Friday, December 25, 2009

I Wish It Was Christmas Today...

...and it totally is! Crazy.

And here is also the final installment of Awesome Things from 2009.

5. La Roux

Remember yesterday when I said I'm a sucker for pop music? Yeah.
I particularly love when this song veers off into Thriller territory.

4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz

I think this was the first album I heard early this year that was always going to make it onto my Top-whatever list. With the Dave Sitek production, I like to believe it exists as this sort of secret companion album to last year's Dear Science from TV on the Radio. No real reason, that's just the world I live in. And it's a cool place, so stop by for a visit on your way to the Source Wall.

3. The Horrors - Primary Colours
Will 2009 be remembered as the year shoegaze made a comeback? I didn't want to believe this album was as good as the hype machine coughNMEcough made it sound. But it really is.

2. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
This album makes me happy. In ways I'm still trying to define. It was also ridiculously awesome to be put onto a band by my brother's housemate, while hanging out in their north London flat. Best way to deal with a recent redundancy? Spend said pay-out on a trip across the world to the UK and discover cool people and rad music. And see Blur reunite at Hyde Park as well. Anyhow. Yay for Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

1. Metric - Fantasies
I love you, Emily Haines. Thanks for many an excellent album too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Awesome Things 2009 Edition Pt 1

So, here begins the Great Listing of 2009. No greater list has been assembled since The Ten Commandments. And my top 5 hottest people list (I am surprisingly not the occupant of spots 1 through 5 on that particular list).

In no particular order, I give you some of the albums that made this year for me. Keep in mind when reading this that a)I love a good pop song (pop in this instance meaning catchy and shortish) and b)it is my list therefore highly subjective. Still, it's probably better than your list.

(not an album - Batman and Robin was, however, my favourite new comic of 2009)

1. Atlas Sound - Logos
Can I get away with just describing this album as "pretty"? Somewhere on my travels this year I totally fell in love with Deerhunter and Atlas Sound. Go wandering aimlessly, put Logos on your headphones and prepare for some sort of transcendental insight into the universe delivered through an amusing street sign or discarded chip packet.

2. Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
There was once a time that certain laws were indisputable and served as a basis for society: don't go swimming straight after you've eaten, all odd numbered Star Trek movies are shite and all super-groups are self-indulgent wank. Well this year Star Trek (either 1 or 11 depending how you choose to look at it) ended the Trek Curse and Them Crooked Vultures proved the greatest super-group since The Traveling Wilburys.

3. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
It makes me go, "oooh." An album of perfectly crafted pop songs. I need no other justification than that.

4. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
It was the psychedelic freak-out album I didn't realise I wanted until it came out. Also they gave the greatest live TV performance of Watching the Planets on Conan O'Brien that now seems to have vanished from youtube. Sigh. Isn't sharing stuff like that why the internet exists?

5. Franz Ferdinand - Tonight
I'd like to think they finally made good on the promise of their first album. Or maybe Franz just released a really good one that I still listen to even though it came out at the beginning of the year.

Best Trade Purchase of the Year - Final Crisis Hardcover
I bought this while on holidays in London more than a little overwhelmed by the enormity of Forbidden Planet when compared to the modest comic stores of back home. I loved the series when it came out but having it all together, with a few tweaks here and there, just makes this one of the oddest and best event comics ever published by DC or Marvel. Yes you can criticise it. But you can criticise all comics and suck them dry of all fun and entertainment. Final Crisis tells you that it's okay to get lost in a story, that the true joy should be found between the pages, not endlessly whining on message boards. It's a celebration of fiction. Also it contains gems like this:
"You have thoughtlessly gunned down a global megastar! How will you explain yourselves to this man's fans?"
Plus, Batman was hit by a devil god's omega beams after mortally wounding him with a god-killing bullet and subsequently lost in time while everyone else thinks he's dead. Yeah, comics are awesome.


So, I have finally come to something resembling a decision on my Top Ten albums of this year. Is there some sort of psychological classification for people who take their love of list making to pseudo-sexual extremes? If so, I'd like to declare myself one. If not, I'd like to offer myself as a test subject.

Right after I announced to the Twitter world my joy in concocting this year's masturbatory lists, I was swiftly followed by a hand sanitizer. I think that says all I was saying before right there.

Anyhow, the "Favourites List Part One" will go up later tonight. But in the meantime, here are some things that sit just outside the coveted Top Ten or Best of the Year spot: