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Mary’s Best Rest of 2009

December 29, 2009

There are a few more things from this year I wanted to talk about which do not include “shows” or “albums.”  Here are those things:

7″ Records

I rediscovered 7″s this year. They are usually cheap and I’d way rather spend my money on these things than iTunes downloads which will disappear when I finally spill a drink on this laptop. Anyway, it was a good year to be buying 7″s because some good ‘uns came out. Including:

  • METZ (sludgy stoner rock from Toronto/Ottawa, ex-members of Moneen and The Grey)

Reading: it does a body good.

For the first time since 1982 (!!), I didn’t go to school at all this year, which translated into a lot of time to read for the sheer joy it gives me. The music-related selections were mostly a few years old (like Dance of Days and a couple of Chuck Klosterman books), but one new thing I really dug this year was Slanted and Enchanted: the evolution of indie culture.

It has a little bit of everything in terms of the history of the 20th century American underground and filled in a lot of gaps for me. For example, I didn’t know a whole lot about San Francisco’s punk and hardcore scenes (save for having the Dead Kennedys’ entire catalogue on dubbed cassette when I was in high school) and there’s a chapter on that, there’s a section about the current rise of DIY crafting and Etsy, (appropriately) one about Pavement, and there’s another chapter about the history of independent publishing, which led to me feverishly scouring eBay for a working mimeo machine. My kindergarten teacher had one with bright purple ink, but as it turns out they’re difficult to find nowadays. Womp womp.

drunkdriver

drunkdriver | mercurialn photo

Best Album From 2008 I Didn’t Hear Until 2009

DrunkdriverBorn Pregnant

I just discovered this band recently and already posted about them here a few weeks ago, but this record really is groin-punchingly awesome. I like it so much I’m going to order the LP from the good people at Fan Death even though I’ve already downloaded it for free. I almost never do that. Madness!

Worst Record of the Year

I was never a rabid Decemberists fan, but I liked both The Crane Wife and (‘specially) Castaways and Cutouts well enough, so The Hazards of Love was one of my most anticipated albums early in the year. But then I listened to it. And I hated it. With the intensity of a thousand suns. It’s self-indulgent and boring to listen to. I found it so objectionable it’s made it impossible for me to enjoy the other albums I used to like, which is just shitty.

My friend Patrick (who edits Our Word of Mouth) summed it up well when he said, “I never realized until this album that there could be such a fine line between The Decemberists and Meatloaf. Gross.”

Joel Plaskett: Y/N?

I go back and forth on this guy. I guess if his fans weren’t so annoying I’d be less hesitant to count myself in, but among them there seem to be a lot of undergraduates whose other favourite band is probably In-Flight Safety, so.

Anyway, I still haven’t listened to Three in its entirety and have no immediate plans to do so. Like, one Joel Plaskett record? Okay. Three in a row? No, thank you. “Through and Through and Through” is a fun, no-brainer summer jam, though. Really, it is. If I had a cottage and a car, I would have made this Track 01 on my “Driving to the Cottage ’09” mix CD.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. aimee permalink
    December 29, 2009 4:08 pm

    I agree with you on the Joel P.
    I listened to Three quite a few times because people tell me how much I should like him (considering what else I like) but no. never.

    Although not on Three, but “Snowed In” is the worst song of all time.

    • December 30, 2009 9:58 am

      Yeah, it’s not very good, is it. Ashtray Rock got a lot of play at our house in the summer of 2007, but very little since.

  2. Mark permalink
    December 29, 2009 6:52 pm

    I’d like to read a review of our record that wasn’t the MRR review.

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