Tag Archives: The Organ

Aaron’s Top Albums Of 2004

Morrissey

Morrissey

This is my official Top 10 album list for 2004:

1. Morrissey You Are The Quarry
2. The Veils The Runaway Found
3. The Organ Grab That Gun
4. Arcade Fire Funeral
5. Feist Let It Die
6. Apostle Of Hustle Folkloric Feel
7. Jens Lekman When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog
8. By Divine Right Sweet Confusion
9. The Golden Dogs Everything In 3 Parts
10. The Dears Thank You Good Night Sold Out

There are a number of naggingly unsatisfying inclusions on this year’s list.

I don’t particularly go back to Morrissey’s You Are The Quarry much these days, but at the time it ranked as an amazing comeback record after a couple crappers from the Moz. So that would have been more than enough for a Smiths/Morrissey fan like myself to push it to top spot.

Morrissey “First Of The Gang To Die.” This might be the Moz at his storytelling best:

Coming in second this year was The Veils’ The Runaway Found. This is a great band who’ve been criminally slept on over the years. With them and Moz, Jens, The Dears and The Organ all on my list there was clearly a vibe I was feeling in ’04. I’m not sure what that might be, maybe morbid melodrama?

The Veils “Lavinia”:

Putting The Organ’s Grab That Gun at #3 feels like a bit of a cheat considering I put their Sinking Hearts EP on my Top 10 the year before. I’m going to chalk putting this one so high up to me projecting — hoping that The Organ would be to the world what I thought Moz and The Veils were as well.

The Organ “Memorize The City”:

That Arcade Fire Funeral record was like a bolt of lightning, wasn’t it? I mean, seriously, who knew those guys were going to hit the grand slam and turn every indie band for the next five years into gang-singing, handclapping 13-member art collectives? Nowadays, knowing more about their prep school backgrounds and natural entitlements, there’s a certain realization that I don’t really identify with the Arcade Fire at all, but I still have to admit they can create some compelling music.

Arcade Fire “Wake Up”

Putting Feist’s Let It Die at #5 was probably an error on my part brought on by the fact that my friend and co-worker Chris Burland had put out her previous album Monarch on his label and I would’ve felt a vague desire to be supportive. I like two songs on this album — “Mushaboom” and the Bee Gees cover “Inside And Out.” That shouldn’t have been enough for this album to place where it did.

Feist “Inside And Out”:

I never listen to Apostle Of Hustle Folkloric Feel any more. I haven’t even ripped it into iTunes so I’m going to guess I was getting a little swept up in the rise of Broken Social Scene at the time and it was clouding my perspective.

At #7 was Jens Lekman’s When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog. I’m not really sure why I put this on my list. I don’t really like this album all that much and it’s actually Lekman’s next album Night Falls Over Kortedala that I was really into.

I’ve steadfastly maintained that By Divine Right remain one of the most important Canadian bands of the last 20 years and putting their album Sweet Confusion at #8 was a small gesture in support of that notion. Against the rest of their catalog this is one of their lesser albums — still good — but in hindsight Sweet Confusion’s inclusion on my list feels too political now.

By Divine Right “Soft Machine”

The Golden Dogs’ Everything In 3 Parts was a very exciting record for our household when it came out. They were a great band live, they were fun people to be around, and the album was solid, too. I’m still not entirely sure why they never got bigger than they did, but this was still a great ride to be on at the time.

The Golden Dogs “Yeah”:

The #10 pick The Dears’ Thank You Good Night Sold Out is kind of embarrassing to me. The Dears were probably my favourite Canadian band right around then (and might still be now), but this is a live record. I don’t really listen to it any more, and didn’t really listen to it that much when it came out. Nowadays I’m far more ruthlessly clinical about my Top 10 lists and putting this on the 2004 list has a certain cute “Aw shucks” loyalty that I don’t know if I’ve “lost,” but I don’t quite let rule me in the same way any more.

Other album lists…

2015 Top Ten — SUUNS + Jerusalem In My Heart SUUNS + Jerusalem In My Heart is #1
2014 Top Ten — Sharon Van Etten’s Are We There is #1
2013 Top Ten — M.I.A.’s Matangi is #1
2012 Top Ten — Dirty Ghosts’ Metal Moon is #1
2011 Top Ten — Timber Timbre’s Creep On Creepin’ On is #1
2010 Top Ten — The Black Angels’ Phosphene Dream is #1
2009 Top Ten — Gallows’ Grey Britain is #1
2008 Top Ten — Portishead’s Third is #1
2007 Top Ten — Joel Plaskett Emergency’s Ashtray Rock is #1
2006 Top Ten — My Brightest Diamond’s Bring Me The Workhorse is #1
2005 Top Ten — Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Howl is #1
2004 Top Ten — Morrissey’s You Are The Quarry is #1
2003 Top Ten — The Dears’ No Cities Left is #1
2002 Top Ten — Archive’s You All Look The Same To Me is #1
2001 Top Ten — Gord Downie’s Coke Machine Glow is #1
2000 Top Ten — Songs: Ohia’s The Lioness is #1
1999 Top Ten — The Boo Radleys’ Kingsize is #1
1998 Top Ten — Baxter’s Baxter is #1
1996 Top Ten — Tricky’s Maxinquaye is #1

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Aaron’s Top Albums Of 2003

The Dears No Cities Left

The Dears No Cities Left

This is my official Top 10 album list for 2003:

1. The Dears No Cities Left
2. Songs: Ohia The Magnolia Electric Co
3. Metric Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
4. The Coral Magic And Medicine
5. Sixteen Horsepower Olden
6. Danko Jones We Sweat Blood
7. Gord Downie Battle Of The Nudes
8. The Organ Sinking Hearts
9. Radiohead Hail To The Thief
10. Geoff Berner We Shall Not Flag Or Fail, We Shall Go On To The End

I must say, this is a mighty great year.

