Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 30 Most Listened to Songs of 2009

For the uninitiated, I have a slight OCD issue when it comes to charting music. If I listen to a song in my library, I note it - even if I hear it on my car radio or at the bar. My wife simply laughs at this point.

Anyway, these are the songs I listened to the most during 2009.

30. The Magnetic Fields - 100,000 Fireflies
29. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Skeletons
28. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - The Giant's Causeway
27. Stars - Ageless Beauty
26. My Morning Jacket - Touch Me I'm Going to Scream, Part 1
25. Metric - Help I'm Alive
24. Metric - Gimme Sympathy
23. TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me
22. The Hold Steady - Atlantic City
21. Animal Collective - Lion in a Coma
20. Dinosaur Jr. - Pieces
19. Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
18. BBU - Chi Don't Dance
17. Animal Collective - My Girls
16. Kelly Clarkson - My Life Would Suck Without You
15. Crystal Castles - Knights
14. Fall Out Boy - Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet
13. MGMT - Kids
12. The Magnetic Field - Three-Way
11. Animal Collective - Brother Sport
10. M83 - We Own the Sky
9. Deerhunter - Nothing Ever Happened
8. The XX - Intro
7. The Hold Steady - Cattle and the Creeping Things
6. Phoenix - 1901
5. P.O.S. - Goodbye
4. Animal Collective - Summertime Clothes
3. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Isis Unveiled
2. P.O.S. - Low Light Low Life
1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll

Top 20 Albums of 2009

Presented without comment. Number one is number one by a mile. Most of the rest of the list has a certain level of interchangability. What this list does have in common, though, is that each of these albums has been greatly enjoyed over the course of the year. I heard a lot of music this year (probably upwards of 150 or so albums), and this is the stuff that grabbed me more than any of the rest.

Tomorrow, I'll post the list of songs that I listened to most in the year 2009, and on the 2nd or 3rd, I'll post a list of other notable music that I listened to over the course of the year.

20. Grizzly Bear

19. Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears
Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!

18. Florence and the Machine

17. Metric

16. Matt & Kim

15. Memory Tapes
Seek Magic

14. The Decemberists
The Hazards of Love

13. Mastodon
Crack the Skye

12. Viva Voce
Rose City

11. DOOM
Born Like This

10. Hollerado
Record in a Bag

9. Future of the Left
Travels With Myself and Another

8. Fuck Buttons
Tarot Sport

7. The xx

6. Phoenix
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

5. Animal Collective
Merriweather Post Pavilion

4. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
Century of Self

3. Dinosaur Jr.

2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
It's Blitz!

1. P.O.S.
Never Better

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top 20 Songs of 2009

So, I decided to put album art in along with my favorite songs of the year. Hopefully it looks semi-decent. Since the bastards killed iMeem, I'm embedding the lala player to let you all have a listen (which I encourage you to do). You can only listen once, though... so the search continues for a good internet streaming site.

20. The Big Pink
A Brief History of Love

A Brief History of Love, indeed. The Big Pink seem to flirt with the idea of 'love' throughout the album, but the sentiment only really pokes through on "Velvet". It's a very brief look back (before dismissing the notion entirely). The track itself is the perfect distilling of the band's sound - hypnotic and big. The fuzzy guitars and bass envelop the listener as we watch the world's shortest romance unfold. As long as you can't bring yourself to put in the effort to make it work, this may as well be your soundtrack.

19. Wavves
Cool Jumper

Download MP3

I was more than content to lump Wavves in with the overhyped lo-fi ‘shitgaze’ movement and move on - I still am, actually. Nothing on Wavvves did anything for me (it was, in fact, one of my least enjoyable listening experiences of the year, and it’s a testament to how overhyped this album was that I even finished the full thing). Then he had to drop this. Where Wavvves mostly just tried to sound as bored as possible, ‘Cool Jumper’ pulses, lurches and pounds – synths stab and blast the ears as Nathan Williams sort of half-shouts a bunch of stuff that doesn’t really have any connection with reality, but sounds really awesome none the less. Six minutes blur together, and by the time it’s over, you end up wishing that he’d have just one more go at the hook. I quite literally destroyed my car’s rear speakers using this song – and, hey, the rattling buzz of a blown speaker makes this song sound even better. Cool.

18. DOOM
Born Like This

90% of the time DOOM's lyrics verge on world salad, but "turn a man into a mannequin for aflacin" is a lyric that spent more time wedged in my head than almost any other. (Under) two minutes of vintage Doom.

