It's all too much... to many records, too many bands, too many hours spent staying up late and downloading music, too many records to buy, too many shows to see, too many things i want to play for you... have you heard these? you haven't? why the hell not?

1.Handsome Furs – Face Control
amazing songwriting, minimal arrangements, guitars, keys, drum machine beats and probably the best voice in rawk these days. i listened to this CD so much this year that it now skips like crazy in my car. must be replaced on vinyl. why do i even buy CDs anymore?

2.Earthmen and Strangers – Earthmen and Strangers
not re-inventing the wheel here, but why would they? this really is one of the best punk pop records i have heard in a long long time. another great songwriter, don't really know much about these guys but i expect them to be getting more attention in the next year.

3.The Fresh & Onlys - Grey-Eyed Girls
of all the records that got tagged with the "lo-fi garage pop" sticker this year (when will this end?), this one really is the best. it's so much more than garage or whatever. smart pop tunes, selective guitar freakouts, vocals that remind me of all the great baritone singers of the past, and this is only one of three full lengths that they released this year.

4.Royal Bangs - Let It Beep
i'm not sure how to describe this band. drunk nerd rock from a not-too-distant-future when everyone interacts with too many machines in their daily lives? such a fun band to see live, especially when they put a snare drum out in the audience to bang along with them. i didn't miss a beat.

5.Memory Tapes - Seek Magic
so i guess this guy lives in New Jersey with his wife and kid and makes these songs in his basement. it will exercise your memory of pop music's past. loops, synths, reverb, androgynous vocals, murky production... really the best of this so called "glo-fi" movement of the last year. man, i hate genre nicknames as much as the next guy, but this one is perfect for this record.

6.Mountains – Choral
music for airports 2009... one big slab of slow burn ambient beauty. this record actually makes you feel like you are enriching your mind/body/soul when you hear it, like Bach or John Fahey

7.Sonic Youth – The Eternal
what can i say about this band? they get better with each new record they make and pretty much put bands 30 years younger than them to shame... they are aging so gracefully i can't imagine what they might sound like in another 20 years

8.Disappears – Live Over The Rainbo
first i bought this on cassette, then a CDr version, and finally on vinyl. Chicago's best kept secret as far as i'm concerned. this is a band that knows if you stumble onto the right riff or groove there really is no need to change it up much. this is a live recording of their stuff, expect a studio version of these tunes early next year

9.Fever Ray - Fever Ray
this record scares the hell out of me.... spooky synth pop recordings from the chick in The Knife. can't believe i missed this show at Metro

10.Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
i used to hate this band and Karen O specifically... then i saw them live and everything changed. they are the real deal. Karen O is doing exactly what she was put on this planet to do. such a beautiful record, mixing in beats and synth tones into their own ragged trash punk was a brilliant choice... so many hits-that-never-were on this record.

11.Hush Arbors- Yankee Reality
Keith Wood is Hush Arbors. Keith Wood sounds like the forest. this guy channels all of my favorite types of American music into one record... sometimes folky and soft, sometimes noisy and drunk, it's all fractured Americana with what sounds like a ghost singing over the top.

12.Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
one of the weirder and most beautiful records around. they are making a new kind of pop... one that has no rules, no canon to worship or revere, just pure and honest music that thumps, bumps, and sounds like no other band on the planet

13.Future Of The Left – Travels With Myself and Another
wanna feel good after being angry? wanna listen to something that makes your own lips into a snarl? wanna punch someone? know any sick and twisted jokes? play this record.

14.Dutchess and the Duke - Sunrise / Sunset
there's just something really timeless about this record and this band

15.Julie Doiron - I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day
my early 90's indie rock crush princess from Eric's Trip makes a record that let's go of her more recent folk tendencies and gets noisy again.

16.Jay Reatard – Watch Me Fall
Memphis punk pop wunderkind asshole genius wishes he was in New Zealand in the late 80's early 90's recording for the Flying Nun label. GOD BLESS JAY REATARD

17.Bear In Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth
this record really snuck up on me last month or so and i can't stop spinning it... not easy to categorize with regard to genre. pounding psych with dramatic singing one minute, skittering electro another minute... i don't know. i just know on my speakers in my living room, this thing really sounds amazing. throbbing, pulsating, and tribal new wave drum-circle music for people who hate drum circles.

18.James Blackshaw - The Glass Bead Game
new age acoustic instrumental drone... done and done. listen to this with the lights out and the windows open. turn it up louder than you should.