My #1 record this year was No Cities Left and it still holds up just as well all this time later. “Lost In The Plot” was the big single, a signature song which I love, but it was the double-shot epic tracks “Expect The Worse/Cuz She’s A Tourist” and “Pinned Together, Falling Apart” which really did it for me. They’re epic, sophisticated and they rock, all while maintaining their uniquely “Dears” narratives. These two songs done live at the time were particularly amazing, as they’d get stretched out into trance-like adventures. “Don’t Lose The Faith,” “Warm And Sunny Days,” “Never Destroy Us”… I know these songs inside out. Within the confines of “Canadian rock” or “Canadian indie” or whatever descriptive you want to use this remains one of the best records of the last decade.

The Dears “Pinned Together, Falling Apart”:

It would’ve been a heated internal debate for me at the time to put Songs: Ohia The Magnolia Electric Co. at #2. This was the transition record where Jason Molina, the mostly one-man band as Songs: Ohia became Magnolia Electric Co., a down-to-earth trucker-rock band in the vein of Crazy Horse. The change was weird to take at first, but over time the songs on this album emerged and they’re heart-striking works. There’s an internal struggle going on in this album that’s both intimately personal and universal to the human experience.

I love the playing around with the classic song trope of John Henry doing something. Songs: Ohia “John Henry Split My Heart”:

Ah, Metric’s Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? We were so young and innocent and unaware of Emily Haines’ prickly fits back then. It was all about dancing along to “Dead Disco” late at night. If time had stopped and Metric never did anything else ever the world would’ve probably been a better place.

Metric “Dead Disco”:

The Coral’s Magic And Medicine remains a totally slept on record here in the North of America. This record’s so hard to define. It’s sort of triangulated by the works of The Boo Radleys and Space, but at the same time remain totally outside of their worlds.

The Coral “Talking Gypsy Market Blues,” their slight Dylan return:

Clearly 2003 was the year I finally understood Sixteen Horsepower. Olden was a compilation record made up of a few different EPs, which usually makes for uneven listening, but I was completely shook and I now follow the works of band leader David Eugene Edwards closely. Olden is also one of the records that has helped me become more self-aware about the music I like. It’s not necessarily about genre anymore, but rather about intensity, purpose, gravity. I no longer care about half-measures and comfortable singalong songs. If I can’t see through to your soul in your music you’re just a circus performer.

Sixteen Horsepower “American Wheeze”:

It takes a lot for me to consider a song a match for the best of the Thin Lizzy catalog, but for simple balls-out rockers Danko Jones’ “I Love Living In The City” from We Sweat Blood is right up there.

Danko Jones “I Love Living In The City”:

My affection for Gord Downie’s solo work would continue with Battle Of The Nudes. It wasn’t quite the speak-to-me album that Coke Machine Glow was, but I still consider it a bold and brave work, complete with Sonic Youth moments and weird punk diversions. Downie could easily play out his career doing cash register rock in The Tragically Hip, but he continues to go for it. These are the ideals I respect in musicians.

Gord Downie “Pascal’s Submarine.” Not my favourite track on the record, but this album’s not well-youtubed.

I’m kinda bummed The Organ didn’t quite rule the world like I thought they would, but Sinking Hearts is still solid in a hey-it’s-the-girl-Smiths way. Haters on this EP were weird. It may not be perfect but it’s got passion.

Radiohead Hail To The Thief at #9? I think I let myself be run over by the hype train on this one. I never listen to Radiohead anymore and if I do, it’s certainly not this album.

Geoff Berner We Shall Not Flag Or Fail, We Shall Go On To The End was a pretty unexpected inclusion for me because, well, let’s face it, I’m not known as a klezmer-punk kinda guy. How We Shall Not Flag gets me is with the storytelling. “Volcano God” is brilliant and beautiful and “Maginot Line” is a valuable life lesson.

Geoff Berner “Maginot Line”:

Other album lists…

2015 Top Ten — SUUNS + Jerusalem In My Heart SUUNS + Jerusalem In My Heart is #1
2014 Top Ten — Sharon Van Etten’s Are We There is #1
2013 Top Ten — M.I.A.’s Matangi is #1
2012 Top Ten — Dirty Ghosts’ Metal Moon is #1
2011 Top Ten — Timber Timbre’s Creep On Creepin’ On is #1
2010 Top Ten — The Black Angels’ Phosphene Dream is #1
2009 Top Ten — Gallows’ Grey Britain is #1
2008 Top Ten — Portishead’s Third is #1
2007 Top Ten — Joel Plaskett Emergency’s Ashtray Rock is #1
2006 Top Ten — My Brightest Diamond’s Bring Me The Workhorse is #1
2005 Top Ten — Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Howl is #1
2004 Top Ten — Morrissey’s You Are The Quarry is #1
2003 Top Ten — The Dears’ No Cities Left is #1
2002 Top Ten — Archive’s You All Look The Same To Me is #1
2001 Top Ten — Gord Downie’s Coke Machine Glow is #1
2000 Top Ten — Songs: Ohia’s The Lioness is #1
1999 Top Ten — The Boo Radleys’ Kingsize is #1
1998 Top Ten — Baxter’s Baxter is #1
1996 Top Ten — Tricky’s Maxinquaye is #1

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Filed under Music, Recollections