Last year I kicked off this weblog with a post on my favourite music of 2008. That time has come around again, with 2009 safely behind us to give bouquets to the best of 2009 in music [according to my obvious biases + listening habits] and other stuff I listened to + more. Instead of doing a large spiel as I did last year I’ll forgo this time any length description and leave the comments section free for debate and conjecture. Anyway, lets get this proverbial party started:
Album of the Year
Mastodon – Crack the Skye
No surprises here. I’ve alluded before that I rate Mastodon as the biggest thing going in heavy music at the moment.
Even the TIME Top 10 Everything of 2009 agrees.
Song of the Year
Mastodon – Oblivion
Runners – up:
Title Track of the Year
[from Old Crows / Young Cardinals]
Best Follow-Up Albums of the Year
Lily Allen – It’s Note Me, It’s You
Bats For Lashes – Two Suns
Best Album Art of the Year
Elvis Costello – Secret, Profane and Sugarcane
Best Music Video of the Year
watch video here
Best Finds in 2009
High on Fire – Death is this Communion
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
Behemoth – Evangelion
Fever Ray – Fever Ray
The Cave Singers – Invitation Songs
The Sword – Gods of the Earth
Baroness – Blue Record
Dodos – Visitor
Revolution Mother – Glory Bound
Biggest Disappointments of the Year
Greenday – 21stc Breakdown: solid but I expected a lot more as a followup to the great American Idiot. A little samey.
Marilyn Manson – The High End of Low: I think it’s safe to say MM has lost his/its edge. Mediocre.
Don’t Believe the Hype in 2009
Muse – The Resistance
I don’t see what the big deal is. Unimpressed and uninspiring. Nothing new. I resent that this band is headlining the Big Day Out too with Mastodon and The Mars Volta barely rating a mention.
I Know I Shouldn’t Like it But I Do, So There in 2009
Paramore – Brand New Eyes
Pop Punk isn’t my preferred music genre but I like Paramore. There I said it. I realise this is the music of 16 year girls but I actually think its quite musically sharp, with goodish lyrics, and catchy. Hayley Williams is also cute.
Lady Gaga – The Fame Monster
I tried to resist, but Lady Gaga has won me over with Bad Romance. Her music is best to sing to in the shower. She is like Madonna but good, and Gwen Stefani but more interesting.
Second Time Around in 2009
The Bronx – The Bronx 
when this came out in 2006 I couldn’t quite latch on to this but knew it was pretty special. This year I finally realised why it’s great. I especially like the track ‘History’s Strangler’.
Digging the Oldies in 2009
Thin Lizzy and Talking Heads
Both of these groups I could never place but would always hear played [for good reason]. This year was the first time I took the effort to listen to them both carefully. Great.
Saving for a Rainy Day in 2010
This came out in February of 2009 but I haven’t actually ventured into listening to it yet. All reviews say it is great so I’m leaving it till I can give it its due.
Isis – Wavering Radiant
For whatever reason, I have always avoided Isis [mainly I don’t like the name of the band because it is the same as a gay piano bar in Dunedin]. This album has appeared on many a best of metal list for 2009 so I’m going to give it ago.
A Return to Grace in 2009
The Megadeth line-up has finally settled down and is into its work. Although the previous effort United Abominations was good, it was a bit patchy with a couple of kinda average songs. Endgame definitely feels much tighter and with Chris Broderick hitting his strips with some major riffage it is definitely a return to form for the deth.
Its About Bloody Time in 2009
Mew – No More Stories Are Told Today, I’m Sorry, They Washed Away
This is the first album for Mew since 2005 and it was worth the wait [pretty much]. Although not quite as sharp as And the Glass Handed Kites, it’s a good listen.
Biggest Music Tragedies in 2009
Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan’s death [December 28th]. The Rev was the drummer for the American Metal band Avenged Sevenfold. He died of natural causes, aged 28.
Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch cancer – In July, Yauch announced he was being treated for a cancerous gland and lymph node and was to undergo surgery. All was treatable fortunately and didn’t, from reports, effect his voice. This has delayed the release of new Beastie Boys album which is now pitted for sometime in 2010.
Jim Lineberg leaving Pennywise – in August Jim Lineberg, the vocalist for Pennywise announced he was leaving the band. Lineberg vocal sound was so central to the bands effect. I’m not sure they will recover unless they recruit another vocal heavyweight.
Chi Cheng’s car accident – this was actually late 2008. Cheng, the bassist for Deftones was in a automobile accident which left him in a coma and with near fatal injuries. He is currently in a “minimally conscious” state. A site, One Love for Chi and concert series has been launched to help support his medical bills and promote awareness of his condition. Show your support here.
Back Together in 2009
Alice in Chains – A.I.C. actually reformed unofficially in 2005 with William DuVall replacing the late Layne Staley on vocals. It wasn’t until 2009 though that they would release a new album, Black Gives Way to Blue [the first in 14 years]. It’s really strong too, and definitely at home with the older A.I.C. catalogue. DuVall vocals even chillingly feel similar to that of Stately’s.
Faith No More – back together and touring the world. No reports of a new album yet.
Most Anticipated in 2010
Aesop Rock – Ian Mavitz [Aesop Rock] hasn’t released anything since 2007 but is set to bring out an album in 2010. Aesop Rock, for me, is the best and one of the most influential and original entities in hip hop.
Limp Bizkit – I admit I was fan to start with but haven’t followed them now in years. My interest has perked up again recently with Wes Borland rejoining the group after his stint fronting Black Light Burns [who I really liked]. They will be releasing a new album in 2010 and I hope Borland takes more creative control on it especially with the lyric writing department. Fred Durst is a good frontman but a terrible lyricist. We will see.
Korn – Korn has gone through a fairly shaky time lately. Head left after finding God. Fieldy also found God but is still around. Dave Silveria left to open sushi and grill restaurants apparently. And Jonathan Davis and Munky have both done their own thing. Things seem to be settling down though with Ray Luzier joining to replace Silveria on drums and the band now in the studio for their 9th album. With Ross Robinson producing hopefully it will be as heavy and less processed than their earlier releases.
Deftones – with Eros, the bands sixth studio album on hold while Chi is in recovery, what will be of Deftones in 2010? The bands previous release was in 2006.
Best Music Totty of 2009
Natasha Khan from Bats for Lashes & Katy Perry
…. each to their own …
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