Best of 2009 Artist List

By almost any metric, 2009 was a bumper crop for great new music. With bands increasingly bypassing the record industry entirely and releasing albums, singles, live sets, and more themselves via download, there was almost too much fascinating, worthwhile music on offer this year. Still, better an embarrassment of riches than a thin harvest, eh? While the mainstream continued its seemingly inexorable tide towards machine-like homogenization – notwithstanding a Lady Gaga or Lil' Wayne adding somewhat unorthodox wrinkles – musicians got down to making a lot of very personal, very beautifully constructed, downright fabulous music. And while the general belief that most artists will earn the bulk of their monies in concert from here on out is probably true, that doesn't diminish the rise in quality we're hearing in recent studio work.

Advances and price cuts in software and hardware are bringing expensive studio technology into bedrooms, garages and tiny private studios in ways totally impossible to imagine only a few years ago. Nothing will ever replace the warm hum of analog tape for some folks, but the tools and, perhaps more importantly, the means of distribution are becoming increasingly democratized. Brian Wilson's "teenage symphonies to God" are being composed and sent into the world outside the parameters and red tape of an increasingly confused industry. And these same artists are hitting the road to present their unique, non-commercial wares (as "commercial" is defined by modern tastemakers like MTV, Rolling Stone, et al.) to anyone who will listen, building fan bases through social networking, word of mouth and an engaged blogosphere anxious to discover honest, unfamiliar music. There's a healthy sense of creative boil that happily recalls rock 'n' roll's initial 1950s boom, where hit singles were forged in record shop recording booths and local sensations found national and even international acclaim on the wings of a single release.

It's too early to say where music making is going in the near future, but it's clear that there's a massive shakeup underway. Musicians need to figure out how to make this new freedom pay, and audiences that genuinely care about the people making the music they love will need to stop stealing it and pony up enough to ensure the continued bloom of this musical renaissance. Now is the time to support local talent and independent neighborhood venues, and drop a few coins into your fave band's PayPal account. As the massively successful tours of still-vital giants like Bruce Springsteen, U2 and AC/DC, or the smaller scale rises of original new voices like Fleet Foxes, The Low Anthem and Of Montreal, indicate, people are listening now more than ever, ready for music that will enlighten and delight them.

-Dennis Cook

Patterson Hood - Drive-By Truckers

Albums

Patterson Hood
1. Bloodkin - Baby They Told Us We Would Rise Again
On the surface, no frills, meat and potatoes rock (and damn proud of it) but a closer listen reveals the finest songwriting all year as this 24-year-old band sings the horrifying tale of their trip back from the abyss and sees it through to a joyous life-affirming conclusion. It's like that Leaving Las Vegas movie with a happy ending - unbelievable if weren't true. Such well-treaded territory would suck if not for the magnificence of its execution. "Wild Rhododendrons" is the finest songwriting I've seen all year, and "The Viper" and "Heavy With Child" are just as good. Meanwhile "Easter Eggs" is the best song of man love I've ever heard (including "Bobby Jean" and "Angie").

2. Bob Dylan - Together Through Life
3. Iron And Wine - Around The Well
4. PJ Harvey and John Parish - A Woman A Man Walked By
5. Girls - Album
6. M. Ward - Hold Time
7. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
8. The Dexateens - Singlewide
9. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
10. The Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
I just recently caught up with 9 and 10 and they could well move up in coming months. I'm sure there's several albums lurking out there that I will love just as much that I haven't found yet. I'm always looking and listening so I'm sure the list will change up until next year's.

-Best Reissue(s): The Jesus Lizard Reissues
-Favorite Song: "Wild Rhododendrons" (Bloodkin)
-Favorite Tracks: "Black Hearted Love" (PJ Harvey and John Parish) / "Belated Promise Ring" (Iron and Wine)
-Favorite Live Performance: Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings / Iron and Wine at No Depression Festival in Seattle this summer
-Movies I've Loved: Fantastic Mr. Fox, Up, A Serious Man, Where The Wild Things Are, Let The Right One In, Inglourious Basterds

Dave Schools - Widespread Panic, Stockholm Syndrome

Dave Schools
Albums
1. Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid
2. Super Furry Animals - Dark Days/Light Years
3. Polvo - In Prism
4. Numero Group (Reissue by Various Artists) - Light: On The South Side (2 LP + Book)

Shows
1. Jeff Beck - 04/23/09 - Fox Theater Oakland, CA
2. All Tomorrow's Parties Nightmare Before Christmas - 12/04-12/06 - Butlins Holiday Centre Minehead, GB
-Curated by My Bloody Valentine. Standout sets include: Sun Ra Arkestra, Sonic Youth, Witch, My Bloody Valentine
3. Dinosaur Jr. - 11/05/09 - House of Blues West Hollywood, CA
Honorable Mention:
Dead Confederate & Meat Puppets - 09/20/09 - Hopmonk Tavern Sebastopol, CA

David Murphy – Sound Tribe Sector 9

David Murphy
Albums
1. Empire of the Sun - Walking on a Dream
2. Big Gigantic - Wake Up
2. STS9 - Peaceblaster : Make it Right Remixes

Shows
1. Ghostland Observatory | Ogden Theatre | Denver, CO
2. Grizzly Bear | Emo's | Austin City Limits Festival | Austin, TX
3. Depeche Mode | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO

Kyle Hollingsworth - SCI

Kyle Hollingsworth
Albums
1. Fiery Furnaces – Take Me Around Again
2. Gregory Alan Isakov - This Empty Northern Hemisphere

I enjoyed the This Is It compilation, but honestly, I have been overwhelmed by kid's CDs like Ralph's World and the kid's Putumayo sessions.

Shows
1. David Byrne | Performing Arts Center | Denver, CO
2. Flight of the Conchords | Red Rocks | Morrison, CO
3. Rothbury weekend

Petter Ericson Stakee - Alberta Cross

Albums

Petter Ericson Stakee
1. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
2. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
3. Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
4. Bat For Lashes - Two Suns
5. The Beatles - White Album (remastered) - I know this is cheating, but the job they did on all the remasters is stunningly beautiful and breathes new air especially through this classic.

Shows
1. Neil Young at Hyde Park, London
2. Blur at Hyde Park, London
3. Bonnaroo - especially Wilco's set... truly inspiring.

Jon Gutwillig - The Disco Biscuits

Albums

Jon Gutwillig
Anything Joker put out in 2009. He's making really awesome dubstep. He had a lot of remixes in 2009, as well as official releases, so I guess he gets all of my top spots for the year.

Shows
I played 100 concerts. Starkey at Camp Bisco (the namesake festival we founded and curate) was really cool. When Phish did the dedication at Hampton to Fishman's dad and Marc (Brownstein, Disco Biscuits bassist) was sitting next to him that was pretty funny. Charlie P & M80 Dubstation (my dubstep project) jamming samples together in ATL was sickness! Benga on the world beat tip in Philly was ragin'.

Aron Magner - The Disco Biscuits

People To Watch In 2010

Electronic music has mostly in the past been about the party or setting the mood. As technology has improved there are many artists redefining the changing landscape of electronic genres.

There's a new movement of young artists with equal parts musician, DJ, sound sculpture and producer that are re-shaping electronic music and how it is performed. I was blown away last week when I saw Alex B whack down the house for an official Disco Biscuits after party. This young lion has masterful control of his software that enable all of his original and banging tracks constant manipulation for live, almost improvised, computer performance.

Aron Magner
Also out of Colorado is the young Derek Smith (aka Pretty Lights). Derek took the changing climate of the music industry and used it to his direct advantage. In an new era where music fans feel more entitled to receive their music without paying for it, Derek said, 'That's cool, then here it is," and released Filling Up The City Skies for free on his website, instantly catapulting his career to a new level and gaining multitudes of fans around the country almost overnight. The music speaks for itself. Deep electronic grooves with attention grabbing glitch and ear candy all with a type of soul not normally conveyed in dance music.

Eliot Lipp frequently runs in this same circle and performs with Alex B in the project Lipp Service. His 2009 release, Peace Love Weed 3D, almost feels retro-electro yet still pushed the boundaries of computer manipulation. His use of analog synth melodies lends a warm and engaging quality to his tunes. His songs evolve and have a story to tell from beginning to end.

Daedelus is more of an experimental musician frequently on bills with the artists above. He is unique as his main "instrument" is a rather insidious device know as a Monome. He is one of the pioneers of the Monome, which is nothing more than a matrix grid of unlabeled small buttons. They are all exclusively user programmable through very esoteric software enabling the end user to manipulate the parts of the tracks in a very unique way. He is the Clara Rockmore of this almost cryptic device.

And then there is Simon Posford, a revered producer and artist and pioneer in the electronic music world. He is also a very highly respected mentor of mine that I finally got to work with for the five tracks that he produced on our forthcoming album, Planet Anthem. Simon has a special ability to take an organic sound, be it a vocal or an acoustic guitar, and tweak it in such a loving way that it maintains the original feel that emanated from a human yet somehow still evolves into digital code. A delicate balance of real and surreal all masterfully placed over global beats with soundscapes that percolate your ears as if they were brain candy, all while providing for an incredible melodic and harmonic song structure. Check out one his projects, Shpongle's Tales of the Inexpressible and you'll see what I mean.

Marco Benevento - Duo, Garage A Trois

Marco Benevento
Albums
1. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
2. Sparklehorse and Danger Mouse - Dark Night of the Soul
3. Wilco - Wilco The Album
4. Nathan Moore - Folk Singer
5. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic

Shows
1. Medeski, Martin & Wood | December 2009 | Lupo's | Providence, RI (Dec)
Billy, Billy, Billy - what an amazing drum solo

2. Marco Benevento Trio | June 2009 | Carnegie Hall | New York, NY
3. The Slip | August 2009 | Bowery Ballroom | New York, NY

Derek Vincent Smith - Pretty Lights

Derek Vincent Smith/PL
Albums
1. Jay Z – Blueprint 3
2. Gramatik – Street Bangers (Vol. 2)
3. Passion Pit – Manners
4. Blockhead – The Music Scene
5. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Shows
1. Justice | Ogden Theatre
2. Bonobo | Ogden Theatre
3. Phoenix | Bonnaroo

Bradford Cox - Deerhunter

Deerhunter
Albums
1. Privacy - Songs
2. Kurt Vile - Childish Prodigy
3. Animal Collective - Fall be Kind EP
4. St. Vincent - Actor
5. The Breeders - Fate to Fatal EP

Shows
1. The Breeders at ATP Minehead
2. St. Vincent in Atlanta
3. Animal Collective at ATP NY

Reed Mathis - Tea Leaf Green, Papa Mali

Albums
1. JFJO - Winterwood
My last record with Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is also my favorite. Brian, Raymer and I did basic tracks in March 2008, and I finished the mixes in January 2009. It was put up as a free download on www.JFJO.com, but I'm still hoping to press physical copies with awesome artwork and stuff. We'll see. A gorgeous album, 15 years in the making!

2. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
I definitely gave this one repeated listens. Amazing production. I like the song "Foreground."

Mathis by Miller
3. Dorian Small - Newlyweds
Possibly my favorite musician out there.

4. Surprise Me Mr. Davis - ?????
Not sure if they even titled or released this, but it's streaming on their website, and it's absolutely crushing! Nathan Moore with the Slip - it truly just does not get any better. Thank the lord for Mr. Davis.

5. Medeski Martin & Wood - Radiolarian III
These guys played everything there was to be played, all before the year 2000, and they've been through the looking-glass ever since. The Radiolarian Series is their freakiest and most human stuff in a long time, much to my liking. They continue to sum up what I love about improvising.

Shows
1. Phish | 08.02.09 | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO
My first Phish show, and my first Red Rocks show - quite an eye-opener. Watched the second set from side-stage, looking out at the sea of delighted humans. Kept thinking, "Hmmm.... not a bad band!"

2. Ornette Coleman | 11.08.09 | San Francisco Opera House | S.F., CA
My first Ornette show, one of my all-time heroes. Went with a very old friend. Ornette's band was him, plus drums, and TWO basses. Yes, please!

3. Medeski Martin & Wood | 12.04.09 | Lupo's | Providence, RI
My 20th MMW show. Watched from side-stage, then from the rigging up above the stage. I love getting music lessons! What benevolent musicians they are. Freaking cosmic virtuosos.

Olly Peacock – Gomez

Gomez
Albums
1. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
2. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast
3. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Up From Below
4. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
5. Slaraffenland - We're On Your Side

Shows
1. Andrew Bird | Radio City Hall | New York, NY
2. Frightened Rabbit | Whitehaven, U.K.
3. Fink | Belfast, Northern Ireland

Jake Cinninger
Jake Cinninger - Umphrey's McGee

Albums
1. Mastodon – Crack the Skye
2. Slayer – World Painted Blood
3. Job for a Cowboy – Ruination
4. Robben Ford – Soul on Ten

Shows
1. Ugly Suit | St Louis, MO
2. Buddy Guy | Telluride, CO
3. Lamont Cranston Band | Minneapolis, MN

Ryan Stasik by Vann
Ryan Stasik - Umphrey's McGee

Shows
1. Hall and Oates | Irving Plaza | New York, NY
2. Made in Iron | Burlington, VT
3. Marsha Stasik | Stand-up Comedy | Kalamazoo, MI

Brendan Bayliss - Umphrey's McGee

Brendan Bayliss
Albums
1. Wilco – Wilco (The Album)
2. Modest Mouse – No One's First and You're Next
3. The Beatles – Remastered catalog

Shows
1. Snoop Dogg | Lollapalooza
2. Paul McCartney | Shea Stadium
3. Lisa Lampanelli | Chicago, IL

Joel Cummins - Umphrey's McGee

Cummins by Gordon
Albums
1. Kings of Leon – Only by the Night
2. Passion Pit – Manners
3. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
4. Wilco – Wilco (The Album)
5. Pretty Lights – Passing by Behind Your Eyes

Shows
1. Taj Mahal and Bonnie Raitt | Ravinia | Chicago, IL
2. Andrew Bird | Schubas | Chicago, IL
3. Passion Pit | Treasure Island Festival | San Francisco, CA

Andy Farag - Umphrey's McGee

Farag by Gordon
Albums
1. Jay Z – The Blueprint 3
2. J Dilla – Just Stay Paid
3. Kings of Leon – Only by the Night
4. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Shows
1. Tool | Lollapalooza
2. Foreign Exchange | Chicago, IL

Keller Williams

Albums
1. Danny Barnes - Pizza Box
2. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
3. Zach Deputy - Sunshine
4. Power up the Planet

Keller Williams
A compilation of cool music with the proceeds going to providing solar power for folks with nothing. Great cause and the mix of songs is bitchin'.
5. The Pimps of Joytime - Funk Fixes and Remixes

Shows
1.Umphrey's McGee | Summer Camp - Felix Pastorius and Les Claypool sit-ins. Massive fire works customized to the music.
2. Girl Talk | Rothbury - Late night show mentality
3. String Cheese Incident | Rothbury - Epic production.

Art Neville - Funky Meters, The Neville Brothers

Art Neville by Smith
Albums
1. BlakRoc - BlakRoc
2. Dr. John – City That Care Forgot
3. Cyril Neville – Brand New Blues
4. Mos Def – The Ecstatic
5. Paramore – Brand New Eyes

Shows
1. Dumpstaphunk | Tipitina's | Jazzfest | New Orleans, LA
2. The Neville Brothers | Mawazine Jazzfest | Rabat, Morocco
3. Funky METERS | Fuji Rock Festival

Jason Isbell - Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Jason Isbell
Albums
1. The Beatles - Remasters (Duh!)
2. Them Crooked Vultures - self-titled
3. Justin Townes Earle - Midnight at the Movies
4. The Ting Tings - We Started Nothing
5. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular

Shows
1. Wilco | Sloss Furnace | Birmingham, AL
2. Earl Greyhound | Turf Club | St. Paul, MN (with us)
3. The Mother Hips | The Doug Fir | Portland, OR (with us)

Jerry Joseph - Jackmormons, Stockholm Syndrome

Jerry Joseph
Albums
1. Richmond Fontaine - We Used To Think The Freeway Sounded Like A River
2. Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3
3. The Swell Season - Strict Joy (my wife made me put this... but she's right)
4. The Mother Hips - Pacific Dust
5. The Revelations Featuring Tre Williams - The Bleeding Edge
6. Keith Jarret - The Koln Concert

Shows
As for shows, I live in NYC and never see anything... except:
1. The choir at St. Josephs on 125th
2. Thievery Corporation in Denver

Andrew Barr - The Slip, Surprise Me Mr. Davis, Land Of Talk

Andrew Barr
Albums
1. Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
2. Tuneyards - Bird-Brains
3. Lightning Bolt - Earthly Delights
4. Nathan Moore - Folksinger
5. Mos Def - The Ecstatic

Favorite shows I played:
1. Carnegie Hall w/ The Marco Benevento Trio
2. FME music festival in Abitibi Quebec with Brad Barr
3. Montreal Music Festival in Ghent Belgium with Land Of Talk

George Porter Jr. - The Funky Meters

George Porter Jr.
Albums
1. John Scofield - Piety Street
2. Water Seed - Early for The Future
3. Diane Birch - Bible Belt
4. Alec Ounsworth - Mo Beauty
5. Jack Brass Band – self-titled

Shows Played
1. The Meter Men | New Orleans Jazz Fest
2. The Funky Meters | Tokyo
3. Runnin' Pardners | 08.08.09 | Red Rocks Amphitheatre
4. Porter Batiste Stoltz | 10.30.09 | Tipitina's French Quarter | New Orleans, LA (the band's last gig as a band)

Joe Russo - Duo, Furthur, Gene Ween Band, Bustle in Your Hedgerow

Joe Russo
Albums (in no order)
1. Cass McCombs - Catacombs
2. Patton Oswalt - My Weakness Is Strong
3. Matt Trowbridge - Radio Soap Star Opera
4. Bob Dylan Christmas In The Heart
5. Sean Bones - Rings

Shows I Saw
1. Monte Good and The Honky-Tonk Heroes | 3/24/09 | Robert's Western World | Nashville, TN
2. Dr. Dog | 6/27/09 | Prospect Park Band Shell | Brooklyn, NY
3. KISS | 10/10/09 | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY

Shows I Played
1. The Gene Ween Band | 3/22/09 | The Earl | Atlanta, GA
2. Benevento-Russo Duo (Acoustic) | 8/17/09 | Highline Ballroom | New York, NY
3. Furthur | 12/12/09 | Asbury Park Convention Hall | Asbury Park, NJ

Stanton Moore - Galactic, Garage A Trois, Dragon Smoke

Stanton Moore
I've been so busy this year I haven't really gotten a chance to peep out anything outside of what I've been involved with. Here are my top picks for albums I appeared on in 2009.

1. Stanton Moore - Take It To The Streets (digital download)
2. Street Sweeper Social Club - self-titled
3. Diane Birch - Bible Belt
4. Alec Ounsworth - Mo Beauty
5. Garage A Trois - Power Patriot

Top Picks For Shows I Played in 2009
1. Galactic | The Fillmore | San Francisco, CA (with special guest Zigaboo Modeliste, drummer for The Meters)

2. Anders Osborne | Jazz Fest | New Orleans, LA
Introduced new band with myself, Robert Walter and Anders. We rehearsed all week at my house before the gig and are now finishing up a record with that new lineup.

3. Garage A Trois | DBA | New Orleans, LA
Power Patriot record release and Skerik's birthday.

Skerik - Garage A Trois, Dead Kenny Gs

Albums

Skerik
1. Sunn O))) - Monoliths and Dimensions
2. Future of the Left – (most of) Travels with myself and another
3. Lightning Bolt - Earthly Delights
4. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

Honorable Mention: McTuff - Volume 1, Dead Kenny Gs - Bewildered Herd, Garage A Trois - Power Patriot

Shows
1. Wayne Shorter Quartet | Zellerbach Hall | Berkeley, CA
Incredible, life making, spiritual event

2. Sunn O))) | Neumo's | Seattle, WA
Attila incantations: unparalleled.

3. Sunn O))) Duo | Vienna and Prague
Simply the heaviest thing on earth.

Mike Dillon - Go-Go Jungle, Les Claypool, Garage A Trois

Albums

Mike Dillon
1. Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
2. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
3. Aceyalone - The Lonely Ones
4. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
5. Mulatu Astatke and the Heliocentrics - Inspiration Information 3

Shows
1. Wayne Shorter Quartet | October 2009 | Zellerbach Hall | Berkeley, CA
2. The Secret Chiefs 3 | They killed everyone the Oddity Faire Tour
3. Aloke Dutta (solo tabla) | July 2009 | Blue Nile | New Orleans, LA

My Best Shows
1. Mike Dillon's Go-Go Jungle | May 2009 | Dragons Den (late night) – Jazz Fest | New Orleans
2. Garage a Trois | December 2009 | The Independent | San Francisco, CA
3. Dead Kenny Gs | Jazz Fest '09 | Megalmaniacs Ball | New Orleans, LA
4. Illuminasti Trio with Brian Coogan | Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro | New Orleans, LA

Eric McFadden

Eric McFadden Trio
Albums
1. Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
2. The Dead Weather - Horehound
3. Spinnerette - Baptized by Fire
4. Vic Chesnutt - At the Cut
5. Sam Baker - Cotton
6. Tom Waits - Glitter and Doom
7. PJ Harvey and John Parish - A Woman A Man Walked By

Shows
1. Paul McCartney, Mastodon, Leonard Cohen, The Cure, X, Public Enemy - Coachella - April 2009
I was really impressed and amazed at all of these performances. Rarely have I seen so many sets of such high caliber at one festival... and this wasn't even the extent of it. I should really just list this as "Coachella 2009."

2. The Melvins - Grand Regency - San Francisco

3. Nels Cline Singers - Cafe DuNord, San Francisco, CA - September 3, 2009

4. Them Crooked Vultures - Fox Theater - Oakland, CA - November 2009
How can you go wrong with this lineup? Well, I guess they could if they tried... but they didn't. Rock is alive.

5. Gov't Mule - Apollo Theater - Barcelona, Spain - November 15, 2009
Best Mule show I've seen in a while, possibly ever. I even got to join them for a couple numbers.

6. The Pogues - Regency Ballroom - San Francisco, CA

Zack Smith - Rotary Downs
Albums

Zack Smith
1. Scrambler Sequill - Secret Passageways
2. Mastodon - Crack the Skye
3. Caddywhompus - EP
4. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
5. Big Rock Candy Mountain - Hey Kid

Shows
1. Rotary Downs | Halloween - October 31 | DBA, New Orleans, LA
Cmon, it was the best show of the year... glow in the dark, smoke machines n shit...cmon!

2. BROOKLYNOLA - Generationals, w/ the BKLNOLA All Stars | May 8 | Public Assembly, Brooklyn, NY
Simon Lott, Mike Gamble, Marc Friedman, Tony Barba, Bryce Wymer, Mitch Paone

3. Not So Super Super Hero Party 7 | February 21 | Hi Ho Lounge, New Orleans, LA
Featuring Brian Coogan/Simon Lott/Mike Gamble/Anthony Cuccia/Justin Peak

Cody Dickinson - North Mississippi Allstars, Hill Country Revue

Cody Dickinson
Albums
1. Lily Allen – It's Not Me, It's You
2. Lucero – 1372 Overton Park
3. The Dead Weather - Horehound
4. Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns
5. MGMT - Congratulations
6. Paramore – Brand New Eyes

Shows
1. Dave Matthews Band (w/ Hill Country Revue) for 2 nights July 31 and August 1 at the Verizon Wireless Center in Noblesville, IN
2. Snoop Dogg at Bonnaroo
3. Hill Country Revue with 8 Ball & MJG on Halloween night at the Hi Tone in Memphis, TN

Todd Snider

Todd Snider
Albums (no particular order)
1. Robert Earl Keen - Rose Hotel
2. Phish - Joy
3. Robyn Hitchcock - Good Night Oslo
4. Drivin' n' Cryin' - Great American Bubble Factory
5. Tim Carrol - All Kinds of Pain

Shows (no particular order)
1. Les Claypool | All Good Festival
2. Robert Earl Keen | Bonnaroo Music Festival
3. Great American Taxi | Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Ethan Miller - Howlin Rain

Ethan Miller
Albums
1. Omar Souleyman - Highway to Hassake
2. White Denim - Fits
3. Master Musicians of Bukkake - Totem One
4. Extra Golden - Thank you very Quickly
5. Pissed Jeans - King of Jeans

Steve Molitz - Particle, Phil Lesh & Friends, Playing for Change

Steve Molitz
Albums (no particular order)
1. Greg Giraldo - Midlife Vices
2. Paul F. Tompkins - Freak Wharf
3. Patton Oswalt - My Weakness Is Strong
4. Doug Stanhope - From Across The Street
5. Flight Of The Conchords - I Told You I Was Freaky

Shows
1. Jamie Cullum | 07.17.09 | Juan Les Pin | Antibes, France
2. Playing For Change with Special Guests Ziggy Marley & Toots Hibbert | 11.13.09 | Nokia Live | Los Angeles, CA
3. David Byrne | 06.12.09 | Bonnaroo Music Festival | Manchester, TN

Steve Gorman - The Black Crowes

Gorman by Weiand
Shows
1. The Zombies | Azkena Festival | Spain
2. Bleu | 3rd and Lindley | Nashville, TN
3. AC/DC | Sommet Center | Nashville, TN

Scott McMicken - Dr. Dog

This year feels like any year ever! Such beauty.

