All the “Best of” lists have been submitted and consensus among the ninebullets staff has been reached. The winner of the not so coveted “Ninebullets Best Album Of 2011” is:
and my man Charles Hale is willing to fight anyone who disagrees.
This will be the final Top 5 of 2010, so it seems appropriate that it would be a “best of” list. I don’t really think this one requires much explanation. You post your 5 most favorite songs of 2010 as your mood today dictates it to you. I know narrowing the year down to a mere 5 songs is a monumental task but with a little work, I believe you can do it.
Here are mine in alphabetical order:
and my favorite song of 2010: Joe Pug – Not So Sure
I was thinking about making a ninebullets.net readers Top 10 of 2010 comp/post together. I’ll take your comments on this thread until 12/30. After that, I’ll tally the votes and put up the comp in early January. So start commenting.
Well, I guess it’s my turn. Kasey and RSV have already dropped their faves of the year (here and here) on y’all, so there’s just no avoiding it for me now. This year was particularly difficult due to the sheer amount of great music that came out, and had I made this list tomorrow it would certainly change. That said, you can edit forever but eventually you have to settle on something and call it your list. So, with out further ado I am gonna steal RSV’s formatting and get this show on the road:
20. Eilen Jewell – Sea of Tears
19. Those Darlins – Those Darlins
18. Strawfoot – How We Prospered
17. Justin Townes Earl – Midnight at The Movies
16. Malcolm Holcombe – For The Mission Baby
15. Jon Snodgrass – Visitor’s Band
14. Ben Nichols – The Last Pale Light In The West
13. Cam Penner – Trouble and Mercy
12. The Fox Hunt – America’s Working So We Don’t Have To
11. William Elliott Whitmore – Animals In The Dark
Top 10 (with mp3s) are under the cut…
Until this year I had never done a top list of albums or songs. When the subject came up I thought this would be an easy task, after all I write for 9b and make mixes and intros on a regular basis. Music is basically my favorite thing in the world so coming up with my favorites for the year should be easy. Hell I probably wrote a review for most of the albums I would include on a top album list and then a top songs list would be even easier. Was I ever wrong! This took the better part of two weeks to fill out and I had to stop myself at 25 for the top albums of the year according to Romeo Sid Vicious. There was so much good music that came out this year that picking just 25 was hard and then I had to figure out in which order I would rank them. Suffice it to say this task was a labor of love but a lot harder than I imagined it would be. And then while writing it I realized it could be taken as arrogant after all who am I to tell you what the best albums of 2009 were? But I can answer that. I am Romeo-muthafuckin’-Sid-Vicious and here’s the list of what you should have been listening to in 2009 (if you weren’t already).
25. Jackson Taylor – Aces ‘n’ Eights
24. Slow Rollin’ Lows – Erie Street
23. William Elliott Whitmore – Animals In The Dark
22. Jon Snodgrass – Visitors Band
21. Will Hoge – The Wreckage
20. Josh Grider – Sweet Road To Ride
19. The Fox Hunt – America’s Working So We Don’t Have To
18. The Takers – Taker Easy
17. Drag The River – Primer
16. Drag The River – Bad At Breaking Up
15. Band Of Heathens – One Foot In The Ether
14. Cory Branan/Jon Snodgrass – Self Titled
13. Michael Dean Damron – Father’s Day
12. Chris Knight – Trailer Tapes II
11. Truckstop Coffee – For Dear Life
See the top ten below the fold…
Continue reading “ROMEO SID VICIOUS' TOP 25 ALBUMS OF 2009:”
Here it is, the only Best Of 2009 list you’ll ever need. Except for AIV’s list. And romeosidvicious’. And the Bird List. Other than that, though, this is the only one worth reading.
01. Visqueen – Message to Garcia The best rock ‘n’ roll record I’ve heard in years is a love letter to lead singer Rachel Flotard’s deceased father. Not often you hear an epitaph that makes you want to pogo.
02. Neko Case – Middle Cyclone Hey, Neko Case made a great record. Shocking! Just because it has become routine doesn’t mean it’s any less an achievement.
03. Matthew Ryan – Dear Lover A beautiful collection of whispered words that often go unsaid between people.
04. Steve Earle – Townes The most moving eulogy Townes ever received came more than a decade after his passing. One of the best records of Earle’s career.
05. BLK JKS – After Robots Ever wondered what would happen if somebody laid vocals over Explosions in the Sky? Here’s your answer.
06. Tom Russel – Blood and Candle Smoke The best record of Russell’s career thus far is by turns touching, incendiary and smarmy. Russell makes it work.
07. Tom Waits – Glitter and Doom Live Further proof that if Waits is playing within a 500 mile radius of your town, you need to be there.
08. Blakroc – Blakroc Say whatever you like about this record, please just don’t call it Rap-Rock. This is Hip-Hop at it’s “most purest, most rawest,” to borrow a phrase from Eminem.
09. Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid The Black Keys are many things, but I don’t believe I’ve ever heard their songs described as achingly beautiful. Auerbach’s solo record is exactly that.
10. Mos Def – The Ecstatic A welcome return to form for Hip-Hop’s most gifted MC. Now please, don’t make another movie with Bruce Willis, okay? Thanks.
As Charles Durning’s character Henry Larson says in Home for the Holidays (perhaps the greatest holiday film of all time), “Opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one and everyone thinks everyone else’s stinks.”
After sifting through a shitload of opinions (pun totally intended!) and lists over the last month or so, I’ve come to believe that truer words were never spoken. So, with that in mind, here are ten songs I loved in 2009 and five I think you’ll love in 2010.
01. Kings of Leon – “Use Somebody” (from Only By the Night)
JUST KIDDING! Oh man. You should have seen the look on your face!
Okay, seriously now.
THE TOP 10 SONGS OF 2009
01. Steve Earle – “Lungs” (from Townes)
It seems you either love or hate Tom Morello’s inclusion on this track from Earle’s stunning tribute to Townes Van Zandt. Given the position of the song and nature of the list, it should be pretty clear where I fall. Morello’s guitar does the screaming that no vocalist’s inflection could match and, as Townes himself mused once that the song ought better be screamed than sung, that seems pretty appropriate to me.
02. Matthew Ryan – “The World Is…” (from Dear Lover)
It is difficult choosing one stand-out track from Matthew Ryan’s beautiful album Dear Lover (which hit digital storefronts this year but won’t be on actual shelves until February 16, 2010), but “The World Is…” is a gracefully falling prayer; a summation of everything that makes Dear Lover such a gorgeous, haunting record.
03. Mos Def – “Quiet Dog” (from The Ecstatic)
The syncopated, vibrant single from Mos Def’s impressive new record marked the welcomed return of an artist whose artistic credibility, while never in jeopardy, had certainly taken a few hits thanks to three years’ worth of questionable film roles and one clearly phoned-in record. Please let that be the last creative hiatus, Mos. We need you.
04. Bob Dylan – “It’s All Good” (from Together Through Life)
Would have been the most wickedly funny thing Dylan did in 2009 but then he went and made that mindbending “Must Be Santa” video, which is sure to haunt my dreams for years to come. Thanks again, Bob.
05. Neko Case – “I’m An Animal” (from Middle Cyclone)
Everyone fawned over “People Got a Lotta Nerve” and rightfully so, but “I’m An Animal” is far and away my favorite track from the phenomenal Middle Cyclone.
06. The Low Anthem – “To Ohio (Reprise)” (from Oh My God, Charlie Darwin)
I’ve heard this song arranged five different ways, and each time though, “this is the one.” I guess when a song is this good, the arrangement is secondary.
07. Visqueen – “Beautiful Amnesia” (from Message to Garcia)
Rachel Flotard penned an entire album’s worth of anthems, but if I had to choose one song to represent the brilliant Message to Garcia (and, as luck would have it, I did), “Beautiful Amnesia” would be that song. I’m a sucker for a melody.
