Saturday, January 2, 2010

12 Albums & Songs of my '09

Choosing 12 albums is a tedious and laborious task, but I like singling out personal joys, it's like "get to know me more". In choosing a record I think of fluidity, variety of flavor, production, and I tend to favor records that are more organic and have interesting instrumental textures. Hanging around Tric, Bruce, Casey, & Ben has developed my ear more towards tonal purities and has added another edge to my snob ear. I could write some essays on some of these records, so I'll try to keep it short!

12 Albums:

Adam Pasion : O Hear the Rattling / Adam's music has incredible depth, scriptural strength, and great thought out music. It has old timey foundations with great passionate delivery in aggressive/passive moments. I would say at the core he's the most similar to what I write. God Bless Him

Cat Stevens : Teaser and the Firecat / Yasi put this on early last year and I was hooked, signature voice, breaks rules in his arrangements, keeps hooks on top of some complicated musical directions. Old school and innovative. YUM

Cave Singers : Invitation Songs / These boys have brought back simplicity and it works very well. Cool melodies over basic instruments, and they are making the classical guitar cool in the indie world which I'm a HUGE fan of. I really enjoy their chemistry, 3 piece is gold!

Dave Brubeck : Jazz Impressions of Japan / Who can touch Dave besides the Duke & Gershwin? NO ONE, the brother was prolific in his releases, he's taken every surrounding and translated it into incredible music. I listen to this record and think of Japan everytime, from busy streets to cherry blossoms budding, the record should be Japans national anthem. ALWAYS an inspiration.

Duffy : Rockferry / Sister has so much soul and it isn't manufactured. She has survived aweful family history and poor relationships and has come out understanding her own value. She's spot on with her voice, she knows what it can do with incredible confidence. Staxx should be proud, oh and she did syrup & honey in one take, eat your heart out.

Horse Feathers : House With No Home / This whole record sounds the same, BUT thats what I like about it. It's great for background or just listening. Great textures and most likely every NW stereo type of the folk/indie scene you can think of.

Neil Young : Harvest / I like this record because it took a village of his pals to make it. His musical character blended so well with the voices he partnered up with. What I love about the amazing old school flavor is its honesty. Yowzah. Always a go to record.

Pearl Jam : Backspacer / This is 50% nostalgic and 50% of really diggin the record. It's very short, re-playable, and energetic. I love aggression and the nakedness of some of the songs. Its gutsy, visceral, & vulnerable. I'm really enjoying this record and maybe because I don't know how much more Vedder's vocals will be able to do. Rock on boys.

Phoenix : Wolfgang Amadeus / There's pretty much nothing organic about this record, but its pure pop goodness and they're French! It's nothing too pretty, musically mind blowing, but I can go to this record all the time and always have fun enjoying it. It's a relief to my critical mindset.

Raconteurs : Consolers of the Lonely / 3 words : Jack Effing White.

Thrice : Beggars / I like this record because it combines their past 3 releases into one record and has the lyrical content to match. I have enormous respect for their craft, terrific tones, & thought. I listen to the record and KNOW that incredible time was put into making it this solid. I can't stop listening to it.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs : It's Blitz / Everything you like about the song MAPs was turned into an entire record. BAM! The production is crisp like none other. Nuff said.

Runner Ups:

Heartland : An Appalachian Anthology
Dungen : 4
The Middle East : Self Titled
Steven Delopoulos : As if Love was a Sword
Dawes : North Hills

12 Songs

Adam Pasion : Run By Faith / Incredibly encouraging and uplifting with compassion and rock n' roll. WOW.

Cory Chisel : Born Again / Sick organ hook, love his morning voice vox, and the Raconteurs are on it. High five gospel music!

Dawes : When My Time Comes / When they sing this its almost mournful, excellent. I overplay it and always love hearing it again.

Duffy : Syrup & Honey / Soul voice with tremolo on guitar paired up has to be one of my favorite things ever. If I could do a duet with anyone, my first choice would be Duffy, followed by Gemma Hayes. Her plea in this song is strong and vulnerable, just amazing.

Julian Casablancas : Glass / It's anthemic and hits all the right musical spots for me. Julian is a mastermind and sometimes too over the top for me, but I need that to push my own borders. His music is coming from overcoming personal demons, he's taken charge of his life and wants to bear great fruit. SO much respect.

The Middle East : Blood / This song wraps up what I like about Fleet Foxes, Sufjan, & Kings of Convenience and mashes up into one song. D'lish.

Pearl Jam : Just Breathe / Exposed innards with string parts to pull them out, I relate.

Tony Kevin : You'll Notice It / This demo always moves me, I always want to sing with it. I never want the song to end.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs : Hysteric / The soundtrack song to things coming together in a relationship and realizing how much apart of you the other is, Karen O's gentle singing voice on it swoons me over too.

Kings of Leon : King of the Rodeo / Good old southern rock n' roll, Simple, gritty, hook. I want my head to be next to their amp. I want to be in a small space while they're playing this song. One of the highest most played songs in my itunes.

Dead Weather : Treat Me Like Your Mother / Dark rock with hip hop flares with room to breathe before you get back into its aggression. Jack is NASTY.

Elton John : Love Song / When EJ says 'Do you know what I mean' I get it. Apart from drama that can crowd a growing relationship, its core must be love, if it's not, reconsider the weight of partnering with someone. This song says be honest, understand the aweful weight of loving someone and don't take it lightly. 3 voices and a picking guitar, its sheds off the overbearing melodic emotional tug of manufactured pop. Its like when Thom & Greenwood showed the hip hop rat pack what street cred was really like at the Grammy's. I said it ,what?

Runners Up

Cold War Kids : Dreams Old Men Dream
The Cave Singers : Dancing on Our Graves
Dead Weather : Treat Me Like Your Mother
Thrice : Come All You Weary
Jakob Dylan : I Told You I Couldn't Stop
Steven Delopoulos : Do What You're Gonna Do

Here's to another year of great music to come. I think I'm going to be more careful about what I listen to. I don't want to just listen to music if its on/available. I want my time with listening to be more purposeful than what I sometimes let it be. If I'm being more passive about listening, I might as well be reading something, doing something. I want more productivity, I owe that to my Father and the great cloud of witnesses.

I want to thank TK, Paper Astronomer, Ben Blood, GV, The Denouement, Adam Pasion, Silver & Gold for an incredible year, you've been an incredible inspiration and a joy all around, I love you all deeply and I look forward to more, always MORE.

1 comment:

Heather Cheuka said...

Tommy, this was a lovely blog post. You have a humble spirit.