(A Better Late Than Never) List, Not A List: Nine For ’09

Does anyone ever succeed with these Best Of endeavors? Without further delay… 2007 2008 2009


Best Album I Haven’t Listened To (Yet): Embryonic by The Flaming Lips

If Embryonic is half as difficult as the three tracks I have heard seem to suggest, 21st Century Lips fans will not be too happy. Yoshimi and Soft Bulletin are still a couple of my go-to shelters in 2009. But, At War With The Mystics sucked. Sorry. Glad to see they aren’t playing to the Kraft Foods’ music supervisor for this one. And, Wayne makes me feel like it’s OK to be an indie rock lifer, too. Although I’d never step on anyone whilst traveling in my plastic bubble.

Best Social Network: Twitter

140 characters keeps the spam short and the blowhards obvious. If I want breaking news, NOTHING beats it. Add Tweet Deck and filter everything to your preference. While MySpace marches like a Woolly Mammoth down a canyon of its own making and Facebook is a leaner, less music-driven MySpace, albeit an even more successful version, Twitter seems downright practical. And un-following someone is so easy you’ll feel free to explore way more than you do on clunkier networks. Not everyone is fronting for their crap and some tweets are genuinely witty while providing functionality.

Best Album: Yeah I know, it’s either Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion or Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest right?

Wrong! It’s Phoenix‘s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Yes it is! Why? Well, for starters, it dominated 2009 in a way Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective could only dream about. Abused by ad agencies and mainstream radio, many of these songs were flogged to death. So what? Is it bad that they succeeded in a world where there are more bands vying for your attention than ever before? Granted, it’s their fourth attempt but their morphing was the right move. And good hooks with an interesting backing is never poor form. Let’s give one to the French! And Sophia Coppola beats Michael McDonald in an industry-insider contest, with Mars’ wife being a more interesting influence than GB’s Doobie Brothers infatuation. Piss off hipster elitist, I’m right.

  • Runner up: Yo La Tengo’s Popular Songs. Ira, Georgia and James just keep on keepin’ on. I like that. And props to anyone that let me sleep on their couch, even if it was 1990.

Best Song: Stillness Is The Move by Dirty Projectors

Boy, did DP hit my prog-button. First indie band to bring a true progressive side to my ears without causing vomiting. The guitar even manages an occasional reminder of King Sunny Ade while visions of David Byrne struggling to play these riffs and sing this song at the same time dance through my head. Not for the timid but a must listen for fans of proggy pop. If only Derek Shulman had the internet to exploit instead of 70s FM radio.

Best Web Radio: [TIE] Dandelion Radio & WOXY

Dandelion Radio (UK) is a streamable loop changing monthly that has a strong Miaow supporter in Mark Whitby. OK, maybe I’m biased? But really, keeping John Peel’s passion for new music alive IS good. Very good.

WOXY (US) internet radio. Never listened to them before 2009. Glad I started. Good blend of mostly indie-rock. I’m enjoying this new listening destination. A lot.  And your feed sounds good, too. Keep it up guys.

  • Old mainstays 3WK and KCRW would round out the list but I’ve listened to them for years. (Nic Harcourt come back!) And in terrestrial radio, WNIJ 89.5FM from DeKalb (NIU radio) is a night-time fave, granting access to NPR and World Cafe goodies when I’m driving through the hills and cornfields.

Best Social Media News: Mashable

Pete Cashmore’s social media news site is almost always a fun visit while being useful and informative, too. A little tech mixed with social trends & topics provides readers with a daily dose of real-time. And their Twitter feed expands their useful posts, often being the first to report on topics I’m interested in reading about.

Best Blowhard: Steven Patrick Morrissey

When I’ve listened to Moz‘s solo work, I needed to shower it off immediately afterward. Every time. If his last three albums are really the pinnacle of his career (he said so), I’m simply stunned to discover this. Take away Johnny Marr and Stephen is a 50-year-old that never left his bedroom, whining about the injustice of a world that refuses to care about his inability to take his act to a more comfortable level. Labels aren’t calling because it’s boring to read the constant complaining. It’s NOT all about The Campaign, Mr. Morrissey. Or youth (but you were closer with that one). You drown us with your self-pity and entitlement. Precious doesn’t play well when you’re a half-century old. And that’s not ageist, I’m 52. Please, grow up or retire already.

Best New Music Business Blog: Hypebot

Lots of folks follow Bruce Houghton’s new music blog and I’m one of them. He’s a great aggregator of new music business news. He also runs Skyline which has booked bands for some time. If you like to start your day off keeping track of the majors and the indies, so does Bruce! Five or six articles usually start each weekday. Check him out.

Best Influencer: Pamplemoose

I loved the Gang Of Four. Dave Allen was the bassist when GOF was blazing a trail. Who knew he’d become one of the web’s best roadmaps? From Portland, Oregon no less, this Brit runs a music blog, strategizes new media marketing and propagates indie music from his virtual pulpit. And while his opinions do become a little self-serving at times, he backs them with the zeal of a true music fan. Isn’t that the point?

Well, that’s my Nine For ’09. Can’t find them, never heard of them or love/hate them? Please let me know how I got it wrong, right or somewhere in-between.


2 Responses to “(A Better Late Than Never) List, Not A List: Nine For ’09”

  1. Hi. Very interesting Blog. Not really what i have searched over Google, but thanks for the information.

  2. You’re welcome.

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