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DJ Bylamplight writesDJ Bylamplight’s Best of 2009

Throughout the month of December we’ll be posting lists of the best music of the year as determined by the volunteers that make CHIRP what it is. Today’s is from CHIRP DJ and programmer extraordinaire, Kumar McMillan, a.k.a. DJ Bylamplight.

  1. Pisces – A Lovely Sight (Numero Group) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    This is not a reissue, it’s a discovery of unheard 1969 material that was lost and buried in a fascinating story about a perfectionist rock group from Rockford, Illinois, who couldn’t catch a break. Besides earning Pisces a page in Steve Krakow’s Secret History of Chicago Music series, this album (compiled by the Numero crew) is an enjoyable listen start to finish and is essential for any fan of Rockadrome-esque swirly psychedelic fuzz. This album was built like a cathedral; it almost seems appropriate that it took over thirty years to finally see a proper release. Not only is this undisputedly my pick for best album of 2009, I think it will shine for years to come as a truly remarkable achievement both sonically and historically.
  2. Exile – Radio (Plug Research) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    The Akai MPC 3000 sampler has revolutionized hip hop and has proven to be one of the most expressive electronic instruments ever invented. Exile has mastered the MPC. He plays samples like instruments — stripping them down to the core and tapping out new melodies and rhythms. But there’s a twist: this album was sampled entirely from FM radio in Los Angeles. Commercials, jingles, call-ins, cheesy smooth jazz, late night battle raps, pop songs, they have all been artfully munged into catchy instrumental hip hop jams and interludes sometimes with a political or spiritual message. FM radio today is a strange corporate beast and this album exploits that beast, leaving no stone unturned. Besides a great work of art, every song keeps my head nodding and it’s been in very heavy rotation ever since I picked it up.
  3. Little Dragon – Machine Dreams (Peace Frog) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    My introduction to this album was a little 7” of Blinking Pigs and the first thing that grabbed me was the majestic vocals and harmonies floating up and down like a Cocteau Twins song. The second thing that grabbed me was the great treatment of the drum sound — the beats bounced around in a really groovy way, hollow yet still “live” and powerful. The rest of the album was even better! From start to finish it has a really fresh, live electronic sound; the songs range from catchy to mellow to dance worthy and each synth sound is deliberate and cleverly placed. It was an instant classic for me but upon each listen it kept growing until Machine Dreams was in my heavy rotation.
  4. Hollows – Self-Titled (Addenda) Insound / Addenda
    Even though I’m involved with operating Addenda Records, I have no shame in admitting that this stunning debut from Chicago’s Hollows is one of the greatest neo-garage albums I’ve ever heard. The first five seconds drop you straight into the action and it doesn’t let up until the epic second-to-last song, Love Will Find You. Often described as a haunting retro 60s or 50s album, the song writing breaks free from the past and takes you on a fast ride with a killer all-girl-except-for-one-guy getup of bass, farfisa-like organ, guitar, and drums. The songwriting is superb and the two minute arrangements are ingeniously concise.
  5. Javelin – Self-Titled (Thrill Jockey) Amazon / Insound / Thrill Jockey
    Supposedly this Brooklyn instrumental hip hop group have been turning quite a few heads at live shows but I never knew about them until the Thrill Jockey 12” subscription sent me a mysterious thrift store record called The World of Boots Randolph with some weird painted shapes over the woman’s face. I later found out that those were actually letters spelling the word Javelin. The 12” labels both had what looked like a B written in sharpie as if to suggest there were two B-sides, how clever. That was all the information I could fetch from it but the tunes were so catchy that the record soon claimed a permanent spot in my stack of heavy rotation. I naturally dug deep into the Net to find out what I was listening to but I didn’t stop there. My obsession with Javelin has since grown to epic proportions — I’ve nabbed their CDR releases, their incredible Lukabop podcasts, basically anything I can get my hands on at this point. Their limited 12” is now sold out (try Ebay) but an MP3 release is available for purchase from Thrill Jockey.
  6. Various Artists – Black Rio Vol. 2 Brazil Soul Power 1968-1981 (Strut) Amazon / iTunes
    DJ Cliffy already put out volume one of similar cuts but I never knew about it. After catching up with that, this compilation is definitely not the out-takes, it’s a brilliant collection of softer hitting, obscure Brazilian soul. As with most Brazilian music, each track enchants you immediately and fills you with that feel good fuzzy happy feeling. And as a compilation it is very well planned out from start to finish by a DJ who obviously knows how to set a deliberate mood. It has just the right amount of energy for any moment of the day, any day of the week, and I can’t seem to get enough of it.
  7. Pax Nicholas and the Nettey Family – Na Teef Know De Road of Teef (Daptone) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Frank from the famous Voodoo Funk record digger blog has organized his first reissue! I’m hoping there will be many more to come. He had discovered a rare Nigerian piece recorded in the 70s then supposedly banished by decree of Fela Kuti himself after its soft rhythms failed to “move” people on the dance floor. Well, it’s arguably a fine dance record but for me it’s one of the most relaxing and charming Afrobeat records I’ve ever heard. I play this time and time again in my living room, usually to help unwind after a day at work.
  8. Black Wyrm Seed – Self-Titled (PlusTapes) PlusTapes
    This is the cassette—yes, cassette—debut of a new Chicago band, Black Wyrm Seed. Despite its heavy doom metal opener, this album grows prettier, softer, and more psychedelic with each song. On myspace they accurately describe their line-up as batterie, bong-rattling bass, electric / acoustic guitars, and vox. I listen to it over and over in my car tape deck and the nuance in every note is inexplicably wonderful. Although a stoner metal blog showcased this release a while back, it still seems to exist as an undiscovered gem.
  9. Dam-Funk – Toeachizown (Stones Throw) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    If “gangster” was a genre of music it would include 70s RnB songs like Does Your Mama Know by Rudy Love & The Love Family and William Devaughn’s Be Thankful For What You Got. Then chronologically it would move on to include Parliament / P-Funk, G-Funk, and finally Dam-Funk. This LA producer has put together a massive release of electronic instrumentals (some with background vocals) in five—count ‘em—five volumes. This is gangster theme music. In fact, it’s done so well that any tongue and cheekiness is overshadowed by the brilliance of nuance in the programmed drums or well placed synth chimes. It feels so smooth and so right and makes me want to drive around LA with my seat real low and pimp like.
  10. Shepherd – Riddle of the Unflocked (Acroplane) Liquid Dilemma
    This is a bass heavy new electronic project by Belgian producer Shepherd (a.k.a. Julien Itterbeek). The style is akin to the sinister breakbeat sound of Scorn or Push Button Objects but hidden beneath its murky swamp of squelchy synth lines are intriguing, alien-like emcee vocals. When listening, sometimes I imagine a b-boy battle on a space station between Martians and Mercurians, each crew doing weird twists and flips. It was released as a free MP3 download on the obscure Acroplane label, so be sure to grab it while you can. This is one evil, mind bending album and it accompanies me very often these days from start to finish.
 

