2009 - The Year In Music - The Entire Essay - Fuck You

Mostly it was a bit crap. Even though almost everything I published about music was vituperative, I am sure it wasn't enough to actually cause at least one person to put down their instrument and think before actually bothering to publish their music and inflict their "personal brand" on myself and others who feel faith draining out of our souls slowly, yet inexorably, like sap from a tree.

Best Album of 2009:
1. Fever Ray - Fever Ray

Dark, arty, novel sonics and you can dance to it. Anyone who had "more important things" to accomplish than this surely failed miserably.

Good 12"s of 2009:
1. Ribn - Mined (Millions of Moments) - techno - not innovative but it works (actually late 2008)
2. Hunee - Tour De Force (WT) - house - not innovative but it works

Best Singles of 2009:
1. Soft Cell "Frustration"
1. Expose "Come Go With Me"

Neither recorded this year, obviously, but most records recorded in 2009 only sound like they were recorded in 2009 because they conformed with 2009's particular portion of the retro-fetishism that has mostly characterized this decade (or because they sucked) (and really, any truly well-written end-of-decade summary would have to include the narrative of the fashionability of past moments in musical history).

I spent most of 2009 working at a day job I don't particularly enjoy, and, worse, that makes me feel like I am contributing negatively to human history. "Frustration" is the theme song of my subway ride home, a bitter song perfect for staring into the bitter faces of my compatriots-in-travel*. "Come Go With Me", which I only own on vinyl, and therefore cannot play on the subway, is my reward at home. The lead singer invites me back into intense world of possibility that I forego due to exhaustion. Someday I might join her**.

*"Bedsitter" acts as a great counterbalance to "Frustration" on the album - I often wonder what would happen if the two protagonists were to meet and realize their budding nihilism wouldn't abate by switching places.

** There was a lot of talk about perceived gender imbalance in one of the lengthy ILM threads deconstructing the Pitchfork end of decade list. What never seems to come up in these debates is who the audience is for the artist(s) in question. Regardless of gender, some artists write for their own, and some for the other. Instead of merely analyzing the demography of the list, it would be more interesting to ask why it seems less common for men to listen to records by females directed to males (eg the Expose record in question, which is technically gender-neutral but doesn't seem to be directed towards lesbians [of course I could just be saying that because I am male]) than it is for females to listen to female-directed music by men (there is a great live recording of Teddy Pendergrass singing "When Somebody Loves You Back" where the music at times almost inaudible due to screaming female fans but, alas, I cannot find a link).

No comments: