Thursday, December 30, 2004

2004's Top 10 (plus 4)

Here's a list of the albums that I liked most this year. I'll try to write a little bit about them, one at a time, over the next few days. Of course I haven't heard everything; let me know if you think something is missing that I should know about. Only four of these ten have singing.

10) Radian "Juxtaposition" (Thrill Jockey)
9) Sticks and Stones "Shed Grace" (Thrill Jockey)
8) Madvillain "Madvillainy" (Stones Throw)
7) Tortoise "It's All Around You" (Thrill Jockey)
6) V/A "Popular Electronics: Early Dutch Electronic Music from Philips Research Laboratories" (Basta)
5) David Grubbs "A Guess at the Riddle" (Drag City)
4) Deerhoof "Milk Man" (Kill Rock Stars)
3) Bohren & der Club of Gore "Black Earth" (Ipecac)
2) Azita "Life on the Fly" (Drag City)
1) Albert Ayler "Holy Ghost" (Revenant)

And a few runners up:
V/A "Night Train to Nashville" (Lost Highway)
Ebony Rhythm Band "Soul Heart Transplant" (Stones Throw)
Fennesz "Venice" (Touch)
The Streets "A Grand Don't Come for Free" (Atlantic)


Blogger ben said...

I'm puzzled again by your Azita pick. Last year i saw it on your list and picked it up blindly - teaching me a lesson about buying before listening that i didn't forget till this year's bjork album which was nearly as bad. It's clear that i've got some listening to do...

Tell me, greg, what is it you found exceptional about grubbs and tortoise this year? i wanted to really love each of these albums but never got hooked by them in the way that makes me want to listen more.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

w/ the tortoise, it took hearing it by surprise at my favorite breakfast/coffee place and not recognizing what it was right away (even after listening to it that morning). so perhaps you've got to trick yourself into hearing it somehow, not knowing first what you're listening to. that's one of the miracles of the ipod, i suppose.
and w/ the grubbs. . . that one grew on me over time. maybe it helped hearing him play the stuff live several times, w/ just guitar and voice. usually i don't have the patience to keep listening to things if i don't like them right away, but these two really paid off, i think.

10:35 PM  
Blogger ben said...

aha! i got tricked the very same way with Nobukazu Takemura's "10th" record, only it was at night in a smoky club and i had heard the record with little interest earlier that day. The azita song you played for me was very good - you're right about the good melodies. I've never seen mr. grubbs play live - that's something i'd like to do...

10:20 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

I really like the Monkees "Daydream Believer." The trick is to pretend that meanless lyrics actually mean something both sweet and profound. In addition, it is important to pretend you are a child and that you do not quite understand the concept of "music" yet.

This technique also works with the new Green Day album, but you have to pretend, in this case, that you are also stone deaf.

1:53 AM  

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