Perfect Sound Forever
best music of the year- staff picksDave Andrae
- Subjex Supersonic Mezze (InVitro)
- El Michels Affair Sounding Out the City (Truth and Soul)
- Mahjonng Raydoncong 2005 (Cold Crush)
- Colleen The Golden Morning Breaks (Leaf)
- Broadcast Tender Buttons (Warp)
- Budos Band Budos Band (Daptone)
- Smog A River Ain't Too Much To Love (Drag City)
- Vashti Bunyan Lookaftering (Dicristina)
- Pamoja/Jewel Ooh Baby/Paradise (Lotus Land, reissue)
- Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings How Long Do I Have To Wait For You? (Daptone)
A great year for boxes and re-issues: what’s new? I’d buy Poole and Gals first though. On the down side lots of immortals, wankers, and oddjobs eating dirt: Gordon Spaeth, Jimmy Smith, Tyrone Davis, Obie Benson, The Duchess, Hasil Adkins, Willie Hutch, Long John Baldry, R L Burnside, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Little Milton, Eugene Record, Link Wray, Martin Denny, Bobby Short, Luther Vandross, Domenic Troiano, Spencer Dryden, Jim Capaldi, Lynn Collins, Johnnie Johnson, John Fred, Jimmy Martin, Ibrahim Ferrer, Vassar Clement, Bob Moog, Chris Whitney
- Teenage Fanclub Man-Made (Merge)
- Sufjan Stevens Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty)
- Steve Malkmus Face the Truth (Matador)
- Soundtrack of Our Lives, The Origin, Vol 1 (Republic
- Okkervil River Black Sheep Boy (Jagjaguwar
- Of Montreal Sunlandic Twins (Polyvinyl)
- New Pornographers Twin Cinema (Matador)
- My Morning Jacket Z (Badman)
- Moitzboyz Moitzboyz IV (Sanctuary)
- Martin Gordon God’s on His Lunchbreak (US Dist)
- Love Hall Tryst Songs of Misfortune (Appleseed)
- High School Sweethearts Heels N Wheels (Get Hip Recordings)
- High Dials War of the Wakening Phantoms (Rainbow Quartz)
- Head of Femur Hysterical Stars (Spin Art)
- Eels, The Blinking Lights and Other Revelations (Vagrant)
- Edith Frost It’s A Game (Drag City)
- Dirtbombs/King Khan and His Shrines, The Billiards at Nine Thirty (Sounds of Subterrania)
- Danger Doom The Mouse and the Mask (Epitaph)
- Books, The Lost and Safe (Tomlab)
- Bettye LaVette I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise (Anti)
- Architecture in Helsinki In Case We Die (Bar/None)
- Hold Steady Separation Sunday (French Kiss)
- Sleater-Kinney The Woods (Sub Pop)
- Kiki and Herb Kiki and Herb Will Die For You (Evolver)
- The Wedding Present Take Fountain (Manifesto)
- Kinski Alpine Static (Sub Pop)
- Old Time Relijun 2012 (Kill Rock Stars)
- Pelican The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw (Hydra Head)
- Kelley Polaar Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens (Environ)
- Chad VanGaalen Infiniheart (Sub Pop)
- Chicago/New Haven Women’s Liberation Rock Bands Papa, Don’t Lay That Shit on Me (Rounder)
- Lewis Taylor Stoned (Hacktone)
- Mercury Rev The Secret Migration (V2)
- I've Got My Own Hell To Raise
- Shelby Lynne Suit Yourself (Capitol)
- Ryan Adams 29 (Lost Highway)
- Lizz Wright Dreaming Wide Awake (Verve)
- The Kingsbury Manx The Fast Rise And Fall of the South (Yep Roc)
- Cyndi Lauper The Body Acoustic (Epic)
- Little Brother The Minstrel Show (Atlantic)
- The Darkness One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back (Atlantic)
(The best of Brazil in no particular order)
- Various Artists Não Wave: Brazil Post-Punk 1982-1988 (Man Recordings) Excellent set of samba and bossa infused punk funk that, proud to say, I helped put together.
