2009 Book & Music Recap

This is the first part of my annual recap of my year in media. Tomorrow I will probably look back at the movies of ’09.

I didn’t really keep up with music this year as much as I normally do. But in no particular order, the releases I was most fond of from this year were:

1. Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid
2. Chuck Ragan – Gold Country
3. A.A. Bondy – When the Devil’s Loose
4. Avett Brothers – I and Love and You
5. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – s/t
6. The Monsters of Folk – s/t
7. M. Ward – Hold Time
8. Mindy Smith – Stupid Love

I should probably confess to loving half of Only By the Night but hating myself for it.

The books I read this year are listed below. I again fell short of my goal, but in this age of illiteracy I consider any number over zero to be a personal triumph.
(more…)

To Go Home

You know who Daniel Johnston is, right? I’d tried his music some years ago and was, um, a little put off to say the least. But last month something just clicked and I’ve been scrambling to grab any Johnston mp3s that I can find. Well the night before leaving for Rochester I rented The Devil and Daniel Johnston and was very moved. It’s pretty much sealed my love for this guy’s raw music. Even if you know nothing about Johnston or his peculiar songs & art, I very strongly recommend you watch that documentary. PLUS, I think I mentioned earlier that I love M. Ward — well to complete our cosmic circle, Matt Ward covers a Daniel Johnston song on Post-War. For your aural pleasure, both songs:
M. Ward – To Go Home | Daniel Johnston – To Go Home

Jim James connection

This is all I’ve been doing for the last days before November hit us. I was trying to hit GoldStar (VIP club) and I did just 4 hours before the midnight deadline on the 31st. Now I’m on a bit poker’d out so I’m going to take it easy for a while and re-charge.

I did nothing but listen to music yesterday. I’m really into a lot of older stuff right now (Dylan, Van Morrison, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, etc) but if I had to recommend a few cds off the top of my head they’d all be from 2006 and they’d all be connected to Jim James: start with the live masterpiece of Okonokos by James’ My Morning Jacket; then hit up M. Ward’s Post-War which James plays on (he might’ve produced it too, not sure). Last is the undeniably MMJ-influenced disc by Band of Horses called Everything All the Time. Dig it.

  • RIP William Styron
  • Stephen Colbert Has America by the Ballots – a couple weeks old but still a good read.
  • Open directory full of Ray Lamontagne demos and live cuts
  • The Daily Drawing