Wednesday, January 05, 2005


The Outies 2004

To paraphrase my boy, Treat Williams: The Interweb is Godzilla, and I am Japan! Three weeks ago when I set out to rip off (that is emulate, EM-U-LATE!) Information Leafblower's* Top 40 Bands in America Today I didn't think it'd be that hard. A couple of e-mails to my favourite blogs (Coolfer, check, Chromewaves, Check, Largehearted Boy, also check) mix their ideas with some PWI contributors (including a few "Real Journalists" (tm)) and come up with a list. Piece of cake if you ignore two small issues: 1) Math is hard (and I'm not HALF as accomplished at excel as I'd like to think I am); and, 2) Part of the reason why MP3 blogs are so interesting is because there's such a wide variety of opinion. There were nine voters in this poll. All but one of them voted for at least one of the top three records. Despite this, only one record (the eventual winner) had more than one first place vote. (Does anyone else think those last three sentences sounded like a logic problem on the LSAT?) At any rate, without further ado. Let me introduce you to The Committee: The "Real Journalists" (tm) My Buddies KC (who shared his top ten with us on December 14th) and Simpy. The Bloggers Frank: The ringmaster of T-dot's finest source: Chromewaves Sofi: From la belle ville de Mont-ree-ill. Sofi writes You're the bee's knees (but so am i) and is one of the first people to write a comment on PWI (she corrected my spelling, if memory serves). Luke "Optimus Crime" Neville: Whose is also keeping it reee-ahl in my second home, the magical island of poutine. And, just for balance, a few token 'mericans Glenn from Coolfer who also writes for Gothamist (and is a freak of the industry) David: AKA The Boy @ Largehearted Boy (In *my* humble opinion, the best musicalbookelectroniculture blog going. David, how do you FIND all those great articles?); and, Craig at Songs:Illinois who keeps the twang coming, which I really appreciate. When you're done readin, go visit these fine folks, they obviously put a lot of work into their sites. Ok, ok, ok. Here they are, without further ado, the winners of the 2004 Outies: Number 9 Tom Waits Real Gone Simpy says: The master gets uncharacteristically topical, but remains wholly distinctive. Buy it. Number 8 The Mountain Goats We Shall All Be Healed Dave says: John Darnielle's second studio album offers the best songwriting yet from America's best tunesmith. John Vanderslice's production is a perfect match. Buy it. Number 7 AC Newman Slow Wonder I say: This is definitely one to add to the "to buy" list. All of what I liked about the New Pornographers with less of what I wasn't so hot on (ie Neko Case). Listen to Miracle Drug Buy it Number 6 Loretta Lynn Van Lear Rose KC Says: The woman's been on the planet for seven decades, and she's now singing about getting loaded and getting it on with Jack White -- that's rock n roll. I played the shite out of this thing for months. Buy it. Number 5 The Streets A Grand Don't Come for Free Dave Says: Mike Skinner follows up Original Pirate Material with a concept album, and the results are amazing. He takes chances (like the guitar-driven first single, "Fit But You Know It"), and always wins. Buy it. Number 4 Feist Let it Die Glenn says: Sublime and beautifully crafted songs from Ms. Leslie Feist, a member of the Broken Social Scene collective and thus far its best off-shoot. That it was recorded in France helped give this sultry post-folk record a worldly character that is quite different from the typical North American record. And at the root of it all are great original songs and some interesting interpretations of others' songs. Buy it. Number 3 Wilco A Ghost is Born Frank Says: Possibly the very definition of "a grower", it's hard to separate the record from everything that made up the year in Wilco. It may be a bit of a cop-out to say that it makes more sense if you've read the press about Jeff Tweedy's rehab, seen the live show or read The Wilco Book, and I've obviously done all of the above, but it's true. It may take a while, but when A Ghost Is Born finally reveals itself, it's worth the effort. Buy it. Number 2 The Arcade Fire Funeral KC Says: Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Buy it. And the Outie for record of the year goes to: Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand I think Glen says it best when he concludes: Yeah, I know it means I have the same tastes as a few hundred thousand 12-year-olds around the world. So what? It's a stinker-free album that gave rock and roll a much-deserved kick in the striped trousers. Buy it. Honourable Mentions Go To: Mike O'Neill: The Owl Comets On Fire: Blue Cathedral Nathan: Jimson Weed The Secret Machines: Now Here is Nowhere * Good looking redesign, BTW, I.L.B!
I corrected your SPELLING? Good god!

But yeah. I guess that sounds like me.
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