Tacoma Rock City

Tacoma Rock City

Archives: 2009

Dec.
31st

Favorite albums of ’09, No. 1

Hotels, “Where Hearts Go Broke”

Seattle’s Hotels deserve to be as popular as a gang of other bands that have hit pay dirt by mining the post-punk sounds of Manchester, circa 1980. Then again, maybe it’s not quite fair to lump this group in with those other sad bastards since its lush aesthetic draws equally from the breezy synth-pop of Stereolab and cinematic spy themes. Bottom line: These guys are way more fun in concert than Interpol.


Read more »

Dec.
30th

Favorite albums of ’09, No. 2

Late of the Pier, “Fantasy Black Channel”

I nearly didn’t include this on the list because of a technicality; it actually came out in Europe last year before officially arriving on our shores in January. The British outfit cast a wide net, with songs that draw liberally from arena rock and new wave traditions alike. But Don’t tell them they sound like Gary Numan. It ticks them off.

Read more »

Dec.
29th

Favorite albums of ’09, No. 3

Visqueen, “Message to Garcia”

What a big year for band leader Rachel Flotard. Her band successfully launched its own label to release the most catchy, soulful pop-punk album of the year. Sorry, Green Day. And on top of all that, Flotard hit the talk show circuit with homie Neko Case, having sung backup on her commercial breakthrough “Middle Cyclone.”

Dec.
28th

Favorite albums of ’09, No. 4

Grand Duchy, “Petit Fours”

It’s a yin-yang thing. The Pixies’ Black Francis brought the post-punk angst and guitar squall. Wife Violet Clark brought her love of new wave and some sweet, girlie vocals. Together they made a great, if not perfect, pop album. “Lovesick” – a song Clark penned about being away from her rock star boyfriend, before they got married – was stuck in my head like few other cuts this year.


Read more »

Dec.
27th

Favorite albums of ’09, No. 5

Willie Isz, “Georgiavania”

Kid Cudi has a bigger P.R. machine behind him, touting his debut album as this year’s most “alternative” hip-hop disc. Meanwhile, Good Mob’s Khujo Goodie and Jneiro Jarel team up to push the boundaries of what hip-hop can be in a way that recalls Outkast’s genre-blurring “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.” Added bonus: Cameos from members of TV on the Radio.

Dec.
26th

Favorite albums of ’09, No. 6

Them Crooked Vultures, “Them Crooked Vultures”

Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Nirvana’s Dave Grohl and Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones united for a super-group we can really get excited about. With Homme at the helm, this basically sounds like the most star-studded Queens CD yet. And that, for the record, ain’t a bad thing.

Read more »