lundi, janvier 02, 2006

Artists Best of 2005

We asked many of our favorite artists to tell us what they enjoyed listening to in 2005, and some were kind enough to take the time to reply. From Sufjan to Jeezy to Animal Collective, here's what was on tour bus stereos in 2005:

James Murphy, LCD Soundsystem

1. Black Dice: Broken Ear Record
2. The Juan Maclean: Less Than Human
3. Delia and Gavin: Days of Mars
4. Mu: Out of Breach
5. Major Swellings (Prins Thomas): Major Swellings

John Darnielle, the Mountain Goats

1. Jackson Browne: Solo Acoustic Volume 1
2. Geto Boys: The Foundation
3. Dionne Warwick: Legends
4. Final Fantasy: Has a Good Home
5. Origin: Echoes of Decimation

Jamie Stewart, Xiu Xiu

1. Dead Science: Frost Giant
2. Deerhoof: The Runners Four
3. Broadcast: Tender Buttons
4. This Song Is a Mess But So Am I: Marble Mouth
5. Jim Yoshii Pile-Up: Picks Us Apart

Jamie Lidell

1. Cristian Vogel: Station 55
2. Matthew Herbert: Plat Du Jour
3. Wagon Christ: Sorry I Make You Lush
4. Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster DVD
5. Ark: Caliente

Eleanor Friedberger, Fiery Furnaces

1. Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings
2. Amerie: "1 Thing"
3. Franz Ferdinand: "Eleanor Put Your Boots On"
4. R. Kelly: "Trapped in the Closet"
5. Dungen: Ta Det Lugnt [Expanded]

Paul Wall

1. Young Jeezy: Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101
2. Slim Thug: Already Platinum
3. Pimp C: The Sweet James Jones Story
4. Bun B: Trill
5. Z-Ro: Let the Truth Be Told

Broken Social Scene

1. Smog: A River Ain't Too Much to Love
2. Kanye West: Late Registration
3. Dirty Three: Cinder
4. Animal Collective: Feels
5. American Analog Set: Set Free

Devendra Banhart

1. Vashti Bunyan: Lookaftering
2. Jamie Lidell: Multiply
3. Espers: The Weed Tree
4. Animal Collective: Feels
5. Songs of Green Pheasant: Songs of Green Pheasant

Vashti Bunyan

1. Devendra Banhart: Cripple Crow: Showing the breadth and subtlety of his vision more and more. This is first in my list not because he is a friend-- he became a friend because I love his music and light.

2. Antony and the Johsons: I Am a Bird Now: He and his songs are beautiful, beautiful, breakable and raw.

3. Gorillaz: Demon Days: And it's the guitarist's hands in the video...goes straight to my heart. I like things that come out of nothing-- in this case a blank sheet of paper.

4. Animal Collective: Feels: Like no one else on earth-- each listen brings out more wonderful wonders.

5. Arcade Fire: Funeral: It's been a while since I heard something for the first time on TV (Jools Holland) and went straight out next day to buy the album. It brims over with brilliance.

Colin Meloy, Decemberists

Black Mountain: Black Mountain
Kate Bush: Aerial
My Morning Jacket: Z
Sleater-Kinney: The Woods
Martha Wainwright: Martha Wainwright

Carl Newman, New Pornographers

1. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois
2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
3. Wolf Parade: Apologies to the Queen Mary
4. The Mountain Goats: The Sunset Tree
5. Spoon: Gimme Fiction

Nels Cline, Wilco

Deerhoof: The Runners Four (Kill Rock Stars CD)
What can I say? Twenty communally conceived tracks of golden pop, skewed Merceybeat go-go crunch, klangfarben chamber pieces, and joyous noise from one of the best bands in the world today or yesterday.

Andrew Hill: Mosaic Select (Mosaic 3xCD box)
Astonishing revelations from the Blue Note vaults: Mr. Hill in a trio playing organ, the quartet and string quartet material that was previously only on a two-fer from the 1970s, large group free blowing. The ever-intriguing Andrew Hill recorded a lot of music that is just now emerging, and we are lucky to be able to catch up.