- M Takara Com Chankas e Jon (Slag Records) Takara goes from strength to strength with this stunning experimental CD
- Instituto & DJ Dolores Narradores de Javé Remix (YB Music) Quiet year for releases from the Instituto crew, however, this will do just fine as they mix up DJ Dolores soundtrack work.
- Cansei de Ser Sexy CSS (Trama) São Paulo uber-hipsters make great pop record shock!
- Edu K Popozuda Rock n Roll remixes (Man Recordings) The killer tune is Edu’s own reggaeton mix, burns up dancefloors every time it’s played out.
- DJ Dedé Tribos (unreleased) First whisperings of a post-baile funk sound. Imagine Madlib or Timbaland in the hills of Rio making mad, bad booty tracks.
- Tetine Bonde de Tetão (Bizarre) Not quite the full-on raunchathon of their live set, but a great collection of steamy electro-baile tunes.
- Satanique Samba Trio Misantropicalia (Amplitude) All manner of macumba related weirdness.
- Parteum Patrocínio Quebrado (Independent) Sophisticated indie-hip hop mix tape.
- Tom Zé Estudando o Pagode (Trama) Quirky surreal sambas from the Tropicália old school.
Oops, that's 11. Let's round it out to 12 and add She Wants Revenge-Debut, being released late January on CD, available now on Itunes. This is retro new wave nirvana. Very tacky and brilliant.
- Spoon Gimme Fiction (Merge) I couldn't get my head around this release at first. Where are the choruses? Is it all verses? Maybe it is. This CD makes my ipod smile.
- Gang of Four Return the Gift (V2) Isn't it a universal truth that rerecording and remix projects are the little wagon that follows the once semi famous? Not this time.
- Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine (Sony) I was stunned by how much I enjoyed this cast off, almost didn't happen release. Let's ignore Fiona some more so she can get brilliant again.
- White Stripes Get Behind Me Satan (V2) The Greats love to confound us, so Jack White-the best, wildest blues white boy around puts out a record of marimba and piano music. Go figure, it still works.
- The Residents Animal Lover (Mute) Giving up the Residents was a rite of passage for many a post college egghead, so it is with great joy that I ask you to take a moment away from NPR to reinvest yourself in America's greatest fringe, hippie revolutionaries. They used to live in a house with the Jefferson Airplane, you know that shit is cool.
- My Morning Jacket Z (ATO) I'm not into hippie rock, jam rock, patchouli rock, incense jazz or any group that smells like day old pot, but I love MMJ. I forgive them all these transgressions because they rock.
- Wilco Kicking Television (Nonesuch) You think Jeff Tweedy still misses those pain killers? I bet he does. This love letter to addiction cements his guitar chops and he and Nels Cline make like Television crossed with The Band.
- Silver Jews Tanglewood Numbers (Drag City) Sadness is the grease that spins the wheels of the best rock music. This shit is mighty sad.
- The Strokes "Juicebox" (iTunes/RCA) Finally The Strokes switch from pain killers to amphetamines and we get the fully realized rock that they only hinted at on their first two releases. The world needs another band of VU devotees like we need a hole in the head, but we need the new Strokes.
- Paul McCartney Chaos and Confusion in the Backyard (Capitol) As a full Cd I think this one is a bit precious, but "Jenny Wren" is as good as song as Macca has ever written, and that's why God made Itunes.
- Brian Eno Another Day on Earth (Hannibal) While the Cd seems dated at times, self indulgent at others, "Bottomliners" is a slice of transcendent, sublime pop, the likes of which Eno hasn't even hinted at since the seventies.