08. Son Volt – “Cocaine and Ashes” (from American Central Dust)
Anyone still wanna have the “Farrar’s writing has gotten lazy, he’s stretched himself too thin with asinine solo albums and side projects, he’ll never write anything as good as ‘Windfall’ again” conversation? I thought not.
09. The Swell Season – “Low Rising” (from Strict Joy)
It sounds a shitload like vintage Van Morrison but, y’know what? I fucking love vintage Van Morrison.
10. Will Hoge – “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” (from The Wreckage)
Also from the “sounds a shitload like” file (Tom Petty), but when a song is this good, you’ll get no complaint from me. There’s a reason Petty has written roughly 7,000 hits, and it’s this real simple formula: great verse melody, mammoth chorus, tasteful guitar and keys. Guess which Hoge employs for this anthemic mini-masterpiece? (Hint: All of ’em.)
FIVE YOU’LL LOVE IN 2010
01. Kasey Anderson – “I Was A Photograph” (from Nowhere Nights, available February 16, 2010)
Yes, it’s my song and yes, I listed it first. I’m going to keep doing so until everyone I know, and everyone they know, knows about James Blake Miller.
02. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists – “Even Heroes Have to Die” (from The Brutalist Bricks, available March 9, 2010)
Some jagbag referred to this song as “a John Melencamp jackoff party with the Cars.” I don’t hear it. What I do hear is Leo doing what he does best, blending influences from all over the map into one streamlined, sonic knockout punch. No need for hyperbole or euphemism, Ted Leo is really fucking good.
03. Spoon – “Written in Reverse” (from Transference, available January 19, 2010)
Sounds like a new Spoon single, alright. Which, for me, is always a good thing.
04. Chip Robinson – “Mylow” (from Mylow, available Spring 2010)
I don’t often speak in absolutes but if you don’t love this song, there’s something seriously wrong with you.
05. Joe Pug – “Not So Sure” (from Messenger, available Spring 2010)
If Joe Pug’s Nation of Heat EP didn’t knock you out, 1) what the hell is the matter with you? 2) his full-length debut, Messenger, will.
The idea was to collect a sampling of the “Americana music blogging community’s” top 20 of 2009 lists and apply a point system to each slot. Then, let the numbers tell the story of what the Americana music collective as a whole thought were the best albums of the year (the BCS of Americana music?). Since we here at ninebullets walk a little to the side of most Americana music fans’ well-beaten paths, many of the artists on our lists aren’t even included in this particular Top 20 list (none of our best of the year selections are even on the list). Still, all three of us did take part and while it needs some tweaking on the back end, it as a good idea with an albeit bad name.
I thought this “best of” would be a good way to start off all the 9b fave lists cause it’s (imo) the most palatable. It’s, if you’ll allow me the analogy, commercial radio while our individual lists are college radio*. So without further ado, I present The Bird List‘s Top 20 Albums of 2009 (links are to the 9b reviews I had):
Contributing Blogs: A Fifty Cent Lighter, A Truer Sound, Alt-512, Amber Waves of Twang, Americana Rock Mix, Americana Roots, Beat Surrender, Because Whit Happens, Country California, Country Music Pride, Farce The Music, For The Sake of The Song, Front Porch Musings, Heartworn Highways, High Noon Saloon, It’s Great To Be Alive, Kim Ruehl (No Depression), Juli Thanki, (The 9513), Romeo Sid Vicious, More Cowbelle, My Aimz Is True, Ninebullets, Sounds Country, The Gobbler’s Knob, There’s Always Someone Cooler Than You, This Mornin’ I Am Born Again, Twang Nation, Twangville, Freight Train Boogie, When You Awake
* My list. Donkey Kong. Your list. Pokemon.
I made this list of albums 2 weeks ago and I’ve reordered it once or twice each day since. At some point during that 2 week span, each album was placed at the number one position and I am so torn as I prepare to actually type this that I contemplated not picking a single top album at all, but where’s the fun in that? Any of the top 6 could have easily been the number 1 album, but in the end I went with my gut and selected the album that I kept coming back to. So, here is my list for the top 10 albums of 2008. If you’re interested in an honorable mention list, just head over to the essential listening list (hurry, cause it’ll be reset soon).
