Published 11/12/2009 | 05:00
With the decade nearing its conclusion, there is no shortage of lists -- best-ofs, worst-ofs, most disappointing and so forth -- doing the rounds. Every critic thinks they have something new to offer and this one is no different, so putting my stall out, I present my top 20 Irish albums of the Noughties. The only rule I set myself was to limit the list to one album per act.
1. David Kitt -- The Big Romance (2001)
2. Ash -- Free All Angels (2001)
3. Pony Club -- Home Truths (2002)
4. Bell X1 -- Music in Mouth (2003)
5. Damien Rice -- O (2002)
6. Fionn Regan -- The End of History (2006)
7. Snow Patrol -- Final Straw (2003)
8. Halfset -- Another Way of Being There (2008)
9. David Holmes -- Bow Down to the Exit Sign (2000)
10. Mundy -- 24 Star Hotel (2002)
11. Roisin Murphy -- Overpowered (2007)
12. U2 -- How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)
13. The Frames -- For The Birds (2001)
14. Simple Kid -- Simple Kid 1 (2003)
15. The Immediate -- In Towers and Clouds (2006)
16. Adrian Crowley -- Long Distance Swimmer (2007)
17. Valerie Francis -- Slow Dynamo (2009)
18. JJ72 -- JJ72 (2000)
19. The Divine Comedy -- Regeneration (2001)
20. Jape -- Ritual (2008)
Did I miss anything significant or pick an undeserving album? My colleague and fellow music writer, Nick Kelly, is disgusted at some of the selections. Similarly outraged readers can get it off their chest by emailing me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Next, week I'll be throwing my top 20 international albums into the ring, no doubt earning the wrath of Mr Kelly once more.
- With tickets for Paul McCartney's show at the O2 being sold for upwards of €500 online by touts, there is as much demand for this gig as anything I can remember.
Doubtless, many people are going to be left very disappointed come December 20, but the next best thing comes in the form of Good Evening New York City, a double CD and DVD of McCartney's show at Citi Field baseball stadium in July of this year. That venue was the site of Shea Stadium, the location of Beatles concerts in 1965 and 66 during the height of Beatlemania.
Unsurprisingly, the set is full of his old band's songs with the rendition of A Day in the Life particularly spellbinding. The man's still got it, you know.
- Speaking of concert records, Tom Waits has finally got around to releasing an album of live cuts from his 2008 Glitter & Doom Tour, including Trampled Rose, which was recorded during one of his three fantastic Phoenix Park shows.
The album certainly brings back the raw, gnarled quality of his voice to those of us lucky enough to have been at any of those Dublin gigs.
But, unlike the McCartney album, this live document simply doesn't provide enough material. Glitter and Doom Live runs to 17 tracks, but when one considers that he played 28 songs in his final Dublin show, there could have been so much more released. Where, for instance, is his astonishing live take of Tom Traubert's Blues or the wonderfully emotive Innocent When You Dream?
That said, hardcore fans will find much to enjoy in a second disc called Tom Tales, which is a 35-minute melange of Waits's gloriously rambling stories, jokes and asides culled from the tour.
Meanwhile, Waits is rumoured to have accepted a part in a movie version of The Hobbit, to be made by Spanish director Guillermo del Toro, the man behind the wonderful psychological horror film, The Orphanage. Waits is no stranger to the movie business, having starred in films such as Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Robert Altman's Short Cuts and Jim Jarmusch's Down By Law.
- They have been responsible for one of last year's most loved albums, but Seattle's Fleet Foxes have been making worryingly blasé comments about recording sessions for its follow up.
According to frontman Robin Pecknold: "I want the recording to be really fast. I want to do all the vocal takes in one go, so even if there are fuck-ups, I want them to be on there. I want there to be guitar mistakes. I want there to be not totally flawless vocals." Incidentally, the album is being recorded in a rented space where the city's most famous exports, Nirvana, recorded their debut, Bleach.