CJLO Staff Picks of 2009

CJLO's finally compiled our year end chart for 2009! This year was packed full of some pretty sweet records but the one that stood out the most amungst many of our DJs and hit the coveted number one spot was none other than Face Control, the second album from Montreal's own Handsome Furs.

With that said our shows are as diverse as diverse can be. We've asked our DJs to come up with their own favorites of 2009, or even the decade! Highlights of the decade have included Radiohead's Kid A, Sonic Youth's Rather Ripped, Talib Kweli & DJ Hi-Tek's Reflection Eternal and Arcade Fire's Funeral. Keep reading to check out a whole slew of top 10's!



Jeff Pavlopoulos - Right Place Wrong Time

Top albums of 2009

1. Myka 9 - 1969

The rest in mostly arbitrary order:

Chali 2na - Fish Outta Water
Quantic and his Combo Barbaro - Tradition in Transition
Tom Waits - Glitter and Doom
Mike Patton - A Perfect Place (2008)
Lee Fields and the Expressions - My World
Bill Frisell - Disfarmer
Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue
Les Claypool - Of Fungi and Foe
Raphael Saadiq - The Way I see it (2008)
Anti Pop Consortium - Fluorescent Black
Medeski, Martin & Wood - Radiolarians 1
John Robinson - Who is John Robinson?
Oh No - Oh No Vs. Now Again
DJ Vadim - U Can't Learn Imaginashun
The Aggrolites - IV

Best of the decade

Tom Waits - Real Gone
Yesterday's New Quintet - Angles without Edges
John Zorn and Electric Masada - At the Mountains of Madness
Peter Garland - Love Songs
DJ Spooky - Optometry
Frank Zappa - Civilization Phase III
Conlon Nancarrow - Studies for Player Piano
Madvillain - Madvillainy
Jamie Saft Trio - Astaroth: Book of Angels, Volume 1
Bonobo - Days to Come
Lou Reed - The Raven
East West Blast Test - Popular Music for Unpopular People
Madlib - WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip
R.L. Burnside - A Ass Pocket of Whiskey
Tom Waits - Orphans


Kelly Kay Hurcomb -
Cut Your Hair And Get A Job

Top albums of 2009

1. Almighty Defenders- Almighty Defenders
2. The Raveonettes- In and Out of Control
3. Iggy Pop- Preliminaires
4. Devil Eyes- Devil Eyes
5. Various Artists- Going Gaga Ottawa Volume 1

Best of the decade

1. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
2. Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose
3. Joe Strummer and the Mescalaros - Streetcore
4. TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever to Tell
6. Mark Sultan - Sultanic Verses
7. Black Lips - Good, Bad Not Evil
8. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
9. The Raveonettes - Whip It On
10. Various Artists - The Royal Tenenbaums Soundtrack


Ciaran T. - The Consortium

Top 10 albums of 2009

1. Parov Stellar - Coco
2. Zoot Woman - Things Are What They Used To Be  
3. Deluka - Deluka
4. Calvin Harris - Ready For he Weekend
5. Mistress Barbara - I’m No Human
6. DJ Vadim - U can’t Lurn Imaginashun
7. Royksopp - Junior
8. Junior Boys - Begone Dull Care
9. Neon Indian - Deadbeat Summer
10. Lee Fields and the Expressions - My World

Top 30 songs of 2009

1. Parov Stelar - Your Man
2. Calvin Harris - Yeah Yeah Yeah La La La
3. Royksopp - The Girl and the Robot
4. Mistress Barbara - Dance Me to the end of Love
5. Aganju - The Latin Project
6. DJ Vadim - Beijos Feat. Heidi Vogel
7. Moby - Pale Horses (Gui Boratto's Last Window Remix)
8. Let’s go to War - Wolves
9. Elonious Funk - Rose Black's Shadow
10 Parov Stelar - Wake Up Sister feat. Max the Sax
11. Junior Boys - Bits and Pieces
12. Air - So Light Is Her Footfall
13. Felix Da Housecat - We Babel
14. The Very Best Of - Warm Heart of Africa
15. Emprie of the Sun - Walking On a Dream 
16. Lee Fields and the Expressions - My World
17.  Royksopp - Royksopp Forever
18. Parov Stellar - Ragtime cats
19. Gilberto - Bananeira
20. Casxio - Seventeen Master
21. Fleavans - 27 Devils
22. Gusgus - Thin Ice  
23. Dragonette - Liar
24. Zero 7 - Pop Art Blue
25. Parov Stelar - Libella Swing
26. Royksopp - Happy up Here
27. Lee Fields and the Expressions - Money is King
28. TH White - Whitesky Lights
29. Domu - Collecting Dust
30. Mistress Barbara - Talk To Me feat Brazilian Girls

Top 30 Albums of Decade

1. Radiohead - Kid A (2000)
2. Thievery Corporation - The Richest Man In Babylon (2002)
3. Ronny Jordan - Off the Record (2001)
4 RJD2 - Deadringer (2002)
5. Air - Virgin Suicides soundtrack (2000)
6.  Late Night Alumni - Empty Streets (2005)
7. DJ Shadow - The Private Press (2002)
8. Hayden - Skyscraper National Park (2001)
9. St Germain - Tourist (2000)
10. Akido - Blink (2007)
11.  Boards of Canada - Geogaddi (2002)
12. DJ Tiesto - Just Be (2004)
13. Jamiroquai - A Funk Odyssey/Dynamite(2001)
14. The Avalanches - Since I Left You (2000)
15. Radiohead - Hail to The Thief (2003)
16. Atmosphere - God Loves Ugly (2002)
17. Remy Shand - The Way I feel (2002)
18. Akhenathon - Sol Invictus (2001)
19. The Postal Service - Give Up (2003)
20. Benny Benasi - Hypnotica (2003)
21. Bon Iver - For Emma Forever Ago (2008)
22. White Stripes - Elephant (2003)
23. Boards of Canada - Campfire Headphase (2005)
24. Ratatat - Classics (2006)
25. Amon Tobin - Supermodified (2000)
26. Chromeo - Fancy Footwork (2007)
27. Ted Leo and The Pharmacists - The Tyranny of Distance (2001)
28. Thom Yorke - The Eraser (2006)
29. Amadou and Miriam - Dimanche a Bamako (2005)
30. Sam Roberts - We Were Born In a Flame (2003)


Abby - The Reaktor

BEST OF 2009 according to THE REAKTOR

Theme of the year--- ‘Nobody, nobody…puts Abby in a corner”

Top 10 albums of 2009

1. The Raveonettes - In and Out of Control
2. Handsome Furs - Face Control
3. Dead Weather - Horehound
4. Parov Stellar - Coco
5. Mayer Hawthorne- A Strange Arrangement
6. La Roux - La Roux
7. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus
8. Japandroids - Post Nothing
9. Superchunk - Leaves in the Gutter EP
10. Yacht - See Mystery Lights 

Best Canadian releases

Metric - Fantasies
Dragonette - Fixin to Thrill
Fox Jaws - Home  and Native
Kestrels - Primary Colours
Magneta Lane -  Gambling with God
Handsome Furs - Face Control
The  Manvils - self-entitled

Songs of the decade
Best concerts of '09

-Golden Triangle
-Handsome Furs
-Flogging Molly
-Youth Brigade and Bouncing Souls
-The Nailheads in Quebec City
-The Kills
- Mayor Hawthorne and Peanut Butter Wolf
-Dj Champion
-Crystal Antlers
-Bloc Party


Katrina Kuras - Break It Down

Top 10 albums of 2009

1. Trapped Under Ice - Secrets of the World. Choice track: "See God"
2. Monsters - The Righteous Dead. Choice track: "Ignite The Underground"
3. Miss May I - Apologies Are For The Weak. Choice track: "Architect"
4. Oceano - Depths. Choice track: "District of Misery"
5. Chelsea Grin - Chelsea Grin EP. Choice track: "Lifeless"
6. Every Time I Die - New Junk Aesthetic. Choice track: "Buffalo 666"
7. Survivalist- ABACABB. Choice track: "Infection"
8. Fame - Can’t Get It Right. Choice track: "Glory Dog"
9. The World We Knew - To The Wolves. Choice track: "To The Wolves"
10. iwrestledabearonce - It's All Happening. Choice track "Tastes Like Kevin Bacon"

Top 10 of the decade

1. Once Nothing - First Came The Law (2008)
2. Means - Sending You Strength (2007)
3. Elysia - Masochist (2006)
4. The Holly Springs Disaster - Motion Sickness Love (2007)
5. Miss May I - Apologies Are For The Weak (2009)
6. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine (2004)
7. Liferuiner - Take Back The Night Life (2008)
8. Blessthefall - His Last Walk (2006)
9. Dead And Divine - The Fanciful (2008)
10. The Acacia Strain - The Dead Walk (2006)


NeneB - Beat The World

NeNe's Top 10 World Music Albums of 2009

1. Buraka Som Sistema - Black Diamond*
2. Tinariwen - Imidiwan:Companions
3. Novalima - Coba Coba
4. Marrabenta Music from Mozambique - Various Artists
5. Nigeria 70 The Definitive Story Of 1970's Funky Lagos - Various Artists
6. Roberto Lopez Project - Soy Panamericano
7. Staff Benda Bilili - Tres Tres Fort,
8. Tumbélé! Biguine, Afro & Latin Sounds from the French Caribbean - Various Artists
9. Rough Guide to the Music of Japan - Various Artists
10. African Reggae - Various Artists
*Released 2008, received and charted in 2009

NeNe's Top 5 Shows of 2009

1. Julian + The Uprising (feat. Stephen Marley) Spragga Benz & Mr Cheeks October 21 at Brooklyn Bowl,  Brooklyn, NY
2. Municipal Waste + Brutal Truth December 7 at Les Foufounes Electrique, Montreal
3. Peaches November 17 at Le Metropolis, Montreal
4. Umalali July 15 at Kola Note, Montreal
5. Roc Raida Tribute October 22, BB Kings NYC

Worst Show of the Year: Rock the Bells Hip Hop Festival, July 19 at Jones Beach NYC

City of the Year: New York City

Country of the Year:  Colombia


Lady Oracle - The Limelight

Top 15 Hip Hop Singles for 2009 (in no particular order)

