#6 on the 2009 Musical Advent Calendar
Hometowns by the Rural Alberta Advantage
Please “click to play” on the box above (2014 editor’s update — replaced the now-dead song link with this awesome fan-created video for the same song); it is important that you listen to this song while continuing to read. Believe it or not, what you’re hearing is the best new band of 2009. It may not sound like a lot to you right now, but mark my words: 2010 will be all about this band, the Rural Alberta Advantage. Well, at least in the indie rock world that I inhabit, these guys are going to get huge.
How about those drums? That cello! Those fantastic guy/girl harmonies. The bleeding-heart lyrics! All combined, it makes a damn near perfect song. It’s called “Don’t Haunt This Place,” and it’s from their debut album, which happens to be chock full of songs just like this.
And now the next phase is to get you to buy their music and see their shows. I just recently saw the band perform at a small all-ages venue here in town, and the show was barely even half full. I’m so glad I got to see them in such a way, because it won’t ever be that easy again. And everybody loves to say “I was there when…,” right? I’ve written a review of the show, but it hasn’t been posted yet, and I don’t like to post my reviews on this blog until they’ve been posted at the blog I “work” for. So stay tuned for that. (Update: my review of the Rural Alberta Advantage show at the Vera on December 19 is now posted at Click & Dagger.)
The band did make a video for one of the songs from the album, but it’s not a good representative song and I didn’t want to have you watch it and be disappointed before letting you really give the band a chance. You can watch the video, for “Drain the Blood,” at Pitchfork.com. You should also listen to “Sleep All Day” and “Frank, AB,” another couple of songs from this amazing album.
At this point, you may still be asking yourself why I love this group so much. I was asking myself that up until a couple weeks ago when I came to realize they sound quite a bit like one of favorite bands, the band that wrote and performed the Best Album Ever Recorded: Neutral Milk Hotel. And this is a very good thing. But if you’re now asking yourself, “Who? What?!” then I beg you to drop everything you’re doing, run out to your local iTunes store (ha ha), and purchase that album. Listen for a week solid, doctors orders. Then return to this post to listen to the Rural Alberta Advantage.
And then you, too, will understand.
(I’m so excited: over the next five days, I get to tell you about the top 5 albums of the year!)
7. Velvet Underground & Nico: “Record Club” by Beck
8. March of the Zapotec/Holland by Beirut
9. There is no Enemy by Built to Spill
10. Dark Was The Night, a Red Hot Compilation
11. The Mountain by the Heartless Bastards
12. Creaturesque by Throw Me The Statue
13. Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band by Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band
14. Horehound by The Dead Weather
15. Promenade by Grand Hallway
16. Grand by Matt & Kim
17. Blood Bank EP by Bon Iver
18. Fever Ray by Fever Ray
19. Tell ’Em What Your Name Is by Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears
20. Mo Beauty by Alec Ounsworth
21. Here Comes Science by They Might Be Giants
22. Noble Beast by Andrew Bird
23. Hungry Bird by Clem Snide
24. Actor by St. Vincent
25. Elvis Perkins in Dearland by Elvis Perkins in Dearland
26. XX by the XX
27. Grrr… by Bishop Allen
28. Keep It Hid by Dan Auerbach
29. It’s Blitz! by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
30. Beware by Bonnie “Prince” Billie
31. Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear