A year end
recorded or local and live, we've got it
published January 1, 2004
favorite titles of the year consist only of releases reviewed in these pages.
There have been other, fine discs to come across my desk, most of them in the
progressive or metal genres but those are the subject of another list at another
time. One thing has become clear, however, this has been a great year for music
... it's just been a matter of knowing where to look. So, here's the Top 10 for
- Live... Late... Loud Reeves Gabrels (Myth Music) It's not
every album that stays at the forefront of my mind like this one has since it
first appeared in my hands earlier this year. Gabrels not only makes you
believe that the glory days of the live album never passed, but also restores
your faith in the guitar hero.
- View Bryan Beller (Onion Boy Records) A non-bass record
from a supreme bass player who makes you laugh and cry on this gorgeous
collection of songs. What's most frightening about this album is that the
thirtysomething Beller never wrote a lick of music before "No," one of the
album's better pieces, two years ago.
- Live At Loft 150 Gooding (S3 Records) Gooding has been
embraced by plenty of folks outside Wichita and for good reason. This proves
that you can be a well-received prophet in your hometown.
- Memory Girls Warren Zanes (Dualtone Records) The former
Del Fuego re-ignites his career with this refreshing and well-crafted batch of
tunes. Breaking up never sounded like a better reason to preserve your art
than it does on "Sidewalk Sale."
- The Size of Planets Haley Bonar (Chairkickers Music)
Lucinda who? Haley Bonar's barely into her twenties but this album sounds like
it came from someone at least twice that age. "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy"
and "Bless This Mess" are two tracks anyone would have been proud to write.
- Come Feel Me Tremble (DVD) Paul Westerberg (Redline
Entertainment) Westerberg makes a movie at last and, truth be told, you
almost can feel him tremble. Intimate and funny, this was worth the wait.
- Le Main Drag The Bon Mots (Mellifluid) One of Chicago's
most promising new bands. Hell, one of America's.
- Mastul Devil Music (Red Fez Records) An adventure in
adventure, this is a chug of fresh air if you ever needed one.
- Crucify My Heart Lullacry (Century Media) A refreshing
dose of love angst from Finland that did more than crucify this writer's
Forgotten Anthology 1995-2002 Bumblefoot (Hermit Inc.) I had
something clever to say about this, but I forgot what it was.