Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Trying to get a sense of 2009

Aside from some TV shows (the brilliant Dollhouse in particular) and a teensy handful of movies (the disappointing Harry Potter, the amazing Inglourious Basterds, the unbearable Star Trek), I've been pretty disconnected from culture this year. Particularly where music is concerned. About a month ago I listened to about two thirds of American Top 40 and didn't recognize a single song on the countdown (I also kind of hated all of them). Until recently I had only heard about four albums that came out this year.

I'm trying to remedy that. I scanned through a bunch of recent Tiny Mix Tapes reviews, and looked through the entire top 1000 albums of the year according to Rate Your Music ratings and found what sounded interesting that was findable. So far, this is what I've got, broken down into categories. Some things I've heard won't be included because I listened to them and felt no need to keep them, and have since forgotten them, but this is the bulk of it.

Albums I've listened to that I'm on the fence about keeping
Antony and the Johnsons, The Crying Light
Bat for Lashes, Two Suns
Richard Youngs, Beyond the Valley of Ultrahits

Albums I've listened to and found just kind of OK
Jarvis Cocker, Further Complications
Hildur Guðnadóttir, Without Sinking

Albums that probably need to grow on me
Mos Def, The Ecstatic
Mount Eerie, Wind's Poem
Jim O'Rourke, The Visitor

Albums that are really good
Mulatu Astatke & the Heliocentrics, Inspiration Information
Cluster, Qua
Fever Ray, Fever Ray
John Zorn, Alhambra Love Songs

Albums that blew me away and really excited me
James Blackshaw, The Glass Bead Game
Hecker, Acid in the Style of David Tudor

Albums I have in my possession but haven't yet listened to
Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion
Olafur Arnalds, Found Songs
William Basinski, 92982
Sir Richard Bishop, The Freak of Araby
Ciara, Fantasy Ride
Graham Coxon, The Spinning Top
Dälek, Gutter Tactics
Ekkehard Ehlers and Paul Wirkus, Ballads
Faust, C'esté
Lee Fields & the Expressions, My World
Gregor Samsa, Over Air
John Hassell, Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street
Tim Hecker, An Imaginary Country
Giuseppe Ielasi, Aix
Klotzsch & Krey, Through All These Years of Trying to Belong
Long Distance Calling, Avoid the Light
Alva Noto, Xerrox vol. 2
Iggy Pop, Préliminaires
Raekwon, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt II
Super Furry Animals, Dark Days Light Years
Jimi Tenor & Kabu Kabu, 4th Dimension
Throbbing Gristle, Third Mind Movements
Uochi Toki, Libro audio
Caetano Veloso, Zii e Zie: Transambas

Upcoming albums, will get as soon as released
Ghostface Killah, Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City
Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band, Between My Head and the Sky
Shakira, She Wolf

On the off-chance that anyone reads this, am I missing anything important that you know of?

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