2009 in Music

One last year in review post.  This time – music.  I acquired quite a bit of music this year.  So I’ve split things up into categories with approximately 10 albums per category.  First up we’ve got albums released this year.

Favorite 2009 Albums:

Dinosaur Jr. – Farm Loved this album.  Being relatively new to Dinosaur Jr. I don’t have the connection to their earlier albums that a lot of the hardcore fans do.  So keep that in mind when I say this is my favorite album of theirs.
Heartless Bastards – The Mountain – Great songs all the way through this one – some of the best blues rock I heard this year.
Dan Auerbach – Keep it Hid – Speaking of blues rock, another great example here.  Auerbach’s concert was absolutely amazing.  The album was just as good.
Sunn 0))) – Monoliths and Dimensions – ‘Alice’ is a wonderful song.  This isn’t what I was thinking when I thought of drone metal, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one.
Grand Valley State University New Music EnsembleIn C Remixed – This one is a little more hit and miss than the ones above it, but the high points are really, really good.
Fuck Buttons – Surf Solar – Best electronic music of the year, hands down.
Dead Weather – Horehound – More blues rock.  Very solid record.
Mastodon – Crack the Skye – ROCK!!!
Moritz von Oswald Trio – Vertical Ascent – Deceptively simple electronic music – the foundation feels like it’s almost slipping away underneath.  Pretty cool.
Fever Ray – (self-titled) – This one could still climb the list with some more listens.
Dredg – The Pariah, the Parrot, and the Delusion – Kind of disappointed in this record.  Still some good songs on this though.
The Decemberists – The Hazards of Love – Just didn’t get into this one the way others clearly have.
…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – The Century of Self

Toward the end of last year I discovered that I didn’t own any music from the 1980’s. I solicited the help and advice of others and came up with some music to rectify that hole in my collection. Here is that list.

1980’s Albums (alphabetically):

Butthole Surfers – Locust Abortion Technician – ‘Human Cannonball’ is worth the price of admission, but overall a pretty uneven album.
Coil – Horse Rotorvator – Pre-industrial music.  Liked this one quite a bit. ‘Ostia (Death of Pasolini)’ and ‘Slur’ are favorites.
Dinosaur Jr. – Bug – ‘Freak Scene’.  So good.
Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction – You probably already know about this one.  A classic.
Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking – More rocking than I expected.  ‘Mountain Song’ & ‘Jane Says’ are very good.
Meat Puppets – II – This album is awesome.  Listened to this on to the point that my wife started asking me to turn it off (that’s how you know it’s good).
Pixies – Doolittle – ‘Gouge Away’ convinced me to buy this album and the next one.
Pixies – Surfer Rosa
R.E.M. – Murmur – I had already listened to plenty of early 90’s R.E.M. – so it’s cool to get their debut.
Replacements – Let it Be – The album that started this whole list.  ‘Androgynous’ is deliciously odd.

Classical Albums (no order at all):

Most recently I’ve found myself exploring classical music – with a focus on the ‘cello (remember Cello Week?)

Zoë Keating – Natoma – Actually bought this in ’08, but this makes it an even ten albums.  Anyone who has been around here knows I’m a fan of Keating, whose new album ‘Into the Trees’ comes out March 1st.
Kronos Quartet – Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind (O. Golijov) – Probably the only album on this post that I regret buying.  Just didn’t like this one very much.
Wendy Sutter – Songs and Poems for Solo Cello (P. Glass) – A pretty good record, not anything that knocked my socks off, but pretty good.
Eighth Blackbird – Fred: The Music of Frederic Rzewski – The most ‘modern’ music on this list, I really like ‘Les Moutons de Panurge’ it’s barely controlled chaos.
Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble – Music for 18 Musicians (S. Reich) – A minimalist classic that I find mesmerizing and very cool.
Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble – In C Remixed (T. Riley) – I like the story of this orchestra, they’ve had two ambitious projects, and they’ve pulled them both off marvelously.
Bang on a Can All-Stars – Classics – ‘Industry’, Michael Gordon’s electronic destruction of a cello makes this album.  David Lang’s ‘Cheating, Lying, Stealing’ is also very good.
Osvaldo Golijov – Oceana – This one has ‘Tenebrae’ performed by the Kronos Quartet, which is heartbreakingly beautiful.
Maya Beiser – World to Come – A couple of different composers on this album.  Pärt’s ‘Fratres’ is very good (a different arrangement served as the main theme of ‘There Will Be Blood’)
Steve Reich – You Are – A half-album that I bought just to have Maya Beiser’s performance of Reich’s ‘Cello Counterpoint’.

You’re still reading? Well, you’re persistent at least. So what did I miss out on this year? What should I focus on in my collection in the coming year?

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4 thoughts on “2009 in Music

    • I have ‘Teen Age Riot’ and ‘Hey Joni’, and I’ve listened to the whole album a time or two at lala.com. It’s good, but the whole 80’s thing kind of fell by the wayside after a while. Perhaps I’ll pick it up at some point.

  1. Isn’t Anything by My Bloody Valentine is an 80’s record I think you might like. Loud, melodic, and groovy as all hell.

    Farm and The Mountain also made my year-end list.

  2. Here’s some must have 80’s music

    Madonna — Like a Virgin.

    O.k. I kid…

    X — Los Angeles, Wild Gift
    Minutemen — Double Nickels on the Dimes
    Elvis Costello — Imperial Bedroom
    Talking Heads — Name of this band is talking heads
    Big Black — anything, get an anthology
    Violent Femmes — Violent Femmes
    Husker Du — Zen Arcade
    U2 — Unforgetable Fire
    The Cult — Electric
    Jesus and mary Chain — Darklands
    This Mortal Coil — It Will End in Tears
    Mekons — Mekons Rock and Roll
    Soundgarden — Louder than Love
    Guided by Voices — anyting they released in the 80s

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