Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Best Albums of 2009: A Cleveland Indie Rockers Survey

Seems like every single blog and website I read regularly is doing an end-of-year rundown on the best albums of 2009. I'm totally down with that - I've been keeping my powder dry all year for it, actually. Problem is, everyone seems to be doing something kinda creative. Whether it is Bill at I Rock Cleveland citing previous review quotes or my colleagues at Citizen Dick doing an ongoing retrospective, it doesn't seem like a regular old list will cut it this year. So, I decided to take up the creativity challenge.

Problem is, I'm not very creative. So, instead, what I did is I contracted out the labor. What follows is a series of top 10 lists from some of my favorite folks in the Cleveland indie rock community. Enjoy. When I get the brainpower for it, I might calculate which albums were most enjoyed across the spectrum. But for now, this is what you get.

Tom DeChristofaro - Guitarist, Vocalist, and Songwriter for Afternoon Naps.

1. Cats on Fire -Our Temperance Movement (Matinee)
2. Comet Gain - Broken Record Players (What's Your Rupture)
3. Lake - Let's Build A Roof (K)
4. Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Pains of Being Pure at Heart (Slumberland)
5. Pylon - Chomp (DFA reissue)
6. Bill Fox - Shelter from the Smoke (Scat reissue)
7. God Help the Girl - God Help the Girl (Matador)
8. Dent May and His Magnificent Ukelele - Good Feeling Music of Dent May (Paw Tracks)
9. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career (4AD)
10. The Radio Dept. - David (Labrador)

Fred Gunn - Lead Singer for The Sex Crimes (performing a 12/29 reunion show at the Beachland) and DJ extraordinaire

1. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Glass Note)
2. A Place to Bury Strangers - Exploding Head (Mute)
3. Floating Action - Floating Action (PARK THE VAN)
4. Passion Pit - Manners (Columbia/DMZ)
5. Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Pains of Being Pure at Heart (Slumberland)
6. Times New Viking - Born Again Revisited (Matador)
7. Fresh & Onlys - Grey-Eyed Girl (Woodsist/Revolver)
8. Almighty Defenders - Almighty Defenders (Vice)
9. Blank Dogs - Under and Under (In the Bed)
10. Wavves - Wavvves (Fat Possum)

Cookbook - Author of The Lead Paint Cookbook

1. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone (Anti)
2. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career (4AD)
3. Eagle and Talon - Thracian (s/r)
4. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Glass Note)
5. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes - Up From Below (Vagrant)
6. Vic Chesnutt - At the Cut (Constellation)
7. Afternoon Naps - Sunbeam (Happy Happy Birthday To Me)
8. The Postmarks - Memoirs at the End of the World (Unfiltered)
9. Ramona Falls - Intuit (Barsuk)
10. Sondre Lerche - Heartbeat Radio (Rounder)

Bill Lipold - Author of I Rock Cleveland (Note: Click this link for more detail and the rest of Bill's Top 20)

1. Flaming Lips - Embryonic (Warner Bros.)
2. The Horrors - Primary Colours (Beggars)
3. Sunn O))) - Monoliths and Dimensions (Southern Lord)
4. Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs (Matador)
5. Nadja - When I See the Sun Always Shines on TV (The End)
6. Dinosur Jr - Farm (Jagjaguwar)
7. Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Eddy Current Suppression Ring (Goner)
8. Japandroids - Post Nothing (Polyvinyl)
9. Boston Spaceships - From Zero to 99 (GBV)
10. Wizzard Sleeve - Make the World Go Away (Hozac)

thatgirl - author of Cleveland Love

1. Amadou & Mariam - Welcome to Mali (Nonesuch)
2. Oumou Sangare - Seya (Nonesuch)
3. Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart (Desoto reissue)
4. Yppah - They Know What Ghosts Know (Ninja Tune)
5. Metric - Fantasies (Metric)
6. Bela Fleck - Throw Down Your Heart (Rounder)
7. P.O.S. - Never Better (Rhymesayers)
8. Thievery Corporation - Radio Retaliation (Eighteenth Street)
9. Mos Def - The Ecstatic (Downtown)
10. K'naan - Troubadour (A&M/Octone)