- Paavoharju Yhä Hämärää (Fonal)
- Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffitti Worn Copy (Paw Tracks)
- The Books Lost And Safe (Tomlab)
- Afrirampo Kore Ga Mayaku Da (Tzadik)
- Richard Thompson Grizzly Man OST (Thirsty Ear)
- Nils Økland Bris (Rune Grammofon)
- Steven R. Smith Crown Of Marches (Catsup Plate)
- ES Sateenkaarisuudelma/Maailmankaari/Pianokaari (K-RAA-K)
- Lau Nau Kuutarha (Locust Music)
- The Fall Fall Heads Roll (Slogan)
- Susumu Yokota Symbol (Lo Recordings)
- Bill Fay Group Tomorrow Tomorrow And Tomorrow (Durtro Jnana)
- John Luther Adams Strange And Sacred Noise (Mode)
- Ilk Canticle (VHF)
- Volcano The Bear Catonapotato (Digitalis/Broken Face Recordings)
- A Frames Black Forest (Sub Pop)
- Campaign For Real Time Yes…..I Mean, No (Big Scary Monsters/Curve Of The
- Feast Whisperpants and Penis Tea Flush ATP 2005!!! (Ultra Ezcema)
- First Strike Live at Ralph’s, Worcester MA 12/3/2005
- Gay For Johnny Depp Blood, The Natural Lubricant (Captians Of Industry)
- Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out (Bar/None)
- Jandek Live at Scottish Rite Theater, Austin TX 8/28/2005
- Lucero Nobody’s Darlings (East/West)
- Lungfish Feral Hymns (Dischord)
- Shipping News Flies The Field (Quarterstick)
- Suckdog Drugs Are Nice DVD (Nut Music)
- Kanye West Late Registration (Def Jam)
- Common Be (Geffen)
- Various Artists World Psychedelic Classics, Vol. 3: Love's A Real Thing (Luaka Bop/Stones Throw)
- Various Artists Run The Road (Vice/Atlantic)
- The Hold Steady Separation Sunday (French Kiss)
- Young Jeezy Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 (Def Jam)
- Little Brother The Minstrel Show (Atlantic)
- Duwayne Burnside & The Mississippi Mafia Under Pressure (B.C)
- Bloc Party Silent Alarm (Vice)
- The Game The Documentary (Aftermath/G Unit/Interscope)
- Garbage Bleed Like Me (Geffen)
- Buck 65 This Right Here Is Buck 65 (V2)
- Clem Snide End of Love (Spin Art)
- Dalek Absense (Ipecac Recordings)
- Hot Hot Heat Elevator (Sire)
- Nikka Costa Can'tneverdidnothin' (Virgin)
- Fountains of Wayne Out-of-State Plates (Virgin)
- Bonnie Raitt Souls Alike (Capitol)
- Saul Williams Saul Williams (Fader)
- The Willowz Talk In Circles (Sympathy For the Record Industry)
- Rogue Wave Descended Like Vultures (Sub Pop)
- Atmosphere You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having (Rhymesayers)
- Common Be (Geffen)
- Eels Blinking Lights and Other Revelations (Vagrant)
- Blacklicious The Craft (Anti)
- All the CAN (Sppon/Mute) reissues. What can you say. They just get better and more MODERN as time goes on. Isn't that a definition of true ART?
- American Primitive Volume 2 - v/a (Revenant) the lowest of the lo-fi, unbeleivably raw, hissy and remarkable, makes ya wanna got get a 78.
- Rhythm & Sound: See Mi Ya (Burial Mix/Chain Reaction) - good ole' Moritz Von Oswald mashing it downbeat Studio-One/Wackies style once again. Me thinks the trademark murky-hissy-bass CR-sound is almost nearing its use-by date, that this was still supereior and timeless avante-electronica-neo-dub or whatever.
- Jandek Glasgow Sunday (Corwood) - only took me 15 odd year to finally 'get' this bloke. This 'live' record blows chunks, Last Exit meets lo-fi-indie, tell me any other sucka who does that?
- Ariel Pink House Arrest (Paw Tracks) - he's NOT a Ween wannabe. More like the Residents meets 'Scary Monsters' Bowie (I'll forgive him that he's on the label run by the MASSIVE OVER-RATERS, Animal Collective). The ultimate antidote/fuckyou to the BenFolds/Kweller/Lee undie singer-songwriter rash that is killing singer/songwriters (but who cares?). And he's from LA too!
