Thursday, December 17, 2009
TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2009
1. Rowland S. Howard - 'Pop Crimes'
Easily one of the most visceral, raw and honest records you're likely to ever hear. It's no secret that Rowland has been very ill for some time and it's quite hard not to take this into consideration when listening to this album. Although i think this might be the intention, look at the cover... Rather than side step the issue, Rowland has stared death right in the face and given the devil a long boney finger.
When you've reached cult status such as Rowland has, i guess it'd be easy to hang up your gloves and rely upon your peers of yesteryear to sing your praise in biographies and liner notes.
I think it takes a very large set of balls to make a record when you know it could very well be your last. How would you wanna be remembered? How would you wanna be remembered if you were Rowland? All the glory, all the sins, all the stories, be they fact or fiction.
Well i get the feeling when listening to this album, he knew exactly how he wanted to go out before it's curtains. You really feel that he has seen the end and came back to tell us the story, his story, almost like he's delivering his own eulogy.
There's songs of lament, regret and great emptiness, but also love, tears, understanding and acceptance. It's life. And to cover a spectrum of emotions that broad is an incredible feat. It's nothing short of a masterpiece and a great testament to an incredible artist.
2. Mum Smokes - 'Easy'
'Easy' is CD1 of a 2CD album.
I still haven't been able to get passed CD1. It's that good!!
'Easy' is one of those albums that make you feel privileged and lucky for finding.
It's almost like a mix tape made just for you. You want to keep it just for yourself, but you can't help but play it to friends to show off. 'Ohh, this, yeah some friends made it for me, why? do you like it?'' The great beauty is, you secretly know that there's a good chance they just made it for themselves. These songs feel very personal and intimate, they probably don't give a fuck who you are and if you like it or not, which gives it an overwhelming sense of honesty.
It took them a while to record both these records and get them out. You can literally hear the hours spent in the bedroom studio or the endless Saturday living room recording sessions, but it all comes out sounding so effortless and well 'easy'. It's a beautiful record and this band deserves way more recognition.
3. Bridezilla - 'The First Dance'
From flower to fruit.
I don't think any band has gotten their artwork from EP to LP so spot on.
The last 3 years have been an intense period of growth for this band.
I feel very lucky to have watched it literally side of stage.
You only need to do 5 mins research to see what the band's achieved and what's been written about them in this space of time. It's pretty darn impressive.
What's even more impressive is the fact that the creativity and originality that this band possess is endless. This album is only the beginning.
4. The Mess Hall - 'For The Birds'
I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that The Mess Hall are one of Australia's best bands.
If anyone was stupid enough to question this when 'Devils Elbow' came out, then 'For The Birds' should literally be the cream pie thrown in every fence sitters face.
They make me proud to be Australian and i don't mean in a flag cape, VB top hat kind of way, I'm talking about a Paul Kelly in R.M Williams drinking a Coopers Pale Ale kind of way.
They're up there with our very best like The Saints, Beasts of Bourbon, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Dirty Three, Kev Carmody etc
May they continue to provide this country with great music and culture for many years to come.
5. The Soft Pack - 'Extinction'
I know generally people who write music blogs like facts and are in fact nerds themselves, who spend hours looking for opportunities to correct fellow on-liners.
So let me make this announcement - I know this was released as a 12'' in 2008 (when they were called The Muslims and i wish they kept that name), but it got released in Australia this year and that my friends is why it is being listed by me again in 2009.
Seriously do bands get much cooler than The Soft Pack?
The answer is no.
They covered Spacemen 3's 'Walking With Jesus' as a B-Side on a 7''
The A side was 'Extinction' which pretty much back handed every closet Emo that was trying to start a band that sound like 'Joy Division'.
Yep...i know, cool right?
This band will probably dominate the next decade and if they do, you read it here 1st.
If they don't' then my point about everyone in the world being a complete and utter moron will become valid.
6. Girls - 'Album'
Ever heard the saying - 'it's the albums that grow on you, that become the most rewarding?'
Well this is the perfect example of that saying.
I wanted to brush this record off after listening to it halfway.
Maybe because the guy on the cover looked like my girlfriends ex-boyfriend & all the pictures of girls in the sleeve looked like some shoot for Vice Magazine or an American Apparel ad.
But i heard a voice inside me say 'hey buddy, that's not fair, you barely gave that a go'
I tried again whilst trying to do a million things at work and it washed over me again.
Some trustworthy peers convinced me that i stick with it and that indeed it was like HBO's 'The Wire' no one truly gets addicted till about the 5th episode, after that it's visual crack.
So i stuck with it and about 3 mins into 'Hellhole Ratrace' the penny dropped, this was indeed an AMAZING album. I felt guilty and disappointed in my own judgement that i didn't ''get it'' sooner.
I now, cannot take this record off. I have listened to it everyday since my epiphany.
It just keeps getting better and better.
7. Memory Tapes - 'Seek Magic'
Only a couple of albums come out every year that make you think
- 'fuck, is this from the future?' Well Memory Tapes IS from the future. In fact it's from a futuristic Utopian fantasia, a magical landscape. Don't believe me?
