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And the award for "Album That Was So Hyped In the Indie Clique That It Became Overrated And As Such Became Underrated But Actually Is Neither Of These Things Because Nobody Outside Of The Indie Clique Has Probably Even Listened To It" goes to...

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart! Congratulations! Seriously though, now that the hype dust has settled, I really do think this band put out an awesome self titled debut. I mean if this song does not make you feel like a character in a John Hughes movie, I don't know what will (actually, you might want to try "Kim and Jesse" by M83 for that)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Danger Mouse's new project Dark Night Of The Soul consists of an album length piece of music by Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and a host of guest vocalists*, along with a collection of original David Lynch photography inspired by and based on the music.

The photographs, which provide a visual narrative for the music, are compiled in a limited edition, hand numbered 100+ page book which will now come with a blank, recordable CD-R. All copies will be clearly labeled: 'For Legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.'

Due to an ongoing dispute with EMI, Danger Mouse is unable to release the recorded music for Dark Night Of The Soul without fear of being sued by EMI.

Danger Mouse remains hugely proud of Dark Night Of The Soul and hopes that people lucky enough to hear the music, by whatever means, are as excited by it as he is.


* Iggy Pop,

Julian Casablancas (The Strokes),

Wayne Coyne (The Flaming Lips),

Nina Persson (The Cardigans),

Suzanne Vega,

Frank Black (Pixies),

Jason Lytle (Grandaddy),

Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals),

James Mercer (The Shins) and

Vic Chesnutt

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  • 2 weeks later...

^ which is awesome btw :)

anyway, just like last year, German music magazine Musikexpress (afaik not affiliated with NME) compiled the Top 50 albums of the year

The Top 50 Albums of 2009

50. Eskimo Snow ~ Why?

49. Klang ~ The Rakes

48. Yes ~ Pet Shop Boys

47. Noble Beast ~ Andrew Bird

46. Travels With Myself And Another ~ Future of the Left

45. The Sleeper ~ The Leisure Society

44. God Help The Girl ~ God Help The Girl

43. In This Light And On This Evening ~ Editors

42. Jewellery ~ Micachu

41. Meine Schuld, meine Schuld, meine große Schuld ~ Kreisky

40. A Woman A Man Walked By ~ PJ Harvey & John Parish

39. Monsters of Folk ~ Monsters of Folk

38. Sigh No More ~ Mumford & Sons

37. To Lose My Life ~ White Lies

36. Ay Ay Ay ~ Matias Aguayo

35. Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do ~ Major Lazer

34. Glasvegas ~ Glasvegas

33. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart ~ The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

32. Walking On A Dream ~ Empire of the Sun

31. A Brief History Of Love ~ The Big Pink

30. La Roux ~ La Roux

29. Lovetune For Vacuum ~ Soap & Skin

28. Primary Colours ~ The Horrors

27. Heavy ~ Jochen Distelmeyer

22. Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle ~ Bill Callahan

21. The Angst And The Money ~ Ja, Panik

20. Music For Men ~ Gossip

19. Further Complications ~ Jarvis Cocker

18. Years Of Refusal ~ Morrissey

17. What Will We Be ~ Devendra Banhart

16. It's Blitz! ~ Yeah Yeah Yeahs

15. Fever Ray ~ Fever Ray

14. Merriweather Post Pavilion ~ Animal Collective

13. Immer da wo du bist bin ich nie ~ Element of Crime

12. The Eternal ~ Sonic Youth

11. Die Entstehung der Nacht ~ Die Goldenen Zitronen

10. The Crying Light ~ Antony & The Johnsons

09. Humbug ~ Arctic Monkeys

08. Embryonic ~ The Flaming Lips

07. West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum ~ Kasabian

06. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix ~ Phoenix

05. Kings & Queens ~ Jamie T

04. Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper ~ Julian Plenti

03. Wilco (The Album) ~ Wilco

02. Veckatimest ~ Grizzly Bear

01. The XX ~ The XX

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  • 4 weeks later...

A little late but here's yet another (very tentative and somewhat predictable) list.

