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The Curmudgeon – December 2009


As we shut the door on 2009 there is a great deal of excitement about the year ahead. Despite economic downturns in the music industry, a lot of interesting new artists will breakout in the coming year and stand shoulder to shoulder with long awaited releases from more developed and established acts. The current industry trend towards remasters, deluxe editions and special editions will also continue.

A lot of bands will still hit the road but the tours will be shorter and focus on key markets. This means that bands will, in theory, put more effort in their presentations.


I am extremely excited to just move away from anything related the detritus that is the end of year releases in pop music.

The end of 2009 brings a lot of bad music and crappy Christmas pop with it. So the sooner this ends the happier I shall be.

Having said that there are some good things about this year’s holiday music.

It is great to see The Pogues in the UK charts again with “Fairytale of New York“.

The Christmas single by Camera Obscura, “The Blizzard,” may be the best song about holiday frostbite ever written. Direct link for the feedreaders.

“Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Fucked Up is terrific. It features members of Vampire Weekend, Yo La Tengo, Bob Mould, Tegan & Sara, David Cross, and more.

Who would have thought that Rage Against the Machine could have a shot at the UK Festive Number One with Killing In the Name Of?

Also, do we really need another frakkin’ Chipmunks movie?

Susan Boyle is a really nice feel good story. Hopefully she won’t become as bloody annoying as Charlotte Church.

I also hate how naff artists use Christmas to release a comeback single. Give up; it’s over.

Maybe now that Mariah Carey is in a big movie she’ll stop making crappy records.

All Christmas music formatted radio stations are the end of civilization.

Having said that if you check up on the longevity of “White Christmas” you’ll notice that back in the day Bing Crosby was the man. Too bad he takes damage points for that awkward Christmas recording of “Little Drummer Boy” with David Bowie.


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Nitzer Ebb: Industrial Complex Massive Attack: Heligoland Dot Allison: Room 7 1/2

Nitzer Ebb has ended their fifteen-year lull with a US club tour and a new album, Industrial Complex.

The Arcade Fire is working on a new album of material for release in mid to late 2010.

Massive Attack will release their album, Heligoland, in February.

Pulp is reforming to play Glastonbury 2010.

Dot Allison (formerly of One Dove) has released a new record, Room 71/2.

Nitin Sawhney: London Undersound Thee American Revolution: Buddha Electrostorm Madness: One Step Beyond

Nitin Sawnhey has released London Undersound without a lot of fanfare. However the album’s diverse melodies make it worth investigating.

Reissues of Loveless and Isn’t Anything from My Bloody Valentine are slated for January.

Robert Schneider of The Apples In Stereo has a new record out called Buddha Electrostorm. It’s from his heavy psychedelic side project called Thee American Revolution.

“That’s What I Said” by Norah Jones has been given a makeover courtesy of Mike D and AdRock of The Beastie Boys who remixed the track. She also gets some remix help from Beck who appears on a remix of “Chasing Pirates.” Direct link for the feedreaders.

Neon Indian has remixed Grizzly Bear’s “Cheerleader.”

Madness recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of their album One Step Beyond by reissuing it with an extra material.

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