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Sunday, December 18, 2005

My Top 10 Minnesota Albums of 2005 and more

You can feel it in the air, and taste it in your mouth, and you can't turn on the radio or open a newspaper without hearing about it. It's that top this and top that season again, the time of year we are reminded that it's not the stuff in our lives that counts, it's the lists we compile of that stuff. And the more lists, the merrier, right?

Obviously, any top 10 album list compiled by anyone not familiar with each possible selection in the sample is going to be biased in favor of those actually heard; but the Star Tribune's conservative estimate is that at least 112 albums surfaced in Minnesota in 2005, so it's hard to have listened thoroughly to each one. (See below for the complete list with the albums I own bolded. Not bragging, just publicly disclosing the deficiencies of my own collection in the hopes that even more CD's will come to the HowWasTheShow P.O. Box in 2006.)

So, I'm really only picking from 39 of the 112 (actually 40, after last night's visit to the Triple Rock -- Thanks Marty Dosh!) And though I've certainly heard selections from the others on the radio and the internet and seen many of the other bands live, keep in mind, my votes below represent a sampling of only 36% of the total offerings, and of that sample 25 made the top 10.

My Top 10 Minnesota Albums of the Year for 2005:

  1. Vicious Vicious - "Don't Look So Surprised"
  2. Divorcee - "Music for Cleanup Men, Breakdown and Inbetweens"
  3. Tapes N Tapes - "The Loon"
  4. Robert McCreedy - "It Might Kill You"
  5. Fitzgerald - "Raised by Wolves"
  6. Ashtray Hearts - "Perfect Halves"
  7. Dallas Orbiter - Magnesium Fireflies"
  8. Belles of Skin City - "Ha Ha Boardrooms Think Tank Tantrums"
  9. Big Ditch Road - "Suicide Note Reader's Companion"
  10. Chris Koza - "Exit Pesce"

Top 5 Songs of the Year:

  1. Castaways - Vicious Vicious
  2. I Can Breathe Under Water - Fitzgerald
  3. Ghosts - Big Ditch Road
  4. Your Little Hoodrat Friend - Hold Steady (still feels local to me even if they're from Brooklyn!)
  5. I Can't Live Without My Radio - Halloween, Alaska (LL Cool J cover)

Top 5 Live Acts of the Year for 2005:

  1. Belles of Skin City
  2. Vicious Vicious
  3. Revolver Modele
  4. Fort Wilson Riot
  5. Ouija Radio

2 Signs the local music scene was alive and well in 2005:

  1. Renovated and re-opened dive bars and theaters becoming hip, happening music venues (Varsity Theater, Nomad World Pub, 331 Club.)
  2. The great lighting at the Varsity (deserves its own line item.)

And here's the list of 2005 Minnesota CD's as compiled by the Star Tribune (And yes, I realize it's not complete - for one, it left off the 2005 Voltage: Fashion Amplified CD compilation that I produced. If you notice any other omissions from this list, please leave them in the comments.)

