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It's That Time Of Year Again: Fave Lp Of 2004!


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Or 5 minutes.

I was trying to be generous…

I can understand why people might find it initially funny. I remember when my friends first sent me MP3s of GLC stuff in late 2002. I was amazed when one of them was still interested in the following spring. To see people consider it one of the albums of the year is a bit freaky.

It's ultra-disposable comedy music.

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I was trying to be generous…

I can understand why people might find it initially funny. I remember when my friends first sent me MP3s of GLC stuff in late 2002. I was amazed when one of them was still interested in the following spring. To see people consider it one of the albums of the year is a bit freaky.

It's ultra-disposable comedy music.

Actually funny British hip-hop:

- Pitman

- Roysta

End.

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Did you think this was good, then? I thought it was as weak as anything else he's been putting out that I've heard in the last few years. Return to form, my arse.

I thought it was brilliant.

But it wasn't a return to form.

The Rainbow Children, a year earlier, was the return to form.

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There hasn't been any really amazing stand out album for me this year.

Some of my favourites, though, have been, in no particluar order:

Slipknot: Vol 3

Dillinger Escape Plan: Miss Machine

Dizzee Rascal: Showtime

Green Day: American Idiot

That Velvet Revolver album wasn't bad, either.

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A bit of overlap with previous posters which I guess is inevitable after six pages. Therefore...

The Boggs - Stitches (maybe late 2003?)

Interpol - Antics

Devendra Banhart - Rejoicing In the Hands

Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days

Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender

Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans

Xiu Xiu - Fabulous Muscles

The latter five were also responsible for my favourite gigs of the year, along with the Rapture, Vincent Gallo, Stereolab (in NYC) and James Chance & The Contortions (in Barcelona). I somehow managed to miss Interpol several times due to gross ticket-buying incompetence.

It was also an absolute joy to discover Glenn Branca's 'The Ascension' and Broken Social Scene's 'You Forgot It In People'.

It's been a good year.

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The Boggs - Stitches (maybe late 2003?)

Interpol - Antics

Devendra Banhart - Rejoicing In the Hands

Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days

Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender

Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans

Xiu Xiu - Fabulous Muscles

New best friend alert!

Except the Xiu Xiu album, which I found really horrible and scary for reasons I cant put my finger on. Hrm, maybe I'll have to try it again.

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Who the fuck are Xiu Xiu?

I saw them at Primavera in Barcelona earlier this year; they were incredible if vaguely scary due to the intensity of the performance. Probably the first time I've ever seen a band use a collection of vibrators in an upturned cymbal as a percussion instrument - hopefully not the last.

From www.allmusic.com (since you obviously couldn't be arsed to look yourself... :) ):

Taking their name from the 1998 Chinese film Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl, post-punk throwbacks Xiu Xiu were formed in San Jose, CA, by Cory McCullough, Yvonne Chen (publisher of the indie zine Zum), Lauren Andrews, and Jamie Stewart. Prior to the 2002 release of their first full-length album, Knife Play (released on vinyl through Absolutely Kosher and on disc through 5RC/Kill Rock Stars), the band made appearances on numerous compilations. Shortly after Knife Play's release, Springman released a 10" collaboration between Xiu Xiu and Deerhoof. Vocalist Stewart has earned comparisons to the Cure's Robert Smith, while the band itself has been likened to just about any angular guitar band from the late '70s and early '80s without any blindingly obvious sources of inspiration. In 2002, the band issued the Chapel of the Chimes EP. The following year, A Promise arrived, and early 2004 saw the release of their most accessible work to date, Fabulous Muscles.

A review of 'Fabulous Muscles':

Xiu Xiu continue to push the envelope with their third album in two years, Fabulous Muscles. While their mix of low-res electronics, flamboyant synth pop, and experimental rock sounds slightly more accessible than it has before, that just makes it easier for Jamie Stewart's confrontational vocals and lyrics to sink in that much deeper. As always, Xiu Xiu juxtapose their heroic doses of misery with lovely, if rough-edged, music: the drooping synth lines and chunky beats on "Crank Heart" and "Brian Vampire" sound like the music from some unspeakably sad video game, while "Little Panda McElroy"'s acoustic guitars have a hesitant prettiness that makes lyrics like "I can stop hating my own heart/I can do it because of you" even more intimate. Stewart either whispers obsessively or shout-sings, as if he's trying to drown out his own thoughts, and does both on the brilliantly morose "I Luv the Valley OH!," on which he vows, "It's a heart that you made/And I won't rest until I break it." More so than with many other bands, Xiu Xiu's music immerses the listener in the band's world view and the songs' characters: "Bunny Gamer" is an extraordinary portrait of yearning and self-loathing that begins as an internal monologue of an unrequited lover and then becomes a painful dialogue between him and the object of his affection, who is much more careless and carefree. The song's dead-calm desperation borders on the creepy and pathetic, but this is the uncomfortable territory that Xiu Xiu claim as their own. Much like the musical equivalent of Todd Solondz or Harmony Korine, Xiu Xiu set out to disturb their audience in pursuit of higher artistic goals. More often than not (and arguably more often than Solondz and Korine), the group succeeds. "Support Our Troops OH!," which graphically depicts a U.S. troop killing a young girl, could have been played for shock value, but the palpable anger that runs through the track is more implosive than strident. Similarly, "Nieces Pieces (Boat Knife Version)" explores a dysfunctional family with quiet contempt and dark humor rather than outright rage. It all culminates on "Fabulous Muscles (Mama Black Widow Version)" — its effeminately macho title is yet another one of Xiu Xiu's dualities — a mix of sex, violence, and sadness that features the lyrics "Cremate me after you come on my lips, honey boy/Keep my ashes in a vase beneath your workout bench" and manages to be horrific, romantic, and funny at the same time. Fabulous Muscles might be the best expression of Xiu Xiu's unrepentantly original music; even if the world that the band creates isn't necessarily one you'd want to visit all the time, it remains fascinating.

Sorry I couldn't link properly; a quirk of the site, I think. Or my inability to use a computer. Whatever. I'll see you in court.

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New best friend alert!

Except the Xiu Xiu album, which I found really horrible and scary for reasons I cant put my finger on. Hrm, maybe I'll have to try it again.

Cool, I have a friend. And it only took me 50+ posts! I feel touched. Emotionally, I mean.

Anyway, yes. Try the Xiu Xiu album again - I absolutely adore it. And be thankful that you're listening to what's supposed to be their most ear-friendly collection.

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Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Love Bad News

I got to see them live on Friday, they were ace, did make me feel a bit old as I was about ten years older than anybody else.

modest mouse... are they really all that great? can't seem to shake that 'flaming lips wannabe' impression. correct me if im wrong please.

anyway mine reads:

streets - grand don't come for free

killers - hot fuss

interpol - antics

badly drawn boy - one and one is one

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Top Five:

Sons and Daughters - Love the Cup [uk]

Dizzee Rascal - Showtime

Dani Sciliano - Likes

Massive Attack - Danny the Dog OST

Bloc Party - The Bloc Party EP

Other good stuff:

The Delgados - Universal Audio

Bugz in the Attic - Got the Bug

Sluts of Trust - We Are All Sluts of Trust

The Concretes - The Concretes

Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

Mylo - Destory Rock 'n' Roll

Kasabian - Kasabian

The Killers - Hot Fuss

And Most Disappointing Album Award goes to...:

A Grand Don't Come For Free - a distinct lack of garage beats is what killed it for me, although i appreciate that others enjoy the new direction.

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