17. The Decemberists
"The Rake's Song"
The Hazards of Love

A good story needs a villain, and if there's one thing the Decemberists know, it's how to make loathsome villains. It shouldn't be any surprise that they gave the villain the best, most catchy song on The Hazards of Love. What is sort of surprising is how fun a song about a homicidal baby killer ends up being. The Rake as a character should probably be one of the more hated characters in fiction. Instead, you end up as a willing accomplice after the fact - all right, indeed.

16. The Gregory Brothers
Autotune the News #5


Autotune the News is a novel concept. Some fine folk take out-of-context video of talking heads jabbering about current events, run them through autotune, and make sweet sweet music out of the whole thing. What could be mere novelty, however, becomes bona-fide good music due to the effort level of all involved. My favorite tune is number 5, where news reports on American exceptionalism, reporter confusion, and smoking lettuce are transformed into a banger. The craziest part about the whole song is how it fits together. From Joe Biden singing “God Bless America” (in space, no less), to Rep. Steve Buyer’s passionate cries that “it’s not the nicotine that kills, it’s the smoke”, it all feels like it was meant to go together.

15. Dinosaur Jr.
"I Don't Wanna Go There

Not much to be said other than that this one rocks shit out. How on earth was this not the last song on the CD? 'Imagination Blind' is a great song, too, but let's not kid ourselves. In a perfect world, 'Imagination Blind' is the 11th song on Farm, with the ferocious guitars in "I Don't Wanna Go There" closing out the CD the way it was meant to. What were they thinking?

14. Florence and the Machine
"Drumming Song

I summed it up yesterday: Florence Welch + pounding drums = kickass song.

13. Animal Collective
"My Girls
Merriweather Post Pavilion

What exactly is there to say about this song that a hundred other people haven't already said?

How about "OOOOoooooohh!!"

12. Metric
"Gimme Sympathy

If there's any justice in the world, this will replace "Anthems of a 17 Year Old Girl" as Emily Haines' defining moment.

Now then, since there's almost certainly no such justice in the world, Metric will have to be content with the knowledge that this is the best song they've ever made, and probably ever will make.

11. Dan Deacon
"Build Voice

Usually, Dan Deacon grates on me with his weirdness. I'm not really used to having a song where a sample using the classic Woody Woodpecker laugh is the least insane thing going on. On "Build Voice", though, Deacon puts together a (for him) fairly straightforward song. True to its title, the song builds upon a simple vocal. "Hello, my ghost, I'm here, I'm home". It doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, but it doesn't have to. By the time the voice goes soaring toward the end (mentioned yesterday in my top 20 moments of '09 post), the whole thing explodes into a tornado of pianos, trumpets, rapid-fire snares, and synthesizers - all somehow kept in check by the surprisingly strong voiced Deacon. I would love to see an album built around controlled insanity like this, much as that might crush longtime fans of his.

10. Grizzly Bear
"Two Weeks"



The live version of "While You Wait For the Others" was my number one song last year, while "Two Weeks" left me, if not exactly cold, sort of indifferent. When Veckatimest came out, the roles were reversed. The studio version of "While You Wait..." is good, but doesn't quite hit the same heights that the live recording did (much as I hate to be "that guy"). "Two Weeks", on the other hand, is completely brilliant. From the opening plonked out piano, to the "ah-ah-ah-AH-ah..." to the chorus, the song deserves every good thing that's been said about it.

9. Animal Collective
"Summertime Clothes
Merriweather Post Pavilion

Sure, "My Girls" got all the love, and it deserves all of that love. It's a great song - it's just that this one's better. It's got a bouncier rhythm, it got a (for me, anyway) catchier, more energetic chorus. My wife didn't run screaming from the room when I played it. You see? Advantages. Besides, it's just nice to hear a sentiment like "I want to walk around with you". Who doesn't love that idea?

8. The Hold Steady
"Atlantic City
War Child Presents: Heroes

Bruce Springsteen is generally not my cup of tea, but his followers (The Gaslight Anthem, Neon Bible-era Arcade Fire, the Hold Steady, etc.) certainly are. I was passingly familiar of the original 'Atlantic City' when I was made aware of the Hold Steady's cover. One listen was all I needed to completely love it. It's the saxophones, of course. They give the song even more urgency. Some have complained the the band is missing the point, and that could certainly be true. I don't pretend to know much about the potency of the original. What I do know is that Craig Finn has his own take on a classic without completely rebuilding or sounding like a copycat while at the same time putting out a song that a person can fall in love with on its own merits.

