this is the best year for new music i've had in a long time. i bought more albums right when they came out than i have in a very long time. possibly since the grunge era. here they are-
1. the warlocks- heavy deavy skull lover
this is easily my favourite record this year- and it seems to not be on anyone else's lists which is an unbelievable shame. it is an incredible record and one of the best warlocks records. i'm still seeking the vinyl version as it has 'worn thin' on it- which is an amazing song. seeing them live this year was one of the best shows i'd seen in a long time and i only caught half of the set. criminally overlooked. the whole album is locked solidly into my top 25 most played on my ipod- i've listened to it 24 times in about two months (and that's not counting how much i listened to the cd at home and during the visit from kc that we just got back from).
2. elliott smith- new moon
only elliott smith would 24 amazing songs sitting around in his closet that were all of such high quality. this record is miraculous. i'd already heard pretty much everything on it through the elliottsmithbsides website (which is where the astounding 'from a basement on a hill' extras were leaked) but hearing them here after they were given some much-deserved love and care and reverence by larry crane is wonderful. if only all posthumous releases were like this posthumous releases would not have a bad name. 'placeholder,' 'pretty mary k' (the version that's on here) and 'angel in the snow' are some of my favourites of any of elliott's songs.
3. deerhunter- cryptograms
i got into deerhunter because my friend diana got me into pitchfork fest for free this year. she had an extra wristband for sunday and she gave it to me. i tried to figure out who i wanted to see and saw that deerhunter had gotten the pitchfork seal of approval (which i am normally pretty suspicious of after what i call the 'serena maneesh incident') and checked them out and was really glad that i made it in time to catch their set as it was the best thing i saw the entire day. i bought this and 'fluorescent grey' (which i pretty much lump in with this as i listen to them both back to back) at the fest. i think that 'cryptograms' is second in my 25 most played. i think i've listened to it about 16 times now or so.
4. nina nastasia and jim white- you follow me
i only own this record digitally. i picked up the bulk of it through various mp3 blogs and bought the stragglers directly from ms. nastasia's snocap store. i think this album has had about 16 plays on my ipod as well. this is the first full album of hers that i owned and what prompted me to see her play at schuba's. i don't even know how to explain what i love so much about her songs, but whatever it is it's reeking and practically marinating in everything that i love about music that is completely intangible and unexplainable. she has such a wonderful voice, a wonderful way with tender, aching melodies and her chord progressions are just simple enough to absorb but just strange enough that you don't understand how she comes up with them. thank you ms. nastasia. i also do love jim white's drumming- i've loved the dirty three for a few years now and his drumming is a great addition to these songs. the concept of a duet album is quite striking as well- just voice, guitar and drums. lovely. 'late night' is the reason i love this album so much.
5. radiohead- in rainbows
this album reminded me that i still love radiohead. i forget sometimes. it's just a case of hearing so much from so many people about how awesome and experimental they are all the fucking time. the fact that occasionally i'll hear this from complete lunkheads doesn't help. all of that said i still love radiohead and this album is a good example why. it's distinctly them and still manages to pull elements from every single aspect of their career so far, but the songs carry it all as always and this batch is particularly strong. i can't believe that they FINALLY released 'nude' after 10 years. watching 'meeting people is easy' and getting upset that the whole song wasn't in it and then after waiting and waiting it wasn't on 'kid a,' 'amnesiac' or 'hail to the thief' and i'd given up hope that they ever release it and then here it is- 10 years on and sounding about a quajillion times better than it did back in 1998 (and that's really saying something- i always thought that it stood out amongst their strongest stuff at that time, which it is common knowledge that the late 90s were their salad days). and then there is also 'all i need' and 'weird fishes/arpeggi' which i think i might love even more than my favourite songs from their salad days. no shit. i paid about the equivalent of $5 for it. this is also something i'd long wished that more bands would do.
yup. it was a weird year- started out really awesome, got really crappy in the middle there for a while and then started to get better towards the end. i would've updated from kansas city but i didn't want my mom to get this address in her autocomplete so i could continue to bitch freely here about my parents. there was only one blow-up and it was just at the beginning- my sister called me on my way home from the airport informing me that my dad wanted to groom me before we went out to dinner that night. my flight had been delayed for an hour and we'd landed just before a blizzard started, mind you and they hadn't even seen me yet. i'd gotten a hair cut and i was cleanly shaven and i have eliminated all clothes with holes for about two months. i got a bit upset and when they saw me they all apologized because i actually looked *gasp* really nice.
from then on the trip was very hectic. we determined that the marathon christmas just isn't possible anymore. i had eight drinks that day and i never got drunk at any point because they were all spread out over the course of the day. i had no access to caffeine of any kind despite being on only a handful of hours of sleep and having to sleep in the media room which was sweltering. i was awakened to the smell of bacon though- which was pretty sweet! i also got to have my mom's sausage souffle for the first time since i was in high school. that was most excellent as well.
after that it was just kind of a rushed push/pull kind of thing and i saw mike and billy a few times but we didn't really get any time to do just the three of us- it was usually in the context of large gatherings and parties, which i'm not so fond of. i just don't like parties that much.
the reader article came out while we were in kansas city, which i'm relieved of. i was pretty happy with how it came out. i even liked the pictures of us that they used. i particularly liked the picture that they put in the table of contents. miles was good to us- he highlighted a lot of things about us that i am really proud of.
anyway, it's really fucking late. i just waded through the entire smeast reunion pictures from a few months ago and oh my god what a festival of pain that was! i hardly even remembered who anyone was at all.