The new year is off to a busy start as a number of favorite bands have already released or planning on releasing new material in the next couple of weeks. Here's what I'm listening to:
Spoon - Transference
Beach House - Teen Dream
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - Up From Below (there's always one album that never quite makes my best of the year list and 2009's would be this)
Sam Cooke - One Night Stand - Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 (may be the best live Soul recording ever)
Lucinda Williams - Little Honey (I know it's from 2008 but I just recently got it)
On a music related note, tonight are the Grammys, which happen to be the most ridiculous and worthless awards in anything. The Grammys either award popularity over artistic achievement or act as some kind of lifetime achievement award for established acts. Going over the nominees in the major categories makes my head hurt. This steaming pile of shit is the best music of the year? I know the Grammys actually want people to watch and the music busyness has become so fractured and niche driven that it's hard to find anything good that appeals to everybody, but this is terrible. There's the worthless throwaway pop of Lady GaGa and the Black Eyed Peas. You have the Kings of Leon, a once promising band that threw away any credibility they had with me by wanting to be the next U2. The Dave Matthews Band is nominated and will probably win for Best Album even though they haven't made an album worth listening to since I was in high school ten years ago. That leaves the ubiquitous Taylor Swift, who is apparently a country act, even though none of her music actually sounds like country music. I don't begrudge the girl for having success and the amount of records she's sold in this age is astounding but her shtick has worn out its welcome. Playing the puppy dog, lovestruck teenage girl gets a little worn out after a while, especially when you have a flat, uninteresting singing voice. She is the musical equivalency of the teenage girl who makes a masturbation video and sends it to the boy she wants to like her.