2009 Artist Favorites!
Stefan Larsen of Northern Portrait

Favourites of MMIX (in no particular order):

Days in Hamburg
The Electric Pop Group in Nottingham
Sucrette at Indietracks
Help Stamp Out Loneliness at Indietracks

Recorded music:
Magic Bullets: ‘Lives For Romance’ 12″ EP
Pocketbooks: ‘Flight Paths’
The Clientele: ‘Bonfires On The Heath’
Stuff from The Depreciation Guild’s Myspace page
The Electric Pop Group: ‘Seconds’, though I suppose it really wasn’t officially released till 2010.

Currently enjoying ‘The Exception’ by Christian Jungersen

For lunching in Copenhagen the lovely and traditional ‘Fremtiden’ still tops my list.
For dining in Copenhagen ‘Mash’ is definitely worth a visit
A good one: ‘Wepler’, 14 Place de Clichy, Paris

I simply must recommend the Burgundy classic ‘Romanée Conti’

‘Taschen’ in Copenhagen
‘The Visitor’s Center’ in Palm Springs, which is great for postcards and things

Marty Donald of The Lucksmiths

Favourite albums:
• Popular Songs by Yo La Tengo
• Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle by Bill Callahan
• The Ruminant Band by Fruit Bats
• Magnolia by The Wooden Birds
• All the Pleasures of the World by The Crayon Fields
• Soil Creatures by Grand Salvo
• Dark was the Night compilation

Favourite shows:
• Okkervil River at the Annandale, Sydney
• Still Flyin’ at the Laneway Festival, Melbourne
• Still Flyin’ at the East Brunswick Club, Melbourne
• Mid-State Orange and The Zebras at the Union Hotel, Melbourne (New Year’s Eve — just snuck it in!)

I’d also like to mention The Lucksmiths’ European tour, and especially our farewell tour in Australia, both of which were amazing experiences.

Favourite books read:
• Netherland by Joseph O’Neill
• Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx
• The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
• American Pastoral by Philip Roth
• Open Secrets and The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro
• A Private Man by Malcolm Knox
• My Sister, My Love by Joyce Carol Oates
• The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

Favourite birds seen:
• Bourke’s Parrot, Budgerigar, Zebra Finch, Chestnut-crowned Babbler, and Grey Falcon (Bowra Station, Queensland)
• Spotted Quail-thrush (Walhalla, Victoria)
• Pilotbird (Cabbage Tree Palms, Victoria)
• Blue Bonnet, Speckled Warbler and Double-barred Finch (Cocoparra National Park, New South Wales)
• Red-browed Tree-creeper (Sherbrooke Forest, Victoria)
• Southern Emu-wren (Kennet River, Victoria)
• Cockatiel (Barmah, New South Wales)

Mark Monnone of The Lucksmiths

Favourite albums:

The Pastels and The Tenniscoats “Two Sunsets”
The Crayon Fields “All the Pleasures of the World”
Cryptacize “Mythomania”
Yo La Tengo “Popular Songs”

Favourite shows:

Milk Teddy at The Empress, Melbourne
Je Suis Animal at Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Deerhoof at De Affaire Festival, Nijmegen, Netherlands
The Ladybug Transistor at Bruar Falls, Brooklyn, NY
Beach House at Apolo, Barcelona
Sleepy Township reunion show at The Tote, Melbourne
Minimum Chips reunion show at The Tote, Melbourne
Tenniscoats at The Tote, Melbourne
The Icypoles at The Toff in Town, Melbourne

In looking back over 2009, it was quite a year for The Lucksmiths. Yes, the band broke up, but —while that was kind of a major downer — it didn’t totally overshadow some spectacular stuff that happened. For one, our song “Victor Trumper” was included on a CD entitled Stumped! Songs We Love About Cricket, alongside such classics as 10CC’s “Dreadlock Holiday” and Sherbet’s “Howzat!”. A career highlight? Sure, why not. Meanwhile, in the UK, the BBC added our song “Day Three of Five” to the apparently hilarious romantic comedy television series Gavin and Stacey. A vintage year, even by our own towering standards.

On a serious/funny note, during our European farewell tour, Daniel Kitson’s performance at our London Scala show was one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever seen. What can I say? The man just knows how to tell a good pooh story! And having our pals Still Flyin’ drive 20-odd hours from Amsterdam in time to make it to our show in Madrid was itself quite hilarious, and also very touching. Back home in Melbourne, our final ever show was also attended by many old friends, some of whom had also travelled great distances. So, in all, a great year for catch-ups.

