Home > Uncategorized > 2009, LOOKING FORWARD: The Music

2009, LOOKING FORWARD: The Music

Previous Installments:
PART 1 – The Movies

Which brings us to Part 2: the Music.

As alluded to in a prior entry, there was no shortage of great albums that came out in 2008. What does 2009 have in store? The best stuff will come from out of left field, particularly for somebody like myself who try as he might can’t stay on top of the scene the way that he used to, and there’s no way for me to tell who will be the next Fleet Foxes or The Knux.

Still, there’s are some scheduled releases that have me giddy with anticipation.

MUSIC

THE DECEMBERISTS
“Hazards of Love”
March 2009

I was first introduced to The Decemberists by my good friend and aspiring journalist Jess C. (leopard182), who loaned me a copy of “Castaways and Cut-Outs.” I gave it one spin and shelved it. For whatever reason it just didn’t take. Roughly a year later I listened to it again. I don’t know what had changed in my attitudes or appreciation level, but I immediately fell head over heels in love with them. My love affair continued unabided through the underrated “Picaresque” and 2006’s hit with the Starbucks crowd, “The Crane Wife.” In March they put forth their latest, “Hazards of Love,” which Colin Meloy claims started out as a musical. Those unfamiliar with the group will most likely groan at that revelation, but I personally find the band at its best when it reaches for those high concepts – mostly because they know how to do it without being pretentious about it. They’re music nerds, and I love them for it. Forget it being the most anticipated album of 2009…my anticipation for this is higher than any album in YEARS.

MOS DEF
“The Ecstatic”
February 2009

As much as I rag on him for primarily being the MC white people name-drop even though he’s just slightly overrated, I absolutely fell in love with “The New Danger” on a slow burn, which is why I’m more than willing to give this album a chance. Mos Def’s first LP in three years drops in February, There’s some good buzz coming out of tracks he previewed for some live crowds in ’08. Confirmed producers for the tracks include Madlib and his younger brother Oh No, Chad Hugo, J Dilla, and Kanye West (there’s a new law of thermodynamics that states if a hip-hop recording artist spends more than eight hours in a studio Kanye West will materialize). Additionally, Talib Kweli and Slick Rick are confirmed as featured guests, and you can’t complain about that.

NEKO CASE
“Middle Cyclone”
Releasing March 3, 2009


Neko Case has only gotten better since changing her back-up band and touting herself as a pure singles act (sans the “& Her Boyfriends”), as evidenced by her last release, 2006’s “Fox Confessor Brings the Flood.” For her fifth full-length LP Case will unleash 12 original tracks and 3 covers, including Harry Nilsson’s “Don’t Forget Me.” Case is easily my favorite female vocalist of any genre, as she possesses a voice that resonates both in its technical merits and heart. The badn she used for “Fox Confessor” will return for this album, and will also feature members of Calexico, Los Lobos, and The New Pornographers.

ALSO DROPPING NEW ALBUMS IN 2009:
Tori Amos

Would you believe that despite having friends who adore her and having liked quite a few of her songs that I’ve heard, I’ve never bought/downloaded/listened to a full Tori Amos album? It’s true. I’ll change that with her next release, promise. Although actually, I probably won’t even wait that long.
The Avalanches
Blur
The Fugees

Severely delayed, it’s EXPECTED this will FINALLY drop in 2009, but I still have my doubts; not just as to whether or not it’ll come out, but what kind of quality we’ll get from them with all the bullshit surrounding the making of this album.
Peter Gabriel
The New Pornographers
Pearl Jam
The Postal Service
Wilco

The band has promised that this is going to be much more of an experimental and ambient studio album. In other words, it’ll be more like “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” than the simpler performance album “Sky Blue Sky,” which I liked but not nearly as much as “Foxtrot.” Color me excited.

UPCOMING RELEASES FROM PEOPLE THAT SHOULD REALLY JUST GO AWAY:
Eminem – “Relapse”