Take 'Bicycle' for instance, ah....single of the year anyone??
This whole Utopian fantasia seems to be becoming a bit of a popular theme, MGMT, Empire Of The Sun etc is it escapism? Lord knows there's some stuff going down now that we could all escape from or is it evolution? If we wanna be the Utopian Planet where we have parties on rainbows and tigers are our pets we need to at least start singing songs about it.
8. Major Lazer - 'Guns Don't Kill People, Lazers Do'
When i 1st heard that this project was happening i got pretty excited.
Diplo + Switch, 2 of the hottest producers heading to Jamaica to make a Dancehall record.
Then they decide to add this whole storyline behind it....
Major Lazer is an Ex Commando who lost his arm in the Zombie Wars of 1984, he fights Vampires and flys around on a Hover board.
Now some of you might call that absurd, but i call it awesome.
But it wasn't all just gimmicks, this album provided some of the best club tracks of the year like 'Hold The Line' and 'Mary Jane'
Other amazing albums worthy of note that i intend on ranting about soon.
9. Songs - 'Songs'
10. The Black Ryder - 'Buy The Ticket Take The Ride'
11. Sarah Blasko - 'As Day Follows Night'
12. ST Helens - 'Heavy Profession'
PLEASE BUY THESE ALBUMS, THEY ARE ALL WORTHY
TOP 10 GIGS
1. Dirty Three / ATP @ MT Buller
2. Bon Iver @ Spiegeltent
3. Tame Impala @ Oxford Arts Factory
4. The Laurels @ The Hopetoun (7'' Launch)
5. Daisy M. Tulley @ Oxford Arts Factory (w/ The Mess Hall)
6. Black Mountain @ The Annandale Hotel
7. Eddy Current Suppression Ring @ GOODGOD (w/ Quintron)
8. The Kills @ The Forum
9. Cabins @ The Annandale Hotel
10. Cat Call @ The Enmore (w/ Phoenix)
1. Dead Weather - 'Treat Me Like Your Mother'
2. The Mess Hall - 'Bell'
3. The Black Lips - 'Short Fuse'
1. Paul Kelly - 'Foggy Highway'
2. Chrissy Zebby Tembo - 'My Ancestors'
3. Selda - 'Selda'
I did have a Top 10 Song list, but who was i kidding.
Here's 2 mixes instead highlighting some fine, fine moments in music.
BEST 0F 2009 PT 1.
1. Girls - 'Lust For Life'
2. The Drums - 'Let's Go Surfing'
3. The Soft Pack - 'Extinction'
4. Woven Bones - 'Janie'
5. DZ - 'DFA'
6. A Place To Bury Strangers - 'Exploding Head'
7. The Juan Maclean - 'The Station'
8. Peaches - 'Lose You'
9. Memory Tapes - 'Bicycle'
10. Brain Children -'Guts'
11. The Laurels - 'Wandering Star'
12. The Frowning Clouds - 'She's Mine'
13. Cloud Control - 'Gold Canary'
14. Nite Jewel - 'What Did He Say'
15. Washed Out - 'Feel It All Around'
16. Major Lazer - 'Hold The Line'
17. Kid Sister - 'Get Fresh'
18. Empire Of The Sun - 'We Are The People'
19. Jack Penate - 'Tonights Today'
20. Temper Trap - 'Sweet Disposition'
21. The Kritzlers - 'Scarlet Sometimes'
BEST OF 2009 PT. 2
1. Wolf and Cub - 'Seven Sevens'
2. Kasabian - 'Fire'
3. Songs - 'Something To Believe In'
4. ST Helens - 'Get Up'
5. Tame Impala - 'Sundown Syndrome'
6. Sarah Blasko - 'Sleeper Awake'
7. El Perros Del Mar - 'A Change Of Heart'
8. Bon Iver - 'Blood Bank'
9. Bridezilla - 'Magnetic Arrest'
10. Rowland S. Howard - 'Pop Crimes'
11. Cabins - 'Catcher In The Rye'
12. The Mess Hall - 'Bare'
13. The Fearless Vampire Killers - 'Loaded Gun'
14. Deep Sea Arcade - 'Lonely In Your Arms'
15. Red Riders - 'The Siren Sings'
16. Mum Smokes - 'Wrap Up'
17. The Black Ryder - 'Sweet Come Down'
18. Pink Mountaintops - 'Vampire'
19. Daisy M. Tulley - 'I Will Never Forget'
Thursday, December 3, 2009
GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY, IT'S A DYNAMITE X-MAS
That's right, this year we're turning the Ho Ho Ho into Bo Bo Bo!
At our beloved GOODGOD (it was only a matter of time right?)
Bringing more 45's than Santa can fit into his sack, watch as the Dynamic Duo run the track back to back.
But it wouldn't be an extravaganza without getting some special guests on board.
So make way for Mr GoodGod himself - Jimmy Sing
+ the Rudest of all Rude Boys - Dan Splitter.
Head on down Friday December 18th and help us end the year with a bang!!!
More details here
As it's the season of giving and all, here's 2 outstanding tracks from
- The Hippy Boys.
Mad Movie - Download
Straight To The Head - Download