1. Q-Tip – Damn You’re Cool
2. K’Naan ft Chubb Rock – ABCs
3. Mos Def ft Talib Kweli – History
4. Dujeous ft Sharon Jones – Spectacular
5. Masta Ace and Ed OG – Little Young
6. Marco Polo and Torae – Party Crashers
7. Tiye Phoenix – Stop Right There
8. Rapper Big Pooh – The Comeback
9. Preach Ankobia & Jonathan Emile – Take Flight
0. Random Axe – Monster Babies
11. Classified – Quit While You’re Ahead
12. Skyzoo ft Wale and Illmind – Freshfest
13. Fame Beatts and L.E.S. – Subwoofah
14. Chris Coates – Supernova
15. Oddisee ft Invincible & Finale – Don’t Sleep

Top 5 Tracks (because I’m multi-dimensional)

1. Mayer Hawthorne – Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out
2. The Budos Band – Smoke Gets In
3. The Menahan Street Bank – Make The Road By Walking
4. Wavves – Weed Demon
5. Buraka Som Sistema – Kalemba (Wegue Wegue)

Top 15 Hip Hop Albums of The Decade

1. Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek – Reflection Eternal
2. Common – Like Water For Chocolate
3. Hi-Tek – Hi-Teknology
4. De La Soul – The Grind Date
5. J Dilla - Donuts
6. Little Brother – The Listening
7. Madvillain – Madvillainy
8. The Foreign Exchange – Connected
9. Outcast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
10. Nas – God’s Son
11. Kanye West – College Dropout
12. Black Milk – Popular Demand
13. Madlib – Beat Konducta Vol 1-2
14. Q-Tip – The Renaissance
15. Masta Ace – Long Hot Summer


Stephanie Dee - Twee Time

- Albums Year 2000 -
White Stripes - De Stilj







Belle & Sebastian - Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant
Elliott Smith - Figure 8
Yo la Tengo - Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
The Parcels - Have a Go with the Parcels
The White Stripes - De Stijl
Stereolab - The First of the Microbe Hunters
Billy Bragg and Wilco - Mermaid Avenue Vol. II
Boyracer - Boyfuckingracer

- Albums Year 2001 -

The Lucksmiths - Why That Doesn't Surprise Me
Pixies - Complete 'B' Sides
The White Stripes - White Blood Cells
Regina Spektor - 11:11
The Strokes - Is This It
The Moldy Peaches - The Moldy Peaches

- Albums Year 2002 -
Tullycraft - Beat Surf Fun (the album with the fabulous "Twee")
All Girl Summer Fun Band - All Girl Summer Fun Band
Sonic Youth - Murray Street
Regina Spektor - Songs
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Tom Waits - Alice
Tom Waits - Blood Money
Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights
Neko Case -  Blacklisted

- Albums Year 2003 -

Fishboy - Zipbangboom
All Girl Summer Fun Band - 2
The Darkness - Permission to Land
The White Stripes - Elephant
The Raveonettes - Chain Gang of Love
Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Liz Phair - Liz Phair
Lederhosen Lucil - Tales From the Pantry

- Albums Year 2004 -

Bearsuit - Cat Spectacular!
PJ Harvey - Uh Huh Her
The Magnetic Fields - i
Courtney Love - America's Sweetheart (can't help but love that crazy bitch)
Sonic Youth - Sonic Nurse
The Futureheads - The Futureheads
Regina Spektor - Soviet Kitsch
Tom Waits - Real Gone
Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill

- Albums Year 2005 -

Bearsuit - Team Ping Pong
Tullycraft - Disenchanted Hearts Unite
Boyracer - A Punch Up the Bracket
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
Black Mountain - Black Mountain
...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - Worlds Apart
The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema

- Albums Year 2006 -

The Nymphets - Pro-Fucking-Motional
Math and Physics Club - Math and Physics Club
The Snow Fairies - Voila
Pants Yell! -  Recent Drama
The Manhattan Love Suicides - Manhattan Love Suicides
Loveninjas -  Secret of the Loveninjas
Friendly Rich & The Lollipop People - The Friendly Rich Show
The Life Pursuit - Belle & Sebastian
The Besties - Singer
Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Tom Waits - Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards
Peter Bjorn and John - Writer's Block

- Albums Year 2007 -

Tullycraft - Every Scene Needs a Center
The Wedding Present - The Complete Peel Sessions 1986–2004
The Flying Club Cup - Beirut
Fishboy - Albatross: How We Failed to Save the Lone Star State with
the Power of Rock and Roll
Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity
Julie Doiron - Woke Myself Up
Dinosaur Jr - Beyond
Elliott Smith - New Moon
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
The White Stripes - Icky Thump

- Albums Year 2008 -
The Lucksmiths - First Frost
The Magnetic Fields - Distortion
Stephen Malkmus - Real Emotional Trash
Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
Sigur Rós - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
All Girl Summer Fun Band - Looking Into it

- Albums Year 2009 -

Dinosaur Jr - Farm







Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Pains of Being Pure At Heart (my pick for "album of the year")
Yo la Tengo - Popular Songs
Sonic Youth - The Eternal
Tom Waits - Glitter and Doom Live
Dinosaur Jr - Farm
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
Karen O and the Kids - Where the Wild Things Are

Stuff to note:

- 2009 marked the 20-year anniversary of the album Sittin' Pretty by the Pastels
- The only band that truly excited me in the last decade: The White Stripes
- This made me want to kill myself: Anywhere I Lay My Head - Scarlett Johansson (2008)
- Awesome band name wasted on a shitty band: The Used (formed in 2001)
- I will always love you: PR, TM (aka "Stupid Kid")
- You will always be missed: Joey Ramone, Dee Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Joe Strummer, Johnny Cash, Grant McLennan, Elliott Smith, Mary Hansen, Mana "China" Nishiura, Bea Arthur (right on, Maude), Bettie Page, Patrick Swayze, there are more but it makes me sad to think about who died


DJ Catatonia - Catatonia

Top 10 albums of 2009

1. Sunn 0))) - Monoliths & Dimensions
2. Jex Thoth - self-titled
3. Menace Ruine - The Die is Cast*
4. Darkthrone - Dark Thrones & Black Flags
5. Ghast - May The Curse Bind
6. Current 93 - Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain
7. Fennesz - Black Sea
8. Neige et Noirceur - Philosophie des Arts Occultes*
9. 1349 - Revelations of the Black Flame
10. Drudkh - Microcosmos

Top 3 of the decade

Khanate - Things Viral







1. Khanate - Things Viral
2. Electric Wizard - Dopethrone
3. Isis - Oceanic


The Pan African Hour top picks of 2009
Ghana Soundz Vol. 2







1. Ghana Soundz Vol.2 (Soundway)
2. Ethiopiques Vol.13 (Buda Musique)
3. Tropicalia (Souljazz)
4. Soul of Angola (Lusafrique)
5. Psychedelic Classics Vol.3: Loves a Real Thing (The Funky Psychedelic Sounds of West Africa) (Stonesthrow/Luaka Bop)
6. Legends of Benin (Analog Africa)
7. Panama! 2 (Soundway)
8. Nigeria Special (Soundway)
9. Disco Fuentes (Soundway)
10. Calypsoul (Strut)


DJ Solespin - Suite Delight

Top 10 songs of 2009
Fitz and the Tantrums








1. Fitz & The Tantrums – Breaking the Chains of Love
2. Yacht – Psychic City
3. Grand Analog - Take It Slow (Spaces and Places)
4. La Roux - Fascination
5. Major Lazer Feat. Mr. Vegas & Jovi Rockwell - Can't Stop Now
6. Mayer Hawthorne – Just Ain`t Gonna Work Out
7. Empire Isis – Don`t Go Home
8. Tiga – Beep Beep Beep
9. Pitbull – Calle Ocho
10. Lady Gaga – Poker Face

Top 10 albums of 2009

Classified - Self Explanatory







1. Classified – Self Explanatory
2. Tiye Phoenix - Half Woman Half Amazin'
3. Keri Hilson - In a Perfect World
4. Chester French - Love The Future
5. Grand Analog – Metropolis Is Burning
6. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2
7. Mos Def – The Ecstatic
8. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
9. K-Os – Yes!
10. K’Naan – Troubadour

Top 10 Shows/Events

1. CMJ
2. Roc Raida Tribute, B.B. King's
3. Peanut Butter Wolf, Saints Showbar
4. K-Os, Le National
5. The Kills, La Tulipe
6. Best of the Uptown Comics, Metropolis
7. Santogold, Metropolis
8. Redman & Methodman, Metropolis
9. Lykke Li, Club Soda
10. DJ Jonathan Toubin, Green Room


Linsday Wood - Through Being Cool

Top 10 albums of 2009:
Matt And Kim - Grand







10. Raekwon - Only Built 3 Cuban Linx 2
9. No Age - Losing Feeling
8. Brand New - Daisy
7. SilverSun Pickups - Swoon
6. Priestess - Prior To The Fire
5. Future Of The Left - Travels With Myself And Another
4.The Wooden Sky - If I Don't Come Home You'll Know I'm Gone
3.Junior Boys - Begone Dull Care
2.Girls Album
1. Matt and Kim - Grand


Lachlan Fletcher - The Subplot, Unabridged

Top 5 Musical Things That Made My Ears Vibrate My Brain In An Interesting Manner (In No Particular Order)










Star Wars In Concert: Saw it at the Bell Centre, and it was the least classy symphony ever. A full symphony orchestra, complete with choir to sing that awesome Darth Maul cue from The Phantom Menace (hey, the music was good), was surrounded by obnoxiously awesome Star Wars props like Gungan shields, silly laser lights and fog machines, and strategically triggered walls of flame. I would image for a life-long cellist or classically trained French Horn player, it was the just about as embarrassing as playing a bar-mitzvah (they were probably payed extremely well, though). In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit to being a huge Star Wars nerd (if you can’t tell), so myself and the group of friends with whom I attended were absolutely giddy. It was a ton of fun, if completely over-the-top.


Moderat live in Chicago: It serves the discerning music fan well to be skeptical of laptop-based performances, thus when I went to see Moderat (Modeselektor and Apparat) this summer in Chicago, all that was expected was a pleasant evening of grooving to some solid beats (that’s right, grooving, I do that). I was, however, dreadfully mistaken. The opening act was a very solid Chicago DJ who got everybody’s energy up in his forty-minute set, and by the time Moderat took the stage, the room was ready to burst. They played straight through their album (which, despite the lack of surprises, provided a great structure) accompanied by a stunning video presentation, complete with mind-bending computer animation and imaginative macro-videography. It was a very memorable concert indeed; I have since read an interview with Moderat in which they singled out that show as the best on the tour.


All that Radiohead Internet Drama over the summer: If nothing else, this one provided some not-very-entertaining entertainment during the summer months. I will summarize quickly, for those who are not familiar with the tale: in the late summer, a song that sounded A LOT like Radiohead was leaked via that series of tubes that is the internet. There was a series of mysterious happenings surrounding the song, including a cryptic website that only existed for a few days, Radiohead saying something about only making EPs from now on, and everybody generally flipping their sh*t. All this said, it is a fairly killer song called “These Are My Twisted Words” that ended up available as a free download off Radiohead’s official website, along with some creative DIY stencil paper artwork. 


The Jesus Lizard Reunites/The Beatles Reissued: These are combined, because as much as the Radiohead drama is common knowledge, it was very hard to miss these two events. There isn’t much that needs to be said about The Jesus Lizard; it’s simply an amazing thing. Hooray! As for The Beatles releasing their full catalogue completely remastered with 1’s and 0’s, it was definitely worth taking a look into. The tracks were last retouched in the studio in the late-eighties, when the classic records were being released on compact disc for the first time. Mastering technology has come a long way, and the re-release also promised to provide improved presentation in stereo, a key aspect neglected by The Beatles due to the predominance of mono in their day. There are separate box sets for mono and stereo records, each with equally steep price tags. If you are into The Beatles and like to listen to music on a real sound system (ie NOT earbuds), might be worth a look.


All This Dan Deacon Business: This year, the pudgy purveyor of hyperactive enthusiasm put out a new album that kicked major rear. Bromst was a clear step in advancing his unique sound after his debut full-length, Spiderman Of The Rings. My enthusiasm for Mr. Deacon lead me to attend his concert at The Eastern Blog in November, and it killed me with happiness. I have not been that giddy at a concert since I went to Warped Tour when I was fourteen and crowd-surfed for the first time (and had my shoes stolen). It was absolutely life-affirming, totally in a non-corny way (maybe a bit corny). Unfortunately the last leg of his tour was canceled due to a bout of acute sciatica, so let’s all think of Dan Deacon and send him some positive healing vibes.



Billy Corgan: is now completely ridiculous. Come on, what happened to cool Billy? This year saw Jimmy Chamberlain finally leave the shoddily-reformed Smashing Pumpkins, meaning that the band is now officially Billy Corgan’s flaccid musical mid-life crisis (Chamberlain was the last original member aside from Corgan; on the bright side a new Jimmy Chamberlain Complex album is on the way). I heard a new Pumpkins song the other day, and it was disarmingly mediocre. Sigh. Corgan’s other gem this year was starting a spiritual blog on which he and various guests could blog about the existence of God. It is, as you could imagine, extremely mediocre. At least he didn’t curse out any fans this year.


Katie Seline - CJLO manager

Top 10 albums of 2009:
Gliss - Devotion Implosion







1- Gliss - Devotion Implosion
2 - Japandroids - Post Nothing
3 -  Silversun Pickups - Swoon
4 - Wye Oak - The Knot
5 - Handsome Furs - Face Control
6 - We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls
7 - Doves - Kingdom of Rust
8 - HEALTH - Get Color
9 - Headlights - Wildlife
10 - Built To Spill - There is no Enemy

Honorable Mentions:

Dead Weather - Horehound
Magneta Lane - Gambling With God
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus
Matt & Kim - Grand
Appleseed Cast - Sagarmatha
Maserati - Passages
Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz
Clues - Clues

Biggest Disappointments:

Raveonettes - In and Out of Control
You Say Party We Say Die - XXXX
We Are Wolves - Invisible Violence


Nicholas Fiscina, news director

Top 5 albums of the decade:

The Almighty - Original S.I.N.







1) The Almighty—Original S.I.N. (Strength in Numbers) (2008)

This album was released over a year and a half ago, yet I still listen to it on an almost daily basis. The lyrics and beats are top notch, making this album a must for all hip hop heads. The fact that the album is so strong isn’t surprising considering The Almighty is composed of heavyweights Killah Priest and Bronze Nazareth, as well as C-Rayz Walz, Son One, M-Eighty, and 5-Star. Original S.I.N., which is the group’s first album, also features Canibus, Keith Murray, Planet Asia, Holocaust, and Hussein Fatal from Tupac’s The Outlawz. This album’s hotter than fire, and the burn feels great.

Favourite tracks: Dead Flowers, Killa Bee Swarm, The Saga Begins.

2) DJ Muggs vs GZA the Genius—Grandmasters (2005)

Much like The Almighty’s album, this is one of those records where every track is strong. While you might have never heard of DJ Muggs, you probably have heard his work before. He’s Cypress Hill’s producer, and his beats on this album are as awesome as GZA’s lyrics. Speaking of the GZA, this album is further proof that he is one of the best lyricists, period.

Favourite tracks: Queen’s Gambit (he uses the names of teams in the NFL to rap about a woman, it’s absolutely crazy), Unprotected Pieces, Destruction of a Guard, All in Together.

3) MF Doom—MM..Food? (2004)

Rapper MF Doom's (also known as King Geedorah and Viktor Vaughn) album “MM..Food?” sounds like what would happen if someone were to put Hip Hop in a dryer and set it to “Extended Tumble,” and that’s what makes it so unique. Doom rhymes in a very laidback and off-key style and you can tell he’s just relaxing and having fun with the lyrics. The beats are just as particular as Doom tends to play with the tempo a lot. The album is also interspersed with clips from science fiction and anime movies, giving the album a weird dream-like atmosphere. Other albums definitely worth checking out are King Geedorah’s Take me to Your Leader and Doom’s collaboration with producer Madlib, called Madvillainny. Quite simply, the rhymes, beats, and feel of MF Doom’s albums are unlike those of any other rapper, making them more refreshing than an ice cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day.

Favourite Tracks: Beef Rapp, Potholderz, Deep Fried Frenz, Guinnesses, Rapp Snitch Knishes.

4) Ghostface Killah—More Fish (2006)

More Fish was Ghostface Killah’s second album of 2006 (the first being Fishscale), and it was also my favourite album of all the ones he put out in the 2000s. What I like about this album is that it combines Ghostface’s typical gangsta songs, such as Miguel Sanchez, with more emotional tracks like Josephine, which is about a young drug-addicted woman, and You Know I’m No Good featuring Amy Winehouse. While More Fish demonstrates Ghostface is maturing as a rapper, the overall formula hasn’t changed. He still has the ability to pump you up and make you feel like you can take over the world.

Favourite tracks: Guns N’ Razors, Street Opera, Pokerface, Josephine, You Know I’m No Good, Gotta Hold On.

5) Bronze Nazareth—The Great Migration (2006)

Bronze Nazareth is a force of nature, and unfortunately, he’s also one of the most underrated rappers right now. The Great Migration puts many rappers (and Montreal’s infrastructure) to shame as it is an extremely solid album. It is made up of nothing but one out-of-this-world-goodness song after another, as Nazareth spits his verses on top of soulful beats complemented by strings and horns. What more could one ask for?

Favourite tracks: The Pain, More Than Gold, The Bronzeman.


Ian Macpherson - The Go Go Magic Radio Show

Top albums of 2009:
Crystal Antlers - Tentacles







Crystal Antlers - Tentacles
Woods - Songs Of Shame
The Mantles - The Mantles
Red Mass - Red Mass EP
Smith Westerns - Smith Westerns
Thomas Function - In The Valley Of Sickness
The Horrors - Primary Colors
Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
Black Lips - 200 Million Thousand
The Hunches - Exit Dreams
Grand Duchy - Petits Fours
Monstrers Of Folk - Monsters Of Folk
R.E.M. - Reckoning (Deluxe Edition) (25th anniversary reissue)
R.E.M. - 39 Songs Live At The Olympia
Strange Boys - .... and Girls Club
Built To Spill - There Is No Enemy"
Jay Reatard - Watch Me Fall
Kurt Vile - Childish Prodigy
Jean Leloup- Milles Excuses Milady
Dinosaur Jr. - Farm


Zombieboy - The Almighty Riff

Top 10 albums of 2009:

1. W.A.S.P. - Babylon
2. Hell & Hell - The Devil You Know
3. 3 Inches Of Blood - Here Awaits Thy Doom
4. The Gates Of Slumber - Hymns Of Blood And Thunder
5. Megadeth - Endgame
6. Cauldron - Chained To The Nite
7. Anvil -  This Is Thirteen
8. Saxon - Into The Labyrinth
9. Alestorm - Black Sails At Midnight
10. Edguy - Tinnitus Sanctus

Biggest Disappointments:

1. Queensryche - American Soldier – Queensryche have finally hit rock bottom with this overbearing, dull-as-dirt concept album that offers absolutely nothing new on both hard rock and the "war on terror". It's all been said, in more ways than one.
2. Ace Frehley - Anomaly – I'd love to welcome Ace back as the superstar he truly is, but this isn't the album to do it. An overly safe rehash of what sounds like throw away riffs and B-sides from early KISS.
3. Clutch - Strange Cousins From The West – I think the charm's finally worn off Clutch. Instead of sounding edgy and unpredictable, they now just sound like your pot-smoking, heavy drinking uncle. And bring back the Hammond next time please!
4. Dio diagnosed with stomach cancer – After a momentous year with Heaven & Hell, the metal world should all say a quick prayer to the dark lords that the grandfather of metal pulls through his latest challenge!
5. Inondation of retro thrash bands – Okay, so 1986 was a great year for thrash but the world doesn't need any more Master of Puppets and Reign in Blood clones. And lose the damn jean-jackets.

Biggest Surprises:

1. Ozzy replacing Zakk – All my jokes about the Ozzy band aside, the only bright spot in recent years has been Zakk Wylde. Now he's been replaced by the milquetoast and yawn-inducing Gus G. At least this means more time for Black Label Society.
2. The Gates Of Slumber – These guys are quickly becoming one of my favourites. What was first an impulse buy last year with Conqueror (god bless Boobs and Conan) has become one of the most interesting groups on the scene.
3. W.A.S.P. – I haven't cared about W.A.S.P. in years so what I'm shocked that Blackie and the boys have taken the title of album of the year. Ridiculously catchy riffs, loads of energy and even a kickass cover of "Burn" make this one a winner all around!


