Jon Robertson’s Top Five

Billy Idol Rebel Yell

The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers

Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks

The Misfits Question One

The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed


Government Commissions: BBC Sessions 1996-2003


The loudest band in the land (Scotland, that is) brings forth the best in quiet-to-ear-piercing music with a ten-song disc featuring some of their best songs, including “Hunted By A Freak,” “Kappa,” “Cody,” and “R U Still In It.” These are live recordings from the BBC, and the album is dedicated to the late, great John Peel. If you’re a fan of Mogwai, this is a must-have; if you’re a fan of Slint, Godspeed You Black Emperor, or Radiohead and you don’t have a Mogwai album, something is wrong with you.

Goodbye Blue Monday

Help Is On The Way

Loud And Clear

San Diego’s latest and greatest indie-rockers return with a seven-song banger reminiscent of Drive Like Jehu, while still holding true to the G.B.M.’s guitar-bending riffage and stop-start dynamics. The drumming is yet again mathematical, the dueling “Thin Lizzy” guitars are back with a vengeance, and the singing is top-notch. Fans of No Knife, Blonde Redhead, and Fugazi will be rocking hard to this disc.

Nouvelle Vague

Nouvelle Vague

V2/Luaka Bop

Described as the marriage of new wave and bossa nova, Nouvelle Vague is basically a covers album of new-wave songs played in the bossa-nova style, with beautiful female vocalists handling the singing duties. Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” Depeche Mode’s “I Just Can’t Get Enough,” The Clash’s “Guns Of Brixton,” and XTC’s “Making Plans For Nigel” are just a few of the tracks sexed up and bossa nova’d out. Nouvelle Vague is the most original and beautiful “cover album” you’ll hear this year.

Opera 1X



Opera 1X is an Italian band that plays black-metal opera/symphonies translated from ancient documents. These songs will probably conjure up demons from hell if you blast the CD too loud in your bedroom. The singer’s name is M The Bard, and the bass player’s name is Vlad-those two names speak volumes. Any band with a Vlad in it must be awesome. Bam Margera would love this band, and you might, too, if you like to raise the dead, sacrifice virgins, or drink blood-all things that are pretty fun.

Red Sparowes

At The Soundless Dawn

Neurot Recordings

Featuring members of weighty droners Neurosis and Isis, Red Sparowes might be expected to be in the same vein as those two bands-heavy, brooding, dark, pounding masses of sound. Well, you can expect heavy music on this disc, but it’s a different kind of heavy. Think Godspeed You Black Emperor and jammy, instrumental rock-outs with layer upon layer of technical musicianship.

Kitteridge Records Presents:

Homemade Hits Vol. 2

Kitteridge Records

Think of this as the little compilation that could. But the thing is, it’s not a little compilation-there’re 26 songs, all recorded at the home studios of some of Los Angeles’ finest unknown indie-rock bands. Check out to find out about some new bands you may just love.

Six More Quick Hits

Archer Prewitt Wilderness One of Thrill Jockey’s finest returns with a beautiful full-length album.

Judas Priest Angel Of Retribution Yes, Judas Priest still rules your ass.

The Nein Wrath Of Circuits Cool, weird, rocking, indie-tech rock.

Doves Some Cities Great Brit-rock that you’ll love.

Morning Recordings Music For Places Mellow music for chilling out.

Nic Armstrong & The Thieves The Greatest White Liar Well-produced garage rock in the vein of The White Stripes.


Back To The Front

Stubtown/Pat Stublen

Back To The Front is an East Coast-based indie-rock surf video that takes a big step up from Stublen’s first effort and great overall surf flick, Destined For Second. Featuring all the top dogs like Ben Bourgeois, Asher Nolan, The Hobgoods, Dean Morrison, Aaron Cormicaan, Gabe Kling, Noah Snyder, Jesse Hines, Sam Hammer, Matt Beacham, and more surfing all over the world in conditions ranging from epic to mediocre, B.T.T.F has something for everyone and will get you amped.

The Kill Seven

Josh Pomer

The dark horse of surf cinema returns with the seventh installment of The Kill series. This time, epic California is the star with great footage of crazy swells, sandbar wedge love, and point-break perfection. TK7 jumps around a lot and is full of quick clips of all your favorites shredding-it’s like a video scrapbook of all the latest in ripping the waves, man.

Book Nook

Wave Hunters

Chris Lacy

Read this out loud with a pirate’s accent: “If you’re looking for a tale of surf adventure, look no further. This hear is a tale of a young man whose run-in with an eye-patched sea dog leads him to the treasure of a lifetime, the real Treasure Island, where perfect waves and epic adventure await all ye who dare to find it.”

This book is a good, fun read, and all the proceeds from its sales go to Surf Aid International.


Steve Hawk/Chronicle Books

This beautiful coffee-table book will both mystify and terrify you with the imagery that fills its pages. Yes, it’s full of waves shot by some of the world’s best surf photographers, including Jeff Divine, Art Brewer, and Sean Davey. Printed on heavy paper and hardbound, Waves is a nice addition to any surfer’s home.