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2005 Music.

So, I did a Best of List for 2005 music for Jeff VanderMeer on his blog, which was fun. It's up over there now, and Jeff also calls me "One of Australia's most exciting new writers," and how can you argue with that? Anyhow, go check out the list, because it'll probably surprise some of you.

I wrote a lot in 2005, so I spent a lot of time listening to music. Not so much time reading for pleasure, or watching films, but music was strong this year, and my band for the year, Art of Fighting, released their albums in 2004, so they didn't get listed. But the live show I saw at the start of the year was one of my favourites, and so I've linked a photo up there, and if you get a chance to see them, really, do. Locally they're cheap (I paid twenty bucks) but they're one of the best local bands doing the rounds, I believe.

However, the ten albums I listed didn't contain some of my favourite songs in the year, so I'm going to list my favourite songs not from those ten albums. The problem with these albums is that, say with the Mountain Goats' The Sunset Tree, a good half of the album was pretty much unlistenable. Which is a shame, because the other half I really, really dug. In other cases, the album as a whole was kinda so so, but I found myself digging the occasional track a fair bit.

1) 'This Year' -- the Mountain Goats, the Sunset Tree.

2) 'Today Has Been OK' -- Emiliana Lorrini, Fisherman's Woman. Actually, Lorrini's album is really quite solid all round, but it was released in 2004.

3) 'Doesn't Remind Me' -- Audioslave, Out of Exile. The whole album was kind of bland, really, but this song was pretty damn catchy, and I've always enjoyed hearing the ex-Rage Against the Machine band.

4) 'Catch My Disease' -- Ben Lee, Awake is the New Sleep. Lee's album is another example of half of it being real good, and half of it being just snooze worthy.

5) 'I'm Going to Execute Yr Ex-Boyfriend' -- Dave McCormack and the Polaroids, The Truth About Love. So very close to being a really fine album and might have been, if they'd just taken a few songs out. Still, good stuff, check it out, find it, if only to hear my other favourite song, 'If You Leave Me (I Will Hunt You Down and Kill You)'. Er, I also think this was 2004. Well, I bought it mid 2005.

6) 'Paycheques' -- Tex, Don, and Charlie, All Is Forgiven. Not so much a great album, but a solid album. After seeing Tex Perkins front the Beasts of Bourbon last week, you realise just much diversity Perkins is capable of (as is Charlie Owen), but this album is nothing special at the end of the day.


7) 'O'Malley's Bar, Parts 1, 2, and 3' -- Nick Cave and the Badseeds, B-Sides and Rarities. The fifteen minute version of O'Malley's Bar is the total show stopper of the collection. I'm just not that big a Nick Cave and the Badseeds fan that the three disk collection would be a favourite, but that version of O'Malley's Bar is just perfect.

Lastly, a special mention for Shihad's Love is the New Hate album, which I've been listening too for the last couple of days. Released last year, I believe it showed the band tossing aside the Pacifier name change they made after September 11th, and which caused me to dismiss them, somewhat. I thought the name change was fairly weak, but after seeing them play last week, back under the Shihad name, I gotta say, they're still a fine band who put on a fine live show. Love is the New Hate is pretty strong.

Anyhow, check out my top ten albums. And buy Jeff's new book, Shriek: An Afterward, or one of his others, cause they're cool, too.*

* American hardcover edition out in the middle of the year, I believe.


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Jan. 31st, 2006 04:19 pm (UTC)
I quite like The Mountain Goats (and one of their offshoots The Extra Glenns). And most of the albums on your Top Ten list. So I guess I should go look up the remaining ones. :)
Jan. 31st, 2006 10:21 pm (UTC)
what's the offshoot band like in sound?
Feb. 1st, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC)
A friend of mine hates the voice of whoever it is singing (I'm guessing it's John Darnielle) but I don't mind it. They're just... fun. Their Martial Arts Weekend has some songs that will make you smile with their lyrics. They're probably closer to folk than anything, but you can hear a sample of them here:


Or, you know, I could send you some :)
Feb. 2nd, 2006 05:28 am (UTC)
oh ho, some free music? Martial Arts Weekend sounds like a neat album name. i haven't listened to the samples yet, but i will,a nd i'll get back to you, assuming, you know, i don't completely forget it in my haze of thesis work :)
Jan. 31st, 2006 08:00 pm (UTC)
By the way, my cousin owns & runs Trifekta Records, Art of Fighting's label.

Just wanted to show off.
Jan. 31st, 2006 10:22 pm (UTC)
...do you get free albums?
Feb. 1st, 2006 07:16 am (UTC)
I dunno. Will have to ask.
Jan. 31st, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
I agree with those I've heard. There's a few you list I'll have to look out for...

Jan. 31st, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC)
the herd album is really fine, if you haven't heard it. much different than their first one. (i haven't heard the second.)
Feb. 2nd, 2006 05:43 am (UTC)
Hey Ben,

you know that one of my best mates is in AOF (Miles), and I've even played in a band with Ollie. Well, kind-of a band. We were young and never gigged but still, some kind of fame, yeah? (:

Feb. 2nd, 2006 05:45 am (UTC)
you're too cool, rju :)
Feb. 2nd, 2006 11:28 am (UTC)
Too cool, huh? Finally someone who understands me (:

Seriously, though, I caught their gig in Sydney late last year - November? - anyway, they didn't think it was great, but I did. They're so good live. I think their songs really benefit from being cranked up into a kind of "wall of sound." There's something about the way the melancholy "softness" resonates with all encompasing and powerful amplification.

Feb. 2nd, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC)
i saw them in march, i think. at the beginning of the year. i didn't even know they were in sydney in november, otherwise i would've gone along. they've just got a really fine, professional stage presence, and they're not afraid of the audience. so many bands you find now are these silent things that don't acknowledge that you have an audience.
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