Bradley's Almanac

2009: My Favorite Music

Posted on January 24, 2010 at 9:25 pm | No Comments

Well, here it is, now pulling into the station… the caboose at the very end of the too-long train of “best of 2009” music blogger posts, three weeks into the new year. And, as ever, it most certainly is not a “best of”, but simply a “my favorites” – the albums that soundtracked my own personal year. But you knew that.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it one last time for emphasis: My 2009, particularly the latter half, sucked. And blew. And whatever degrees of inhaling and exhaling of badness you can come up with. Yup, it was the very definition of “not good”. In fact, it would be tough to fathom a more difficult 6-month stretch (and no, that is not a challenge, oh make-believe chess player in the sky. Ease off!). But without the albums listed below, these artists, it would have been a whole lot worse.

It should be noted that, because there were so many, I’ve separated out my favorite albums by Boston-based bands and will post that list sometime soon, and hope to throw together a list of my favorite live shows of the year as well. At some point. Ideally before we hit 2011. Sigh.

For now, though, listed alphabetically (no silly numerical ranking for me), here are the full-lengthers (and a few EPs) that defined my Oh-Nine music-listening. I tried, and failed, to limit myself to twenty records, which goes to show what a strong musical year it was. There are even plenty of albums I didn’t get a chance to spend time with that I fully intended to. And still hope to.

I commented on many of these artists and albums in my favorite songs of the year post, so head there for some commentary, and a bit more at the bottom here. Not that I’m expecting you to make it all the way through, but hey, a couple of you might. I’ve shared an MP3 for each entry if one was made freely available by the artist, and if not, I’ve included a link to where you can take a listen. And if you click on the label names below each release, you’ll be taken to a page where you can buy the album directly. I’ve also, for the first time, made a big honkin’ zip file of all the songs shared here at the end, including a few bonus tracks not linked below. Off we go then…


Lou Barlow“Goodnight Unknown”
(on Merge)

[MP3]: Gravitate



David Bazan“Curse Your Branches”
(on Barsuk)

[MP3]: Bless This Mess



Built To Spill“There Is No Enemy”
(on Warner Bros.)

[MP3]: Major label, so no sample song for you. Hit up MySpace, if you must.



Neko Case“Middle Cyclone”
(on Anti)

[MP3]: People Got A Lotta Nerve



Dinosaur Jr.“Farm”
(on Jagjaguwar)

[MP3]: I Want You To Know



Fanfarlo“Reservoir”
(on Canvasback Music/Atlantic)

[MP3]: Luna



Grand Archives“Keep In Mind Frankenstein”
(on Sub Pop)

[MP3]: Oslo Novelist



Kings of Convenience“Declaration of Dependence”
(on EMI)

[MP3]: Boat Behind



Loney Dear“Dear John”
(on Polyvinyl)

[MP3]: Airport Surroundings



Rose Melberg“Homemade Ship”
(on K Records)

[MP3]: Old Days



Now, Now Every Children“Cars”
(on Afternoon Records)

[MP3]: Have You Tried



Ola Podrida“Belly Of The Lion”
(on Western Vinyl)

[MP3]: Your Father’s Basement



Tara Jane O’Neil“A Ways Away”
(on K Records)

[MP3]: Drowning



The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
“The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart”
(on Slumberland)

[MP3]: Young Adult Friction



Phoenix“Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”
(on Glass Note)

[MP3]: 1901



Pomegranates“Everybody, Come Outside!”
(on Lujo)

[MP3]: Coriander



Sky Larkin“The Golden Spike”
(on Wichita Recordings)

[MP3]: Fossil, I



Systems Officer“Underslept”
(on Temporary Residence)

[MP3]: Shape Shifter



Telekinesis“Telekinesis!”
(on Merge)

[MP3]: Coast of Carolina



Trashcan Sinatras“In The Music”
(self-released/101 Distribution)

[MP3]: Sadly, nothing officially available from the band
There’s a streaming sample on their site



Wooden Birds“Magnolia”
(on Barsuk)

[MP3]: False Alarm



Wye Oak“The Knot”
(on Merge)

[MP3]: Take It In



The XX“XX”
(on XL Recordings / Beggars Group)

[MP3]: VCR



Yo La Tengo“Popular Songs”
(on Matador)

[MP3]: Here To Fall

In the “Released in 2009 overseas but here in the U.S. in 2010” category (meaning it will also fall on my ‘faves of 2010’ list), we have…


LoveLikeFire“Tear Ourselves Away”
(released in the UK on Heist or Hit)