Carla Bozulich/Ches Smith (CDR)
An eccentric and visionary work from two of my favorite artists/people. Starting with free improvisations (mostly piano and drums) and then editing/overdubbing (mostly voice and sampler), there seems to be no home yet for this brilliant artifact.

Paul Motian: I Have the Room Above Her (ECM CD)
The now classic trio or Mr. Motian, Joe Lovano, and Bill Frisell. One of my favorite groups of all time: Returns with another set of deceptively simple, achingly wistful, and unerringly melodic telepathy.

Jim McAuley: Gongfarmer 18 (Nine Winds CD)
Jim McAuley has been lurking in the Los Angeles underground now for decades. Before ending up here in the 70s, Mr. McAuley played on a lot of sessions (even on one of Frank Sinatra's most classic Reprise recordings!), lived in Paris, and was generally radical and always in the cracks. After futzing forever recording solo acoustic guitar performances (mostly improvised), he finally decided to release some. This is an excellent example of how traditional and extended techniques of playing the acoustic guitar (6-, 12-, and nylon-string) can co-exist in harmony with expressive results.

Will Sheff, Okkervil River

Antony and the Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now (Secretly Canadian)
Cass McCombs: PREfection (Monitor)
Bill Fay: Time of the Last Persecution (Eclectic)
Konono No. 1: Congotronics (Crammed Discs)
Jean-Cluade Vannier: L'Enfant Assassin des Mouches (Finders Keepers)

Glenn Kotche, Wilco

1. Ethan Rose: Ceiling Songs: Really amazing stuff from Portland-based musician/artist. Also if you can find it, The Dot and the Line is numbingly beautiful-- made from player piano reels and packaged in resin boxes. (Locust)
2. Tony Conrad and Faust: Outside The Dream Syndicate Alive: Blisteringly elegant. (Table of the Elements)
3. Akron/Family: Akron/Family: Love It. (Young God)
4. OOIOO: Gold and Green: Incredible music, beautiful booklet. (Thrill Jockey)
5. Konono No. 1: Lubuaku: Got to play with them in Brasil this year, this is a great live record.(Terp Records)

Jason Forrest

1. Nathan Michel: The Beast (Sonig)
2. The Books: Lost and Safe (Tomlab)
3. Drumcorps: Rmx or Die (Kriss)
4. Jamie Lidell: Multiply (Warp)
5. Food For Animals: Scavengers (Muckamuck Produce)
6. Electric Kettle: Drunk & Disorderly (Combine)
7. Spunk: En Aldeles Forferdelig Skydom (Rune Grammofon)
8. Warst: King Of the Street Maddest Chick (Ndom Records:
9. Panicstepper: Ambush
10. She's a Shranzy: DJ Killed the Video Star
11. 1-Speed Bike: Klootzak Keizer (Broklyn Beats)
12. End: The Sick Generation (Mirex)

Pusha T, Clipse

1. Clipse: We Got It 4 Cheap Vol. 2
Of course I'm gonna go with We Got It 4 Cheap Vol. 2! With Vol. 1 we were trying to establish our ground, which was East Coast and lyrical-- period. We picked the Vol. 1 beats to try to spark that nostalgia of old East Coast shit, but with Vol. 2, we're ready to compete. Just telling everyone else: We're gonna take all your beats and burn over them.

A lot of rappers today forget the true essence of a mixtape, when you could pick them shits up and hear Jay-Z or Nas rhyming over the fly beat that was out at the time. These days, guys are using them to test their new street records or just putting out a whole hell of a lot of excess music that they've made just to have a presence in the street-- whether it's a quality presence or not. That's corny. I came up on Big in the mixtape game. We were picking up mixtapes like they were albums. The first one I got that I really remember is the Bad Boy mixtape collection. Puff put his voice under a really high pitch and he's talking shit through the tape. Oh my god, I was done. Big was killin' it: [raps] "Niggas talkin' it but ain't livin' it/ Crystal pops I'm sippin it/ Mob hats and lizard shit/ Gator trunks, bitch." That's the one, I probably kept that mixtape the longest.