Albums
1. Floating Action - self-titled
2. Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid

McMicken by Grayson
3. Elvis Perkins In Dearland – self-titled
4. M. Ward - Hold Time
5. Pepi Ginsberg – East Is East
6. Alec Ounsworth – Mo' Beauty

Shows
The Zombies | Azkena Festival | Spain

Man, as I start thinkin' about it, I realize that the quality of any given show I see has so much to do with my willingness to experience the beauty of that particular moment. I've seen great shows I missed and I've missed great shows I've seen. My nephew jammed the toy room to tears!

Peter Morén - Peter Bjorn and John

Albums

Peter Bjorn and John
1. El Perro Del Mar - Love Is Not Pop
2. Papercuts - You Can Have What You Want
3. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
4. Existensminimum - OK Boys
5. Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - self-titled
6. Girls - Album
7. Brothers Of End - The End
8. Anna Järvinen - Man Var Bland Molnen
9. Where The Action Is - LA Nuggets
10. Cass McCombs - Catacombs

Shows
1. Dinosaur Jr. | SXSW
2. Neil Young | Stockholm
3. El Perro Del Mar opening for us every night this fall tour

Harley Prechtel-Cortez - Red Cortez

Albums

Harley Prechtel-Cortez by Law
1. The Antler's - Hospice
2. Various Artists - Legends of Benin
3. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
4. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
5. Leonard Cohen - Live at the Isle of Wight 1970

Shows
1. BLK JKS at SXSW – March 18 - The Paradise - Austin, TX
On par with South by Southwest chaos we lugged all our equipment from one block to another to make a show in haste and when we got there the BLK JKS were playing before us and it was absolutely captivating. It stopped us in our tracks and made us forget where we were - which is hard to do in those few fragmented days in March in Austin, TX.

2. Opening for Morrissey at Carnegie Hall in Pittsburg, PA - Saint Patrick's Day 2009
The first Carnegie Hall ever built I believe and when we peeked inside it was like playing an old Opera Vaudeville place that was just majestic. Made us feel like we were teleported into another time. During soundcheck you see Morrissey on side stage watching us sing our songs of change and revolt, out of key and dissonant. Saint Patrick's Day opening for Morrissey in that building was quite surreal.

3. Tallest Man on Earth - April 1 - Pabst Theater - Milwaukee, WI
I went through a rough time this year, a lot of personal and family sadness that eventually released the inner hibernating beast whilst simultaneously tricking the spirit inside the confines of my detuned heart. We did a lot of tour hopping in the spring all around the country - once we started traveling with Kristian (TMOE) I felt it serendipitous that I could watch him every night and vicariously live in each song. When he performs it is one of the most genuine things I've seen. I needed that right then and there.

Brian Venable - Lucero

Albums

Lucero
1. Skeletonwitch - Breathe The Fire
2. Baroness - Blue Album
3. Kylesa - Static Tensions
4. Black Tusk/ASG split CD
5. Coliseum – "True Quiet/Last Wave" 7-inch

Shows
1. Southern Discomfort Tour with Black Tusk, Kylesa and Skeletonwitch
2. Bison when they toured with Tombes and Kylesa
3. Backstage at Mastodon in Detroit!

Larry Herweg - Pelican

Albums

Pelican
1. Isis - Wavering Radiant
2. The Life and Times - Tragic Boogie
3. Satyricon - The Age of Nero
4. Converge - Axe to Fall
5. Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart reissue

Shows
1. Nine Inch Nails | Henry Fonda | Los Angeles, CA
2. Jesus Lizard | Metro | Chicago, IL
3. Sunny Day Real Estate | House of Blues | Anaheim, CA

Metric

Albums

Metric
1. Fever Ray - self-titled
2. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
3. Bear in Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth
4. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
5. Girls - Album

Shows
1. Them Crooked Vultures | Reading
2. Dirty Projectors | Brooklyn Pool Party
3. MGMT | Rock en Seine | Paris

Jeff Miller - New Monsoon, The Contribution

Albums

Jeff Miller
1. The Mother Hips – Pacific Dust
2. Levon Helm – Electric Dirt
3. Wilco – Wilco (The Album)
4. Radiohead – In Rainbows
5. Railroad Earth – Amen Corner

Shows
1. Railroad Earth | The Fillmore | San Francisco, CA
2. The Mother Hips | 19 Broadway | Fairfax, CA
3. Mark Karan | Sausalito, CA

Zac Lasher - U-Melt

For me, 2009 was not so much about new music as it was about hearing some legends at a new peak of their career, with that in mind I submit to you my picks.

Albums
1. The Beatles - Abbey Road (remastered)

U-Melt
2. The Beatles - Revolver (remastered)
3. The Beatles - Rubber Soul (remastered)
4. The Beatles - White Album (remastered)
5. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (remastered)

It's hard to compete with the best. The remasters sound absolutely amazing, and I for one was very happy to have a little bit of Beatlemania in my life in 2009.

Shows
1. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band | 09.30.09 | Giants Stadium | East Rutherford, NJ
For night one of his five-night run to close the old stadium, Bruce opened with a brand new, never before played song appropriately titled "Wrecking Ball." Over the course of the 3+ hour show they went through the Born To Run album in its entirety, which was one of the best things I've ever seen on a stage.

2. David Byrne | 06.08.09 | Prospect Park | Brooklyn, NY
David has a unique brand of genius, and when he teams up with Brian Eno, the results are unbeatable. The show focused on the many musical collaborations the two men have had over the years, and featured a lot of great old school Talking Heads songs. With the entire band (and three dancers) dressed all in white, Mr. Byrne's artistic mind shone through in a wonderful way.

3. Steve Winwood | 01.16.09 | United Palace Theater | New York, NY
Every time I see Steve play he blows my mind. The amount of soul that he exudes when he sings, not to mention the fact that he doesn't need a bass player as he is one of the greatest organists around. This night in January had Steve in top form.

Ben Kweller

Ben Kweller
Albums
1. Conor Oberst - Outer South
2. Mason Jennings - Blood Of Man
3. Wilco – Wilco (The Album)
4. Mastodon - Crack The Skye
5. Pearl Jam - Ten (remixed)
6. Them Crooked Vultures – self-titled

Continue reading for more Best of 2009 Artist List...

Dan Lebowitz - ALO

Albums (in no particular order)

Dan Lebowitz
1. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
One day I was really craving some new music so asked one of my friends for an artist to type into Pandora. He said Phoenix. I loved the track that came up. Instead of listening to the Pandora station, I bought their new album and have been listening to it since. Fresh music found.

2. Bruce Springsteen - Working on a Dream
As Barack Obama said... "I may be the President, but this guy's the Boss." Sometimes the production can be thick, but these songs are genuine. The last song on the album entitled "The Wrestler" is one of my favorite songs of his whole career.

3. Brandi Carlile - Give Up the Ghost
One of my favorite new artists and in my opinion, one of the best female singers around today. Great songs, great tones, and a great band.

4. The Mother Hips - Pacific Dust
I'm thankful for every album these guys have released and this new album is no exception. These guys never cease to amaze me.

5. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
I caught the last couple of songs of their set at the Outside Lands Festival in SF. The next day I got their CD and it's great. I like to listen to it when I'm building things.

Shows (in no particular order)

1. Brandi Carlile - 10/21/09 - Fillmore, San Francisco
Brandi is a gifted artist and in a live setting you really notice it. They started the show with an a capella song and they sounded like angels. I was hooked from the first notes.

2. These United States - 7/5/09 - High Sierra Music Festival
I was on my way to meet a friend, and as I was walking by the Vaudeville tent I was drawn in by some great music. I loved it and ended up staying until the end of the set. I love surprises like this. Great energy.

3 ALO - 2/15/09 - The Mystic Theater, Petaluma, CA
To me, this show represents ALO at its finest. We were well warmed up and everything just seemed to flow in an effortless way. A great blend of songs and improvisations. After the show I remember thinking to myself... "This is why I play music!"

Steve Adams – ALO, Big Light

Albums
1. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast

Steve Adams
2. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
3. The Mother Hips - Pacific Dust
4. Hiss Golden Messenger - Country Hai East Cotton
5. Chris Velan - Solidago

Shows Watched
1. Phish | 03.06.08 – 03.08.09 | Hampton Coliseum | Hampton, VA
2. Dr. Dog | 10.05.09 | Brookdale Lodge | Boulder Creek, CA
3. The Black Crowes | 12.06.09 | The Fillmore | San Francisco, CA

Shows Played
1. ALO | 02.15.09 | Mystic Theater | Petaluma, CA
2. Big Light, Skinny Singers | 02.28.09 | Gramble On Big Sur | Big Sur, CA
3. Dun Four, Newfangled Wasteland, Nicki Bluhm | 10.30.09-11.01.09 | Las Tortugas IV | Groveland, CA

Fred Torphy - Big Light

Fred Torphy
Albums
1. The Mother Hips - Pacific Dust
2. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
3. The Beatles - Remasters
4. Dead Weather - Horehound
5. Nathan Moore - Folk Singer

Shows
1. The Mother Hips | 10.31.09 | Las Tortugas
2. The Mars Volta | 08.29.09 | Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival
3. Phish Hampton Reunion Shows

Jeremy Korpas - Big Light

Albums
1. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
The best music in the country is still coming out of Brooklyn.

2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
This album proves that if a song has a strong melody you can do whatever you want underneath it.

3. Portugal The Man - Censored Colors
One of the best engineered and mixed albums I've heard in years.

Jeremy Korpas
4. The Antlers - Hospice
It's a concept album about a man watching his lover die of cancer in the hospital. It's heart wrenching to say the least.

5. U2 - No Line On The Horizon
I would expect no less from the biggest bad in the world.

Shows Attended
1. All six of the Dr. Dog shows that I've seen this year. From The Fillmore to the side of the stage at High Sierra, all the way out in Santa Cruz mountains, every show turned me into a clapper, a singer, a dancer, a fist-pumper, and all those things I wouldn't normally do at a rock show.

2. The Mars Volta | Outside Lands Music Festival | San Francisco, CA
It was an all out musical assault. Cedric's stage moves alone were enough to make the list. They proved they have the biggest dicks in the business

3. The Mother Hips | Las Tortugas IV | Groveland, CA
They just killed it that night! Plus they let me sing "Del Mar Station" onstage with them. First time I had stage fright in 10 years.

Shows Played
1. Big Light's Late Night Camp Harry Set | High Sierra Music Festival
"I moved to California looking for something. I found it at Camp Harry." Swordfish

2. Green Tag Sale | Phanphest Music Festival
We played a late night indoors set that was just off the hook. 120 degrees and a packed house is exactly what the TRON calls for. But on Sunday we played the tiny solar tent at 4 p.m. and played our best show to date!

3. Paperback Radio | The Saint | Asbury Park, NJ
It felt great to play my favorite songs with my favorite band again!

Bradley Bifulco - Big Light

Bifulco by Smith
Albums
1. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
2. Mastodon - Crack The Skye
3. Dead Weather - Horehound
4. The Mother Hips - Pacific Dust
5. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

Shows
1. The Mars Volta | Outside Lands
2. The Mother Hips | Halloween | Las Tortugas IV
3. The Second Annual Golden Gate Gramble | San Francisco, CA

Brian Haas - Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

Brian Haas
Albums
1. Riceboy Sleeps - Jonsi and Alex
2. Baaba Maal - Television
3. Bela Fleck - Throw Down Your Heart
4. Vieux Farka Toure - Fondo
5. Sufjan Stevens - The BQE

Shows
1. Rashied Ali | Zinc Bar | New York, NY
2. Panda Resistance | Soundpony | Tulsa, OK
3. Of Montreal | Williamsburg Theater | Brooklyn, NY

Josh Raymer - Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

Josh Raymer
Albums
1. The Doldrums - Mirth & Songs
2. Dead Sea Choir - Thin One The Red One
3. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
4. Bullion - Pet Sounds in the Key of Dee
5. Panda Resistance - self-titled

Shows
1. NYC Winter Jazz Fest
2. Nola Jazz Fest/Skerik's saucefest!
3. Tractor Tavern with Bill Frisell

Chris Combs - Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

Chris Combs
Albums
1. Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue
2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
3. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
4. The Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
5. MF Doom - Born Into This

Shows
1. Of Montreal | Williamsburg Music Hall | Brooklyn, NY
2. Private party in New Orleans during Jazz Fest where JFJO played with Kirk Joseph, Zigaboo Modeliste, John Speice and several other NOLA badasses.
3. Moodswing Orchestra and JFJO at Le Poisson Rouge, and then late night with Steven Bernstein sitting in with Bonerama at Sullivan Hall, New York, NY

Matt Hayes - Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

Matt Hayes
Albums
1. Sufjan Stevens - The BQE
2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
3. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
4. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast
5. The Flaming Lips - Christmas On Mars soundtrack

Shows
1. Punch Brothers | Fayetteville Performing Arts Center | Fayetteville, AR
2. Of Montreal | Music Hall of Williamsburg | Brooklyn, NY
3. Wilco/Tortoise | UIC Pavilion | Chicago, IL

Russell Pollard - Everest

Pollard by Krolick
Albums (no particular order)
1. Built To Spill - There Is No Enemy
2. Kurt Vile - Constant Hitmaker
3. Wooden Shjips - Dos
4. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
5. Wu-Tang Clan - Chamber Music

Shows (no particular order)
1. Black Dub | 10.15.09 | Troubadour | Los Angeles, CA
2. Monsters Of Folk | 10.18.09 | Greek Theatre | Los Angeles, CA
3. Neil Young w/ Everest | 04.21.09 | Kelowna, BC (had to do it)

Cris Jacobs – The Bridge

The Bridge
Albums
1. Steve Earle - Townes
2. Bill Frisell - Disfarmer
3. Levon Helm - Electric Dirt
4. Smooth Kentucky - A Few More Miles
5. Danny Barnes - Pizza Box

Shows
1. Kelly Joe Phelps | Nightcat | Easton, MD
2. Anders Osborne | Rams Head Live | Baltimore, MD
3. The Dead | The Spectrum | Philadelphia, PA

Dave Simonett - Trampled By Turtles

Trampled By Turtles
Albums
1. Charlie Parr - Roustabout
2. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
3. The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank - Traveling Show
4. Now, Now Every Children - Cars
5. Pert Near Sandstone - On a Spree

Shows
1. Homegrown Music Festival | Duluth, MN
2. Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion | Bristol, TN
3. 10,000 Lakes Festival

Pete Shand - The New Mastersounds

Pete Shand by Martinez
Albums
1. Thievery Corporation - Radio Retaliation
2. Matisyahu - Light
3. Breakestra - Dusk til Dawn
4. Sly and Robbie - Movin On
5. Karl Denson - Brother's Keeper

Shows
1.Thievery Corp
2.Pretty Lights
3.Sly and Robbie
4.Pnuma Trio

Joe Tatton - The New Mastersounds

The New Mastersounds
Albums
1. Pharoah Sanders – You've Got To Have Freedom
2. Thievery Corporation - Radio Retaliation
3. A Beautiful Mind original soundtrack

Shows Played
1. All Good Festival
2. Osaka Monaurail with Marva Whitney
3. Bear Creek Music Festival

Paul Donoghue - Glasvegas

Glasvegas
Albums
1. Florence and the Machine - Lungs
2. Kasabian - West Pauper Lunatic Asylum
3. Muse - The Resistance
4. U2 - No Line On The Horizon
5. The Flaming Lips – Embryonic

Shows
1. Supporting U2 at Croke Park, Dublin in July
2. Kasabian | The SECC | Glasgow, Scotland
3. Florence and the Machine | Brixton Academy | London

Chairlift

Chairlift
Albums
1. Telepathe - Dance Mother
2. Violens - 2009 Winter Mixtape
3. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
4. Dirty French - Dirty French Psychedelics (Compilation)
5. Amazing Baby - Rewild
6. Black Moth Super Rainbow - Eating Us
7. Depreciation Guild - Dream About Me
8. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
9. Fever Ray - Fever Ray
10. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Telepath

Telepath
Albums (no particular order)
1. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
2. Jay-Z - Blueprint 3
3. Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon
4. Muse - The Resistance
5. Kings of Leon - Only by the Night

Shows (no particular order)
1. U2
2. Muse (opening for U2)
3. Nas and Damian Marley | Camp Bisco

Zach Deputy

Zach Deputy
Albums
1. Michael Jackson – Off The Wall
2. Ryan Montbleau Band – Stages Vol. 2
3. Bela Fleck – Throw Down Your Heart
4. The Motet – Dig Deep
5. The Derek Trucks Band – Already Free

Shows
1. Wormtown | Greenfield, MA
2. Bear Creek Festival | Live Oak, FL
3. Bonnaroo | Manchester, TN

Matthew Whipple – Cymbals Eat Guitars

Cymbals Eat Guitars
Albums
1. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
2. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
3. Sonic Youth - The Eternal
4. Atlas Sound - Logos
5. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca

Shows
1. Our show opening for the Flaming Lips in London (11.10.09)
Unforgettable! A crash course in showmanship and what it means to be a gentleman. The Lips and co./crew/family are inspiring, wonderful people.

