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Author Topic: Musical discoveries of 2005
obscurantist
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posted 22 December 2005 08:02 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
With 2005 coming to an end, I'm interested to hear about people's favourite music and musicians from the last year or so, particularly ones that you've come across for the first time, or that you've just recently really started to appreciate.

My own list dips back a little bit into late 2004. I'm sure I'll think of a few others after I post this. It also includes albums that weren't released in the past year, but that I've heard for the first time during that year. And it's mainly comprised of female musicians, which is a change for me -- my music collection used to be made up almost entirely of records by men or primarily male groups.

Albums:

Tegan and Sara - If It Was You (2002). The poppiest of their albums, and inasmuch as they can be said to have a "sound", this doesn't really sound like them. But it's my favourite Tegan and Sara album, and probably my favourite record I've heard this year. The songs refuse to leave my head, and ricochet across my brain like ping-pong balls possessed by the devil.

Air - Talkie Walkie (2004). Also just getting into Air's music too, and this album may likewise be atypically poppy for this particular group (the only other Air album I've heard is much more ambient). I was inspired to listen to Air by at least a couple of recommendations from various Babble threads, including the one I started on favourite albums. Thanks to Stargazer and to others who recommended this and a bunch of other records that I ended up listening to this year.

Keren Ann - Nolita (2005). Wish I knew what to compare her music to. Or maybe not. Again, sometimes the tunes are so catchy that I get a sugar headache, but at other times they have a hypnotic quality.

Madeleine Peyroux - Careless Love (2004). The album that I wanted Norah Jones' first record to be, bringing a fresh sound to the most overhyped jazz sub-genre (that of the female vocalist), while still wearing her more traditional influences on her sleeve.

Feist - Let it Die (2004). Didn't like this as much as I expected to, but she certainly has a haunting voice and an impressive range of musical styles.

Musicians generally:

Aimee Mann. How could I have missed out on her music over the last five / ten / fifteen years? (And yes, I know she's been recording for longer than that.) There aren't a lot of musicians who seem to be able to be both musically and lyrically inventive on a consistent basis within the very restricted form of the short pop song. Paul Simon, Pete Townshend (with the Who), Mark Knopfler, Neil Young, Morrissey, and Robyn Hitchcock would be the first people who come to mind for me, along with maybe Steven Sondheim (I figure if you can call Knopfler, Young, and Townshend rock musicians, then you can call Sondheim one too, as they share an operatic / cinematic sensibility). I'd now add Aimee Mann very near the top of that list. After a while, Mann's jaded-romantic outlook can start to wear a little thin, but she carries it off with such wry humour, such Cole Porteresque wordplay, that I don't really mind.

Hmmmm... who else? I've heard quite a few of the Beatles' albums in their entirety for the first time in the last year or so. Hard Day's Night, Beatles for Sale, Help, Rubber Soul, and the last two albums, leaving a gap of Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's and the White Album, which I've already heard most of here and there. From hearing Travis' greatest hits compilation, I'm interested in hearing more from them, probably their more recent stuff first. The most recent Snow Patrol record was also pretty good if a bit derivative. I quite liked the new album by Spoon (Gimme Fiction), as well as the Killers' Hot Fuss.

I've heard quite a few more albums and musicians this year, several of which made it to at least a couple of repeat listens, but these ones stand out. And as I said, I expect to be reminded of about ten others as soon as I post this.


From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 22 December 2005 08:29 PM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tracy + The Plastics: Culture of Pigeons.
Definitely one of my favorite albums, from one of my favorite bands. I'm kicking myself for not getting into them earlier.

Sons and Daughters: The Repulsion Box.
So full of energy, anger, and dance-party-tastic beats. I really am obsessed.

Kimya Dawson.
All around great lyrics, and some of the most charming, relatable songs I've ever listened to.

David Dondero.
With four albums and a live recording out, I keep going back to him for more and more of the best modern, original bluegrass I've ever heard.

The Ponys.
Every album is full of anthems for the fun and excitement of daily life.


From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
simonvallee
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posted 22 December 2005 10:14 PM      Profile for simonvallee   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is the year my interest in metal blossomed, so...

Let's start with a few local boys

Heaven's Cry: Primal Power Addiction (2002)
Québec progressive metal band with a peculiar sound, a bit difficult to absorb because of the complex melodies, but well worth it.

Crystal Castle: October Hymns (2001)
Québec power metal band with an independent CD, good musicians, just sadly not a very good production.

Tears for the dead gods: eponym (2005)
Another good prog metal Québec band with a sci-fi theme.


And now more generally

Hammerfall: Chapter V (2005)
Good traditional metal with cheesy lyrics. Hated for its popularity by many who'd otherwise venerate them.

Sonata Arctica: Winterheart's Guild (2003)
Melodic power metal from Finland, keyboard-dominated.

Dream Theater: Images and Words (1992)
Big prog metal band from the US, if you don't want to like prog metal, avoid I&W, it'll only get you addicted.

Manilla Road: Gates of Fire (2005)
Old metal band from the US with a really unique sound that has never made it past cult status. My brother introduced me to its work.


