Doug Orleans (dougo) wrote,
Doug Orleans

Best music of 2019

In 2019, I kept track of all the music I listened to, and I planned to make a best-of list and post it sometime early in 2020. But as I was about to start thinking about the list, I realized that I just wasn't familiar enough with a lot of the things I'd listened to, most of them only once, so I decided to listen to everything one more time before making a list.

Well, that turned out to take longer than I thought it would. Back before I quit my job at the end of 2019, I mostly listened to music while I was in the office, when I needed to put on headphones to concentrate on writing code in an open-office plan. But in 2020, I basically stopped writing code, and I spent most of my media-consumption time listening to podcasts and watching TV. I did some amount of reading, mostly for an online non-fiction book club I've been a part of for the last couple years, and that's when I did most of my music listening too. But, I spent much of that time keeping up with two college-radio-show podcasts: Jon Bernhardt's Friday Breakfast of Champions show, and the biweekly Sunrise Ocean Bender show (both highly recommended, by the way). So that took up an average of 3 hours a week of my already small amout of music-listening time.

Anyway, on this the last day of 2020, I've finally finished re-listening to, and sorting, all the music I was interested in that came out in 2019! Here's the list of my top 20 favorites:

Swervedriver - Future Ruins
Zip-Tie Handcuffs - Warm Shadows
Chris Forsyth - All Time Present
Tropical Fuck Storm - Brain Drops
Dommengang - No Keys
Versus - Ex Nihilo EP
Ulaan Kohl - Collapsing Hymns
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - Infest the Rats' Nest
Garcia Peoples - Natural Facts
The Chemical Brothers - No Geography
Julia Kent - Temporal
The Claypool Lennon Delirium - South of Reality
Vivian Girls - Memory
Elkhorn - Sun Cycle / Elk Jam
The Hair and Skin Trading Company - I Don't Know Where You Get Those Funny Ideas From
Ladytron - Ladytron
Khana Bierbood - Strangers from the Far East
In Gowan Ring - Moonlit Missives Compendium
Major Stars - Roots of Confusion Seeds of Joy
Wand - Laughing Matter

Here's all the other stuff I liked:

Versus - Ex Voto
Team Dresch - Choices, Chances, Changes: Singles & Comptracks 1994-2000
Ben Frost - Dark Cycle 1 & 2 (soundtrack)
Kim Gordon - No Home Record
Charles Rumback & Ryley Walker - Little Common Twist
Medicine - Scarred For Life
Olden Yolk - Living Theatre
New Pornographers - In the Morse Code of Brake Lights
Moon Duo - Stars are the Light
Fujiya & Miyagi - Flashback
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - Watchmen vol 1-3 (soundtrack)
Garcia Peoples - One Step Behind EP
Sleater-Kinney - The Center Won't Hold
!!! - Wallop
Minami Deutsch - Can't Get There EP
Thoughts Detecting Machines - Sound, Noise, & You
Jose Gonzalez & the String Theory - Live in Europe
Tycho - Weather
Mike Krol - Power Chords
Trumans Water - Chevre au Lait
Cave In - Final Transmission
Doug Tuttle - Dream Road
PJ Harvey - All About Eve (Original Music)
The Black Keys - "Let's Rock"
Peez - Beats Without Rhymes Vol. 4
Big Business - The Beast You Are
Mikal Cronin - Seeker
Sebadoh - Act Surprised
Lorelle Meets the Obsolete - De Facto
Piroshka - Brickbat
J. Robbins - Un-becoming
Hildur Guðnadóttir - Joker (soundtrack)
Earth - Full Upon Her Burning Lips
+/- - Summer 2019: Extended Play
Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Colorado
Boobs of DOOM - Sedation of the Ancients
Boobs of DOOM - Self-Defence for Victim Shamers
Boobs of DOOM - Terror Management Theory
Boobs of DOOM - Skeleton Jazz Wizard
Boobs of DOOM - Endless Doomlord Syndrome
The Ballet - Matchy Matchy
Comet Gain - Fireraisers Forever
Ex Hex - It's Real
Guided by Voices - Sweating the Plague
Black Mountain - Destroyer
The Sheila Divine - Beginning of the End is Where We'll Start Again
Ride - This Is Not a Safe Place
Drab Majesty - Modern Mirror
The National - I Am Easy to Find
808 State - Transmission Suite
Magic Shoppe - Circles
Nebula - Holy Shit
Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky - In the Air Tonight b/w More Than Words
Purling Hiss - Interstellar Blue EP
Thom Yorke - Anima
Pedro the Lion - Phoenix
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - Fishing for Fishies
Jenny Lewis - On the Line
Damon & Naomi - In the 21st Century
Guided by Voices - Warp and Woof

Here's all the other stuff I listened to but was more ambivalent about:

Team Dresch - Your Hands My Pockets (single)
Swervedriver - Think I'm Gonna Feel Better b/w Reflections
Boobs of DOOM - Universal Monsters
Pixies - Beneath the Eyrie
Wet Tuna - Water Weird
Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky - Droneflower
Flaming Lips - King's Mouth
Gang of Four - Happy Now
My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult - In the House of Strange Affairs
Death Angel - Humanicide
Elizabeth Colour Wheel - Nocebo
Cass McCombs - Tip of the Sphere
Guided by Voices - Zeppelin Over China
Russian Circles - Blood Year
The Who - WHO
Weezer - The Black Album
Boobs of DOOM - esc.
Boobs of DOOM - Aonach Eagach
She - Aspire
Mannequin Pussy - Patience
Tycho - Pink and Blue (RAC Mix)
Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross - Waves (Original Score)
Sunn O))) - Life Metal
Pond - Tasmania
Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains
Boobs of DOOM - Sorceror
Boobs of DOOM - WE HAVE YOU NOW (a doom hop mega mixtape by Boobs of DOOM)
Boobs of DOOM - Weird Art Riot!
Boobs of DOOM - Peace on Earth
Trinary System - Lights in the Center of Your Head
Weezer - The Teal Album

I realize that a big flat list without comments may not be all that compelling, but I don't want to delay this post any further by trying to write up specific thoughts about each of my favorites. But if there's something about which you're particularly interested in hearing what I think, feel free to let me know in the comments.

...But I will say one general thing: Yes, I realize this is a painfully Gen-X list. I'm still struggling to discover more music I like that's made by people under 40. Let me know if you have any tips about that! This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

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