Top 10 Releases of 2009

1.Jeremy Jay – “Slow Dance” + “Airwalker”
In 2008 I wrote this about Jeremy Jay “I could see this guy putting out full-tilt hum-dinger of a record in the near future.” Well he has made good on my expectations with “Slow Dance” + “Airwalker” single making my 2009 top spot.

2.Echo and the Bunnymen – “The Fountain”
I hope these guys keep releasing albums every year or so because each album released in the past decade have been consistently great with each album including at least a couple tracks to add to the very top of their mammoth catalog.

3.The xx – “The xx”
The xx have hit the largely untapped goldmine in m/f duets that they use to great affect in undoubtedly the best debut record of the year.

4.The Legends – “Over and Over”
The Legends are aural chameleons and for this round have done the impossible – making a great album while channeling The Jesus and Mary Chain.

5.Camera Obscura – “My Maudlin Career”
Another slab of effortless sounding great pop record.

6.Thao with the Get Down Stay Down – “Know Better Learn Faster”
A new discovery. I love the vocals. Fun album.

7.FischerSpooner – “Entertainment”
I am a bit irked that Lady Gaga has hit pay dirt for folding high concept performance “Ahrt” into a pop medium. FS have been doing it better to a much better effect for much longer – with humor to boot – but they never reached the deserved mega-stardom that Lady Gaga enjoys.

8.Nitzer Ebb – “Industrial Complex”
I don’t know where Nitzer Ebb has been in the past ten years but it is great to have them back.

9.Casiotone for the Painfully Alone – “Advance Base Battery Life”
CtftPA was busy this year releasing a new album (Vs. Children) and this singles collection. This album also features a few choice covers along with a surprisingly killer take on Missy Elliot’s Hot Boyz.

10.Fever Ray – “Fever Ray” The side project of Karin of The Knife: weird, epic, unsettling …and that voice.

Here are a few new bands that have 2009 records that have potential to make this list in the near future. Keep at it kids:
Chairlift – “Does You Inspire You”
Best Coast – “Make You Mine”
The Raveonettes – “In and Out of Control”

Top 10 Concerts of 2009

Fever Ray notwithstanding, the best of 2009 is once again filled with veteran bands. If you are a new band, for the love of god, go see some of the bands on this list and see how it is done.

Fever Ray, a new band from Karin Dreijer Andersson of The Knife, managed to grab the top spot this year with an epic medieval bizarro seance stage show. The Tindersticks show on the other hand was sublime understated cool. Be sure to check out the links to the archives.

1.Fever Ray – Webster Hall (see Oct 06 TSOI post)
2.Tindersticks – Brooklyn Masonic Temple (see April 07 TSOI post)
3.Publicist (Trans Am/Ian Svenious) – Market Hotel (see Aug 21 TSOI post)
4.7 Seconds – Webster Hall (see Seot 16 TSOI post)
5.Morrissey Carnegie Hall (see April 17 TSOI post)
6.Dean and Britta – Lincoln Center (Warhol Screen Tests) (see Jan 22 TSOI post
7.Skinny Puppy – Nokia Theater
8.Fear – Europa (see June 19 TSOI post)
9.Hope Sandoval – MHOW(see Nov 03 TSOI post)
10.Art Brut – Mercury Lounge (see July 07 TSOI post)


There is one stinker out there concerning live shows: US Customs. There has been a slew of (UK in particular) bands canceling shows because it seems to be becoming increasingly difficult/expensive for European bands to play the US. Victims: The Godfathers, Echo & the Bunnymen, Bad Lieutenant, Field Music (?), others?

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