[MP3]: Signs

In the rare “Various Artists” category, which I’m not sure I’ve ever had show up a previous yearly faves list…

And finally, a few 2009 EPs I adored…


City Breathing“My Apple IIe Is Singing Sad Songs To Me” EP
(self-released, and for free)

[MP3]: A Place To Bury Old Mistakes



The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart“Higher Than The Stars” EP
(on Slumberland)

[MP3]: Higher Than The Stars



Superchunk“Leaves In The Gutter” EP
(on Merge)

[Stream]: The whole EP at Merge



50 Foot Wave“Power + Light” EP
(self-released on vinyl via CASH music)

[Stream]: The entire 26-minute epic at CASHmusic

[DOWNLOAD]: All 26 tracks linked above,
plus 3 extras, in one 156MB .zip file

Whenever I post one of these, I like to take a look at my “looking forward to in 2009” post to see which albums missed the mark, which ones surprised me, and which ones never showed. For a look back at my faves of years passed, here you go: 2008, 2007, 2004, 2003, 2002, and 2001. Yes, I missed a couple years in there thanks to overall internet-list-burnout. Won’t happen again, sir.

Next up: My favorite boston-area releases, live shows, and a look ahead at 2010…

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  • About the ‘Nac

    This is Bradley's Almanac. I'm your host, Brad. Barely holding it together since February 2000.

    "I love this song. It's so true. I wish this song was a whole day long. Man, I would have the best day that day."
    - The Kids In The Hall
  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Thursday, August 17th
    Hallelujah the Hills (2 shows!)
    @ Charles Hayden Planetarium
    @ Museum of Science, Boston


    Friday, August 18th
    Marshall Crenshaw
    y Los Straitjackets
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, August 18th
    Dick Dale
    with special guests
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Saturday, August 19th
    Waxahatchee (full band)
    Palehound
    Outer Spaces
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, August 19th
    Mark Lanegan Band
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, August 21st
    Fable Grazer
    Brown Lasers
    Animal Hospital
    Numbers Have Names
    @ the Midway in JP


    Friday, August 25th
    Mercury On Mars
    Psychic Dog
    The Runouts
    Corner Soul
    @ the Midway in JP


    Saturday, August 26th
    Me In Capris
    Lubec
    Edgar Clinks
    Puppy Problems
    @ O'Brien's


    Monday, August 28th
    Simon Joyner
    Damon & Naomi
    David Nance
    @ the Middle East


    Monday, August 28th
    Green Day
    Catfish & the Bottlemen
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Monday, August 28th
    Washed Out
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, August 31st
    Cameron Keiber
    Sarah Borges
    Peterossi
    @ The Plough and Stars


    Friday, September 1st
    Silver Screams
    The Runouts
    Crimespree
    @ Koto in Salem


    Saturday, September 2nd
    Soft Fangs (LP Release!)
    Holiday Music
    Illiterate Light
    Kelsey Rose Francis
    @ O'Brien’s


    Tuesday, September 5th
    Pallbearer
    @
    Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, September 5th
    Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble
    (of Stereolab)
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, September 6th
    Warpaint
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, September 6th
    Kevin Morby
    Shannon Lay
    @ The Sinclair


    Thursday, September 7th
    The Novel Ideas (LP release!)
    The Red Room @ Cafe 939


    Friday, September 8th
    Widowspeak
    Clearance
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, September 8th
    Weakened Friends
    @ O'Brien's


    Saturday, September 9th
    7th annual JP Music Festival!
    19 acts on 2 stages over 7 hours
    12pm @ the Pinebank Field
    at Jamaica Pond in JP


    Saturday, September 9th
    Infinity Girl (Last Show)
    Kindling
    Elizabeth Colour Wheel
    Leaner
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


    Saturday, September 9th
    Swervedriver
    playing "Raise" & "Mezcal Head"
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, September 9th
    The Brian Jonestown Massacre
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, September 9th
    Buffalo Tom
    "Let Me Come Over"
    25th Anniversary
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, September 9th
    Cindy Wilson
    (of the B52s)
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


    September 10th
    A Giant Dog
    The Dazies
    Boston Cream
    @ O’Brien's Pub


    Sunday, September 10th
    GBH
    The Casualties
    Down With Rent
    Panzerbastard
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, September 11th
    Roky Erickson
    Death Valley Girls
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, September 13th
    Father John Misty
    Phosphorescent
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Wednesday, September 13th
    Thee Oh Sees
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, September 13th
    Mount Eerie
    @ Arts at the Armory


