August 3, 2009

2009 Albums (so far)

Because it's slow day in the world of Ozarks sports news and I haven't compiled any lists in a while.

NPR made a list already, but they skipped a bunch of stuff. Also, their list of songs sucks Nitpicking here, obviously, because I do like all these songs. But"My Girls" and "Summertime Clothes" over "Brother Sport"? "Lisztomania" over "1901"? "Zero" over "Heads Will Roll"? Seriously, people?

Anyway, here's a general list of good 2009 albums. What'd I miss?
-Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion (On track to be my favorite of the year when all is said and done, only one contender so far.)
-Dinosaur Jr., Farm (Just got it but they still sound awesome, two listens in.)
-Dirty Projectors, Bitte Orca (Overrated. He's trying to hard to be David Byrne and thinks his band are the Talking Heads. They aren't. The female singers can get annoying, too. Like in this song. A shame, because I love the off-putting video.)
-Franz Ferdinand, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (Still love them, no matter how much they sound like cartoon dance music.)
-Grizzly Bear, Veckatimist (Thought this would bore me, but I was wrong. It has some punch that I didn't expect.)
-Jarvis Cocker, Further Complications (Witty and British. Kind of grating, actually. Too bad, I expected more.)
-Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Has anyone not heard this yet? It is imperative that you do so. Right now it's this or Animal Collective.)
-Sonic Youth, The Eternal (A Sonic Youth Album. They actually sing and harmonize, sorta, above the crazy guitars. Not the best, but still pretty good...)
-Thermals, Now We Can See (Still feel the same way as I did when I bought it: excellent.)
-Wavves, Wavves (All you need to see, really: So Bored (official? with this guy, I can't tell) music video.)
-YYYs, It's Blitz (I feel like we've debated this before, but I don't remember where. The firs three songs are as good as any they've put together. Then the middle five songs are virtually indistinguishable from one another in my mind. Then the last two songs close well. But I get bored before then. Sorry.)

Finally: Polvo. They aren't new (mid-90s guitar rock who just reunited). But listen to Polvo. They have a new album, apparently. Listen.

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Blogger Tony said...

I agree, completely, with your song vs. song preferences. And how sweet is that Phoenix guitarist in the blue shirt? Unfortunately, the drummer is jacketed.

I really do like "Two Weeks" by Grizzly Bear, and the video is captivating.

100% yes to Thermals and WaVVes.

"Noble Beast" is also new by Andrew Bird, but it's solid at best. "Fitz and Dizzyspells" has a really terrific backing rhythm in support of the typically awesome whistling melody.

August 3, 2009 at 11:24 PM 
Blogger Tony said...

Also, "Keep It Hid" by Dan Auerbach. Highlight: "Whispered Words," which I show here in studio version not because the live clips were lacking, but because the 3:14 crescendo seems best in it.

August 4, 2009 at 12:26 AM 
Blogger M. Perkins said...

I love that brat pack mash up.

Dragonslayer by Sunset Rubdown, which is one of my very favorite albums of the year.

If you count Amadou et Mariam for 2009, I'd throw in Welcome to Mali.

I also really like Bromst by Dan Deacon, Wilco (the album) -- not their best, but good anyway, and Gather, Form, & Fly by Megafaun.

August 4, 2009 at 1:25 AM 
Blogger Chase said...

I also agree with your song vs. song preferences. I remember Tony and I talked about "Zero" vs. "Heads Will Roll," specifically.

I'm still not super-into Animal Collective, but I like the rest of your list (haven't checked out a few of these, but I'll definitely take a look now).

Also, like Mark, I liked Sunset Rubdown's new album, though it doesn't reach the heights of Random Spirit Lover.

August 4, 2009 at 12:28 PM 
Blogger M. Perkins said...

I also really like the Ecstatic by Mos Def. New favorite juggling album.

August 4, 2009 at 4:54 PM 
Blogger JHitts said...

Tony: That "Two Weeks" video creeps the hell out of me, but I love it. I still need to get into Andrew Bird, what's the best to start with?

Mark: I read an interview with Thomas Mars (on Pitchfork most likely) where he said that the Brat Pack mash up was better than the actual video they made.
I do own the new Sunset Rubdown (thanks, Tony) but have not actually listened to it very closely. Also, the Estatic looks good, I saw him on Letterman and his performance was really original, I think, for a rapper.
The other ones you mentioned I haven't even heard of (besides, of course, Wilco). I'll check them out.

Chase: Still no AC for you? Man, I don't see how that's even possible. I love it so much.

Also, generally: has anyone heard Camera Obscura? Weren't you guys into the older album?

August 4, 2009 at 5:00 PM 
Blogger M. Perkins said...

I also forgot Passion Pit, which is repetitive but not tiring.

August 4, 2009 at 5:36 PM 
Blogger Tony said...

Re: Sunset Rubdown: The album has grown on me in the past two weeks after I gave it a break. Initially a bit underwhelming, and is it true that some of the songs have previously appeared elsewhere in "better" form?

Jack: Start with "Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs."

Animal Collective does not excite me, but "Summer Clothes" is cool.

AND, how about new Circulatory System and Yo La Tengo set for release on the same September day !?

August 5, 2009 at 11:50 AM 
Blogger Chase said...

My friend Millie introduced me to Camera Obscura. I have her album "Let's Get Out of This Country"'s decent.

AS for Andrew Bird, I dunno, I like "Armchair Apocrypha" a lot. But

August 5, 2009 at 3:01 PM 
Blogger JHitts said...

I just seemed to remember you having a few of Camera Obscura songs on some YouTube playlists, which is why I asked. There's one song I've heard from the new album called "French Navy" that I sort of liked, so I was intrigued.

August 5, 2009 at 6:02 PM 
Blogger M. Perkins said...

I think I'm with Chase on Andrew Bird, but the albums play to different moods. Both very good.

Tony, "Paper Lace" is Krug covering his own song from Swan Lake. I like the Dragonslayer version better. Swan Lake feels plodding. "You Go On Ahead" is part II of Trumpet Trumpet from Random Spirit Lover, somehow. Once again, prefer Dragonslayer. There may be other connections, but those are the only two I know.

I agree that Dragonslayer doesn't quite reach the level of "Mending of the Gown," or even maybe "Up on your Leopard" and "Taming of the Hands..." For that matter, there are some moments on Shut Up that are better than anything on Dragonslayer. But as an album, I like it the best (and second only to Apologies in all Krug's projects). Both Shut Up and Random feel tiresome sometimes, like Krug's overindulging his voice or something.

August 5, 2009 at 8:27 PM 
Blogger Daniel Silliman said...

Dylan had a new album this year. It wasn't his best, but there were some good songs on there.

August 6, 2009 at 3:45 AM 
Blogger JHitts said...

Is i as good as "Modern Times"? I really like that one, as far as his later stuff goes.

August 6, 2009 at 8:56 PM 
Blogger M. Perkins said...

Okay I take it back. When I first listened to the Sunset Rubdown one, it being a little more energetic and all, I was smitten. And I still am. But with a little more time, the Swan Lake one is just so so good. Better.

I stand by the Trumpet Trumpet stuff.

September 18, 2009 at 11:35 AM 
Blogger Tony said...

Mark: Oddly enough, I was actually planning to comment on this post again -- because Dragonslayer has grown on me in recent weeks.

September 28, 2009 at 12:33 AM 

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