Harper’s Neurotic Local Top 20 and Whatever, Don’t Get Excited

I hate doing this. Rounding up the year’s best local releases only makes me think of failure.

Not failure on the part of any artist, mind you — well, not usually — but rather failure on my part to pay wholehearted attention to each and every worthwhile development in the local music scene. I mean, it’s my job, right? Maybe one day when I should’ve been listening to such-and-such record, I went for a jog instead and then completely forgot. Two weeks after the fact, I remember and smack myself on the head with the nearest metal object.

But most of what you’ll see on the list below are, I think, the most significant and bestest records that came out of here in the past year. I know of some that I left off because they just weren’t doing it for me. And there are no doubt others that I left off because I didn’t know about them..

The good news, however, is that within the past few years, there have been so many great releases from the town’s homegrown, original music culture that it’s simply impossible to keep track of everything. 2009 was especially good.

And hey, at least I included MP3s.

Top 20 Kansas City/Lawrence Releases of 2009

Capybara, Try Brother (Record Machine)


The Life and Times, Tragic Boogie (Arena Rock)


Rooftop Vigilantes, Carrot Atlas (Wooden Man)


Ron Ron, Skitzo-Frinik (Brainiak)


Be/Non, A Mountain of Yeses (Unipegadong)


Categories: Music