Not particularly enthusiastic about a best of list for 2009. I didn’t feel like I heard all that much great new stuff this year. It’s funny, because last year was stacked with great releases, or at least great songs.
My friend Andy always asks me to put together a list and I oblige, since he often gives me lots of music. So here ya go. In a vague order.
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For real. It’s 1989 all over again. This record is awesome. If it had been released right after Bug, we’d all be calling it a classic. Not really any new ground covered. Perhaps less angsty. Perhaps more fun. Regardless, the licks are sweet. Like an awesome time machine rolling you back to your younger days.
White Magic—Dark Stars
Ok, I fully realize that this record didn't come out this year. I don't think it even came out last year. So apparently I'm breaking the rules for a "Best Of" list. But frak it. It's my list and I'm gonna do what I want to. I first heard it this year and I probably listened to this e.p. more than any other record on this list, so it's staying. I caught White Magic at an early show at the Hemlock earlier this year. Maybe I was riding a Chai high from my pre-show meal at Shalimar, but I swear it was a great show. I picked up the Dark Stars e.p. Constant rotation on the iPod. Winds might be the song I listened to more than any other this year. A bit Cat Powerish, a bit Sea and Cakey, a bit Damon and Naomi, a bit trippy, a bit spooky. All good. You can sample a bit here.
Dave Rawlings Machine— A Friend of A Friend
Sick of waiting for a new Gillian Welch record? Forget it. Just pick up this one by her guitarist Dave Rawlings. Great songs. Great guitar playing. And, if you still care, Welch sings on a couple of tracks. A really great record. You know those moments on Time (The Revelator) where Rawlings appears to be channeling an acoustic version of Crazy Horse? Well, you get to hear an awesome cover of Cortez on this one.
I already wrote about this one when it came out. I don’t listen to it a ton. But as a refreshing blast, you can’t lose.
Dan Auerbach—Keep It Hid
I dig the Black Keys. This solo record strips it down and channels the ragged blues in just the right way.
Looking for a Suicide/Spacemen fix? Look no further. The stoned, cold groove is on.
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros—Up From Below
Just came across this one. Dusty, 70’s, LA hippies. Not cloying, irritating or, pretentious. Good music for a weekend at Joshua Tree.
Just picked this up last week. Not sure that it will have staying power, but I'm gonna put it on the list because I'm digging it right now. Poppy, girl-groupy, catchy. At times like The Raveonettes without the squalor. The Raveonettes unChained.
Chuck Prophet—Let Freedom Ring
Prophet goes to Mexico, records in a very old studio, doesn't die of the swine flu, and plays some rock and roll. What could be bad? I Just picked this up last week as well and it's sounding good. Love the production.
Califone—All My Friends Are Funeral Singers
Neko Case—Middle Cyclone
I like these people. Good records. Not their best. But I’ll pull these records on now and again and am glad when they crop up in the shuffle.