Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What's cookin

Obession, perfection, etc etc..lots of stuff is in-the-works beyond those 2 recent movie reviews and the 2009 Music lists. Including 1 about 2009 concerts. The nice thing is, I compiled most of those shows already on the forums. Just a bit to add I guess about top 5-10 shows and maybe a few coments and images perhaps.

But more podcast of course.
Bands..not sure how long this will be.

Movies: a decent length trip to the video store is required, but the number is like 140 already for the list I am making on rym right now for the decade. Blurbs and things will be the big chore. But I have a lot of pto right now (something like 18 or 19 days) and I think the last week of January is when i'll be taking off at least. That and perhaps some New Year's freetime will supply enough blogging time to allow me to really do that monster list justice. It may end up like the music. A top 50 with blurbs, and then the rest with some longer comments and others with a few lines or nothing. I'm not sure. The supply of imdb links and images of couse is probably half the work. The only nice part about is I don't foresee having to convert the list into forum/message board coding like I have with the music (a long painful waste of time too).

TV: this 1 is starting to come well along already. It'll probably not even reach 50. The blurbs are already going well. I really like doing this one, because writing about tv I I love seems to be easy for me. I guess I'll know how easy this goes in the coming days/weeks. It's possible this sucker will be published by the weekend. Depending on how busy I am with Channukah, New Years, and romantic involvements, lol.

Some bands deserve recognition. A random/new discovery entry or 2, 3. namely The Antlers who I am kind of fallen-for pretty hard. Some of these eps: Sigmund Droid, Graph, Painted In Exile, Cyclamen and one or two others maybe. Shelter Red Brooke Waggoner and the Yeah Yeah Yeah's perhaps as well. I'm not sure, but I guess including them in my Album Index, they may deserve more elbaoration now.

Graphic Novels: this could be a little while. Transmetropolitan and this other Bryan K Vaughn one with animals in Baghdad.

TV: White Collar, Dr.Who specials, Castle and few other shows to bring up. This new show with Brad from Boston Legal even 'Human Target."

And even how Fringe being moved to Monday along with Chuck's return has made Monday the logjam it was the last 2 seasons again, somewhat at least.

2010 announcements/news..In Vain, East of the Wall and some others I'm behind on. Perhaps just a more in depth with comments 2010 forecast, with the new mindset, all veteran albums will not be classics. The debut records I still feel is what 2010 will be about. That and maybe Indietronica again. Plus likely more metal albums.

-sad about Avenged Sevenfold's drummer "The Rev" dying. No going back and forth, but one forum I'm on really got exposed for their lack of respect and taste for laughin-off that. A talented drummer died. A7X may not be everyone's cup of tea, and may have a skater/punk/hardcore element at times. But they're respected in musician-circles, they're prog, they're a nice blend of styles, and have written way too much good and liked music by a vast demographic of music tastes to be treated like a joke. They're not Nickelback or Creed. But some people seem to see them as that bad and that funny. It's interesting because many bands I find that suck may or have had members die, would I smirk in a post? not likely. I wouldn't even deny a following. Blink 182's drummer is actually good. But is their music annoying? I guess, but if he died, or was sick or something (I think he was), I'd hardly ignore or take shots at them or fans on a public forum. It's really a headscratcher and face-palm.

A7X were really popular on and some other Metal-related forums for a little while there. It makes no sense how people you think you value their opinion, show their true colors sometimes. In the least likely of places. O well..forums + me I'd love to lurk..but it's like chocolate. I can't avoid them, at least at this point. And the lessons never fully get learned. They just become more accepted I guess, lol.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Messenger (2009)

I went to see this mainly because Ben Foster was in it, and the last thing I saw him in, 2006's "Alpha Dog" he was jaw-dropping.

In a lead role, he was pretty damn good again in this, an equally dark movie at times. He plays a sergeant in the Army home from Iraq with only a short time left of active duty he is assigned to notify the next-of-kin of their loved one's dying in action.

Many of the scenes doing said notifications got pretty emotional and serious, naturally. I imagine how they portrayed it in the film is pretty close to how real it is when that happens.

Woody Harrelson was also very good in a supprting role, as the officer to train him in the process. He provided some humor off and on, for what was many high-tension scenes.

Overall, this is hardly an uplifting movie, but at the same time many movies involving the military and wars can be a lot more dark and violent. I think the director struck a pretty good balance between showing an impact on what they were having to do, humanizing many of the situations the loved ones and even the officers were in. And just in Foster's character's coping with the circumstances he's in, not being used to being home, and doing a new kind of difficult job. A job that he ultimately embraces and finds his own approach.

His time with Samantha Morton was interesting. She was quite good, in a less-common situation as a next-of-kin from a fallen-vet. With a kid and maybe not as strong an emotional bond as others; notice-able after learning about the loss of her husband.

As powerful as much of this movie was, and I'd definitely give Ben Foster a nomination for his performance in this movie, I did find a few of the scenes, especially with Morton's character, to drag pretty long. Silence with no action for some period of time being part of that. But that was probably a minor issue within everything about this movie.


Me and Orson Welles - (2009)

Richard Linklater directed this film. This is not much like "Dazed and Confused" or even "Before Sunrise/Before Sunset" at all really. This was a retro period-piece. The best thing(s) about it was the much billed work of unknown British actor Christian McKay as Welles. He was arrogant, pompous, posh, egotistical, a womanizer, and very much how Orson Welles was above the theater/law/everyone in the room or even everyone he worked with. He was kind of a pig and someone who demanded a certain kind of ethic. For that, at least if that is what the book it was adapted from was about; and the off broad-way rendition of Julius Caesar that was done at the time, in the late 1930's, well they and McKay really pulled it off pretty well.

Unfortunately, everything else about this film wasn't all that moving or extremely mind-blowing. The Story was rather dull in many ways. Some of the other cast did decent jobs; even Zac Effron failed to go into Leonardo DiCraprio territory mostly.
Claire Danes and some other cast I recognized Eddie Marsan as John Houseman (Scott the anal driving-instructor from "Happy Go-Lucky") and James Tupper as Joseph (Jack from "Men In Trees") namely. I wish they would have done more with Zoe Kazan, who played Greta. She was cute enough and was an obvious romantic-plot that was unexplored.

