Sunday, January 31, 2010

Danny's BEST OF 2009: The Year In MUSIC

- Okay, one more, and then this is it, I promise. It's time for one more look back at the year that was ...


- The kings of rock n' roll in '09? Without a doubt, Green Day. American Idiot shot them to the top of the rock n' roll ladder, but 21st Century Breakdown solidified the group as the current torchbearers of rock. As great as American Idiot was, I think there's a strong argument to be made that 21st Century Breakdown is just as good. It's an instant-classic album in an age where there aren't many great albums, period.

But ... I don't know, aside from a couple of bright spots, it felt to me like an off-year for music, especially in terms of rock. Here in LA, we're lucky to have a great modern rock station - KROQ - that plays great new music from a diverse array of bands. And yet, a lot of the most-played songs on the station this year were holdovers from '08. And there was also a glut of bands like Phoenix. No offense if you're into that kind of stuff, but I want my rock n' roll to, you know, rock. Enough of this weak-sauce stuff. You have to wonder why so few mainstream bands seem afraid to get loud and angry these days.

Meanwhile, I do think it's been a good year for pop music, and 90% of that is due to the awesomeness that is Lady Gaga. Yes, you heard me. I'm a fan. Lady Gaga is what I want pop music to be - catchy, fun, and yet ... willing to be out-there and different and experimental. I love that Lady Gaga is such a self-styled performer. Not created by commitee merely to appeal to a certain demographic. Her music is catchy as hell, yet it feels unique. I definitely found myself stopping the radio dial on LA's various pop stations whenever I heard songs like "Poker Face" or "Bad Romance."

It's funny, because so much of the musical focus in '09 was on legends of the past. Michael Jackson's passing saw a huge surge of interest in his classic tunes. And The Beatles were everywhere - they got their own version of Rock Band, which went on to become one of the biggest videogames of the year.

The best part of '09 for me though, in terms of music, were the awesome concerts I was lucky to attend. The highlight of which was definitely Green Day ... one of the best shows I've ever seen. So thanks to Billie Joe and co for making 2009 one rocking year. Can't wait to see what 2010 brings.


1.) Green Day, "21 Guns"
2.) Lady Gaga, "Bad Romance"
3.) Linkin Park, "New Divide"
4.) Green Day, "Know Your Enemy"
5.) Green Day, "American Eulogy: Mass Hysteria / Modern World"
6.) Silversun Pickups, "Panic Switch"
7.) Weezer, "... I Want You To "
8.) Rise Against, "Savior"
9.) Green Day, "Before the Lobotomy"
10.) Green Day, "21st Century Breakdown"

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