Saturday, January 02, 2010

It’s such a gas when you bring up the past.

Greetings, my lovelies. 2009 has ended and I'm kind of happy to see it go. Overall, I guess it was a good year; it started out strong and I had some really, really great times, but since August I've had more downs than ups in life and I'm just ready for the new year to be full of some awesome and lots of happy times! I have some plans for this year, but instead of making any real resolutions, I'm just going to focus on being happy and doing whatever it takes to stay happy. And, for those of you that see me regularly, since I'm jumping on the happy train, if you see me all blerged and blah, you have my permission to yell at me. Well, maybe not yell. You can just remind me that I said this year was about happy Karen and blergy Karen != happy. And then maybe give me a hug to make me happy. ^_^

On that note, Happy New Year!! It's finally 2010; the start of a new decade, and hopefully a year full of great things for me, including some more fantastic music! However, since 2009 is no more, I think we should take a look back at some of the great new music we got in the past year, as judged by yours truly.

Now, it's really hard for me to rank music, as a lot of my musical choices on any given day are mood-dependent. So, with that said, I do have several albums that were released in 2009 that I listened to a lot more than others, so for the sake of this blog entry, we will call these my "favorites of 2009", and they are (in no particular order):

Hombre Lobo - Eels I love me some Eels. I think it's safe to say that E is one of my favorite musicians, and even if he didn't have a magnificent beard, I'd still make that claim. His albums are always wonderful, and Hombre Lobo is no exception. ALSO! E is coming out with YET ANOTHER new album on January 19th, so be sure to check out End Times on the 19th! 2 new albums from Eels in less than 6 months?! In the words of Jayne Cobb: "...I'll be in my bunk."
Top tracks: "My Timing is Off", "Ordinary Man", and "That Look You Give That Guy"

It's Not Me, It's You - Lily Allen I have to admit that I really tried to not like Lily Allen. I refused to listen to her after her first album Alright, Still came out, because I just didn't think I'd like her at all. And then I listened...and I liked. Off of her first album, there were a few songs that stuck out for me that I favored over others, but It's Not Me, It's You is a better album, overall, in my eyes. She takes from several musical styles for her songs, including a country-western number for Not Fair, and a wonderful acoustic version of The Fear. She also touches on great topics, such as politics and sex, and even religion. Sadly, she did announce toward the end of 2009 that she was quitting music, but if she's going to quit, this is a great ending album for her.
Top tracks: "The Fear", "Fuck You", "Who'd Have Known", and "Not Fair".

Hazards of Love - The Decemberists Oh, Colin Meloy. You never cease to amaze me, and you really did it this time. Hazards of Love was not only one of my favorite albums of the year, but when I saw them tour this year, their concert became my new all-time favorite concert. They have such wonderful stage presence (this was 2nd time seeing them live) and their songs are just a-mazing. AND, as if it weren't enough to have a new album from The Decemberists, they also got Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond to lend her vocals to the album, and she even toured with them. Double amazing. Another reason that this album makes my list is because it's not just an album, but a rock opera. The story has young lovers, an evil queen, and even a villainous rake. If you have yet to listen to this album, I suggest setting aside an hour and listen to it from start to finish! However, if you don't have a WHOLE HOUR to dedicate, I suggest:
Top tracks: "The Rake's Song", "The Abduction of Margaret", and "The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid" (which, if I had to pick a fave song for the year, this would be the list)

Lungs - Florence and the Machine When I first heard their single, "Kiss With a Fist", I feverishly scoped out the internet to see if there was more music from this band for me to listen to. Sadly, at the time, there wasn't. But, in April they came out with an EP which held me over until they released their full album and good lord, was it worth the wait. Florence has such a beautiful voice and her lyrics are just fantastic; I really hope to hear more from them in the future. If I could pick 2 artists to do a duet together, it'd be Florence Welch and Shara Worden. I think they'd sound AMAZING together. Flo, Shara; get on that.
Top tracks: "Falling", "Cosmic Love", "Kiss With a Fist" and "Hurricane Drunk"

Aim and Ignite - fun. I'd never heard of this band until a couple of months after they released this album, and on first listen, I was a bit iffy on if I'd like them. But, on my 2nd listen, I was hooked. They have such a unique sound that you don't hear from bands today, and their music really is...well, fun. At times, they give off an almost Queen-esque vibe and it just works well for them. And for me. This album has made it to my singing-and-dancing-as-I-clean-the-kitchen playlist (along with Glee!) and I don't see it leaving my top playlists anytime soon. Also, Nate Ruess, formerly of The Format, is the front man for this band, so if you miss The Format, give fun. some love!
Top tracks: "Light a Roman Candle With Me", "At Least I'm Not As Sad (As I Used to Be)", and "Be Calm"

