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  1.  (7291.1)
    Further edits are explanations of why I enjoyed these records. Since this has been stickied, I figure the proverbial game ought to be stepped up.

    What were your best records of 09? What were your favorites? What did you listen to endlessly?

    To start things off, I enjoyed these, among others.


    P.O.S.-Never Better
    Unlike some of the other "alternative" hip-hop I've heard, this record feels dense, aggressive and claustrophobic, realizing the promise of "punk" used as a suffix.

    Owl City-Ocean Eyes
    I liked Give Up and thus, I like its imitators. Have you heard those choruses, man? This is music that is easy to zone out to on the bus and not feel like you've wasted a minute in transit. It's Never Better's opposite number, in that respect. It's as dense as an air balloon and just as weighty.

    Bomb the Music Industry-Scrambles
    Sloppy, DIY ska music with a truly fraternal emphasis makes this free to download disc a no brainer.

    Vienna Teng-Inland Territory
    I don't normally go for "adult contemporary", but there's something universal about Vienna Teng's records that slips under the armor. Final track St. Stephen's Cross just kills me every time I hear it. The burst at the end sounds like an epiphany.

    Shook Ones-the Unquoteable AMH
    Lifetime didn't put out a record in 2009, but that's okay. Shook Ones did, and what's important is that there's another melodic hardcore band fronted by a guy who can't enunciate to save his life singing about Girls and Other Things. I feel rejuvenated after listening to the record, which is exactly how I felt after listening to Jersey's Best Dancers years ago.

    Defeater-Lost Ground
    A 6 song EP about a black soldier in World War 2 coming back and realizing his country still hates him. It seethes like a person kept mute via a bloodsoaked rag in their mouth.

    Strike Anywhere-Iron Front
    A prescient, joyous record from Strike Anywhere ought to come as no surprise. The big surprise is just how towering and colossal that final track, Postcards From Home is.

    Lewd Acts-Black Eye Blues
    A band that has had their fill of the unexamined life and are draining out the pus left from the wound it left. The recording tone of this album is like someone is dumping an entire swamp on top of your head. Hell yeah.

    and the Envy/Jesu split, or at least the Envy side of it.
    Envy has never sounded prettier than here (seriously, they turned that shit up to 11 on this one), but this is here for the song "Life Caught In the Rain," proof, as if we needed more, that Envy ought to be considered a Japanese national treasure.
  2.  (7291.2)
    http://freakangels.com/whitechapel/comments.php?DiscussionID=7256&page=1

    EDIT: (not trying to be a dick but this topic is being covered in t'other thread)
    •  
      CommentAuthorjeremiah
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2009
     (7291.3)
    the other thread seems like it is devoted the the last decade not this last year, there would be some slight crossover as last year was in the last decade but it think an 09 thread is valid. i would be interested to see anyone else's best of 09 and will come up with one myself (probably closer to the end of 09)...
  3.  (7291.4)
    been a pretty dull year, but from it i enjoyed:

    Angelspit: Hideous and Perfect
    Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions: Through the Devil Softly
    Howling Bells: Radio Wars
    Kanute: Standing Room Only
    The Dead Weather: Horehound
  4.  (7291.5)
    I hate to admit this, but I’ve caved in to Lady Gaga and am quite enjoying The Fame Monster.
    • CommentAuthorBoga_
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2009
     (7291.6)
    •  
      CommentAuthorJeffZero
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2009
     (7291.7)
    I don't think I was crazy about much this year...

    Although about a third of NOFX's 'Coaster' was throwaway material, I'd say that the good songs are some of the strongest they've ever put out.

    P.O.S.'s 'Never Better'... I can't sing the praises of this enough. I was glad to see some good hip-hop this year, after how much Method Man & Redman let me down.

    The Ergs! released to seperate (but similar) split seven inches with The Measure [SA], including a thrash reworking of one of their old songs. And The Ergs! can do no wrong, in this man's humble opinion.
  5.  (7291.8)
    Alasdair Roberts Spoils spectral and intense literate folk with twisted psych tendencies and my album of the year.Magic.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2009
     (7291.9)
    ok i´m thinking about my year of records. Some were good, some were VERY good and some.... well at least i could delete it from my Pc. Well here goes...

    Best Icelandic Album of the year: Mixed Bag here. Lot more misses than hits. Múm´s release was so-so. Gus Gus was Boring and Jónsi & Alex was excruitatingly po-faced. But there were some great ones. Stórsveit Nix Noltes royal Family divorce was a great blend of Psych Rock & balkan beats. Plastic Gods "Quadriplegiac" was full on doom/drone metal come to iceland.
    But the winner was Ben Frost´s "By the throat". the sound of society collapsing. Wonderful...