2. Wilco | 11.07.09 | Rolling Stone Weekender | Lubeck, Germany
Joe, Matt, and myself had a chance to watch Wilco from backstage in Germany. It made me want to go practice my instrument.

3. The Wrens | 12.04.09 | 20th Anniversary Show | Maxwell's | Hoboken, NJ
I only recently got into the Wrens via Joe. They put on an excellent show. 20 years as a band is a long time!

Will Bradford - SeepeopleS, Freepeoples Frequency

SeepeopleS
Albums
1. Morphine – At Your Service
2. Flaming Lips – Embryonic
3. Doves – Kingdom of Rust
4. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
5. Black Eyed Peas – The E.N.D

Shows
1. Phish | 06.14.09 | Bonnaroo | Manchester, TN
2. The Flaming Lips | 08.26.09 | Chastain Park | Atlanta, GA
3. Pretty Lights | 09.12.09 | Trinumeral Festival | Deerfields, NC

Brooke Binion - Freepeoples Frequency

Freepeoples Frequency
Albums
1. The Flaming Lips – Embryonic
2. SeepeopleS – Apocalypse Cow Vol.2
3. Them Crooked Vultures – self-titled
4. Prodigy – Invaders Must Die
5. Shpongle – Ineffable Mysteries of Shpongleland
Shows
1. Phish | 03.07.09-03.09.09 | Hampton Coliseum
2. Ozric Tentacles | 09.05.09 | The Orange Peel | Asheville, NC
3. The Flaming Lips | 08.26.09 | Chastain Park | Atlanta, GA

Steve Choi - RX Bandits

RX Bandits
Albums
1. Mew - No more stories Are told today I'm sorry they washed away....
2. Converge - Axe To Fall
3. Fucked Up - The Chemistry Of Common Life
4. Sonic Youth - The Eternal
5. Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You

Top 3 shows for RX Bandits this last year

1. TLA | July 2009 | Philadelphia, PA
2. Criciuma | October 2009 | Brazil
3. Irving Plaza | July 2009 | New York, NY

Casey Laforet - Elliott BROOD

Top Ten Songs to get you through the worst hangover of your life...

Attention!!! The order must be followed exactly.

Elliott BROOD
1. "Cranes" (Parkdale)
When your eyes open, you're going to need something soothing to reassure you you're going to live through the day. The vocal harmonies and gorgeous melodies from this former Toronto duo rival those of Simon and that curly haired guy. Take some painkillers and try to pay attention to some of the most beautiful lyrics ever penned. Now find your apartment. That family wants its front lawn back.

2. "Go First" (Damien Jurado)
Now you're going to need something to get you moving...especially for those multiple trips you'll take to the bathroom. "Go First" is perfect, with slow simple drums and a hanging guitar line. This is a "sad, break-up, feel sorry for yourself" song, which is perfect for how you should be feeling. It also has that mysterious "I'm gonna be okay power," which will help with the next few hours. Suggestion: Play twice if necessary. Do not move to next song until ready.

3. "I Wonder" (Blind Melon)
From their outstanding debut, let "I Wonder" suck you in with its subtle acoustic intro. Then let it pull you out from beneath the blankets with an electric lead line for the ages. By far one of the greatest guitar combo bands in recent history, this song should have you on your feet, or at least sitting at the edge of your bed considering eating something. Remember to drink water.

4. "Furr" (Blitzen Trapper)
Now that you're up and walking and the dizziness is fading it's time for some introspection. Lyrically, "Furr" is one of the most beautiful songs ever written, with a simple Dylan-esque arrangement and outstanding vocal treatment, complete with loon calls. The song beautifully describes the insanity and wilderness of youth, which is probably what you were trying to relive last night when you followed that tequila with whiskey and decided that you're a smoker now. I once used up an entire iPod battery with this song on repeat. This one is worth soaking up a few times before moving on.

5. "Head Home" (Midlake)
Staying on the wilderness theme, "Head Home" is from The Trials of Van Occupanther, which is one of the greatest complete albums in recent memory. There are tones and synths in this song and throughout the record that you won't find anywhere else, or at least not used as tastefully. The soaring chorus at the end of the song should have through the regret phase of the hangover and in a sing-along mood.

6. "Wavin' Flag" (K'naan)
Now that you're halfway through the pain and self-loathing, it's time for something uplifting and inspirational. "Wavin' Flag" was recently chosen as the theme song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and with good reason. This song has a hook that will stick with you throughout the day.

7. "Arms Like Boulders" (War On Drugs)
I met these guys in France and it's impossible to describe their sound. This song clocks in at just over five minutes and will have you floating along the whole way. There's a lot of stuff hiding in this song, so use headphones if possible.

8. "When We Were Young" (The Killers)
I know this probably isn't popular amongst music snobs, but I can't help it. This song is perfect for starting over. Driving bass and laser guitars. You're headache is now a memory and you're feeling like getting in trouble again. If you can't find an MP3 and you don't own the album, just turn on the radio three years ago.

9. "When We Were Young" (The Wooden Sky)
Same song title, better band. If you're up to it, it's time for a road trip, or at least a trip to the liquor store to pick up the next round. This is a great driving song with the perfect amount of gravel vocals. Watch your speed as the drum line will have you pushing the gas excessively.

10. "I Gotta Get Drunk" (Phosphorescent covering Willie Nelson)
Well, you've come full circle. Crack that square bottle and get started all over again! You've already forgotten what you put yourself through today. Let the great lyrics of this track reassure you you're doing the right thing ruining your tomorrow!

Repeat track list daily as needed

Andre Cholmondeley - Project/Object

Project/Object
Albums
1. PJ Harvey and John Parrish - A Woman A Man Walked By
2. U2 - No Line On The Horizon
3. Death - For the Whole World To See
4. Mastodon - Crack The Skye
5. Living Colour - The Chair in the Doorway

Shows
1. Bill Frisell | Grey Eagle | Asheville, NC
2. Nine Inch Nails, Jane's Addiction, Street Sweeper (NINJA Tour) | May 2009 | Atlanta GA
3. Eddie Jobson - UZ Project w/John Wetton, Tony Levin, Greg Howe, Marco Minnemann | November 2009 | Warsaw, Poland

BoomBox

BoomBox
Shows
1. The first night of All Good was all good
2. Wakarusa - everybody played great
3. Bela Fleck, Zakir Hussein, & Edgar Meyer at Trinumeral

Grayson Capps

Albums
1. Levon Helm - Electric Dirt
2. The Heartless Bastards - The Mountain
3. The Black Crowes - Before The Freeze

Grayson Capps
4. Bob Dylan - Christmas In The Heart
5. Grayson Capps - Live At The Paradiso

Shows
1. The Guthrie Family Tour | November 2009 | Burlington, VT
2. Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble | November 2009 | Woodstock, NY
3. Amanda Shires | September 2009 | The Basement | Nashville, TN

Trevor Hall

Albums
1. Matisyahu - Light

Trevor Hall
2. Michael Franti and Spearhead - All Rebel Rockers
3. The Bauls of Bengal - Folk Songs of India: Remastered
4. Easy Star All-Stars - Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band
5. Mahesha Ram - Kabir in Rajasthan

Shows
1. Dub Trio opening for Matisyahu | Austin, TX
2. Michael Franti and Spearhead | somewhere outside in the middle of nowhere in Montana
3. Mario Pagliarulo singing in Italian | anywhere and everywhere

Please use the Comments Section to tell the world your top albums and live shows from 2009.

Check out Part 2 of our Best of 2009 Artist List here.


