1) “All For The Best,” Thom Yorke. Long essay planned.
2) “Spanish Gold, 2044,” Swan Lake. Shorter long essay planned.
3) “Throwing Bricks at Trains,” Future of the Left. Just listen, you’ll get the idea. The most enjoyable kind of anger you can have: sarcasm.
4) “The Czar,” Mastodon. The last epic of 2009.
5) “11th Dimension,” Julian Casablancas. A dance-rock-disco more at home in the crowded clubs of Los Angeles than the Lower East Side’s seedy back-alleys. This is The Strokes reprocessed by game boy wielding sugar-high nineteen year olds: baby smooth production, a labyrinth of a melody — never quite the same, always slipping with Casablancas’ drawl, a puzzle of a song. We had to listen back-to-back-to-back before the song even started to come into a focus. This being an immediately accessible, downright catchy track, makes that act even more remarkable. So we have a dance-rock track with a singer who refuses to take the vocal-road most traveled, a maze with innumerable back roads of melody. Never mind that the song was recorded in LA, that’s the least of our clues that the “11th Dimension” is actually 11th Street, which is the best way to get wherever you’re going anyway since the freeways have already become a river of brakelights, traffic on top of tired, predictable traffic, FM radio waves clogging the sky. You’re right, Julian, we wouldn’t go that way either.