    Best "Warren Ellis recommended this to me" album: I loved Broadcast & the Focus Group, but it´s Zola Jesus "the spoils" for me...

    HOPEKRUSHER album of the year. Can´t really choose between Sunn o))) "Monoliths & Dimensions" and Manatees´ "icarus the Sunclimber"

    Creepy Album of the year: Demdike Stare "Symbiosis". The sort of album that could easily be the soundtrack to "the Road" if i had my way...

    "Ambient" Metal album of the year:Jodis "Secret House". Heavy as lead but strangely etheral. sounds like it was recorded in a cathederal carved into a cliff face...

    Best Noise Rock album that´s not Lightning bolt: That Fucking Tank "Tankology"

    Best Finnish album: Bird from the Abyss - I

    Indie twaddle that´s actually pretty good: Art Brut "Art Brut Vs Satan"
    • CommentAuthorchris g
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2009
     (7291.10)
    This was a good year. I dug the hell out of:

    Them Crooked Vultures - self title - Currently addicted to this
    Dead Weather - "Horehound" - Very damn fresh rock
    Dethklok - Dethalbum II - Moar brutal than Dethalbum I!
    Mastodon - Crack the Skye - this one ate up all of May-July
    Clutch - Strange Cousins From the West - They just get better with every release.

    Honorable mention: Nine Inch Nails - Downward Spiral Live from Webster Hall - They've never performed the entire album before. But you can really feel it's intensity being reborn/renewed whatever. There's a few audible assholes ruining a few songs, but it's still awesome.
  6.  (7291.11)
    From warrenellis.com, my first two lists for the year:

    THE SPOILS, Zola Jesus: of which I’ve made much mention lately. Nika’s a beautiful ghost moaning from the shadows of a bombed-out cathedral, on this record. Possibly an aspect of my continuing fascination with The Haunted in early 21st Century music. But I’m returning to this record a lot.

    GABON and INCAPULCO and a bunch of other releases, High Wolf: top of the whole glo-fi thing, for me, has been High Wolf and his wet lo-fi tropical dreamstates. GABON in particular was a glorious thing. Hypnogogic reverie when you’ve still got the drugged beat of a rainforest drone-rave beating in your ears.

    MAN OF ARAN, British Sea Power: always a band I’ve almost-liked rather than love, but "The SOuth Sound" off this soundtrack they prepared for the re-release of the eponymous film is the best piece of classical building/soaring postrock I’ve heard since "Raise Yr Skinny Fists." I mean, flat fucking out. Coda to the whole subgenre.

    HORRIBLES PARADE, Gary War: this thing continues to fascinate me. It’s melted music. Seriously. Like someone went at a wax master with a blowtorch and then struck the record with it. A gorgeous gurgling gargoyle of a thing. Partially dissolved rock.

    FLORINE, Julianna Barwick: astonishing vocal music, multitracked and layered and processed until it became the sound that the trails of collapsing photons passing through the feathers of angels’ wings in a particle accelerator should make. Or something.

    BROADCAST AND THE FOCUS GROUP INVESTIGATE WITCH CULTS OF THE RADIO AGE, Broadcast And The Focus Group: the title should tell you all you need to know. You’re either the sort of person who wants to own an album by that title, or you’re not. It is, as Moon Wiring Club would say, in the finest tradition of confusing English electronic music. It’s less a "proper" album than a collection of sounds that surround a certain set of timebound notions about Strangeness. As the title implies, it sometimes seems more like research (in the form of original music). It is really bloody good, yes.

    MONOLITHS AND DIMENSIONS, Sunn O))): the more I listen to this immense album, the more I think of it as four movements transitioning from the pagan to the organised church through an apocalyptic collapse into some awful, barren post-civilisational doomspace that fades to become a weirdly sylvan, almost innocent place. Of course, that could just be me. Never discount the possibility that I am a mad old man and completely full of shit. Anyway, yes, it all sounds a bit prog, but they pull it off as far as I’m concerned.

    BROMST, Dan Deacon: perhaps not as gleefully mental as SPIDERMAN OF THE RINGS, but still a greatly entertaining record and a working-playlist staple for me over the summer. Very beautiful in places, and, I think, curiously revelatory of his conservatory background. It’s a record you can just spazz around to that also rewards a close listening, just to hear how he really builds that stuff.

    "Skeletons," Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Off the album IT’S BLITZ. Honestly, much of the album left me cold. "Skeletons," though, approaches the heights of "Maps" (and if you don’t like "Maps," then you’re dead inside). Love as a long winter march.

