The OCMD: Best Albums of 2009


Alberta CrossBroken Side of Time
“Rise from the Shadows”

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Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
“Ready Able”

Tape Deck MountainGhost
“Scantron”


Ty SegallLemons
“It #1″


Atlas Sound Logos
“Quick Canal”


Flaming Lips – Embryonic
The Ego’s Last Stand”

Woods – Songs of Shame
Rain On”

Bear In HeavenBeast Rest Forth Mouth
You Do You

Amazing Baby - Rewild
“The Narwhal”

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Band of SkullsBaby Darlin Doll Face Honey
“Death by Diamonds and Pearls” 

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Cymbals Eat GuitarsWhy There Are Mountains
“And The Hazy Sea”

The XX – The XX
Crystalised

She Keeps BeesNests
“Gimme”

GirlsAlbum
“Lust for Life”

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Dan AuerbachKeep It Hid
“The Prowl”

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Fever Ray - Fever Ray
“If I Had A Heart”

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Foreign Born - Person to Person
“Vacationing People

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J. Tillman - Vacilando Territory Blues
“First Born”

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Leopold and His Fiction - Ain’t No Surprise
“Broke”

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PapercutsYou Can Have What You Want
“Future Primitive”

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Speck Mountain - Some Sweet Relief
“I Feel Eternal

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Shadows on a River - Shadows on a River
“In Business

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The VeilsSun Gangs
“The Letter”

The Big PinkA Brief History of Love
Velvet

Jeff the Brotherhood – Heavy Days
“U Got The Look

Electric Tickle MachineBlew It Again
“Blew It Again”

Best of 2009 by Shawn of Kata Rokkar

Who: Shawn, Editor in Chief, Photographer
Blog: Kata Rokkar
Location: San Rafael, CA
Twitter: @katarokkar

The OCMD Best of 2009 Questionnaire

  1. Best Album: Grizzly BearVeckatimest – I was stubborn about the Grizzly-craze at first. But when I finally sat down with this record, I realized how special this record is.
  2. Most Overlooked Album: Division DayVisitation – It’s such a dark and colorful record. Why anyone missed this is beyond me.
  3. Best Song: I probably listened to Phoenix’sFences a lot because it wakes me up when I go to work. Clues “Remember Severed Head”, Mos Def “Auditorium, Mos Def”, and Jeremy Enigk’s “April Storm” got major replays over the year.
  4. Best Live Show: It’s a tie between The Mars Volta’s epic performance at Outside Lands Festival and Fanfarlo’s show at Popscene. While Fanfarlo showed they are one of the most charismatic bands of the year, Mars Volta went absolutely ballistic on stage at Outside Lands….hmmm, tough one.
  5. Band/Artist I am most happy to have discovered: Sleep Whale and Fanfarlo
  6. Band/Artist I kick myself for missing: Bon Iver, both shows. I couldn’t make it and it still kills me to this day.
  7. Band/Artist everyone seems to love but I just can’t get behind: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  8. Favorite SF Band: Too many, but it’s a tie between Judgement Day and Sean Hayes.
  9. One to Watch in 2010: The Limousines

Mike’s Picks: Best Albums of 2009

Blogger Mike’s Best of 2009 with suggested holiday pairings.  Enjoy!
It is not just lust.  It is not just the awesome reverb.  It is the fresh yet familiar punk rock that continues where the first record left off.  It is the relentless touring schedule that allowed us to easily catch them 6 times this year (including a house show in an Oakland back yard!).  And yeah it is the milkshake tattoo.  I am still in love.  You can be too.  Vivian Girls return to SF February 9th at the Bottom of the Hill.   Enjoy with birthday cake and Jim Beam.
What’s going on in Alabama?  First there were the Dexateens and now Thomas Function.  Spazzy vocals and clever lyrics that urge you to sing along.  Sugary pop progressions with yummy keyboard topping.  If you were a fan of the feelies you need to check ‘em out.  If not, check out the feelies too!  Enjoy with Red Bull and coffee…and coffee cake.

Artist: The Strange Boys
Album: The Strange Boys will now forever be known as the Martin Luther Kings
Feature Track: “Nothing”

This was a 10 song self-released collection that eventually spawned a 4 song ep called “Nothing” and an lp entitled “The Strange Boys and Girls Club”.  We prefer the self release title, but this is all besides the point.  The Strange Boys rule.  They come from Austin, TX and really quench the thirst for fans of early Stones.  The few folks that caught them at Oakland’s Ghost Town Gallery last month were treated to a raw stew of oldies, newbies and some great covers (Van’s “Gloria” and Ramones’ “California Sun”).  The band had some new members including a young lady on sax!  A very nice touch.  Maybe this strikes a new direction?  Enjoy with Thera-flu and rum candy.

