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Showing posts from December, 2010

276. XTC: Apple Venus, Volume 1 (1999)

I have never anticipated an album more than I anticipated XTC's Apple Venus, Volume 1.

I caught my first whiff of XTC in 1996 and quickly became a slavish fan over the next couple of years. When I discovered www.chalkhills.org, an amazing unofficial fan site, things got deep. There I learned not only had XTC been involved in a 7-year legal fight with Virgin records since the release of Nonsuch, but that the fight was basically over. A light had appeared at the end of the tunnel. They were soon to be free, and soon to release not one, but two, new albums!

My fervor only grew once I got my hands on a bootleg cassette of the demos for said albums (thanks to a kind fellow Chalkhills listserv member). I played that cassette to death. You'd think that already knowing most of the songs on an album would dampen one's anticipation, but it didn't happen in my case. In fact, my desire to hear the final produced versions only grew. My mania for XTC was not to be denied (and I had …

2010: 8 Albums I'm Glad I Bought

Used to be I spent the better part of November and December laboring over a top 10 list of my favorite CDs of that year. It was a sacred process to me, enduring countless revisions and agonizations.

Last year I downshifted to an unranked list of "Albums I'm Glad I Bought." It felt right, given my diminished music obsession. So that's what I'm doing again. As I said last year, this doesn't mean I regret buying the other 24 albums I bought this year (well, in the case of Motion City Soundtrack and Weezer it does), but with my focus continuing to fall more on singles than albums, the CDs that stand out are the ones with at least 5 killer songs.

UPDATE (February 2011): Upon further listening I've added two more albums into the mix. Welcome, Kings of Leon and Old 97's!

Here're this year's faves: