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    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2009 edited
    re my comments about hip-hop being dead, and to address your point about regional artists being slept on by the mainstream, I feel I should just add a shout out to my hometown heroes, Peterborough's finest hip-hop/dubstep outfit Thirteenth Note Productions. They have a free mixtape "The Food Chain" that I highly recommend, or you can stream some of their stuff here (disclaimer - I've known producer/dj/mc/ Chat One for over 15 years so I'm a little biased..)
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2009
    @sneak046: Thanks, will check them out - if they're up for doing an interview or something, drop me a line.
  1.  (7291.3)
    Stuff I really liked:

    Themselves - CrownsDown
    Chuck Prophet - Let Freedom Ring
    Converge - Axe To Fall
    The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
    Charlotte Hatherley - New Worlds
    Jay Z - The Blueprint 3
    OneOne - Aooooon
    Future of the Left - Travels With Myself and Another

    Stuff that I loved in one way or another, but didn't completely blow me away:

    Shiina Ringo - Sanmon Gossip / Ariamaru Tomii single
    Health - Get Color
    Young Fresh Fellows - I Think This Is
    Eyedea & Abilities - By The Throat
    Luke Haines - 21st Century Man/Achtung Mutha
    Grand Duchy - Petit Fours
    Monobright - 2 (& Singles)
    Boredoms - Super Roots 10
    Annie - Don't Stop

    Stuff that was really kind of bad, but which I liked in a guilty way anyway:

    Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon: The End of Day
    Teriyaki Boyz - Serious Japanese

    I just picked up the St. Vincent and Gallows albums too and they seem awesome, but I haven't really spent enough time with them yet. And I think I got the Fucked Up Singles Collection this year too - but I don't think that counts as a release from 2009 really. Makes a great album though. And this year also saw the start of Ash's A-Z project which I think is a fantastic idea, and everything so far has been great.
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2009 edited
    two things i totally forgot existed until today:
    Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca: thee first four tracks are solid; the rest, less so.
    and Gregor Samsa - Over Air: this one needs tons more attention. they're absolutely brilliant.

    (edited 'cause i continually confuse "Over Air" with "Rest," which is the studio version of many of the same tracks, from last year.)
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2009
    The stuff that's floated my boat this year, and sod it half the time I don't know if it's this years or last century's but:

    The XX, Sun O))), I.A.M.X., The Horrors, Rome, Dernière Volonté, Camp Z, Zola Jesus, Txarly Usher, Those Poor Bastards and Aluk Todolo.....
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2009
    For now I'm just gonna point to Blakroc and Mastodon, but I'll be back with more later.
  2.  (7291.7)
    My favorites of the year:

    #1: Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer
    Every time they've put out a new album, I begin listening to it convinced that it couldn't possibly be superior to the one before. It always is.

    All the rest:

    Handsome Furs - Face Control
    Meat Puppets - Sewn Together
    Nellie McKay - Normal as Blueberry Pie (what can I say; I'm a sucker for Doris Day)

    Dinosaur Jr's Farm managed to live up to my expectations, but sadly did not exceed them. I like it, but do not love it. Same goes for the Flaming Lips' Embryonic, although I want to give it more of a chance before I make my final decision about it. In searching through Wikipedia to see what I may have missed, I find myself highly embarrassed not to have known about the New York Dolls album that came out in May. I know what's being catapulted to the top of *my* Christmas wish list...
  3.  (7291.8)
    Future of the Left - Travels With Myself and Another.
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2009
    Yesssss, AtomicSloth. Agreed.
  4.  (7291.10)
    @allana — Jordan O'Jordan's actually a friend of mine. I love his solo stuff, and was totally excited when he teamed up with Onyx of Olympia for this project... and then they completely blew me away. They're just this echo chamber of AWESOME.
  5.  (7291.11)
    I'm always so slow to pick up on new music, despite all my best efforts. I'm sure I'll be listening to everything you people are talking about come March. So much stuff I haven't gotten around to finding or listening to yet, I'm sure. My stream-of-consciousness slightly-edited rememberings of whatever I heard this year that I liked:

    So far BROMST is the best thing I've heard this year. It basically hits all the points it felt like Merriweather Post Pavillion was trying to hit, and failing. Especially "Snookered," that's easily the song of the decade for me.