Another shortcoming of this movie was how I'd have enjoyed more about Welles other experiences. It wasn't a bio-pic, but from my somewhat limited experience with him, I'd have enjoyed more content on his radio work and how he became such a huge icon of sorts at that time. Heck, even some references or footage of him connecting with some of the other classic actors of his day. Bogart, Spencer Tracy etc.

Overall, it was a bit like "Happy Go-Lucky" last year. Great individual performance by McKay, but the rest of the movie didn't offer a lot more.

But for McKay's performance alone, I still would endorse seeing this eventually.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 Music: Disappointments, Turkeys and Overhyped Music Index

2009 potentially could have been the best year for music this decade. So many bands had long-awaited albums, reunion sort-of albums, and just highly anticipated records. I thought potentially the depth of great records could have really gone far. But unlike 2007 and 2008, one of the things I enjoy every year is finding *new* bands. There were some good ones still, but not really to the numbers or level of the last 2 years. Nothing as great as Kaddisfly, Between the Buried and Me, The Stiletto Formal, Burst, The Dear Hunter or of course Apes and Androids unfortunately. Long Distance Calling, note. , Local Natives, and I might even include The Antlers all being very good new bands, but not quite as good as those discoveries from previous years.

And many known bands and releases didn't really live up to my hopes and expectations. And many others of course got over-hyped.

What ended up happening, at least during-the-year (because a lot of times the best music from a year is discovered many years later) was a mixed bag. Some of the big names did make decent to satisfactory records to my hopes. But I'd say at least half or maybe more like 2/3 of them did not.

If I can take something from that in the long run is, not to expect much. Even
from my favorite bands. So for 2010, I don't really expect any of them to make classic albums. Oceansize, Orphaned Land, Jimmy Gnecco, etc. I want to have no expectations really. Midlake's disappointing new leaked record is a perfect example of that.

A lot of the albums that stick-out or missed the top 50 are included in this entry. However there also many not included. Mainly due to being the fact I didn't expect them to be so high, or weren't very over-hyped. Or I just didn't have enough time to include them (yet). Namely Persefone, Amogh Symphony, Job For a Cowboy, August Burns Red, fun, RX Bandits, Nile and many Metal and non-Metal releases.

Also of course many records I never got around to hearing like the Bat For Lashes for example, so lack of evaluation to even consider for the top 50 or commentary here.

Animals as Leaders - Animals As Leaders
This style has been done before many times. Instrumental prog metal.
How many guitar-centered bands alone did that stuff in the 90's? Rob Johnson/Magnitude 9, Black Light Syndrome. Even Explorer's Club and some of the other Magna Carta projects. Or just page through Progression magazine and you'll find dozens of groups doing this same kind of thing. None of them are LTE, nor even Planet X really.

Sorry, but the people who fellated over this band really should do some homework and realize it's been done before and it's boring. As I said earlier in the year, go listen to the The Kris Norris Projekt instead. And I suppose the post-prog metal groups like Shelter Red and Long Distance Calling as well.

Animal Collective- Merriwether Post Pavillion
I think this has become sort of the Little Miss Sunshine/The Dark Knight of music. Pretty much this band falls into the category of "Look at how funny we are" or "Look at how weird we are."

This album is dreadfully bad. No seriously, I don't think I could be paid to listen to this again. And the neverending ass-kissing on and off of Shitfork-Media has found it to new appalling levels of worthless-ness.

Strawberry Jam I thought they may have had something. Not that that album was amazing or anything, but it sounded like they may be figuring out how to write memorable, pleasing melodies with Psych/Pop style, while still being experimental. Unfortunately, with SJ they took maybe 1 or 2 steps forward, while with this album they along with all the lemmings who've been licking their nuts for this thing have taken 50 or 500 steps back.

What a god-awful overblown piece of shit-ster turd.
This may have or eventually surpass Fleet Foxes as the most over-rated
over-hyped release this decade. I can only hope in 5 or 15 years down the road most if not all the nut-licking it's been given will be laughed about. They can't sing, they're horrible live as I understand it. They're not clever they're not funny, they're not even really weird. They really are (or should be to most of the masses) IRRELEVANT.

I wish it/they wouild go the fuck away. Y-U-C-K.

The Appleseed Cast - Sagarmatha

I've somewhat soured on this band. I don't hate them, but beyond "Peregrine" I haven't found them at the level I thought I would. I guess they are touring to play the entire Low Level Owl back-2-back soon. And it is hitting town. I should revisit those. But with this new album, after coming off Peregrine in 2006, it didn't quite measure up. A very different kind of album. The piano I think was the best new element. But most of the vocals I recall being gone. And for that, I give it a minor disappointment.

As Tall As Lions - You Can't Take It With You
After hearing "Circles" I wondered if this could be a breakthrough album for this band And to a small extent it was. But ultimately I didn't find I wanted to play it
a lot more than that track and couple of others regularly. Their best album I guess
but not really something that has me seeing them reaching another level.
Their live shows opening for dredg and Mute Math I guess I'd say they excelled more-so at.

Astra - The Weirding.
Wow this was boring. Channeling the early Pink Floyd? no, not too well.
Low-fi poser-psych trying to sound like they made it in the 70's. But what
it actually sounds like is it was made in a tin-can in some dork's parent's basement.
I'll go revisit my Captain Beyond and Uriah Heap instead thank you.

Bermuda Weather Service - Excepting Incest and Folk Dancing

Haha, yeah this was a masterpiece of a joke record. The chorus from the Leonard Cohen piece sped-up to mousey-pitches and repeated for 40 minutes, really was peculiar for about 40 seconds. Yes, I personally had never heard the Leonard Cohen song before, so how in the fuck would I know it was lifted from it? I suppose in the back of my mind I suspected it was so. I realized this was an attempt at humor and a half-ass fraudulent approach to making music. But at the same time, it was something done as novelty and not to be taken for more than what it is. I may never listen to it again, but I still find it more interesting than the new Animal Collective and plenty of other shit-ster records that people wouldn't shut the fuck up about this past year.

Between the Buried and Me - The Great Misdirect

This was rather hard to figure out. And down the road this may end up being much better than the lack of credit I'm giving it here. But a few things made this drop down my list. For one, it was not really cohesive like any of their other albums, especially Colors. Another is they seemed to channel Dream Theater; almost quote them multiple times. Which in subtle spots is fine, but I kept hearing The Glass Prison and Honor Thy Father in certain spots, it started to kill what they were doing. Another thing is they kind of repeated themselves, but not as well. The whole "Swim to the Moon" really is/was a chore to get through and part of that was I kept wanting hear Tommy sing "it's raining, it's raining, it's reyyyyneeeeen!" from Backwards Marathon.

