I apologize for not being a very good blogger lately. Realizing I never posted my annual year end lists of Music and Games (yet Movies were posted in a timely manner!), I am using this as an opportunity to re-crank up the blog posting machine. (Expect games to follow shortly.) You may enjoy, or ignore, as you see fit!
Like movies, my favorite music has little to do with what is popular; Art is subjective and hits everyone differently. Certain things affect me more than others, for various reasons. These are the tunes released in 2009 that I listened to the most.
My top of 2009:
Mastodon - Crack The Sky
Atlanta's metal rockers created a psychedelic experience like no other before it. Brutally hard hitting yet melodic and thought provoking; a challenging and powerful listen and a brave step forward for the band!
Porcupine Tree - The Incident
My favorite band is tied for the top spot on this year's list, releasing a very ambitious song cycle (not concept album) to near universal critical acclaim; it is a haunting masterpiece.
Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition
Prog rock is alive and well in Poland! After finishing their first "trilogy" of albums, Riverside embarked on a new modern direction. The album clocks in at a mere 44:44 but keeps you glued to your speaker the entire time.
Karnivool - Sound Awake
This Australian band recently released this amazing album stateside so you do not have to import it. Their third release is their best, so far!
Porcupine Tree - Ilosaarirock
A fan club only release but worth picking up if you can find it, this live performance captures the band at their most nimble and accomplished.
Katatonia - Night Is The New Day
One of the many bands I discovered through Porcupine Tree, Katatonia has perfected their dark sound on this very listenable (and even catchy) album. Something must be working; they just announced a rare US tour for Fall 2010!
Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
The band stretches a bit on their third album and continues to grow in interesting directions.
3 - Live At The Bearsville Theater
Self released and smokin' live set!
R.E.M. - Live At The Olympia In Dublin 39 Songs
The band strips down and goes back to the beginning; the freshest thing they have done in almost two decades!
The Swell Season - Strict Joy
The couple that met on a movie shoot released their second collection of beautiful songs with a live CD and DVD included! Great music, amazing value!
Other releases in my "heavy rotation" in 2009:
OSI - Blood
Nosound - A Sense Of Loss
JR Richards - A Beautiful End
Long Distance Calling - Avoid The Light
Muse - The Resistance
Guilt Machine - On This Perfect Day
Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg (Deluxe Edition)
IQ - Frequency
Flight Of The Conchords - I Told You I Was Freaky
Stream Of Passion - The Flame Within
Giant Squid - The Ichthyologist
Redemption - Snowfall On Judgment Day
Lepolair - tears+sun=
The Black Crowes - Before The Frost...
Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
Best comebacks of 2009:
Pearl Jam - Backspacer & Ten Redux
Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue
Depeche Mode - Sounds Of The Universe
The Church - Untitled #23
Creed - Full Circle
Spinal Tap - Back From The Dead
New sophomore albums from personal favorites Demians and The Third Ending were pushed back to sometime soon, Soundgarden just announced they are back together, Porcupine Tree has a live release coming soon and Anathema is now shipping their new disc; 2010 is turning out to be a very good year for music. Strong new albums from Slash, Godsmack, Sevendust, Broken Bells, Barenaked Ladies and Coheed & Cambria seem to support that theory!