(it was time to dust off this blog for "best of" season)
the mandatory plot line of a "best of" post/article/story is to say if it was a good/bad/important/lame year in music. i think it's too hard to cast those stones. i'm a "favorites" kind of guy, more than a "best of" guy. i realize if you're a rock/hip hop/country fan you may want to stab me after browsing my list. if you're an indie/shoe gazer/post rock fan you may want to text me and hang out.
don't get me wrong i listened to all the same hip hop albums that everyone else did: kanye (there are 2 great songs there), big boi, the roots and cee lo (congrats on your hit song with a bad word in it, rebel). and you know what, i'd rather listen to steddy p's album "style like mine" from 2009 before any of them. yep, #kcpride.
so here are the fruits of my labor. i plowed through 260 plus albums this year. it was a little less than last year, but that's because i was living in bars all year seeing live shows. i always like to point out, of my top 20, i didn't know 9 of the artists before the year began but they won a spot.
here you go...
20 Stars - The Five Ghosts
more great lilting tales from the Canadian songbird and Broken Social Scene contributor Amy Millan and other band mates.
19 Frightened Rabbit - The Winter Of Mixed Drinks
whiskey soaked Scots put together another good batch of songs of longing and desperation, someday people will know their name.
18 Bettie Serveert - Pharmacy Of Love
loud chick rock shaken at you from Carol van Dyk, similar in vibe to local scene heros from the '90s, Frogpond but they're Dutch.
17 Lissie - Catching A Tiger
midwestern singer songwriter with a really good back line that won me over at SXSW, not your typical coffeehouse girl.
16 The Album Leaf - A Chorus of Storytellers
Jimmy LaValle's San Diego ambient synth rock returns to my favorite albums list, just like in 2004 it's a solid collection of soundscapes.
15 School of Seven Bells - Disconnect From Desire
shoegazer electro pop from identical twins from NYC and another dude, not long after their fall Record Bar gig one of the twins left the band.
14 Horse Feathers - Thistled Spring
indie chamber folk kids from Portland return to my list after their 2008 album, great arrangements of voices and strings.
13 Cowboy Indian Bear - Each Other All The Time
local Lawrence indie pop boys on The Record Machine label teamed up to make a great album, with more good to come with the addition of Katlyn Conroy.
12 Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
"best of" darlings team up for another great album full of memorable songs, if they wanted to they could be as big as U2.
(this video is a youtube version, to create your own, which is AWESOME, go here http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com
11 Tracy Thorn - Love & Its Opposite
better known as one half of Everything But The Girl, here standing on her own this Brit pours out painfully beautiful songs.
10 Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
midwest indie folk rocker puts down the lyric book and picks up a Casio, or five and goes experimental and it's surprisingly successful.