I've got a whole city to hold down

January 03, 2005

Chicagomuzik, reporting for duty

Hey, so we're back from a Christmas/New Year layoff. We'll start by wrapping up the '04 year-end lists and get back to all new content later today or first thing tomorrow.

What follows are the notable Best of 2004 lists released during the blog's hiatus; you can link to those posted earlier like so.

Jim DeRogatis' Top 10 Pop Albums of 2004:
Steve Earle, "The Revolution Starts Now" (Artemis)
Franz Ferdinand, "Franz Ferdinand" (Domino/Epic
Green Day, "American Idiot" (Warner Music Group)
Mark Lanegan Band, "Bubblegum" (Beggars Banquet)
The Polyphonic Spree, "Together We're Heavy" (Hollywood)
The Roots, "The Tipping Point" (Geffen)
Jill Scott, "Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds, Vol. 2" (Hidden Beach)
The Secret Machines, "Now Here Is Nowhere" (Reprise)
Kayne West, "College Dropout" (Roc-A-Fella)
Wilco, "A Ghost Is Born" (Nonesuch)

And DeRo's favorite concerts of the year:
Kanye West, Feb. 11, House of Blues
Wilco, June 12, Vic Theatre
Prince, June 25, Allstate Arena
Annie Lennox, July 18, Tweeter Center
The Hives, July 26, Metro
Hilary Duff, July 30, Allstate Arena
Ozzfest, Aug. 21, Tweeter Center
Jill Scott, Sept. 24, Congress Theatre
Steve Earle, Oct. 16, Vic Theatre
The Musical Box, Oct. 22, Vic Theatre

Also see Sun-Times Latin music writer Laura Emerick's top albums and concerts; blues writer Jeff Johnson's album list; Dave Hoekstra's mostly aged, folky faves; and country critic Bobby Reed's top 10 (with props for Gretchen Wilson and Nora O'Connor). (We can't find a rap list from David Jakubiak - if one was published and anyone has it, please send along.)

Bob Mehr's Best Local Releases of 2004:
1. Kevin Tihista's Red Terror | Wake Up Captain | Parasol
2. Ponys | Laced With Romance | In the Red
3. M's | The M's | Brilliante
4. Sally Timms | In the World of Him | Touch and Go
5. Qualo | Believe | The Movement
6. Califone | Heron King Blues | Thrill Jockey
7. Scotland Yard Gospel Choir | I Bet You Say That to All the Boys | Fashion Brigade
8. Thaione Davis | Situation Renaissance: 1917 Edition | Birthwrite
9. Eternals | Rawar Style | Aesthetics
10. Josephine Foster and the Supposed | All the Leaves Are Gone | Locust
Honorable mention: Azita, Life on the Fly (Drag City); Capital D, Insomnia (All Natural Inc.); Chin Up Chin Up, We Should Never Have Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers (Flameshovel); Greg Davis, Curling Pond Woods (Carpark); Dag Juhlin, Into the Woods (11:14); The New Black, The New Black (Thick); 90 Day Men, Panda Park (Southern); The Race, If You Can (Flameshovel); Robust, Potholes in Our Molecules (Galapagos4); Thig & DJ Chuck Sunshine, Martin Luther King Jr. Whopper With Cheese (self-released).

Robert Loerzel of the suburban Pioneer Press papers writes in with his lists:
Overall best
1. The Arcade Fire, "Funeral" (Merge)
2. Wilco, "A Ghost Is Born" (Nonesuch)
3. Antibalas, "Who Is This America?" (Ropeadope)
4. P.J. Harvey, "Uh Huh Her" (Island)
5. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, "Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus" (Anti)
6. The Drive-By Truckers, "The Dirty South" (New West)
7. Neko Case, "The Tigers Have Spoken" (Anti)
8. Oneida, "Secret Wars" (Jagjaguwar)
9. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, "Funeral for a Friend" (Ropeadope)
10. Sam Phillips, "A Boot and a Shoe" (Nonesuch)

Best local CDs
1. The Ike Reilly Assassination, "Sparkle in the Finish" (Sixthman)
2. The Ponys, "Laced With Romance" (In the Red)
3. The Fiery Furnaces, "Blueberry Boat" (Rough Trade)
4. Jesse Dixon, Geraldine Gay & Nash Shaffer Jr., "In the Right Hands: Chicago Gospel Keyboard Pioneers" (The Sirens)
5. Slicker, "We All Have a Plan" (Hefty)
6. Jay Bennett, "The Beloved Enemy" (Undertow)
7. Eighth Blackbird, "Beginnings" (Cedille)
8. Various artists (produced by Robbie Fulks), "Touch My Heart: A Tribute to Johnny Paycheck" (Sugarhill)
9. The Race, "If You Can" (Flameshovel)
10. The Safes, "Boogie Woogie Rumble" (Pro-Vel)

Loerzel advises that readers can view these lists and comments online, as well as an accompanying column and more lists contributed by sundry local music figures.

Pioneer Press music columnist Allison Augustyn's "highlights in no particular order":
Tom Waits, "Real Gone" (Anti)
Brian Wilson, "Smile" (Nonesuch)
Loretta Lynn, "Van Lear Rose" (Interscope)
Thievery Corporation, "Outernational Sound" (Esl Music)
Steve Turner, "And His Bad Ideas" (Roslyn)
Modest Mouse, "Good News for People Who Love Bad News" (Epic)
Scissor Sisters, "Scissor Sisters" (Universal)

Update: And Augustyn's worst of 2004:
Wilco, "A Ghost Is Born" (Nonesuch)
Interpol, "Antics" (Matador)
Björk, "Medúlla" (Elektra)
Green Day, "American Idiot" (Reprise)
Morrissey, "You Are the Quarry" (Attack)