- Edan Beauty and the Beat (Lewis Recordings) - amazing what you hear on 'mainstream' radio these days! Finally someone decided to sample Velvet Underground-style murky psych-rock and rap over it, anmd it fuggen kills 'the kills'! Maybe he took MoodyMann's advice telling white kids to get back into their own music rather than rippin' of the bruthas?
- Buffalo Volcanic Rock/I only want you for yr body (Aztec Records). FANTASTIC and MIND BLOWING re-issues beautifully digipacked, of obscure Aussie stoner-rock pioneers BUFFALO. Sure they sound very Black Sabbath, and Dave Tice's vocals can be a bit sorta cheesy in a Johnny Farhman kinda way, but any band who has and absolute ROCKER titled 'I'm a skirt lifter, not a shirt raiser' and the unPC 'shylock' deserves yr drachmas in this day and age anyway!
- The Darling Downs How can I forget this heart of mine (self-released, try missinglink.net.au) - Aussie 80s psych-rock legends make what would rate as one of the old-school comebacks of the year (in this country anyway). Despite being labelled as 'country' or 'countryesque' or alt-country, which is kinda right for record clerk filing systems, this album actualy out-freaks today's uber-buber freak-folk stylings.
- Gang Gang Dance God's Money (Social Registry)
- 50 Foot Wave Golden Ocean (4AD)
- The Dirty Three Live at Meredith (Anchor Hope)
- Killing Joke XXV Gathering: Let Us Prey! (Cooking Vinyl)
- The Dirty Three Cinder (Bella Union)
- Ultralyd Chromosome Gun (Load)
- Big Joan Insects and Engines (Blood Red Sounds)
- The Fall Heads Roll (Castle/Sanctuary)
- Howling Hex All Night Fox (Drag City)
- Githead Profile (Swim)
- Part Chimp I Am Come (Rock Action)
- Gang of Four Return the Gift (V2)
- Akimbo City of Stars (Seventh Rule)
- Mandarin Movie Mandarin Movie (Aesthetics)
- Einsturzende Neubauten Unglaublicher Laerm (Munsterhaus 2)
Having witnessed firsthand my treasured hometown of New Orleans, LA get washed away in brackish floodwaters, I must confess that compiling this “Best of 2005” list seems almost shallow by comparison. And yet compile it I must—for the children, the sweet, innocent, delectable children. Feel free to think of a child’s tender nubile body as you scan through this hastily assembled list of CDs I enjoyed in 2005.
- Against Me! Searching for a Former Clarity (Fat Wreck Chords)
- Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine (Epic)
- Troy Von Balthazar (Olympic Disk)
- The Evens (Dischord Records)
- Fantômas Suspended Animation (Ipecac Recordings)
- The Frames Burn the Maps (Anti-)
- Fugazi Live Series Set Two
- Gang of Four Return the Gift (V2 Records)
- Hot Snakes Peel Sessions (Swami Records)
- Limp Bizkit Greatest Hitz (Flip / Geffen)
- Queens of the Stone Age Lullabies to Paralyze (Interscope)
- Sleater-Kinney The Woods (Sub Pop)
- System of a down Hypnotize (American/Columbia)
- System of a down Mezmerize (American/Columbia)
- Wussy Funeral Dress (Shake It)
- Grateful Dead Fillmore West, 1969 Complete Recordings (Grateful Dead Records)
- Hella Concentration Face/Homeboy Tour DVD (5RC)
- Heroin Sheiks Out Of Aferica (Reptilian)
- Paul McCartney Chaos And Creation In The Backyard (Capitol)
