Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Mid-Year Top 10

I did this last year and the trolls showed up in full force. Hopefully this year's list won't be so controversial. It's already late, so that takes away some of the impact. Also, this list could change drastically over the next six months or so, but I will garuntee that all of this top ten will be around when '09 is over.

10. Outer South - Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
Honestly, I wasn't even going to include this on the list until I started giving the record another listen or two in preparation for this past Monday's show at the Note. The performance did the final convincing.

9. The Crying Light - Antony and the Johnsons
This is an absolutely beautiful record that is sequenced masterfully. This is why albums are always better than singles.

8. Grand - Matt & Kim
They're my default ringtone right now. This record is so poppy and upbeat that I had to include it on the list. It may rise by year's end, depending on my mood.

7. Hold Time - M Ward
Ward follows up his great work on She and Him with this gem.

6. Enemy Mine - Swan Lake
Big, weird, Vancouver, super-group, etc.

5. It's Frightening - White Rabbits
This is a great follow up for the one-time COMO-ians. While Britt Daniel's fingerprints are all over it, the album is certainly proof of this band's worth. I look forward to #3.

4. Face Control - Handsome Furs
Here's another great duo who are also a couple on the side. (Matt & Kim being the other.) Few bands have been able to combine synth beats and rock guitar so least with only two members.

3. Dark Was the Night - Various
This sprawling collection of songs from the Red Hot Organization is one of the best compilations I've heard. Many of the tracks are among the best for each artist. The biggest and most pleasant surprise was José González's Nick Drake cover. Why don't more people cover Nick Drake?

2. Merriweather Post Pavilion - Animal Collective
This is on everyone's short list. It will be near the top at the end of the year as well. It's so nice to hear a record that lives up to its hype. This is the next Radiohead/Wilco/TV on the Radio.

1. Post-Nothing - Japandroids
I am a sucker for minimalist anthems. Guided By Voices did it better than anyone, but this band does it with less and rocks more.

Just missed the cut: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Wavvves,
Beirut, Iron and Wine, Sunset Rubdown

Need more listens: Clem Snide, Cursive, Sonic Youth, The Thermals, Bill Callahan, Camera Obscura

Still on my list to get: The Eels, Dinosaur Jr, Stuart Murdoch

Things I may have missed: Andrew Bird, Robert Pollard (in my neighborhood, we call him Bob), Ben Kweller, The Decemberists...Let me know if there are more in the comments.

Also, what else is still yet to be released? Leave me some insight in the comments.

Want to see for yourself? Go to Insound and buy some records.


ks said...

Nice list! Some on there I have; some are on my list (or NOW on my list) to get. I have to say that I really, really enjoy The Horrors as well as The Veils' that came out in April.

Love the Japandroids...minimal rock, but "Heart Sweats" is a fist-pumper.

If you haven't heard it, DEFINITELY check out Polvo's new tune "Beggars Bowl." Their 1st album in 12 yrs is coming out in Sept. AND THIS SONG IS AWESOME. Yo La Tengo also has a new album out in Sept....and Spiral Stairs, too!! WOOT!

Anyhoo...that's all for my recs.

Mike said...

No drama.

I'm really diggin' Grizzly Bear. Wilco's new one isn't terrible. I've wanted to hear Sunset Rubdown's latest, but haven't gotten to it yet.

Pitchfork just released their Guide to Summer Music. I'm looking forward to Magnolia Electric Co., Monsters of Folk, and the Clientele, among others. The Big Star box is what I've been losing sleep over.

Zach B said...

Things you should check out before the end of 2009:
the Blue Depths by Odawas
Clues s/t
Fever Ray s/t (my durable #1 favorite 2009 album)
the Floodlight Collective by Lotus Plaza (Locket from Deerhunter)
God is saying this to you by Kurt Vile
Here We Go Magic s/t
Hospice by the Antlers
Inside your guitar by It Hugs Back
Signal Morning by Circulatory system (and look out for a new Olivia Tremor Control album, because apparently it's coming!)
Three Fact Fader by Engineers
Yesterday and Today by the Field
You Can Have What You Want by Papercuts

Also, ditto KS: Spiral Stairs has something coming out so hold onto your asses.

bdegenaro said...

just listened to part of Handsome Furs' set at Detroit tastefest--pretty good stuff. just picked up the new wilco and that ain't too bad either.

Carrie said...

Japandroids pretty much rocked my skin off last night at the record bar. My ears are still ringing. some of the more minimalist acts don't quite translate to a live show (ie wavves), but Japandroids really cranked it up to 11 and delivered the goods despite gastric disturbances.

I have some photos up on my blog and a little write up as well.

jenwingard said...

Neko Case! Neko Case! Gotta love the new Neko, right?

Zach B said...

God, there's a live bootleg I had for a long time before Plague Park
(handsome furs) came out that had this really bizarre cover of
"Highway Trooper" by Bruce Springsteen on it, and also this early version of "Dead + Rural" where the lyrics were all the lyrics to "the Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack" by Liars, and I'd probably submit to public humiliation or knowingly poo or pee myself to hear that again.

Anonymous said...

I love that Clem Snide, but I'm pretty sure that's just the place I'm in.

Also, my captcha: Net Ho. Why yes, yes I am.