PRINT December 2005

Music: Best of 2005

Dennis Cooper


1 THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, TWIN CINEMA (MATADOR) I’m not so giddily in love with these Vancouver-based indie rock perfectionists that I couldn’t have used this space to write a long, rational essay about them titled something like “God Not Dead?”

2 DUNGEN, TA DET LUGNT (KEMADO) For some reason, in Sweden it’s OK to take the passing of ’60s psychedelia very personally.

3 SUNN0))), BLACK ONE (SOUTHERN LORD) Apparently, one way to renew rock is to keep charring its fundaments until it falls into that category by default.

4 XIU XIU, LA FORET (5 RUE CHRISTINE) People who say singer Jamie Stewart’s hysteria is grating and his songs sound like bad performance art deserve a world where the thousandth variation on Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998) is named record of the year.

5 DEERHOOF, THE RUNNERS FOUR (KILL ROCK STARS) Someone somewhere called them the post-9/11 Jefferson Airplane, which pretty much nails it.

6 BENJAMIN BIOLAY, A L’ORIGINE (EMI INT’L) In France, this very cute young grouch with severe love problems but no other obvious reason to complain is considered the new Serge Gainsbourg.

7 LIGHTNING BOLT, HYPERMAGIC MOUNTAIN (LOAD RECORDS) Ideally, bands should head somewhere. But the status quo will do when the choice to stand still is the result of such tremendous indecision.

8 CARIBOU, THE MILK OF HUMAN KINDNESS (LEAF) As a live act, they blow minds more charmingly than most. Their albums are weirdly slight, but “Yeti” is the utopian single of the year.

9 WOLF PARADE, APOLOGIES TO THE QUEEN MARY (SUB POP) This latest attempt to pick Brian Eno’s brains and The Beatles’ pockets comes courtesy of the third Canadian band on my list. What is going on up there?

10 FOUR TET, EVERYTHING ECSTATIC (DOMINO) Surprisingly intelligent niceness.

A contributing editor of Artforum, Dennis Cooper published God, Jr., his eighth novel, in July (Black Cat, 2005).