2005 Music Overview - Too Little Too Late
Thought you could escape my picks just cause I've been fighting a cold/string of hangovers for a week, huh? Huh? Nice try, jerks.
Perhaps not surprisingly, my three top choices for albums are also from bands who put on some of the best shows I saw this year:
1. Depeche Mode. There, I said it. I know I was supposed to be listening to Final Fantasy or whateverthefuck, but Playing the Angel had my attention for a big chunk of 2005. It's big, sharp, sexy and Martin Gore allows himself to be more of a presence than ever before. I saw them play in November in San Antonio with 18,000 jarheads who were weeping and clinging to each other by the end of "Somebody."
2. Wolf Parade. I'm not just saying that because Dan's our adopted son, or because I enjoy pointing out the incredibly obvious. I've been listening to various attempts at Apologies to the Queen Mary since I first heard it rolling over our lonely little lake by the cottage up north last summer, and it still captivates me entirely, even though I find it depressing out of all proportion. Or maybe because I do. The boys are always swell-tastic live, from "tambourine-tambourine" hilarity to my favorite rendition of "Heart's on Fire" featuring a very tipsy Big M.
3. Black Mountain. Again, I'm not exactly the first to point this out, but BM's gorgeously thick, indulgent 70s-esque rock is so deeply satisfying that, following their jaw-dropping set at Sala, their self-titled debut did not stray far from our stereo for months. They set the pace for a year of wicked stoner rawk shows, including several by the Besnard Lakes and the nearly flawless Illuminati/Nitrosonique/Priestess gig at Pop Montreal.
Finally, props to the Darkness for the best album title like, ever. One Way Ticket to Hell... And Back has me busting a nut every time I see it. And "Knockers" is a great little song.