Monday, December 21, 2009

I'd Rather Steal Your Whiskey Than Your Heart: BB&B's Best Albums of Y2K9

Hi kids. Being a birder, you know that I'm a sucker for making lists.....so in another post completely unrelated to the feathered ones, here's my favorite music that came out this year. They're not really ranked in any order, because I'm lazy and can't really make up my mind.

2009 was a really good year for music for the crew here at BB&B....better than last year I reckon. Living in places like Midway Atoll and Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania made it extremely difficult to see much live music (aside from the beloved Chugach Band on Sand Island), but I got my grubby little hands on a lot of good stuff. Nothing was really a big let-down, which is a pretty great thing to say considering my music scene largely consists of people who want to shit on almost everything they hear....often for good reason, and often not. The BB&B staff is not excluded from this phenomenon, for good or ill (probably good).

Ok, I'll leave you to it. The next post will be saturated with bird gossip, I assure you.

The Lawrence Arms - Buttsweat and Tears.

I hate the Mondays and the Fridays because they always define
the endless march of pushing ruthlessly to the light.
Well, if I’m gonna be dying then I’m gonna get high,
and scream until I’m not feeling the pain.


If you've spent any time with me, you've heard this band. I'm a sucker for 'em. I can relate a lot to these songs.

NOFX - Coaster

"It's not a walk of shame, it's a walk of pride."

You know this band.

Vic Ruggiero - On The Rag(time)

Amorous and envy, Lord you know these sins are deadly,
Greed and vanity, they hurt a good man plenty,
So you must take care, you must be aware in your youthful insobriety,
Your cup may be full now, but in the end honey, it will be empty.


This is the singer from The Slackers, one of the best ska bands going. Vic is incredibly talented and has recorded an incredible amount of music over the years....this album is pretty much just him singing over some ragtimey piano, and it sounds great.

Dear Landlord - Dream Homes

Left me all but dead there, headed out back east
Woke up on the porch where the night before we drank ourselves to sleep
Stuck between a drunken daydream and real eviction threats
I though that you might love me
Fuck the landlord, fuck the rent.


One of my new favorite bands. Straightforward, fast and gritty, with a knack for writing amazingly catchy hooks.

Cobra Skulls - American Rubicon

Am I the end?
Am I the beginning?
Or am I just a product of infidelity
Between an immigrant and a rich girl?
"You better never make
The same fucking mistake"
Was the first thing I failed in this world


Another local San Francisco band, transplanted from Reno. They can do straightforward punk, ska, rockabilly, acoustic stuff.....they're really diverse. SOOOOOOO SF, as some would say.

Strung Out - Agents Of The Underground

This portrait of reality, the fever and the sound.
Our place in this gravity is nowhere 'til we hit the ground.
Electrical and alkaline, rhetorical and less divine.
Impulses activate, receptors drawn to stimulate.
As the girls walk by then fade away.
As an old man dies a little everyday.
The lonely poor and arrogant all make their graves.
So stand up brave and kiss goodbye any chance we'll live forever.


Strung Out was my favorite band for many year's....1996's Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues had a huge impact on me and I listened to it practically every day for a couple of years. That said, I haven't been as attentive to them the last few years, but this album changed that.

Teenage Bottlerocket - They Came From The Shadows

I could have made a list of all the things you'd do
And given it to you weeks before you'd do them too
I find it funny that I'm picking on your predictability
When I knew you'd drive me crazy.


In my mind, the quinessential pop-punk band that's going strong right now. Like Screeching Weasel without the conservative politics. Brilliant.

Bomb The Music Industry! - Scrambles

I’d rather steal your whiskey than your heart in conversation. I’d rather break three strings a song than stick to a routine like I’m ripe for the picking after growing on a tree and then talk about the industry, cross-market positivity with vinyl nerds and brightly colored, quirky messy record sleeves. I’d rather be vomiting and I despise vomiting. Blugh.

This band started with one guy writing and recording all the music for this band by himself, and is begininning to morph into a slightly more streamlined beast. I think this is the best and slickest album they've ever done. There's a live drummer for most of the album, but still all the weird keyboards, bips and bleeps, and anxious lyrics that make this band great.

Strike Anywhere - Iron Front

...But their science of injustice can be dispossessed everytime we organize. From the halls of litigation to the empty docks where the product rolls on by, Production is protected like an innocent while our dreams are hung and dried. The straw men built up will be burning my friend, to light and guide our way.

A return to form? It seems very....focused. Strike Anywhere hasn't changed much over the years, but this album is one of their best in my opinion. Great songs about social, environmental and personal justice...inspiring stuff.

Paint It Black - Amnesia and Surrender EPs

We play the early bird.
Their schemes are absurd, buy in and get burned.
We discern at day’s end we’re just food for the worms,
so we work at what we love, and live on our own terms.


PIB put out two EPs this year, both of which, as expected, are great. This is the only hardcore band that I'm in to these days.

Andrew Jackson Jihad - Can't Maintain

"I don't have a drinking problem, I have a drinking solution."

Generally a simple two-piece arrangement with an upright bass and acoustic guitar, AJJ plays as a full band for most of this album, and it works pretty damn well. More songs about fear and loathing (of the self) that I've grown to love.

Other quality releases were made by Propagandhi, Banner Pilot, Dead To Me, Frank Turner, Star Fucking Hipsters, The Loved Ones and The Devil Makes Three.

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