“Every couple of weeks, something comes along and you think ‘This could be the worst thing ever.’ Well, it’s been a couple of months, and I’m prepared to say that this really is the Worst Thing Ever.”
–Steve Scariano describing Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill to me while we were both working at Euclid Records in 1996.
This has been an utterly fantastic year for new music. Spoon, Novillero, The Clientele, Danger Doom, The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Reigning Sound, The High Dials, Brendan Benson, etc. etc. Just a great year. But it ain’t been perfect, not by a long shot.
For one thing, Alanis apparently missed the memo about her 15 minutes expiring nearly 10 years ago, and she released another album. Predictably, like most of her stuff, it wasn’t just “bad”, but it possessed that special brand of Alanis bad–that aggressive, grab-you-by-the-collar and scream “BAD!” bad.
Liz Phair? Yeah. Retire. Please. (To prove I’m just not randomly hating on female singers, I’ll also throw out there that Sheryl Crow, Aimee Mann, and Tracy Bonham all realeased terrific discs this year.)
Then there’s a Canadian band called Great Big Sea. To quote another, much more wonderful band from the Maritimes (the wonderful Sloan), “It’s not the band I hate it’s their fans”. Well, okay, I do hate the sanitized sub-Poguesian sea-chanty all-boy chorus sound they’ve got working a whole lot, too.
(Since there’s a lot of Canada hatin’ happening here, I feel obligated to mention that Novillero and The High Dials both hail from north of the border, and that Sloan, from Halifax, put out one of the greatest records in the last 30 years in 1994′s Twice Removed. So there.)