Andrew Wieler - Grade A Explosives

The Protomen - Act II







Every year, people around the world come together in a spirit of good will and  cheer to do one very important thing, and that is come up with top ten lists  of what was good during the year, and I, well, I am no exception. This year has seen a great amount of albums that I have sadly had no idea were being  released, which makes me, as they say, a very sad panda. This of course will  inevitably lead to, "But wait, why isn't (insert name of band) here?" Well because I haven't gotten to listen to it yet, and I will probably hear it early in the year and say, "Man... I wish I could have put that on my top ten list..." But enough of me yakking, here's the list:

10. Pigface - 6

Pigface is just one guy, Martin Atkins who organizes a bunch of industrial names to do whatever he wants, a kind of "puppet master" of industrial artists. Ranging from people from KMFDM to Atari Teenage Riot to Bile (see below), he throws people together in his magic pot of awesome and see what comes out. ...Wait now he's a witch? I'm sorry I got off topic. Ranging from straight industrial to electronic ditties, this album pretty much has
something for everyone, that is if you like things that are even a bit electronic in nature.

9. Devildriver - Pray for Villians

So when Coal Chamber broke up I was pretty sad. I had just started listening to their Dark Days album and was looking forward to what they would put out next, but apparently everyone in the band hated each other since they started the band and four albums later they broke up. Then I heard that Dez, the lead singer was making another band, so I thought I'd give it a shot, and thus I began listening to Devildriver, and every album they just get better. The first album was shaking off all the Nu-Metal from Coal Chamber, and now with Pray for Villians they seem to have gotten it all out of their system and are now pumping out metal licks that make you feel like punching babies in the face. Hopefully Dez will keep trying to hide his ugly Nu-Metal past, and if more metal Devildriver albums are what he needs to do so, then by all means who am I to stand in his way?

8. Prodigy - Invaders Must Die

Everyone that's heard my show knows that I have a soft spot for electronic music. I was skeptical about a new Prodigy album because I find that I have a hit or miss relationship with them. This album certainly falls under the hit category. Sure it has a lot of that obnoxious Euro-dance flavor to it, but  what do you expect, they are from England. It doesn't have the same kind of rock tendencies that albums like Fat of the Land and Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned seemed to have, but it still is an upbeat and catchy album. It didn't make me want to put on rave pants and start waving glow sticks, but it did help me to remember that some electronic music is still going strong, even if bands like the Crystal Method have abandoned it for more of a hip hop
sound. For shame Crystal Method... for shame.

7. Maylene & the Sons of Disaster - III

What do you get when you take hardcore and add a barbeque? An awesome day, that's what. But you also may get Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. This appropriately-titled third album is some good hardcore mixed with some southern rock riffage, and they go together like cornbread and ribs. This album seems much more aggressive than II, but I don't see what these guys have to be mad about. I mean the lead singer did leave Underoath just as they were starting their downward spiral. Now these guys seem content to kick ass and take some names all while channeling some Skynyrd. Keep the meat warm boys and get the hot sauce flowing.

6. Hurt - Goodbye to the Machine

I was skeptical that I would really like this album. I have the first two albums by this band, and I paid the right price for them, which was zero dollars because they were promotional copies. So, once again, I saw this was being given out as a promo album, and I thought, "Oh... what the hell?" and then grabbed it to listen to. I honestly didn't think there was going to be much to write about, but this album takes all the stuff I liked about the first album, mainly the dark atmosphere and catchy parts of 4 or 5 part songs, and synthesizes them with the few things I liked about the second album, AKA the rock edge and consiseness. The first song is addictive and hooky and just leads you into the rest of the album prefectly, which is pretty solid. If this keeps up, I may have to restart thinking all the bands that I only half heartedly like their albums. ...No that just sounds crazy.

5. The Motorleague - Black Noise

I had the pleasure of seeing these fine gents from Canada's east coast at NXNE this year, and they did not disappoint. They put on one hell of a live show, reminding you what rock music should be, and thereby reminding you, yet again, why you hate the souless drivel that Nickelback keeps churning out album after album. They're apparently in the studio getting ready to record a followup, so hopefully it will rock as much as this, because surely the world needs it.

4. Bile - Hate Radio

Fuck I love me some industrial! And no, not that pansy, "I'm a vampire so I dance around moving my head side to side as I look down at my feet kind of industrial." I mean the, "Oh sweet jeebus this is loud and noisy and ear-grating, and the people are playing actual instruments and not pushing play on their synthesizers." Bile specializes in what they refer to as, "demonic electronic," or, "Metal industrial terrorism." No matter how they put it, its industrial the way it should be: loud, abrasive, and above all, metal. Of course, the music industry has no desire to put out anything like this, so they had to release it themselves. Now that Ministry is gone (at least until Al Jorgenson needs a couple bucks and does a reunion tour), and you're looking for something to fill the industrial void, go to their Myspace and click on the link to get a copy of this album. You won't be disappointed.

3. HORSE the Band - Desperate Living

Oh you crazy HORSE the Band bastards. They coined the term "Nintencore" to describe themselves and then had people try to imitate them. This album shows again that the creators of something will always outdo imitators. Raw, glitchy, and just as irreverent as ever, HORSE the Band manage to create an album that outdoes themselves and anyone else that puts 8-bit things into their music. Now if only I could get that interview with them...

2. Everytime I Die - New Junk Aesthetic

This is a fantastic album. This whole album reminds me of a song off their previous album, Gutter Phenomenon called "Gloom and How it Gets that Way."  The song is 1:58 seconds and I think it may be the best Every Time I Die song.  Its direct, to the punch, and when its over, it leaves you wanting more, so you listen to it over and over again. This album is pretty much the same deal: direct, to the point, and when its done you go, "Hey, I want more of that, so I'm going to play it again." Though, many people cite the short time as a critism, I think its an elaborate ploy to make people listen more. Those crafty bastards...

1. The Protomen - Act II: The Father of Death

Who knew that rock Operas about Mega Man could be so entertaining? Actually this album is about Dr. White and Wiley, before there was a Mega Man. Either way, the album is pretty amazing, and their budget went up pretty significantly since the last one, what with their nice gloss slip case and... gasp... production that doesn't sound like the whole thing was recorded in a garage. After seeing them at CMJ, I have an even bigger love for these bunch of obvious... shall we say... eccentrics? They know what they want to do, and they don't let anyone dictate to them what they should be doing. I'm sure when the idea was brought up people said, "A rock what about who? That will NEVER be good, don't even try," and they disregarded it. Good for them. I only hope that they can put out another part to this, though I'm not sure what it will be about, but if the jump from the last album to this one is any indication, it will be number one one my charts for that year too.


Simon Howell - Sound On Sight, Sucker Blues

Top 30 albums of 2009:
The Future Of Left







1. Future of the Left – Travels with Myself and Another
2. The XX – XX
3. Sunset Rubdown – Dragonslayer
4. Lightning Dust – Infinite Light
5. Soulsavers – Broken
6. Manic Street Preachers – Journal For Plague Lovers / JFPL Remixes
7. Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle
8. Mos Def - The Ecstatic
9. Bike For Three! – More Heart Than Brains
10. The Unthanks – Here’s the Tender Coming
11. Sunn O))) – Monoliths and Dimensions
12. The Clientele – Bonfires On The Heath
13. Lord Cut-Glass – s/t
14. The Wooden Sky – If I Don’t Come Home, You’ll Know I’m Gone
15. Magnolia Electric Co. – Josephine
16. Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career
17. Cass McCombs – Dropping the Writ
18. Malcolm Middleton – Waxing Gibbous
19. Built to Spill – There Is No Enemy
20. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!
21. Dinosaur Jr. – Farm
22. Franz Ferdinand – Tonight…
23. Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
24. Great Lake Swimmers – Lost Channels
25. James Blackshaw – The Glass Bead Game
26. Isis – Wavering Radiant
27. Slayer – World Painted Blood
28. Mount Eerie – Wind’s Poem
29. Richard Hawley – Truelove’s Gutter
30. Gobble Gobble - Neon Graveyard

Top 20 Tracks of 2009 (from albums not on that other list):

1. The Horrors - “Sea Within a Sea”
2. The Phantom Band - “The Howling”
3. Junior Boys - “Sneak a Picture”
4. Destroyer - “Bay of Pigs”
5. Dirty Projectors - “Two Doves”
6. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - “No Choice In the Matter”
7. Japandroids - “I Quit Girls”
8. Royksopp - “The Girl and the Robot”
9. Ghostface Killah - “Guest House”
10. The Thermals - “Now We Can See”
11. Kestrels - “Plastic Dresses”
12. Vic Chesnutt - “Flirted With You All My Life”
13. Big Boi - “Shine Blockas”
14. Pearl Jam - “Unthought Known”
15. The Avett Brothers - “Ill With Want”
16. The Postmarks - “I’m In Deep”
17. The Reigning Sound - “Debris”
18. Tara Jane O’Neil - “Howl”
19. Yo La Tengo - “Periodically Double or Triple”
20. Jay Reatard - “I’m Watching You”


Rebecca Munroe - Charts and Crafts

Top 10 alt-rock albums of 2009:

Polvo - In Prism







1. Polvo - In Prism
2. Dead Weather - Horehound
3. Silverspun Pickups - Swoon
4. The Horrors - Primary Colours
5. Health - Get Color
6. Raveonettes - In and Out of Control
7. Porcupine Tree - The Incident
8. Muse - The Resistance
9. Metric - Fantasies
10. Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs - It's Blitz
Top 5 metal albums of 2009:
 3 Inches Of Blood - Here Waits Thy Doom







1. 3 Inches of Blood - Here Waits thy Doom
2. Barn Burner - Bangers
3. Slayer  - World Painted Blood
4. Mastadon - Crack the Skye
5. Cancer Bats - Hail Destroyer


Mike Bresciani - The Lonesome Strangers

Top albums of 2009:
Girls - Album







1. Girls - Album
2. Gliss – Devotion implosion
3. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – The Pains Of Being Pure at Heart
4. Japandroids – Post-Nothing
5. Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk
6. The Pink Mountaintops – Outside Love
7. Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs
8. Steve Earle – Townes
9. Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle
10. Handsome Furs – Face Control
11. Eels – Hombre Lobo
12. M. Ward – Hold Time
13. Superfurry Animals – Dark days / Light Years
14. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post-Pavillion
15. Raveonettes – In and out of Control
16. The Dodos’ – Time to die
17. Wilco – Wilco (The Album)
18. The Whitest boy Alive – Rules
19. The Mountain Goats – The Life Of The World To Come
20. Julie Doiron – I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day
Best live shows of 2009:

