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Year-end Best of Lists

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I thought 2005 had some good records, but not as many as I recall from 2004. I still have some 2004 records in really heavy rotation in my house: the Arcade Fire, the Shins, Ambulance LTD, Ted Leo, and I'm sure there's a couple more I'm forgetting.


This year, my early favorites were the Decemberists and Bloc Party, but neither record has really held up over repeated listening for me, although I like certain tracks from both records very much. Another record that I thought might be a keeper I can't really stand anymore: Bright Eyes' I'm Wide Awake, etc.


Right now I'd have to say my favorites from 2005 are records by the New Pornographers, Okkervil River, M.I.A., Spoon, and Beck. I like the few tracks I've heard from the Sufjan Stevens record, and I just downloaded a track by the Mountain Goats called "This Year" that I really love. I'm also very fond of a few tracks on the Go! Team record, but I'm not sure yet whether it holds up for me all the way through.


I thought the Hold Steady record didn't live up to the hype. I like the basic sound, but the tracks are too repetitive; in the end it feels like a gimmick to me.


Records I'd like to hear but haven't include the White Stripes, Eels, and My Morning Jacket. And that Monk/Coltrane record.


So there you have it-- basically an obvious list of indie-label critics' darlings. What's on your list?

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I'll agree on M.I.A. and Beck. I just love the White Stripes latest. It improves with every listen. Get it. And My Morning Jacket is good, too. I know it's very mainstream, but Franz Ferdinand's most recent effort is just terrific.


I'm still listening to the Arcade Fire but the Shins haven't held up for me.

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I thought the Hold Steady record didn't live up to the hype. I like the basic sound, but the tracks are too repetitive; in the end it feels like a gimmick to me.


I hear you. I do think there's a development in the writing from first to second album, though. It's the singer's voice turns a lot of people off.

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Today I've been listening to KEXP's year end round up. Fits in perfectly with your music taste.


Can't figure out why Citizen Cope isn't on that list, though.

Wow, thanks for that. Seems like a great station! I just put it on and they were playing the Mountain Goats song I mentioned above. And then they played the Vaselines. Haven't heard them in a while.


Oh, and Citizen Cope's record was in 2004, I think. I still love that one, too. I'm a criminal defense attorney, so I consider "Penitentiary" my personal theme song.

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And then they played the Vaselines.  Haven't heard them in a while.

Are they still a band? I recall when Cobain was hyping them as his favorite new group.

The song they played was the one he covered, "Jesus Don't Want Me For A Sunbeam." Don't know if they're still around.

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My Top 10 Albums of 2005:


Elbow – Leaders of the Free World (V2)

Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock and Roll (Fierce Panda)

New Pornographers - Twin Cinema (Matador)

Of Montreal - The Sunlandic Twins (Polyvinyl)

The Rakes - Capture/Release (V2)

Field Music - Field Music (Memphis Industries)

LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem (DFA/Capitol)

My Morning Jacket - Z (ATO)

Richard Hawley - Coles Corner (Mute)

Malcolm Middleton - Into the Woods (Chemikal Underground)


On my, uh, web presence I've got little writeups for my , Top 20 Albums, Top 25 Singles (with mp3s of some of them) and Reissues/Compilations/DVDs and Gigs that I won't bore you with here.

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My favorite album of the year was The Decemberists Picaresque. I've listened to it incessantly and each time I hear something new. Other albums that I liked include Ben Lee, Sun Volt, and White Stripes. I got a bunch of CDs for Chanukah - Richard Thompson, Franz Ferdinand, Matisyahu - that I haven't listened to yet. On my list of albums to buy include the Magic Numbers, Kathleen Edwards, Death Cab for Cutie, all three Ryan Adams discs, and Bright Eyes. I'm sure there's more, but I can't think of it now.

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I like the Matisyahu live record-- but I prefer him in small doses.


Do you guys watch New York Noise, on channel 25? It's a show featuring indie videos. On one show, they had local grade school students react to the videos, and the kids' minds were totally blown by Matisyahu. "I didn't know Jewish people even listened to reggae, let alone could sing it!"

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