- Quasimoto The Further Adventures Of Lord Quas (Stones Throw)
- The Residents Third Reich & Roll (Mute)
- Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang (Virgin)
- Transistor, Transistor Erase All Name And Likeness (Level Plane)
- various artists Night Train To Nashville -- Music City Rhythm & Blues 1945 - 1970 (CMF/Lost Highway)
- Vaz Lie That Matches The Furniture (Narnac)
- The White Stripes Get Behind Me Satan (XL)
- Patti Smith Horses (Arista)
- Funkadelic America Eats Its Young (Westbound)
- Can Future Days (Mute/Spoon)
- Stooges Fun House (Rhino/Elektra)
- Funkadelic Funkadelic (Westbound)
- R. Stevie Moore Aesthetic (RSMCDCLUB)
- Can Landed (Mute/Spoon)
- John Lydon Best of British £1 Notes (Virgin)
- Bob Dylan No Direction Home (Sony)
- Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (Blue Note)
- Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall (Blue Note)
Writing the Terry Knight biography all of ’05, I’m not sure I heard anything new (except a few radio tunes that annoyed me) but in the course of my research, I really came to enjoy these. Also see http://www.utopia2000.org/Albumcover.htm
- International Pop Orchestra Plays For Lovers Only (Wyncote 9021)
- International Pop Orchestra Musical Jewels (Wyncote 9120)
- International Pop Orchestra Reminiscing (Wyncote 9123)
- International Pop Orchestra Moments To Remember (Wyncote 91460
- International Pop Orchestra Plays For Lovers Everywhere (Wyncote 9165)
- International Pop Orchestra Autumn Leaves (Wyncote 9174)
- International Pop Orchestra That’s Life (Wyncote 9185)
- International Pop Orchestra Let’s Fall In Love (Wyncote 9193).
- Lemon Pipers “Green Tambourine” / “No Help From Me” (Buddha 23)
- John Hambrick Windmill In A Jet Filled Sky (Brown Bag 14201)
This is not a Best Of, but rather just a wistful flashback to a better time via newly released, re-released, of rescued-from-oblivion materials. Probably nothing here will move the core of your soul, change the course of history, or uplift civilization to any particular degree, but several of these, if not all, should bring a smile to the mien and stuff a hum or two into the back of the brain. I’ve been a good little anarchist over the last 365 and eschewn the K-Street balltrap, so my indulgence in the fierce engine of keepitallism was less than prolific and, frankly, it was refreshing.
- Moody Blues Lovely to See You Live (Image)
Sans orchestra, sans members, and thankfully sans most of the drek of the later studio LPs, the Moodies are still a killer group live. Apparently, though, they’re not quite so attractive to the majors as was once the case...perhaps due to the somewhat pedestrian Hall of Fame slab in 2000. If *Red Rocks* pleased, this should too. Oh, and Ray Thomas is gone.
- Moody Blues Live in Montreux (Eagle Eye) (DVD)
1991 saw the boys at one of the world’s most prestigious fests, along with the supporting cast (Bias Boshell, etc.) which became a byword. If you got burned by that piece o’ shite *Live in Paris ‘70* (put out by SRO, may they burn in Hell), this will assuage any and all injuries. Light up, lean back, and bliss out.