Further Complications - Jarvis Cocker Jarvis. How I love you. And I hope you never stop making music. I think allmusic sums up this album rather well, by saying "the songs here pulsate with perversion, a middle-aged man making damn sure he's going to get with a tight 23-year-old body yet again" and said it's "impossible not to happily wallow in the flood of filth unleashed by Further Complications". Jarvis, you may be a creepy dude, but I love your creepy. #love
Top tracks: "I Never Said I Was Deep", "Homewrecker" and "Fuckingsong"

Dark Was the Night - lots of awesome people This album is a compilation album released to benefit the Red Hot Organization, which is a charity set up to raise money and awareness for HIV and AIDS. So, not only is purchasing this album contributing to a great cause, but it's also contributing to your ears loving you. Because it's awesome. Spoon, The Decemberists, Cat Power, Andrew Bird, and My Brightest Diamond all have songs that appear on this album, and that's just to name a few! This 30-track, double disc album is a must to sample some of the great bands we have around today. Go check it out. Go. Now!
Top tracks: "Sleepless", "Feeling Good", "Lua" and "Love vs. Porn"

Fantasies - Metric Somehow, I managed to not know about Metric until 2009, but this Canadian band has been around for a while. Apparently, I've led a sheltered life. Anyway, Emily Haines fronts this band and since I just discovered them this past year, I wasn't sure that they had a new album since they were all new to me! Anywho, while all of their albums are great, this one has some of my favorites from them, and since I am a newb to them, I hope to hear more new music from them in the future, or even another solo album from Emily Haines.
Top tracks: "Blindness", "Help I'm Alive", "Satellite Mind" and "Twilight Galaxy"

The Mountain - Heartless Bastards Another band that I didn't know before 2009, and they probably have one of the best band names ever. Their earlier albums are definitely more garage rock than The Mountain, but their lead singer Ericka Wennerstrom has such a unique voice, and her vocals coupled with their folky-vibe on this album really worked well.
Top tracks: "The Mountain", "So Quiet", and "Be So Happy"

Gallery - Dion Roy One of my favorite sites is, and one of the reasons I love it so much is because of the awesome music and people that I get introduced to. One such great person, and great musician is a dude from out east named Dion Roy. Not only is he a great person, he also released his debut album this past year and it's pretty fantastic. He's also releasing an EP this month, which I've already heard and again, fantastic. If you want to help out a starving artist (ok, so not starving. I know for a fact that he eats tacos and some questionable homemade snow cones...), please check out his album Gallery, and if you're in the NY area, check out his site for upcoming shows!
Top tracks: "So It Goes", "Won't Go On", and "Wants It"

So, while these are my "favorites of 2009", there are quite a few other albums that were released this year that I like a lot and will love once I have a chance to listen to them more. ^_^ So, for a the quick list of "will be added to the favorites of 2009 sometime in 2010", also in no particular order:
Coaster - NOFX
Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future - The Bird and the Bee

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Junior - R√∂yksopp
Noble Beast - Andrew Bird
Davy - Coconut Records
Embryonic - The Flaming Lips
In This Light and On This Evening - Editors
Battle For the Sun - Placebo
Heartbeat Radio - Sondre Lerche
Hospice - The Antlers
Abnormally Attracted to Sin - Tori Amos
Bomb in a Birdcage - A Fine Frenzy (as an aside, I do like this album, but it was one of my most-anticipated albums of 2009 and it was kind of a let down. While still good, it doesn't compare to her debut album One Cell in the Sea *sigh*)

I'm sure I've missed some awesome albums in this list and tomorrow will do a facepalm and be all "DUDE! How did you forget *insert awesome album here*! Lamesause, 'Kowski. Ultra lamesauce", but for now, I say meh! This is a good list, me thinks, and anything I may have forgotten will just have to wait for another list. So there. :P

Ok. That's about it for now. I'm off to blip some songs, drink some wine, and maybe watch some Glee, which, I should mention that with all of the new music this year, Glee has given me some of my most listened to songs this year. So, while not technically a band, Glee should get some love. And now I wanna delve into listing my favorite shows, but we'll save that for another day! So long, my lovelies! I hope that you all had a fun and safe New Year's Eve (which was a full moon! Awesome!!) and that you all have a great 2010!!


Music Pick for the Day: "Creeping Out Sara" by NOFX (I do like Tegan & Sara, but this song is just funny)
Beverage Pick for the Day: pink milk FTW
Socks for the Day: pink and black striped knee-highs