Best of 2009, halfway there

Doing a redesign of blog, excuse the mess. 

Best albums of 2009, at the midpoint: 1. Appleseed Cast- Sagarmatha** The band continues on, staying active, playing shows and releasing music now for over a decade. 2006's Peregrine was my least favorite of their albums, although many fans seem to really like it. This album blew me away. More post-rock than any of their previous work, and a definite change of pace from the last two releases. Started out as an instrumental EP until they kept recording and turned it into an LP. Almost every song ended up with vocals, but the album at times goes on for 10 minutes without any singing. Buy on vinyl, because you get a bonus track and beautiful, extensive artwork and packaging (see my post a few months ago for pictures). For some reason it has completely different artwork than the cheesy CD/digital cover of a xylophone. They should have used the vinyl artwork for every format. Available on emusic. 

2. Paper Route- Absence Nashville band that I have been following for a few years. They had released three digital EPs before this, their first LP. Rock/electronica with an 80's twist. Unfortunately not available on vinyl. I bought on CD because I pre-ordered it, but iTunes had the cheapest price for awhile of 5.99 plus an exclusive bonus track. Not on emusic. 

3. Manchester Orchestra- Mean Everything to Nothing** Altanta-band steps with up with their sophomore release, rocking harder. Fronted by prolific songwriter Andy Hull (check out solo project Right Away, Great Captain!), album has very challenging lyrics. Download the single for free. Buy it on vinyl and it comes with the CD. Not on emusic. 

  4. Jeremy Enigk- OK Bear* Third solo album from Enigk, and drastically different than the first two. Simple, raw production with much more guitar. Songs are shorter and less epic. Jeremy's unique, terrific voice is the focus. Album was recorded in Spain with Spanish musicians who were apparently big fans of SDRE. I got it on emusic, but it is available on vinyl through a Spanish record label: BCore. To import it though from their website though it would cost me nearly $50. Maybe eventually I'll see if some store over here can get it for me for a reasonable price (less than $20). 

5. Metric- Fantasies* Band has been around for awhile, but this is my first exposure to them. Terrific, catchy, dance-rock. I got it on emusic, but it is available on vinyl in a huge, fancy deluxe package: Metric store

Worth mentioning: Gomez- A New Tide Neko Case- Middle Cyclone* A.C. Newman- Get Guilty* MeWithoutYou- It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream It's Alright* 

Highly anticipated for the rest of the year: 1. Sunny Day Real Estate reunion. Still unknown whether or not it will result in a new album, but the tour is enough for me. I am seeing them October 3 in Atlanta. And Diary and LP2 are being re-released on CD and vinyl with new liner notes and bonus tracks through Sub-Pop. 

2. Thrice- Beggars (new album in October). My favorite band of the 2000s releasing their 5th full-length. Alchemy Index vinyl is unreal, I need to do a post on it alone. 

3. Land der Lebendigen- Tess Wiley's new German-language band. The album is out, but not on this side of the Atlantic yet. Awaiting word from Tess on how to get it. Myspace songs are up. 

4. Fair- new album is finished and will be released by the end of the year. 

5. Sixpence None the Richer will enter the studio in September to record a new album. 

6. Stavesacre- New EP and DVD with Jeff Bellew back in the band. Pre-order it here, releases in July. Stavesacre and The Crucified are both playing Cornerstone next week. 

7. Mindy Smith- Stupid Love. New album releases August 11. 

8. David Bazan- Curse Your Branches. Solo album on Barsuk September 1.