Best album in the decade 2000-2009

Wednesday, 19 May, 2010

Maybe I mistake most important album with most important band.
Maybe the album isn’t even their major masterpiece, that one was released in the 90ies.
Maybe half of you who read this disagree, but my choice is far that controversial as the release of the album.
To me it is a “safe choice”. Maybe many of us are wrong, when we pick an album of the last decade so close after leaving the former decade.
But this album is a landmark. Their so-called masterpiece from ’97 promised an inheritor to U2. Not extrovert, rather introvert and sneering. And while Ok Computer is facing backwards, Kid A is forward-looking into the new decade, maybe even century.

I met with a couple of guys, just the same from the previous “Night before New Years Eve”, and we played two songs from albums within three categories:

  • Most important album from a musical perspective.
  • Most important album from a personal perspective.
  • And most important album from Denmark.
  • As introduced above I chose Radiohead “Kid A” from a musical perspective. My friends chose the following albums:

      Scott Walker – The Drift
      Elbow – Asleep in the Back
      Modest Mouse – Moon & Antarctica
      Eels – Blinking Lights and other Revelations
      The National – Alligator
      Battles – Mirrored
      Kevin Drumm – Sheer Mellish Miasma

    From the personal perspective I have been very fond of Thee Silver Mt Zion. But if I should bring out an album that has meant the most to me I’d say Man’sbestfriend “New Human is Illegal”. The poetry, the aggression, the samples, the humor, everything is just a perfect ‘unit’. My friends chose:

      Ilyas Ahmed – Between Two Skies / Towards the Night
      Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights
      Sigur Ros – ()
      Christian Kjellvander – Songs from a two-room chapel
      Beirut – Gulag Orkestar
      The National – Alligator
      Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – More Revery

    In the last category I and one other chose Efterklang “Tripper” to be the best album from Denmark in the same decade. Other picks were:

      Manual – Azure Vista
      Moi Caprice – The Art of Kissing Properly
      Tiger Tunes – Absolutely Worthless Compared To Important Books
      Decorate Decorate – Normandie
      Speaker Bite Me – If Love is Missin It must be Imposed
      Mikael Simpson – Bsider, udtag og meget triste radiomix

    Oh my a lot of albums have not even been mentioned above. But if you like some of the choices above, do check out Pitchfork > P2K. Maybe you find your own favourite there.

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    Best music videos 2009

    Sunday, 3 January, 2010


    Music videos can showcase the artist, serve different purposes or just be small cinematic poems. Music videos has a serious expression since birth of MTV, and although we in some countries have limited access to the videos on Youtube and others, the genre is widely appreciated and Spike Jonze, Chris Cunningham and Shynola shall have lots of credit for their work in the past and present.

    When I look back at the year 2009, I think there have been several videos that have promoted the artist or song in a highly entertaining way. I like the genre for being something in itself – the videos aren’t always just an add-on.

    My top 5 is:

    1. Röyksopp – This must be it [open in new window]
    It’s difficult to describe how they use the normal music video storyboard and create

    2. Ramona Falls – I say fever [open in new window]
    Very aesthetic, very pleasing to the eye. It’s a short, but strong movie and I think the music fits beautifully.

    3. Coldplay – Strawberry Swing [open in new window]
    Impressiv work by Shynola. And do also check out “Life in Technicolour

    4. Rymdreglade – 8-bit trip[open in new window]
    Very amazing and crazy lots of work behind. Absolutely perfect match between music genre and video style.

    5. PomplamooseMusic – Beat it [open in new window]
    The development within technology makes it easier to produce your own fancy video. There has been a couple of fun DIY videos. Fx by Kutiman doing a mashup of sounds on youtube and SOUR using the video in a simple but very creative way on ‘Hibi no neiro’.
    But Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte behind Pomplamoose Music are very loveable and ‘Beat it’ is a great cover version.

    bat-for-lashes-two-sunsThe first time I listened to Bat for Lashes was when I saw the outstanding music video “Whats a girl to do”.
    A couple of days ago I bought the new album “Two suns”. It’s promising. She continues to place herself somewhere between Kate Bush, Tori Amos and PJ Harvey without ever being a copy of anyone.
    I have also bought Lady Gaga and Lily Allen. Unsurprisingly the albums aren’t good. Lily Allen has a quiet similar way of singing all her songs. But I like the singles. Lady Gaga doesn’t have the crazyness lie in “Poker face”. On the album she reminds me of a copy of Britney Spears.

