Thursday, January 06, 2005

Favorite Music of 2004

1. Brian Wilson, Smile
One of the best albums in years.

2. The Free Design reissues: Kites Are Fun, You Could Be Born Again, Stars/Time/Bubbles/Love, Heaven/Earth
Fun 60s band, an influence on my beloved Stereolab.

3. A.C. Newman, The Slow Wonder and concert at The Bottom Lounge
Confirmed: he's the genius behind The New Pornographers.

4. Arcade Fire, Funeral
Indie album of the year is epic, a true LP.

5. Franz Ferdinand, s/t and their concert at The Metro
Polished and sexy. The crowd at the concert was ecstatic, worshipful.

6. Air, Talkie Walkie
Another superb album from Air.

7. Frank Albert Sinatra + Antonia Carlos Jobim / Frank Sinatra The Man and His Music + Ella + Jobim (60s tv special) / Astrud Gilberto's Talkin' Verve
I had a bossa nova fest. I caught this 60s tv special for the first time on PBS--thoroughly entertaining. Gilberto's charming cover of "Windy" may be the song I listened to most this year. "Change Partners" was the music highlight for me of the Sinatra/Jobim album.

8. Bjork, Medulla
Bjork would be at home on avant-garde label ECM with Meredith Monk and Arvo Pärt. The new album's choral work is lush and gorgeously strange, sometimes reminiscent of Ligeti.

9. Sonic Youth, Sonic Nurse and their concert at The Vic
What seemed a routinely good album revealed itself to be fantastic, esp. after their concert, one of the hardest, most exciting I've ever attended.

10. The Hives, Tyrannosaurus Hives
Most underrated album of the year?

11.Luna, Rendezvous plus, belatedly, Romantica and Live)
The band is calling it quits, alas, but not before one more Chicago concert.

12. Steve Miller Band, Young Hearts: Complete Greatest Hits
If it were vinyl I'd have worn it out this summer.

HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order):
Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Like Bad News
Joanna Newsom, The Milk-Eyed Mender
Iron and Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days
Nancy Sinatra, s/t
Kings of Convenience, Riot on an Empty Street
Indigo Girls, All That We Let In
M83, DeadCities, RedSeas & LostGhosts
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets
k.d.lang, Hymns of the 49th Parallel
Elliott Smith, From a Basement on a Hill
Grant-Lee Phillips, Virigina Creeper
Sam Phillips, A Boot and a Shoe
Tegan and Sara, So Jealous
VA, Lost in Translation soundtrack
Daniel Johnston, The Late Great Daniel Johnston



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