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Some Random Closing Thoughts

Neon Indian made his debut appearance with what I’d call the best song of 2009: Deadbeat Summer. It’s a really catchy tune but more than that the production is beautifully warped and twisted. In fact, it has stirred up enough for some bloggers to coin the genre “chillwave” to describe it. I guess that’s sort of a more blunted and electronic version of shoegaze? I was a bit disappointed by Neon Indian’s full length album, Psychic Chasms, but I think that’s really because every other song on it pales in comparison to Deadbeat Summer.

The Xx put out a really amazing album this year (self titled). It didn’t make my list only because it’s been in light rotation for me, not necessarily heavy rotation. I think they are one to watch and I was especially captivated by this live performance they did on KEXP.

Drag City issued an album by Death called For The Whole World To See. It was originally made in the 70s but was done in the Detroit R&B community so no one paid any attention to it and it never got a proper release. If you listen to it now it sort of sounds like a lot of other metal that came out around the same time but because of where the players were all raised on deep Detroit R&B there’s something very subtle that makes it stand out.

Some other albums that grazed my list this year were Joyce’s Visions Of Dawn (The Paris 1976 Project), ¡¡¡Wau Y Los Arrrghs!!!‘s ¡¡¡Viven!!!, Hudson Mohawke’s Polyfolk Dance, The Fiery Furnaces’ I’m Going Away, Jim O’Rourke’s Visitor, John Zorn’s O’o, and Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest. Wow, 2009 was an amazing year for music!

