Best of 2009 Artist List Part 2

Mike Portnoy - Dream Theater

Dream Theater
1. Bigelf - Cheat The Gallows
2. Mastodon - Crack The Skye
3. The Devin Townsend Project - Ki/Addicted
4. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
5. Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue

Honorable Mentions (who the hell can pick just 5??)
Between The Buried And Me, Them Crooked Vultures, Megadeth, Animals As Leaders, Baroness

1. Zappa Plays Zappa | Every night on Progressive Nation Tour in North America
2. Opeth | Every night on Progressive Nation Tour in Europe
3. Metallica | 11.15.09 | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY

Jesse Elliott - These United States

Jesse Elliott
Albums (wish I coulda heard 'em all out there, but these're the ones that just happened to stick)

1. Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs
2. Cotton Jones - Paranoid Cocoon
3. Tinariwen - Imidiwan
3. Paleo - Pedestrian Crossing
4. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast

Shows (we don't get to see em unless we're playin em - so, again, perhaps a limited slice of Life)

1. Dr. Dog and Phosphorescent | 06.27.09 | Prospect Park Bandshell | Brooklyn, NY
2. The Mynabirds and Jake Bellows | 10.01.09 | Slowdown | Omaha, NE
3. The Devil Whale | 09.19.09 | Sophia's | Davis, CA
4. Horse Feathers and Small Sur | 04.24.09 | HOWBOUT Fest | Poughkeepsie, NY
5. The Daredevil Christopher Wright and TV Torso | 08.17.09 | Huckleberry's | Rock Island, IL

Will JohnsonCentro-matic, Monsters of Folk

Will Johnson
Albums (no particular order)
1. Vic Chesnutt - At The Cut
2. Mulatu Astatke - New York-Addis-London
3. A.A. Bondy - When The Devil's Loose
4. Various Artists - Downriver Revival: Local Customs
5. Dexateens - Singlewide

Shows (no particular order)
1. Sarah Jaffe | March 2009 | Nx35 | Denton, TX
2. Monahans | May 2009 | Schuba's | Chicago, IL
3. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy | June 2009 | Mohawk | Austin, TX

Dave Brogan - ALO, New Fangled Wasteland

Dave Brogan
Albums (no particular order)
1. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
2. Vieux Farka Toure - Fondo
3. The Mother Hips - Pacific Dust
4. The Mars Volta - Octahedron
5. Porcupine Tree - The Incident

Shows (in no order)
1. Sean Hayes | 05.16.09 | The Independent | San Francisco, CA
2. Vieux Farka Toure | 09.13.09 | The Independent | San Francisco, CA
3. Garrin Benfield | 06.24.09 | The Transmission Theater | San Francisco, CA

Nat Keefe - Hot Buttered Rum

Nat Keefe
1. Bela Fleck - Throw Down Your Heart
2. Mastodon - Blood Mountain
3. The Decemberists - Hazards of Love
4. Zach Gill - Stuff
5. The Avett Brothers - I and love and you
6. The Blow - True Affection

1. The Inauguration - Pete Seeger
Years after being blacklisted by the American government, Seeger is given the spotlight in the Capitol.

2. I also got really wrapped up in the Taylor Swift/Kanye controversy. That was fine entertainment. I'm going to stage a similar coup at the Jammys this year. Watch out.

3. I've seen Fruition play a few times this year and it's always been stellar. This soul/blues string band from Portland, OR are the biggest rock stars I've seen with acoustic instruments.

Scott Metzger - Bustle In Your Hedgerow, Gene Ween Band, RANA

Scott Metzger
Albums (no particular order)
1. Nels Cline - Coward
2. Bill Frisell - Disfarmer
3. Louis Sclavis - Lost on the Way
4. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
5. Jim Hall - Hemishperes

1. Monte Good and the Honky Tonk Heroes Band | 03.23.09 | Robert's Western World | Nashville TN
Dave Dreiwitz, Joe Russo and I had a night off in Musictown, USA and went out for steaks. After delicious steaks, we wandered down to music row and went into the bar with the coolest sign we could find - a big neon cowboy boot that said "Western World." No cover. The band was already playing when we walked in. We stayed for about three hours and they were still playing when we left. These guys were absolutely outrageous. EVERY song was a showstopper. Awe-inspiring musicianship. I'm assuming they were playing for the tip jar since it was a Monday night. Truly inspiring. When in Nashville, look up Monte Good & the Honky Tonk Heroes and go see them - you'll thank me.

2. The Dead Weather | 11.17.09 | The Music Hall of Williamsburg | Brooklyn, NY
I went into this show not expecting much. Not that I don't like Jack White, it just seemed a little over-hyped to me. But a good friend scored a ticket for me so I went. WOW. I was floored from note one. It was creepy, scary, frantic, sexy, angry, and raw all at the same time - the way a good rock show should be. Thoroughly satisfying.

Brad Cook – Megafaun

1. Hammer No More the Fingers - Looking for Bruce
2. Sharon Van Etten - Because I was in Love
3. On Fillmore - Extended Vacation
4. Califone - All My Friends are Funeral Singers
5. Jim O'Rourke - Visitor

1. Hallelujah Train
A special one-off gospel tribute featuring Buddy Miller, Greg Leisz, Brian Blade, Daniel Lanois and a Baptist church from Shreveport, LA.

2. Dodos
Saw them 15 times this year and was inspired every second of it.

3. Bon Iver
Saw 'em a dozen times this year and was floored. I've heard just about every song Justin has ever written and played with him for years, but I was consistently surprised and moved by that band every time I saw them. From the songs to the guitar tone to the sound engineers, Brian and Xandy, that band is the shit.

Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers


Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers
1. Regina Spektor - Far
2. The Avett Brothers - I and Love and You
3. Monsters of Folk - self-titled
4. Brandi Carlile - Give Up The Ghost)
5. The Bird and The Bee - Ray Guns are not Just the Future

1. Serena Ryder | Pearl St. Ballroom | Northampton MA
2. Ryan Adams | Shubert Theater | New Haven, CT
3. State Radio | Bowery Ballroom | New York, NY

Carbon Leaf


Carbon Leaf
1. David Rawlings Machine - A Friend of a Friend
2. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
3. Matt Flinner Trio - Music Du Jour
4. Liz Carroll and John Doyle - Double Play
5. The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
6. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone

1. Dinosaur Jr.
2. Matt Flinner Trio
3. Mutemath

Jer Coons

Jer Coons
1. Jer Coons - Speak Speak
My grandma helped me with this list and so my record was number one out of a technicality since Josh Groban didn't put one out this year.
2. Bon Iver - Blood Bank
3. Alberta Cross - Broken Side of Time
4. Fun - Aim & Ignite
5. Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3

1. Alberta Cross | Higher Ground | Burlington, VT
2. Russ Lawton & Ray Paczkowski | Nectar's | Burlington, VT
3. The Wood Brothers | Higher Ground | Burlington, VT

Eddie Gieda – An Albatross

An Albatross
1. Dark Meat - Truce Opium
2. Bruce Springsteen - Working On A Dream
3. Death - For the Whole World to See
4. Melt Banana - Lite Live Ver 0.0
5. Willie and the Wheel - Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel

1. Bruce Springsteen | Hershey Stadium | Hershey, PA
2. 5 Elements of Hip Hop (Beastie Boys/Cypress Hill/Roots DJ's) | Dour Festival | Dour, Belgium
3. Death | Fun Fun Fun Festival | Austin, TX (tied with)
Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel | Kirby Center | Wilkes-Barre, PA

The Verbs

The Verbs
1. The Beatles – Remastered catalog
2. Elvis Presley - Elvis 75: Good Rockin' Tonight
3. Lady Gaga - The Fame Monster
4. John Mayer - Battle Studies
5. Pirate Radio soundtrack

1. Post-Inaugural Ball Jam with Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Kim Wilson, Shemekia Copeland, Larry Taylor and Steve Jordan
2. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band | 11.08.09 | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY
3. John Mayer | 12.16.09 | Jay Leno Show



1. Tiny Vipers - Life On Earth
Seattle-based Jesy Fortino has thoroughly built a gleaming tower of lonesome majesty with her second full-length Sub Pop release. Hoisting not much more than her deep-quaking voice and a lone somber guitar, Fortino blankets us with sodden douses of song. A long repose for the restless. Highly recommended.

