I Require New Music!
Posted on December 28, 2005 Posted by John Scalzi 79 Comments
You know what? I was thinking about writing about my favorite album of the last year when I discovered it was actually released in 2004. Naturally I find this lapse terrifying coming from someone who until recently reviewed music as part of his income stream. It may also be indicative of 2005 being a suck-ass year for music. Who can say?
Well, you can say, if you want: Suggest me some of your favorite music from 2005 so that I can catch up with what the hip kids (that would be you) are listening to. If it ends up with me slappin’ down a Hamilton or two to get me some albums off of iTunes, I’ll consider it a moral victory.
Bear in mind that this doesn’t I haven’t been listening to new music is 2005; I have. I’ve just not been knocked out by it. With the exception of the new Garbage album, all the albums released in 2005 from bands I like have not been exactly overwhelming, or better than the album of theirs previous to this new one. I guess I want people to point me to an album that suggests that musicians weren’t just farting about in 2005.
So, what have you got for me?
Hem – Rabbit Songs. Listen to the snippet of Half Acre on iTunes, most beautiful vocal I’ve heard in a while. Very Saturday morning music.
Mike Doughty – Haughty Melodic. Singer/songwriter used to be in Soul Coughing. Good lyrics, good music, good stuff.
I really like Massive Attack, particularly their album Mezzanine.
One of my favorite tracks on that album is “Teardrop,” so give that one a sample listen.
iTunes calls them an “electronic” band, but that’s not really accurate. They’re somewhere between electronic and really good alternative music — very easy on the ears, and interesting without being too distracting. Very good to write to, IMO.
Of course, that album I recommended in that other comment wasn’t from 2005 – but I posted in haste. My bad. They have more recent stuff; I just gave you my one personal fave.
Brazilian Girls. One of the best albums of the year, John.
I discovered the band Palomar this month, and immediately bought all their albums. Except for their first album (Palomar I), their other stuff is available on iTunes (Palomar 3.5, Palomar III and Palomar II), though they are in two different parts of iTunes (alt and rock).
Their website is http://www.palomarnyc.com and they have a Myspace where you can also preview songs.
As I read somewhere about them, three chicks with guitars, how can you go wrong (and one guy on drums).
Start with Palomar 3.5, a six song, web only release. If you like Garbage (I do too), you’d like Palomar.
I was surprised that Sarah Harmer’s I’m A Mountain did not get promoted here or at least at By The Way.
I really liked it, thought it was better than All Of Our Names but not as good as You Were Here.
You did not like it? Or, not like it as much?
Don’t know that any of these qualify as recent. However, I just discovered these bands myself so they are recent to me. Hope you find something to like.
1) Tegan & Sara
2) Manic Street Preachers
3) James Blunt
4) Joe Purdy
5) The Reindeer Section
6) Sufjan Stevens
I recently got hip to The Damn Millionaires, who just released their first album. They have a Web site at http://www.damnmillionaires.com/.
Only for 2005? Nothing earlier?
Not earlier, just 2005.
“I was surprised that Sarah Harmer’s I’m A Mountain did not get promoted here or at least at By The Way.”
That’s because it doesn’t get officially released in the US until February, so there’s point taunting most people with it until then. I do have the Canadian import, of course (I couldn’t wait!), and I like the album very much.
Andrew Bird And The Mysterious Production Of Eggs was my absolute favorite album of the year – never have such perfect pop songs been made with whistling and violins. The tracks “Fake Palindromes” and “A Nervous Tic Motion Of The Head To The Left” in particular are worth looking up.
chech out http://pandora.com/
Scott: I’ve been playing with Pandora. It’s okay.
The Hold Steady: Separation Sunday. Usually I don’t like concept albums, but this one is far and away the best I heard — from start to finish, the tale of a little hoodrat girl from the Mpls-St. Paul Metro area. Great lyrics, unique (and strangely captivating) vocals, and one of the finest American rock albums in years.
Granted, I might be biased, since I opened for the lead singer’s old band once upon a time. ;-)
I’d suggest one great CD I can’t get enough of:
Explosions in the Sky “how strange, innocence”
Ok maybe two CD’s:
Gorillaz “Demon Days”
Feh. 2005 is already so over.
The cool kids are already obsessing about the hottest 2006 releases, like We Are Scientists’ With Love and Squalor and Morningwood’s self-titled debut. (Both will be released on Jan. 10, but streamable audio and video are available for the first few singles from both on their respective websites, http://www.wearescientists.com/ and http://www.morningwoodrocks.com/ .)
However, to answer the question directly, I’m still playing Rufio’s The Comforts of Home, High Speed Scene’s eponymous release, Ivy’s In the Clear and most especially Danko Jones’ We Sweat Blood.
Bush hoping to win more battles in 2006
President Bush, bruised by months of setbacks, enters the new year hoping to win congressional battl
Sorry, but The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan booked the top of my 2005 albums list early and no one has challenged it in the slightest. Rounding out the top five is Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Editors, that FischerSpooner thing, and Cracker – Forever. Yeah, I know the Cracker album isn’t actually new, but I just found it this year and I can’t stop listening to it.
It’s not my favorite, but definitely worth a listen: Rick Moranis released an album last year.
Yes. THAT Rick Moranis.
It’s a country western album.
No, seriously. I swear.
The sample tracks online are hilariously awesome.
I really liked DJ Z-Trip – Shifting Gears. Really good stuff.
I’m fairly sure that both Spoon’s Gimme Fiction and Clap Your Hands, Say Yeah’s self-titled album are 2005 releases. I have enjoyed both of them muchly. I would also recommend taking a look at the works of Wolf Parade and the double releases from Bright Eyes (Digital Ash in a Digital Urn and I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning) from the beginning of the year.
Rob Thomas’ solo release Something To Be is, surprisingly, actually pretty good.
Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have It So Much Better The boys have mellowed out, and it’s a refreshing change.
Iron and Wine – Endless Numbered Days (“southern rock on laudanum”)
Bloc Party – Silent Alarm Decent intro to a strong band that could be better, and deserves watching.
The Decemberists – Picaresque “Engine Driver” is the best song ever.
Someone already stole my favorite of the year:
Mike Doughty, Haughty Melodic
Also from this year, I enjoyed:
Aimee Mann – The Forgotten Arm
Michael Penn – Mr. Hollywood, Jr.
Veronica Mars Soundtrack
Pauline York Band – Muddy Water (this came in 2004, however – I saw them do a show and picked up the CD. Good blues, if you like that kind of thing).
Also from, I think, 2004, Frou Frou
I’ll throw in another vote for Separation Sunday as the Album of the Year. I also enjoyed The Sunset Tree by the Mountain Goats quite a bit, and also Z by My Morning Jacket and Twin Cinema by the New Pornographers .
Boy, this is just the “Bands With Terrible Names” best-of, isn’t it?
iTunes claims that Devin Davis’s Lonely People of the World Unite! is a 2004 release, but I didn’t hear it until this year, and last I checked, it wasn’t on iTunes, so there’s your obscure pick.
My own “Best Songs of the Year” post is coming up in the next day or two, and I don’t want to give the whole thing away here, so I’ll shut up now.
The Love Hall Tryst’s Songs of Misfortune. John Wesley Harding, Kelly Hogan, Nora O’Connor, and Brian Lohmann singing songs from JWH’s novel, Misfortune (published under JWH’s real name, Wesley Stace). Amazing album. Most of the songs are traditional British folk songs, with a few ringers thrown here and there (like their amazing cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Joan of Arc”). You don’t need to have read the book to get the album, but the book really is quite good. I’m pretty sure it’s available from the iTMS, but if not, you can order it direct from the man himself at http://www.johnwesleyharding.com for $15, which includes shipping.
The latest Death Cab for Cutie album Plans is pretty good, actually. It’s not quite as twee and fucking emo as their earlier stuff.
It’s hard not to recommend the newest Fiona Apple album, Extraordinary Machine. I’ll also throw in Sufjan Stevens (e.g., Come On Feel the Illinoise), the current NPR darling.
And check out the latest Harvey Danger album, Little by Little. It’s available for free download from their website. They care more about listeners than dollars. But you can send them a tip, of course (I’m overdue with mine).
I highly recommend a group from Chicago called Detagoh. You can check out their music on myspace here. They are kind of a folk-blues-rock with 2 guitars, bass, drums, harmonica and violin. Very catchy tunes.
Aaron already mentioned the other Bright Eyes albums released this year, so I’ll suggest Bright Eyes – Motion Sickness, his live album released last month. It’s pretty incredible.
Another great album is by a band you probably haven’t heard of: Wintersleep – Untitled.
Some excellent British bands/artists:
* Maximo Park – A Certain Trigger (Spiky, “post-punk”, full of energy.)
