OK – 4 months late this might be, but it’s time for the MMM train to start rolling again. Instead of writing about music, I have…well…actually I ain’t got much to share, besides moving and starting a new job. Since August, I have seen several excellent shows (The Arcade Fire [I saw the light with them some time earlier this year and now completely understand how amazing they are], Tom Vek, The Rapture, NIN/QOTSA, SFA, Art Brut, LCD Soundsystem, Depeche Mode and Goldfrapp). I don’t think I am capable of sharing enough worthwhile details about those shows now but I will say the following: a) concerts in Atlantic City are a fun weekend activity, and b) the Nokia Theater is an excellent addition to NYC’s music venues - it may be a bit corporate and sleek, but the sound is great, a variety of good sightlines and the music plays in the bathroom so you don’t miss a thing.
Now, a quick recap of 2005.
Top 10 Albums of 2005:
1) Goldfrapp - Supernature : this will unfortunately not come out in the US until March 2006, which I realize is related to the marketing and how the band will only be able to fully concentrate on breaking here at that point after a long period of becoming massive in the rest of the world. I couldn’t wait and bought an import off cdwow.com There is something fishy/smacking of psychosomatic-ness when one of a person’s favorite albums of a year is by an artist that has always been a favorite of theirs, but pathologies aside, Supernature is amazing. There is no distinctive metamorphosis in style from Black Cherry but Will and Allison absolutely nail the sexy electro disco aesthetic that they began to explore on the last album.
2) LCD Soundsystem – S/T: an album that had a lot of pressure on it because of the amazing singles that preceded the album’s release. There aren’t any songs on it that quite match “Yeah (Stupid Version)” and “Losing My Edge” but there are several great songs on it. The taut, jangly beats scattered through are capable of triggering an epileptic fit (in a good way). Spastic, self-aware rock – hard not to think of the Talking Heads when you listen to it, and if you channel them well, they are about as good a band to draw upon as any.
3) Queens of the Stone Age – Lullabies to Paralyze: QOTSA fucking rocks. It’s Josh Homme’s show and he doesn’t need Mongo Nick Oliveri to make it work.
4) Engineers – S/T: I could imagine SoF muttering something to the effect of “…shoegazing by numbers…” when talking about this album. It is what it is – swooping, ethereal waves of guitar and soft, understated vocals. But it’s very good at it and I am a sucker for swooping, ethereal waves of guitar.
5) Soulwax – Any Minute Now: Please release this album in America some day. It’s a lot of electro rocking fun. Proves that there should be no distinction between the dancefloor and the rock club.
6) Whitey – The Light at the End of the Tunnel is a Train: See 5.
7) Caribou – X: It’s also spastic (most of this list is), but in a kraut-rock meets hip-hop kind of way.
8) Art Brut – Bang, Bang, Rock and Roll: Fun songs and a charismatic attitude, I’ll take Eddie Argos over Kele of Bloc Party any day.
9) Broadcast – Tender Buttons: Because music can’t go bang all the time.
10) Tom Vek – We Have Sound: This album finds a nice, unforced balance between indie rock and electronic production.
1) Goldfrapp, “Ride a White Horse”
2) Madonna, “Hung Up”
3) Caribou, “Yeti”
4) Doves, “Black and White Town”
5) QOTSA, “Broken Box”
6) Mr. And Mrs. Christmas, “Bang the Poll” (a note on this one: it’s an Underworld song released under the pseudonym. Banging banging banging – it’s more mid-tempo than say “Pearl’s Girl” or “Moaner” on the kick drum. The percussion is similar the organic steeze of A Hundred Days Off, but the rest of the song twists and turns like a shark in captivity – love it)
7) Whitey, “Leave Them All Behind”
8) Chemical Brothers, “Marvo Ging”
9) Depeche Mode, “Precious”
10) Goldfrapp, “Slide in (DFA Remix)”
Have a good holidays…