Year in Music 2009

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It's time for my annual round up of music I liked in the past year. Previous years can be found here: 2006, 2007, 2008.

I actually didn't listen to a lot of new music this year so my list is short. But there definitely were some winners with at least two I think I will be listening for a long time.

Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career

A great band straight from the Belle & Sebastian branch of the music tree, My Maudlin Career is a great pop album full of catchy lyrics and sweet songs. Singer Tracyanne Campbell has a wonderful voice that will bring a smile to your face. Great album from top to bottom.

Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
With the original Djr line-up of J Mascus, Lou Barlow, and Murph, Djr proved with Farm that they can still bring the fuzzy guitars. In fact I would put Farm up there with some of their great releases of the 1980s. Thankfully not over-produced like so many other comeback bands (I'm looking at you My Bloody Valentine) the songs are given room to breathe and sprawl around in your brain. Long intros, guitar solos, and repeated chorus are the rule on Farm resulting in 60 plus minutes of fuzzed out bliss.

Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
Probably a lesser effort than Sky Blue Sky or A Ghost is Born, Wilco (the Album) still got lots of listens this past summer and fall. With the infectious Wilco (the Song) and You Never Know, Jeff Tweedy and friends wrote an album for the Great Recession and for those with fears of a black President. Basically telling us to settle down, everything is going to be ok. While lacking some of the experimental guitar chops of previous efforts, Wilco (the Album) is still a solid effort from a band that is producing music at a higher level than almost every other band out there.

The Decemberists - Harzards of Love

The Decemberists followed their dabbling into prog rock with a full on rock opera about wood nymphs, killing babies, a shape-shifting boreal forest dweller named William and a jealous forest queen. Sounds goofy I know and the story is hard to follow but the album rocks. Plus the album includes what I think is the song of the year: The Rake, which even though is about a guy killing his children after their mother dies, is a great song (see video above).

And that's it. Like I said, not a lot new stuff this year. And U2? You should be ashamed for that piece of garbage you released this year. It's one of those rare albums that gets worse upon every listen.

Also I didn't go to a lot of shows this year either. Below are some write-ups of shows I went to. Also a shout out to the apparently no more 757s. I saw them at the Uptown Bar in May (or was it April) and it was a blast. Probably the most fun I had at a bar show in a long time.

Noah and the Whale
Wilco

And finally I can't let the year go by without a shoutout to The Charlie Pickett and the Eggs re-issue/greatest hits album that I picked up this year, what a great album and songs that were sadly missed over these past 20 years.

What music did you like in 2009?


7 Comments

For me, 2009 was kind of a scattered year in music. As always, there was good stuff there if you were willing to dig. I don't know if there were a lot of releases that will endure as essential works but maybe that's not a tragedy. What fun would it be if any boob could create a Kind of Blue, Begger's Banquet, or New Day Rising at the drop of a hat?

Some of the releases that I enjoyed this year are:

Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey - Cracker
Revolution - Miranda Lambert
The Live Anthology - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Popular Songs - Yo La Tengo
Song Up in Her Head - Sarah Jarosz
The Eternal - Sonic Youth
Time Stands Still - Chris Smither
Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
BLACKsummers'night - Maxwell

Best of the Holidays to Free and all of the regular contributers to the site. Many of you have given me great tips on artists that I wasn't familier with until you mentioned them or pulled old nuggets out of the hat that I hadn't thought about in years. Cheers!

So, where's Glasvegas?

I didn't include Glasvegas because their disc was released on 2008. However I should have included a category of music I enjoyed and picked up that wasn't from 2009. If I had done that I would have included Glasvegas, Los Campesinos!, Blitzen Trapper, a couple more GbV I secured, and a cool Buck Owens anthology.

Stagger, I gotta check out that Monsters of Folk release too.

The only album that I really liked from 2009 that didn't make your list was the Gary Louris/Mark Olson release. Otherwise, I thought it was kind of a down year in music.

I also liked the Louris/Olson release. I saw them when they were in Seattle supporting it and it was a great show. They played lots of the new album, lots of Jayhawks songs, and were chatty and seemed to be getting along great.

Fre, has you heard about Straight No Chaser? I love those guys, also their songs. They have funny lyrics and cool styles. That just my opinion. Regards, Alex

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This page contains a single entry by Freealonzo published on December 22, 2009 8:39 AM.

Vikings -- Embrace the Inevitable was the previous entry in this blog.

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