Artist: Various Artists
Album: Bollywood Steel Guitar
Featured Track: “Aao Twist Karen”

This is not actually a 2009 release, but I sure enjoyed it this year.  I must also salute the amazing Sublime Frequencies record label out of Seattle.  They continue to sift the globe for amazing musical treasures.  This collection features 21 swinging tracks from 1962-86.  Enjoy with goat curry (Berkeley’s Kabana does it right), onion naan and a cold Taj Mahal.

Artist: Love
Album: Love Lost
Featured Track: “Love Jumped Through My Window”

2009 marks a historic year for fans of the genius 60′s band Love.  For the first time ever, the lost recordings from 1971 are available on one cohesive collection from Sundazed Music.  Although we know the credit is really due to the good people at Delmore Recordings (my bro!).  The title was originally rumored  to be “Dear You”, and in a way this recording feels like a personal handwritten letter from Arthur Lee to me (and You).  We can spend all day arguing that Love’s 3rd record, Forever Changes, is the greatest album of all time, but let’s not argue.  It is the greatest record of all time.  This recording would have been their 7th album and has little to do with Forever Changes.  Arthur had long since parted ways with the original band.  No more horns or violins.  He was rocking harder, partying harder and quite loose.  Like records 4 through 6 (Four Sail, Out Here, False Start), Love Lost sounds more like a Jimi Hendrix record, and this is really no surprise.  Arthur and Jimi worked together and influenced each other.  As it states so eloquently in the liner notes “Arthur and Jimi were the two psychedelic black guys around period”.  Given the recent resurgence of garage rock, and psychedelia it seems prudent at this time to spread the gospel that is Love.  If you haven’t yet, check out the first 3 Love records (Love, da Capo, and Forever Changes), I am pretty sure that you will crave more, and now there is yet one more Love record to savor!  Enjoy with Night Train and nutmeggy cakes.

Adam’s Picks: Best of 2009

The OCMD’s guest blogger Adam’s Best Albums for 2009.
  1. Jason Lytle “Yours Truly, The Commuter”
  2. Sonic Youth “The Eternal”
  3. Papercuts “You Can Have What You Want”
  4. Jeff The Brotherhood “Heavy Days”
  5. Animal Collective “Fall Be Kind” (EP)
  6. Built To Spill “There Is No Enemy”
  7. Mew “No More Stories…”
  8. Systems Officer “Underslept”
  9. Flaming Lips “Embryonic”
  10. Cass McCombs “Catacombs”
  11. Atlas Sound “Logos”
  12. Polvo “In Prism”
  13. Girls “Album”
  14. Grizzly Bear “Veckatimest”
  15. Circulatory System “Signal Morning “
  16. Mission Of Burma “The Sound The Speed The Light”
  17. The Clientele “Bonfires on the Heath”
  18. Them Crooked Vultures “Them Crooked Vultures”
  19. Woods “Songs Of Shame”
  20. Yo La Tengo “Popular Songs”

Things That I Would Like To See Disappear Forever in 2010: Any band listing Animal Collective as an influence.
Genre With The Least Staying Power: Chillwave, Glo-fi, et al.
What I Have High Hopes For in 2010: 1) Bands who remember that the guitar is indeed an instrument. 2) LIARS LIARS LIARS!!!

Best of 2009 by Jay of Stranger Dance

Who: Jay, Editor in Chief
BlogStranger Dance
Location: San Francisco
Twitter@strangerdance

The OCMD Best of 2009 Questionnaire

  1. Best Album: Dark was the Night compilation – tough to beat out this much fire power
  2. Most Overlooked Album: Patrick Watson – Wooden Arms – I just can’t stop listening to this album.
  3. Best Song: Yikes. This one’s to close to call. Last.fm tells me I’ve listened to “So Far Around the Bend” by The National the most this year, so I guess that’s as good an indicator as any.  Elvis Perkins’ “Shampoo”, Phoenix’s “1901″ and “What I Mean To You” by Justin Townes Earle are all right up there.
  4. Best Live Show: Josh Ritter’s NoisePop gig at Great American Music Hall last February just edged out J. Tillman’s surprisingly epic show at Cafe du Nord. Both shows outmatched a lot of the bigger ticket shows I caught this year.
  5. Band/Artist I am most happy to have discovered: Patrick Watson
  6. Band/Artist I kick myself for missing: St. Vincent
  7. Band/Artist everyone seems to love but I just can’t get behind: Animal Collective
  8. Favorite SF Band: Maus Haus. You’d probably get a different answer tomorrow, but that’s my pick today.
  9. One to Watch in 2010: Girls / Maus Haus

Best of 2009: Larry, FutureSounds

Who: Larry
Blog: FutureSounds
Location: LA
Twitter: @futuresounds

The OCMD Best of 2009 Questionnaire

  1. Best Album:  Band Of SkullsBaby Darling Doll Face Honey
  2. Most Overlooked Album: Portugal. The ManThe Satanic Satanists
  3. Best Song: “Lock & Key” Lilofee
  4. Best Live Show: The Rumble: Los Angeles in March – Fitz & The Tantrums, Avi Buffalo & Here Here
  5. Band/Artist I am most happy to have discovered: Apes of Wrath
  6. Band/Artist I kick myself for missing: Van Morrison doing Astral Weeks at the Hollywood Bowl
  7. Band/Artist everyone seems to love but I just can’t get behind: The Vivian Girls
  8. Favorite SF Band:Lilofee
  9. One to Watch in 2010: Man/Miracle

