Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas Countdown - 2004

2004 - Became a father, changed jobs and listened to lots of tunes.


#12 The Zutons - Who Killed... The Zutons? - Another Gomez opening act that didn't disappoint.  From Ska to Blues to straight forward Rock like The Zutons, you have to love any band that incorporates a mean saxophone.  Pressure Point and You Will You Won't are the standouts here.

#11 R.E.M. - Around the Sun - Here is the requisite R.E.M. album for the year.  Agenda pushed.  Check that off my list.

#10 Phoenix - Alphabetical - Burst into the mainstream somewhat in 2009 but this album from 2004 was nearly as good. 

#9 The Futureheads - The Futureheads - The UK cornered the market in 2004 with garage band / dance / punk bands.  Love this album.

#8 The Killers - Hot Fuss - If you didn't hear this album you were either dead or in a coma or worse, only listened to KBULL or The Eagle.

#7 Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill - Released after his death, Basement was the album that Elliott had not quite finished and it shows.  Some of the tracks just don't feel complete but there are some real gems here such as Twilight.

#6 Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand - Of the same ilk as the Futureheads, this album was just a little better than their fellow UKmen.  Thanks to Guitar Hero and various commercials, Take Me Out has become one of the decade's classic tunes.

#5a Ray LaMontagne - Trouble - I had a blog post about Ray earlier this year before I saw him in concert.  This album, his debut, is still his best work.

#5b Ben Kweller - On My Way - I may or may not have left this off the list upon first publishing the blog.  I'm sure I've done this with other albums already and will do it again but it had to be fixed and this was the easiest way to do so.  I Need You Back is one of the Superstar's all time favorites.

#4 Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days - I&W has also been featured heavily this year on the blog.  Naked As We Came and Each Coming Night are beautiful songs.

#3 Sondre Lerche - Two Way Monologue - Believe it or not, some of Lerche's albums aren't going to make the countdown.  I promise.  Monologue does though because it is a delight.

#2 The Thrills - Let's Bottle Bohemia - Many of you will listen to this album and wonder why I would place it so high.  Originally I had it down around 10th place on this countdown but after listening to it several times over the past week I was reminded that this album was the soundtrack to the Superstar's birth.  It just so happened to be in the cd player on the way to the hospital and it provided the background noise as I went back and forth to the hospital for Superstar and Wheels many times that week.  Excitement, fear, happiness, sadness are all felt as I listen to these songs.

On a side note, The Thrills also provided one of my 2004 concert highlights.  The band played at a small club in Park City on my birthday and a pregnant Wheels, Flanksteak, Vanwarmer and I enjoyed the Franz Ferdinand album that I was gifted by Flanksteak as we made the drive up to PC for the late night show.  Vanwarmer was unusually sleepy that night and ended up sleeping on the floor of the bar for good portions of the concert.  Many times the bouncers asked us if our buddy was alright and Flanksteak and I would reply with, "Yeah, he just had a few too many tonight."  To any of Vanwarmer's former students who saw him passed out that night, I can assure you that he was sober.  Sleepy, but sober.

#1 Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak - I know what you are thinking KOL fans, "Hey, this album came out in 2005, Mr. Lame Countdown Maker."  Well to those naysayers I say, "NAY!"  While the Kings were still gaining a fanbase in the US, over in the UK they were already stars and selling out soccer stadiums.  Because of this they released their album in the UK in November of 2004, six months before it would hit the shelves in the US.  After wearing out my copy of their debut I caught wind of this and convinced Wheels that it was a must that I spend $25 and purchase the album through  I still don't regret the decision.  As for Heartbreak, not a bad song is found and The Bucket is as perfect of a rock song as humans are capable of writing.

Honorable Mentions

The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free - British rapper that is more spoken word then actual rap.

Velvet Revolver - Contraband - Scott Weiland from STP and member of GnR form a super group that showed signs of greatness but didn't completely mesh until their follow up album a few years later.

Rogue Wave - Out of the Shadow - One part Shins, one part Band of Horses = 100% awesome.

Interpol Antics - If every song was as good as Evil it would have been the #1 album of the year. 

Cake - Pressure Chief - The last piece of relevant work by one of my all time favorite bands.

Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans - Stevens took a break from his states albums to record an album that I read a review that stated: "If Elliott Smith went to Sunday School it might sound like this..."

Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Like Bad News - Sing it with me now- We'll All Float On, Alright...

k-os - Joyful Rebellion - Crabbuckit is a must listen.  Funky hip hop perfection. 

The Frames - Burn the Maps - Glen Hansard's (Swell Season) former band that has been cranking out albums since the early 90's.  Would have made the list if I had actually heard it before this past month.  If only there were a popular Irish group that could have taken them on the road and allowed them to get some exposure...

Willy Mason - Where the Humans Eat - Passed along to me by Little Rob who has been MIA from the blog for a good chunk of 2009.  Thanks for this album, wherever you might be...

1 comment:

Corbie said...

I do not know even one person on your honorable mention list (yep, I'm that cool) but I like at least half of the main 12 (which is pretty good considering your crappy taste in music).