19.Califone - All My Friends are Funeral Singers
another band that is aging as gracefully as can be... their sound and tunes never get tired or boring. Tim Rutili is from the past and the future all at once.

20.Baroness- Blue Album
if you've ever liked metal AND Built To Spill, then i don't see why you wouldn't love this record the way i do.

21.Deerhunter – Rainwater Cassette Exchange EP
22.Micachu and The Shapes – Jewelery
23.Mannequin Men - Lose Your Illusion, Too
24.The Fresh & Onlys - The Fresh & Onlys
25.Silversun Pickups – Swoon
26.Jack Rose and The Black Twig Pickers
27.Sir Richard Bishop – Freak of Araby
28.Kylesa - Static Tensions
29.The Field - Yesterday and Today
30.Surfer Blood - Astro Coast

31.Roofwalkers – Roofwalkers
32.Carnivores - All Night Dead U.S.A.
33.The Low Anthem – Oh My God Charlie Darwin
34.Pajo – Scream With Me
35.Dan Deacon – Bromst
36.Real Estate – Real Estate
37.Bill Frisell - Disfarmer
38.We Were Promised Jetpacks – These Four Walls
39.Curtis Harvey – Box Of Stones
40.Kurt Vile - Childish Prodigy

41.Tape Deck Mountain – Ghost
42.These Are Powers - All Aboard Future
43.Dragon Turtle – Almanac
44.Thee Oh Sees – Help
45.Tortoise - Beacons Of Ancestorship
46.Do Make Say Think - Other Truths
47.Peter Broderick – Home
48.Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures
49.Norberto Lobo - Pata Lenta
50.Let's Wrestle - In the Court of the Wrestling Lets

51.M Ward – Hold Time
52.Puerto Muerto – Drumming For Pistols
53.Built to Spill- There Is No Enemy
54.Wooden Birds – Magnolia
55.Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
56.Meth Teeth – Everything Went Wrong
57.Amusement Parks On Fire – Young Fight EP
58.Years – Years
59.Twilight Sad - Forget the Night Ahead
60.The Woods – Songs of Shame

61.Land Of Talk - Fun and Laughter EP
62.BLK JKS – After Robots
63.Douglas McCombs & David Daniell – Sycamore
64.The Fresh & Onlys - Bomb Wombs
65.Wilco - Wilco (the album)
66.Box Elders - Alice & Friends
67.Implodes – Implodes
68.Purling Hiss – Purling Hiss
69.Smith Westerns- Smith Westerns
70.Cymbals Eat Guitars - Why Are There Mountains?

71.Telekinesis! - Telekinesis!
72.The Strange Boys - The Strange Boys and Girls Club
73.Marked Men - Ghosts
74.A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Ashes Grammar
75.Metric – Fantasies
76.David Bazan – Curse Your Branches
77.Crystal Antlers – Tentacles
78.Other Girls – Perfect Cities
79.3 Inches of Blood – Here Waits Thy Doom
80.The Fucking Eagles - Midnight Sour

81.Red River School Of Taxidermy
82.Hunx and His Punx – The Gay Singles
83.King Khan & BBQ Show - Invisible Girl
84.Atlas Sound - Logos
85.Emeralds - Emeralds
86.The Mantles - The Mantles
87.Jim O'Rourke – The Visitor
88.Atom™ - Liedgut
89.Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer
90.Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs

91.Bird Names – Recession Vacation
92.The Big Pink - A Brief History Of Love
93.Black Math – Black Math
94.Washed Out- Life of Leisure
95.Wavves - Wavvves
96.Converge- Axe To Fall
97.Akron/Family - Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free
98.Antlers - Hospice
99.The Flaming Lips - Embryonic


  1. thanks for getting back in Bill my boy.
    I was looking forward to this list. I was lamenting the lost "Album of the Week" days, but it just wouldn't be a new year without this list....Well, anyhow, happy new year, and like my ex wife used to say, "just keep it up and we'll both be happy."

  2. Thanks again Bill. Looking forward to referencing this list for random downloading for months to come.

    One question.... Where's the love for Grizzly Bear?

  3. Ouch! Ok... no love for Grizzly Bear, so what about Fruit Bats and Throw Me The Statue?

    PS- I checked out some Handsome Furs. Like what I hear.

  4. you know what? i never heard the new Fruit Bats CD and i have all of their other stuff... well, actually, i was at their CD release party at Schuba's this past year, so i guess i officially heard the tunes. thanks for the reminder to get the record. is Throw Me The Statue that album cover with with the topless girls diving off the pier?