2005 Minnesota CD's (CD's I own are bolded):

  • James Apollo, "Good Grief"
  • Ashtray Hearts, "Perfect Halves"
  • Atmosphere, "Headshots" reissue
  • Atmosphere, "You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having"
  • Auto Body Experience, "Forgotten Lots"
  • Renee Austin, "Right About Love"
  • Belles of Skin City, "Ha Ha Boardrooms Think Tank Tantrums"
  • Big Ditch Road, "Suicide Note Reader's Companion"
  • Big Jess, "Good Clean Fun 2"
  • Birthday Suits, "Cherry Blue"
  • Blame, "Red Eyes & Sincerity"
  • Omaur Bliss (self-titled)
  • Brother and Sister (self-titled)
  • Captain Yonder, "Mad Country Love Songs,"
  • The Cardinal Sin, "Oil and Water EP"
  • Chariots, "Congratulations"
  • Cloud Cult, "Advice From the Happy Hippopotamus."
  • Dear Machine
  • The Deaths, "Choir Invisible"
  • Desdamona, "The Ledge"
  • Dessa, "False Hopes"
  • Divorcee, "Music for Cleanup Men, Breakdown and Inbetweens."
  • Pat Donohue, "Profile"
  • Martin Dosh, "Power Horn"
  • Dropping Daylight, "Take a Photograph EP"
  • Charley Dush, "Highwood Hills"
  • Falcon Crest, "Taste the Thunder Raise the Flag"
  • Fat Kid Wednesdays, "The Art of Cherry"
  • Fitzgerald, "Raised by Wolves"
  • Fog, "10th Avenue Freakout"
  • Frank Brownstone & Associates
  • Front Porch Swingin' Liquor Pigs, "Last Album"
  • The Gleam, "The Chisago County E.P."
  • Jeff Hanson (self-titled)
  • Halloween, Alaska, "Too Tall to Hide"
  • Happy Apple, "The Peace Between Our Companies"
  • Nachito Herrera. "Bembe en Mi Casa"
  • Phil Hey Quartet, "Subduction"
  • Hockey Night, "Keep Guessin'"
  • House of Mercy Band, "Blesses/Curses (or Songs From the Blood-Washed Band)"
  • Idiedaily, self-titled
  • I Self Devine, "Self Destruction"
  • Dan Israel, "Dan Israel"
  • Joanna James, "Desire,"
  • Jayhawks, "Live From the Women's Club Vol. 2" (Don't own it, but I was at the show!)
  • Matt Jennings, "Two Become One,"
  • Jistoray, "Footsteps"
  • Gordy Johnson, "Trios v. 3.0"
  • Kurt Jorgensen Band, "Dance"
  • Lonesome Dan Kase, "Leave Here Walkin' "
  • Kill the Vultures (self-titled)
  • Lonnie Knight, "Better Days"
  • Chris Koza, "Exit Pesce"
  • Ryan Lee, "The Pride Before the Fall"
  • Sherwin Linton, "Dakota Railroad Town Centennial"
  • Low, "The Great Destroyer"
  • Dean Magraw (with John Williams), "Raven"
  • Mandragora Tango Orchestra
  • Robert McCreedy, "It Might Kill You"
  • Melismatics, "Turn It On"
  • Paul Metsa, "Texas in the Twilight"
  • Midnight Evils, "Breakin' It Down."
  • Mint Condition, "Livin' the Luxury Brown"
  • MoodFood, "Ice"
  • Mood Swings, "Come On Tell Me"
  • Motion City Soundtrack, "Commit This to Memory"
  • Mulligan Stew, "Cookin' at the Hot Summer Jazz Festival"
  • Mike Nicolai, "God Fatigue in the Post Atom Age"
  • Nothing Static, "Surround"
  • Dallas Orbiter , "Magnesium Fireflies"
  • Orkestar Bez, "Nice Driveway, Vol. 1: Tales From the Land of Freeze"
  • Peter Ostroushko, "Minnesota: A History of the Land"
  • Peter Ostroushko, "Heartland Holiday" (live disc)
  • Cecil Otter, "False Hopes"
  • Reynold Philipsek, "25"
  • Polara, "Green Shoes + 4"
  • Ernie Rhodes, "The Orbital Effect"
  • Robotboy, "And There Was No Future"
  • Becky Schlegel, "Drifter Like Me"
  • Sicbay, "Suspicious Icons"
  • Skywynd, "Escape Plan"
  • Soviettes, "LP III"
  • Spittin' Cobras, self-titled EP
  • SP Style, "The Sounds E.P."
  • The Stnnng, "Dignified Sissy"
  • The Pines, "The Pines"
  • Prince Jabba, "Loverman"
  • Redstart, "So Far From Over"
  • Reticence, "ReMedial"
  • Robert Robinson, "Inspiration"
  • Sicbay, "Suspicious Icons,"
  • Sims, "Lights Out Paris"
  • Robert Skoro, "That These Things Could Be Ours"
  • Skywynd, "Escape Plan"
  • Slug (with Murs), "Felt 2: A Tribute to Lisa Bonet"
  • Small Towns Burn a Little Brighter, "Mortality as Home Entertainment."
  • Stnnng, "Dignified Sissy"
  • Tapes N Tapes, "The Loon"
  • Terramara, "Four Blocks to Hennepin"
  • Various, "The Bootlegs: Celebrating 35 Years at First Avenue"
  • Various, "Twin Town High, Vol. 7"
  • Various, "TC Electropunk"
  • Various, "Best of Smoke-Free Saturday Nights"
  • Various, "Art Hear"
  • Various, "The Music of Here. Now."
  • Various, "Minnesota All-Stars: Great Accordion and Concertina Performances from the Northstar State"
  • Vicious Vicious, "Don't Look So Surprised"
  • White Iron Band, "Take It Off the Top"
  • Paul Westerberg, "Besterberg"
  • Jake Wisti and the Centurions, "Stonefaced on Mars"
  • Luke Zimmerman, "Twilight Waltz"


Anonymous said...

good job to star tribune for giving props to our pal Charley Dush

High on Stress

David said...

Nick, did they do a piece on Charley? Do you have a link?

That's not a ranked list or anything, just a list of albums released in 2005 meant to serve as a memory jogger.

Andrea said...

Coach Said Not To, "PE EP"
Electropolis, "Electropolis"
Spaghetti Western String Co., "Quiet Mob EP"

David, I am going to need to burn or loan you several CDs.

David said...

I'm sure I'll keep finding omissions too. I just found another. Kruddler - Tuesday Night Lie (and that brings my total to 41!)

