Drum roll please. A major event in the...errr...blogosphere(?) is about to occur. The Big Rock Candy Mountain Top Two Albums of the year. As voted on by, well, me, world-renowned music scholar and all around smartass.
First, a few albums I enjoyed that didn't make the top ten (numbers 11-19?):
Son Volt: Okemah and the Melody of Riot
John Prine: Fair and Square
The Fall: Fall Heads Roll
Langhorn Slim: When the Sun's Gone Down
Various: For A Decade of Sin (BloodShot anniversary release)
Laura Cantrell: Humming By the Flowered Vine
Heartless Bastards: Stairs and Elevators
The DirtBombs: If You Don't Already Have A Look
Richard Buckner and Jon Langford: Sir Dark Invader vs. The Fanglord
There's about a million more albums I'd recommend (I haven't even scratched the surface of the albums I bought this year, but didn't come out this year...that's for later posts).
Sorry. Here's my top two, then:
2. Jack O. and the Tearjerkers: Don't Throw Your Love Away (Sympathy For the Record Industry)
Not that long ago, this was the album to beat, so far as my favorite album of the year went. Here's what I said:
I can't seem to take Jack Oblivian's Jack O. & the Tearjerkers disc, "Don't Throw Your Love Away" out of my cd player. It aint stuck, I just aint willin' to stop listening (blatant lie of course. I had to take it out to load it up to the server. All men are liars). This well may be the album to beat this year, so far as the Mountain's top ten is concerned. Aw, I'm just gushin' here. It's a Memphis soul stew trashjunk frenzy of Exile outtake grease drippings and leering joyous menace. Unlike a recent album by another Jack, you can sing along without feeling like a 12 year old discovering his first hard on. Nah, this Jack knows what to do with it. And he's going to take you down to the corner with him. Spin won't review it, radio won't play it, and ipod won't be using it in a commercial. That should give you an idea how good it is. It's rock'n'roll. Remember that?
That seems to sum it up pretty well. It'd take a pretty fucking perfect album to beat this one out.
Jack O. and the Tearjackers: Mad Dog 20/20 (mp3)
Jack O. and the Tearjerkers: Dope Sniffin' Dog (mp3)
1. The Detroit Cobras: Baby (BloodShot Records)
A quick confession: I have a huge crush on Rachel Nagy, lead singer for The Detroit Cobras. Had to get that little bit of fanboy fluff out of the way. Please don't tell the Missus. Hailing from, where else, Detroit, Michigan, the Cobras are a cover band, and rightful heirs to the Soul and R&B legacy of that fine city. Like the early Stones did for blues, the Cobras do for those classic, lost, fatback and cornbread sides of the 50's and 60's. Stewed in the gutter and slathered in swaggering sex, this collection of songs doesn't so much interpret, but grabs, humps, and fucks, squeezing into rough-hewn diamonds, sharp, jagged, and enticing with the promise of something forbidden. Rachel Nagy's voice is, to paraphrase the Immortal Bard Sam Spade, the stuff that wet dreams are made of. Raspy and nicotine-stained, full of suggestive sway, black and blue hurt that still wants to party, the soul of soul. It's a force of nature. This aint no sensitive warbling. This is sweaty, stained, nasty, greasy, chicken-fried, deep holler, oilcan rhythm and blues. And you can dance to it. Not a wrong step, not a clunker on the album. Nothing made the Mountain happier this year. This should be hailed as a classic. Hell, I'll say it, it is a classic.
Detroit Cobras: I Wanna Holler (But the Town's Too Small) (mp3)
Detroit Cobras: Hot Dog (Watch Me Eat) (mp3)
That's it. Time to kiss 2005 goodbye. Bye bye. Thanks for visiting. I'll be back next week. Have a good New Year, and, since it's not the correct thing to say these days, I'll say it: Drink up. Listen to the Detroit Cobras.