What a year! 

D'Anne: Just what people want — another 2009 recap.

Laura: Well, this one will be different. Or at least peppered with more sarcasm and inappropriate comments than most. And less Animal Collective exaltation.

D'Anne: How do you know I'm not going to fawn all over Animal Collective? I loved Mayflower Picnic Pavilion. Isn't that what the album is called?

Laura: Um, no. Perhaps you're thinking of some kind of public access children's show about Thanksgiving.

D'Anne: That should be Animal Collective's next project then. 

Laura: Agreed. Looking at our personal favorite albums of 2009 lists, we have some overlap. 

D'Anne: Detroit-wise, Deastro and Office made both of our lists.

Laura: True. We also both loved the self-titled Telekinesis! album and BOAT's Setting the Paces — two equally poppy and catchy records, although one ended up with a prominent car commercial spot while the other hasn't gotten nearly enough recognition.

D'Anne: I think maybe naming your band BOAT is a bad idea. I mean, if somebody tries to look you up on the Internet, they're more likely to find Craigslist ads for kayaks then they are to find your music.

Laura: Yeah. But people should go through the extra trouble to look these guys up. Then you can blast their music from your boat.

D'Anne: I think there were more we didn't agree on. Like the Mountain Goats' The Life of the World to Come. Listening to that was like listening to some band that should be playing amateur night at the Ark in Ann Arbor. 

Laura: I totally disagree. And considering the examination of religion on that album, I'm pretty sure you're going to hell for dissing it.

D'Anne: Whatever. I'm also not into Parvo.

Laura: That's Polvo, and that's because it's "math rock" and you suck at math even worse than I do. 

D'Anne: True. I just can't groove on math because it's such a traumatic subject for me.

Laura: You know what else should be a traumatic subject for you? Your "suit-vest-with-a-Pearl-Jam-T-shirt" look from junior high school. 

D'Anne: Oh, don't worry, it is.

Laura: Well, clearly not traumatic enough, or Backspacer wouldn't be high on your year-end list!

D'Anne: I think it's one of Pearl Jam's best in a long time.

Laura: I'm just glad that none of the records on my list carry the label "Target exclusive."

D'Anne: Your list was really heavy on re-issues. Morrissey, for instance. When's the last time that guy actually put out a new album?

Laura: Um, this past year. It's called Years of Refusal.

D'Anne: You mean Years of Refusing to Write a New Album? I have to admit that the song "Someone Is Humping My Skull" is pretty catchy, if not a little vulgar.

Laura: It's "Someone Is Squeezing My Skull" and your opinion on all matters Morrissey are invalid. And what do you mean my list is heavy on reissues? 

D'Anne: Well, Yo La Tengo and Dinosaur Jr., to name a couple more. Those are just releases of their early '90's material, right?

Laura: No. Both of them put out brand-new albums. Both of which are awesome. It's not my fault you can't tear yourself away from Lady Gaga long enough to appreciate them.

D'Anne: Whatever. Sure she was overplayed in 2009, but she's a goddamn pop music phenomenon. She's like Madonna reincarnated.

Laura: But Madonna isn't even dead.

D'Anne: Exactly.

Laura: I can't even name a single Lady Gaga song. I mean, you are talking to the girl who didn't realize that Molly Cyrus and Hanna Montana were the same person until earlier this year.

D'Anne: You mean Miley Cyrus. And you are dumb.

Laura: What about live music? What were your favorite shows this year?

D'Anne: Chris Bathgate at the Magic Bag. Ra Ra Riot at the Hamtramck Labor Day fest. Office with Johnny Headband at Small's. Those three stand out for me.

Laura: I saw some amazing sets by Detroit favorites Deastro, Lightning Love, New Grenada and Zoos of Berlin. And then there was Child Bite at Theatre Bizarre.

D'Anne: I wish I had gone to Theatre Bizarre. Instead, I drove you there and picked you up in my pajamas.

Laura: Which I appreciated greatly. You'll have to come next year for sure. I really can't stress enough how amazing it is. It's like if the Renaissance Fair was all-Halloween, all-the-time. 

D'Anne: Considering how much I love the Ren Fest, like in the opposite way of love, Theatre Bizarre still sounds pretty awesome.

Laura: It is. As for my favorite shows of the year, it's easily Jesus Lizard at the Crofoot, and Morrissey both in Ann Arbor and Chicago.

D'Anne: It's too bad you weren't at the show where Morrissey nearly fainted. You could've rushed to the stage to give him mouth-to-mouth or at least stood there with your fists in the air yelling, "No, God — take me! Take ME!"

Laura: I'm sure I wouldn't have been the only one.

D'Anne: You know what I didn't get to do nearly enough this year? Go see movies in an actual movie theater.

Laura: I didn't go as often as I would have liked. You know what it's like — when you're on a nine-season marathon of Roseanne on DVD, it's hard to just take a night off and see a film. Still, I did manage to see my most favorite and my least favorite movies of the year in the actual theater. Fantastic Mr. Fox and (500) Days of Summer, respectively.

D'Anne: I didn't see either of those, though I'm still holding out hope that I'll some day see Mr. Fox. I have no idea what would posses you to pay $9 to see Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt hook up and break up over and over again.

Laura: The legacy of that movie is that every single time I think of it, I get more and more angry about how much I hated it.

D'Anne: Why did you hate it so much?

Laura: First of all, Zooey Deschanel is a creep. Second of all, her character in (500) Days of Summer is totally cold, emotionally cut-off and ultimately unlikable. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt is just a whiny little baby. I just wanted to beat him to death with his own Dockers. Plus, they had the nerve to integrate the music of the Smiths into such a fucking awful story line.

D'Anne: Ah, I see. It all comes back to Morrissey and your defense of his legacy. I'm sure he'd do the same for you. If he, you know, had any idea who you were.

Laura: Why, thank you for your kind words.

D'Anne: I did see Anvil! The Story of Anvil and A Serious Man. A Serious Man was good, but Anvil! was my favorite. For one, I'm a sucker for documentaries about the downtrodden, and I have a well-known soft spot for the sounds of metal.

Laura: Theirs is the great American story.

D'Anne: Even though they're Canadian.

Laura: Oh. I missed that part.

D'Anne: Any records or shows you're looking forward to in 2010?

Laura: Yes — Yo La Tengo at the Crofoot later this month and Those Darlins in the Pike room in February. Plus, new Magnetic Fields, Yeasayer and Shearwater records.

D'Anne: I'm looking forward to new records by the National, Midlake, and Arcade Fire. And Casiotone For the Painfully Alone is coming in February to the Pike Room.

Laura: Only you would like something called Casiotone For the Painfully Alone. What is that, a depressed seventh-grader with a retro Casio Sk-1 and a dream journal?

D'Anne: Whatever. If Morrissey called himself CFTPA, you'd get it tattooed on your ass.

Laura: I would not. Not on my ass, at least.

D'Anne and Laura are music critics for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

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