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Never Mind the Critics

Here’s what local musicians (and other tastemakers) were listening to in 2009.

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ALEX WHITE

Front woman and guitarist for White Mystery

Nobunny: Love Visions (1-2-3-4 Go!)

Mickey: "She's So Crazy" b/w "I Am Your Trash" (HoZac)

Definitely number one is Love Visions by Nobunny. Totally scuzzed-out Ramones bubblegum music. It's the only CD I keep in my car. I scrape the snow off my windshield with it. Secondly is the new Mickey seven-inch on HoZac. An awesome, totally great record. It's Mark [McKenzie] from the Functional Blackouts as the front man and he totally shines, I think. He kinda does this Jim Morrison/Doors sloppy, crazy, on-the-edge performance. And then it's just this total straight-up rock 'n' roll backing band. Really great danceable type of stuff. "Roses painted on a leather jacket" pretty much sums it up.

GANT-MAN
Juke DJ and producer

Mic Terror & Million Dollar Mano: "Juke Them Hoes" (self-released)

Even though it came out last year, "Juke Them Hoes" was my favorite record that I played this year. I love Mic Terror's rap style. I like his topics and I like the way he rap it. I love the fact that he can rap to house music. I like the fact that Mano used the James Brown "Big Payback" sample. It's an all-time classic new school hip-house Chicago-style track. It's the house speed, it's the James Brown sample. I wish I produced that track. I was like, "Wow, this is a banger." I was happy that he made it because I wish I had made it.

CURT CAMERUCI AND JOSH YOUNG
Flosstradamus

Miike Snow: Miike Snow (Downtown)

JJ: JJ No. 2 (Sincerely Yours)

Mannequin Men: Lose Your Illusion, Too (Flameshovel)

Discovery: Discovery (XL)

Flosstradamus

Curt Cameruci: The Miike Snow album—it stayed on heavy rotation all year for me, mostly just when I was hanging. I think I played it once during one of our sets, but at home I just kept it out; it's just a really playable album. To me it sounds like indie music written by pop producers—just a super pop, polished album of indie kind of songs. I could put the album on and I was never mad.

In a similar vein, JJ, their album—I really like it because they write their songs based on melodies from popular 80s songs, and when I'd listen I'd think "What is this song? I know this!" and be racking my brain, and three days later I would hear some 80s hit and realize where they lifted it. With everyone sampling and mashups, that's just another way to repurpose older material, and I like the direction they took it. Familiarity seems to be my thing, and these records, I feel like I knew where they were from.

Josh Young: Mannequin Men Lose Your Illusion is awesome. It's so fun; I'd listen in the morning when I was getting ready to go out, and it just makes me want to skate, run around, and live, so that was big for 2009. [Editor's note: This interview was not conducted by Miles Raymer, who plays in Mannequin Men.]

We spend so much time in the club listening to music that is so intense; when I'm not DJ-ing, I really want something else, the polar opposite. I want finely crafted pop music. Not like T-Pain pop, like Paul Simon pop. That's why I really loved the Discovery album, which is kind of a perfect driving-around-in-the-snow-alone album. I listen to a lot of music when I am reading, so I like backgrounded melody—which is also the reason I loved Animal Collective's "My Girls." That whole album isn't on my top ten for the year, but that song is perfect.

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