Saturday, December 10, 2005

Not in Kansas

If there is one thing 2005 has held for me in music, it is its amazing availability and accessibility via the dozens, nay hundreds of online routes. Some of this year's favorites like MIA and Clap Your Hands I would have never discovered without the blogosphere's ubiquitous ability to strew and discuss new music. And the live and rare tracks from artists have only fueled the fire on many other likes (as well as dislikes).

This blog is mostly to supplement my radio show, though a few friends from further points have dropped in every once in a while for an update on either my life or what I've been listening to. I wish I could have updated with more frequency, but frankly, real life intrudes quite a bit (happily so) and also frankly, it seems like I'm too busy reading other blogs to write much in mine.

Two good jumping-off points for the blogland are Chromewaves and Stereogum with links to so many other good sources of info that I'm too lazy to link to here, like Brooklyn Vegan, Muzzle of Bees, My Old Kentucky Blog, and Gorilla vs. Bear, too name just a very few. Jump on in and experience what used to be the mission of radio to expose yourself to all sorts of great new music. (And don't even get me started on the podcasting phenomenon, which I'm just starting to explore. Check out the new CBC Radio 3 for all sorts of goodies).

If anything, I'm already checking out some of 2006's anticipated releases thanks to the above magic, with varying results. The leaked tracks of the new Strokes album are very encouraging, despite what the naysayers may think, but I find I can't warm up to the Palace/Tortoise stuff that's been floating around. One I definitely feel a little guilty about is getting a hold of the entire Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley) solo album, but I love it so much I probably will break down and get a "real" copy when it officially hits 1/24. How good is it? It's Neko good, and we know what that means.

Also very cool are the Sufjan Stevens Xmas tracks that have become available, and while I agree that Illinoise was a fine work indeed, I haven't gone over the moon like a slew of others in wholeheartedly embracing it. These however are quite lovely and brings me renewed interest in SS. How good are they? They're Low-Christmas good, and we know what that means.

The show will begin it's 2005 summary this Monday, with a look at one band that even without a proper release this year have definitely made their mark, and our #1 CD of the year, just to get it out of the way because it will be so predictable, I'm sure, to any of my listeners. We'll do the rest on Jan. 9, though the Xmas show on 12/19 will fall in between.

In the meantime, I'm gonna countdown my favorites like anybody else who maintains a blog because,...well, because. A blog is a vanity press publication, and even if nobody looks at this thing, at least I've got an online diary for my own benefit to look back on for reference.

And so, we present....10. Iron and Wine--"Woman King" EP and "In the Reins" EP (w/ Calexico) Even without a full-length release for Sam Beam, he's having a heck of a year too.
From some lovely soundtrack stuff (and M&M commercials!) to an EP (which he seems to release between every full-length of his) that contain some of his best work yet, I think he's poised to go very large in 2006. The much-awaited collab with Burns and Covertino may not have been the summit meeting we were hoping for, but it's still got some fine tunes, and the live stuff that's been showing up online (there we go again) is outshining the recorded work.

Coming next week: #9 and #1.