a year in review
People have been posting year-end top tens all over the place for close to two months now. That always seems a little strange to me: I'd rather assess the year after it's ended. Preferably long after. So here's my favorite records of 1994:
1. Dog Faced Hermans, Those Deep Buds
2. Shine Eye Gal: Brukdon from Belize
3. Helium, Pirate Prude
4. Raooul/Skinned Teen, Jail-Bait Core/Bazooka Smooth
5. The Mountain Goats, Zopilote Machine
6. God Is My Co-Pilot, How to Be
7. Flying Luttenbachers, Constructive Destruction
8. The Clean, Modern Rock
9. The Honkies, Who Eats?
10. Charles Brown Superstar, The Summertime EP
(Dug up that list from a ten-year-old email, & was pleased to see that I still love all of these records a lot, and that all of those people went on to do other things I really like too. Except I've never seen any further evidence of the people behind Shine Eye Gal, notably two... sisters? cousins?... who called themselves the Mini-Musical Female Duet. I can't find any reference to them in any context besides that album; if anyone knows anything else about them, please let me know. Two voices, one guitar, old calypso hits sung as if they're folk tunes everybody in Belize knows. Which is what I thought they were in 1994.)
(The list has actually inspired me to dig out Who Eats?, which I hadn't listened to in a few years. Oh man is it good: a three-horn rock band inspired by Friends & Neighbors-era Ornette and performance art.)
Seriously: sometimes the fat lady sings something really catchy. I didn't hear the Stands' very good All Years Leaving until yesterday--some of it is a pretty remarkable evocation of '67 Byrds-do-Dylan--and I heard a few of my favorite songs of the year for the first time after I had to start turning in best-of-2004 pieces. On the comics front, I let Ex Machina pile up until just a couple of days ago, and future issues won't be in the "later" stack any time soon.
Oh fine. Here's '04:
M.I.A. Piracy Funds Terrorism, vol. 1
The Homosexuals Astral Glamour (listen to "My Night Out")
The Thermals Fuckin A (listen to "How We Know")
The Fiery Furnaces Blueberry Boat (listen to "Chris Michaels")
Arthur Russell Calling Out of Context
Madvillain Madvillainy (listen to a remix of "Figaro")
IQU Sun Q (listen to "Dirty Boy")
Deerhoof Milk Man (listen to "Giga Dance"--actually, download a whole free live album)
Danger Mouse The Grey Album
Sagor & Swing Orgelplaneten (listen to "Postmodernism")
SONGS, alphabetically because I'm lazy:
Belle & Sebastian "I'm a Cuckoo (by the Avalanches)"
Black Leotard Front "Casual Friday"
Destiny's Child "Lose My Breath"
The Fiery Furnaces "Chris Michaels"
Sharon Jones with the Dap-Kings "Genuine"
The Mountain Goats "Dance Music"
The Pipettes "It Hurts 2 C U Dance So Well"
Soulwax "NY Excuse" (PIAS)
The Thermals "End to Begin" (Sub Pop)
Dave Sim & Gerhard, "The Last Day" (despite the first 40 pages)
Lewis Trondheim, "Mister O"
Eric Shanower, "Age of Bronze: Sacrifice"
Kevin Huizenga, "Fight or Run"
Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely, "We3"
Craig Thompson, "Carnet de Voyage"
Mike Carey et al., "My Faith in Frankie"
Gary Panter, "Jimbo in Purgatory"
Carla Speed McNeil, "Finder"
Anders Nilsen, "Dogs & Water"
(Locas would've been right up at or near the top, if I hadn't read all of it years ago...)
Also: as an experiment, a lot (not all) of the more personal/who's-he-when-he's-at-home stuff that has generally appeared here is going to be split off to a different blog. Email me privately if you want to know where.