Best Albums of 2009 – So Far

Whew, I’ve been wanting to get this post up for about 3 weeks now, but you know how it goes – life prevails and hobbies sometimes take a back seat. Well, here it is. My mid-year Best Albums of 2009…so far. Out of all the music I’ve sorted through thus far this year, these are the albums that bubbled to the top, the ones I happily came back to again and again.  They may not all be Pitchfork approved (or even rated for that matter), but they worked for me.

I’m not going to go through the diligence of ranking them, so I’ve listed them in alphabetical order. I’ll save the ranking exercise for the end of year round up.  Until then, I hope you find some new music to enjoy!


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


Cymbals Eat Guitars
Why There Are Mountains
“And The Hazy Sea”


Dan Auerbach
Keep It Hid
“The Prowl”


Fever Ray
Fever Ray
“If I Had A Heart”


Foreign Born
Person to Person
“Vacationing People”


Grizzly Bear
“Ready Able”


J. Tillman
Vacilando Territory Blues
“First Born”


Leopold and His Fiction
Ain’t No Surprise


You Can Have What You Want
“Future Primitive”


Speck Mountain
Some Sweet Relief
“I Feel Eternal”

album art

Shadows on a River
Shadows on a River
“In Business”


The Veils
Sun Gangs
“The Letter”


White Rabbits
It’s Frightening
“The Salesman”

‘Heartbroken, In Disrepair’ by Dan Auerbach

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Church of Dan is in session and it’s time to receive your weekly communion. Let’s all turn to page 129 in our hymnals and sing along. “Searching for light, gasping for air/Heartbroken, in disrepair.” Amen, brother.

My Own Personal Jesus


Artist: Dan Auerbach
AlbumKeep It Hid
File Under: Vintage Blues Rock
Recommended if You Like:  The Black Keys, Heartless Bastards, The Raconteurs
Featured Tracks: “The Prowl”

If Clapton is God, then Dan Auerbach is Jesus Christ.  That’s what all the comments on my YouTube video say anyway, about a posting I made of a recent live performance of him covering The Animals “Inside Looking Out”. “Dan Auerbach is the Jesus Christ of all musicians….the man is THE KING……JESUS CHRIST, WHAT A VOICE!”   

And the comments just keep coming. I’ve been a longtime fan of The Black Keys so word of Dan’s new solo effort had me hot and bothered for months. But you never know how these solo gigs are going to go.  I had to see it, touch it, feel it to believe it.  Fortunately I had the chance to do so, right after his debut album (Keep It Hid) released, at Bimbos in San Francisco.  Without a doubt it was one of the best live shows of the year. One that has fueled my first, full-fledged musical obsession for 2009.  So much so that I have officially baptized myself to the Church of Dan.  

Is Jesus Christ going too far?  I don’t know, but it is Easter Sunday and he’s certainly a legend in the making. And quite frankly with the impressive body of work he’s generated recently, it’s hard to argue. In early 2008 he gave us the acclaimed album Attack & Release with The Black Keys, later that year they released a DVD Live at The Crystal Ballroom, then just months later his solo album Keep It Hid was unveiled – followed by an extensive tour that rolls right into another Black Keys tour.  Whew!  Call him whatever you want, but Dan is most definitely the man right now.

The Black Keys perform at the new Fox Theater in Oakland, Saturday April 18.

Dan Auerbach @ Bimbos

Rock and roll hoochie coo! Man, my musical stars were aligned last week. There’ve been so many good shows and so many more to come with SXSW merely days away, I think my head’s going to explode.  Dan Auerbach‘s show at San Francisco’s Bimbos last Friday was just another display of rock-n-roll awesomeness.  

Better known as half of The Black Keys, Auerbach’s solo endeavor is more of the same swampy, blues-tinged rock but, dare I say, even bigger and more dynamic. Whereas The Black Keys have that stripped down two-man band vibe, Dan has a 5 piece band supporting him (mostly comprised of musicians from the project he produced, Hacienda): two drummers, keyboardist/organist, rhythm guitar and bass player.  Wow!  I lost my socks somewhere at Bimbos.

If you’re going to SXSW and don’t have Dan Auerbach on your agenda, you’re a bona fide fool.  Pencil it in and make sure you pick up his new album, Keep it Hid.

Mar 18 2009 10:45P
SXSW – The Parish Austin, Texas
Mar 20 2009 8:00P
SXSW – Bill’s Place Austin, Texas
Mar 21 2009 1:30P
SXSW – The Mean Eyed Cat Austin, Texas




Listen to “I Want Some More”: