For most of the year, as with every other year the grumpiness that rained down on my already wet head was caused by the musical distaste in my mouth. This taste was akin to a curdled milk sandwich on a hot day after ten beers. A real yumfest. I could not shake the displacement between me and most of the critics out there. I've read a bunch of year end best of lists...and I'm stunned into either silence or rumbly guffaws from the couch. Eh. I shouldn't be surprised. It is revolting and sad that the bulk of these alleged tastemakers get their opinions to stick..ripe and rote for the people who want to dance more than they want to listen, and for those who habitually compare their personal misogynist goody bags with those of the fool- aid drinking Yeezus sect.The critics are getting younger every year, and feel inclined to bring along assloads of entitlement and disdain for the so called dinosaurs. These hipster pundits are so young that they don't even notice the blatant derivative dreck dredged up and spat out from oft- lauded bands like Vampire Weekend and Parquet Courts and Savages and Best Coast and on and on. And yet the blogosphere is abuzz.,like a bunch of blind bees in a dead field. The gap between mainstream media hype and real talent gets wider every year. And though I continue to give myself a break and try out a few musical pur..suits every year and the end result always seems to look like a big man in a little shirt. It don't fit. And it feels like shit.
I like what I like. I've never subscribed to anything "best". Its a beat up, empty, bargain bin word. These are merely suggestions that ain't any better than anyone else's out there on the internets or in dead tree media. But they're mine. They got the most spins in my household. I didn't need to multitask while listening to them.
What a shock. When's the last time you "listened to music". I mean, just sat down and listened with no distractions, no miles to run, laundry to fold, car to pass, When did music stop earning your undivided attention like fucking Homeland or The Voice????
May these humble choices inspire you to do something other than fill yourself with faux empowerment, dance like everyone's looking and jack yourself off by taking a mental tally of your accoutrements.
#10) The Next Day- David Bowie
#9) Whales and Leeches- Red Fang
#7) Southeastern-Jason Isbell
#6) Ready to Die- The Stooges
#5) Ghost on Ghost- Iron and Wine
#4) The Bronx IV- The Bronx
#3) Black Pudding- Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood
#2) The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight The More I Love You-Neko Case
#1) Earth Rocker-Clutch
H.M.- Civil Disobedience For Losers-Indian Handcrafts
Biggest Disappointments after MANY listens:
1) Like Clockwork-QOTSA- would've, could've should've but didn't.
2) 13- Black Sabbath. Meh. Lots of living and dying lyrics, horrible drum production.
3) Amok-Atoms for Peace- How about a song one of these years, Thom?
Would rather be curbstomped after being caned than to ever have to listen to again:
1) Days are Gone- Haim-
2) Yeezus-_____ _____
3) Modern Vampires of the City-Vampire Weekend
4) Mechanical Bull- Kings of Leon
5) Trouble Will Find Me- The National
6) The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here-Alice in Chains
7) Silence Yourself-Savages
8) Light Up Gold-Parquet Courts
9) The 20/20 Experience- J. Timberlake.....Take off that stupid hat.