My Top 50 Albums of 2009

1. Veckatimest - Grizzly Bear: Some of the finest, most accomplished post-rock of the year. "All We Ask"

2. xx - The xx: Only question is whether they’re going to be able to live up to it with their second album. "Islands"

3. Manners – Passion Pit: Awfully catchy electro-pop paired with some rather depressing, meditative lyrics. "The Reeling"

4. Two Dancers – Wild Beasts: And the award for “The Band that Streamlined and Generally Improved Their Sound in the Least Amount of Time Thought Possible†goes to... "Two Dancers"

5. Its Blitz - Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Makes a smart move toward a more diverse electronic sound and balances well intense rock/dance songs with quieter more introspective ones. "Zero"

6. Dark Days/Light Years – Super Furry Animals: Trippier and more electronic than Hey Venus! but every bit as good. "Mt"

7. Bitte Orca - Dirty Projectors: One more in a long line of eclectic, quirky, well-crafted indie/experimental rock records. "Cannibal Resource"

8. The Crying Light - Antony and the Johnsons: One of the most poetic, delicately beautiful albums I’ve heard in a while. "Her Eyes Are Underneath The Ground"

9. The Eternal - Sonic Youth: Providing your reliably excellent alt-rock for almost 30 years. "What We Know"

10. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix – Phoenix: Effortlessly catchy and likable; their best album to date. "Lisztomania"

11. Strict Joy – The Swell Season: One of the best singer/songwriter records of the year: personal yet universal lyrics set to truly gorgeous music. "I Have Loved You Wrong"

12. Merriweather Post Pavilion - Animal Collective: This is becoming one of my favourite Collective albums; each song is great on its own (though none follow a typical song structure) and as part of the whole. "Summertime Clothes"

13. Seek Magic - Memory Tapes: Following in the great indie DIY-creatively-and-with-emotion-tradition. "Swimming Field"

14. Travels With Myself and Another - Future of the Left: Good to know someone is keeping self-righteous, clever punk alive and well. "The House That Hope Built"

15. Actor - St Vincent: A lovely voice and creative yet accessible music full of more contradictions then would have worked if Annie Clark were any less of a songwriter. "Laughing With a Mouth of Blood"

16. Wind’s Poem – Mount Eerie: Recently started listening to more of Elverum’s work and this is one of my favourites, full of atmospheric, epic, lo-fi meanderings. "Between Two Mysteries"

17. Lungs - Florence and the Machine: This album was a pleasant surprise considering their first single, though good, didn’t give much indication of how great a talent Welch and company are and could become. "Hurricane Drunk"

18. Sometimes I Wish I Were An Eagle – Bill Callahan: Probably the most Smog-like of his non-Smog albums, intimate, but musically complex. "All Thought Are Prey To Some Beast"

19. Journal for Plague Lovers – Manic Street Preachers: An excellent tribute to the late(?) Richey Edwards composed of his final writings that the band has set some of the best music they’ve made since they lost him. "This Joke Sport Severed"

20. Logos - Atlas Sound: As experimental, but more eclectic and engaging than much of what Cox did with Deerhunter. "Shelia"

21. Farm - Dinosaur Jr.: Anyone wondering whatever happened to strong, tuneful guitar-based rock and roll? Uh, nothing, it’s doing quite fine, thanks in part to another solid album Jr. this year. "Ocean in the Way"

22. A Brief History of Love - The Big Pink: Quite derivative but not without some great songs. "Velvet"

23. My Maudlin Career - Camera Obscura: Perhaps not as good as Let’s Get Out of This Country but still a very lovely, if quite honest, break-up album. "The Sweetest Thing"

24. Middle Cyclone - Neko Case: Only someone with Case’s indie status and beautiful vocals could get away with tacking on a half an hour of nature sounds. "People Got A Lotta Nerve"

25. Heavy Ghost – DM Stith: A debut that lived up my expectations, dark, whimsical yet lovely and affecting. "Fire of Birds"

26. Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures: Competent hard-rock collaboration by gifted, natural-born collaborators. "No One Loves Me & Neither Do I"

27. Exploding Head - A Place to Bury Strangers: Another admirable attempt to ensure shoegaze continues well into the next decade. "Keep Slipping Away"

28. Horehound - The Dead Weather: One of the albums I was really looking forward to being a fan of its members’ main bands, though it didn’t quite live up to my expectation it was still pretty decent. "Treat Me Like Your Mother"

29. Art Brut vs Satan – Art Brut: More amusingly dumb/clever garage rock with a little help from one Frank Black. "Alcoholics Unanimous"

30. Humbug - Arctic Monkeys: A change in tone and direction for the Monkeys due in part to the somewhat unusual choice of Josh Homme as producer/mentor. "My Propeller"

31. Troubadour - K’naan: Among the best rap albums of the year. "ABC's"

32. Primary Colours - The Horrors: Switching to a more gothic shoegaze sound wasn’t exactly what I was expecting but it seems to be a trend these days and they they pull it off surprisingly well.

"Sea Within A Sea"

33. Aim and Ignite - fun.: A record that is such pure pop, well, fun, that I found myself liking it against my will. "All the Pretty Girls"

34. Popular Songs - Yo La Tengo: While the last three songs might try the patience a little the first nine more than make up for it. "Periodically Double or Triple"

35. Psychic Chasms – Neon Indian: Something like Daft Punk on LSD or E or something. "Psychic Chasms"

36. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - The Pains of Being Pure At Heart: Impressive debut and a fine update of shoegaze/noise pop. "Everything With You"

37. Dear John - Loney, Dear: The second, solid indie folk record by the Swedish Sufjan-in-training. "Airport Surroundings"

38. Kingdom of Rust – Doves: Another decent offering from one of the more consistent new millennium Brit-pop bands. "10:03"

39. The Bright Mississippi – Allen Toussaint: A brilliant jazz/R&B album of standards. "West End Blues"

40. A Woman A Man Walked By - PJ Harvey and John Parish: Another stellar collaboration. "Black-Hearted Love"

41. The Ecstatic - Mos Def: Well, it’s ABOUT TIME. "Twilite Speedball"

42. Welcome to Mali – Amadou and Mariam: More fun, inventive worldbeat from the husband/wife duo. "Sabali"

43. Hospice – The Antlers: A decent chamber pop album. "Shiva"

44. I’m Going Away - The Fiery Furnaces: Hopefully their indie roots rock weirdness isn’t going anywhere for awhile. "Even In the Rain"

45. Post Nothing – Japandroids: In my opinion doesn’t really justify the hype but still pretty decent punk-pop. "Young Hearts Spark Fire"

46. Tarot Sport – F*ck Buttons: Making good on the potential their debut showed with even more focused, twisted electronic soundscapes. "Olympians"

47. Hold Time - M. Ward: Laidback indie folk from a great American singer/songwriter. "Shangri La"

48. Bromst - Dan Deacon: Yet another stellar experimental/post rock release. "Red F"

49. Two Suns - Bat For Lashes: I didn’t think this quite lived up to Fur and Gold, but it’s still quite good. "Daniel"

50. No More Stories / Are Told Today / I'm Sorry / They Washed Away / No More Stories / The World Is Grey / I'm Tired / Let's Wash Away – Mew: Melodic space/dream pop from the Danes. "New Terrain" (or "Nervous" if you play it backwards)

Honourable Mentions: La Roux, Fever Ray, Dan Auerbach, Metric, the Flaming Lips, Girls, Basement Jaxx, Morissey, Jarvis Cocker and the Clientele. (And everyone else I either missed or didn’t listen to enough for a lack of time and/or energy.)

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I always admire non-journalists who trouble themselves through compiling such lists - I don't know if I've even listened to 50 albums from 2009 yet :blush: :P

(it was the same in 2008 - the best music I only 'discovered' this year)

But I shall listen to a couple of those in the next few days (tomorrow's No Shuffle Day again)


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And here's the second part, as of right now...

