Greetings to all. Sorry, to those who felt otherwise, but it was a very average year in music. Not to say we didn’t have a wide selection to choose from, but I don’t expect much to stand the test of time. Perhaps I didn’t put in the required listening time this year, but nothing jumped out and told me that it will be soothing my soul for years to come. Don’t feel sorry for me. I was always cynical, yet somehow I can still manage to find a few records to spew about. And as usual, I’m 5 minutes away from Mark’s deadline, so let’s get right to it:
1. Josh Rouse – 1972 He improves with each record. Seeing him live this year also gave me a better perspective – he doesn’t seem as sad as his songs do. Especially on 1972, where he evens make you wanna shake it.
2. The New Pornographers – Electric Version Aptly named, this album rocks from start to finish. Great band showcasing the vocal talents of Neko Case on select songs, I have a hard time sitting as soon as I hear the opening sounds of this disc.
3. Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros – Streetcore Wow! Never expected such a masterpiece on his way out. Totally tragic to hear him sounding as good as he ever has. Although no one really needed to hear another version of Redemption Song, I’m willing to look past it.
4. Radiohead – Hail To The Thief Last minute movement, I didn’t want to like this as much as I do. Pretentious as ever, it actually works for them. Spacey, loud rock, each album finds them evolving further out, yet it is well controlled, and not too forced.
5. Death Cab For Cutie – Transatlanticism Very big album that opens with a bang. Perfect for long drives, this is the future of music. The new definition of jangly pop.
6. Sun Kill Moon – Ghosts Of The Great Highway I guess I need to go back and reevaluate those Red House Painters. Reminds me of a younger, more updated Neil Young.
7. Rufus Wainwright – Want One Beautiful, melodic poetry. He’s a crooner, a storyteller, and the master of ceremonies. But I guess his father’s humor did not rub off on him.
8. Kings of Leon – Youth & Young Manhood Yea, so they sound like the Strokes, so what? As if the Strokes created something new? It’s a fun, party album, presumably tongue and cheek.
9. The Thrills – So Much For The City Airy and light sounding, take a drive down the coast and remember to crank this album.
10.Super Fury Animals – Phantom Power The new sound of English power pop. Well, maybe not that new.
1. Ween – Quebec I love these guys. Great sense of humor along with a fun sense of what rock music should sound like.
2. Damien Rice – O Moves a bit slow, but shows he’s a great songwriter. I look forward to the eventual rockin’, electric album.
3. Loose Fur – Loose Fur Fun album from everybody’s favorite producer and the guy from Wilco.
4. Jack Johnson –On And On Perfect background music you bounce to without realizing it.
5. Fountains Of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers What can I say? I’ll admit it…I’m a sucker for pop music.
6. Joe Jackson – Volume 4 Always a fun time when Joe Jackson gets together with the original boys.
1. Flaming Lips – Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell & Fight Test Everything they touch turns to gold.
2. Yo La Tengo – Today Is The Day! It’s better than the full length, but really, anything new works for me.
3. Ryan Adams – Love is Hell Pt. 1 & 2 Better then the actual album the label did let him put out.
4. Iron & Wine – Sea & The Rhythm Right from that page of indie rock singer-songwriter heroes.
Reissues, Live Stuff & Random Notes
1. The Beatles – Let It Be… Naked Do I really need to say something???
2. Jeff Buckley – Live At Sin-E Sorry I sold my original vinyl copy.
3. Led Zeppelin – How The West Was Won Wow Totally smokin’.
4. Bob Marley – Live At The Roxy One of the greatest performers, ever.
5. Neil Young – On The Beach At long last. Waited 20 years – worth it.
6. Teenage Fanclub – A Shortcut To Teenage Fanclub Forgotten greatness.
This year’s list is dedicated to the love of my life, and my future wife Andrea. Cheers to us now and to the rest of our lives together. The rest of our lives.