Wednesday, December 28, 2005

MUSIC: Faves Of 2005

Ok folks, here it is, my favorite music of 2005:

Absolute Favorite Album of The Year:

Son Volt---Okemah And The Melody Of Riot
Quite simply the pinnacle of Jay Farrar's recording career. A record that places him shoulder to shoulder as a peer alongside those who have influenced him such as Neil Young, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Joe Strummer, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty etc. Okemah And The Melody Of Riot plays like an unintentional soundtrack to the deep blues of well-intentioned citizens waking up to the horrors of a second Bush term. Jay and new band members deliver the goods in spades, both musically and lyrically, Bush and the war in Iraq the target most often in Jay's piercing lyrical sights. And the record rocks like a motherfucker when it needs to. The melody of riot indeed...

The Rest Of The Pack (In alphabetical order, reissues included. Some inspired blurbs, though those without are still of equal enjoyment value to me):

Terry Adams & Marshall Allen---ten by two
Breathtaking live duets from the NRBQ pianist and the Sun Ra Orchestra saxophonist. Adams' uncanny ability to simultaneously channel the spirits of both Thelonius Monk & Sun Ra is remarkable, and when Allen blows you are reminded that space remains the place. This record is full of interplanetary be-bop & boogie woogie, a dash of rock n' roll, and even a total donk take on "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head".

The Amazing Pilots---Hello My Captor

The Bats---At The National Grid

John Cale—blackAcetate
A bit of a throwback while always looking forward, the most rocking and straight ahead Cale record in a long time. Kind of an updated & modernized version of his classic '70's Island Records era sound.

Cobra Verde---Copycat Killers

Chocolate Genius Inc.---Black Yankee Rock
Marc Anthony Thompson is the black Brian Wilson. Why he's languishing in relative obscurity is beyond me, cause this record is a very deserving accomplishment, full of melodically complex and deeply moving genre-bending songs. Kinda like There's A Riot Goin On, but without the massive amounts of cocaine.

Dramarama---"everybody dies"
"The American Mott The Hoople" as I've always called them, re-unite and deliver the best unexpected surprise of the year.

Echo & The Bunnymen—Siberia

The Alejandro Escovedo String Quintet---Room Of Songs

The Flamin' Groovies---Shake Some Action (reissue)
The Flamin' Groovies---Now (reissue)
The Flamin' Groovies---Jumpin' In The Night (reissue)

How great it is to finally have the Groovies' Sire era albums so magnificently re-mastered. The brilliance and historical significance of Shake Some Action remains staggering.

The Fleshtones—Beachhead

Low---The Great Destroyer

Thelonius Monk & John Coltrane—The Thelonius Monk Quartet With John Coltrane At Carnegie Hall

The Morells---Anthology "Live" 101 Songs About Cars, Girls, And Food!!!
The Morells---Think About It
The four disc live anthology is quite simply an amazing motherlode for diehards. And Think About It finds our heroes every bit as strong twenty years later, with some of Donnie Thompson's most jaw-dropping recorded guitar work ever.

Bob Mould---Body Of Song
Though many dispute the call, I happen to think this is the best thing he's ever done. An emotionally moving and groove oriented mountain of rock. And call me crazy, but I totally dig the Cher vocoder vocal thingy used in this rocking context.

The Plimsouls---One Night In America (reissue)

Portastatic---Bright Ideas

Riddle Of Steel---Got This Feelin'

The Rolling Stones---A Bigger Bang

Kinda like Swervedriver—a good thing!

Patti Smith---Horses/Horses (half reissue/half new live album)

Sun Kil Moon---Tiny Cities

Turbonegro---Party Animals
Norway's best rock band deliver another classic full of very intelligent hard rocking melodic pop anthems that simultaneously celebrate the joys and dark sides of Scandinavian hedonism. Imagine a totally glammed-out, Mensa version of the Dictators, but from Norway. And check out the instant sing along classic, "Blow Me Like The Wind"--- the best hard rocking song of the year!

Tom Verlaine---Warm And Cool (reissue)
His 1992 instrumental twang-from-mars masterpiece re-mastered. The big news here is that this reissue includes eight previously unreleased cuts!

The Warlocks---Surgery

Yo La Tengo---Prisoners Of Love-A Smattering Of Scintillating Senescent Songs 1985-2003

Favorite DVD:
Sparks---Live In Stockholm

Favorite Live Shows:
Brian Wilson---Roberts-Orpheum Theater, St. Louis
The dB's---Hideout Block Party & The House Of Blues, Chicago
The Finn Brothers---The Pageant & Vintage Vinyl, St. Louis
Steve Earle & The Dukes---The Pageant, St. Louis
Son Volt---The Pageant, St. Louis
Blowfly---Vintage Vinyl, St. Louis
Har Mar Superstar---Vintage Vinyl, St. Louis


Anonymous said...

He said "...when Allen blows you..."

Howzabout a "Greatest Show with Worst Seats"? Gotta nominate Robert Plant - Auditorium Theatre, Chicago !

-Happy talk

Anonymous said...

No Love Experts? Are you too modest?

Stephanie said...

Great post. I'll have to check some of that out. Have a great NYEve and an even better 06.

Anonymous said...

Truly a great list of the best.

I can say, without question, that the dB's show in Chicago was the show of shows...

Also, the Groovies are without comparison.

Thanks for making sense of the nonsense of modern day "bleech" but still reminding us there is really great music out there.