Happy New Year, y'all. 2004 seems positively antiquated at this point. Been spending most of the weekend recovering from the inevitable NYE parties (total ruin!) by drinking mint tea and watching BET's Top 100 Music Videos of 2004. This list will expand with descriptions, photos, etc, so keep checking in!
Favorite Albums of 2004
1. Get Physical 2nd Anniversary Compilation (Get Physical)
I just realized that my top 3 albums are all compilations or mixtapes of some variety or other. I have no attention span, I guess, and it just gets worse as the years go on--I rarely sit down and listen to a single-artist album start to finish these days. Right, so Get Physical! I hate to get all Mr. Fingers "Can You Feel It?"-style weepy on this, but it's not often that I hear a breakthrough house(/electro/techno) mix that inspires me to feverishly 'n fervently search out releases by all of the individual artists featured on it. The last time this happened to me this totally was with the first Kompakt mix I ever bought. I don't think this is a one-off; the Booka Shade album is apparently great, everything I've found by Chelonis R. Jones has been great, etc etc. Expect great things in 2005.
2. M.I.A. and Diplo - Piracy Funds Terrorism Vol. 1 (Hollertronix)
If not the "best" or the "most important" (who needs that) mixtape of the year, than certainly one of the most downright berserk. M.I.A.--a.k.a. the Sri Lankan-born British-dwellin' female phenom--gets a lot of mixed reviews; some think she's brilliant, some think she's overrated/awful/wack, yeah yeah whatever. Anyone who hates this hates fun.
3. DFA Compilation #2 (DFA)
When the clock struck 12 on New Year's Eve, I somehow ended up on the same dancefloor as James Murphy. He's not a bad dancer, but he could stand to be a little less self-conscious about his moves. And that's my one issue with the DFA -- that they are a little too self-consciously cool. You won't hear me complaining, though, because this is the best quasi-independent label New York City has going by a mile, and this is simultaneously the best nu-noise comp and the best nu-disco comp of the year.
4. Dizzee Rascal - Showtime (XL)
The iTunes Music Store files Boy in da Corner as "hip-hop/rap" and Showtime as "dance". That's probably just a database error, but it's surprisingly accurate. Aw I love Dizzee! He has such sad-puppy eyes! Besides, he's way cuter than Kanye, who Jess quite accurately described as "looking like Puffy with a water retention problem."
5. Kanye West - The College Dropout (Roc-a-fella)
The very first time I heard this album was while I was walking by H&M, and I was so spellbound by the sped-up Chipmunk hardcore vocals on 'Through the Wire' that I didn't want to leave the store while it was playing. This of course meant I ended up buying stuff because of the album's sinister neuron-rearranging powers. Marketers take note!
6. Ricardo Villalobos - The Au Harem d'Archimede (Perlon)
I wish the Wire would put this guy on the cover. One of the most defiantly experimental records I've heard all year. Damp, swampy, polyrhythmic, deceptive. I think next year at this time I'll still be unraveling it. I always imagine millions of creepy, undulating protozoa on petri dish-sized dancefloors when I hear 'Hireklon'.
7. The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free (Vice)
8. Tiefschwarz - Misch Masch/Eleven Remixes (Dessous)
9. Le Dust Sucker - Le Dust Sucker (Plong!)
10. Radio India: The Eternal Dream of Sound (Sublime Frequencies)
10. Melchior Productions - The Meaning (Playhouse)
10. Brandy - Afrodisiac (Atlantic)
10. Stereolab - Margerine Eclipse (Elektra)
10. Ada - Blondie (Areal)
10. Panda Bear - Young Prayer (Paw Tracks)
Favorite Music Videos of 2004
1. Eminem - 'Mosh'
2. Wiley - 'Pies'
3. M.I.A. - 'Galang'
Some Favorite Singles of 2004
Jay-Z - '99 Problems'
Britney Spears - 'Toxic'
M.I.A. - 'Galang', 'Sunshowers'
D Double E and JME - 'Serious Thugs'
Usher ft. Lil Jon and Ludacris - 'Yeah!'