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Comments

Cola21 Thu 12/24/2009 11:14PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Cola21

I've only read the introduction and I have to express myself: Lady Gaga is not revolutionary or creative. She may dress unorthodoxically, but the three or so singles she's released all sound the same AND "Bad Romance" has a strong tinge of some Miley Cyrus song I've heard. Not good company to be in in terms of musical authenticity and creativity (although Party in the USA slowly slowly slowly worked me down). So, just to clear the air. Lady Gaga ain't special. Don't feel compelled to think so.

mesaxi Fri 12/25/2009 12:32AM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

^^Thanks for saying it. Lady Gaga is another another talentless hack pressed out by the warped cookie cutter that is that mainstream american music industry. She represents the target that they have pinned to each and every one of us, and the downfall of musicians in the forefront. She does not write or play her own music, she is the avatar of ignorant music.

I loooove that Skerik and Mike Dillon picked The Wayne Shorter Quartet as their top show.

Snackman starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/25/2009 05:49AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Snackman

Albums(no part. order)

1. eliot lipp- peace love weed 3d

2.big gigantic-wake up

3.animal collective- merriweather post pavillion

4.john frusciante- the empyrean

5. any sub soldiers, muti music, lowpro lounge, brainfeeder artists

Shows(no part. order)

1. RUSKO-Portland, OR 12/12/09

2. bluetech-earthdance late nite

3. glitch mob-portland, OR 7/27/09

4.ROTHBURY (SCI, Chromeo, Nas, EoTo)

kfk1000 Fri 12/25/2009 06:07AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

^^^ agree with that completely lipp's latest cd, best of the year, from start to finish the man kills it.

hnkscrpio Fri 12/25/2009 06:53AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

hnkscrpio

yeah sal, right with you on peace love weed 3d and merriweather post pavillion.

curtbraski Fri 12/25/2009 07:39AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

curtbraski

the disco biscuits are soo lame why did they wrote paragraphs... what a bunch of DBags.... btw Happy Hollidaze

Dcknyc Fri 12/25/2009 08:33AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Dcknyc

Best Albums of 2009

both self titled debuts

Flearoy - Flearoy

http://www.myspace.com/Flearoy

Chelsea Crowell - Chelsea Crowell

http://www.chelseajanecrowell.com

sunflowerra Fri 12/25/2009 09:13AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

sunflowerra

Murph is incredible.

Albums:

Ad Explorata- STS9

Cozza Friendly- Bassnectar

Peace Love Weed 3D- Eliot Lipp

Flat5 Fri 12/25/2009 10:13AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Flat5

this is the best "Best of" list.

RichardHaley Fri 12/25/2009 10:21AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I don't think the writer was saying that Lady Ga Ga or Lil' Wayne were amazing musicians or that he even liked them, seemed like he was just stating how they followed an unorthodox road to success. And i think you kinda have to agree, neither of them really fit into the mold of pop star cookie cutters. Personally, i could give a shit about either one, but as far as pop stars, they def cut their own path. Anyway, much more importantly, awesome job gathering so many lists for us to dig into. Happy Holidays everyone.

Cola21 starstarstarstar Fri 12/25/2009 11:12AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Cola21

Yeah I probably jumped to an unfair conclusion based on that little reference. I think it was just my misplaced frustration with friends who praise her creativity too much.

I'm so excited to see Grizzly Bear on so many people's lists. They put out one phenomenal record. A bit of a change from Yellow House, but they just seem to purr out a wave of sound that totally captivates me. And Levon Helm's Electric Dirt. Holy crap. What an album. As cliche as it is to say, you should get the album just to hear his Tennessee Jed cover. It's disgustingly fun.

louie1827 Fri 12/25/2009 11:46AM
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reed mathis has quite the ego...

tman1628 starstar Fri 12/25/2009 12:30PM
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I can't believe Artist's were arrogant enough to put their own material in their top lists...well I can, but what dicks!

Andrew Bruss Fri 12/25/2009 12:35PM
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Andrew Bruss

1. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

2. Mastodon - Crack The Skye

3. Raekwon - Only Built For Cuban Linx Pt II...

redhed starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/25/2009 12:37PM
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redhed

1. Dead Fish-Signal Fading http://www.myspace.com/signalfading

2. Manners-Passion Pit

3. A New Tide-Gomez

4. Glitter & Doom-Tom Waits (Fucking Legend)

5. Monsters of Folk

6. Around The Well-Iron & Wine

7. Blood of Man-Mason Jennings

8. Octahedron-The Mars Volta

9. Black Gives Way To Blue-Alice In Chains

10. The Pursuit-Jamie Cullum

redhed starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/25/2009 12:44PM
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redhed

I love to make a list. I put the link up for Signal Fading because they are not well known, but they should be IMHO. Check'em out my hippy friends.

Marcsmall Fri 12/25/2009 03:55PM
Show -3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
brooklynite84 Fri 12/25/2009 04:19PM
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Albums:

Flaming Lips - Embryonic and Dark Side of the Moon

Them Crooked Vultures

Shows:

Sleepy Sun - Modified Arts PHX and Flagstaff

Flaming Lips - Mcdowell Mountain Music Festival

NIN - PHX and San Diego

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - Dana Point, Cali

The Horrors - Tempe AZ

Puscifer - PHX

brooklynite84 Fri 12/25/2009 04:40PM
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Just found out that James Gurley of Big Brother passed, RIP JAMES, your music and style was such an inspiration...Combination of the Two is one of my all time favorite songs...thanks for being one of the cultivating and innovative figures in the San Fran 60s scene from the very beginning:)

iAMuANDwhatIseeISme Sat 12/26/2009 09:02AM
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iAMuANDwhatIseeISme

reed mathis is actualy a very humble and amicable in person. i think he's just very proud of the enormous amount of work they put into winterwood. i would be too. it is a very "beautiful" album.....ANYWAY...Leonard Cohen put on THE best tour of any performer this year. PERIOD. few performances have ever moved me to tears. unreal for a 70-something year old man.

BGA1 Sat 12/26/2009 09:12AM
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Yeah ALO the Mystic!! I will agree with dan & Steve on that one. Had not seen ALO since 1999 and was blown away that night at the mystic. I still listen to that recording at least once a week!

PhunkyAdam Sat 12/26/2009 09:41AM
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PhunkyAdam

As much as I love Sound Tribe, I hate how (for the past few years at least that I have read this) Murph always lists one of STS9's albums. Last year he said Peaceblaster was one of the best of 08 rofl.

PhunkyAdam Sat 12/26/2009 09:42AM
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PhunkyAdam

Meant to say two, not few btw.

ghilliesblunt starstarstarstarstar Sat 12/26/2009 12:25PM
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ghilliesblunt

no offense, phunkyAdam but he listed the peaceblaster make it right remixes album, which was pretty damn good...but i agree yeah the og peaceblaster was not one of 08's best

peace love weed 3D was the best album of 09 imo, and the best cover art in a loooong time

DAMONCORY starstarstarstarstar Sat 12/26/2009 01:27PM
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DAMONCORY

This is a great feature. I dont buy alot of music anymore "except lots of shows & festivals" Two I did buy & Im surprised no one mentioned are Clutch's Strange Cousins From the West, & P.O.S.'s Never Better. Both are outstanding. The New Mastodon album is great too. Im also a little surprised no mentioned the ABB/WSP or De La Soul tours.

mahgeetah Sat 12/26/2009 04:21PM
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mahgeetah

Seriously Murph needs to be listening to more music than his own. Would probably do wonders for the music he makes. Just sayin.

Fza Sun 12/27/2009 02:04PM
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Artists that put their own work on the "best of" list have also earned the "worst douchebag" award (e.g. STS9). Also, Disco Biscuits talk too much.

Other than that, Jambase you rule, thanks so much for doing this every year. Next year, more humble artists should be given a voice.

Cheers.

chidodger Sun 12/27/2009 03:38PM
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chidodger

Best shows for me this year (in no particular order)...

-Bisco at the Congress Theater-Chicago

-Pretty Lights at Rothbury

-The Dead at Allstate arena on Cindo de mayo

-Phish at Alpine night 1 (liked both nights, but I thought 1 was better)

-Umphreys at Rothbury

-MSTRKRFT ar Rothbury

zeebo Sun 12/27/2009 04:01PM
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So glad that Kyle Hollingsworth mentioned Gregory Alan Isakov's "This Empty Northern Hemisphere" on his list of favorite albums of 09. I haven't looked very closely, but I haven't seen that album on anyone else's list. The entire album is great, and I would highly recommend checking it out if you have not heard of him. It definitely made my top 5, probably close to the top.......

