Our Annual Music Year in Review

Yes, there's a whole world of music out there besides Patty.

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Our Annual Music Year in Review

Postby sfboy » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:35 am

We did this last year, and I really liked reading other people's lists/opinions.
A Discs
Mary Chapin Carpenter--The Age of Miracles
I was wondering how Chapin would handle married life, and she has turned out just an amazing CD. The 2 faster songs are amazing, and some of the slower ones are great too. I guess I"m a true cynic because I find most songs about having faith and being courageous trite, but the title track is my new anthem. This album feels like a friend.

Justin Currie--The Great War
Del Amitri made great music, and then broke up. I was devastated. Then I found out Justin was going solo and was ecstatic. Then I heard the first solo CD and was very disappointed. But now he's back in full form. He writes great pop songs and this CD has acoustic songs, a few real pop songs, some funky beat stuff, and a ballad or two too. It's just superb. Plus he writes the most pessimistic lyrics on the planet, but you can't really take them completely seriously.

The Indigo Girls--Staring Down the Brilliant Dream
This is a double live CD that mostly has songs from the 2nd half of their career (so far). It's stellar. Like Chapin's CD, it feels like a friend. I stick it on in the car and sing along and just smile 'cause it feels like Emily and Singing to me. Plus it has great linear notes so you know why they picked each performance. I rarely love live CDs, but I can't seem to stop listening to this one.

B Discs
Suzanne Vega Close Up vol 1 Love Songs and Close Up vol 2 People and Places
Vega is releasing 4 discs in which she is redoing her catalog (plus a few other songs) acoustically. She sounds great and it's great to hear the songs stripped down.

Dar Williams--Many Great Companions
This is a greatest hits CD (although I don't think most of these songs would qualify as "hits") with an extra CD in which, like Vega, Williams does acoustic versions of songs from her catalog. It's fun to hear the songs done with friends (including Chapin :) ) stripped down.

John Mellencamp--No Better Than This
Talk about retro. Mellencamp recorded this CD in mono. The songs are rustic, rural, and very old school but if you feel like escaping the modern world, it's a good listen.

C Discs
Patty Griffin--Downtown Church
(I'm dodging the rotten tomatoes as I type this :) ) This isn't an objective list, obviously. I'm fine with people really loving this CD, but I just can't. I've given it as much of a chance as I can, and I still listen to it once in a while, but I just can't get into it except for a few songs. Patty's two songs are, of course, great.

Natalie Merchant--Leave Your Sleep
Weird. I was kind of predisposed to not liking this. I mean, she hasn't done a disc of original songs in a long, long time, and the last one that she did was my favorite. Anyway, there are a few songs that I like, but most of the songs sort of blend together.

D Discs
Brandi Carlile--Give Up the Ghost
The songs on this CD do absolutely nothing for me. I wish I liked them more.

Indigo Girls--Holly Happy Days
I think I just must hate holiday CDs.

Discs I didn't buy
Tom Petty--Mojo
Sheryl Crow--100 Miles from Memphis
Cyndi Lauper--Memphis Blues

OK y'all, I'm waiting to hear about discs that I don't know about. It seems like my tastes are very mainstream.

Kevin
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Postby keith from ny » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:26 pm

I'm currently in the process of listening to stuff I saw on other people's 2010 favorites lists (including Justin Townes Earle, Low Anthem, Mavis Staples, John Mellencamp, Mumford & Sons) but should have something to post here before long. Doubtful that Downtown Church will be dislodged from my top slot however. Thanks Kevin!
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Postby marybeth » Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:50 am

I didn't really make a top ten list or anything for last year but some of my favorites were : Laura Viers, July Flame; Freedy Johnston, Rain on the City; Lucy Wainwright Roche, Lucy; Rain Perry, Internal Combustion and Joe Pug, Messenger. Another good one I am just getting into is Rachel Harrington's Celilo Falls.
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Postby Gretzky » Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:24 pm

sorry if parts of this don't make sense, it was created for another audience...i took the lazy way out and pasted.