Phonique - 'The Red Dress' (Tiefschwarz remix)
Dizzee Rascal - 'Stand Up Tall'
R Kelly - 'Happy People'
DJ Koze - 'Brutalga Square'
Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell - 'Drop It Like It's Hot'
Ada - 'Maps'
Ying Yang Twins - 'Salt Shaker'
Ciara ft. Petey Pablo - 'Goodies'
Annie - 'Chewing Gum'
Nivea ft. Lil Jon and Youngbloodz - 'Okay'
The Streets ft. a lot of MCs whose names I can't spell - 'Fit but You Know It' (remix)
LCD Soundsystem - 'Yeah (Crass Version)'
J.O.Y. - 'Sunplus'
Black Leotard Front - 'Casual Friday'
Pixeltan - 'Get Up/Say What'
Destiny's Child - 'Lose My Breath'
Chelonis R. Jones - 'One & One'
Justus Kohncke - 'Timecode'
Wonder ft. Kano - 'What Have U Done'
Lady Sovereign - 'Cha-Ching'
Rex the Dog - all singles, b-sides, remixes
Liquid Liquid - 'Bellhead'
J-Kwon - 'Tipsy'
Brandy - 'Should I Go'
Brandy ft. Kanye West – ‘Talk About Our Love’
Boredoms - 'Seadrum'
Favorite Producers/Remixers of 2004
Rex the Dog, Tiefschwarz, Lil Jon
Best Noise Show of 2004
The Wolf Eyes and Aaron Dilloway performances at the (ha ha!) No Fun Fest! Don't fight it--feel it!
Best Rock Show of 2004
It seems like cheating to say that the best rock show of 2004 was the Pixies reunion, but yeah it was the Pixies reunion. Close runner-ups: Animal Collective at the Knitting Factory; The Ex at the Knitting Factory; The Rapture/LCD Soundsystem at Bowery Ballroom
Best Drone of the Year
Phill Niblock's mind-bending performance at LaMama, at the 'Sounds Like Now' experimental music festival.
Most Encouraging Musical Trend
Bubble-crunk! More like this please!
Most Sobering Experience of 2004
Attending Ol' Dirty Bastard's wake at a church in Canarsie, Brooklyn.
Reissue of the Year
1. Lizzy Mercier Descloux - Mambo Nassau, Press Color
2. Cristina - Doll in a Box
Whoa, Blissblog and The Original Soundtrack agree on something! What can I say--I always give it up for the ladies, especially ones who were as brilliant and criminally underrated as Lizzy Mercier Descloux (RIP). Last year my favorite reissue was Essential Logic. Maybe in 2005 it'll be the Delta 5. In 2006 it'll probably be the expanded-liner-noted, triple-gatefold, 24-karat-gold-disc reish of the Raincoats' Odyshape.
Also: DNA, Arthur Russell, The Name of This Band is The Talking Heads, Homosexuals - Astral Glamour, So Young but So Cold: Underground French Music 1979-1983, Trax 20th Anniversary Compilation. Eno and Can of course.
Best Musical Moments of 2004 (Non-Gig-Related)
Being Simon's Rip it Up and Start Again research assistant, of course (best book of 2005)! Meeting Brian Eno. (He's sweet! Has a gold tooth--very bling. He and Lil Jon should hang out and talk about music and dentists.) Accidentally breaking the sink in La Monte Young's bathroom. Saying "Yo dude!" to Philip Glass on the F train subway and getting him to say "dude" back.
Blogosphere Prediction for 2005
The mp3-recipe blog (cooking tips/recipes + mp3s/music crit in every post) becomes the next big thing!
New Year's Resolutions for 2005
Write more. Travel more. Build a bass cannon. Learn how to DJ. Start a punk band.