11. John Mellencamp – Life, Death, Love and Freedom
Okay, I know I said I wasn’t gonna do an honorable mention list, but I decided to mention this one anyway. Every time I tell people it’s an awesome album they roll their eyes at me. In my original piece about the album I said, “Maybe it’s his age. Maybe it was the backlash from the last album. Who knows what it was and really, who cares? The point is, it seems that on Life, Death, Love, And Freedom Mellencamp has put aside chasing commercial success and decided to pursue the goal of putting together a complete album of strong tracks from beginning to end and, outside of “My Sweet Love”, I must say he succeeded.” Time with the album has not lessened my enthusiasm at all.
10. Grayson Capps – Rott N’ Roll
I am so glad I now know who Grayson Capps is. His 2007 effort, Songbones, was my introduction and this year’s effort, Rott N’ Roll, was a great follow-up. From my original piece on the album, “I find myself drawn to the drunks, whores and vagabonds that haunt Grayson’s songs. They’re like old friends you keep up with via letters in the mail, and with a new album comes new updates.”
09. The Whipsaws – 60 Watt Avenue
Man, if I was gonna choose a “rock and roll” album of the year, this album from a little band in Anchorage would win going away. From my original post about the album, “The Whipsaws are a rock and roll band from Anchorage, Alaska. There’s no shortage of people who will refer to them as an alt.country act based on their country debut, Ten Day Bender, but 60 Watt Avenue is a rock and roll album sans a subgenre hyphen. Sounding like an early version of the Drive-by Truckers without that early Trucker twang, they have released a great bar room rocker of an album.”
08. Black Diamond Heavies – A Touch of Someone Else’s Class
These guys are one of my favorite bands in the “punk blues” movement. This year I finally got to see them live (twice), plus they graced us with a new album. From my original piece on the album, “The Black Diamond Heavies are not for the uninitiated…Nay, the Black Diamond Heavies are for people who are ready to feel sin and salvation through the low end of a B3, with a tumbler full of whiskey and John Wesley Myers’ growl as a drinking partner. I’d been kicking around various ways to describe BDH’s sound and then I saw it spelled out perfectly on a CMJ review of Someone Else’s Class as such, “humid tone over heated tunes.”
The Black Diamond Heavies – Bidin’ My Time
07. Possessed By Paul James – Cold and Blind
Easily the wife’s favorite album of the year, she even tried to convince me that it need to be mine or sex would be withheld. Needless to say, I am gonna be a little tense for a while. In all seriousness, though, seeing Possessed By Paul James was surely my favorite show of the year. As I said in my original piece on the album, “Cold and Blind features Konrad incorporating fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, stomp box, the occasional diddly boe, grunts, hollers and a kind honesty that you rarely hear, but once you do, cannot deny.” and seeing him live makes you realize just how genuine that is.
06. Tim Barry – Manchester
I am really late to it, but the more I listen to him the more I wanna be the one driving the Tim Barry bandwagon. The pure brutal honesty of Tim’s songs is the draw. This is from my original piece on the album, “Tim Barry isn’t really the type of music you toss on for background music and it grabs you. Tim’s music wants you to sit down and listen to it. Hear the lyrics and feel them. If you do that you’ll know what I’ve recently learned: That Tim Barry and his new album are essential listening.”
05. Drag The River – You Can’t Live This Way
Any album from here on out could have easily been my album of the year depending on what time of what day I was writing the piece. Before this album was released the band “kind of” split up, and when I wrote my original piece on the album we all thought it was their final release. As a result I wrote the following, “Regardless of what is going on with the band, though, the fact is that they have a new album in stores tomorrow and if it really is their final release, it’s a fucking shame. Passing on the ‘almost all drinking songs’ formula, You Can’t Live This Way is easily the most mature effort of their catalog. It seems like the guys were/are finally beginning to fully realize themselves as songwriters and as a band, and to cut that short is a pity.” They are supposed to have another album coming out this year and they are playing here in Tampa in 2 weeks, so I’m thinking the rumors of their demise may have been a little overstated.