Joyce: Far Out Recordings
¡¡¡Wau Y Los Arrrghs!!!: Slovenly
Hudson Mohawke: Warp
Fiery Furnaces: Thrill Jockey
Jim O’Rourke: Drag City
John Zorn: Amazon
Grizzly Bear: Warp

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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2009

Patrick Seymour - Dizzy Spells writesPatrick Seymour’s Best of 2009

Throughout the month of December we’ll be posting lists of the best music of the year as determined by the volunteers that make CHIRP what it is. Today’s is from CHIRP Volunteer, Patrick Seymour.

  1. Mi Ami – Watersports (Quarterstick) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    After a couple excellent EPs these ex-Black Eyes members put out their full length debut. It is a strange mix of forward thinking punk, Afro beat, free jazz and dub. While that makes it seem like they are throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks, it actually works well blending everything together creating a very unique sounding album, strong debut.
  2. Paper Mice – Paint It Pink (Cassette Deck) Amazon / iTunes
    Another strong debut from this Chicago trio. Combine the manic energy of Deerhoof with the bark and conciseness of Minutemen, throw in some news of the weird inspired lyrics and you have the recipe for success. These boys got some musical chops to boot. The packaging is worth noting, beautifully screened LP jackets.
  3. Abner Jay – True Story of Abner Jay (Mississippi) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Mississippi Records out of Portland have had a hell of a year, well couple actually. They put out a record what seems like every other week and they are all worth hearing. This one is a favorite. Abner Jay plays some great blues songs on electric banjo, accompanied by drums and harmonica. The songs can be heart breaking and funny, often in the same song.
  4. Dog Faced Hermans – Hum of Life (Mississippi) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    OK so it is a reissue, but they are probably my favorite band and this album is a killer. These Scottish punks mix folk, jazz, and Eastern European influences all fronted by an amazing female vocalist who played the trumpet too. They don’t make them like this anymore. The guitarist went on to play with the Ex.
  5. Dead Weather – Horehound (Third Man) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Jack White may be the musician of the decade. He’s had a great run with the White Stripes, the Racontoures, his own recording label and studio; the man doesn’t slow down. His latest project is a fierce dark blues band fronted by certified bad ass Allison Mosshart of the Kills. Check out their video for Treat me like your Mother.
  6. Pterodactyl – Worldwild (Jagjaguwar) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    They toned down a bit of the spazz from their first album, but the energy is not lost. With Worldwide they soak up a bit of influence from contemporaries like Liars and Animal Collective, making their music a bit more blissed out, but it is not completely out of step with their previous work. Their fuzzed screeching guitars and falsetto vocal harmonies are still the selling point of this band.
  7. Zs – Music of Modern White (Social Registry) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Another winner from modernist, chamber, punk, cerebral whatever band that continues to push the boundaries. The album is made up of two songs divided into three suites featuring saxophone skronk, hand clapping, some ambient passages, and some mad guitar playing. If you like experimental music, they are really worth checking out. Even if you weren’t sold on this description, they are one of the more interesting and challenging bands making music today.
  8. Broadcast and the Focus Group – Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age (Warp) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    An odd release from Broadcast, it’s made up of short songs and sound collages that blend into one another taking up each side of the album. There hasn’t been an album in a while that was able to conjure up such a strange atmosphere as this one, part nostalgia of some fantasy world, part Witch Cult (as the title suggests) the perfect fall album.
  9. Thee Oh Sees – Help (In The Red) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Thee Oh Sees have been a busy band. A couple of albums this year, a half dozen singles, and they have all been consistently good. This is a fine album all the way around. They are a garage band writing pop songs with a hint of psych thrown in and some great male and female vocals. They rip through a dozen songs and by the time you are done you are ready to start the album over again.
  10. A Hawk and a Hacksaw – Deliveranse (Leaf) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Gotta give some love to Jeremy Barnes, this band started as a solo post Neutral Milk Hotel project and has, with the addition of the other mainstay violinist Heather Trost, turned into his full time gig. After a couple of albums the two immersed themselves in Eastern European folk music by moving to Romania and have recorded several times there. With each time their western influence has slowly eroded focusing more on traditional Balkan folk music.
 

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5 older albums/artists that crossed my path in ’09

War – The World Is A Ghetto Amazon / Insound / iTunes
I had written them off based on Spill the Wine, but the first time I heard this album I fell in love with it. Fantastic 70’s funk, heavy in percussion, lots of people singing at the same time and the Cisco Kid!

