Friday, December 18, 2009

2005: And Then a Joke or Pun

Well look at this, we are halfway through the decade, and now we find ourselves in aught-five. Jesus I don't even know where to start with this year. There was a lot going on. I traveled throughout Great Britain (starting my long love affair with Wales), moved to Bellingham, recorded a bunch of music, and also saw a lot of huge shows live. Other musicians stepped up the rock just as much. Dig some of this shit.

This was the album that finally really sold me on the White Stripes. I realize that this was later than it should have been, but whatever. I've said it so many times, the best music is the music that takes a while. I like the balance of folky, bluesy, and heavy elements on this album. Get Behind Me Satan may be their best to date.

I always belied that songs did not need to have a big heavy guitar sound to be metal, that acoustic instruments could make metal. Enter Ravi Shankar's daughter Anoushka with her excellent album Rise and this intense track. Most of the album is more chill and meditative, but this one she positively shreds on. I mean really, listen to that solo and tell me this isn't a metal track.
You know, now I think of it, 2005 may have been the beginning of both my interest in Welsh things AND in Indian things. Huh!

Sunn 0))) doing what they do best: crushing everything. Black One is one of the most terrifying albums of all time. Just listen to Malefic's croaking voice. Man, I fucking love doom music.

Mars Volta are one of extremely few popular bands anymore who could be properly described as prog rock. Sure, this is their pop song, but Yes made I've Seen All Good People and Rush made Fly By Night; these things happen and they're not bad. Granted, a little something is lost in the four-minute mix, but a lot of the great things about the song and the band can be seen here. It makes me happy that this sort of stuff is still getting made even just four years ago.

Finally, a pair of albums which rocked my shit in five different directions that year:

Strapping Young Lad's Alien saw a lot of play in my car this year as I drove around Seattle, Bellingham, and the Olympic Peninsula, doing whatever crazy shit I was doing. An SYL album is always all about pounding craziness and screaming nonsense. Dev's always had this weird sense of humor, dropping barely audible chants of something or other into the background of songs (two different songs on two different albums have him mumbling something about Paddington Bear), which is a production stunt I always enjoyed greatly and can be heard a bunch on Alien. Zen here is the pop single style tune from the album, but it's actually one of my faves as well.

Opeth are gods, and that's all there is to it. This song is so heavy and glorious and perfect. Ghost Reveries is sort of a distillation of what was so awesome about what they do. I like that they added a little more keys on this album - the mellotron part in tunes like Beneath the Mire adds a lot, as does the organ here on Baying of the Hounds.

You know, now I think of it, the theme of 2005 seemed to be albums which distilled what was awesome about some awesome bands. Pretty good theme.

Oh yeah, here's the main thing I had to offer this year.

But wait! There was more! Pelican - The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw (worst title ever), Common - Be, Demons and Wizards - Touched by the Crimson King, Gamma Ray - Majestic, Kamelot - The Black Halo, Nile - Annihilation of the Wicked, MIA - Arular, Ulver - Blood Inside, Sufjan Stevens - Illinois, Solefald - Red for Fire, Spoon - Gimme Fiction, The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema, Michael Manring - Soliloquy

Argh! This year almost hurts! 2006, you better impress (spoiler: it was also pretty good).


Post a Comment

<< Home