Jonathan Richman / Vic Chesnutt – June 23rd @ Club Soda
The Lemonheads - July 3rd @ Maison des Arts ***Most terrible / memorable show of all-time***
The Raveonettes / Black Angels – October 21st @ Club Soda
Yo La Tengo – October 2nd @ Club soda
Loudon Wainwright – October 1st @ The Ukranian Federation
Os Mutantes – October 3rd @ Le National
Japandroids – October 2nd @ Le Divan Orange
M. Ward – April 28th @ Le National
Daniel Johnston – October 16th @ The Ukranian Federation
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - August 2nd @ Osheaga Festival
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – September 13th @ Salla Rosa
The Dodos – October 17th @ Lee’s Palace, Toronto.
Julie Doiron & Herman Dune – October 25th @ The Ukranian Federation
Fear and Loathing in MTL – September 6th @ Foufounes Electriques

Biggest disappointments of 2009:

-Girls, Bert Jansch & Dinosaur Jr. cancelling/unable to make MTL shows.
-Non-stop Michael Jackson cover songs at the Jazz Fest
-Over-crowding at the Jazz Fest
-The void on St-Catherine’s street where “Le Spectrum” used to be.
-The Habs getting rid of Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev & Steve Begin.
-Missing “DeVotchKa” at Club Soda because 18:30 looks like 8:30. Money down the drain…

Biggest surprises of 2009:

-The amount of Actors making decent records
-Elvis Costello: Spectacle
-Having Andy Richter back with Conan
-Finding an iPod in the trash
-Increasing my record collection ten-fold in one day

FROM THE VAULTS: Amazing albums that were constantly spinning in 2009:

The Wedding Present – George Best (1987)
Marshall Crenshaw – Marshall Crenshaw (1982)
The Silver Apples – The Silver Apples (1968)
The Clean – Anthology (2002)
Paul Simon – Graceland (1986)
The Clientele – Suburban Light (2000)
The Feelies – Crazy Rhythms (1980)
Pavement – Brighten The Corners (1997)
The Db’s – Stands for Decibels (1981)
The Ramones – End of the Century (1980)
Johnny Thunders – So Alone (1978)
Suicide – Suicide (1977)
Ronnie Spector – She Talks to Rainbows EP (1999)
Galaxie 500 – On Fire”(1989)
Lou Reed – Berlin (1973)
REM – Murmur (1983)
My Morning Jacket – At Dawn (2001)

Best books (biographies) read in 2009:

“To Live’s to Fly”: the Ballad of the late great Townes Van Zandt – By John Kruth
“Love is a Mix Tape” by Rob Sheffield
“Things the Grandchildren should know” by Mark Oliver Everett (E from Eels)
“Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records” by John Cook
“The Original Clash Book” (it’s big and pink)

BEST OF 2000s:

A look back on a decade, and the 20 albums that defined it for me

Funeral by the Arcade Fire (2004)
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”by Wilco (2002)
Blinking Lights And Other Revelations by Eels (2005)
Streetcore by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros (2003)
Lesser Matters by the Radio Dept. (2004)
Heartbreaker by Ryan Adams (2000)
Illinois by Sufjan Stevens (2005)
Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie (2003)
Set Yourself on Fire by Stars (2004)
Night Falls over Kortedala by Jens Lekman (2007)
Yoshimi Battles The Evil Pink Robots by the Flaming Lips (2002)
I’m Wide Awake And It’s Morning by Bright Eyes (2005)
Sea Change by Beck (2002)
Soviet Kitsch by Regina Spektor (2004)
Left and Leaving by The Weakerthans (2000)
So Jealous by Tegan and Sara (2004)
Thunder Lightning strike by The Go! Team (2005)
Let It Die by Feist (2004)
You forgot it in People by Broken Social Scene (2003)
The Life Pursuit by Belle and Sebastian (2006)

A look ahead to 2010… fearless predictions:

-A Screamo Tribute to Michael Jackson
-Oprah starts new crackpot religion
-Pavement plays 2 nights in MTL and blows your mind
-Montgomery Flea Market full-length LP
-Phil Spector’s releases his Murder Ballads collection
-Steven Seagal releases the Jambalaya Lawman LP (live on the Bayou)
-Evan Dando dies. (Sorry, but after seeing him perform, it’s a MIRACLE he’s still alive…)
-Weezer making me sad with another terrible new release…


Julie and Jess - With Gay Abandon

Jess' top 5 albums of 2009

Gossip - Music For Men







1. Gossip - Music For Men
2. Antony & the Johnsons - The Crying Light
3. Gentlemen  Reg - Jet Black
4. Tegan and Sara - Sainthood
5. La Roux - La Roux

Julie's top 5 albums for 2009

Jonsi And Alex - Riceboy Sleeps







1. Jonsi & Alex - Riceboy Sleeps
2. MEN - Limited Edition demo
3. Shearing Pinx - Weaponry
4. Peaches - I Feel Cream
5. Leslie & the Lys - Cewebrity


Remission (Mat Pellerin) - Let The Rhythm Hit 'em
Bike For Three - More Music Than Brains







1. Bike For Three! - More Hearts Than Brains
2. Blockhead - The Music Scene
3. Oxmo Puccino - L'Arme De Paix
4. Asher Roth - Asleep In The Bread Aisle
5. Clutchy Hopkins And Shawn Lee - Fascinating Fingers
6. Eyedea and Abilities - By The Throat
7. Naive New Beaters - Wallace
8. Tekitek - Mes Pelures Sont Plus Belles Que Vos Fruit
9. Selfhelp - Old Friends
10. Brother Ali - US


Johnny - Turn Down The Suck
Barn Burner - Bangers







1. Barn Burner - Bangers
2. Doomriders - Darkness Comes Alive
3. Maylene & The Sons of DIsaster - III
4. Dopethrone - Demonsmoke
5. Church of Misery - Houses of The Unholy
6. Black Pyramid - Black Pyramid
7. Austrian Death Machine - Double Brutal
8. Hatebreed - For The Lions
9. Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound - When Sweet Sleep Returned
10. Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg


Doc Holidae - The Phantastic Cypha

Döc’s Top Ten Canadian Releases

1. D-Sisive - Let The Children Die
2. Coates Twice - Supernova
3. D-Sisive - Jonestown
4. Louwop - The Great Escape
5. K'Naan - Troubador
6. Classified - Self-Explanatory
7. Muneshine - Status Symbol
8. D.O. - Stay Driven
9. Bad News Brown - Born 2 Sin
10. Grand Analog - Metropolis Is Burning

Döc’s top 10 releases of 2009:
Mos Def - The Ecstatic







1. Mos Def - The Ecstatic
2. D-Sisive - Let The Children Die
3. Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2
4. Coates Twice - Supernova
5. D-Sisive - Jonestown
7. NASA - The Spirit Of Apollo
8. P.O.S. - Never Better
9. Louwop - The Great Escape
10. Chali 2na - Fish Outta Water

Döc’s top 20 tracks of 2009:

1. Mos Def - "Auditorium"
2. Method Man & Redman - "A-Yo" (Feat. Saukrates)
3. Jay-Z - "Empire State of Mind"
5. Hilltop Hoods - "Fifty In Five"
6. Karma Atchykah - "Chpas Front"
7. Mos Def - "The Embassy"
8. D-Sisive - "Nobody With a Notepad"
9. Asher Roth - "La Di Da"
10. K'Naan - "Wavin' Flag"
11. Wale - "Pretty Girls" (Feat. Gucci Mane, Weensey From Backyard Band, Tre Of UCB & Ms. Kim)
12. Bad News Brown - "Round Da Clock"
13. D.O - "Watch Out"
14. K-Os - "I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman"
15. P.O.S - "Goodbye"
16. Zion I - "Caged Bird Part 1" featuring Brother Ali
17. Kid Cudi - "My World" featuring Billy Cravens
18. NASA - "Spacious Thoughts" feat. Kool Keith and Tom Waits
19. Eyedea and Abilities - "Burn Fetish"
20. Melanie Fiona - "It Kills Me"   


Mike Vo - Beats From The East

My top 10 of 2009 PERIOD...
 Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II







1) Working on my show ("Beats From The East")
2) Connecting with the artists and getting radio drops, tracks, and other goodies from them
3) Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2
4) KRS-ONE & Buckshot - Survival Skills
5) Heroes (the TV show)
6) The new Star Trek movie
7) Attended the Asian Hip Hop Summit Tour
8) Habs acquiring Mike Cammalleri
9) De La Soul performed in Montreal and praised me as a "real hip hop fan" when I held up the album cover of 3 Feet high and Rising (their first album), for them to sign.
10) Jay-Z's "D.O.A." track


Joshua Mocle - CJLO contributor, ex-news director, ex-The Kids Are So-So

Top records of 2009

The Bomb - Speed Is Everthing







1. The Bomb – Speed is Everything
2. Reign Supreme – Testing the Limits of Infinite
3. Paint It Black – Amnesia/Surrender
4. TIE: Dig It Up! – Magnets (Independent)/Sakes Alive!! – Act II
5. O Pioneers! – Neon Creeps
6. POS – Never Better
7. Gallows – Grey Britain
8. The Riverboat Gamblers – Underneath the Owl
9. Fake Problems – It’s Great to Be Alive
10. Converge – Axe to Fall
11. Frank Turner – Poetry of the Deed
12. Lucero – 1372 Overton Park
13. Dear Landlord – Dream Homes
14. Mariachi El Bronx – Mariachi El Bronx
15. Strike Anywhere – Iron Front
16. Baroness – Blue Record
17. Coalesce – Ox
18. North Lincoln – Midwestern Blood
19. The Swellers – Ups and Downsizing
20. Cloak/Dagger – Lost Art
21. American Steel – Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts
22. Matt and Kim – Grand
23. Chuck Ragan – Gold Country
24. Dethklok – The Dethalbum II
25. Cursive – Mama, I’m Swollen
26. Thursday – Common Existence
27. K’naan – Troubadour
28. Polar Bear Club – Chasing Hamburg
29. Spinnerette – Spinnerette
30. Brand New – Daisy