 

Harry Nilsson – Nilsson Sings Newman Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Harry Nilsson singing Randy Newman songs, that’s about all you need to know.

 

The Kinks Amazon / Insound / iTunes
2009 was the year I finally really got into the Kinks. It took me a while but I finally realized that Ray Davies wrote brilliant music and the albums they were making in the late 60’s were certainly on par with their contemporaries.

 

Art Blakey – A Night in Tunisia Amazon / Insound / iTunes
I don’t really listen to a lot of jazz, though I try every now and again. This one really caught my ear, fast paced hard bop. There is a pretty cool video of the title song.

 

The Walkmen Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Another band I was late to the party on. You and Me is a good listen front to back as is A Hundred Miles Off. I don’t listen to a whole lot of straight up rock, but this is one band that is doing it very well.

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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2009

Mike Bennett writesiPod/MP3 Friday Shuffle — Happy Birthday Tyra Banks Edition

Let’s give it up for the supermodel who’s become a super talk show mogul. The one and only Tyra Banks. In honor of the woman who will pull almost any stunt to get people to watch her show (as the accompanying picture shows), you go girls (and boys) and get your iPod/MP3 player, hit shuffle and share the first 10 tunes that come up.

  1. Guided By Voices — The Official Ironmen Rally Song (Under The Bushes, Under The Stars): Sure, Robert Pollard has released way too much material, but boy, he certainly had a ton of great songs. This majestic mid-tempo song, which was also released as a single, is nearly up there with GBV classics like “Motor Away” in the hierarchy of Mid-Fi Arena Rock Classics.
  2. Queen — Killer Queen (Sheer Heart Attack): This was the song that broke Queen big as a pop act. They had devoted a lot of their first two albums to being a poofier, sleeker alternative to Led Zeppelin, with some success. But this led them to being one of the biggest bands in the world. On this playful pop number, Queen shows off the influence of Roxy Music and Sparks, but the campy flash and high energy is just dialed down a little bit.
  3. The Hives — Main Offender (Veni Vidi Vicious): The Hives aren’t the best garage band around, but they are really good and very few bands have as much flair or personality. This song sounds like the New York Dolls meet The Move, and that’s fine with me.
  4. The Young Nashvillians — Follow That Girl (The Sad Smiles Of The Young Nashvillians): A second appearance from this rag tag group of college students from, you guessed it, Nashville, who recorded in the mid-‘80s. This is one of their later recordings, as evidenced by the polished. This is goofy retro pop, with a prominent Farfisa organ and alternatively scratchy and twangy guitars in the vein of early XTC and The B-52s.
  5. Sagittarius — Artificial Light (Of All The Living Lies) (Present Tense): This ’60s studio band was the brainchild of Gary Usher, who co-wrote songs with Brian Wilson and produced The Byrds and Simon & Garfunkel. He collaborated on this awesome psychedelic soft pop effort with Curt Boettcher. The result is something akin to The Free Design, The Association and The Beach Boys, but with unique dense arrangements, and a general trippier vibe. Listening to the myriad instruments on headphones, perfectly placed in the mix, is a real treat.
  6. The Hollies — You Need Love (Evolution): This is a proto-power pop number from one of the underrated bands of the ’60s. They may have been the best harmony vocalists of all of the British Invasion, with Graham Nash always stacked on top with an angelic voice. If you are in a power pop band, and have some good singers, cover this number. You’ll be glad you did.
  7. The Rolling Stones — Lies (Some Girls): I’d rather listen to Some Girls than Exile On Main Street. On Some Girls, the band established a new type of groove that carried them for about five or six years until it was impossible to stop the rot. This is not one of the stellar tracks from this album, but it still sounds good. Charlie Watts effortlessly taps out a beat that is metronomic, and yet it still swings, while Ron Wood and Keith Richards just fill the track with cool blues guitar tomfoolery.
  8. The dB’s — Working For Somebody Else (The Sound Of Music): Peter Holsapple has such a great hangdog voice and it is perfect for this bitch session about having to have a job. After all, as someone smarter than me once asked, if work is so great, why do they have to pay you to do it? This song has a wobbly R & B foundation, while Holsapple’s melody pushes him near the top of his range. There’s lots of great guitar business going on here, but this song would work if it were just Peter on an acoustic.
  9. The Merry-Go-Round — On Your Way Out (The Merry-Go-Round): This ’60s band was led by Emmit Rhodes, who went on to become a cult figure in pop/power pop circles for McCartney-esque solo albums. On this band’s sole LP, Rhodes showed proficiency for melodic folk-rock in the vein of The Byrds and The Youngbloods. I think there is a best of for these guys, and Rhodes was a really good songwriter, so if you like this sort of stuff, look for the compilation.
  10. Myracle Brah — Hearts On Fire (Plate Spinner): What started as a side project for Baltimore’s Andy Bopp (of Love Nut) became a favorite of the power pop underground in the late ’90s/early ’00s. Bopp mastered the canon of The Beatles, Badfinger and Cheap Trick, and then created bittersweet gems by the fistful. He’s vacillated from more classically retro material and attempts to take power pop into more contemporary directions without losing its roots. He did that latter thing quite well on Plate Spinner, which had creative production and compositions and arrangements that connected dots. This sounds like Paul McCartney fronting Radiohead in an “Eleanor Rigby”-“Karma Police” mash up. Great tune.

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Categorized: Friday MP3 Shuffle

Topics: ipod, lists

CHIRP DJ writesLaurie Viet’s Best of 2009

Throughout the month of December we’ll be posting lists of the best music of the year as determined by the volunteers that make CHIRP what it is. Today’s is from CHIRP Volunteer and writer of at This is Babble On, Laurie Viets.

  1. Silversun Pickups – Swoon (Dangerbird) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    This is a rarity for me-an album that I can listen to the whole way through!
  2. Bob Mould – Life and Times (Anti) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    I was disappointed in the album and first and actually took it off my IPod. Then I gave it a second chance and really enjoyed it.
  3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz (Interscope) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    I love it when you hear a song on the radio and you just fall in love-that’s how I felt when I first heard “Skeletons”.
  4. Ida Maria – Fortress Round My Heart (Mercury) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    I find her songs catchy and entertaining.
  5. The Airborne Toxic Event – Self-Titled (Island) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    OK. I think this was originally released in 2007 but no one heard it until they sent it out again in 2009. I heard “Sometime Around Midnight” and had to get the whole album. Even watched their tv special in a hotel somewhere. Love em. Right now they are filling the hole left by The Killers crappy last album.
  6. Clem Snide – Hungry Bird (429 Records) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Picked this up off a review and did not regret it. Another good complete album.
  7. M Ward – Hold Time (Merge) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    He pleases me.
  8. Various Artists – War Child Presents Heroes (Astralwerks) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    TV on the Radio doing “Heroes” Nice.
  9. Various Artists – Dark Was The Night (4ad Records) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    So many of my favorite bands in one place-The Decemberists, Beirut, Arcade Fire, My Morning Jacket, Andrew Bird-it’s a great album.
  10. Mike Doughty – Sad Man Happy Man (ATO Records) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    I have never fully recovered from the loss of Soul Coughing. Thank you Mike Doughty for keeping the dream alive.
 

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The album I couldn’t live without that was from 2008
Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes) (Rebel Group) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
It got me through being laid off, the birth of my son, sleepless nights with baby-it means the world to me and will always be in my Top 10.

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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2009

CHIRP DJ writesChris Siuty’s Best of 2009

Throughout the month of December we’ll be posting lists of the best music of the year as determined by the volunteers that make CHIRP what it is. Today’s is from CHIRP’s Sound Doctor, Chris Siuty.

