Tuesday, December 22, 2009

TVD's Got ThinkIndie's Top Releases for 2009

Andrew from ThinkIndie wraps up his '09 Best Of list this morning and no time too soon. I'm getting more list-averse as we get closer to the end of the year. Is it just me? Anyway, his picks are solid. Onward!

Doom - Born Like This
MF Doom is back, but this time just as Doom. Samples from tv shows and movies are spread all over this album just like any Doom album is. He's smooth with his rhymes and has the mellow beats and such behind em. When it comes to hip hop, Doom has always sold extremely well at indie stores. The thing I love most about Doom is the fact he raps about super villains, comic books and other "nerd" based items.

Shrinebuilder - S/T
I wrote about this before, but can't say enough about it. They have such an awesome lineup with a huge amount of great music that each member has done on their own. You can get a bunch of big name musicians together to make a "super group" but it doesn't mean it's going to work out that great. I mean, look at Audioslave or Velvet Revolver. Yeah they were big sellers but they were never better than the bands the musicians came from. This is not the case with Shrinebuilder. You hear the bits and pieces of Sleep, Saint Vitus and Neurosis mesh together perfectly all the while the sound of the drums is perfect Melvins. It's not that long of an album, but it's still a best buy of the year.

Tom Waits - Glitter And Doom Live
I've never gotten the chance to see Tom Waits live even though he tours all the time, ohhh how rad it would be if he toured more, and I think this album best represents what I've missed out on. The way in which this album was recorded is perfect cause you get to here the natural reverb of the venue. If feels like you're there watching the show. I've seen many videos of Waits performing live so I know how he get's into the performances with his body gestures and facial expressions and In my mind I can kind of see what he would be looking like at the time these songs are being performed. It's nice to hear some of the older "classics" from Rain Dogs and Bone Machine as well as stuff off the Orphans box set that was released a few years ago. Each track was recorded at a different city on the tour yet it sounds like one show. Perfect live album.

Blackroc - S/T
The Black Keys team up with some of the biggest names in Hip Hop. Names such as Raekwon, RZA, Jim Jones of the Diplomats, Mos Def, Pharoahe Monch, Ludacris and Q-tip to name a few. I'm normally not a big fan of bands I like teaming up with artists in different genres, just look at how crappy the Mooney Suzuki has been since they teamed up with the Matrix production team, but this album is awesome. The Black Keys already played a style of music that was perfect for hip hop to sample so why not just have the band play it live. I think that's why I like Mos Def so much cause he uses a live band for his backing tracks. The great thing about this album is that it's an indie store exclusive, with the exception of the digital version, so go down to your local store and pick it up.

Pearl Jam - Backspacer
Pearl Jam was the first concert I ever went to when I was just 14 years old. They will always be my Beatles and they've never let me down with anything they have ever done. This album is their first album they released completely on their own without any label support. Yes they signed a deal with Target and iTunes, but they also demanded that the album be sold to indie retail as well. They know where they are supported and know that if it wasn't for indie retail they might not be where they are today. They even played an instore at Easy Street Records in Seattle to ONLY record store owners for the sole reason of recording it and releasing it as an Indie only release. "Backspacer" is one of the shortest Pearl Jam records, but this doesn't mean it lacks any substance. It's starts off rocking then when you get to the track "Just Breathe" it mellows out a bit and "Supersonic" is just that. It's a driving track that will make you step down just a little harder on the gas pedal if your listening to it in the car. Support the band and indie retail buy buying the album.

Mariachi El Bronx - S/T
I spoke about this before. If you missed it, here it is again. Growing up in SoCal with the Mexican border anywhere from 30-120 minutes (depending on where you live) from your house you get a special appreciation for the Mexican culture. The Bronx, a punk/hardcore band from Los Angeles embraces this culture on their new release as Mariachi El Bronx. When it comes to mariachi music you know you're doing something right when you have David Hidalgo of Los Lobos doing a guest spot on your record. I've been listening to this album a bunch since it came out and it's near the top of my "best of 09" album list for sure.

Obits - I Blame You
Obits were one of the most anticipated artists of 2009 by many people out there. It's funny that a band has such a big following before they've even released any music. Their first ever show was recorded by a fan and posted on the net and it spread like wild fire. Then again, this wild fire was like if there was a field of dead grass covered in gas and then set aflame with a blow torch. Singer/guitarist Rick Froberg was previously in the bands Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes which were big names in the indie rock community because they both also featured John Reis of Rocket From The Crypt. People were really looking to see what Rick was doing music wise and the Obits didn't let em down. They released a 7" single for the song "One Cross Apiece" and it sold out extremely fast. They got signed to Sub Pop and the wheels started turning a bit faster. "I Blame You" is a great rock n roll record with 2 guitar parts going their separate ways only to end up in the same place at the end. Solid rhythm section with the bass going off on little fills here and there. To top it all off, they also released a 7" single for the song "I Can't Lose" which was released on Record Store Day and also sold out extremely fast. I'm gonna have to say that I pick Obits for band of the year. But that's just me.

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