    Best albums first half of 2009

    Sunday, 5 July, 2009

    DM-Stith-Heavy-Ghostsanimal-hospital-memoryThis is my top 10 list of albums released in 2009 (listed alphabetically).

    Animal Collective ‘Merriweather Post Pavillion’, Domino. Finally they made me understand why there is so much hype around them.
    Animal Hospital ‘Memory’, Barge Recordings. Varied and layered soundscape par excellence.
    Dan Deacon ‘Bromst’, Carpark Records. Unstoppable dance punk electronica.
    Decorate Decorate ‘Instructions’, A:larm Music. Yes, they skipped the dots. Read my review here.
    Julie Doiron ‘I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day’, Jagjaguwar. A female singersongwriter shows her personality.
    Mountains ‘Choral’, Thrill Jockey. Warm, rich, detailed drone.
    The Horrors ‘Primary Colours’, XL recordings. Absolutely stunning mix of Joy Division and Neu!
    Tim Hecker ‘An Imaginary Country’, Kranky. Dense drone and overwhelmingly captivating.
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs ‘Zero’, Interscope. Sexy and rocking with attitude and popular melodies.
    Zu ‘Carboniferous’, Ipecac. Read .chrz review here.

    I also want to promote a list of the five best albums I bought this year, but was released last year or earlier.

    b.fleischmann, ‘Angst is not a weltanschauung!’. Morr Music. Read my short review here.
    DM Stith ‘Heavy Ghost’. Asthmatic kitty records. Probably the record I’ve listened to the most. For fans of Radioheads new material.
    Kazuki Tomokawa ‘ Blue water, red water’, P.S.F Records. Read my comment on Tomokawa here.
    Mugison ‘Lonely Mountain’, Accidental records. Islandic singersong writer. Really nice, calm and lonely.
    Paavoharju ‘Yhä Hämärää’, Fonal records. Folk-electronica from Finland. Mysterious and wise.

    Roskilde Festival 2009

    Monday, 15 June, 2009

    roskilde-festival One year ago I said I wouldn’t participate in the wild and wonderful Roskilde Festival. Two days before I changed my mind and saw memorable performances by MGMT, Battles, Girl Talk and Shantel, while Yeasayers and others have gone into oblivion.

    Again this year I am not going. But if I were, there would be plenty of bands to see. The smaller stages have my attention as always. I believe Pet Shop Boys, Coldplay as well as Oasis and Trentemøller are going to kick as at the Canopy stage. But there are a some other bands I would like to promote.

    It’s both Karen O’s rock’n’roll attitude as it’s the good melodies and details in the production that convince me Yeah Yeah Yeahs are going to play a great concert. Fever Ray has released a promising album. I’m not sure what to expect – as The Knife only played a few concerts this could both be spectacular or disappointing. I’d also promote White Lies and Friendly Fires for their 2009 dark sound and popular and danceable tunes.

    More dark and metal I would love to hear Zu. They are from Ipecac (Mike Patton label) and is all about drone riffs, monster drums and jazz-saxophone. They have some kind of the same approach as Lightning Bolt. I have never seen Isis live, which probably would be enough reason for me to see them. And talking about the heavy stuff I would recommend both Mono and Wolves in the Throne Room.

    It’s not going to be heavy all of it. Den Sorte Skole, Hauschka and maybe Shogu Tokumaru have made some impressing releases lately and their approach are never more far out than I think of dancing or dreaming myself far away. Especially Danish act Den Sorte Skole is a must see.

    More crazy and edgy you’ll find Gang Gang Dance and Deerhoof. Sometimes Deerhoof gets somewhat annoying in a childish way. Sometimes Gang Gang Dance get too arty farty. However Roskilde Festival must be the perfect place to see these two bands.

    After this I’ll probably need to rest and relax. Both Jenny Wilson and Marnie Stern could be nice to see. And The Whitest Boy Alive indeed. If you pass the Lounge stage I’ll recommend you to see the poet Morten Søkilde. His exploration into the sound of syllable is both amazing, beautiful and a somehow kitsch.

    Have a nice festival!

    Just listened to… Hilotrons

    Saturday, 24 January, 2009

    hilotrons_happymatic

    Recommended in the top 50 albums of 2008 from Cokemachine glow I had to listen to Hilotrons after streaming “Emergency street”. The album “Happymatic” promises light and fun joy and dancing. And their early 80ies pop sound is likeable, but the roof does not take off nor make me sprout in pure delight.

