I’ll be going to Copenhagen and Sweden on Friday, back on the 23rd. Online ordering will only be slightly delayed, but will be back on track soon after. Willis and I will wreak havoc in Copenhagen with all of my fine friends there. Beware.
The Trouble with Sweeney : Dear Life is on a top 10 list at rollingstone.com. Believe the hype! This record delivers.
Speaking of top 10s, here’s my inevitable top 10 list for 2001:
1. The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-la-la Band : Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upwards (Constellation)
This is the bleakest, most beautiful record from this Montreal collective, topping all previous releases from Godspeed You Black Emperor! of which this ensemble are all members.
2. Mogwai : Rock Action (Matador)
Mogwai sings, plays beautifully. Sine Wave is the best introductory track of the year. Dave Fridman production. What more can you want?!
3. Low : Things we lost in the fire
Their most beautiful release to date. It rocks hard, if that’s possible for Low, and then falls away into a perfect near-nothingness. This is the record for cold winter nights.
4. Unwed Sailor : The Faithful Anchor (Lovesick)
The long-awaited full-length delivers the beautiful instrumentals that delve into Daniel Lanois/Brian Eno inspired ambiance just often enough to make this a truly unique and interesting record.
5. AM/FM : Getting into Sinking (Polyvinyl)
The only indie rock band on Polyvinyl dishes out beautiful harmonies and sugary sweet pop melodies. The hooks are plenty.
6. U.S. Maple : Acre Thrills (Drag City)
This entirely weird record is an unbelievable shorthand of post-math rock brilliance scrawled in an insanely captivating way. The 180g vinyl sounds amazing.
7. Kings of Convenience : Quiet is the New Loud (Astralwerks)
Norwegian duo with wonderful harmonies and catchy quiet pop songs. They are often compared to Simon and Garfunkel. Quiet is the New Loud is just an amazing record.
8. Jeff Magnum : Live at Jittery Joe’s (Orange Twin)
While I wait for the next Neutral Milk Hotel release, this live morsel feeds my jonesing. But, why does my mp3 bootleg show sound more interesting than this one? Still amazing, including some songs I’ve not ever heard.
9. The Appleseed Cast : Low Level Owl, Vol. 2 (Deep Elm)
They claim Vol. 1 and 2 were recorded in a space of 3 weeks. I’m unbelieving. Vol. 2 sounds so thick and lush. The only thing better would be to combine the best of vol. 2 with the couple of amazing tracks on vol. 1 to make a super record. Is emo dead? It is for Appleseed Cast.
10. Fugazi : The Argument (Dischord)
More like Red Medicine. Guy is the secret genius and his ideas shine here. Better than End Hits. Don’t we all love this band?!
11. Explosions in the sky : Those who tell the truth… (Temporary Residence)
Some fine “mog-rock.” These guys successfully mix the instrumental sounds of their rock idols Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor. A super cheesy sample from Thin Red Line nearly kills it for me, but the tracks are so strong that I nearly forget this.
(obvious note: If they weren’t on my label, Ester Drang : Goldewest, Damien Jurado : Four Songs, Denison Witmer : Of Joy and Sorrow, The Trouble with Sweeney : Dear Life would have surely made the list.)