* Editors – The Back Room (Bringing 80’s indie style into the 21st century.)
* Imogen Heap – Speak For Yourself (Haunting, electro-pop. You MUST try to catch the song “Hide and Seek”.)
* Gorillaz – Demon Days (Hip-hop, dub, garage, funky; strange and delightful.)
* Kanye West – Late Registration (Hip hop, rap, melodic.)
* Foo Fighters – In Your Honor (Half rock, half acoustic. All good.)
* Charlotte Hatherley – Grey Will Fade (Intense guitar-based pop-rock, with surprisingly airy female vocals. Try to catch “Bastardo”. I think this one might technically be 2004, though.)
Except that neither Kanye West nor the Foo Fighters are British. My apologies. I started off with good intentions, and then got carried away.
Nothing in 2005 or even 2004 really bowled me over. So far Lamb’s “Gabriel” continues to be the most recently released song that amazes me every time I hear it.
Muse, Absolution. What? 2003? DAMN THE RADIO MAN for holding out on me for 2 years.
I’ve got Kevin and Josh’s back on Haughty Melodic. But I was a big old Soul Coughing fan.
May I recommend Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway? She actually wrote songs for this album and it seems pretty real to me.
To this first poster in the thread, Hem’s “Rabbit Songs” was actually released in 2000 (that long ago?! Wow…). Their followup, “Eveningland” was released in 2004.
As far as 2005, I was going to recommend The Arcade Fire, “Funeral”, but I’ve just realized it was also an ’04 release. Bummer.
I’ve never heard you talk about metal, but on the off chance you like it, here are some excellent 2005 metal releases:
Trivium – Ascendency
DevilDriver – The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand
Dark Tranquillity – Character
The Agony Scene – The Darkest Red
Nightrage – Descent into Chaos
Also, on a lighter note, System of a Down released two albums this year: Hypnotize & Mesmerize. Both are good, though not their best work.
Roadrunner Records released a unique sort of compilation album called Roadrunner United. The idea is, they selected four “team captains” from various Roadrunner bands and had them each write a bunch of songs in collaboration with selected band members from any Roadrunner band. It’s a mixed bag, but there’s some good stuff on there. The team captains were Matt Heafy (of Trivium), Joey Jordison (of Slipknot), Robert Flynn (of Machinehead), and Dino Cazares (formerly of Fear Factory).
I loved Missy Elliot’s new album, especially “We Run This”.
My fave single by far is “Welcome to Jamrock” by Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, which I though was okay on first listen, but has grown and grown and grown on me. It’s one of those songs where you start writing the novel to it in your head.
Hmm, there are only 7 albums in my iTunes library from 2005. Of course, I am mostly not listening to popular music anymore (progressive rock is my preferred music these days). I guess I would give the nod to Glass Hammer’s The Inconsolable Secret, although it’s not a great album (2004’s Shadowlands was much better). Joshua Redman’s Momentum was pretty good on first listen (it was an Xmas gift), but not as good as his previous effort, Elastic.
Just for yuks, here’s what I’d pick as “albums of the year” from my library for 2000-2005:
2000: Jadis, Understand
2001: Elton John, Songs From The West Coast
2002: Spock’s Beard, Snow
2003: Ian Anderson, Rupi’s Dance
2004: Magenta, Seven
2005: Glass Hammer, The Inconsolable Secret
2000, 2001 and 2004 were all really tough choices. It’s likely that in the future I’ll buy an album from 2005 that I like better than the GH album.
Ahh, in case you’re looking for something out of states… I’ve heard that the newest album from Hitomi Yaida (Yaiko) is rather good… if you’re into her sort of thing. (young Japanese lady writes some pop/modern-rock songs and then sings them with help of a pretty slick indie backing band.)
I haven’t actually… you know… listened to it yet. I’d say that 4 albums makes a strong track record… but we all know that there are bands that have fallen off.
So I don’t register this as an official suggestion, just throwing up signs or something.
Midival Punditz Midival Times: very heartful, often lush South Asian drumandbass sounds with some amazing vocals.
I also really like the Gang of Four’s Return the Gift: re-recorded versions of old classics 25 years later, beefed up and stronger than ever.
Verve Remixed, Volume 3: greats like Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone given a modern dancey and/or ambient treatment. Not clubby, though, and very classy.
And Thievery Corporation’s The Cosmic Game: Latin, reggae, Asian underground, all jammed together smoothly with help from Perry Farrell, David Byrne, Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips and many others.
