Monday, December 27, 2004
so it begins
Hope everyone had a good weekend.
Before I start on my top 10 list, found a few new excellent blogs you might want to take a look at.
Last Girl On Earth is, according to Deni, "the wacky musings of a girly New York musician who is attempting to prove that you don't have to be a 19 year old anorexic model babe to be successful." The site is a ton of fun to read. Hopefully, she'll put some of her music up for us to listen to (hint, hint).
Fire of Love is, well, his description at the top of the blog is this: "Rock - Pop - Punk - New Wave - Soul - Country - Fuzz - World Music - Reggea - Blues - No Depression - Jazz - Bluegrass - Cajun - Gospel - Garage." Pretty much covers it all too. Right now, he's got The Swingin' Neckbreakers, The Saints, Greg Oblivian, the Coal Porters, and many more of the kind of bands I can't get enough of.
Now for the moment both of you have been waiting for.
I gotta tell ya, I really don't much care for what's referred to as indie rock these days. A quick glance at top 10 lists around the web and in print seems to conjure up all that was tedious about the mid to late 80's. If irony is truly dead in music, it's because bands are attempting to be ironic about groups that weren't very good to begin with. We've got lots of albums littering the landscape that just scream one hit wonder. Maybe it's all about being grabbed by the balls. Andre Williams and The Replacements grabbed me. Husker Du grabbed me hard. The Nuggets box set and the Hank Williams box sets never let go.
Maybe it's technology, which has divided music into too many sub-categories, that's to blame ('Course, I'm working here(barely, some might note)in that thar modern technology myself). Is Enimen, whom I quite like, really the voice of a generation in the same way that Dylan, or the Stones, or the Beatles, or even the Velvet Underground were? Who is our James Brown? Our Sam Cooke, our Ramones, our Clash, our NWA? Are Public Enemy and Nirvana the last bands that most of us could agree on? Is it a bad thing that music has sprayed itself on so many different walls? Maybe not. I don't know, to be honest. I would be more than happy to be wrong about the current state of music. Really, if you've got an opinion, share it. Convince me. I'm an opinionated bastard, and love a good argument.
That said, over the next few days I'm gonna work through my High Fidelity obsession and post my Top 10 favorite albums of the year. Can't really say best albums. These are the albums I listened to most consistently over the year. It's a little skewed toward the end of the year, sorry. And there are a few that weren't even released this year. Oh well.
10. Hard Headed Woman: A Tribute to Wanda Jackson
I'm generally not real keen on tribute albums, but this one's a corker. Helps that I'm a big Wanda Jackson fan. Wanda was a pioneer, a woman working in a "man's medium", writing many of her own songs, and doing other's songs her way. She may just be the true missing link between country and rockabilly. Bloodshot Records, always a fine label, pulls out all the stops with this one. All yr fave rave altcountry types are here, but, naturally, it's the women who really step up and do ole Wanda justice.
Laura Cantrell: Wasted (mp3)
9. Thee Shams: Please Yourself
And yet another album from one of my favorite labels. I would shill for Fat Possum any day of the week. Thee Shams remind me of an earlier 'Possum band, The Neckbones. White boys, raised on punk'n'garage, then discovering that the blues is more punk than punk. Cue up the organ, distortion to 11, make like it's yr last fucking nite on earth.
Thee Shams: In the City (mp3)