cool hand bak

Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Best Albums Of 2005

2005 didn't return us to the dizzying heights of 2001-2003, but it also wasn't as disappointing as last year. Franz Ferdinand and Maria McKee were the only real artists who handed me shit when I asked for gold. Other artists did me dirty, but it was mostly people I never expected to treat me right in the first place. All of the big names (in my world, anyway) stepped up and delivered what were probably the best albums they had in them, and several exceeded expectations grandly. Just like last year, rookies accounted for more than their fair share of highlights. But enough of the chit-chat, here are my choices for best albums of 2005:

25. Castanets - First Light's Freeze

Castanets - First Light's Freeze

24. M.I.A. - Arular

23. Sigur Rós - Takk...

22. The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema

21. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Naturally

20. Silver Jews - Tanglewood Numbers

19. Beck - Guero

18. Shannon McNally - Geronimo

17. The Go-Betweens - Oceans Apart

16. Sons And Daughters - The Repulsion Box

15. The Nein - Wrath Of Circuits

14. Bunky - Born To Be A Motorcycle

13. M. Ward - Transistor Radio

12. Spoon - Gimme Fiction

11. Des Ark - Loose Lips Sink Ships

10. Stephen Malkmus - Face The Truth

9. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

8. Laura Cantrell - Humming By The Flowered Vine

7. Martha Wainwright - Martha Wainwright

6. Archer Prewitt - Wilderness

5. Dr. Dog - Easy Beat

4. Antony & The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now

3. The Decemberists - Picaresque

2. Sleater-Kinney - The Woods

1. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & Matt Sweeney - Superwolf

This list is subject to change. I mean, it's not like I heard everything that was released. I never made it to acclaimed albums by Bruce Springsteen, Bloc Party, Super Furry Animals, Broken Social Scene or Young Jeezy, but, between you and me, I don't think any of those albums have much of a shot at this list. Questions and comments are welcomed, especially if you're trying to hip me to something you think I might've missed.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Ciao 2006

Home sweet home. After a week or so of travelling (with the flu no less), the bakster returns to kiss 2005 goodbye and welcome its successor.

2006 seems set to hit the ground running. Hopefully the new Strokes album (released today) will be as good as their last two, which were both outstanding. January 24th looks ready to vie for the title of All-Time Greatest Release Date with new albums expected from Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (with Tortoise), Cat Power, The Gossip, Jenny Lewis and Ester Drang, as well as a Tarkio anthology from Kill Rock Stars and the stateside release of Saint Etienne's latest. That ought to devastate a few wallets. Later in the year there are scheduled new albums from Neko Case, The Concretes, Roxy Music, Simon Joyner, Grandaddy, Anna Oxygen, Ghostface, Quasi, Murs, Two Gallants, Nellie McKay, TV On The Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Nas, The Flaming Lips and The Shins, as well as a live album from Elvis Costello and a Tom Waits rarities box set. And, if we all behave ourselves, maybe even a new Radiohead opus. Did I mention those rumors of Bob Dylan putting in some studio time recently? This all sounds like an embarrassment of riches in the making.

I'm putting the finishing touches on my Best Albums and Songs of 2005 lists, so look for those later in the week if you're into that sort of thing.

Once again I'd like to thank those of you who take the time to comment. Feedback and dialogue are two of the main reasons I do this, so I'd love to see even more of that in the new year. Thanks for reading.

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