Top Shelf 2005

2005What a year. Jesus, what the hell happened to 2005? Half the world got blown away by hurricanes. The situation in Iraq continues to get more and more fucked up, and more people seem to be recognizing this fact. Gas prices shot up to three bucks a gallon. Hunter S. Thompson killed himself. Seriously, what the fuck was going on?

Never mind all that nonsense for a minute though, because there were a lot of good records released in 2005. And lots of interesting stuff happened in the music industry.

If you’ve been reading Glorious Noise for a while, you’ll remember that we don’t get too uptight about our end of the year lists. This is just stuff that has moved us this year. Just like every other list, it is what it is. Make up your own mind about what sounded good this year and be sure to add a comment if we missed anything!

Chris Bailey

Top 10 Reasons Why The Game’s “Hate It Or Love It” (featuring 50 Cent) Is The Single of the Decade

1. Over the course of the entire track, The Game never (not even once) mentions his “lady lumps.”

2. If you doubt this track’s supremacy, it is its own built-in apologist. The song itself dismisses your criticism. Think 50 should’ve gotten a whole verse instead of just the hook and the bridge? Think it falls into bling-and-Benz cliches? Are you a rockist curmudgeon? *Shrug* “Hate it or love it, the underdog’s on top!”

3. If you indie rockers out there are having trouble with this, it might be helpful to think of G-Unit not as a “crew,” but as a “collective.” You can even pretend they’re from Toronto if you’ll sleep easier.

4. In an era where everyone from Diplo to Gwen Stefani is trafficking in hefty, mechanical, chunka-cha-CHUNK-cha beats, “Hate It or Love It” just does it like hip-hop has always done it, with a good, ol’ fashioned, obscure R&B/disco sample.

5. Like all the best rap music, “Hate It or Love It” manages the tightrope act of reppin’ for the hood without glamorizing it. “I’m from Compton, wear the wrong colors, be cautious.”

6. Fitty has never given sounder advice than “Enough of me, n—-, now listen to Game.”

7. You, the discerning customer, can be assured that this high-quality hip-hop product was not made in any of the following cities: Houston, Memphis, HOTlanta.

8. Kanye ain’t the only one with a Benz and a backpack. To wit: “Waiting on Sha Money to land, sitting in the range / Thinking how they spend 30 million dollars on airplanes / When there’s kids starving.” Bono, look out.

9. All kinds of acts from The Clipse to Eminem to Limp Bizkit have copped Rakim’s rhymes over the last 10-odd years, trying to pull a fast one on suburban white kids with no sense of history. The Game credits his sources MLA-style, bitches.

10. G-G-G-G-G-G-Unit!

Jake Brown

My faves of 2005

• The Mountain Goats – The Sunset Tree (buy)

• Neil Diamond – 12 Songs (article)

• Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (buy)

• White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan (buy)

• Sufjan Stevens – Illinois (article, buy)

• Iron & Wine – Woman King [EP] (buy)

• Beck – Guero (buy)

• Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine (buy)

• Saul Williams – Saul Williams (just got it this year, buy)

• Kelly Clarkston – “Since U Been Gone”

• Kanye West – “Gold Digger”

• Releasing Glorious Noise Records’ second CD: At the End of the American Century… by Riviera (article)

• Intonation Fest – 15,000 people came out to see bands that will never be on MTV.

• Seeing Saul Williams, the Warlocks and Arcade Fire at Lollapalooza (Day 1, Day 2)

Benchley Revealed!

Coq Roc

Sony-BMG copy-protection fiasco

• Finally scoring a DVD copy of “MC5: A True Testimonial

• Giving up my vinyl

Kristy Eldredge

Top 10 Ricky Gervais-authored moments of 2005

• On “Extras,” when Kate Winslet says she’d get an automatic Oscar for “playing a mental”

• When Ben Stiller gives the speech about how much watching the movie Dodgeball would cheer up a kid who’d just lost his parents in a war

• When Ricky as Andy Millman, having just spotted the fianc饠of Les Dennis, a well known comedian, in the arms of another man, suddenly throws his arms around Dennis, overwhelmed with pity. Gervais and Merchant are great at this kind of suddenly-human moment.

• Patrick Stewart playing a sex-crazed prat in the Patrick Stewart episode

• The “Tea for the Tillerman” theme song. It’s pretty and a bit wistful, which fits the mood of the show.

• Stephen Merchant as Andy’s clueless agent Darren, showing Andy how 6,8008 punched into a calculator and turned upside down spells “boobs”

• Ricky and Stephen hawking “The Office” merch in the dvd commentary section

• Ricky acknowledging that all he did to change characters for the new show was shave

• Ricky and Stephen’s title for the discussion of “Extras” as compared to “The Office:” “The Difficult Second Album”

• Ricky’s tactless bumbling with the gay writer/producers at the BBC in the last episode of “Extras”

• Every minute of “Extras” and every minute of “The Office” – dvd rentals that will definitely not let you down.

Sarah Horne

1. Spoon – Gimme Fiction (buy)

2. Sleater-Kinney – The Woods (buy)

3. The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday (buy)

4. Low – The Great Destroyer (buy)

5. Kanye West – Late Registration (buy)

6. The Decemberists – Picaresque (buy)

7. Antony and the Johnsons – I Am A Bird Now (buy)

8. Troubled Hubble – Making Beds In A Burning House (buy)

9. Andrew Bird – The Mysterious Production Of Eggs (buy)

10. The Mountain Goats – The Sunset Tree (buy)

11. Devin Davis – Lonely People of the World, Unite! (buy)

12. Futureheads – The Futureheads (buy)

13. Sun Kil Moon – Tiny Cities (buy)

Best Single: Amerie feat. Eve – “1 Thing” (remix)

Worst Single: Lindsay Lohan – “Confessions Of A Broken Heart (Daughter to Father)”

Johnny Loftus


1. Drones: Wait Long by the River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float by (ATP)

2. Jim White/Various Artists: Music From Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus (Ryko)

3. Boris: Akuma No Uta (Southern Lord)

4. MIA: Arular (XL)

5. Evens: Evens (Dischord)

6. My Morning Jacket: Z (RCA)

7. Sights: Sights (New Line)

8. Sunn 0))): Black One (Southern Lord)

9. Richard Hawley: Cole’s Corner (Mute US)

10. Ellen Allien: Thrills (Bpitch Control)

11. Boards of Canada: Campfire Headphase (Warp)

12. Bonnie “Prince” Billy & Matt Sweeney: Superwolf (Drag City)

13. Jesu: Jesu (Hydra Head)

14. Shakira: Fijació® ral, Vol. 1 (Epic)

15. Hold Steady: Separation Sunday (French Kiss)


1. Mariah Carey, “We Belong Together”

2. Kelly Clarkson, “Since U Been Gone”

3. Transplants, “Gangsters and Thugs”

4. Ladytron, “Destroy Everything You Touch”

Stephen Macaulay

CBGB’s gets another year of existence in the Bowery. Slated to close by October 31, 2006 (hmm. . .why not a Halloween departure, bringing back the New York Dolls and other vintage dress-up acts?). Here’s something that ought to make you feel good, a quote from NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg: “I believe CBGB will continue in its prominent role in setting trends in music and culture.” When a politician who is probably richer than, say, Mick Jagger has that to say about what has historically been an edgy venue, you can smell the whiff of Disney.

• Can rock be petrified? Four of the five 2005 Grammy nominees for “Solo Rock Vocal Performance”: Eric Clapton, Robert Plant, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young. Where’s Mick Jagger?

Live8 on MTV. Undoubtedly the most pathetic broadcast of a musical event ever. Reruns of “The Lawrence Welk Show” have more life, depth and continuity. The “hosts” in the various venues, if nothing else, served to show the youth of America that you can be a know-nothing jackass and, as long as you look good in your outfit, you have a shot at a paying gig. What was the low point of the show? No Tina Turner-Mick Jagger turn.