I would also add albums by Phoenix, The Avett Brothers, Dawes, Bell X1, Andrew Bird, Wilco, Alberta Cross, Jason Isbell and probably more that I am forgetting.......

My favorite album of the year (besides Gregory Alan Isakov) would have to be Local Native's "Gorilla Manor". This album has not been released in the US yet, so maybe it will make a lot of people's lists in 2010......

lerner starstarstarstarstar Sun 12/27/2009 04:13PM
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lerner

I really enjoyed reading all of that... It is a very unique thing to hear what your favorite artists are listening to..

~Thanks JamBase... Keep up the good work..!

chux7487 Sun 12/27/2009 05:21PM
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chux7487

so glad flight of the concords is getting love on here. too many dicks on the dancefloor

PhunkyAdam Sun 12/27/2009 07:51PM
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PhunkyAdam

Oh dude ghilliesblunt, none taken. I will never cut anybody down for voicing their opinion. While I didn't listen to the entire album, I checked out quite a few of the remixes and liked what I heard, and honestly I like a few PeaceBlaster songs a lot. My comment wasn't meant to take a shot at STS9's new material(I mean, that's a subject about as beaten as "molly/flatbrim jokes" aimed at bisco kids), but the fact that it seems rather douchey, to list your own album as best of the year, MORE than one year in a row, no less. I have nothing for love but STS9, even after they started doing their one set, PA/Peaceblaster garbage. But Murph could have given another band credit, instead of calling his own the best, AGAIN.

GeorgieP Mon 12/28/2009 05:45AM
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GeorgieP

It's true, the best music IS coming out of Brooklyn these days.

BooneRes starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/28/2009 08:23AM
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BooneRes

Good you kids are rediculously ignorant. PEACEBLASTER remixes were not done by STS9, they were remixed by some of the best dj's/producers in the country and hardly sound anything like the songs they are remxing on the cd. If you don't know what you are talking about then you should really shut the fuck up because it makes you look retarded.

George W. Bush II starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/28/2009 01:42PM
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George W. Bush II

you are right trance_delight, but they still sucked IMO.

PhunkyAdam Mon 12/28/2009 04:29PM
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PhunkyAdam

trance, Maybe you should take your own advice. It's quite obvious what you said, which is probably why nobody bothered to point that out before you strolled along. It is still their album, with remixes of their songs. People like you are exactly why I don't post on these boards but once in a blue moon, and people like you are also what's wrong with our scene today, IMO. What happened to those good vibes people? It's easier to be nice and peaceful than it is to be an arrogant dickbag, so why not spread some positivity instead of hate? Didn't you ever see Star Wars dood?

wilsonsux11 Tue 12/29/2009 12:14PM
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My Favorite Albums (no order):

Phish - Joy; The Pass - Colors EP; Blakroc - Blackroc; Black Crowes - Before the Frost...Until the Freeze; Levon Helm - Electric Dirt; Assembly of Dust - Some Assembly Required; Nate Wilson Group - Unbound; New Mastersounds - Ten Years On

My Favorite Shows (in order):

5. (tie) Widespread Panic - Forecastle Festival, Louisville, KY - 7/11/2009

5. (tie) New Mastersounds - Forecastle Festival, Louisville, KY - 7/10/2009

4. Phish - MSG - 12/4/2009

3. The Machine - Gathering of the Vibes - 7/23/2009

2. Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood - IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ - 6/10/2009

1. Steely Dan - Constitution Hall, Washington DC - 11/22/2009

pgroover Wed 12/30/2009 08:00AM
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pgroover

Band Of Horses- Cease To Begin was not a 2009 album. Neither was In Rainbows by Radiohead.

Best Albums of The Year

1. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion

2. Grizzly Bear - Vecketamist

3. Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3

4. Phish - Joy

5. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

6. Iron & Wine - Around The Well

7. Flaming Lips - Embryonic

8. Monsters Of Folk - Monsters Of Folk

9. Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid

10. Akron/Family - Set Em Wild, Set Em Free

Best Shows I saw in 2009

1. String Cheese Incident - Rothbury (if you missed it, you missed it)

2. Phish - Bonnaroo (both shows)

3. Future Rock - Rothbury Late Nite

4. STS9 - Rothbury Late Nite (both shows)

5. Bob Dylan - Rothbury

DELYEAH starstarstarstarstar Thu 12/31/2009 09:07AM
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DELYEAH

Favorite Albums of 2009:

1. Phish-Joy

2. Del McCoury Band-Family Circle

3. Raekwon-Only Built For Cuban Linx 2

4. Jay Z-The Blueprint 3

5. J.J. Cale-Roll On

6. Soulive-Up Here

7. Dan Auerbach-Keep It Hid

8. Karl Denson's Tiny Universe-Brother's Keeper

9. Willie Nelson & Asleep at The Wheel-Willie and The Wheel

***

Favorite Shows I Saw in 2009:

1. Phish-Hampton Coliseum-Hampton, VA-3/8

2. Phish-John Paul Jones Arena-Charlottesville, VA-12/5

3. Phish-Thompson-Boling Arena-Knoxville, TN-6/10

4. Widespread Panic/Allman Brothers-Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre-Charlotte, NC-10/3

5. Disco Biscuits-Tennessee Theatre-Knoxville, TN-9/26

6. Paul McCartney-Piedmont Park-Atlanta, GA-8/15

7. Del McCoury Band-Peace Center-Greenville, SC-10/13

8. Keller Williams-The Handlebar-Greenville, SC-1/21

9. North Mississippi Allstars-The Handlebar-Greenville, SC-4/1

10. Dickey Betts & Great Southern-The Handlebar-Greenville, SC-10/21

DELYEAH Thu 12/31/2009 10:59AM
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DELYEAH

^^^^

I forgot 2 albums to add to the list:

Gov't Mule-By A Thread (Definite top 5 for me, I can't believe I forgot)

Umphrey's McGee-Mantis

desertsky7 Thu 12/31/2009 02:25PM
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Censorship is an ugly weapon wielded by the humorless and weak of skin.

Corby Anderson

So much for good natured ribbing.

andrewdeluxe Fri 1/1/2010 12:47PM
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andrewdeluxe

I liked that Gutwillig mentions Simon Posford, but he should have mentioned the amazing album he & raja ram released as Shpongle this year. Its fucking awesome

Here's mine:

Albums

Kettel - Myam James pt. 2

Shpongle - The Ineffable Mysteries of Shpongleland

Phish - Joy

Silkie - City Limits Volume 1

Shows:

Zappa Play Zappa - Stubbs in Austin

Phish - Bonnaroo friday night

Les Claypool - wakarusa

Stenchman - Mad Classy @ Barcelona, austin

Umphrey's McGee - 9/11, austin

pjustus starstarstarstarstar Sat 1/2/2010 01:40AM
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Since when are musicians not allowed to like their own work?

thesloth29 starstarstarstarstar Wed 1/6/2010 08:52AM
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thesloth29

Albums:

1. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

2. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)

3. The Black Crowes - Before the Frost...

4. U2 - No Line on the Horizon

5. Phish - Joy

jperkins9 Fri 1/8/2010 06:52PM
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jperkins9

Top 10 Albums of 2009

1. Doves - Kingdom of Rust

2. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

3. The Dodos - A Time to Die

4. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

5. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

6. It Hugs Back – Inside Your Guitar

7. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)

8. Arctic Monkeys – Humbug

9. Gomez - A New Tide

10. Franz Ferdinand – Tonight

Top 5 Shows of 2009

1. Doves @ The Fillmore - May 18, 2009

2. Gomez @ The Fillmore - July 30, 2009

3. The Dodos @ The Casbah - September 28, 2009

4. Grizzly Bear @ Belly Up Tavern

5. Greyboy Allstars @ Belly Up Tavern - December 23, 2009

sistasteph starstarstar Sat 1/9/2010 12:32PM
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Wow, what a disappointingly homogenous group that jambase sought opinions from.

Fnkmister starstarstarstar Tue 1/12/2010 01:55PM
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Fnkmister

This is great! I love to see the opinions of musicians I respect. Its a great way to give nods to your contemporaries. Good to see the Bridge and New Mastersounds in the mix!

Too bad some of these guys shamelessly claim their own shows and albums as their picks. Especially when they're already incredibly famous...

primeg starstarstar Fri 1/15/2010 11:34AM
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No Phantogram? puzzling