2. Richard Skelton - Marking Time
Of the ever-increasing number of side-projects for this British composer, none have harnessed his trademarked sound in such a taut and cinched parcel than with Marking Time, which was re-released on vinyl from the 2008 pressing by Preservation Records of Australia. Taking a break from his own label-running and customized packaging duties with Sustain-Release, Skelton gleans shards of forested cello and rambling guitars on this record, which absolutely sets the cairn aptly on a plateau high above the tree-line.

3. Rameses III - I Could Never Love You More
There is a slight humming in the air with scents aloft from these sparse and clean channels. Rameses III splays before us a strict and beautiful collection of sounds. The humus layer is gently abraded to shine forth the flickering-dim evening lights of these neatly crafted tunes. One honestly could (almost) never love this album more.

4. Riceboy Sleeps - Riceboy Sleeps
Extracted from possibly the swooning ambience that shimmered in Sigur Ros, Jonsi Birgisson and partner Alex Somers cull the wispy chorals of the Icelandic Kópavogsdætur Choir to abet them on their lingering journey. Riceboy Sleeps adds an aural layer to the aesthetic mélange of its prequel, which was released in 2008 as a book of images and mixed media. The blissful union of the otherworldly human voices and the glistening wardrobe of sound here can do more than lie us prostrate, ever-gazing upward.

5. Black To Comm - Alphabet 1968
With a countless quiver of choice LPs and an ever-increasing bevy of artists, I have come to rely on Type Record's marksmanship. In a prime example, Black To Comm, hailing from Hamburg, tinges our innermost nests with a dark bedding of the bleak-yet-lovely variety. Alphabet 1968 floats through thickets of found-sounds, field recordings and phantasmic piano and guitar melodies to cloak one's filamented longing with a suitable soundtrack.

1. Tiny Vipers | 06.23.09 | First Unitarian Church | Philadelphia, PA
2. Hauschka | 04.26.09 | Cinemascore Festival | Benicassim, Spain
3. Peter Broderick | 03.21.09 | Hometapes' Friend Island, SXSW | Austin, TX
4. Tortoise | 7.15.09 | Mohawk | Austin, TX

Clarence Bucaro

Clarence Bucaro
1. J.D. Souther - If the World Was You
2. Allen Toussaint - The Bright Mississippi
3. David Byrne and Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
3. Bob Dylan - Together Through Life
4. Levon Helm - Electric Dirt

1. Leonard Cohen | Beacon Theatre | New York, NY
2. Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove | New Orleans, LA
3. Shelby Lynne | Williamsburg Music Hall | Brooklyn, NY

Marfred Rodriguez Lopez - Zechs Marquise

Zechs Marquise
1. Mastodon - Crack The Skye
2. MF Doom - Born Like This
3. RX Bandits - Mandala
4. Mos Def - The Ecstatic

1. RX Bandits | July 2009 | TLA | Philadelphia, PA
2. Mastodon | August 2009 | Outside Lands Festival | San Francisco, CA
3. Peanut Butter Wolf | September 2009 | Low End Theory | Los Angeles, CA

Wendy Darling

Wendy Darling
1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It's Blitz!
2. Passion Pit – Manners
3. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
4. Ida Maria – Fortress Round My Heart
5. Metric – Fantasies

1. Andrew Bird | Wanderlust Festival
2. Wendy Darling in the rain | Monolith Fest | Red Rocks | Morrison, CO
3. Dan Deacon | Treasure Island Music Fest | San Francisco, CA

Mike Pinto Band

Mike Pinto Band
1. Easy Star All Stars - Sgt. Peppers Lonely Dub Band
2. Fat Freddy's Drop – Dr. Boondigga and The Big BW
3. NOFX - Coasters
4. 10 Ft. Ganja Plant – Bush Rock
5. Cage The Elephant – self-titled

1. UB40 | Belly Up Tavern | San Diego, CA
2. The Slackers | The Casbah | San Diego, CA
3. The Aggrolites | Canes | San Diego, CA

