[guest post] 2009 In Review, Vol. 7 - The Empties

Last Spring I was sent the self-titled debut album from The Empties, a young 4-piece band from Athens. I immediately found myself caught up in their angular guitar-rock and strong melodic sense. The Empties is predominantly a good old-fashioned rock album, but it does contain enough variety to suggest their best days are ahead of them. The chugging, Spoon-ish “Thanks A Lot” even served as the title track of sorts to my Best-of-April Mixtape. Ben Wills from the band was nice enough to send in this very funny look back at the high highs and low lows of the year in music, both theirs and others’.

By Ben Wills of The Empties, Athens GA

The two best things that happened in music in 2009: The Dave Rawlings Machine record and of course Susan Boyle singing the Les Miserables song. Third place... TI going to prison.

The Dave Rawlings Machine, which is a collaboration between Dave, Gillian Welch, Old Crow Medicine Show, Bright Eyes, and a few guys from The Heartbreakers, is the greatest thing I think I've ever heard. It's good old fashioned American Primative Rock/Folk. The album is called Friend of a Friend, and it's flawless. And it's much better live.

As far as for me personally, 2009 was a difficult year. I watched my drummer pull his own tooth out of his head in the back of a van some where in New Jersey. I also played on stage with a drum set that refused to stay together a few times, For some reason, it seems like the keytar is making a comeback, and so are red shirts with black ties on stage. It's a strange time for someone who only owns two pairs of jeans and a Fender bass.

OH! Kanye! That was great too. Sure, was it rude of K Dog to get on stage, sure. But giving out mad props is something that I will never criticize. When Tim Commerford from Rage Against the Machine did the same thing after Fred Durst won some kind of award, I applauded the move. I shall now do the same for Kanye. Beyonce deserved that award.

Perhaps the most significant event that took place in 2009 for music was the U2 proved that they could even further tarnish their cool 80's punk band image. It's their thirty year anniversary as a band AND their twentieth anniversary of providing music I never asked for. The world has flip flopped. Now I just consider U2 a poor rip off of Coldplay.

Crack the Skye by Mastodon was great. Adam Lambert somehow lost American Idol and Billy Joe of Green Day continues to do a poor job combining three chord pop punk with equally shallow political messages.

2009 music was only a set up for 2010. We used this year to get back to the top of the batting order and get some really great stuff out. I hope.
MP3 :: Oh My God
(from The Empties. Buy here)

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