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  • My Absurdly Voluminous Take On Music in 2005

    Dic 8 2005, 8:58 di saelan

    It wasn't the most stellar year (a friend and I agreed that 2005 seems to be, unfortunately, The Year Without Classics), but there was still lots of stuff worth checking out. If the list is numbered, then it's theoretically in order of quality, but the sequencing is still pretty loose, particularly in the bottom half of the Top 40. Basically, I don't think any of these albums are really "essential". They just happen to be notable.

    The Top 40

    1. Animal Collective - feels (The best band in the world for five years running.)
    2. Deerhoof - the runners four
    3. Caribou - the milk of human kindness
    4. Bonnie "Prince" Billy & Matt Sweeney - superwolf
    5. Josephine Foster - hazel eyes, I will lead you
    6. Mt. Eerie - no flashlight (Weak Elverum still beats most things.)
    7. Architecture in Helsinki - in case we die
    8. Gang Gang Dance - god's money
    9. skygreen leopards - life and love in sparrow's meadow
    10. Smog - a river ain't too much to love
    11. Vashti Bunyan - lookaftering
    12. Sufjan Stevens - illinois
    13. Devendra Banhart - cripple crow (Pretty flawed, but it's still got a lot of great songs. I've listened to it tons.)
    14. Ris Paul Ric - purple blaze
    15. Devendra Banhart/Jana Hunter - split LP (Some of Banhart's best, and Jana Hunter's songs here far exceed her full-length, which does not appear on this list).)
    16. Wolf Parade - apologies to the queen mary
    17. Sam Prekop - who's your new professor?
    18. Spoon - gimme fiction
    19. Lightning Bolt - hypermagic mountain
    20. Final Fantasy - has a good home
    21. Keith Fullerton Whitman - multiples
    22. Colleen - the golden morning breaks
    23. Jane - berserker
    24. Konono No. 1 - congotronics
    25. Jens Lekman - oh you're so silent jens
    26. Xiu Xiu - la foret (Grew on me. More Knife Play, less Fabulous Muscles.)
    27. Sunburned Hand of the Man - no magic man (So far, the only SHotM that's really impressed me.)
    28. Jan Jelinek - kosmischer pitch
    29. Delia Gonzales & Gavin Russom - days of mars
    30. Jack Rose - kensington blues
    31. Hair Police - constantly terrified
    32. Six Organs of Admittance - school of the flower → Never grew on me like I thought it would.
    33. The Books - lost and safe (Their weakest to date, but still loaded with good bits, even if the lyrics are a little cringe-worthy. Awesome when played live.)
    34. Prefuse 73 - surrounded by silence (Too many cooks, sure, but they're good cooks.)
    35. Oneida - the wedding (Like every Oneida album: inconsistently awesome.)
    36. M. Ward - transistor radio (Only heard it when others played it, but it's very nice.)
    37. Orthrelm - OV
    38. Fursaxa - lepidoptera (I never thought I'd say so, but Tara Burke is just getting too stoned. This is decent, but the Ecstatic Peace LP is better.)
    39. Antony & the Johnsons - I am a bird now (Great live, but not as good as the debut. Kinda adult-contempo, if you're honest about it.)
    40. Nagisa Ni Te - dream sounds

    Some Great EPs (and short albums)
    These are some of the best things that came out this year, easily exceeding a lot of the LPs listed above.

    1. Animal Collective w/ Vashti Bunyan - prospect hummer EP
    2. Lavender Diamond - the cavalry of light EP
    3. Vetiver - between
    4. Deerhoof - green cosmos EP
    5. Panda Bear - I'm not/comfortable in nautica EP
    6. Fennesz Sakamoto - s/t
    7. Warmer Milks - penetration intials CDR (Hard to get, but worth the trouble.)
    8. Fiery Furnaces - EP
    9. Sunset Rubdown - snake's got a leg
    10. Liars - it fit when I was a kid EP

    Disappointments

    Broken Social Scene - s/t (One good song (7/4 Shorelines) and a giant soup of oohs and ahhs. I think it all went wrong when they decided not to call it Windsurfing Nation.)
    Beck - guero
    Black Dice - broken ear record (Three words, guys: get Hisham back)
    Fiery Furnaces - rehearsing my choir
    Ariel Pink - worn copy
    Tujiko Noriko - blurred in my mirror
    Out Hud - let us never speak of it again

    Top Hits
    I'll probably think of more as time goes on.

    Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley - welcome to jamrock (Best song of the year?)
    Mike Jones feat. Slim Thug & Paul Wall - still tippin'
    Bloc Party - banquet (Only good when drunk on the dance floor, but then it's perfect.)

    I Never Listened To...

    Bjork - Drawing Restraint 9
    Silver Jews - tanglewood numbers
    The Fall - fall heads roll
    Angels of Light - sing other people
    Angels of Light/Akron Family - Split LP
    Earth - Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method
    Sunn o))) - black one (Saw their show, though. Sound has never actually hurt me like that before.)
    OOIOO - gold and green

    Compilations

    Four Women No Cry (Monika) (Lovely 4-pack of laptop chanteuses. Keep an eye on Monika. They're coming up.)
    World Psychedelic Classics 3: Love's a Real Thing-The Funky Fuzzy Sounds of West Africa (Luaka Bop)
    Tropicalia! (Soul Jazz) (Perfect selection of defining tropicalia documents, luscious packaging.)
    New Thing! (Soul Jazz) (Great collection of post-Coltrane avant-jazz in the USA.)

    Top Live
    Oddly enough, some of the best shows I saw this year were by bands whose albums left me cold.

    1. LCD Soundsystem @ The Commodore (They closed with Harry Nilsson's "Jump Into the Fire". I was so stoked I nearly hyperventilated.)
    2. The Books @ Chop Suey, Seattle
    3. Gang of Four @ The Commodore
    4. Black Dice @ Mesa Luna
    5. Tujiko Noriko @ Scotiabank Dance Center
    6. !!! @ The Plaza
    7. Bend Sinister & A Javelin Reign @ various shows
    8. Black Mountain/Oneida @ Richard's
    9. Caribou @ Richard's

    Reissues/Old Made New

    Can - future days/soon over babaluma/landed
    Robert Wyatt - live at drury lane 1974
    Luciano Cilio - dell'universo assente (Amazing Italian composer/performer who killed himself in 1983. This is a reissue of his complete works from the 60's and 70's.)

    Best Local

    1. Bend Sinister - through the broken city
    2. Pink Mountaintops - s/t
    3. Black Mountain - s/t
    4. Secret Mommy - very rec
    5. P:ano - ghost pirates without heads

    Best Microtrend: Finnish Psych-Folk

    YES:
    Paavoharju - yhä hämärää
    Islaja - palaa aurinkoon
    Lau Nau - kuutartha
    Kiila - Silmät Sulkaset

    NO:
    Kemiallisit Ystavat

    Top Guilty Pleasure

    Gorillaz - demon days