Dappled Cities


Dappled Cities
1. Mew - No more stories…
2. Aqua - Greatest Hits
3. Dappled Cities - Zounds
4. Akron/Family - Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free
5. Van Morrison - Astral Weeks (Live at the Hollywood Bowl)

1. Akron/Family
2. Metallica
3. Underground Lovers

Girls In Trouble

Girls In Trouble
1. Sharon Van Etten - because I Was In love
2. Swan Lake - Enemy Mine
3. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
4. Sufjan Stevens - The BQE
5. Fiery Furnaces - I'm Going Away
6. Micachu and the Shapes - Jewellery
7. Tune-Yards - Bird-Brains
8. The Bloodsugars - I Can't Go On, I'll Go On
9. Bon Iver - Blood Bank
10. David Bazan - Curse Your Branches

Noah Reid - The New Up

The New Up
1. Them Crooked Vultures - self-titled
2. Metric – Fantasies
3. Tom Waits - Glitter & Doom
4. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
5. Vetiver – Tight Knit

Jay Seals – Blue Turtle Seduction

Albums (in no order)
1. Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything to Nothing
This album has been hitting me right in my psyche g-spot. Just the right blend of Modest Mouse, Weezer, Nirvana, and Avett Brothers.

2. Alice in Chains - Black Gives Way to Blue
There's no replacing Layne Staley, but it's great to hear their music again.

3. 2me - Chasing Silhouettes
Underground Sacramento band. This album is perfect for drinking lattes, watching the snow fall, and reading the comics.

Blue Turtle Seduction
4. The Black Crowes - Before the Frost...Until the Freeze
Thanks JamBase for turning me onto this one; I would have loved to have been in the audience for this.

5. Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
Only been listening to this for a bit, but it's worth throwing in.

Shows (no particular order)
1. Devil Makes Three | 03.28.09 | Tahoe Biltmore | North Shore Tahoe, NV
We played earlier in the night across the street. By the time we got over there the place was packed, but the promoter snuck us through the kitchen and we ended up side stage. Sweaty punk-grass at its finest.

2. Blue Rabbit | 05.23.09 | The Independent | San Francisco, CA
We were co-billing with The New Up and we still needed an opening band for the night. The New Up got this group, and I, assuming it was just some garage band, was blown away by three beautiful women singing harmonious, melancholy music over a indie-dance rhythm section, with violin and harp to boot. The New Up kicked ass that night as well.

3. Papa Mali/Bill Kreutzmann | 10.31.09 | Las Tortugas | Groveland, CA
It was the late night, early morning set. I had never seen Bill Kreutzmann perform before. He just smiled, laughed, and dropped chops left and right.

RL Heyer - Flowmotion, RL Heyer Trio

1. The Mother Hips - Pacific Dust
2. Wilco - The Album
3. The Staxx Brothers - We Are the Blaxstonz
4. The RL Heyer Trio - Turn Me Upside Down
5. The Beatles - Remastered Box Set

1. The Black Crowes | 11.17.09 | Showbox Sodo | Seattle, WA
2. Big Light | 08.15.09 | Summer Meltdown Festival | Darrington, WA
3. Mc Tuff | 11.29.09 | The Triple Door | Seattle, WA

Eli Jebediah - Poor Man's Whiskey, Huckle

1. Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid
Raw and honest. This guy is infectiously comfortable in his own skin. Addictive to listen to.

Eli Jebediah
2. Dave Brogan Band - Thunderbird Sun Transformation
A cathartic sonic journey. A refreshingly original record comprised of great songwriting, mixing magic, and adventuresome musical talent.

3. Derek Trucks Band - Already Free
Inspired music by true devotees of their craft. Listening to it gives you the feeling that every member of the band treats each note like it was the most important one they ever played. "Back Where I Started" is also one of the most intimate, tender, heartfelt tunes I heard in 2009.

4. The Mother Hips - Pacific Dust
The Mother Hips is the sound of California rock 'n' roll to me. I don't mean that as a limitation, but rather the only way to describe how they are the custodians of what this state sounds like.