Well, I supposed it’s about time I post this. . .not the best list ever, but more than adequate for a year that never really seemed to matter all that much, musically and store-wise. Of course it remains impossible for me to just make a simple list without including reasons why each artist or title appears.

This is not a critical review, it is just a list of my favorites. For each new album I listened to over the course of the year, there were hundreds I never explored. So without further adieu, here are my top te…err, fifteen favorites from 2011, plus bonus content!



Jack White Stripes Dead Weather : Jack White was everywhere it seemed, and impacted more than any other artist on this list. Sea of Cowards was one of the best albums this year. The DVD Documentaries It Might Get Loud, and Under Great White Northern Lights both captured White at his polar best, constructing a crude electric guitar in a cow field in England, an impromptu Black Jack Davey, or jamming Sitting on Top of the World with his young son.

Devo- Something For Everybody : I listened to Are We Not Men?, Freedom of Choice, and New Traditionalists on an original Sony Walkman cassette player, in the backseat of a maroon Monte Carlo, on the way to Snow Shoe, Pennsylvania. If you told me back then that a new Devo album would be at the top of my list in 2010, I. . .I’d. . .I’d have probably told my parents!

Lady Gaga- The Remix : Alejandro, Telephone, Bad Romance. . .even without releasing any real new music in 2010, our Queen still dominated the charts, and the Monster Ball ate everything else up. The scary? We’re just weeks away from brand new Gaga. . .hello, 2011!

John Mellencamp- No Better Than This : Just a really nice collection of good songs, and great songwriting.

Neil Young- Le Noise : His best album since Harvest Moon. . . This is the album I wish Patty Griffin would make. . .voice, electric guitar.

Jenny & Johnny- I’m Having Fun Now : I love this album song for song, but one of them, My Pet Snakes, the lyrics just really depict this last year at the store in exquisite detail, even though the two are not related in any way, shape, or form. . .

Carolina Chocolate Drops- Genuine Negro Jig : There’s this song on this album, it’s called Snowden’s Jig, and Lorraine introduced it to me months ago, and to her it’s haunting…like the back room or attic of an old house full of antiques. Old toys and letters. But to me, it makes me wish I were a girl, so I could feel it in my hips.

Brandi Carlisle- Give Up the Ghost : Missed this on last year’s list, and it stuck with me all the way through 2010. Two songs in particular, Touch The Ground, and Caroline. . .both which I would secretly love to duet with Nicole!

Bruce Springsteen- The Promise : It’s a like/dislike thing for me with Springsteen, and I liked this collection a lot. A few of these songs - set their hooks in me and stayed in my head for weeks.

Eminem- Recovery : Who forms pyramids and raps circles around square lyricists? Cinderella Man. Seriously, this one song validates Em’s whole recovery. . .and makes that song with Rihanna tolerable. I’m glad you love the way he lies. Now shut up.

Patty Griffin- Downtown Church : This album was such a disappointment, but it did yield my favorite song discovery, her cover of Waiting For my Child, by the Consolers. What an incredibly moving song!

The Weepies- Be My Thrill : Hummingbird, how do you get high?

Christina Aguilera- Bionic : The actual album isn’t that good, and would never have made my list. But the extra songs included on the deluxe edition were exceptional, and should have replaced all the filler on the original.

Weezer- Hurley : Some of these songs were ok. . .like the first track, Memories, and the closing track Time Flies. Everything between was sorta eh.

Music DVD/Concert release: Grateful Dead : Crimson, White & Indigo

Favorite Album Cover : The Sword, Warp Riders

Favorite Reissue/Repackage : Arcadia, So Red The Rose

Guilty Pleasure of the Year : Nicki Minaj, Roman’s Revenge. This is all Ashleigh’s fault! And now that I’ve heard the filthy unedited version, it’s even more embarrassing.

Most Hated & Despised Musical Moment : 1:54 into Katy Perry’s video for Teenage Dream, when she raises her arm in the air while singing you & I will be young forever…

Most Annoying Flash-in-the-Pan : Ke$ha. Thank heavens she’s already on the way down.

