2004's Top Ten Albums Mix of indie artists makes music enthusiast's 'best' list
Across the board, 2004 was a fascinating year for music, a bona fide year of the underdog.
Many of the bands that serious independent rock fans have been hoping would make it big -- such as Modest Mouse, Death Cab For Cutie and The Shins -- finally did, thanks to exposure on shows such as "The O.C.," which nearly single-handedly spawned (or respawned) mainstream America's fascination with everything "indie."
But what indie kids have known all along is that the real cache of independent rock wasn't so much that mainstream America didn't get it, but instead that "corporate America" could no longer dictate what music people listen to.
Now, at last, that concept is getting out to the masses. Maybe.
While it's sad for die-hard indie-rockers to lose ownership of "independent" music, at least years of evangelism finally are bearing fruit. And what fruit it is.
Without further adieu, here is one man's opinion on the 10 greatest albums released in 2004...
Coming in at #9 is Tom Waits with 'Real Gone':
The Tom Waits of "Bone Machine" and "Mule Variations" finally returns, and he's at his bone-crunching, blues-caveman best.
And the #1 record on the list is Neko Case's recent live record 'The Tigers Have Spoken':
If there was any justice in the world, this live album would be a mandatory blueprint for every burgeoning contemporary country songstress in America. Following in the tradition of Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette, Tacoma-native Case manages to be simultaneously smart and sultry, haunting and rocking. This is as good as live albums get.