7. Phoenix
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Insanely catchy beat? Check. Shoutable hook? Check. Perfect running time? Double check. The song doesn't waste a single second. Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus/outro - the guys have the listener by the ears the entire time, and damned if they don't know it. This is about as perfect as pop music got in 2009.

6. P.O.S.
Never Better

I technically heard this at the very end of last year. It seemed to mark a shift for P.O.S. toward more mainstream driven music. This, as it turns out, is really the only one of its kind on the CD, offering a brief glimpse into the kind of music he could be making. Even then, he's staying on the fringe. "Don't let them tell you what you think is cool". In a perfect world, this song would've been all over the place... then again, what would this guy write about in a perfect world?

5. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
"Isis Unveiled
The Century of Self

This song is the perfect synthesis between the newer more polished, ‘epic’ Trail of Dead and the older, more ragged guitar squalls that made everyone fall in love with them in the first place. Sure, the “we’ll pardon all of them” segment goes on a little long, but that part is awesome. The beginning bass line breaking into the driving guitar riff is chill inducing. If this is the direction Trail of Dead continue toward in the future, then So Divided was more than worth it.

4. Fuck Buttons
"Surf Solar
Tarot Sport

This is a HUGE song. Well, of course it is – I mean, it’s ten and a half minutes long – but that’s not what I mean. One sample, 8 seconds long, repeated 54 times sounds like the height of overblown monotony, but it’s the way the wall of sound engulfs the whole thing, swelling and growing in fury (but also in beauty) until it can’t possibly squeeze any more raw power in, and then gently receding. Given the wrong mood, this track is merely one of the best songs of the year. Given the right mood, you could swear this beast was alive.

3. P.O.S.
"Low Light Low Life
Never Better

On any given day, I waver over who's carrying this song to the ridiculous heights it achieves. Sims' and Dessa have never sounded better, Stef's verse is awesome, even Cecil Otter's little callout at the end of the main hook is killer. The whole thing is a full group affair and works to each artist's strengths. Of all the songs P.O.S. has ever done, this is the one that sticks with me - this is the one I was waiting for at the Doomtree Blowout (and it did not disappoint). Let's give them all a win on this one.

2. Dinosaur Jr.

This was, sadly, my first experience with Dinosaur Jr. I'd heard of them, but had never taken the time to go out and find any of their older stuff. After about a minute of "Pieces", I was hunting down everything I could find from them. This song (and indeed, the rest of the album, but we'll get to that tomorrow), is just about everything I want in a rock song - buoyantly crunchy guitar melody, great earnest vocals, and it doesn't let up, not even for a second. I love the rest of Farm, and I've found a lot to love about Dinosaur Jr.'s back catalog, but this is still my favorite. Then again, this has quickly climbed to one of the my favorite songs, period.

1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
"Heads Will Roll
It's Blitz!

I first heard "Heads Will Roll" way back in February, at a very low volume, on my work computer's crappy speaker. Even then, I loved this song enough to jot down this simple thought about it: "I've been looking for a song to feel exactly this way about for months now."

That still sums up my thoughts on it pretty well.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top 20 Moments in Music of 2009

20. Animal Collective - Brother Sport
"open up your - open up your - open your…"

"No More Runnin" almost feels like the way Merriweather Post Pavilion is supposed to end. It certainly has the space to unwind after the energetic "Lion in a Coma". Then with a "ooh!" Brother Sport takes off - the hypnotic beginning driving itself into the listener's head upon first listen, and only getting more infectious thereafter.

19. Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
"Ra ra ah-ah-ah"

I tried to hate this song. I still kind of do, actually. What's undeniable, however (other than the song's bonkers music video) is the song's chanted opening. It's ominous, exciting, and danceable (you know, if I were a dancing man, that is), all at the same time. I suppose the song's kind of growing on me - this part doesn't have to.

18. Dinosaur Jr. - Pieces
"The opening riff"

Not much to say except that from the first time I heard the opening riff to "Pieces" I knew I was going to love the CD it came from. A great start to one of the best songs (and albums) of the year.

17. The Lonely Island - I'm On a Boat
"T-Pain gets it on... with a mermaid"

You've heard this. You know the T-Pain verse is awesome (Poseidon, look at me? Tell me that's not awesome). The way that all these borderline ridiculous things are delivered makes it seem just as relevant as anything that anyone else might say. And now, T-Pain is saying that he had sex with a mermaid - seems plausible to me.