Laz McCluskey of Bubblegum Lemonade and Strawberry Whiplash

Greetings pop pickers! Here is a little sample of my current favourite musical moments. Another year of classics from artists new and old. Norah Jones cut her hair, pulled in the slack and surprised me with a killer song and a Pythonesque video, Ian Brown extended my vocabulary and Fionn Regan goes electric, J-U-D-A-S! One or two track here might be from another year, but great Pop is timeless. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

Annemarie – Bubblegum I See
Royksopp – This Must Be It
Liechtenstein – Everything’s For Sale
Fionn Regan – Protection Racket
Math and Physics Club – I Keep To Myself
Ian Brown – Stellify
Darwin Deez – Constellations
First Aid Kit – Hard Believer
Joy Zipper – Christmas Song
Nico-Teen – Bring It Home
Chapel Club – Surfacing
The Electric Pop Group – Believers
El Goodo – I Saw Her Today
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Zero
The Cribs – We Share The Same Skies
Norah Jones – Chasing Pirates
Northern Portrait – Life Returns To Normal
Lean Tales – Penny On The Floor
Young Husband – Young Husband Says Relax
Wild Beasts – All The King’s Men
Tesco Chainstore Mascara – Sun’s Shinin’ For You
The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing
Afternoon Naps – Plum City Fight Song
Tender Trap – Fireworks
The Raveonettes – Bang
Seeland – Captured
School Of Seven Bells – Half Asleep
Cats On Fire – Tears In Your Cup

2009 was the year my little gang belatedly discovered Yo Gabba Gabba. Balloons make them happy and kites are fun, these kids know how to have a good time. So I’ve also been repeatedly watching…

The Salteens – I’m So Happy I Could Dance
The Shins – Sometimes You Win
The Postmarks – Balloons Make Me Happy
Mates Of State – No One Wants To Be Left Out
Hot Hot Heat – Time To Go Outdoors
The Parallelograms – Kites Are Fun

Graeme Elston of Slipslide

Pushing the right buttons:
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – 40 Day Dream
Rose Elinor Dougall – Start/Stop/Synchro
Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johannson – Relator
Micachu – Golden Phone
Of Montreal – For Our Elegant Caste
Empire Of The Sun – We Are The People
Duckworth Lewis Method (album)
The Lucksmiths – Pines (I only bought the last album after their London farewell gig this year- this song must be their finest moment)
Skint and Demoralized – Red Lipstick
Camera Obscura – French Navy
The Broken Family Band – Please and Thank You (album)

Phoenix, Duckworth Lewis Method, Broken Family Band, Yes Giantess at Latitude
Edward Sharpe at Koko
Edwyn Collins at Bloomsbury Ballroom

Unlikely New Years Resolution – to play more music. If any of the usual Matinee suspects need a bassist give me a buzz!

Roger Clark of The Guild League

Some of my favourite records, new and old, on high rotation in 2009:
– As a Film – The Bank Holidays
– Pilgrim’s Progress – Harem Scarem (Aztec records re-release of 80’s Oz independent classic – also check out their re-releases of Free Dirt by The Died Pretty, and At Home with You by X)
– Red Clay – Freddie Hubbard
– All is Forgiven – Tex, Don and Charlie
– Warmer Corners – The Lucksmiths
– Innervisions – Stevie Wonder
– Life on Planet Groove – Maceo Parker

Some of the books, new and old, that I enjoyed this year:
– The Kindly Ones – Jonathan Littell
– The Emigrants – W.G. Sebald
– Warlock – Oakley Hall
– Unforgiving Years – Victor Serge
– The future of the book in the digital age – (I know, I know, but I’m a librarian, I just can’t help it!)
– Shots – Don Walker
– The Red Highway – Nicolas Rothwell
– Radical Hope: Education and Equality in Australia – Noel Pearson
– Hotter than That: The Trumpet, Jazz and American Culture – Krin Gabbard

Sad things that happened in 2009:
– Death of Freddie Hubbard – one of the best horn-men in the business (29 Dec 2008)
– Chris Knox (of the Tall Dwarfs) having a stroke

Good things that happened in 2009
– Guild League weddings and baby! (The Little League now stands at three!)
– Desert trip on the motorbike – stars, sand, and rum. It doesn’t get any better.
– Carlton in the finals – finally
– More Victorians playing Test Cricket for Australia – go Vics!

