>Inevitable End Of Year List #1, Part 2 – Delayed By Phlegm

Urgh. I was supposed to post this list a few days ago. And then Man Flu overcame me, and I decided to spend my time in bed, producing much more mucus than I thought was humanly possible.

Bravely, I fought the nasal coleslaw, and here’s Part Two. Better late than never…

The ANBAD Almost-Best And Definitely-Worst Of 2009 List, Part 2

The How To Needlessly Complicate Your Life Award:

When I decided to go on an extended three-month camping trip during the summer I found out these things:

  1. Trying to update a daily music blog from a tent is difficult
  2. Trying to do it from a wooded hillside in Slovenia is really difficult
  3. Blogging about obscure bedroom-Indie bands from the roadside whilst waiting for the Tour de France peloton is one surefire way to retrospectively question your own sanity

The Damn You, Europop Award:

Arsenium – the man so intent on pissing off all of bloody Europe that he not produced a song of both high-density idiocy and unforgivable catchiness, but also gave himself a ridiculous name to make sure your hatred is tempered by utter bewilderment. Listen to this monster Euro-hit and feel your mind slowly shrivel and wilt. It was sung by 13-year-old schoolgirls everywhere, from France to Croatia. And, like at the harrowing conclusion of 1984, I just gave up and learnt to love it. So will you.

Michael Jackson: The Benefits Of Death

I was in Lekeitio, in Northern Spain, when Michael Jackson died. News hadn’t filtered through to me, and instead I thought that the town was hosting some sort of Jackson fan convention, because all the bars were playing Thriller, and conversations in the otherwise unintelligible Euskara dialect was punctuated with his name. Weird to the very end. But his bizarre, untimely death brought an end to rumour and lawsuits, and brought his music to the fore again. Perhaps that was the only way it could ever happen.

The Against All Normal Urges, Initial Impressions and All Common Sense Award:

Lady Gaga. I was desperate to hate her and her music. And I don’t even like her songs that much. But the chorus from Paparazzi is still stuck in my head, and in a world of Miley Cyruses and Taylor Swifts, her confidence and relentless visual bombardment is so refreshing it hurts.

The Weren’t Your First Two Albums Actually Good? Award:

Kings Of Leon. They’ve already contracted the Bland Death, now let’s hope they contract a disease that reders them unable to produce any more relentlessly dull music.

The Oh, Just Go Away Now Award:

Black Eyed Peas, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, The Jonas Brothers: Oh, just go away now.

Christmas: Enjoy it, one and all. ANBAD is about to mutate into something that looks the same, but better; bigger, yet as facile. More new bands, more comment, more things to click on when you ought to be doing real work. Stay tuned to find out more. I hope you’ll be as excited as I am…

>Inevitable End Of Year List #1, Part 1

An outsider would think that music bloggers the world over conspire at the end of each calendar year to produce a myriad of list-based posts merely to confirm the suspicion that music bloggers are anal, facile and childish. These outsiders would be absolutely right.

A minutely-tinkered list tells two stories: one of care, fastidious attention and deep love – and one of too many lonely nights alphabetising a vast CD collection. ANBAD wishes to distance itself from both these personality traits, although they are as just as applicable, sadly.

So. If you want to read lots of gushing lists featuring The XX, Grizzly Bear and Phoenix (all of whom left me feeling curiously unsatisfied), try another blog. Unlike last year, ANBAD is producing two lists, and two alone.

Next week, as I finally succumb to Christmas and sink into a haze of Port, mince pies, awkward silences and watching all the Die Hard movies back-to-back-to-back-to-back, there will be the important one: The Top Ten New Bands of 2009. Keep frothing in anticipation, kids!

However, today, here is an equally important one:

The ANBAD Almost-Best And Definitely-Worst Of 2009 List, Part 1

The Biggest Drain On My And Any Other Human Being With Ears’ Time Award:

Spotify. Spotify, Spotify, Spotify. Yes, it’s been knocking around for a bit, but this year was when everyone started interrupting conversations in the pub with the words, “Wait – have you got Spotify yet? It’s incredible.” A three hour sermon would then be delivered on the benefits, which would include table-thumping, wildly joyful eyes, and barely-concealed astonishment at finding a Fall B-side they hadn’t heard for years.

If you’re still not convinced: Heathen! Get it here, and watch your jaw drop and your evening disappear.

The Death Of The Other Biggest Drain Of Time Award:

Goodbye Planet Sound. When 1980’s tech revolution, 00’s Internet-for-the-poor Teletext stopped working a week ago, it took with it not only blocky weather maps, Bamboozle and creepy singles ads, but the brilliant pre-blog-blog Planet Sound. Not only was it was essential early morning pyjama-and-peanut-butter-on-toast reading material, but it pushed tiny new bands to a huge audience, all from page 340. Sadly missed.

The Album Whose Brilliance Only Fully Emerged This Year:

Neon Neon‘s Stainless Style. No, I don’t know why I didn’t fully get it before, back in 2008. Perhaps it seemed a bit, oh I dunno, gimmicky – a faux-80’s synth album about John DeLauren , featuring Yo Majesty and Har Mar Superstar? But this year I couldn’t stop playing the damn thing, lost and swooning in the beauty of the sounds, the story and the execution. I’m a year late, I know. So sue me.

2009’s Song That Got Stuck In My Head AND WOULDN’T LEAVE NO MATTER WHAT:

Whiskey In The Jar, by Thin Bloody Lizzy. Thanks, Spotify.

Part two of this list is COMING SOON. Hold your breath…