I guess on paper, there's still a lot of work here I like; at least to regard it among the best 50 albums of the year. But in a way it was like Fear of a Blank Planet and a few other records in recent years. It didn't leave me with a fulfilling feeling that their other records have. I just felt I listened to a bunch of long-winded music with some moments to enjoy, but did not standout or stick with me in the end. And I know they are a band who can and have done that, easily. They sort of had to be prog for the sake-of, and didn't bring enough new cool sections to my liking. And to be fair, it was the follow-up to Colors, a top 20 for the decade album. Time may be more kind to this, but right now, I can't be bothered to want to listen to it.

BLK JKS - After Robots

Nice style..especially on paper. But in revisiting this, it does have a short-life of listening through. Definitely one of those records that has 1-sound, and the sound is charming for about 20 or 30 minutes when in the mood. I will say, I think their music might work better live, but I might have said the same about that band Fool's Gold that was on the bill with Local Natives and Edward Sharpe last month. Still probably better than Bat For Lashes, although I only heard 1 or 2 songs from them.

Born of Osiris - A Higher Place
More like a lower, less interesting place. Lack of keys, and gawd awful production on the cymbals (Likely highly compressed) made this un-listen-able sadly. The debut album was wonderful less-is-more. This was more of more-and-different = worse. At least Painted In Exile became like BoO 2.0 in some ways, and may be better overall. But maybe lp #3 they'll bounce back. Hopefully add more keys too.

Gavin Castleton - Home

NDV-like (especially the vocals) doing a melodramatic concept album. It has some charm, but rock-operas for me have to avoid the cheese to really work to repeated listenings. Ebu Gogo kind of suffered to a similar extent. But like Hevvy Devvy, Gavin does have a lot of musical and songwriting ability. But perhaps he hasn't put it together for a masterpiece just yet. At least recently I saw a video of him doing a sweet version of Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" on youtube.

The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love

At 1st this seemed like their best, most bold statement. But over some time, it didn't call to me to want to listen to it again. Is it more prog? maybe. But other than "The Wanting Comes in Waves" there wasn't exactly any huge hooks or killer parts. Shara Worden is a nice singer, but also I found some of her vocal lines to be a bit too melodramatic. I guess it partly fails in comparison to their other albums. Partly due to it being a length-ly work (1 hour), and partly just lacking reason to go back to it. Not horrible, but not addictive.

Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca

They channeled Led Zeppelin III among other things, and compared to Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes and even Grizzly Bear, the level of hype that this got was a bit more justified. But still this was hardly a top 50 candidate the way many people included it. And decade?, please.

Do Make Say Think - Other Truths

Not a lot to say, other than the fact it has 4 songs on it. 3 of which I enjoy, but not overwhelmingly. I can't claim to be hugely disappointed. But certainly, on paper, I could/could-have found myself more attached to this. I do think their live show eclipses everything they've done in the studio no matter, which is maybe why I see this and their other albums falling short of hopes and expectations/potential.

Editors - In This Light and on This Evening

Not huge expectations, but once in awhile this band do something I enjoy. I just was never too in the mood to revisit this, after my initial listening.

Exivious - Exivious

meh, this ended up sounding less original and inventive, and more copy+paste
jazz + metal.

Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

2009's Fleet Foxes, but maybe more annoying and less-hyped. Which I suppose they
may score even lower. Sorry, but this is a band whose really all flash and no
substance. Local Natives will get the comparison to them among others, but
the level of this outfit's songwriting isn't even worthy of the comparison.
Pretty much among the 2009's token Shitfork's shit-ster trash. Hopefully they'll go away soon.

Imogen Heap - Ellipse

Also not really comparing to her last album which is 1 of the best records of the decade. She did try many new things, and for what they were, I think she succeeded. But it found the mood-music zone. Sad, in a lot of ways. I watched video after video of her talking about the songs here. She labored over them. I suppose you could say in a lot of ways, she overworked and overthought them. Or perhaps I wanted Speak For Yourself 2.0 and didn't get it. She's still a goddess and has a high level of skill and inventiveness as a musician and songwriter. I just see this maybe a bit like PoS's BE. It's a different kind of moody, ambient record. And for that, it was a mild disappointment given how great SFY was. Sorry Immi, I still love ya.

Irepress - Sol Eye Sea I

Isis style Post-Metal. Eroica are so much better than this band. There were a few pieces on this record that worked, namely the song with the piano, but overall, it's been done before and really this is what's wrong with "Post Metal."

Karnivool - Sound Awake
This was really tough to swallow. If I put this up rather high on my list, I'd be kidding myself as to how much I enjoyed it. And I am a big flag-waver for this band. But the truth about this album is.

1) it's too long. 70 some odd minutes
2) the production on the cymbals due to compression clip. Much like The Mars Volta's BEDLAM album from last year. That problem makes it very hard to listen to
3) There's a samey-ness on much of it. Had they not included 3 or 4 of the songs on here, it might have not felt that way.
4) It sounds almost too much like Tool at times

Those factors along with being drained by trying to get through it. I remember when it leaked I played it twice that week I think. And it was somewhat of a chore. The sad thing was, hearing many of the songs individually, I was really thinking this was going to get in the fight for the top 5-10 at least. I paid $27 to import it. Somewhat of a waste.

What I ultimately feel about this record is, there's about en EP's worth of good music without the problems I experience listening to it in its entirety.

They're still a band I enjoy, and a very good live group. I certainly still enjoy Themata and some of this. And the show with Fair to Midland in the Spring I am excited to see. But I hate to say it, but this album ended being one of the biggest disappointments of the year.

Mind you, I still hope more people get into them and more people could and should enjoy them and this album. But for me, even beyond the expectations, this was a huge letdown of a studio record. "Set Fire to the Hive" and couple of the other tracks are still up there among the 'Vool's best songs, but until I get past those issues I posted above, this will always be a sophomore slump record to me.

Mastodon - Crack the Skye

"The Last Baron" is awesome. And the truth is I probably enjoy more than half of this album. But I think hype and expectations hurt it. It's 3.5 stars, and many people made it out to be their best work. Sort of in the Muse-disease. They haven't gotten over the hump. Baroness made a record at a similar level this year, but I guess my expectations weren't as high for that. I also think the vocals for this band, while not all that different than Burst or Baroness stylistically, kind of stick-out like a sore thumb at times. I feel like I'm hearing dumbed-down singing to be honest. And of course to mention Burst, I would rather just listen to them instead overall. They're gone, so that idea for new music may never happen again. I think Leviathan still remains their best work, but even that I don't feel is hardly at Burst's level.

Muse - The Resistance

Well at 1st I really was impressed here. And many other people were taking shots at how bombastic and silly the band have become. Trying to be over-the-top ego-maniacal and disgustingly pretentious. I felt the opposite; Muse put together a record that gave song after song that worked. Just not any classics.

Well I'm starting to believe the negative comments. I wasn't addicted to it. And it does feel a bit like they want to be in an arena..almost party-rock of a sort.

A disappointment..even with the Exogenesis orchestral suite. Although I will maintain that the criticism of it got a bit undeserved. But a band this talented, and a number of years in the writing/making, unlike dredg, I didn't find it really worth that wait. O well, their wait for classic-album status continues, if it ever happens. Look at the Mars Volta and Dream Theater. Both have low expectations but are starting to get better. Muse and some others may as well be given more time.

OneRepublic - Waking Up

I had no idea this was coming out. And while I'd hardly call this much of a disappointment, it did come across as being over-produced to a point. There were 3 or 4 nice songs on it regardless. But call me someone who isn't won-over by corporate-sounding pop music to the point I'd include in my top 50. Their debut album sounded fresh enough I guess to look past that. And the fact was, I knew them long before Timbaland gave them their 15 minutes of fame. O well, perhaps this record will do some growing in the coming years and I'll scratch my head a bit why I didn't listen to it more. But part of the problem with this is it came in at the 11th hour anyway. Had I heard this in July or April or something, it might have had a shot to place higher.

OSI - Blood
They have jumped the shark and become a sister-band to Kevin Moore. There's a lot of work that Kevin Moore has done I have enjoyed, but the way he's more or less hijacked this project pretty much has led it to my doghouse. If this were some new, different Chroma Key thing that Jim Matheos was playing on, while it wouldn't likely be an album finding my top 50, I'd at least respect what it is. Ambient music, more or less, which is a far cry from the material on the 1st record.

Other Lives - Other Lives

Better live. And I think the Kunek record "Flight of the Flynn's" is a more cohesive record. Still, enough talent here that I wish it would have been more addictive. Part of it is the mood it gives. Kind of slow and quiet. Epic in some ways. The truth is, there's at least 3 or 4 numbers on this that are really quite good. And the rest isn't horrible. But it's a bit of a sleepy record, and for that, it didn't demand replaying too much. I suppose over some time it may more, or at least what Other Lives do next is certainly worth looking forward to.

Pain of Salvation - Linoleum [EP]

A little too much Scarsick for me to get attached to this. The songs aren't horrible. The Scorpions cover is nice. I guess I'm a little too demanding of more from this band to place this higher. When Road Salt drops/leaks, how good this actually is may be seen more-so.

Paper Route - Absence

Their ep from 2008 "Are We All Forgotten" really showed a ton of promise. And while this album has a few good songs; it also included far too many cheesy frat-pop vocal-ed pieces. I guess my expectations were a bit too high for it. Are they Mute Math? I guess not. I suppose I'll keep an eye on them no matter as they do still put together some stuff worth hearing. And take Woven for example. Their 1st ep was nice, the debut full-length did not compare. But then the next ep and full-length both, were much better. Maybe they just stumbled a bit out of the gate. We'll see.

Phideaux - Number Seven
Not really a disappointment. It was much better than the recent releases from Big Elf and Beardfish. But it’s still prog, and the attempts at recreating 70’s style prog-rock, unless you’re Transatlantic (save for The Whirlwind), generally don’t find enough replaying time to warrant it. If it sniffed the top 50, the year in music would be rather dry.

Russian Circles - Geneva

Maybe a bit like OSI, they may never return to their debut album's quality. They have almost turned into a pure Post-Rock band. I do like this more than 2008's Station, for what that's worth. But Enter had something this and that album don't. Maybe just how well it flows, I'm not sure. I'd like to see Russian Circles reinvent themselves or at least blow me away again. It just hasn't happened again. Will it? I dunno. My level of interest in them is lower certainly, but at least Long Distance Calling, Shelter Red and East of the Wall are still around.

Scale the Summit - Carving Desert Canyons

Meh, Instrumental post-metal. Some hype before being named a replacement
for Progressive Nation 2009 in North America. And then after wards, a bit more undeserved hype. Some jazzy chops but overall I found very little melody or substance on this album. I suppose they score a tad higher than Animals as Leaders, given overall less hype, but that's really not saying much.

Stomacher - Sentimental Education
It's not In Reverent Fear. It sounds way too much like Radiohead, especially a good portion of the vocals. Kind of sad, IRF I kind of liked. They sort of fell into the trap Mt.Helium did I guess.

Shadow Gallery - Digital Ghosts

Well, it's progmetal. And while I still think this band has done far superior work than hordes of others in that style, this new record from them I can't say grabbed me too much. Is it due to Mike Baker's absence? partially yes. But I think the style overall has passed me by in many respects. Dream Theater and Soundscape released quality progmetal records this year; but overall there's so many cheesy, un-original bands doing it, the cheesy aspect of progmetal in general, just kills my interest. I guess I was reminded of that going back to ProgPowerUSA ln September. It's not my scene anymore. But comparably, I would not put this close to the Self-Titled (demo), Carved In Stone, Tyranny or even Room V. It just sounded rather rehash sadly. I'd still love to hear Gary Wehrkamp work with Mark Zonder someday in Alfa-Dog, but the odds of that happening seem almost zero.

St. Vincent - Actor

She's a lot better live. These songs got a bit too experimental for the sake-of. There is some decent writing in parts of this, but overall it didn't lend to repeated listenings even to what "Marry Me" did.

See her live. The studio work is in the doghouse.

3 - Revisions

A collection of older tunes. "Halloween," "Anyone Human," and "Rabid Animals," I believe were the highlights. But overall, this sounded more like 2nd-rate tunes from these guys. Kind of their "Black Like Sunday" I suppose. Was it a huge disappointment? no, but still given the fact I would put it below even "Summercamp Nightmare" it does go down as a miss.

