The 20 Albums From 2005 I haven't chucked yet!
11. 50 Foot Wave, Golden Ocean
Last year I said that Coral Fang was the loudest album Kristin Hersh never recorded. Well, shut MY mouth. Do people stage dive at 50 Ft. Wave shows with flannel tied around their waist? They really should. I knew Kristin Hersh was a grunge enthusiast (in an old Rolling Stone she and her kid sang along to “Heart Shaped Box” in the car), but good lord, woman! A year ago I missed a chance to see them in Philly (with Trouble Everyday opening!) so I could catch Mission Of Burma. It still freaks me out that I'm moving to a town where you have to decide which Bostonian alt-rock legend you’re gonna see that night. You big city folk are spoiled!
12. Moby, Hotel
Ambient for songform addicts. Another Green Room. The trick is to expect, and want, nothing but comfort.
13. White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
Sounds like he’s losing it, but they haven’t lost it.
14. Loquat, It’s Yours To Keep
A non-ESL Bettie Serveert with no interest in Rock? A non-celestial Sarah McLachlan? The singer risks clumsy anonymity, the band skirts lite - if these guys were any better they’d be classic and if they were any worse they’d be unlistenable. Crossing my fingers. Recommendation: if you’re going to voice common frustrations about relationships, make sure to keep throwing in a few concrete nouns. Stay human.
15. Martha Wainwright, Martha Wainwright
For my money she’s doing a lot more with those genes.
16. Thunderbirds Are Now, Justamustache
I’m this close to being sick of any treblicious keyb-bleep Les Savy Fav rip-off band, EVEN the jumpy uptempo ones, but for now I’m still cool with the jumpy uptempo.
17. The Ponys, Celebration Castle
Old school with enthusiasm should be the least you can do. That so many do so much less is why I'm not sure if I could commit to this scene full-time. What's with the accents? I can't believe people still do this shtick a decade after Billie Joe got big.
18. The Evens, The Evens
Ian and Amy sitting in a tree, H-A-R-M-O-NI-ZING! With the scene weaker than ever the time is right for a Dischord/Teenbeat hybrid. Twee-an’s melodies and hushed moments should only surprise folks who didn’t check out The Argument or hear Ian’s piano ballad on the Instrument soundtrack. Dude’s become quite the crooner. The Evens have nothing on Minor Threat’s or Fugazi’s debut EPs, but this might beat Embrace.
19. Keren Ann, Nolita
I’m not gonzo about this rise of genteel Canadian bohemianism or whatever (Feist rolls right off me, the Arcade Fire should cover “Life In A Northern Town,” everyone in the New Pornographers shouldn’t be allowed to appear on anything other than soundtracks to ‘smart’ children’s shows, I don’t know or care about the Broken Social Scene), but tracks like “One Day Without” and “Nolita” actually grab me rather than reminding me how detached I feel from the whole Believer/true-blue-state culture.
20. Audible, Sky Signal
My friend Greg is nuts about Matt Pond PA. These ex-members sound like them except the beat's a little harder. Well, I care.