As I look to sum up 2009, I am struck with competing internal forces in my music listening tastes. This year more than any I faced the tug-of-war between listening to legends and critically acclaimed artists of yesteryear and artists of today. What I found was that I enjoyed yesterdays’ tunes more than many 2009 artists due in no small part to the flash-in-pan nature of ‘Pitchforkian’ buzz bands. Does this make me an “old guy” or a curmudgeon?
Ah 2009, the year Animal Collective was crowned supreme genius, Grizzly Bear debuted in the Top Ten, Dirty Projectors were feted and Phoenix expanded its fan base beyond Francophiles. It was a solid year for solo albums (Julian Plenti, Martin Carr, Spiral Stairs, Graham Coxon) with one notable misfire (Julian Casablancas). Reissues expanded and celebrated two phenomenal debuts (The Stone Roses self-titled and The Feelies Crazy Rhythms). And The Flaming Lips laid an egg headlining at Pitchfork and overstuffing a curiously sequenced album pushing two of the strongest tracks to 16 and 18. Let’s also not forget the failed gamble that was The Decemberists Hazards Of Love.
In the coming days I will share my top Chicago Live Sets of 2009, top albums and Best of 2009 playlist so please stay tuned.