From: Boucherville, Québec | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 22 December 2005 10:58 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
He's not exactly "new", but I just discovered this year the music of Jack Johnson after I became hooked on his song Good People. I got a copy of his CD In Between Dreams and I've been playing it till the smoke rolls off it. He's my favorite discovery since Ben Harper.
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Yst
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posted 22 December 2005 11:03 PM      Profile for Yst     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not finding my musical tastes, which tend towards unusual but generally at least to some extent goth-associated hybrid categories like dark synth, electronic industrial and death glam well represented in the current mix (goth is in quite a lull), but Chiasm (a.k.a., Emileigh Rohn) and Genitorturers are the most interesting (to me) bands I've started listening to in the last year. Currently taking time to listen to Lacuna Coil for the first time, but not sure whether I really dig them yet.

[ 22 December 2005: Message edited by: Yst ]


From: State of Genderfuck | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Screaming Lord Byron
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posted 22 December 2005 11:28 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wolf Parade's Apologies to the Queen Mary is very, very good. Good live act too - saw them on the Arcade Fire tour. It should go without saying that the Arcade Fire are quite probably the best live act on the planet today.
From: Calgary | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
mayakovsky
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posted 23 December 2005 01:16 AM      Profile for mayakovsky     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Franz Ferdinand, pure pleasure of pop with a sarcastic whip. 'Majikat' a 1976 Cat Stevens concert possibly his last and he was witty, who knew? 54-40 'Yes To Everything'. And I am embarassed but the 'Rent' soundtrack. I was blown away by the movie, I wailed. Jesse L. Martin has one of the best voices I have heard in a long time.
From: New Bedford | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Yst
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posted 23 December 2005 01:30 AM      Profile for Yst     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mayakovsky:
'Majikat' a 1976 Cat Stevens concert possibly his last and he was witty, who knew?

Just sent that as Christmas present for my sister. Hope she likes it. She was always a big Cat Stevens fan.


From: State of Genderfuck | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 23 December 2005 03:06 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sarah Noni Metzner - I liked her debut CD so much that my review is now posted on the front page of her website.

Dala - Female folk harmonies from two twenty-somethings that will melt your heart. Five excellent original songs, along with an ability to find the perfect songs for the duo to cover (from "Love Song" by The Cure to "A Man Needs A Maid" by Neil Young).


From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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posted 23 December 2005 11:15 AM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Discoveries for me this year include: The Violet Archers. Stars. Elliot Smith. Modest Mouse.

Mostly 05 was the year o' Mash-ups.


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 23 December 2005 11:54 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I discovered that after years of neglect, I still like some "Black Sabbath." OH NO, PLEASE GOD HELP ME.

Funny this should come up. Yesterday, driving home from work sometime after 7:00 A.M Eastern, CBC radio had this guy on to discuss this very subject.

His choice for best new music of the year? Some American guy making a CD for every State. This years was "Illinoise", for Illinois. Clever.

The song he picked to play, the "best" on the album was entitled "John Wayne Gacy Jr." And the lyrics were explicit, and the music decidedly downdbeat.

CBC Radio: The Radio that Fun Forgot.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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posted 23 December 2005 12:01 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sepaking of Sabbath, have you heard the mashup that starts "George Bush doesn't care about Black Sabbath" and spins off into a salsa version of Iron Man? It was the mashup that recieved the most amount of listens on my itunes this year. Genius I tell you.

edited for oopsie

[ 23 December 2005: Message edited by: ronb ]


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
obscurantist
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posted 30 December 2005 01:36 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bumping this thread for people who haven't seen it yet. Robert Everett-Green had a list of his favourite songs and albums in today's Globe. I did follow some of his recommendations during the year re albums -- generally wasn't all that impressed with the results. Dunno if I'm simply not as subtle and refined in my musical tastes as a lot of other people are, or if they just like being perverse obscurantist wankers. Probably a mix of the two.

[ 30 December 2005: Message edited by: obscurantist ]


From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 30 December 2005 01:53 PM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
New this year? That's a hard one because I tend to listen to the same bands I've always liked, just their newer releases.

I still swear by King Black Acid. They did the soundtrack for The Mothman Prophecies. Beautiful, dreamy psychedelica with a lot of ambiance. I bought everything they own.

For the darker stuff, tech industrial or dark industrial I've been really enjoying Combichrist, Lights of Euphoria and Absurd Minds.

For the stoner rock side of things nothing beats the unreleased Unida album (they got screwed big time by a major label). Unida's singer is John Garcia, lead singer of Kyuss, whom Josh Hommes (Queens of the Stoneage) was the lead guitarist for. Great band.

Butcher - sounds dark as hell but it's a cross between Dead Can Dance and The Swans. Beautiful stuff. Hard to find but here is the website
www.butcherband.com with a sample of their music.

Also really like Church of Misery (from Japan) who do a lot of super bluesy doom and have just released a new one called The Early Years.

Other than that I've been listening to Bell Orchestre, boy, experimental aircraft and of course, Deadboy and the Elephantmen and a whole bunch of live show boots from singer Dege Legg, who also just put out a great underground novel.

http://www.degelegg.com/


From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
worker_drone
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posted 31 December 2005 01:39 PM      Profile for worker_drone        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
His choice for best new music of the year? Some American guy making a CD for every State. This years was "Illinoise", for Illinois. Clever.

The song he picked to play, the "best" on the album was entitled "John Wayne Gacy Jr." And the lyrics were explicit, and the music decidedly downdbeat


Sufjan Stevens. "Come on Feel the Illinoise". Brilliant album. "Greetings from Michigan" is quite good as well. 2 down, 48 states to go.


From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged

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