Devin Townsend - Addicted
Devin Townsend - Ki

As I wrote about the guy on rym. The droney/sludgey guitars kill what is often pretty good music. Each of these albums I enjoyed some moments from, but too much of what he does gets in the way sadly. Because his talent level I don't question. Listen to "Life" or "Earth Day" for example.

Transatlantic - The Whirlwind

The result of this speaks to that they should have made a 3rd lp right after Bridge Across Forever. This is the 77-minute chore to get through as it sounds. Fillllller

Really fucking sad because their legacy was so great before this. Would I rather them never put out anything again? of course not. But had they gone the maudlin of the Well/Soundscape route, they'd have had demos and things from right after BaF to use. Instead, this came across as an extension of The Flower Kings overall. Some moments within, but not cohesive enough, not even the best moments compared to their earlier best moments. No "Motherless children, wandering nowhere" or "Full Moon Rising todayy ehhhhhh" really. No "We All Need Some Light" or incredible Beatles-ish tributes like "Suite:Charlotte Pike."

C'mon guys!..If they make another, of course I'll listen. But if they never come close to their 1st 2 albums, I will chalk it down to the ole lightning-in-a-bottle idea. Their peak may have past and may never return sadly. O well.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 Albums Index List and Podcasts

Original: 12/22/09 7:05AM

more edits or futher elaboration may follow (more on 2009 music-in-general..namely the disappointments..i.e. why certain records are no where in the top 50..Muse, BTBAM, etc).

100-51 (missing the cut)
Here We Go Magic Here We Go Magic
The Appleseed Cast Sagarmatha
Editors In This Light and on This Evening
The Color Turning - Good Hands Bad Blood
Amogh Symphony - Abolishing the Obsolete System
Devin Townsend - Addicted
Devin Townsend Ki
Gavin Castleton - Home
Paper Route - Absence
Shadow Gallery - Digital Ghosts
U2 - No Line on the Horizon
Microfilm - The Bay of Future Passed
God Help the Girl - God Help the Girl
St. Vincent - Actor
Archive - Controlling Crowds Part IV
Courtney Yasmineh - Beautiful Lonely
3 - Revisions
Transatlantic - The Whirlwind
BrainFreeze - Focus
Phideaux - Number Seven
Rx Bandits - Mandala
Modern Skirts - All of Us in Our Night
Operahouse - Escape From the Sun
Persefone - Shin-ken
OneRepublic - Waking Up
Other Lives - Other Lives
Pain of Salvation - Linoleum [EP]
August Burns Red - Constellations
Nile - Those Whom the Gods Detest
Job for a Cowboy - Ruination
Skidmore Fountain - Cloudless Blue
BLK JKS - After Robots
Vektor - Black Future
Hotel of the Laughing Tree - Old Dominion [EP]
The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
Imogen Heap - Ellipse
Behemoth - Evangelion
Marillion - Less Is More
Murder by Death - Finch
Between the Buried and Me - The Great Misdirect
Do Make Say Think - Other Truths
Headlights - Wildlife
Russian Circles - Geneva
From Monument to Masses -On Little Known Frequencies
Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition
Mastodon - Crack the Skye
Karnivool - Sound Awake
Muse - The Resistance
As Tall as Lions - You Can't Take It With You
Obscura - Cosmogenesis


50. The Arusha Accord - The Echo Verses

Debut album from this British experimental/progressive extreme Metalcore band. The SiKth meets Protest the Hero style does work pretty well for them. An expansion/or more-material of that ilk, that was apparent on their ep from 2008.

Some of the changing moods and times, guitar work (and tones) and vocal harmonies I think make this album work throughout. It's consistent, but not overwhelming. For a debut album, that is at a minimum quite promising.

49. The Swell Season - Strict Joy

my initial review:
"The Rain" "High Horses" and "I Have Loved You Wrong" are all excellent. The rest of it isn't really filler either. Classic-case of a record start-2-finish works, but a bunch of select cuts win the most. Similar to their debut album in that respect.

I would agree with those tracks standing out. However, I'm not as blown away by the rest of it to put it higher. It's one of those albums I really love and isolate said amazing tracks that have those wonderful, uplifting parts. And the rest may grow on me eventually, or just be worth hearing when I'm in a mood to hear them (preparing for a concert perhaps. or in their case, watching "Once" I suppose).

48. Baroness - Blue Record

A lot of styles incorporated into this record. The sludgey guitar riffs and bombastic drumming stands out especially. They added a great part to their style with the folky, acoustic interlude pieces. Very Pink Floyd-ish in a way.

47. The Mars Volta - Octahedron

The problems with their last couple of albums are more or less gone. Bad production (on the cymbal especially) and the long-winded, redundant sections of songs. Not that this is over the top or as “epic” as some of their best stuff, but it is successful at being less-is-more and exploring new styles. The last half of the album I think did for me. A pleasant surprise and somewhat of a comeback for a band who has too much talent to ignore.

46. Yeah Yeah Yeah's – It's Blitz

Karen O’s work with the Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack forced me to re-check this band out. And while I can’t claim to be as attached to this or the YYY’s as that music, it certainly didn’t hurt. A bit like Amanda Palmer and The Dresden Dolls came more into my radar last year, I think Karen and her band have this year. Electronic, Post-Punk, New-Wave, female-vocal-ed, bombastic Art-Rock. A bunch of styles are explored here, but overall I think it’s the songwriting and melodies that work. And her voice. She has such a pretty voice sometimes.

45. Total Babe - Heatwave

The debut EP from this local-Minneapolis teenage band, who don’t sound as new as they are. They are another good example of less-is-more. Emotional, but subtle at the same time. But still not run-of-the-mill folky-pop. I guess there’s enough on here to give a lot of optimism for their future, other than the fact as young as they are, the chances of them of them having a long-term future are naturally uncertain. But at a minimum, the members of this band are one’s to watch as they grow as musicians and songwriters.

44. Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg

Energetic, riffy, layered, and still retro-sounding. Wolfmother surprised me and many I sense with this sophomore record of theirs. If on their debut they seemed to bring back the spirit of Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. On this album it’s Rush. They added more prog, and a bit more pomposity, but in a good way. Some of the prog scene raved about albums from Big Elf and Astra this year. Sorry, but these guys do that retro style better. They are more fun, more melodic, and more nostalgic sounding.

43. Lights on the Highway - Amanita Muscaria

The 2nd record from this Icelandic band who along with Dikta, make me think their country has more good music beyond Sigur Ros. I was rather impressed on how much I enjoyed this album. It definitely found the not-a-bad-song-on-it category. Layered-pop that seems to include a lot of different things I like. Piano, twangy guitars, recorder among other things.

