Posted by: cousinbrandon | August 11, 2009

“The Mixes” Series: Deafening and Hushed, 2005

Originally published August 11, 2009 on 710 ESPN.

Hard to believe that I’m already recounting my 2005 CDs and thinking, “Man, that’s forever ago.” And yet, not really. I mean, what’s four years? Heck, I was married for four years, and come to think of it that seemed much, much longer. This batch of my year’s best music comprising 44 songs was captured on Deafening (fast) and Hushed (slow).

While I’m once again uncertain as to whether or not I put out a list in 2005 counting down my “records of the year,” I think I can still say with relative certainty that my two favorite albums of ’05 were Wolf Parade’s Apologies to the Queen Mary and The Mountain Goats’ The Sunset Tree. These two records could hardly be more different from one another, and yet both hold up unbelievably well. Granted, some folks like my Cousin Matt despise The Mountain Goats, as he’s unable to get past frontman John Darnielle’s nasally voice. I, on the other hand, adore it, yet I can absolutely see why it might be like nails on a chalkboard to others. Regardless, I implore you to give it a whirl, as it’s Darnielle’s biographic retelling of his childhood, chronicling his less than stellar relationship with his abusive step-father. In “Pale Green Things” (which you’ll find on Hushed), there’s no line more telling than “My sister called at 3 a.m. / just last December. / She told me how you died at last, at last.” And it’s the repetition of the words “at last” that stand out, particularly as Darnielle’s voice rises in hope, as if to say, “At last he’s dead!” Kind of creepy, sure, but altogether telling and appropriate.

I realized, too, that the majority of my links below come from YouTube, which is both great and somewhat disarming. More often than not it’s difficult to find the band’s self-made video or even a studio recording of these songs, which means you’re instead treated to often times lesser versions of the actual song. Still, bear with it for my sake. I don’t ask much of you.

Deafening (The Best “Fast” Tracks of 2005):

1. The Octopus Project – “Six Feet Up
2. The White Stripes – “Take, Take, Take
3. …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – “The Rest Will Follow
4. 50 Foot Wave – “Bone China
5. Wolf Parade – “Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts
6. Rogue Wave – “10:1
7. The Hold Steady – “Cattle and the Creeping Things
8. Heartless Bastards – “New Resolution
9. Devin Davis – “Giant Spiders
10. My Morning Jacket – “Lay Low
11. Animal Collective – “Grass
12. The Oranges Band – “White Ride
13. The New Pornographers – “Jackie, Dressed In Cobras
14. The Dudley Corporation – “Glance
15. Bloc Party – “Helicopter
16. Get Him Eat Him – “Mumble Mumble
17. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – “Let the Cool Goddess Rust Away
18. Stars – “Ageless Beauty
19. Black Mountain – “No Satisfaction
20. Spoon – “I Turn My Camera On
21. Aqueduct – “The Tulsa Trap
22. Okkervil River – “The Latest Toughs
23. The Go! Team – “Panther Dash

Hushed (The Best “Slow” Tracks of 2005):

1. Animal Collective – “Did You See the Words
2. Okkervil River – “For Real
3. The Mountain Goats – “Broom People
4. Antony and the Johnsons – “For Today I Am a Boy
5. Sufjan Stevens – “Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois
6. Sleater-Kinney – “Modern Girl
7. The Dudley Corporation – “A.M.
8. Wolf Parade – “I’ll Believe In Anything
9. Heartless Bastards – “Runnin
10. Apollo Sunshine – “Ghost
11. Dr. Dog – “The World May Never Know
12. The Spectacular Fantastic – “Smell the Air
13. Rogue Wave – “Medicine Ball
14. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – “Details of the War
15. Andrew Bird – “Sovay
16. Devin Davis – “Turtle and the Flightless Bird
17. The New Pornographers – “The Bleeding Heart Show
18. The Kingsbury Manx – “Harness and Wheel
19. The Mountain Goats – “Pale Green Things
20. The Magic Numbers – “Hymn For Her
21. The Octopus Project – “Malaria Codes

That’ll do it for 2005. I’m spent.

Disagree with any of my picks? Are there any horrible oversights? Can’t live without your own copy of my mix? Whatever the case, feel free to send me your comments, questions, quips and complaints.

Until next time, have at it, you vultures!

BD

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