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Archive for December, 2009

LIST: Top 10 Films of 2009

I have repeatedly parroted that for the world of music, 2009 was an outstanding year.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for film.  Blame it on the terrible sequel blockbusters that crowded the box office (I’m looking at you New Moon, Transformers, and the Angels and Demons) not only in the summer, but during all quarters of the year.  Blame it on the economic recession.  Or, like me, blame it on the 2008 writer’s strike.  But whatever the reason, the quality of film in the year, on the whole.

However, despite this fact, there were still a number of flicks that rose to the top of the pack and blew audiences’ minds. With the lack of high-profile prestige pictures, the door was opened for a number of smaller films to take the spotlight, and with the WGA strike the year before, there were some commercially difficult films that normally would have sat in development, that found themselves green lit.  So even in a year that turned into a banner success for Sandra Bullock, there were still some very bright spots for film fans.  As the dawn breaks on 2010, we (read: me) here at Hollering Into the Void want to take a moment to celebrate cinematic excellence in 2009.

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So, um, happy New Years Eve everybody!  What better way to usher in the fabulous New Year than with a music video from NYC’s favorite maybe-absurdist/maybe-genius hip hop duo?  If that sounds like it might interest you, than I would suggest that you watch the video that’s embedded below (which comes via P4K, who have what is probably my very favorite video player).  If you loved “Pizza Hut Taco Bell” (which was featured on Hollering Into the Void’s top 50 songs of the year countdown), than this will also probably be right up your alley.  Although, if you give “Rainbow In the Dark” a listen, I think you’ll quickly discover that this is a bit of a different beast.  The pop culture and literary references are all over the board, from Ernest Hemingway, to Encyclopedia Brown (well, Wikipedia Brown), to Joe Pesci.  Sometimes I wonder if even the band knows what to make of their music.  Whatever the case may be, it’s a whole ton of fun to listen to.

The band is still (bafflingly) unsigned, so I have no label or official site to plug for them, but you can head over to their MySpace page for more info.  One little tidbit, the page claims that their Sit Down, Man EP is coming soon.  My fingers are crossed and I wait with baited breathe.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Das Racist “Rainbow In the Dark”“, posted with vodpod

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Okay, I know that I’m something like a broken record at this point, but I will say it one more time for the cheap seats.  What a year for music.  There were no fewer than seven or eight albums that would undoubtedly be on any best of the decade list, and possibly that number would be more in the range of ten or eleven after some careful consideration.  As far as I’m concerned, 2009 was the very cream of the musical crop, and that’s something that just about any fan could be thankful for.

This year we heard some music out of some brand spanking new bands, as well as career bests from a number of bands that had been toiling in musical obscurity for years now.  In short, it was the year where groups both small, big, and unheard of, broke through to the mainstream and became utterly huge.  What’s most impressive to me is that in every single case, this newfound attention and success was entirely deserved.  There weren’t too many one-hit wonders this year.  So what does it sound like when talented and hardworking musicians make good?  I guess now we know.

Now, it’s with much pride and excitement that I present Hollering Into the Void’s top albums of 2009!

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I have said a few times how great a year I thought this year has been for music.  I mean, obviously there are some pretty great albums that come out each and every year, you will always be able to find something to love, but 2009 in particular marked an explosion of creativity and musical achievement.  A couple of days ago I listed ten albums that I couldn’t quite put on this list, but in all honesty there were probably another dozen more that I could have happily included.  The whole year was just a real treat for fans of all types.

As I’ve said a few times now, the problem with an awesome body of work to choose from, is that it’s next to impossible to make a list that you’re entirely comfortable with.  In putting together this countdown, I’ve gone backed and re-listened to a lot of music, and discovered that doing so only made things tougher.  There are no weak albums on this list, everything here deserves mentioning.  The only criteria that I had in place was that the albums had to be full-length LPs and had to have been released in the 2009 calender year.  Everything under that umbrella was fair game.  Hopefully I was able to do the music some justice.

Now, here are the first fifteen selections in Hollering Into the Void’s countdown of the top thirty albums of 2009.

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I’ve been rolling out the musical lists this week here on Hollering Into the Void.  I have already accounted for the best EP’s of the year, as well as the best songs, and today the lists continue today as I take a look at some of the year’s best albums.

Now there was a lot of great music released this year and today’s list is perhaps the most true celebration of that fact.  I will be counting down HItV’s top thirty albums in the next couple days, but first I want to take a look at the albums that were released this year, but are just outside of that group.  Obviously, any kind of year-end countdown of this variety is highly subjective, and that being the case there is always going to be some deserving music left off.  This is my chance to recognize some of said music.

Without further ado, I proudly present (in no particular order) are the last ten albums left off my best of the year list!

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As I said earlier, choosing my top songs of the year was tough.  There was literally a list of hundreds of songs that I compiled at the top of the process.  I had to leave off a number of popular singles that I enjoyed for songs that were buried on great albums, just as I was forced to leave off some great artists in order to make room for lesser known acts.

If whittling down that list to pick the bottom thirty was tough, then carving out a top twenty was next to impossible.  That’s because over the course of 2009, when I heard each of these tracks for the first time, I’m pretty sure that at some point I thought to myself; that’s my favorite song of the year!  Unfortunately, a list that lists a twenty-way tie for first place would be pretty boring to read, so instead I forced myself to draw some distinctions.  I hope that you can take some pleasure from my mental anguish as I present Hollering Into the Void’s top twenty tracks of 2009!

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The year may be drawing to a close, but the hits keep on coming.  There were so many great tracks this year that choosing a favorite fifty was one tough task.  In the end, though, after some tough decisions and much deliberation, I whittled my list of about two hundred down to that favorite fifty.  That doesn’t mean my mind won’t have changed by tomorrow, but damn it, once it’s in print, it’s just too late.

Keep in mind, though, that that’s all this is,  a list of the Void’s favorites.  That being the case, there is going to be some stuff that a ton of people might have found deserving of inclusion on this list that will go unseen (think Lady Gaga).  There will also be some music that I really wanted to include, but just couldn’t find a spot for (think Atlas Sound).  Lastly, I didn’t include any tracks that were on albums released in 2008, so there will be some songs that are generally considered to be awesome, but that I don’t include (think Kings of Leon).  However, I’m pretty confident that we can all agree each of the fifty songs on the list comes from an artist worth of our admiration and accolade.  That being said, why am I still talking?  Let’s adore!

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