Yeah, it's that time of year again, where you have to sit down and make up a list of what you thought were the "BEST OF THE YEAR" in music and TV and movies and blah blah blah...and don't act like you don't. It's the fucking law, dammit.
Anyway, there are still a few movies I've yet to see (SYRIANA, KING KONG, MUNICH) so the movie one will have to wait, but I'm pretty sure I've gotten all the music I needed for 2005 thus far, so without further ado...
MY FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2005!!!
(some of these might not have come OUT in 2005, but since I bought them this year, they count so shut it...)
DAVE MATHHEWS BAND * WEEKEND ON THE ROCKS
True, this DID just come out like a week ago, but it's got a lot of decent tracks on there. The version of "Stolen Away on 55th and 3rd" alone is worth the price of the album. Plus, you get 2 CDs and 1DVD all for under $15. Not too shabby. I know some of you are holding your noses going, "Ew, Dave Maaaaaaaathews?!" But if you haven't listened to any of his albums or ONLY heard the shit singles that have been overplayed on the radio, you might want to give this live record a shot. They do an amazing cover of The Zomibes "Time of the Season" and have plenty of old favorites like "Say Goodbye" on there as well.
JOSE GONZALEZ * VENEER
This is a case of falling in love with a song on a mix CD and buying the entire album because of it. I love that...when it works out. When you end up buying the whole album and then discover the ONE SONG was all that was decent...that sucks. Luckily Jose Gonzalez is truly talented and VENEER is one of my favorite picks of the year. It's so simple and spacous and quiet. Elliot Smith without the feeling of "Man, this guy is fucking depressed." Go download songs like "Heartbeats" or "Crosses" off iTunes and you'll be forced to buy the whole thing too. Suckers.
SLEATER KINNEY * THE WOODS
This one is tied for my absolute favorite record of the year. It's flawless. It's so full of energy and rawness...I love every second of it! These girls are ROCK GODS. If this world was fair, High School girls would laugh Kelly Clarkson and Ashlee Simpson and their "rawkness" off the airwaves and worship real women rockers. They don't take any shit, have an amazing sense of style and attitude and best of all, DON'T SUCK! I dare you to listen to "Rollercoaster" and not fall in love. This is a must buy, folks.
SPOON * GIMME FICTION
Another band that just keeps getting better. This one is nearly flawless. I have a feeling their next album will be the greatest thing ever. Songs like "I Summon You" are signs of something big around the corner. You can't write songs that catchy unless you're planning on taking over the world. You all have been warned.
LUCINDA WILLIAMS * LIVE AT THE FILLMORE
Another perfect live album. Okay the Dave Matthews one isn't perfect, but this one is damn close. True, a lot of the songs selected here are "later-album-heavy" but c'mon, they're still damn good people! Lucinda is just the ragged, worn down voice you need at the end of a hard day's work. Or whenever you get the feeling to have a "tear in your beer." You cannot escape the saddness of songs like "Lonely Girls" or "Blue" or "Those Three Days" and honestly, you wouldn't want to. These are such powerful, raw, and emotional songs of getting your heart broken...you might just want to end your own relationship just so you can shout "PREACH IT SISTER!" to the cd player.
MIKE DOUGHTY * HAUGHTY MELODIC
I was always a big SOUL COUGHING fan, so when they broke up in 1998, I was skeptical if anything they ever released solo would match the effort they were able to produce as a group. Mike has not only outdone himself with his debut on a major label, but I really enjoy this approach more than the "Hip Crazy Noises in the Background Thing" that Soul Couching made famous. Just use a guitar and some sweet lyrics and I'll be happy. Songs like "Sunken Eyed Girl" do just that.
NINE INCH NAILS * WITH TEETH
It took many listens before I fully appreciated this album. I must admit, at first listen, I was like "This is it?!" But now I can listen to the entire thing straight through and enjoy it. REEEEEEALLY enjoy it. Sure it's not nearly as heavy as "WITH TEETH" makes it sound, but that's cool. It takes some chances. It uses restraint. It builds up and strips down the sounds all within a single song. You can't truly get a read on what direction Trent was wanting to take this record. And I like that. Songs like "Only" take me all the way back to PRETTY HATE MACHINE and I can't wait to see where he takes us next.
BRIGHT EYES * I'M WIDE AWAKE, IT'S MORNING
Such an amazing record. I must have listened to this thing like 50 times this year. I love everything about it.
CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH
tied with SLEATER-KINNEY for record of the year. I've listened to this one the most, but dammit, I love my rocker chicks. This thing just hit me like a ton of bricks. Out of nowhere I hear "In This Home On Ice" and I'm instantly hooked. Some might say they're just a freakier version of The Talking Heads, but I don't care. They're hypnotic and I can't quit listening to the sounds they make. Easily the one CD I cannot take out of my car. It's a damn shame the thing is only 30 minutes long too...I barely can get to work that fast and have to relisten to a track or two over again. Someone tell them to make the next one 40 minutes...you heard me...
And there you have it. I'm sure I left a few things off here and there, but off the top of my head and glancing through iTunes, this is what I came up with. I'm interested in seeing your picks. And listening to Jamie shit all over mine.