• Carly Simon puts out a new disc. I know nothing about it. But I don’t think that Jagger appears on it, as he did on “You’re So Vain“.

• While all of the foregoing might lead one to think that I’d wrap up this with a discussion of or a link to A Bigger Bang, we could have probably lived without another financial foray of one of our favorite knights and his band of merry old men.

Next year: Where’s Bono?

Tom Mantzouranis

In no particular order…

• My Morning Jacket – Z (buy)

• Annie – Anniemal (buy)

• LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem (buy)

• M.I.A. – Arular (buy)

• Four Tet – Everything Ecstatic (buy)

• Prefuse 73 – Surrounded By Silence (buy)

• Andrew Bird – The Mysterious Production of Eggs (buy)

• Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (buy)

• Feist – Let It Die (buy)

• M. Ward – Transistor Radio (buy)

• Danger Doom – The Mouse & The Mask (buy)

• Wolf Parade – Apologies to Queen Mary (buy)

• Broken Social Scene – Broken Social Scene (buy)

• The Decemberists – Picaresque (buy)

• Of Montreal – The Sunlandic Twins (buy)

• Stars – Set Yourself On Fire (buy)

• Sufjan Stevens – Illinois (buy)

Derek Phillips

In the order it happened…

1. Colin Meloy solo in Chicago – The Decemberists’ frontman came to Chicago alone and left a gang of new Morrissey fans in his wake. GLONO’s own Quasar Wut-Wut opened the show with a stunning, and rare acoustic set. Great way to kick off what would become a scary year. (Article)

2. Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning – Lil’ Conor finally puts out an album that’s worth the hipster hype that’s glowed from Omaha for the last few years. It’s a solid piece that stands up well next to the legends to which Oberst is always compared. (Article)

3. GLONO 4th Anniversary Party – GLONO celebrated its 4th year in publication with style and aplomb by finally launching a label. Two albums later and we’re still afloat. Here’s looking forward to year number five! (Article)

4. Hunter S. Thompson Dead at 67 – The Good Doctor has been a huge influence on my life. His passing was a real shock to the system. Given how he lived his life I couldn’t imagine what could possibly kill him. Turns out, it was himself. In the months since his suicide it’s become more clear to me why he did what he did and I am no longer angry about it. Thank God Hunter had friends like Johnny Depp who sent him off in the style he deserved. Mahalo. (Article)

5. The Motor City Music Conference – When we met up with Loftus after storming out of the show, he put it in clear perspective: “Staying and playing another shitty show is nothing. At least now you got a story out of it.” (Article)

6. Jake’s Sufjan Stevens review – Writing what you know is the rule they teach you in Composition 101. But taking what you know and applying it to unrelated pieces of culture and making a compelling story is what makes good writers. Jake’s piece on Sufjan’s latest album is the perfect example. (Article)

7. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita – They sound like a couple of sisters you might try to make out with in 7th grade but it turns out they blew away the south eastern seaboard and exposed America’s ugly truth about poverty. Talk about a dick tease? (Article)

8. The Long Way Around: One Badass year with Two Cow Garage – An independent filmmaker teams up with the ultimate independent musicians and makes a great film about life as an American band. This film should be a GLONO release. (Article)

Nate Seltenrich


• My Morning Jacket – Z (Badman) buy

• Maximo Park – A Certain Trigger (Warp) buy

• Tom Brosseau – What I Mean to Say is Goodbye (Loveless) buy

• The Mars Volta – Frances the Mute (Universal) buy

• Devandra Banhart – Cripple Crow (XL) buy

• Matisyahu – Live at Stubbs (Or. Music) buy

• The Boy Least Likely To – The Best Party Ever (Rough Trade) buy

• Damian Jr. Gong Marley – Welcome to Jamrock (Universal) buy

• Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation – Mighty Rearranger (Sanctuary/Es Paranza) buy

