Friday, December 25, 2009

The Revinylization Project: Year in Review

I bought a lot of vinyl this year. The picture above is only a portion of the records I accumulated in 2009. Missing are the old, used, and reissues, but the picture still gives you a taste of how much vinyl was dropped off at my house by the UPS lady. Even with a few releases yet to be released, I bought a lot of records.

And I was good at sticking to the vinyl, so to speak. I bought one album (Beirut) accidentally on CD, another only available on CD (Clem Snide), and a small handful via iTunes. Of course, the fact that most of the vinyl was accompanied by MP3 codes or CD's only encouraged me to buy more. It was simple commitment despite the fact that this town no longer has a reliable source of vinyl. Insound and all their pre-order deals saved the Revinylization Project.

The toughest part was actually listening to the music. The stereo is kept in the basement and I spend most of my time upstairs or in the car. Those albums without a portable option just didn't get many listens. The listening grew easier as Lucia grew up and often requested to go to the basement to play in the area we set up for her. (Before you call child protective services...or vinyl protective services, you should know that the basement is finished.)

As the year comes to a close, many of you have submitted lists of your favorite albums of 2009. (And some of you still have yet to deliver on your promise.) I too have created my own list. As top-10 lists tend to be, this one is fluid. You may find inconsistencies with my best of the decade list, but this is mainly due to oversight and the changing direction of the wind. I may have a completely different list tomorrow. For now, this is what I've got and I'm standing by it.

I sometimes refer to this album as He and Her. Of course, Zooey Deschanel has less to do with this record than Ward had to do with the She and Him debut, but you get the point. The record is good and I have not given it it's due time.

This record didn't grab me right away, but it's a grower. The band's nod to early nineties alt rock draws me back every time...That and Cambria Goodwin's voice.

This married duo put on a great show at Mojo's this year. The energy from that show has held up on vinyl. Say 'yes' to perestroika dance/synth rock from Canada!

"Here to Fall" grabs me every time. The rest of the album holds up as well. I predict with some time and further listening, this one will rise on my all-time list. It's the most complete albums YLT has done in years.

I can't listen to this very often because it's that kind of good. The album is truly effectual. Antony's voice is not of our post-modern society. It defies definition and I defy you not to feel something when this record plays.

I'm always slow with the Brandon Cox bandwagon, but I'm here to tell you that I get it and I'm on board. Sadly, the creator of such brilliant material is not long for this world.

I fully admit it. this one is all hype. And I haven't liked the Flaming Lips for years. Nothing I've heard makes me think that this is a bad album or even one that doesn't belong in my top-5. Let's hope I feel the same after a few listens.

I normally avoid compilations, but this one is too good to pass up. It's one of the few that understands both quantity and quality. I even like the My Brightest Diamond track and I hate her.

I was so close to making this my number 1, but for reasons specified below it sits in the second slot. There's still some part of me that listens with my gut and my gut tells me to like this band. I know that it's beer and lifestyle music, but it's good beer and lifestyle music.

Sometimes the best pick for your year-end list is the most obvious. This record was talked about before Animal Collective were a band. And somehow, it lived up to the hype laid upon it. No one makes music like this. No one. Not Radiohead. Not TV on the Radio. And certainly not Wilco. They sound like no one. They sound big and twisted, unraveling and cross, triumphant and just plain brilliant. How could I not pick this record. It's lasted nearly the entire year without me growing tired of it. I don't even know if I need to hear another record by Animal Collective. This will do just fine.

Others considered for the list (in no particular order):
  • Monsters of Folk
  • Camera Obscura
  • Matt and Kim
  • Dinosaur Jr.
  • Swan Lake
  • Grizzly Bear

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Is it weird that I kind of hope Bradford Cox goes before he starts sucking?
Because I do.