5. Bela Fleck - Throw Down Your Heart (Vol. 3)
An emotionally rewarding and insightful ethnomusicological recording, tracing the roots and rhythms of banjo and American music through field recordings made in Africa. There is a genuine spontaneity to it that rarely gets authentically translated to record.

1. Devotchka | Grand Stand Stage | High Sierra Music Festival
Devotchka is a hypnotic balance of eclectic instrumentation and songwriting. There are many bands out there that have interesting and engaging styles and instrumentation, but no other recipe of mixing these two elements measure up to what Devotchka has created. Their High Sierra set was captivating from the first note to the last. The entire set was a like being transported some unearthly place where nothing made sense in a perfect kind of way.

2. Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue | Sunday Revival Stage | Strawberry Music Festival
Mike Farris is a cultural experience. Hearing it is one thing, seeing is another. His Sunday morning revival set was the soundtrack to belief.

3. Three-Way-Tie between:
ALO with Steve Kimock | Harmony Fest | late night
Great night of playful and engaged improv. ALO and Kimock pushed each other into some fantastic creative eddies.

Izabella | Las Tortugas | Tuolumne Hall
Their Saturday night had the most heart of any set I saw all year. Great musicianship and a great moment.

Pretty Lights | High Sierra Music Festival | Vaudeville Stage
I was stunned at the sounds that came outta that guy. Tasty grooves, schooled beats, and playful quotes that really connected with people and got them pulsing to his music.

DP Staxx - The Staxx Brothers


The Staxx Brothers
1. Lucky Brown: Easy Invitation
Joel Ricci is the crown prince of Bellingham's Funk Soul scene, but his fingerprints are everywhere - Seattle, Portland, he's even releasing a full length album next year on the German Funk label Tramp Records. I'm not saying he can do no wrong, but he does it right, in the old ways. He's recordings are real sessions, and you can taste the analog.

2. Blakroc: Blakroc
Even though this NOE rapper sounds so much like Damon Dash's Kinko copy of Jay-Z, I call bullshit once a listen on the Hova's behalf, this is one of my favorite current band's in top form - with a nice cast of NYC hit men playing musical chairs with the mic. Even when there is a hint on wonkiness, I say, "OH THE HUMANITY." It's not perfect, it's pretty raw, it sounds like they were kind of in a hurry, and all I want for Christmas is a re up. I want Disc Two on a West Coast tip.

3. The Black Crowes: Before The Frost…After The Freeze
I need to spend more time with this album, but they had me at Levon Helm's barn. Top Five. Booyah!

4. Yogoman Burning Band: City of Subdued Excitement
This band makes me tingle all over. The frontman's the drummer and he can sing his ass off - and sell it by the pound. He knocked me the fuck out with pen with the 206 fuck off "Seattle Sucks (a Big Fat Chode)," an ode that shanks Seattle like an angry wino while boosting Bellingham as a rock tourism destination. But it's this new record, City of Subdued Excitement, a killer off the floor album that had me playing this over an over again in the van to fill the void of Eastern Washington, as the badlands just kept coming. It takes a tighter than fish pussy ensemble to pull this off, and they may even have a good stage show, but I have no idea because I really can't stop looking at the bass player. She's hot…wait, she can play…wait she's really hot...And pick up the album. What is it with these Bellingham kids and recording LIVE to analog tape? Don't they know that shit is expensive? Long live digital and the mental safety net of a thousand do-overs.

5. Feral Children: Brand New Blood
I got to hear this before it came out. Scott Colburn strikes again. And I'm not just putting this in my Top 5 to beat some KEXP DJ to it as they salivate over their precious. Nah' man, no dick ridin'. Game recognize game. It's good shit.

1. Jabon | 11.19.09 | The Sunset Tavern | Seattle, WA
I like my music freaky. With wizards and projectors, and mad beats.

