Friday, January 9, 2009

The 2004 David Music Poll results


1. Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand (21 votes)
2. The Killers, Hot Fuss (19)
3. Green Day, American Idiot (17)
The Arcade Fire, Funeral (17)
Soundtrack, The Garden State (17)
6. Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters (16)
7. Elliott Smith, From the Basement on the Hill (14)
8. Keane, Hopes and Fears (12)
9. Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose (11)
10. Morrissey, You Are the Quarry (10)


Modest Mouse, Good News For People Who Like Bad News (9); Wilco, A Ghost is Born (9); The Magnetic Fields, I (8); U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (7); Snow Patrol, The Final Straw (6); Interpol, Antics (6); Brian Wilson, Smile (5); The Walkmen, Bows + Arrows (5); Gwen Stefani, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (5); The Streets, A Grand Don’t Come For Free (5)

Editor’s note: The poll continued to grow this year, with sixty-one respondents. It was quite a tight race this year, with all of the top seven picks jockeying for position over the weeks that polls were sent in. If I were a betting man, I’d say that an extra month of people discovering The Arcade Fire might have put them on top. And that in a battle of the bands between Franz Ferdinand, Scissor Sisters, and the Killers, FF might not be a head-to-head winner. But no matter. What’s amazing, really, is that the whatever-you-want-to-call-it genre that these bands represent (Newer Wave?) is clearly at the heart of our stereos right now. And that’s a pretty good thing. Morrissey shows some staying power here, especially among devotees, and Loretta Lynn definitely owns the honky tonk crowd this year. Kayne West barely makes a showing, and Usher doesn’t appear at all – more a reflection of my sampling, I’m sure, than the country. But I prefer my sampling, thank you very much. A few surprises: in this crowd, you’d think Interpol would have polled higher; clearly, the disappointment level was high for Antics. And TV on the Radio didn’t manage to hit many radios in this crowd. Other music poll standbys who didn’t stand out this year: Patty Griffin, Bjork, Norah Jones, PJ Harvey, Rufus Wainwright, Alanis Morissette (poor Alanis garnered nary a mention). I also thought AC Newman, Rilo Kiley, and (yes) Avril Lavigne might have placed higher. (“Avril?” you might ask. But remember how high Liz Phair’s album was last year. Yeah, Liz is better. But not that far off the mark.) All things considered, this is a list that should stand the test of time (or at least the next decade). Thank you for participating, and for not succumbing to sentimentality and choosing the Ray Charles duet album.

My Killer Choices

This year was surprisingly easy for me – it was just a question of where to draw the line at the end of the list. And this is what we have:


The Killers, Hot Fuss

The most brilliant album of the year? Maybe not. But the bottom line is: far and away, I listened to this more than anything else in 2004. And I’ll still be listening to it for a good decade or so, I predict. It’s eighties music that I like better than just about anything actually made in the eighties. The first time I heard “All The Things That I’ve Done” (as Chris and Jeff can attest), I just burst out in a paroxysm of musical joy. (“I’ve got a soul/ but I’m not a soldier” – that is brilliant, as is the over the top choirness towards the end). At least five songs on this album have been my favorite at any given time. So there we have it. They’re disappointing live. I’m already sick of hearing the lead singer speak in interviews. But who cares? The album’s my keeper.


Snow Patrol, The Final Straw

I’m actually surprising myself by putting this #2. It’s really a tight race here in the essential category. But this album manages to be that strange mix: personal anthemic. And it works.

Green Day, American Idiot

To strike a chorus you’ll probably hear a lot on this music poll: who would’ve ever thunk it? Can I separate this album from my feelings before, during, and after the hideous election of 2004? No. But the fact that I can listen to it now and still feel it articulates where we were and still are – yeah, I didn’t expect it from the Dookie guys, but thank god somebody’s growing up nowadays.

Patty Griffin, Impossible Dream

This didn’t stay in heavy rotation nearly as long as I thought it would – but her last album is one of my favorites for any year, so that’s a hard act to follow. Some remarkable moments (“Kite”, “When It Don’t Come Easy”) and some questionable ones (it was neat to hear her parents sing “Impossible Dream” the first time … but it got very old, very quick thereafter).

Keane, Hopes and Fears

Nothing barn-burning here – we’re talking a less rockier Coldplay. But sometimes (when I imagine my apartment is a “bedsit” instead of an apartment) it’s just the aural wallpaper I need.

The Arcade Fire, Funeral

Slipping in here, because I think it will age well, and because it’s on an upswing on my playlist right now. Possibly the most inventive album of the year – somehow mashing up Neil Young and Bright Eyes and Franz Ferdinand and many things beyond and in between to get something genuinely thrilling.

ALMOST ESSENTIAL: Now It’s Overhead, Fall Back Open; Sarah Harmer, All of Our Names; Rilo Kiley, More Adenturous; A.C. Newman, The Slow Wonder

MIGHT BECOME ESSENTIAL ONCE I LISTEN TO THEM MORE: Doloreon, Violence in the Snowy Fields; Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days; Elliott Smith, From the Basement On the Hill

MORE FUN 80s REVIVALISM: The Futureheads, The Futureheads; Dogs Die in Hot Cars, Please Describe Yourself

ALBUM THAT WILL DEFINITELY BE ON NEXT YEAR’S LIST: Bright Eyes, I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning (buy it. now.)

GUILTY PLEASURE: Avril Lavigne, Under the Skin
ALBUM THAT WOULD PROBABLY BE ON THIS LIST IF I’D BOUGHT IT: Garden State soundtrack (I already had most of the songs…)

SOME OF MY FAVORITE SONGS: Jonatha Brooke, “It Matters Now”; Rachael Yamagata, “Worn Me Down”; Sarah Harmer, “Greeting Card Aisle”; The Killers, “All These Things That I’ve Done”; Snow Patrol, “Run”

Bill, Who is Tower Records’ Greatest Fear

I can't rate these in any order, but here's who I've enjoyed over the past year. They may not even be from 2004 for all I know:

Frou Frou
The Killers
The Weakerthans
Postal Service (I see that was last year)
Sigur Ros
The Darkness (cheesey, I know)
Richard Ashcroft
Working Class Jacket

Dan, Throwback to an Earlier Age

Led Zeppelin How the West Was Won
A 2003 release of a show they performed at the LA Forum in 1972. Best album of '03 and '04 by far, and probably the best album for the forseeable future. (Subjectively.)

But Jason B, She’s Old Enough to Be Your Grandmother!

Van Lear Rose, Loretta Lynn
The Grey Album, DJ Danger Mouse/Jay-Z
Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters
Hot Fuss, The Killers
Good News For People Who Love Bad News, Modest Mouse
Careless Love, Madeleine Peyroux
Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand
Alphabetical, Phoenix

Is it any wonder that Wendy writes for teens?

Sad to say, my fave CD of the year was Avril Lavigne's UNDER MY SKIN. It's surprisingly excellent.

Eddie Disparages the Coldplay, But Has a Soft Spot for Shakespear’s Sister

i'm alarmed at some previous winners (Coldplay AHHHHHH), but my most essential album is KANYE WEST - College Dropout, and I'd like to also vote for

GEORGE MICHAEL - Patience, BEASTIE BOYS - To the 5 Boroughs, THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH - Golddiggas, Headnodders & Pholk Songs (you've GOT to hear their version of You're the One That I Want from Grease).

My favourite rediscovered album is SHAKESPEAR'S SISTER - Hormonally Yours, which includes the epic single Stay.

Matthew L, Self-proclaimed Vegetarian Ho of Waikiki

top 10 albums:

1. blood brothers, crimes
2. dresden dolls, dresden dolls
3. green day, american idiot
4. preston school of industry, monsoon
5. the cardigans, long gone before daylight
6. beastie boys, to the 5 boroughs
7. courtney love, mono
8. franz ferdinand, s/t
9. the magnetic fields, i
10. the streets, a grand don't come for free

best design of a so-so album: lindsay lohan, speak
best box set: low, a lifetime of temporary relief
best best-of: britney spears, my prerogative
most upsettingly not good album: le tigre, this island

Jarrett’s Good News For People Who Like Modest Mice

1)Phantom Planet, Phantom Planet
2)Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Like Bad News
3)Green Day, American Idiot
4)Kings of Convenience, Riot on an Empty Street
5)Ben Kweller, On My Way

best concerts: phantom planet, ben kweller, prince, me first and the
gimmie gimmies

Anton is the Quarry

My most essential album of 2004 is without a doubt:
Morrissey -- You Are The Quarry (Deluxe Edition)

I mean, it's the first Morrissey album in... how many years? And it just gets better with every listening! And the even the extra songs on the Deluxe Version are great!

My other essential albums of 2004, in no particular order, are:
A.C. Newman -- The Slow Wonder
Badly Drawn Boy -- One Plus One is One
Ben Kweller -- On My Way
The Dears -- No Cities Left
Elliott Smith -- From a Basement On the Hill
Franz Ferdinand -- Franz Ferdinand
Keane -- Hopes and Fears
Snow Patrol -- Final Straw
Tears For Fears -- Everybody Loves a Happy Ending (lame, I know)

And just for the hell of it, my top 10 songs of 2004:
The Dears -- Never Destroy Us
Earlimart -- Heaven Adores You
Elliott Smith -- Coast to Coast
Franz Ferdinand -- Take Me Out
The Killers -- All These Things That I've Done
Modest Mouse -- Float On
Morrissey -- (changes daily, but right now it's:) My Life is a Succession of People Saying Goodbye
R.E.M. -- Leaving New York
Rufus Wainwright -- Waiting For a Dream
Tears For Fears -- Call Me Mellow

Jen – She’s From Jersey

Most essential:
Various, 'Garden State' Soundtrack

Other essential:
Ozomatli, Street Signs

Heavy Metal and Chris

Album Of The YearWatch Them Die, "Watch Them Die" A debut Bay area thrash band that simply made the best record I heard all year.The Other Ten Best, In No Particular OrderThe Haunted, "rEVOLVEr"Killswitch Engage, "The End Of Heartache"Slipknot, "Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses"Pig Destroyer, "Terrifyer"Satyricon, "Volcano"3 Inches of Blood, "Advance And Conquer"Mayhem, "Chimera"The Great Deceiver, "Terra Incognito"Mastadon, "Leviathan"Probot, "Probot"Album That I Loved, Just Don't Tell AnybodyEminem, "Encore"Album That Evens Out All The MetalSoul Coughing, "Ruby Vroom"Biggest Musical MiscarraigeLinkin Park & Jay Z having the number one album in the country.Reigning Greatest Band EverSlayer, dammit.

Patrick Has No Idea How Far NYC Has Been Penetrated

Most essential:Scissor Sisters

I’ve been told that Scissor Sisters have failed to penetrate (ahem) even the underground market in the US, while in Britain they’re taking things by storm. Yes, they do sound like early Elton, Bowie, and a number of others, and die hard Pink Floyd fans may never forgive them the dance cover of ‘Comfortably Numb’, but can you really argue with a band that doesn’t flinch from singing ‘You gotta wrap your fuzzy in a big red bow/Ain’t no sum bitch gonna treat me like a ho’.

Other albums:
Björk, Medúlla
Keane, Hopes and Fears

Essential Jazz Album (also a discovery from the past):
Cyrus Chestnut, Revelation

Iain Hasn’t Let Fatherhood Affect His Listening Tastes (And We’re All Better For It)

Even with my faves in abeyance (Dylan, Fall, Will Oldham), it was a good year for music.

Most essential:

1. Electrelane, The Power Out

Other essential ones:

2. The Futureheads, The Futureheads

3. The Concretes, The Concretes

4. Shins, Chutes Too Narrow

5. Sons and Daughters, Love The Cup

6. Various Artists, DFA Compilation Vol 2

7. Bloc Party, Little Thoughts

8. Graham Coxon, Happiness In Magazines

9. Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand

10. The Walkmen, Bows + Arrows

11. The Delays, Faded Seaside Glamour

12. Ghostface, Toney Album

No, no, no

1. U2 album

2. Libertines

3. "Hey, Ya" played everywhere, all the time

Brian Has Something You Need to Hear About John Frusciante

Most Essential Release:

Nirvana, With the Lights Out: everything on here is amazing- reminded me
why they are tied for my favorite band of all time.

Most Essential Recordings of Our Lifetime: (all released this year)- that
is not an understatement.

John Frusciante, Inside of Emptiness
John Frusciante, DC EP
John Frusciante, The Will to Death
John Frusciante, A Sphere in the Heart of Silence
John Frusciante, Automatic Writing
John Frusciante, Shadows Collide with People

The best thing I can say about these albums is that I feel more alive when
they are playing than when they are not.


Most Essential Album:
Icarus Line, Penance Soiree (best complete rock album since Appetite for

Other Essential Albums:

Mojave 3, Spoon and Rafter
Elliot Smith, from a basement on the hill
Von Bondies, Pawn Shoppe Heart
Velvet Revolver, Contraband
Hollywood Rose, the roots of guns 'n roses
The Go, The Go
Sivert Hoyem, Ladies & Gentlemen of the Opposition
Magnolia Electric Co, Trials and Errors
Arcade Fire, The funeral

Essential Album of the Past that I completely overlooked:

mad season, Above

Michael M Takes His Mama Out

So here goes:

1) Scissor Sisters / Self-titled album (love love love them)

And the rest are in no real order for me:

2) Angie Stone / Stone Love

3) Morrissey / You are the Quarry

4) Jill Scott / Beautifully Human

5) Loretta Lynn / Van Lear Rose

6) George Michael / Patience

Nico, Both Wet and Dry

The Faint: Wet from Birth (hands-down-my favorite of the year)
Muse: Absolution
Prodigy: Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned (I wonder if anyone in America cares.... L)
Keane: Hopes and Dreams
Kylie Minogue: Body Language

Great Songs from Not So Great Albums in 2004
PJ Harvey: Who the Fuck?
Gwen Stefani: Crash
Lindsay Lohan: Speak

New Discoveries:
Dannii Minogue: Neon Nights (2003) - SOOOO fun
PJ Harvey: Dry (1991?) - WHY did it take me so long to get this album?!? It's amazing-and far better than her latest (which is not so accidentally missing from the 2004 list)
Kylie Minogue: Impossible Princess (1997) - By far Kylie's best album. Way different from all the others-with a Portishead-esque slow-moving, thick song; a fast beat-and-piano-driven song that starts with an Ani-like rant (why do I like this?); and 10 others that blow me away. Amazing.

Piper, A Year Late But Still Motivated

Essential album: Evanescence, Fallen.

You Mean the Cherry Things With the Popsicle Sticks, Scott?


Freezepop, Fancy Ultra Fresh - Vive les 80s with this synthy pop-culture masterpiece


Way Out West, Don't Look Back - Nick Warren puts it all together
DJ Tiesto, Just Be - Trancy trance at it's best
Monofader, Frost - Imagine Depeche Mode's new album, if they'd been frozen in time since 1987
Air, Talkie Walkie - back on top
The Killers, Hot Fuss - David, you won me over with this one. Irresistable.
Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand - lived up to the hype


Orbital, Blue Album - last studio recording from a defining act. superb.
Faithless, No Roots - The most consistently excellent artist I listen to
Stereolab, Margerine Eclipse - I take it back, Stereolab deserves that distinction. Another remarkable recording.

Randy, Our Canadian Correspondent

Funeral, Arcade Fire
Mississauga Goddamn, The Hidden Cameras
The Concretes, The Concretes
Faded Seaside Glamour, The Delays
Hot Fuss, The Killers
Set Yourself On Fire, Stars
This Island, Le Tigre
Garden State soundtrack
Universal Audio, The Delgados
You Are The Quarry, Morrissey

Beth Is Building More Than an Atomic Bomb

For me, the choice is so obvious -- it has to be Elliott Smith's FROM A BASEMENT ON THE HILL. Runners-up are the Magnetic Fields, I, and U2, HOW TO BUILD AN ATOMIC BOMB.

Also, these may be the only three albums I bought this year. ;-) Oh except Bjork's Medulla, but I didn't love it as much as her last few albums.

Isolation and Escapism with Pete

This was the year that I really dove headfirst into a lot of new music (many thanks to Pitchfork and SoulSeek). Considering the state of the world and our country, I felt like there were really two prevailing moods this year…isolation and boisterous escapism. Most of my picks fit into one of those categories. Narrowing it down to ten is going to be tough, not to mention picking one as the best. Here goes…

Most Essential Album of the Year 2004
1. Elliott Smith, From a Basement on the Hill

Other Essential Albums of 2004
2. Mirah, C’mon Miracle
3. AC Newman, The Slow Wonder
4. Richard Buckner, Dents and Shells
5. Rogue Wave, Out of the Shadow
6. Rilo Kiley, More Adventurous
7. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets
8. The Arcade Fire, Funeral
9. Pinback, Summer in Abandon
10. Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand

Honorable Mentions
The Good Life, Album of the Year
Jason Forrest, The Unrelenting Songs of the 1979 Post Disco Crash
Pedro the Lion, Achilles Heel
Dogs Die in Hot Cars, Please Describe Yourself
I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness, Self-titled
Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters
The Killers, Hot Fuss
The Decemberists, The Tain
Black Keys, Rubber Factory
Tilly and the Wall, Wild like Children

Best Album by a Band That Lives within Two Blocks of Me (three way tie)
Interpol, Antics
TV on the Radio, Desperate Youth Blood Thirsty Babes
Metric, Old World Underground Where Are You Now?

Best Live Show
Coachella (Radiohead, Flaming Lips, Pixies, Bright Eyes, Death Cab, Belle & Sebastian and so many more…107 degrees of desert heat, decent cheap food and short bathroom lines…what every music festival should be)

Worst Musical Idea
Velvet Revolver

Frontrunners for 2005
Bright Eyes, I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning
Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Superwolf
Spoon, ….whatever they call it, it’s going to be good

There’s No Shame in Bono, Nicole

I know who Franz Ferdinand are, though I've never listened to them, but
you have got me on Le Tigre. I probably should abstain, since my one
choice is probably appallingly mainstream, but I have been enjoying:

U2, How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

Josh L Is Working On His Dissertation; Hence, the Length of This Response

Greenday, American Idiot. This is the best pop-punk thing ever, the
best rock "concept album" (taking that in the broadest possible sense
of an album where the songs are linked in some way) since, well, since
Greendale last year. But rock, once it gets past the Twist and simple
loves songs, is a medium so brilliantly suited to the sad, dystopian
angry-young-man coming-of-age story that it's surprising that albums
like these aren't more numerous. Really, it's the best thing since
Quadrophrenia, which is the best album of the early 70's and much
superior (in that it better resists the maudlin and the musical-
theater) to Tommy. Quadrophrenia and American Idiot. Except,
tellingly, St. Jimmy dies in this one,whereas Quadrophrenia ends on the
uplifting Love Reign O'er me, and we know the boy is going to grow up
to be the Who, which gives him a 3/4 chance of being old, rich, and not
dead in his own vomit. Sadly, I think a lot of people will not listen
to American Idiot because it's loud, because the lyrics are hard to
hear, (and less face it, not uniformly brilliant--but ununiformly
brilliant is still pretty good) and because the ubiquitous single, (as
far as I can tell; not listening to the radio or watching T.V. much may
hamper me here) while catchy good greenday pop-punk, sounds dumber as a
single than it does in context. Billie Joe has actually maintained
(heightened) his status as a really good rock songwriter while actually
moving intelligently into a higher artistic sphere. Plus, somebody
needed to mention that the Jesus of Suburbia is a lie.

Bjork, Medulla. I like Bjork a lot. People who don't never will.
Also, perhaps I have been brainwashed by more knowledgeable music
critics, but clearly one would be recognized for doing something that
actually SOUNDS DIFFERENT. And it is. Cool.

DJ Danger Mouse, Grey Album. It may seem like I'm trying to disguise
the fact that 50% of my CDs are "classic rock" and trying to seem
hipper. But this is really good; sure, I only heard it about it
because it got extraordinary media penetration; so sue me. No
intelligent person of open mind can be exposed to the Albums Black,
White, and Grey, and deny that rap and dj mashing (or whatever I should
call it) are not vibrant and important art forms. "Encore" is

Indigo Girls, All That We Let In. I think the last two albums are
swinging back up, after a couple of less good ones. Unfortunately, I
think Amy can't hide her superiority as a songwriter anymore.

Brian Wilson, Smile. Speaking of coming-of-age concept albums, even if
this one is a throwback to the David Music Poll of age -4. It's weird,
but sure, it bolsters the whole "Brian Wilson is one of our great
fallen geniuses" thing. If only he had been there to keep pop away
from the BeeGees and friends.

This is cheesy, but: the Garden State soundtrack turned me on to a few
things I hadn't heard before, notably the Shins. I know my lack of
knowledge of the Shins probably exposes me as being thoroughly out of
touch with hip music, and New Slang is a few years old, but it was a
sort of song-of-the-year for me.

Dido, White Flag. I know this is 2003, but it probably didn't leave my
5-CD changer for the first few months of last year. It's pretty light,
and poppy, and shallow, but it's really good--why can't shallowness,
rather than depth, be the quality that deters a full and immediate
appreciation? Such good, simple songs, so prettily sung, so
unobstrusively produced.

It’s All About the Feeling, Steve C

count me in for some perhaps unoriginal but strongly
felt votes:

1. Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand. Can't seem to turn it off. Reminds me of my favorite music from high school.

Evanescence, Fallen. For all its fun poppy value.
Black eyed peas, Elephunk. Because it makes me dance.
Soundtrack to garden state. Because it reminds me of a good david mix.

Ipoddess, Rachel

My picks:
Green Day, American Idiot
I think anyone who writes (or aspires to write) YA can tune their iPods to this great album to instantly tap into the well: I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies/this is the dawning of the rest of our lives; My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me/My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating.

Le Tigre, This Island
Just for channeling Salt-n-Pepa so brilliantly on “Nanny Nanny Boo Boo.”

Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose
Girl’s still got it, and better than ever; I can even forgive her the Bush family ties.

William Shatner, Has Been
If you’d only been allowed to watch PBS and classic Trek when you were growing up, you’d feel the same about him. May his recording career be more prolific than Ashanti’s.

Lhasa, The Living Road
Makes me swoon. May she be more prolific than Shatner.

Team America soundtrack
For these lyrics: Freedom isn’t free/there’s a hefty fuckin’ fee; C’mon everybody we’ve got quiltin’ to do; and Bed Bath & Beyond…Fuck Yeah!

Beastie Boys, To the 5 Boroughs
Old boys still got it.

Calexico, Convict Pool

Toots & The Maytals, True Love

Bong Voyage, Jack M?

Okay, I don't know if I sent you this already, but it's changed a little bit:

1- Devendra Banhart, Rejoicing In the Hand
2- Dungen, Ta Det Lungt
3- Espers, S/T
4- Little Wings, Magic Wand
5- Comets On Fire, Blue Cathedrals
6- Kings of Convenience, Riot On an Empty Street
7- Josephine Foster and the Supposed, All the Leaves Are Gone
8- PG Six, Well of Memory
9- No Neck Blues Band, Dutch Money
10- Gravenhurst, Black Holes In the Sand

Honorable Mentions:
Samara Lubelski, Fleeing Skies
Ghost, Hypnotic Underworld
Yo La Tengo, Today Is the Day!
Brian Wilson, Smile


Vashti Bunyan, Just Another Diamond Day
United States of America, S/T
Tyrannosaurus Rex, Unicorn
Popul Vuh, In the Gardens of the Pharaoh
Popul Vuh, Affenstunde
Richard and Linda Thompson, I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight
Simon Finn, Pass the Distance

Best 11 Records I bought or acquired last year:

Stan Getz, Getz Au Go Go
Sir Douglas Band, Texas Tornadoes
Tim Hardin, Tim Hardin 3
Flamin Groovies, Shake Some Action
Incredible String Band, The 5000 Spirits Or The Layers of the Onion
The Tony Williams Experiment, Emergency!
Pentangle, S/T
Ananda Shankar, S/T
Klaus Schultz, Cyborg
Stooges, Fun House
Gabor Szabo & The California Dreamers, The Wind, the Sky and Diamonds

And a whole pile of Phase 4 records

Album Title of the Year:

Comets on Fire, Bong Voyage

The Only Idiot Elizabeth Voted For This Year Is…

Such good music this year! Here are my picks:

Green Day, American Idiot

Franz Ferdinand
The Killers, Hot Fuss
Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News
Garden State Soundtrack
Butterfly Boucher, Flutterby
Keane, Hopes and Fears
Yellowcard, Ocean Avenue
Air, Talkie Walkie

Thu’s in a State…

2004's most essential album:
Soundtrack, Garden State

Other essential albums from 2004, in order of...essentialness:
Soundtrack, The OC Mix #2
Iron and Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days
Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News
Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand
Soundtrack, The OC Mix #1
Snow Patrol, Final Straw
The Killers, Hot Fuss
Interpol, Antics
Frou Frou, Details
The Magnetic Fields, I
Mirah, C'mon Miracle

2004's most essential soundtrack to a show about a brooding bad boy and a half-jewish emo geek:
Soundtrack, The OC Mix #2

…As is Thu’s Best Friend

my best friend's two cents:
most essential:
Soundtrack, Garden State

other essentials:
Green Day, American Idiot
Franz Ferdinand, Self-Titled
Jason Mraz, Tonight Not Again
The Killers, Hot Fuss
Modest Mouse, Good News For People Who Love Bad News
Soundtrack, Music From The OC: Mix 1
Soundtrack, Music From The OC: Mix 2
The Thrills, Let's Bottle Bohemia
Vanessa Carlton, Harmonium

Hot y Spicy Nancy M

it was a slow year in music for me (surprise surprise) but here's what's been burning holes in my cd player.

--most essential and probably the only album on my list actually from 2004!

Ely Guerra: Sweet and Sour, Hot Y Spicy (mexican singer extraordinaire.
think pj with a softer side.)

--other essential 2004 discoveries...

Cafe Tacuba: Tiempo Transcurrido (saw them live in 2004 and they are the kind of performers that infect a room and make you jump up and down like a ten year old. like the mexican version of beck, these guys have been around forever and they are probably tired of that comparison. this album is a few years old, but whatever, it's amazing.)

Jovanotti: Il Quinto Mondo (italian singer who incorporates funk and rap and all sorts of weird stuff. quite honestly, i bought this album because he's hot and looked vaguely nick drake-y on the cover, but i tell you, i haven't been disappointed!)

White Stripes: Elephant (cuz i'm real current like that...)

Shantala: The Love Window (sanskrit chanting stuff, but i swear this woman's voice could convince even the most anti-yoga person.)

Wilco’s Position Was Precarious for Justin, So The Fire Won’t Have to Wait ‘Til Next Time

Most essential album of 2004:
Arcade Fire, The Funeral

Wilco, A Ghost Is Born
Keren Ann, Not Going Anywhere
Keren Ann, Nolita
The Streets, A Grand Don’t Come for Free
Sympathizers, Jolly Rancher (7”)
Constantines, Constantines
The Walkmen, Bows + Arrows
Dub Trio, Exploring the Dangers of. . .
Soundtrack, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Special 2004 DVD category:
Galaxie 500, Don’t Let our Youth Go to Waste 1987-1991

Keren Ann, Le Biographie de L. Philipsen
The Clean, Compilation

Special Recommendations from 2003 (since I wasn’t here last year):
Beulah, Yoko
Clientele, Violet Hour
Clientele, Fading Summer (7”)

Nothing Vague About Steve S’s Choices

Essentials for such completely different reasonsThe Streets / A Grand Don’t Come For FreeNouvelle Vague / Nouvelle VagueScissor Sisters / Scissor SistersMy lesser favoritesFranz Ferdinand / Franz FerdinandKeane / Hopes and FearsOmara Portuondo / Flor de AmorMylo / Destroy Rock & RollThe Donnas / Gold MedalAir / Talkie WalkieGwen Stefani / Love Angel Music Baby (Perfect as long as you skip that awful last song with Andre 3000)Songs that make multiple playlistsAnnie / Chewing GumClient / Radio (Need to get this album — probably would have been above)Robbie Williams / Radio1980 / EstelleTravis / Walking in the SunGwen Stefani / CrashKylie Minogue / I Believe in YouGoldie Lookin Chain / Roller Disco

Hello? Hello? Is Dan Out There?

Most Essential:

Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters

Other Essential:
The Killers, Hot Fuss
Ray Lamontagne, Trouble
Patty Griffin, Impossible Dream
Rachel Yamagata, Happenstance
Keane, Hopes and Fears
Snow Patrol, Final Straw
Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose
kd Lang, Hymns of the 49th Parallel

Album I most wanted to listen to but couldn't find anywhere:
Junior Boys, Last Exit

I Can’t Wait to See This, Erin O

the young folk in my group looped me in. I nominate

Keane, Hopes and Fears.

This is the greatest album and if you must know, I walk along the streets of Queens singing it at the top of my lungs!

Norah’s Neither an Underachiever nor Obscura

Not all of these albums came out in 2004, but they were my 2004...My Cute Friend Sweet Princess, Kimya Dawson ( One of the most honest and amazing albums I’ve ever heard. She is truly incredible)Sonic Youth, Sonic Nurse (my heroes still going strong)The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow ( I could listen to this again and again and again)Camera Obscura, Underachievers Please Try Harder (fills my Belle and Sebastian cravings)Aisler’s Set, How I Learned to Write Backwards (ditto)Autolux, Future Perfect (dreamy Sonic Youthy for a new generation)Girlsareshort, Tigertail, Early North American, and contactkiss ( derivative and all over the place, but a lot of fun)

We’re Here For You, Andrew

Sadly, I have become a person so out of touch with the music scene that I rely on David's annual music poll to tell me what was good in the previous year. Therefore, I am limiting my best of 2004 to albums I actually bought last year, the sum total of which is 6:

Essential Albums of the Year:

Big & Rich, Horse of a Different Color
Green Day, American Idiot
Mary Chapin Carpenter: Between Here and Gone
Gretchen Wilson: Here for the Party
George Strait: 50 Number Ones

And an essential one I missed from last year:
Evanescence, Fallen

The News From Kevin’s Little Corner


honesty is that I have no concept of chronology anymore. I am vaguely aware that it is now a new "year." These are albums that I think came out last year. If not, they're albums that defined last year in my little corner of the world.

Most essential:
The Exploding Hearts, Guitar Romantic: A sympathy vote, sure. But it's a great album. So what if they're ripping off The Clash. That's a better idea than most bands have. I was recently heading to a party while listening to this album, thinking that it would be kind of cool if the Hearts never recording anything else again. Just made one good album and called it quits. At the party, my friend told me they'd all been killed in a car wreck. Careful what you wish for.

Other somewhat essential stuff
1. Drive-by Truckers, The Dirty South: If Patterson Hood had died in a car wreck, this would top my list. Thank God he didn't. It took me a long time to realize how brilliant this album is, but goddamn. "Putting People on the Moon" is one of the few reasons to hold out hope for America. Goddamn Reagan.

2. Reigning Sound, Too Much Guitar

3. The Dexateens, The Dexateens: Tuscaloosa's own. They may be the drunkest band alive. For real. They're going to be dead before a second album happens.

4. The Avengers, The American in Me: Great, sloppy, punky re-issue.

5. The Hell, 6 Songs

King Khan & His Shrines, Mr. Supernatural

From Smile to Funeral with Alex G

I tried to come up with a top ten list for 2004, but only came up with 6. Here you go...

Top 6 of 2004
1. Elliot Smith, From a Basement on the Hill
2. Brian Wilson, Smile
3. The Arcade Fire, Funeral
4. Wilco, A Ghost is Born
5. Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News
6. Morrissey - You are the Quarry

2004's Re-issue of the Year goes to...
The Kinks - The Village Green Preservation Society

Wil Jason G. co? Yes, he Wil co!

You Are The Quarry
Released: May 18th
Sir Moz came shooting back into the limelight after way to many years of tanning in Los Angeles and how glad we were to see him return. The five sold out shows at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem highlighted all that is fab (and all is flab) about the boy from Manchester with a heart so big it pours out like in spades. While many songs on this disc show Moz making the unfortunately turn towards Stingdom, the good tracks were some of the best tracks he’s written since his early solo days. And his voice still is beautiful……

Highlights: ‘First In The Gang To Die’, ‘I Have Forgiven Jesus’, ‘Irish
Blood, English Heart’

The Fever
Red Bedroom
Released: May 18th
I admit that when this record came out, I was not sold on it. It was good, but didn’t shake me the way their previous singles had. This album personally came alive after seeing them play the disc straight through at their sold out Bowery Ballroom show. Now, I’ve been following these Jersey born lads since they played their first show at a loft Party in Brooklyn two years ago and in that time, they’ve grown and gotten tighter than most bands aspire. Their post-punk obsession seems more grounded in mid-eighties Duran Duran than say Gang of Four, but they work it to their advantage. It’s the high energy songs that may make you shake your ass, but it’s the slower songs that work best.

Highlights: ‘Put It On You’, ‘Diamond Days’, ‘Artificial Heart’

Released: September 28th
Interpol are bunch of over-rated musicians who rip off Joy Division way to much for their own good. Their first album was boring and didn’t deserve the hype it got. Their live shows have always disappointed me. That said, I can’t stop listening to this record. It has one of the best starts of any record this year. It’s kind of like Carlos’ supposed herpes infection: No matter how much you try to protect yourself from crap like this, you still get infected by its grooves. It’s contagious.

Highlights: ‘Evil’, ‘No Exit’, ‘Slow Hands’

Ted Leo and The Pharmascists
Shakes The Sheets
Released: October 19th
I don’t really have to much to say about Ted Leo and his highly medicated Pharmascists except to say that I think they’re one of the most rocking bands out their today. There is something almost Billy Joel-esque about Ted’s ability to rock out with such constant stability. They seem to play it safe, but at the this level of safety, who cares.

Highlights: ‘Walking To Do’, ‘Me and Mia’, ‘The One Who Got Us Out’

Iron & Wine
Our Endless Numbered Days
Released: March 23rd
Bearded men install a form of fear in me that is only paralleled by clowns. Iron & Wine fulfills one of those requirements in spades. This disc isn’t quite the leap some people where expecting from them, nothing like Elliott Smith’s transformation from Either/Or to XO, but rather it was a notch up from their previous record. The instrumentation is light and fluffy and doesn’t so much add to the songs as accompany them. The best bits are when all is silent except for his deep voice and the tender plucking of guitar strings.

Highlights: ‘Naked As They Came’, ‘Love and Some Verses’, ‘Sunset Soon

Green Day
American Idiot
Released: September 21st
The fact that this is a rock opera by Green Day means shit to me. The reason I like this so much is that Green Day have compiled a really smart, poppy, and powerful record that works from the first track to the last track. In order for them to stay relevant, they not only upped the ante, they upped the entire pop-punk game. This record is a long way from 924 Gilman Street, but the politics are still the same that made Operation Ivy such a potent band. Not bad for a group of snotty punks from Berkely.

Highlights: ‘American Idiot’, ‘Jesus of Suburbia’, ‘She’s A Rebel’

PJ Harvey
Uh Huh Her
Released: June 8th
I want to fuck PJ Harvey. I want to be mentioned in one of her songs. I
don’t care if she curses my name. I don’t care if she burns me alive. I want to be with this woman one way or another. She continues to turn me on with Uh Huh Her. My only complaint about this record is the fact that she didn’t include the stunning title track. Otherwise, I really hope Karen O has been listening closely, because this album is like her training manual.

Highlights: ‘Who The Fuck?’, ‘Shame’, ‘Cat On The Wall’

Louden Up Now
Released: June 8th
These guys are either a bunch of hippies on speed or music education
students on acid. I can’t be sure which one it is, but regardless, this is one of the best and most humorous politically inclined records released this year. These are the pups that should have made a punk rock opera. It’s what holds this record from being higher on the chart. Anyway, it makes you dance like the kids used to before Guiliani started raiding Plant Bar on Monday nights.

Highlights: ‘Pardon My Freedom’, ‘Hello? Is This Thing On?’, ‘Dear Can’

The Fiery Furnaces
Blueberry Boat
Released: July 13th
I once got really drunk and thought I saw this girl I slept with and started screaming about how I fucked her and this and that. Turns out it I’m blind and it wasn’t the girl I thought it was and was the chick from The Fiery Furnaces. She obviously thought I was very rude and I want to apologize to her. I also want to say that I think this record is brilliant. Yeah, anyway, sorry. I do think yr really pretty though…..

