I have to admire this man's taste in music. I may even check out his other picks. Rob, who writes in the Dec. issue of the Rolling Stone, chose two of John Frusciante's albums in his top 10 for the year. Woo Hoo!
1. David Berkeley, After the Wrecking Ships (Ten Good): The Atlanta-based troubadour's second album explodes with ripe vignettes, historically based and timelessly rendered with shades of Nick Drake and David Ackles.
2. Patty Griffin, Impossible Dream (ATO): Griffin sounds stressed, frustrated, remorseful, spent yet beautifully poised throughout this mournful and hopeful song cycle of acoustic guitar and piano ballads.
3. Mark Lanegan, Bubblegum (Beggars Banquet): Former Screaming Trees leader and modern-day Northwestern blues singer turns on the electricity and duets with PJ Harvey.
4. Ataxia, Automatic Writing (Record Collection): This is what you get when you lock the Chili Peppers' John Frusciante in a room after a night of listening to Nineties German Krautrock.
5. Tom Waits, Real Gone (Epitaph): This is what you get when you lock Tom Waits in a room with no piano. Dirty sounds made darker by habit.
6. Jens Lekman, When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog (Secretly Canadian): One minute he's the new Magnetic Fields, the next he's Tim Buckley. Behind the mimic and wiseguy rest sublime melodies.
7. John Frusciante, Shadows Collide With People (Warner Bros.): As a solo act, Frusciante can do anything, and he's determined to do just that as he dances from genre to genre.
8. Iron and Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days (Sub Pop): Quiet, reflective songs that at first whisper past then gently nag your conscience with the subtle hooks in place.
9. Anders Parker, Tell It to the Dust (Baryon): Is it country with hints of psychedelia or psychedelia with hints of country? Parker drops the Varnaline name and stands proudly alone.
10. Tom McRae, Just Like Blood (Nettwerk): Winner of the now annual Nick Drake award in England, McRae makes an album too lush for its own good. No need to hide, mate.
Reissue: Various Artists, Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the 80s Underground (Rhino): Music from the decade that happened by innuendo and rumor. Four CDs that tell a very different story than radio and MTV.