    "Dog Days Are Over," Florence And The Machine: similarly, I thought LUNGS was a weak album, and I suspect "Dog Days" will prove to be their One Great Song. (I have a half-arsed theory that 95% of bands have One Great Song in them, and I can prove this using an abacus, Manhattan Love Suicides’ "Veronica," and my right fist.) This one is the one: brilliant structure, some beautifully written lines, she sings like she knows what she’s talking about (which I didn’t get from "Kiss With A Fist, oddly), and she opens up her pipes and blows the door off.

    SYMBIOSIS, Demdike Stare: this was a marvellous thing. World Hauntology, if you like: Middle Eastern musics, lo-fi drone and the hideous Arctic menace of Scando exorcists like Elegi, all whacked together with stark rhythmic instinct and crazed machine intelligence. I get the impression this record went way under the radar this year, and it really shouldn’t have.
    •  
      CommentAuthorinfomancer
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2009
     (7291.12)
    Here's the new records (non-metal) that I listened to the most this year:

    Rancid - Let The Dominoes Fall
    Placebo - Battle For The Sun
    Propaghandhi - Supporting Caste
    Silversun Pickups - Swoon
    Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way to Blue
    Iggy Pop - Preliminaires
    R.E.M. - Live at Olympia
    Sonic Youth - The Eternal
    Pelican - What We All Come To Need
    VNV Nation - Of Faith, Power, and Glory

    And the heavy shit:

    Kylesa - Static Tensions
    Mastodon - Crack The Skye
    Goatwhore - Carving Out The Eyes Of God
    Slayer - World Painted Blood
    Behemoth - Evangelion
    Nile - Those Whom The Gods Detest
    Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Agorapocalypse
    Converge - Axe To Fall
    Black Cobra - Chronomega
    Buried Inside - Spoils of Failure

    Nothing too surprising; and it's all established artists. I didn't find all that much truly new stuff this year, and what I did find didn't really take up much listening time. I am so far from hip I can't even see the shining lights anymore.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2009
     (7291.13)
    @Infomancer

    Good call on Kylesa. the opening track "Scapegoat" is such a lovely pleasure to hear...
  7.  (7291.14)
    It's been a good year for albums, for me anyway. I've got to admit that I find these kind of things increasingly though not totally irrelevant now since most of the music I listen to that is new to me can come from almost the entire catalogue of recorded music, so this year I've been listening to a lot of french lounge pop, Reich, Debussy, Mothers and so on. BUT, of the albums that came out this year some of my favourites have been...

    Merriweather Post Pavillion. Personally I've always found Animal Collective one of those bands who if they stopped fucking around and trying to be avante garde would have been great. They managed it this year, with a brilliantly inventive pop album.

    Fever Ray. I was surprised by this too, I wasn't much a fan of The Knife as far as I'm concerned Fever Ray manages to be haunting atmospheric creepy cheesy and funny all at the same time.

    Veckatimest. I'd never heard of Grizzly Bear, I'm really glad I have now. I've heard people say it's a bit limp, but I don't think so.

    Crack the Skye. Since most Metal seems more and more to be degenerating into the muzak of game and comic stores, it's good that Mastodon have somehow flogged the dead horse resurrected it and rode it bareback through a wall of tedium.

    Air. Love 2. It's Air being Air, you either like it or you don't, I do.

    Embryonic. The Flaming Lips I always thought were more popular than they deserved to be. Their influences are too apparent and their songs often too derivative of them. Nothings changed much on Embryonic except this time I found it much more enjoyable than most of the rest of their stuff.

    Arctic Monkeys. Humbug. I could have done without the overt QOTSA vibe but another fine album.

    Biggest Disappointment of the year. Octahedron. I love the Mars Volta, but this album is aptly named since it's by the numbers. Nothing new, inventive challenging or exciting on it. It's like a greatest hits from an alternative dimension.
  8.  (7291.15)
    The only music this year that made me want to pay the over-inflated CD price of it was Them Crooked Vultures.

    I think them putting the whole album on YouTube was a smart idea.
  9.  (7291.16)
    The new one from The Builders and the Butchers was quite good.

    Loved Federale's sophomore album. (They do soundtracks to Spaghetti Westerns that don't exist.)

    Weezer: The 8-Bit Album was pretty awesome.

    Damn. Is that it? I'm going through the playlists on my iPod and that's all I'm really seeing.

    Really disappointed by the new Mike Doughty.
    •  
      CommentAuthorEthan Ede
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2009 edited
     (7291.17)
    Off the top of my head, Probably more to come:

    Between the Buried and Me- The Great Misdirect- Every time I listen to this album I find something new inside, and I don't think that will stop anytime soon. This release is layered and layered. Adult complementary death metal at its best.

    Themselves- The Free Houdi LP - Really more of a mixtape, bit ridiculously good. The best work that Doseone has done and that is saying a lot because Dose is fucking amazing.

    Narrows- New Distances- I gave this album a hard look because I wanted to be sure it is great on its own merits, not just because it is Dave V's new band. It is great on its own merits.

    Gallows- Grey Britain- When Gallows release Orchestra of Wolves, several reviewers called it the best punk album since Refused released The Shape of Punk to Come; I wouldn't go nearly that far but it was a decent album. Grey Britain, their second album, is a great listen (though , still no Shape of Punk to Come) leaving behind the problems on their first release.

    Isis - Wavering Radiant- After the misstep that was The Absence of Truth (I almost typed The Absence of Tool, but that would be the exact opposite of the album and the root of all its problems) Isis recovered with Wavering Radiant, this is a colossal album, it looms above you when you listen. I was very pleased.

    Biggest Disappointment of the year: Converge-Axe to Fall. Way to make the same album three times in a row now Converge. This band needs to stop claiming to be the most innovative band in hardcore, because they have been sleeping behind their success for a long time now. I am an old, old Converge fan, but their best album came out in 1998 and I am getting seriously sick of the same recycled sounds and ideas. Even the song titles offer nothing new, this band is stuck in a rut and it is very sad.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbrittanica
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2009
     (7291.18)
    May have to edit this later, but I think this pretty much covers my favorites:

    Ideamen- May You Live in Interesting Times: I'm pretty sure this is my number one of the year. Stellar harmonies, great songwriting (including lyrics that evoke the same magical "exploring another world" feeling that my #1 of 2007, Tub Ring's The Great Filter, did), and just... it's just good.

    Super 8-Bit Brothers- Brawl: Because Tub Ring didn't release an album this year. Seriously, though, there is some solid music here for a side project that focuses solely on video games. They wrote a song about Katamari Damacy. This pleases me.

    a Secret Policeman's Ball- Picking Up Things You Can't Even See: Local group that I can't speak anymore highly of. Really poppy, really fun, and they have one of the few female lead singers I can actually dig. Plus, they have song titles like, "Super Big Panther Cats" and "Whaa... You Got Machine Gun?!" But the songs themselves are good! (Available as a free download here.)

    Elvis Costello- Secret, Profane and Sugarcane- I almost forgot about this one. I'm kinda disappointed in myself. I was really pleased w/ this one, way more so than Momofuku. I believe this to be his one really successful attempt at "Southern" music.

    Allofher Twitch- s/t EP: I'd be a bad merch girl if I didn't mention this. I really do like it, and I think I'd like it even if I wasn't dating the guy who made it. I am a great fan of his lyrics, and the music manages to balance his pop and industrial sensibilities well. (It's available for free/pay-what-you-want here)
  10.  (7291.19)
    Damn you Ethan Ede, I still haven't got hold of the freeHOUDINI mixtape, and your lauding of it makes my cheeks sting with shame. I did pick up their crownsdown album last month though, and it grew on me thick and fast like algae. That's one of my favourites from this year, I'll think about some more.

    I'd... hesitantly disagree with you on the Converge though. Hesistantly because I'm by no means an old fan, nor a big hardcore listener, but I do really like Axe To Fall - much more than No Heroes, which initially impressed me, but didn't stick around.

    And someone else literally grabbed me by my (non-existent) lapels and told me that I had to buy the Gallows album because it was "so much better than their first record, which actually, was shit." So I'll definitely pick that up too.
  11.  (7291.20)
    I think 2009 was another good year of music for me, as in that I bought a lot of it — and for some reason I pretty much stayed within the electronic music (mostly dubstep and wonky oriented) instead of leapfrogging between electronic, metal/rock and hip hop.

    Neil Landstrumm: Bambaataa Eats His Breakfast
    Bibio: Ambivalence Avenue
    Harmonic 313: When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence
    Hudson Mohawke: Butter
    Hyperdub: 5
    Nosaj Thing: Drift
    Martyn: Great Lenghts
    Akira Kiteshi: Pinball / Noglitch
    Moderat: Moderat
    Tim Exile: Listening Tree
    Rustie: Bad Science
    Jamie Vex'd: In System Travel EP
    Chase and Status: More Than A Lot
    Mistabishi: Drop
    Fukkk Offf: Love Me Hate Me Kiss Me Kill Me