Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009: The Best They Had to Offer ( Josh Chimes In)

Hi there. Does anyone still visit these parts? I continue to not be so much up to the task of going into depth about my favorites. I'll just drop this list and wish '09 good riddance.

9 for '09:

Silversun Pickups "The Royal We". Swoon was a great, cohesive album from beginning to end and I know that I will continue to listen to it for many years. They deserve all the success and related accolades they received this year

Bill Callahan "Eid Ma Clack Shaw" Not a big Smog fan but I'll be darned if I didn't love Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle, this one track in particular which is brilliantly conceived and thoroughly outstanding.

The National "So Far Around the Bend" The National continue to do no wrong. Forget that they wrote and sang the line "Praying for Pavement to get back together" in a year when just such a venture was put into action (wouldn't it be great if Stephen and company covered this in the Park next year?). The Nats' Aaron and Bryce Dessner compiled the best Red Hot compilation in like forever with artists that really mattered. New album allegedly on the way and I can't wait.

The Rural Alberta Advantage "Don't Haunt this Place" Great song that I will forever associate with getting back on the dating wagon in 2009. Didn't make it past the 2nd date but at least for once some gal introduced me to a cool new band!

The Cave Singers "Beach House" Each Cave Singers album has been good for one song that completely blew my mind. This was the culprit this time around.

The Boy Least Likely To "The Boy Least Likely to Is a Machine" The first band Jay and I wrote about on Audio for Drinking returned with an excellent 2nd disc. There were many stand-out tracks on the disc but this brilliant number stands out for its hypnotic use of the banjo.

The Avett Brothers "I And Love And You" You had me at Brooklyn.

Scotland Yard Gospel Choir "One Night Stand" Imagine you made an excellent new album and while on the road to promote it your fan flipped over and nearly killed you. That is the horrible fate that befell this Chicago group in 2009. They are still all recovering. I had tickets to see them here in Brooklyn and then again in Chicago and hope I'll be able to see a fully recovered kick-ass performance from the group in the near future.

Destroyer "Bay of Pigs" Mesmerizing. (Originally available only on vinyl you can find this single over at the iTunes store)

A Few other honorable mentions: Dinosaur Jr.'s released Farm which was thoroughly classic Dinosaur, Andrew Bird's Noble Beast satisfied year long, Brendan Benson's "Feel Like Taking You Home" and "A Whole Lot Better, AC Newman's "There Are Maybe Ten or Twelve", The Decemberists' Hazards of Love which renewed my faith after losing me at The Crane Wife, Neko Case for covering Harry Nilsson so brilliantly, Noah and the Whale for a top notch break up album (The First Days of Spring), Portugal the Man, Richard Swift, Elvis Perkins' "Shampoo", "You Never Know" which was the first Wilco song to excite me in long while, Steve Earle's astonishing ode to friend and mentor Townes Van Zandt, guilty pleasure Muse and "Ships With Holes Will Sink" a great song title from a band with a great name: We Were Promised Jet Packs. Lastly (literally), the last album I've bought this year, Joe Henry's Blood From Stars is as good as his Scar, one of my favorites of the last decade which is a whole other list.

If the forthcoming Midlake album which I've already heard is any barometer, 2010 shall be f'n awesome.

By the way, in case anyone is curious as to what I've done to fill the empty space in my ego since we stopped regularly contributing to the world of music blogging, you can check out the Present music seres I've been curating for the last 5 years over at


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