    N.A.S.A.'s THE SPIRIT OF APOLLO is, I think, genetically tailored to earn my love. David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift of Gab, M.I.A., Tom Waits, Kool Keith...I feel like I'm 16 and hearing Handsome Boy Modeling School for the first time all over again.

    Speaking of Chali 2na, he finally dropped a solo album (FISH OUTTA WATER). As a friend of mine said, it's a bit of an unreal experience: he's done so much collaborative and guest-spot work that you keep waiting for him to finish his section and for someone not as good to start up...but it never happens. My favorite MC.

    Picked up the Broadcast and the Focus Group album based on both Warren's recommendation and my own past love of Broadcast and weird noises. Was in no way disappointed. Doesn't seem like the kind of album you would pick songs from, but I'm very fond of "oh you chatterbox".

    Just discovered Yonlu, a 16-year-old Brazilian bedroom-recorder who apparently killed himself after releasing his debut album. The song "A Boy and A Tiger" is kind of amazing, harsh tape hiss and animal sounds cut up with snippets of unfinished melodic tunes all centered lyrically around a tiger, a cage, a boy, and a girl. The album is named A SOCIETY IN WHICH NO TEAR IS SHED IS INCONCEIVABLY MEDIOCRE, and I'm looking forward to exploring the rest of it.

    THE MOUNTAIN by The Heartless Bastards is a real straight-ahead rocker (with a slight twang) that my girlfriend has been mainlining all year, and it's good enough that I haven't minded hearing it over and over again. Reminiscent of some of Concrete Blonde, if that helps anyone.

    WHAT IS?! by King Khan and the Shrines finally got released stateside, even though that's not really a 2009 album for me. Great listen, though. Calls back to garage and psych without ever being bogged down in recreation or nostalgia.

    "Bonkers" by Dizzee Rascal -- the radio edit, the longer single edit goes on far too long. It's clearly a song meant to be under three minutes.

    New Neko Case was good enough, but I haven't really listened to it that much. And I liked what I heard of the new Animal Collective EP but I need to hear it again...
  6.  (7291.12)
    Ida Maria - Fortress 'Round My Heart - Well, 2008 in the UK, but '09 in the US. Which is where I am.


    I saw her live, right before the album dropped in the US. She dressed like a crazy cat lady and blasted the fucking doors off the place. The album itself is a drunk Norwegian rocker girl on a snowy street, laughing and cursing shakily as she trips on shit that someone sober and boring would not.

    (And "I Like You so Much Better When You're Naked" is one of the best song titles ever (but it's the line "I like ME so much better when you're naked" in it that makes me smile.)

    Company of Thieves - Ordinary Riches

    I came for the Rushmore-inspired video for their first single, I stayed for the indie-noir-holy-shit-the-pipes-on-that-singer-would-you-listen-to-that wonderfulness of the album. At its best, it sounds like something that'd be the hot band at the high school from Brick.

    The Danger Os - Massively Intimidating Episodes EP

    Full disclosure, a friend of mine did the album art. But still, a really strong six tracks from my favorite local band. The standout being the album closer "So It Goes", which builds with quiet, rhythmic menace, coming together into something that sounds like an alien invasion on the quiet in a small surf town.

    Side note: seconding what Brandon said on page 1, re: The Weezer 8-Bit album. That thing was a lot of fun.

    EDIT: Need to check out the new Luke Haines. Achtung Mutha? Never change, Luke.
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2009 edited
    In what seemed to be a slim pickings year for music, these were my top picks, even though some would not even qualify in a decent year for music. If a release had 2 or more songs I liked, it's on this list. These days, it seems that's all one can hope for off a CD--2 or 3 good tracks nestled amongst filler. So, consider that when scoffing at my list.. Still, I'm amazed I came up with this many. Of course, I'm compiling this list stoned, sooo...

