Hiya, I'm Vega. You can find me at http://vegabells.blogspot.com or wandering around aimlessly. I used to work for the Exclusive Company, Vinyl Fever (in Tampa), Camelot Music (when they were still around) and briefly for the Pabst. I love music. Even if it's mainstream and popular. If something catches my ear you can be sure I'll tell anyone willing to listen. For example, if you haven't heard of the supergroup Apparatjik (Guy Berryman of Coldplay, Jonas Bjerre of Mew, Magne Furuholmen of A-Ha and producer Martin Terefe) you need to listen to this.
Anyway, on with the list...
10. Coldplay - LeftRightLeftRightLeft
I'm not even sure this one should count since Coldplay never actually released this 9-track live CD. It was given away to all attendees during the last leg of their Viva la Vida tour. With very little enthusiasm, I went to the show at Alpine Valley and was pleasantly surprised with their performance. It felt on-par with the Rush of Blood days. This live disc didn't leave my CD player for a full week after the gig.
9. Julian Casablancas - Phrazes for the Young
If you're like me, you're sick of waiting for a new Strokes album. For the time being, this will have to do. To be honest, I was quite taken with the track "Tourist." Now that I think about it, I like them all. I find Julian's solo endeavor more pleasing than Albert Hammond Jr's. But that's just my opinion.
8. Vedera - Stages
I randomly discovered Vedera last April when I went to a show in NYC to see a relatively unknown band open for Eisley. Unknown to me, The Envy Corps left the tour 2 days earlier and I had the pleasure of seeing Vedera instead. Kristen May looks like a pixie, but that small frame holds a powerful voice. Check out the songs "We Sing," "Back to the Middle" and "Satisfy."
7. Doves - Kingdom of Rust
I love this album. I was thrilled to hear "Kingdom of Rust" on the Zombieland soundtrack.
6. Editors - In This Light and On This Evening
Although I adore Editors, I was a bit disappointed in this album particularly because it's lacking in their signature guitar work. My favorite track can be found on the UK special edition bonus disc and is called "This House is Full of Noise." One thing I appreciate is that this album is just as dark, if not darker than their previous two. Great songs to brood over.
5. Owl City - Ocean Eyes
I was on a road trip through the Appalachians when this album popped up on my iPod. After having to double check that it wasn't Ben Gibbard, I proceeded to listen to the album 3 times in a row. Favorite tracks include "Meteor Shower" and "Tidal Wave."
4. Mew - No More Stories...
No More Stories / Are Told Today / I'm Sorry / They Washed Away // No More Stories / The World Is Grey / I'm Tired / Let's Wash Away. What a mouthful. Album highlight "Introducing Palace Players" is strangely sexy with its crazy intro time signature.
3. We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls
One day when I was unemployed and bored (which seems to be most days), I decided to go on the SXSW website and click on every link to every single band slated to perform this year. I made a list of bands that I liked according to the sample tracks posted on each artist's SXSW info page. I then kept tabs on albums released by these bands. Most of them turned out to be duds, but this one was the gem I had been mining for. Sounds like a lot of work just to find new music, doesn't it? This album made it completely worthwhile. Check out "Quiet Little Voices" and the opening track "It's Thunder and It's Lightning." So good, it's shortlisted for my best of the 2000s compilation.
2. Mutemath - Armistice
Arguably one of the most energetic live bands currently touring, Mutemath's second full length felt like a continuation of the first. It is definitely a separate entity, yet the transition to the sophomore album was incredibly smooth and almost seamless. I'm pretty sure Twilight helped them gain in popularity, but this band is worth the fuss. Check out "Backfire" and the epic 9-minute "Burden."
1. MUSE - The Resistance
If you have ever met me, even for 30 seconds, you would have ascertained that MUSE is my favorite band on the planet. Of course The Resistance would be my #1 album of 2009! If you ever had a doubt that Matthew Bellamy and company were capable of filling stadiums with their massive sound, give this album just one listen. Even the weakest track on the album (which is so obviously stadium rock it would make Bon Jovi fans cry) doesn't get skipped when I plug this sucker in. I never know which track is my favorite because they are all so different, but I will say that "MK Ultra" and "Resistance" are amazing. "Unnatural Selection" has a similar complexity to older fan-favorite from Origin of Symmetry, "Citizen Erased." The 3-part "Exogenesis: Symphony" is beautiful, although understated. Check out the video below. If you're not moved by their music and visuals, you better check your pulse because you might be dead.
Nods to the following songs for being generally great, even if the albums they came from are not worthy of my top spots.
Little Boots Hands "Stuck on Repeat"
Regina Spektor Far "Blue Lips"
Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix "Lisztomania"
Röyksopp Junior "The Girl and the Robot"
Twin Atlantic Vivarium "Audience and Audio"