Highlights: ‘Quay Car’, ‘Straight Street’, ‘Birdie Brain’

Elliott Smith
From A Basement On A Hill
Released: October 19th
Heartbreaking. Simply fucking heartbreaking. A suicide letter from one of the most talented and fucked up voices of our generation. I hope they don’t shit on his legacy with many future releases because this was a honest swan song and would have stood up next to his other albums.

Highlight: ‘A Fond Farwell’, ‘Let’s Get Lost’, ‘Shooting Star’

The Libertines
The Libertines
Released: August 31st
This album makes me want to get drunk, do drugs, get fucked, picked up a guitar, fuck a groupie, do more drunks, have another drink, start a fight, bite someone, knock over a grocery store, and then do it all over again the next day.

Highlights: ‘Can’t Stand Me Now, ‘What Became of The Likely Lads’, ‘Music
When The Lights Go Out’

The Walkmen
Bows + Arrows
Released: February 3rd
It’s no surprise that Jonathan Fire*Eater and The Recoys both imploded
before they reached the level their fans felt they were capable of. They were mere children when they formed, singing dark ballads about a world they never really encountered. By the time they all made it to their mid-twenties, they had started to see the ghosts in the mirror and it shocks the two bands apart. The Walkmen’s Bows and Arrows is where they all finally create their first truly honest record. Gone are the fables of torture and love and orphans, replaced by a blistering awareness of the reality they are bound to face the rest of their life. It’s the ultimate quarter-life crisis album. It’s born out of the realization that you can’t drink, drug, and fuck until seven in the morning with waking up to pay the consequences anymore.
The reverb and feedback that echo every instrument and vocal are like the ringing you feel the night after you’ve been in a fist-fight. It’s a feeling only those who have actually been full-on punched in the face (either physically or mentally) will be capable of fully grasping.
Highlights: ‘The Rat’, ‘Little House of Savages’, ‘138th Street’

Blonde Redhead
Misery Is A Butterfly
Released: March 23rd
Amadeo, Simone, and Kazu give off more sexual chemistry than a room full of people on ecstasy. This record continues to show how much they’ve come into their own since their days of being a Sonic Youth / Unwound influenced band. With a touch of Serge Gainsberg and some Arto Lindsay, they created another masterpiece where sound clashes with breathy vocals that leave you weak in the knees.

Highlights: ‘Doll Is Mine’, ‘Elephant Woman’, ‘Pink Love’

Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand
Released: March 9th
Franz came with so much hype attached you would of thought that The Strokes were sucking their dicks. Turns out it was just a leather boy art fag from down the blvd. Every song on this record is hot. It’s a lapdance of pleasure. It’s the best sex record of the year. No song is a particular stand out, but then again, every song is perfect. It’s kind of like a great collection of singles which is maybe what doesn’t work for me all the time.
I want them to expand on their sound and I think they will if they don’t implode first.

Highlights: ‘Michael’, ‘Darts of Pleasure’, “Cheating On You’, ‘This Fire’

A Ghost Is Born
Released: June 22nd
Wilco’s A Ghost Is Born is the reason that long players will never go out of vogue. From the day this record was leaked online it has not come close to leaving my cd player. Jeff Tweedy could easily have made Yankee Part Two, but instead he took a no wave left turn for the best. Everything is perfect about this album, from the lyrics to the sequencing to the music to the art.
The album works best because it is an album. It couldn’t have been made any different way or it would not have worked. It’s brilliant and it wasn’t a question about being our favorite this year.

Highlights: ‘Company In My Back’, ‘Late Greats’, ‘Hummingbird’, ‘Handshake

Jeff B, Firestarter

Here's my music picks for this year:

10. Brian Wilson - Smile
9. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
8. Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News
7. Rogue Wave - Out of the Shadow
6. The Killers - Hot Fuss
5. Elliott Smith - From A Basement On The Hill
4. The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
3. Styrofoam - Nothing's Lost
2. The Good Life - Album of the Year
1. The Arcade Fire - Funeral

Required Listening from Terra

Arcade Fire, Funeral -- 100% requiredKillers, Hot Fuss -- Totally necessarySoundtrack to "Lost in Translation" was so late in 2003 it shd. count for 2004.For the collector: U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" is not the be-all-end-all album that critics have been touting, but it IS a necessary part of the U2 collection, as it reflects back on favorite standard tropes and then trumps them a little, a la "Achtung, Baby."Single of the Year: Death Cab doing U2's "Baby Please Come Home (for Christmas)" Do you also have a "best of what I bought this year" list for those of us who are filling in older titles? For example I got New Order's International this year and it is absolutely great and essential for the synthpop fan but doesn't really count for 2004 as it is 2002 copyright.

Mind the Matthue

Most Essential:
Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose -- unapologetically. I don't even like the White Stripes, but they give her something loud and strong to play against, and she STILL leaves them in the dust. She is my woman.

Most Essential That You Haven't Heard Of:
Bellflur, Bellflur -- A bunch of DC-area kids who are Latino and/or Orthodox Jews and/or regular white people make music that sounds like Radiohead, only not pretentious; or the Beatles, only not with the scratchy acid trips and pseudo-zen sensibilities.


Courtney Love, America's Sweetheart (YES, dammit)
Polyphonic Spree, Together We're Heavy
The Roots, The Tipping Point -- It's not their best, actually it's only
about 10 songs, but 3 of them are more beautiful than anything you're got up your sleeve
Maritime, Glass Floor -- They are the reason I am not voting for Modest
Mouse, even though this year was the first year I liked one of their albums. But Maritime is so much better. Fat basslines, cool pop-but-not-pop sensibilities and the trippiest Alice in Wonderland take-off music video ever.
Ai Phoenix, The Driver Is Dead -- so beautiful. find it, david. please.

Best Album of the Moment That Probably Doesn't Have Lasting Value, But Who Gives: Kanye West, The College Dropout

Best Sneaky Debut: Martha Wainwright, B.M.F.A.

Best Celebrity Crossover That Isn't Totally Embarassing: Juliette and the Licks

At Least One Thing in This Country Isn’t Going to Hell, Quoth Annie

Here's my list--longer than I expected, but I guess it was a year to escape into good music.

Most Essential:
Tie between Garden State soundtrack and The O.C. Mix 1

Essential (in no particular order):
Camera Obscura, Underachievers Please Try Harder
Nellie McKay, Get Away from Me
Rachael Yamagata, Happenstance
Magnetic Fields, i
Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand
Keane, Hopes & Fears
Rock Against Bush Vol 2 (unfortunately essential for the next 4 years)
Green Day, American Idiot
U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
Norah Jones, Feels Like Home
Jem, Finally Woken
Joseph Arthur, Our Shadows Will Remain
Jen Chapin, Linger
PJ Harvey, Uh-huh Her

Broadway Cast Album of the Year:
Assassins revival

Not Quite Essential but Still Worth a Listen:Everwood soundtrack
The O.C. Mix 2
Jill Sobule, Underdog Victorious
Tift Merritt, Tambourine
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy soundtrack
MoveOn's Future Soundtrack for America
Frequent Flyer: Bombay collection

Albums from previous years that became essential:
Postal Service, Give Up
Pink, Try This

Matthew U, Poor Like Loretta

This was a particularly meager year for me in terms of CD buying as I have become a poor grad student again. Nonetheless, there were a few CDs I found that were standouts:

Most essential (by far):

Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose

--It's on just about every list I've seen of top CDs, so this is no surprise, but this time I really do agree with the critics. The album is surprising and fresh and still moving. Loretta is somehow still in top form. Her voice still sounds great. The lyrics are as honest and unaffected as ever. And the production values are wonderful. I wonder who will be the next country legend to be revitalized by rock production values--Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, and Willie Nelson all had earlier CDs that were as vital as this one.

