Sunday, January 24, 2010

Music 2009

I'm a bit worried that though I have managed to put up a good number of posts this month, they've all been lists, end of the year trivia, or political rants. This one, I'm afraid, isn't going to change that - I'm finally getting around to posting something about last year's music.... (And the lists aren't done: I have a Best Music of the 00s post in the works, and a couple more film posts - especially a Directors of the 00s - and if I'm ambitious enough, a directors of the 10s post. Might as well predict the future while we're here. But not today. Today is just music.)

2009 was not a big year for music for me. The decade was - I went on a couple major buying sprees, listened to lots of music, especially on the iPod - but the last couple years, I've backed off a bit. I won't try to explain why - I will just say I tend to go in cycles on the arts. I'll go a couple years listening to all the music I can - then a couple years reading in all my free time - movies tend to stay pretty stable, but my attention to other arts shifts around a lot. So - I did not break the bank on music this year, and what's worse, a lot of what I bought went into iTunes and sat their forgotten and unheard... in any case, my opinions of what I heard have not been as strong as some years. But that won't stop me from a bit of a survey...

CDs:

1. Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs - they are always reliable, and this seems a bit more consistent (And maybe a bit more rock) than some of their recent work even..
2. David Sylvain - Manofan - the avant-garde heard from; I listened to this CD specifically, too, which helps it.
3. Sonic Youth - The Eternal - like a lot of Sonic Youth, the material tends to bleed together, but this has some great stuff on it - seeing them live was a treat too (though - you know - Feelies, and all...)
4. Times New Viking - Born Again Revisited - closest thing to a discovery this year... cool crude lo-fi rock...
5. PJ Harvey and John Parrish - A Woman A Man Walked By - this is what you get for not listening to records enough; I've barely heard anything from this - but when I seek it out - it's PJ Harvey after all. I'd guess this would be near the top if I listened to it a few times.



6. Dead Weather - Hore Hound - solid record - Jack White remains very reliable.
7. Mission of Burma - The Sound The Speed The Light - maybe up if I listened to it more, though mostly it's just MIssion of Burma doing what they do...
8. Pere Ubu - Long Live Pere Ubu - Mr. Thomas and co. finally take on M. Jarry....
9. Decembrists - Hazards of Love - this didn't knock me over like their last record, but it's still pretty interesting...
10. Bishop Allen - Grrr - what's odd about the records I got this year is how many by bands I really like (from Devandra Banhart to DInosaur Jr. to Six Organs of Admittance to Son Volt) I haven't listened to - I can't remember a single song from any of those CDs. I feel ashamed.... Bishop Allen, on the other hand, keeps coming up on the iPod when I listen to it - catchy, clever, likable - what's wrong with that?

Times New Viking:


That's records - Songs, I suppose, I can manage better - I hear them, after all... Here, then, is a list!

1. Yo La Tengo - And the Glitter is Gone - the Krautrock blow out on this year's record - but I am an unabashed fan of 10 minute guitar wankings, and motorik leanings are a plus - so...
2. Sonic Youth - Massage the History - this is their version, with a bit more variation even...
3. Dead Weather - So Far From Your Weapon
4. Sonic Youth - Walkin Blue - SY at their most feeliesesque - including lyrically I'm afraid...
5. PJ Harvey & John Parrish - A Woman a Man Walked By
6. David Sylvain - Small Metal Gods
7. Times New Viking - These Days or Martin Luther King Day
8. Decembrists - The Hazards of Love 1 or The Rake's Song
9. Meat Puppets - Rotten Shame - luck of the draw, probably, though not a bad song... this was actually a decent record, especially considering their recent output
10. Yo la Tengo - Avalon or Someone Very Similar - well, when in doubt, stick with Yo La Tengo...

Here's 10 minutes or so of Yo la Tengo, for your viewing as well as sonic pleasure:



there's more, actually:

1 comment:

Joseph B. said...

I toyed with listing Sylvian's latest as one of my top ten favs, but I think it'll take a few more listens. There's nothing quite as grabbing as "Forbidden Colours" on here though. It is avant garde to say the least.