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I’ll be the first to admit that I completely missed the boat with the “best of ’09” lists my co-workers have put up. I turned it over in my mind a few hundred times and eventually decided that I couldn’t nail it down to 10, much less try and put them in any sort of order.
So, opportunity lost, and opportunity…gained?
Instead of writing up a list of last year’s records that have already been hashed, re-hashed, re-re-hashed, and possibly turned into hash browns, I figured that I’d turn my eyes forward to the new year and the new releases coming with it.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “Pin Points & Gin Joints”
Ok, ok, I know that we’re getting this off to a bad start by listing an album with a December 8, 2009 release date here, but hear me out. This album is an indie store exclusive that was released through Newbury Comics in the boys’ hometown of Boston only on the 8th. We got it in this week for the first time and I finally had a chance to give it a listen, and the Bosstones did not let me down. These guys have been putting out quality albums for what seems like forever, and going on hiatus for a few years just seemed to re-energize them. This is an instant classic, with memorable song after memorable song all album long.
Crime In Stereo – “I Was Trying To Describe You to Someone”
Due out February 23rd, the fourth full-length from Long Island’s own melodic hardcore powerhouse is definitely something that’s piqued my interest. It says a lot about how good these guys are that I can still say I’m excited for this even after hearing about the mediocre-at-best album title and strangely bizarre album artwork. They’ve taken the normally staid paint-by-numbers formula of punk rock and really put their own unique spin on it, most notably on the 2007 album Is Dead. It’s always been refreshing to hear someone thinking outside the box and trying new things for themselves and not care when a bunch of kids on a message board cry foul.
The Wonder Years – “The Upsides”
This is going to be the second album for the guys in the Wonder Years, if you don’t count the seemingly countless number of splits and 7″s they’ve released in between their debut and sophomore CDs. This time around, they decided to scrap the whole “doom and gloom, doesn’t life suck” lyrical outlook and focus on the good things in life…hence, “The Upsides”. Drawing on the influences of Saves the Day and New Found Glory before them, the Wonder Years are poised to make a big breakthrough this year and this is going to the be the album that does that. Pick it up when it comes out January 26th!
2009 might have been a pretty rad year for music, but these three albums are just the tip of the iceberg as far as what 2010 is gonna have for us. Let me know what you’re looking forward to in the comments section!
Ok so here’s my top ten for 2009. I like to keep things short and sweet, so don’t expect any lengthy explanations :)
I would recommend these titles to anyone into the indie/ pop punk/ hardcore scenes! Enjoy!
1. Kevin Devine- Brother’s Blood
One of my favorite albums of all time. If you don’t check this out, you’re missing out.
2. Matt & Kim- Grand
Ever hear one of those albums where you love every song from start to finish? This is that album. This duo makes me want to dance like no one else! Especially during the song “Cutdown”.
3. Every Time I Die- New Junk Aesthetic
This band basically never puts out a bad album. It’s no Hot Damn, but it’s a solid album otherwise!
4. Lady Gaga- Fame Monster
I can’t help but love everything that Lady Gaga puts out. Yes, I know that makes me lame. It’s just so catchy though. Fame Monster isn’t too long (Only 8 songs), but definitely worth a listen to. Especially the song “Telephone”.
5. Say Anything- Say Anything
Love this band. Their lives shows are a blast. If you liked their first album, you’ll definitely love this! Lyrics get a little cheesy, but other than that definitely a great album.
6. Manchester Orchestra- Mean Everything To Nothing
No matter how many times I listen to this album, I still like it just as much.
7. Air- Love 2
They’re an electronic band from France. I first got into them when I watched The Virgin Suicides (They do the whole soundtrack) and they just have such a unique sound. If you like Love 2, definitely check out The Virgin Suicides soundtrack as well!
8. MeWithoutYou- It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All A Dream! It’s alright.
MeWithoutYou definitely took things in a different direction this time around, but luckily it turned out pretty cool. But if you’re expecting a typical MeWithoutYou album, you’re in for some disappointment.
9. Converge- Axe To Fall
Solid album, for sure. Exploding with brOOtalness.
10. Where The Wild Things Are- Original Soundtrack
Karen O from the YeahYeahYeahs did this album. Definitely something different. Best soundtrack of the year as far as I’m concerned.
It has long been my belief that music is part of mood, much like temperature and lighting and fragrance. Certain songs or albums fit into a mood like a puzzle piece. Just as Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim fit into a cocktail party, Mazzy Star fits into candle light, Greig’s Peer Gynt Suite matches the dawn and the Drop Kick Murphy’s make beer taste better. We have all had our mood killed by an out of place song blaring like bright lights in a previously dark room. I also know that my opinion of albums depends entirely upon my mood. In light of these views I have decided not to rank the best cds of the year but rather to list the extremely well done albums that I have been recommending all year. On a scale of one to five these cds would all have been a four or better.
