By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
4. Thee Undertakers, Crucify Me (Grand Theft Audio). Recorded in 1980 but never released until this year, Crucify Memay get these morbid E.L.A. punk rockers the recognition they deeply deserve.
5. Gretchen Wilson, Here for the Party (Sony). The Redneck Woman single-handedly explodes the Nashville girl-singer standard with this set of impeccably delivered hard-country moderne.
6. Go Betty Go, Worst Enemy (Side One Dummy). Debut five-song disc from rad punk rucas GBG came off a bit too squeaky-clean, but even the most mall-punk-courting production can’t screw up an extraordinary song like "Son Mis Locuras."
7. Johnny Cash, Life (Legacy). Personally compiled and sequenced by the Man in Black just before his death, this collection of vintage classics ("Country Trash," "Wanted Man") rates as one of his greatest-ever albums (and he managed it without any help from Bono or Quentin Tarantino).
8. Pete Anderson, Daredevil (Little Dog). Although best known for his long association with Dwight Yoakam, Detroit-born guitar chieftain Anderson’s second solo instrumental set stays far, far away from the back hills and instead charts some evocative, atmospheric and previously undiscovered rock & roll geography. Dazzling.
The loudest: On June 3 at Walt Disney Concert Hall, four brass bands, four sets of kettledrums and some 200 choristers greet the Day of Judgment as envisioned in Hector Berlioz’s Grand Mass of the Dead under Esa-Pekka Salonen’s death-dealing baton.
The softest: On November 11, many seconds of a silence that nobody seemed to want to break greet Thomas Quasthoff’s harrowingly beautiful singing of Gustav Mahler’s Songs on the Death of Children, with the Philharmonic led by visiting conductor Christoph Eschenbach.
The most extraneous, outdoor: the new echo at the Hollywood Bowl that greets all the short, sharp notes from the orchestra with exact mirror images of themselves — twice for the money!
The most extraneous, indoor: Disney Hall’s new pipe organ, out of tune with its surroundings, and with the orchestra. Great for silent movies, though.
The most alluring: Robert Wilson’s conceptualized mounting of Madama Butterfly for the Los Angeles Opera on February 12 — a stage bare of the usual clutter but alive with the intensity of Puccini’s drama.
The least alluring: tenor Richard Leech’s agonized stab at the B-flat in the "Flower Song" from Carmen, October 22 on the same stage, symbolic of the level of opera Wilson’s work rises above. (Top ticket: $190)
The least comforting: the amplified cell-phone imitation at the start of every Disney Hall event, as an exhortation to turn off your own damn things. There are nicer ways, folks.
The most comforting: the quiet gurgle of the rose-shaped fountain in Disney Hall’s garden.
Quando, My Love
Cry Loving Me
I’m So Shy
I Recogize [sic] That Face
Don’t Be Mad
Waiting To Dance With You
Since When You Know Me
I Love Petite Women
Have a Caramel
I’m Still Waiting for You
If You Wish To Love Me
Woman of ’72
Missing Tender Care
Bachelor Without Worry
Monkey Dancing Monkey
I Love Women
Do You Remember
15 Unacceptable High School Band Names
I Have To Go to the Bathroom Right Now
Empty Shot Glass
We Hate School
The Ron Jeremy Experience