Alexander Manley, CJLO contributor

Top 25 records of the year:

Propagandhi - Supporting Caste







25. Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - What It Takes to Move Forward
24. Hostage Life - Centre of the Universe
23. Gallows - Grey Britain
22. Shook Ones - The Unquotable A.M.H.
21. Barn Burner - Bangers
20. Tegan & Sara - Sainthood
19. Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Outer South
18. Dear Landlord - Dream Homes
17. Banner Pilot - Collapser
16. Dead to Me - African Elephants
15. Blakroc - Blakroc
14. P.O.S. - Never Better
13. Polar Bear Club - Chasing Hamburg
12. Gray Ghost - Deep in the Shallow End
11. Cobra Skulls - American Rubicon
10. Bedouin Soundclash - Where Have the Songs Played Gone To?
9. Brand New - Daisy
8. Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3
7. Dave House - Intersections
6. Metric - Fantasies
5. Nine Eleven - City of Quartz
4. Fake Problems - It's Great to Be Alive
3. A Wilhelm Scream - A Wilhelm Scream
2. Paint It Black - Amnesia
1. Propagandhi - Supporting Caste

Brian Hastie - Countdown to Armageddon, CJLO magazine editor

Top 50 albums of 2009:

Gallows - Grey Britain







1. Gallows - Grey Britain
2. Converge - Axe To Fall
3. P.O.S. - Never Better
4. Drake - So Far Gone mixtape
5. He Is Legend - It Hates You
6. Slayer - World-Painted Blood
7. Mastodon - Crack The Skye
8. Slaughterhouse - Slaughterhouse
9. Propagandhi - Supporting Caste
10. Megadeth - Endgame
11. Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II
12. The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die
13. Barn Burner - Bangers
14. Timber Timbre - Untitled
15. Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Agorapocalypse
16. Derelict - Unspoken Words
17. Method Man and Redman - Blackout II
18. Pac Div - Church League Champions mixtape
19. Ghosface Killah - Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City
20. Baroness - Blue Record
21. Brand New - Daisy
22. Bike For Three! - More Heart Than Brains
23. Felt - Vol 3: A Tribute To Rosie Perez
24. Royce Da 5'9 - Street Hop
25. Coalesce - Ox
26. CKY - Carver City
27. El Michels Affair - 37th Chamber
28. Poison The Well - The Tropic Rot
29. Revocation - Existence Is Futile
30. Thursday - Common Existence
31. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast
32. Busdriver - Jhelli Beam
33. Brother Ali - US
34. Cannibal Corpse - Evisceration Plague
35. Wale - Back To The Feature mixtape
36. Dethklok - Dethalbum II
37. Think About Life - Family
38. Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster - III
39. Hatebreed - Hatebreed
40. Buried Inside - Spoils Of Failure
41. Augury - Fragmented Evidence
42. Kid Cudi - Man On The Moon
43. Brutal Truth - Evolution Through Revolution
44. 16 - Bridges To Burn
45. Jay-Z - Blueprint 3
46. The Mountain Goats - The Life Of The World To Come
47. Tombs - Winter Hours
48. Thrice - Beggars
49. Isis - Wavering Radiant
50. Moby - Wait For Me

5 disappointments

1. Between the Buried And Me - The Great Misdirect
Too long... Too long. Too bad, too, because Colors was great.

2. 50 Cent - Before I Self Destruct
Fitty promised Get Rich Or Die Trying 2, what we got was a sad grab bag of disconnected, boring tracks.

3. Eminem - Relapse
Drop the voice, Mathers. Seriously. No one cares for it. The saddest part about Eminem's year is that his two best verses were guest verses on other records. (Drake's "Forever" and Lil Wayne's "Drop The World").

4. Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
So much hype surrounding the meeting of three of rock's greatest musicians is bound to be anticlimatic. The record's good, but there's a lot of sameness.

5. Cursive - Mama, I'm Swollen
I don't understand how this once-great band can degenerate to being so utterly boring.


Antonella Fratino - The Siamese Libertines

The thing with Top 10 (20, 100) lists is that they are never truly comprehensive. Particularly when you are trying to sum up the best of a whole decade. Where do you start?  Fundamentally, the picks will always be subjective because musical tastes are a very personal thing. So for this list, I decided against simply putting what I thought were the most revolutionary and influential albums of the 2000s and chose, instead, ones that were memorable and landmark for me. Self-indulgent? Maybe. But isn’t that the best part of being a college radio DJ? 

Top 100 Albums of the Decade

Zero 7 - Simple Things







1. Zero 7 – Simple Things
2. Wolf Parade – Apologies to the Queen Mother
3. Beck – The Information // Modern Guilt
4. Radiohead – Kid A
5. TV On The Radio – Desperate Youths, Bloodthirsty Babes
6. The Strokes – Is This It
7. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
8. The Arcade Fire – Funeral
9. Boards of Canada – Geogaddi // Campfire Headphase
10. Death From Above 1979 – You’re A Woman, I'm a Machine

      And in no particular order…

11. The White Stripes – Elephant / White Blood Cells
12. The Shins – Oh, Inverted World
13. The Dandy Warhols – Welcome to the Monkey House // Thirteen Tales of Urban Bohemia
14. Handsome Furs – Plague Park
15. Air – Talkie Walkie
16. Mindless Self Indulgence – Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy
17. Groove Armada – Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub)
18. Ladytron – 604
19. Justice – Cross
20. Swan Lake – Beast Moans
21. Metric – Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
22. Sunset Rubdown – Shut Up I Am Dreaming
23. The Killers – Hot Fuss
24. Mount Sims – Wild Light
25. The Postal Service – Give Up
26. The Kills – Midnight Boom
27. Autolux – Future Perfect
28. Beirut – Gulag Orkestar
29. Vitamins For You – I’m Sorry for Ever and for Always
30. Sinewave – Unity Gain
31. MSTRKRFT – The Looks
32. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
33. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell
34. Caribou – Andorra
35. The Rapture – Echoes
36. Black Lips – Good Bad Not Evil
37. M.I.A. – Kala
38. Does It Offend You, Yeah? – You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into
39. Klaxons – Myths of the Near Future
40. Jackson and His Computer Band – Smash
41. Peter Bjorn and John – Writer’s Block
42. Sam Roberts – We Were Born in a Flame
43. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
44. Thievery Corporation – Cosmic Game
45. Wintersleep – Untitled
46. Destroyer – This Night
47. Digitalism – Idealism
48. Edit – Crying Over Pros for No Reason
49. Feist – The Reminder
50. Modest Mouse – Good News For People Who Like Bad News
51. Le Tigre – This Island
52. The Go! Team – Thunder, Lightning, Strike
53. Grizzly Bear – Yellow House
54. Midlake – The Trials of Van Occupanther [Bonus CD]
55. Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
56. The Horrors – Primary Colours
57. M83 – Saturdays = Youth
58. Wolfmother – Wolfmother
59. Bellavista – Bellavista
60. Broken Social Scene – Broken Social Scene
61. The Blood Brothers – Crimes
62. The Black Keys – Thickfreakness
63. The Chemical Brothers – We Are the Night
64. The Von Bondies – Pawn Shoppe Heart
65. Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights
66. Hexes and Ohs – Goodbye Friend, Welcome Lover
67. John and Jehn – Amour Ne Nous Dechirera Pas
68. You Say Party! WE Say Die! – Hit the Floor!
69. Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah – Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah
70. I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness – Fear is on Our Side
71. All India Radio – Permanent Evolutions
72. Dungen – Ta Det Lugnt
73. Coldplay – Parachutes
74. Giant Drag – Hearts & Unicorns
75. Goldfrapp – Black Cherry
76. The Hives – Tyrannosaurus Hives
77. Beef Terminal – Anger Do Not Enter
78. Ulrich Schnauss – Far Away Trains Passing By
79. Eagles of Death Metal – Death By Sexy
80. Frog Eyes – Tears of the Valedictorian
81. Vinyl Republik Compilation – Fear of a Digital Planet
82. Peaches – Teaches of Peaches
83. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours
84. Daft Punk – Discovery
85. Madonna – Confessions on a Dance Floor
86. We Are Wolves – Total Magique
87. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
88. Tokyo Police Club – A Lesson in Crime
89. The Knife – Deep Cuts
90. T. Raumschmiere – Radio Blackout
91. Supergrass – Life on Other Planets
92. Queens of the Stone Age – Lullabies to Paralize
93. The Presets – Beams
94. Calvin Harris – I Created Disco
95. A Perfect Circle – Mer de Noms
96. The Organ – Grab That Gun
97. Nouvelle Vague – Bande a Part
98. Nathan Fake – Drowning in a Sea of Love
99. Hot Chip – Rarities and Remixes
 100. And I’ll finish off with one of my favourite songs of the decade: Louis XIV – “Finding Out True Love is Blind”

 Albums I liked in 2009

The Horrors







1. The Horrors – Primary Colours
2. Handsome Furs – Face Control
3. Archivist – Learning to Live on Poison
4. Spinerette – Spinerette
5. Junior Boys – Begone Dull Care
6. Bear in Heaven – Bear Rest Forth Mouth
7. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
8. Dragonette – Fixin To Thrill
9. Think About Life - Family


Ariel Lefkowitz - Greedy Graffiti

Blazing Arrow







Blackalicious A2G and Blazing Arrow Albums
Brother Ali US & The Undisputed Truth Albums
Jedi Mind Tricks - Blood In Blood Out
Slick Rick ft. Outkast-Street Talkin-The Art of Storytelling
Immortal Technique - Freedom of Speech
Jurassic 5 - Freedom
Gangstarr - Skills
KRS One & Buckshot ft. Melanie Fiona & Naledge-Past Present Future
Sister Nancy - Bam Bam
Souls of Mischief - Souls of Mischief
Queen Latifa - Unity
RJD2 – Smoke and Mirrors
Mark Farina - Dream Machine
The Out Crowd - WraBeanz


Chris Bussmann, ex-CJLO Jazz MD, ex-host of Bop and Beyond

Top 10 albums for 2009:
 Zombi - Spirit Animal







1. Zombi - Spirit Animal
2. Animal Collective - Merryweather Post Pavillion
3. Napalm Death - Time Waits For No Slave
4. Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Lynx, Part 2
5. OM - God Is Good
6. Kowloon Walled City - Gambling On The Richter Scale
7. Burning Human - Resurrection Through Fire
8. Majeure - Timespan
9. Stile Antico - Song of Songs
10. Jesu - Opiate Sun
Top 5 reissues:







