Dan Wilmer Poop 09

This Year’s Best Indie Rock and Alt Country

Drummer – Feel Good Together   Buy New or Used through amazon  OR   @ eMusic

1.Drummer – Feel Good Together

“Four drummers, not drumming.” This side project of mostly Akron-based musicians is led by Patrick Carney, the drummer from the Black Keys. The triumphant anthems on this record were my favorites by far this year.

Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix  Buy New or Used from amazon   OR   @ eMusic

2.Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

The 4th record from these guys finally proves that French Rock n Roll isn’t an oxymoron.

Surf City – Surf City EP   Get it at eMusic

3.Surf City – Surf City

2009 was a pretty good year for surf rock. I really enjoyed local surf-influenced Brooklyn bands, The Drums and Real Estate, in addition to Surf City from New Zealand. Great West Coast surf riffs combine with Beach Boys-like harmonies. So much fun.

NEKO CASE   Buy New or Used through Amazon

4.Neko Case – Middle Cyclone

Neko can do no wrong in my eyes. Another solid outing that just builds on her last four great records.

Handsome Furs – Face Control   Buy New or Used from amazon

5.Handsome Furs – Face Control

This record has driving beats and strong synth lines, giving it a real Kraut rock feel. Even though I have some favorite tracks like “Talking Hotel Arbat Blues,” “Radio Kaliningrad,” and “All We Want, Baby, Is Everything,” what I like best is how the whole thing hangs together as a true 11-song album.

YO LA TENGO   Buy New or Used through amazon  OR   @ eMusic

6.Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs

Song for song, this is my favorite record of theirs since “I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One.” Super.

MONSTERS OF FOLK   Buy New or Used through amazon   OR   @ eMusic

7.Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk

The more I listened to this “supergroup” of M Ward, Jim James, Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis, the more I dug it. So many good songs here: “Say Please,” “Whole lotta losin’,” “The Right Place,” and “Baby Boomer” to name just a few.

Dinosaur Jr. – Farm   Buy New or Used through amazon

8.Dinosaur Jr. – Farm

Wow, another great Dino Jr record. It doesn’t get better than J Mascis noodling on top of well written guitar rock songs. Some of the licks are just plain amazing, like the ones that open “Over It”. Also love the Lou Barlow penned songs like “The Weather” that sound straight out of the Sebadoh years.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Up From Below   Buy New or Used through amazon  OR   @ eMusic

9.Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Up From Below

From Wikipedia: “After breaking up with his girlfriend, moving out of his house, and joining Alcoholics Anonymous, Alex Ebert (formerly of IM A ROBOT) began work on a story about a messianic figure named Edward Sharpe. According to Ebert, Sharpe “was sent down to Earth to kinda heal and save mankind…but he kept getting distracted by girls and falling in love.” Check out the folkie gems of “Home” and “Jangling” – two of my very favorite songs of 2009.

The xx - xx   Buy New or Used through amazon  OR   @ eMusic

10.The XX – XX

A minimalist indie record that features male and female vocals by Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft, over some keyboards, a drum machine and the occasional guitar. The record is so polished you’ll be surprised to learn that these two are both just 20 years old.

Dawes – North Hills   Buy New or Used through amazon  OR   @ eMusic

11.Dawes – North Hills

This is a great Seventies-sounding alt country record. The entire album is reminiscent of the Band and the Eagles, with amazing harmonies carrying songs like “When My Time Comes” and “Western Skyline.” Highly recommended.

Florence and the Machine – Lungs   Buy New or Used through amazon

12.Florence and the Machine – Lungs

This is a fun record that introduces a great new vocal talent, Florence Welch. The big songs here are “Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up),” “Kiss with a Fist,” and “Dog Days Are Over”. There is a really strong Annie Lennox / Eurthymics influence on many of the tracks.

Dan Wilmer, Brooklyn NY