Aaron Axelsen, best of 2009
The ‘best of 2009′ from Live 105 music director Aaron Axelsen.
We can make a list of best ofs, and, you, dear readers, can turn a blind cheek. You can scoff at our bloated egos; egos so quick to tally a list of bests faster than judgmental high-school brats. But when industry types like the ones below put together lists, it’s in all of our best interests to pay close attention. Imagine our excitement when these super cool friends and golden ears of the Bay Area music scene, opened a window to their hearts to reveal their inner music geek. It’s not often you get to see them as fans. Guess what? Industry types DO love music. Crazy, huh?
1. WHITE LIES - To Lose My Life
Dark and gloomy London indie rockers in the vein of Joy Division, Editors, Echo and The Bunnymen and Interpol. incredible songs, immaculate production and they are fantastic live as well. White Lies makes me yearn to be 17 again and sitting in a graveyard writing poems for cute Livermore goth-new wave girls!
2. JON HOPKINS - Insides
Haunting and airy electronic soundcapes and the perfect soundtrack for that road trip to Coachella next year or driving through the desert. Can’t wait untilÂ Aviator comes out on DVD so I can mute the movie and watch it blasting Jon Hopkins in the background through my stereo speakers.
3. MAPS - Turning the Mind
Dreamy and intoxicating nu-gaze lullabies fill this sophomore album from this very precocious London artist. Think Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Doves or Spiritualized fused with glitchy electronic beats. As you listen to “We Can Create” you’re not sure if you just stare at your shoes OR get on the freakin’ dancefloor. This is a must for fans of M83, Boards Of Canada or Ride!
4. MIIKE SNOW -
Swedish musical visionaries that deftly amalgamates dub, electronica, indie rock, reggae and pop into one impeccably crafted debut album! Also, they are the culprits of one of THE best live shows I saw in 2009 by far. (They play as an eight piece!) Go see them in April at the Independent and be prepared to be blown away.
5. FANFARLO - Reservoir
Fantastic new London six-piece that are cut from the same cloth as Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, Broken Social Scene and even Belle & Sebastian!
6. GOSSIP - Music For Men
Riot grrl punks and underground cult-faves GOSSIP, led by their charismatic and dazzling leader Beth Ditto, hooked up this year with legendary record producer and music guru Rick Rubin and the end result was one of the most stand-out albums of 2009 by far!! GOSSIP headlined our not so silent night pre-party last week at the Mezzanine and brought the house down with an explosive performance of epic proportions.
7. THE BIG PINK - A Brief History of Love
From the storied 4ad independent record label comes more hypnotic, lush and psychedelic grooves in the form of this incredible new London two-piece THE BIG PINK! Highly recommended for those with an affinity for the the drony sounds of Spacemen 3, A Place To Bury Strangers, Verve, Jesus And Mary Chain and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Coming to the Great American Music Hall this Spring.
8. PASSION PIT - Manners
Arguably one of the biggest radio soundcheck breakthrough acts of 2009 belongs to Boston’s post-punk and indie-disco specialists PASSION PIT! They’ve gone from playing small hipster parties to headlining the Warfield in 2010, all within in a two year span. Thankfully, they lived up to the mountain of blog hype and critical acclaim by releasing a ridiculously strong debut album
9. DAN BLACK - Uni
Endearing, honest, clever and infectiously wonderful electropop gems await you after your rush out to your local Amoeba or Rasputins’ record outlet and snag for yourself the debut album from new UK artist DAN BLACK. If your iPod is monopolized by the likes of Hot Chip, The Streets, Calvin Harris, Owl City, Postal Service, Beck and Phoenix, then i feel that Dan Black will find a nice home in your digital musical library. Coming to Popscene in February!!
10. OTHER LIVES - Other Lives
One of 2009′s finest ‘pure’ indie rock albums belongs to this new Stillwater, Oklahoma collective. An absolute must for fans of Band of Horses, Red House Painters, The Shins, Wolf Parade and Flaming Lips.