- Baker Gurvitz Army Live In Derby (MLP)
- Saga The Chapters Live (Inside Out)
- Saga Network (Steamhammer)
- Kevin Ayers The BBC Sessions 1970-1976 (Hux)
- Mike Oldfield Light & Shade (Mercury)
- John Cale Black Acetate (Astralwerks)
- Marillion Marbles Live (Racket)
- Procol Harum Live (EV Classics) (DVD)
- Satie,Erik Vexations (LTM)
- Rammstein Rosenrot (Universal)
- Julius Eastman Unjust Malaise (New World)
- Walter Zimmermann The Echoing Green - Chamber Works 1986-89 (Mode)
- Aeolian String Ensemble Eclipse (Robot)
- Toshi Ichiyanagi Opera from the Works of Tadanori Yokoo (Bridge)
- Lau Nau Kuutarha (Locust)
- Hatfield and the North Hatwise Choice: Archive Recordings 1973-1975, Volume 1 (Self produced & Burning Shed)
- Michel Waisvisz In Tune (Sonig)
- Leif Inge 9BeetStretch (Free Manifesta)
- Luca Miti Just Before Dawn (Ants)
- Scorch Trio Luggumt (Rune Grammofon)
- Robert Een Mystery Dances (Starkland)
- Taku Sugimoto Music for Cymbal (Cut)
- Oren Marshall Introduction to the Story of Spedy Sponda Part One: In a Silent Room (Slowfoot)
- Alvin Lucier Anthony Burr/Charles Curtis (Antiopic)
- John Luther Adams Sreange and Sacred Noise (Mode)
- Animal Collective Feels (Fatcat)
- Gary Higgins Red Hash (Drag City)
- Vashti Bunyan Lookaftering (Fatcat)
- 13 & God 13 & God (Alien Transistor/Anticon)
- United Bible Studies The Shore That Fears the Sea (Deadslackstring/Deserted Village)
- Caribou The Milk of Human Kindness (Leaf/Domino)
- The Books Lost and Safe (Tomlab)
- Cocorosie Noah's Ark (Touch & Go)
- Devendra Banhart Cripple Crow (XL)
- Boy In Static Newborn (Alien Transistor)
- He 6 Go Go Sound '71 (Beatball)
- Various Good For What Ails You (Old Hat)
- William Basinski Melancholia (2062)
- Various Yellow Pills: Prefills (Numero Group)
- Various New Thing (Soul Jazz)
- Various Vertigo Mixed...by Andy Votel (Family Recordings)
- Various Choubi Choubi: Folk & Pop Sounds from Iraq (Sublime Frequencies)
- Henry Jacobs The Wide Weird World of Henry Jacobs (Important)
- Various American Primitive Vol. II (Revenant)
- Bob Dylan No Direction Home (Columbia): archival artifacts and gems; no junk.
- Kuma Up to Now You've Had It Easy (self-released): a New York City band's debut, ranging from beautiful pop to brutal rock.
- Low The Great Destroyer (SubPop): their hardest rocking, most psychedelic, and maybe most memorable work yet.
- Graham Parker Songs of No Consequence (Bloodshot): his most raw and ragged recording since Stick to Me.
- Sleater-Kinney The Woods (SubPop): their Physical Graffiti, their Electric Ladyland?
- Spoon Gimme Fiction (Merge): more of their sonically adventurous pop-rock, with more solid songwriting than on their last one.
- Various Artists Sweetheart (HearMusic): yes, a compilation of artists doing their favorite love songs, created for and sold at Starbucks, but with outstanding tracks by Rufus Wainwright, Neko Case, Joseph Arthur, and Mindy Smith; fun ones by Calexico and Dean & Britta; and nothing unlistenable.
- Laura Veirs Years of Meteors (Nonesuch): folk-pop-rock with loveably wayward vocals, unforced lyricism, and more of a band sound than on her last one. Martha Wainwright Martha Wainwright (Zoe): maybe more folk than pop-rock but with lots of edges; imperfect but nearly always rewarding.
- Walkabouts Acetylene (Glitterhouse): the always articulate, always heartfelt indie-rock veterans' return to furious guitar rock.
- a.c. cotton Notes For The Convention (Ahab Was Right)
- Blackfire Revelation Gold & Guns on 51 (Fat Possum)
- Scout nibblett Kidnapped (Too Pure)
- V/A Impeach The Precedent (Kick Snare Hat)
- Greg Dulli Amber Headlights (Infernal)
- Combat Wounded Veteran I Know a Girl Who Develops Crime Scene Photos (No Idea)
- Vollmar 13 Or So People Who Need Chances (Blue Sanct)
- Big Bear Big Bear (Monitor)
- Kelly Pardekooper Haymaker Heart (Leisure Time)
- Zion I True & Livin (Studio Distribution)
|MAIN PAGE||ARTICLES||STAFF/FAVORITE MUSIC||LINKS|