Other honorable mentions, though not necessarily "essential," and all a bit too mellow:

Patty Griffin, Impossible Dream
Madeleine Peyroux, Careless Love
Elliott Smith, From a Basement on a Hill
k.d. lang, Hymns of the 49th Parallel

Or Maybe Alex H is the Quarry

Most essential:Morrissey, You Are the QuarryRunners-up:Magnetic Fields, IPhoenix, AlphabeticalDivine Comedy, Absent FriendsLe Tigre, This IslandFranz Ferdinand, Franz FerdinandCamera Obscura, Underachievers Please Try HarderScissor Sisters, Scissor SistersElliott Smith, From a Basement on the HillGwen Stefani, Love, Angel, Music, BabyAlways lovely:Sebadoh, ReboundSerge Gainsbourg, Comic Strip


Always a fun time of year:

I'd have to say Jamie Cullum's "Twentysomething." It's
so mouth-droppingly good, I can't believe it's so
ridiculously popular. Nice to see that happening to a
really talented musician, rather than the usual
pre-packaged fare of models, dancers, and posers (and
this guy is NO looker). No one can say that Cullum
isn't freak-of-nature talented. What a joy to listen

I could also say the same thing about the talented
Norah Jones' "Feels Like Home" (which is a very close
second). I know that every music fan, critic, mother,
and grandmother is supposed to love Norah Jones, and I
hate being so cliche. But it really is one of those
albums that makes you stop what you're doing. I
thought that it was much better than even "Come Away
With Me" (which I also liked very much). I'm sure her
success is in no small part to her lineage and visage,
but fortunately she writes (and picks) good songs, has
a wonderful vocal whisper, and is a fantastic pianist.
So it's actually deserved.

I also liked Keren Ann's "Not Going Anywhere", even if
it isn't really much different from her French albums.
But it's nice.

Love Will Bring Them Together, Jackie

here is MY essential list for 2004, theres no real theme to them... just the fact that i love them all!
1. kasabian - self titled album 2. U2 - how to dismantle an atomic bomb3. kings of convenience - riot on an empty street4. arcade fire - funeral5. modest mouse - good news for people who love bad news6. mirah - c'mon miracle 7. magnetic fields - I 8. pedro the lion - achilles heel9. pheonix - alphabetical 10. von bondies - pawn shoppe heart11. ac newman - slow wonders12. the good life - album of the year13. ted leo and the pharmacists - shake the sheets 14. elliott smith - from a basement on the hill15. erlend oye - dj kicks

Uh Huh Josh G

1. Green Day, American Idiot
2. PJ Harvey, Uh Huh Her
3. Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose
4. The Killers, Hot Fuss
5. Gwen Stefani, Love Angel Music Baby
6. Courtney Love, America's Sweetheart
7. Keane, Hopes and Fears

Zac Braff Would Be Happy with Amy H’s Choices

2004 was an amazing year for music - I know this, because of my new
ipod and my subsequent obsession with finding new music on itunes, and
for one year since, I would say, college, I bought more (actually, much
more) than 3 cd's (in addition to all the itunes) all year...

The Garden State Soundtrack (MY MOST ESSENTIAL; what can I say, I'm
obsessed with this album - maybe a cop out since it's a compilation,
but what a compilation!!)

Other Essentials (in order):

Killers -- Hot Fuss (the #2 album I'm totally obsessed with)
Snow Patrol -- Final Straw (#3)
Scissor Sisters -- Scissor Sisters (tie for #3 - the only album, ever,
that without fail, gets me in a good mood)
U2 -- How to Dismantle an Atom Bomb
The Arcade Fire -- Funeral
TV on the Radio -- Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
Wilco -- A Ghost Is Born
Modest Mouse -- Good News For People Who Love Bad News
Iron & Wine -- Our Endless Numbered Days
Interpol -- Antics

Biggest Discovery from Previous Years:

My Morning Jacket - absolutely amazing, grows deeper and more
indispensable with each listen.
The Stills - Logic Will Break your Heart
The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
Maroon 5 - Songs about Jane (I know, tres overplayed by now, but
catchy, one must admit)

The Definitive Francesco

Herewith, the music that changed my year:
Franz Ferdinand
Green Day, American Idiot
The Killers, Hot Fuss
Morrissey, You Are the Quarry
Nouvelle Vague
Scissor Sisters
Gwen Stefani, Love.Angel.Music.Baby.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fever to Tell

From Yesteryear:
Bettye Swann
Dionne Warwick: The Definitive Collection

Million Dollar Ronnie

OK, here are my essential movie soundtracks of the past year

Essential Movie Scores

Clint Eastwood (composer), "Million Dollar Baby"
Alexandre Desplat, "Birth"
Jon Brion, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
Alberto Iglesias, "Bad Education"
Michael Giacchino, "The Incredibles"
Joachim Holbek, "Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself"*
Roque Banos--with Lydia Kavina playing the theremin--"The Machinist"*
*note these last two were not released on CD, so the only way to hear them is to see the movies

Essential Compilations

Zach Braff, "Garden State"
Greg Berlanti, "Everwood"

Essential Movie Songs

the David Bowie songs done by Seu Jorge from "The Life Aquatic"
the song "Angel on My Shoulder" by tomandandy, sung by Gretchen Lieberum from the movie "Mean Creek"

Markus Goes Straight From His World Tour To Our List

Just got back and this is a very BIG priority. Am somewhat at a loss (more intent on poaching), but here goes:

MOST ESSENTIAL: Something for Kate: ‘The Official Fiction’
ESSENTIAL: The Datsuns: ‘Outa Sight\Outa Mind’
ESSENTIAL for WEIRDNESS ALONE: Joanna Newsom: ‘The Milk-Eyed Mender’.

Brant’s Bravely Brief Breakdown

My essential albums of 2004 in order of essentialness:

Lambchop, Aw C'mon & No You C'mon
Ambulance Ltd, LP
The Go! Team, Thunder, Lightning, Strike
Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand
The Arcade Fire, Funeral
Kanye West, The College Dropout
Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters
Wilco, A Ghost Is Born

A Disconnection is Made With Billy

Disconnection, Carina Round

Fall Back Open, Now It’s Overhead

Wet From Birth, The Faint

Want Two, Rufus Wainwright

Funeral, Arcade Fire

Kiss & Swallow, I Am X

Seven Swans, Sufjan Stevens

Impossible Dream, Patty Griffin

Our Endless Numbered Days, Iron & Wine

(Do The Frames count for 2005 since that’s the American release?)

