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Best Albums of 2009 from the SF Bay Area

Best Albums of 2009 from the SF Bay Area

1. WHY? – Eskimo Snow
Its hard to believe these songs were written at the same time as Alopecia way back in 2007. A perfect mix between weird, poppy, and intelligent that is incredibly fun and satisfying.

2. Man/Miracle – The Shape of Things
A band with some of the most original mixes of influences, think Talking Heads doing sometimes darker indie dance songs, Man/Miracle is one of my favorite bands in Oakland. Every song on The Shape of Things becomes your favorite as you listen to it. A late release in November of 100 copies has already rumored to be sold out, but it will be re-released by Third Culture Records in February of 2010 making it a safe prediction that The Shape of Things will make it on this same list next year too.

3. Girls – Album
It seems that there are a number of people who are “over” this record or sick of hearing about it on Pitchfork and other prominent music blogs but, to be frank, those people are idiots. Excessive publicity aside, Girls made a really amazing record. Interesting song writing and Christopher Owens’ voice made most of the songs on Album impossible to not enjoy. Was there a better opening song on a local record this year than “Lust For Life” or a better almost seven minute slow tempo pop song than “Hellhole Ratrace”? No, there wasn’t.

4. Grand Lake – Nevermint
Grand Lake’s debut with their original 4 person line up blew me away when it was released in March. Short minimal pop songs became controlled explosions for all 7 tracks of Nevermint. The songwriting of Caleb Nichols is complemented perfectly by the wild guitar abstractions of Jameson Swanagon. Grand Lake may have moved on from these type of songs, but none the less Nevermint is one of the better listens from the East Bay scene this year.

5.Tall Grass – Nothing, Nothing Tra La La
Tall Grass made my favorite CD-R of 2009. The songwriting of Andrew Macey is both emotional and hilarious allowing it to touch the listener in a special and unique way. Like their performances, Tall Grass is best enjoyed in an intimate setting where you can feel as close to the acoustic guitar, fiddle, harmonies, and subtle percussion as possible.

-Glenn Jackson

Published: January 19, 2010 |

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