Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

Season Of Lists – Finale

Canadian music rag year-end lists! JAM! likes My Morning Jacket (who are giving away burned copies of Z to anyone who got rootkitted), Exclaim! has their best of the year lists online, as does Chart who also give their writers some (virtual) column inches. And though not Canadian, PopMatters wraps up the year in Canadian rock. Our own feature! How sweet. And tangentially, The London Free Press looks at how and why 2005 was so good to Canadian indie music.

And more lists – Junkmedia and CMJ have their year-end lists up, bloggers From Blown Speakers, Drive Blind (Ride-monikered blogs represent!), Muzzle Of Bees and Geekent have posted their picks, Joe from Dirty On Purpose runs off his faves of ’05, ye olde Stereogum has said his peace and Largehearted Boy rounded up his top music DVDs of 2005 last week.

It may not seem like it, but the season of lists is winding down, and Angryrobot couldn’t be happier. He makes an interesting point about the homogeneity of everyones choices in the internet and blogopolis in particular, though I can’t say I’m in agreement. Yeah, there were a lot of the same picks on a lot of the lists, but to me all that says more that folks who run indie blogs have similar tastes and that the common albums were of genuine quality. The overlap is simply a result of everyone’s radar being that much broader now – what might have taken months or years to spread from a local scene to (inter)national profile now takes just a single well-placed online review or blog post. There really aren’t any secrets out there. I know I assembled my list without a thought to what everyone else was doing, and would expect/hope that everyone else did as well. While I fully support anyone’s efforts to be more adventurous in what they listen to, it should be out of genuine curiosity and a desire to hear something new – not as a reaction to others, or a desire to be different.

However, I will acknowledge a genuine downside to the widespread concensus of what was good this year – I’ve already heard it all. Just as there were no surprises on my list, there really weren’t any on anyone’s lists. Yeah, you could play with and debate the rankings and whatnot, but I didn’t find anything really came out of left field to pique my curiosity and the net result is that I’ve probably already got all the ’05 releases that I’m going to (at least that I can see right now – ask me again in a year). My shopping list is incredibly short right now, and even shorter now that my Boxing Day shopping is mostly complete, and looks to remain that way through the rest of the Winter as the 2006 new release schedule doesn’t really pick up in volume till February.

But speaking of Boxing Day, my pick ups yesterday were as follows – Fountains Of Wayne’s Out-Of-State Plates, Sarah Harmer’s I’m A Mountain, Seu Jorge’s The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions, Jens Lekman’s Oh You’re So Silent Jens, The Mendoza Line’s Full Of Light And Full Of Fire and The National’s self-titled debut. And my LP collection grew by David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane and Scary Monsters, a $2 copy of Elvis Costello’s King Of America and Crooked Fingers’ Dignity & Shame. Bonus tracks! I also loaded up on the Fables trade paperbacks, a series it took me a little while to warm to but am now very much enjoying.

Mercifully, what I didn’t get is shot in the face. I was right at that corner about an hour previous to the shootings, and it’s just a few blocks from my place. That something like this would happen at maybe the busiest intersection in Toronto on a Saturday afternoon, packed with shoppers, is really unnerving. I swear, this used to be such a nice quiet town.

np – Fountains Of Wayne / Out-Of-State Plates

By : Frank Yang at 9:33 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. angryrobot says:

    Thanks for the mention. I think we may be a chicken/egg scenario here. We may never really be able to figure out if the list overlap is because people with indie blogs have similar taste, or if these people have similar taste because they are running cross-linked indie blogs. I do agree with your point about word-of-mouth spreading much faster these days, and I agree that most of the items on the lists were good quality; I certainly loved the Sufjan myself. However you slice it, 2005 was a great year for music, I think.

  2. suckingalemon says:

    she was standing right outside a footlocker, that really could have been anyone ever. im going to be alot more careful about loitering outside.


  3. merckeda says:

    prepare to be heavily disappointed in that sarah harmer album.

  4. mike says:

    I only had cursory listen of that new Sarah Harmer album. With it being acoustic(and especially when she sort of goes bluegrass-y on us), it’s not the new album I was hoping for, although I still thought it had some good songs.It sounds like a side-project rather than a full-fledged Sarah Harmer album, if that makes any sense.