Distribution and format chaos may reign, but the music prevails. What is your pick for <I>new</I> album of 2009 (no reissues please)?
Leonard Cohen: Live in London
That's easy, it's Jeff Beck Live at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club (on Blu-ray and CD)! Also, Keith Jarrett's Paris/London Testament is wonderful.
Leonard Cohen's Live London, either in CD or DVD format. If ineligible (issued 2008?), Dark Was the Night, a great compilation.
Britten's Orchestra by the Kansas City Symphony.
String Quartets by Debussy, Ravel, and Fauré by Quatuor Ebene (Virgin Classics). Lovely music, fine performances, and excellent sonics.
Black Moth Super Rainbow's Eating Us on Graveface Records.
Shelby Lynn's Just a Little Lovin'. Had never heard of her, but it was suggested by my ever-helpful vinyl guy.
Lady Gaga: The Fame. Perhaps an unpopular choice in this forum, which is unfortunate. It is the only album to ever have four #1 singles in history and it is available on vinyl (the audiophile format of choice).
Porcupine Tree: The Incident. Prog-rock at its finest. The production is superb.
The Virtual Haydn (three Blu-ray discs of audio and one of video on Naxos).
Porcupine Tree: The Incident
Neko Case: Middle Cyclone, because I couldn't think of anything else. Not a great year for new music, if you ask me—and you did.
Sunn o))): Monoliths & Dimensions (LP)
Pissed Jeans' King of Jeans kicks ass.
Would have to be Dirty Projector's Bitte Orca.
Allen Toussaint: The Bright Mississippi
Between Neko Case's Middle Cyclone and Sonic Youth's The Eternal. Alright, I've listened to Middle Cyclone more, so it must be that. Or The Eternal. Or Middle Cyclone... Or... Damn it! Um... Both.
Allen Toussaint: The Bright Mississippi. Excellent performance and recording, but transferred to Sony Super Betamax with noted musical improvement.
Neko Case: Middle Cyclone
Backspacer by Pearl Jam.
Jewellery by Micachu.
It seems odd even to me, but after looking through my CD racks I will go with The Black Crows' Before the Frost. Lots of layers, which I like, and very well-recorded. Second choice would be Pearl Jam's Back Spacer. With the biggest disappointment being Them Crooked Vulture—fine music poorly recorded.
Oh My God Charlie Darwin by The Low Anthem. Enjoyed it on Spotify, my iPod, and then on CD. I shall be buying the vinyl, too. Brilliant!
Horehound by The Dead Weather.
Arbouretum: Song of the Pearl LP/CD (Thrill Jockey Records TJO212)
Perfume's Triangle—number 20 on Japan's top 100 albums for 2009.
Lumpy Money by Frank Zappa.
William Fitzsimmons: The Sparrow And The Crow (Mercer Street Records-DWT70080). The unadorned sound of forgiveness, redemption, and acceptance wrapped in a beautiful, sparse atmosphere. The best album, song-for-song, I've heard in years. Pretty good recording to boot.
Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion.