Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Myche's 2009 Wrap-up

Top Albums

1. Baroness "Blue Record"
2. Devin Townsend “Ki”
3. Queensryche “American Soldier”
4. Chickenfoot “Chickenfoot”
5. Immortal “All Shall Fail”
6. Napalm Death “Time Waits For No Slave”

Baroness just improved on “Red Album” with “Blue Record”, which I did not think possible. Dev was supposed to release all four albums in his current series in 2009, which would have probably been overwhelming. I prefer “Ki” over “Addicted” at this point, can’t wait for the next two. Queensryche is the sentimental pick here, but they ignited something in me with this album. I was nervous when it was coming out, but the absolutely exceeded my expectations and had me listening to them almost non-stop this summer. Chickenfoot? Really? Yes. I just had to put it on here. It is such a fun, solid rock record. Very well done. If Van Halen ever gets around to putting something out, they better space it out from anything Chickenfoot does to avoid comparisons. I was shocked how good it was. Lastly, Immortal and Napalm Death brought it in a big way with their releases, leveling everything in their paths…

HMs: Hot Leg “Red Light Fever”, Bang Camaro “Bang Camaro II”, Mastodon “Crack The Skye”, Allen Toussaint “The Bright Mississippi”, Devin Townsend “Addicted”, W.A.S.P. “Babylon”

Top Live Shows

1. Baroness/Earthless/U.S. Christmas/Admiral Of Black @ Reggie’s – What a special night this was – the night before Thanksgiving. Oh, was I ever giving thanks after this one. All four bands rocked my socks off, and each one was better than the last. Earthless blew me away with their improvisational instrumental jam and were a great warm up for Baroness. Then Baroness did what they do and just finished me off (interesting that this was the third time I’ve seen them and by far the best – where to go from here?). I didn’t want to listen to any heavy music the next day, I was spent. Right on.
2. Todd Rundgren @ Park West – I’m not a total TR disciple, but I was so glad to have gone to this show. He did “A Wizard, A True Star” in entirety, and opened the show with Utopia. Big time showmanship.
3. Father’s Day Funk Fest @ Arie Crown Theatre – Front row center balcony seats provided unobstructed viewing of the Funk. Eye candy galore. I had to sort things out in my head the next day…
4. Wolves In The Throne Room/A Storm Of Light/Krallice @ Bottom Lounge – Didn’t know a great deal about any of the bands going into this show, but each one was mesmerizing. Pretty damn intense.
5. Gojira/The Chariot @ Logan Square Auditorium – I love this venue, and the intensity from both bands was stellar. Gojira could go head-to-head with about anyone in my book.
6. Raul Malo @ Martyr’s – My son’s first concert (in utero, but still…). It was the perfect show for the occasion.

HMs: It was a record year for me in the amount of shows, so it’s always hard to narrow it down – Electric Six/Bang Camaro/Leslie @ Double Door, Jeff Beck @ Park West, Leonard Cohen @ Chicago Theatre, Napalm Death @ House of Blues, Melvins @ Double Door, Styx/REO/.38 Special @ Charter One, Judas Priest/Whitesnake @ Charter One, Dethklok/Mastodon/High On Fire @ Aragon, Shrinebuilder/Rwake @ Empty Bottle

Disappointments of 2009

1. The only real “festivals” I went to were big ones in Grant Park: Lollapalooza & Jazz Fest. Would have liked to hit some of the smaller ones.
2. Immortal did not tour the U.S., and when they plan a short tour for 2010, they exclude Chicago. Not happy about that at all.
3. Only seeing Tin Lynott six times. Got get that up in 2010. Ha ha…

Highest Hopes for 2010

1. New albums that are supposed to come out: Two more Devin Townsend releases, Y&T finally?, maybe Queensryche?
2. Concerts scheduled: P-Funk, Merle Haggard/Kris Kristofferson, W.A.S.P., Kreator
3. Concert hopefuls: I heard a rumor that Roger Waters is planning to tour “The Wall” in 2010-2011. Adding to the rumor was that it might be a Pink Floyd reunion. I would be ecstatic with the former, the latter would be the biggest tour imaginable only topped by a Zeppelin reunion. I’m not holding my breath. Also, a headlining tour by Devin Townsend (I’d like to see that occur at Bottom Lounge or Empty Bottle, by the way). And lastly, bring back Doom Fest!!!!!
4. I need to hit some quality Chicago music festivals that I did not get to in 2009: American Music Festival @ Fitzgerald’s, Hideout Block Party, Reggae Festival.

Top Pre-2009 Music Discovered in 2008

1. Big Star! – I have had their “Third/Sister Lovers” for about 15 years, but with this year’s release of the “Keep An Eye On The Sky” box set, I really sunk my teeth in to the genius that is Big Star. I’ve played them a ton and am not tiring.
2. Lid “In The Mushroom” – Eric Wagner from Trouble’s project from 1997. Don’t know why it took me so long, but glad I ran into a fellow Trouble fan who set me straight.
3. Loudon Wainwright III
4. Solitude Aeturnus
5. John Cale “Fragments of a Rainy Season”

Top DVDs

May not be 2009 releases, but I first saw them in 2009:

1. Fish “NEARFest”
2. David Gilmour “Live in Gdansk”
3. David Gilmour “Remember That Night”
4. Wattstax

Top Music-related Books Read

1. Richard Thompson “Shoot Out The Lights” 33 1/3 series
2. White Bicycles – Joe Boyd
3. Please Kill Me – Legs McNeill
4. For The Record – George Clinton and P-Funk (Oral History) – Dave Marsh (editor)
5. For The Record – Sly & The Family Stone (Oral History) – Dave Marsh (editor)

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