28 December 2009

Best of 2009 (10-1)

1) Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs

They've managed to retain their style for over 20 years, yet continue to sound fresh and adventurous. One of the best bands in existence.

Fun with fruit:

2) Superchunk - Leaves in the Gutter EP

This EP completely rocked my shit for like three months straight.

3) Neko Case - Middle Cyclone

I know of at least one contemporary female piano player that I like. And it doesn't hurt that she covers both Harry Nilsson and Sparks.

Horse whisperer:

4) Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

This was the year in which we see Grizzly Bear become a household name, and for good reason.

Tripping balls:

5) Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle

Bill Callahan returns to his sparse, wry, and manically depressing songwriting. Because happy Smog just doesn't cut it.

6) Group Bombino - Guitars from Agadez Vol. 2

Unlike the first volume, this one is half acoustic, half electric. But it’s still completely raw and messy and awesome. What else would you expect from a Nigerien rebel group?

7) Piano Magic - Ovations

Girlfriend dump you? Take a bunch of ketamine? Paranoid that your heart is about to collapse into itself? Or just generally feel like offing yourself? Well, the good news is you’ve found your soundtrack.

8) Chrissy Zebby Tembo & Ngozi Family - My Ancestors

Technically a release from the early 70's, this album boasts simple melodies, fuzzed-out psych guitar solos, and heavy drums. This sounds a bit like Cream if they were Zambian and Clapton had any balls.

9) A.C. Newman - Get Guilty

Newman’s second solo album is more introspective than his first, but it’s still full of endless hooks and skillful songwriting. And it proves once again that he’s at his best when in total control.

10) Built to Spill - There Is No Enemy

It might not be Built to Spill's best album, but it's got everything they've come to be known for (namely, triple guitar beard attack). And props to them for including slide guitar again- "Hindsight" is a jam reminiscent of much of Doug Martsch's solo album.