04. Justin Townes Earl – The Good Life
I knew this album was destined for my top 10 list the moment I heard it. Sad thing is, hearing it almost never happened. As I said in my original piece, “I’m not sure what I was expecting from Justin’s Bloodshot debut, The Good Life, but it wasn’t much. I don’t know why, either. I had never heard anything from his debut EP, Yuma, but when it came down to it I was only giving The Good Life a courtesy listen. Regardless of what I was expecting, what I got was one of the best albums so far this year.”
03. Two Cow Garage – Speaking in Cursive
Easily the best album in their career, I was totally hoping to hear it on satellite radio by now and it very well may have found it’s way onto XM had Sirius not come along and ruined it. It’s hard for a band that you already adore to continually meet your ever-expanding expectations, but Two Cow has managed to do it time and time again. The very fact that this album isn’t #1 on my list is a testament to how good this year’s releases were. Nonetheless, this album is a must listen for anyone who frequents this site. As I said in my original piece on the album, “The amount of ground that this band has covered from The Wall Against Our Back to III to Speaking In Cursive is more than many bands cover in their entire career. The maturity level of their musicianship and Micah’s songwriting is night and day over that 3 album span. There really is no unbiased way for me to talk about this album, I just love it too damned much. I mean, it’s not just Essential Listening, it’s album of the year candidate.”
02. Left Lane Cruiser – Bring Yo’ Ass To The Table
It was so hard for me not to make this the album of the year. So very difficult…the album was everything I was hoping for from their label debut. There ain’t a track on it that I ever hit skip on it and there ain’t a mood I’ve found that the album ain’t perfect for. I could gush about this album for 400 words, but I think I summed it up in my original piece about the album, “Joe and Brenn headed into Painesville, Ohio’s Suma Studios, a studio full of reel to reels and vinyl cutting machines, and emerged with a blues-fueled, rock-driven cd on the verge of a whiskey rage. This is a must add to the Essential Listening list and currently my favorite cd of this young year. You like this site? You’ll love this disc…”
drum roll please…………………………………
01. Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – Cipher
I dunno what it is but there is something about this album. It’s infectious. As I said in my original piece about the album, “SCAC writes big songs, I don’t really know how else to describe it. They aren’t heavy, they aren’t loud, and they’re rarely disposable. They are often labeled as “gothic country” due to the intermingling of Old Testament and apocalyptic religion with bad relationships, alcohol, and murder. If nothing else, SCAC is, IMO, one of the best bands in America that hardly any one’s heard of, and they just released what might be the best album of the year in Cipher.” Turns out, IMO, it is the album of the year. If I listen to it on Monday I’ll still be singing the songs on Saturday. It’s vintage Slim and Munly and that’s hard to beat…and in 2008 nothing else did.
That’s it. The album you’re thinking should have been on my list probably would have been had I made it 15 albums long. Let’s hope 2009 is as musically awesome as 2008 was. Speaking of 2009, I’ll see y’all then.
Take care and Be Safe (cause I need your traffic next year)
OKAY! I know I said I wasn’t gonna do an honorable mentions list but I do wanna list the bands that were on the short list that I mentioned at the beginning of the post. All of these bands made music this that you should look into but were left off my final 10 list for some reason or another: Bean Pickers Union – Potlach, Ben Nichols – Last Pale Light In The West, Drive-By Truckers – Brighter Than Creations Dark, The Black Keys – Attack & Release, Those Poor Bastards – Satan Is Watching, Old Crow Medicine Show – Tennessee Pusher, The Steeldrivers – The Steeldrivers
Today I’d like to address my list of the Top 10 Songs of 2008. Much like what will become my 2008 Top Albums list, this one is in constant flux. However, unlike the Top Albums list, my top 5 songs are always my top 5, so let’s take a look at what I think the best songs of the year were:
