Thursday, December 10, 2009

Next 10 (Non-Metal) of 2009

So we've had the Next 10 of Metal list. And now... the Next 10
(#'s 11-20) of Non-Metal music!! Quite the festival of diversity.

#20 Checkmate Savage - The Phantom Band

Checkmate Savage
"Folksong Oblivion" from Checkmate Savage (2009)

Official -
Myspace -
Purchase - Amazon
iTunes - The Phantom Band
Lala - Checkmate Savage

Genre - Post-Punk Folk-Prog Power-Pop
Location - Scotland, U.K.
Review - Drowned in Sound

A new band that does a wide variety of stuff fairly well, building a pretty good debut album as a whole. I realize that doesn't sound like high praise. But for every time it seems like a re-tooled Stranglers, there's two times to sound like a mod Wall of Voodoo or a krautrock Human League.

#19 Merriweather Post Pavilion - Animal Collective

Merriweather Post Pavilion
"My Girls" from Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009)

Myspace -
Unofficial -
Purchase - Domino Records
iTunes - Animal Collective
Lala - Merriweather Post Pavilion

Genre - Sunny Loopy Electro-Pop
Location - Connecticut/Portugal
Review - Pitchfork

Sure to top many a year-end list, I like this better than I did originally. But it's no Person Pitch (#10, 2007). Still, Animal Collective generally misses a mark with me, being a band I like the idea of better than the actual music. Of course there's a full album playlist, so you can check out what's hip in 2009!

#18 Siegfried - The Calm Blue Sea

Siegfried: An Original Score (2009)

Official -
Myspace -
Purchase - Offical Site store
iTunes - The Calm Blue Sea
Lala - Siegfried

Genre - Post-Rock
Location - Austin, TX
Review - AWmusic

A double-cd score for the 1924 silent film by Fritz Lang. The playlist embedded above has the whole movie synched to the album. Nice package and a lot of really good music, if you dig the post-rock. Which I do.

#17 From an Ancient Star - Belbury Poly

From an Ancient Star
"The Hidden Door" from From an Ancient Star (2009)

Official -
Myspace -
Purchase - Greedbag
iTunes - Belbury Poly
Lala - From an Ancient Star

Genre - Hauntological Electro-Experimental
Location - Britain
Review - Weirdo Music

A little more beaty than usual, but not really in any danceable way. Somewhere on the spectrum between the BBC Radiophonic Workshop of "Doctor Who" and the proto-Moog sequencer-rama of Hot Butter
"Popcorn." There always seems to be some simple melody way upfront, which repeats until it blurs into the background, and then you notice all the crazy stuff going on in the background.

#16 Faking Gold and Murder - AEthenor

Faking Gold and Murder
"Faking Gold and Murder I" (2009)

Official/Myspace -
Blogspot - /aethenor...
Purchase - VHF Records
iTunes - AEthenor
Lala - Faking Gold and Murder

Genre - Experimental Dark Jazz
Location - Miscellaneous
Review - Metal Reviews

Four more slabs o' weird, this time with surreal incantations from Current 93's David Tibet. A bit more song-oriented than Deep in Ocean Sunk the Lamp of Light (#7, 2006), what with lyrics and everything. And more trap drum kit. But still really experimental and spacy, and nuts. Part IV is probably the mellowest thing they've done.

#15 Summer Sessions, Vol. 1-3 - Causa Sui

Summer Sessions, Vol. 3
"Red Valley" from Summer Sessions, Vol. 3 (2009)
"Cinecittà" from Summer Sessions, Vol. 2 (2009)
"Everglides" from Summer Sessions, Vol. 1 (2008)

Official -
Myspace -
Purchase - Elektrohasch Records
iTunes - Causa Sui
Lala - Summer Sessions Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3

Genre - Jam Danish
Location - Denmark
Review - Aural Innovations (Vol. 1)

Only volumes 2 and 3 were released this year, on very limited vinyl. But now a re-release CD of all three Summer Sessions Volumes is available, directly from Electrohasch. And Vol. 1 (2008) is really the best one... especially the kick-off epic "Visions of Summer!" But get them all.

#14 Black Devil Doll OST & Euro Slash - Giallos Flame

Black Devil Doll
Trailer for Black Devil Doll (2009)

Official/Myspace -
Soundtrack Myspace -
Blogspot - /giallosflame...
Purchase - Film's official store
iTunes - The Giallos Flame
Lala - Euro Slash

Genre - Horror Soundtrack Italo
Location - Dunwich, U.K. Lovecraft
Review - FearNET (Euro Slash)

As I always say, The Giallos Flame are the Lucio Fulci's Fabio Frizzi as Zombi is the Dario Argento's Goblin. Black Devil Doll is more funky, but it's an all different sort of exploitation soundtrack. And really, they do an admirable job in a different genre, while staying pretty true to that Giallos sound. Very little on YouTube, so maybe next week I'll put some 2009 stuff together, but for now:
this and that.

#13 Embryonic - The Flaming Lips

"Convinced of the Hex" [live] from Embryonic (2009)

Official -
Myspace -
Purchase - Flaming Lips Store [CD / 2xLP]
iTunes - The Flaming Lips
Lala - Embryonic

Genre - Maximum Freak-Out Guitar-Pop
Location - Oklahoma City, OK
Review - The Guardian (UK)

I think I summarized my feelings in the original review (click album title above the cover). This could have been a Top 10 of the year, and a top-tier Flaming Lips album, with some editing and polish. But who knows where that would have ended up? As is, a solid package with a lot of good material, and some interesting variations. Good listening when the mood strikes.

#12 Wilco (the album) - Wilco

Wilco (the album)
"Bull Black Nova" from Wilco (2009)

Official -
Unofficial Myspace -
Purchase - Kung Fu store
iTunes - Wilco
Lala - Wilco (the album)

Genre -
Location - Chicago, IL
Review - Spin

Best Wilco album since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)! They were kind of losing me there for awhile. Great batch of songs, and I always like hearing something Quiet Beatlesque. Also, the Ashes of American Flag dvd was released and is more than excellent, if you like mixed performance-interview movies.

#11 Totem One - Master Musicians of Bukkake

Totem One
"Schism/Prism" [live] from Totem One (2009)

Official/Myspace -
Purchase/.mp3 - Conspiracy Records
Lala - 30-sec samples of Totem One

Genre - Psychedelic/Acoustic/Black Metal
Location - Seattle
Review - Monochrom

Eastern-tinged experimental jams, from a 20-person collaborative (or thereabouts). All of the songs sound pretty different, but they're all weird and groovy and trippy and mystical. Lots of desert-nomad drums and bells, ululating tribal chants, plucked strings and soaring psych solos.

Embryonic Litho
Out of town for the weekend, except for a record convention. So I'll get more posts and videos up early next week. I'll try to get missing stuff from this list on the YouTube, and hook you up.

Have a good one!

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