Older Discoveries

Fever To Tell, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Greetings From Michigan: The Great Lakes State, Sufjan Stevens

Transfiguration of Vincent, M. Ward

Instruments? Jating Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Instruments

Hey there David. Norah forwarded your email onto me. In turn, I sent it to a friend of mine outside the company. She already responded so I thought I'd better get on the ball...esp. since today's the last day:

1. Bjork, Medulla
2. Arcade Fire, Funeral
3. Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose
4. Mirah, C'mon Miracle
5. Autolux, Future Perfect
6. Pink Martini, Hang On Little Tomato
7. A Girl Called Eddy, A Girl Called Eddy
8. Brian Wilson, Smile
9. David Sedaris, Dress Your Family Up In Corduroy and Denim (can this qualify if it's not music?)
10. Magnetic Fields, I
11. The Concretes, The Concretes
12. Kasabian, Kasabian
13. Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters
14. Xiu Xiu, Fabulous Muscles

from previous years:
girlsareshort, contactkiss
Soviet, We Are Eyes, We Are Builders
The Raveonettes, Chain Gang of Love

Danger, Anica! Danger!

Most essential album of 2004:

DJ Danger Mouse, The Grey Album
(vocals from Jay-Z's The Black Album, music from The Beatles' White Album)

In choosing this album over the runners-up, I gave weight to the "of 2004" qualifier. My other top picks might rank above The Grey Album on a plain old essential albums list, but this cd was of particular import to me in 2004--and I expect it to have longevity.


Wilco, A Ghost Is Born
Brian Wilson, Smile
Simple Kid, 1

I am glad that I bought:

The Walkmen, Bows + Arrows
The Killers, Hot Fuss
The Streets, A Grand Don't Come for Free
The Roots, The Tipping Point

Biggest disappointment:

Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose
(great singing, great production, mediocre songs)

Jackie’s Up to Antics

Interpol, Antics Keane, Hopes and FearsGarden State SoundtrackThe Shins, Chutes Too NarrowSnow Patrol, Final StrawWilco, A Ghost Is Born

Sean. Music. List. Baby.

MOST ESSENTIAL ALBUM OF 2004: The Killers, Hot Fuss

Gwen Stefani, Love. Angel. Music. Baby.
Scissor Sisters, S/T
Franz Ferdinand, S/T
Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose
Green Day, American Idiot
Rilo Kiley, More Adventurous
Keane, Hopes and Fears
Morrissey, You Are The Quarry
Jem, Finally Woken

ESSENTIAL SOUNDTRACK: Various Artists, "Garden State"



Air, "Cherry Blossom Girl"
Beck feat. Jay-Z & Pharrell Williams, "Frontin' on Debra" [DJ Reset Mash-Up]
Britney Spears, "Toxic"
Cherie, "I'm Ready"
Emma, "Maybe"
Jamelia, "Superstar"
Janet Jackson, "I Want You"
JC Chasez, "All Day Long I Dream About Sex"
Kelly Clarkson, "Since U Been Gone"
The Killers, "Somebody Told Me [Insider Remix]
Maroon 5, "This Love"
Nina Sky feat. Jabba, "Move Ya Body"
The Postal Service, "Against All Odds"
Samantha Ronson, "Built This Way"
Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell, "Drop It Like It's Hot"

The David L Who Isn’t Me and Isn’t My Best Friend David L Offers Some Bows and Arrows


1. The Walkmen, Bows and Arrows
- Infectious, frenetic, complex, rocking out rock by this New York band which looks like a bunch of disaffected preppies. This sophmore effort not only equals but surpasses their exceptional debut, "Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone." "The Rat" and "Little House of Savages," both frenzied, intense, and smartly bitter, are two of the best songs of the year. A true classic.

2. Wilco, A Ghost is Born
- By now, Wilco is pretty much the #1 American band for musical legitimacy, audacity, and staying power. This album will only add to their reputation. Not a revolutionary development from "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot," also a great album, but a sensible and gratifying next step. The 15 minutes of noise is a distressing sign of burgeoning pretentiousness.

3. Sondre Lerche, Two Way Monologue
- Lovely, Beatles-esque songs, great instrumentation, this Norweigan kid could become huge. Songwriting is somewhat like that of Jason Falkner, who has never been recognized to the extent he should be.

4. Simple Kid, 1
- Simple Kid can sound flippant and silly. Do not dismiss him. His songs are as memorable and crafitly written as almost anyting out there. His sense for irony is unmatched. Damn fun (and smart).

5. U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
- 25 years later, the boys can still write soaring, original anthems like no one else.

6. Graham Coxon, Happiness in Magazines
- The other guy from Blur. Great melodies, rocks out, not too snarky (as Blur was so often wont to be). Listen to "Freakin' Out." When will this come out in the States? Thank god for MP3s.

7. The Futureheads
- Crazy energy, crazy fun, lead singer is pale as a corpse and has bad teeth. Check out the song "Meantime." Very upbeat, very witty.

8. Norah Jones, Feels Like Home
- It's rare that a songwriter can achieve such broad appeal with such genuine talent. She is not much of an innovator, but the combination of her fine sense of melody and her seductive and deeply emotive voice renders her one of the foremost talents of the day.

9. Franz Ferdinand
- Retro, updated 80's Rock. Solid straight through. Good melodies, good harmonies. Fun and tight.

10. The Streets, A Grand Don't Come for Free
- Anyone would have to give Mike Skinner props for taking rap to a completely new place, even if there are still serious questions about how significant his depressive, apathetic, crassly material prose poems on being a poor, English pothead really are. The production is maybe too slick, though the hooks can be a guilty pleasure.

Not Quite:

Mum, Summer Make Good
- Ethereal, pretty Icelandic rock, just a little too ethereal, a little too spacey, a little too much like Sigur Ros and doesn't come close to reaching the same heights).

The Killers, Hot Fuss
- Very catchy and fun but no staying power.

The Roots, Tipping Point
- Always smart, too cerebral, needs some hooks. No "Things Fall Apart," no guests that equal Mos Def, Jill Scott, and Erykah Badu on that album.

Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose
- Great singing, great production thanks to Jack White, songs are mostly good, never great, sometimes weak.

Mos Def, New Danger
- Doesn't come close to the classic "Black on Both Sides," a politically charged, lyrically dizzying, emotionally complex, even environmentally conscious album. Here Mos is just a good voice throwing out raps that don't suck. Another career going the way of Q-Tip.

The Hives, Tyrannosaurus Hives
- Insane energy. Then what?

The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs
- One hot (though simple and repetitive) song. Maybe they have the goods. Jury is out.

Wimpiest album of the year:

Keane, Hopes and Fears

A Drumroll for Sarah-Maria…

drumroll please, here it is:

Top Ten (well, I’m doing a Top Eleven, as their might be a 2003 release in here somewhere, also, I love The Divine Comedy, but this album is only on
ere because 2004 was a very bad year record-wise)

#1:John Frusciante – everything released this year (see Brian’s list for titles)

Rest of Top Eleven in no particular order:
Elliott Smith – From a Basement on the Hill
Interpol – Antics
Bjork – Medulla
Sivert Höyem – Ladies & Gentlemen of the Opposition
The Cardigans - Long Gone Before Daylight
The Divine Comedy – Absent Friends
Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
The Go – The Go
The Von Bondies – Pawn Shoppe Heart
Nick Cave – Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus

Honorable Mentions to 3 band I thought I didn’t really like (anymore)
Morrissey – You Are The Quarry
Green Day – American Idiot
The Vines – Highly Evolved

Nick Makes a Fuss

Most Essential:
The Killers, Hot Fuss

Also Essential:
Jens Lekman, When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog
The Magnetic Fields, I
Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters

Nearly Essential:
The Faint, Wet from Birth
Dolorean, Violence in the Snowy Fields
The Arcade Fire, Funeral
Division of Laura Lee, Das Not Compute
A.C. Newman, The Slow Wonder

Biggest Letdown:
Interpol, Antics

No comments:

Post a Comment