• M. Ward – Transistor Radio (Merge) buy


• M.I.A. – “Galang”

• LCD Soundsystem – “Daft Punk is Playing at My House”

• Grip Grand – “Poppin’ Pockets”

• Spoon – “I Turn My Camera On”

• The White Stripes – “My Doorbell”

• Smog – “I Feel Like the Mother of the World”

• My Morning Jacket – “Wordless Chorus”

• The Cloud Room – “Blackout”

• The Mars Volta – “The Widow”

• Sufjan Stevens – “Casimir Pulaski Day”

Michael West

Top 10 comics of 2005

1. Spiral Bound – Aaron Renier

2. Hutch Owen Unmarketable – Tom Hart

3. Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man – John Porcellino

4. Black Hole – Charles Burns

5. Epileptic – David B

6. Public Enemy #2 – Aaron McGruder

7. Embroideries – Marjane Satrapi

8. Why are you doing this? – Jason

9. The Clouds Above – Jordan Crane

10. Will you still love me if I wet the bed? – Liz Prince

Vitas Zebraitis

Top 10

Matt Sweeney & Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Superwolf

Rogue Wave – Descended Like Vultures

Andrew Bird – Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs

Richard Hawley – Coles Corner

Spoon – Gimme Fiction

Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning

Black Mountain – Black Mountain

Art Brut – Bang Bang Rock N Roll

Devin Davis – Lonely People of the World Unite

Beck – Guero

The other 29

Broken Social Scene – Broken Social Scene

The Decemberists – Picaresque

Okkervil River – Black Sheep Boy

Wolf Parade – Apologies to Queen Mary

The Magic Numbers – The Magic Numbers

White Stipes – Get Behind Me Satan

Oneida – The Wedding

Dane Cook – Retailiation

Death From Above 1979 – You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine

Deerhoof – The Runners Four

Frank Black – Honeycomb

Iron and wine/Calexico – In The Reins

Japanther – Master of Pigeons

OK Go – Oh No

John Langford & Richard Buckner – Sir Dark Invader Vs. The Fanglord

Jonathan Richman – Not So Much To Be Loved As To Love

New Pornographers – Twin Cinema

Patton Oswalt – Feelin’ Kinda Patton

The Ponys – Celebration Castle

Silver Jews – Tanglewood Numbers

Smog – A River Ain’t Too Much To Love

Son Volt – Okemah and the Melody Riot

Supergrass – Road To Roeun

Teenage Fanclub – Man-Made

Ween – Shinola Vol. 1

Antony & The Johnsons – I Am A Bird Now

Super Furry Animals – Love Kraft

Sam Prekop – Who’s your new professor

Archer Prewitt – wilderness

Previously: GLONO’s “Top Shelves” of 2004, 2003 and 2002. Also see Johnny’s round up of 2003 as well as his highlights of 2002 and 2001.

23 thoughts on “Top Shelf 2005”

  1. Not bad… here are my top 10 tracks for ’05 (in no particular order, as picking just 10 is hard enuf):

    “Walking With A Ghost” by Tegan & Sara

    “Modern Art” by Art Brut

    “Ain’t No Easy Way” by BRMC

    “Easy Plateau” by Ryan Adams

    “Love Is A Deserter” by the Kills

    “Blood On Our Hands” by DFA 1979

    “Earth, Mama, Woman, Girl, Child” by Weird War

    “Too Drunk To Fuck” by Nouvelle Vague

    “I Turn My Camera On” by Spoon

    “The Dark Don’t Hide It” by Magnolia Electric Company

    honorable mentions going to the Stubbs the Zombie soundtrack (check out Oranger’s Mr. Sandman and the Walkmen’s “There Goes My Baby”) and Cat Power’s “Islands”, which I guess doesn’t come out until ’06 but’s been burning a mellow hole in my headphones for a month.

  2. a list sure to be hated but here goes:

    1. martha wainwright – martha wainwright

    2. new order waiting for the sirens’ call

    3. coldplay – x and y/liz phair – somebody’s miracle

    4. weezer – make believe

    5. ben folds – songs for silverman

    6. aimee mann – the forgotten arm

    7. foo fighters – in your honor

    8. billy corgan – thefutureembrace

    9. juliana hatfield – made in china

    10. ryan adams and the cardinals – cold roses

  3. my top 10 records (in backwards order so as to build suspense):

    10. neil diamond – 12 songs (thanks russ)

    9. youth group – skeleton jar

    8. bruce springsteen – devils & dust

    7. motion city soundtrack – commit this to memory

    6. starflyer 59 – talking voice vs. singing voice

    5. harvey danger – little by little

    4. crooked fingers – dignity & shame

    3. iron & wine / calexico – in the reins

    2. the hold steady – separation sunday

    1. the mountain goats – the sunset tree

  4. Either I’m finally getting too old to be bothered or it was probably the worst year of music in my lifetime. Nearly everything I heard sounded like a watered down version of something else. Second rate alt-country, third-rate power pop, increasingly lame hip-hop. Bummers all around.

    *Half of the White Stripes record was interesting. The rest was Jack’s worst stuff ever.

    *The Sights record was truly good and they were truly exciting live. If only Eddie could hold a band together.

    *Incredible Casuals reissues and their new disc “Nature Calls” were great. Best live show I saw too.

    The best thing about the year in music was easily dimeadozen. Dozens of trips to the record store with nothing worth buying had me listening to hours and hours of bootleg live shows. New Killers? Interpol? Thanks, I’ll stay home and listen to my newest NRBQ bootleg instead.


  5. neither the killers nor interpol put out records in 2005.

    • hey bob, Dec 21, 2005 2:29PM

    I realize that, but those sure are the two rock records that the (over 30 crowd at least) bought and talked about in 05′

    The killers disc in particular couldn’t be given away at my store when it first came out, now it’s all my wife’s friends talk about. Nice, smart, well-educated people too. I don’t get any of it. More lame corporate rock drivel.


  6. I agree that 2005 was a pretty lousy year for the whole “art meets commerce” thing. Not much of the good music crossed over to the mainstream, and of course, vice versa.

  7. Yeah, 2005 was pretty bad. The first 3 months were chock-full….Bright Eyes, Decemberists, M. Ward, M83, etc. And then it all kinda fell apart. Even my favorite releases don’t hold a candle to the stuff of the last 2 or 3 years.

  8. 1.) Bright Eyes-“I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning”

    2.) My Morning Jacket-“Z”

    3.) New Pornographers-“Twin Cinema”

    4.) Wolf Parade-“Aplogies To The Queen Mary”

    5.) Sufjan Stevens-“Illinois”

    6.) Kayne West-“Late Registration”

    7.) The Mountain Goats-“The Sunset Tree”

    8.) Fiona Apple-“Extraordinary Machine”

    9.) Kate Bush-“Aerial”

    10.) Rougue Wave-“Descended Like Vultures”

    11.) Low-“The Great Destroyer”

    12.) Sleater-Kinney-“The Woods”

    13.) The White Stripes-“Get Behind Me Satan”

  9. This year’s been a tough one for me, with personal stuff, work, well, everything, so I’ve been retreating more into my old collection than getting into new stuff. Still, my list for the year (which does not get anywhere near 10):

    Set Yourself On Fire – Stars

    The Woods – Sleater-Kinney

    The Sunset Tree – the Mountain Goats

    Twin Cinema – the New Pornographers

    Guero – Beck

    Let it Die – Feist (2004/2005?)

    You Could Have It So Much Better – Franz Ferdinand (I love this; why was it dismissed so fast?)

    …and I’ve got the Mars Volta, Bright Eyes and M.I.A. from this year kicking around, but somehow they didn’t excite me. Man, 2005 was an odd year.

  10. My top 10 singles/albums of 2005:

    10. Ladytron The Witching Hour

    9. Depeche Mode “Precious”

    8. BRMC “Ain’t No Easy Way”

    7. Arcade Fire “Cold Wind”

    6. Death Cab for Cutie “Soul Meets Body”

    5. Rogue Wave “Publish My Love” (the rest of the album didn’t grab me as much unfortunately)

    4. Kanye West Late Registration

    3. Decemberists Picaresque2. New Pornographers Twin Cinema

    1. New Pornographers Twin Cinema’

    Bright Eyes was kind of disappointing, as was the Death Cab for Cutie album. And I still need to get Low’s CD.

  11. My top 5 in no particular order….

    Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning

    The Decemberists – Picaresque

    Death Cab for Cutie – Plans

    Delorentos – Leave It On (Ep)

    The Zutons – Who Killed The Zutons?

    One note – Delorentos are my mates band so I’m biased (not that I’m apologising).

  12. my top-whatever, in no order:

    The National – Alligator

    M. Ward- Transistor Radio

    Calexico/Iron & Wine – In the Reins

    Maximo Park – A Certain Trigger

    Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake… (although I also enjoyed Digital Ash)

    Ryan Adams – Jacksonville City Nights

    Doves – Some Cities

    Stars – Set Yourself on Fire

    Bloc Party – Silent Alarm

    Chad VanGaalen – Infiniheart

    Low – The Great Destroyer

    Eels- Blinking Lights…

    Kanye West – Late Registration

    Beck – Guero

    Unfortunately, these lists serve to remind me how much good stuff I still need to pick up. January is gonna be expensive…

  13. 1. dEUS; pocket revolution

    2. steve reich; you are (variations)

    3. the fall; fall heads roll

    4. kate bush; aerial

    5. wolf parade; apologies to the queen mary

  14. meh. live albums… there are VERY few of them that even approach album of the year status, and from what i’ve heard, kicking television ain’t no time fades away.

  15. Metric – live it out , out of my mind over this band, and this record

    ammie mann – the forgoton arm, when she does an album, there always the best natural songs of any release year!!!

    controller controller – x amounts

    the gco – s/t

    jens lekman – oh your so silent jens, simply stunning.

  16. Kristy (and anybody else) –

    did you know that Ricky Gervais has a podcast on iTunes? I just subscribed last night and fell asleep before I could listen to the first episode, but “they say” it’s the funniest podcast ever. From what I heard it was him and his buddies yapping it up. Good stuff.

  17. 1.HOWLING HEX- you can’t beat tomorrow


    3.SOLTERO- hell train

    4.JOSEPHINE FOSTER- hazel eyes, I will lead you


    6.SILVER JEWS- tanglewood numbers


    8.ALVARIUS B.- blood operatives of the barium sunset

    9.AKRON/FAMILY- akron/family

    10.THE GRIS GRIS- for the season

    11.SMOG- a river ain’t too much to love

    Also could include ISLANDS -return to the sea (which isn’t out, but am listening to) and of course DRIVE SHAFT

  18. Well, I’m only a month late, but here is my 10 best (heavy rotation faves marked w/*):

    1. *The Aquabats – Charge!!

    2. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm

    3. *The Darkness – One Way Ticket To Hell…And Back

    4. *The Decemberists – Picaresque

    5. *Iron & Wine – Woman King EP

    6. The Mountain Goats – The Sunset Tree

    7. *New Pornographers – Twin Cinema

    8. Ryan Adams – Cold Roses

    9. *The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan

    10. Trail Of Dead – Worlds Apart

    Honorable Mention:

    • BRMC – Howl

    • Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning

    • Daft Punk – Technologic

    • Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have It So Much Better

    • The Hellacopters – Rock & Roll Is Dead

    • Gorillaz – Demon Days

    • Spoon – Gimme Fiction

    • Super Furry Animals – Love Kraft

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