2. Elevaters | 03.21.09 | The Thirsty Nickel | Austin, TX (SXSW)
I dragged my whole band down to see these guys in Austin before we had the chance to finally share a bill with The Elevaters. I describe their rotating three-frontman attack as akin to Phil Jackson's triangle offense with The Bulls in the mid '90s, except they have three Jordans. Okay, well, maybe three Pippens. Seriously though, it's a band of actors that met at UCLA and studied under the great Miro Segovia, and they shatter all stereotypes of what actors can do. This ain't no Five Foot Grunt/30 Seconds to Mars buuuuuullllshit! This is L.A. hip hop-soul at its finest. And the rhythm section can cash those checks, son. The bass player recently recorded with Sly Stone. Sly Stone! And he can prove it! That's half as amazing as jamming with Jimi, almost as unlikely, but way easier to accept without mushrooms.

3. (Tie) 5 Alarm Funk (11.15.09) and RL Heyer Trio (11.16.09) on Beer Garden Stage at Summer Meltdown
5 Alarm Funk skull fucked the Beer Garden on Saturday as the sun ran for cover behind White Horse Mountain. The RL Heyer Trio healed our sore eyes the next morning by renewing my faith in what a rock trio can achieve, on behalf of balance, songcraft, and postcards from the edge. I like rock trios in the steady hands of gristled NINJAS…who've seen some shit. And if my memory ain't lying to me again, they did a nice Kinks cover (editor's note: indeed, "Sunny Afternoon" and it was sublime).

DJ Motion Potion

DJ Motion Potion
I don't buy that many albums, more singles and a LOT of bootlegs and white labels. I did see a lot of artists, so here are my picks

Muse - The Resistance
I know this album got panned as "overreaching and arrogant," but what stuck me so much was how much they achieved and how often it hit its goals. Not a lot of bands can channel Queen, Rage, Depeche Mode and Rush.

1. Caro – "Back it Up" (Kraak & Smaak Remix)
My fave dance track of the year - reggae, sistersoul, breakbeat and that huge Meters sample. A track that appeals to every kind of audience. I have made ALL KINDS of hay with this on dance floors this year.

2. Stanton Warriors – "Boot Vibrations"
A remake of The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" was a hard to find bootleg that is now getting around. Definitely one of the most notable breaks tracks to come out in at least three years.

3. "Earthling" – "Stereofreakz vs Earth Wind & Fire – bootleg edit of "Shining Star"
Another serious killer that's just now getting around.

1. Bruce Springsteen | Bonnaroo
Hadn't seen him in 15 years and he didn't look a day older. To see the "Bonnaroo Generation" getting their first taste of the unbridled energy, joy and majesty of the E Street Band was a wonderful treat.

2. Earth Wind & Fire | Congo Square | JazzFest
40,000 people doing the Hustle in unison. The joy of this afternoon for all who attended cannot be properly put into words. DO NOT MISS EWF when they come through your town.

3. Mat the Alien | Live Set | The Rock Pit | Shambhala Festival
Best DJ set I have ever seen. Canada's secret treasure is the world's best live DJ in my opinion. Does it ALL - turntablism on selections as diverse as rock, breaks, dubstep, house, hip hop, punk, metal.

4. The Mutaytor | The Art of Change (Inauguration Show) | Mayan Theatre | Washington, D.C.
Obama's inauguration night was the backdrop of the finest Mutaytor performance in years (full disclosure: I sat in, but was pretty much a non-factor). If you don't believe me, check out the DVD

5. BLVD | The Rock Pit | Shambhala Festival
The US's top up and coming live electronica act meets Canada's top electronic festival, and its love at first sight.

6. Nick Thayer (DJ Set) | Fractal Forest | Shambhala Festival
A breakbeat clinic - every track an original Thayer edit, every mix flawless, every drop superb. His brother's inventive visuals were an added treat.

7. Motion Potion | Molly & Jeremy's wedding | Santa Cruz Mountains
Yup, it was that good. Just ask anyone lucky enough to attend "Jollypalooza"

8. Phoenix | Bonnaroo
Who knew they were that good live? Certainly not me.

9. Fort Knox 5 (2x4 DJ Set) | "Ghost Ship" Halloween Party | San Francisco
The grandeur of the décor, props and costumes of the party itself almost overshadowed the talent that night - almost, because the addition of integrated video into the already slaying FK5 set took it over the top.

10. Forest Day | Mojito | San Francisco
Any night of their two-month residency. The funk-rock talent of this fresh face had me doing handsprings on a weekly basis. Watch OUT for these guys.

