2009: Here you have the 11th installment of my annual year-end music review. These selections represent a cross-section of the tunes that have accompanied me through the year. With each edition of this compilation, I hope to expose you to something you may have otherwise missed from the year past.
During 2009 I continued to enjoy the many facets of my work with MindSmack, I finished my Masters thesis at NYU (on the topic of mobile technology in regards to music), & spent a lot of time getting to know new people and staying close with old friends. Some standout live musical events: Ambulance LTD @ Union Hall, Built To Spill @ The Middle East, & the multitude of AKUDAMA shows.
I believe that as the influence of mainstream media continues to decline, the need for a trusted source for cultural recommendations becomes all the more important. On that note, send me your favorite new songs, or ask me to tell you a little more about mine; it is always more fun to share. Please continue to support your favorite artists, see a live show, tell a friend, & play these songs LOUD. This is for you.
~(In Memory of Jimmy Driver & Ozzie)~
01. Raindrops - BASEMENT JAXX
Basement Jaxx have been a staple for me, especially during winter, for years. I was so happy to find out that their newest record is, on the whole, fantastic.
02. Summertime Clothes - ANIMAL COLLECTIVE
Maryweather Post Pavilion was released on the 1st Tuesday of 2009. It was by far my most played album this year. Meant as an ALBUM, check it all out.
03. Back To School - AMBULANCE LTD
No, Ambulance does not have a new record yet, but some of the unreleased songs are so damn good that I just had to share one. Hoping for a release in 2010.
04. Get Over It - SOLID GOLD
My neighbor hipped me to this band from Minnesota. They have no records out in the U.S. yet, I had to mail-order two 7”s from the UK! I have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot more from these guys very soon. Check em out if you have Spotify.
05. Two Weeks - GRIZZLY BEAR
Leading the charge for the continued dominance of Brooklyn Indie Rock on a national level, Grizzly Bear have yet to disappoint. Is this “orchestral pop”?
06. Sun (From Underneath the Lake) - AKUDAMA
This band that I manage has been releasing a free E.P. on the 1st of every month on their blog – Akudama.wordpress.com. This song is taken from the July edition. Help spread the word to your friends & music lovers, they are ready to explode!
07. Intentions - THE WHITEST BOY ALIVE
If this voice sounds familiar, it is because Erlend Øye is the man behind a self titled solo project as well as with Kings of Convenience. Love the lounge groove.
08. Daniel - BAT FOR LASHES
Well, I am kind of obsessed with Natasha Khan, a.k.a. Bat For Lashes. I find the new record to be so-so, but she is one of those rare musicians (these days) that actually sounds better live. She’s from the UK, so go see her perform if you can.
09. I Say Fever - RAMONA FALLS
Side project of the singer from Menomena. *Watch the video for this song!* Seriously, it is incredible. Doesn’t hurt that the music is also pretty sweet.
10. Budos Theme - BUDOS BAND
11-piece afro-funk from. . . Staten Island? Yep, its true. This record is only one of the many, many gems on Brooklyn’s Daptone Records. Keeping vinyl alive.
11. Lust For Life - GIRLS
I am sure I’ll alienate some listeners with this one, but I couldn’t resist including it. The singer’s voice is unique, and I am a sucker for lo-fi pop songs.
12. Love Like a Sunset - PHOENIX
Phoenix finally made it big this year! This is the longest song on the mix, but also the most rewarding. Songs like this reassure me of the power of music.
13. Blood to Gold - BOY & BEAR
A young Australian group that you will not have heard of... yet. Boy & Bear is one of those groups that I just know should make it over here in the States. Watch out for these guys, I was fortunate to meet their manager who gave me this “demo”.
14. Winter Hill - DOVES.
Longtime favorite of mine. Doves continue to turn out dreamy, straightforward melodic rock music that I just can’t ever get enough of.
15. Money I$ King - LEE FIELDS
Lee Fields keeps the James Brown torch alive. This man is 100% Soul/ Funk/R&B Power. It isn’t every day you see a 60+ year old man sweating it out on stage in a 3 piece suit with a 10 piece band. Fitting lyrics for the financial disaster.
16. Percussion Gun - WHITE RABBITS
This group’s debut album was produced by Brit Daniels, the singer of Spoon. I continue to be enchanted by the drum sound and innovative song structure.
17. Wilco (The Song) - WILCO
Wilco! The Band! The Album! The Song! You must see them live.
18. Hindsight - BUILT TO SPILL
One of the “Classic Indie” bands. BTS played multiple nights at small venues in support of this year’s release, which I hope will inspire more bands to do the same. Their set at the Middle East was likely my top live show of the year.