Friday, December 18, 2009

Best of 2009

Rather than write out the whys and explanations this year I've included auditory proof. At the bottom find two downloads featuring one track from each of these top 50 albums. The tracks are in reverse order... from 50 to 01.

But really you can trust me. These are the best albums of 2009. Or you can debate it... I welcome the challenge.

Backstreet Fredericton

01 Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

02 Antony and The Johnsons - The Crying Light

03 The Decemberists - The Hazards Of Love

04 The Fiery Furnaces - I'm Going Away

05 Iron and Wine - Around The Well

06 Castanets - Texas Rose the Thaw and the Beasts

07 Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
08 Hallelujah The Hills - Colonial Drones

09 Megafaun - Gather, Form and Fly

10 Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca     
11 Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs               
12 Akron/Family - Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free               
13 The Mountain Goats - The Life Of The World To Come           
14 Mount Eerie - Wind's Poem   
15 Atlas Sound - Logos               
16 Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle               
17 Kurt Vile - Childish Prodigy           
18 Charles Spearin - The Happiness Project               
19 The Antlers - Hospice          
20 The Dutchess and the Duke - Sunrise / Sunset   
21 Timber Timbre - Timber Timbre   
22 Zak Sally - Fear Of Song   
23 Tiny Vipers - Life on Earth   
24 Slaraffenland - We're on Your Side
25 The Pastels / Tenniscoats - Two Sunsets 
26 Alec Ounsworth - Mo Beauty       
27 Pink Mountaintops - Outside Love
28 Throw Me the Statue - Creaturesque   
29 Thao with the Get Down Stay Down - Know Better Learn Faster           
30 The Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns   
31 Japandroids - Post-Nothing   
32 The Curious Mystery - Rotting Slowly   
33 Vic Chesnutt - At The Cut           
34 To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie - Marlone               
35 Simone White - Yakiimo           
36 Girls - Album           
37 Harlem Shakes - Technicolor Health       
38 Bowerbirds - Upper Air   
39 BLK JKS - After Robots           
40 Sonic Youth - The Eternal   
41 Rick White - 137           
42 David Sylvian - Manafon   
43 Helado Negro - Awe Owe              
44 Six Organs of Admittance - Luminous Night           
45 Why?Eskimo Snow          
46 Here We Go Magic - Here We Go Magic           
47 Taken By Trees - East of Eden       
48 Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Beware           
49 Le Loup - Family
50 Nurses - Apples Acres

Part one: of 2009 - 50to26.mp3
Part two: of 2009 - 25to01.mp3

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Constantines Turn Ten

The Lion Kings

Even if calling them “Young Lions” might be a stretch nowadays, the Constantines’ tenth-anniversary shows will certainly be ferocious

Like the Canadian Pacific Railway, this country’s independent music scene was built on the backs and blood and sweat of fiercely determined men and women. And if the hard-won scaffolding of an infrastructure was already in place when the Constantines first started playing shows in Guelph a decade ago, we can credit those fine boys with helping provide the Canadian indie-rock community with the heart and soul and tenacity it so sorely needed.

Crazy, huh? It’s been 10 years since the ferocious howls of Bry Webb and Steve Lambke first pierced our collective consciousness. Today, we have them (and bandmates Dallas Wehrle, Doug MacGregor and Will Kidman, as well as former colleague Evan Gordon, now making Magic) to thank for helping forge a new breed of true Canadian rock ’n’ roll, a system of musculature to overlie the skeletal system that was already in place when the Cons started kicking out the jams.

Read rest of article at Eye Weekly

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Exile of Satan from Heavy Metal Design

Good article on recent development in cover design for Metal albums. Sample:

by Alan Rapp at Print website

Those "heavy metal" bands that debuted during that first palmy MTV generation sound like nontoxic pop compared to today’s vast offerings of subaltern metal genres, where intricate is the new heavy, and glacially slow is far more radical than hyperfast. Metal has evolved in such diverse directions—drawing from and crossing over with punk, math rock, noise, and avant-garde musical threads—that perhaps the real surprise is how audiences who never thought of themselves as metalheads are now exploring bands with names like Baroness, Gojira, Isis, and SUNN O))).

Detail from the 2009 Isis album Wavering Radiant

Heavy metal has evolved visually as well. Gone are the fantasy illustrations of radioactive zombies and band logos composed of overlapping swords. After a generation of sprouting subgenres, the heavy metal field is littered with a diversity of styles that even the most hardy metalhead will have trouble encompassing. As Ian Christe, author of Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal and publisher of the metal-oriented press Bazillion Points says, "Heavy metal design is not a monolithic form at all. You have everything from junior high school kids in Iowa drawing skulls and pentagrams and band logos to Norwegian design houses making skulls and pentagrams and band logos. There are all levels of sophistication and intention—and execution."

Read more.