42. Dream Theater - Black Clouds and Silver Linings

This was their highest charting record ever (#6 on Billboard it's 1st week). I honestly expected it to have some songs (or sections of songs) I like, and the predictable filler that pretty much every record they've done since Jordan Rudess joined them has had. More notice-ably since 2003's Train of Thought.

Well this album partially resulted in that, but I guess in revisiting it recently, some of the best moments are so good, that it seemed to score a bit higher than their other albums. "The Best of Times" and especially the much mocked "The Count of Tuscany" really are examples of Dream Theater's music working well. They both successfully hit the emotional button and I really can't find any of the band's frequently un-necessary habits existing in them. Even the rest of this record barely includes a lot of the plastic-synths and long-winded sections that are boring in their recent work. Their still isn't much piano unfortunately, and some of Portnoy's vocals don't really help the songs they're in; however I don't find their style nor length to be as repulsive as a lot of other fans.

I dunno, this may end up growing even more on me and be one of their best records yet. Not that I am thinking they have comeback to where they were in the 90's or even at the Six Degrees level, but it at least shows they may have a chance to return close to that level again. Especially if they focus on songwriting, creating strong, memorable melodies. Because when they do, they really can make some highly memorable music. And maybe the piano will return again as well.

41. The Boy Will Drown - Fetish

Really solid tech/death/grindcore of sorts. The folky acoustic interludes help. My only criticism might be they don't create much melody, but in this style, even if you don't, the exaggerated phrasing alleviates that desire.

40. Solstafir - Kold

Huge dynamics and even with a bit of stoner element that actually really works for me. The guitar and drums drown your ears in heavy, intense, pulsating sludge.

39. Graph - EP 2 (EP)

Oh man, I may owe my favorite blog again for introducing me to this band. Jazzy prog/punk? It's a bit low-fi, but frankly, it doesn't matter. There's a few sections that got my head turning, namely the song "The Wow! Signal."

38. Oceansize - Home and Minor (EP)

Moody, ambient, and mostly instrumental collection, but as different as it is, it still inherently sounds like Oceansize, which gives it value in itself.

37. Warpaint - Exquisite Corpse (EP)

Textural, dreamy female-driven rock group. This band is quite good, and this is the re-release their debut EP with an extra track. I'm not sure if any of the songs standout much over the others on this. I just find there music to have an enjoyable quality. Very seductive and mesmerizing at times. Girls can do that :p. And they were all very nice and kind to me (hugs :P) seeing them live. Their debut full-length is expected to be released in Spring. It's certainly pretty high on my anticipation list.

36. 100Ft Snowman - Juggling Knives (EP)

Very mature songwriting quality on this their 2nd ep, and sadly possibly last release. They really have it all, melodies, chops, personal lyrics, textures. Just not a record contract.

35. Brooke Waggoner - Go Easy Little Doves

Whoa Brooke! Where did this bloody gorgeous work come from? I recall enjoying her live with the string section back in April opening for Paper Route; but not this much! The production and orchestral arrangements are exceptional on this!

Fuck, this could be one of the most overlooked/under-the-radar records of the year.

34. Scott Matthews - Elsewhere

The Jeff Buckley comparisons are barely here if at all. The songwriting and consistency of the songs on this record are impressive. From emotional rockers to perfect moody acoustic ballads. I think Scott has matured a fair amount as a songwriter, from what was an impressive debut album in 2006's "Passing Stranger."

Robert Plant even makes an appearance. Definitely one of most overlooked albums of 2009, since I saw nobody talk about it all, all year.

33. Water & Bodies - Water & Bodies (EP)

Excellent songwriting and production. It's not Kaddisfly. It's not supposed to be Kaddisfly. Again, it's not supposed to be Kaddisfly.

An entirely new project from 4 of the members of Kaddisfly. The only criticism that is valid about this is it's not a full-length record. Every track is moving in some way. "Free World" "Celebration Song" and "Naked in the Rain" are among my favorites on this. I can't wait to hear their upcoming EP (in January) and hopefully a full-length debut album as well, in 2010.

32. Doves - Kingdom of Rust

A bit of a comeback record. An edit is required as my best memories and notes on this are n/a to me at the moment. But from memory, pretty much every track works on here. Nothing overwhelming, but there are hooks, layers, vocal-effects and a lot of what I enjoy about this band. Their live show I think eclipsed this album which is saying something.

31. Painted in Exile - Revitalized (EP)

I found about this newyork (progressive extreme metal) band a little over a month ago. But I am revisiting and am pretty much in awe of how impressive they are.

Pretty much what I love about Between the Buried and Me, I love about them. They have really good clean vocals and their screaming actually works really well with their music. This new ep of theirs is just 3 songs, but all 3 tracks clock in between 8-10 minutes.

The drumming and guitar work is excellent. And they use those wonderful segues with different quieter sections..sometimes piano, other times acoustic guitar..some of it jazzy, etc.

Go to their myspace and listen to "Skylines" and you'll see what I mean.

30. The Most Serene Republic - ...And the Ever Expanding Universe

While they do remind me a lot of their fellow Canadian post/chamber-rock, that doesn't make this album any less interesting. Some wonderful arrangements involving strings and woodwinds. Vocal harmonies, and piano. These guys have a lot of what I enjoy (or look for) in a modern rock/pop band.

29. Shelter Red - Strike a Mortal Terror

Tight compositions, with ballsy, thick, heavy riffs, screaming, growling guitar lines. This thing works beginning to end. It flows really well.

In the tradition of proggy post-metal bands like Russian Circles, Long Distance Calling and East of the Wall. They make less a lot more.

28. Mute Math - Armistice

The title speaks to the struggle they had putting this out. But the end result was hopefully worth those headaches. Sure they've become bigger, but their music hasn't suffered too much. "Goodbye" is outstanding. Extremely catchy chorus. "Clipping" "Burden" and the title cut are others I enjoy on here, although I don't think there's a song I don't enjoy on this. It's a more diverse album than their debut record as well. However, the remixed version of the title track, where the brass section lets loose more, and is extremely funky, really should have been on the album. It might have finished higher had it.

27. Biffy Clyro - Only Revolutions

Pretty much a continuation from 2007's "Puzzle." The difference I suppose is length. This record is about 45 minutes, at least 20 less than Puzzle.