-Black Crowes “Warpaint Live” (Best live album of the year)
-Stephen Marley “Mind Control Acoustic” (Stephen channels his father better than any of his siblings.)
-Van Morrison “Astral Weeks Live @ the Hollywood Bowl”
-Built To Spill “There Is No Enemy” (If you like Neil Young you have got to give these guys at least one listen.)
-Ben Harper & The Relentless 7 “White Lies for Dark Times”
-Morphine “At Your Service” (Great alternative to guitar rock)
-Jeff Beck “Performing This Week: Live @ Ronnie Scott’s”
-Mastodon “Crack The Skye” (Metal album of the year)
-Swell Season “Strict Joy” (sequel to the Once Soundtrack)
-Alice In Chains “Black Gives Way To Blue” (one of the surprise albums of the year.)
-Leonard Cohen “Live In London”
-Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood “Live From MSG” (These two make each other better)
-Mark Knopfler “Get Lucky” (mellow morning music)
-George Harrison “Let It Roll: Songs By George Harrison” (Best hits collection of the year. I didn’t know how much I liked George Harrison until I listened to this CD beginning to end.)
-John Mayer “Battle Studies” (soft rock in the classic style, I’m surprised I like it too.)
-Neil Young “Dreamin’ Man Live ’92” (No politics, just the music. That’s how I like my Neil)
-Brandi Carlile “Give Up The Ghost” (Excellent follow-up to a super break out album.)
-MV & EE “Barn Nova” (I took it out of a pile of cds and got blown away. They have been described as the combination of Indian raga style composition with Appalachian folk and post-psychedelic electrical experimentalism. I’m not sure what that means but it is very good. J Mascis guests on it too.)
-William Elliot Whitmore “Animals In The Dark” (Power to the common man!)
-Kings Of Convenience “Declaration Of Dependence” (I hate to
describe a band as sounding like another but these guys have the feel of Simon & Garfunkel. The compositions have the benefit of 40 years of music evolution but vocal harmonies beg comparison.)
-David Rawlings Machine “A Friend Of A Friend” (I thought I was done with Bluegrass after the “O Brother Where art Thou” craze but this CD is just different enough to stand out and is exceptionally well done.)
-Jason Mraz “Jason Mraz’s Beautiful Mess: Live On Earth” (Not what I normally like but he is such a cool person and his voice is among the best in music today. He is at his best live, what greater compliment can an artist receive?)
-Phish “Joy” (Once I heard that Phish fans hated this CD I listened to it immediately, I think it is the best CD Phish have ever made.)
-Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions “Through The Devil Softly” (Enjoy with candle light.)
-Black Crowes “Before The Frost” (I was never a huge fan of this band but every thing they have done since Warpaint has been brilliant.)
-Dethklok “Dethalbum II” (Not an every day listen but its a great soundtrack when I have to get stuff done. Far betterthan a soundtrack to a cartoon should be.)
-Iron & Wine “Around The World” (I was forced to listen to CD this at work until I liked it. I liked it long before I admitted to it.)
-Air “Love 2” (A slight return to their Virgin Suicides CD but different enough not to be covering themselves. I don’t know if this one will stand the test of time but for this time it is exceptional.)
-7 Worlds Collide: Sun Came Out (A charity album to support Oxfam, an organization committed to fighting poverty and injustice in the world. Neil Finn got together a lengthy list of artists including Wilco, Johnny Marr, KT Tunstall, members of Radiohead, Bic Runga, Sebastian Steinberg of Soul Coughing and Lisa Germano and in three weeks time had created two CDs worth of music that will keep your interest the whole way through. A must for any fan of the Finns, Crowded House, etc.)
-Bob Mould “Life & Times” ( I was never a fan of Mould’s, I always found him to be boring. I don’t know which one of us has changed but this CD caught my attention right away and I still enjoy it.
Until next time, listen and enjoy.
Steve had some very nice things to say about Looney Tunes during this interview while he was at our store. Thanks Steve
Welcome to Looney Tunes performance stage page.
Here at Looney Tunes we offer a state-of-the-art sound system, lights and live recording experience.We can multi-track live events and record it if requested. To get a copy of your recorded tracks you must bring your own external hard drive with at least 10 gigs of space in it.
We welcome both national and local acts to perform here at Looney Tunes. So if you like to rock out here, book your bands cd release party or if you are an acoustic solo artist looking for an exposure – Looney Tunes is a great place to showcase your talent. We would also like to thank our friends at Samson for helping us put our stage together.
For more details please contact Karl Groeger Jr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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