2. Young Jeezy: Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101
There's a certain level of honesty that's missing in a lot of rap records, but I think he embodies [honesty]. People might not say he's the most lyrical but he encompasses a level of truth that makes up for it. And I'm with the ad libs. There's nothing like being at a concert of his and 20,000 people are singing every song off that joint. Watching the people follow line for line, adlib for adlib is a dope look.

3. Lil Wayne: Tha Carter II
He's probably had one of the biggest progressions in hip-hop, especially with this album. That song "Hustler Musik", where he's got this melody like "somebody gonna die tonight"-- it's really hot.

4. Styles P: The Ghost In the Machine
Styles is a very hard rapper, which I love. But it's not just gratuitous because there's philosophy with everything he says. He rapped over "Toy Soldier" by Eminem-- incredible, bodied it. When 50 said, "All the other hard niggas, they come from Yonkers," he had to be talking about Styles P.

5. Z-Ro: Let the Truth Be Told
He's probably the best lyricist in Houston. From what I understand, he packs houses with three or four thousand people with one show. He's really consumed in his Houston thing.

Prefuse 73

1. José González: Veneer
2. All things Dungen released or re-released
3. Vashti Bunyan: Lookaftering
4. Gonzales: Solo Piano
5. Edan: Beauty and the Beat
6. Earth: Hex; or Printing in the Infernal Method.

Leslie Feist

1. Juana Molina: Segundo
2. M.I.A: Arular
3. Lhasa: The Living Road
4. Jason Collett: Idols of Exile
5. Gonzales: Solo Piano

Britt Daniel, Spoon

1. The Clientele: Strange Geometry
2. White Stripes: Get Behind Me Satan
3. Crooked Fingers: Dignity and Shame
4. Doves: Some Cities
5. Depeche Mode: Playing the Angel
6. Cass McCombs: PREfection
7. New Pornographers: Twin Cinema
8. Stephen Malkmus: Face the Truth
9. Low: The Great Destroyer
10. John Vanderslice: Pixel Revolt
11. Bright Eyes: I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
12. American Music Club: Love Songs for Patriots
13. Sleater-Kinney: The Woods
14. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois

Dan Snaith, Caribou

1. Animal Collective: Feels
2. Daft Punk: Human After All
3. Quasimoto: The Further Adventures of Lord Quas
4. Four Tet: Everything Ecstatic
5. Shit and Shine: Latitudes

Ian Parton, the Go! Team

1. Architecture in Helsinki: In Case We Die
2. dEUS: Pocket Revolution
3. Super Furry Animals: Love Kraft
4. Sage Francis: A Healthy Distrust
5. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois

Brian Case, the Ponys

1. Sleater-Kinney: The Woods
2. Psychic Ills: Mental Violence II 12"
3. Pit er Pat: Shakey
4. The Occasion: Cannery Hours
5. Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom: The Days of Mars

The Clientele

1. The Instruments: Cast a Half Shadow (Orange Twin)
2. Vashti Bunyan: Lookaftering (Fat Cat Records)
3. The Bats: At the National Grid (Magic Marker)
4. Annie Hayden: The Enemy of Love (Merge)
5. Edmund Cake: Downtown Puff (Lil' Chief Records)

Anthony Gonzales, M83

1. Coldplay: X&Y
2. Gwen Stefani: Love. Angel. Music. Baby.
3. Depeche Mode: Playing the Angel
4. Sigur Rós: Takk
5. Kate Bush: Aerial
6. Guided by Voices: Propeller (reissue)
7. Animal Collective: Feels
8. Talking Heads: Talking Heads Brick(reissue)
9. Vitalic: OK Cowboy
10. M.I.A.: Arular

Alison Goldfrapp

1. Motörhead: Ace of Spades (re-issue)
2. LCD Soundsystem: LCD Soundsystem
3. Feist: Let It Die
4. Antony & the Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now
5. Coldplay: X&Y

Dave Allen, Gang of Four

1. Bright Eyes: I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
2. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals: Jacksonville City Nights
3. Atmosphere: You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We are Having
4. Calexico/Iron & Wine: In the Reins
5. Damian "Jr Gong" Marley: Welcome to Jamrock
6. Dirty Martini: Dirty Martini
7. Menomena: Under an Hour
8. Brad Meldhau Trio: Day Is Done
9. The Arcade Fire: Funeral
10. Kanye West: Late Registration

