Archive for: December, 2009

Best Albums 2000-2009

Dec 29 2009 Published by under Music

Cover of Basinski's Disintegration Loops

Rather than pick and choose between different albums, I’m focusing on artists here.  Sigur Ros released a lot of music in the past decade, and it’s all (or nearly all) worthy, so I just lump it all together here in the #2 spot.  The same goes for Basinski, The Caretaker, Boards of Canada, and so on.  Mind you, I don’t add everything by these artists–only the cream of their crop (so to speak).   My attitude is: why focus on one work when so many great artists created multiple works of incredibly high quality?

As a result, I think you’ll find that the top albums list comes out to about 29 individual works (and more, if you count The Caretaker’s work individually).  That doesn’t include the multiple-CD releases here like The River and Kesto.  What does this mean?  Despite the near-death of the music industry, there’s still a hell of a lot of great music out there.

  1. William Basinski’s The Disintegration Loops I-IV and The River
  2. Sigur Rós’s Agaetis Byrjun, ( ), Takk…, and Hvarf – Heim
  3. Joanna Newsom’s Ys
  4. Tod Dockstander’s Aerial #1, #2, and #3
  5. The Caretaker: The Complete Digital Collection
  6. Boards of Canada’s Geogaddi and The Campfire Headphase
  7. Tim Hecker’s Radio Amor, Harmony in Ultraviolet, and An Imaginary Country
  8. Pan Sonic’s Aaltopiiri and Kesto
  9. The White Stripes’s De Stijl, White Blood Cells, Elephant, and Get Behind Me Satan
  10. Radiohead’s Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief, and In Rainbows

Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order)

  • The Advisory Circle’s Other Channels
  • Amiina’s Kurr
  • Antony & The Johnsons’ I Am a Bird Now and The Crying Light
  • Gevorg Dabaghyan’s Miniatures: Masterworks for Armenian Duduk
  • Fennesz’s Endless Summer, Venice, and Black Sea
  • Flying Lotus’s Los Angeles
  • Hildur Guðnadóttir’s Without Sinking
  • Jacob Kirkegaard’s 4 Rooms, Eldfjall, and Labyrinthitis
  • Kode9 & The Spaceape’s Memories of the Future
  • Leyland Kirby’s Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seed’s Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus
  • Random Inc.’s Jerusalem: Tales Outside the Framework of Orthodoxy
  • Rechenzentrum’s Director’s Cut and Silence
  • Stars of the Lid’s The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid and And Their Refinement of the Decline
  • The Silk Road: A Musical Caravan
  • Tom Waits’s Alice, Blood Money, and Real Gone

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10 Best Albums of 2009

Dec 27 2009 Published by under Humor, Music, Personal

I don’t review albums professionally any more, so my list is limited by what I’ve bought and what I’ve heard.  If I missed anything, it probably means I haven’t heard it (or didn’t listen to it very carefully).  In the end, though, “Best” lists are not the end of discussions; they are the beginning.  So enjoy–and add your thoughts at the end.

  1. Leyland Kirby, Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was
  2. Hildur Guðnadóttir, Without Sinking
  3. Antony & The Johnsons, The Crying Light
  4. Tim Hecker, An Imaginary Country
  5. Broadcast and the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age
  6. Roj, The Transactional Dharma of Roj
  7. J.G. Thirlwell, The Music of J.G. Thirlwell, Vol. 1 (Original Soundtrack to The Venture Bros.)
  8. Jónsi & Alex, Riceboy Sleeps
  9. V/A, 5: Five Years of Hyperdub
  10. Belbury Poly, From an Ancient Star

Special Bonus: Top 6 Songs of 2009

  1. Lily Allen, “The Fear”
  2. Joker, “Digidesign”
  3. Antony & The Johnsons, “The Crying Light”
  4. Hildur Guðnadóttir, “Erupting Light”
  5. P!nk, “Funhouse”
  6. The Swell Season, “Low Rising”

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Top 10/Bottom 3: December 2009

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