The pressure is on this time of year for anyone who writes about music or movies or books; the public is clamoring for the annual top ten lists. This year is particularly tough because there are also end of the decade lists to make as well, and with that comes the gamble: will I like a year from now anything I liked this year.
I haven’t done my lists yet, but there are a couple entries that I can preview. For the albums of 2009, one of my favorites is Sometimes I Wish I Were an Eagle by Bill Callahan. I interviewed Mr. Callahan back in 2008 just as he was emerging from his Smog moniker with a new confidence. This second album under his own name finds the singer a little I the weeds, at a loss at how to deal with the complexity of opening oneself to the world, but in that loss, he finds himself. I know that sounds elliptical and a little pretentious, and frankly so is this record, but man, it is wonderfully so. Come run through the wilderness with the guy that made one of this year’s best albums on Friday at Spanish Moon, won’t you?
As for local record labels, no one can touch the inaugural year of Phantom Party Records with Cohen & the Ghost and Prom Date heading up their scrappy roster. The label is celebrating with a Christmas party at the Varsity with Norcio and whoever the Mysterious Stranger is on Thursday.
Finally, it is hard to find a band local or not that is having more fun than Lafayette’s Givers who seemed to erupt out of the earth like a rainbow glitter volcano. They went on the road with this year’s critical darlings Dirty Projectors and are coming home for the holidays on Saturday at the Spanish Moon.
The Record Crate will be off next week, compiling those lists and checking them twice, especially the nominees for the hotly contested top 5 Most Intriguing Baton Rouge CD’s of 2009. Stay safe and stay tuned.