Jens Lekman

1. TTA: The New School
2. Goldmund: Corduroy Road
3. El Perro Del Mar: Look It's...
4. Blood Music: Sing a Song Fighter!
5. Frida Hyvönen: Until Death Comes

Gustav Ejstes, Dungen

1. Edip Akbayram: Edip Akbayram (Shadoks)
2. Jonny Soling & Kalle Almlöf: Ost Och Vast (Giga)
3. Various Artists: Thai Beat a Go Go Vol. 3 (Subliminal Sounds)
4. J Rocc: Play This (One) (Stones Throw)
5. Charlie & Esdor: Charlie & Esdor (Mellotronen)

Paul Smith, Maxïmo Park

1. Smog: A River Ain't Too Much to Love
Bill Callahan has been writing some of the better songs about the human condition. Here he adds a delicate touch and warmth to his usual brutal truth-telling.

2. Arthur Russell: World Of Echo
This reissue sounds like a dream, with moments of beautiful clarity woven into patches of abrasive electric cello. Fragments of Russell's aching voice betray his romanticism and lyrical precision.

3. Pajo: Pajo
A wonderful guitar player cements his reputation as a softly compelling singer.

4. Field Music: Field Music
Music this special doesn't come along very often. Complicated pop songs combine with strings and personal confusion. Meticulously performed and conceived.

5. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois
Pick any of the songs on this record and it will stand alone as an impeccable vignette. Put them altogether and you get an occasionally overwhelming testament to one man's unique and humane vision.

Keith Fullerton Whitman

1. Tod Dockstader: Aerial 1 and Aerial 2 (Sub Rosa)
2. Skullflower: Orange Canyon Mind (Crucial Blast)
3. Kevin Drumm/2673: Split (Kitty Play)
4. Uton: Whispers from the Woods (Last Visible Dog)
5. Jessica Rylan / C. Spencer Yeh: 2xC30 (DroneDisco)

Andrew Bird

The Go! Team: Thunder Lightning Strike
Konono No. 1: Congotronics
M. Ward: Transistor Radio
My Morning Jacket: Z

Josephine Olausson, Love Is All

1. Comet Gain: City Fallen Leaves
2. Fiery Furnaces: EP
3. Deerhoof: The Runners Four
4. Meatus Murder: More Songs About Balling and Food
5. Vashti Bunyan: Lookaftering

Ross Millard, Futureheads

1. Field Music: Field Music
2. Low: The Great Destroyer
3. High On Fire: Blessed Black Wings
4. This Ain't Vegas: The Night Don Benito Saved My Life
5. Queens of the Stone Age: Lullabies To Paralyse

Lau Nau

1. Kuupuu: Sateen Suutelemat (Nidnod)
2. Islaja: Palaa Aurinkoon (Fonal)
3. Josephine Foster: Hazel Eyes I Will Lead You (Locust)
4. Cast King: Saw Mill Man (Locust)
5. Various Artists: Maan Matoset (POK)
6. Tomutonttu: Ehdottelee (!)


1. Kanye West: Late Registration
2. Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley: Welcome to Jamrock
3. Young Jeezy: Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101
4. Mylo: "Drop the Pressure"

John Fell Ryan, Excepter

1. Lee Scratch Perry: I Am the Upsetter: The Story of Lee Scratch Perry: There aren't enough Lee Perry records. Luckily, I have heard it said, Lee Perry can't die.
2. The Fall: Fall Heads Roll: Shoots the moon every time.
3. Various Artists: Can You Jack? ACID: Midwestern enthusiasm cannot be denied. You might look here for house instead of euro-distro web-sites. The answer to the question is YES.
4. Jandek: When I Took That Train: It's Jandek's Date Night record. Serious.
5. M.I.A.: Arular: The other record that sampled "Sunshowers" this year.

Cameron Bird, Architecture in Helsinki

1. Animal Collective: Feels (Fat Cat)
2. Still Flyin': Still Flyin' (self-released)
3. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty)
4. Vive Le Rouge: Cent Tas D'Aretes (Vives Eaux)
5. Dr Dog: Easy Beat (Rough Trade)