Kevin Neudecker - Owner, Music Saves record store

1. Fever Ray - Fever Ray (Mute)
2. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest (Warp)
3. Califone - All My Friends are Funeral Singers (Dead Oceans)
4. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career (4AD)
5. Circulator System - Signal Morning (Cloud Recordings)
6. Dinosaur Jr. - Farm (Jagjaguwar)
7. Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns (Saddle Creek)
8. Ramona Falls - Intuit (Barsuk)
9. Abe Vigoda - Reviver (PPM)
10. Double Dagger - More (Thrill Jockey)

Melanie Hershberger - Owner, Music Saves record store (Note: Melanie's choices are not rank-ordered, but rather alphabetized. The lady hates to play favorites! If you really want to know which one topped the list, check out the Music Saves sponsored show at the Beachland this Saturday featuring Shiny Penny, Casual Encounters, Talons, and The Talkies.)

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)
Fever Ray - Fever Ray (Mute)
Japandroids - Post Nothing (Polyvinyl)
Ramona Falls - Intuit (Barsuk)
Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns (Saddle Creek)
Thermals - Now We Can See (Kill Rock Stars)
These Are Powers - All Aboard Future (Dead Oceans)
Twilight Sad - Forget the Night Ahead (Fat Cat)
Veils - Sun Gangs (Rough Trade)
Wooden Birds - Magnolia (Barsuk)

Tim Thornton - Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist for The Muttering Retreats, vinyl producer at Gotta Groove Records, and Music Saves 'Timployee'

1. Jim O'Rourke - The Visitor (Drag City)
2. Mount Eerie - Wind's Poem (P.W. Elverum & Sun)
3. Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Pains Of Being Pure At Heart/Higher Than The Stars (Slumberland)
4. Asobi Seksu - Hush (Polyvinyl)
5. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)
6. El Perro Del Mar - Love Is Not Pop (The Control Group)
7. Clark - Totems Flare (Warp)
8. Flaming Lips - Embryonic (Warner Bros.)
9. Lake - Let's Build A Roof (K)
10. Trouble Books - Endless Pool (Mr. & Mrs. Bark & Hiss)

Kevin - Writer at Citizen Dick. (Note: Kevin stresses to me that this isn't precisely his top 10, but rather than one he felt the whole site would endorse. But since he's the one who responded to the email, he gets the credit. Also, linked album titles will take you back to Citizen Dick reviews of those albums. Or click here and you can check out the list of albums Citizen Dick has been including in its End of 2009 Retrospective series.)

1. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest (Warp)
2. White Denim - Fits (Downtown)
3. Megafaun - Gather, Form and Fly (Hometapes)
4. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)
5. A. A. Bondy - When The Devil's Loose (Fat Possum)
6. The Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin (Nonesuch)
7. Akron/Family - Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free (Dead Oceans)
8. Bear in Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth (Hometapes)
9. Barzin - Notes to an Absent Lover (Monotreme)
10. Fever Ray - Fever Ray (Mute)

J.R. Bennett - Frontman for Unsparing Sea and the man who turned me on to Phosphorescent

1. Jay Z - The Blueprint 3 (Roc Nation)
2. Flaming Lips - Embryonic (Warner Bros.)
3. Vetiver - Tight Knit (Sub Pop)
4. Lightning Dust - Infinite Light (Jagjaguwar)
5. M. Ward - Hold Time (Merge)
6. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest (Warp)
7. Mos Def - The Ecstatic (Downtown)
8. The Love Language - The Love Language (Bladen County)
9. Au - Versions (Phantom Sound and Vision)
10. The Dodos - Time to Die (Frenchkiss)


Kevin said...

Hey Melanie and Kevin, does Rural Alberta Advantage count? It was released in 2008 then re-released in 2009. I call foul! Hahaha.

Just kidding. Great lists Sir Bachelor.

Cookbook said...

These are great lists. Reading everyone else's reminded me of some things I'd forgotten about AND I also now know of a few I missed. Interesting to see how diverse the lists are!

Tim said...

after i made my list, i read a bunch of other ones and realized i totally forgot about the sunnO))))))) record, it's so good. i even tried to sell some fm radio metal guys on it at a july 4th barbecue, that didn't go over too well.