“The Eminem Show” was a fitting bookend to “My Name Is,” and he should’ve stayed retired and developed his chops as a producer. Instead he got distracted by complete nonsense, including a very odd reconciliation with arch-nemesis and ex-wife Kim that resulted in another divorce and various accusations, and his work on both sides of the glass became a complete mess. Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe 2009 will be a comeback year for the guy. But I doubt it.
U2 – “No Line on the Horizon”
Maybe it should be “no end in sight,” as I don’t see one in terms of the endless parade of overproduced and self-important garbage coming from these guys. I’m sorry, I know I’m on an island, but I’ve hated everything U2 has done since ’92. Everything.
Rob Thomas – “Cradle Songs”
He’s been trying to convince us that he’s a rock star since the hit he had with Santana. Truth is, he’ll never be the star on his own that he was with Matchbox 20, and that band fucking BLEW.
50 Cent – “Before I Self-Destruct”
You’re a bit too fucking late, Curtis.
Black Eyed Peas – “The E.N.D.”
Actually, “The End” for these guys came when they arbitrarily added a chick who could dance in their videos and not much else (who surprisingly shot to stardom with unsurprisingly terrible ballads). “The End” was also signalled on a far grander scale when will.i.am was interviewed live on CNN the night of the most historic election in United States history…AS A HOLOGRAM. Somebody stop these fools before they do more damage to the space-time continuum!
Lil Jon – “Crunk Rock”
Oh, Lil Jon. Don’t you know your time has passed and another irritating little prick with only one trick up his sleeve has taken your spot as the hip-hop novelty act whose schtick got tired as soon as it hit big and will soon be the punchline that you became even before chappelle lampooned you? Oh, well then allow me to introduce you to T-Pain.

Got any that you’re looking forward to? Share ’em in a reply to this entry by clicking on “React!”

More later…

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  1. January 2, 2009 at 1:57 am

    Two things:

    1. It is often commented that the best thing I have ever done in my life is introduce people to The Decemberists.

    2. I heard somewhere, and cannot confirm this even though I heard it on EQX, that Ben Gibbard has said we should not wait for another Postal Service album and he’ll do it when he has the material for it.

    • January 2, 2009 at 2:48 am

      1. That’s ridiculous; you’ve also introduced people to “Deadwood.” It’s very close, though.

      2. And now after googling, I’m finding the comments he made to Rolling Stone. Yeah, not happening. Sad.

      • January 2, 2009 at 2:53 am

        1. I’ve always thought the best thing I’ve ever done was run down Lark St in a bikini.

        2. I’m okay with Ben’s decision if we continue to get good Death Cab albums.

      • January 3, 2009 at 8:56 am

        1. Okay, sure.

        2. I still haven’t liked anything I’ve heard of their stuff in the past few years as much as I loved “Transatlanticism.”

  2. January 3, 2009 at 6:28 am

    I think The Postal Service was better than any DCFC album, and I enjoy DCFC quite a lot.

    I remember seeing the video for SIxteen Military Wives and being hooked from then on.

    Please don’t make the new Tori Amos album the first one you listen to from beginning to end. Her new albums will have moments, but the difference from her first couple albums to now is quite dramatic. I’d say start at the beginning with Little Earthquakes. It’s still her best album.

    • January 3, 2009 at 8:58 am

      First point: agreed wholeheartedly.

      Second point: That video came out right after I fell in love with “Castaways and Cutouts,” and was the only indication I had that there was a new album. Saw it on IFC, picked up “Picaresque”, and I was off to the races.

      Third point: knowing how big a fan you are, I’m totally taking your advice on that.

      • January 3, 2009 at 6:41 pm

        Re #2: I was late to the Decemberists train, but I have caught up. I think their early stuff was a bit too precious and proud of itself for its own good sometimes. Picaresque, while still very much unashamed of its verbosity, became a bit less smug about it. And really, who doesn’t love The Mariner’s Revenge Song?

        Re #3: At this point I buy the new albums out of loyalty and habit. I still go see the live shows because her live show is still spellbinding, and she is one of the few people who you can truly say might play anything on a given night. Unsolicited list of albums from best to worst:
        Little Earthquakes
        Under the Pink
        Boys for Pele
        Scarlet’s Walk
        From the Choirgirl Hotel
        To Venus and Back
        Strange Little Girls
        American Doll Posse
        The Beekeeper

        Previously unreleased Point #4: Not only is the Fleet Foxes album one of my current favorites, but their success, along with others of their ilk make me believe I could instantly add credibility to a fledgling indie rock band simply by the power of my beard. Sure I can neither sing nor play an instrument, but beards are very in these days, and I would make a band look instantly more with it just by being in the band photos.

      • January 5, 2009 at 2:27 pm

        Re #2, in particular “who doesn’t love the Mariner’s Revenge Song?”
        Answer: Crazy people.

        Re #3: That’s actually very helpful, to be honest. You’re my most trusted Tori expert.

        Re #4: There is such truth in this. And let it be known that I too rocked the indie folk hipster beard in ’08; it was gone by the time it had become standard issue for the scene.

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