    For now, I really think “Emergency street” is catchy, and maybe I’ll catch the rest sooner or later. But I don’t think the feeling will last that long.

    Paris is burning.

    Friday, 2 January, 2009

    ladyhawk paris is burning cut copy remixsam sparro black and gold

    Although I’ve already presented a top five songs from 2008, I would like to share an alternative hit parade.

    Ladyhawk – Paris is Burning (Cut Copy Remix)
    Sam Sparro – Black and Gold
    Santogold – Say Aha
    Estelle – American Boy
    The Ting Tings – That’s not my name

    Both Ladyhawk and Sam Sparro are excelling in melancholic, danceable tunes. After reading (forgot where) that Cut Copy had done some great remixes in 2008, I found a dozen on the Internet. The “Paris is burning”-remix is released on a single by Ladyhawk. The other remixes on the single are worth mentioning. I should have listened to Sam Sparros record – but I haven’t made it yet. I’m though pretty sure this is a one hit wonder.
    The name “Santogold” sounds to me like Latin America, M.I.A. and stuff like that. But the “Say Aha” is a positive vibe and is not that ruff and dub’ish. Actually, my Last.fm tells me it’s the second most listened track in December, just beaten by the indie one hit wonder by IAMX “Think of England”.
    Estelle made a smooth, cool pop hit featuring Kanye West. This is definitely an alternative list on my blog and I don’t think I will ever mention these two artists again. We’ll see.

    Part 2: Learning to fly. 1989 – 1992

    Friday, 26 December, 2008

    more-power-balladsmarky-mark-and-the-funky-bunch

    I’d like to imagine my musical taste in the early years in school was just as bad as anyone else. Listening to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch while reading Mix (youth magazine) or even better to Vanilla Ice. I even went to see the Movie Cool as Ice just trying to figure out what was all this fuzz about being a fan and knowing stuff about the artist that was not directly related to the music?
    Before – or was it at the same time as(?) – listening to these “hip hop” acts a school friend had a mix tape from his brother containing MC Hammer, Army of Lovers, Snap, KLF, Dr Baker, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and Cut n’ Move. Or this is how I remember getting these acts to know.
    MTV might have had its influence too, as I later was introduced to U96 “Das Boot”, A-ha “Take on me”, Genesis, Michael Jackson and other music videos in heavy rotation.
    I remember a sunny summer holiday in lovely Austria where I watched a lot of MTV and stayed inside listening to my new tape “More Power Ballads“. I don’t remember how I got hold of it, but the classic songs – Scorpions “Send me an angel”, Mr Big “To be with you”, DAD “Laugh and ½” and Led Zeppelin “Stairways to heaven” among others – was played over and over.
    I bought my two first CD’s in a record store in City 2, a horrible shopping mall. Dr Alban “Its my life” and Snap “Rhythm is a dancer”. I’m happy to tell You that I still have these marvellous albums.

    the beach boyselvis presley

    Born in the year 1978 where legendary bands like Van Halen, Dire Straits, The Police, Prince, Mike Oldfield, Kate Bush, Toto, The Cars, The Buzzcocks and many more released their debut album. None of these have ever really got my attention.

    Although my father is a pop musician well-know within the borders of Denmark, I was never raised with modern music. Even though I found out he made his living as a drummer in a band playing rock n roll, there was no rock, no gossip, no drugs; music just don’t play the same role to my parents as it does to me.

    My father introduced me to jazz music and I learned to play the trumpet at the age of ten, because I wanted to look like Louis Armstrong. Did I mention I was ten? I remember Sunday mornings with radio programs named “Hot and Sweet” and “Hotel Evergreen” with Mogens Landsvig as the host of the show(s?).
    Music played a role in our family as it was the professional career of my father. But he always told us kids that life as a musician was tuff and not something to wish for. The business was bad and a lot of people not reliable. I don’t know if that was why he never gave me any records to be inspired by or introduced me to any great artists. Maybe it was because I never asked.
    This relation followed me the many years to come. To seek and find by myself. It could have been so much easier, if there had been one or more soul mates to share the musical experience at an earlier age. But it was to come.
    So I started to listen to Elvis and The Beach Boys. Had to start somewhere; music was compelling.

    Note: I guess the title of this entry says more in Danish than English?…