A considerably better year for both recorded and live music than '08. The top three on the albums list are all interchangeable. Manners will always be synonymous with summer time for me, and for that it wins the tiebreaker and the blue ribbon for '09.
Best Albums of 2009 (From the 0.002% of albums put out in '09 that I was able to check out)
1) Passion Pit- Manners, Really? Yes. Might be a fad, but I don't think it's ever felt so right in the moment. Listen to "To Kingdom Come"
T-2) Phoenix- Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Check out a live video of "Love Like A Sunset" below:
T-2) Alberta Cross- Broken Side of Time, the return of rock. Listen to "Rise From The Shadows"
4) Atlas Sound- Logos, listen to "Walkabout" w/ Noah Lennox
5) Dinosaur Jr.- Farm, guitar slashterpiece of the year, listen to "I Don't Wanna Go There"
6) Monsters of Folk- Monsters of Folk, The A-Team of independent music, the 21st Century's humbler version of the Traveling Wilburys. Listen to "His Master's Voice"
7) M. Ward- Hold Time. Old school. Listen to Matt covering Neil Young's "Oh Lonesome Me" featuring Lucinda Williams
8) Lil Wayne- No Ceilings. Mixtape Wayne gets his rocks off before serving time. Listen to "Swag Surfin'"
9) Air- Love 2, watch the video for "Sing Sang Sung"
10) Avett Brothers- I and Love and You, Listen to "I and Love and You"
11) Animal Collective- Merriweather Post Pavilion, watch a video of "Summertime Clothes" from Coachella
12) Derek Trucks Band- Already Free, listen to "Already Free"
13) Jay-Z- The Blueprint 3
T-13) Grizzly Bear- Veckatimest
15) Andrew Bird- Noble Beast, If I had a Ph.D in English I could probably appreciate "Oh No" even more than I already do and understand what exactly the opening verse is trying to say:
In the salsify mains of what was thought but unsaid
All the calcified arhythmitists were doing the math
16) Franz Ferninand- Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, listen to "Twilight Omens"
Phish- Joy, listen to "Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan"
Dirty Projectors- Bitte Orca
*The Flaming Lips- Embryonic
*Baroness- The Blue Record
*Dead Weather- Horehound
Arctic Monkeys- Humbug
Michael Jackson- This Is It, not really an album per se
Portugal, The Man- The Satanic Satanist
Muse- The Resistance
Depeche Mode- Sounds of the Universe
The Dodos- Time to Die, listen to "Time to Die"
Yeasayer- "Ambling Alp", just a single but good enough to mention again. Also, "Tightrope" from the Dark Was the Night Compilation
Morrisey- Years of Refusal, listen to "All You Need Is Me"
**It should also be noted that a group called Neon Indian put out a song called "Terminally Chill"...
*Haven't really listened to enough yet.
Best Concerts of the Year
1) Nine Inch Nails at Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN. 6/13/2009. Late night retina scorcher. My first (and maybe last) chance to see NIN and Trent Reznor turned the fields of Bonnaroo into a graveyard, crushing skulls and ruining weak minds. Here's a video of them playing "Wish" w/ the boys from Dillinger Escape Plan:
2) Phoenix at Tipitina's Uptown, New Orleans. One of the most energetic crowds I've ever seen. 75 minute set, nary a dull moment. 10/1/2009
3) Futurebirds/Interns at St. Simons Island House Party, 4th of July. LEGENDARY. You just had to be there.
4) Phish first show at Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN. Get 'em Cactus. 6/12/2009
5) Yeasayer at Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN. 6/13/2009
6) moe. at Bonnaroo late night. Would probably have been higher on the list if I didn't show up and have to endure 45 minutes of Grace Potter at 3:30 in the morning (no offense to GPN, that was just neither the time nor the place). Played well past the break of dawn and surreal fogrise. 6/13/2009
7) Kaiser Chiefs at Lollapalooza, row-D. 8/9/2009.
8) The Futurebirds and The Interns at AthFest, 6/25/2009
9) Depeche Mode at Lollapalooza, 8/7/2009. Video of "In Chains":
10) Santigold at Bonnaroo, Rites of Spring, and Lollapalooza.
"Unstoppable" from Bonnaroo:
11) Ray Lamontagne at The Florida Theatre, 4/28/2009
It Should Be Mentioned:
The 2nd set of My Morning Jacket's New Year's Eve show at Madison Square Garden rang in 2009. Thoroughly epic, check out the YouTube below of the band playing Kool & The Gang's "Celebration" after the ball drop and here's the review of the show some idiot wrote for JamBase.com.