    No particular order within each subgroup:

    Morrissey - Years of Refusal (loved it!)
    Arctic Monkeys - Humbug (love the first 3 or 4 songs)
    Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career (awesome)
    The Flaming Lips - Embryonic (awesome)
    Jay Z - The Blueprint 3 (cool)
    Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You (most clever lyrics)
    Emilie Simon - The Big Machine (very pretty music)
    Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest (very cool)
    Tori Amos - Abnormally Attracted to Sin (her best effort in close to a decade)
    Electric Six - Kill

    Black Moth Super Rainbow - Eating Us
    Mastodon - Crack the Skye (not that it was THAT great, but I'm a big fan of the band)
    The Appleseed Cast - Sagarmatha (cool)
    Super Furry Animals - Dark Days/Light Years
    Arch Enemy - The Root of All Evil (cookie monster metal chick vocalist is better that nearly all her male contemporaries in that genre)
    Mos Def - The Ecstatic (even the tracks on which he sings and raps)
    Lady Gaga - Hitmixes (some badass remixes by chew fu ghetto masters and space cowboy)
    Eminem - Relapse
    Placebo - Battle for the Sun
    Sonic Youth - The Eternal
    The Dodos - Time to Die
    She Wants Revenge - Up and Down (EP)
    The Raveonettes - In and Out of Control
    Flight of the Conchords - I Told You I Was Freaky
    Tom Waits - Glitter and Doom

    50 Cent - Before I Self Destruct
    Infected Mushroom - Legend of the Black Shawarma
    Angelspit: Hideous and Perfect
    Lacuna Coil - Shallow Life
    U2 - no line on the horizon (I liked it for being sort of non-U2ish, for them, anyway...)
    Marilyn Manson - The High End of Low (ultimately disposable, but fun when I first got it)
    Muse - The Resistance
    Dethklok - The Dethalbum II (sorry, it makes me giggle and it rocks)
    Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
    Snoop Dogg - Malice n Wonderland
    Buckethead - A Real Diamond in the Rough
    Florence and the Machine - Lungs
    The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
    The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die
    KMFDM - Blitz
    Manic Street Preachers - Journal for Plague Lovers
    Eels - Hombre Lobo
    Dinosaur Jr - Farm
    VNV Nation - Of Faith, Power and Glory
    Doves - Kingdom of Rust (I used to hate this band because they were an obvious Swervedriver ripoff clone band--Doves are to Swervdriver as Silversun Pickups is to Smashing Pumpkins--but they've totally changed their sound and became something better than a clone)
      CommentAuthorJef UK
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2009
    AM/UK - Rocktronic . Released in June '09.
  7.  (7291.15)
    Not a single mention of The Protomen Act 2? For shame, Whitechapel! The first half and last two tracks on that album are probably the best album of 2009.

    Other albums that might make the list:
    The Mountain Goats - The Life Of The World TO Come
    The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love

    ...damn, I need to swallow more new music.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2009
    Baroness - The Blue Record
    Keelhaul - Keelhaul's Triumphant Return to Obscurity
    Kylesa - Static Tensions
    Dÿse - Lieder sind Brüder der Revolution
    Dälek - Gutter Tactics
    Napalm Death - Time Waits For No Slave
    The Mars Volta - Octahedron
    Mastodon - Crack the Skye
    Dysrhythmia - Psychic Maps
    Sólstafir - Köld
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2009
    Albums released in 2009 which I listened to more than twice:

    Monsters of Folk
    Pearl Jam - Backspacer
    The Beatles - 2009 Stereo Remaster of Abbey Road
    Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg
    Muse - The Resistance
    Phish - Joy
    Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
    Umphrey's McGee - Mantis
    The Lonely Island - Incredibad
    Willie Nelson - Naked Willie
    Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3
    Them Crooked Vultures

    Pretty weak year, overall.
  8.  (7291.18)
    Pretty weak

    ive seen a few posters that have hated this year, and a lot of music fans who found tons to love. its very odd to me. it seems to me that the more you LOOK for music, the more you find.
  9.  (7291.19)
    @ joe.distort. Yeah. This year has introduced more new and good music to me than any year since about 2005 basically because of actually listening to friends recommendations for a change. For example I've been digging Atlas Sound's Logos all week, who I'm reliably informed are a spin off of Deerhunter, whoever they are, but now I may investigate further.
  10.  (7291.20)
    ive seen a few posters that have hated this year, and a lot of music fans who found tons to love. its very odd to me. it seems to me that the more you LOOK for music, the more you find.

    I would pretty much go with that comment. My music tastes took a massive heft turn this year and i found myself listening to a lot of weird drones and noises that i wouldn´t necessary have given any time for. I´ve also been properly getting re-acquainted with my metal/hardcore part of my listening brain, which i had unfairly deprived of heavy sounds over the last couple of years...