1. Futures of the Left - Travels With Myself And Another

2. Built to Spill - There Is No Enemy
3. Handsome Furs - Face Control

4. Doom - Born Like This (See review)
5. Brown Bird - The Devil Dancing (See review)

2009 marked the end of a decade‚ but one look at my top 5 speaks to my inability to let go. Sure there are plenty of albums more groundbreaking than the ones I chose‚ but it's no coincidence that my top 4 albums were crafted by my musical heroes from years past. Embracing the closure of the era‚ 2009 was a year when I spent less time looking forward with emerging acts‚ and more time reflecting on the artists I was raised on‚ filling in catalogue gaps with b-sides and side projects to better understand the music I have come to love so much. These albums aren't the best of the year‚ but my bands made them so they sound the best to me. I can't hear Futures Of The Left's entropic outbursts without fondly recalling the sarcastic brilliance of their former group Mclusky‚ just as I can't listen to Doom without reliving a legendary blizzard‚ trudging through the snow in my hesitant Subaru late at night with only a few yards of visibility and the other worldly beats of MM Food to guide me.
Part of me feels guilty for missing out on many of 2009's finest up and comers‚ but then again‚ at the start of the 00s I did own two Limp Bizkit CDs and was a 2pac conspiracy theory believer‚ so it's not as though my musical IQ hasn't improved enough this decade. I made a few less discoveries this year than average‚ but the ones I did make (e.g. Fool's Gold‚ Brown Bird) were very promising. As for gigs‚ the year was similar‚ I went to a few less‚ but I made them count. Maybe it's just because it's January and the weather's shitty again‚ but ignoring the parking bans to go see Fucked Up defy the stormy night was one of‚ if not the most‚ memorable show(s) of the year. Pink Eyes‚ the fat‚ hairy and shirtless lead yeller jumped onto the miniature crowd and I definitely caught some of his back sweat on my shoulder. Somehow that was one of my favorite nights of the year.
Osheaga introduced me to the wealth of local talent Montreal is storing‚ and I also got to see Dino Jr. and Built To Spill rock out again‚ but this time it was Doug Martsch and Co. that blew me away. Got paid minimum wage to hang out with Nels Cline (gotta love record store signings) and saw him tear it up by the Portland waterfront later that night. And there was that time the Thermals showed me that female bass players can still be attractive even if they have more armpit hair than I do. But what would a new decade be without looking toward the future? I'm looking forward skipping work/quitting whatever job I may have for a slew of Pavement reunion dates in NYC‚ and a new Maine venue Port City Music Hall has me optimistic that Maine's live scene will continue to improve. 2010 is full of potential and hope- who knows‚ maybe a young scientist can redeem Limp Bizkit by melting all of their CDs down into some form of renewable energy. Some farmers have been converting piles of crap to generate electricity for several years now‚ so it shouldn't be much of a stretch.