My Top 50 Songs of 2009

1. "1901" - Phoenix: Yeah I admit it, I’m a total sucker for this song, so what?

2. "Little Secrets" - Passion Pit: Like much of the album, super-catchy but something of a depressing undertone.

3. "Heads Will Roll" - Yeah Yeah Yeahs: "You are chrome".

4. "Two Weeks" - Grizzly Bear: Reminds me a little of the Beach Boys at their least surfer rock and most gorgeous.

5. "Cosmic Love" - Florence and the Machine: Only a handful of singers can pull off this kind of drama well.

6. "French Navy" - Camera Obscura: Bright, poppy and almost nostalgic.

7. "Dominoes" - The Big Pink: Up there with "Little Secrets", "1901" and "Nothing to Worry About" for catchiest refrain I’ve heard this year.

8. "I Want You To Know" - Dinosaur Jr.: In a year full of experimental/shoegaze/lo-fi/dance-pop it's nice to have a few straightforward rock songs.

9. "Crystalised" - The xx: Along with Manners, one of the hardest albums to pick just one favourite.

10. "Periodically Double or Triple" - Yo La Tengo: Top rock baseline of the year.

11. "Another World" - Antony and the Johnsons: Words like beautiful, transcendent, spiritual, heart-breaking come to mind but don’t quite capture it.

12. "Replay" - Electric Youth: A flawless guilty-pleasure dance track which I prefer to most of La Roux.

13. "Actor Out Of Work" - St. Vincent: Only Clark could make such a mean-spirited tell-off sound rather sweet.

14. "Nothing To Worry About" - Peter, Bjorn and John: Indie pop 101: Kids choirs make for rather good choruses.

15. "Let's Go Surfing" - The Drums: Simple, peppy summertime song, complete with whistling.

16. "Stillness Is the Move" - Dirty Projectors: About as close to mainstream pop as Longstreth and guests are going to get, which ain’t that close.

17. "Lust For Life" - Girls: Well-crafted Californian pop tune worth most of the hype.

18. "Cornerstone" - Arctic Monkeys: Oddly-detailed but believable break- up tune.

19. "Hang You From the Heavens" - The Dead Weather: Not hard to tell who the star of this show is.

20. "Free Energy" - Free Energy: One of the best Weezer impressions yet.

21. "Walking the Dog" - fun.: Earworm: “Come on come on come on, na na na na na na, na, I will not let you go!â€

22. "Arming Eritrea" - Future of the Left: I hope Rick actually deserved what he got.

23. "Between Two Mysteries" - Mount Eerie: Got a real lovely/creepy feel.

24. "Hooting and Howling" - Wild Beasts: Top riff.

25. "What We Know" - Sonic Youth: Second best rock baseline of the year.

26. "Slap Dash For No Cash" - Art Brut: "Cool your warm jets, Brian Eno!"

27. "High Horses" - The Swell Season: Romantic in the best possible way.

28. "The Fear" - Lily Allen: Closest thing to "Smile" or "LDN" on It’s Not Me, It's You so yeah, good.

29. "All Thoughts Are Prey To Some Beast" - Bill Callahan : Wonderfully orchestrated. "Sweet desire and soft thoughts, return to me".

30. "Glass" - Bat For Lashes: Another in the dramatic vein of "Cosmic Love".

31. "This Tornado Loves You" - Neko Case: At times comes close to country but that takes nothing away from it.

32. "Crazy/Forever" - Japandroids: Wistful pop epic filtered through punk guitar noise and distortion.

33. "Keep Slipping Away" - A Place To Bury Strangers: Like the Cure in overdrive.

34. "People Say" - Portugal. The Man: Another breezy, sing-a-long summer tune.

35. "New Fang" - Them Crooked Vultures: As with Jack White, would the year be complete without Josh Homme in some form or another?

36. "Bulletproof" - La Roux: The requisite dose of catchy, 80’s-ish synth-dance-pop.

37. "Swimming Field" - Memory Tapes: Lovely late-night song.

