Great year for music. Too many good releases to fit in a top ten.
1. Mark Olson "Salvation Blues" - simply his best in awhile. I wasinfatuated with this from the first listen, but seeing these intimate songs performed in small venues turned that into an enduring mature love. I really like Olsen's unassuming nature and awkward innocence.
2. Peter Case "Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John" Great moving songs from start to finish, which is actually pretty amazing; Song writer with an acoustic guitar folk records tend to get a little samey. Not this one. Weakest track, unbelievably is the duet with Richard Thompson. This also benefited from seeing the songs live.
3. Josh Ritter "Historical Conquests of..." This could have been, maybe should have been, my #1. In past years it certainly would have been. I spent weeks spinning this over and over again, and Ritter put on a great show at the El Rey.
4. Wilco "Sky Blue Sky" Another beautifully written, well performed record that was spun non-stop.
5. Band of Horses "Cease to Begin" Beards and flannel rock, which is intimate and personal while at the same time abstract.
6. Joe Henry "Civilians" This record creeped up on me.
7 Richmond Fontaine "Thirteen Cities" As with Peter Case, I'm
perplexed that this band doesn't get more love.
8. Bettye Lavette "The Scene of The Crime" feels like my weekend jeans.
9. Glossary "Better Angels" Great garage rock that's more complex than it seems on first listen
10. Two Cow Garage "III" Much improved song writing without sacrificing any of the energy.
Missed, but would have been in the top 10 in other years:
Okkervil River "Stage Names"
Arcade Fire "Neon Bible"
Dexateens "Hardwire Healing" Rawk.
John Doe "A Year In the Wilderness"
Sharon Jones & Dap Kings "100 days, 100 nights"
Patty Griffin "Children Running Through"
I've really been listening to the "I'm Not There" soundtrack, Stax
50th anniversary set. I decided to eliminate them and the Centro EP
Iron & Wine Shepherd's Dog
Dogs "Dirty Shop"
Son Volt (I listened to and enjoyed out of the box, but now when one
of those songs comes up on shuffle, I'm tempted to hit "skip")