[sic] Magazine

My 2009 – the Indie Dad

Top 10 Tracks 2009

The [sic] Magazine Grande Fromage (or The Mekon as I will call him) called for our Top 10 (albums actually, I think) of 2009 – as I knew he would. I was prepared but not ready. Because A/ 2009 was not yet over, and B/ I have bought little current music in 2009. I’ve downloaded a lot of freebies but I’ve only really had review copies of older stuff and although I could come up with 10 tracks they would be meaningless unless I bought some albums that I never got round to owning earlier. My choice of these was informed by received wisdom from magazines and Rough Trade listing of THEIR Top 10 albums (which also meant I’d get some exclusive material only they had). I did however stick to things I thought I’d like (by artists I was generally aware of/had seen or who sounded up my alley). So here is my top 10 tracks of 2010 – please have CCS version of Whole Lotta Love playing in your head.

Listening to the Dandelion Radio Festive 50, shows how right I was to not prematurely formulate my chart, as at number 10 (of THEIR chart) I hear a DIY punky piece of what us oldies might call Queercore. Ironical diatribe rightly kicking homophobia in its Neanderthal (but still dangerous) nads.

Joint 10/Ste McCabe – Murder Music

Actually reviewed this one, nothing like The Drums but has their joy of creativity. Reminded me of my beloved Split Enz. NME are delighted to big up U.S. newcomers let’s give some decent space to UK bands who haven’t had the exposure and don’t get Boy George (as far as I know) at their gigs.

Joint 10/Swing Youth – Myself To Blame

The king of the free download in 2009 (via Twitter) was Mike Skinner and this short gem may very well sum up the year perfectly. The pandemic terror re-imagined as a mariachi Zombie Holocaust. No doubt very annoying to some listeners.

9/The Streets – He’s Behind You, He’s Got Swine Flu

Rough Trade shops Tweeted about Dead Man’s Bones album (yes, I’m on Twitter too much –as iblametheparent )and rightly so – it’s a charming Halloween Americana album that sounds like David Lynch opened a Sunday School. Just the right side of twee, without getting grotesque. My favourite track is rather like anarchist terrorists deciding to end the Apocalypse mid car burning riot and get angelic (and is atypical of the rest). But it is unlikely to conjure that up to anyone else with its’ gentle drone.

8/Dead Man’s Bones – Pa Pa Power

Number 7 would have been Bonkers by Dizzee but he doesn’t need the publicity does he?

In my 2006 top 100 download chart (how DID I have the time?) Colonel Parker by Nosferatu D2 was top 20 . The band split in 2007 (finishing with a Los Camposenos! support at Spitz in Spitalfields – also now gone – which I enjoyed but gather they didn’t) and I wanted to put Colonel Parker out sometime. I left it too long and Audio Anti-Hero got it – and the entire unreleased ND2 album – out in 2009. The lyrics of Ben Parker and the abrasive music of Ben and brother Adam make for an interesting counterpoint to Ben’s solo acoustic work (see www.audioantihero.com ) The whole album is excellent but out of sentiment we will say…

7/Nosferatu D2 – Colonel Parker

I could probably just put the whole Tarot Sport album down as it seems to be a near continuous piece but I’ll go for this – the penultimate track reaches the pinnacle and takes off. Damn album doesn’t half sound like the under-rated Tangerine Dream.

6/Fuck Buttons – Space Mountain into Flight Of The Feathered Serpent

The Campaign For Real Indie scored a late goal with the success of this lot. From the States but the band to finally take the excellent and influential (well, they influenced me) UK Fortuna Pop label into the mainstream. The album is great (the poles of Pop and Scuzz collide a la Mary Chain) but this isn’t on it. I downloaded a free remix. It’s very possible this lot appeal in a nostalgic way to people my age but the Pop Thrills are timeless – and, indeed Pure.

5/Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Higher Than The Stars (Others In Conversation Remix)

In the “Indie” world the big winners this year have clearly been The Horrors. Ludicrously binned off their first label the XL released album Primary Colours has received raves far and wide. It’s certainly a belter, the sound of a band of not exceptional musicians dreaming beyond their individual abilities. Although I have to say my favourite tracks are very much in the “old” Horrors mould but with added vision. The much mentioned Krautrock sound, sounds to me filtered through Julian Cope (and less generally the Big Three – Cope/Mculloch/Wylie). Nowhere more than the “Tonight, Matthew I’m going to be… Julian Cope” of I Only Think Of You. Do You Remember, Three Decades In Canada and Primary Colours are The Chameleons. Oh, and the middle of Sea Within A Sea lifts Baba O’Reilly’s intro. It’s great but I can’t hear the quantum leap forward that others seem to (don’t bother with the extra disc that comes with the Rough Trade edition – a mix of mostly House stuff that is individually ok but doesn’t really go anywhere– but do get the Rough Trade POBPAH, Dead Man’s Bones and Fuck Buttons for the extras) .

Anyhoo my top track from it (at the moment)…

4/The Horrors – New Ice Age

The other one in my Top 10 that I got to review. Ice cold dance-floor from one of the more musically extreme successes of recent years. Lucked into seeing them at Rough Trade with Crystal Castles in 2007 and they made a fine (and loud) impression.

3/Health – Die Slow

Will Success Spoil Jonathan Pierce? Possibly. The Drums already say they are well beyond anything on their brilliant Moshi Moshi mini album. It’s been a while since NME supported a band undoubtedly worth the words (remember The Twang?) but here they – and everyone else – are right. Anglophile Yank has never sounded so good OR so varied. The Smiths, a bit of Joy Division (the cover looks like a Twee “Closer”) have been mentioned, closing song I Felt Stupid is like Prefab Sprout. Let’s hope they don’t get bogged down with the studio too much because the beautiful freshness of these tracks is near perfect. People will be going back to this and forming bands on the strength of it in a decade. Hard to choose the song to go with out of at least four – rather arbitrarily…

2/The Drums – Don’t Be A Jerk, Johnny

Very wisely leaving a gap between album one and two – and thereby largely avoiding knee jerk backlash, Mr T comes back with a little more Punk attitude. The album is fantastic this is the pinnacle for me.

1/Jamie T – Sticks ‘N’ Stones

There we go. Yes, two number tens is cheating – get over it, they both deserve the mention. This list would have very definitely included Matches Meet Petrol by Extradition Order had I not released it on my I Blame The Parents imprint (and probably several others on it) – still that doesn’t stop me getting in a quick plug www.iblametheparentsrecords.com . “Wot, no Cheryl Cole?” Actually I have a suspicion that 3 Little Words should be included but isn’t because Fight For This Love was so shit. Certainly it is head and shoulders over La Roux. Controversial. The Mekon is asking for Top 10 albums of the decade. It’s too early to call on recent stuff so I can’t do it. Might show willing and do 10 Favourite Tracks though.