38. "Twilite Speedball" - Mos Def: Like the trombone bit.

39. "My Girls" - Animal Collective: Pretty standard Collective but more approachable for the unconverted.

40. "Raindrops" - Basement Jaxx: Possibly the one exception to the "Avoid auto-tune at all costs" rule.

41. "Everything With You" - The Pains of Being Pure At Heart: Sweet, in a moody, shoegaze kind of way.

42. "Deadbeat Summer" - Neon Indian: Nice update/cover (somewhat) of an obscure Todd Rundgren track.

43. "Sea Within A Sea" - The Horrors: To their credit it doesn’t feel quite like eight minutes.

44. "Chinatown Wars" - Ghostface Killah ft. DOOM: Highlight from the GTA: Chinatown Wars soundtrack.

45. "Quick Canal" - Atlas Sound ft Laetitia Sadier.: Another eight plus minute song but I don't really notice.

46. "Roll Up Your Sleeves" - We Were Promised Jetpacks: Great autumn song.

47. "And the Hazy Sea" - Cymbals Eat Guitars: Probably the least derivative thing on their debut

48. "Bonfires on the Heath" - The Clientele: Another good autumn song for different reasons.

49. "DJuru" - Amadou and Mariam: You barely notice it’s sung in Bambara.

50. "This Joke Sport Severed" - Manic Street Preachers: Nicely effective build-up.

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I'm not one to deny the subjectivity of music and all that, but Velvet is just so much more overwhelming and powerful and beautiful and stands out from every other song on the album and in the year and Dominoes, while a good enough song, is so generically radio friendly and stadiumy and we have enough of that around.

I still go berserk whenever either of them plays tho :D

Also - now that I've moved past #7 - I'd just like to say I'm glad you put Swimming Field on there, it's my favourite off Seek Magic, I think. Bicycle, Plain Material and Green Knight are close on its heels, but this one is just beautiful the way it opens, builds up and actually sparkles when it closes

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I didn't follow the new music as well as I should have last year, but here is my top 5

1. Passion Pit - Manners

2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion

3. Dam-Funk - Toeachizown

4. Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms

5. Animal Collective - Fall Be Kind

I heard a lot more, and even liked a lot more, but these are the only five I think I'm going to be listening to in 2010. There were a bunch of other good ones but I felt like I only listened to them because they came out in 2009. These 5 are truly amazing though, in my opnion, and I think they'll stand the test of time for me. Honorable mentions (that aren't even close to these five for me) include F*ck Buttons, Atlas Sound, Raekwon, Mos Def, Painso f Being Pure at Heart, Grizzly Bear, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Dirty Projectors, Girls, and Dan Deacon.

top 30 songs list for me here, and these are all A+ songs in my opinion.

1 Passion Pit - Little Secrets

2 Dam-Funk - Summertime Clothes (remix)

3 Cymbals Eat Guitars - And The Hazy Sea

4 Basement Jaxx - Raindrops

5 Animal Collective - Daily Routine

6 Animal Collective - What Would I Want? Sky

7 Bloody Beetroots - Warp 1.9

8 Dykeritz - Chasing the Wheel Away

9 Ravishers - Keep You Around

10 Animal Collecitve - Bluish

11 Neon Indian - Deadbeat Summer

12 Dam-Funk - (My Funk Goes) On and On

13 Passion Pit - The Reeling

14 Duck Sauce - aNYways

15 Passion Pit - Make Light

16 Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Stay Alive

17 Wallpaper - I Got Soul, I'm So Wasted

18 Big Boi - Shine Blockas

19 Sleigh Bells - Crown on the Ground

20 Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks

21 Dirty Projectors - Temecula Sunrise

22 LMFAO - Yes

23 The Mint Chicks - Hot On Your Heels

24 Starfucker - Boy Toy

25 The Whitest Boy Alive - Intentions

26 Phoenix - 1901

27 Atlas Sound - Walkabout

28 Mos Def - Casa Bey

29 YACHT - I'm in Love with a Ripper

30 Dan Deacon - Snookered

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