Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Column: Fifty Second Week

And so we bring 2009 in for a landing with this odd annual tradition. I buy so much music during a given year that I just can't review it all over at, so every year I select 52 of the unreviewed records I've accumulated and burn through them in less than an hour. I give myself 50 seconds each to scribble down my thoughts, and the result is what I call Fifty Second Week. Hope you like it!

It's been a joy and a privilege to write this column for nine years. Thank you very much to all of you who have been reading, e-mailing and commenting on it in 2009. I'll be back January 11 with new stuff, and I'll hopefully find time to update this blog before then (and more frequently in 2010). But this will be my last missive of the year. Thanks again, and happy new year to you all.

Click on over to read Fifty Second Week, then come back here to comment.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My 2009 Top 10 List

Drum roll please, Maestro...

This week at, I unveiled my 2009 top 10 list. It's a remarkably serious-minded list this year, and it contains three rock operas and a further two concept albums, which makes me giddy with hope for the future. Even in the middle of the download storm, great artists are still making great music, and they're making it in full-album form. My #1 choice for the year is an hour-long song that can't be excerpted. Take that, singles-driven market!

But more than that, these 10 albums moved me and made me fall in love with music again this year, and for that, I am grateful. I'm also grateful for the chance to share this music with all of you. Thank you so much for reading this silly column in 2009. That said, I'm sure many of you can tell me where I went wrong, and I'd love to see your lists for 2009. Click on over to read mine, then come back here to leave me yours.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Column: The Honor is All Theirs

Good morning once again, faithful readers. I'm in the middle of a crazy few weeks, trying to wrap everything up before my vacation. Lucky for you, though, that includes writing tm3am columns through the end of the year, including this week's look at the honorable mentions of 2009. The top 10 list is due next week, and purely by accident, it's a fairly dark collection of concept albums and confessionals. But the fun stuff ended up in the honorable mentions, so if you're looking for escapism, this is the list for you.

Also this week, I reviewed the Flaming Lips live, and the last new albums of 2009 - an EP from Animal Collective and a rap project from the Black Keys. Click on over to read it, then come back here and leave me a comment.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Column: Three Live Crews

Yes, it's a terrible title. I'm tired and sick, so sue me.

As the year winds down, and my workload increases, and the slow trickle of new music dries up, I'm finding less and less time for this blog. It's a wonder I got the column done this week, honestly - I finished writing it last night, at around 10:30. Whew!

Anyway, this week at I take a look at live albums from Paul McCartney (his historic Citi Field show from earlier this year), Tom Waits and Tom Petty. You'll probably be surprised at which one I like best. Also, a look ahead to January's new releases, and a bit on why I'm not going to do a Best of the Decade list. Probably.

So click on over to read it, then head back here to leave me a comment. Next week, I promise to come up with a better column title...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Column: People I Know, 2009 Edition

I have had a hell of a week. I am just barely back on my feet today after spending yesterday in bed, and I have some major stories in the pipeline for the remaining three days. But just for you, gentle reader, I've managed yet again to squeak out another rambling music column over at

This week, I reviewed records by people I know, including the guys in Lost on Liftoff, one of Portland, Maine's best bands, and Andrea Dawn, who made a sweet album called First Try at Goodbye with Jeremy Junkin. I also reviewed the debut album by London duo The Yeah You's, which serves as 2009's long-awaited Britpop masterpiece. (A special thanks to Nick Martin for turning me on to them.)

So click on over to read all about it, and come back here to leave me a comment.