Here are the liner notes from this year’s CD (for those who don’t speak German, “Zweitausendneun” means “Two thousand nine”).
1. Great Expectations
The Gaslight Anthem, The ’59 Sound (2008)
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The Gaslight Anthem is punk rock heavily influenced by Bruce Springsteen. They’re from nearby New Brunswick, New Jersey. We saw them live down in Denver this year. I’m pretty confident I was the oldest guy in the mosh pit.
2. On My Way
Billy Boy on Poison, Drama Junkie Queen (2009)
An iTunes freebie.
3. Got Some
Pearl Jam, Backspacer (2009)
I have to admit to generally be underwhelmed by Pearl Jam’s latest CD. It’s good, but not great.
4. Too Many Tears (featuring Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi)
Buddy Guy, Skin Deep (2008)
Blues from a master, with some great guests. The album also features Eric Clapton and Robert Randolph.
5. Don’t Miss Me
The Derek Trucks Band, Already Free (2009)
Derek Trucks is my choice for best living guitarist. Also recommended: Sweet Inspiration, Get What You Deserve, Our Love, I Know
6. Good Morning Captain
The Black Crowes, Before the Frost… (2009)
While I wouldn’t say I despise them, I’ve never liked the Black Crowes either. That changed with this album, filled of guitar heavy jams. Also recommended: Been a Long Time (too long to fit on the CD), the rest of the CD.
7. Did You Miss Me
Lindsey Buckingham, Gift of Screws (2008)
Yes, the same Lindsey Buckingham who played with Fleetwood Mac.
8. Even If It Breaks Your Heart
Will Hoge, The Wreckage (2009)
Great guitar, almost country sounding. I never heard of this guy before, but when I was screening songs for this CD, I found myself singing these lyrics over and over again.
9. I Don’t Care (Just As Long As You Love Me)
John Fogerty, The Blue Ridge Rangers Ride Again (2009)
This isn’t country-influenced, or countryish, this is full-on country music. On another track from the same album, Fogerty sings:
But if memories were all I sang, I rather drive a truck
But it’s all right now, I learned my lesson well
You see, ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself
Apparently he took this to heart, and wrote an album he wanted to write. I saw him in concert this fall. An interesting affair- he alternated between this album, and old CCR hits. On the drive home, I turned off the CCR, and put this album on instead. It’s fun!
10. Stofer’s Ramble
Cornmeal, Feet First (2006)
Cornmeal is a bluegrass country band from Chicago. While this song sticks to their bluegrass roots, in concert they are something else entirely. Although they play bluegrass instruments (fiddle, banjo, etc.), the music is more jam rock than anything. When I saw them this year, they covered Bob Dylan. And the Bee Gees. Somehow, it worked.
11. Sing To The Mountain
Elephant Revival, Elephant Revival (2008)
Local band from Nederland, Colorado. When I saw them in concert, I got to witness a washboard solo. Really.
Mariza, Terra (2009)
Mariza sings Portuguese Fado music. Mournful-sounding piano, with a energetic backbeat.
13. Boots of Chinese Plastic
The Pretenders, Break Up The Concrete (2008)
Yes, really. Chrissy Hynde moved back to Ohio.
14. Help I’m Alive
Metric, Fantasies (2009)
High energy rock, with a new wave pop flavor. Also recommended: Sick Muse, Satellite Mind, Gimme Sympathy, Stadium Love
15. Ghost Town
Shiny Toy Guns, Season of Poison (2008)
“Electro-tinged pop” This group also appeared on my 2006 CD.
16. Percussion Gun
White Rabbits, It’s Frightening (2009)
The title should be self-evident once you hear the drums.
Rodrigo Y Gabriela, 11:11 (2009)
Flamenco meets heavy metal. This album features 11 songs dedicated to 11 musicians who have influenced the guitar duo. Hanuman is dedicated to Carlos Santana. Keep in mind that the percussion instrument you hear is Gabriela’s guitar. Also recommended: Atman (where they are joined with an electric guitar)
18. Hello Operator
The White Stripes, De Stijl (2000)
Having finally decided that I like the White Stripes, I started exploring their back catalog. I liked what I found even better than their newer stuff- it’s more raw, stripped-down. I believe the title is Dutch for “The Style” and is pronounced “De Style,” although there is probably more phlegm involved. Also recommended: The White Stripes catalog.
19. Augen Auf!
OOMPH!, Wahrheit Oder Pflicht (2004)
Good old-fashioned German rock. “Headstone, headstone, everyone must be hidden. (counts to ten) Eyes open, I’m coming.” For tea, I suppose.
20. Knights of Cydonia
Muse, Black Holes & Revelations (2006)
SONG OF THE YEAR
I was introduced to Muse by Dorinna, not Guitar Hero III, thank you very much. Muse came out with a new album this year, but I like this one better. I’m not sure this deserves the title “Song of the Year,” but I keep coming back to it…
21. You & Me
The Dave Matthews Band, Big Whiskey and The GrooGrux King (2009)
Mellow end to this year’s CD.