16. Dan Deacon - Build Voice
"The voice soars - then everything come apart at the seams"

I'll be discussing this song further tomorrow, suffice to say that the best part of the song is right after his voice reaches its peak. Every part of the song that's been building the entire song hits critical mass and breaks free. I might like Mr. Deacon's music most of the time, but during this song, he brings it.

15. The Handsome Furs - I'm Confused

"I'm Confused" starts with a low hum, which gives way to a groovy drum beat. Suddenly with a shout, the guitar blares in. It's the exact opposite of subtle; it blares out and grabs attention. It's bizarrely fun for a song that seems to dwell on confusion. The listener doesn't care about any of that, though, it's all about that guitar. It's the type of guitar sound you want to start a band for, just so you could possibly replicate it - the type of sound you would pay to see the band live for, even if they sucked (which they don't) just so you could soak it in. If that sounds like hyperbole, it's worth noting that so other song made me smile as much this year as this one.

14. Wavves - Cool Jumper

After each refrain of "Cool Jumper", there's a blast of melodic noise that demands to be heard as loud as the stereo will allow. I'm listening to the song as I type this little blurb. It's late, and Linds is in bed, so I have to keep the volume relatively low. Every time that blast comes dribbling out of the speakers (when it should be waking the neighbors and causing domestic disputes) two things happen... I start inexplicably air-guitaring, and I fight the reflex to turn the volume dial all the way to the right. If you ever hear me whining about getting fined for noise violations, just know - this song won... it was probably inevitable.

13. Black Joe Lewis - Get Yo Shit
"Naw, you dumbass, it's Roxanne"

There's no reason for this to be on this list, except I literally laughed aloud the first time I heard it....and then again the second time I heard it. I mean, come on, the second time I heard Tenacious D I merely smirked at most of the stuff on it. When the narrator of the song forgets his woman's name only to be reminded "Naw, you dumbass... it's Roxanne... spell it", that's gold.

12. Future of the Left - Arming Eritrea
"The main riff hits"

Each verse, when singer Andy Falkous is done berating 'Rick' for his many crimes, the band launches with gusto into a most glorious riff. Listening to it, I can only describe the feeling as almost a floating feeling - an undeniably angry, enraged levitating feeling. This one's another that deserves to be blasted on as loud a stereo as can be found (it also makes for great driving music - road ragers need not apply, though... seriously, you people are crazy enough the way it is, no need to fuel any fires).

11. Florence & the Machine - Drumming Song
"Sweeter than heaven / Hotter than hell"

Florence Welch has a commanding voice. Team that with an heavy, insistent drum beat and you've got a recipe for a knockout song. Taking about the electric feeling of being near someone you care deeply about, she sings "Louder than sirens, Louder than bells / Sweeter than heaven, Hotter than hell." Who doesn't know what that feeling is all about? It's got great delivery, great force, and is completely relatable.

10. Phoenix - Love Like a Sunset, Part I
"Muted guitar kicks in"

In direct contrast to the super sugary pop that fills the rest of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix stands the first section of Love Like a Sunset. The fact that it's an instrumental might have something to do with that, but whereas the rest of the album is bright, this song has a dark (but not threatening) undercurrent to it. It's the type of music that would be perfect for walking around under a starry sky. Once the muted guitars kick in a little over two minutes in, everything is made perfect. I love muted guitars in these types of instrumentals, and this is definitely one of the better uses of them that I've heard (though Phoenix is generally quite good about adding in a dash of muted guitars - just another reason they're so good).

9. Ramona Falls - I Say Fever
"The piano at the end of each chorus"

It's tough to pick a distinct part of this song that's the best. On any given day, it could be the crunchy guitars that follow the hook, it could be bridge (I love Brent Knopf's voice during the bridge), or it could simply be the main hook - an ascending attack that practically demands to be shouted along with. In the end though, it comes back to the piano - specifically the little jangle at the end of each hook.

Also, 'I Say Fever' is on the short list with 'Strawberry Swing' by Coldplay for music video of the year, and the way the piano player jams out in the beginning is pretty fantastic.

8. The Gregory Brothers - Autotune the News #2
"Very thin ice"

It's my opinion that number five is better and a stronger song overall, but the segment where Katie Couric "sings" about humanity being on "very thin ice" will forever be the defining moment of the entire Autotune the News series. They've called back to it a couple times (most notably with T-Pain), but the original is obviously the best.