All are available on allofmp3.com except the Midival Punditz, which is on eMusic; John, IIRC you sometimes use both these services.
Another vote for the New Pornographers’ Twin Cinema, and Neko Case’s The Tigers Have Spoken, as well as Death From Above 1979’s You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine.
The latter two of which, I’m pretty sure, are from 2004, so hey – I suck.
There was only one record that mattered this year, but that’s just because Tom Waits took the year off.
The record in question (in my humble opinion) was Bomb the Music Industry’s “To Leave or Die in Long Island.” You can get the whole thing plus an entire other album of b-sides for free at bombthemusicindustry.com. This is punk rock both in principle and in execution. Crashdog meets the Clash meets Slapstick meets Neutral Milk Hotel.
Oh, that’s easy. The best album of the year was by our band, Imaginary Friend.
Seriously speaking, in the first half-decade of the 21st century, there was very little of any note whatsoever released by any band known to have existed before that period. It’s like a changing of the guard. (Notable exception, The Eels: “Blinking Lights And Other Revelations”)
If you buy two albums released in 2005, make them “Funeral” by The Arcade Fire and “I Am A Bird Now” by Antony & The Johnsons. You can’t go wrong with eccentric, passionate, sprawling indie-rock and outrageously beautiful genderqueer soul torch songs.
I’ve been listening to entirely too much Breaking Benjamin and Smile Empty Soul …
1. “Elephant Eyelash,” by Why? Don’t let the unusual sound of the first track scare you – it’s a beautiful album.
2. “Howl,” by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Oh by the way, whatever happened to IndieCrit? I liked that.
The Eels latest, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations, is pretty astounding in terms of how many gorgeous melodies are packed into it (33 songs) and how beautiful and somber all of their lyrics are.
Other notable releases that have already been mentioned are Clap Your Hands Say Yeah self-titled debut and Sufjan Stevens with Here Comes the Illinoise!
You can listen to “Looking at the World From the Bottom of a Well” by Mike Doughty here:
I dare you to listen to this tune and not want to jam along. I agree with the others on this one.
Also, The Clumsy Lovers album Smart Kid, which I got for my wife for Christmas. Great album, kind of (but not really) a cross between Dave Matthews Band and the Pogues.
If you’re into a worldbeat kind of thing, try Niyaz.
Another vote for Gorillaz – Demon Days.
Also, Audioslave – Out of Exile. Chris Cornell has really found a worthy follow-up to his Soundgarden days.
And another vote for White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan
I’ve been wearing out the newest by Jo Dee Messina, Delicious Surprise. Trisha Yearwood also released an album, Jasper County – it’s good but not *great*. And second the recommendation for ‘Plans’ by Death Cab for Cutie. It’s spent a lot of time on rotation as well.
I was going to recommend a CD by the Whitlams that I received this year— but upon closer inspection, it came out in ’97.
They’ve been mentioned above, but I figured I’d recommend them again:
“Absolution” by Muse (love love love “Butterflies and Hurricanes”, “Hysteria”, and “Endlessly”)
“Plans” by Death Cab for Cutie (This album has a great sound to it… you will either like it first run through, or by the 5th. Very well thought lyrics, especially “What Sarah Said”.)
“The Chronicles of Narnia (Score)” by Harry Gregson-Williams (Beautiful, can’t get it out of my Car CD player/iPod/iTunes.)
“Serenity” by David Newman (The tracks are all short, but several of them are very powerful… love “Serenity” [track 3] and the last 4 tracks.)
and the last one…
“Ten Thousand Fists” by Distrubed (not everyone’s cup of tea, but the lyrics are well thought, and every once in a while, you just want some good hard music.)
There’s my 2 cents.
I’d go with John Legend’s “Get Lifted”. Even though it came out in 04, it was late in 04. I’d also go with “From Under the Cork Tree” by Fall Out Boy. It’s a really fun album, even if one of the songs is on the radio constantly. Same goes for “Move Along” by the All American Rejects. I second the Audioslave, Mike Doughty and Gorillaz nods. The Common album, “Be” is really good, as was the Jimmy Eat World EP “Stay On My Side Tonight”. The remix of “Drugs or Me” sounds like you’re on, well, drugs.
Thanks to Midwestern Progressive for the mention of the new Sarah Harmer album. February can’t get here soon enough.
i posted my top 10 albums of 2005 on my myspace page @
a few of my top 10s ain’t been mentioned here yet, also check out pitchforks top 100 of 2005 too.
i got the new burt bacharach for xmas which is also an amazing album of this year too!
there my first contribution of the whateva family!
