Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Best Shows and EPs of 2009

Greetings denizens of Dim City. Been a long time. Been a long time. Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time.
Hello, hello, hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone home?
Well, I certainly wouldn't blame you if you weren't around, but here's my annual attempt to update this blog more frequently than bi-yearly. Starting off with my annual list of music-related superlatives. Today's installments will focus on my favorite live shows of 2009 as well as my favorite EPs. Sometime next week, I hope to follow with two installments of my favorite 30 releases of 2009. Stay tuned and check back from time to time. The lights might just be coming back on in Dim City...

And hey, comment will ya? Just so I know you all are alive?

My 10 Favorite Live Shows of 2009:

10. Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs at the Iron Horse, Northampton, MA (11/14/09)
9. Grant-Lee Phillips with Winterpills at Club Passim, Cambridge, MA (11/16/09)
8. Neko Case with John and Joey from Calexico at the Calvin Theatre, Northampton, MA (11/13/09)
7. Jeff Tweedy with Pronto at the Calvin Theatre, Northampton, MA (03/27/09)
6. Amy Millan at the Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, MA (11/04/09)

5. The Decemberists with Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus Three at the Bank of America Pavilion, Boston, MA (06/09/09)
4. Bob Mould Band with Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson at the Paradise, Boston, MA (10/07/09)
3. Gomez with Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears at Pearl Street Ballroom, Northampton, MA (04/02/09)
2. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals at the Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA (02/21/09)
1. The Decemberists with Heartless Bastards at Mountain Park, Holyoke, MA (08/16/09)
My 5 Favorite EPs of 2009:
5. Alela & Alina - Alela Diane & Alina Hardin (Rough Trade)

Soothing acoustic folk, despite some dark subject matter. Diane's and Hardin's voices interweave beautifully, spinning and swirling together into an Appalachian timewarp.

Have yourself a listen here.

4. Things You Should Know - Carina Round (Self-Release)

Criminally underrated, Round continues her string of stellar releases with a slightly less rocking, but no less biting EP - chalk full with excellent melody, arrangment, and execution.

Have yourself a listen here.

3. Black River Killer EP - Blitzen Trapper (Sub Pop)

Unfortunately brief, even by EP standards, the latest from Portland, OR's Blitzen Trapper picks up where 2008's brilliant "Furr" left off: quirky, complex alternative pop with a slight twang and a lot of hooks.

Have yourself a listen here.

2. Doomsday EP - Elvis Perkins In Dearland (XL Recordings Ltd.)

Richly textured and complex, Perkins' 2009 EP is grand without being overbearing and dense without being overwrought. Mixing gospel elements into his acoustic rock genre, Perkins is turning into one of music's most prolific and rewarding artists.

Have yourself a listen here.

1. Power + Light - 50 Foot Wave (Self-Released)

Kristin Hersh's dynamic power trio manages to absolutely slay a single 26 minute track with multiple movements, time changes, and mood swings. String sections that segue into pummeling, almost prog-rock propels this offering into the stratosphere. A very impressive piece of music.

Have yourself a listen here.

Oh, and if you have made it this far, be sure to check out my bud March's list too.


Blogger March to the Sea said...

comment! I am alive. I'll help you out per your request.

Good list man. I like when I haven't heard stuff and I gotta go check it out.

12:00 PM  
Blogger March to the Sea said...

oh yeah..that March dude...good taste.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Jenny G said...

I'm alive and glad to see you posting. When are you going to come over to the dark side and join Facebook?

8:24 PM  
Blogger Dim said...

Hey JG -

I'm desperately trying to avoid Facebook at all costs. On one hand, not being on FB keeps me way out of the loop with you guys and I'm not at all happy about that. On the other, it keeps me hidden from people I don't want to find me and it also keeps me from poking around in places where I probably won't like what I find.

- D.

8:19 AM  

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