7. Memory Tapes - Bicycle

Bicycle itself is pleasant enough. It slips around smoothly as the singer discusses riding home with a light rain coming down, wishing for some manner of escape. The closing sort of comes in out of nowhere, but it almost feels like a different song, with a light vocal chant in the foreground, and some beautiful guitar that feels simultaneously laid back and urgent. It doesn't feel like it goes on nearly long enough. While it is going, though, it's one of the more enjoyable listening experiences of the year.

6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll
"Looking glass"

Heads Will Roll is already a big sounding song, but when it reaches the end of the 2nd chorus, it launches into a full blown power dance song. Karen O sings with a softness that she hasn't fully used since 'Maps', without losing any of the intensity. This part made keep pressing 'repeat' for 10 months - I haven't come close to getting sick of it yet.

5. Animal Collective - My Girls

Just the little shout at the end of each hook in 'My Girls'. You've probably heard the song. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you need to listen again.

4. The Hold Steady - Atlantic City
"Everything dies"

They don't quite use the subtlety that Bruce did in the original version, but the part where Craig Finn sings with no accompaniment "Everything dies, that's a fact / Maybe everything that dies someday comes back". Induces shivers all the same.

3. Dinosaur Jr. - I Don't Wanna Go There
"The old guys rock the fuck out"

There's a short guitar solo around two minutes in to I Don't Wanna Go There. That one's pretty good, but it's not the one I'm talking about. Around four and a half minutes in, the real solo comes tearing in. What I missed the first couple of times is just how pummeling the drums are. They provide the perfect foundation one of the most enjoyable to listen to guitar solos I've heard in a long time. The entire band rocks out in such a way that the almost four minute long jam session goes by in a flash.

2. …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Isis Unveiled
"We'll pardon all of them"

I could easily have placed "Unveiled"s opening guitar riff, which is a great hearkening back to Trail of Dead's more passionate, raw punk influence, but this is the true centerpiece of the song. A few minutes in, the song suddenly and massively shifts gears. Suddenly, what had been a straight forward rock song switches up to a deliberate, rhythmic manifesto.

"And if they taste the blood we'll let them drink
And if they taste the flesh we'll let them eat
And if one has to be forgiven then we'll pardon all of them
And if they raze our walls we'll let them in
And if they raise their swords we'll let them hit
And if one has to be forgiven then we'll pardon all of them"

Sure, it probably goes on a little long, but it still pretty much defines 'epic' as it rolls on. Besides, the way it blasts back into the main riff is about as close to classic Trail of Dead as it gets.

1. Metric - Gimme Sympathy
"Come on baby play me somethin' like here comes the sun"

The hook itself is amazing (it might be my favorite of the year), but when the synths start chirping at the end of each chorus, with Emily Haines begging the listener "c'mon baby play me somethin' like here comes the sun..." words can't describe how great it sounds. It has to be heard.

Narrowly missing the countdown:

Danny Gokey's "Scream On" performance on American Idol
How on earth could he have possibly not seen this coming? There's just no way you rehearse that song and think "yeah, that sounds about right. Thankfully, he decided it was good the way it was. So much more comedic that way.

Das Racist - Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell
To be specific, I'm talking about the moment where you realize that they're not actually going to say much of anything other than "I'm at the pizza hut, I'm at the taco bell, I'm at the combination pizza hut and taco bell". Also, as a close runner-up, the moment down in the Twin Cities where we actually passed the combination pizza hut and taco bell, we laughed about that for the rest of the day.

Monday, December 21, 2009

...and in figure 2a, we have Joe Carter's game winning home run. isn't this exciting?

From the always curmudgeonly OldHossRadbourn:

"J. Buck is to exciting sports moments what the Catholic Church is to sex: acknowledge that it happens, deny that it is fun."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Five.... Five Dollar.... Five Dollar **SHUT UP**

A fairly long time ago (blogger code for "there's no way in hell I'm looking up exact time measurements), Subway debuted the now-famous 'Five Dollar Footlong' song. If you've forgotten how the original sounds, here's your chance to catch up.

This commercial obviously had several things going for it.

1. It was hypnotic.
2. It was catchy.
3. It sort of reminded me of Viva Voce (never a bad thing).
4. It had cute Asian chicks and Godzilla in it (they must have gotten in trouble over that, because later versions of the commercial had Godzilla removed, but cute Asian chick remains. I guess if you have to remove one.....)

It ranked right up there with 'Gimme Back That Fillet-o-Fish' as one of the better jingles to come out in the past few years.

Fast forward a few months, and Subway has turned a simple jingle into a huge advertising campaign. Needless to say whatever qualities the original may have had have.... faded.