Sorry about Hem, iTunes lists it as a 2005 release. Still a nice album though.
So, new music, eh? Here’s some albums I’m enjoying right now
Thione Seck: Orientation. Fusion of Senegalese traditional, Egyptian beats, and Indian Bollywood show tunes.
The Motion Trio: Play-Station. Polish accordion techno. Righteous!
Värttinä: Iki. Finnish pop music.
Fantastic Plastic Machine: Luxury. Japanese-origin…crap-music techno mashups? Very listenable.
Bond: Classified. Pretty girls playing cellos.
Pretty much anything on these albums is good. Are these folks from 2005? Probably not.
I second the recommendation for Mike Doughty. I wasn’t a Soul Coughing fan–in fact, had not heard of them until this year–but I’ve now picked up Haughty Melodic, plus two previous solo albums by Doughty and a best of Soul Coughing. When I fall for someone, I fall hard. (-:
To add something new to the mix of comments above, though, let me suggest Rodney Crowell’s THE OUTSIDER. The first three songs are quite strong, and there’s only one real clunker on the album. It’s hard not to listen to “The Obscenity Prayer” without nodding to it. Alt-country of the best sort.
I don’t know what your musical taste is like, but I highly recommend melodic death for any listener. Maybe you should start with something a bit light, though. So maybe some melodic, good instrumental rock by Daisuke Ishitawari. Do drop me a note if you’re interested. (I keep some of them on my private server and could pass on the URL to you if you are. And no, I don’t think this is pirating, because I’m not making a profit off it.)
I suggest: Gogol Bordello, Gypsy Punks, and Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary.
Wan, it is considered piracy because the artist isn’t making a profit off of it.
New Pornographers-Twin Cinema
Death Cab For Cutie-Plans
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals-Cold Roses
Lyrics Born-Same S%#t, Different Day (hip hop)
Garage a Trois-Outre Mer (jazz)
Porcupine Tree – Deadwing. The most likely album to be on my mp3 player (and playing) for the past few months.
What I’ve heard from Coldplay – X & Y sounds very good as well.
Add another to the votes for Fischerspooner and Sufjan Stevens. Also: Superwolf, the latest Will Oldham project (although he’s probably an acquired taste) and “Night on Fire” by VHS or Beta, which apparently came out in late 2004 but didn’t really get any attention until this year.
“Wan, it is considered piracy because the artist isn’t making a profit off of it. ” – Kevin
Well, I’m not making a profit off their works, and by sharing their music with others I think I’m helping the artist by giving their works more exposure. I see this act as being no different than my sharing my CDs with friends or with anyone else.
Plus, the Internet being the great harbour of piracy that it is, it would be extremely easy to download this kind of stuff if anyone put in even the slightest effort to do so. So I don’t think I’m doing anything particularly massive here.
Moreover, as far as I know, an increasing number of metal artists are happy to have their works being shared online. Piracy may be one thing; but the power of fan-based distribution and word of mouth is another. I personally agree with that model; I think it works really well for underground bands, and helps bring to light music which people would otherwise never have known existed.
I might be wrong though, so feel free to correct me. I’m always up for a good moral lesson ^_^
Anyway, what I’m trying to do here is just share some new music. That’s all.
Piracy is a thing that I’m least interested to do.
Although some great bands have been listed, I didn’t see my hands down favorite release for 2005…
The Rakes – Capture/Release.
Debut full length album from a great British group. A solidly good album all the way through. Some stand out songs would be:
22 Grand Job
To give you an idea of what you’re in for, Allmusic.com lists similar artists as:
* Art Brut
* Maximo Park
* Franz Ferdinand
* The Libertines
* The Strokes
* Bloc Party
* The Futureheads
Although, out of those listed, I thought only Franz’s debut album was as strong all the way through. Good Stuff.
Whoa, sorry about taking up a mile of vertical space. The preview didn’t show the carriage returns as being displayed in the final post, so I added html breaks for visual clarity and ended up with the above monstrosity.
Well… now I know.
Electrified by Dressy Bessy is fun pop, if not very substantial.
I’ve been listening to a lot of Rilo Kiley for, oh, the past 18 months, since my brother gave me a bunch of their stuff, but I don’t think they had anything new come out this year.
E.S. Posthumus – Unearthed
– Cinematic style music that’s been featured in dozens of movie trailers so far. Great stuff.
