Saturday, January 02, 2010

MUSIC: Faves Of 2009

For me the most important release of 2009 was the Big Star box set, Keep An Eye On The Sky. Big Star set what would be the musical compass of my adult life when I discovered the band in 1974, and thanks to the wonders of this box set I never dreamed I would be rediscovering their music in so many continually rewarding and deeply meaningful ways some 35 years later. Heck, I would have been satisfied with just the release of the original three Big Star albums with this incredible remastering, so all of the amazing previously unreleased outtakes and demos and the book and it’s three outstanding essays and all of the never before seen photos included in this box set is quite the overwhelming mother lode. And then there’s the devastating Disc Four: Live At Lafayette’s Music Room, Memphis, TN! Adequate words to describe fail me. If there can be such a thing as the perfect box set, then in my opinion Keep An Eye On The Sky may just be that perfection. Eternal kudos and gratitude to John Fry, Cheryl Pawelski, Andrew Sandoval, Alec Palao, and everyone else at Ardent Studios and Rhino Records who had a hand in putting this box set together.

The best out-of-nowhere album from an artist new to me that I heard in 2009 was Painted Hills. Painted Hills are a great band that effortlessly melds the various eras of classic LA/Southern California psychedelic pop with a touch of Brit Pop shoegazing. I can’t remember the last time I heard a debut album where EVERY SONG completely blew me away! The official release of the Painted Hills album comes in February 2010 on Rick Menck’s Bird Song Recordings label, which means I get to include it on my 2010 list of faves as well!

The rest of my favorite music of 2009, in alphabetical order:

The Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet---Crazy 8's

The Beatles---The Beatles Remastered Box Set - In Mono

Cheap Trick---The Latest

Jarvis Cocker---Further Complications

Lloyd Cole---Cleaning Out The Ashtrays (Collected B Sides & Rarities 1989-2006)

Earth---The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull
A 2008 release that I was turned on to in 2009 by Nick Rudd. Thank you Nick!

Liam Hayes And Plush---Bright Penny

Heavy Trash---Midnight Soul Serenade

Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey---hERE aND nOw

Ian Hunter---Man Overboard

Magic Christian---Evolver

The New York Dolls---'Cause I Sez So

Old Californio---Westering Again

Outrageous Cherry---Universal Malcontents

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers---The Live Anthology

Chuck Prophet---Let Freedom Ring!

The Raveonettes---In And Out Of Control

Raymilland---Recordings '79-'81

REM---Live At The Olympia In Dublin

Rough Shop---Just Because It Was Christmas

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives---Communion

Sparks---The Seduction Of Ingmar Bergman

The Symptoms---Always Heed The Symptoms: "Live" In '78

Troubadour Dali---Troubadour Dali

The Dwight Twilley Band---Live From Agora

Where The Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets: 1965-1968 (Box Set)

My favorite live shows of 2009, in alphabetical order:

Leonard Cohen---The Fox Theater, St. Louis, MO

Future Clouds And Radar---SXSW, Austin, TX

Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey---Wood House Concert, Euclid Records, and Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO

Magic Christian---SXSW, Austin, TX

Chuck Prophet---Wood House Concert, St. Louis, MO

Raymilland/The Welders---Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO

Matthew Sweet---The Duck Room, St. Louis, MO

That Petrol Emotion---SXSW, Austin, TX

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