Sunday, January 3, 2010

Last Bits of 2009

I have a group of friends I exchange "Best of Music Moments" for the year. This was my email to the group for 2009.


I have been thinking a lot about my list. I think I'm slightly older than you guys. I graduated high school in 1989, so I was thinking a lot about the last 20 years musically. What I have done as a professional musician? What music still moves me? What new music am I attracted to? Like Matt, I was disillusioned by music and the industry as a whole from 2003-2008, not coincidentally coinciding with my return to school for my BBA/MBA. By the way Matt, I feel exactly the same about the about the sound aesthetic going around now. For some reason, a lot of Gen Y's revised Subpop dreamy romantic music lacks balls, attitude and a real emotional maturity. Like a lot of Gen Y's, the music seems to want to be crowned as deep and meaningful without really doing anything-kinda whiny-look at me-give me my gold star- quality about it. I digress

This year, I feel my music life has been reborn. The re-birth actually started in May 2008 when I saw Return to Forever live. Then I saw Fishbone live for the first time in a decade in December 2008 and it awakened the high school-like music obsession I've always had.

When I graduated high school in 1989, these albums were released:

Spike-Elvis Costello
3 Feet High & Rising-De La Soul
Oranges & Lemon-XTC
Choba B CCCT (The Russian Album)-Paul McCartney
Like A Prayer-Madonna
Full Moon Fever-Tom Petty
The Stone Roses-The Stone Roses
Disintegration-The Cure
Tin Machine-Tin Machine
Flowers in the Dirt-Paul McCartney
Passion Soundtrack-Peter Gabriel
Batman Soundtrack-Prince
Paul's Boutique-The Beastie Boys
Mother's Milk-The Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Steel Wheels-The Rolling Stones
Rhythm Nation-Janet Jackson
Let Love Rule-Lenny Kravitz
The Seeds of Love-Tears for Fear
Neither Fish nor Flesh-Terrence Trent D'arby
Pretty Hate Machine-Nine Inch Nails

I was really into all these albums, plus 1988 was huge (Truth and Soul-Fishbone, Vivid-Living Colour, It Takes a Nation...-Public Enemy)

2009 albums/music moments that made me believe in my religion of music

1. The Beatle Remasters, Rock Band release-The best just got better. (Special mention-I saw the Cirque du Soliel Love show in Las Vegas-AWESOME)
2. Living Colour-The Chair in the Doorway & live show (Sept. 2009)-What this band means to me as a black musician can (and maybe will) fill a book.
3. Solange Knowles-Sol-Angel & the Hadley St. Dreams & live shows at SXSW (Mar. 2009-I was surprised that Beyonce's younger sister was so good. Better performer, better songwriter and she had a great band. Plus she's crazy, if you follow her twitter feed.
4. Raphael Saadiq-The Way I See It-Nice classic soul album.
5. The Mercers-PrettyThings Walk-Local Austin band-Pop/Rock and melodic.
6. Jazz Jamaica All-Stars-Massive-I attended this great dance performance(Garth Fagen This album was the soundtrack to some fantastic moves. The mix of ska/reggae/jazz big band works very well.
7. Concert: Bob Dylan-Willie Nelson-John Mellencamp-Classic tunes by professional icons. Don't sleep on Mellencamp, he has many great tunes you forgot you knew. Plus Charlie Sexton was the guest guitarist w/ Dylan and stole the show.
8. Miles Davis-The Man with the Horn-One of my rediscoveries. It was Miles after a 5 year layoff.
9. The Dark Knight Soundtrack-Gritty textures.
10. Blk JKS-After Robots-love the rhythms on this album. The sounds made my mind travel to cool places.
11. X-Ecutioners-Built from Scratch & Revolutions-The art of turntablism at it's best. You don't understand how much I miss quality avant garde hiphop.
12. SiruisXM shows I like: Zulubeats w/ Africa Bambaata, Subsoniq on The Backspin channel (old-school hiphop)
13. Paul McCartney-That Was Me-Nice little groove from Memory Almost Full
14. The Fireman-Electric Agruments-I'm a shill for Macca, I know
15. Brand New Immortals- Early '00's bnad that never got their due featuring David Ryan Harris
16. Follow For Now-Another band from my youth featuring David Ryan Harris. In the LC & Fishbone vein...
17. Cannonball Adderley-Mercy, Mercy, Mercy & Inside Straight.
18. My whole Stax/Volt & Motown collection.
19. T-Bird and the Breaks-Learn About It-Local R&B band-The album is in the vein of James