Fisherspooner – Odyssey (already suggested above)
– I’m a bigger fan of their first album, but this is still pretty awesome.
Gogol Bordello – Gypsy Punks Underground (already suggested above)
– Eastern european gypsy punk. You might like it, you might hate it.
I also concur with Haughty Melodic.
I wish I could describe music better, but I just listen.
I can’t believe no one’s mentioned Z, the new album from My Morning Jacket. I bought it for myself as an early Christmas present and it’s faaaaaantastic.
Seconding whoever mentioned The Arcade Fire and Antony and The Johnsons. The latter, to me, sounds like what would have happened if Nina Simone and Otis Redding had spawned.
01. The Mountain Goats – The Sunset Tree
02. Readymade – All The Plans Resting
03. Eluvium – Talk Amongst The Trees
04. Low – The Great Destroyer
05. Sweet Billy Pilgrim – We Just Did What Happened And No-One Came
06. Jesu – Jesu
07. Paavoharju – Yha Hamaraa
08. Ok Go – Oh No
09. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
10. The Russian Futurists – Our Thickness
11. Hood – Outside Closer
12. Robyn – Robyn
13. Magnolia Electric Co. – What Comes After The Blues
14. Mountains – Mountains
15. Engineers – Engineers
16. Elbow – Leaders Of The Free World
17. Constantines – Tournament Of Hearts
18. My Morning Jacket – Z
19. Animal Collective – Feels
20. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Howl
The new Brian Eno is pretty decent too.
Also, instead of Pitchfork (those hacks), try this:
A fine 2005 release: Snow Borne Sorrow by Nine Horses, a band project featuring David Sylvian.
As a prog-rock maven, I also grokked Porcupine Tree’s Deadwing and The Flower Kings’ Adam & Eve.
The Go Team are pretty… interesting? Check out the track Feelgood By Numbers on iTunes maybe.
I’m a fan of The Arctic Monkeys – again, I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor is on iTunes for sampling.
Switchfoot’s new album is alright if you’re into grunge, maybe a bit teenaged, but that depends how you look at it.
I also like Fono’s new album, Sunlight Silence is ok for sampling but the real rub is in the acoustic cut of Alcatraz (hey, it’s on iTunes)!
Yeh, er, the end?
… actually, some mates from London have new stuff this year:
Beat:Root for funk.
Sand 700 for intelli-rock.
Sorry if the links are bet netiquette (delete if so), but they’re not so readily available and both have either samples or free mp3s on their websites.
* I’ll jump on the bandwagon and recommned Mike Doughty’s “Haughty Melodic.
*Sun Kil Moon – Tiny Cities is all cover songs of Modest Mouse tunes, but Sun Kil Moon makes them thiers.
* Beck – Guero
* Death Cab for Cutie – Plans is as my favorite of the year
* Seu Jorge – The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions – If you saw the movie, you will remember the crew member who sang David Bowie covers in portuguese. I bought it today and it is fantastic.
Erin McKeown, “We Will Become Like Birds”.
Should have added that McKeown’s CD includes a song, “White City”, about the building of the structures for the Chicago Columbian Exposition.
Embrace, Out of Nothing. A little uneven, but “Ashes” is just lovely. I also liked the Mike Doughty and Beck stuff others mentioned.
I’m really loving Pandora, but I’m finding that it works best if you create very specific channels for each style you like, rather than trying to throw everything you like into one — that’ll confuse it, and its recommendations get as scattershot as Tivo’s or Amazon’s.
The Onion A.V. Club did their “2005: The year in music” http://avclub.com/content/node/43475 and has some pretty good music.
The only 2005 release that absolutely knocked me over, (albeit one of very, very few 2005 releases I actually bought), is most likely of little interest, but on the off, off chance I can win a convert, I’ll mention it: Adam Guettel’s score for the Broadway musical “The Light in the Piazza.” Gorgeous.
The only other 2005 discs I can recommend are the soundtrack to Scorcese’s Dylan doc (highlight: a wonderful, very early Dylan cover of “This Land Is Your Land”) and Williams’ score for the final Star Wars film, easily his best Star Wars score since Empire.
Chiming in with a big YES to Gorillaz – Demon Days. What a great surprise that CD was for me.
I’m wearing out my copy of Foo Fighters – In Your Honor.
Also really like Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine.
One I haven’t seen yet is Sigur Ros – Takk. Great music for chilling out.