I usually don't link to Robert Christgau, but I'll make an exception for this brilliant piece, in which he chronicles a 30 day journey in search of good live music in New York. It's a hilarious and engaging read. Say what you will about the old grump, but the fact that a man of 65 still holds rock'n'roll so dearly that he is willing to go out on a month's search for the live kick is admirable by any standards. And just so that I've said it, it wasn't on the blogosphere that I discovered Toronto's Tokyo Police Club (TPC), this week's "most played" on my iPod, but through Christgau's monthly Consumer Guide. The old man still has good ears on him.
TPC play wonderful, woozy punk. The drums are assertive yet playful, the bass firmly states the riffs, while the guitars swirl around only occasionally joining in to produce more riffing power. The vocals remind me of Clem Snide, but lyrically they're more non-specific but still apt, even if my fave line so far may not read (as opposed to sound) like poetry: "You, you're so young, I don't care what you've done wrong". The Ep's called A Lesson in Crime. Sells for $9.99 at InSound.
Why, oh why hadn't I heard Rich Halley Trio's Mountains and Plains until just recently. I've got a thing for trios, especially jazz trios, and this is one of the best trio recordings I've heard in a long time, topped only by the two brilliant Adam Lane Trio albums (more on those later). Mountains... was released last year, but I don't know if I can be bothered to fit it into my 2005-list. But in case you're wondering, it may have cracked top 20.