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.

    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!

    The year 2008: Sweet Love for Planet Earth.

    Wednesday, 31 December, 2008

    fuck buttons street horrrsingwolf parade at mount zoomer

    This was probably the year where I was more on my own, less inspired by friends and acquaintances. But as my approach to and taste in music has changed in time, my friends (mostly .chrz) have put their fingerprints on the albums I preferred this year.

    Top 5 songs

    Fuck Buttons – Sweet Love for Planet Earth (ATP Recordings)
    Wolf Parade – California Dreamer (Sub Pop Records)
    The Matthew Herbert Big Band – Battery (Accidental)
    Paavoharju – Italialaisella Laivalla (Fonal records)
    Shearwater – Leviathan Bound (Matador)

    At the “Night before New Years Eve” the joker was “a song from the best live concert this year”. I finally got to see Lightning Bolt (I didn’t prioritize it, as they played in Aarhus some years ago). Battles, Kid Koala and Girl Talk were fine shows. But I chose to play Menomena “Evil bee” as the joker, as they fulfilled their sound through their presence and gave it that extra that I don’t get on the records, when I heard them play at Lille Vega earlier this year.

    If I should make some notes on my choice this year, I have to say that “At Mount Zoomer” probably is the most overlooked album of this year. Wolf Parade have really improved their sound and made some solid melodies and fine lyrics. Especially the “Snow on the radio … make angels in the snow” is magic poetry.
    As I first heard Fuck Buttons I thought it was great. And this is still my opinion. It’s a mix of the beast and the beauty. It’s harsh but also playful. This might not be that original, but it’s done with style and good sense of what’s working and what does not. Often this kind of band is overdoing it or keeps on experimenting. “Street Horrrsing” has a perfect blend.
    I’ve never heard about Paavoharju before, but I’m definitely going to get there former albums. This Finish folk (and some electronica) is a children book that also can be read by adults. When writing, I would say they are above their fellow countryman like fx Kiila.
    The Matthew Herbert Big Band is not something I normally listen to. Battery has a whole lot of things going on. It’s pushy, wild and swings like hell.
    Shearwater is also something I normally would have avoided. But the song Leviathan Bound is beautiful and I can only recommend this.

    In the end that meant there was no spot for sweet Vampire Weekend.

    The year 2007: Let’s dance to…!

    Wednesday, 31 December, 2008

    battles mirroredakron_family_love_is_simple

    I bought more than 40 albums this year. This is a lot thinking 40 of them were from 2007. I started to buy “New and Used” at Amazon UK. There should go more than 1½ year before customs duty got some of my packaging. Well, the two albums were still cheaper including the tariff than buying it in a Danish store.
    A lot of interesting things came out and I did go to a lot of concerts. Some great, some hilarious funny. Especially the Cradle of Filth concert at Amager Bio had this stupid, but funny, show on the scene. More of that, please!

    The top 5 songs this year were:

    Battles – Atlas (Warp Records)
    Akron/Family – Ed is a portal (Young God records)
    Of Montreal – The past is a grotesque animal (Polyvinyl Record Company)
    Iron & Wine – Ressurection Fern (Sub Pop Records)
    The Wombats – Let’s dance to joy division (14th Floor Records)

    I’ve had my difficulties with “Shepherds dog” by Iron & Wine. Boy with a coin is beautiful, but getting behind these surreal texts and up-tempo songs was not easy for me. A paradox having theses troubles, as I about two years earlier would have left the record in the ditch.
    The Wombats made a one hit wonder. I loved it, not much else to say about this. But there is a lot more to say about Battles. I’ve heard their EPs without being especially impressed. But “Mirrored” came with a tune that had a lot of soul on top and underneath their technical brilliance. Actually a shocking album to me, as I thought they were playing music with a new and fresh approach.
    Of Montreal made several monster tracks on the album “Hissing Fauna, are you the destroyer”. I don’t really get the band and must admit that the other albums are not anything for me.
    Akron/ Family is also a strange appearance. But the album has a joy and playful tune. Ed is a Portal is a fun and loveable track.

    Regarding the “Night before New Years Eve” Jesper didn’t make the cut and no new one came in. The joker of the year was “best non-album” track giving the ability to put more attention on remixes, b-sides and the like. A lot of EPs was played. I did too. Mansbestfriend made an EP of outtakes from “Poly.sci.187”. It had lyrics and led the thoughts back to the amazing “New human is illegal” from 2004. I can’t get the original copy, is that non-album irony.