    Wednesday, September 13th
    Alison Moyet
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, September 14th
    The Afghan Whigs
    Har Mar Superstar
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, September 14th
    Jerkagram
    Numbers Have Names
    Brown Lasers
    Ghosts of Sailors at Sea
    @ O'Brien's


    Thursday, September 14th
    Bob Seger & The
    Silver Bullet Band with
    Nancy Wilson (Heart)
    @ the TD Garden


    Friday, September 15th
    Arcade Fire
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    @ TD Garden


    Friday, September 15th
    Wild Belle
    Fred Thomas
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Friday, September 15th
    Middle Kids
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, September 16th
    Matthew Sweet
    Tommy Keene
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, September 16th
    Kasabian
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, September 16th
    Sturgill Simpson
    @ the Blue Hills Pavilion


    Saturday, September 16th
    Chameleons Vox (featuring
    Mark Burgess of Chameleons UK)
    with Soft Kill & Way Out
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Sunday, September 17th
    Big Thief
    Twain
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, September 18th
    Liars
    @ The Sinclair


    Wednesday, September 20th
    E
    @ the Midway, JP


    Wednesday, September 20th
    The Cribs
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Wednesday, September 20th
    X (40th anniversary tour)
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday & Thursday
    September 20th & 21st
    Gogol Bordello
    Lucky Chops
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, September 21st
    The Cranberries
    @ House of Blues


    Friday, September 22nd
    The Hi-End
    Corin Ashley
    Modern Day Idols
    The Curtis Mayflower
    @ the Midway in JP


    Friday, September 22nd
    Brian Wilson does "Pet Sounds"
    @ the Orpheum


    Friday, September 22nd
    Alison Krauss
    David Gray
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Friday, September 22nd
    The Ataris
    The Queers
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Saturday, September 23rd
    Soft Fangs
    Puppy Problems
    Banana
    Night Nurses
    @ O'Brien's


    Saturday, September 23rd
    The War On Drugs
    Land of Talk
    @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


    Saturday, September 23rd
    Wire
    @ The Sinclair


    Saturday, September 23rd
    Bearstronaut
    Animal Talk
    Party Bois
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


    Sunday, September 24th
    Saint Etienne
    @ the Once Ballroom


    Monday, September 25th
    Selector Dub Narcotic
    (aka Calvin Johnson)
    @ the ONCE Lounge


    Thursday, September 28th
    Stiff Little Fingers
    Death By Unga Bunga
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, September 29th
    Adult Swim's
    "On The Green" Tour
    @ Gore Place in Waltham


    Friday, September 29th
    Il Mostro
    Silver Screams
    BDSX
    The Von Traps
    @ O'Brien's


    Sunday, October 29th
    BOSTON FUZZSTIVAL 2017
    with Ovlov, Ava Luna,
    Horse Jumper of Love,
    A band Called E, Lisa/Liza,
    Laika's Orbit, Way Out,
    earthquake party!,
    Mint Green, & Bat House
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Saturday, September 30th
    All Together Now #7 with
    Wo Chan, Tom Bianchi,
    The Grownup Noise,
    Amy Cook, & Field Day
    @ the Midway in JP


    Monday, October 2nd
    METZ
    Uniform
    @ The Sinclair


    Monday & Tuesday
    October 2nd & 3rd
    Pinback
    SAVAK
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, October 3rd
    Morrissey
    @ the Orpheum


    Tuesday, October 3rd
    Alvvays
    Birthing Hips
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, October 4th
    Yes
    (including Jon Anderson,
    Trevor Rabin, & Rick Wakeman)
    @ the Orpheum


    Wednesday & Thursday
    October 4th & 5th
    Dinosaur Jr.
    Easy Action
    @ The Sinclair


    Thursday, October 5th
    Ted Leo (solo set)
    6pm @ Dr. Martens


    Thursday, October 5th
    The National
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Thursday, October 5th
    Hundred Waters
    Kelsey Lu
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, October 6th
    Paul Weller
    @ House of Blues


    Saturday, October 7th
    Sun Kil Moon
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, October 7th
    Paramore
    Best Coast
    @ Boston Opera House


    Saturday, October 7th
    Broken Social Scene
    Frightened Rabbit
    @ House Of Blues


    Saturday, October 7th
    Front 242
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, October 8th
    KMFDM
    OHGR
    Lord of the Lost
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, October 9th
    Future Islands
    @ the Orpheum


    Tuesday & Wednesday
    October 10th & 11th
    Against Me!
    Bleached
    The Dirty Nil
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, October 11th
    Frankie Rose
    Suburban Living
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, October 11th
    Japanese Breakfast
    Mannequin Pussy
    The Spirit Of The Beehive
    @ The Sinclair