10. Grayson Capps – Ike (I am a complete sucker for story songs and this is an especially awesome one.)
09. Possessed By Paul James – Ferris Wheel (This was the first PPJ song to really grab me. Much like the artist himself, it’s simple but powerful)
08. Ben Nichols – Toadvine (Easily the standout track on Ben’s solo debut based on the novel, Blood Meridian)
07. The Whipsaws – Jessie Jane (This song is 100% pure rock and roll. I wish my local bar jukebox had it so I could drunk sing the chorus)
06. Left Lane Cruiser – Big Mama (Really, I could have picked any song off LLC’s Alive Records debut and been happy with it. It’s finding bands like LLC that keep me jazzed on doing 9b)
05. The Black Diamond Heavies – Smoothe It Out (First, the song is awesome. Second, I think it perfectly captures everything that is BDH…funky, sexy and raw as a fresh blister…if this song don’t make you bob your head and tap your feet you better be a fucking paraplegic)
04. Drive-By Truckers – Daddy Needs A Drink (IMO, probably one of the prettiest and saddest songs of the year. Also, the lead off track in my own personal life’s soundtrack)
03. Two Cow Garage – Swingset Assassin (I first heard this song on a demo Micah and his Dad did together. I always hoped it would end up a 2CG song. Great lyrics about coming of age through music. One of the three best songs Two Cow has ever done)
02. Justin Townes Earl – Lone Pine Hill (Just an awesome song lyrically, musically. I love this song. I could seriously listen to it 15 times in a row and not get tired of it…Just ask my workmates.)
01. Tim Barry – “222” (This song kills me. It was killing me before I even knew the backstory. Upon learning that…jesus effing christ. “222” was written about one of Tim’s best friends, Travis Conner, who passed at the beginning of this year. The honest emotion and purity of lyrics present in all of Tim’s music is especially moving in this tribute. It is my second most listened to song this year and I’ve only had the album since November)
There you go. The top 10 songs of 2008 per Autopsy IV and ninebullets.net.
As an added bonus I went through the ninebullets.net Essential Listening of 2008 List and grabbed a song from each album and am making that file available for download. But be warned, it checks in at 46 tracks and 156 megabytes of pure awesome.
Hope some of y’all enjoy it.
This is my last post for 2007….I am about to head up to Washington DC to see the new year in in some actual cold weather….See y’all Jan. 3…
Here it is. My favorite album this year is by a band from West Virginia, The Fox Hunt. I know what you’re thinking…Another blogger trying to find some obscure album to call the best so he can look cool and elite and make himself feel important. For all of those reasons, I almost made this my #5 pick but in the end I decided to go with honesty and let the pieces fall where they may. Here are the facts though:
Nowhere Bound has managed to find it’s way into and onto every piece of equipment I listen to music on. My personal iPod, the wife’s iPod, our iPod shuffle, it’s on all three computers and my work computer, it’s in my car and in the wife’s car. No other cd released this year has managed to replicate itself into every place where I might listen to music and I continually find myself queing it up when I need a break from listening to new bands. Point is, obscure or not, this is my favorite album of the year…it is what it is:
Somewhere on the highway between Drag the River and Lucero, there is an exit with a dive bar. The Fox Hunt, out of Martinsburg, West Virginia, is that bar’s house band. If I was required to cull the essential listening list down today and produce a list of the top 5 cd’s of the first half of 2007, “Nowhere Bound” would be on that list without a doubt.
Can you tell I like these guys? I’m not trying to say they produced a perfect cd. Nobody does. A few of the songs need maturity, and time will pull their dive bar further and further away from the DTR/Lucero exit, but for a debut these guys have most definitely released something to be proud of. Besides, drinking music ain’t about perfection. Leave that crap to the club kids. This is front porch brown bottle music.
The Fox Hunt is John R. Miller (Vocals, guitar, bass), Matt Kline (Vocals, guitar, bass), Matt Metz (Mandolin, harmonies) and Ben Townsend (Fiddle, banjo, harmonies). Their debut cd “Nowhere Bound” is available on Skull City Records. If you have been sitting around wondering what was gonna fill the hole left by the Drag the River implosion, then I advise you to take a look at these guys. They don’t focus on drinking with the macro lens like DTR did, but they are a fine damn band nonetheless.