1. Kraftwerk - The Catalogue
2. Mulatu Astake - New York-Addis-London: The Story of Ethio Jazz, 1965-1975
3. Billie Holiday - The Complete Commodore and Decca Masters
4. John Coltrane - Side Steps
5. The Beatle - In Mono

Top Twenty-Five Albums of the Decade: 2000-2009
(Alphabetical Order)
AFX - Chosen Lords (2006)
The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible (2007)
The Cinematic Orchestra - Man With A Movie Camera (2003)
Cliff Martinez - Solaris (2002)
Clint Mansell ft. Mogwai & The Kronus Quartet - The Fountain
Crisis - Like Sheep Led To Slaughter (2004)
DJ Muggs vs. GZA - Grandmasters (2005)
Einstürzende Neubauten - Silence Is Sexy (2000)
Einstürzende Neubauten - Perpetuum Mobile (2004)
Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele (2000)
Jean Grae - Jeanius (2008)
Jesu - Pale Sketches (2007)
Johnny Cash - American III: Solitary Man (2000)
Jolie Holland - Catalpa (2003)
Killing Joke - Killing Joke (2003)
Lali Puna - Scary World Theory (2001)
Napalm Death - Enemy Of The Music Business (2000)
Napalm Death - Smear Campaign (2006)
OM - A Conference of Birds (2006)
PJ Harvey - White Chalk
Radiohead - In Rainbows (2007)
Radiohead - Kid A (2000)
Techno Animal - Brotherhood Of The Bomb (2002)
Von Freeman - The Great Divide (2004)
Zombi - Spirit Animal (2009)


Louis "Dr Lou Sweets" Rozza, ex-CJLO co-Head MD, ex-co-host of Hooked on Sonics

Top o da pops fo 09:

White Lines - Don't Do 'em







1. White Lies - To Lose My Life
2. Manic Street Preachers - Journal For Plague Lovers
3. Thrice - Beggars
4. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
5. God Help The Girl - God Help The Girl
6. The Horrors - Primary Coulours
7. Super Furry Animals - Dark Days/Light Years
8. Arctic Monkeys - Humbug
9. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
10. Pete Doherty - Grace/Wastelands

Honourable Mention Fo 09:

Broadcast - Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age
Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid

Bands that defined my decade:

North of America
The Libertines
Manitoba / Caribou
Boards of Canada
White Stripes


Darcy MacDonald, ex-CJLO Hip Hop MD, ex-host of Ear Exam/The Homework Show

Eminem - Marshall Mathers LP








Being asked to look back a decade (having spent the middle chunk of it symbiotically attached to Loyola campus and room CC-430) provides a chance to measure progress – my own and that of the music I love. Hip hop at large became at once older and younger, wiser and dumber (as in “dumb” meaning “dumb”). I could probably say something similar about myself, but the only certainty here is that I am balder and more cocksure (as in “cocksure” meaning “cocksure”). Back in 2000, I was 21, was settling into my first crib, and was spinning twice weekly in a cool pub called Roy Bar meeting all kinds of peeps. I am now 31, have owned and worn out a crib, and am considering spin class twice weekly to meet hot older singles. I rocked headphones each and every day and for many years had the privilege of getting to share what I was feeling with friends and listeners at CJLO. As hip-hop MD at the time, heaven only knows how many great rap records came our way (And how many more terrible ones. Peace to JoJo).

So now, by year, my top ten 10 hip hop records I feel best represent what college music is about (backed with purely subjective reflections about where I was at) for the decade beginning in:

10) Year 2000 – Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP

Lots of great records that year – J5, Reflection Eternal, Dead Prez,  Like Water For Chocolate, Stankonia, Supreme Clientele, Deltron 3030 – but if you were listening to rappers, love him or hate him, you were listening to Eminem. So were your neighbours and their kids. Hooray! Hip hop classes for everyone! Heads knew him already and by 2002 a second generation of white teenagers in the Western Hemisphere would be rocking ‘Pac t-shirts, but credit Em for getting them up off their Blink-182 tapes and into downloading Hot 97 battle MP3s. Discredit him for anything you want – especially Fitty and blonde dye – but for better or worse, a new landscape opened up for hip hop at the beginning of the millennium in large part thanks to his success and that of this ridiculously good record.  Eminem captured the gap between stark reality and commercial excess by combining comic wit and lyrical superiority and became one of the biggest figures in contemporary pop culture. Neither the underground nor the mainstream would go uninfluenced. He has since become a lot of things to a lot of people, and the music has, by and large, suffered. Back when this dropped though, Marshall was just dope. The Marshall Mathers LP, in all of its eventual Top 10 glory, may just have been the signpost of a changing tide in general attitudes about what hip hop was and what it might be. 

9) 2001 – Cannibal Ox – The Cold Vein

I remember Rawkwords telling me he was going to Petit Campus to see these guys Cannibal Ox and an emcee called Aesop Rock. He had really been into Funcrusher Plus and told me these guys had some connection to Company Flow. When we talked the day after the show – September 11, 2001 – I don’t recall that we discussed it. At some point thereafter he burned me a copy of The Cold Vein. It turned out Aesop Rock hadn’t shown up that night after all but G was pretty impressed by opener Eyedea & Abilities.  Shortly thereafter I would learn how to steal music off the internet to then go to shows and purchase it. This would become a successful business model for a handful of hardworking related artists over the next decade, not a few of whom are on this list. The Cold Vein, sonically, progressively and independently set the bar for hip hop music to evolve and remain compelling into the 21st century. The bizarre New York futurism of El-P and the Def Jux roster made for informed listening while waiting for the other foot to drop.

8) 2002 – Blackalicious – Blazing Arrow

Now, being terrible at math, I started this list in 1999 and chose “Soundbombing 2” as record of that year. Then I realized that would make this a top-eleven list. I mention it now because some other contenders for top spot in that year included Blackalicious’ Quannum debut “Nia” as well as the label’s now-classic collaborative compilation “Spectrum”. Both “SB2” and “Spectrum”, in ’99, served to introduce and cross-reference a crazy number of artists who would become fixtures of the indie/underground scene for years to come. As the West Coast is getting very little attention on this list, I will also take a second to tip the hat to fellow bay innovators Hieroglyphics for contributions at that time. But as a stand-out, style-defining exercise in retaining the best elements of the golden-era while moving hip hop into new sonic territory, Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab – with the usual gaggle of accomplices – pulled out the stops so hard on this one that they have had difficulty measuring up since. Lyrically that year I went bonkers for J-Live, but 2002 was the Year of the Arrow as far as complexity in rhythms and relevance. 

7) 2003 – Brother Ali – Shadows on the Sun

RSE were already blowing up the stereo at my 2nd pad - right beside the station and campus - as well as on the desktop speakers of a nonexistent but loyal fanbase of Saturday afternoon CJLO listeners. The Ear Exam was based largely on a standard radio format of showing up late, playing a mixtape for a half hour while going outside for “butts” and then laughing at our own stupidity for the final hour. Between the laughter and the tears, enter Brother Ali. I was on the 90 bus headed downtown the first time I put Shadows on my (yikes!) discman. This rugged-sounding cat described Southside Minneapolis so clearly I could see it out the bus window, never having set foot there. By the last line of the first hook of the first track (“you can call me modern urban Norman Rockwell/I paint a picture of the spot well”), I knew Brother Ali (with Ant on the beats), was no kinda joke. Making nothing but consistently strong moves since the release of Shadows, his latest, Us, will for sure be at the top of many year-end charts for ’09. Things can only get bigger for the Brother. In 2003 (which also gave us The Black Album, Jaylib, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and a ton of other great records) Ali was already flipping lyricism and live performance on its ass for those who stopped to pay attention.  An’ if ya didn’t know...

6) 2004 – De La Soul – The Grind Date

This Universal subsidiary label was run by Beyonce’s dad at the time and went kaput pretty quickly after but this sort of indie version of De La found a home for this outing there, moving outside the pattern of their excellent if self-indulgent AOI series (said to have been conceived as a fulfilment of contractual obligations to Tommy Boy) and delivering 13 firebombs. A lot of other big ish went on hip hop on ’04. Kanye dropped The College Dropout, people went nuts for the Grey Album and then Gnarls Barkley. The more obvious pick for this spot in terms of college charts would have been Madvillain. The thing about The Grind Date is that it: 1) took the best elements of character and lyrical craft from a post-Prince Paul De La; 2) mixed it up with production by Kanye, Madlib, Dilla, 9th, Jake One and Supa Dave West (4 out of 6 of whom respectively had BIG years, with the latter two getting theirs now); 3) invited no less than Flava Flav, Common, Ghostface and MF Doom to contribute actual verses that sounded like in-studio collabos and not internet sorcery 4) made it all sing like gangbusters from end to end. De La Soul continues to prove that you can’t fall off if you don’t stop trying to get on top.

5) 2005 – C-Rayz Walz – Year of the Beast

In full swing of my 2nd year as Hip Hop MD at tha’ LO and the third year of Ear Exam, 2005 was really the Year of Too Many Albums to Remember. I believe this was my pick for album of the year then, as it is now. C-Rayz Walz was slept on then, as he is now. To be fair, this has been hands-down his most cohesive effort, and his most high profile, having since meandered from his Jukie camp to pursue Klezmer collabos and one-off projects. Year of the Beast showcased the best aspects about Def Jux smack in the middle of the decade, with El-P, Aes Rock, Rob Sonic, Belief and other fam contributing beats, rhymes and insight.  Rayz can phrase a complex metaphor sparingly and without relying on rapid tongue trickery. Like Doom, who really loomed larger in 2005, C-Rayz Walk can split a 16 into eight individual clever “get-in-get-out” 2-bar assaults on his subject matter and leave you laughing at the punch line instead of researching it for three months on Wikipedia. YOTB delivers 15 well paced and plotted tracks crafted for your headphones, your ride or your party, depending on the day. Four and a half years later I still listen to it and still geek out every time.

4) 2006 – J Dilla – Donuts

2006 was crazy. A few things about it: Ear Exam changed time slots and became The Homework Show...more or less the same thing only with stricter rules about cussin’ (by the hosts, not the artists we played).  It was the year I became a daddy to my little girl Melodie, who will be four soon. That was in March. Just a few weeks before that incredible gain in my personal life, the hip hop world felt overwhelming loss and sadness at the passing of James Dewitt Yancey, whose instrumental LP Donuts dropped only days before his death. Nothing I can say in this critique hasn’t been said or really needs to be said if you’re a Dilla nut. (I don’t think Dilla has mere “fans”.) The quality of subsequent posthumous releases – official, bootleg or otherwise – lay miles apart some of the hip hop legends Dilla sadly left us to join, with respect to them all. I mention it now only an observation backing that which need not be said.  2006 delivered many, many ill rap projects. It delivered me a sweet baby, courtesy of God, her mom and the wonderful staff at St. Mary’s Hospital. It also delivered an unfortunate but valuable reminder:  life is precious and talent is measurable only by degrees when you know you are fucking with greatest.

On a brighter note, 2006 delivered Donuts.

3) 2007 – Blu & Exile – Below the Heavens

You know I still don’t own this record? If you see it for sale somewhere hook me up, SVP. Maybe if I had still worked a CJLO I could have scored one but alas (and really, this went down in later ’06) I was no longer involved at the station.  I was a new dad and had bailed on my 3rd year in Journalism after Melodie was born, was working as a teacher – unfortunately, very little time was left to dedicate to the station, which anyone who has volunteered there will tell you is crucial. My co-host and bredren Sauce was deeper into making the beats and less into playin’ them, Rawkwords runs things on island time and is beholden to no man – Ear Exam and The Homework Show collapsed. Then my relationship  - and by extension, my little family - did, too. Why does that matter, you ask? Well, 2007 was the year I started to re-build my life. Everyone has a breakup record right? Mine was Kanye’s Graduation, I guess just because it dropped around then and “you can’t tell me nothing” helped me start every day with a smile. Believe me, that album could just as easily be sitting at number three. However, at my lowest moment, this young fella from LA ends up on my iPod (courtesy of Rawkwords via Edmonton) and tells me, “you can call it hell, bro, I’ll just say I’m below the heavens.” Below the Heavens was my build-up album.  Blu, if you haven’t heard, rocks mics with a cleverness and eloquence that mixes East Coast savvy with West Coast swagger. Exile, meanwhile, busts out his credentials from the Primo School of Bounceology and the Dilla Tech MA program all over the place here and reminds the kids to stay in school. I expect the beginning of the new decade will belong in part to Blu (who at age already 24 has 3 records and a bunch of mixtapes, all bomb). 2007 was definitely the jump-off for what I hope become prosperous careers for both artists. 

2) 2008 – Atmosphere – When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold

And that’s what I was trying to do that year. I went back to finish school but couldn’t afford my own place after separating from my daughter’s mom, so I found myself living at mom and dad’s house again after nearly a decade. They had moved to Pointe Claire from NDG and that was weird, but I settled into a new (albeit transitional) life and had my daughter with me half the time. I was back around CJLO by default being back at school, and got to hang with old friends and make a few new ones, so that was cool. Anyone who knows me from CJLO was waiting for Atmosphere to make it on this list. I don’t know if this is their best album or not, smacking that label on anything Ant and Slug at this point in their career would still be premature. Lemons is certainly the most innovative in terms of its nearly exclusive use of live instrumentation, but it gets realer than that. This album came “Dedicated to All Dads”. Themes of childhood, trust, parenting, family and society are examined in a fashion that make them accessible to listeners growing up on hip hop today as well those of us already a little bit versed in life. 2007 gave me the one; 2008 gave me the two. My own father was diagnosed with very advanced cancer and passed away before year’s end. Music is beautiful in part because it is so subjective, and music lovers will associate songs and albums with periods in their life. In the summer, when my dad became sick The Cool made it easier to get up and move in the morning; 808s & Heartbreak was sadly comforting in the late fall and early winter when he passed. All that said, given what I had been through already, it has become a mantra that makes me smile to this day: When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold.

1) 2009 – DOOM – Born Like This

This one might be look too easy. Aging indie-rap geek picks aging indie-rap icon as record of the year. I’m tempted to do that finger-inside-the-cheek “pop!” sound at it myself, if it weren’t for the fact that the entire year in hip hop kind of made me want to do that, too. I think if I had to pick a word to describe music in 2009 – and I’m not saying this is a patently terrible thing – but the word that comes to mind is “rehash”. One of my favourites of the year, not even a hip hop record, is just a rehash of Led Zep, Nirvana and Queens of the Stone Age, with one member each from their respective line-ups . Lady Gaga is Madonna, rehashed. Lil Wayne is Hammer, rehashed. If I focused here on Billboard artists this slot would go in a heartbeat to Blueprint 3 – but I could have said the same thing in 2001 with the first one. P.O.S. didn’t so much rehash his concept as refine it, and released his best yet, but I don’t think he affected a decade in a real sense. Neither did label mates Eyedea & Abilities or Jukie Cage, who both released what amount to punk rap records this year, and who also both came with much stronger showings at earlier in the decade. Mos Def made his best record since Black on Both Sides, largely by going back to the formula that makes that record so classic. If Jay Electronica made an actual record maybe we could be talking about him here, but anyways. Brother Ali – my favourite emcee, it can now be said, of the decade, alongside J-Live and Immortal Technique – put out my least favourite record in his catalogue so far. Not to say Us isn’t a monster of an album but it wasn’t my favourite this year. Nope, the one I keep going “Ah, onnnnne more listen...” is this outing from Doom, which features beats we’ve heard before from both the Villain and Dilla, with some freshness in the mix from Jake One. It seemed to come out of nowhere, but DOOM (officially going with the All Caps moniker now) seems to have rested up after letting go of his stranglehold on the indie spotlight these last 6 years. What’s old is made new again, what’s new is a little crisper than usual, a little more textured in terms of rhythm, but all MF. My favourite YouTube vid of the year (which could be 3 years old at this point for all I know) was Mos Def quoting DOOM and going off about him for about 8 minutes. At the end of the decade, looking back at what has changed in hip hop and people’s perception of it, DOOM best represents everything good about change. He has, throughout his career, stood for everything that makes “college” music worthwhile – DOOM is edgy, experimental and willing to take risks that might alienate, backed with talent that ensures they don’t. It is through underground and independent music that outcasts can find each other, and in terms of rap culture no one does a better job of getting oddballs excited than DOOM.

In ten more years – Jesus, I’ll be 41. I hope I just don’t give a shit about this stuff anymore. Not likely. We’ll talk then. Peace.

Darcy MacDonald a.k.a. MaybeFace hosted Ear Exam (2002 – 2005) and The Homework Show (2006) alongside cohorts DJ Sauce and Rawkwords, the Gen’leman Ghost and kissed major promoter ass for a good chunk of that time as music director for hip hop. Saucer is now back in Toronto planting seeds alongside another CJLO alum, CoatesTwice. Rawkwords is living off the fat of the land in rural Winnipeg. MaybeFace realized his a.k.a was an inadvertent “MF” reference and quit hip hop. He now waits tables in Hollywood and is waiting to be discovered.


Timothy Rodrigues aka Ruhk One, ex-host of Scarborough Sessions

From the Top (Up North) to the Bottom (Down South) 
Jay-Z - Death Of Autotune







So Far Gone released on the Internet February 13th 2009. The internet almost breaks down, and everyone now has a Canadian rapper to hate on for being too commercial…not me though, sing that shit boy! I wanna be rich too!

K-oS release Yes…it sounds like a formal apology for Atlantis: Hymns for Disco, me likey…

Jay-Z releases "D.O.A" single, T-pain gets out of pocket and talks some shit about him at a show in Vegas.

Keys and Krates garner critical acclaim for their Live Remix Shows, I see them Live in San Francisco and buy their c.d for 5 dollars…Canadian

While shopping in San Francisco, I hear a Drake track from ’07 playing (aka, back when he was still the kid in the wheelchair on that show) and ask the store clerk how the hell he got his hands on this old track…dude replies, “The Internet”…right., I forgot how small the world is be now.

Melanie Fiona is nominated for a Grammy and people ask, “Who is Melanie Fiona?” Google that girl…

K’Nann’s single “Waving Flag” named official Song for the 2010 World Cup, but Somalia nor Canada will field a team.

Canadian Producer Boi-1-Da produces two #1 Billboard Hot 100 Singles (“Best I Ever Had” and “Forever”) and he uses Fruity-Loops to make beats…

Classified produces an amazing Can-Con Posse cut featuring Moka-Only, Choclair and Maestro (Fresh-Wes) “Quit While Your Ahead”…no one notices (well I do, but you don’t even know who I am so…)

Scarborough Rapper P-Reign releases the “Money In My Pocket” single, giving Toronto a hit single on (Canadian Urban) radio that doesn’t feature Drake, and helps Mat Babel pay his rent. (Galloway Stand Up!)

Kid Cudi, Wale, Mickey Factz, Asher Roth, Blu, Charles Hamilton, Ace Hood, Curren$$y & B.O.B grace the cover of XXL (in 2008) as the next top MCs in Hip-Hop for 2009…only three of them (Cudder, The Beer Pong Champ and Mr. Never Wear The Same Thing) will release full lengths by the time the year is done…(Ace Hood released his in late ’08)

Bonus Moment…any single featuring Gucci Mane…just ‘cause I like saying “BURRRR!!”


Emilie Christiansen, ex-CJLO Production Director, ex-co-host of "Bulldozers vs Treefrogs"

Music decade:
Explosions In The Sky






1. Explosions In The Sky - Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever (2001)
2. Mountain Goats - Coroner's Gambit (2000)
3. Boris – Pink (2005)
4. Nina Nastasia – The Blackened Air (2002)
5. Radiohead - In Rainbows (2007)
6. Hefner - We Love The City (2000)
7. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues (2004)
8. Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn (2003)
9. Queens of the Stone Age – Lullabies to Paralyze (2005)
10. Hayden – Skyscraper National Park (2001)
Movies of the decade:
1.Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
2.Memento (2000)
3.A Bittersweet Life (2005)
4.The Fountain (2006)
5.Let the Right One In (2008)
6.Tout est parfait (2008)
7.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
8.No Country for Old Men (2007)
9.Donnie Darko (2001)
10.King of Kong (2007)

(Props to The Proposition as well as Observe & Report for generally freaking me out in interesting yet different ways)