Best of 2009 by Ben Van Houten of The Bay Bridged

Who: Ben Van Houten, Co-founder
Blog: The Bay Bridged
Twitter: @thebaybridged

The OCMD Best of 2009 Questionnaire

  1. Best Album: GirlsAlbum / The Fresh & OnlysGrey-Eyed Girls
  2. Most Overlooked Album: Sonny & The Sunsets Tomorrow is Alright / Former GhostsFleurs / Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard‘Em Are I
  3. Best Song: Girls – “Hellhole Ratrace” / Garrett Pierce – “Can I Stop Breathing?” / Odawas – “Harmless Lover’s Discourse”
  4. Best Live Show: The Mountain Goats at the Swedish American Hall for Noise Pop / Every time I see Thee Oh Sees
  5. Band/Artist I am most happy to have discovered: Grizzly Bear (I finally get it with Veckatimest)
  6. Band/Artist I kick myself for missing: Cass McCombs/Papercuts/Girls show at Great American Music Hall.  Catacombs is an unreal album that I just started getting into a month too late.
  7. Band/Artist everyone seems to love but I just can’t get behind: Girl Talk. He puts on an energetic live show, but I just can’t get into the albums.  I appreciate the technique and skill involved, but I can’t really sit down and listen to a Girl Talk record.
  8. Favorite SF Band: THEY’RE ALL MY FAVORITES.
  9. One to Watch in 2010: Adam Stephens

the OCMD Mixtape: Best Electro/Pop 2009

  1. “Lock and Key” – Lilofee
  2. “On My Way” – The Sweet Serenades
  3. “Creeper” – Islands
  4. “New Theory” – Washed Out
  5. “Ecstacy” – JJ
  6. “You’ve Got the Love (The XX Remix) – Florence & The Machine
  7. “Want Me Too” – Tune-Yards
  8. “Kundalini Express” – The Flaming Lips
  9. “Beast In Peace” – Bear In Heaven
  10. “Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses” – Thom Yorke
  11. “When I Grow Up” – Fever Ray
  12. “Version” – Stripmall Architecture
  13. “A Happening” – Hyperstory
  14. “Testimony” – The Phenomenal Handclap Band

Best of 2009 by Anna of Stranger Dance

Who: Anna, Local Music Editor
Blog: Stranger Dance
Location: San Francisco
Twitter: @strangerdance

The OCMD Best of 2009 Questionnaire

  1. Best Album: Tie – Various Artists – Dark Was the Night / The Rural Alberta Advantage – Hometowns. Not sure if some will count Dark Was the Night as year-end worthy because it’s a compilation, but I just can’t leave it out.
  2. Most Overlooked Album: Brendan Benson - My Old, Familiar Friend. Maybe some won’t consider this album as overlooked, but I felt like I should have seen more coverage of it across the blogosphere.
  3. Best Song: Tie – The Books ft. Jose Gonzalez – “‘Cello Song” (Nick Drake cover)/Fanfarlo – “I’m a Pilot”
  4. Best Live Show: Tie – The Tallest Man on Earth, the Independent, 7/2/09 / Bon Iver, Fox Theater, 9/24/09
  5. Band/Artist I am most happy to have discovered: Fanfarlo
  6. Band/Artist I kick myself for missing: J. Tillman, both at Cafe du Nord in August and the Great American on December 4th. D’oh!
  7. Band/Artist everyone seems to love but I just can’t get behind: Dirty Projectors. And Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (except for that “Home” song, that song warms my lil’ heart).
  8. Favorite SF Band: There are so many, but I always come back to Or, the Whale. Grand Lake is probably my latest local favorite.
  9. One to Watch in 2010: Sleepy Sun – local and fabulous.

theOCMD Mixtape: Best Garage Rock 2009

the OCMD Mixtape: Best Garage Rock 2009

  1. “Heavy Krishna”- Jeff the Brotherhood
  2. “Pine On” – Obits
  3. “Fog Machine”-  The Fresh & Onlys
  4. “Lovely One” – Ty Segall
  5. “L Mansion”-  Sic Alps
  6. “Wrapped in Fog”-  Dan Melchoir und das Menace
  7. “Blew It Again” – Electric Tickle Machine
  8. “English Teeth Invasion”-  English Teeth
  9. “Goddamn”- Girls
  10. “Burden”- The Mantles
  11. “Over the Ocean”- Best Coast
  12. “Can You See”- Thee Oh Sees
  13. “Boneyard”- Nobunny
  14. “I Won’t Lie To You”- Let’s Wrestle
  15. “What’cha Gonna Do About It”- Condo Fucks