Best meal:
– Beer and Breakfast, Daylesford

Best pub:
– North Britain Hotel, Ballarat

Best coffee:
– L’Espresso, Ballarat

Jimmy Tassos of Matinée Recordings

Ten superb songs not released on Matinée in 2009:
Ballboy – Cicily (Pony Proof)
Bricolage – A Terrible Souvenir (Slumberland)
Camera Obscura – James (4AD)
The Cavalcade – Meet You In The Rain (self-released)
Liechtenstein – All At Once (Fraction Discs/Slumberland)
Morrissey – When Last I Spoke To Carol (Lost Highway)
The Radio Dept. – David (Labrador)
Tender Trap – Fireworks (Fortuna POP!)
Wake The President – Miss Tierney (Electric Honey / Magic Marker)
The Wild Swans – English Electric Lightning (Occultation)

Miscellaneous other highlights of the year:
Arts & Architecture reprints
Northern Portrait visiting Santa Barbara
San Francisco Popfest, especially Northern Portrait and Ballboy
New volumes of Miroslav Sasek’s “This Is…” series
Cherry Red’s schedule of classic indie reissues
Legoland California (June)
Playa del Carmen, Mexico (December)

Chris McFarlane of IndiePages

1. So Cow — So Cow — lp — Tic Tac Totally
2. Noise Annoys Simon — You Say It I’ll Know It — cd — Pop Noise
3. Pains Of Being Pure At Heart — Pains Of Being Pure At Heart — cd — Slumberland
4. Sourpatch — Crushin’ — cd — Happy Happy Birthday To Me
5. Lake — Let’s Build A Roof — lp — K
6. Bunnygrunt — Matt Harnish & Other Delights — cd — Happy Happy Birthday To Me
7. Brilliant Colors — Introducing — cd — Slumberland
8. Cats On Fire — Our Temperance Movement — cd — Matinee
9. Boat — Setting The Paces — lp — Magic Marker
10. Afternoon Naps — Parade — cd — Happy Happy Birthday To Me
11. Animal Dads — Horrible Night To Have A Curse — cd — no label
12. Legends — Over And Over — cd — Labrador
13. Northern Portrait — Criminal Art Lovers — cd — Matinee
14. Vivian Girls — Everything Goes Wrong — cd — In The Red
15. Math The Band — Don’t Worry — cd — Slanty Shanty
16. Summer Cats — Songs For Tuesdays — lp — Slumberland
17. Pants Yell! — Received Pronunciation — cd — Slumberland
18. Besties — Home Free — cd — Hugpatch
19. Land Of Ill Earthquakes — Heartbreak Bombadier — cd — no label
20. Liechtenstein — Survival Strategies In A Modern World — cd — Slumberland

Honorable mentions:
Alex Kerns — The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be — cd — no label (really a demo, but still amazing!)
Another Sunny Day — London Weekend — cd — Cherry Red (finally reissued with lots of extras!)

1. Cause Co-Motion! — Because Because Because EP — 12″ single — Slumberland
2. Sea Lions — Let’s Groove — 7″ — Yay!
3. Various — Searching For The Now #5 — 7″ — Slumberland
4. Superchunk — Leaves In The Gutter EP — cd single — Merge
5. Superchunk — Crossed Wires — 7″ — Merge
6. Dexter Poindexter — The Adventure EP — 3″ cd — Wee Pop
7. Bandname — Insert Hear EP — cd — Soft City
8. Nodzzz — True To Life — 7″ — What’s Your Rupture
9. Magic Bullets — Strives For Happiness EP — 12″ single — no label
10. Pains Of Being Pure At Heart — Higher Than The Stars EP — cd — Slumberland
11. Dude Japan — Teenage Summer EP — cd — Rok Lok
12. Crystal Stilts — Love Is A Wave — 7″ — Slumberland
13. Socialist Leisure Party — Tactical Pop! For Coffee Cadets — cd + 7″ — Shelflife
14. Hari And Aino — A Considerate Kind Of Home — 7″ — Cloudberry
15. Various — Searching For The Now #6 — 7″ — Slumberland
16. Pale Sunday — Shooting Star EP — cd single — Matinee
17. Parallelograms — Dream On Daisy — 7″ — Cloudberry
18. Singing Bridges — Three Trains EP — cd single — Skipping Stones
19. Femurs — Ride Together EP — cd — Nuthouse
20. Robert Church & The Holy Community — Wizard On Fire EP — 3″ cd — Series Two
20. Robert Church & The Holy Community — Los Tres De Canarias — cassette — Fox Pop
(those last two are a tie – I couldn’t decide!)