti-based photographer Tim McKenna has shot every major swell at Teahupo'o ever since it was put on the map as one of the world's heaviest—and most photogenic—waves on the planet. The hardbound book has roughly 200-pages of beautiful Teahupo'o imagery shot from above, across, and below the wave—McKenna nails every possible angle of the wave. A good friend of the legendary Malik Joyeux, there are a lot of touching photos and stories dedicated to the fallen surfer. This thing will look great on any coffee table.—JC
The Big Pink
If you don't like huge music, don't listen to The Big Pink. This band plays anthemic rock without all the bullshit gimmicky wizardry that Muse is constantly throwing at your face. The whole album is good, but the song "Stay Gold" is perhaps the song of the year. Feeling down? Put this song on. Feeling like you need to get psyched? Put this song on. Need a new anthem for 2012—choose this song and this band.—C.C.
Shaggadelic's Home Movies
You got the Teahupo'o book, now round out your media library with a flick that documents the biggest swell to pound the pristine shores of Tahiti. Our buddy Simon Saffigna aka Shagga was there last August and had front row seats to an incredibly show that was terrifying and amazing to watch at the same time. With commentary by Mick Fanning, "F—k! That was the biggest wave I've ever seen!" you'll be wiping the spit off your face as dudes get blown out of the biggest barrels ever seen at Chopes.—JC
The Whole Love
Wilco's newest album stays true to their alt-country roots while layering modern sounds and technology. The unique instrumentals comingling with the band's poetic lyrical style and rocking guitar riffs have conspired to produce a modern, relevant CD, beckoning a broader demographic of listeners. "Dawned On Me", is a classic Wilco throwback leading up to the Beatles-esque jazzy, but modern turn on "Capitol City". "Standing O", with its upbeat rocking sound and killer guitar solo is sure to become Wilco's next anthem.—B&M