But more or less every track works. Very riffy, melodic, poppy at times. Symphonic. They definitely added all the ingredients from their kitchen here and while the style isn't all that new, the songwriting quality remains.

26. Porcupine Tree - The Incident

They pretty successfully managed to put together an album-side or 55 minute piece that doesn't feel long or 55 minutes worth.

Steven Wilson gets credit for thinking how to transition these parts through really well. And when they do *Melancholy music* well (and it's not such an in-your-face downer like FoaBP lyrically) they usually score high for me. "I Drive the Hearse" is another classic example of that. Another big highlight is the "Drawing the line."

Still pretty predictable stylistically, but no matter, this was definitely a reasonable comeback album.

25. The Diablo Swing Orchestra - Sing-Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious

They floored me at ProgPowerUSA, and this album pretty much echoed that performance. The tight compositions, clean yet thick guitar riffs mix well in their style of surf and cabaret Metal. The opera vocals were the main issue I had with them before this, but i either have grown to tolerate them, or they don't ruin their music (unlike other bands like Nightwish, where they did).

Another terrific Metal band from Sweden doing their own thing. They should tour soon, hopefully with uneXpect.

24. The Antlers - Hospice

The moods on this are so goosebump-worthy its unforgettable. "Slowcore" maybe a genre I'm starting come around on. But I think these guys stand out more than a lot of the others.

Listening to this is another highly enjoyable, therapeutic, melancholy experience.

23. The House Harkonnen - Vol.6

Awesome energy start to finish. 28 minutes or so, and they make every second count. Energetic bluesy Metal in the vein of Motorhead, Mastodon, or even The Galactic Cowboys. The last not entirely surprising with the Texas roots.

Really a band and this album at least that easily could become a lot better known. Opening for Fair to Midland I'd hope is a start.

22. Sholi - Sholi

Organic, percussive. Great use of dynamics. One of the best debut albums of 2009. Less is more definitely. "November Through June" "Dance For Hours" and "Contortionist" are among my favorites.

21. The Kris Norris Projekt - Icons of the Illogical

Technical, ballsy riff-driven, mostly instrumental metal. I never liked The Darkest Hour, but this is nothing like that from my memory of that band. It's not "Post" metal exactly like Long Distance Calling or Russian Circles, but it's not as insanely technical the way Blotted Science is. Sort of somewhere in between. The Liquid Tension Experiment comparison might fit best, but of course there aren't any keyboards on this album either.

20. Grammatics - Grammatics

Excellent debut album. Indie/alt-prog that uses cello quite well. The singer sounds a bit like the singer from Deas Vail, but with more listenings, his voice seems to fit well enough with their sound; and he sounds less "emo", *christian-rock*, nor even *feminine* than some initial impressions. "The Vague Archive" "Cruel Tricks of the Light" "Shadow Committee," and "Murderer" are among my favorites.

19. Malajube - Labyrinthes

Maybe their most progressive-rock like. On par with their last 2 albums. The drumming is incredibly tight on this album.

18. Sound & Shape - The Love Electric (EP)

The best EP of 2009. One of the brighter new groups arising of late in the alternative-rock prog. I actually thought this would become more popular than it did. Silly me, as that sort of thing has (failed-to) happen many times before (House of Fools, Bend Sinister to name a few).

17. maudlin of the Well - Part the Second

I donated to this, and thus am 1 of the "executive producers* (like I am for the upcoming The Age of Rockets album too). The result ended up pretty good. The lack of extreme vocals and not a lot of the Metal-side to motW probably will never allow me to rate this as high as the double-release of LEAVING YOUR BODY MAP/BATH in 2001. But the compositions still work well. It has those motW moments still, namely with the use of strings. I won't deny it is more like halfway between motW and Kayo Dot, but it's still better than any of the KD stuff to me. There is very little to no minimalistic-filler on here. And we probably never will get another motW album, so at least it's great to go out on a high note (like Soundscape and maybe even Kevin Gilbert this year as far as unreleased material).

16. My Latest Novel - Death and Entrances

A breakthrough album of sorts. This band have made an uplifting, organic yet layered album. Full of vocal harmonies (male and female)

Inspirational lyrics, tight percussion, clean production, and song after song that works. Given my appreciation for artists like: Anathallo, Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, Local Natives and Annuals, this band and album are right up my alley.

15. Ramona Falls - Intuit

Brent Knopf of Menomena's new project. A consistently engaging record throughout. While I probably wouldn't put it quite at the level of Menomena, like Menomena, this album continues(ed) to grow on me really well. "Melectric" "Russia" "Salt Sack" are some of the tracks that I think of it for.

14. Archive - Controlling Crowds

70 some odd minutes that had very little filler. Trip-Hop, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, and Hip-Hop among other styles here. Archive is a band I've liked for a few years, but unlike Porcupine Tree or Pure Reason Revolution, they've never caught-on that well among the music circles I frequent. Perhaps due to how hard their music is to find.

This is better than their last record 2006's "Lights" certainly. Among the things about this album that stand out probably the fact that they explore so many different styles successfully, itself is what holds it biggest appeal. One example is the song "Collapse Collide" having this woman sing this soaring melody that almost reminds me of Neverending White Lights. Really sad and beautiful at the same time.

13. Greg Herriges - Telluric Currents

Awesome follow-up to "It Plays Me." Greg's style of progressive/ethnic/folk with surf rock, Japanese styles and others included made this album as eclectic as any record that came out this year. I think Greg has grown a fair amount as a songwriter, and this record really shows that. "Sabir Khan Song" "True Smile" "Rama B Good," "I Hear" are among my favorites. But there's not a track I ever skip. Why the forums didn't catch on to him/it? I can't follow, but I've been asking myself the same question about Dean Magraw for years. But in this case, the studio work definitely lives up to his live shows to a point.

12. Karen O - Where the Wild Things Are

I loved this. The movie made me cry, and the music-with-it was a big reason why. Karen O has such a gorgeous voice at times. Some of the chanting on this is so dreamy and adolescent, that I literally felt like I was 8 years old again. "All is Love" is a great kid-like pop tune. The percussion is highly enjoyable throughout the music on here. If you haven't seen the movie, go do it. Then you may follow why the music is such a big part of it.

11. Kiss Kiss - The Meek Shall Inherit What's Left

Worthy follow-up to an impressive debut record in 2007. A dozen or more ideas crammed into their style of circus-rock for most music would be ridiculous, but for Kiss Kiss it always seems to work.