The newest commercial features Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, and Jared Fogle fake singing the song in bizzare baritone voices. So, how far has it fallen?

1. It is in no way hypnotic. In fact, the only positive application the commercial could possibly be used for would be to snap people in comas back to waking life.

2. It is not catchy. It is the anti-thesis of catchy. It's as catchy in the same way Kidz Bop rendition of Mastodon would be - as in, not catchy.

3. It does not remind me of Viva Voce in any way.

4. It features a grand total of zero cute Asian chicks. It also features a conspicuous lack of Godzilla monsters.

Subway, you have destroyed what should have been a simple "one and done" jingle. Stop. For the love of all that is good in life, just stop.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ten Random: "Been a While" Edition (12/10/2009)

In honor of me kicking off the 'Ten Random' thing for the first time in three months, we're doing something a little different. This list is ten random songs, taken from a playlist of songs in MediaMonkey that I've rated 4 stars or higher, but haven't listened to in over 3 months.

1. The White Stripes - Little Cream Soda (Icky Thump)
2. Lupe Fiasco - Streets on Fire (The Cool)
3. The Hold Steady - Slapped Actress (Stay Positive
4. East West - Closure (The Light In Guinevere's Garden
5. Little Boots - Meddle (Hands)
6. Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard - Why So Serious? (The Dark Knight Soundtrack)
7. The Bobby Fuller Four - I fought the Law (I Fought the Law)
8. Jars of Clay - Fade to Grey (Much Afraid)
9. The Avalanches - Since I Left You (Since I Left You)
10. The Killers - Smile Like You Mean It (Hot Fuss)

¹ - I can seriously not believe I haven't listened to that song (or that entire CD, for that matter) in three months. I must rectify this immediately.

² - I'm more surprised that this song was rated 4 stars. I might also have to rectify that...

One More Reason to Hate MySpace

Now they've gone and swallowed iMeem.

I'm not a big fan of LaLa (what? only one listen per song unless I pay? nonsense)

I guess it's off to grooveshark.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Doomtree Blowout V

Branny and I attended the annual Doomtree blowout on Saturday night. It was easily one of the best, most energetic concert experiences I've been a part of.

I enjoyed the format of the show, with the entire group performing for about a half an hour, then splitting into individual sets for each of the members (with extremely short interludes in between), before coming back together for the grand finale. The group has great chemistry, and since this was the first time they'd all been together since the previous year's blowout, you could tell they were really feeding off each other and the excitement of the crowd.

I've been a big P.O.S. fan since seeing him live a couple years ago, but I had no idea that the rest of the Doomtree crew was that good. Cecil Otter had a great set, playing with live instruments, which really accentuated his metered spoken word style. Dessa commanded attention every time she opened her mouth, I'll definitely have to hunt down some of her stuff. Sims and Mictlan put on good shows, too (even if the planned world premiere of Mictlan's new music video kept experiencing technical difficulties - it got funny toward the end, when the show was effectively over, the problems let up and we got to see what ended up being a fairly blase video).

P.O.S.' Never Better will almost certainly (spoiler alert!) be my number one CD of 2009, but it still can't even touch the raw sound it has when he's rapping live. He has a fire that I haven't seen from many other performers. He only did 5 or 6 of his own, songs, but he touched on all the biggies (thankfully, he got everyone together to sing "Low Light Low Life", a personal favorite of mine off Never Better.)

The crowd knew every word to every song (seriously, I'm not sure I've ever seen such audience participation at a show before), and more than once, you could see the performers looking at each other in disbelief at how stoked the crowd was to be there.

Seriously, anyone from the Cities area who's even remotely a fan of this group owes it to themselves to check out next year's blowout. For fans of the Doomtree collective or any of the individuals that make it up, it is not to be missed.

Chip Caray: Epilogue

I had this post saved instead of posted for whatever reason. Still relevant, and I still think kittens are awesome... so... it gets posted. Joe Buck sucks.

You may remember that I spent a good deal of time complaining about TBS' coverage of the baseball postseason - Chip Caray in particular. Therefore, Monday's news that Mr. Caray and TBS have 'parted ways' makes me extremely happy.

How happy?

Almost as happy as this GIF makes me. Not quite, though... kittens are awesome.


Also, I find it amusing that every time the baseball playoffs rolls around, searches for the phrase "Joe Buck Sucks" skyrocket.

To all those who have happened upon this very blog because of that search string I say this...

yes... yes he does.