Thursday, January 28, 2010

Top 10 New Releases of 2005!

What a craptacular year for new releases! Kanye West was real big, M.I.A. was tearing up the electronic scene, Antony and The Johnsons was dominating the indie world. There were other albums that are probably pretty good, if I'd listened to them (Decemberists, Franz Ferdinand, Mountain Goats) - but I didn't. And there were a bunch of disappointing albums by bands I usually like (Dandy Warhols, Queens of the Stone Age, and especially Mercury Rev). Ugh.

So, I'll just overcompensate and make three lists. This is the "main" one, but the least of the three. For the most part, these are Top 10 new release studio albums of 2005 - for what it's worth...
[Two more/better 2005 lists coming in awhile!]

#10 Hopelessly Incapable of Standing in the Way - Spain Colored Orange

Hopelessly Incapable of ...
"Hide" from Sneaky Like A Villain (2009)

Genre - Indie Space-Jazz Pop
Official/Myspace -
Location - Houston, TX

Review - Pop Matters
iTunes - Spain Colored Orange
Purchase - Amazon

Warners control the YouTube for this album, so even these local fellows can't post music from their debut. So, we return to Lala land:

#9 Jest & Earnest - The Mathletes

Jest & Earnest
"2003 (The Year Punk Pranced), I Hate Math, Anime Convention" from Jest & Earnest (2005)

Genre - Silly Indie-Pop
Official/Myspace -
Location - Houston, TX

Review - Adequacy
iTunes - a different Mathletes album
Purchase - seems OOP

I've always kinda liked The Mathletes, Joe Mathlete being the prolific singer-songwriter of cute 'n' funny dorkiness. This is the only one I've bought, though: a sprawling double-CD, which perfectly encapulates the endless spillage of the humorously mundane and romantic. "Let's Read Pitchfork Together Everyday"... "I Will Melt Your Heart (With Lasers)"... "Hugglefaeries vs. Bog Wolves."

#8 Twin of Pangaea - Where the Moon Came From

Twin of Pangaea
"Pangaea, Pts. 1 & 2" from Twins of Pangaea (2005)

Genre - Psychedelic Rock
Official/Myspace -
Location - Chicago, IL

Review - Stoner Rock
Download FREE - Rock Proper

I got this from the net label, Rock Proper, and it's worth checking out (free). About like Snailface, but more psych and crazy. And $36 gets you a Ltd Ed (of 100) colored-vinyl/gatefold package. (I'd check it out the download first.)

#7 Face The Truth - Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks

Face The Truth
"Baby C'mon" from Face The Truth (2005)

Genre - Rock 'n' Roll
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Portland, OR

Review - Stylus Magazine
iTunes - Stephen Malkmus
Lala - Face The Truth
Purchase - Matador Records

You might know him as a former member of Pavement. Was never a huge fan, maybe one day. I like his solo stuff pretty well, but have most gotten into Pig Lib (2003). Still, in 2005, this was a contender!

#6 Love Kraft - Super Furry Animals

Love Kraft
"Lazer Beam" from Love Kraft (2005)

Genre - Pop-Prog Psychedelic Indie Rock
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Wales, U.K.

Review - Treble Zine
iTunes - Super Furry Animals
Lala - Love Kraft
Purchase - Amazon

Like Malkmus, I give a slight nod to the predecessor, Phantom Power (2003), but this is actually a terrific album. Definitely recommended to those who like catchy songs with psychedelic vibes and some light proggy flavors.

#5 Z - My Morning Jacket

"It Beats 4 U" from Z (2005)

Genre - Electro-Reverb Southern-Rock
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Louisville, KY

Review - The A.V. Club
iTunes - My Morning Jacket
Lala - Z
Purchase - Amazon

Hey, guess what? I prefer their previous album from 2003, It Still Moves. This is the first one where they move away from the straight-up echo-drenched southern rock. Z is very probably a better album, but it was getting closer to what other people were doing. Whereas I wasn't (an amn't) hearing much good music in It Still Moves' style.

#4 Damn! EP - Emperor Penguin

Damn! EP
"Disco Party in the Castle of Love (Tonight)" [live] from Damn EP (2001)

Genre - Electro-Party Synth-Funk
All Music Guide - Biography
Location - Chicago, IL

Review - Fakejazz
iTunes - Emperor Penguin
Lala - Damn EP
Purchase - My Pal God Records

We'll get deeper into this one's story, soon. There's got to be some reason I had this as 2005. Maybe a re-release, but it's too late now: it's in. I needed a segue...

#3 Sonic Prayer - Earthless

Sonic Prayer
"Sonic Prayer" [live] from Sonic Prayer (2005)

Genre - Heavy Jam
Official/Myspace -
Location - San Diego, CA

Review - Prog Archives
iTunes - Earthless
Lala - Sonic Prayer
Purchase - Relapse Records

The debut of Earthless, and worth getting. But I'm gonna flip it around here and suggest the subsequent albums first. Quite a twist, eh? They are still endlessly jamming, squalling guitars and raging drums.

#2 Kraut Lok - Space Debris

Kraut Lok
"Bolivia" from Kraut Lok (2005)

Genre - Kraut Jam
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany

Review - Towards the bottom...
Download FREE samples - from MP3.DE
Purchase - All That Is Heavy

I like all the Space Debris I've heard, and this is no exception. Now if I could just watch the dvd! Excellent guitar-organ-drums trio, cosmic space-rock jamming, out of any consideration for modern times. Great stuff! (Lala sure would come in handy here.)

#1 Bubble City - Pong

Bubble City
"Secret Meat" from Bubble City (2005)

Genre - Space Rock to the Party
Official -
Myspace -
Location – Austin, TX

Review - Austin Chronicle
iTunes - Bubble City
Purchase - cdBaby

Awesome, awesome band. Terrific record! Spacey, krauty, synth and rockin' jams. I liked the debut, but had to admit there was some serious filler action. This one's all killer.

Right as I was about to post, I remembered that a couple of years back, I helped Pong (#1) get The Mathletes (#9) as an opening act here in Houston. Even did the flyer!!

Pong/Mathletes flyer 12-01-2007

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