Patterson Hood - Drive-By Truckers - Best of Decade List

1. The Glands - The Glands

Patterson Hood by Susan J. Weiand
My favorite album of the decade and also my all time favorite album ever to come out of Athens, GA. It came out in 2000 and is still growing on me nearly a decade later. Unfortunately it came out on Capricorn in the waning days of their attempt at resurgence and virtually no one outside of Athens heard it, but of those who have there is a cult of us who feel exactly like I do about it. They never released a follow up and Ross now manages a record store in town. A truly timeless masterpiece that gets better with every listen (and I've listened to it weekly for over nine years now).

2. Gillian Welch - Time (The Revelator)
Another timeless masterpiece and truly my favorite songwriting of the decade. At least three of these songs would be in my top 5 for the decade and "Elvis Presley Blues" is the all time greatest song ever written about a subject that I long considered closed. (That is meant as very high praise and not as a left handed compliment.) I suspect I'll still be playing this one a lot in ten more years.

3. Bob Dylan - Love and Theft (or Modern Times or Together Through Life)
Honestly I could interchange these, as any one of them could sit here nicely. I'll give the edge to L&T since it came out first and therefore has spent the most time in my player. Released on 9/11/01, (the same day my band released Southern Rock Opera) L&T is truly an album of a different time and yet strangely timely as an unintended soundtrack to a suddenly changed America. One of those spooky coincidences that Dylan has spent a career bumping into, the album somehow managed to be timely while also somehow seeming like it could have been just as timely in 1956, at the apex of an American century that was suddenly violently closed. Taken as a three album set, the three Dylan albums (not counting a stellar outtakes Bootleg Series release and a laughable Xmas album) make for a late-life artistic peak that goes far beyond any such in the Rock and Roll Era. Old Man Dylan is in my favorite era of his amazing career and he's totally my pick for Artist of the Decade.

4. Outkast - Stankonia
Before Jay-Z "retired" and Kanye West became a parody of himself, hip hop was actually hitting a peak at the dawning of this century and no one was making cooler records than Atlanta's Outkast. Stankonia is truly their masterpiece. "Ms. Jackson" is in my top 3 favorite songs of the decade and this album transcends its (or any) genre. It still holds up (timeless again) nearly a decade later when most of its contemporaries now sound dated and sometimes silly.

5. White Stripes - Red Blood Cells
They made being Rock Stars almost seem cool again. Big fun, goofy, funny, and smart. Rocking as hell, any nay-sayers must admit how well this album is holding up. Then they followed it up with three more stellar releases, plus an array of side projects and extra points for bringing Loretta back in such incredible style.

6. Iron And Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
7. Radiohead - In Rainbows
8. Centro-matic - Love You Just The Same - My favorite band's best album, although only by inches as I could just about interchange any one of their 6-7 albums this decade and come out nearly as well.
9. PJ Harvey - Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea - Another 2000 release that I still have on rotation.
10. Wilco - Kicking Television (Live in Chicago) - My favorite Live Rock and Roll album since Live At Fillmore East (Allman Brothers).
11. Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose - The Comeback of the Century (so far).
12. Radiohead - Kid A
13. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
14. The Hold Steady - Separation Sunday
15. James McMurtry - Childish Things
16. Iron and Wine - (TIE) The Creek Drank The Cradle / Our Endless Numbered Days
17. Gillian Welch - Hell Among The Yearlings
18. Outkast - The Love Below / Speakerboxxx
19. Bloodkin - Baby They Told Us We Would Rise Again - My Favorite Album of 2009 / "Wild Rhododendrons" is my favorite song of the year.
20. Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
21. M. Ward - Post War
22. Tom Waits - Alice
23. Centro-matic - Distance and Clime
24. Patty Griffin - Living With Ghosts
25. Vic Chesnutt - North Star Deserter

I didn't list Bettye LaVette's Scene Of The Crime, as I felt it would be lame to since I played on it and co-produced it, however I honestly can say that it would definitely be pretty high on that list otherwise.

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

JamBase | Happy New Year
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[Published on: 12/24/09]

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