Most Infuriating Moment : Taylor Swift winning the Grammy for Album of the Year.
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Postby bivester » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:01 pm

-top ten (approx order) cd’s/albums/records-
black dub – black dub
shelby lynne – tears, lies and alibis
isobel campbell and mark lanegan – hawk
mavis staples – you are not alone
david rawlings machine – a friend of a friend
john mellencamp – no better than this
johnny cash – american VI: ain’t no grave
ben sollee and daniel martin moore – dear companion
tift merritt – see you on the moon
cheyenne marie mize – before lately
carrie rodriguez – love and consequence

-next ten (alpha order)-
black keys – brothers
joan shelley – by dawnlight
john prine – in person and on stage
josh ritter – so runs the world away
kim taylor – little miracle
lissie – catching a tiger
patty griffin – downtown church
ray lamontage and the pariah – god willin’ and the creek don’t rise
richard thompson – dream attic
audra mae – the happiest lamb

-worth noting (alpha order)-
anaïs mitchell – hadestown
bettye lavette – interpretations
ellery – this isn’t over yet
john prine tribute – broken hearts and dirty windows
lucy wainwright roache – lucy
mary gauthier – the foundling
robert plant – band of joy
ryan adams and the cardinals – III/IV
the sadies – darker circles
sarah jaffee – surburban nature
the secret sisters
she and him – volume two
sahara smith – myth of the heart
tom jones – praise & blame

-disappointments-
kt tunstall – tiger suit
grace potter and the nocturnals
cowboy junkies – renmin park

-keeping in mind that the following are “2011″ official releases-
over the rhine – the long surrender
cowboy junkies – demons

-mia-
where the hell is cat power/chan marshall? she’s been too quiet, too long.

-best “new discovery” of the year-
lisa hannigan

———-

CONCERTS:

Musically speaking, topping my calendar from the first of November until the week before Christmas would be hard beat.

Starting in early November, a flight to LA to join Karin and Linford and a slew of “Like minded souls” on an adventure. Some you knew, some you felt like you did. That trip closed out after 5 incomparable days riding the rails throught the great american southwest. As this whole surreal experience ended with me sitting i na bar listening to Louden Wainwright III and daughter Lucy run through the beautiful and haunting, “You Can’t Fail Me Know”, really “unplugged,” just their voices and guitars in a quiet corner of an empty bar. No words to describe, again…, maybe surreal.backstage at the legendary “Troubadour”, hanging out and casually chatting with “Lu” (that would be Lucinda Williams).

She ended our conversation with a big hug, kiss on the cheek and the comment;
Lucinda: “I feel like I know you…”
Me: “Lucinda, I can assure you that we have never met, because, trust me…if we had, I would remember it.”
Lucinda: (with that wonderful drawl) “Aww honey, you don’t have to have met someone to know ‘em.” And she gave me a hug.

OK, definately surreal.

50 total shows, kind of a soft year, especially if it hadn’t been for the in-store concerts @ ear x-tacy.

Top Ten (Non-OtR)
-Levon Helm: Ramble @ The Ryman/Nashville (04.21.2010)
-Esme Kenney Benefit (OtR, Kim Taylor, the Hiders, Jay Bolotin)@ Northside
Tavern/Cincinnati (01.30.2010)
-Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore @ The Brown Theatre/Louisville (02.26.2010)
-Arnett Hollow (w/The Floorwalkers) @ Glassworks Rooftop/Louisville (10.02.2010)
-Cheyenne Marie Mize and Joan Shelley @ Glassworks/Louisville (06.04.2010)
-Alejandro Escovedo @ Headliner’s/Louisville (01.23.2010)
-Josh Ritter (w/Tift Merritt) @ 20th Century/Cincinnati (08.04.2010)
-Grace Potter @ Headliners (10.14.2010)
-Maiden Radio (w/The Obscure Handsome Brothers @ Christ Evangelical United Church (09.26.2010)
-Will Hoge @ Kentucky Derby Festival (04.28.2010)

