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Favorite Edition Rewind: 2004

[Madvillain - Madvillainy]

A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.

The first half of the 2004 list has remained unchanged. The last half has undergone extensive revision.

  1. Arcade Fire, Funeral
  2. Eluvium, An Accidental Memory in Case of Death
  3. Kicell, Mado Ni Chikyuu
  4. Dylan Rice, Wandering Eyes
  5. The Killers, Hot Fuss
  6. Madvillain, Madvillainy
  7. Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose
  8. The Streets, A Grand Don’t Come for Free
  9. Mindy Smith, One Moment More
  10. STRAIGHTENER, LOST WORLD’S ANTHOLOGY

Other favorites from the year:

  • Pinback, Summer in Abaddon
  • SUPERCAR, ANSWER
  • Kanye West, The College Dropout
  • ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, Solfa
  • Bonnie Pink, Even So
  • Fuji Fabric, Fuji Fabric
  • Sacha Sacket, Shadowed
  • m-flo, Astromantic
  • The Butchies, Make Yr Life
  • Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters
  • ZAZEN BOYS, ZAZEN BOYS II

A lot of these revisions are retrospective. I listened to SUPERCAR’s ANSWER when it was reissued on vinyl, and I didn’t find the album as engaging as I originally thought. I’ve come to like Hot Fuss more as time has passed, and I don’t feel as much attachment to Van Lear Rose.

My growing appreciation for hip-hop means Madvillain and The Streets knock Quruli’s Antenna off the list entirely.

I’m still a bit skeptical about keeping Mindy Smith in the Favorite 10, or bumping STRAIGHTENER into the upper echelon. I picked up Pinback’s Summer in Abaddon from Goodwill out of curiosity, and I have a sense that in short time, it will nudge Smith or STRAIGHTENER down to the extended list.

As we go further back to the start of the Aughts, the extended list grows longer. A lot of great music came out at the start of the century. If the Internet hadn’t splintered the mass market, it might have been a galvanizing golden age of popular music.

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Favorite Edition Rewind: 2009

[Alarm Will Sound - a/rhythmia]

A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.

The 2009 list went through a revision, and subsequent discoveries from the year weren’t moving enough to dislodge anything.

  1. … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, The Century of Self
  2. LEO Imai, LASER RAIN
  3. Van Tomiko, Van.
  4. Alarm Will Sound, a/rhythmia
  5. Onitsuka Chihiro, DOROTHY
  6. Shiina Ringo, Sanmon Gossip
  7. Tomosaka Rie, Toridori.
  8. mono, Hymn to the Immortal Wind
  9. Wendy & Lisa, White Flags of Winter Chimneys
  10. Sacha Sacket, Hermitage

Other favorites from the year:

  • Office, Mecca
  • Kronos Quartet, Floodplain
  • The Bad Plus joined by Wendy Lewis, For All I Care
  • Utada, This Is the One

In explaining the dearth of new releases on this list, I mentioned that I spent more time listening to catalog music, but like 2012 and 2011, I haven’t picked any more titles from 2009 in the 9 years that have passed.

It makes me think it wasn’t a terribly interesting time for discovery.

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20 Years of Gay: The Musical Crushes

It happens even now — an attractive guy on the cover of an album gets me to buy it. I do like those times when the music accompanying the pretty face turns me into a fan. Here are a few.

Jason Isbell

[Jason Isbell - Southeastern]

Jason Isbell isn’t my usual type — that would be Law and Order: SVU‘s Mike Doyle or, uh, Edward Snowden — but I did a double take when I first saw the cover of Southeastern. First, it’s a striking photo. Second, Isbell is a handsome guy. He’s not Channing Tatum-photogenic, but that welcoming, earnest expression can’t help but draw attention.

What clinches the crush, though, is his Twitter feed. He’s a card and an excellent writer. He uses the 140 character cap to his advantage, imbuing the pretty face with a likable personality. All that on top of being a damn fine songwriter.

Ty Herndon

[Ty Herndon - Lies I Told Myself]

I’ll admit I’ve downloaded pictures of Tim McGraw stripped to the waist, but I draw the line at listening to his music. When Ty Herndon came out of the closet, I thought I would make the same distinction.

In reality, Herndon has a voice worth playing repeatedly, and his hit singles don’t induce the kind of cringe brought on by, say, Brad Paisley. (I’ve been subjected to Paisley. It was unpleasant.)

If Herndon booked a gig somewhere in Western Washington, I would go see him.

Steve Grand

Oh, I’m pretty sure my messages to Steve Grand on Grindr would totally get ignored, were this unlikely scenario ever played out in real life. But my rock snobbery is no match to the charm he exudes.

Royal Wood

Royal Wood showed up as a suggestion I might like on a recommendation engine, and I’m sure the context for this suggestion was music. My eyes thought differently.
[Sacha Sacket]

Sacha Sacket

The Advocate mentioned Sacha Sacket briefly in its 2005 music issue, and I dug his sound. It’s one of the few instances where the music grabbed me, and the nearly naked photos are just a bonus.

Nick Lachey

Shut up. I blame Rolling Stone. He did a photo spread for them without a shirt. What’s Left of Me is a musically ridiculous album, but I couldn’t help myself.

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