While trying to put together my “Best of 2009” list, I realized a lot of the new releases I paid attention to were more local than national, and more of the albums I bought were earlier releases, catch-up albums rather than new releases. I want to take time to honor those albums and musicians that inspired me this year, regardless of their release date.
 Cloud Control – Cloud Control
Although this EP came out in 2007, I didn’t hear a peep about it until I took myself down to Australia and saw the band live for myself, and it’s easily become my favorite album and favorite band this year. If you are looking for some excellent indie rock that can be both upbeat and refreshingly mellow, Cloud Control is the only remedy for your crave. They’ve since then released the Death Cloud 7″ single and are finally getting ready for their first full-length, hopefully due in early 2010, on Australia’s Ivy League Records.
 Choose Your Perversion – Andy D
I have a new addiction, and it’s called Andy D. And no matter how gross the lyrics, how tight the pants, or how long the rat-tail, I just can’t help feeling guilty of LOVING ever minute of it. I saw Andy D for the first time about a month and half ago when he opened for Totally Michael at the Bishop, and my life was changed. Standing there in awe thinking “Is that a fanny pack??”, “Geez, that man can move”, and “wait…WHAT did he just say???”, I just couldn’t help falling under his spell and dancing along to track titles like “God Loves Drunk Chicks”, “Magic Lady”, and “Dirty Boyfriend”. While his live show is where the true genius and spectacle lie, the 2007 full-length Choose Your Perversion does not let fans down, rolling through the Andy D classics with energy to burn, perfect for any road trip or just driving to your night out. Andy D is fun, crazy, and where the party is at, so take a chance andcheck him out at a venue near you. Welcome to your new addiction.
You can read all about my attraction to the music of Josh Pyke here. It’s been four months since I left Australia, and I am STILL listening to 2008’s Chimney’s Afire nearly every day. Pyke’s beautiful voice and image-filled lyrics fill this album with songs and stories that capture the heart and soul of Pyke’s creative mind.
A friend of mine turned me on to this band when I was looking for ideas of bands to bring to Bloomington last spring. I remember he went to their MySpace and clicked on the song “Ride the Tide“, and I was hooked. The chaos, the noise, the rhythms, and the shouts. It was a mess of color and harmony, and I had to have more. They got bonus points for being from Indiana and recently being signed by one of my favorite indie labels, Sargent House. Their music is high on energy, beats, volume, and complexity, and their recordings bring it just as well as their live shows. With their new album Wrestling Moves out now and a huge tour coming up with buds La Dispute, this band is in the perfect position to spread chaos all over the nation.
 Wolf People
This UK band was recently signed to Btown label Jagjaguwar, and although I only heard of them two weeks ago, I am quickly becoming consumed by their funky, retro rock sound. Once they get settled with the label, they’ll be released the Tidings LP, which is tentatively due out in February of 2010.