2009 may be over and done with according to the calendar but not quite yet for me. Tomorrow night, myself and Mike YoungMC, the man behind the lens at Stop Down Fire will be over at River Gods (near Central Square) doing our annual year-end music review. We'll look back fondly at '09. Then some time in February we'll be looking back on the past decade of music. And just to avoid the kind of argument music geeks get into when they DJ (you know, fighting over who gets to play what band), we've split up the decade by years. That said, once tomorrow night's 2009 Retrospective is done I'll be able to look forward into 2010 and the hopefully great new music on the horizon.
That said, this post is dedicated to the person I consider to be the MVP of 2009, the incomparable Karen O. Now, I'll admit, I was pretty quick to get on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs bandwagon back in '01 but I was even quicker at jumping off said bandwagon after seeing the YYYs perform live. Let's just say that Karen O screeched so much that I was convinced the "O" stood for "Ono" (for the record, it stands for Orzolek.) It wasn't until the Download Festival in 2007 when Ms. O, Nick Zinner (a.k.a. the Coolest Guitarist Ever) and Brian Chase finally won me over for good.
But even I couldn't predict the kind of year Karen O would have. First, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs put out the stunning, It's Blitz! transforming into a glitzy, electro-rock juggernaut. Then there was the soundtrack to Where The Wild Things Are credited to Karen O and the Kids- a group that includes Zinner and Chase, as well as Bradford Cox of Deerhunter/Atlas Sound, members of Liars, the Raconteurs, and others- a surprising collection of winsome orchestral pop. And the icing on the cake...or the cherry on top, depending on your preference, is Karen O's guest appearance on another of the year's musical triumphs, The Flaming Lips glorious mindfuck of an album, Embryonic. All of these are reasons that Karen O is not only the MVP of 2009 but also my new Non-Sexual Crush. I bet we'd get along if we hung out.
Anyway, here's a sampling of Karen O's utter coolness:
First up: Dance til you're dead!
Then: A song for frolicking in a field.
And finally: Putting the "O" in "weirdo"