(Thee Oh Sees at GonerFest 6 - image by Kandi Cook)
Well, we finally (almost) made it through 2009. It was a tough year. As usual, good music kept it interesting. (See my mid-year list -- expect some repeats...)
Thee Oh Sees - Help LP [In The Red], Zork's Tape Bruise Demos LP & Singles Collection CD [Kill Shaman], Dog Poison EP [Captured Tracks], Tidal Wave / Heart Sweats 7inch [Woodist], Jay Reatard split 7inch [Shattered], Ty Segall split 7inch [Castle Face], In The Shadow of the Giant 7inch [Sub Pop Singles Club], Blood in Your Ear / Friends Defined 7inch [Rock Is Hell], Paul Cary split 7inch [Stankhouse]
Holy shit! This was the year to be an Oh Sees fan. John Dwyer and company took no breaks and consistently delivered new material up until the very end of the year. Plus, I got to see them live three times over a five month period (L.A., Memphis, Atlanta). I like the layered pop oriented direction of their latest EP, Dog Poison (it was, impressively, written and recorded entirely by John Dwyer -- i.e. he multi-tracked and played every instrument/performed all vocals). I also like the increasing use of the flute in their songs. Expect some of the tracks from the later seven inches to make their way onto the upcoming Warm Slime, slated for an early 2010 release on In The Red Records. These guys (and girl) aren't taking breaks. Keep it coming!
Ty Segall - Lemons LP [Goner], Reverse Shark Attack (w/ Mikal Cronin) [Kill Shaman]
The Perverts - The Perverts 7inch [HBSP-2x]
Oh Sees buddy and boy wonder Ty Segall cranked out more blown out garage rock mid-year with Lemons, a strong follow-up to his excellent debut album. We got Reverse Shark Attack, a collaboration with Mikal Cronin of Charlie & The Moonhearts, just a couple of weeks ago. I may like it even better, especially the 10+ minute side B beatles-esque/surf jam.
Also, for an even louder slab, I ended up spinning (another project of his) The Perverts, quite a bit. Throw in the couple of stellar 7 inches he released and you have a strong year. Did I mention this guy is like 22? Keep and an eye on this one. He's hopefully going to be cranking them out for a while.
Various Artists - RRR-1000 LP [RRR]
A follow-up to RRR-100 and RRR-500, this record contains 1000 locked grooves by twenty artists. A neat record to have in your collection for sure. Since it's hard to be precise to the groove level on a record, every listen turns out different and provides a little surprise.
The Beets - Spit In The Face Of People Who Don't Want To Be Cool LP [Captured Tracks]
Some nice minimal yet percussive heavy psychedelic garage-rock. Nice debut LP.
Times New Viking - Born Again Revisited [Matador]
Some of the most abrasive pop music out there. They delivered the goods again this year with a fourth LP of goodness. I also really enjoyed hearing a recording their special Velvet Underground cover set (with guest violinist C. Spencer Yeh -- KWUR Week 2007 alum) performed at Ohio's Wexner Center in February. Download it here.
Mika Miko - We Be Xuxa [Post Present Medium]
Sadly, Mika Miko recently broke up. Luckily, I saw them this summer in their element at The Smell in Los Angeles. I can't say I was a fan of their west-coast punk style until after the show. That's how good they are live. Now I listen to their albums all the time.
Mayyors - Deads EP
This is some heavy shit. It's the guy (Chris Woodhouse) who produces all those other awesome band's (Hospitals, Coachwhips, Oh Sees) albums. He was also in Karate Party.
Magik Markers - Balf Quarry LP [Drag City]
I think I listened to this album more than any other this year. See my mid-year post.
Yellow Fever - Yellow Fever LP [Wild World]
I love this band. I was glad the Vivian Girls helped get their songs out on vinyl. Mellow mostly bass/drums combo.
Amen Dunes - Dia LP [Locust]
Some pretty weird stuff for just one guy. Again, see my mid-year post.
Predator - Predator EP [Rob's House]
Best band in Atlanta right now. Tight repetitive punk rock. Check out their debut LP coming out on Douchemaster Records in 2010.
Various Artists - The World Is Lousy With Ideas, Vol. 8 LP [Almost Ready]
For better or worse, this will be the compilation people will look back on when they wonder 20 years from now, what was the music scene like in 2009? Featuring: Vivian Girls, Blank Dogs, Pink Reason, Guinea Worms, Times New Viking, Tyvek, The Intelligence, Sic Alps, Thee Oh Sees
The Beatles - In Mono boxset [Apple]
It was nice to finally re-examine all The Beatles albums as they were originally intended. The band didn't give a damn about the stereo mixes and only closely supervised the mono mixes when originally released. Of course, these had never been released on CD, so many like me only knew the inferior 1980s stereo CD versions. If you know the old stereo versions even remotely well, throw on some headphones and listen to these mono reissues. You will hear a difference and you will like it. It's only way to listen to the Beatles from now on. Plus, vinyl re-masters are confirmed to be in the works. Hopefully we'll get mono versions and hopefully early in 2010.
Billy Childish - Archive From 1959 [Damaged Goods]
Since Billy Childish has released a huge amount of material, it's a little daunting to figure out where to start off your vinyl collection. Luckily this 3 LP collection came out and it features all the best nuggets from Billy Childish's (non-spoken word) career (up until now). It's all the Billy Childish vinyl you'll ever need in one nice package. It's also very reasonably priced.
Nirvana - Live at Reading [Geffen]
As the Nirvana archives are annually milked, it was nice to see this legendary show officially released. The performance is non-stop one hit after the other and includes all the classics from all the albums.
Gris Gris - Live at the Creamery [Birdman]
I had kind of forgotten about the Gris Gris. They hadn't released anything since 2005. Then this killer live album came out of nowhere and they started playing shows again. That's a good thing.
Vaselines - The Way of the Vaselines [Sub Pop]
I'm starting to like these Sub Pop "Deluxe Edition" LP sets. See my mid-year post.
Various Artists - Art of Field Recording, Vol. 2 boxset [Dust-to-Digital]
The last (?) in Art Rosenbaum's carefully compiled field recordings documenting American country, folk, and blues. The modern Harry Smith Anthology.
Sic Alps - Long Way To A Shortcut 2xLP [Drag City]
Nice to get this odds 'n' ends compilation on vinyl as it should be heard.
Vinyl Geek Re-pressings:
Faust - So Far [4 Men With Beards], IV [Virgin]
Sandy Bull - Fantasias For Guitar and Banjo, Inventions For Guitar and Banjo, E Pluribus Unum [Sutro Park]
Peter Walker - Rainy Day Raga [Harte]
Arthur Doyle - Alabama Feeling [Rank]
Terry Riley - Rainbow in Curved Air [Columbia]
Amon Duul II - Yeti [Revisited]
Beastie Boys - Ill Communication [Capitol]
Galactic Zoo Disk
Trouble in Mind
I know, I never did my Gonerfest recap. Well, let's just say a lawless city like Memphis plus easy access to cheap beer plus three days of raucous garage rock made for an enjoyable time. Tickets and accommodations were very reasonable too. Will be attending again.
My 2008 List