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.