David said...

And the Flavor Crystals "On Plastic!"

Anonymous said...

oh shoot i didn't read very closely. it appeared to be a list. bummer. charley still rules. mad props to charley.

My band's album was released in July
High on Stress - Moonlight Girls

High on Stress

Anonymous said...

Fort Wilson Riot, "EP," was also out this summer.

Pete Scholtes said...

Here are more 2005 Minnesota CDs not on the Strib list (which was a helpful start, anyway):

The Alrights, The Alrights
American Head Charge, The Feeding
Anika, Anika
Ant, Melodies and Memories 85-89
Coastal, Halfway to You
Contac, Anutha All Nighta
Shemekia Copeland, The Soul Truth
Cry On Cue, Truth to Rhyme
Big Quarters, demo
Bona Phide demo
Tony Bones and Big Wiz, demo
Booka B, Basementality
Boy Girl Boy Girl, Sugar Skull Maker
Spencer Day, Movie of Your Life
Terry Eason, The Aching of the Household Fly
Don Elle', So Sincere...
Vicky Emerson, Reach
Flavor Crystals, On Plastic
For Against, Echelons
Front Porch Swingin' Liquor Pigs, Last Album
FTE Presents... The Trademarc
Happy Apple, The Peace Between Our Companies
Peter Himmelman, Imperfect World
Pete Hofmann, Mermaid on the Rocks
A Houseguest's Wish, Translations of Wire's Outdoor Miner
Impaler, Habeas Corpus
Kanser, Self-Titled
The Keep Aways, The Keep Aways
Knotwells demo
Kruddler, They're There
Mike Lane presents Five Acts to Follow
Little Black Books, Only One Name (In My Little Black Book) promo
Mark Mallman, Seven Years
Carole Martin, Songs From My Heart
Mel Gibson and the Pants, W/Guitar
Barry Thomas Goldberg, American Grotesque
The Great Depression, Blindside
Beau Kinstler, Ocean
Moochy-C, demo
Kyle Ohlenkamp, Another Folk Singer's Blues
Ova! + Happy Mothers Day I Cant Read
Panel of Experts, Cocktail for the Apocalypse
Charlie Parr, Rooster
Power Struggle, Arson at the Petting Factory
Reticence ReMedial
Shawn Skie, Lyrical Vandalism promo
Mick Sterling, Between Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Eric Theigs, Distant and Clean
Trama, Tramagnum the Album
Unknown Prophets, Summer Heat single
Various artists, 4th Annual Twin Cities Celebration of Hip Hop
Various artists, Angry Seed Sampler
Various artists, The Audiophiles Guide to the Twin Cities Volume 2
Various artists, Beaner's Central one Week Live Volume III
Various artists, City Pages Picked 2 Click
Various artists, KCDR The #1 Hip-Hop Station Via CD [man what a dumb idea]
Various artists, Mpls Ltd. 05, the Mpls Ltd Travel Companion
Various artists, Music of China
Various artists, The Music of Here. Now.
Various artists, Please Don't Feed the Musicians, Music in the Zoo Volume One
Various artists, The Suicide Girls Black Heart Retrospective [with Atmosphere]
Various artists, Twin Town High 7, 2005-2006
Various artists/Cheap Cologne, Something Random
Various artists/Plain Ole Bill, Student of the Old, Teacher of the New School
Various artists/Yoni, Now That's What I Call Copyright Infringement! Volume One
Vox Vermillion, Standing Still You Move Forward
Geoffrey Watson MC, Detrimental Dialogue
Waxed Apple, Waxed Apple
Irv Williams, Dedicated to You
Arthur Yoria, I'll be Here Awake
Luke Zimmerman, Twilight Waltz

David said...

Thanks Pete. I'll have to recount after all the great additions. Pete Hoffman's Mermaid on the Rocks came out in September of last year though, and I think I voted it one of the best of 2004.

Pete Scholtes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pete Scholtes said...

I have my own local Top 10 up at, sorry I'm so useless with html...

David said...

Gotcha covered Pete. Here's the link.

Scholtes top 10 of 2005.

Anonymous said...

Missed [301STUDIOS] Compilation TheFutureOfMusic I: Electronic.

Future Lisa said...

Future Lisa's Test Drive is missing from the was released
in Sept 05...
David, i must get you a copy!
and thanks for promoting the Lewis House 2 Benefit!!!

Jesse said...

One of my favorites of the year:
Bill Mike Band - Better News

Jesse said...

While we're compiling lists, do people know of any local bands that have broken up in 2005?

Volante (2004?)
Faux Jean?
End Transmission
Tin Horns?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget -
The Campbellinos - "Pound on your boxes EP" - Produced by MN producer of the year Ed Ackerson

Anonymous said...

Various, "Friends With Benefits"