Year End Music Review 2009

Hard to believe another 365 has gone by, but it apparently has.  Only 1090 days until our octopi overlords return to earth and rip us a new one.  In the meantime here is my annual recap of the music I found myself listening to (that was released in the current year that is) over the last 365.  It will confound certain friends and may drive others to embrace some of the things I list here, but in the end this is just a selfish excercise.  Music has always been my greatest release and vice.  While my tastes are broad, they are personal.  I am only sharing, but I hope to get recommendations as a result.  Please feel free to give me your suggestions (but keep your stinkin’ criticisms to yourself.  Music, after all, is a very personal thing.  Like fetishes, you can not criticize, but you can say “Hey, if  you like *that* check *this* out!)  Also, I have been drinking, so I use that as the ultimate excuse…

Best Favorite Releases of 2009:

  • Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures (What you would expect from 1/4 Led Zeppelin + 1/4 QOTSA + (greatest 1/4 Foo Fighters))
  • My Weakness Is Strong – Patton Oswalt (Funiest Comedian working the circuit today?  Listen to tracks “Whiskey, Weed, and L.S.D.” as well as “Orgy” and then let’s talk.)
  • Memoirs At The End Of The World – The Postmarks (Wow, NPR and I agree on music?  WTF?)
  • I Told You I Was Freaky – The Flight Of The Conchords (Well, hell yeah!)
  • Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is! – Black Joe Louis And The Honeybears (Classic blues – modern twist.)
  • No Line On The Horizon – U2 (I know Buck Woody, give me shit.  With exception of stupid first single this may just be a perfect album.)
  • Already Free – Derek Trucks Band (Southern rock that isn’t twangy.)
  • Compass – Joshua Redman (Who is not red, BTW.)


IMHO Most-Disappointing Releases of 2009:

  • Backspacer – Pearl Jam (Guys, after a great previous release you come out with this?  Do we need to put a dickhead back in the White House just so we can get a great Pearl Jam record?  Not worth it – don’t get any ideas John Boehner.)
  • American Soldier – Queensryche (I disappeared into Empire after a really bad breakup in the early 90’s.  You’ve disappointed me ever since.)

Most Interesting Releases of 2009:

  • B Is For Bob – Bob Marley And The Wailers  (Smoke a bowl – visit Sesame Street.)

 Hit-and-Miss Releases of 2009:

  • Crazy Enough – Storm Large (Because she has lungs and she was the only good thing about Rock Star 2, yet only a few songs here pull it off.)
  • American Classic – Willie Nelson (An American original, which are a rare breed.  I hate to say I agree with my parents on music, but I can at least say that not all of ’em do it for me.)
  • Chickenfoot – Chickenfoot (Really?  With Sammy Hagar, Chad Smith, Steve Vai, and Michael Anthony *this* is the best you could do?)
  • The Resistance – Muse (Great EP, packaged as a full release.)
  • White Lies For Dark Times – Ben Harper & The Relentless 7  (Oh, you have soooo much more in you than this, but at least you’re getting your rocks on in this one!)
  • War Child – Heroes Vol. 1 – Various Artists (Great tracks from Beck, The Hold Steady, The Kooks, Lilly Allen, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and others. Oh, and Franz Ferdinand doing a live cover of Blondie?  Hell Yeah!)
  • Octahedron – The Mars Volta (Hit Hit Hit Miss Miss Miss Miss Miss…..)
  • Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King – Dave Matthews Band (Better than the last two.)

 Releases I Wish I Enjoyed More Than I Do (2009):

  • Monsters Of Folk – Monsters Of Folk  (Pedigree is not everything.)
  • Secret, Profane, And Sugarcane – Elvis Costello (Hmmm.  Elvis does country.  Country wins.  Let’s hear some of that angst from 20 years ago if you still have it in you Sir. Kthxbi.  PS. Please don’t take this the wrong way. You can truely do no harm.)
  • My Old, Familiar Friend – Brendan Benson  (Love the stuff with Jack White. Do more of that.)
  • Black Gives Way To Blue – Alice In Chains (Great replacement for Lane.  However the song writing is not up to par.)

Guily Pleasure Singles from 2009:

  • The Harder They Come – Willie Nelson (Willie does reggae and it works really well!)
  • Sound of Madness – Shinedown – (“When you gonna wake up and fight for yourself.” favorite lyric of the year.)
  • Straight To Hell – Lilly Allen (With Mick Jones, which rocks.)
  • Wheels – Foo Fighters (Need more Foo!)
  • Uprising – Muse (Great beat.  Plus key song for V.  Favorite remake of favorite miniseries involving aliens from teh 1980’s.)
  • Since We’ve Been Wrong – The Mars Volta (Unfortunately the only track that stands out on latest release.)
  • Atlantic City – The Hold Steady (Better than the original Springsteen version.)
  • Help I’m Alive – Metric (Good to sweat to.)
  • Natalie’s Rap – Incredibad (I know, I know.)
  • Eight Miles Wide – Storm Large (Mainly because of the lyric “My vagina is eight miles wide”, but also because she rocks and is Christmas-hot*.)
  • Fireflies – Owl City (Best Postal Service song that is not a Postal Service song.)
  • No One Said This Would Be Easy – The Postmarks (60’s beat wrapped up in 00’s rhythmn.)
  • Mind Eraser, No Chaser – Them Crooked Vultures (I could only hope a new Led Zeppelin would rock like this.  You go JPJ!)
  • Lay There & Hate Me – Ben Harper & The Relentless 7 (Groove – Rock – Groove -Rock. “Feel like an underpaid concubine that overstayed her welcome.” Love that lyric.)

 WTF – 2009 Style:

  • Winter Songs – Halford III (Granted, hearing my favorite openly-gay heavy metal lead singer let lose on Silent Night isn’t interesting…)

Hey, Aren’t You Just BenGibbard From Death Cab For Cutie? No?  Okay, that’s cool too 2009:

  • Ocean Eyes – Owl City
  • Maybe I’m Dreaming – Owl City
  • Of June – Owl City

Best Live Recording 2009

  • En Concert – Jack Johnson
  • The Best Concert Ever – Jonathan Coulton

Best Live Recording 2009 That Does Not Use The Word “Concert” In The Title 2009:

  • I Got Nuthin’




*If she rang the doorbell on Christmas morning you would politely say goodbye to your family and walk out the door with her.