    Thursday, October 12th
    Beach Fossils
    Snail Mail
    Raener
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, October 13th
    Silver Screams
    Idle Pilot
    Black Cheers
    Psychic Dog
    @ Koto in Salem


    Saturday, October 14th
    Atlas Genius
    Magic Giant
    Half the Animal
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, October 14th
    The Feelies
    @
    the Sinclair


    Saturday, October 14th
    Andrew W.K. (full band)
    Sidewalk Driver
    Shane Slaughter
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, October 14th
    The Psychedelic Furs
    "The Singles Tour"
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, October 15th
    Everything Everything
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, October 15th
    Andrew W.K.
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, October 17th
    Pickwick
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, October 19th
    Peter Wolf
    @ the Somerville Theatre


    Thursday, October 19th
    Jessica Lea Mayfield
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, October 20th
    Janeane Garofalo
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Friday, October 20th
    Wolf Parade
    Charly Bliss
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, October 21st
    Death From Above
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, October 21st
    Queens of the Stone Age
    Royal Blood
    @ Agganis Arena


    Saturday, October 21st
    Hope Sandoval & the
    Warm Inventions
    with Holy Wave
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, October 22nd
    Kal Marks
    Rozamov
    Husbandry
    The Nomad Stones
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


    Saturday, October 28th
    Kristin Hersh &
    Tanya Donelly
    @ City Winery Boston


    Monday, October 30th
    Craig Finn (the Hold Steady)
    @ the Uptown Controllers
    with John K. Samson
    @ City Winery Boston


    Tuesday, October 31st
    Tera Melos
    Speedy Ortiz
    And The Kids
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, November 1st
    John Hodgman presents
    his new book "Vacationland"
    @ Coolidge Corner Theatre


    Wednesday, November 1st
    Grizzly Bear
    @ the House of Blues


    Wednesday, November 1st
    Elbow
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, November 2nd
    The Rural Alberta Advantage
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, November 2nd
    The Dears
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, November 3rd
    The Breeders
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, November 3rd
    Human Sexual Response
    Unnatural Axe
    @ House of Blues


    Friday, Saturday, & Monday
    November 3rd, 4th & 6th
    The Dresden Dolls
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, November 4th
    Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile
    and the Sea Lice
    @ the Orpheum Theatre


    Saturday, November 4th
    Shout Out Louds
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, November 4th
    The Clientele
    Hoops
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, November 8th
    David Bazan
    Michael Nau
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, November 9th
    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Wilbur


    Thursday, November 9th
    Tegan and Sara
    The Con X: Tour
    @ the Orpheum


    Friday, November 10th
    Channel 3
    The FUs
    Silver Screams
    Fast Times
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


    Saturday, November 11th
    Iron & Wine
    @ Berklee Performance Center


    Sunday, November 12th
    Bully
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, November 13th
    The Mountain Goats
    Mothers
    @ the House of Blues


    Monday, November 13th
    David Crosby & friends
    @ City Winery Boston


    Tuesday, November 14th
    Slowdive
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, November 14th
    The Black Heart Procession
    Sam Coomes
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Tuesday, November 14th
    The Drums
    @
    the Sinclair


    Wednesday, November 15th
    Dream Theater
    @ the Orpheum


    Friday, November 17th
    Hot Snakes
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Friday, November 17th
    Hot Water Music
    Big Jesus
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, November 19th
    Turnover
    Elvis Depressedly
    Emma Ruth Rundle
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, November 21st
    Squeeze
    @ the Wilbur


    Tuesday, November 21st
    American Football
    Pure Bathing Culture
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, November 26th
    Cut Copy
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, November 30th
    St. Vincent
    @ House of Blues


    Thursday, November 30th
    Beach Slang
    Dave Hause & The Mermaid
    The Homeless Gospel Choir
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, December 1st
    Maximo Park
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, December 1st
    Dream Syndicate
    The Richard Lloyd Group
    @ the ONCE  Ballroom


    Saturday, December 2nd
    Jolie Holland &
    Samantha Parton
    (of The Be Good Tanyas)
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, December 6th
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, December 7th
    Mogwai
    Xander Harris
    @ the Royale


    Friday, December 8th
    Pinegrove
    Saintseneca
    Adult Mom
    @ the Royale


    Friday, December 8th
    LCD Soundsystem
    @ Agganis Arena


    Saturday & Sunday
    December 30th & 31st
    Deer Tick
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, April 28th, 2018
    Peter Hook & the Light
    performing both of the
    "Substance" collections by
    Joy Division & New Order
    @ the Paradise