The Rest (chronological order)
-Ben Sollee/Daniel Martin Moore @ ear x-tacy/Louisville (02.16.2010)
-A Lion Named Roar @ ear x-tacy (02.27.2010)
-Company of Thieves @ ear x-tacy (03.13.2010)
-Will Hoge @ ear x-tacy (03.19.2010)
-Thomas A. Minor and the Picket Line @ ear x-tacy (04.17.2010)
-Arnett Hollow @ Vernon Club (04.30.2010)
-Josh Ritter @ ear x-tacy/Louisville (05.17.2010)
-Josh Ritter @ The Brown Theatre/Louisville (05.17.2010)
-Mary Gauthier @ ear x-tacy/Louisville (05.18.2010)
-Cheyenne Mize @ ear x-tacy/Louisville (06.04.2010)
-Grace Potter @ 20th Century/Cincinnati (06.17.2010)
-Bettye Lavette @ The Waterfront/Louisville, KY (07.04.2010)
-Michael Franti @ The Waterfront/Louisville, KY (07.04.2010)
-Tift Merritt @ Waterfront Wednesday/Louisville (07.28.2010)
-Wax Fang @ ear x-tacy/Louisville (08.02.2010)
-Cheyenne Mize @ Skull Alley/Louisville (08.14.2010)
-The Spinning Leaves @ ear x-tacy/Louisville (08.14.2010)
-The Fervor @ ear x-tacy/Louisville (08.19.2010)
-Dark Dark Dark @ ear x-tacy/Louisville (10.05.2010)
-Cheyenne Marie Mize @ ear x-tacy (10.12.2010)
-Joan Shelley @ ear x-tacy (10.16.2010)

OtR Top Ten
-Over the Rhine (w/Lucy Wainwright Roache) @ The Troubadour/Los Angeles (11.12.2010) *w/Guests: Loudon Wainwright III, Joe Henry & Lucinda Williams
-Over the Rhine:”The Long Surrender” @ The Aronoff Center (12.17.2010)
-Over the Rhine: “Good Dog Bad Dog” @ The Monastery/Cincinnati (06.26.2010)
-Over the Rhine @ Eddie’s Attic/Atlanta (03.08.2009)
-Over the Rhine (w/Kim Taylor) @ The Ark/Ann Arbor (12.05.2010)
-Over the Rhine @ Moonlite Gardens/Cincinnati (09.11.2010)
-Over the Rhine (w/Joe Henry) @ The Taft Theatre (12.18.2010)
-Over the Rhine (w/Kim Taylor) @ Kent Stage/Kent, OH (12.04.2010)
-Over the Rhine (w/Sarah Siskind) @ The Bomhard/Louisville (12.10.2010)
-Over the Rhine (w/Swan dive & Lucy Wainwright Roache) @ Santa Fe Brewing Co/Santa Fe (11.06.2010)

OtR: The Rest (chronological order)

-Over the Rhine @ Canal street Tavern/Dayton, OH 04.10.2010)
-Over the Rhine (w/Ellery) @ Buster’s/Lexington, KY (04.24.2010)
-Over the Rhine (w/Swan dive & Lucy Wainwright Roache) @ The La Posada/Winslow (11.07.2010)
-Over the Rhine (w/Swan dive & Lucy Wainwright Roache) @ The La Posada/Winslow (11.08.2010)
-Over the Rhine (w/Lucy Wainwright Roache) @ The Troubadour/Los Angeles (11.12.2010)
-Over the Rhine @ The Palace Theatre/Marion, OH (12.02.2011)
-Over the Rhine @ The Lincoln Theatre/Columbus, OH (12.07.2010)
-Over the Rhine @ The Old Town School of Folk Music/Chicago (12.11.2010/7PM)
-Over the Rhine @ The Old Town School of Folk Music/Chicago (12.11.2010/10PM)
-Over the Rhine: Sunday Soiree @ St. Elizabeth’s (12.19.2010)
"well, i'll bet you can't pronounce 'b-a-n-g-o-r' correctly any better than i can say 'louisville'... " ~patty to me after the kentucky theatre show

"and i'm so twitterpated about bill, i just tuned the wrong guitar...i said twitterpated, that's what i said." ~karin bergquist @ cst | dayton (sat | 04.09.2005)

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Postby marybeth » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:38 am

You chatted with Lucinda Williams? Wow it really was quite a ride you were on there! Awesome. :)
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