  1. Dear Landlord – Dream Homes (No Idea) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Made up of Midwest punk veterans from such bands as Rivethead and the Copyrights, Dear Landlord’s first release annihilates rest of my list. This is probably the best pop punk record to come out in the last ten years. Either they’re too good at it and aren’t pulling any punches, or this was a total fluke. This record should be on everyone’s shelf. Not even kidding. If they stay a band and not call it quits, as this appears to be a “side project,” they will be the most important pop punk band of the next ten years.
  2. Canadian Rifle – Visibility Zero (Residue Records) Interpunk
    Straight forward, blunt and unapologetic. Dark, yet catchy and melodic. Canadian Rifle cuts through all the B.S. and puts together a collection of some of the best songs to come out of Chicago. Gruff vocals reminiscent of Jawbreaker, on top of urgent melodic punk songs. If this was exclusively a Chicago list, this record would be tops. Ex-members of Ambition Mission, (Lone) Wolf and Cub and many many others.
  3. Nothington – Roads, Bridges and Ruins (BYO Records) Amazon / iTunes
    San Fransisco natives Nothington manage to combine the gruff vocals and song structure of Hot Water Music with the melodies and drunken wit of the Replacements, creating a sound that is more recognizably Gainsville or Minneapolis than the Bay Area. This record is one heart-string jerk after another. If you get a chance to see them live, it’s well worth your time.
  4. No Slogan – Aversion Therapy (Residue Records) Residue
    If anything, 2009 was the year of Residue Records. Three releases hit my top ten and I’m looking forward to future releases from Jordan Pedestrian and company. This release, coming in at number 4, is the most “Chicago” sounding release on my list. No Slogan are long time staples of the Chicago DIY punk scene and constant favorites of mine. They manage to channel classic Chicago bands such as the Bhopal Stiffs, the Effigies and Pegboy, while maintaining a sound that is far from derivative of any of these bands. This is easily the best thing this band has done. Looking forward to more quality releases.
  5. Star Fucking Hipsters – Never Rest in Peace (Alternative Tentacles) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Admittedly, I sometimes feel a little goofy liking the output Leftover Crack and their crew release, because there’s ska parts and their politics are so unbelievably black and white. But, aside from that, these NYC crusties really can write good, interesting songs. They combine a lot of different influences, from street punk to death metal, ska to 80’s hardcore. If you can put down your hang ups and listen to this album without judgement, you’ll find a lot of quality within the grooves of this record.
  6. Banner Pilot – Collapser (Fat Wreck Chords) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    The only thing that can possibly make an adult who still listens to punk rock with the enthusiasm of a teenager feel more awkward than ska parts is admitting that Fat Wreck has put out something you like. Well, every year, there’s at least one album. Last year it was the Dillinger Four. This year, it’s D4’s fellow Minneapolis natives, Banner Pilot. The crazy thing is, there’s two Fat Wreck releases on the list this year. Banner Pilot are bound make anyone still lamenting the break up of Jawbreaker feel a little bit better about themselves. Emotionally tinged punk, driven by honest lyricism and engaging song structure echoes the passion and energy that draws people to punk rock. If you haven’t listened to a punk record since you stopped going to the Fireside in the mid 90’s, it’s probably time you revisit an old friend. This would probably be a good place to start.
  7. Daylight Robbery – Red Light EP (Residue Records) Residue
    This Chicago group take equal parts influence from early L.A. punk bands such as the Weirdos and X, as well as modern garage rock. Daylight Robbery have put out yet another fantastic 7” driven by female and male vocals exchanged in the urgent crust punk tradition layered over a west coast punk influence and a core rooted in midwestern lo-fi honesty.
  8. MK Ultra – Discography (Youth Attack Records) Interpunk
    Chicago by way of Dekalb veterans finally released a comprehensive discography. If you weren’t there, or you’d like to have all of your records in one handy place, this collection does all the foot work for you. Someone should do a commercial for this, in the style of those “Hits of the 70’s” collections. Brutal, socially conscious hardcore. It doesn’t get any better than this. This ends up towards the bottom of the list, only because it’s a collection. It doesn’t speak of the quality of the songs at all. Besides, this edges out a lot of records that came out this year that I really liked.
  9. Teenage Bottlerocket – They Came From The Shadows (Fat Wreck Chords) Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Every time I think “this is probably the last Teenage Bottlerocket album I’ll ever buy, because I don’t think their next one will be as good,” I’m proven wrong. I know what you’re thinking: “how many bands that sound like a cross between the Ramones and Screeching Weasel can there possibly be and how can they be any good?” Well, I’d probably agree with you, but Bottlerocket continues to be the exception to the rule. They manage to continue to take a painfully derivative genre and reinvent it in interesting ways over and over again. If I were to pick a top ten fun albums of ’09, this would be number one.
  10. The Ergs! – That’s It… Bye! (Don Giovanni Records) Interpunk
    So the Ergs! called it quits in 2008, but released their final three songs in 2009. These are the final three songs they ever wrote, closing the book on the best pop punk band of the 2000’s. The Ergs! will be seen as this generation’s Screeching Weasel or Descendents and I can guarantee you that their influence will be seen in bands to come, no doubt. Just to make sure I say something about this record other than the facts, one of the best songs they ever wrote, “Anthem for a New Amanda” is on this record. Do yourselves a favor and check out their discography. You won’t be disappointed.
 

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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2009, lists

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