It’s the end of the year, and that means that it’s time to look at some of our favorite albums of this year. In traditional Five Tunes fashion, we’re finishing out 2009 by featuring lists from artists who released some of our favorite music of the year. Today, it’s Lose Your Illusion, Too by Chicago’s amazing Mannequin Men.
This city has a handful of great garage and indie rock bands, but it’s hard to pin Mannequin Men as anything other than rock ‘n’ roll. They chug through the kind of good-feelings rock ‘n’ roll that makes you fondly remember long-gone ideals — old friends, temporary crushes, road trips. The boys utilize Lose Your Illusion, Too to belt out an urgent question: “Do you want a massage?” Like Tim by The Replacements, it’s an unexpected outlet of happy, carefree, possibly drunken rock music (with an amazing use of Internet abbreviations).
Mannequin Men – “Hobby Girl” (from the upcoming Hozac single)
Tonight (Dec. 18), Mannequin Men will be at the Empty Bottle with the great White Mystery. If you haven’t listened to this band’s catalog, get to it. Here’s five from K. Richard.
1) Kevin Ayers – “Lunatic’s Lament” (from Shooting At The Moon) – “This is the one thing that solves arguments in the van. Everyone can listen to him endlessly, it sounds good when you’re baked, and it’s versatile enough to suit multiple/varied circumstances. This is more of a ‘on your way to the show after the show’ kinda tune, but he’s got some ‘please get off the 5 and find a hotel right this second’ kinda tunes too.”
2) Moondog – “Bird’s Lament” (from Sax Pax for a Sax) – “I sort of imagine a simply animated, black and white, 1920s mouse doing a shoulder-heavy dance to this as he walks towards a giant wheel of cheese sitting in the middle of a courtroom with a really strange ominous jury watching him, hoping he steps into a trap. I’m dead serious. What an incredible song by a true outsider.”
3) Jake Thackray – “On Again, On Again!” (from Lah Di Dah) – “I’m new to the Thackray game after continued pressure from my pal Joe, and our guitarist Ethan. He matches Brel in delivery, his lyrics trump Loudon, and the guy can play guitar. This one is funny because it’s about how this girl looks great but WILL NOT SHUT UP. I love the way his phrasing messes with the tempo. He’s a pretty clever guy.”
4) The Clash – “Version City” (from Sandanista!)- “One of the most musical records ever, and easily one of my favorite albums ever.”
5) Stranger Waves – “When I Sleep” (demo)- “No secret that we love these guys. Everyone will compare them to Smith Westerns since they’re young and from Chicago, but there’s an honesty and a humble quality the others are missing that these guys have in spades. You can see the incredible songs that they are about to write following them around the room, it’s tremendous.”