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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 

I guess it's that time of year again, eh?

We're closing in on the end, and I guess I'll have to do some sort of top whatever list for PopMatters, Pazz & Jop et al soon. I've got to marshal some thoughts, as all I've got now is a fairly large and unwieldy candidates list. It's weird - I've had a great year, music-wise, but when I look at my list I feel oddly uninspired. It feels kind of like I'm either forgetting a bunch of stuff (...I don't think so) or something like that. I also feel like a lot of my picks this year are kind of depressingly mainstream, at least for the critical community I tend to hang around in, although there's lots of stuff that's not here that's likely to be widely picked. And I don't know, liking stuff other people overlook isn't exactly laudable - I just feel boring this year.

Number one with a bullet:
Samamidon – All Is Well

Likely to rate high (no real order, though):
Hot Chip – Made in the Dark
The Kills – Midnight Boom
Portishead – Third
Los Campesinos! – Hold On Now, Youngster… (haven't played the second one yet)
Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
TV on the Radio – Dear Science (I am not a huge fan of their other material, but I really, really like this for some reason)
Foals – Antidotes
Stars Like Fleas – The Ken Burns Effect
Vampire Weekend – s/t

Still in contention (also in no order):
Delays – Everything's the Rush
The Wedding Present – El Rey
Festival – Come, Arrow, Come!
Earth – The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull
Flying Lotus – Los Angeles
The Bug – London Zoo
Horse Feathers – House With No Home
Retribution Gospel Choir – s/t
Wire – Object 47
Mountain Goats – Heretic Pride
The Dodos – Exciter
Demons – Invisible Darkness
Paavoharju – Laulu Laakson Kukista
Matmos – Supreme Balloon
Free Blood - The Singles

See what I mean?

I'm pretty underwhelmed about this year. There have been some amazing songs, but not a lot of albums that have knocked my socks off. I'll have to give it some thought. Surely October's a little bit soon?

Well, I know Stylus people who started doing preliminary lists in June or so, so I felt I was being restrained. But yeah, it's a bit early.

I'm probably one of those people, I can already reel off my top 10 bar a couple of potential place changes from late year albums. No one releases anything near Christmas anyway!

I also am finding myself really liking TV on the Radio for the first time.

Me too!

I think now is about the right time to be thinking of these lists, especially if you are going to have to submit them to an editor - after all, you're going to need all the time between now and December to listen to a lot of stuff again to review/make sense of the year. I have found loads of great stuff this year that is quite inspiring. Paavoharjuu amongst them indeed. You should get more metal and freaky noise stuff (like Paavoharju) in yr life, I think that is what has kept me all interested.

I will bring you names soon if you like!


Please do!

Hi Ian. I'm not overly considering this as an end of year list, more off the top of my head. By the time I actually think about it there will be a lot more I've missed here and some of these won't be there - and there's a few things you've mentioned already that will. It might be a bit late in the year for you to give these time to get in your lists, but you really need to hear records by all these people if you haven't already.

Freaky folky acousticated weirdness >>>
Lucky Dragons
Brael & Tokyo Bloodworm
Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat
Wild Beasts
Barn Owl
High Places
To The Boy Elis
Goliath Bird Eater
Natural Snow Buildings

Cozmiche rokk rainbow>>>
Late Of The Pier
Friendly Fires
Crystal Antlers
Cloudland Canyon
Religious Knives

Post metal hypnotics >>>
Kowloon Walled City
U.S. Christmas
Collections of Colonies Of Bees
Double Handsome Dragons
Der Blutharsch
The Stumps

Pitch black fucking metal >>>
A Forest Of Stars
Brown Jenkins
Melancolia Estatica


p.s. did I tell you my baby was born? We named him Syd Hauk. He actually turned out pretty good!.

Congratulations, Meatbreak! That's great to hear, even if I'm not sure of the significance of Hauk (or wait, is that a last name instead of a middle name?).

I'll be honest, with the exception of High Places, M83 (who I'm not fond of), Religious Knives, Racebannon and Wold, I haven't even heard of any of those bands.

Hey Ian, thanks for the congrats. As you can see from the speed of my replies, babies are quite time consuming! Not too much significance to Hauk - it's the Norwegian for Hawk, we wanted an animal name, seemed like a good one. His full name is Syd Hauk Nicholas.

As for those bands - This year I have found myself exploring further and in smaller places, so I'mnot really wexpecting too many peopel to have heard of this stuff - but hopefully by the years end they will! (umm, I guess this would have made a better email than blog comment)

No worries, although you're certainly welcome to drop me a line if you'd like.

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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imathers at gmail dot com

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