10. note. - my city of ghosts, stars and hours

Excellent combination of styles, moods and textures that make this a record very rewarding when heard all at once. Using samples from movies that transition from jazz, blues and somewhat traditional sounding post-rock.

9. Local Natives - Gorilla Manor

Long-awaited phenomenal debut record. Every track stands out in some way. Everything on here is of the quality and as uplifting as the music they did as Cavil at Rest. And for that matter, pretty much any album in 2009.

8. Long Distance Calling - Avoid the Light

Tight compositions that stylistically cover many areas from post-metal, to progressive and psychedelic rock without losing focus of the song.

7. Umphrey's McGee - Mantis

Their finest studio work, best songwriting, and most progressive-rock centered.

6. Pure Reason Revolution - Amor Vincit Omnia

The new style was a bit surprising, but still a well-written and made 2nd album, that showed certainly much progression from 2006's "The Dark Third." Electronica can work with prog. This album proved that. The vocal harmonies and fat synths give this record an enjoyable blend. "Gloaming," "Apogee," "Victorius Cupid," "AVO," Deus Ex Machina" are among my favorite parts. is it about love? I guess, sort of a trippy love-drug of sorts.

3c. dredg - The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion

I love this band. And this album took 4 years to come out. It was more than worth that wait. One thing to say about it is how well it takes elements from all three of their previous albums, and combined them to work together. Certainly they added a few things like on "Down to the Cellar." But the moods, poppy-ness, extremely clean-production, transitions and interesting interludes are among the reasons this worked. The melodies sometimes would not leave my head for hours. Especially songs like "Gathering Pebbles," "Mourning this Morning," and "Information." It came across rather polarized to the fans, but being a fan of all their styles and back catalog, this worked as well as I'd expect.

While The Mars Volta and Coheed and Cambria become more and more well-known, this band continues to surpass them as musicians and yet receives only a fraction of the visibility. The RX Bandts concert in August where 1/2 of the crowd left sort of exemplified that. Why is Wolfmother playing at State Theater, and dredg at Station 4? it should be the other-way-around.

3b. The Dear Hunter - Act III: Life and Death

An excellent follow-up and progression from one of the best albums of the decade in 2007's "Act II." Definitely a case of now my favorite current songwriter (Casey Crescenzo), making an album to his and my standards. It didn't finish on top, only for the fact I couldn't give it 5-stars with "Go Get Your Gun" which is the one blemish in an otherwise perfect record. "Mustard Gas" and "This Beautiful Life" along with the suite of "Son," "Father" and "Life and Death" (One-of-these-days, he will learn, to luhhhhvv again"..."when we die, we die, alone") probably are my favorite parts of this. But like the 1st two Acts, this record works best listened to all-at-once. Transitions, the story, and just enjoying the various styles The Dear Hunter explores. The quality is impeccable, and yet the recognition still remains criminally low. But that sound/has-sounded like a broken-record for too long. So all I can say is go listen to this band and many others will agree about the high-level of songwriting and musicianship acumen, I am certain.

3a. Mew - No More Stories Are Told Today I'm Sorry They Washed Away No More Stories the World is Grey I'm Tired Let's Wash Away

Their best, most complete record beginning to end. Very dreamy. There's really no other band who sounds like them. The textures explored here totally grab me. Happiness, childhood-nostalgia, inspirations all come to me while listening to this, which I find are qualities that distinguish Mew quite well. "Tricks" "Introducing Palace Players" "Sometimes Life Isn't Easy" "Beach" "Hawaii" "Vaccine." It's a bit hard to single-out the best moments, because as I am someone who enjoys listening to full-albums, this also is enjoyed most start-to-finish. But their other records, namely KITES and FRENGERS, don't quite find that perfect mix throughout. It's teetering on classic status, and maybe like The Stiletto Formal did eventually, it'll wind up at 5-stars soon. I listen to it often enough that it could happen.
If only they could manage to find their way back to Minneapolis for a concert again. twice the fall of 2006, and neither US Tour this past Fall. The promoters in Minnesota continue their horrible-level of naivete.

2. Soundscape - Grave New World

Long awaited (10+ years) progressive rock concept record. The production is among the greatest parts of this. It's a classic no doubt, and a worthy follow-up to "Discovery" one of my favorite albums ever.

"Grave New World" "Digital Lover" "Big Brother" "Generation Why" are some of the highlights among all 76 minutes.

Another case of an extremely impressive album that nobody, including the progressive rock scene (the obvious demographic), noticed.

Failure 101. But why should I care? It's not like "Discovery" got even a fraction of the attention it deserved either.

1. Kevin Gilbert - Nuts/Bolts

The 1st part of this long-awaited collection. Every song is tremendous in so many ways, that I don't have time to add even a fraction of how much they deserve.

Simply put, Kevin Gilbert was a genius songwriter, and this collection, like pretty much everything else he did from Giraffe-on proves that once again.

"Tired Old Man" probably still remains one of my favorite things he ever did, although the "Puppet Suite," even not-mastered quality, I think eclipses it.

The 2nd part of this collection of immortal bliss. It pretty much picks up where "Nuts" left off. The piano ballads among the rest of the work here are noteworthy. "The Best of Everything" and "God's Been Tapping My Phone" are just so perfectly made. Emotionally, lyrically, sonically.

The fact I know how much I will be listening to this collection of music in the coming years, pretty much forced me to put Nuts/Bolts on top here.

The content included may not be as in-your-face or can't-get-that-part-out-of-my-head quality as some other music, but the fact is, this collection of songs is worthy of the quality of Kevin Gilbert's work, it's just inherently so good and so much better than any other music being made, pretty much justifies why this is the best music that was released in the year 2009 (at least that hit my radar).

It's far too significant to me to ignore and sell short. Sorry, but there is no better songwriter that worked in the past 25 years, and every moment here pretty much proves that point even further.

The fact that people still are not recognizing Kevin Gilbert's music and name still is just another reason to show them how hugely they are failing by not being aware of him and this latest release from his estate. Someday they will know the errors of their ways and the amount of value and importance of Kevin Gilbert's music will be reciprocated like it should be; like I am giving it here by placing it above everything else for the year in music that is/was 2009.

no youtube vids with any of the unreleased work, but this classic Zeppelin cover is included on the collection.

I'm a bit drained in trying to finish this fucking thing.