I don't know about you guys, but I am sick to death of year-end blather. Here's a mix of stuff that I've been working on over the last couple months. None of it made my year-end mix (though Fennesz showed up on a bunch of other people's lists)...some is late-year 2008, some early 2009 and some early to mid 1980s (though reissued recently). Anyway, I like it...maybe you will, too.
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"Jak" Volcano Suns. My favorite cut (the first one, off the first album, all downhill from there) off Merge's two-disc reissue of this post-Burma, post-punk, Boston band.
"The World's Can't Have Her" Cobra Verde. Nice 70s guitar riff, eh?
"Where's Captain Kirk?" Spizzenergi. Vintage early 1980s new wave...Peel's favorite "Star Trek-themed" song ever...no idea what kind of competition there was.
"Prefix Free" Parts & Labor. My "damn, that should have been top 20" late discovery for this year.
"Credit River" The COnstantines. Another mostly overlooked gem from 2008 -- thanks Ian, I kind of lost track of these guys after they left Sub Pop.
"Down with the Blue Lobsters" The Nightingales. I'm thinking that this new one, recorded with people from Faust, is better, silkier, more evil and more reptilianly menacing than anything from the heyday.
"Flash Bulbz" The Red Eyed Legends. Think they've spent much time with Shellac?
"Time Stands Still" Like a Fox. Yes, the power pop weakness wins out again. All you hard core types should skip this one.
"everything with you" The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Terrible band name, iffy label but kind of genius blend of lo-fi buzz and pop sweetness...I'd give them the "trying to be J&MC and not sucking" award for 2009 hands down.
"Happy New Year" Michael Zapruder. Terrific low-key, literate but unpretentious songwriter from the Bay Area...his dad shot that Kennedy footage, I think. Happy new year to you, too.
"Sanguinary" Chris Brokaw. I see Chris Brokaw as the slender thread that holds the whole indie/noise/rock/no wave/alterna country world together...if he's not in at least three bands a year, the entire mess comes unstrung. Here he is, just the man and his guitar, sounding pretty damned great.
"Do Not Love a WOman" Christina Carter. Spookily glorious.
"Saffron REvolution" Fennesz. I'm struck mute by stuff like this, but isn't it beautiful?
"I'm a Machine" Slaraffenland. Saw these guys at SXSW and it was one of the nicest, sunniest, most welcoming and inclusive show of my life...everybody banging on percussion, beer smells wafting...very nice. New EP has covers of Radiohead ("Paranoid Android") and A-Ha ("Take on Me") but I'm going with this original.
"Stepper a.k.a. Work" Skeletons. Matt Mehlan has changed his band name AGAIN, but it's still the same freakily warm, disco-into-afrobeat-into-free-jazz celebration that he's always behind.
"The Tulip Staircase" Dreamend. I've gotten to be kind of a fan of the Graveface label (Black Moth Super Rainbow, Experimental Aircraft, Hospital Ships), and this is the label owner's band...very nice pop into psychedelia kind of effort that reminds me a little bit of David Kilgour, especially in the guitars, and also Circulatory System.