My Favorite Albums of 2009

Dark Side of the Moon by The Flaming Lips & Stardeath and the White Dwarfs

I am a big Pink Floyd fan and a big Flaming Lips fan and so within minutes of finding out about this project, I had downloaded the album and, for the first time in a long time, simply sat and closed my eyes and listened to the album in its entirety.

If you like either band, you will want to buy this (unless you are so hide-bound and pedestrian in your love of Pink Floyd that you will get all bitchy when the music isn’t note for note the same as the original). The production values are stunning: everything is crisp and even the distortion has a clarity and precision that few bands can match. Every time I listen I find something new, a lick or a riff or a sound that I hadn’t noticed before, which, of course, means that this cover version has found the spirit of the original even as it carves out its own sonic space within the work.

Really, get this album.

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The Little Death by The Little Death

Yes, Moby plays bass in this band, but this is no vanity/side project and if you aren’t a fan of Moby’s regular music, you should take the time to give The Little Death a listen. In fact, you can listen to the entire album right here. The music here is boozy, soulful, hard-rocking, and has tons of attitude; music that would beat up most alt-pop bands, down a bottle of whiskey, smoke a pack of cigarettes, and then head off into the night with a stranger. The lead singer, Laura Dawn, is the star of this project, though the rest of the band supports her with tight but aggressive music arrangements.

This is music for grown-ups who like their love bittersweet and their joy laced with pain.

On this day..